The Key of the Mysteries (La Clef des Grands Mystères) By Eliphas Levi THE KEY OF THE MYSTERIES ACCORDING TO ENOCH, ABRAHAM, HERMES TRISMEGISTES AND SOLOMON BY ELIPHAS LEVI TRANSLATED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ALEISTER CROWLEY PART II PHILOSOPHICAL MYSTERIES PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS IT has been said that beauty is the splendour of truth. Now moral beauty is goodness. It is beautiful to be good. To be intelligently good, one must be just. To be just, one must act reasonably. To act reasonably, one must have the knowledge of reality. To have the knowledge of reality, one must have consciousness of truth. To have consciousness of truth, one must have an exact notion of being. Being, truth, reason and justice are the common objects of the researches of science, and of the aspirations of faith. The conceptions, whether real or hypothetical, of a supreme power transform justice into Providence; and the notion of divinity, from this point of view, becomes accessible to science herself. Science studies Being in its partial manifestation; faith supposes it, or rather admits it a priori as a whole. Science seeks the truth in everything; faith refers everything to an universal and absolute truth. Science records realities in detail: faith explains them by {98} totalized reality to which science cannot bear witness, but which the very existence of the details seems to force her to recognize and to admit. Science submits the reasons of persons and things to the universal mathematical reason; faith seeks, or rather supposes, an intelligent and absolute reason for (and above) mathematics themselves. Science demonstrates justice by justness; faith gives an absolute justness to justice, in subordinating it to Providence. One sees here all that faith borrows from science, and all that science, in its turn, owes to faith. Without faith, science is circumscribed by an absolute doubt, and finds itself eternally penned within the risky empiricism of a reasoning scepticism; without science, faith constructs its hypotheses at random, and can only blindly prejudge the causes of the effects of which she is ignorant. The great chain which reunites science and faith is analogy. Science is obliged to respect a belief whose hypotheses are analogous to demonstrated truths. Faith, which attributes everything to God, is obliged to admit science as being a natural revelation which, by the partial manifestation of the laws of eternal reason, gives a scale of proportion to all the aspirations and to all the excursions of the soul into the domain of the unknown. It is, then, faith alone that can give a solution to the mysteries of science; and in return, it is science alone that demonstrates the necessity of the mysteries of faith. Outside the union and the concourse of these two living forces of the intelligence, there is for science nothing but {99} scepticism and despair, for faith nothing but rashness and fanaticism. If faith insults science, she blasphemes; if science misunderstand faith, she abdicates. Now let us hear them speak in harmony! “Being is everywhere,” says science. “it is multiple and variable in its forms, unique in its essence, and immutable in its laws. The relative demonstrates the existence of the absolute. Intelligence exists in being. Intelligence animates and modifies matter.” “Intelligence is everywhere,” says faith; “Life is nowhere fatal because it is ruled. This rule is the expression of supreme Wisdom. The absolute in intelligence, the supreme regulator of forms, the living ideal of spirits, is God.” “In its identity with the ideal, being is truth,” says science. “In its identity with the ideal, truth is God,” replies faith. “In its identity with my demonstrations, being is reality,” says science. “In its identity with my legitimate aspirations, reality is my dogma,” says faith. “In its identity with the Word, being is reason,” says science. “In its identity with the spirit of charity, the highest reason is my obedience,” says faith. “In its identity with the motive of reasonable acts, being is justice,” says science. “In its identity with the principle of charity, justice is Providence,” replies faith. Sublime harmony of all certainties with all hopes, of the {100} absolute in intelligence with the absolute in love! The Holy Spirit, the spirit of charity, should then conciliate all, and transform all into His own light. Is it not the spirit of intelligence, the spirit of science, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of force? “He must come,” says the Catholic liturgy, “and it will be, as it were, a new creation; and He will change the face of the earth.” “To laugh at philosophy is already to philosophize,” said Pascal, referring to that sceptical and incredulous philosophy which does not recognize faith. And if there existed a faith which trampled science underfoot, we should not say that to laugh at such a faith would be a true act of religion, for religion, which is all charity, does not tolerate mockery; but one would be right in blaming this love for ignorance, and in saying to this rash faith, “Since you slight your sister, you are not the daughter of God!” Truth, reality, reason, justice, Providence, these are the five rays of the flamboyant star in the centre of which science will write the word “being,”—to which faith will add the ineffable name of God. SOLUTION OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS FIRST SERIES QUESTION. What is truth? ANSWER. Idea identical with being. {101} Q. What is reality? A. Knowledge identical with being. Q. What is reason? A. The Word identical with being. Q. What is justice? A. The motive of acts identical with being. Q. What is the absolute? A. Being. Q. Can one conceive anything superior to being? A. No; but one conceives in being itself something supereminent and transcendental. Q. What is that? A. The supreme reason of being. Q. Do you know it, and can you define it? A. Faith alone affirms it, and names it God. Q. Is there anything above truth? A. Above known truth, there is unknown truth. Q. How can one construct reasonable hypotheses with regard to this truth? A. By analogy and proportion. Q. How can one define it? A. By the symbols of faith. Q. Can one say of reality the same thing as of truth? A. Exactly the same thing. Q. Is there anything above reason? A. Above finite reason, there is infinite reason. Q. What is infinite reason? A. It is that supreme reason of being that faith calls God. Q. Is there anything above justice? {102} A. Yes; according to faith, there is the Providence of God, and the sacrifice of man. Q. What is this sacrifice? A. It is the willing and spontaneous surrender of right. Q. Is this sacrifice reasonable? A. No; it is a kind of folly greater than reason, for reason is forced to admire it. Q. How does one call a man who acts according to truth, reality, reason and justice? A. A moral man. Q. And if he sacrifices his interests to justice? A. A man of honour. Q. And if in order to imitate the grandeur and goodness of Providence he does more than his duty, and sacrifices his right to the good of others? A. A hero. Q. What is the principle of true heroism? A. Faith. Q. What is its support? A. Hope. Q. And its rule? A. Charity. Q. What is the Good? A. Order. Q. What is the Evil? A. Disorder. Q. What is permissible pleasure? A. Enjoyment of order. Q. What is forbidden pleasure? A. Enjoyment of disorder. {103} Q. What are the consequences of each? A. Moral life and moral death. Q. Has then hell, with all its horrors, its justification in religious dogma? A. Yes; it is a rigorous consequence of a principle. Q. What is this principle? A. Liberty. Q. What is liberty? A. The right to do one’s duty, with the possibility of not doing it. Q. What is failing in one’s duty? A. It involves the loss of one’s right. Now, right being eternal, to lose it is to suffer an eternal loss. Q. Can one repair a fault? A. Yes; by expiation. Q. What is expiation? A. Working overtime. Thus, because I was lazy yesterday, I had to do a double task to-day. Q. What are we to think of those who impose on themselves voluntary sufferings? A. If they do so in order to overcome the brutal fascination of pleasure, they are wise; if to suffer instead of others, they are generous; but if they do it without discretion and without measure, they are imprudent. Q. Thus, in the eyes of true philosophy, religion is wise in all that it ordains? A. You see that it is so. Q. But if, after all, we were deceived in our eternal hopes? A. Faith does not admit that doubt. But philosophy herself should reply that all the pleasures of the earth are not {104} worth one day of wisdom, and that all the triumphs of ambition are not worth a single minute of heroism and of charity. SECOND SERIES QUESTION. What is man? ANSWER. Man is an intelligent and corporeal being made in the image of God and of the world, one in essence, triple in substance, mortal and immortal. Q. You say, “triple in substance.” Has man, then, two souls or two bodies? A. No; there is in him a spiritual soul, a material body, and a plastic medium. Q. What is the substance of this medium? A. Light, partially volatile, and partially fixed. Q. What is the volatile part of this light? A. Magnetic fluid. Q. And the fixed part? A. The fluidic or fragrant body. Q. Is the existence of this body demonstrated? A. Yes; by the most curious and the most conclusive experiences. We shall speak of them in the third part of this work. Q. Are these experiences articles of faith? A. No, they pertain to science. Q. But will science preoccupy herself with it? A. She already preoccupies herself with it. We have written this book and you are reading it. Q. Give us some notions of this plastic medium. A. It is formed of astral or terrestrial light, and transmits {105} the double magnetization of it to the human body. The soul, by acting on this light through its volitions, can dissolve it or coagulate it, project it or withdraw it. It is the mirror of the imagination and of dreams. It reacts upon the nervous system, and thus produces the movements of the body. This light can dilate itself indefinitely, and communicate its reflections at considerable distances; it magnetizes the bodies submitted to the action of man, and can, by concentrating itself, again draw them to him. It can take all the forms evoked by thought, and, in the transitory coagulations of its radiant particles, appear to the eyes; it can even offer a sort of resistance to the touch. But these manifestations and uses of the plastic medium being abnormal, the luminous instrument of precision cannot produce them without being strained, and there is danger of either habitual hallucination, or of insanity. Q. What is animal magnetism? A. The action of one plastic medium upon another, in order to dissolve or coagulate it. By augmenting the elasticity of the vital light and its force of projection, one sends it forth as far as one will, and withdraws it completely loaded with images; but this operation must be favoured by the slumber of the subject, which one produces by coagulating still further the fixed part of his medium. Q. Is magnetism contrary to morality and religion? A. Yes, when one abuses it. Q. In what does the abuse of it consist? A. In employing it in a disordered manner, or for a disordered object. Q. What is a disordered magnetism? {106} A. An unwholesome fluidic emission, made with a bad intention; for example, to know the secrets of others, or to arrive at unworthy ends. Q. What is the result of it? A. It puts out of order the fluidic instrument of precision, both in the case of the magnetizer and of the magnetized. To this cause one must attribute the immoralities and the follies with which a great number of those who occupy themselves with magnetism are reproached. Q. What conditions are required in order to magnetize properly? A. Health of spirit and body; right intention, and discreet practice. Q. What advantageous results can one obtain by discreet magnetism? A. The cure of nervous diseases, the analysis of presentiments, the re-establishment of fluidic harmonies, and the rediscovery of certain secrets of Nature. Q. Explain that to us in a more complete manner. A. We shall do so in the third part of this work, which will treat specially of the mysteries of Nature. {107} Previous | Index | Next CONTENTS PAGE TRANSLATORS NOTEv INTRODUCTIONvii PREFACExi PART I (RELIGIOUS MYSTERIES)1 PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS1 FIRST ARTICLE12 SKETCH OF THE PROPHETIC THEOLOGY OF NUMBERS14 ARTICLE II72 ARTICLE III77 ARTICLE IV82 ARTICLE V89 RÉSUMÉ OF PART I91 PART II (PHILOSOPHICAL MYSTERIES)98 PART III (MYSTERIES OF NATURE)108 FIRST BOOK CHAPTER I110 CHAPTER II117 CHAPTER III127 CHAPTER IV226 BOOK II CHAPTER I234 CHAPTER II239 CHAPTER III244 CHAPTER IV256 PART IV (PRACTICAL SECRETS) INTRODUCTION267 CHAPTER I270 CHAPTER II274 CHAPTER III281 CHAPTER IV285 EPILOGUE289 — fileinfo: path: '../' created: 2016-03-15 modified: 2016-03-15 …


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