“…Hear now the words of an adept of a later age.
“The Father sends fiery serpents to sting and to slay his children. Yet He commands us to forgive those who trespass against us. And this law is not the mandate of His WILL, but the expression of His NATURE.
“Who will explain this great mystery?
“One serpent, the Sarap, on the Earth, is the Minister of Death. The image of another, Nakhish, lifted on high heals, and averts death.
“The first Sages who sought for the cause of causes saw Good and Evil in the world: they observed the Shadow and the Light; they compared Winter with Spring, Old Age with Youth, Life with Death: and said, ‘The First Cause is Beneficent and Cruel: It gives life and destroys.’
“‘Are there, then, two contrary Principles, a Good and an Evil?’ cried the disciples of Manes.
“No! the two Principles of the Universal Equilibrium are not contrary to each other, though in apparent opposition; for it is a Single Wisdom that opposes them one to the other.
“The Good is on the right, The Evil on the left; but the Supreme Good is above both; and makes The Evil subserve the triumph of The Good, and The Good serve for the reparation of The Evil.
“The human equilibrium requires two feet: the worlds revolve by means of two forces: generation requires two sexes. Such is the meaning of the arcanum of Solomon, figured by the two columns of the Temple.
“The equilibrium is the resultant of two Forces.
“If the two forces are absolutely and always equal, the equilibrium will be immobility, and consequently non-life. Movement is the result of an alternating preponderance.
“The impulse given to one scale of a balance necessarily determines the movement of the other. Contraries thus act upon contraries, everywhere in nature, by correspondence and analogical connection.
“The whole of life consists in an inhalation and expiration of the breath. Creation is the sub-positing of a Shadow, to serve as a limit for the Light; of a void, to serve as a receptacle for the plenitude of Being; of a passive Principle impregnated, to support and manifest in reality the inherent power of the active generating Principle.
“All nature is of both sexes: and the movement which produces the appearance of life and death is a continual generation.
“The occult laws are often diametrically opposite to the ordinary ideas. Thus, for example, the vulgar believe in the sympathy of those who are alike, and the antagonism of the unlike; while the exact contrary is the real law.
“It used to be said: ‘Nature has a horror of a vacuum.’ It should have been said: ‘Nature is amorous of the vacuum;’ if vacuum were not, in physics, the most absurd of fictions.
“God loves the Void, which He has made that He may fill it; Knowledge loves Ignorance, which it enlightens; Force loves Weakness, which it sustains; the Good loves the Apparent Evil, which makes it glorious; the Day is amorous of the Night, and incessantly pursues it around the world. Love is at once a thirst, and a fullness that must flow forthabroad. Whatever gives movement receives it; and whatever receives it gives it. It is a perpetual exchange.
“There are in nature four movements, produced by two forces, which sustain each other by their tendencies in opposite directions. And the law that rules bodies is both analogous and proportioned to that which governs Spirits; and the law which governs Spirits is the very manifestation of the Hidden Self of Deity; that is to say, of the mystery of Creation.
“To know the law of this interchange, of the alternating preponderance or simultaneous proportion of these Forces, is to be in possession of the first principles of the Grand Secret, which constitutes the true human Divinity.
“It is for you to discover this Law and this Secret for yourself. The Initiate learns by reflection; and not, like the children, by committing words and definitions to memory.
“The Divinity, One in its Essence, has two essential conditions, as fundamental bases of its Being ~~ Necessity and Liberty.
“It could not not have been. It could not have been other than it is.
“The Laws of the Supreme Reason necessitate, in God, and regulate, Liberty, which is necessarily reasonable and wise.
“To make Light visible, and for that only, God has subjoined shadow.
“To manifest the Truth, He has made doubt possible.
“Shadow is the foil of Light; and the possibility of Error is necessary, for the temporal forth- showing of Truth.
“If the buckler of Satan did not stay the flight of Michael’s lance, the power of the Archangel would be lost in the void, or would necessarily display and manifest itself by an infinite destruction, directed from above to below.
“And if the foot of Michael did not arrest Satan in his ascent, Satan would go to dethrone God, or to lose himself in the abysses of height.
“Satan is then necessary to Michael, as the pedestal to the statue; and Michael to Satan, as the brake to the locomotive.
“In analogical and universal dynamics we rest only on that which resists.
“Wherefore, as we have said before, the Universe is balanced by two forces, which maintain it in equilibrium; and the force which attracts, and that which repels. This is the equilibrium of the mountain of gold, which the Gods on one side, and the Demons on the other, hold tied by the symbolic Serpent of India; and its scientific reality is demonstrated by the phenomena of Polarity, and by the universal law of Sympathies and Antipathies….”
[Albert Pike, Legendas XIX° ~ XXX°, pp. 40 – 44. No date, no publishing data.] This is taken from pages 40 – 44 in our copy. For the proper attitude towards the Highest Ideals in Freemasonry, see THIS.