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Teosophy: The «Trial by Fire»
Topic:Question & Answer
Q: … can I ask you to describe in detail the “Trial
Thank you very much, Raffaella
It is a little ambitious to try and define, “in detail”, this aspect
of the “initiatory process” in an e-mail. What we can do, though,
is starting to discuss some substantial details.
In the Old Commentaries an emblematic language is often used. In this case “fire”
is a synonym of spirit, but as we know, “spirit” as well is only an
approximate word. It conveys the idea but doesn’t reflect the meaning of
the energetic aspect which is referred to. Furthermore, in the constant search
for the right dimension of reality, something that looks exceptional from an inferior
level, such as the level of matter, becomes normal if we consider it from the
level it belongs to.
That is why at a certain point of the “initiatory journey” the spirit
itself doesn’t appear such an “exceptional” aspect anymore.
What will appear “exceptional”, if anything, is the fact of having
survived for such a long time in the darkness of physicality, superstition and
Let’s leave out other digressions and put together two emblematic sentences:
Trial of Fire and Fire that burns up. By analogy,
we can catch a glimpse at the esoterical sense of the subject.
Trial of Fire and Fire that burns up are metaphors
that hide the meaning of “transmutation” that happens through an aspect
that we can call: Pure Will (not Will for Good,
but Will to Want).
Basically they are the secret aspects of the 1st Ray.
In a subordinate sense we can call it spiritual will. Although with this word
we risk of expressing something abstract and far away from human reality; whilst
“divine”, that is the “spiritual reality” doesn’t
belong to the “highness of the sky”, like some devoted believe, but
it is a reality we can find in the “human being”. That is “inside”
each of us. When we “discover” it the Fire of the soul,
also suitably called Solar Angel, appears to the eyes of the
I want to specify that the Element Fire (see Pentalpha and the 5 Kingdoms of
Nature) is the same both for Man and Woman. The reason is that the physical
sex which “covers” the soul (see the “Dresses of Skin”)
during a particular “appearance”, is absolutely irrelevant compared
to the “spiritual fire”.
Up to this point everything is theory; we can even “bow” to it but
any notion is useless until we can give it the connotation of “initiatory
Here is the distinction between theory and action. Two complementary elements
that can’t be considered separately, otherwise the initiatory Principle
would become superficial factual knowledge (the doctrine).
But let’s carry on with our research.
The Latin saying “Ubi maior minor cessat” means:
where the major is the minor retires and his power stops (see article about the
major Alike that attracts the minor alike). It superbly expresses what we are
trying to understand.
Through an indefatigable determination the Adept (the minor)
reaches inside himself the top (the holy Mountain or inner sky
that are inside us, seat of the inner Deity of which we are the material reflection)
of himself (the Major). That top (spiritual apex) opens on a
more subtle level which is called spiritual sun because of its
intense luminosity. In reality it is only a different and more intense kind of
It is clear that when the (spiritual) Will meets (and joins) the initiatory
will of the Adept, the spiritual will “takes complete power” summing
up in Itself any other exterior aspect.
This is the reason why we choose the saying: “Ubi maior minor cessat”
In this fusion between sky (spirit) and earth (the Initiate) which in hermeticism
is called “alchemical marriage”, these two aspects
joins and “create a third element”, “alike but unlike”
In the aggregation between spirit and matter the superior mind (Manas) has
a crucial role. Only a powerful mind can be the “middle” between
the two different aspects (earth-fire). Indeed it is the superior mind (pure
intellect or buddhi) to perceive the approach of the event (the fusion) and
mediate between two “different alike” until the blend is complete.
At this stage (see Metamorphosis) any part of the rough component (personality)
that is not compatible is rejected and destroyed. In the subtle part, on the
other hand, all the available igneous energy left unused is re-assimilated and
goes back to the original energy tank.
I hope these short observations can be useful to you in order to carry on with
Esonet’s Editorial Staff
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