Plate XI - The Seventh Parable
This is the final Parable of the seven presented by the Third Treatise that began with Plate IV. Thus is may be considered the culmination of the string of Parables required to complete what has been represented by that Treatise.
The written portion of the Parable speaks of an ‘ancient Sage’ desiring to rejuvenate himself; and the description of the plate by Mr. J. K. offers nothing more than can be noted for oneself.
The bearded ‘man’ in the Bath is not a person at all, but the personification of the outmoded ‘old personality-life’ of an aspirant in the final stages before illumination. The ‘bath’ is the human aura, described by other writers as an ‘egg’, surrounding both the self-conscious and subconscious vehicles. The fluidity is that portion of consciousness typically described by the metaphor of an egg held in the left hand of the figure in Plate IX. The fluid, Ain Suph Aur, incubates the yolk, hermetically speaking. The bulk of the Work here is performed by the Holy Spirit, perched upon the head. A detailed explanation of the ‘bath’ can be found in the Glossary Section under BALNEUM.
After the Herculean efforts performed previously by the aspirant as described through those parables, there is little to nothing that can be accomplished directly from the self-conscious level, except for these last details. The ‘worker’ at the right in the picture is another aspect of self-consciousness. We consciously keep the ‘fires’ of aspiration burning by continuing the regimens of reading, studying and breath-control during meditations (the bellows). The glass retort at the base of the ‘bath’ is the oil, the symbol for Kundalini at the ready. But note the detail on the bellows; the Hebrew letter Nun (נ), assigned to the astrological sign Scorpio, ruled by Mars and its higher octave Pluto. Very many aspirants fail to thoroughly understand this tenet concerning the Reproductive Force expressed through the human organism.
Through the maturing chapters of our seek toward Return, the Reproductive Force becomes evermore bearing toward completing the Process. The early years call for a stage labeled SUBLIMATION – described in detail within the Glossary section. Briefly, this stage describes the need for a more conservative expression of this Reproductive Energy. It does NOT call for abstinence nor total celibacy. Sublimation is the raising of the expression of this energy, NOT elimination. The average human, not remotely concerned with the Alchemical Achievement, squanders this Force in all manner of immature expressions that go even way beyond the normal sex act; a shear waste due to innocent misunderstanding or simple ignorance. Sublimation implies a more mature expression, with Love, not mere sex for stress release or indiscriminate pleasure couplings with multiple partners. This is NOT a moral judgement, but a practical and intelligent investment of a force that sustains the entire Universe. Love sublimates, squandering abuses self, and SELF. There is no eternal punishment, no 'hell' as one might imagine, merely the usual repercussions of a normal life.
It is not until the very late stages of evolution beyond human, or even that last physical incarnation, that total celibacy is required. Again, not for moral reasons. At that point it is a most powerful urging through the deep subconscious that compels an aspirant with a spiritual love and understanding far beyond the normally described psychological impulses. It evolves from the Christ Consciousness level, the One True Ego of all humanity. We are ‘called’.
The Reproductive Force, so realigned, actually reproduces the Adept’s body from the human ‘cocoon’. When all of our expressions from the seven forces-centers (Metals, Planets, Chakras) are matured into perfect balance, then the collective, artful direction of the Secret Fire becomes the Adept’s body through the action of the Spiritual Fire as described in Plate VII.