Thus the doctrine, which may be consciously acquired “through a kind of divine inspiration is at the same time the instrument whereby the object of the doctrine or theory can be freed from its imprisonment in the body, because the symbol for the doctrine the “magnet” is at the same time the mysterious “truth” of which the doctrine speaks.
The doctrine enters the consciousness of the adept as a gift of the Holy Ghost.
It is a thesaurus of knowledge about the secret of the art, of the treasure hidden in the prima materia., which was thought to be outside man.
The treasure of the doctrine and the precious secret concealed in the darkness of matter are one and the same thing.
For us this is not a discovery, as we have known for some time that such secrets owe their existence to unconscious projections.
Dorn was the first thinker to recognize with the utmost clarity the extraordinary dilemma of alchemy: the arcane substance is one and the same, whether it is found within man or outside him. The “alchymical” procedure takes place within and without.
He who does not understand how to free the “truth” in his own soul from its fetters will never make a success of the physical opus, and he who knows how to make the stone can only do so on the basis of right doctrine, through which he himself is transformed, or which he creates through his own transformation.
Helped by these reflections, Dorn comes to realize the fundamental importance of self-knowledge: “See, therefore, that thou goest forth such as thou desirest the work to be which thou seekest.”
In other words, the expectations you put into the work must be applied to your own ego.
The production of the arcane substance, the “generatio Mercurii,” is possible only for one who has full knowledge of the doctrine; but “we cannot be resolved of any doubt except by experiment, and there is no better way to make it than on ourselves.”
The doctrine formulates our inner experience or is substantially dependent upon it: “Let him know that man’s greatest treasure is to be found within man, and not outside him.
From him it goes forth inwardly . . . whereby that is outwardly brought to pass which he sees with his own eyes.
Therefore unless his mind be blinded, he will see, that is, understand, who and of what sort he is inwardly, and by the light of nature he will know himself through outward things.”
The secret is first and foremost in man; it is his true self which he does not know but learns to know by experience of outward things.
Therefore Dorn exhorts the alchemist: “Learn from within thyself to know all that is in heaven and on earth, that thou mayest be wise in all things.
Knowest thou not that heaven and the elements were formerly one, and were separated by a divine act of creation from one another, that they might bring forth thee and all things?”
Since knowledge of the world dwells in his own bosom, the adept should draw such knowledge out of his knowledge of himself, for the self he must seek to know is a part of that nature which was bodied forth by God’s original oneness with the world.
It is manifestly not a knowledge of the nature of the ego, though this is far more convenient and is fondly confused with self-knowledge.
For this reason anyone who seriously tries to know himself as an object is accused of selfishness and eccentricity.
But such knowledge has nothing to do with the ego’s subjective knowledge of itself. That is a dog chasing its own tail.
The other, on the contrary, is a difficult and morally exacting study of which so-called psychology knows nothing and the educated public very little.
The alchemist, however, had at the very least an indirect inkling of it: he knew definitely that as part of the whole he had an image of the whole in himself, of the “firmament” or ”Olympus” as Paracelsus calls it.
This interior microcosm was the unwitting object of alchemical research.
Today we would call it the collective unconscious, and we would describe it as “objective” because it is identical in all individuals and is therefore one.
Out of this universal One there is produced in every individual a subjective consciousness, i.e., the ego.
This is, roughly, how we today would understand Dorn’s “formerly one” and “separated by a divine act of creation.” ~Carl Jung; Aion; Paras 249-252