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Sixth Lecture: Fermentation — The Fifth of the Seven Creative Principles

We are brought this evening to the consideration of the fifth principle of creative energy. We have in the past considered, first, force, that which is the cause of action and also the cause of negation; second, discrimination, which distinguishes and causes everything to seek its kind; the third is order, which is that wondrous mechanic, so faithfully performing his duty in building everything in the world into variety and beauty of form, as we everywhere behold; fourth, cohesion, the mother-principle that we so love and venerate, and which works so faithfully in preserving, holding, and maintaining all things that have been brought into existence by the three prior forces. Now we come to the fifth principle; and let us for a moment consider the world, when all Nature is in full bloom, vegetation and animation beaming with life and beauty. This life and beauty would be immortal, unchangeable, were it not for the fifth principle, which comes in as a destroyer, to tear down that which has fulfilled its use, to scatter its parts, and, at the same time, to prepare for another state of existence where its atoms may return again, each to their own appointed further uses.
This, being the fifth principle, it is, consequently, stronger than any of those which have preceded it, therefore we find ourselves in a domain of struggle. This fifth principle has been represented to us from the time of antiquity as the old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan, that deceiver of the world. There are many reasons for this. First, that in the fall of the year, as the leaves fall, vegetation is cut off and the rain carries these leaves and decaying matter down into the swamps where fermentation holds its court and has its sway. The life essences that caused the vegetation and matured its existence are there brought within the province of the adverse principle of life; a struggle goes on and throws off unfit matter; and life itself, being immortal, gathers itself into a new form. The first form of animation which is thus brought into existence by fermentation is that of the insect, reptile, and serpent. We find that the same law obtains in the first phase of life in the water, which is in the form of the reptile. In fact, the first form of everything that has life, ourselves included, in germ state, is that of the reptile, and these first forms of life always appear in that department of our nature or physical structure which answers to and is characterized by the principle of fermentation. We have observed and may have read that in autumn, as vegetation is decaying, there are great quantities of flies and insects in the air; at times the air seems to be literally filled with them, and the solution is given that we are having a great deal of decomposition of vegetation, and therefore these flies and insects. That is true, but by, what law does the decaying vegetation bring these insects into existence? The life in the plant is immortal as much as the life in you or me, but it is in a crude state of being. We take it and analyze it. We extract the chemical essences and name the chemical qualities of which that plant is composed. We may bring it down to the quintessence of those qualities, and we find its power of chemical combination; how it may form the most powerful agents by its many strong properties that produce strange results when brought in contact with other chemicals, and, at this present stage of chemistry, after analyzing and extracting the qualities of plant life, we give them names according to the rules of chemistry. But we stop there; Ave are not educated to think that these chemical substances have anything in them of life, simply because our chemistry today is not perfected to trace far and deep enough to find the thought-essence that brought that plant into being.
You will remember that in our earlier considerations of this chart we called attention to the word " Logos" in the center, which carried us back to the Bible where John, who is accredited as being a cabala student, said, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God," or, in the more critical rendering, "and the Word was with Power and the Word was Power, and that all things were made by it, and without it was not anything made that was made."' The "Word" is a thought formed out of the essences of the person or thinker, as we have shown you before, which is proved in Psychogonomy. Every plant and vegetable that grows is a thought-form from the mind of the thinker; the life essences have proceeded from that thinker. The same element of life that gave us birth, that gave animation to the germ from which we came; and, if that germ had been retained in the body, it would have been transmuted and called up to the brain,—would have been the element for thought forms that would have came forth instead. Our thoughts are as much our children as the physical children that are born to us in the marital relation. So, also, is vegetation the thought-forms of the Infinite Mind. The grass on which we unthinkingly tread will yet become the people that will walk this earth in time to come,—the men and women that take our place.
Thus the life-essence that forms grass and all vegetation is the essence of the Thinker, and when this principle of fermentation lays hold upon it, that essence being endowed with higher life, struggles to maintain its existence.
We find in all Nature, and especially in our own existence, that we have to struggle to maintain our standing among the living, and how hard it often is for us to get the necessary food to supply the exhaust due to the anxiety and restlessness of our life-energy! These are some of the struggles we experience in our own personal efforts against this adversary and destroyer.
Now, in the action of the plant, this life-essence concentrates, unites its forces, to become new organic life. So, again, the mother, when she is pressed to an extreme in the preservation of her children from some enemy, how quickly she gathers them and puts her arms around them and holds them together! So this maternal principle in the action of fermentation, when life is about to be thrown off into gases, and the last remains of its forms to be scattered, concentrates the germs of its being, and at once formulates, out of the scattering essences of the plant, living organisms, built together according to the polarity of the atoms, according to the necessity and character of the body, worm or insect existence, or whatever its qualities may be. For every plant has its own leading chemical qualities which determine what kind of an insect it will be that comes forth from it, and when we have gone farther on in our studies of this wonderful law of order in Nature so that we shall be as wise as those who have passed into the eternal world, and need no other language but the actual form of the thing, we will be able to know when we see those little insect-forms the exact chemical properties of which they are composed. But not only that, but we shall know also the exact thought that they are the formation of, and again we shall know that the essences of that plant, when once extracted, brought down to the very quintessence of its nature, will be substance, which, brought in contact with man, will produce a thought in him exactly characterized by its nature, so that the art of mental healing will someday have also a system of chemistry. For as long as generation abounds in the world, while this law of fermentation controls, sickness will exist, until man has learned the chemistry of Nature as well as the law of mind, for the two belong together, and when we have learned just what thought is embodied in each plant, our faculties being sufficiently refined, we can draw and take from them the very essences of thought and apply them. A change of mind is directly produced, and the disease will be healed. This is no new idea, however. It is the thought of the alchemists of antiquity, and was known long ages ago, though the knowledge was kept in great sacredness by the old Magi, because if this knowledge was given to the public great harm would have come of it. These subtle essences of plants may be so refined that even a touch would change the whole mental condition of a person. For instance, I have read, of late, of an axe-handle being made hollow, and in the open space there was placed a certain chemical essence. It had been there a great while, yet every one that took that axe in his hand was filled with a desire to murder his best friend; and, finally, an attempt was made to carry it out; through accident the handle broke, and the secret was discovered. Such are the stories which are brought down to us from antiquity; they are not without foundation. All these powerful essences are found and obtained through the law of fermentation.
Fermentation, again, finds its locality in the places where the old must be torn down, and where a new and higher organism must be built up. In one way it is an adversary, a devil, an evil one; one to be struggled against; on the other hand, it is a benefactor. Therefore you see that in everything in Nature there is nothing that lives, no principle, but what is good. We are again brought to the maxim that the greatest evil, when inverted, is the greatest good. We are told that without fermentation the food would never digest. Without fermentation of the body there would be no germs of new life formed. Without fermentation in the world, we are brought to say again, everything would remain as it is. Now, this fermentation does not stop with merely the tearing down of decaying vegetation, but in everything that dies fermentation comes as a liberator of the forces. If circumstances are favorable, so that the liberated life-essences can come forth in the form of worms or insects, they will be formed; if not, then those life-essences are sent out into the elements and again become parts of the forces of nature called "elementals." These elementals have been, to all philosophers, a great mystery in Nature. We hear of late much said about the elementals and the elementary spirits. What are they? We are taken back for an answer to the word we have just called your attention to, "Logos," the Word of God, the thought-emanation which is sent from the mind of the Creator earthwards; and to the fact that these thoughts appear to the clairvoyant eye in the form of the thinker. You all know and remember if you take a glove or handkerchief and put it in the hands of the psychognomist, though she may never have seen the one who wore it, she holds it and sees the image of the wearer and describes him accurately to you. So, when man is sufficiently unfolded from within, and his finer nature takes cognizance of the forces in Nature, his clairvoyant eye takes cognizance of these thought-formations. He comes into communication with them by the same method as the psychognomist does.
Some time ago I called your attention to the law by which the ancient Hebraic prophecies were formed. How that the masters of antiquity, devout ones who gave their lives to knowing the will and the mind of God the creator, clearly saw it was necessary for them, in order to be able to collect and understand the mind of God, to isolate themselves from the public. They lived in dens and caves in the wilderness and desert places where no man could penetrate and find them, dwelling constantly in the contemplation of the cause-world and of the God of the universe, holding and maintaining their own life-forces, carrying on the work of the regeneration and refinement of their own inner mind-power. They went on and on, until they began to take cognizance of the mind of the Creator. They saw in the angel-forms that appeared to them the thoughts of God descended to earth and having in them all the elements of the Infinite Spirit, the spirit of the God of creation, that had formed the thought and sent it earthward to gather to itself all the elements, first of fire, then of air, of water, of earth, and finally be immersed in vegetable formations on the earth. From these the pure essences of being would be gathered up by the animal, taken into his chemical laboratory and formed into flesh; and again a higher order of animals would come and feed on his flesh, carrying this life on, higher and higher, from the little insect, born and perishing in a day, up to the highest order of man. The ox goes to the grass. He gathers there the life essences. We eat the flesh of the ox and take his life essences into our own body, and formulate with them what are called elementals. They have not been understood, and I have never found evidence jet that any of even the Cabalists, or Oriental philosophers, knew what these spirit-forms, as they appeared to them, were. They found out this much,—that they disappeared, that they seemingly did not live forever, and went somewhere, but where they could not tell. But we know from the law of creation that these pure elementals, pure as the God himself, when starting from the Infinite Mind, came down, down, down through the multifarious changes, until finally they stand here as an incarnate mind, ascending again to the cause from whence we came, these elementals being the animating principle of our body.
It is the spirit of life that makes us men and women, thinking and reaching out for higher and grander things. That life was once that pure element that floated in the ether; it was once that bright Sylph that floated in the air; the Salamander that flashed through the flames, clothed with its elements; that pure Nymph that lived in the element of water, and, again, that Gnome that lived in the earth. These are the four kinds of spiritual elements, and in these four there are multifarious stages. Now, then, these life-giving elementals, finding their incarnation merely in the earth and vegetable, were it not for this fifth principle of fermentation where would they be today? Where would we be? Not here, no; but we are here by virtue of the faithful performance of the duty, or the faithful acting out of the nature of the old Serpent, the Devil, the opposer of human life and of the perpetuity of all formation that is.
That same principle of fermentation exists in our minds. The lower nature, we say, must not control. If the lower nature control, then we become combative, destructive, disposed to find fault with and combat our fellows, and to be restless and dissatisfied. It is because that principle is a warring one, it is a struggling adversary ever ready to kill, to tear down and to destroy. It is the principle, too, of anger. It is said if a cat is made very angry her bite is almost equal to that of a mad dog, and have you not noticed in persons of a very intense nature, when they are angry, how changed their eyes are, how much like the glassy eyes of the serpent that seem to pierce you through. There, again, the fermentative principle has risen up and taken control of the man or woman, and the serpent and destroyer is the master, and rules the body. And what chemical change is going on in the body while that rules? Could you again come into that interior state where your spirit eyes were open, and see these bare elements of Nature, you would see around that man, and, emanating from his words, dragons and reptiles of the most terrible forms coming forth out of his mouth and even pendant from his hair and from every part of his body! That poisonous chemical essence, coming in contact with the natures^ of sensitive persons, causes an intense chemical action there and brings on many diseased conditions, especially with our women, in whom this fermentative principle is so active; it is that very thing that the women of today should investigate. It is noted that there is scarcely one of our American ladies thoroughly healthy in the reproductive functions, because of the excited, active, combative state of our people. The fermentative principle is active, and it lays hold of and destroys the very fountain of their being. We know when we go on further that man cannot live without woman, and that man, whose sphere it is to go out into the world and battle in business, and act, labor, and struggle, draws his energy and power from the woman, for she is the tree of life from which he obtains inspiration and power. I have watched men for many years in their habits of life and business, and I can tell you what kind of a wife a man has from his business habits. By seeing a wife I can tell you what kind of a business man her husband is, because I see the nature of the chemical fountain, and know what it will produce.
When the fermentative principle dominates man, as it does today, he is angry at once with the least thing; he is excitable and ready to combat instantly, because of the forces stored up by the old serpent. It rules him; it is tearing down his body and scattering it to the winds. This waste of his life is creating those worms that are destroying our vegetation. It is causing the destructive insect-existences that fill the air with poisoning fungus causing many forms of disease.
Could we look into Nature we would deem it a wonder that man or woman can exist in our cities, beset as they are on every side by such terrible spiritual agents. These are the works of fermentation. What shall we do? As wise men we have got to go back and begin at the fountain of being, the sex-function, which embodies that principle of fermentation, and take control of it, subdue it, and rule it, by a wise and exalted mind.
Our Mother Church has made an effort to cut off one of the main branches in that direction. It teaches us that when we get angry we do wrong, and must conquer our lower nature. This is an effort to cut off some of the tops, but it does not go down to the root. Jesus, the Great Master, and whom I adore as such, says, "Behold the axe is laid at the root of the tree and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire." To lay the axe at the root of the tree is to lay it at the root of our being, at the very fountain-head of our existence, the very source from whence we came. There the old Serpent has his home, there the creator Elohim, the power over generation, yes, the power with which Jacob wrestled and which he conquered;—then said the angel to Jacob, "Thy name is no longer Jacob, but shall be called Israel," that is, "Prevailing Prince." "For now thou hast power with God and man and thou shalt prevail." He laid the axe at the root of the tree. He struggled with the God of creation, the God of generation, the God that has created all things. For all things are created through the functions of generation, even the sands on which we walk were once the living, animated bodies of fish and animals of the sea and earth. We are walking constantly on the ashes of the dead. There are no other solids but what have come into being by that principle of generation. Here is the God of creation, and we have known him in this function only as of the devil. We have hated him and loved him. We have spurned him and we have drawn him to us. We have called him evil and we have enthroned him in dominion over our lives. These are the workings of humanity in their ignorance of law.
Now, you see that it is necessary that we should begin to think, in order that we begin to assert our rights as sons of God, to know something about these laws that govern our being. And when we do understand them, we will see that it is not sacrilege to say that “I will be what I will to be." Nothing more than saying what was said in the ancient Scripture, “God will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." His name, which is "Yahveh," meaning, "I will be what I will to be." "That is my name forever," said He to Moses, "and that is my memorial to all ages." Who can say, "I will be what I will to be"? Yet we have got to step out in the dignity of our divine sonship and say to the god of generation, to this creative destroyer that is active in us, that is destroying our bodies for the sake of our offspring, "I will no longer be subject to your law. I will be what I will to be, and you shall serve my will." Thus, like Jacob, we shall wrestle with this sex-principle where life is generated and that should be utilized in perfecting and unfolding our life-forces, giving power and animation to our bodies.
Many say "this cannot be," but you have only to look into your own families. You have one son, who through some mental condition, perhaps, that was active in your mind at the time of conception, created in him a desire to control these forces. He is never led into any abusive habits, and you will see him grow and develop, broad-shouldered, a noble form of manhood and strength, with red cheeks and bright eyes. The other son, through some thoughtlessness on your part, has been endowed with that inflamed passion. He has abused and wasted those forces. You see in him a narrow chest and shoulders, a dwarfed body, pale cheeks, dull, watery eyes, a mere pigmy of a man beside the brother. Why? Because he has wasted the very elements that should have been used to make him a grand man. The other cherished them, and now when he comes to manhood, if he knew this divine law, he could become like Jacob, "a Prevailing Prince." The law is not a new one, it was carried out by the masters of antiquity. It has been known from the history of the world. By conquering and controlling that function, that power, saying to the old serpent, "You are my servant," you put the heel of your foot upon his head, and then, in the dignity of your manhood, you will become master and head of that power, thus making this most destructive principle, this "old serpent," this adversary of all right, this destroyer of all existence, this father of all sin, of all evil, your obedient servant.
The sex principle is now the master of the world. It rules all men; it rules from the highest down to the lowest grades of mankind, and how does it rule? Observe the ruin. Look back over the history of the world and behold our earth running with blood like streams of water; it was that old serpent's rule that did it. And that old serpent is the adversary that comes in between the beloved wife and her husband. They marry, they know nothing but purity. The wife, from her childhood pure as the angel spirit from whence she came, with her forces all turned toward the brain, all serving to the finer works of the spirit, loving with a pure and angelic love, that gives herself, soul and body and mind, to the object of her love. He, on the other hand, with his admiration and animation, being attracted by that fountain of pure love, draws it to him and finally, when they come into that most sacred relation, devoid of that true knowledge, being taught nothing by you, parents, who have let that principle rule unrestrained, becomes the swift destroyer of the pure love he has won, converting it into an adversary that makes of his home a hell, transforming that pure and divine love into a demon that cares and struggles only for self-gratification. Where is that loving family, that beautiful home, that ideal companion, that was so beautiful a picture in the maiden's mind, that lived and grew in the mind of the young man? Where has it gone? What was the cause of it? The old serpent, the principle of fermentation and destruction, has done it; but only and simply because we have not known how to use this principle. We have not stopped to think that Ave should teach our young men and women that this principle has a specific use, and that Ave should be the master and have the say and control. We turn and look upon the animal world. By what means do they know? Because they have never yet begun to reason, therefore they live and act from the Solar mind. They utilize their forces for reproduction alone, and no more. They know where to go and get their food, how to protect themselves, because their life is still purely under the control of the invisible mind.
We read that strange history of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Eden means chaste, pure pleasure. He was in that pure state of pleasure. He had followed the thought of the instinctive or intuitive mind. By the leading of that mind, the powers had unfolded within him, and finally he came to discern the divine law, and be led by it; for, remember, we started out by telling you that the original thought that made this world,—of which all the chemical essences are constituted,—was to make a world, people it with men, and with men that should be in the likeness and image of the Creator. Everything in Nature, the element of solar fluid, and all the world, is teeming with that thought. Animals, birds, insects, and everything, are diligently at work everywhere to carry out their part of the great work. Adam was led by it up to the point of time where he began to use his reason in opposition to his soul’s intuitive guidance, and as soon as he refused to obey the commands of the soul, he fell. His power was gone, he was plunged into darkness, into uncertainty. Long ages of struggling, ambitious reasonings and combatings followed, wherein the old serpent, this sex and creative principle, has held the rod of government as a monarch ruling over all the earth, even up to the present day. Now we have come to a time when reason is being spiritualized; it is being called upon to unite with intuition, and to know why these things are so, by what laws they have been, and what methods it is necessary to apply in order to rise up and take control of them. Therefore, we adopt the words of Jesus and “lay the axe at the root of the tree,” and begin at the principle of generation. We begin by taking control of that function, regenerating ourselves, perfecting our bodies, becoming god-men and god-women, so that we may come into our inheritance that was prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Being kings and priests unto God, reigning on the earth, and this obtaining the ultimate of this principle, which is “Horror.”

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