The Virgin-Sophia was present in Mary and it was thus that the soul of non-fallen Nature gave birth to the divine Word. Virgin Nature has her part in all the miracles. The miracles are not creations from nothing. The wine at the wedding at Cana was created from water. It was thanks to the Virgin Mother’s initiative that the miracle took place.
The participation of Nature is apparent even in the miracle of the Resurrection. It was not the creation of a new body, but rather the transformation of the crucified body. The latter had to disappear from the tomb in order to appear to Mary Magdalene and the others; and for Thomas to put his hand in the marks of the nails.
Thus virgin Nature had her part in all the miracles. This is the subject of the eleventh Arcanum, Force, representing a woman victorious over a lion, holding its jaws open with her hands. This signifies power without effort. The lion is subdued by force of a higher level. The lion’s bestial animality yields to its holy animality.
When one goes deeply into the 11th Arcanum, one needs to distinguish between the opposition or contraversy (flowing against) of the serpent and the concordance or conversation (flowing with) of the virgin. Enormous energies are released into the world through opposition or war. However I owe nothing I confess to learning from polemicists. I owe nothing to early Christian authors who attack paganism. I owe nothing to the learned Protestant doctors of the sixteenth century and the Revolution of the eighteenth century. I owe nothing to the militant savants of the nineteenth century and to Lenin.
It is through the fusion of opposites that truth lights up. True conversation always has the underlying principle of the Gospel:
Doubt, sterile enjoyment, power—these constitute together the “technology” of temptation.
Doubt appears when the “higher eye” and the “lower eye” do not see together.
However, doubt that is mastered, under the control of the will and put into its service, proves to be prodigiously useful. If Pasteur had not doubted spontaneous generation on the one hand, and if he had not had faith in observation and experimentation, on the other, we would not now benefit from the fruits of the “Pasteurian revolution” in biology and medicine.
Doubt nevertheless entails expenses that must be paid.
For the fact of regularly turning away from the “higher eye” and confining oneself to the “lower eye” (the five senses plus cerebral intellectuality), cannot fail, sooner or later, to have its effect, i.e. to render one-eyed he who assiduously practises the use of one eye instead of two.
And exactly as the great doctors of theology, metaphysics and mysticism of the Middle Ages proved to be sterile in what concerns medicine, biology, physics, physiology and other sciences—the help of which saves, in France alone, 69,000 human lives each year from the bane of tuberculosis so are the doctors of the sciences of our time sterile in what concerns the vital spiritual needs of mankind. The former had an eye only for the spiritual; the latter have an eye only for the temporal Is it necessary to be one-eyed in order to produce something of value— whether scientific or spiritual? No. Individual examples, including the recent example of the author of The Phenomenon of Man and Le Milieu divin, prove it.
Let us now consider sterile enjoyment. Pleasure is the lowest constituent of the scale: pleasure—joy— blissfulness—beatitude. It is a reaction—at the surface of man’s psychic being—to objective events. A life dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure alone is the most superficial that one can imagine. Joy is more profound. It is the spreading of the soul beyond the limits of conscious awareness. It signifies an augmentation of the soul’s vital élan.
Blissfulness is the state of the human being where spirit, soul and body are brought into harmony.
Lastly, beatitude is the “beatific vision” of Christian tradition.
Pleasure plays the same role with regard to the soul as doubt. For just as doubt reduces the spirit to impotence, so does pleasure (or sterile enjoyment) reduce the soul to impotence, to a state of passivity.
Schools of philosophy and psychology have erected the “will-to-power” as the supreme principle of human activity. According to them religion, science and art are only means power.
It is true that no one desires powerlessness as such. And if we worship the Crucifix, the symbol of complete outer powerlessness, we do so because it is at the same time the symbol of supreme inner power. False power, however, crucifies others.
The technique of temptation in the domain of power consists in substituting false power for that of freedom of inspiration and healing or “life” (Zoe).
Sacred magic has nothing in common with the power which compels. It operates only with currents of “life” or Zoe —spiritual, psychic and physical. Even its “armoury”—such as the “swords” of the Archangel Michael and the Holy Cherubim who guards the gate of Eden—are showers of rays of “life” whose intensity is such as to repulse or put to flight anyone who is either opposed to “life”, or who cannot support its intensity, and on the other hand it attracts and vivifies anyone who aspires to “life” and who can support its intensity.
Who knows how many people otherwise ill or despairing owe the re-establishment of their physical or psychic health to the “sword” of the Archangel Michael?
Thus, here is the choice which each of us is called to make: the choice between the power of crucifixion and that of compulsion. To pray or to order: Which would we prefer?
2. “It doth penetrate every solid substance
Nevertheless, each physical, psychic and mental obstacle, is penetrable by Force or Virginity. The heart having tasted life will breathe into the mind. Sclerosis, the process of gradual alienation of the body from the soul, is therefore death itself. It works during life in modifying, little by little, the living body into a corpse. At least, this is what it appears to be, seen in the light of modern medicine and biology.
There are, nonetheless, two different ways of dying. The one is where the body refuses to serve as the instrument for the soul — which is the case with sclerosis. The other is where the principle which vivifies and animates the body retires and thus is missed by the body; it is then the soul which quits the body.
* Samadhi in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a state of meditative consciousness.
In order to realise a spiritual springtime in the western world, thought must become meditative, feeling—contemplative, and the will—ascetic.
The Virgin, the Force of our Arcanum, is the principle of springtime, i.e. that of creative spiritual élan and spiritual flourishing. The prodigious flourishing of philosophy and the arts in ancient Athens took place under the sign of the Virgin. Similarly, the flourishing of the Renaissance at Florence was under the vernal sign of the Virgin.
The sickness of the West today is that it is more and more lacking creative élan. The Reformation, rationalism, the French revolution, materialistic faith of the nineteenth century, and the Bolshevik revolution, show that everywhere mankind is turning away from the Virgin.
It is said that the West is growing old. But why? Because it has turned away from the source of creative élan, because it has turned away from the Virgin. Without virginity there is no springtime; there is neither freshness nor youth.
The ten commandments are inspired by the ideal of virginity.
The ten commandments are inspired by the ideal of virginity.