The Force - XI lame of the Tarot de Marseille

In Hermetic culture, initiates have always compared the properties of the spiritual substance that precedes matter to that of an ocean, because its waters fill the ‘void’ (« vidia » in Sanskrit means « knowledge ») like would water in any container. This ocean echoes the cosmic sea of dark energy alluded to by David Böhm. Since the homophone of « mer » (« sea ») : « mère » (« mother »), comes from (« mater ») in Latin, we can weave interesting semantic links between « mer » (« sea »), « mère » (« mother »), « mercure » (« mercury ») (the Latin avatar of Hermes-Trismegistus), « matière » (« matter »), « matrice » (« matrix ») and « Marie » (« Mary ») (« Marie » is an anagram of « aimer » (« to love »)).

 

If this invisible matrix is at the origin of all manifestation, the assumption that she is a virgin is self-evident, and the emblem of the Black Virgin (black, in contrast to the synthesis of the 6 colors of the visible spectrum, expresses the absence of light), like that of the Virgin Mary, becomes more explicit from the point of view of Theosophy, since the Blessed Virgin, the Queen Mother, « la mère divine » (« the divine sea »), is the ordinary figuration of the Philosophers' mercury.  Curiously, the anagram for « énergie noire » (« black energy ») is « reine ignorée » (« ignored queen »), which reminds us of the parable in verse 1:5 of the biblical poem Song of Songs, probably born of the love affair between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba: « I am black, but I am beautiful (…) ».

 

In his 12th century work, Livre secret traitant de l'art caché et de La Pierre Philosophale, the alchemist Artéphius described « l’eau des sages » (« the water of the wise ») as follows: « Oh, how precious and magnificent is this water! Without it, the work could not be completed: thus it is called the vessel of nature, the womb, the matrix, the receptacle of the tincture, the earth and its nurse, it is the fountain in which the king and the queen wash themselves, and the mother who must be placed and sealed on the womb of her child, who is the Sun ».

 

Are you beginning to understand how the cabalists have deliberately blurred the trail back to the primordial ocean, using a deliberately convoluted lexical field to define a single thing, in this case the uniqueness of matter – the materia prima ?

Prima Materia at Phra That Lampang Luang Temple – Thailand

In the Corpus Herméticum, verse 16 of an excerpt from a speech by Hermes to Tat states that « All that exists is in motion; non-being alone is immovable. » Unity, the preliminary state to divine manifestation, could then be imagined as energy in the form of stationary waves, and when this energy is vectorized, the whole is set in motion to create space, time and, consequently, matter. The universal matrix is born from the rupture of the spatial equilibrium of unity: this first impulse is the Strong Force of all forces, its Spiritus Mundi and its Holy Spirit (« Saint-Esprit » in French). This is the passage from Ain Soph to Ain Soph Aur in the Tree of Life of the Hebrew Kabbalah.

 

A skilled cabalist would break down the word « saint »holy ») into 3 parts: « s », « ain » and « t ». The silent « t » is the outline of a cross, expressing the center, « ain » is the principle that precedes matter and defines « abyss » and « non-existence » in Hebrew, and « un » (« one ») is the number of unity in French, and « s » is the letter of manifestation, because it undulates like the graphic representation of a pulse. In other words, the saint is a person whose vibratory signature resonates with the first impulse that emanates from the center of unity. That's why a saint's soul – his or her spirit – will always be as close as possible to the divine, creative resonance of God.

 

The different states of matter could then be compared to the rungs of a ladder, on which the matrix Force gradually crystallizes, or condenses, into more or less regular forms. This is supported up by the best definition of alchemy you'll find, Fulcanelli's: « Alchemy is the permutation of the form by Light, Fire or Spirit ».

The Philosophy (Scala Philosophorum) on the facade of Notre-Dame Cathedral - Paris, France

Even if, according to the testimony of Irénée Philalèthe (1628-1665), the transmutation of metals seems to be a reality, making gold to enrich oneself has never been the ultimate goal of alchemy. Again, many have gone astray by not understanding the cabalistic writings of our elders. To separate the pure from the impure is to go from the vile matter to the rectified matter. As the molecular arrangements become simpler and more orderly, matter and the matrix Source gradually tend toward reunification, toward unity. Matter is purified in a revolution that is reversed from the Luciferian fall (« Lucifer » is « Lightbearer » in Latin, it first appears in Greek mythology, where he is the guardian of the horses of the sun god Apollo), hence the Nietzschean concept of eternal return. The famous immortality about which dreamers fantasize so much is perhaps, in the end, nothing more than the search for eternity, for the absolute immobility in which God rests, as close to unity as possible. The realm of the science of the adepts is therefore, by definition, outside of time and space. Moreover, unlike modern science, which deals exclusively with matter, alchemy, magic and astrology focus directly on the matrix and the invisible laws that animate it.

 

 

-     Astrology measures the energetic variations of the celestial Fire.

-     Alchemy is the manifestation of this Fire in organisms that are a priori inanimate (minerals and plants).

-     Magic channels this fire directly into the body of the adept. The adept is a magician in the noblest sense of the word, and has always had perfect mastery of this cosmic Fire, this Force, which he channels through the chakras of his body, modulating and redirecting it according to its intended use. Either for positive purposes, when God's love fills his heart (white magic), or to sow division and destruction, when the dark side (black magic) has definitely seduced him.

 

The Holy Spirit in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal - Paris, France

On the horizon of our conclusions, it appears that the driving principle of all existence the Force underlying life is generated by a matrix that originates outside the boundaries of our reality. This conclusion seems to be shared by Niels Bohr, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, who stated in 1922: « Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be considered as real. » Since the matrix Spirit is outside the sensible, measurable field, how is it possible to perceive its substance in the world accessible to humans ?

 

 

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In my opinion, if this creative Force is the cause of tangible effects, then its signature must be observable in nature. It's possible to glimpse the mechanisms of this matrix by adopting the mentality of an insatiably curious person, in other words, by opening our eyes wide. It would be a serious mistake to specialize in one field or another; the Philosopher of nature must open up the field of possibilities to all scientific fields, from astronomy to mineralogy in other words, to all visible phenomena between heaven and earth. The imprint of the Force must be present everywhere, and as the Emerald Tablet suggests, in the infinitely large as well as the infinitely small. The task is to identify the traces of this Force and then to find the analogies that connect them.

 

It was while working on this task that the mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, in the 13th century A.D., noticed that an arithmetic sequence was linked to generation in the biological world. In the progression of this sequence, each new number is the sum of the previous two, i.e. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144... and so on. As the numbers become larger, the ratio between one number and the next tends to a mathematical constant with a value of 1.618. This ratio of proportion was defined by the father of Greek geometry, Euclid, as the division in between extreme and mean reason. This relationship, of which the phyllotaxis of the plant world is undoubtedly the most explicit example, is repeated in all of nature's creations.

Phyllotaxis, cactus at Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden - Chiang-Mai, Thailand

Spiral arrangements of this digital matrix can be seen in flowers, romanesco cabbage and pine cones, as well as in nautilus and gastropod shells. These analogies are astonishing because they are not limited to these few examples, but find a universal echo in the 3 kingdoms of the living world: mineral, vegetable and animal. Nature makes geometry, automatically, without square or compass. Nature doesn't need a plan, it is the plan.  Its architecture, especially when expressed in a helical (« helical » and « helix » have the same etymological root as Helios, the Greek sun god) and logarithmic fashion, is simply dazzling. I'll never understand why most of us remain stoic in the face of such beauty and elegance? Don't they have eyes to see?

 

Today, the ratio equal to 1.618 is better known as the « nombre d’or » (« golden ratio »).  Popularized by Matila Ghyka in the 20th century, it is the result of a cross between semantics and mysticism. The etymology of the word « or » (« gold ») comes from « aor », « aour », « aur » or « our » in Semitic languages and its ttranslations is « the Light ».  When we recall the prologue of St. John's : « The Word was God (...) The Word was the true Light », the correlation between God, the Word, Light and the golden ratio becomes more than obvious for one of the Magi's modes of thinking: synonymic reasoning. If you were looking for concrete proof of the existence of God, of the Creator, the golden ratio would give your argument a factual dimension that would be difficult to refute. All the more so since the Greek symbol for the golden ratio, Φ, was used by the early Christ worshippers to define « the Force of God », « the Will » (« the Telesme» of the Emerald Table) or the principle of the concentration of the Spirit in matter.

 

The signature of Φ can also be seen in human anatomy. Among the many of examples, we could cite, the case of the position of the navel is the most significant. In fact, knowing that the word « nombril » (« navel ») is the phonetic counterpart of « nombreel », the cabalists would break it down into « nombre » (« nomber ») and « el » in order to find its essence.  As el is the name given to God by the ancient Semites, this point, so special to the Vitruvian man, is the physical revelation of the divine signature in the proportions of the human body. On the one hand, it was from here that the nourishing energy of the mother was breathed into us, and on the other and this is what interests us here it divides the average distance between the feet and the head by the golden ratio. Therefore, verse 1:27 of Genesis, which says that « man was created in the image of God », is therefore not a parable, but must be taken literally, at the first degree.

 

The Larousse dictionary explains: « Φ « phi » is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet (21=3x7), corresponding, in ancient Greek, to an aspirated « p » and, in modern Greek, to an « f ». It is transposed by « ph » in French words derived from Greek. » The first syllable of the words « Philosophy », « physics », « phyllotaxis », « firmament », « Force » and « Fire » underscores the close relationship these words have with the golden ratio. Etymology is a science to be treated with the utmost seriousness, because, as you may have already noticed, the keys of investigation offered by this tool are incomparable.

Vitruvian Man - Leonardo da Vinci

With all these sympathies, it hardly seems presumptuous to me to assert that Φ, the veritable whirling fulcrum of universal harmony (to be understood as « uni vers al », « uni vers el » (« united toward el ») or « uni vert sel » (« united green salt »), i.e. « the green salt that unites » for a right-to-left reading), is the organic imprint of a creative matrix, whose structure is subject to the laws of geometry and arithmetic. Plato understood this very well when he declared: « God always makes geometry » and « Geometry draws the soul toward truth, and forms the Philosophical Spirit, by forcing the soul to raise its gaze upward, instead of lowering it. »

 

Historians tell us that the golden ratio was called « phi » in honor of the sculptor Phidias (480-430 B.C.), famous for his contribution to the construction of the Pantheon in Athens, where the precious ratio is exalted in the proportions of the facade. Should we be surprised to learn that the golden ratio was already used five centuries before the Christian era by Greek architects, but also, according to the work of René Adolphe Schwaller de Lubicz (1887-1961), by their Egyptian counterparts? Absolutely not, because all the artists worthy of this capital letter have always tried to make their works resonate with this particular signature. In their desire to mimic (« singer » in French, to be heard « saint G » (« holy G »), where G is a graphic representation of the spiral), they attributed to Φ the ultimate canon of beauty. Every time Φ is used, it's a syncretic tribute to nature and the Creator. From the grandiose pyramids of Giza to the abstract paintings of Kandinsky, Φ has always been the prerogative of artistic genius and the mark of a symbiotic relationship with the universe. This form of expression was certainly born out of necessity: to reveal and glorify in the material world the invisible intelligence of divine creation.

 

 

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Whether our contemporaries like it or not, the art of the 20th century has nothing in common with the ‘works’ of today, and the word « art » has become a catch-all term for any kind of plastic creation. One only has to visit the galleries to realize that ‘art’ has become an intellectual masquerade and a visual pollution on which bad people or charlatans try to make their fortune. In 1973, Jean Phaure described this trend with the objectivity it deserved: « modern art is black magic, sometimes in the most operative sense of the term, and has the eschatological function, like psychoanalysis, of bringing back into the field of our consciousness our infra-psychism, populated by all the psychic and demonic residues that, in the previous phases of the cycle, were contained in these cellars by sacred art, religions, and initiatory knowledge. » It doesn't take a Ph.D. in art history to realize that creativity, compared to the achievements of our past, is the victim of a controlled process of destruction. Indeed, how can we place the paintings of Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) on the same pedestal as those of Michelangelo (1475-1564), Raphael (1483-1520) or Botticelli (1445-1410)? Unfortunately for our enlightenment and well-being, this imposed form of intellectual terrorism is not limited to the boundaries of art, but rots all the pillars on which the emancipation of a healthy, balanced society rests.

 

To this we must add that a person's creativity does not necessarily make him or her an artist. The Masters are formal and are always there to testify: you don't become an artist overnight, and perfecting your art requires a lot of hard work and constant spiritual asceticism. Without having gone through the purification and rectification of one's soul – the demonstration of holiness – it is virtually impossible to receive divine inspiration, to resonate with the Force and become one with the grace of its quintessence to produce anything. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) drives the nail a little deeper into the flesh of the often talentless pretenders by suggesting that the qualification of artist is actually earned in high places: « The artist, ceaselessly engaged in the contemplation of creation, pays everlasting homage to the Creator. Our patient study of God's work requires more effort than singing matins. »

 

Art thus creates a fusional relationship with the sacred, and in this sense it must be a reflection of the matrix space. To achieve this, every detail must be carefully thought out, measured and weighed. Nothing can be left to chance. And as Jean Phaure pointed out, this kind of work is the antithesis of spontaneous art. And as Jean Phaure pointed out, this kind of work is the antithesis of spontaneous art. Arithmetic proportions and regulating geometric lines organize a harmonious, resonant composition. The choice of colors corresponds to the symbolism of the figures and volumes. Mythological and religious archetypes mix with cabalistic references of all kinds. And, of course, never forgetting the hermetic nature of the form, that is, as the traditional saying goes: « to show, to signify, and to hide... all at the same time. » Divinity doesn't show... it means, it suggests !

Symbolic facade of 63 rue Reaumur - Paris, France

In this highly creative magma, and since it is often considered the cornerstone of all the arts, architecture occupies a privileged place in its relationship with the natural elements. The synchronization between the characteristics of the temple and the temporal cycles has always been one of the best-kept secrets of the high initiatory spheres of the priestly castes. By squaring the circle, the building is elevated to the sacred and thus asserts its operative function by combining celestial and terrestrial energies within it. When a temple is built according to the rules of art, its geometric form gives orientation to space and, like a hand on a sundial, gives the measure of time. In this respect, the scientific knowledge of the cosmic cycles elevates the architect to the rank of initiate, and in this sense it cannot be otherwise.

 

Unfortunately for humanity, few people truly understand the coding systems used in the artwork of our ancestors. And even when their attempts are successful, the academic doxa automatically labels them as mildly enlightened. This label makes it all the more appropriate for modern artists to approach art through the prism of psychology, since we must try to explain, even in a phantasmagorical way, the allegories, metaphors, and parables of the traditional culture of our masters. In any case, in this work we will try to decipher some works for what they really are. In this sense, the best way to do this is to use the tools that have been bequeathed to us, and in this virtuosity, the measure of the Liberal Arts are inescapable.

 

There are 7 Liberal Arts, divided into two paths: the Trivium and the Quadrivium.

 

-       The Trivium is defined by the expression of the Word (the Light) through words. It is divided into 3 subjects: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric.

-       The Quadrivium refers to the powers of numbers, or the expression of the Word through mathematics, and is divided into 4 subjects: arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy.

 

In addition to these 7 paths, a linguistic axiom of the Hermetic Cabale, known as the Language of the Birds, completes the artist's already extensive palette. Described as a solar language whose principles are sanctified by the appearance of its ibis-headed initiator, Djéhuty-Thot, it is based exclusively on the assonance of words, without ever considering the rules of spelling and grammar. Richard Khaitzine (1947-2013) a friend we'd like to have around put it this way: « This Language of the Birds is the language that Jesus revealed to the apostles through His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Remember this episode from the Gospels. It's Pentecost, and the apostles receive the gift of tongues in the form of tongues of fire, fire being a synonym for the Spirit. But then, you ask, why is it called the Language of the Birds? Because the Holy Spirit, being volatile by nature, is often symbolized by a bird, often a dove ».

 

In order to overcome the weaknesses of language and to provide the final keys needed to open the closed realm of the Magi, The disciples of Hermes used another means of transmission, one that is still poorly understood today: the symbol.

 

 

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The symbol plays a more than singular role: stimulating only the psyche, this figurative sign links man to his imagination and connects his thought to spheres indescribable by words. In fact, the sound of a word is a vibration that can be heard, and in this state it already has a material manifestation. A word clumsily cuts off the dynamics of the idea it seeks to define; it is precisely to remedy this weakness that the use of the symbol proves its effectiveness : by creating a bridge between the created and the uncreated, this mode of reading allows the mind to pass through the mirror of appearances, to see the other side of the image, outside of space and time.Ferdinand Brunetière (1849-1849) wrote: « The symbol is an image, it is thought...It makes us grasp between the world and ourselves some of those secret affinities and obscure laws which may be beyond the reach of science, but which are no less certain for that; every symbol is in this sense a kind of revelation ».

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, as ancient Taoist wisdom suggests, then a symbol is worth a thousand images.

 

We couldn't continue this introduction without paying tribute to René Guénon (1886-1951), because his life and work alone crystallize an uncompromising spirituality. In his book « Symboles de la Science Sacrée », he wrote: « We have already had occasion to speak of the importance of the symbolic form in the transmission of traditional doctrines (...) Why is there so much more or less open hostility to symbolism? Certainly because it is a form of expression that has become completely alien to the modern mentality, and because man is naturally inclined to distrust what he does not understand. Symbolism is the most suitable means of teaching the higher religious and metaphysical truths, in other words, everything that the modern mind rejects or neglects; it is the very opposite of what is appropriate to rationalism, and all its opponents behave, some without realizing it, as true rationalists (...). In this way, the supreme truths, which would not be communicable or transmittable in any other way, become so to a certain extent, when they are incorporated, as it were, into symbols which will undoubtedly hide them from many, but which will reveal them in all their brilliance to the eyes of those who know how to see (...) If the Word is thought within and spoken without, if the world is the effect of the divine Word uttered at the beginning of time, the whole of nature can be considered a symbol of supernatural reality. Everything that is, in whatever form, having its principle in the divine intellect, translates or represents that principle in its own way and according to its own order of existence; and thus, from one order to the next, all things are related and correspond to each other in order to coincide in the universal and total harmony which is like a reflection of the divine Trinity itself. This correspondence is the true foundation of symbolism, and it is for this reason that the laws of a lower realm can always be taken as symbolizing the realities of a higher order, where they have their profound reason, which is both their principle and their end. »

 

In its vulgar figuration, the « saint bol » (« holy cup ») takes the form of a cup or chalice. In the magical ritual of the Mass, at the moment of the Eucharistic Sacrament, it collects the Christic Blood, a metaphorical liquid for the cosmic fluid.  The evocation of a watery substance inevitably recalls the way in which the Hermetists associated the behavior of the Mercurial spirit with a primordial ocean. By analogy, the symbol fulfills exactly the same function as its homophone revealed by the Language of the Birds, namely that the « saint bol » (« holy cup ») is the receptacle and revelation in the tangible world of the ineffable principles of the universal matrix.

The Holy Grail, Saint-Eustache church - Paris, France

I am aware that for most of you Hermeticism seems mysterious, even chimerical, all the more so because this philosophical current proposes historical and scientific perspectives that mainstream thinking considers irrational from the outset.  I can already hear the rhetoric of the most indoctrinated: « How could the men of the past have known what modern science is just beginning to glimpse?  Aren't we superior to those hicks ? »

 

Yes, and no matter what he thinks, man today is unaware of his ignorance. But it's important not to blame him, because from kindergarten benches to university lecture halls, he is driven to naively repeat what he has been taught. And since the majority have grown up in the same system, it's logical that "normal" people are all formatted in the same way. To their credit, the pursuit of knowledge and intellectual and cultural enrichment is no longer a valued activity. Absolutely nothing is organized to encourage us to read library books and to multiply our general knowledge; this sad fact is the inexorable consequence of a royal education that is constantly being dumbed down, of the propagation and standardization of the culture of the artificial (to the detriment of the natural), of the promotion and standardization of mediocrity by the dominant media, and of the dumbing down and hypnotic manipulation of the masses by television. And above all, the growing denial of a transcendent, saving spiritual realm. It's a fact that there are now countless friends who are very proud of their agnosticism... How sad!

 

At the beginning of the 21st century, the collapse of thought reflects the decadence, degeneration and decline of our civilization. This intellectual sclerosis has become an increasingly thorny obstacle to overcome for those who follow the path of spiritual evolution, personal emancipation, or the Gnostic path. Social conditioning is so powerful that the intrepid, those who still dare to think for themselves, are often benched and ridiculed. It takes great strength of character to free oneself from the vindictiveness and judgment of others. This work requires deep and delicate self-introspection, and very few people are willing to suffer in order to dissolve the illusions of daily life and become completely free. To be able to empty one's chalice of all dross and then fill it anew with a brighter light is an accomplishment that must be earned over time.

Fountain of "Vert-bois" - Paris, France

Prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice are the cardinal virtues needed to open the Kingdom of God; if perseverance and truth are our faithful servants on the path of truth, the vertical essence of the Solar Fire will illuminate our hearts and the work we undertake will always be crowned with success. Without this spiritual quest, I probably wouldn't have found the courage to share these few lines with you, because the metaphysical currents on which the winds of this demonstration will carry us are ridiculed by the orthodoxy of the educational system and very poorly understood by today's globalized culture.

 

To this end, the scientific and syncretic study of the major religious symbols is the main axis – axis mundi – around which this thesis will unfold. Like a modern-day Jason in search of the Golden Fleece, guided by the clarity of the North Star, we will navigate the most mystical and unimaginably vibrant oceans. So I invite you to explore sacred science aboard my ship, to lift the veil on the naturalistic nature of the Holy Spirit, and to cast off for the most absolute mysteries of all: creation and the origin of space-time.

 

 

Ludovic Nicolas

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