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One such spark is the human mind.

001 Luminosity


The hypothesis of multiple luminosities rests partly, as we have seen, on the quasi-conscious state of unconscious contents and partly on the incidence of certain images which must be regarded as symbolical.

These are to be found in the dreams and visual fantasies of modern individuals, and can also be traced in historical records.

As the reader may be aware, one of the most important sources for symbolical ideas in the past is alchemy.

From this I take, first and foremost, the idea of the scintillae—sparks—which appear as visual illusions in the “arcane substance.”

Thus the Aurora consurgens, Part II, says: “Scito quod terra foetida cito recipit scintillulas albas” (Know that the foul earth quickly receives white sparks).

These sparks Khunrath explains as “radii atque scintillae” of the “anima catholica,” the world-soul, which is identical with the spirit of God.

From this interpretation it is clear that certain of the alchemists had already divined the psychic nature of these luminosities.

They were seeds of light broadcast in the chaos, which Khunrath calls “mundi futuri seminarium” (the seed plot of a world to come).

One such spark is the human mind.

The arcane substance—the watery earth or earthy water (limus: mud) of the World Essence —is “universally animated” by the “fiery spark of the soul of the world,” in accordance with the Wisdom of Solomon 1:7: ”

For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world.”

In the “Water of the Art,” in “our Water,” which is also the chaos, there are to be found the “fiery sparks of the soul of the world as pure Formae Rerum essen tiales. ”

These formae*1 correspond to the Platonic Ideas, from which one could equate the scintillae with the archetypes on the assumption that the Forms “stored up in a supracelestial place” are a philosophical version of the latter.

One would have to conclude from these alchemical visions that the archetypes have about them a certain effulgence or quasi-consciousness, and that numinosity entails luminosity.

Paracelsus seems to have had an inkling of this.

The following is taken from his Philosophia sagax: “And as little as aught can exist in man without the divine numen, so little can aug-ht
exist in man without the natural lumen.

A man is made perfect by numen and lumen and these two alone.

Everything springs from these two, and these two are in man, but without them man is nothing, though they can be without man.”

In confirmation of this Khunrath writes: “There be . . . Scintillae Animae Mundi igneae, Luminis nimirum Naturae, fiery sparks of the world soul, i.e., of the light of nature . . . dispersed or sprinkled in and throughout the structure of the great world into all fruits of the elements everywhere.”

The sparks come from the “Ruach Elohim,” the Spirit of God.

Among the scintillae he distinguishes a “scintilla perfecta Unici Potentis ac Fortis,” which is the elixir and hence the arcane substance itself.

If we may compare the sparks to the archetypes, it is evident that Khunrath lays particular stress on one of them.

This One is also described as the Monad and the Sun, and they both indicate the Deity.

A similar image is to be found in the letter of Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians, where he writes of the coming of Christ: “How, then, was he manifested to the world?

A star shone in heaven beyond the stars, and its light was unspeakable, and its newness caused astonishment, and all the other stars, with the sun and moon, gathered in chorus round this star. . . .”

Psychologically, the One Scintilla or Monad is to be regarded as a symbol of the self—an aspect I mention only in passing. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 388