“The bodies made from matter are diverse. Some are from earth, some from water, some from air, some from fire. All is compounded of parts, some more complex, others simpler. The more complex are heavier, and the simpler lighter. The rapid motion of the turning cosmos produces the varied qualities of beings. The blast of air from this is continuous and lends qualities to bodies as well as the abundance of life”
- Corpus Hermeticum 9:7
Man is a stone and on this stone the stars carve their signatures creating a stone unique in placement and constitution. A stone is solid and still and as such man is constantly attempting to solidify it self in a process that leads towards what we call identity. Man appears to have a drift or need towards a stabile form, a notion that is illusory and result in nausea and frustration when movement or change occur. Mans mortality creates this illusory need for being solid, while the created cosmos man is a part of is founded on immortality and movement. The creator, the unmovable mover points his finger and the stars move along in galactic dance, within the ways of milk and emeralds – the starry heavens. To often man fail to realize that the stone was hived down from the heavens and the signatures carved in it was made by the stars, making the solid having the tendency of movement. To move a stone is like moving the planets - but the stone fails often to see it placement when in motion. In the same way the other stones fail to understand the movement of other stones as they often seem “out of place”. Man sees this conflict constantly in his life, by confusion, frustration, enmity and by what appears to be evil things happening to man. It all is due to failing to understand ones placement and how this placement is interrelated with all things. There is nothing in existence that is not supposed to be, nothing in our life that is not supposed to be there, just a failing understanding comprehending it to be so. The saying: “May the blessing, curse and cunning be” reflects this truth of being to the point as there are only blessing and cunning to be found. The curse is solely a word designating the portal that leads to the road of cunning.
When man point his finger and say, this or that is evil, he is failing to see its placement, looking from his own solidified or mummified state of affairs and judge the placement of bodies and intelligences accordingly. Let us turn to the stars and see if we can stretch the golden chain from the height to hell in order to explain this mystery of successful living and marvelous existence. The planets in our solar system were used from the beginning of time as a mundane reference to explain causes. Heroes of the past turned into constellations and the starry heavens also hosted the Irin, or what is also known as the Watchers with the retinue of immortal gods and goddesses ruling planets, stars and moons given that they had an effect of sorts on human life and organization. If we turn to Mesopotamia and Babylonia and not to forget the Sabeans of Harran we see that the procedures of witchcraft and magical actions where calculated by the position of the stars and appeals to the stars, like for instance the Sumerian ritual practice called zikurudû, it says that: “Zikurudû was mostly performed in the night before certain stars, and rituals against it were likewise carried out in front of the same stars, for instance the Great Bear, Scorpio or Sirius.” In this short quotation that describes a ritual procedure that we today would designate as harmful witchcraft we see that certain stars and constellations were appealed to both to bring misfortune to people as well as appealing to the very same forces for appeasement of the malediction. This would indicate that stars approached in a specific manner with a specific intent could bring about both good and bad things. And also, the notion of a malediction in this early age of the practice of witchcraft a malediction was to be void of divine providence and protection, that one was found “filthy” in the eyes of the heavens. One can simply say that a malediction contained the idea of pushing the victim out of relationship with the starry heavens and make him void of course to use the language of the stars.
Man is not only a stone, but we can say that he is also a star, the imprint on the stone changing the nature of the stone to be as if it was a star. This in turn means that the nature of the starry heavens are all found within the soul of man and when man exercise these varied natures he experience judgment from man made society. Man made society is a construct based upon man made illusions, such as morals and dogmas. It tries to etch into the stone certain rules based upon a universe of separations or dualism. Dualism constitutes a perception of contradictions, that one excludes the other and we create ideas of enmity and evil where there are none. The sufi sage Henry Corbin comments upon this in The Man of Light when he says: “However, settling for the ordinary terms “I” and “self” to describe the two “dimensions” of this unusambo might well lead to a misunderstanding of the real situation…One cannot understand this relationship except in the light of the fundamental Sufi saying: “He who knows himself knows his Lord.” The identity of himself and Lord does not correspond to a relationship of 1 = 1, but of 1 x 1: the identity of an essence raised to its total power by being multiplied by itself.” (Omega publications. 1971: 9). The implications for the initiates spiritual journey are immense seen from this perspective, but so is the consequence of this philosophy on the fundamental view upon man and the sense of belongingness as Corbin here speaks about a separation between man and his spiritual double that are bridged by multiplication, himself and his Lord into an higher octave. This result in a perfected understanding, which would say an understanding void of the shadows of doubt or perhaps one should say shadows and doubt. It all rests in perspective and recognition of the need for this celestial union that constitutes the perfected or the man not fallen, meaning having his light captured by the darkness of ignorance and demonic fields of imprisonment. The perspective in question is the one that seek to understand all things placement, who understands that there is no thing in creation that do not belong. When we sense something is evil or don’t belong we are perceiving an affliction, a disease of the perfect substance and rather than feeding this perception that what is afflicted is evil one should seek to understand how to mend the affliction or remove one self from the afflicted sphere.
Contrary to man made society is the cosmic order governed by natural laws, as such the cosmic order surpasses what man is able to construct amongst them selves given the corrupted state of man and its failing perception. Since this perspective governs the construction of man made society it will at all times suffer from various afflictions. If we turn to the perfected world of stellar harmony we understand an affliction or debility to be caused by a relationship of tension or disharmony between two forces. Let’s take Mars as an example. Mars is a planet represented by martial activities, it is hot and nocturnal. It is a planet of rebellion and warfare, of perfected young maleness. Now, Mars can enter into a trine with for instance Venus which has a benevolent effect upon Mars temper and softens its martial radiance. However, it can also enter into a square with Jupiter and our wealth can be afflicted by misfortunes, such as stealth and violence. But does this make Mars evil when afflicted? We can very well use this term, evil, but let us understand that with evil in this sense we refer to an afflicted condition that affect us negatively. Actually, by confronting an affliction with understanding and distributing the remedy we can gain both the planets favor and understanding. This understanding will then be based upon perceiving the reasons for the planets placement and see this as an additional knowledge that widens our understanding of life and the road towards perfection. Applying these principles in our life will result in a perception void of the idea of evil and this will be replaced by concepts concerning misplacement and affliction and we will use these as tools for teaching, as sources for enrichment of our life. This will result in us meeting our enemies and oppressors with understanding and using these tensions and this malefica as stepping stones towards a perfected stature and in the end it will give wealth of spirit and richness of life. If we turn towards the philosophical metaphysics of Ifá, similar ideas are expounded in more practical ways. Here the basic idea is found in the 256 patterns of cosmic reality that manifests in men and conditions either afflicted or perfected accompanied with their solutions. This means that a man manifesting one of these 256 odu in its afflicted manifestation can perform actions and deeds in order to remove the affliction and at the same time the priests of Ifá are the holders of the secrets of understanding of these varied conditions and thus is able to heal the community with this very same understanding. As such the priest of Ifá is considered a pact-maker, a manifestation of peaceful understanding and wisdom it self. Also here we find deep within its metaphysic a relationship with stars and constellations, with the tenants of classical astrology and thus a perfected understanding of the cosmic order and its many roads of manifestation amongst men. At the heart of the matter is simply the lack of understanding of the placement of the various powers - that we do not understanding that man is fundamentally about possibility. Every affliction that hits our life and happiness is always a lesson in disguise, ways of tempering our corrupted state, ways of reaching perfection. The failure to realize the lessons that are blazing within the subterranean waters of affliction and misfortune creates the deceptive illusion that we are subject to meaningless evil – but there are no meaningless evil, there are only conditions. There are only the blessings and the accursed road towards great cunning and the only compass on the accursed road is by way of understanding.