For some reason, I wanted to begin my sketches from Master R’s Trinosofia with the Twelfth chapter – the final one – of the inner journey. I posted this monochrome xerox in Part 1: so here is a link to the facsimile original, where you can see it properly: scroll down it, to Section Twelve.
I copied as best as I can, the colours in the original. I am not a good colourist, so I found it difficult, and I don’t know how many more I shall try – perhaps in different styles. Master R’s figures and characters have rosy cheeks. The period style sits intriguingly with his Alchemy.
Here is Manly P Hall’s translation from the French:
“The hall into which I had just entered, was perfectly round; it resembled the interior of a globe composed of hard and transparent matter, as crystal, so that the light entered from all sides. Its lower part rested upon a vast basin filled with red sand.
“A gentle and equable warmth reigned in this circular enclosure. The sages call this hall – “With astonishment I gazed around this crystal globe, when a new phenomenon excited my admiration. From the floor ascended a gentle vapour, moist and saffron yellow. It enveloped me, raised me gently, and within thirty-six days, bore me up to the upper part of the globe. Thereafter, the vapour thinned; little by little I descended and finally found myself again on the floor.
“My robe had changed its colour. It had been green when I entered the hall, but now changed to a brilliant red. A contrary effect had taken place in the sand on which the globe rested. Gradually its red colour had been transformed into black. After finishing my ascent, I remained three more days in that hall.
“After that time, I left it in order to enter a large place surrounded by colonnades and gilded porticoes. In the centre of the place stood a bronze pedestal supporting … a large strong man whose majestic head was covered with a crowned helmet. A blue garment protruded through the meshes of his golden armour. In one hand he held a white staff bearing certain characters; the other hand he extended towards a beautiful woman.
“His companion wore no garment, but a sun radiated from her breast. Her right hand held three globes joined by golden rings; a coronet of red flowers confined her beautiful hair. She sprang into the air, and seemed to lift with her the warrior who accompanied her; both were borne up by the clouds around them. On the capitals of four white marble columns were set four bronze statues; they had wings, and appeared to sound trumpets.
“I crossed the place, and mounting a marble platform, I noticed with astonishment that I had re-entered the Hall of Thrones – the first in which I had found myself, when entering the Palace of Wisdom. The triangular altar was still in the centre of this hall, but the bird, the altar and the torch were joined and formed a single body. Near them was a golden sun.
“The sword which I had brought from the hall of fire, lay a few paces distant on the cushion of a throne. I took up the sword and struck the sun, reducing it to dust. I then touched it and each molecule became a golden sun, like the one I had broken. At that instant, a loud and melodious voice exclaimed, ‘The work is perfect !’
“Hearing this, the children of Light hastened to join me, the doors of immortality were opened to me, and the cloud which covers the eyes of mortals, was dissipated. I SAW, and the spirits which preside over the elements knew me for their master.”
For me, the way to read beautiful alchemical texts or poetry, is not to churn it intellectually, but to receive the images slowly, one after the other. They tell the story to the part beyond speech, where wisdom replies.
This one is particularly rich, awaking old engravings of the vessel and the bird; the dew of life; the purifying of the mind’s residue as the red sand turns black – rajas active, to tamas, its absorbent texture. At certain times during the alchemical process, over the years, the wing of a highly esteemed Raven appears: the negrido. In the black sky, the stars – the grains of cosmic sand – are visible.
In Manly P Hall’s commentary, the Hebrew letters spelling the name of the hall are: “A place where drops trickle”. The basin sustaining it is “the desert of blazing fire” or “the agent which enables the drops to escape. From the bottom of the glass retort, vapours are constantly ascending. The adept is lifted up, and after 36 days is borne to the upper part of the globe. The heat being reduced, he descends and discovers that the colour of his garment has changed from green to brilliant red. ‘The solution in the alchemical retort, if digested for a certain length of time, will turn into a red elixir which is called the Universal Medicine. It resembles a fiery water, and is luminous in the dark’ – see ‘The True Way of Nature’ by Hermes.”
This interpretative paragraph is by itself, full of meaning. There is a condensation on the flask of the interior life. It falls to earth as the water of life. The thirty six days is a reference to the LAMED VAV – the counsel of 36 Masters of Wisdom, who guide Earth and humanity (whether we listen or not.) The number remains constant. In the Initiation, the adept or aspirant becomes of their number. The heat – the intensity of the Great Work – cools as he returns to life. The Universal Medicine gives a ruby tinge. The colour of his clothes has changed – from green, the tint of Venusian laws of attraction, to red – Mars: the action itself, of the Sun.
Hall continues: “He beholds the bird, the altar and the torch united into one spiritual body. Heaven, earth and man have been united by the indissoluble bonds of Hermetic wisdom.”
Realisation brings with it a sense of amalgam – of all parts being fused: the universal connectivity in humankind’s cosmic heart.
“The adept himself is now the Universal Medicine, the very substance which is for the healing of nations … The philosopher breaks the golden sun – the Universal Gold – in fragments, distributing it throughout nature. He then touches them, and each becomes perfect. The alchemist is master of his Art, and by virtue of the Stone he releases and perfects the fragments of divinity locked within each mortal constitution ... the ages acknowledge a new Master.”
If I digest these symbols, as visually represented, slowly they begin to tincture my problem of life, by themselves. Trust and love the process, and let IT work. Alchemy is in everyman’s reach, closer than breath. The heat should be as a hen’s breast to hatch her egg. Alchemical language was made deliberately obscure in medieval, renaissance and reformation times, to avoid abuse, misuse and persecution.
At the beginning of the Trinosofia, the adept travels in the volcanic bowels of the earth and survives an ordeal of stormy seas. Our way to interior peace is through psychological resistors – the violent veils, each of which we face, and pass; as we know ourselves.
Of the picture, Hall remarks, “The pilgrimage of the adept is at last complete. In the heavens blazes the philosophic Sun – a triangle surrounded by a circle and a square, unifying the diversified elements of Nature into one divinely radiant and effulgent power. The female figure is Isis – her body no longer concealed by a black garment. She is Nature. With one hand she points upward towards the Divine Light, her source, while with the other, she carries three globes emblematic of the ART, the supreme Hermetic alchemy. The globes represent the three parts of the Philosopher’s Stone, bound together by gold rings.
“The large strong man is the Initiate himself. Through the meshes of his golden armour protrudes the blue undergarment, his starry cloak. In his hand he carries a white wand ornamented with magical characters – insignia of his rank, the baton of the adept.”
It is the baton or tool of an artists’ creative imagination – a pencil full of images and ideas.
I find Manly P Hall’s commentary on the Trinosofia illuminating and useful. It seems that Master R himself did not altogether agree! He is on record telling Paul Foster Case: “If you will procure and read the pamphlet on St Germain, and compare it with what you know of me, you won’t have much difficulty in understanding that none of us are exactly enthusiastic about the life, ways and work of M.P.H. We use him sometimes, but he is after all pretty much of a solemn ass.
“Remember the words of Lao Tse: ‘evil men are the material with which the sages work’, and one of our Eastern brethren once paraphrased it by saying that the Masters employ the Dugpas for their dirty work. Not that M.P.H. is a dugpa, he is really a fairly effective instrument for arousing torpid minds, but he does take himself so seriously, that it is painful even to us, who have the highly developed sense of humour which is one sure consequence of true inner growth … now we will resume with another fragment of the Text (on Malkuth) …” (5 February 1948)
And: “Incidentally, now that you have heard Manly Hall, perhaps you can understand that we are not too pleased with his flatulent comments on the Trinosofia. His copy is not the original, not even the drawings, which however were excellent copies of the originals. Yet there is material in that text (Trinosofia) germane to your work, and it might be well to give it more thorough inspection.
“… the inner work is arduous at its early stages; it calls for unusual abilities on the part of those who seek to become proficient in the higher ranges of practice; it is emphatically not for neurotic visionaries of the type so often encountered amongst Theosophists and so-called Rosicruceans …(19 February 1948)
From this romantic 19th century impression of Master R, I attempted this new drawing, a few days ago. It was immensely hard to get right. My eyes are not as good as they were. While I am on the drawing, it is almost there and begins to speak. Then I look from a more objective angle, and it is all out of proportion – eyes have to be redone, and so on!
And now let him speak. The Adagio and the Andante of his sixth Violin Sonata (composed and performed in London in the 1750s) are exquisite, conversational movements. I try to draw out the pianistic touch slowly like a violin – a flexible baroque style rubato; let it sing. I haven’t tried the quicker movements; the slow ones are within my reach. But, like Bach, this music may be enjoyed as slowly as you like; play it as a chorale perhaps.
EARLIER NOTE – 30 September 2003
To return to my Holy Brother’s Sonnet, the star ripples secret fire and Light through spatial atoms, the yeast spreads through the grain, the grape ferments to Bacchus, the pip that is the sperm ferments within the womb as the Soul lodging in womb’s wall ripples into the maternal chorionic villi. Fermentation is a kind of sparkle. It is invisible. Yet all around it is this ripple and ferment, this life which is not decay nor carrion. Ferment is – it releases warmth, Mars, energy – a controlled rot. Press one of Lord Saturn’s buttons and his coat flies open. This amazing bubbling of the brew smells sweetly ripe and is under Law.
“The Most Holy Trinosofia of the Comte de St-Germain with Commentary by Manly P.Hall” was published by The Philosophical Research Society in L.A. in 1983.
Above, is my brand new copy of the Phoenix figure which heads Section 12. The body of our firebird is the purified jewel – lapis lazuli; liberation. The Master had a wonderful control with his colours. In the original they glow like gems. He is said to have ground pearl dust into his pigments! Copying his images, I learn what they are about; they work through me, physically. The sincerity comes before skill.
Aquariel – an angel of the waters and of the air through the woods of life.
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