Alchemy

Explanation of the Annuli Platonis

This one is from the preface of very esoteric text from alchemical tradition.

The Chain of Homer is proved thus:
After the chaos pulls asunder
A volatile spirit must forge it.

Spiritus mundi is its name.
Frost, dew, snow, rain and everything from above
Are betrothed to it in faithful company.
Here is contained the volatile seed of the world
From the upper realms, when it falls into the lower.
From that it takes on a body
When it glows visibly before our eyes.

Nitrum is known to the whole world.
Who is there to tell all his power?
It is he that can forge many a thing.
To him the lower realm is subject,
Neither can the upper dispense with him.
He must give birth to the whole of nature.
He is the father of all things,
Who can conquer the fortresses of the world.
His power has been given him by the Creator.
His realm is over heaven, earth and the sea.
Adam he is in all things,
Out of him Eve must also spring.
Then the goal will be reached,
when the whole earth becomes fertile,
When he becomes fixed and no longer flashes,
And Eve sits next to him.
Sun, moon, the sea, and the earth
Turn him to Eve through constant motion.
Through heat and cold, through constant movement of the sea, With Adam rises Eve.

Who is called common Salt and Alkali,
Who feeds the children of the whole world with her blood. For when man and woman get together,
A perfect fruit will be forged from them.

For the Sour and Alkali Salt Gives the fat to every soup.

This is proved by the volatile realm of the animals.
Not volatile, not fixed, note well.

The~Vegetab1e Hermaphrodite also shows Of what it is forged.

The fixed ores and stones give evidence
That they are proper (or: belong) to Niter and Salt.
Fire and Air, Water and Earth,
Desire of it the active part.
When now the noble world—seed has been made fixed.

Steam and water have also been brought to earth,
Then is made, and also accomplished
That which all the world esteems most highly.
Fixed must the volatile become,
Out of water and steam turn to earth.
And when it becomes a red dry blood,
It is the world’s treasure and highest good.

A perfect perfection
Which drives away all poverty and disease.

— Golden Chain Of Homer

Alchemy

The Double Volatile and Fixed Abyss

This one is from the preface of very esoteric text from alchemical tradition.

One abyss (deep) calls Forth another.
Together they Form a hard bouquet.
The volatile must become quite fixed,
Steam and water must turn into earth.

Heaven itself must be earthly,
Or else no life will enter the earth.
The highest must become the lowest,
The Lowest again the Highest.
The fixed must become quite volatile,
Water and steam must be the earth.
The Earth must fly high up to Heaven,
Heaven must creep into the center of the Earth.
Thus, Heaven and Earth must become reversed,
If the lowest is to become the highest.

The volatile Dragon kills the fixed,
The fixed forces the volatile into Death.
Thus must stand revealed,
The quintessence and what it can do.

— Golden Chain of Homer

Aurobindo

Nature and God

“Every thing in Nature is a becoming of the one Spirit who alone is Being. We and all things in Nature are God’s becomings, sarvabhutani.

Although there are to world-experience multitudinous souls (Purushas) in the universe, all these are only one Purusha masked in many forms of His consciousness.

Each soul in itself is God entirely, every group of souls is collectively God; the modalities of Nature’s movement create their separation and outward differences.

God transcends world and is not bound by any law of Nature. He uses laws, laws do not use Him.

God transcends world and is not bound to any particular state of consciousness in the world. He is not unity-consciousness nor multiple consciousness, not Personality nor Impersonality, not stillness, nor motion, but simultaneously includes all these self-expressions of His absolute being.

God simultaneously transcends world, contains it and informs it; the soul in the body can arrive at the God-consciousness and at once transcend, contain and inform its universe.

God-consciousness is not exclusive of world-consciousness; Nature is not an outcast from Spirit, but its Image, world is not a falsity contradicting Brahman, but the symbol of a divine Existence.

God is the reverse side of Nature, Nature the obverse side of God.”

 

— Sri Aurobindo, Isha Upanishad

Aurobindo

Everything is God

There is no error in “idolatry”; the error is in the mind of the idolater who worships the stone as stone and the stock as stock, thinking that is God, and forgets or does not realise that it is the Divine Presence in them which is alone worship-worthy. The stock or the stone is not God, for it is only an eidolon, a symbol of His presence; but the worship of it as a symbol is not superstitious or degrading; it is true and ennobling. Every ceremony which reminds us of the presence of the Eternal in the transient, is, if performed with a religious mind, a spiritual help and assists in the purification of consciousness from the obscuration of the senses. To the ordinary intelligence, however, the idea of Brahman’s omnipresence, if pushed home, becomes a stumbling-block. How can that which is inert, senseless and helpless be full of that which is divine and almighty? Is it not a sacrilege to see Him in what is vile and repulsive? Is it not a blasphemy to envisage Him in the vicious and the criminal? Hence the popular Manicheanism which pervades every religion; hence the persistent idea of a twofold creative power, God and devil, Ormuzd and Ahriman, Allah and Iblis, the one responsible for all that is good, the other for all that is evil. This kind of spiritual and intellectual weakness loves to see God in everything good and pleasant and beautiful, but ignores Him in what is evil, ugly or displeasing. But it is an imperfect religion which thus yields to the domination of the mind and senses and allows them to determine what is or is not God. Good is a mask and evil is a mask; both are eidola, valid for the purposes of life in phenomena, but when we seek that which is beyond phenomena, we must resolutely remove the mask and see only the face of God behind it.

Sri Aurobindo, Supplement: Chapter – XII

Aurobindo

Watcher in the train

This Supreme Entity which, as Self or Spirit, is immobile and One, is yet, without moving, swifter than thought. Swiftness implies motion; but the motion of Spirit in Cosmos is the illusory motion we see in the landscape as it whirls swiftly past the quiet watcher in the railway-carriage. The individual Self in Man is the watcher in the train, the train is Prakriti, the landscape the Universal Self in the Cosmos. The watcher is not moving, the landscape is not moving; it is the train which is moving and carries the sitter with it.

Sri Aurobindo, Supplement: Chapter – XI

Buddhism

Be a lamp unto yourself

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Be a lamp unto yourself.
Don’t search for light anywhere else;
the light is already there, the fire is already there.
Just probe a little deeper into your being, enquire.
Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire…
Just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again.
And once you have found a single spark inside you,
you will become a flame, soon you will be a fire…
a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms,
a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.
Be a lamp unto yourself.

— Gautama Buddha

Kashmir Shaivism

Unfolding of the universe

That Siva — who in the process of unfolding (of the universe) spreads in all directions, first assumes the na­ture of various objects (and) then becomes objects mu­tually distinct from each other, thus, attaining the prop­erty of being the objects of experience; then again (in reverse), under the influence of one-pointed meditation he once again reaches the state beyond differentiation — that Sambhu, the destroyer of inauspiciousness, the storehouse of illuminating consciousness, is (always) victorious.

— Abhinavagupta, Gitartha Samgraha, p.1