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Teosophy: The «Trial by Fire»
Topic:Question & Answer
Question & Answer

Q: … can I ask you to describe in detail the “Trial of Fire”?

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 ignorance.

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 Initiate.

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 science”.

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 Will.

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” both.

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 your work.

Esonet’s Editorial Staff

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