The Art of Noting, or the 'craft of observing'. In the introduction to Transcendental Magic, Eliphas Levi lists the powers bestowed upon the Illumined Adept. He wrote that they were enumerated thus in a Hebrew manuscript from the sixteenth century. The powers correspond to the twenty-two letters and paths on the Tree of Life. To the letter Mem is attributed: "To have the Ars Notaria which gives the Universal Science."
Letter Mem is the second of three mother letters: Aleph, Mem and Shin. In part they correspond to the three primary elements: Air, Water and Fire respectively. These all exude from the Alchemical Earth, or AIN SUPh AUR. Mem, elementary water, is the all-pervading Water, the Universal Subconsciousness and the Substance mode of AIN SUPh AUR, the First Matter. In the Rosicrucian Fama Fraternitatis this is Liber M, Book M, the book of the Waters of Life from which all things have their body and soul. AIN SUPh AUR has also been called Lux Mundi, the Light of the World. Each, Lux Mundi and Ars Notaria sums to 104 in Latin Cabala Simplex.
Fundamentally, all bodies of anything whatever in this world, even those declared inanimate, are actually bodies coagulated of the compressed light substance, Lux Mundi. An Adept or Yogi is able to interpret signs in our natural world because a Master is able to read the universal, fluidic Astral Light, upon which all things past, present and future, have their impression. The Astral Light is the ocean of Universal Memory, Akasha, the Universal Subconscious Mind. Anything conceivable may be pulled up from universal memory by anyone having consciousness to access it, much like we remember or pull up our early childhood experiences imprinted upon or stored within our ‘personal’ subconscious mind.
Readers of the Yaqui Indian Magic will remember the arduous sessions Don Juan put Carlos through trying to teach Carlos the 'Art of Seeing.' They would squat close to the earth with eyes squinted, gazing the hillsides for certain plants. When one is able to see Astral Light, Lux Mundi, all things glow with an aura. The aura is light energy given off by the body-double, the astral body of any object. Everything, even rocks and stones, have an astral body that exudes a glow in fourth dimensional awareness. It was the auras seen in that dimension that Don Juan was showing Carlos. An alchemist working to perfect healing medicines seeks herbs and plants much in the same manner. Different types glow in peculiar manners revealing hidden properties and virtues, if one can read the color emanations. This is how Paracelsus and other genuine alchemists perfected medicinals. He determined the ARCHAEUS (see same) of a plant by observing, and reading, its hidden property through the Astral Light. This is how any Adept chooses certain food-stuffs to strengthen, heal or render longevity to the physical body. One may see bit portions of Astral Light long before actual completion of The Work. It comes on gradually as a growing awareness by expanded memory and steadily heightened senses resulting from years of study, prayer and meditation. It could also come on in ‘lightning flash’ awareness, like a ‘kiss’ from the Almighty. Either way one would not argue, but unless we can see Lux Mundi, we cannot find the certain substances with which to prepare ‘magical’ medicinals. We must possess Ars Notaria.
It is written in Levi's list of powers that it "gives the Universal Science." Capacity to understand interpretations of the light is inherent with ability to see it. Reading Book M, the Book of Nature, correctly, gives one competency to ‘see one's way’ through this world. The Yaqui Master, Don Juan Matus, called this ‘universal agreement’. The universe ‘agreed’ or ‘disagreed’ by signs and signals from the All Encompassing Universal Life. The universal agreement or disagreement quickly follows any relevant action taken by an aspirant. If the universe is truly one, and it is, then it would follow that the ALL-LIFE would aid any aspect of itself that was aware of THE ALL. It renders ability, with its fullest development, to see each synchronous moment, to read how each activity followed previous acts, and how every action has a subsequent response. A Master Alchemist possesses the ability to recognize this Principle of Cause and Effect as outlined in the Kybalion from millenniums ago. Awareness of such Principles keeps one on the ‘razor's edge’ path to union. Dr. C.G. Jung called it simply, synchronicity. Jacob Boehme wrote Signatura Rerum, the Signature of Things. Whether one reads the signature of things, the book of nature, Liber M, the waters of life or sees the universe agree or disagree...it is all the same. It is the ability to see, to know, to understand and to use the Universal Water for the good of oneself and all life. It is able use of Ars Notaria that allows us to pursue and accomplish the Universal Science in the manufacture of the Philosophers’ Stone. Finally, with regard 'accomplished seeing', Don Juan Matus stated frankly:
"Once a man learns to see he finds himself alone in the world with nothing but folly."1
True enough. The ability to see reveals the activities of this life utterly ridiculous.
1 Casteneda, Carlos, A Separate Reality. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971, pg. 81.