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The Candle of the Lord

   Throughout these studies, it has been observed how, from some obscure and little-understood law governing human psychology, spiritual wisdom and knowledge are likened to light and color, and to all that contain light or color, such as precious metals and radiant jewels. Orthodox Christians imagine that these references to light and fire in the Bible are mere poetic figures of speech, and while the heart seizes upon them gladly the intellect rejects them. The occultist knows that the interior Illumination is a very real thing, and is not in the least allegorical. He not only feels and experiences light and warmth within his own soul, but he sees and experiences them in the souls of his fellows.

   The Master in Proverbs writes: "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27). This is in accord with the popular occult concept, expressed also in the New Testament, of God as "The Father of Lights." "God is Light, if we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have Fellowship one with another." To this Jesus referred in the parable in which he warned that our Light should not be hid under a bushel, but should be allowed to shine out over the dark void of materiality, conquering it as Light must always conquer darkness.

   "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set thee" (Proverbs 22:28). This simple yet all-important commandment has reference to the Way. Marks provided for man by the Father of Lights, or the Hierophant of the Mysteries, the Christ. The further command that we "remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless" (23:10), indicates the great care which must be taken not to trespass mentally upon the will of another individual by esoteric coercion, which the neophyte early learns is a very real possibility in the interior world.

   This "house" again refers as before to the House of the Spirit, which is visible and tangible in the world of soul, and in the occult work signifies the Place of Initiation, which, being a structure wholly composed of wisdom and understanding, is in fact omnipresent. Only the blindness of mental intellect prevents one from seeing this House in which the soul perpetually dwells.

   The alchemists symbolized this House as the alchemical laboratory. "Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer" says the holy alchemist of Proverbs (25:4).

   In Proverbs 29:18 occurs the famous saying, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The aspirant will do well to hold this in mind, especially when circumstances may prevent him from doing as much in the outer world as he would like. If he, nevertheless, keeps his vision clear and the Light of his Candle bright, he may still serve from the inner world, all unbeknown to himself, in such a way as to give guidance to others who can perform outwardly important deeds denied to him but in which he will share the benefits of the service rendered by virtue of the guidance given.

The Teachings of Proverbs on Regeneration

   In addition to the wisdom sayings of Proverbs, which are scattered through the text from the first to the last chapter, there is a great deal of material relating to moral discipline which also has a direct bearing upon the life of regeneration as a prerequisite to Initiation or Illumination. Thus the passage once quoted from the fifth chapter is a hint to the knowing: "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well."

   There is but the one sacred fire essence in the universe, and that is the Creative Fire of God. This Fire is no mere figure of speech; it exists, and may be seen and felt by the sensitized aspirant. It has a threefold objective manifestation: heat, light and electricity, all of which have their esoteric counterparts in the realm of the soul.

   There is likewise the sacred Water essence, which corresponds to the Mother Principle in nature. This the medieval alchemists termed "Living Silver" (argentum vivum), or again, Water of Life (aqua viva). The Fire was the "gold" which the alchemist sought, the liquid gold, or aurum potabile — drinkable gold. Clairvoyants affirm that when the neophyte begins to discipline his thoughts and emotions in order to live a purely spiritual life, this liquid, burning gold can be both seen and felt rising in the ethers of the spinal column to the head, overflowing the head, and at last surrounding the entire body. The gold is, however, in reality a combined essence of gold and silver, but the gold tinctures the silver in its own likeness, like the alloy electrum which was used in ancient times and which consisted of gold combined with a small percentage of silver, the color of which was a pale yellow.

   Therefore the writer on the science of the soul may aptly make use of these metallic figures, in order to reveal to the worthy the right processes leading to Perfection, which the alchemist called "transmuting the base metal into precious ones"; or, finding (making) the Philosopher's Stone (diamond or ruby). We find no reference to diamonds in Proverbs because that stone was not known to the ancient Hebrews. The ruby, hardest and most precious of stones next to the diamond, is therefore the substitute. The Hebrews (contrary to some modem astrologers) assigned the ruby to the sign Aries, which rules the head, where the golden life force takes on new colors under the continued workings of the Divine Alchemist in the brain.

   So long as the sacred life forces of the body are wasted in sensual living, the physical vehicle can never become a perfect and responsive instrument for the expression of the indwelling spirit. The imperfect bodies of the majority of our race bear witness to this fact. The inner Wisdom has always taught the neophyte chastity and continence ("drink waters out of thine own cistern, and waters out of thine own well"), whereby the Waters of Life might ascend to the brain and nourish it to a greater Spiritual responsiveness.

   The teachings of celibacy enjoined upon the monks and nuns of the Church, and among the inner sect of the Essenes, arise from this knowledge. "Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof; so he that waiteth on his Master shall be honored" (Proverbs 27:18). As a consequence of the uprising column of living but fiery water, or drinkable (liquid) gold, the clairvoyant faculties are awakened by which the neophyte may know his Teacher. "When the pupil is ready the Teacher appears."

   Idle, purposeless speech is also a waste of the life force which must cease when aspiring to the attainment of a regenerative life. Solomon, therefore, gives much instruction regarding the power of the spoken word. The larynx which creates the sound patterns for the voice is, in a sense, a creative organ; sounds produce archetypal patterns, which modify the forms appearing in the material world, as also in the thought world, These patterns are constantly forming with each sound uttered, and hold values for their creator for his good or ill as the case may be.

   The throat comes under the rulership of Taurus, the sign opposite Scorpio, which governs the generative processes. The intimate connection which exists between the throat and the sexual centers is evidenced by the change in the boy's voice at puberty, or in the change in a woman's voice after the removal of the feminine generative organs. The spoken word consumes life energy as surely as does the act associated with generation. The words that are life and power can only be spoken through conserving the life essence which is ordinarily wasted in thoughtless or destructive speech. In this fact is to be found the reason for the "Vow of silence" among certain esoteric brotherhoods. In the Pythagorean school, for example, the vow of silence belonged to the five-year probationary period. Anyone who has observed silence for any protracted period knows something of the tremendous power of the spoken word when its forces have not been dissipated in idle or frivolous conversation.

   There is also a psychological reason for the practice of silent periods. Language is essentially the tool of the exteriorized intellect, which depends upon the uninspired logic of the mortal intelligence, Words and numbers alike are the particular instruments of logic because they liberate the intellect from dependence upon concrete imagery, and permit it to rise into the activity of abstract reason where images are eschewed. But in the initiatory development, the imagination must be trained, for the imagination is the eyes of the spirit; and what the reason knows by indirection the imagination sees directly in the Mind of God.

   The story is told of two wise men who met and compared their respective knowledge. When they parted, the sage said, "All that he sees, I know." And the seer said, "All that he knows, I see." In the highest development, the ego must hold within his consciousness both powers, that of divine knowing and of divine seeing. The knowing comes through an ascent past logic, requiring the use of language to eliminate images; but the seeing requires the vow of silence, according as circumstances may reasonably allow, in which the suppression of the spoken word is reflected inwardly in the complete mental silence in which the music of the spheres is first heard and then seen in the divine geometry of the Logos: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21).

   Other proverbs on the power of speech include the following:

   Further commentary on the life of regeneration is to be found in many places. In this exposition only the outstanding proverbs on any particular subject under consideration have been selected. Consider Proverbs 11:29, 30: "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind," and "the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Here the house refers to the body, or the state of consciousness in which one dwells habitually; the wind is the stirring up of emotion by the evanescent fleeting phenomena of the sense world; but the tree of life is in the immortalized soul body which can know no death. Where discordant lines of force are built into the body by a disregard of the laws of conservation and right use, a disharmony is set up as between the body and its archetype in the mental world, and consequently chaotic conditions enter the life, increasing until through sorrow and suffering the ego concerned learns to use the great formative power of Spirit rightly.

   Another phase of conservation is the control of the temper. The divine creative fire-force is intimately attuned to the desire body. Lack of control in this aspect of life means a prodigal expenditure of the precious life essences. Loss of temper is one of the most subtle and at the same time one of the most prolific avenues by which the creative force is wasted. One can never accomplish the great overcoming so long as the martial fire force is allowed to run riot in anger. Proverbs contain numerous and explicit instructions to this effect. For example:

 — Corinne Heline


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