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Mental Alchemy: Aura. Hell and Heaven on Earth
Topic:Alchemy of Fire
Alchemy of FireTo learn to know ourselves means to acknowledge that our own inner reality is not unique, but it is made of a complex of different aspects placed one inside the other, like chinese boxes. To discover them means to travel inside our identity, going through the different aspects of the physical substance, up to perceive the features of the metaphysical essence...

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Aura. Hell and Heaven on Earth

by Athos A. Altomonte

To know ourselves means ...

To learn to know ourselves means to acknowledge that our own inner reality is not unique, but it is made of a complex of different aspects placed one inside the other, like chinese boxes. To discover them means to travel inside our identity, going through the different aspects of the physical substance, up to perceive the features of the metaphysical essence (*).

The unification of an identity starts when the thoughts shaped by the reason are affected by the sense of conscience, with which we establish a psychic balance that many people identify with the symbol of the Scales.

The sense of conscience is missing until the reason points to itself only, standing exclusively on its convictions and recognizing in the meaning of conscience only the moral principles originated by human suppositions. But conscience is not a moral principle; it is rather the relationship between the small individual self (personality) and the superior Ego; some people think that the intelligence of the latter corresponds to the presence of the soul.


(*) in the first part of "Aura and Service to the Humankind" we deal with the development of the physical senses in the subtle perceptions.


... traveling in ourselves

Sensations, desires, emotions and feelings are the physical elements that most of all affect the conscience; the latter, in a game of reflections, affects them as well. These interactions produce the effect of reciprocity that, involving the conscience in the conflicts and contradictions of materiality, marks for a long time man's attitude. By materializing, the physical conscience stay separated from its subtle counterpart, until the inner work will induce the physical reason to face its contradictions.

The confrontation has often been pictured in the shape of a dialogue between man and his conflicting aspects. Otherwise the dialogue would be between man and favorable entities. Here originates the metaphor of good demons (dèmoni) and bad demons (demóni). In actual fact, good Gods and bad Gods are emanations of man. Their apparition, in good and evil, is always the result of his decisions.

The occult work aims at unifying 'good and bad' under the control of the enlightened conscience. The detachment of the physical-animal nature is the first step to transform the energy of disorder into balanced mental force and will. It will let the subtle conscience free to shape in the physical mind forms of thought close to the principles of Harmonics (*).

Hermeticism uses to compare the value of sensations to the quality of metals and it calls this process metallic transmutation . The psychic metamorphosis that mixes the forms of physical thought (bad demons) to those of the subtle conscience (good demons) to reach the forms of spiritual thought that, depending on the language, are called angels, deva or elohim.


(*) The third eye . The general idea of 'Harmonics' is that there is the possibility to obtain and build images and sonorous forms that are at the same time objects of both visual and auditory perception. We are not talking, of course, about features similar to the musical writing or any other form of writing of the word. Instead of marking the sounds in the way we use today we could use different signs, but the geometric nature of Harmonics wouldn't change. This is the core of the sonorous figures in which we find direct expression of the sonorous and numeric proportion. The consequence is that any harmonic diagram is by itself a sonorous figure. This search goes back to ancient times. Hans Kaiser remembers the human figures drawn by the Egyptians, the well known 'principle of Polycletus', and the study by Wineken on the proportions of the male and female human body, where the height of man is divided into twelfths - that is fifths of an eighth; the height of woman is divided into thirds of an eighth.
As an exterior application we can consider the study of the sonorous image of the human figure demonstrating its external harmonious proportions first and then the sonorous content.
As an interior application we can remember that sonorous images and forms regard three senses at the same time: touch (numbers, measures), sight and hearing (sounds); it all joins in a mental act. The mental act , we might add, makes any physical perception superfluous.
This means that starting from a mental act, such as a strong ability of visualization, to build a form of thought, an image or a sound, it won't be necessary anymore to use sensorial contacts (to hear, to touch, to see, to taste) because every perception can be generated by the force of thought. This process accelerates the evolution of the mental vision metaphorically called opening of the third eye.


Conscience contains every characteristic of an identity, therefore only the conscience is the bridge to itself, by communicating with the different aspects of the character and linking the individual self (reason) to the intelligence of the Ego. Using a paradox we might say that to travel inside ourselves we must think of the conscience as an 'escalator'; we stand on it to be taken where we want. In this process, self-control and a system of conscious vision (techniques of visualization) help the mind to create the relations that link the different sensitive aspects of our conscience. We will then realize the inner unification that makes man a complete identity.

To recognize ourselves means most of all to find ourselves, getting free from the structures built by habits and ideological and cultural prejudices. At the same time it is necessary to re-generate the psychic ballast that we forgot in the deep inner room called sub-consciousness. The re-generation of the deep essence will make the re-ascent towards the part of the subtle conscience called inner sky easier.

The stops of the journey

Inner sky, descent and re-ascent are symbolical terms in a system of occult teachings that were part of the old secret Doctrine (*). Without venturing in hard researches, we know that every principle of the ancient science has been transposed in a modern key. They must be found in today's science, not letting esotericism be only an idle exercise of fantasy.


(*) Many elements are contained in the esoterical aspects of the Raja Yoga. It is a Sanskrit expression meaning Royal Union and it acts to give 'power to the mind'.


Descent and re-ascent are the starting and arriving point of every journey. All the esoterical catechisms without distinction insist on the subject of the inner descent. Its emblematic representation is in the acronym 'VITRIOL'; it means «Visita Interiora Terra, Rectificando, Invenies Occultum Lapidem». The translation is: 'visit (descend) the inside of your land (the physical essence, the sub-conscious) and rectifying it you will find (understand) the hidden stone (the true nature)'.

Starting from the postulate that .nobody can exit outside himself without being blinded. (if we are unconscious we lack the conscience of being conscious) all the 'travelers' discovered that what they were looking for was hidden inside themselves. It could be intellectual light, spiritual truth or God. In the immediate aspect the descent brings to light parts of life removed or forgotten (ideas and roles not used anymore, old habits, etc.); without a guide, they are stuck to us hidden in the inner shadow.

The confrontation with those prisoner energies is liberating. Bringing to the surface the symbolical forms held in 'our basement' means to be able to use their energy that would be otherwise wasted. This energetic recovery has the result of rejuvenating the mind but the confrontation is not as easy as we think. Persuasion is not enough to convince the underground forces to abandon their land which are their world and life. We must do something more to bring back to the surface the removed 'small lives'. The confrontation causes distress both for the 'visitor' and for 'them'. The only usable resource is a form of dialogue that can't be improvised. We need technical expertise in dialoguing, questioning and directing the 'small lives'. This is the time when it's necessary for the support of an expert guide, especially to interpret symbols and signs. Otherwise the confrontation will occur between actors of different languages.

When it's not interrupted, the crossing 'of hell' will make it easier to ascend towards the higher planes of conscience, where we can access the summit of our 'sky'. This apex with its light and sound of glory is 'heaven on earth' but also the only exit from our small universe called aura.

Thinking about the inner journey, Dante's journey springs to mind; he re-interpreted the ascent to the initiatory mountain whose access is represented by the platonic cave.

The poet was looking for 'Beatrice', his soul and therefore the higher part of himself.

'Beatrice' for Dante, like 'Ariadne' for Theseus, is a metaphor of the soul that works as a 'thread' of the journey from the exterior world (chaos) to the inner center (order). This teaches us how important is the solidarity of the sensitive feminine , viz. the guide of the sense of conscience, in order to reach the goal. The sensitive feminine expresses itself through the subtle perceptiveness (see the development of the senses) that develops through mental sensitivity, empathy and intuition. These aspects lead to the intellectual awakening. It must not be confused with cultural sciolism because the light of the intellect corresponds to the light of the soul.

Let's resume the first relevant information:

  1. the initiatory journey is an inner process;
  2. the way is the conscience, whilst the mind is the steering wheel used to direct the will that moves in every stage of the process;
  3. we sink inside ourselves, then rise to middle levels and start ascending;
  4. the thread is sensitive feminine , that is the perceptiveness that was at first polluted by the physical-animal sensitivity and must be re-generated and made pure perceptiveness.

We will deal now with some subsidiary elements of the mind (*):

• visualization techniques and exercises;

• descent techniques and exercises;

• techniques and exercises of top experiences;

• techniques and exercises of purification and re-generation of mental means;

• energizing techniques and exercises through the breath;

• techniques and exercises for the development and alignment of the chakras.


(*) See the publication: "Psyche, first occult instrument for the Initiate"


The life of ideas

Inner bad Demons (Demóni) and good Demons (Dèmoni)

Man is the God that creates his own thoughts. By generating them, he makes them living entities able to want, so that they can survive the oblivion of their creator. Even when forgotten, the 'small lives' survive in the depth of conscience and associate with their similes, joined by the desire to re-emerge and get the attention of their generator. This attempt to monopolize the attention and direct it towards what they want, though, makes them quite dangerous. Their coalition represents the force of occult persuasion called temptation.

We must distinguish between the potentiality of inspirations that enrich the mind and the disorder of the impulses aimed at satisfying the lower nature. Good and bad inspirations must be considered moral aspects of the man who divides the conscience in bad or good. In actual fact the conscience is only one, and good and bad intentions exist only in the thought of the man who uses or abuses them.

Without falling into easy victimizations, we can say that it's us, with our thoughts, that give shape to the trivial and tempting bad demons that chase us; in the same way we are the inspiring angel. They are two aspects of the same conscience that connected to the purity of thought expresses itself in the shape of tutelary deity or tempting devil. I think this is enough to explain the importance of mental re-generation on which Masters and Initiates have always insisted. In order not to fall into the deceptions of devotionality , though, we must know what to look for and where.

The tempting deity is the fragment of physical conscience so involved in the life of the animal body that it is confused by its sensations. The tutelary presence , on the other hand, is the subtle, impersonal conscience free from the physical senses and endowed with an extreme immaterial sensitivity.

Temptations are caused by spurs affecting the reason in order for the latter to repeat the experiences that satisfy the physical senses. On the contrary, the aversion to the impulses of the lower nature comes from the consciousness of a mind more and more affected by the presence of the Ego (superior conscience). This gives us the key to read Kant's postulate that spiritual understanding can't be separated by moral conscience (the Socratic syneidesis) that originates by the awareness of the existence of an 'internal tribunal' in man , called by Kant « the voice of God ».


(*) physical-animal nature is not deplorable. It is deplorable, the man who abuses it to follow his mirages. Man is what he thinks, not the animal that carries him. The body, therefore, is only the instrument that allows him to express himself. The body is a precious instrument to the man who can use it properly, but he must not let himself be used by its forces.


Toxicity of the thought and energetic vampirism

The egoistic and the altruistic visions depend both on the degree of sensitivity developed by the physical conscience. Thoughts, though, change, affected by external elements which are absorbed more or less consciously. It is fair to say then that, absorbing randomly ways and habits has the same value than feeding haphazardly, without paying attention to the quality and the possible toxicity of the food eaten.

This lack of attention is serious in adults but even more in children; their consciences are intoxicated by the habits of their parents and the aggression deriving even from sport ideologies. Psychological toxicity can have a different nature, form and tenacity; they are not only transmitted to adult, weak and suggestible minds, but also through associating practices, the worst of which are séances, real and true hotbeds for energetic vampirism (*).

The danger of bad influence impends until we learn to mentally protect ourselves by practicing the attention; we must be vigilant in thoughts, words and control of the emotions.


(*) the teachings of every initiatory tradition clearly condemn spiritualist practices giving good reasons; one of these is the danger of 'energetic vampirism' (called orgonomy by science); it is caused by elemental shells of astral energy that try and renew themselves by sucking energy from the bystanders. For this purpose the latter must be kept tied in a chain where energy flows and re-flows; the circle becomes then a kind of 'cow to be milked' where the elementals pronounce 'persuasive words' that are obvious and lack of spiritual light, in order to detain the bystanders.
By the principle that the simile re-calls its simile , during evocating practices only 'steady and pure' minds are admitted. This is not the case of the curious participants to séances and therefore they only re-call astral rubbish.
The only accepted practice is the constitution of a ritual eggregore, through the theurgic ceremonial. In this case, like in the case of an individual eggregore, it is necessary to apply the so-called method of 'invocation-evocation'.


Until the impulses and pushes that interact with the animal nature are brought back under the control of mental conscience, only a fool can talk about 'free will'; it is rather the case of 'free choice', often occasional and accidental. 'Free will' is the result of an advanced mind, free from the emotional sphere of the lower nature, able to forecast with balance and sense of justice the result of its own decisions.

Heaven and hell on earth

We have already said that the subconscious is the area where the symbolical representations called 'small lives' live. It is not only individual because there is a bigger one, common to many people; there's even one shared by the whole humankind and it is called collective unconscious. Individual subconscious and collective unconscious are the hell on earth. In order to get rid of it we must 'empty it'. Easier said than done!

The metaphor of the descent in the infernal regions is described in the heroic epopees of every tradition. Even Jesus was said to have descended in hell for three days after his death. The descent to hell is not a myth, but the description of a probationary journey that has the function to clean the past emptying it of the undesirable clots that stop the soul from progressing.

The individual as well must descent to his basement to empty it and allow its contents to 'emerge' to the level of consciousness.

On the descent many literatures have been built, especially in a pessimistic key; they tell the story of the uncountable punishments following sins. In actual fact we must specify that no other punishment is added to the fault or mistake more than the consequence of what we've done. It's clear that the only punishment following the fault is the consequence of the mistake made. In other words, the damage is the only fault of the mistake. This damage doesn't only have a material aspect, though; the worst harm is the stain on the conscience and that's the most difficult to dissolve.

Heaven and hell are not physical places but two states of conscience.

They are different but consequent and they both have a function. Although the function of hell is not the most pleasant one, it is still very important; until the pain for the mistake will be the best educating boost for humankind, hell will be the main incentive to grow. It will be so in the future because the short memory of man makes the learning process through the mistakes made in the past very slow; as a consequence man's suffering is prolonged.

This suffering can be shortened through an appropriate education that helps modifying the inner characteristics of mind and conscience. Therefore hell is a status of conscience that, at least individually, can be corrected quickly enough to annul its worst effects.

The 'secret' is not to do it on our own because it would take ages. The quickest way is to 'ally' with major entities and give ourselves up to transformation. These forms of thought are much higher than the normally known eggregore and to keep their integrity they flow part of their energy in the 'new comer' that we will call minor simile , helping him in the re-generation and making the contact balanced. In order to be recognized as 'simile', even a minor one, we must have changed something of ourselves.

We must, for a start, have become free again.

The 'liberation' represented by the 'wings' is the decisive step towards inner evolution; it allows the conscience to expand its consciousness, widen the limits of the mind and develop the link with the conscience of the Ego (super-conscious). Already in the first connections there is a point of contact called egoical barycenter (*) that constitutes the nucleus of the so-called superior mind. This is the boundary between 'earth and sky'; here the shadow is brightened by the light of intellect; here hell ends and the son of the earth starts turning into the son of the sky.


(*) the egoical mind, or superior mind, is the point of contact between the strictly individual psychic sphere and the sphere of the casual world (called super-conscious ) in contact with the so-called archetypical ideas. The subtle and impersonal conscience through the super-conscious materializes the nucleus of thought called Ego or superior Self, whose mobility produces the egoical mind.
The superior ego that easterners call true Self is the joining link between the sphere of intellectual perception and the un-manifested nature called 'soul'. The importance of the egoical mind is that in it the two natures of human thought, physical and metaphysical, meet. They are opposite and will then become complementary. Since the egoical mind is the point of balance between these two opposite natures, it becomes the barycenter between two mental polarities.



The meeting between earth and sky, that is between mind and super-conscious, occurs by penetrating in ourselves.

Once man has learnt how to manage the energy of his sexuality, he first transforms it into intelligent impulse and then in creative boost. When he becomes strong and confident enough, he starts exteriorizing part of his vital potentialities.

Eastern esotericism teaches that the way of return is given by evolution. Starting from the most material sphere, man learns how to generate, to use and to dominate the different qualities of conscience and he joins back the conscience of the soul. Afterwards, he adds himself to it and joins the conscience of the monad (the conscience of the spiritual nucleus).

Hermes Trismegistus, in the sacred numerology, mentioned the human trinity or ternary. He wrote that the Three (man and his emotions) would join the Two (the soul and the subtle thoughts) re-composing in the One (the divine spirit).

To succeed depends on the efforts of the single initiates.

Athos A. Altomonte

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