There is a spark of divinity in all material phenomena. Alchemists know that the inner transformative process, which Jung called individuation, reveals the hidden light within matter. It is the inner work that reveals matter’s divine light. Jung, and many others, refer to this as lumen naturae, the Light of Nature. Jung claims it is this Light that illuminates consciousness (C. G. Jung, On the nature of the psyche, Collected Works vol. 8 (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1967), p. 192).
If this is true, and I think it most certainly is, then Nature is not a mass of dead matter. We know, since the advent of quantum mechanics, that matter is anything but dead. On the contrary, it is quite dynamic! Nature is living Soul! Listen to the wisdom of Paracelsus:
That of which we now tell is called lumen naturae and is eternal. God hath given it to the inner body, that it may be ruled by the
inner body and in accordance with reason. Therefore all that Man does
and should do, should be done from the light of nature. For the light of
nature is reason and nothing else (This translation was partly based on the translation in C.G. Jung, On the nature of the psyche, Coll. Works, vol. IX, paragraph 390)…
The following is Jolande Jacobi’s commentary on Paracelsus’ use of the phrase, “light of nature:”
Intuitive knowledge gained by the experience of nature and implicit in
all beings at their birth, in contrast to the knowledge given by
revelation [i.e., the light of the Holy Ghost]…In a cosmological sense,
it is a secret radiation of nature and makes possible the discovery of
the natural mysteries. In an anthropological sense, it is man’s active
intelligence (Paracelsus also calls it “reason”), a kind of knowledge
guided by intuition and developed by experience. The light of nature
belongs to the sphere of creation and operates only within it; it
originates in the spirit of God. As Paracelsus says: “the light of
nature was kindled by the Holy Ghost.” But although the natural light is
inseperably bound to the Holy Ghost, it constitutes an independent
source of knowledge (Paracelsus: selected writings, edited with an introduction by
Jolande Jacobi, translated by Norbert Guterman, Bollingen Series XXVII,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, 289 pp (hereafter called Jacobi, Paracelsus). This quote is from page 255).
There are actually two Great Lights: one we have briefly discussed; the other is the Lumen Dei, the Light of God. According to Stephen A. Hoeller, noted Gnostic scholar and Regionary Bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica,
Paracelsus, Jung held that in human life we possess two sources of Gnosis, or salvific
knowledge. One of these is Lumen Dei, the light proceeding from the unmanifest
Godhead, the other is Lumen Naturae, the light hidden in matter and the forces of
nature. While the Divine Light may be discerned and appreciated in revelation and in the
mystery of the Incarnation, the Light of Nature needs to be released through alchemy
before it can become fully operative. God redeems humanity, but nature needs to be
redeemed by human alchemists, who are able to induce the process of transformation which
alone is capable of liberating the light imprisoned in physical creation (C. G. Jung and the Alchemical Renewal).
Isn’t that amazing? Nature needs us to save it from the clutches of those who would harm it and treat it as something dead and lifeless. Just as we are to bring forth the light of Soul in our bodies, so we are to unlock the light within Nature so that it is readily available to humanity for the wondrous and amazing tasks that lay before it. So let it be come to pass!
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