[Man] can be understood only as an image of the macrocosm, of the Great Creature. Only then does it become manifest what is in him. For what is outside is also inside; and what is not outside man is not inside. The outer and the inner are one thing, one constellation, one influence, one concordance, one duration, one fruit. (From Paracelsus, Selected Writings, ed. Jolande Jacobi, trans. Norbert Guterman.New York: pantheon, 1951, p. 21.)

Know that you are another world in miniature and have in you Sol and Luna and even the stars [Origen, Homiliae in Leviticum, 5, 2.].

With those who accept the doctrine of Microcosm/Macrocosm, there is the tendency to think that the macrocosm is superior. This is not the case at all. In our Western mindset, large is better than small, but this entirely misses the point. These realities are intermingled in such a way as to be nearly indistinguishable.

This seeming dichotomy between Microcosm/Macrocosm is illusory. Speaking this way, of two realities, is a kind of heuristic device to aid in understanding. The teaching is directly related to the esoteric doctrine, As above, so below. I would say there are myriad possible meanings to the phrase. I take it to mean that the depth of Soul is comparable to the infinity of the physical universe. Just as there are innumerable worlds in our universe, there are innumerable worlds within us. The complexity of the physical universe corresponds to the complexity of mankind as well.

If you travel the way of spirit and climb the scala paradisi, you will ultimately fall from your lofty heights and end up deep in the mire. If you traverse the depths, you will, in my opinion, find the place you have long sought after. The way of Soul is a descent, not always pleasant, but the roots emanate deep and draw up the water of life. This is why the sages have always admonished us to “know thyself.” Because of the ouroboric effect, the deep passageways will lead to the height of Man’s glory.

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2 thoughts on “Microcosmos

  1. The tendency to assign greater value to the macro is a wonderful insight.

    Indeed the way down is difficult, but the window within which people can opt to remain on the sidelines feels like, to me, that it is closing.

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