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The Light of Egypt: Science of the Soul and the Stars, Volume II By Burgoyne, 1903

CHAPTER VI – SYMBOLISM

At this point of our study it is necessary to make a halt; and, before proceeding further, to attempt to formulate and realize that, which, so far, we have been pursuing.

First, then, we have passed in review the Zodiac, and then the constellations. From this we mentally surveyed both Astro-Theology and Astro-Mythology; and now, it is our first duty to realize these in their real significance, and this consists in a clear comprehension of the Grand Law of Correspondences.

What is this law? It is the law of symbolism, and symbolism, rightly understood, is the one Divine language of Mother Nature, a language wherein all can read, a language that defies the united efforts of both time and space to obliterate it, for symbolism will be the language of Nature as long as spirit expresses itself to the Divine soul of man.

No matter where we turn nor where we look, there is spread out to our view a vast panorama of symbolic forms for us to read. In whatever form, angle, or color they present themselves, the true student of Nature can interpret and understand their symbolic language aright. It has been by the personification of Nature’s symbols, that man has become ignorant of their language. There is no form, sound, nor color but what has its laws of expression; and only a perfect knowledge of symbolism will enable man to know the law, power, and meaning, lying behind such manifestations. The law of expression is exact, and as unalterable as Deity Himself. The physical senses cannot vibrate to these interior forces, and through them, comprehend their law. The physical senses vibrate to the spirit’s expression, not to the powers, forces, and laws, which brought them into objective existence.

Countless numbers of mystics, if such they deserve to be called, among present-day students, speak and write very learnedly upon the “Law of Correspondence,” and few, if any, of them really understand or know anything at all of that law. The intellect alone cannot solve the problems of this law. It cannot grasp the true, interior and spiritual meaning, except in just so far as intellect is capable of externalizing them. The inmost spiritual truths, that cannot be demonstrated to the outward senses, never have, nor never will, appeal to any one who has not the interior ability to comprehend them.

There was a time when men ruled by pure intellect, without its accompanying other half, intuition: they were looked upon as monstrosities. This state of purely intellectual development has been brought about by the positive, masculine principle, reason, absorbing its counterpart, the intuition, the feminine portion; and the result, by correspondence, is as fatal as upon the interior plane, where the positive, masculine soul denies the existence of his mate; thus setting upon his throne, only a portion of himself as his idol, and then, reasons himself into the belief that he is complete. Love has been cast out, ignored and forgotten until at last she departs, leaving a vacancy, that eternity cannot fill.

This is somewhat similar to their illusive Devachan, an ideal, a mere mystical sentiment to gush over, but a something they do not in reality comprehend. Therefore, we shall do our utmost to explain this universal law, and to point out wherein its first principles are manifest. Once these are mastered, the Golden Rule will explain all the rest: “As it is below, so it is above; as on the earth, so in the sky.”

Here, then, is our first lesson on the subject of REALITY, which constitutes the Hermetic science of Correspondences.

First, realize that a line or an angle, for instance, is something more than its mere mathematical outline. It corresponds to some power, force, or principle within the great Anima-Mundi of the mysteries, that are trying to find expression, in their evolutionary journey, in forms. Let us illustrate our meaning. A point or dot is what? Well, externally it is the alpha of all mathematics. It is the first finite manifestation of the spiritual force. Within that dot lies concealed, in embryo, all the future possibilities of the manifesting principle.

This dot or point is a something to begin with, a form externalized, from which all future forms may spring forth, and they may be infinite, both in number and variety. First a primary, simple idea, from which all ideas and thoughts, intricate and complex, have their being.

A point extended is a straight line, scientifically expressed (whereas in real truth there is no such thing as a straight line); that is to say, it is a form increased or multiplied by itself, and therefore, is an extension in space that can be measured, and each extension means a new form, an additional symbol. It has taken on new aspects, new relations, hence contains the second principle of mathematics, so to say; but, besides being points, THEY ARE SYMBOLS. They are principles in Nature as clearly related to each other as the leaf and the stem of plant life.

Each monad, or point in the universe, is the beginning of something; equally so, it is also the termination of its own forces in that particular action, and will remain inert until it becomes acted upon by something else.

A point, then, is a primary, simple idea, a straight line. An angle is the same idea, rendered greater and more complex, and refers to the same forces upon a different plane, and the more we multiply the angles the more complex and far-reaching becomes the symbol and the more numerous and diverse become its planes of action. Here we will introduce an example. A trine represents three forces or angles, and, when united, form a trinity, hence harmony. Its apex (when above) is celestial, therefore represents the male forces of spirit.

A trine reversed also represents the same forces, with its apex in matter, hence it is negative. In these two complex ideas, clearly represented by these symbols, we have ALL matter and spirit; and yet they are but extensions of our point in space, rendered far-reaching and complex, by the position and the number of angles presented.

Let us turn the key once again, and we find that, both spirit and matter possess the same outline in their primal concept, except reversed (polarized).

Let us unite these two trines, and we have a still more potent form; a symbol almost infinitely complex. We have spirit and matter united, or, rather, three rays of force, positive, meeting three rays of force, negative, at a given point. Thus we have six points, also six sides, the ultimate of which is a cube. All are now equal. It is the first force of a crystallization (creation) of matter.

Once again let us turn the key, and we have our two conceptions in a metaphysical sense; the trine with its apex above is as the trine with its apex below, both the same in form, yet vibrating to very different planes, and a very different language is required to read and interpret their meaning aright. The spiritual, or the trine with its apex above, draws its influence from the celestial, and as it condenses and takes on form in the trine of matter, it transmits this same Divine force through its apex, which points below, to matter. The double trine is found upon every plane, obeying the Divine Law of Correspondences.

It is, in this sense, called “Solomon’s Seal,” because it is the grand hieroglyphic of the Hermetic law: “As it is above, so it is below; as on the Earth, so in the sky.”

To continue this line of reasoning, or speculation, let us say, would lead us beyond the firm basis of human reason; it would escape the grasp of intellect, to which I am compelling this course of instruction to bend, but it would never take us beyond the real limits of the universe; yet, not to extend our investigations, we would ever remain in the lower trine, in the realms of effects, and lose sight entirely of the trine of spirit, from whence originated the force and potency in the form of matter.

Therefore it is, that the science of Symbolism has been evolved and formulated. The symbols, the manifestations, are ever present, and the study of effects will, to a developed soul, suggest the cause, the nature of the principle back of it, as well as the law which would produce such effects. Such is the science of symbolism; and it bounds and binds back into a religio-philosophical system, each class of symbols and each plane of manifestation; as securely as modern savants have defined the province of chemistry, magnetism, and mathematics; and, so far, these bounds are useful. But it is only a question of time and space, after all, because, when resolved back, or, let us say, evolved up into their abstract principles; chemistry, magnetism, and mathematics, are purely arbitrary terms to express special features of the same one eternal thing or science–which is EXISTENCE; and it, in turn, is CONSCIOUSNESS; not that external consciousness of existence, not that knowledge and love of living, but that interior, conscious knowledge, which tells us why and how we exist, by what force and power we are sustained and permitted to obey and carry out the law of mediumship, reception and transmission, attraction and repulsion, spiritual and material, that ultimately blend and become as one, the double trine, and, united with the Divine Ego of its being, becomes complete; seven, the perfected number of form.

The sum total, then, of all, and the value it may possess to the individual, is measured by his ability to perceive; for there is nothing external that is not in some sense mental, and there is nothing mental that is not in some sense spiritual. The sides of the triangle, physical, mental, and spiritual, and the apex where meet the mental and spiritual, forms the center of contact to higher trines in realms above.

Where mind is not, there are no symbols, no ideas, no manifestations. The spirit has not yet reached that point in its evolutionary journey where it can yet crystallize its projected force, power, or ideas, into forms; for everything that is, is the outcome of Divine thought, and expresses within itself the symbol of its being. This is the arcana of the Law of Correspondences.

Remember the above teaching, because upon its full comprehension rests the ability to read symbols aright. It will aid the soul to fully realize that, the vast universe is but the mental image of the Creator; that there is no such thing as manifested existence apart from mind; and consequently, the infinite worlds that float securely in space, blushing and scintillating with light of life and love of the Father, revealing to mortal minds some faint conception of the awful resources and recesses within Nature’s star-making laboratory, are but the scintillating reflection of life, the reactions of mental phenomena. So, too, with the mental creative powers of the mind of man, for, not a vibration that proceeds from his every thought but what creates its correspondence in the creative realm of spirit. Hence, symbolism continues giving to the soul of man, throughout eternity, food for thought and contemplation.

All symbols, then, are objectified ideas, whether human or Divine; and as such possess a real meaning; and this meaning is altered, extended and rendered more complex with every additional thing or influence by which we find it surrounded, or with which, we find it correlated. For instance, $1.00 means one dollar; add six ciphers to the left 0000001., and it is still the same $1.00, and no more, because their position is previous, or before, the 1. But add the same number of ciphers to the right, $1,000000, and lo! we find a wondrous change of force, power, and consequence. We see all the mighty power of our million of money, and the possibilities and responsibilities with which, in these days, it becomes associated.

So it is with everything else in Nature. Man pays the penalty by increased responsibility, for every step in knowledge that be takes, as well as every dollar in gold be procures. Dollars, as well as talents, have to be accounted for, and their usefulness increased tenfold. The dollars must not be buried nor hoarded any more than our talents, but each, unfolded and doubled, so that we may be instrumental in helping our coworkers in their upward path, in the Cycle of Necessity. Knowledge is the basic foundation in reading Nature’s language. Purity of thought, truth in motive, and unselfish benevolence, will lift the veil that now lies between the two trines, cause and effect, spirit and matter.

We have given the key and explained the alphabet of this wondrous law; therefore we close. Each must, by the same rules, work out the special links in the chain for him or herself. The angle from which each take their view determines the reading and interpretation of the symbols presented, whether that be from the apex, the sides or the base, for every symbol has its trinity in principles and form. Cause and effect are but the action and reaction; the result is the symbol which reveals the correspondence of both.