A Symbolic Image of the Cosmos


It may be that the energy of gravity and its laws are not only principles applicable to "matter," but are something more universal, archetypal, connected with every manner of attraction on different expressive levels. This is what we set forth with a comparison of two beings that attract one another complementary, beings that must always be in opposition in order for this conjunction to be realized. Rite and magic know these principles, which constitute their very reason for existence as such.1 The laws of analogy suppose diverse planes, on which transpositions can be effectuated and which include attraction and repulsion, the recognition of what truly signifies the mutual, taking it for granted that this similarity between plane and plane­which coexist simultaneously­is an antecedent condition for all rite or analogy. On the other hand, this type of energy is found explicit in Hindu tradition, where it is referred to the three gunas: sattva, rajas, and tamas. Indeed, if sattva is linked to a vertical ascending energy, tamas is found at the opposite extreme of this verticality and manifests the descending energy. It goes without saying that there is complementarity between the two, that there could not be the one without the other, and that they coexist, symbolizing evolution and involution, and generating a third, called rajas, which permits the expansion and development of the horizontal and successive plane. Logically, in each of these "forces" the other two must be present as a constitutive part. Thereby they shape an interdependent whole, in which one and the same energy, in doubling, polarizes, constituting a vertical axis by which forces ascend and descend, balancing at a middle or central point, which generates a horizontal plane of displacement of that energy up to its proper limits, that is, directly proportional to the play of sattva and tamas, to that of the evolution and involution of any being, whether it be a person, a civilization, or a world. If we graph this in the plane, we obtain a vertical axis and another, horizontal one­in which the energy of sattva and tamas are reflected­which cross it at its center, making the figure of a cross, which is universally traditional. This representation, which on many occasions appears circumscribed by a circumference that complements it and makes it clearer,2 is but the symbolization of the quaternary and the cycle­with all that that entails, as we have been seeing throughout our material­and shapes a perfect synthesis of thought,3 where the idea of totality and simultaneity in space, in time, and with respect to the constitutive "elements" of creation, manifests itself one single time and is perceived at a single glance, thanks to the balance of the harmonic play of tensions involved in it (and so in all things)­which comes down to saying: thanks to the coexistence of sattva, rajas, and tamas, which the cross symbolizes as well.4 Without a fall, there is no redemption, and it is obvious that without tamas, sattva would have no place in consciousness, that is, in our world. And instead of adjudicating a value to these energies in terms of their goodness or evil­illusorily excluding one to the benefit of the other­we should do well to seek to understand them under the reciprocal light that they simultaneously emit, thanks to which we can differentiate them, as we shall later distinguish them both from rajas, their expansive reflective generator. Tamas is also a form of the deity, and therefore its energy is sacred. Knowing this reality as a component of the universal being present in all of creation­which it precisely occasions­the individual can know of its counterpart, of the possibility of its opposed, that is: of the equally valid reality of sattva, which at the same time is an immanent energy in tamas, just as this latter is embraced in sattva, and the two conjointly in equal proportion in rajas, as they base the cosmos in its horizontal expansion. We should have to add that the constant, precarious balance of these alternatives, in determined periods of historical time, has the effect that one successively predominates over the others in function of the proportion of the whole. At the current moment of the cycle, gravitational energy, that is, attraction toward the descendant­followed by a gradual opaquing and densification­is the one that has the primacy over the others. For that reason, this energy is strong and dominant, and for the same reason holds particular interest, since it also­in concealed form­renders the others explicit: in particular, its opposed and complementary sattva, which can then appear as "savior" thanks to tamas, with which it is naturally intertwined, inasmuch as both are one and the same polarized energy, under contrary sign, each inverted with respect to the other.

This is also valid for the two halves of a circle, wheel, or sphere. The upper one symbolizes the sky, the lower signifies the earth. Between the two, like a vertical axis, is found the human being,5 to whom falls a role of mediator, of intermediary in creation, which goes far beyond what is commonly imagined, since his role or function­if we may call it that­is the indispensable point of the work of creation, which he himself finishes and grounds in "rounding out" its unitary sense and establishing a focus of union (the equilibrium of a static axis in a world of constant movement and migration) in the perpetual becoming of things and forms that play a reunifying role in distinct planes or worlds.

This essential characteristic of the human being is barbarously denied today, not only by scientificism, but also by numerous pseudo-religions. In fact, these same religions, such as they appear today in their decline, either deny this characteristic or are ignorant of it.6 This is due to the fact that they make of relative norms something absolute, means and ends alike, and especially to the fact that they have prescinded from, or eliminated, "evil" from their cosmologies. Thus, they offer us a mutilated reading of reality, and thereby of ourselves. This tremendous limitation, which could have been regarded as infantile had it not been marked by the blood and fire of the hatred of sectarian fanaticism, constitutes but pure and simple ignorance, all the more evidently and strangely when folk are encountered who take themselves for cultivated persons, even among ministers and priests of those religions, of whom it is thought that they are specialists in these questions, whose knowledge of the sacred would thus be established with certain reserves.

It is lamentable, then, that there cannot be revealed in these persons­who may sincerely desire it­truth and life, by reason of the simple fact that they do not permit themselves this, owing to their conditioning and prejudices, or because they are busy (in the best of cases) with their almighty imagination, in their "mystical" daydreams, or drily peddling presumed dogmatic orthodoxies, or even feeling pious or gratified by their "goodness." The serious thing is that these professionals see themselves under an obligation to impose on us a "true" idea of the deity (generally connected with "sensibility" or "humanitarianism"), surely anthropomorphic, which constitutes an evident limitation of the knowledge of what is not human and does not even possess form. We think, then, that their perception of knowledge is so distorted and confused that, from the standpoint of the majesty of this knowledge, it is equivalent to a negation. The case is doubly aggravated by the fact that they seek this profuse ignorance by force, using it, furthermore, as a factor of power, always applied to lesser ends, almost always to personal ones. These "authorities" have given us an erroneous image of what tradition, unanimously, describes as something more akin to nonbeing than to being. This experience excludes all possibility of computable cognition, and has nothing in common (at least directly) with personal piety, salvation, lot, felicity, and realization. What it does have to do with is acceptance, recognition of what has always been, the palpable reality of mystery, the innocent freshness of the internal meandering and flow, the virginal "ingenuousness" of the child or of the mad person. Well understood and experienced, they constitute the fruits of the tree of life­always present­before which any phenomenic promise or discovery, "orthodox dogma," or "secret knowledge" are absurd and laughable, since pure reality­which some have sought to express as a void or a nothing, adding that this is not exactly correct­imposes itself spontaneously, as oneness, as an experience in which we human beings are included, constituting us its most perfect possibilities of expression and revelation. We shall be told that this opaquing of the original transparency, perceptible in science and in the religions­and which precisely occasions scientificism and the pseudo-religions­is "tamasic," or gravitational, and owing to the nature of the cycle. And we respond in the affirmative, adding, furthermore, that it is thanks to this characteristic that we may perhaps be able to experience the energy of sattva, since, as we have seen, the deity also manifests itself in negative terms: as just so, from an inverse, analogous viewpoint, does the theology called "negative."

As to the personal, every person and every institution surely have an end and a destiny, that is, a function and a mission, whether they know them or not, and whether or not what they are the opposite of what they strive for. We believe that to judge is an error perfectly identified in various traditions. On the other hand, the popular saying, "Nobody knows whom he works for" is definitively applicable to oneself. The phrase, "In omnibus caritas" clearly expresses what many of us think about this. The evangelical injunction to "love your enemies" must be especially highlighted, since, among other things, it may be possible that thanks to them we can recognize the truth in what remains of the cycle. Or to put it another way: We can dispose ourselves to know completely the sluggish energy of density, in order to permit ourselves the lightness of the subtile, of what we have always known without effort.

Now, if we ask ourselves whether there is any difference between these two portions in which the circle or sphere are divided­or the ascending movement of departure (north to south, midnight to midday), or descending or return (south to north, midday to midnight) of the cosmic wheel­we shall likewise reply in the affirmative, recalling that it is from polarization, or the pair, that all difference springs, and that difference is synthesized in the first distinction: the one that causes active or passive things to take the name of sky or earth. This duality, expressed through the energies called sattva and tamas, which simultaneously generate rajas in perpetuity, mold a triunity of concrete principles (corresponding to sky, earth, and the human being), which in turn, in being manifested in the horizontal, or creational plane, shape and limit the cosmos, that is, all things.

The quaternary, symbolized by the cross, tells us that the same opposition between the ascending/descending energy has been transferred to the plane of horizontal or creational conjunction, where they also stand in an opposition of analogy­since they have come to be components of the same­in this figure which symbolizes the totality of the created or limited, and where they now meet two by two, generating and balancing the entire manifestation, now marked with their seal, reproducing that seal limitlessly. If we lift the plane representation to the spatial, the quaternary, symbolized by a cross, will be converted into a volumetric cross. And what is symbolized by a square will be transformed into a cube. In both cases we have only added one dimension to the model symbolizing the cosmos, completing it and occasioning the limitless variables that can constitute it, which are always referred to a triunity of principles­in this case spacial­length, breadth, and depth­which shape the entire universe in manifesting themselves.7 What interests us at the moment is to point out that, once the horizontal plane has been created and defined in a quaternary mode, by the action of a triunity of principles, that quaternary plane it is added to them, forming a septenary, which­as we have already indicated in these pages­is the numerical concept referring to the totality of creation, symbolized by the cube in space and by Solomon's seal in the plane, which, as we know, is composed of two inverted triangles.

Returning to that first differentiation or polarization­which makes things progress and have names­we shall say that, in the case of the horizontal division into two halves, of the sphere, the wheel, or the circle, one of them is elevated or ascendent, and corresponds to midnight and the sky, while the other, being its opposite, will denote the contrary: the low, the descending, midday, earth. We see in this conception that the sky, as the highest place, as the summum of verticality, is rather associated with ideas of darkness, while those of full light correspond to earth.8 This darkness is more in agreement with the immanifest than with the manifest, more with the invisible than with the visible, more with the unknown than with the known, with the secret more than with the divulged. But will it not be in order to ask ourselves in the name of what the primacy of the sky is asserted over the earth, of the high over the low, of the evolutive over the involutive, if we see that their energies are complementary? We shall only say that various traditions have indicated the pole star­situated in the north­as the door of symbolical emergence to the supracosmic. This notion includes not only the possibility of differentiation between the high and the low­with the supremacy falling to the former­but the fact that this same hierarchy obtains for the existence of other planes, worlds, or levels, with respect to which the comparative criteria, the same qualifications of high and low, are created and considered. Traditionally, active energy has always been attributed to the sky, and passive to earth. If we consider that, in the manifestation, the energies are opposed two by two, it will be a simple step to notice that in every positive energy its negative contrary is included, just as all everything passive has an active component, which it opposes, in order to be what it is, that is: itself. And as every yin has its yang, and this model is limitlessly manifested, we must conclude that this helicoid, this evolutive-involutive spiral of energies, which shapes the Chinese symbol­and which is extended in the synthesis of the cross to the horizontal arms, which are expressed in simultaneous wise in the axis­is absolutely inapprehensible, at least in the manner in which we are accustomed­be it only mentally- to take possession of cognitions and things.9 Faced with a like state of affairs. We can only abandon ourselves and acknowledge our ignorance, since there could be nothing more obtuse than to seek to invent or impose any order when all is already ordered­to pretend to "create" something when the marvel is to notice that all is already created. Including oneself.

Contemplation is passive, and as an energy of earth, must be worked and prepared in order that the active energies of heaven finally fertilize it. We must promote yin in order to obtain, by gravitational attraction, the descent of yang, and to produce the copula between the two, in order to transcend our own yang and ascend evolutively through it to the knowledge of unity, in another plane­obviously, where their opposition no longer exists, and which "not knowing its name I call Tao." It ought not to surprise us, then, that the work is done with and in the reflection called the microcosm, using the analogical laws of inversion, which, well employed, produce the breach of level. Just so, returning to our plane model of the wheel, we might be able to make a double transposition in it. On one side, we could take the immobile axis as sky, any point on the periphery as earth, and the radius connecting them as the intermediary thanks to which the two are united, generating the plane or artifact in question. On the other hand, we might consider, in the same sense, the interior point, the exterior one, and the series that joins them, as corresponding to Atma, Jivatma, and the radius Buddhi, of the Hindu tradition, with all that these transpositions imply. We must furthermore make it clear that the sky or heaven to which we are referring forms part of the manifest cosmos, just as neither is Brahma Atma­except insofar as the latter is Prajapati­and still less is Brahma the unconditional Brahma or Para-Brahma, although at times it is customary to identify them by analogy. These assertions oblige us to reflect on the notion of distinct planes­or of hierarchies within the same plane­which these assertions include and express.

First, however, we must say a few words respecting the fact that each manifested point is actually the center of a system. Or to put it in another way, this center is nowhere, as it is everywhere. Indeed, if this is the case, and this center is identified, on the other hand, with "sky," it is also found on earth. And earth itself must have two poles, or two tendencies, or energies, called sattva and tamas, one active and the other passive, corresponding to sky and earth, which form a third with which they are simultaneous: rajas­all three emanating from unity, of which they are co-sharers, a unity which in expressing itself creates a framework in which the three manifest themselves, through which they can be apprehended. This archetypal process will also impose its structure on the things that constitute the totality of the cosmos. It is therefore logical to think that this same cosmos can have various planes, or worlds, as implicit, which constantly connect with the ontological principles, inasmuch as it is these principles that actually form them. In the case of the body of the human being, a tripartite division would be obtained, corresponding to extremities, trunk, and head, which would be the visible symbol of three internal worlds, corresponding to body (or earth), soul (intermediary world of the human being) and spirit (or sky). The majority of the traditions have these three degrees or levels, which are valid not only for the human being, but for the universe, as well.10 At the intermediate level, it is customary to invoke a subdivision into what is above the waters or beneath them, the upper and lower waters,11 the upper and lower psyche. And these degrees or worlds are visualized as hierarchized, or located successively along a path.12 As has so often been explained, it is a matter of various states of consciousness, since each symbol always produces a psychological impression that makes valid, or better, obligatory, the transpositions to this plane. The various states are linked with the transformation of thought, and even of perceptions, which effectuate, on this route or journey, what must logically alter our life schema. Let us observe that this successive hierarchization is basically a didactic one, since in life itself it is expressed simultaneously, as an organic whole, just as in the human being or in the gigantic egg that produces the universe. This hierarchical division is as valid as the other, quaternary one, which limits space, time, and the recycling of the states of matter, ultimately defining the cosmos as something clear and cohesive among its parts. The notion of planes or readings of reality is not arbitrary, but actually corresponds to the nature of the things it means to symbolize and transcribe, according to the teachings received and experienced by all of those who have identified their being with their knowledge.

In this sense­and begging indulgence for the numerous reiterations that might possibly have been superfluous in the course of these pages­we wish to refer once more to time, taking it now as an example of the "hierarchization" of reality into planes or readings, to which reality we are referring. It is a matter of a qualitative division of reality, in depth, according to its perception on different levels, thereby corresponding to intrinsic categories of time itself. We could thus distinguish a linear and transitory conception of time­an individual or collective conception­proper to the literalness of the contemporary human being; a cyclical conception, which is the one experienced by the average person of a traditional civilization (and one which can surely be found in some of the children of this century);13 and an atemporal conception­an atemporal time­which shapes a contradiction, or at least a paradox, with respect to the hourly time of clocks. To these three conceptions we must add a fourth­if instead of three planes we consider four, as we have already suggested with regard to the sephirotic diagram of the Cabala­and this last idea would be that of the experience of non-time, simultaneity, unity, eternity, reality without any kind of mixtures or anecdotic and existential adherences. After all, we already know that transcendence of successive time eliminates past and future, and that any history is thereby abolished.

The object, at this moment, of mentioning different conceptual times­produced simultaneously­is to situate ourselves in the "tridimensionality" of our mental box or space, which we could also denominate field of consciousness.14 In this sense, we rely on a potentiality which we do not know, but which we foresee, and which is given, precisely, by the opportunity, offered us by these planes, of broadening our experiences: in this concrete case, of reaching, by way of a penetration and a breach of level, an understanding not only linear and successive of an hourly or quantitative time­which is always accompanied by anguish­but the "experience" of other modalities of the same. On the other hand, it is this idea of coexistent planes or worlds that bases all symbolism, and makes of symbol the vehicle connecting these worlds with one another.

Nevertheless, we must be clear: it would be vain, and an error, to suppose, with almighty mental pridefulness, that the reading of other realities­and the consequent adaptation to them­would suppress, once and for all, inferior planes or states of consciousness, inasmuch as these, as well, are a constitutive part of the cosmos, and it would be impossible to abandon them definitively without abandoning the cosmos too. Initiation into the cosmogonic mysteries­that is, dying and being reborn to other planes of reality by way of psychic regeneration­is not even the true emergence from the cosmos, but rather it is a matter of an indispensable apprenticeship as to its constitution, as to the "spirit" of things and its apprehension. We are dealing with a scaffolding that enables us to conceive the possibility of the supracosmic­of nonbeing and nonduality, realities that excede the mere individuality that signs our sensory or mental experiences, inasmuch as it particularizes them. It will likewise be useful to point out that ­logically­when one barely begins to catch a glimpse of the possibility of the supraindividual, everything referring to the personal crashes down like a tower destroyed by a lightning bolt, in which case it ceases to be the salient element in the landscape.

As we have seen, this vision in depth­if it might be called this­corresponds to the actual internal schema of human beings, who encounter within themselves these varied series of planes or worlds, which they must begin to know, since they are an integral part of their own field of consciousness, that is, of their life. At the same time, by means of symbol, the possibilities of this knowledge are fulfilled, along with the authentically human characteristics which every ordinary human being bears within, and which he and she do not know, unless they are found to be stimulated by the fire of love and appropriately ordered by tradition, in order that they may be recognized by persons themselves. This is the type of instruction offered by a true teaching, and by initiation into the lesser mysteries, whose first part could be compared to an infracosmic journey, or to a sojourn in the interior of the earth, a visit to the country of the departed, or a descent to the lower regions of the chaotic.

Obviously, the involution to which we have just referred­along with the subsequent evolution that completes the process of palingenesis­is symbolically and intimately related to gravitationality. If we recall, on the other hand, that the earth is passive vis-à-vis the sky, that is, that it bestows form on the divine effluvia, which is tantamount to likening it to the great generator, or mother god­and just so, to all of the virgins­we shall infer that, for every birth (of whatever type it be) an indispensable element will be the passive, formative, and generative presence of the earth, or of the gravitational energy located spatially in the south, that is, in the lowest and most dense place, by contrast with the high and subtile.15

In terms of mahayana Buddhism: without samsara, nirvana is impossible: in other words, it is real knowledge of samsara that takes us to the true knowledge of nirvana, that is, which, in being obtained­and only at that moment­tells us that samsara and nirvana have always been the same thing, that differentiation is only and solely a manner of speaking, a simple phenomenic manner of the mind, akin to illusion and ignorance. On the other hand, we believe that it is in this same light that the words of the Gospel should be read: "If when I tell you things of earth you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you things of heaven?" (John 3:12), since they show that all teaching begins by being an apprenticeship concerning the cosmogonic, which will permit the subsequent passage to the metaphysical. Thus it is, at least, for this epoch of the cycle, where the West has precisely such an important gravitational force, and of which Christ is the avatar. Still, attention should be called particularly to the possible mistake of a literal interpretation, where a labor of interior realization would have to begin with the "body" (diets, alimentary and sexual, physical and respiratory exercises, and so on) or with profane, personal acquisitions or attainments (esteem, self respect, professional success, mounting the cultural and social ladder, transcendence and domination of character, power over others, and so on), of self-sufficiency or pretended worth­an error committed, perhaps, by thinking about having to go from the particular to the universal, when actually the traditional sciences tell us the contrary: that from principles all possibilities are deduced.

Actually, these ideas could develop time and again, being seen from innumerable standpoints, and related with one another, as well as with other ideas, which would explain to us certain aspects of the world that we intuit, but that nonetheless remain hidden from us. These relations, which are neither arbitrary nor casual, are the bases or foundations of the analogical and symbolic labor. And likewise of the alchemical and Cabalistic task. The outcome of these investigations is difficult to evaluate in quantitative terms, or terms that can be translated to current patterns­derived from mistaken philosophical ideas that have circulated for some centuries in the West, and that finally must give birth to industrial mechanics, electronico-atomic technology, and consumption­which have nothing in common, either in their principles or in their methods and ends, with authentic science. From another perspective, a chapter called, somewhat pompously, "Two Halves of the Cosmic Model" must, ineluctably, treat of the binary. Duality, as has been shown throughout this book, is the dialectical mover giving impulse to any act or thought, wherefore no discourse could ever exhaust the theme. It only remains to add that, in general, this book has taken account merely of the horizontal division of our model of the wheel, effected by the line of the horizon, or equatorial plane, which divides it into two equal sections: one above and to the north, the other below and to the south. The model can also be divided into two other halves, situated at both sides of the vertical axis: one to the right and to the east, the other to the left and to the west. This latter binary, which, obviously, is in correspondence with the horizontal arms of the cross that embraces all, clearly differentiates two analogous and complementary halves of the cosmos, called right and left, perceptible in all things and thanks to which things themselves are perceptible.

It is this particularity that is called symmetry, with its mirror-like, sympathetic laws, and that forms an entire theme, which is beyond our current intent. Left and right complement each other; they are kin, analogous forms. But they do not symbolize each other; rather they are both symbols of the vertical reality which is their origin, and which both represent. Nor is the authentic value of symbols rooted in their transmitting effects, which are secondary; rather they are rooted in the cause(s) of their own existence. That is, they are rooted in what they symbolize in their essence, which, for that matter, justifies their intermediation. And this cause (or causes), well understood and experienced, is always resolved in their unity, which is but the affirmation or manifestation of their noncausal possibilities, if we may be permitted the expression. It remains to say that what we have expounded with respect to the sky-earth, north-south opposition is equally valid in that of right-left, east-west, given that this horizontal division is a reflection of the first. Thus, if we transcribe some of the concepts presented up to this point, with respect to the complementarity we are now emphasizing, we shall obtain profitable results in our studies, provided we always take account of the special modalities of this opposition or inversion.16 Finally, seeing that we are referring to our works and studies, we should like to remind the reader once more of another Christian teaching: that which signals that the fruits of cognition can be obtained only by those "who persevere to the end.17

We had just put a period to the last sentence of the present chapter when we read an article entitled, "Nine Hypotheses on the Genesis of the Universe," by Russian physicist and mathematician Igor Novikov and others. There it is said: (a) that the universe is expanding; (b) that this expansion is comparable to an immense cosmic explosion (radiation), and that that explosion occurs by inertia; (c) that the universe is homogeneous; (d) that this homogeneity permits "heterogeneity" (concentrations, rarefactions), and this is what has made possible, precisely, the birth of our complex universe; (e) that these "heterogeneities" are sound waves (sound traces, equal and continuous throughout the universe).

Let us transcribe the conclusion of the article:

We are accustomed to consider gravitation and the electromagnetic forces as if they were forces of a distinct nature. But has it always been thus? It is very possible that the great explosion was a process of division of a single super-field, in which all types of interaction were unified.

According to the article, these are the latest novelties to confront science.18 We cannot but be amused by the explanation that these investigations commenced less than fifty years ago. Nevertheless, our attention is constantly called to something we have previously observed: the findings and securely intuitive approximations that the best of science and modern scientists attain in their quests.19 At all events, the point of this note is not precisely to "legitimate" a "theory," endowing it with scientific status, but rather to show how, even from a viewpoint other than the one expounded here, knowledge can likewise be glimpsed. For this knowledge is found in the very framework of the human being, who, in her heterogeneity, is in solidarity and homogeneity with the cosmos.

Final Note
We should like to call the reader's attention to the analogy between sound traces, propagated uniformly throughout the universe, and the form in which light­traditionally another form of sound­is so propagated, according to the most modern science. In terms of the theory of relativity of current physics and mathematics, the role of the observer is decisive. The theory of relativity was constructed on the basis of a single axiom, which lays it down that, for any observer, the velocity of light from any source, whether that source is moving or not with respect to the observer, is always the same. This being the case, the particular observer, receiving at any point of direction of space an identical quantitative emission of light­not altered by any circumstance­is the "cause" of the velocity of the light he receives. And we already know that what is valid for the microcosmos must be valid for the macrocosmos, apart, once more, from the problems necessarily attaching to any transposition. Clearly, what we may conclude from this is that, in a universe that is divided­here, between the emitter and the receiver­but single in its essence, something of which is received will be implicit in what is emitted, and vice versa. And it is this correspondence and analogy that determines even the structure and form of the created, that is, of manifestation, and the symbols in which the latter is expressed. In like manner, it is interesting to observe that, in the examples with which we are dealing, relative to sound and light, the "center," from which the energy expands, cannot be localized in any specific place, which is tantamount to saying that it has no spatial "reality." As space is homogeneous­or a "broth" permitting the heterogeneous conditions of manifestation­any point of the same could just as well be the center.


1      Will this energy not be an expression, on its level, of what the Greeks understood by pneuma?  

2      As in the numerous "wheels" scattered throughout the art of all civilizations.   

3      In the sense we give to this term, a sense it always had, known by the name of nous in Greek philosophy, totally foreign to rationalistic conjecture, and on the contrary, used here as a synonym for direct intuition, in which there join together both the intelligence, today called creative, and experience/emotion.    

4      If from the plane representation we transfer this figure to the volumetric, we obtain a tridimensional or solid cross. That is, a complete system, an aggregate of coordinates, which like the cube constitutes a model of the cosmos.   
5      Which in turn, in its physical body, represents this duality of upper and lower, with the navel, or heartin a more elevated sense-as center, organs that are intimately related with generation and expansion.
6      Noting, on the other hand, that the great religions offer not only the necessary spiritual transmission, but also the norm, and the exoteric rite, as vehicles of realization.   

7      The triunity of the temporal principles known as past, present, and future, is manifest in the quadruple cycle of the seasons of a year.  

8      We have already indicated that the sky is represented by a circle, while the earth is represented by a square. Another symbolization exchanges the circle for a triangle, thus synthesizing it. In the symbol of the temple, the cupola, which crowns an edifice having a square base, is supplanted by a triangular prism. This is the case with the pyramid. (Let us note that the triad has always been considered as higher or superior to the quadrangle.)    

9       The cross is further subdivided symmetrically in the horizontal plane, once again opposing itself two to two, and forming the octagon that symbolizes the polygon of a greater number of sides, that is, the polygon of an unlimited number of sides, which, taken at its center, numerically shapes the circumference and the complete cycle. This is clearly seen in the Chinese diagram called Fu-Shin, where the eight fundamental "trigrams" are subdivided into eight more, generating the sixty-four hexagrams of the I-Ching, or book of mutations.   

10     And so there would be a universal body; a universal soul, and a universal spirit.

11      In this case, the lowest level would correspond to the "abysmal" waters, or "chaos." 

12      In construction symbolics, the temple in its vertical division has three levels: the subterranean, where the crypt or well is located, that of the surface, and that of the dome or cupolahomologous to the three planes or worlds which we have seen under different forms in the present text. 
13      It is very difficult, from a point of departure in our current conceptions, to understand the parousia, or second coming, present universally in the quasi-totality of the traditions. This idea is perfectly clear and radiant from a point of departure in the intimate conception, or experience of a rotational, cyclical, circular time. 

14      The point, the line, the plane, and the solid also symbolize four "dimensions of consciousness and of spatio-temporal perception.

15      And so it is natural that the alchemical symbol of the element earth be a triangle with the vertex downward. Just so, it is logical that its opposite be that of a triangle with its vertex upward.  

16      Just so, to the right corresponds the vertical, the high, and the active. To the left corresponds the horizontal, the low, and the passive. Uneven numbers are positive, even numbers negative.

17      See our "Final Note," below.

18      Which continues to maintain a relation with that whose extremes touch (which is obvious when a circular trajectory is completed). Or to put it another way, the highest point of the circumference, and the lowest, are found on the same axis.

19      This is likewise the case with poet Edgar Allan Poe, who in his fascinating Eureka, his intellectual testament, which he wrote a short time before his death, presents us with a whole cosmogony very close to the traditional conceptions, which have always been considered revealed.

Other Chapters