Dimensions of The Divine:
The Four Divine Principles Examined
Fire = Omnipotence
This doesn't simply mean that the Divine is all powerful and therefore capable of doing anything It wishes. Instead, it means that the Divine encompasses all power and all force. This power is infinite in terms of quantity and quality. In other words, there is not a single erg of energy that is not a part of the Divine and there is not a single quanta of willing that is not an aspect of the Divine Will. When we as individuals enact our personal will, we are making use of the Divine Will. When our Sun shines, it is radiating an energy which is Divine in nature. When an electron spins within an atom it does so because it is moved by a Divine energy. When a thought forms within our minds, it is because there is a Divine will which empowers its formation.
Another way of looking at this is that everything that occurs, every action and every manifestation of energy or force whatsoever, is a manifestation of the Divine Will. In the temporal realm, we often see and experience the action of forces which we find hard to perceive as having a Divine source or purpose, let alone a Divine permission, since they seem so counter-productive and so opposite to our conceptualization of Divine. We plead with the Divine to change this or that circumstance or pray that the Divine will defend us from this or that circumstance, yet all the while we are asking the Divine to counter Its own Self, Its own Will. When the circumstance is defeated or changed to our satisfaction, we think that the Divine has answered our prayer, yet we remain ignorant of the fact that the original circumstance was itself a Divine Act of mercy.
The energy that powers our existence as individual beings is wholly Divine. We are each a spark of the Divine energy and we each employ that same Divine energy in all of our thoughts, words and deeds. The question is whether or not we use the Divine energy with respect and reverence for its Divine source.
Do we think thoughts, speak words and act in ways that honor the Divine origin of the energy we are using for our thinking, speaking and acting? Most often not. Hermetics however, affords us the opportunity to do so in a disciplined and consistent manner. The keys to respectfully wielding the Divine energy are self-knowledge, self-exploration and self-perfection. In other words, the path to power lies inward and is one of self-transformation -- one of transforming the self so that it harmonizes with the Divine Self.
When all power is recognized as Divine in origin, one then has the opportunity to let it flow through one's own individual self as Divine energy instead of manipulating it and reshaping it into a personalized energy, fit only to meet one's self-centered wants and desires. This releases the fullest potential of Divine energy since it is then allowed to flow unhindered into material manifestation.
From the eternal, non-sequential perspective, the only sort of power that the Divine ItSelf wields is the infinite will to be, to exist. All other types (quantities and qualities) of will are expressions of that Divine Will to Be.
Air = Omniscience
This doesn't simply mean that the Divine knows everything. Rather, it means that the Divine Awareness is infinite. All awareness is encompassed by the Divine Awareness. There is not any type (quantity and quality) of awareness that is not an aspect of the Divine Awareness.
The Divine directly and immediately (i.e., in each moment) experiences the infinite number of discrete quantas of awareness that compose the temporal infinity. In other words, it is the Divine Awareness which is aware through us and through every thing that exists. Furthermore, the Divine Awareness is eternal, which means that the Divine is simultaneously and non-sequentially aware as the infinite number of discrete awareness's which manifest throughout the entire infinite passage of time and sequence.
This is the Hermetic aphorism that "ALL is Mind or Awareness / Consciousness". This is echoed in Kabbalah where we find the Letter Aleph, which is the Mother Letter of Air, spoken of as the "plan of the Primordial". All of which is to say that the Divine Awareness represents a universally sustaining continuity, the inherent nature of which results in this specific manifestation as we know it.
The inherent nature of Divine Awareness manifests within the sequential realm as "Legality". In other words, it is the template to which all materia must invariably adhere. The Divine Awareness serves as the matrix that gives form to all force or power. It is the Great Director and the Great Creator of each and every moment.
Encompassed within the infinite Awareness of the Divine are the infinite number of individualized quantas of awareness that populate the realm of sequence. Each experiences itself as discrete, yet each is connected to the Divine Awareness by virtue of its self-awareness. In other words, awareness is the common denominator which binds together the whole of creation. It is what we share in common with other human beings, animals, plants, rocks, clouds and all other things that fill the temporal realm. It is what binds us all together as Divine in nature.
By virtue of this connection with all other things, we can therefore communicate with all other things at the level of pure awareness. When we focus exclusively within our own pure awareness, we can then directly perceive the essential meaning of any other thing. A thing's essential meaning is nothing other than its individualized quanta of awareness -- its particular, unique manifestation of the infinite Divine Awareness. The awareness or essential meaning resident within each thing is what gives it form -- it is what causes the physical, astral and mental materia to coalesce into that specific form. Without the presence of that spark of Divine Awareness, the form would not coalesce and there would be no existence for that thing.
Water = All Love
This doesn't just mean that the Divine is a "good guy" who loves us all in spite of our short comings, someone we can call on when we get in a fix, etc.. Instead, there is a very deep, mystical significance with infinite consequences implied here.
This is the Providence aspect of the Divine which provides everything that is involved in the eternal creation and sustenance of all that exists. We think of this in terms of love only because we conceive a certain separation between us and the Divine, so it feels like a gift of love. In truth however, we are encompassed within the Divine so this is really an aspect of how the Divine naturally sustains ItSelf. It is not a gift given to us, but rather an impersonal fact of Divine nature. All of our needs, and the needs of everything, are eternally and perfectly met because that is an inherent part of Divine BEing.
At a personal, human level, this means that every thing that happens in our lives is an aspect and manifestation of the Divine Love. We also call it karma, which is nothing other than the Divine setting before us, in the absolute best manner possible, the lessons we need to learn in order to evolve.
Divine Providence provides us with exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. It never places before us something we don't need. Even the vilest of circumstances are, from the Divine perspective, necessary. Furthermore, they are presented according to the Universal Legality, which means that the form in which they are presented is the only form in which they could, in that moment, be presented to us.
The consequences of this astound the mind if one contemplates them deeply enough . . .
I would like you to picture yourself sitting in a meadow of Spring grasses. The air feels clean and refreshing, The sun's rays caress you gently with their warmth. Everywhere you gaze you see the beauty of Spring time. Now imagine that every thing surrounding you is conscious and aware. Imagine that the air you breathe is aware, that it loves you and intentionally sustains you. Imagine that the sun's rays are aware and are consciously and intentionally expressing their love for you by sustaining your body and soul with their gentle caresses. Imagine that the water you drink, the food you eat and the earth below your feet are all there to express their love by sustaining your every need. Now imagine that all the people you know are, likewise, expressions of this Divine Love which sustains you, albeit in less material ways. Now imagine that every circumstance of your life is also an expression of the Divine Love, eternally sustaining you.
The only time any thing feels like it is not a manifestation of the Divine Providential Love, is when we do not recognize it as such and therefore do not harmonize with it. It's when we ourselves are not consciously aware of our own role as manifestations of the Divine Love and do not harmonize our own thoughts, words and deeds with that Divine Loving, that we become blinded to the eternal and infinite manifestation of the Divine Love all around us.
But as creatures of the temporal realm which wield our human free will, it is our prerogative to choose whether or not we consciously harmonize with the Divine Love and therefore aid its expression, instead of hindering it. When we choose to not harmonize, we become blind to the fact that a difficult circumstance is in fact an expression of the Divine Love designed specifically to advance our personal evolution. This choice breeds difficulty, strife and the experience of suffering.
On the other hand, when we do recognize that every circumstance is an expression of the Divine Love and begin to consciously participate in the Divine Love through our thoughts, words and deeds, then strife and suffering disappear. We then become eager to face any challenge that confronts us because we recognize the value we will derive from not resisting it and from intentionally learning from it. In this way, we let the Divine love us and love through us.
Earth = Omnipresence
Omnipresence means more than just being every where. It also means being every when, every who, what and why. In other words, this is not just a spatial and temporal aspect of the Divine. Instead, it is physical, astral, mental and Akashic (i.e., eternal). Another term for omnipresence is immanence, which comes from the Latin meaning "to stay within its own place". The Divine is indwelling -- It fills Its own Self.
Omnipresence also implies infinite duration or eternity. Eternity is a difficult concept to grasp intellectually. Most often we think of it as "a really, really long time" or as an infinite sequence of moments, all strung together in a row stretching infinitely in all directions. But this is only how eternity appears to a sequentialized human mind, which knows only the perspective of existence within the temporal realm. Our only point of reference is that of living in time and space, so we naturally think in those terms. Unfortunately, it is this habitual thinking based upon appearances that prevents us from accurately conceiving of eternity.
The Divine is not immanent sequentially. That is to say, the Divine is immanent at this very moment throughout all that exists right now; plus, the Divine is immanent throughout the whole infinite span of time and all the infinite number of "nows" that have and will occur. AND, the Divine maintains this awareness uniformly throughout all of time and space. AND, the Divine Awareness experiences all the parts of the whole and all the moments of time, all at once or simultaneously. In other words, the Divine experience of its own immanence is non-sequential. The Divine is eternally experiencing the first moment, the final moment and every moment in between, right "now".
The eternal realm is not separate from the temporal -- it is integral to the temporal. The eternal is immanent and its duration is infinite. Every single form however, exists only for a limited amount of time before it disintegrates and the immanent force which holds it together is released. The cyclic transition of an immanent force being contained within form and released from form and then contained in form anew, is also eternal. In other words, individual forms themselves are not eternal but the sequential process of immanent force inhabiting a variety of forms is eternal.
Thus throughout the whole infinite span of time-space, the Divine Awareness assumes an infinite variety of temporary forms, each of which is unique. Or rather, the Divine experiences an infinite temporal duration through a simultaneous, non-sequential existence as an infinitude of sequentialized temporary forms.
When we are focused exclusively within our mundane awareness, we have no cognizance of our eternal essence. We experience life as a short and rather chaotic string of moments; with a beginning, middle and end to each moment and to the whole string itself. On the other hand, when we focus upon our pure awareness -- that part of us which is infinite and eternal -- we begin to realize that there is reason, purpose and order to every thing. But this Divine order is recognizable only when we step out of our slavery to the minutia of time and view existence from an eternal perspective.
Since the Divine is infinite in its duration and is immanent within all things throughout all time, there exists an eternal Equilibrium wherein all forces exist in perfect balance. However, this perfect Equilibrium exists only as an aspect of the eternal realm. Within the temporal, sequential realm, each moment is imperfect and does not manifest a perfect Equilibrium. Instead of Equilibrium, the temporal realm exists as a state of continuous change in which balance is gained and then lost, re-gained and re-lost, over and over, ad infinitum.
The Mystery which connects the temporal imperfection with the eternal Perfection is that an infinite number of imperfect moments are manifest throughout the infinite stream of time-space and that infinite number add together to form the Perfection of eternity. It is the immanence of that Divine Perfection which causes the temporal imperfection to be in a constant state of evolution toward perfection.
By tending to our own path toward personal perfection and Equilibrium, we consciously participate in that Divine evolutionary force which moves the whole Universe toward the holistic Perfection of eternity. When we do this, we find that the Divine directly supports us along our path and the Divine immanence shines forth clearly through us.