On Planet Earth, the light of the Sun imposes order upon the chaos of the dirt and water. The rays of the Sun are the metaphysical masculine that imbues the metaphysical feminine with life and energy. As the feminine is devoted to the masculine, so does life on Earth show its devotion to the Sun by growing towards it.
Plants that grow towards light sources are called phototropic. Phototropism is the quality that enables the shoots of seeds to grow upwards out of the soil. It is why trees grow to be tall and upright. Phototropism is so common that it can be stated, as a general rule, that plant life seeks the light (although vines tend to be an exception).
The light of the Sun is responsible for all life on Earth by way of providing the base of the food chain. Photosynthesis is the process by which plant life grows. Without it, there would be no animals, no humans, just bare rocks. In this sense, the Sun is very much something divine. This divinity inspired the Roman cult of Sol Invictus to celebrate the return of the Sun on December 25th, three days after the Winter Solstice.
The Second Hermetic Principle, the Principle of Correspondence, teaches us that as below, so above. The patterns we observe in the physical world are replicated in the metaphysical world. Applying this to the workings of plants gives us the concept of metaphysical phototropism. This is the phenomenon of growing towards metaphysical light.
Most human beings naturally grow towards the light, only here it is not meant the light of the Sun. Most humans, being spiritual creatures, grow towards metaphysical light. This means spiritual wisdom, that which is often referred to as “enlightenment”.
If one looks at the life story of a great number of people, a common theme of growing towards the light becomes evident. Most people were born into a state of fear and confusion, and suffered greatly as a consequence. Most of these people were able, at some point in their lives, to develop enough wisdom so that they could act to avoid the worst of the suffering.
It’s common for people drift through years of hatred, bitterness, trauma or pain before they experience enough divine light to see the metaphysical truth: that only actions towards the cessation of suffering have value. Because of this confusion, people often cause great harm to themselves or others. But an inbuilt tendency to grow spiritually towards the light seems to be part of the human condition, and so most people overcome.
Physical phototropism has two separate components: positive phototropism, in which plants grow towards the light, and negative phototropism, in which plants grow away from the light, and which is much less common. This division is also replicated in the metaphysical realm.
In metaphysical terms, positive phototropism describes the phenomenon of individuals whose consciousness grows towards the light. These are people who seek out enlightened others, make friends with them, and esteem them. These people are drawn to spiritual places and spiritual texts, and they intuitively understand that wisdom is as precious as gold.
Negative metaphysical phototropism describes the phenomenon of individuals whose consciousness grows away from the light. For whatever reason, these people elect to shy away from wisdom and reject it. Wisdom is for them as pearls to a swine. These people are rare, being more like demons than natural beings, but they exist in all times and places.
In the same way that some plants are more phototropic than others, so too are some people more phototropic than others.
Most people are mildly phototropic, in the sense that they understand and appreciate the value of wisdom. A smaller number are moderately phototropic, and study wisdom like they study other subjects. An even smaller number are majorly phototropic, and devote their lives to seeking wisdom like men dying of thirst devote themselves to seeking water.
Furthering the plant analogy, human society could be compared to an ecosystem. Most people are shrubs and bushes, some others are trees, and some others are like great oaks that stand so tall they give everything else in that ecosystem something to look up to.
In the same way that the physical health of a plant is a function of the force that compels it to grow towards the Sun, the spiritual health of a human is a function of the force that compels it to seek out wisdom. As below so above: in the same way that the life force of a plant will wither and die without sunlight, so too will the human life force wither and die without spiritual nourishment.
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