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Aurum Metallicum: The Bittersweet Anguish of Theosis Remedy Analysis from an Orthodox Christian Perspective

Aurum Metallicum: The Bittersweet Anguish of Theosis  Remedy Analysis from an Orthodox Christian Perspective 1

In this depiction of Aurum, the author states: “He is aware of himself as having a divine obligation to live up to the image in which God created him”. Drawing from religion and mythology, she explores the deeper aspects of the Aurum personality.

Aurum is the “man’s man”. He is the epitome of man both as man (male) and as the human being.[1] He is dealing, most а all, with the most central of anthropological questions: what it means to be human.  Created without a doubt in God’s image, as all people, yet in him the similarity to the divine, and its attainment, strikes a particular chord – usually a musical and a spiritual one.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth’. So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1.26-27).

In Orthodox Christian theology, theosis is the attainment of likeness to or union with God. God created man out of pure love, and man started knowing his own self at the moment of his creation. Man sees in himself God’s “fingerprints” and feels the warmth of God’s “mouth”. These are ontological realities one can neither avoid, nor relinquish. These realities keep man alive and reveal new perspectives on his life, for they reflect and behold God’s image in us. Man has been carrying God’s image within himself ever since his creation.[2]

What would otherwise seem absurd, that fallen, sinful man may become holy as God is holy, has been made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Theosis is necessarily a process of transformation.

According to Eastern Orthodox teaching, theosis is indeed the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy between the activities of human beings and God’s uncreated energies. The particular way in which each person realizes his ontological condition makes up his tropos:  the unique and specific path by which he finds his way back to God.

Aurum is gold, gold is the “sun’s tears on earth”, according to the ancient Greeks; hence Aurum has an affinity to the sun. The sun is light, life, and warmth, and the center of our galaxy – the source and sustainer of life on earth. Aurum shines like the sun and radiates warmth. He has the capacity to nurture or to excoriate, to sustain or to extinguish.

In the body, the heart is analogous to the sun in our solar system. Aurum is therefore pathogenic to the heart. There is but one sun is our solar system, and but one human heart, and indeed one God. The sun and the heart occupy an exclusive place. Just as the heart and the sun – gold – occupy the most exclusive place in the hierarchy of existence, Aurum seeks the closest place to God of all earthly elements.

The heart according to the Church Fathers occupies a most special place and it is certainly the most important “organ” of the body and senses. It is the seat of wisdom (1 Kings 3:12) and for Saint Paul the heart is the instrument of faith through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwells in the heart. (Rom.5:5) Kardiognosis (knowledge of the heart) is an Orthodox practice in which the spiritual director has an insight into the human heart in its yearning for God. God sees the heart and does not judge people on outward appearances. Jesus Himself knew the secrets of the heart (Mark 2:6-8; John 2:25), that is, He had an insight into the “hidden person of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4).

The heart and circulatory system are vulnerable in Aurum. They take the brunt of his strivings. The purification of heart turns out to be, for him, a literal undertaking. His yearning toward God, the feeling aspect of his creativity, all of his sufferings and sacrifices, are filtered through the heart. Additionally, he is sensitive to impressions, and can be easily wounded by disappointment in love.

Aurum is aware, albeit not always on a conscious level, of his proximity to God. It is not that he assumes a grand air of being above it all; far from it. He is merely close to God in his cognizance of his having been created in God’s image and the responsibility that entails.

Aurum is the ultimately responsible man in this regard. It is a responsibility of obligation – not for earthly cares, nor earthly duties, but divine ones. The level of his responsibility is the highest attainable because it is the duty of every human being; he is responsible not merely to his fellow man, but to God.

Being responsible to God means being responsible to oneself, since he is created in God’s image.  He is aware of himself as having a divine obligation to live up to the image in which God created him. Anything less would be irresponsible in the least, and unforgiveable at most. It pains Aurum to the most intense degree to imagine himself coming to the end of his life and not having fulfilled his theandric purpose, not having attained the divine likeness to the best of his ability.

In this regard Aurum is amongst the loneliest of constitutional types. He is alone not in his lack of company – for he certainly has a following of admirers, and his leadership qualities cause others to be drawn to him like Icarus toward the sun – but rather in his solitary sense of duty before God.

No one can assist him in fulfilling this duty. He must do it alone. It is a loneliness borne of the solitude that comes with contemplation, and the contemplation that comes with realizing oneself, and fulfilling ones ontological purpose.

One can only realize oneself when he recognizes the Prototype after which he was created. And when this becomes engrained in the soul of Aurum, he demands much of himself – more than he might be capable of achieving in his life.  He has a very high degree of industriousness for work and tends to hurry to get many things done at once.

Aurum is religious in the most organic sense. For Aurum, God’s being and awareness of the hierarchy of creation is a given. He is religious not out of fear, nor out of a desire for ordering his world, but out of identification with God. He can “relate” to God, as the center of all being and as his Creator; he “feels God’s mouth”. Being close to God and being godly is genuinely for Aurum the ultimate state toward which he strives, the only condition in which he thrives.

Being aware of himself as carrying within himself God’s image, Aurum has the need to express that most godly of qualities: the ability to create. Creativity as a godly attribute is present in all human beings, but is most strongly expressed in Aurum. His creativity can be expressed in his managerial qualities, but the well-compensated Aurum will express himself in the most lofty of ways: through music (which always ameliorates) as an expression of spiritual contemplation.

Music is the universal language of God, of love, and therefore unites all of creation to God.  St. Clement of Alexandria wrote in the second century:

A beautiful breathing instrument of music the Lord made man, after His own image. And He Himself also, surely, who is the supramundane Wisdom, the celestial Word, is the all-harmonious, melodious, holy instrument of God. What, then, does this instrument— the Word of God, the Lord, the New Song— desire? To open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf, and to lead the lame or the erring to righteousness, to exhibit God to the foolish, to put a stop to corruption, to conquer death, to reconcile disobedient children to their father. The instrument of God loves mankind. The Lord pities, instructs, exhorts, admonishes, saves, shields, and of His bounty promises us the kingdom of heaven as a reward for learning; and the only advantage He reaps is, that we are saved… This is the New Song, the manifestation of the Word that was in the beginning, and before the beginning.”(Exhortation to the Heathen, ch. 1)

That the song of the church on earth is united with the praise in heaven is a theme found in the writings of many of the church fathers.                             St. John Chrysostom writes:

“Above, the hosts of angels sing praise; below men form choirs in the churches and imitate them by singing the same doxology. Above, the seraphim cry out in the thrice-holy hymn; below, the human throng sends up the same cry. The inhabitants of heaven and earth are brought together in a common assembly; there is one thanksgiving, one shout of delight, one joyful chorus.”[1]

Byzantine mystical thought developed the idea of the angelic transmission of the chant itself. In the sixth century Pseudo-Dionysios articulated the concept of the divinely inspired “prototype”; the idea of an “intuitive divine inspiration … in which the hymns and chants are echoes of the heavenly song of angels, which the prophets gave to the people through a sense of spiritual hearing.”[3]

These divinely inspired hymns and chants, which were viewed as models of the heavenly songs, serve as the foundation for all creativity. God and beauty are interrelated, and in the words of Pseudo-Dionysious:

“Divine beauty is transmitted to all that exists, and it is the cause of harmony and splendor in all that exists; like light, it emits its penetrating rays onto all objects, and it is as if it called to it everything that exists and assembles everything within it.”[4]

This is not an arrogant awareness of one’s talents. It is rather an honest and responsible coming-to-terms with one’s predestination. God gives, God offers, and it is up to man to respond. Aurum’s tropos expresses the bittersweet anguish of theosis.

For these reasons, Aurum is concerned with death. He is not always simply the suicidal, overworked leader he is too often made out to be in the homeopathic literature. Such an interpretation tells us nothing of Aurum’s motivations or strivings. Rather, he is concerned with death insofar as death marks the end of his ability to fulfill his God-given obligation of perfecting himself in the image of God.

Death marks the end of ones theandrical strivings. And death for Aurum is rather final. Once he is gone from this earth, his potential for creativity is finished. In his most Aurum-like manner, he looks toward death with the same sense of obligation and responsibility with which he regards life.

Death is something only he can do, alone. His solitude is not one of clinging to others for support. He does not crave the support of others; he craves the acknowledgement of God. He craves to sit with his face to the sun, rather than dwelling in shadow. He longs to sing and play the music of the heart, the music of God, which unites all in the divine.

Rubrics from “Complete Dynamics”:

Mind; anxiety; conscience, of; condemned, of being

Mind; company; aversion to; solitude, desire for

Mind; death; desires; fear, with; death, of

Mind; doubtful; souls welfare, of

Mind; delusions, imaginations; neglected; duty, his

Mind; delusions, imaginations; lost; salvation, for

Mind; delusions, imaginations; obstacles; in his way, partly by contrary fate, partly by himself

Mind; disappointment, deception agg., ailments from; deception

Mind; homesickness, nostalgia

Mind; honest

Mind; industrious, mania for work

Mind; love; disappointment, unhappy, ailments from, agg.

Mind; music; amel.

Mind; optimism

Mind; mortification; ailments from, agg.

Mind; passionate

Mind; remorse, repentance

Mind; reproaches; oneself

Mind; reproaches; others

Mind; sensitive, oversensitive; mental impressions, to

[1] I use the old-fashioned word “man” in this article to refer to both males and humanity. It is my hope that readers don’t take offence.

[2] Nicolae Răzvan Stan, Human Person as a Being Created in the Image of God and as the Image of the Son: The Orthodox Christian Perspective, International Journal of Orthodox Theology 2:3 (2011).

[3] Vladyshevskaia, Tatiana, “On the Links Between Music and Icon Painting in Medieval Rus” in Christianity and the Arts in Russia, edited by William C. Brumfield, and Milos M. Velimirovic (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991), 18.

[4] Pseudo-Dionysious, The Divine Names (Mahwah NY, Paulist Press, 1987) 76. This translation in Vladyshevskaia, op. cit., 18.

About the author

Molly Caliger

Molly Caliger

Molly Caliger (BA, Certified Professional Midwife, DHom) became a midwife about 30 years ago, and it was through midwifery practice that she was led into homeopathy. In 1997 she graduated from The School of Homeopathy. Having lived most of the last 25 years in Russia, Molly ran The Russian Birth Project (an internship program for foreign midwives based in Russian maternity hospitals) from 1992-2005. In 2006 she founded Tropos School of Classical Homeopathy and Midwifery in St. Petersburg (Russia). The school offers distance and semi-distance learning courses (courses are taught in Russian), including a full 5-year course in homeopathy and a 3-year course in midwifery.

1 Comment

  • Hi Molly:

    I just read your Aurum Metallicum article and I must state that it is insightfully inspiring – warms the heart! The content is more than timely as it offers a renewed sense of encouragement and a reminder that we are not alone; we are one with God.

    It is not often that I see the association of natural healing in any modality in a spiritual context written and expressed as profoundly as that in your article. Many thanks for the expression of what we presently need to hear in challenging times such as, where we are presently in 2020!

    Blessings in solidarity,
    Susan

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