View Full Version : I have a request for any alchemist on this site

01-04-2009, 05:05 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by monkeyblood.

There's a discussion over at Reality Sandwich about the possibility of another pandemic.
The article is called Avian Flu: The next great pandemic threat?

After the article members get to post and when I mentioned that I also belonged to an alchemical site,one of them made this comment.

'At any rate I'd be interested in seeing what alchemists have to say about all this idea that virii are a form of self editing or an emanation of Gaia'

As some of you know,my alchemy is less than basic,so I was wondering if anyone could answer this question....over here,over there,doesn't matter....
and I would be personally interested to know as well

Where do viruses fit in the alchemical scheme of things? Is there alchemical references to them? etc

The address is http://www.realitysandwich.com/avian_flu_the_next_great_pandemic_threat

Viruses were discovered long after Alchemy came into being, so I don't think you can find connection there.

But apart from that, viruses were probably the first organic matter to contain DNA but they don't seem to be able to reproduce by themselves though, so they might have evolved parallel to the first cells. They inject their DNA into cells and DNA affects protein synthesis - by this they can command cells to create viruses which then burst out of the cell which dies.

Even thought they're generally associated with disease, we probably could not live without viruses since they keep many negative bacterias in check, some viruses are specially "designed" to kill certain bacterias. They keep certain balance in Nature by killing off bacterias but also other organisms. Viruses can pretty much be anywhere, they could go into space and back on Earth, some have theorized that viruses might ascend and descend between Earth and space and that could explain some epidemics that seem to affect a large area radius suddenly. We might even get "alien" viruses here to Earth but that's a theory. There are probably more things we have yet to learn about their role in the larger scheme of things..

About the "Bird Flu". I don't believe in it, at all. I believe it's mainly blown out of proportions by the drug company (don't remember its name now but one of its associates was Donald Rumsfield) that is selling the medications that every country seems to have bought. I could even believe this flu was designed by the same people that are selling the cure. At least certain people with big interest have incited the fear in the society and profited greatly from it.
Thanks for answering,Spectre.

As the distinction of virus came well after alchemy was established,when it was discovered was alchemy able to incorporate it into its theory?
Like was it associated with the element of air,etc?

How would you,as a modern alchemist,explain the process in alchemical terms?
Alchemy in it's essence is about harmony, or rather attaining harmony. The process of attaining that harmony is the veiled aspect of the art, what many alchemist in various ways try to decipher- usually to no avail. I feel if you were to ask an alchemist what causes sickness in the body of man, he would most likely say disharmony. The elements of the body in sickness are unbalanced...Paracelsus recognized that that sickness can come from within and from without, a notion that was very radical at the time. This is perhaps the largest reason why Paracelsus is remembered with regard to his contribution in the field of medicine. Before him it was believed that the internal imbalance was largely due to the four humours (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism) ascribed to Hippocrates, a notion which is no longer recognized in contemporary western medicine. Though the imbalance may not be from the humours, the notion of imbalance is still present- and it stretches beyond the body of man, because in alchemy we have the macrocosm and the microcosm. And until recently within the last century our impact on the macro world was minute at best. I believe the amount of discord felt on this plane was tolerable up until this point and at present our decisions have appeared to backfire. Some call it Gaia or as you said "self editing", the nature of pandemics I feel, is something of the process of attaining harmony albeit a turbulent one. Some survive and develop immunity, this is nothing new to the alchemist...especially Paracelsus who had a very new notion of poisons, or it could be read as disease with regard to the practice of medicine within the world at the time. The following quote from him:All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous. Could readily blend into today's medicine of vaccines, anti venoms, or even chemotherapy. But even before Paracelsus they called their waters venomous...the caduceus, symbol of the alchemist, are two venomous snakes battling of different natures to effect a medicine or harmony. To me nature is very much alive- our world breathes, moves, and maintains the heartbeat of the seasons...it is not far fetched for me to see that we have altered it's course negatively, or made it sick. All sick bodies be it macro or micro seek to right themselves, some do it better some worse...in alchemy, venom is the chosen means to right itself In the hour of his death. His venom becomes the great Medicine. from the Book of Lambspring. And I feel this is the chosen method for the world as well.

'At any rate I'd be interested in seeing what alchemists have to say about all this idea that virii are a form of self editing or an emanation of Gaia'

Where do viruses fit in the alchemical scheme of things? Is there alchemical references to them? etc

From the Emerald Tablet: "As all things are from the One Thing, through the meditation of One Mind, so all things return to this One Thing by transformation."

This is a very powerful statement because it basically states, without lie, certain, and most true, the Big Bang and evolution occur.

There are no ancient alchemical references to virus, for the reasons already stated. To suggest that "Gaia" created viruses as a form of cleansing, or "self editing", suggests a seperate intelligence. This falls in the realm of religion then, because it defines "God". If you consider that the One Thing is everything and not a seperate single thing, then there isn't an individual intelligence or entity who has set things into motion. Everything just is. Consider the Universe and all things in it, including thoughts and imagination. The ultimate definition of Universe is basically "everything"; it is the contents and the container. By that definition there can be nothing greater.

The point I'm trying to make in a round about way is that viruses exist, not because of a plan, but because of adpatation or transformation from everything else. They are not seperate from the One, or the All, or Gaia. They are part of it, and by proxy - a part of us.

How would you,as a modern alchemist,explain the process in alchemical terms?

Alchemy is mainly about transmutation, and like Carabric mentioned, the harmony in Nature and not a techno-academic reductionist approach. So by working with harmony in Nature the alchemist seeks transmutation.

There have been scientists, such as Japanese Kikuo Chishima, who have made theories about viruses that can be considered alchemical but their theories have been mostly rejected. His theory was that viruses can be "spontaneously generated" within cells, depending on the environment in which the cells lives (i.e. from disharmony in the body). So, by alchemical theory the curing viral disease depends on bringing harmony to the disharmonious environment that allows these viruses to be generated from.

What we do know from orthodox science is that our own DNA might be more or less 50% from viruses (Tiny specs of misery, both vile and useful (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/08/healthscience/08angi.php?page=1)). We also know that the actual RNA or DNA is only needed to force cells to create viruses within themselves because scientists have managed to create viruses by injecting chemically synthesized RNA into a cell, which then began creating polio virus
(Scientists build polio virus from scratch (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2539-scientists-build-polio-virus-from-scratch.html)).

So scientists can create viruses from cells by chemical means (synthesized RNA) and instructions for viral protein are already contained in our own healthy cell DNA. We can then see the rise of the more alchemical theory where disharmony in the environment in which the cell is living, these viral DNA sequences can be triggered naturally to give rise to spontaneous generation of viruses from cells. In essence, when cells devolve they degenerate into viruses; the alchemist would want to bring the evolution forward (transmute) and the means to that is bringing harmony to the cells so they evolve forward (higher form of cells) and don't degenerate backwards into viruses.

Viruses can also be positive when they kill hostile bacteria but according to what is known about their "purpose" so far they seem to be parasites to cells. But our immune system depends on instructions from viral gene codes, so we know that virus genes "are used" by the body. So viruses might have teleological function like spreading information, which then is sometimes useful to cells, as a by-product of their viral lifestyle. One of the foremost mycelium (mushroom/fungus) researchers today, Paul Stamets, considers the mycelium in nature to have a purpose in Nature; that they work similar to neural networks in a physical body (they're the largest organisms and spread like networks underground; psychedelics that affect our own nervous systems rise from the mycelium kingdom...). Like Israel quoted from the emerald tablet, there is a "One Thing" and "One Mind", a concept also mentioned in the Kybalion, I believe that there is something called Spirit or Mind in Nature from which our own separate Human minds are only part-of. It's only due to the limited anthropocentric ideals of Humans that they consider the substance "Mind" to be exclusive to Human being and having only to have risen in evolution at the Human stage. Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose and maverick scientist Stuart Hameroff have theorized that consciousness is based on neurons with microtubules in quantum coherence. They also theorize that consciousness is dependent on the amount of coherent neurons and time. So if you had less neurons in coherence, you would still get consciousness but it would take more time. With this in mind Humans are considered to normally have more neurons in coherence than other animals and hence their consciousness is faster.. but other animals would likewise contain consciousness but it wouldn't be apparent over short-periods of time but rather become apparent over extended periods. You can go further and speculate that consciousness is also in entangled "dead" matter but "much slower". This idea is similar to the alchemical worldview that only differentiates between the animal, plant and mineral in degree but not in essence; all of these are living but of different order. This worldview is 180 opposite to the techno-academic view that considers "everything to be dead" and "consciousness is just an illusion".
Thanks to Spectre,Carabric and Israel for your answers.
I really appreciate them as I know the time and effort it takes to compose answers like yours.
I am going to have to reread them a few times to fully understand them.
I hope you don't mind but I have linked this page to the pandemic thread at Reality Sandwich.
Thanks again,Monkeyblood.