David – Chapter 2
January 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
My computer’s been somewhat crippled lately due to a virus. As of my last post I was still able to operate outside of the ‘safe mode’, but since then it’s been on a downward spiral. The sound/video drivers aren’t working at the moment so video’s out of the question and I’m going textual for my Chapter 2 response.
A lot of interesting ground covered in this second installment. Ishtar has done a wonderful job of recapping some of the ideas and bringing them into a broader perspective in the analysis that she posted to the Ishtar’s Gate site.
Dennis has brought us in to an entirely different perspective on the world, displacing us from our usual reference points. Plunged into ancient Egypt we’re greeted by mythic beings whose origins remain shrouded in mystery, a secret passed down through legends, lost in the deserts with the death of kings, rediscovered by dedicated seekers, hinted at by historians. All of it within our grasp, contained in a simple written formula:
1. Truly, without deceit, certain and most veritable
2. That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Entity.
3. And just as all things come from the One Entity, through the mediation of its One Mind, so do all created things originate from this One Entity through transformation.
4. Its father is the Sun. Its mother the Moon. The Wind carries it in its belly. Its nurse is the Earth. The origin of all the perfections of the world is here. Its force is entire, if it is converted into Earth.
5. Separate Earth from Fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with great ingenuity. It rises from Earth to Heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby receiving the force of both things superior & inferior. In this way, you shall obtain the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly away from you.
6. This is a force, strong with all forces, for it overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.
7. In this way the world was created.
8. From this will come many admirable applications, the means of which is in this.
9. Therefore I am called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
10. What I have said of the operation of the Sun is finished.”
And a complex of symbols:
(thanks to Jeremiah for finding the above representation of Matthieu Merian’s Tabula Smaragdina on the Azoth Alchemy site.)
As Dennis mentions in the book, these representations have been reproduced in different forms, each alchemist taking the tradition of the secret of the Emerald Tablet and developing their own representation:
What humbles me as an illustrator is that each of these is the end of a meditation on the Emerald Tablet. The hours spent creating these images saw a hand set in motion by the impetus of a deep reflection on the relationships established by the Tablet’s maxims.
Almost a sacred symbolic mathematics, a poetic formula with innumerable permutations. In the craft itself lies a reflection of the process, in the act of creating the symbolic illustration what is inscribed becomes that which is Below, the pen that which is Above. The pen then to the hand, the hand then to the heart, the heart then to the mind, and so on, an interconnected series of reflections each capable of expressing the entirety of relationships established in the Tablet.
In like manner each of the potent figures presented in this Chapter provide paths towards the center of the secret. Ishtar followed the paths of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and the Greeks. I was taken in by the 5 year silience of Apollonius and entered into G.R.S. Mead’s Apollonius of Tyana – The Philosopher Explorer & Social Reformer of the 1st Century A.D. to see what came of it:
“When you enter the temples, for what do you pray?” asked the Pontifex Maximus Telesinus of our philosopher. “I pray,” said Apollonius, “that righteousness may rule, the laws remain unbroken, the wise be poor and others rich, but honestly” (iv 40).
The belief of the philosopher in the grand ideal of having nothing and yet possessing all things, is exemplified by his reply to the officer who asked him how he dared enter the dominions of Babylon without permission. “The whole earth,” said Apollonius, “is mine; and it is given me to journey through it” (i 21).”
Section XV: From His Sayings & Sermons
Here too is the result of the Emerald Tablet; another reflection of it’s maxims in the form of words spoken with wisdom. One who has attained the Stone can say without arrogance “The whole earth, is mine; and it is given me to journey through it.”