ABOL Volume II, 001.5 The Rational Ordering of the Elements Mar 30, 2018 19:51:58 GMT
Post by Abrahadabra Admin on Mar 30, 2018 19:51:58 GMT
The Rational Ordering of the Elements in Mutational Alchemy
There are different orderings of the four (or five) elements, and in the 12 banners system, for example, every possible ordering is examined. In the doctrine of the Four Elemental worlds, sometimes overlaid on the Tree of Life, there are two common orderings which will be covered below.
Traditionally, according to most doctrines you will encounter, Fire always comes first, followed by Air then either Water or Earth. (Spirit, whence from Fire arises, self-created, does not come into being, its essential nature is unborn and eternal and is usually assigned the place of Ain Soph Aur when the Four Elemental Worlds are aligned along the Qabbalistic Tree of Life.) It depends on whether we are descending by gender or by generation. In the generation descension, Fire and Water come out first, because they are the oldest. In gender descension, Fire and Air come out first, because they are male in nature. Heaven precedes Earth in that lineup of elements. In all Alchemical discussions, Being precedes Matter. Since you’ll run into at least 2 predominant arrangements for *four elemental worlds* with virtually no rational explanation for either of them, it can be difficult to trust which one is real or useful.
Getting clear on this topic is vitally important since this is where the magickal universe begins; this is our *starting assumption* from which all other 4-elemental rationales proceed. Indeed the Tree of Life itself is built upon these starting assumptions, yet there has been almost nothing published in the form of a coherent thesis explaining why the Four Elemental Worlds might align one way vs another. What I will now reveal is one for the history books, a powerfully lucid and relevant solution.
In truth, the order in which things manifest has not been an especially strong suite with Western mysticism in general, which is why we find so many variations of just about everything from tarot, to the Tree of Life, to archetypal arrays and so on. For a Mutational Alchemist, this reveals an inexcusable sloth on the part of humanity in general that only indicates that very few people have any real sense of the underpinning universal properties and principles embedded in these systems, despite the incredible popularity of Alchemy, Qabbala, Magick and other Hermetic practices throughout the centuries.
In the first arrangement the Four Elemental Worlds as I have already stated begin from the element of Fire, then comes Air, then Water and finally Earth. In the second arrangement we also begin from Fire but the second rung of manifestation is Water, then Air and finally Earth. Which of these is correct? Perhaps neither is correct and there exists yet another arrangement of lesser stature that is, in fact, more accurate than either of these two! Occult scholarship has thus far been silent regarding this cornerstone doctrine. We find plenty of ambiguous discussion pertaining to the unqualified conclusions of persons unknown to us, but nothing even vaguely resembling a rational explanation. Mutational Alchemy has uncovered a remarkable solution to this fairly pressing alchemical dilemma. As a starting point, let’s take a look at this elemental flow-chart:
The arrangement of Bigrams selected in this case follows the *Heaven Descending* pattern (Both the Heaven Descending chronology and our reasoning will be explained in Volume V Mutational Alchemy Code, in the section titled Mathematical Coherence, to avoid packing too much advanced information in this volume, which is focused on the Elements in and of themselves), since in either Eastern or Western metaphysics the general premise has been that manifest universe originates from an Apex point in Heaven, progressing to an Antapex point in Earth (modern alchemy generally prefers the terms Macrocosm and Microcosm). That this is the case is reflected in the fact that the Tree of Life naturally gravitates from Heaven to Earth, numerically.
By this reasoning alone we arrive at the notion that the correct arrangement of the Four Elemental Worlds should be following the *Heaven Descending* pattern and thus unfold in the bigrams: Fire >>>Air >>>Earth >>>Water.
There remains, however, a nagging discrepancy difficult to put into words. Even though the Tree of Life itself does indeed follow the general chronology implicated in the *Heaven Descending* arrangement, it has to also be acknowledged that the Four Elemental Worlds actually come before the Tree of Life and may therefore be conforming to a different compass heading than would be proper for our 10 Sephiroth and 22 Paths.
I actually puzzled over this for a number of years until it finally dawned on me that the solution (if there was one) might have something to do with *spiral motion*. The Tao Te Ching asserts that the *motion* of the Tao is both cyclical and spiral at once. Is it possible that the Spiral might have something to contribute to this immediate puzzle? What I discovered is something that still astonishes me every time I examine it.
I suppose you have to be very steeped in this question to fully experience that mind-boggling sense of awe and wonder, but what the Spiral tells us is that it may entirely depend upon your angle of approach, which way the Four Elemental Worlds can be said to be aligned. If we shoot straight down the middle in linear fashion we get the *Heaven Descending* pattern, but if we spiral in against that same arrangement we get Fire >>>Water >>>Air >>>Earth in a distinctly descending array!
This lends credence to what appears to be the more contemporary view. The difference is that now we know something we did not know before. We know the physics behind this logical ordering! It is very likely that the unknown authors of this more contemporary arrangement did not fully grasp the underpinning principles at play, or there would have almost certainly emerged some formal accounting of it by now. It most probably emerged out of an intuitive sense of *unease* with the former arrangement which we still find propagated publicly at large. This is fairly advanced relative to our subject matter of elements, but someday you should wonder at the reasons behind our logic for doing anything in Mutational Alchemy, and this conversation, while you may not understand all of the principles and terms I am utilizing yet, will set things straight from the beginning.
Looking at things *generationally* it makes more sense for Father & Mother to occupy the position of Macrocosm with Son & Daughter occupying the position of Microcosm, simply because the first generation would typically be expected to manifest prior to the second. Without the Spiral, we have no easy way to resolve that apparent contradiction. Without considering the eastern bigrams at all, it is reasonable to think that this *generational* thinking may have emerged of its own accord. That it happens to coordinate perfectly with the *Heaven Descending* rationale put forth in Mutational Alchemy writings is a remarkable coincidence confirming both perspectives at once.
Pending an even more compelling proof than that which has already been uncovered, it is reasonable at this point to assert that the Four Elemental Words are in fact adhering to the *Heaven Descending* arrangement but that their movement is not like the linear movement found within the Tree of Life. Rather their movement is more akin to the motion of the Tao, as makes perfect sense considering their primordial, or *prima materia* nature as defined in traditional alchemical philosophy. Here then, is a glyph depicting how this all plays out:
The Nature of the Tree and Nothing
The Eight Trigrams flanking the Four Elemental Worlds are included here as an addendum, since it is not incidental that the Later Heaven arrangement of Trigrams are paired into 4 distinct divisions from their inception.
On the right side (with single dots) are listed Father, First Son, Second Son and Third Son as they appear in the Later Heaven arrangement. On the left side (with double dots) are shown the balancing Mother, First Daughter, Second Daughter and Third Daughter trigrams respectively.
The Later Heaven (aka King Wen) arrangement as shown here is very interested in balanced pairs following a more encrypted thinking than we find in the Earlier Heaven (aka Fu Hsi) arrangement which is more numerically chronological. Here’s another graphic outlining how the Tree of Life emerges from the Four Elemental Worlds. The fact that the Fire sphere brushes *0* at its uppermost arc lends additional credence to the idea that the motion of the Four Elemental Worlds themselves is different than the motion of the Tree of Life. The Tree only accesses *0* indirectly of itself. It more correctly begins from *1* as a manifestation of physical universe.
The Nature of the Tree and Nothing
This is something important to bear in mind: the entire Tree of Life is *physical*, despite what some might have you believe. Only *Nothing* itself can rightly be said to be *non-corporeal*, and that for reasons not clearly grasped by the majority of so-called *experts* in this area.
What distinguishes *Nothing* is not so much that it has left the physical behind, but rather that it is impossible to distinguish things from things at that altitude. When a thing is indistinguishable from every other thing only *no-thing-ness* remains. *Nothing* shares the attributes of the Tao, of which it is said: The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The Unnameable is the eternally Real.