Serving the ideals of the Rosicrucian Movement

Commentaries on the Chymical Wedding of C.R.C.

The First Day

by Jack Courtis

He had scarce done speaking when an ancient matron commanded her servants to let down the cord seven times into the dungeon, and draw up whosoever could hang upon it. Good God: that I could sufficiently describe the hurry and disquiet that then arose among us; for every one strove to get to the cord, and yet only interfered with each other. But after seven minutes a sign was given by a little bell, whereupon at the first pull the servants drew up four.

The cord is to be let down 7 times. We immediately know that the 7 pairs of opposites are being invoked. The prisoners behave as can be expected of those ignorant of karma and the inner journey. After 7 minutes (note the emphasis) a bell gives the sign. This symbolises the knowledge given to those who have ears to hear. At the first pull, 4 are drawn up. Why 4? What does that represent?

At that time I could not come near the cord by much, having (as is before-mentioned) to my huge misfortune, taken myself to a stone at the wall of the dungeon, and thereby found it difficult to reach the cord which descended in the middle. The cord was let down the second time, but several, because their chains were too heavy, and their hands too tender, could not keep their hold on the cord, but with themselves beat down many another, who else perhaps might have held fast enough; nay, many were forcibly pulled off by another, who yet could not himself get at it, so mutually envious were we even in this our great misery. But they of all others most moved my compassion, whose weight was so heavy, that they tore their very hands from their bodies, and yet could not get up. Thus it came to pass that at those five times very few were drawn up. For as soon as the sign was given, the servants were so nimble at the draught, that most tumbled one upon another, and the cord, this time especially, was drawn up very empty.

Note that the "stone" is mentioned a second time; wait for the third. Notice also the heavy karmic burden that prevents deliverance even by people who wish to act by grasping the cord. Some even have their hands torn off; their very ability to act is denied them. This causes compassion on the part of CRC. Although not clearly stated, compassion is the key to salvation for the majority of humanity. For many of us, our karmic burden is too heavy. Even if we want to act for our own salvation, we act wrongly, because we act like the prisoners in the dungeon.

Whereupon the greatest part, and even I myself, despaired of redemption, and called upon God that he would have pity on us, and (if possible) deliver us out of this obscurity, who also then heard some of us: for when the cord came down the sixth time, some of them hung themselves fast upon it; and whilst being drawn up, the cord swung from one side to the other, it (perhaps by the will of God) came to me, which I suddenly caught, uppermost above all the rest, and so at length beyond hope came out; whereat I exceedingly rejoiced, so that I perceived not the wound, which in the drawing up I received on my head by a sharp stone, until with the rest who were released (as was always before done) was fain to help at the seventh and last pull, at which time through straining, the blood ran down all over my clothes, which in my joy of deliverance, I regarded not.

On the sixth pull of the cord CRC is delivered. Remember that in Genesis ch 1, God creates by polarity, 6 times. Now we hear of the "stone" for the third time. It is sharp and wounds CRC on his head. He sheds blood. This reminds us of the Crown chakra, the sefira Keter (Crown) on the Tree of Life, The Crown of Thorns of Christ and the redeeming value of sacrificial action. Through compassion, CRC helps on the 7th pull of the cord. This is the extra element that we need when the weight of our karma is too heavy to allow us to achieve salvation by our own efforts. Here, CRC is acting like a Bodhisatva. Through compassion, he delays his own full deliverance, in order to help others out of the dungeon.

Now when the last draught whereon the most of all hung, was finished, the matron caused the cord to be laid away, and willed her aged son to declare her resolution to the rest of the prisoners, who after he had a little bethought himself spoke, thus unto them.

Ye children dear
All present here,
What is but now complete and done,
Was long before resolved on:
What er’e my mother of great grace
To each on both sides here hath sown,
May never discontent mis-place;
The joyful time is drawing on,
When every one shall equal be,
None wealthy, none in penury.
Who er’e receiveth great commands
Hath work enough to fill his hands.
What is it to wait for some few days?
Who er’e with much hath trusted been,
It is well if he may save his skin.
Wherefore your lamentations cease,
What is it to wait for some few days?

The 7th pull of the cord is the last. Genesis only records 7 Days. The feminine principle speaks to us through the guardian, our conscience. In a few "days" she will give us another opportunity. This means that all kosmic processes are cyclic and if we miss one opportunity, the turn of the cycle will give us another. It is of course best to act now by recognising our true spiritual state rather than waiting for some future karmic opportunity.

As soon as he had finished these words, the cover was again laid over and locked down, and the trumpets and kettle-drums began afresh, yet could not the noise thereof be so loud, but that the bitter lamentation of the prisoners which arose in the dungeon was heard above all, which soon also caused my eyes and heart to weep. Thereafter the ancient matron, together with her son sat down on seats before prepared, and commanded the redeemed should be told. Now as soon as she understood the number, and had written it down in a gold-yellow tablet, she demanded every name of us, which were also written down by a little page;

At the end of a cycle, the dungeon is sealed up but the cries of despairing humanity still reach higher levels of reality. This causes another outflow of compassion from CRC. In the role of Bodhisatva, this will ensure that he will return to help us. The "gold-yellow tablet" reminds us of the Tablet of Hermes. The names of the redeemed are recorded because those are the true names, they state the true nature of a person who is enlightened or saved. This reminds us that in the Apocalypse of John, the names of the "saved" are recorded in the Book of Life.

having viewed us all, one after another, she signed, and spoke to her son, so as I could well hear her, "Ah! How heartily am I grieved for the poor men in the dungeon. I would to God release them all," whereunto her son replied; "It is, mother, thus ordained by God, against whom we may not contend. In case we all of us were lords, and possessed all the goods upon Earth, and were seated at table, who would there then be to bring up the service?" Whereupon his mother held her peace, but soon after she said; "Let these be freed from their fetters", which was presently done, and I, except a few was the last; yet I could not refrain, but (though I still looked upon the rest) bowed before the ancient matron, and thanked God that through her (and by Grace), I had been brought from darkness and into the light: after me the rest did likewise, to the satisfaction of the matron.

To say that all this is "ordained by God, against whom we may not contend", is not to say that we are in a hopeless preordained condition. What is preordained is the series of spiritual laws that we have to live by. If we obey, we get one consequence. But we are free to disobey. In that case, we get a different consequence. God is constrained by His own nature to act according to law and so are we. To disobey the law is allowed for by that law. The consequences are then inevitable. That is why knowledge of the law helps us. If we know what to do, we can disentangle ourselves from our karma. What must we do? The 12 Disciplines, the 7 Reconciliations and proper orientation to Divine Providence. That is the law. We can choose to obey or disobey.

Lastly, to every one was given a piece of gold for a remembrance, and to spend by the way, on the one whereof was stamped the rising sun, on the other (as I remember) these three letters, D.L.S. {Deus Lux Solis - God is the Light of the Sun}, and therewith every one had license to depart, and was sent to his own business with this annexed intimation, that we to the Glory of God should benefit our neighbours, and reserve in silence what we had been instructed with, which we also promised to do, and so departed one from another.

The reference to gold and the sun reminds us of the Emerald Tablet. Gold is the symbol of those redeemed by the alchemical process and this is the "work of the Sun". This is Tiferet on the Tree of Life and the focus of the 3 processes of descent, ascent and redescent described in the Tablet of Hermes.

But in regard of the wounds which the fetters had caused me, I could not well go forward, but halted on both feet, which the matron presently espying, laughing at and calling me again to her said thus to me, "my son, let not this defect afflict thee, but call to mind thy infirmities, and therewith thank God who hath permitted thee even in this world, and in the state of thy imperfection to come into so high a light, and keep these wounds for my sake."

The wounds caused by the fetters are the karmic consequences of our actions. No matter how far we progress on the inner journey, we shall keep these wounds because they are the marks of our spiritual progress.

Whereupon the trumpets began again to sound, which so frightened me that I awoke, and then perceived that it was only a dream, yet it was so strongly impressed upon my imagination, that I was still perpetually troubled about it, and I thought I could yet feel the wounds on my feet. Howbeit, by all these things I well understood that God had vouchsafed that I should be present at this mysterious and bidden marriage; wherefore with childlike confidence I returned thanks to his Divine Majesty, and besought him, that he would further preserve me in his fear, that he would daily fill my heart with wisdom and understanding, and at length graciously (without my deserving) conduct me to the desired end.

CRC comes out of the dream inside the illusion, into the illusion itself - the objective consciousness of here and now. There are some truths that we can only experience at higher levels. That is why we must dream, dreams. Thus CRC seeks wisdom (Chakhmah on the Tree of Life) and understanding (Binah on the Tree). The grace he asks for comes via the Middle Pillar of the Tree. That middle way, is the reconciliation of feminine wisdom with masculine understanding. Now watch closely.

Hereupon I prepared for the path. I put on my white linen coat and girded my loins with a blood-red ribbon bound cross-ways over my shoulder. In my hat I stuck four red roses, that I might the sooner by this token be taken notice of among the throng. For food I took bread, salt and water, which by the counsel of an understanding person I had at certain times used, not without profit, in like occurrences.

The 4 roses, on the head above the heart (Sun/Tiferet) are the 4 step descent of the Emerald Tablet from the Above to the Below. The bread, salt and water, by implication carried in a bag below the heart, are the 3 step process of ascent from the Below to the Above. The blood red ribbon across the white linen coat is the 1 step double path of redescent from Keter to Tiferet on the Tree. As an occult blind, CRC mentions the last process, first. The 4 steps remind us of the 4 alchemical elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth); the 3 steps remind us of the 3 alchemical principles (Mercury, Sulfur, Salt) and the single step of a double nature points to the Quintessence without which, no alchemical process can succeed. CRC prepares himself for the inner journey to the Wedding, by performing the 3 processes of 8 steps mentioned in the Emerald Tablet. Remember he has already performed the majority of the 12 Disciplines, before he can perform the processes of the Tablet of Hermes. That is what we have to do as well. This is the law that is preordained. We can choose to obey or disobey the law. We have free will in that respect, but we cannot avoid the law.

But before I parted from my cottage, I first in this my dress and marriage garment, fell down upon my knees, and besought God, that in case such a thing were, he would vouchsafe me a good issue. And thereupon in the presence of God made I a vow, that if anything through His grace should be revealed to me, I would employ it neither to my own honour nor authority in the world, but to the spreading of His Name, and the service of my neighbour. And with this vow, and good hope I departed out of my cell with joy.

Thus the preparation ends with the vow of the Discipline of service. We are here to serve, not be served. There is work to be done.