The flask in which the alchemist’s work is heated, is now sealed, and within it the material impurities separate from the spiritualized substance that is the goal of the hermetic work. This is pictured in the image of the winged dragon. As Hermes says: “You must separate the gross from the subtle, gently and with great sagacity.”
“The great university will be divided into grades, admission to which will be through preliminary tests or initiations. Here mankind will be instructed in the most sacred, the most secret, and the most enduring of all Mysteries–Symbolism. Here the initiate will be taught that every visible object, every abstract thought, every emotional reaction is but the symbol of an eternal principle. Here mankind will learn that CHiram (Truth) lies buried in every atom of Kosmos; that every form is a symbol and every symbol the tomb of an eternal verity. Through education–spiritual, mental, moral, and physical–man will learn to release living truths from their lifeless coverings. The perfect government of the earth must be patterned eventually after that divine government by which the universe is ordered. In that day when perfect order is reestablished, with peace universal and good triumphant, men will no longer seek for happiness, for they shall find it welling up within themselves. Dead hopes, dead aspirations, dead virtues shall rise from their graves, and the Spirit of Beauty and Goodness repeatedly slain by ignorant men shall again be the Master of Work. Then shall sages sit upon the seats of the mighty and the gods walk with men.”
In the living present, the world, the ordinary state of nature, speaks most clearly, and with its forces it claims our attention, wishing to absorb us completely, and leading us to believe there is nothing else. Perhaps you have sought the Light—the mystery—all your life. That is why in the living present there are mysteries you will have to approach with a total reversal in your attitude of life, if you really wish their veils be rent and truth radiate from them.
Those who dedicate themselves to the processes of discipline and self improvement set down by the old masters, are preparing themselves to enter the house of wisdom by the proper gate. On the other hand, such foolish mortals as believe they can breathe, chant, intone, psychologize or affirm themselves into a state of all knowing are trying to pick locks for which they have not filed the key.
Manly P. Hall -
Words to the Wise: A Practical Guide to the Esoteric Sciences.
The aim of the hermetic philosophy lies in the uniting of the spiritual with the material. Thus the coat-of-arms of the hermetic art reflects the splendor of the Sun, uniting the planets in the heavens above with the alchemical work in the world of matter below.