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The Arcane Formulas: Or Mental Alchemy

William Walker Atkinson

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The 'Arcane Formulas' is a supplementary addition to the 'Arcane Teaching', and includes exercises to achieve a higher consciousness to be used to transmute one mental state into another. Its occult beginnings are not to be confused with witchcraft or any other form of archaic magic, negative or positive. It is simply a Truth, and if used correctly will grant you the key to 'heaven on earth'.

This book has 59 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1909.

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Excerpt from 'The Arcane Formulas: Or Mental Alchemy'

In the "Arcane Lessons" you have seen that the individual is but a Centre of Consciousness and Force in the great Life Principle, Cosmic Will or SPIRIT. As Aphorism XII has informed you: "There is but One Life and not Many Lives. Sepa- is but relative and partial --- illusory --- the creative fiction of the Cosmos. . . In the Cosmic Will there is but One Life in which, and by which, is manifested the Many."

You have also seen that Egohood is evolved and earned --- not given as a universal birthright, or general natural right of the race. As Aphorism XIII has informed you: "The Ego is evolved from the Personal Self. Every living thing possesses a Personal Self, but, even among men, many fail to reach Egohood. Egohood is earned, not bestowed as an universal natural gift. Many personalities are born, but few Egos are evolved."

Egohood is the state of Realization of the Ego --- the Perception and Realization of the I AM. As an old English writer once said: "Whether we try to avoid it or not, we must face this reality some time --- the reality of our own Egohood--that which makes at say 'I,' and in saying 'I' leads to the discovery of a new world."

The average person is surprised, incredulous and even indignant when he is informed that but very few of the race really have this awareness or consciousness of the I AM within them. He will insist that he is fully aware of the existence of the "I," and cannot imagine that any one can have the audacity to dispute the proposition. But a little self examination will reveal the fact that he has but the first glimmering of Self-Consciousness, which is far from being the Consciousness of Egohood. We have no desire or intention of entering into an extended metaphysical inquiry in these pages, but we must point out to you what Egohood is not, as the first step toward showing you what it is, and how it may he acquired.

The very elementary life-forms have merely the consciousness of "something outside" evidenced in sensation or feeling. The atoms manifest a faint degree of awareness (consciousness) of other atoms, which is evidenced in attraction and repulsion. There is in chemical affinity a higher degree of elementary consciousness. The crystals manifest a still higher degree in their activities of building-up form. The cell-forms of the lowest animal and plant life show an awareness of objects of food and of other forms which seek them for food --- and consequently they move toward the first, and away from the second. Rising in the evolutionary scale we find rampantly increasing degrees of consciousness. Among the higher animals, and the lower forms of men, we find what science has called "simple-consciousness," by which is indicated that awareness of outside objects, accompanied by a greater or lesser degree of reasoning regarding them. The dog, horse, and other higher animals give us a typical example of this form of consciousness, which degree is but little surpassed by the less developed of the human race, many of the latter not having advanced further in the scale. Simple-consciousness may be described as a state of knowing, but not knowing that one knows. it is a consciousness of outside things received through the senses, and also of the physical sensations arising in one's own body.

But, as man advanced in the scale there came to him the degree of consciousness which is known as "self-consciousness," in which the sense of "I" comes to him --- he differentiates between the Self and the Not-Self, as he understands it. He not only knows, but he begins to know that he knows. He begins to understand that he has a "knowing machine" by means of which he knows, thinks and is consciousness. The mental gaze, in this stage, begins to turn itself inward as well as outward. But the majority of the race possess this self-consciousness to but a limited degree. As a leading psychologist has well said: "Many persons never have more than a misty idea of such a mental attitude. They take themselves for granted, and never turn the gaze inward." Self-consciousness, like simple-consciousness, has many degrees on its scale. One has but to study his fellow men in order to perceive these varying degrees. We cannot pause here to consider this stage in detail --- our concern is with higher degrees.

In a general way, and in order that you may make the clear distinction between simple-consciousness and self-consciousness, we suggest that you think of the former as an awareness of the outside world, and one's own physical being, and of the latter as an awareness of one's own mind. Or, the former may be thought of as physical consciousness, and the latter as mental consciousness.

But, here and there among the multitude of men are evolved a few who have attained a higher stage of consciousness --- the Ego-Consciousness, or consciousness of Egohood --- which surpassing the physical-consciousness and the mental-consciousness, just alluded to, may be styled spiritual consciousness. For the Ego-Consciousness is really the consciousness of Spirit, in an elementary degree --- there are many other and higher degrees.

Ego-Consciousness, or Realization of Egohood, is more than an awareness of the outside world, or of one's own body as distinct from the bodies of others and other things. It is more than even the awareness of one's own mind, even when this awareness is carried to a high degree of development. It is difficult to describe this plane of consciousness to those who have not attained it, but it may be stated as an awareness of Individuality, rather than an awareness of Personality.

Personality is but the character in which the One Life is playing a certain part. As we have said in The Arcane Lessons, the very word "person" is derived from the Greek word persona, meaning "a mask used by actors."

Your personality is merely the part in life you are playing --- "the John Smith part of you."

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