Saturday, June 16, 2007

The preparation of Mercury

Karlo Z. Valois
The operator consciously “steps out” of everyday reality with the determination to perform the operation perfectly. Once in this mind-set, the operation, with all its components is a ritual, whereby different laws are at work than in everyday life, which is lived blindly, with reduced consciousness.
All rituals, on their respective levels repeat the first and most fundamental acts, which “took place” beyond the realm of temporality, and thus all components of the ritual must be performed in the context of these very first acts. These are the following (in present tense):
  1. Separation: the Metaphysical Zero (Tao, Absolutum, etc.) creates the Prima Materia (pure potential, etc.), as its negative image (pre)creating the conditions of becoming.
  2. Preparation concerns the Prima Materia; increasing the tension of “wanting to become” but being in the state of potentialities, not being able to become anything (not even existing) by itself (herself), wanting/lusting the One (and all) to enter her, thereby actualizing everything according to his will. Important: One does not emerge from the Prima Materia, but One would not exist without the “pre-existence” of the Prima Materia. One, as the positive representation of Metaphysical Zero, exists to enter the negative representation of the Metaphysical Zero and to actualize it. One exists beyond manifestation and its representation on the manifest plane is the male, just like One is the positive representation of Metaphysical Zero. The preparation (increasing the tension of becoming actual) is performed by One, the principle of the masculine, or –on the manifest plane- by the masculine: the superior, virile male. The presence of the masculine is the pre-requisite of preparation (and tension).
  3. Unification; this is the operation of One on Prima Materia, which the alchemists call the wedding or possession of Mercury or the Virgin.
After these three steps we are in the realm of manifest existence, with operations specific to this particular state, the purpose of all of them being to return to the state of the Metaphysical Zero.
In this frame of mind, having reached the state of silence the operator is focused and balanced. His will is pure. He is collected.
He than chooses an insignificant event from the past. Perhaps the memory of his own reflection on a glass wall while walking on the street. He is keeping the event in his mind, maintaining control. This is not a random image that comes to him; this is an image he selected, brought it to his mind and is keeping it there. In this operation the difficulty is not so much in keeping the image clear. The illusions of the past at this stage still seem to be brighter than the reality of conscious, purposeful action. The difficulty is in keeping the mind focused (not letting any associations arise) and keeping the self detached from the image, thus staying in silence and maintaining control. After a few seconds the operator stops the happening, freezing it like it was a photo. He observes his own image among the images of other people on the street and he doesn’t differentiate. His own image is no longer his own. It feels as foreign as anybody else on the picture. He examines all actors neutrally. His eyes are no longer attracted to his own image. This is not me. That is not me. He realizes that this episode is just an illusion. It doesn’t have any effect on him. He knows with certainty that this event could have been the content of any his dreams. He casts off this image of the past and he is back in silence, collected, focused and balanced.
The next image he chooses to recall is a significant event. He repeats the operation. He remains neutral in that no impure emotions arise. No attachment, no repulse; just like a movie that has no relevance to him.
And then he chooses another event, perhaps again an insignificant one. Then another. Then he chooses events that used to be charged with tensions and emotions. The memories of passionate lovers. The memories of suffering and joy, pain and pleasure. He observes all with neutrality. Detached, untouched. Unmoved.
He repeats the operation until the feeling of being two becomes solid, like an object. He feels both as the creator and the created. The projector and the projected. He perceives his projected self and simultaneously he perceives the projecting self.
He stays there, fixes this special state. Holds it.
Then he shifts to the perspective of the projector. He does this without “moving”. What acts is a gentle fire; the fire of the will, which lends a quality of calm and controlled passion to the operation. So the operator is not indifferent. He is unperturbed, but not indifferent. It is of utmost importance in this operation to maintain the “fire of the philosophers” as the alchemists call it, and not to evoke the combustible, vulgar fire (earthly, impure emotions, instinctive, connected to the body), which easily gets out of control, overtaking the operator himself, jerking him back to the projected perspective, cutting him off the projecting aspect, ridding him of control. Also, if he becomes indifferent, if he cools off, the operation becomes a hopeless mental exercise, which doesn’t lead anywhere; at that point the operation must be stopped.
So the operator operates in the heat of this gentle, powerful fire, holding the state of two, while actively perceiving his projected self.
Then, while maintaining the experience of the two, he switches perspectives and feels the presence of the projecting self keeping all factors in harmony: the will and the power, as well as the supra individual and the individual; the supra individual command and the individual obedience.
Over time, through different operations (in regards to these operations refer to the works of “The doctrine of awakening” and the “Yoga of Power” from Julius Evola), he identifies more and more with the projecting self and differentiates less and less between the projected perspectives. He recognizes differences in the projected perspectives as various aspects of the One principle (his essential self), which is projecting itself.
He feels and perceives the presence of his projecting self in other projected individuals, even plants, animals and objects. The sense of the state of two thus expands. At this stage life itself is a ritual, which is experienced with ever higher intensity whereby the heat of the fire of the will in dominance, is maintained.
The sense of the projected self, which is called vulgar gold in alchemy, is washed and purified in this operation by the state of two (water, mercury) which is heated up by the projector. The projector, in a sense, uses the power of mercury, to turn the projected to his own image, bestowing his own nature on him. Bestowing his nature on the projected aspect of the self prepares it for the first significant step in the big opus: leaving the state of projection behind and being reborn in a new state.
A sense of increasing distance develops between the manifest world and the “projective” aspect of the self (the manifesting self) and in the same time the understanding of the power that enables manifestation itself becomes more intimate.
The actual possession of the mercury (the power of manifestation) will take place outside the realm of corporeality. For now, at this stage of preparation the operator is consciously experiencing this power as an underlying force behind everything that he perceives.
Maintaining the sense of two and staying in the perspective of the projector enables the operator to perceive potentials and sense his dominion over the power that brings these potentials to actuality; as we have seen: not only is prima materia pure potential, it is pure power as well (sakti).
The circle is closed. The operation performed on mercury results in the sublimation of the projected self of the operator (purified, separated from earthly substances, vested with the characteristics of the philosophers’ gold), preparing it for domination over the state of two, and transcending it, thereby successfully completing the first significant step of the Opus Magnum.