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Sixth Lecture: Transmutation — The Sixth of the Seven Creative Principles

The subject for this evening's consideration is fitly expressed by a simple illustration, like this lighted match. The solid substances here are transmuted into gases by what we call fire. This work is transmutation. It is the sixth of the seven creative principles. The first four bring into existence, formulate, and maintain organic life. The fifth, as you have been shown, is the adversary of all organic life that is formed; and not only the adversary, but the tearer down of the unfit. I called your attention, some time ago, to that peculiar function, the mother-principle, cohesion; how it binds, and inspheres, and holds in bondage, the elements collected by the first principle, force. In the fifth principle, fermentation, we find a means of the liberation of the divine essence that has been collected and bound and caused to be a servant to Nature. Its main office is that of a destroyer, and finds its expression in those principles of nature that we have already demonstrated as being the adversary, the devil. The sixth brings us to the principle of fire, transmutation.
The ancient Cabala has much to say of the Salamander. Strange stories are told of these beautiful creatures; for they are not hideous, as we have had them pictured to our minds by the ignorant and unlearned in these subjects, but most beauteous creatures to human perception. These beautiful thought-forms of the creative mind descend, and are absorbed in Nature, and give vitality and vivacity to the lower creations, which we call inanimate matter. Although we realize, when we begin to examine Nature, that there is no such thing as absolute inanimation; everything is animate, living, and acting, teeming with life, not only in earth-forms, in their multifarious conditions, microscopic and gigantic; but, when our eye becomes clear, and the inner senses are opened, we also see that what we call space, is teeming with life, whose forms are far more varied than those we see with the ordinary eye ; all emanations from the one great center of Cause.
I told you in our last lecture that the fourth principle brings us to vegetable life, and the fifth produces the first phase of animal life, in which sensation is only borrowed. No matter in what way it appears, sensation is a form of thought, and in this lower order of creation it is thought belonging to the great Soul of the Universe, and acts from the mind of that Soul according to its own qualities; for as soon as an organism is formed there is always something ready in Nature to animate it. If conditions are ready for an organic body, that divine life that permeates all things will animate it, and make it an individualized existence.
When we look for this principle of transmutation down in the first forms of animate life, we see but dim shadowings of its action. The only phase of manifestation there is in the power that the creatures possess of reproducing their kind, and also of taking nourishment into the body and transmuting the incorporated elements to finer substances that are adapted to the needs of the organized body. For as soon as the little insect that comes from decaying and fermenting vegetation comes upon the stage of action it begins to feed upon the emanations from the parent plant. It receives strength sufficient to begin to act independent of its surroundings, according to its quality.
The nearest approach that the human mind has come to understand what life is, is that it is of the nature of fire. Wherever there is life there is heat. There are said to be in the water what we call cold-blooded animals, yet we have many reasons to believe that even in them the blood-centers have heat. The main part in creative action is carried on by the principle of fire. Fire is the animating principle in all things. Why does a piece of wood burn? First we start a fire, and it burns. We see the flame emanations, and it works of its own accord until the matter is consumed. We have given the ascendency to the fire-principle, by either friction or chemical methods, and, as soon as the equilibrium is broken, the fire-principle holds its dominancy, and consumes the material within its reach.
We are told by natural philosophers that fire is motion; that the heated molecules in a piece of iron will revolve and continue to revolve, making larger and yet larger circuits in their orbit, until finally the iron itself is dissolved by the transmutative force, and goes off in the form of gas.
There are many evidences that this principle of fire is the underlying potency in all Nature. We see worlds revolving around their central blazing sun, subject to the changeful conditions of heat and cold, each globe being filled with fire. Fire is the true, divine essence of being laid hold upon by the first principle of force, concentrated, bound, and stopped in its motion. The centrifugal, expansive fire-principle struggles against limitation; it goes out seeking liberty. It is' the symbol of the infinite Being,—spirit, insphered in bondage ; for all organized bodies, no matter what their forms are, have this first primitive force, bound, insphered, and caused to serve according to the needs of the structure.
Transmutation is that principle which enables us to progress, to unfold; and here again we find the same law that everywhere meets us in life, viz.: that the greatest benefactors we have we regard as our greatest adversaries. Why? Because we are naturally lazy, and hate change; the mother-principle having the dominance in us, we love the physical body and natural life, and hate that divine principle that comes in to liberate us from the old conditions, and expand our being into the higher life of the great Soul of the Universe.
As the physiologist looks into the structure of our bodies he finds that those little molecules that are taken in through the digestive functions are distributed throughout the system, and as soon as they, reach the embrace of life they are immediately again torn down and others put in their place. The life-essences have been made more dense, and that love of life that is concentrated within ourselves has appropriated the life of the molecule, and the husk, being unsuited for further service, is thrown off, so that all the time there is a transmutation going on. Could we but see our bodies; had we that clear eye to perceive the work that is going on in our organism; to see the flame of life luminous in us, burning like a seething furnace, and those molecules of matter whirling into that fire, coming into its embrace, and being changed there and liberated, to go' to their respective uses. So, our mind is struggling constantly between these two, the principles of transmutation and cohesion. For mind is the factor of this organism, and, like the Creator, it holds sway over the subtle elements of Nature.
You cannot think of a thing, no matter what it may be, but the moment that thought enters your mind, along with it comes the sublimated essence of the thing thought of, and makes a chemical change in the molecules out of which the body is being constructed. It controls the chemist that is working deep down in the center of the body, the Solar Plexus, the gray spot. It directs him as to what chemical essence he shall take into the body to replace that which has been taken away, and what he shall reject. Therefore, while we are in the seething furnace of life, the body, changing, being burned up and yet ever taking on more,—to preserve the balance of power between negation and positiveness, negation having the dominance,—the lower our thoughts and sympathies, the coarser our structure. Now, as we thus find this body, changing, throwing off the old, taking on the new, the mind is the master, or, as our merchants would say, the "buyer." It goes out and selects the proper elements and essences according to the uses of the occasion and surroundings and conditions that may be forced upon us. Thus in accord with what we think, we chemicalize our bodies.
Let us look into the habits of our every-day life. We take food to replenish and supply the waste, to keep up the fire and the work going on. That function of the body, "the gray-spot," that controls the stomach, is the chemist, and has control of all the chemical qualities of the body. He is most diligently and faithfully at work. He receives every telegraphic message coming from without to the brain ; it is instantly transmitted to him to supply the material to form the thought, whatever the subject may be. For every thought partakes of a peculiar chemical essence that would create a like form in Nature; in other words, as the ancient alchemists tell us, every little plant is a thought-formation. Yes, it has a certain form and color, and thus expresses its quality by virtue of its own inherent chemical essence. This essence, and the sublimated essence thrown off by the creative mind, are identical; that plant was once a thought. The thought that emanates from your mind may become a plant, and a plant may become a thought of yours. Quality always expresses itself in its form.
Botanists of a truly scientific mind, when they take a leaf or plant, are certain as to what chemical properties it possesses; they can tell you all about it, because of its exact form in accordance with the law of order, so exquisitely minute in Nature. The same law obtains in your thought-life. You think a thing in your brain; that thought is telegraphed to the chemist in your body. If, during the time of eating, and for an hour after, while the chemist is doing his work of digestion, you begin to think of some unpleasant thing, this divine chemist at once begins to take into the body those exciting essences that are like that thought, and begins to build up in the body the very substance of it. Thereby the same thought will repeat itself afterwards, and rush in upon your mind with great energy. For instance, a man thinks he has a cancer. It at once is telegraphed to the chemist that there is a cancerous condition needing substance; and he at once begins to take into the body the very poisonous essences needed to supply the work of a cancer. The one thing to do is to control our thoughts by the effort of will. We must think, especially during the time the chemist is doing his work, just such thoughts as we want our body to be made up of, as we want our after-life to be. If we do so, we shall find that this places our physical bodies, so hard to master, under our control. Thus, this control begins in the mind; all chemical action for the health or disease of your body begins in your thought. Therefore, begin with mastering your thoughts. Think what you will to think, not be driven, like an unthinking horse, hither and thither. We talk to people about controlling the mind, holding still and thinking on one subject for a few moments. They say, “I cannot think on any subject for two minutes." Why? Because they have never decided with a will to take control of themselves, and are just like a leaf in the wind, and every influence that meets them takes control of them for the instant.
The work of thinking is the work of combustion in the body. It is fire, it is the liberation of the divine elements, by transmuting the grosser into the finer, sublimating them into a subtle element we cannot see or feel but by the aid of the unfolded finer senses. But, if we give the ascendency to the next lower principle, fermentation, whose office it is to tear down and build other organisms out of the material substances of the parent organism, then we are subject to the mind that controls the lower nature, the animal generative functions, "the Serpent." This principle takes your life-essences and forms other organisms in your children, and your lifetime is spent to bring into existence offspring. But the result is that the parent organism returns to its earth without having made much progress. If, on the contrary, you give the control to the sixth principle, transmutation, these elements, sublimated by the “fire," are drawn up to the brain, and turn all their power in that direction. These higher thoughts, telegraphed to the chemist, will cause him to take purer elements into the body, so that the whole being will be constantly getting finer and more spiritual; and, in consequence, the brain will again receive higher and yet higher thoughts, until man is enabled to think like his father, God.
The great chemist of Nature is most abundant in his work, he gives the body any amount of fuel to work on. The only thing for us to do is to utilize it wisely, for the lower forces will certainly utilize it if we do not. If we are like the leaf in the wind, driven by our animal conditions, then this divine chemist can do nothing more than generate life-germs and give them into the hands of "the Serpent"—the god of generation. The choice is given into our hands. If we keep the divine principle of fire, this transmuting life-energy, ever active in ourselves, then our body will be vivacious,—full of energy and animation,—our cheeks flushed, our eyes bright. And, in the midst of that blazing energy, we step out and, as we started out in our first lecture, take the name of God, "I will be what I will to be," and in the dignity of our manhood say, "I will no longer be controlled by these lower principles from whence I sprang, but I will take control of my thinking powers, and of all the seven creative forces operative in my body. I will make my body God's temple,—an instrument that will enable me to be a man; yea, more than a man, a god-man!" For the fire-principle, the very essence of the God of the universe, is in everything. Why, everything we touch is filled with that divine fire! You have powers within you to begin at the right place and take control of that fire, which will immediately begin to sublimate your nature.
The flame of the little match I held before you was red; it was not clear, pure white, like the electric spark, simply because in that flame there was a great quantity of grosser elements not transmuted. Sufficient heat could be applied to that burning wood to have made the flame pure and white. We are told that Moses saw a bush burning and it was not consumed; and he turned aside to see the wonder. He saw the fire concentrated there, but no consumption. We are told that in combustion the particles, being liberated, revolve with great rapidity among themselves. But the finer essences of the divine being are pure; there are no crude substances at all to be taken hold of and to be transmuted. There is no grinding process to tear down the particles, and thereby to create this lurid condition; and when the fire is free from all organic life and free from negation, it consumes nothing; it is pure, calm, gentle. It is the only thing in the universe that is still: being pure, it has nothing to evolve or revolve.
At this place I wish to give you my thought about sight. What is this sight? We look at that gas flame and from it emanates something that enables us to see all in the room. We all know the theory of the eye: of its being a lens; of the image being thrown back on the nerves, and of the sensation produced by the waves of light telegraphed to the brain. If we examine a nerve we find it is filled with a crystal water bright and clear as the clearest spring-water. Touch that little nerve, and oh, how sensitive it is! Touch the central tube where that water is and the sense is more acute there than anywhere else. The fact is that the crystal water is the sense-element which, when brought into combustion, being so pure, so near the point of evaporation, produces no flame affecting the fibers of the nerve or its surroundings. The nerve-fluid has in itself the very quintessence of life, and therefore, of sense; one more stage of transmutation would make of it light. This the fire in the brain does; so that thought-forms appear luminous to the clairvoyant. Positive life fills the eye. Like is positive to like. Life takes cognizance of that like itself, and if the life that fills the eye is pure, and no gross substance in it at all, it will be pure, white light, and not see gross matter, but thought-essence. The fluid that fills the nerve cognizes that like itself, light cognizes light; darkness cognizes darkness. We return now to our main subject.
The principle of fermentation in our body has its center in the generative function. It is ever tearing down the body, and giving opportunity for that life in the torn-down elements to form another organism,—a germ. Now, what should be done with this germ? I am sorry that so many of our physiologists, so called, tell you it is necessary to give the germs to the Serpent to waste. Never was a worse lie told by a human being,—a lie that has dragged down more men and women, and ruined our domestic happiness, more than any other. If, instead of wasting that germ, you retain it in the body, the fire will take those little serpent-like formations and burn them up. It will transmit their essences to these pure elements of nerve fluid, which is life itself. The body will distribute them through every part, so that every movement will be a pleasure, and the soul will be made conscious of having a power superior to the ordinary environments. Those essences will be to us the "Substance" referred to by Paul when he said, "Faith is the substance of things." Jesus said: "If you have Faith as a grain of mustard-seed, you could say to that tree, "Be thou plucked up and cast into the sea," and it would obey you. This is the process by which to obtain Magic Power. What a contrast between this pleasure and that which is produced while the life is being concentrated in the sex-function and thrown off in that relation! As long as you give that divine essence, created by the God within you. to the Serpent to waste and destroy, you go through life burdened, heavy, and sad. Well has such a life been called, " a long-drawn sigh "! Here are the two ways. One is following down the chain of animal life, the other is going up the ladder toward the divine Cause. There fire is our friend, burning and transmuting our body. When this is done, we have said to Force: "You shall no longer bind my elements in this narrow sphere. I will call for that divine essence of fire, and burn it out." To Discrimination \ve say: "You are to make my being superior to all other beings. And lo ! all life is God, and everything that is is filled with that essence, and I will open out and aspire of that essence.* We say to Order: "You are my servant, and shall create for me thought-formations according to that higher principle. You shall build for me my heaven." For all the heaven we shall ever have is the thoughts we are thinking; they will be our future consciousness; out of your thoughts you are building your heaven or your hell. We shall say to Cohesion: "You shall be my Strength of Will, conserve and maintain my body and furnish the appropriate elements for my laboratory so that I shall have abundance of all I need." We shall say to Fermentation: "You also are my servant, and through your subtle power (usually known as Psychic Power), I will send forth my thought to do service in whatever department of Nature I will." We shall say to Transmutation: "You shall transmute the gross elements of my body into those most subtle, that I may be superior to earth, and be like my Maker, and through you I will say to Sensation: You shall be my messenger to keep me informed of all I wish to know of this world and its laws and methods, and shall make me conscious of the thoughts of men, angels, and of God, and cause me to live in the enjoyment of the Paradise of God's Thought forever."
For, as that Love-nature gathers and provides the necessary elements out of which I make and transmute this divine essence of being, and make of it whatever I will to make, Nature thus becomes subject to my will, because I control the Thinking Power by the Will. By taking the Name of the Creator, that implies "the will to be what I will to be." These powers are in you, and all there is for you to do is to take hold of one thing at a time. Yes, take hold of your own body first; be master of your own mind, then be master of your own senses, and then you can easily be master of all the other forces, and fire will be found to possess a consciousness that our thought will control in all its forms until in all its phases it will become obedient to your thought and your will.
When the essences of our being are so sublimated fire is held in abeyance within ourselves, and if you have taken control of that fifth principle, and utilized the sixth, you will find the truth of the stories that come to us across the water from- the Orient of persons who, through these processes, have conserved a natural fire in their own bodies capable of kindling a real fire by blowing their breath upon ordinary fuel. But if you allow the Serpent to waste and destroy the finer substances of your nature, that seething fire burning within you will become a smouldering mass of ruins, so clogged with gross material that it cannot be luminous and bright; whereas, if you turn it in the other direction, you will clear up the body, fill it with that crystal element, and the fire will burn bright like the electric spark, and be the light of Life, Knowledge, Wisdom, Power like unto the great Cause and Source from which it comes. All things, both earthly and invisible, will begin to be your servants; for the earthly things are only the expression of the invisible things, through the action of the principles I have shown you.
Such powers are in your bodies, and if you stop and think as you should, going through this course of lessons, you will know just where to begin and what to do, and how to conserve these forces, making them your servants. And, when you have done so, you come to this first and last principle, the seventh stage of unfoldment which we are to consider, when fire will have become your servant and you the master.
The ancients had in their thought the same work of sublimating the essences, and subjecting the seven forces, and came to a point in their unfoldment, when their inner consciousness was illuminated, and told us there was a place where there w7as nothing but that pure, perfect, white light, the most sacred place in the universe,—the home of God. At Niagara Falls, this winter, as I was standing and looking at the tremendous fall of water, my soul seemed to be opened, and I was conscious of that great center of pure whiteness; it was to me a conscious vision as of a place; yet I am not prepared to say it is a locality. Let it be what it will, that pure ethereal whiteness brings a calm of restful satisfaction.
Wo talk about pleasure and enjoyment. We know nothing about it. Not one of us has anything like an adequate idea of it, and we never can have until the old Serpent is absolutely enslaved to our will. When this is done, and the inner consciousness, that most beautiful and sublime life, has come to be unfolded within, and we have a cognizance of that eternal rest and satisfaction, realizing that it permeates our inner being, then there will be a realization that you have attained a point where there is an absolute consciousness that if this body should pass away, should be consumed in the flames, you would be unmoved, your soul satisfied, restful, and at peace, consciousness going on and on into the unbounded realms of knowledge, wisdom, enjoyment, surpassing all the thought of sense. This consciousness may and yet will be ours.
I am not endeavoring to get you to believe any doctrine. I come to you as men and women, able to think; and I ask you to think, not for my sake, but for your own, for humanity's sake; to turn your thoughts in the right directions; to rise above that dark and dismal sphere of a mere animal life. Be men, and come into the divine inheritance, and "be what you will to be," having passed through Transmutation, to awake in everlasting "Glory."

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