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Perhaps the most important work for the student who aspires to attainment of true first-hand knowledge is the work of transmutation, the process employed in the cosmos for producing various phases of refinement in all forms of nature. Transmutation applies not only to the realms of thought relative to man but manifests equally throughout the physical body in ways not generally conceived.

In proportion to our comprehension of the forces of transmutation do we really come to appreciate the unending wonders of the human body-temple and lift our voices in unison with the Greek poet as he sings:

‘’Many a wonder lives and moves; But the wonder of all is man.’’

The forces of transmutation have both an ascending and a descending arc. Man was originally a spiritual being, but he gradually descended into a relatively impermanent phase of material existence. Rudolf Steiner emphasis this fact in his lecture series on The World of the Senses and the World of Spirit, wherein he states: ‘’Man has undergone a great coarsening in his nature.’’  He notes further that while man lived in the super-physical state the spiritualised forces of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition formed an important part of his vehicle.

However, with the inrush of matter, the spiritual substance of Imagination, which had been furnished him by the Elohim, was crystallized into bones. Inspiration, which had its seat in rhythm and harmony, was transformed into muscular substance. The forces of Intuition took on the semblance of nerves. ‘’These high gifts of the gods,’’ Dr. Steiner continues, ‘’have all become rigid in matter…. Matter is thus something with which we are filled but which does not belong to us. It is because we bear this physical matter that we know physical death. When the power in the bones, (which is material) gain the upper hand, the bones become incapable of life. It is the same with the muscles and nerves. As soon as the matter in the bones, muscles, and nerves gain the upper hand over Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition, and is able to break asunder, in that moment must man lay down his physical body.’’  

Herein is found the secret of the wondrous power of the transmutation. Man is now learning how to use the forces of Imagination (the image-making faculty), Inspiration (the breadth of spirit), and Intuition (the voice of spirit). He is learning that these are powerful forces within himself by which matter can be transmuted into spirit and that when this is accomplished he need not die.

This is the glorious message of the incoming New Age whose theme is Transmutation and whose keynote is Immortality. The last enemy to be overcome is death, declared St Paul. He it was who gave the further admonition that we lay aside the terrestrial body while still resident upon earth, that we be clothed in the body celestial.

In this connection, it is significant to note that the celebrated English mystic and poet-painter, William Blake, called Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition other names for God. ‘’Imagination,’’ he wrote ‘’is the divine body in every man.’’  It would be well if everyone incorporated within his own heart the triumphant soul song of this man, one of Earth’s Illumined, for in the following is to be found the true recipe for spiritual rebirth through regeneration ‘’May we be transported,’’ says Blake, ‘’by way of awakened imagination, recognition of worldly life as a living death, annihilation of selfhood, and regeneration; so may we be transported into the eternal Imagination, in which our soul is at one with God.’’

Finally, in recapitulation be it noted that a part of man’s evolutionary equipment is impermanent and transitory. All factors pertaining to the life of the senses will have disappeared by the end of the Earth Period. Consequently, Egos which have chosen to follow the path of the sense life throughout this great evolutionary Earth cycle, and have thus forfeited opportunities for spiritual progress, will, under karmic law, be compelled to retrace their steps during another cosmic cycle.

There are two paths, one of the senses and one of the spirit. Man possesses free will and so can choose the way he will go. But that choice brings repercussions, not alone for one life but throughout a humanly incalculable span of time. Dr Steiner says: ‘’We begin to know that good is creative in the World-all, something that always and every-where belongs to the world that is arising and coming into being. And of the bad, we feel how it everywhere shows itself as a process of the outpourings of death and decay.

With every wrong thing we do we become a helper of the destroying angel. We ourselves take his scythe and share in the processes of death and decay. Therefore, it is necessary to know what good and evil mean and to recognise them in the world, the one as a creative and the other as a death-dealing principle.

Every activity of man sets its impress upon the psychic envelope of the Earth. This applies to Thought, the spoken word, and the physical deed. If these activities are constructive, their emanations are absorbed by, and become a component part of, the world soul. If, on the contrary, these activities are negative and destructive, their emanations become dark and sinister currents that remain in the spiritual realms until the Ego responsible for their creation assumes the task of liquidation. As a man soweth, so shall he reap or in plain language, we reap what we have sown.

It is only as we realise the full import of the preceding statement that we begin to understand the real meaning of transmutation and its far-reaching significance in relation to our well-being. We are individually responsible for the reaction upon Earth of our every thought, word, and deed. Biblically, this truth is given in Matthew’s Gospels: ‘’By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’’

The transmutative power within man centres in the forces previously referred to as Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. It is by the constructive use of the image-building faculty united with the breadth (currents) and the voice (power) of spirit that the miracle of transmutation may be effected, a miracle which clears our karmic sheet and thus immeasurably accelerates our spiritual evolution.

Endowed with these powers, we learn to transform evil into good, hatred into love, darkness into light. Transmutation is the wonder key that opens the door to at-one-ment with that Light which is the Light of the World. By the magic of transmutation, we reach the height that is the supreme goal of earthly life: to ‘’walk in the light as He is in the light, (and) have fellowship one with another.’’

Taken from "Occult Anatomy and The Bible" by Corinne Heline.

by brother Solomon


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