How to use the fire of the earth
If we play with fire we risk burning the house down; likewise if we act on the fire of the inner earth we risk madness. Unless we have the control of means and methods.
Guardians of the inner Fire
Sexual energy is a telluric fire. Whilst not much is said about the fire of the earth as an instrument for mental growth, the attention on the moral control of sexual activities is always very strong. It is strange how easily one forgets that by acting willingly on the different centers of conscience, the inner fire is the maker of creative intelligence.
This method must be used with discernment, because without it the best techniques become the most dangerous for physical and mental health.
Discernment re-proposes the decisive role of conscience in the balance of egocentric drives of the physical nature (see inner earth) and the expansive drives of the subtle nature (see inner sky). In this case «know thyself» means to understand what happens inside us. How? By using the conscience like a seismographer we can easily scan the movements that occur deep down and the drives that try and reach the mind.
Emotional flows affect the mind; likewise passion, depression, exaltation, anger, memories, dreams, wishes and hopes can affect the exterior way. As a consequence, it is obvious the need to develop self-control, in order for it to become the scales used to weigh the drive.
The meaning of being able to weigh and measure oneself is to know oneself, learning to listen to and to look inside and outside oneself, until we become «guardians of the inner Fire».
Alchemic processes are not based on moral vetoes but on energetic exchanges
Intelligence and discipline, as we know, are the natural way to immunize from deceits, delusions and astral mirages. On the contrary, repression and censorships are violent and unnatural methods that produce obsessive and mentally disturbed personalities.
It is natural to ‘sublime an idea’ by ennobling its essence, whilst it is unnatural to ‘repress it’ by inhibiting its normal development. This is demonstrated by the fact that advanced consciences convince, educate and direct their thoughts without resorting to punishment or subdue them by force. Free Will starts by applying this formula of freedom. It starts from the consideration that, right or wrong, all that happens in the mind has a fundament and it must be understood. Sexual instincts and passional drives have their reasons, too. Therefore they must not be repressed or frustrated, but only re-directed by finding reasons which are as attractive. An example is the wish to demonstrate a strong character or an ingenious mind.
Training ‘our animal’
By varying the reasons we can recover the energy without repressing its instinct or passion. The method is to move the (energetic) attention from a goal to another; that is to move part of the initial drive towards another physical function or mental activity. The important thing is that the second goal is presented in an attractive guise. After all training the physical mind is not different from training an animal. It is important that it understands the exercise but we must associate a prize to the execution, which can be a lump of sugar, a piece of meat or a fish. It must not be too much or too little and it has to be accompanied by an affectionate gesture. It works in the same way for ‘our animal’. We must persuade it that it is better to do what we want and then decide with what, when and how much this gratifies it.
Centers of exchange
The energetic strengthening and deterioration that affect man’s vitality start from centers of exchange (see picture) that affect mental and physical functions (see From knowledge to mental liberation, stage 9), allowing them to exist and to act freely until the moment of physiologic disappearance.
By activating a particular tension the will can act on the centers of exchange (which Easterners call chakra) by accelerating, slowing down or annulling some processes of transformation. We will study these processes in deep, but for the moment we only need to know that these statements are not extraordinary. It is well known that the power of every function depends on the energy destined to it. Sensorial functions, mental faculties and power of thought are the instruments used by man to develop his physical and mental identity.
Telluric and electric fire
For man to fulfill his priorities, the best intentions are not enough. The success depends on his ability to transform the primordial energy, called sexual power, into electric fire. As mentioned in the essay «Sexual alchemy» (see) sexual energy, viz. the fire of the earth can’t be disjoined by the electric fireof ethereal nature, which corresponds to the fohat of hermeticism. Therefore the alchemist must learn to use two fires: the fire of physical energy and the fire of mental energy. Only in their sum the physical fire can turn into fire of the intellect.
By Athos A. Altomonte