The perfect word is the triad, because it supposes an intelligent principle, a speaking principle, and a principle spoken.
The absolute, revealing itself by speech, endows this speech with a sense equivalent to itself, and in the understanding thereof creates itself a third time. Thus, also, the sun manifests itself by its light, and proves or makes this manifestation efficacious by heat.
The triad is traced in space by the heavenly zenith, the infinite height, connected with east and west by two straight diverging lines.
With this visible triangle reason compares another which is invisible, but is assumed to be equal in dimension; the abyss is its apex and its reversed base is parallel to the horizontal line stretching from east to west. These two triangles, combined in a single figure, which is the six-pointed star, form the sacred symbol of Solomon’s seal, the resplendent star of the Macrocosm. The notion of the infinite and the absolute is expressed by this sign, which is the grand pantacle—that is to say, the most simple and complete abridgment of the science of all things.
Grammar itself attributes three persons to the verb. The first is that which speaks, the second that which is spoken to, and the third the object.
In creating, the Infinite Prince speaks to himself of himself. Such is the explanation of the triad and the origin of the dogma of the Trinity.
The magical dogma is also one in three and three in one. That which is above is like or equal to that which is below. Thus, two things which resemble one another and the word which signifies their resemblance make three. The triad is the universal dogma.
in the human soul—
in the family—
- and child.
The triad is the end and supreme expression of love; we seek one another as two only to become three.
There are three intelligible worlds which correspond one with another by hierarchic analogy;
- the natural or physical,
- the spiritual or metaphysical,
- and the divine or religious worlds.
From this principle follows the hierarchy of spirits, divided into three orders, and again subdivided by the triad in each of these three orders.
All these revelations are logical deductions from the first mathematical notions of being and number. Unity must multiply itself in order to become active. An indivisible, motionless, and sterile principle would be unity dead and incomprehensible.
Were God only one He would never be creator or father. Were he two there would be antagonism or division in the infinite, which would mean the division also or death of all possible things. He is therefore three for the creation by Himself and in His image of the infinite multitude of beings and numbers.
So is He truly one in Himself and triple in our conception, which also brings us to behold him as triple in Himself and one in our intelligence and our love. This is a mystery for the faithful, and a logical necessity for the initiate into the absolute and real sciences.
The Word manifested by life is realisation or incarnation. The life of the Word accomplishing its cyclic movement is adaptation or redemption. This triple dogma was known in all sanctuaries illuminated by the tradition of the sages.
Do you wish to ascertain which is the true religion? Seek that which realises most in the divine order, which humanises God and makes man divine, which preserves the triadic dogma intact, which clothes the Word with flesh by making God manifest to the hands and eyes of the most ignorant, which finally is by its doctrine suitable to all and can adapt itself to all—the religion which is hierarchic and having allegories and images for children, an exalted philosophy for grown men, sublime hopes and sweet consolations for the old.
The primeval sages, when seeking the First of Causes, beheld good and evil in the world; they considered the shadow and the light; they compared winter with spring, age with youth, life with death, and their conclusion was this: The First Cause is beneficent and severe; it gives and takes away life.
Then are there two contrary principles, the one good and the other evil, exclaimed the disciples of Manes. No, the two principles of universal equilibrium are not contrary, although contrasted in appearance, for a singular wisdom opposes one to another. Good is on the right, evil on the left, but the supreme excellence is above both, applying evil to the victory of good and good to the amendment of evil.
The principle of harmony is in unity, and it is this which imparts such power to the uneven number in magic.
Now, the most perfect of the odd numbers is three, because it is the trilogy of unity. In the trigrams of Fohi, the superior triad is composed of three yang, or masculine figures, because nothing passive can be admitted into the idea of God, considered as the principle of production in the three worlds.
For the same reason, the Christian trinity by no means permits the personification of the mother, who is implicitly included in that of the son.
For the same reason, also, it is contrary to the laws of hieratic and orthodox symbology to personify the Holy Ghost under the form of a woman. Woman comes forth from man as nature comes forth from God; so Christ ascends Himself to heaven, and assumes the Virgin Mother: we speak of the ascension of the Saviour, and the assumption of the Mother of God.
God, considered as Father, has nature for his daughter; as Son, He has the Virgin for His mother and the Church for His bride; as Holy Spirit, He regenerates and fructifies humanity.
Hence, in the trigrams of Fohi, the three inferior yin correspond to the three superior yang, for these trigrams constitute a pantacle like that of the two triangles of Solomon, but with a triadic interpretation of the six points of the blazing star.
Dogma is only divine inasmuch as it is truly human—that is to say, in so far as it sums up the highest reason of humanity; so also the Master, whom we term the Man-God, called Himself the Son of Man.
Revelation is the expression of belief accepted and formulated by universal reason in the human word, on which account it is said that the divinity is human and the humanity divine in the Man-God. We affirm all this philosophically, not theologically, without infringing in any way on the teaching of the Church, which condemns, and must always condemn, magic.
Paracelsus and Agrippa did not set up altar against altar, but bowed to the ruling religion of their time; to the elect of science, the things of science; to the faithful, the things of faith.
In his hymn to the royal Sun, the Emperor Julian gives a theory of the triad which is almost identical with that of the illuminated Swedenborg. The sun of the divine world is the infinite, spiritual, and uncreated light, which is verbalised, so to speak, in the philosophical world, and becomes the fountain of souls and of truth; then it incorporates and becomes visible light in the sun of the third world, the central sun of our suns, of which the fixed stars are the ever-living sparkles.
The Kabbalists compare the spirit to a substance which remains fluid in the divine medium, and under the influence of the essential light, its exterior, however, becoming solidified, like wax, when exposed to the air in the colder realms of reasoning or of visible forms. These shells, envelopes petrified or carnified, were such an expression possible, are the source of errors or of evil which connect with the heaviness and hardness of the animal envelopes.
In the book “Zohar,” and in that of the “Revolution of Souls,” perverse spirits or evil demons are never named otherwise than as shells—cortices. The cortices of the world of spirits are transparent, while those of the material world are opaque. Bodies are only temporary shells, whence souls have to be liberated; but those which in this life obey the body compose for themselves an interior body or fluidic shell, which, after death, becomes their prison-house and torment, until the time arrives when they succeed in dissolving it in the warmth of the divine light, towards which, however, the burden of their grossness hinders them from ascending.
Indeed, they can do so only after infinite struggles, and by the mediation of the just, who stretch forth their hands towards them. During the whole period of the process they are devoured by the interior activity of the captive spirit, as in a burning furnace. Those who attain the pyre of expiation burn themselves thereon, like Hercules upon Mount Etna, and so are delivered from their sufferings, but the courage of the majority fails before this ordeal, which seems to them a second death more appalling than the first, and so they remain in hell, which is, rightly and actually, eternal; but therein souls are never precipitated, nor are they ever retained despite themselves.
The three worlds correspond together by means of the thirty-two paths of light which are the steps of the sacred ladder; every true thought corresponds to a divine grace in heaven and a good work on earth; every grace of God manifests a truth, and produces one or many acts; reciprocally, every act affects a truth or falsehood in the heavens, a grace or a punishment.
When a man pronounces the tetragram—say, the Kabbalists—the nine heavens sustain a shock, and then all spirits cry out one upon another: “Who is it thus disturbing the kingdom of heaven?” Then does the earth communicate unto the first heaven the sins of the rash being who takes the Eternal Name in vain, and the accusing word is transmitted from circle to circle, from star to star, and from hierarchy to hierarchy.
Every speech possesses three senses, every act has a triple bearing, every form a triple idea, for the absolute corresponds from world to world by its forms.
Every determination of human will modifies nature, affects philosophy, and is written in heaven.
There are therefore two fatalities, the one resulting from the Uncreated Will in its accord with wisdom, the other from created wills according with the necessity of secondary causes in their correspondence with the First Cause.
There is hence nothing indifferent in life, and our apparently most simple resolutions frequently determine an incalculable series of benefits or evils, above all in the affinities of our diaphane with the great magical agent, as we shall explain elsewhere.
The triad, being the fundamental principle of the whole Kabbalah, or sacred tradition of our fathers, was necessarily the fundamental dogma of Christianity, the apparent dualism of which it explains by the intervention of a harmonious and all-powerful unity.
Christ did not put his teaching into writing, and only revealed it in secret to his favoured disciple, the one kabbalist, and he a great kabbalist, among the apostles. So is the apocalypse the book of the gnosis or secret doctrine of the first Christians, the key of which doctrine is indicated by an occult versicle of the Lord’s Prayer, which the Vulgate leaves untranslated, while in the Greek rite, which preserves the traditions of St. John, the priests only are permitted to pronounce it. This versicle, completely kabbalistic, is found in the text of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and in several Hebrew copies. The sacred word Malchuth substituted for Kether, which is its kabbalistic correspondent, and the balance of Geburah and Chesed, repeating itself in the circles or heavens called eons by the Gnostics, provide the keystone of the whole Christian temple in this occult versicle. It has been retained by Protestants in their New Testament, without their recovering its lofty and wonderful meaning, which would have unveiled to them all the mysteries of the apocalypse. But it is a tradition in the Church that the manifestation of these mysteries is held over to the last times.
Malchuth, based upon Geburah and Chesed, is the temple of Solomon having Jakin and Bohas for its pillars; it is the adamic doctrine founded, for the one part, on the resignation of Abel and, for the other, on the labours and self-reproach of Cain; it is the equilibrium of being established on necessity and liberty, stability and motion; it is the demonstration of the universal lever sought in vain by Archimedes.
A scholar whose whole talents were employed in being obscure, who died without seeking to be understood, resolved this supreme equation, discovered by him in the Kabbalah, and was in dread of its source transpiring if he expressed himself more clearly. We have seen one of his disciples and admirers most indignant, perhaps in good faith, at the suggestion that his master was a Kabbalist, but we can state notwithstanding, to the glory of the same learned man, that his researches have appreciably shortened our work in the occult sciences, and that the key of the transcendent Kabbalah above all, indicated in the arcane versicle recently cited, has been skilfully applied to an absolute reform of all the sciences in the books of Hoené Wronski.
The secret virtue of the gospels is therefore contained in three words, and these three words have established three dogmas and three hierarchies. All science reposes upon three principles, as the syllogism upon three terms. There are also three distinct classes, or three original and natural ranks, among men, who are called to advance from the lower to the higher.
The Jews term these three series or degrees in the progress of spirits, Asiah, Jetzirah, and Briah. The Gnostics, who were Christian Kabbalists, called them Hylè, Psyche, and Gnosis; by the Jews the supreme circle was named Atziluth, and by the Gnostics Pleroma. In the tetragram, the triad, taken at the beginning of the Word, expresses the divine copulation; taken at the end, it expresses the female and maternity. Eve has a name of three letters, but the primitive Adam is signified simply by the letter Jod, whence Jehovah should be pronounced Jeva, and this point takes us to the great and supreme mystery of magic, embodied in the tetrad.