One of the fundamental tenets of occultism, founded on the law of
analogies, is that Nature can reveal to us what is taking place within
our own being.
A striking and typical example of this law, but one which is wholly
ignored by orthodox science, is given in the Philosopher's
Stone, known to the Rosicrucians. In a German magazine published
at the end of the eighteenth century, we find mention of this
Philosopher's Stone. It is spoken of as something quite real and the
writer says: “Everyone contacts it frequently although he knows
it not.” This is literally true. In order to understand this
mystery we must penetrate into the laboratory of Nature even more
deeply than is the habit of modern science.
All the world knows that man inhales oxygen and exhales carbonic acid.
In Yoga this has both a physical and spiritual significance. Man
cannot inhale carbonic acid for the purposes of nourishing his being.
He would die, whereas the carbonic acid keeps the plants alive. The
plants provide man with the oxygen which gives him life; they renew
the air and make it fit to breathe. On the other side, man and the
animals provide the plants with the carbonic acid by which they, in
their turn, are nourished. What does the plant do with the carbonic
acid it absorbs? It builds up its own body. We know that the corpse of
the plant is coal. Coal is thus crystallised carbonic acid.
The red blood in man must be refreshed and renewed with oxygen, for
the carbonic acid cannot be used for the purpose of building up the
body. The exercises of Yoga are a training which enables man to make
the red blood into a body-builder. In this sense the Yogi works at his
body by means of his blood, just as the plant works with the carbonic
Thus we see that the power of transmutation in Nature is represented
in coal which is a crystallised plant. The Philosopher's Stone, in its
most general sense, signifies this power of transmutation.
The law of regression, as well as the law of ascension, is true for
all beings. The minerals are plants which have degenerated; the plants
are the remnants of animal life; animals and man (his physical body)
have a common ancestor. Man has ascended, the animal has descended.
The spiritual part of man proceeds from the Gods. In this sense, man
is a God who has degenerated, and Lamartine's words are literally
true: “Man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens.”
There was an epoch when all life on the Earth was semi-plant and
semi-animal. The Earth herself was, as it were, a great animal-being.
Her whole surface was one mass of peat-like ‘turf’ with
gigantic forest growing from it. This is the epoch when the Earth and
the Moon were united in one body. The Moon represents the feminine
element of the Earth.
There are beings whose progress is checked, who remain at a lower
stage of evolution. The mistletoe, for instance, is a token of
this ancient epoch. It is a survival of the parasitic plant-beings
which once lived on the Earth as upon a plant. Hence its peculiar,
occult properties, known to the Druids who spoke of it as the most
sacred of all plants. Mistletoe is a survival from the lunar epoch of
the Earth. It is parasitic because it has not learned, like other
plants, to live directly upon mineral substance.
Disease is something of an analogy. It is a regression, caused by the
parasitic elements in the organism. The Druids and the Skalds knew of
the relation between the mistletoe and man. There is an echo of this
in the legend of Baldur. The God Baldur is put to death by the
mistletoe because the mistletoe is a hostile element from the
preceding epoch — an element no longer united with man. The other
plants, having adapted themselves to the subsequent epoch, swore
friendship to him.
When this plant-earth became mineral, it acquired, through the metals,
a new property — that of reflecting the light.
A star is visible in the heavens only when it has become mineral. Thus
there are many heavenly bodies imperceptible to the physical eye of
man and visible only to clairvoyant vision.
The Earth has been “mineralised,” so also has the physical
body of man. But the characteristic feature of man is that a twofold
movement takes places in him. As a physical being, man has descended;
as a spiritual being he has ascended. St. Paul spoke of this truth
when he declared that there is one law for the body and another for
the Spirit. Thus man represents both an end and a beginning.
The vital point, the point of intersection and of change in the
ascending life of man, lies at the time of the separation of the
sexes. There was an age when the two sexes were united in the being of
recognised this as a probability. As the result of
the separation of the sexes, a new, all-embracing element came to
birth: the element of love. The attraction of love is so powerful, so
mysterious, that tropical butterflies of different sexes, brought to
Europe and then released to the air, will fly back again and meet each
There is some analogy between the relations established by the world
of man with the divine world and by the human kingdom with the animal
kingdom. Oxygen and carbonic acid are in-breathed and out-breathed by
man. The plant-kingdom breathes out oxygen; man breathes out love
— since the separation of the sexes. The Gods are nourished by
this effluence of love.
How comes it that the animals and man out-breathe love?
The occultist sees in the man of today a being in the full swing of
evolution. Man is at the same time a fallen God and a God in the
The kingdom of the heavens is nourished by the effluence of human
love. Ancient Greek mythology expresses this reality when it speaks of
nectar and ambrosia. The Gods are so far above man that their natural
tendency would be to subjugate him. But there is a half-way state of
being between man and the Gods, just as the mistletoe is half-way
between the plant and the animal. It is represented by Lucifer and the
The interest of the Gods is the element of human love by means of
which their life is sustained.
When Lucifer, in the form of the serpent, induces man to seek for
knowledge, Jehovah is wrath. Lucifer is here understood as the fallen
God who instills into man the desire for personal knowledge. This sets
him in opposition to the Divine Will which has created him in its
Rosicrucian science explains the rôle of Lucifer in the world. We
shall return to this later on. Here we will merely recall the
following saying of the Rosicrucian Order: “Know, O man, that
through thy being flows a current which ascends and a current which