The Elements of the Great Work
Index: The Land of Philosophers: Prudence - The Water of Philosophers: Temperance - The Air of Philosophers: Justice - The Salt Principle: Charity - The Mercury Principle: Hope - The Sulfur Principle: Faith - The Silver of Wise men: Intelligence - The Gold of Wise men: Wisdom
The Land of Philosophers: Prudence
Prudence is a principle of moral action that perfects the practical reason of man, in order for him to plan and arrange all his deeds as they should be; he will command to himself and to those subjected and dependent on him what is best to do at any time in order to realize every Virtue perfectly. In its current applications it is made of several aspects: the recollection of past events, or memory; the clearness of views in the general and particular principles of action; the reverence for what was decided by the wise men who preceded us; the sagacity to discover what it would be impossible to ask others; the healthy practice of reason, applied to every action; the farsightedness and determination necessary at the time of acting regarding the substance of the act itself; caution towards all that is involved in the mentioned act; the precaution towards all the things that could obstruct or jeopardize the result.
Prudence, in actual fact, is the virtue of command.
Command to ourselves, or individual prudence.
Command in the family, or familiar prudence.
Command in society, or real prudence.
The gift of Council from the Holy Spirit corresponds to the Virtue of Prudence. By this name we mean a higher and transcendent disposition, which perfects the concrete and practical reason of man. This particular disposition makes it ready and tractable to receive all that is necessary to illumination. It helps human reason every time it is necessary because even when it has all the acquired or inborn virtues, human reason is always open to mistakes or surprises in the infinite complexity of the circumstances that can intervene in its action both for itself and for others. These are all the traps that Prudence helps us to avoid. It is a necessary virtue for development and it must be assimilated first of all, together with the gift of Council. The virtue of prudence and the gift of Council can be reached by practicing Silence and Meditation and they correspond to the land of Philosophers, or Philosophic Land.
The Water of Philosophers: Temperance
Temperance is the Virtue that keeps the affective and sensitive part of everything in the field of reason, in order for the latter not to be led to pleasures that attract the five external senses. It is expressed in the following ways. Continence caused by not following the disorderly movements of Passion. Clemency, according to the Virtue of Charity, in moderating the corrective action towards the people who did something wrong; indeed the Virtue of Justice prescribes that wrong doing must be corrected and repented as necessary. Meekness in avoiding the inner movement of passion of equity, which is nothing but Anger. Modesty in stopping, moderating or regulating the emotional part in things which are easier than the previous ones, such as the desire for success, the desire to know what it is not immediately necessary or useful to our purposes, external actions and attractions of our carnal body and finally our appearance in the way we behave, dress and ornate ourselves.
A gift of the Holy Spirit corresponds to the Virtue of Temperance; it’s the gift of Fear, consisting in controlling ourselves when facing the Traditional Revelation, which introduces us to the knowledge of GOD, with sacred respect for the excellence and goodness of the Divine Majesty. The detachment from Him because of our mistakes and deficiencies is what we should fear the most. Furthermore, the gift of Fear, effective in front of the excellence of the ultimate goals that the Traditional Revelation transmits to us, allows us to see as dangerous or inexistent all the things of the gross world, which inspire pleasure to the vulgar senses. Temperance and the gift of Fear can be reached with the practice of Silence, which corresponds to the Water of Philosophers. Philosophical Water.
The Air of Philosophers: Justice
The Virtue of Justice has the purpose to create harmony amongst the Beings, with respect for their moral, physical, spiritual or material possessions; it also rules our duties towards all things and creatures. As such it is different from Charity which, because of a different spirit, is less subject to limiting rules. Justice creates Peace and Order in the individual and collective life. It is applied to temporal possessions and to the reputation and spiritual dignity of others. The corresponding gift of the Holy Spirit is Mercy.
Mercy consists of the usual disposition of the Will to prepare man to receive the direct and personal manifestation of the Holy Spirit by creating a contact with God, the Prime Cause, in the farthest mysteries of His Divine Life; like a Father, tenderly and filially respected, served and obeyed. Justice guides us in dealing with all the other men and all the reasonable creatures, Angels, Spirits and Demons; it guides us in our relationship with them as required from the Common and Superior Wellbeing that joins us, in different degrees, in the Prime Cause, like a Father of the great divine family. The gift of Mercy certainly puts the ‘Seal of Perfection’ on the relationships that men can and must have among themselves and with God. It is the completion of the Virtue of Justice and all that it rules. Justice and the gift of Mercy can be reached through the practice of Fasting, which corresponds to the Air of Philosophers. Philosophical Air.
The Virtue of Strength has the purpose of perfecting the moral order in the emotional and sensitive part of man. It consists of resisting to the biggest fears and controlling the most daring drives of courage, in order for man not to detach from his duty.
Strength is expressed in different ways: the generosity in affirming the hope of accomplishing great and beautiful deeds; the magnificence of the emotional part keen on affirming and increasing the drive of hope for what is hard and tough to accomplish and painful and difficult to realize; the patience to endure stoically all the pain of the present life, the hostile or sacrilegious interferences of other Men towards the Work and in their relationship with us and the interventions of the Forces of Evil during the Battle, until the final Reintegration; perseverance in fighting the fear of a prolonged effort, careless of its possible failure.
The gift of the Holy Spirit that corresponds to the Virtue of Strength has the same name and it is also called Courage. Strength concerns the obstacles and dangers that man can overcome or suffer; the corresponding gift of the Holy Spirit is directed to the dangers and evils which man can’t face successfully on his own. The gift of Strength or Courage allows us to win the pain accompanying separation, in the physical or psychological death, from all the bonds of the present life; it also allows us to care only for the superior good that compensates and replaces them forever. It is the Reintegration and eternal life deriving from these separations. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the effective, easy and desired replacement of the pains and miseries of life with Reintegration, despite all the obstacles and dangers that are on the Path of the man traveling towards the Supreme Goal, where all these pains and miseries are summed up in the physical Death. The essential goal of this gift is the Victory of man on Death and on all the fears inspired by it. Strength and the corresponding gift can be reached with the practice of Waking, which corresponds to the Fire of Philosophers. Philosophical Fire.
The Salt Principle: Charity
Charity is the Virtue that raises us to a life of communication with the Celestial Powers, which are the intermediaries with the Divine Plan, and with the Divine Plan itself, if it is happy to do that. Charity as an aspect of contact and mystic communication involves our participation to the Divine Nature which divinizes our own nature and raises us above, despite any human or angelical order. It takes us above the final manifestation of the mundane creation, towards GOD’s manifestation; we then become secondary gods and we are introduced to His intimacy: Psalm LXXXII: "God is in the Celestial Assembly, He judges among the Gods…"; Gospel of John, X, 34: "I said, you are gods…".
They are Principles of action proportioned to this divine status and unable us to act as proper secondary agents, children of God, acting as He does, knowing Him as He knows us, loving Him as He loves us and rejoicing at Him as He rejoices at us. These two mystical realizations are strictly connected to the presence, in the Adept’s Heart, of absolute Charity originated by a deed of total love, through which Man loves God infinitely as Faith taught him. He will feel this love for himself and all other men as well.
Charity also involves other secondary aspects: Compassion that leads us to sympathize with all the Beings in all aspects of life and to suffer their misery and anguish as if they were actually ours; Generosity that leads us to be always prepared to prevent Evil and support Good, both in the spiritual and material domains. Man has a conscience that doesn’t approve of his compromises; the Man who knows Evil or Good couldn’t ignore them and push himself beyond or outside one or the other, viz. avoid his responsibilities. The Gift of the Holy Spirit corresponding to the Virtue of Charity is the gift of wisdom; it must not be confused with the Sublime Virtue with the same name. The gift of wisdom, which is not Wisdom, puts man under the occult action of the Holy Spirit and causes him to judge everything through its inspiration; he will be guided and ruled by the judgments of the highest and most sublime Cause, the Divine Wisdom in the way it was shown to us through the Faith, which is the Sulfur of Philosophers.
On the initiatory Path, Charity corresponds to the oath of poverty (essentiality of life); it is indifference for material possessions, honors and pleasures of the lower world. Through the oath of Poverty we can reach the gift of Wisdom.
The Mercury Principle: Hope
Hope is the Virtue that allows our will to be supported by the divine Action; it comes towards us and leads us to the Eternal Truths, as Faith reveals them to us and as they can and must be our complete illumination. This Virtue is inaccessible without Faith; indeed, only Faith gives objects and reasons to Hope for. The gift of the Holy Spirit corresponding to the Virtue of Hope is the gift of Science. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, it must be able to judge the true character of all the created things and their relation with all that concerns Hope, with absolute certainty and infallible truth, without using the natural process of reasoning but only by intuition. They must be accepted and professed or be used for our behavior, in order to state what in the Natural world is in harmony with the Eternal Truths or is not. On the initiatory Path the Virtue of Hope corresponds to the oath of Chastity, which doesn’t have anything to do with sexual continence. Chastity allows man to gradually free himself from the slavery of senses. It also allows the ordinary human couple to act in a natural and legitimate way, in order to continue creating forms of the species, without mutually becoming depraved and corrupt. Through the oath of Chastity we can reach the gift of Science.
The Sulfur Principle: Faith
Man receives inputs through the channel of Traditional Revelation, therefore from God; they concern His Will to tell man the plan He has for him, such as Reintegration, and also that the man’s world is nothing but an imperfect and reversed reflection of an invisible world. Although this information can’t be perceived clearly, Faith is the Virtue that makes our mind brighter and able to understand.
The gift of the Holy Spirit corresponding to Faith is intelligence. It must not be confused with the Sublime Virtue with the same name. The gift of intelligence, which is not Intelligence, helps the Virtue of Faith to learn the Divine Truth. The spirit of man is under the influence of the Holy Spirit; intelligence allows him to penetrate the hidden sense in words and statements of the Traditional Revelation, in order to understand it; therefore it helps man to get closer to the deepest Mysteries and to keep the whole of their important meanings. On the Initiatory Path, Faith corresponds to the oath of Obedience; the latter as well is a means to reach the gift of intelligence.
The Silver of Wise men: Intelligence
Intelligence corresponds to vision, intuition, penetration and information. As such it is the Gnosis of the Divine Things, the Science of Evil and Good; their perception is separated, though. It helps us to detect Spirits and to perceive their connection to the Poles of evil or good, Light or Darkness, under every aspect or physical forms. Thanks to Intelligence we can penetrate the hidden sense of words and letters from the esoterical texts and their higher meaning. We can connect to the deeply veiled sense of the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Books and access: "…the higher symbolism of Sensitive Signs: Rites, Symbols, Objects and Sacramental Matters…". We can understand, through the physical mind, spiritual realities hidden in the imperfect sense of appearance, by seeing causes and effects. In the High Spiritual symbolism of Tradition, Intelligence brings us closer to the reality of the blood of Christ given on the Calvary as a purifying Deed for our Souls and a reconciliation Deed. In the stabbed side of Christ, where the hermetic Pelican of the Rosicrucian comes from, it reveals to us the invisible unique source of the essential Sacraments.
This Virtue shows us the Eternal Reality reached by Faith under a different light. Although we never understand it totally, it strengthens our certainty and not only by intuition, like with Faith, but as a reasonable clear-vision. At a highest level it gives us a vision of God; it doesn’t reveal Him to us - that would be impossible - but it makes clear to us what He could never be. Intelligence reveals what a Master calls the "Divine Darkness".
The Gold of Wise men: Wisdom
"Wisdom consists of the choice of the best among the data accessible to Intelligence". If we assume this statement, Wisdom works by elimination. It is the spontaneous, intelligent and understanding subjugation to a wellbeing that he considers relevant. As such, it is a distinction between a deed of Evil or Good in the Science of these two Opposites. If Intelligence is Knowledge, Wisdom is how we use it. It is somehow the superior aspect of the action of Faith, Charity and Mercury and Salt Principles. Wisdom lets us judge all things according to the Highest of the causes which all the others depend on, whilst it doesn’t depend on any. In this Virtue the adept can reach the highest degree of knowledge possible for an embodied Being, because knowledge is not any more in a phenomenon of general perception, such as in Intelligence, Science of Good and Evil, but in a particular perception limited to Science of Good and its absolute knowledge. In Charity are the basis of our birth in Wisdom; indeed Charity originates from a man’s deed of total love towards God and his Creation that Faith showed him, the same love that he now wants for himself and all the other beings, consciously inseparable from GOD. From this moment on, since he lives in this Good and he has understood and defined it, he couldn’t possibly confuse it with its opposite, unless he acted with negative will. And his "intelligence’s network" will use this deed of love as a Touchstone to the vision of all that is "possible" from God. "Wisdom will be his purifying filter of the Action of Intelligence".
The Water Stone
It is not possible to study science and Wisdom in deep and to learn to understand them properly, unless a special Light enlightens and helps the reader and opens his eyes. This Light works in a way that even in the deepest darkness without any other light, the man who owns it can see. On the contrary, the man who doesn’t have it will be blind even in the midday sun. The man who obtains this Light will be able to know how everything is manifested from the primordial origin, he will recognize all the stars, the center of the skies in the heart of Nature and creatures, down to the deepest hell.
Notice how the Aura chain Homeri is formed and how the rings are connected, the higher with the lower, the celestial with the terrestrial. They are linked through the MEDIUM and the six-pointed star, which is the sign, is intertwined. This Light shines through Nature and makes visible the invisible, corporal the spiritual and again it converts them back. Also notice under which shape, weight, measure and goal it skillfully spreads everything through the three kingdoms of the sub-lunar world.