Q : …May I ask you to describe the ‘Trial of Fire' in detail? Thank you. R.
A : Being able to describe this aspect of the ‘initiatory toil' ‘in detail' in a short answer is perhaps expecting too much. Nevertheless we can start outlining some substantial elements.
We must say that in the Ancient Commentaries emblematic language is often used. In our case ‘fire' is a synonym of spirit. But, as it is well known, ‘spirit' as well is only an approximate term; although it gives a rough idea, it doesn't reflect the meaning of the energetic aspect we are referring to. Furthermore, in the search for the right dimension of reality, what seems exceptional seen from a lower level, such as the matter level, becomes completely normal if it is considered on its belonging plane.
This is how, at a certain point of the ‘initiatory journey', the spirit as well doesn't appear any more as an ‘exceptional' aspect; if anything, what appears ‘exceptional' is the ability to live ( survive ) such a long time in the darkness of phisicalness, superstition and ignorance.
But let's forget any digression and let's put together two emblematic sentences, ‘ Trial of Fire ' and ‘ Fire that consumes '. By analogy, we can start to catch a glimpse of the esoteric meaning of the issue.
Trial of Fire and Fire that consumes are metaphors that hide the meaning of ‘transmutation', which occurs through an aspect that we can call Pure Will (not Will for Good , but Will to Want ).
In other words, the secret aspects of the 1 st Ray.
Subordinately, we can also call it spiritual will. Although with this term we run the risk of indicating something abstract and far away from human reality; whilst ‘divinity', viz. ‘the spiritual reality' doesn't belong to the ‘heaven above', like certain devotees believe, but it is a reality present in the ‘human being', that is ‘inside' each of us. When we ‘discover' it, in front of the eye of the Initiate the fire of the soul opens up, which incidentally is called Solar Angel .
I must point out that the Fire Element (see Pentalpha and the 5 Kingdoms of Nature) is as such both for Man and Woman. The reason being that the physical sex with which the soul ‘covers' itself (see Skin Clothes ) during a particular ‘apparition' is an absolutely irrelevant factor in relation to the ‘spiritual fire'.
But so far everything is theory, which we might even ‘bow' to, but this doesn't change the fact that any notion is unusable until we can give it the connotation of ‘initiatory science'.
This is the distinction between theory and action. They are two absolutely complementary elements, but they cannot be considered separately, on pain of the schism of the initiatory Principle which would become futile sciolism (doctrine).
But let's carry on with our research.
The Latin motto ‘ Ubi maior minor cessat ' means that where the major is present the minor ceases to have power (see Psycho-synthesis, approach to a modern initiatory praxis ).
Through an indefatigable determination the Adept (the minor) reaches inside himself the top (the Sacred mountain or inner sky, placed inside each of us and seat of the inner Divinity, of which we are the material reflection) of Himself (the Major). This top (spiritual apex) opens up on a subtler plane which, because of its intense luminosity, is called spiritual sun . But in actual fact it is only a different and more intense kind of Will.
It is clear that when (spiritual) Will meets (and blends with) the initiatory will of the Adept, the spiritual will ‘takes the absolute power' summing in Itself any other exterior aspect.
This is the reason for choosing the motto: ‘ Ubi maior minor cessat '.
In this blend between heaven (spirit) and earth (the Initiate) which is mentioned by hermeticism as ‘ alchemic marriage ', the two aspects blend and ‘generate a third element', ‘similar but dissimilar' from both.
In the aggregation between spirit and matter, the superior mind (Manas) performs an indispensable role. Indeed, only a powerful mind can work as a ‘medium' between the two different aspects (earth-fire). In fact, the superior mind (pure intellect or buddhi ) conceives the approach of the event (fusion) and mediates between the ‘two different similes' up to the completion of the amalgam.
At this stage (see Metamorphosis) all the incompatible elements of the coarse part (which belongs to personality) are rejected and destroyed. In the subtle part, on the contrary, that part of igneous energy that, although available, could not be used, is re-absorbed and goes back to the original energetic tank.
I hope that these short notes can help you continue your work.