First published in The Occult Digest, November 1931

The Whole Universe Depends on You
By C. F. Russell

MEN and women everywhere are seeking more earnestly than ever before for Freedom from External Necessity. Some, losing sight of the purpose of creation and missing the privileges earned by their oath of incarnation, shirk the responsibilities of the exalted Grade which Mother Earth has given them, in the endeavor to find this Freedom in supermundane regions. Ironically, Fate, Mistress of Flagrant Injustice, bestows the Fatted Calf on these Prodigal Sons when they return to their senses. For the man who remains at the helm and steers the ship safely through the storm to its destination —virtue is its own reward. In the human Heart resides all the truth, the beauty and the goodness of all that Humanity ever was, or is or shall be. All that functions and works in the Head is governed and guided by the Lords of the Sun; and the organs of locomotion, nutriment and generation are the special province of the Moon-Gods; but in the middle system, that of the heart and lungs, where rhythm holds sway, dwells and burns the Fire which is the essential Man, Adam, the Earth-Being, the "Breather" and the Reconciler-between-Them. The Earth is his Home. There is no grander word in the English language than the word, Home. A language which does not or cannot express the conception of Home is poverty-stricken indeed and the sages of that country will ever look in vain for the Lost Word. This is the "Holy of Holies," the Jar or Bottle enclosing the Man, the Crystal Palace of Dagda, the Pillar of Fire, the Turreted Headdress of Demeter, the Horned Ceres, the Church Steeple and the Witch's Cap, within which is the Garden of Eden from which ever flows the River of Life. It is no accident that words such as horn, heart, quern, corn and EARTH all come from the same root. If you know your "Mother Goose" or the Emerald Tablet —perhaps the latter will enable us to be more independent of philology— you will remember these words: "Its Father is the Sun; its mother is the Moon. It is the cause of all perfection (i.e. APOTHEOSIS) throughout the whole EARTH. (Meaning that in Man's hands, or rather in his Heart, is placed the destiny of all created things.) The power (i.e. the Fire, the essence of Man) is perfect if it is changed into EARTH." Then Hermes goes on, directing us to work out the formula of Prometheus—"then descend again to EARTH and unite together the power (this refers to the power which the Holy Spirit bestowed on the Ultimate Particles, the Chymical Marriage which made them "Breathers" and capable of forming living bodies or themselves) of things inferior and superior. Thus you will possess the light of the whole world." Then Hermes points out the Nature and function of Adam, or Man, with respect to the APOTHEOSIS of the Ultimate Particles. He says: "This thing (meaning the Fire, the manifestation of the Third Person of the Trinity in the Human Being) has more fortitude than fortitude itself (all the raging winds of the endless abyss cannot extinguish this fire, nor all the oceans of eternity quench it) because it will overcome every subtile thing and penetrate every solid thing (the core of matter itself). By it the world was formed." See 1 Gen. 1–31. We have no bone to pick with the Prodigal Sons who play the game in the time-honored way; it is those who get lost in a dark country and cannot find their way out or home, who even fail to write home at Christmas time, who need our sympathy but hardly deserve it.

Our Adepts stand with their Heads above Heaven and their Feet (i.e. the Domain of the Lunar Lords) below Hell. This unmistakably locates their Hearts. Those who imagine that "spiritual" is a word which refers to a land where disembodied spirits dwell do not know that the Spirit or RUACH is the spark which makes us Human. There are no disembodied spirits. A thing without a body is a nonentity. For example, when we speak of the spirit of Christmas we refer to a living, "breathing" reality, which weaves for itself a pattern of magic power right here on earth. The spirit is the "Dang an sich" of Kant, and the Infinite Without unites (is identical with) the Infinite Within giving birth to the microcosm which is Man, the Crowned and Conquering Child. Nuit, Hadit, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

Each age has its own cosmo-conception. Man is put here to make the cosmo human. He spiritualizes his environment by giving it a meaning, a use; the world conforms itself to his concepts. These concepts, when true, are generated by love. The ancient Egyptians, the original Alchemists (Khemi means "Egyptian" —"al" is the article) willed that the Sun be Raa. The rising sun was Hrumachis, the setting sun was Tum. The noonday sun was Ahathoor and the sun at midnight was Kephra. They made elaborate pictures of each of these gods, and invented heroic tales and legends about them, which enshrine the magic formulas of the Egyptian soul. Thus they humanized the cosmos. They used what was revealed to them by their senses, and all the other faculties which Earth had succeeded in developing in them, for the benefit of Earth, Herself, realizing that Mankind is the Heart and Soul of the Universe. For the Universe without Man has absolutely no meaning at all. Evolution enables Man to create better and better cosmo-conceptions, the inspiration for which comes to Him directly from the cosmos itself. For it is the cosmos which is coming to consciousness in man. Consciousness is the affair of the cosmos. Cosmic consciousness is the destiny of each one of the Ultimate Particles. A cosmo-conception, at its birth is the product of clairvoyance. The Eye of Shiva opens, the shadow of the universe which is nothing but the crystallized residue, a shell (or Qliphoth) deposited in the previous solution of this same problem, when the last Alchemist performed the first half of the GREAT WORK, the solve of the formula, flees before the light which is shed from within the Light-Bearer and he beholds Reality as it is; he is in the state of cosmic-consciousness. He is Hercules who has slain the Infernal Dragon, whose Head reaches even to Daath. But he has performed his GREAT WORK to save humanity, he is therefore the Saviour, the Messiah, or Redeemer. This Dragon or Serpent (Nechesh) is called evil to conceal its Holiness, for the Hebrew words are Qabalistically identical: MShICh and NChSh both add to 358. This is the Kundalini of the Hindus, or the Kwan-se-on of the Mongols. Thus the stories of the Adepts differ. They use different symbols and names, all for one miracle. In ancient Egypt the Redeemer, who by his suffering brought joy and peace to mankind, was Osiris. Osiris, justified by trial, purified through passion, at the moment of his crucifixion, which is also his equilibration, blends his consciousness with and is identified with Amoun, the Supreme and Concealed One.

The words that the Adepts speak can convey but the shadow of the spiritual reality which has possessed their consciousness during Samadhi. Severe training is demanded even to do that education of the faculty of self-expression. They must complete the second half of the GREAT WORK, the coagula of the Alchemical formula, extending the ORDER which is their own cosmic-consciousness. The Ordeals of this part of their Initiation are no less important or difficult than those they underwent while climbing the Tree of Life. The Flaming Sword, which turns every way to guard the Sanctuary, flashes down from Kether to Malkuth through the Sephiroth, but between Binah and Chesed, that is, between Understanding and Mercy, there lies a very broad gap. This space is called the Abyss. Those who imagine that the Abyss need not be crossed again to get Home have never survived the Ordeal X, which refers to the great trial or tribulation the Adept undergoes in his attempt to "change his power into Earth" and "unite together the power of things inferior and superior." And so we have occasion to laugh at the cosmo-conceptions of the ancients and of many of the moderns. The great man is not recognized or appreciated in his Home town. Yet the family depends on him for its bread and butter. The world has made a man of him and he in his own feeble way has made the world human. Initiation is a phylogenetic process. The individual initiate must pass through all the stages which have gone to make up his species. First the moon (Yesod) and then the sun (Tiphereth) separate from him the former revolving around him and he around the latter. Then only can the holy and formless Fire, called by the Hebrews QADOSCH, which darteth and flasheth through the depths of the universe, burn fiercely within him. He is born of the spirit. The silver cord is severed. He becomes a babe in the arms of Mother Earth. And he is rocked in the cradle beside the hearth, or perchance he is found in a manger in Bethlehem (the House of Corn). In any event when he grows up, unless he becomes an absolute rotter, he will consider it his chief duty to keep the home fires burning. For we depend upon you, my boy; the whole universe depends on you!