Wisdom’s Instruction by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin

Introduction:

Translated by Sar Desír from the edition by Robert Amadou: “Présence de Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, textes inédits”, Tours, L’Autre Rive, Société ligérienne de philosophie, 1986, p. 22-59.

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The Magnificence of Wisdom:

Man, as there is nothing I hold dearer than you, I want to show you everything I have done in your favor, and all you have to expect from me, as long as you love me in return.

I only ask for your confidence in my vows, and I will give you a hundred times more than what I have promised you:

For I dispel all your fears, I clear all your doubts.

I am the strength and the Light itself.

The reasons for man’s miseries:

The first question that torments you is why you find yourself trapped in a dense matter, whose necessities and corruption retain you in slavery and constantly drive you into confusion.

The emanation of the elders:

To set your mind at ease on this matter, I will teach you what came about before the formation of this universe: I emanated from myself spiritual beings like yourself. I emanated them for my glory, so they could render unto me a cult of love and veneration that pleased me, and at the same time would bring about the state of blissful being of that which solely seeks to honor me.

Law, precept and commandment:

As spiritual beings, emanated from me, they were free.

They had a law ordained in their emanation, unable to escape the bounds of nature and could therefore never be my equals, however violent were their efforts.

For I am the only being, and there will never be another like unto me.

They still had a precept to direct them in the cult that was to be the essence of their spiritual nature, and a commandment they were to fulfill.

If these beings had not tried to leave the bounds which I had prescribed for them, if they had walked in my commandments and had they not abused their own commandment, an unbroken peace and innumerable delights would have been their reward, and evil would still be unknown.

Their freedom:

But, being independent of me, as to their will and spiritual actions, I could not constrain their free will without destroying them. They had in them a principle of indestructible life that I give to everything that comes forth from me. And so I left them to operate as they wished, without my intervention in any action of the beings that are.

My laws are immutable. As I carry with me the eternal source of infinite spiritual beings, all those that emanate from me cannot fail to feel and know well, as they are attached to me, that if they depart from me, they will find only confusion.

My law cannot be the sole foundation of their freedom, otherwise they would not be my children, but rather, be my slaves.

Prevarication due to their freedom:

By the power of this freedom, the first spiritual beings dared in their audacity to climb my throne. They wanted to challenge my eternity by bringing before me an emanation similar to theirs.

They wanted to confine my omnipotence in my operations of creation.

Finally, they designed to be creators themselves, of third and fourth causes, who they knew to be innate in my omnipotence, since in their capacity as divine spiritual beings, they could read what was within my bosom.

Their fall:

But my throne is eternal and unshakable, and as nothing is hidden from me, I penetrated into their criminal minds once these thoughts had been formed.

I made them aware that there is no power that can stand against mine. I chased them away from my sacred enclosure 10, where they could know and read my quatriple divine essence, that which should act and operate all my glory to the spiritual beings, namely: the superior 10,  the major 8, the inferior 7, and the minor 4, although they were not yet emanated.

Creation of the physical universe:

When I thus denied my light, I created this physical universe of material forms in which these prevaricators continuously exercise their disorder, engendered by their wanton desire.

The effects of their wills, however, will not prevail forever against the laws of order and time that I gave my universal creation, both general and particular.

It is in the center of this work of my power, that I have reserved for them an asylum for the depths of their dark operations.

Emanation of man:

So, man, I opened my heart again, and you received your being.

I have entrusted to you the defense of my glory, I gave onto you all the rights that I deprived your elders.

I submit to your power these same beings, who have not recognized any other master than me.

I gave them to you as laws, precepts and commandments. You were free, like them, to use them for my glory.

But the angel of darkness, who has sworn to destroy everything that belongs to me, omitted nothing in his desire to seduce you to do otherwise.

His temptation:

He insinuated that same criminal pride in your soul, which had already made him the object of my anger. He persuaded you that there were no limits to the power I gave you, and that being made in my image, you shared the same rights as I.

Instead of chasing away from yourself this monster of execration, as you had the power to do, you were low enough to indulge yourself in this ambition that you imagined to be so beautiful.

He took advantage of your facility to imprint even more deeply this criminal thought into your heart.

His transgression:

And soon you were persuaded to bring into effect this fatal project, which should frighten you even more than death itself…

His misery:

Cry, man, and let yourself go into bitterness.

Know the quiver of your suffering that you owe to my justice; learn to judge your crime by the manner of your punishment: For by my law you are tormented by the very place in which you have sinned, in order to ensure that your error is made clear before your eyes.

Remember, every day of your life, what it costs you to obtain but a few rays of my light, and you will see how far I bear revenge against anyone who outrages me.

You inhabited an abode of peace and clarity: you are plunged into an abyss of confusion and darkness.

You lived: you are degraded into a state where you have dug your own grave.

You were the master, being formed in my image: you have become the slave of slaves, the outcast of earth and of heaven.

But there comes no torment and persecution from me, all your suffering comes from your enemy, since you let him have dominion over you.

There is nothing he will not employ to devour the slightest traces of the truth that you are.

He is not content that I drove you into his dark abode; he would rather see that you remained there forever.

Goodness of Wisdom:

But, man, as you are still the object of my love, I have not turned my eyes away from you.

I have punished my child, so that, even when you feel my justice, you will feel even more my mercy. And finally, in recognizing the magnitude of my name, you will humble yourself before me, and you will enter into my chest. Had I wanted you to perish, I would have separated you from me entirely, as I separated the one who made you prevaricate against me.

The force rendered unto man:

On the contrary, I my intent to give you the advantage in your battle, I have armed you heavily against your enemy, I have spread around you abounding evidence of my power, to engage you by the sensible marks, to address your homage unto me, as I am the one to whom they are due and who can reward you.

Exhortation:

O my son, how far have you carried your blindness and insensitivity! When you forget what I have done and what I do every day for you! My greatest wonders barely occupy you; my scourge dos not frighten you, my thundering voice does not strike you, and my laws, written everywhere in ineffaceable characters, are not imprinted on you.

So why would I place my seal in your heart? No, I do not want you to walk away from me any longer; I want you to persevere through this state of death where you sink deeper every moment.

I want to teach you to observe my works, I want you to recognize my truths in all your steps.

Man’ Resources:

So, you no longer hesitate to take me as your guide, and your soul will confess that she can be firm and unshaken by living forever in my law.

Observe the forms and their order, as you start to know them, for the first use of your senses is to observe everything around you.

You perceive forms different from one another; you perceive certain proportions and certain rules of these forms that govern all material beings in all their revolutions.

This proportion will attach to you and pull you against your will.

You feel that you are made for order, by the attraction that you find in all things that are.

This is the first simple observation that would lead you to recognize the eternity of my name and immutable laws that I engraved even on the coarsest works of my hands, so that you would never doubt.