“That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of the One” – Hermes Trismegistus
In the ‘Tabula Smaragdina’ (a tablet dating from the 8th or 9th century that is considered the spiritual basis of alchemy) we see a clear reference to the concept of microcosm (minutus mundus, the small world) which is closely related to the macrocosm.
We see therefore the small that is projected on the great and, in turn, an irradiating force from the Cosmos (the macrocosmic universe) that is reflected in the small world (the microcosmic reality) in which the human personality is inserted. And this is confirmed by the well known Delphic call: “In You the Treasure of the Gods is found hidden – O Man, know thyself and thou shalt know the Universe and the Gods”.
But what is the microcosm?
The Greek philosopher Democritus, back in 300 B.C., had already approached its principle when he spoke of the concept of the atom.
The reality of atoms represented for Democritus the arché (ἀρχή) – the simultaneously generating and conserving principle – the immutable and eternal being.
A vital spherical form that envelops the human personality, the concept of microcosm was in turn taken up by Agrippa of Nettesheim (1486-1535) who wrote in ‘De occulta philosophia’:
“Man, as the most beautiful and complete work of God, has a […] physical constitution more harmonious than other creatures, and contains all the numbers, measures, weights, movements and elements […] within himself, and everything in him, a sublime masterpiece, reaches perfection”.
There is no member in the body of the human being, “that does not correspond, in the divine archetype, to a celestial sign, a star, an intelligence, or a name of God. The overall form of the human body is round”.
So let us continue our journey through history, and see how the concept of the personality found within a spherical form has made the idea of man incorporated in a microcosmic principle to be part of the Sacred Tradition present since the dawn of time: the microcosmic personality in communion with the macrocosmic universe.
The circle that contains neither beginning nor end, the circle as a form evoking infinity, the circle as a symbolic representation of eternity: “We can affirm with certainty that the universe is all its centre, or that the centre of the universe is everywhere and its circumference nowhere” (‘De la Causa, Principio et Uno’, Giordano Bruno, 1584) or “The sphere of human nature, in its human power, embraces God and the universe” (Nicola Cusano, ‘De coniecturis’, 1443).
And the German philosopher Leibniz (1646-1716) himself, who introduced the concept of “monad” as a substantial form of being, approached the concept of microcosm in the form of an atom. Leibniz took the concept of the monad from Giordano Bruno, but changed its meaning.
He claimed that the monad par excellence is the soul. But that’s not all: monads reflect the entire universe and differ from one another according to the different degree of consciousness that each one has of itself and of its God Source within it.
The Sacred Voice of all times therefore leads us to question ourselves about the existence of this sphere in which we, as an ordinary personality, are maintained in our journey of earthly existence.
But what does the microcosmic substance contain?
In it are imprinted all our experiences from the course of our history – every trait of our “chronology” is thus recorded, and this determines our present in the form of ideas, trends, influences and therefore the consequent need to no longer experience what we have already lived… years, centuries, eons ago!
The umpteenth carousel ride in the land of lights and shadows, the umpteenth existential experience from dawn to dusk have now had their effects.
Just as we can recognize tracks in a dvd, in the same way the ‘data’ of our life is impressed in our microcosm in an absolutely original format, completely our own: our unique singular experience in that terrestrial field called “life”.
We see how the Golden Thread of Sacred Science has always traversed and united the history of humanity, in every corner of the planet and in every period of time.
Now, however, a question arises, which is this: is it possible to rediscover the golden balance that has been lost?
Yes. For in the exact center of the microcosmic substance there is a spiritual principle, the mustard seed of the Christians, the lotus flower of the Orientals, the Philosopher’s Stone of the Alchemists, the Treasure of the Delphic Gods. It is the last vestige of the Immortal Being – so many names for a single Essence.
This is the starting point from which one can rediscover oneself as Being-God.
But it is not an immediate process.
Once the thirst for Knowledge of the human being in search of himself characterizes his life, he will face many trials. First of all: himself.
The latent principle, if nourished by the flame of love of Knowledge, is able to form a new constellation in the microcosmic celestial sky – this is the New Heaven and also the New Earth of Revelation: the authentic rebirth, to which the true change of life will follow.
Then, in a few words, there will be a real revolution: the rays of the new dawn will give life to new cosmic magnetic forces.
In the Renaissance era we have testimony of many illustrious spirits who, by their actions, have influenced our world so deeply, because they were driven by a deep inner search and by the constant yearning for an authentic spiritual renewal.
Their most ardent desire was “to be reborn”, “to be born again to a New Life”, to see the advent of a spiritual springtime: exactly what we are called to do in the here and now.
If this is so, then as Marsilio Ficino wrote in ‘De immortaliate animarum’, we can say:
“So, as eager heavenly spirits of the heavenly homeland, let us rid ourselves quickly of earthly things,
and fly with platonic wings and with the guidance of God to the heavenly seat,
where we shall contemplate the blessed excellence of our kind…”