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otove
04-11-2012, 09:03 PM
Why does the practical section of this site receive more interest than the spiritual section. All the recommended authors suggest the practical side of alchemy is not to be taken literally, and yet even F.Albertus has a physical laboratory.

Guess this is a schoolboy error, but in what way does hap-hazardly combining reagents contribute to the greater purpose - Universal Salvation?

Awani
04-11-2012, 11:19 PM
Because some people are mostly interested in the practical aspects, and some (like myself) in the spiritual. But both complement each other... you can't have an alchemy forum without including both sides of the story.

I agree on the literally aspect, but in alchemy even the spiritual side has ideas that should also not be taken literally like incest, suicide etc...

I think it is funny that there is more activity in the practical section, I always thought at the start of this forum that those people would be harder to find... in a way it is good that the forum is not flooded with new age spiritual hogwash... he he...

The Spagyrics & Entheogens section (in the practial section) is actually very spiritual especially concerning the use of entheogens (or psychedelics). For me practical alchemy is also about diet, and we are what we eat (or creating the Elixir of Life)... so as I have already said both aspects complement each other.

In the end it is not a contest. :)

:cool:

asta
04-12-2012, 12:50 AM
There's no such thing called "spiritual alchemy" or "practical alchemy." Alchemy is what Alchemy is. And is one, and its holistic, general and Universal. So theres no point in making such separations.

In other words, yes, what you call "spiritual" is the same that "practical."

Awani
04-12-2012, 12:58 AM
I agree with this also i.e. the name Alchemy Forums... but for the sake of navigation we have created these sections... otherwise it would be a logistical nightmare.

:cool:

MarkostheGnostic
04-12-2012, 01:03 AM
Why does the practical section of this site receive more interest than the spiritual section. All the recommended authors suggest the practical side of alchemy is not to be taken literally, and yet even F.Albertus has a physical laboratory.

Guess this is a schoolboy error, but in what way does hap-hazardly combining reagents contribute to the greater purpose - Universal Salvation?

Because alchemy is based on a tripartite Reality: Spiritual, Psychical, and Physical. I had studied Spiritual and Psychical alchemy for some 3 decades, with the Spiritual referring to the transcendental aspect that was experienced as mystical awareness, or gnosis, often resulting from the use of Entheogens. The Psychical aspect consisted in reading, thinking, esoteric models used in contemplation, and Jungian analysis (some 8 years worth). Only a few years ago did it truly occur to me that to the Spiritual and Psychical, there is also a Physical alchemy. This tripartite nature of things corresponds with the Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt, or Spirit-Soul-Body (in India, the 3 Gunas correspond: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas).

The Spiritual or transcendental nature is experienced as an Illumination, but more than this, it often manifests as Synchronicity (Jung's modern term) which I am convinced is a modern rendering of the word 'miracle.' Synchronicity always incorporate a coincidence of an inner Psychical event with and outer Physical event. The Spiritual result of this convergence or Conjunction of mind and matter results in a useful or a meaningful experience. It lends insight to the underlying nature of things (the "One Thing" of the Emerald Tablet), and of the unity of the alchemical "One Mind." Synchronicity, rather than Cause-Effect, being recognized as the underlying First Principle is a radical shift from mere materiality to a transcendental basis of understanding. The "One Mind" is perhaps best thought of in the Taoist meaning of the word Tao, namely, "The Way." It is the same Way that Jesus is alleged to have spoken of ("...I am The Way, the Truth, and the Life...") - in other words, the Logos, the Reality in which the Unmanifest and the Manifest meet and take form, where all is possible, and in simple terms, where Mind has precedence over Matter. Not necessarily the alchemist's mind (Psyche/Soul), but the "One Mind" (Spirit).

So, assuming the alchemical stance, one working with laboratory processes intends that such Synchronicities, miracles, will occur between the mind of the alchemist and the physical materials in his hermetic vessels. If transformation occurs in which something unexpected takes place from the ordinary results of Physical processes, it may mean that the alchemist's Psyche became part of that transformation, just as electrons respond to the observer in quantum experiments. If the result is highly improbable, or Physically 'impossible,' one might say that the "One Mind" has manifested a Synchronicity, a miracle that will transform the alchemist along with that which is in his flask or crucible. If base metals transform into Gold without high energy nuclear chemistry, it is alleged that the Gold is a manifestation of the alchemist's inner 'Gold,' which is to say, an outer manifestation of a inner Illumination. If the Heart corresponds to the Sun, metallic Gold, Kabbalistic Tiphereth, and the Brain corresponds to the Moon, metallic Silver, and Kabbalistic Yesod, then a Conjunction of these inner planets of centers results in a mystical Self-Realization internally, which, aided transcendentally, manifests as metallic Gold. The vulgar 'puffers' only seemed to believe that ego-centric knowledge and manipulation of Physical matter could produce metallic Gold.

When Entheogens are taken, one hopes to "occasion" a mystical experience that will transform one's inner life, with the result of changing how one acts in the outer world until the difference between inner and outer cease to have any real meaning. One arrives at a Non-Dual state, the Conjuction of Head and Heart, Moon and Sun, Christ Consciousness, the Crown (of thorns) descending to the Heart. As illustrated by New Testament stories of Jesus miracles, all of which can be seen as convergences of inner Psyche and outer Physicality in such a way that amplifies (biblically, 'glorifies') the LORD, or Logos, or The Way (that things really are in every moment - connected). When one does laboratory alchemy, one also seek to "occasion" (Huston Smith's word) a Synchronicity, amid laboratory processes, within hermetic vessels.

Similarly, those alchemists who sought Spagyric elixirs and stones, sought to draw planetary spirits which correspond to inner planets (chakra energies), of their own Psyches, into a Physical material that will enhance health (and hence longevity). The word health derives from root words that mean both wholeness and holiness. Health also manifests in Body, Mind, and Spirit, even if extreme long life does not manifest in so abrupt a way as a Gold nugget in one's crucible. Minerals are dry and purified by Fire (elemental, sacred, and common). It is a Dry Way. Plants are mostly water. Their essence or Sulphur is arrived at by Distillation and other processes that constitute a Wet Way. Fire is Solar, Water is Lunar. These are the Greater and Lesser Circulations, respectively. Alchemy is a Spiritual system that enjoins Physical matter and Psychical processes at different levels of interaction: Physical, Symbolic, Ritual, Magickal, Astrological, Iatrochemical, Psychological, Entheogenic and Theological.

otove
04-12-2012, 06:07 PM
"The Spiritual result of this convergence or Conjunction of mind and matter results in a useful or a meaningful experience"

Markos, your reply makes sense, the closest i have come to any kind of Eureka/mystical realization was practical in nature, but in an entirely spiritual way. In Short it was this:

Man has a basic impulse to create, and if he be prevented from creating in the physical world, his will to create moves up layer by layer, and becomes ever more subtle, until finally this urge mingles with the object experienced. At that moment many years ago, i could see what obstacles or conductors of intent were behaving, how intent leaks and where it was going next.

Am i on completely the wrong track? if not, how to recover that state of knowing and seeing?

Many thanks, otove :)

Andro
04-12-2012, 06:47 PM
All the recommended authors suggest the practical side of alchemy is not to be taken literally.

Could you please provide a list with at least a few of 'all the recommended authors' who suggest the above?


In what way does haphazardly combining reagents contribute to the greater purpose - Universal Salvation?

1. Is 'haphazardly combining reagents' your definition of practical alchemy?

2. Do you consider the 'greater purpose' to be 'Universal Salvation'?

Can you define your perception of the concept 'Universal Salvation'?

Salvation from WHAT, exactly?

Finally, just for the sake of providing a different perspective... a quote from David Chaim Smith:


Even if salvation were possible, a true gnostic would have no need of it.

otove
04-12-2012, 08:07 PM
Woe to that benighted mortal who accepts literally the stories [about the mysteries] circulated... He will discover--often at the cost of sanity and health--that sorcery and philosophy, while often confused, have nothing in common. MP Hall - Secret teachings of all ages

Alchemical phraseology is employed merely as a method of concelment, these [various] terms are not to be taken litteraly. F Albertus

the most important thing about reading an alchemical text today is not to take it by the letter, but to read between the lines. If taken literally, any alchemical text is certainly "wrong. Costică Brădățan

The theory (yes i know not practice) was not intended to be taken literally. Eric John Holmyard

Taken at their word, such statements may have destroyed many who swallowed the poisons in the hope of an eternal life...Ronald Douglas Gray (paraphrasing another alchemist)

List of recomended authors goes on.

As for my practical deifintion of alchemy, it is based on an observation - those who practice, combine in a rather unpurposefull way, home made compounds and chemicals, and then take photos of them.

Every path in life must have a purpose, and can quote at great length the list of enlightened people who claim that salvation for all living things from, 'evil', is it, and assume (again) that this is in line with the greater purpose of alchemy. Salvation for the individual they sayis to save/heal the soul, universal soul, to heal the world soul (anima/animus?)

Ok, I know Alchemical terminology is confusing, if the method sincerely works, why should it need to be veiled unveiled and reveiled, this is not the case in zen for example, where salvation comes through knowing ones self, and following Dhaama or a set of 'virtues'?:confused:

III
04-12-2012, 08:40 PM
Could you please provide a list with at least a few of 'all the recommended authors' who suggest the above?



1. Is 'haphazardly combining reagents' your definition of practical alchemy?

2. Do you consider the 'greater purpose' to be 'Universal Salvation'?

Can you define your perception of the concept 'Universal Salvation'?

Salvation from WHAT, exactly?

Finally, just for the sake of providing a different perspective... a quote from David Chaim Smith:

I would say that Universal Salivation is very important, otherwise we would not be able to maintain life in the body, eating with a totally dry mouth being very difficult. A nice juicy sweet orange can certainly be used in the pursuit of Universal Salivation

Otherwise I have to assume the spelling is not a mistake and then have to ask "Salvation from WHAT, exactly?" Our own ignorance and imaginary fears?

Happy salivation to all;

otove
04-13-2012, 06:23 PM
'salvation' was spelled correctly, in every instance

otove
04-13-2012, 07:51 PM
"You should not attempt the praxis until you have grasped the theory". This is the crux of this dichotomy, for me at least. I don't understand alchemical theory as it is clearly not the same as modern chemistry. Is it safe to assume there is something entirely unrelated/more profound to/than chemistry that is being conveyed, which is more important?

guthrie
04-15-2012, 10:13 AM
Well, if you look at early alchemy, especially the type of Zosimos and others, as seen in "On the letter Omega" and other works it appears that the physical work complements the spiritual, i.e. the physical changes that happen to the substances you are dealing with mirror the spiritual changes happening to yoursellf. As in, perfection/ healing of metals on earth is a mirror of the perfection/ healing of your soul in the cosmos, with the ideal of the Corpus Hermeticum being to re-unite onessellf with the ogdoad by casting off the dross of your physical body and its decidedly non-spiritual aspects such as greed etc.

otove
04-16-2012, 10:10 AM
Well, if you look at early alchemy, especially the type of Zosimos and others, as seen in "On the letter Omega" and other works it appears that the physical work complements the spiritual, i.e. the physical changes that happen to the substances you are dealing with mirror the spiritual changes happening to yoursellf. As in, perfection/ healing of metals on earth is a mirror of the perfection/ healing of your soul in the cosmos, with the ideal of the Corpus Hermeticum being to re-unite onessellf with the ogdoad by casting off the dross of your physical body and its decidedly non-spiritual aspects such as greed etc.

Hi Guthrie, two things. Is alchemical praxis a matter of extracting the underlying formula from a system or subsystem and using it as an analogy to understand or effect change in other systems, much like logical analysis?

Ancient blacksmiths considered the work upon metals as a means to understanding themselves and the world around them. But why not modern chemistry? Doesn't Chromatography (used for purifying complex compounds) mirror the motion of tidal wrack's? - the likely place where one would find Gold along a beach.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/forum/FLPH4.jpg

If so, anyone could use a formula from a system they understand well and apply it to a system they don't.

guthrie
04-16-2012, 11:05 AM
Hi Guthrie, two things. Is alchemical praxis a matter of extracting the underlying formula from a system or subsystem and using it as an analogy to understand or effect change in other systems, much like logical analysis?
Ah well now you're thinking like a modern scientist. In alchemy (my opinion at least) is that you should already know the underlying formula of how the world is setup or be in the process of learning it whilst carrying out the alchemical processes. E.g. the world in the Corpus Hermeticum and indeed through to the post-medieval period in europe (I don't know about China etc) is based to a large extent on hierarchies, whether of metals, people, ideas, etc. Thus Hermetic thought aims at re-uniting the individual with the nous, the cosmic godhead, or whatever it is called, rather than the base matter of the created planets. But yes, you can think of the practical stuff as an analogy for re-inforcing or suggesting the changes and improvements in yourself.



Ancient blacksmiths considered the work upon metals as a means to understanding themselves and the world around them. But why not modern chemistry? Doesn't Chromatography (used for purifying complex compounds) mirror the motion of tidal wrack's? - the likely place where one would find Gold along a beach.

If so, anyone could use a formula from a system they understand well and apply it to a system they don't.
You could draw links between any part of the universe to any other from modern science. e.g. I read that clouds were fractal to 7 orders of magnitude, and there are other things out there that are fractal. Or the golden rule. And so on. Modern science is about understanding how the world works. But then applying a formula from a system you know well to a system you don't is fraught with danger, because the new system might have slightly different rules...

zoas23
04-16-2012, 03:45 PM
For quite a long time I didn't think the practical side was important.
Though for the same long time I had some sort of bee or hornet stinging my head again and again... telling me again and again: "you are missing something!".

The bee was Cansèliet... specially the lines he wrote against Guénon, stating that Guénon liked writing about alchemy, and yet he has never been in a lab, hence his words on the subject are not worth reading.
I thought he had a good point.

otove
04-16-2012, 06:05 PM
... his words on the subject are not worth reading.
I thought he had a good point.

Who or what are you referring to here? are you saying that it is not worth studying writings from those with no practical hand in the matter? Remember that there are both operative and speculative guilds of Free-masonry/Compagnon/Christianity. One needn't get ones hands dirty to erect a temple to God. Whether this is the case with Alchemy; I am at a loss.

Awani
04-16-2012, 06:10 PM
I don't know if this is what he means but a person who has never done lab alchemy and is writing about it, well this person is not worth reading... this goes for most subjects.

As for Masons: speculative comes from posh nobility with no skill in masonry, but still wanted to be in the club... I think speculative alchemists have more intelligent things to say than speculative masons...

In fact operative masons are all dead or dying. It is almost a lost art form, alas.

:cool:

zoas23
04-16-2012, 07:33 PM
I don't know if this is what he means but a person who has never done lab alchemy and is writing about it, well this person is not worth reading... this goes for most subjects.

As for Masons: speculative comes from posh nobility with no skill in masonry, but still wanted to be in the club... I think speculative alchemists have more intelligent things to say than speculative masons... In fact operative masons are all dead or dying. It is almost a lost art form, alas.

A good translation of what I meant!

I was mostly thinking of Canseliet, he despised the so-called "Traditionalist School" (Guenon, Evola)... and in one of his books he devoted some time to explain why they are unworthy authors. I think the obvious problem he had with them is that they are extremely conservative and Canseliet was very much a progresist (I am talking about politics, but also about the was in which each one of these persons perceived history, specially the Renaissance... which was probably the worst thing that happened to mankind according to Guenon... and one of the best things that happened to mankind according to Canseliet).

Anyway... among the many things that Canseliet wrote against Guenon, the one that shocked me the most was that he had the opinion that Guenon obviously enjoyed writing about alchemy... but that reading his books it was obvious that he had never touched a flask... so what he wrote didn't make any kind of sense.
And Canseliet mostly defended the point of view that Alchemy has to be Spiritual AND Practical.

I must say that I agree. The spiritual side of alchemy is beautiful, but without the practical side there is something missing.

guthrie
04-16-2012, 11:04 PM
Certainly everything I have ever read of alchemical writings, mostly from the 16th century or earlier, maintains that there is a practical side to alchemy and it is better to pay attention to those who have actually made the philosopher's stone.
Amusingly enough one 14th century author, I forget who, engagingly admits that they have never succeeded in their quest but will nevertheless tell you lots of useful stuff.

As for masons, here in the UK there are still quite a lot around because of the number of ancient buildings needing work done on them. York Minster for example can have up to 4 working in front of the public:
http://www.yorkminster.org/learning/school-visits/watch-stonemasons-at-work/

zoas23
04-16-2012, 11:20 PM
Certainly everything I have ever read of alchemical writings, mostly from the 16th century or earlier, maintains that there is a practical side to alchemy and it is better to pay attention to those who have actually made the philosopher's stone.
Amusingly enough one 14th century author, I forget who, engagingly admits that they have never succeeded in their quest but will nevertheless tell you lots of useful stuff.


Agrippa? (He was born in the XV century and died in the XVI).
It seems that not having achieved the stone in a practical way was the greatest frustration of his life.
He is certainly a marvelous author... and very worth reading!

alfdib
04-16-2012, 11:43 PM
from my perspective if you want to enter in the path of Alchemy but you are not going to "dirty your hands" in the operative alchemy, you'll probably never understanding much of it... like talking and watching dancing but never tried to dance...or sports...or cooking... or, we can say, quite everything could happen in our life...
all alchemists ( real ones) always wrote mostly about operative alchemy ( and theory behind it)... it's most ( not all) of the modern so-called alchemists that have changed alchemy into an "only spiritual" ( or psychological, eg. Jung) tradition...

solomon levi
04-23-2012, 09:18 AM
Hi Otove.
It's a good topic.

When I read the quotes you provided, they don't suggest to me that the
work is spiritual and not practical/lab. When they say not to take things
literally, it means "mercury" is not mercury vulgar - Hg, etc.
None of your quotes say that the work is spiritual/internal. There are at least
a couple people - Jung and Regardie come to mind - who were said to have
regretted not realising the practical side of alchemy sooner, having thought
it was spiritual/internal/psychological only for most of their lives.

For me, if lab alchemy didn't exist, we'd have to create/assume it based on the
Hermetic axiom "As above, so below; as below, so above."
I can't imagine how lab alchemy could not exist/be possible.

guthrie
04-23-2012, 10:05 PM
The theory (yes i know not practice) was not intended to be taken literally. Eric John Holmyard
[I]



I'd love to know where the Holmyard quote came from. I've got his book, and had a quick scan of the beginning of it and find that he acknowledges both the exoteric lab work side to it and the esoteric religions/ philosophical side of it. Thus it doesn't quite fit with what I know of his opinions and arguments, especially shorn of context as you have presented it.

guthrie
04-25-2012, 06:14 PM
Agrippa? (He was born in the XV century and died in the XVI).
It seems that not having achieved the stone in a practical way was the greatest frustration of his life.
He is certainly a marvelous author... and very worth reading!

Ah, found it. Petrus Bonus of Ferrara in his Precious new pearl of alchemy. Or at least in the 16th century MAnget edition, based on earlier texts.

otove
05-01-2012, 01:39 PM
Hi Guys, back again.

You appear to understand alchemy in a different way to me, because strive as I might, the deeper current of practical alchemy remains thickly veiled. How can one build character through practical Alchemy, how can one transmute metals through meditation???

Here's a pot-shot, If Metals represent experiences, or 'states and stations of the soul ', and our work is as 'artificers in metals' oLo , how then can we multiply the small amount of Gold we accumulate through this (Vul/Tubal-canic) process. Or in what way is mercury (seed of metals/experiences) a solution for gold (the true self)?

Having carefully read through your replies and realized that practical and spiritual or two sides of the same coin, ie, a moot point, there must be a middle way which reconciles these mystical texts with their intended meaning, eh? :confused:

Cheers for the advice, Otove

otove
05-01-2012, 01:59 PM
Hi Otove.
For me, if lab alchemy didn't exist, we'd have to create/assume it based on the
Hermetic axiom "As above, so below; as below, so above."
I can't imagine how lab alchemy could not exist/be possible.

Can you "raise the vibrations" as F.Alburtus puts it, through lab alchemy? Vibrations in my lab set the dog barking and my wife to go on holidays! :D On a different level though Solomon, could Practical Alchemy inspire so many brilliant minds if there were not the highest concepts imaginable, buried deepest in it's mystical writings?

solomon levi
05-01-2012, 10:40 PM
Can you "raise the vibrations" as F.Alburtus puts it, through lab alchemy? Vibrations in my lab set the dog barking and my wife to go on holidays! :D On a different level though Solomon, could Practical Alchemy inspire so many brilliant minds if there were not the highest concepts imaginable, buried deepest in it's mystical writings?

Yes, through the lab processess, for example circulation - distillation and recohobation.
This makes sense to me because I have experienced it spiritually, in breathing/energy
exercises which circulate energy. But one can also compare the frequency of grape juice
to wine to brandy by drinking it. You can perceive the growth of fire via distillation in
comparing the taste of wine and brandy.

I agree - the highest concepts imagineable.

otove
05-08-2012, 01:00 PM
"You can perceive the growth of fire via distillation in
comparing the taste of wine and brandy."

Does this mean that the volatile contents begin to dominate the character of the 'Menstruum'? Or does this mean that one perceive all things wobble and vibrate when mixing Wine and Brandy :D

Ghislain
05-08-2012, 05:55 PM
If everything is One then Practical does equal Spiritual Alchemy

The difference is in the perception of what it is that you are searching for.

Do you know what it is you are looking for?

Have you asked for it?

What tasks have you undertaken to find it yourself?

At this point you may guess where I’m going, Matthew 7:7.

In my opinion you could mix eggs with gummy bears if you truly believe this will
work and somewhere along the path of doing this things will start to happen, but will
you see it happen or blink in doubt and miss it?

To quote Napoleon Hill,

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

Or should I have paid more heed to Mr Hill when he said,

"Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the
benefit of the doubt, and remain silent."

;)

Ghislain

otove
05-08-2012, 08:23 PM
If everything is One then Practical does equal Spiritual Alchemy

The difference is in the perception of what it is that you are searching for.

Do you know what it is you are looking for?

Have you asked for it?

What tasks have you undertaken to find it yourself?

At this point you may guess where I’m going, Matthew 7:7.

In my opinion you could mix eggs with gummy bears if you truly believe this will
work and somewhere along the path of doing this things will start to happen, but will
you see it happen or blink in doubt and miss it?

To quote Napoleon Hill,

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

Or should I have paid more heed to Mr Hill when he said,

"Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the
benefit of the doubt, and remain silent."

;)

Ghislain

Do you know what it is you are looking for?

In a way yes, but it seems preposterous, a system to organise experience and to see if there is anything that connects them all, this seems to be supported by a "Geometry of knowledge" which i assume is what Alchemy is about at it's heart.

"What tasks have you undertaken to find it yourself?"
What tasks are there? Research? I have a tome of notes on Alchemical theory, Meditation? I have 'sat' for an hour a day for a many years. The lights are on, but I guess no one is home :D

Food for thought though

Thx, Ghislain

Oh this site (https://alkemia.wordpress.com/cyclopaedia/)has been a major source of inspiration, how do you rate it though?

vega33
05-10-2012, 06:54 AM
Hi otove

I preface this as usual by saying I rarely post here anymore. I completely sympathize with you along the lines of "haphazardly combining reagents". I think this is an unfortunate by-product of the age of immediacy in which we find ourselves, in which the patient study of nature as a guide to truth (especially as it exists within ones self) finds itself even less at home among the masses than ever before.

As long as the basic ideas are understood however (which sadly they often aren't) I believe it should be plainly obvious to anyone who seriously studies alchemy that there is no sharp dividing line between "practical" and "spiritual" alchemy, in fact all is both intensely practical and also spiritual (in the sense that alchemy sees all essential changes as taking place by means of spirits, a technical term whose correct understanding is the key to the locked palace whose gate can be unlocked through putrefaction, or other processes that have rarely been described in books).

The marriage of heaven and earth is something we see right before our eyes literally every day, where a very subtle, spiritual matter, vis a vis, light, makes its way into gross form (vis a vis, the earth element, held together by powerful attractive forces), and animates it. Without light - or at least spirit - literally streaming and pouring like rivers from every solid object (yet not wetting the hands ;}), we would not be able to see the world we live in, since what we see is merely produced through electrical signals generated and transmitted through the optic nerve.

The energy of spirit is all around us in the air we breathe, keeping things in constant unseen motion, yet we rarely sense that. Consider then the motion of the planets and stars through space then, and the effect of the impact of extremely subtle ionic winds/matter in space rushing like fire at the earth's protective atmospheric envelope, penetrating it... could we not say that, at least indirectly, patterns are being conveyed at a microcosmic level to us "down here"? What if we could detect, magnify these patterns, intensify them, and use them to inform the growth of things, via a substrate (for example, via the liquid medium)?

Getting back on track though, I don't think there can be any progress in the art without a thorough understanding of its principles, no matter how much lab work is done... principles that in the end are simple to understand. How far one acheives after that depends on how well one can work with G-d/Nature. Study Suhrawardi and al-Misri and you'll see alchemy goes far back and some of the Egyptian connections are still there, as someone on another thread on this forum has indirectly pointed out. al-Misri is a great example of a hermetic philosopher, he studied nature as a window onto the ayats or signs of God, or Allah in his religion. Such people are still around today, they just don't talk much on forums like these...

Ghislain
05-11-2012, 06:05 AM
Oh this site (https://alkemia.wordpress.com/cyclopaedia/)has been a major source of inspiration, how do you rate it though?

As I do not belong to any other forum I can not compare, but to rate it for what I know of it I would give it 10/10.

There is diversity and people can put their veiws into a discussion and they are usually considered by most whatever their bent on the subject may be.

There are many offerings of help which one can take or leave...yeh I would rate it well.

Ghislain

solomon levi
05-12-2012, 03:53 PM
I think a site, or a book or a discussion for that matter, is valuable in relation to
the level of knowledge and experience of the practitioner. If we were wise enough,
Philalethes or Paracelsus or Jacob Boehme would seem perfectly clear.
Alchemists say it takes gold to make gold. It also takes knowledge to understand knowledge.
Your 10th reading of Valentine's 12 keys will be different than your 1st.
Who can say what is valuable to whom?
If you are gaining insight, it's valuable.
If you can apply it it is even more valuable. :)

Krisztian
05-12-2012, 08:57 PM
It is best, it would seem, that any (and all) reading materials (i.e., on alchemical glassware, chemistry, philosophy, historical innuendos, symbols of mythology, kabbala, etc.) be reflected upon slowly. I have found sections, in various books, sometimes seemingly from completely different subjects, to fit beautifully with other parts, say, of another book. 5 or 6 different books, at any given time, forming into one personal, private book; meant for our Inner Master to tie, to guide us. Meditation, like practical alchemy's digestion, is the seam that holds this clothes, Magnum Opus, together, for me.

It is within our daily life, in very subtle ways, that the answers are played out. I focus on "hints" I receive to guide my practice. A comment, a flash of symbol, etc., may be the very key that helps to open a door that I couldn't before.

Krisztian
05-12-2012, 09:09 PM
For me practical alchemy is also about diet, and we are what we eat (or creating the Elixir of Life)... so as I have already said both aspects complement each other.

I like your quote, dev. I also experimented with my diet. I have found that what would be called "raw diet", has served best, for me. I also noticed that I eat less and less, each year, and now, I eat basically once a day. (It's been my diet of choice for the past 8 years.) My consciousness is thus less influenced by chemicals of all kinds; it's very noticable as I made the transition to this point. My emotional body is also more balanced; it might not seem like it that food has major influence on consciousness (and mood levels) but I'm a living example that it does.

Reaching a milestone in practical alchemy is strongly tied, I believe, to basic body transformations as well.

vega33
05-12-2012, 10:42 PM
Reaching a milestone in practical alchemy is strongly tied, I believe, to basic body transformations as well.

I'd tend to concur as this has been partially my own experience, but (at least in some cases in my opinion) one needs the knowledge of the macro world to link with that of the inner world to make the most of it. I've had revelations and insights come as a result of a juice fast and liquid diet, followed by cutting certain stuff out of my diet like bread. These insights were in line with improving health as a result of this dietary change as well as the use of devices for health such as the Beck protocol. I soon noticed as a result of the increased energy the diet produced, the increased desire for things such as coffee, sweet things, carbohydrates etc. Put simply, the building back up of the body in a supportive manner puts a lot of emphasis on the need to harmonize the resulting internal energies, or pay the consequences of backsliding arising. The strong Yang energy which Fulcanelli spoke of as a sealed life/dynamism must work in an appropriate, rhythmic manner. The harmonizing force (Yin) and the active, outgoing force which expresses difference (Yang) have a very complex inter-relationship, and understanding that relationship in ones own body definitely helps to understand its workings in the outer universe, and vice versa.

otove
05-14-2012, 06:28 PM
Vega 33

…Alchemy sees all essential changes as taking place by means of spirits, a technical term whose correct understanding is the key to the locked palace whose gate can be unlocked through putrefaction, or other processes that have rarely been described in books.

Perhaps this is the key Vega. Spirit is a way of life to some, a substance to others and even, Intellect itself!? Your use here suggests Spirit as a casual factor, which again implies an Aristotelian framework (Four Causes) to Alchemy. As a technical term, my faith in a standard definition of Spirit shrinks. Moving on…


Without light - or at least spirit - literally streaming and pouring like rivers from every solid object (yet not wetting the hands;}), we would not be able to see the world we live in, since what we see is merely produced through electrical signals generated and transmitted through the optic nerve.

…. At least Spirit literally streaming and pouring like rivers from every solid object…? Here there are intimations of a perceptual interaction, i.e. the dichotomy between object and subject, something even someone as unenlightened as myself, have noticed and resolved in-vitro, through meditation.


Could we not say that, at least indirectly, patterns are being conveyed at a microcosmic level to us "down here"?

Here is your most titillating hint, for me at least. There are moments in life when powerful ideas arrive at my hands, as from nowhere, influencing every action. Have you felt as though Genius had been bestowed, and then drifted away? It is as though Savant like Genius were a framework, a pattern that we all could access; anyone could understand the archives of nature with the rite tools!

Ghislain

There are many offerings of help, which one can take or leave…
These offerings appear to be like jigsaw pieces, any advice that I receive is clipped to Evernote, for future reference.



Solomon Levi

if you are gaining insight, it's valuable.
If you can apply it is even more valuable.

As valuable as Gold? A whole seed, fruit and tree for thought: D

Kristian

May be the very key that helps to open a door that I couldn't before.
Fasting features very highly in religious practice, perhaps one should not only fast the body, but the mind as well? With so many keys to alchemy people will think alchemy were like a prison, and we it's jailers :) and which key for the first door?

Thanks guys, your input has helped me to cut back a lot of dead wood, perhaps to start at the very beginning with a simple putrification experiment?

Otove

Krisztian
05-16-2012, 01:54 AM
Fasting features very highly in religious practice, perhaps one should not only fast the body, but the mind as well? With so many keys to alchemy people will think alchemy were like a prison, and we it's jailers :) and which key for the first door?

I lived throughout my life in dense populated cities, not just in North America, but also in Eastern Europe. In the past 6 years, I relocated to a rather remote area of the world, maybe, population size 25,000. Here in the country, my daily experiences, contrary to previous times, have brought up a clear picture of how much subliminal conditioning we collect when living in, even, an average-sized city. My mind has simplified, I haven't seen a single advertisement while driving home.

I like your thoughts about 'fasting the mind'. It is part of my regular practice.

vega33
05-16-2012, 06:48 AM
Perhaps this is the key Vega. Spirit is a way of life to some, a substance to others and even, Intellect itself!? Your use here suggests Spirit as a casual factor, which again implies an Aristotelian framework (Four Causes) to Alchemy. As a technical term, my faith in a standard definition of Spirit shrinks. Moving on…

Yes, in my opinion, the definition of spirit is really key, at least based on my reading of the classical authors and my own hermetic studies. I think the point is that spirit can be a substance at least in the sense that a substance or things (res) can be seen as processes. To me spirit is the essential cause behind motion, and moreover it has a visible and a hidden aspect. So in the sense that things are continuously in flux, we might say that they exist by virtue of an inherent spirit which keeps the movement of energy going. The atomic age has shown us the amount of energy hidden within small quantities of matter, ordinarily this motion is invisible until it is turned outward and built up via concordance/resonance.

To put this practically by quoting the classical authors, Sendivogius has Mercury say "If any one knows the fire of my heart; he has seen that fire (proper heat) is my food; and the longer the spirit of my heart feeds on fire, the fatter will it be: its death is afterwards the life of all things belonging to my kingdom. ". Also:


Alchemist: Tell me are you afraid of the fire?
Mercury: I myself am fire.
Alchemist: Why then do you seek to escape from the fire?
Mercury: Because my spirit loves the spirit of the fire, and accompanies it wherever it goes.
Alchemist: Where do you go when you ascend with the fire?
Mercury: Every pilgrim looks anxiously towards his country and his home. When he has returned unto these he reposes, and he always comes back wiser than he left.

Sendivogius speaks of the spirit of the fire and the spirit of Mercury. He has Mercury say that he is himself Fire (which in other texts is verified), and that he is fed by fire. But before this he has already said "I am no fountain but I am water, and the fountain surrounds me."

It is very hard to see any literal resolution to this enigma that the Sage came up with, unless one recognizes the essential nature of the liquid state of flow as being in continuous motion, of having an internal fire. This is as true of magma as it is of normal water, or even, dare we say it, vulgar mercury.

To go further, Sendivogius also states in his introduction to his Riddle:

The object of your search should be to find a hidden thing from which, by a marvellous artifice, there is obtained a liquid by whose means gold is dissolved as gently and naturally as ice is melted in warm water. If you can find this substance, you have that out of which Nature produced gold, and though all metals and all things are derived from it, yet it takes most kindly to gold. For all other things are clogged with impurity, except gold wherein there is no uncleanness, whence in a special manner this matter is, as it were, the mother of gold.

Notice he says that "all metals and all things" are derived from this substance. Now, what could be this one and only Mercury, within which gold is dissolved, this fountain, from which all things are derived? The answer seems to be obvious, right in front of ones eyes in fact, something without which we could not have plant life or even have our cells communicate.

The alchemist always appealed to God, Father of Lights, for aid in his work. Putrefaction is also such a process involving a spirit or fire, except we often associate with fire with the bacterial life present in the ferment, failing to see that the environment determines through adaptation of the life-form the form it takes.

Good luck in your experiments, may you find some useful results :D.

Albion
05-16-2012, 08:28 AM
I lived throughout my life in dense populated cities, not just in North America, but also in Eastern Europe. In the past 6 years, I relocated to a rather remote area of the world, maybe, population size 25,000. Here in the country, my daily experiences, contrary to previous times, have brought up a clear picture of how much subliminal conditioning we collect when living in, even, an average-sized city. My mind has simplified, I haven't seen a single advertisement while driving home.

I like your thoughts about 'fasting the mind'. It is part of my regular practice.

JP Rangaswami: Information is food

http://www.ted.com/talks/jp_rangaswami_information_is_food.html

Easy to see many correspondences between the processing of conventional food and of information.

And, out in the country, subtle, natural information of a certain kind would seem to be more accessible.

Sungazers often experience a palpable sense of being nourished.

Then there is yet-subtler information-feeding (for the heart?) as referred to in Eucharistic passages such as this from the Gospel of Thomas:

(7) Jesus said, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man..."

There is a pure, unadorned, primordial Quality which nourishes the heart. It contains an ordering/negative entropy which can, in turn feed the mind with positive inspiration - yet also serves to clear the local mind of unviable non-life-affirming structure and debris. Simultaneously upbuilding and cleansing - perhaps somewhat like the general effects of hydrogen and oxygen on the physical system -or whatever contributes to maintaining the dynamic range of balance between extremes of either ossification or degradation (homeostasis parameters for metabolism/catabolism?).

I feel fed on some level by beautiful music ["If music be the food of love, play on." - Wm. shakespeare] as well as by beauty in nature.
Perhaps it's something to do with the math combined with the personal intent of the composer/creator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oIKG3Sm8Rw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVKhUn16A9w

In contrast, it only takes a few hours exposure to conspiracy-type forums (for example) before I get the feeling I'm taking in too much toxicity due to its negative-entropy-to-nonsense ratio.

Which brings to mind the line from a poem by Tomas Transtromer: "Friends, you drank some darkness..."

Good to consider the relative nutritional value/density/purity of the information one feeds on.

One can learn to process nearly anything - yet benefit from being aware of the possibility of overburdening their informational-processing liver/filter.

And, yes, fasting from food (especially dry-fasting) is an excellent means for clearing out negative informational programs and parsitizing entities so as to facilitate self-reprogramming or renewal.

otove
05-20-2012, 12:09 PM
have found sections, in various books, sometimes seemingly from completely different subjects, to fit beautifully with other parts, say, of another book. 5 or 6 different books, at any given time, forming into one personal, private book; meant for our Inner Master to tie, to guide us. Meditation, like practical alchemy's digestion, is the seam that holds this clothes, Magnum Opus, together, for me.

Hi Kristian, what you say here really hits me! Every night for maybe 2 weeks now, I dream of reading a book, a guide book, the cover always varies, but inside the words all make the same point. Dawn breaks, and the book evaporates like dew.

Where to go next? Ignore the dream as mental static, or try and recreate the book on paper?


One can learn to process nearly anything - yet benefit from being aware of the possibility of overburdening their informational-processing liver/filter.

People used to say I think to much. Thinking of and reacting to anything that occurred. One day after a severe depression I decided never to think again, a task almost impossible for the first year. Now I feel so much healthier, aches and pains vanish, I can run long distances for the first time and feel much younger, but all is not good. Downside is a watery feeling of distance and detachment from life in general.

Maybe there is a Middle Way, in the TV Sitcom; Yes Prime minister, The Two main Characters Sir Humphrey Appleby (Head of Civil service) and Jack Hacker (Prime Minister) are ever trying to gain power from the other. Humphrey's power is in filtering all the information of government and passing only the salient parts to The Prime minister. Humphry has greater power in practice, because he decides which things are important and which are to be dealt with by the civil service.

The same state of affairs (apparently) occurs in the mind, habit/impulse take control of our mundane decisions, and use Creative Inertia to maintain stability at the expense of freedom. This means that our Higher Self leaks power (confidence/clarity) until it loses all influence, and we get stuck in a rut.

How does this relate to Alchemy? Eliminating thought (sulphur?) seems to be only a stage, not a permanent solution.

Vega33
"all metals and all things" are derived from this substance. Now, what could be this one and only Mercury, within which gold is dissolved, this fountain, from which all things are derived? The answer seems to be obvious, right in front of ones eyes in fact, something without which we could not have plant life or even have our cells communicate.

Thanks vega, this had me pulling out hair for the last few days :p Not because a single definition is at fault, but because the definitions seem to undermine each other.

You write here: 'what could be this one and only Mercury, within which gold is dissolved, this fountain, from which all things are derived?' So Mercury dissolves Gold, in-order to purify it. So Why would one want to Multiply Gold? Purity allows it to reflect Nous, surely making more Gold Is to waste what Mercury one has worked so hard to acquire.


Just found Jean Dubuis Spagyrics course (http://www.bookult.org/files/General/Philosophers%20of%20Nature%20%5bP.O.N.%5d/), a little skeptical, but he has good repute.

Thanks guys, Otove

Krisztian
05-21-2012, 12:13 AM
Just found Jean Dubuis Spagyrics course (http://www.bookult.org/files/General/Philosophers%20of%20Nature%20%5bP.O.N.%5d/), a little skeptical, but he has good repute.

Octove: I strongly recommend that you study Dubuis' Spagyrics Course while also reading his Fundamentals of Esoteric Knowledge Course. They compliment each other. If you ever get the opportunity, find video recordings of Dubuis. He's very advanced in chemistry (and while he doesn't say so directly, he's a communicator with the 'Invisible'), you're certain to hear experiments you haven't seen nor heard before.

Krisztian
05-21-2012, 12:16 AM
I left out, his follow up work, The Experience of Eternity, is a good continuation to study, after you finish the course.

Bon voyage.

vega33
05-21-2012, 09:22 AM
Vega33

Thanks vega, this had me pulling out hair for the last few days :p Not because a single definition is at fault, but because the definitions seem to undermine each other.

You write here: 'what could be this one and only Mercury, within which gold is dissolved, this fountain, from which all things are derived?' So Mercury dissolves Gold, in-order to purify it. So Why would one want to Multiply Gold? Purity allows it to reflect Nous, surely making more Gold Is to waste what Mercury one has worked so hard to acquire.

The Cosmopolite deliberately makes his definitions appear to contradict one another, at least if you are read them literally. This is a common technique in alchemical texts. He states: In reading my book, do not stick too closely to the letter of my words but read them side by side with the natural facts which they describe. This is a very important factor which I cannot emphasize too much. A lot of people - on many forums, email based, this one, or other forums - will come up with ideas based on a literalistic reading of a text. For instance, in an email I received today from an email forum, I saw this nugget: "Hg, S, and NaCl, basic substances of the physical body according to alchemists."

Yet alchemists have said over and over again, that when they say Mercury, they do not mean vulgar mercury, nor do they mean sodium chloride when they say salt. Mercury in its liquid form however is flowing, tends to unite its constituent particles together, etc. Sulphur tends to congeal mercury into cinnabar. Likewise, mercurial water is said to contain within itself its own sulphuric principle, to which it owes its eventual coagulation. Alchemists, being trained to consider the hidden, motivating force behind things, were meant to look at this and say: what is this principle which causes the coagulation of the fluid medium, to form the crystalline matter which we call salt?

Science has still not answered this question really today, we refer to the molecular bonding forces by positing the idea of "electron sharing" - the idea of valence, where electrons are shared between atoms. However, some atoms may have multiple difference valence states - especially metals. On paper, it works to assign a valence to materials in a chemical compound because there are regular rules we can give for the process... but creating a model where some materials are "positive" and some "negative" does not allow you to touch the reality of what is going on in the process of coagulation. Its like taxonomy, naming an animal and classifying it into a species doesn't touch its isness, you cannot rediscover what the animal looked like and how it acted by reading the Latin name.

But most modern day alchemists do not consider this inner dynamism and ask themselves the question of what causes that coagulation, they don't consider the metallic will.

Again, the purpose, the Cosmopolite says, is to discover:


...a hidden thing from which, by a marvellous artifice, there is obtained a liquid by whose means gold is dissolved as gently and naturally as ice is melted in warm water. If you can find this substance, you have that out of which Nature produced gold, and though all metals and all things are derived from it, yet it takes most kindly to gold. For all other things are clogged with impurity, except gold wherein there is no uncleanness, whence in a special manner this matter is, as it were, the mother of gold.

So the purpose is not to multiply gold, but to find a material which may, indirectly, dissolve gold (or the material identified as gold by the Cosmopolite). Incidentally, in the upper atmosphere, nitric acid is known to be formed in very small quantities, especially at higher altitudes, and in polluted areas. It is formed where ammonium ions (salt of Ammon, the ram) fuses with other components of the air (eg oxygen, Ozone etc) under reaction by the bombardment of the solar radiation. Isn't that fascinating? :)

My point here isn't to suggest to anyone what the chemical compounds might have been that Sendivogius observed in his own particular work, but to point out the possibility of the non-physical nature of this mother of gold, which is incidentally an excellent conductor of electricity, one of the best known. And to point out the "occult" (in other words, unseen by the eyes) nature of the forces that operate in even everyday transformations such as these. We cannot see with our eyes the forces that cause molecules to aggregate and disaggregate, all we can say for certain is that such a force does appear to exist, we can describe its comings and goings with some degree of accuracy, but we cannot touch its essence. Nor can we touch the nature of the force that holds matter together (or may according to some cause transmutation) by regular methods. But this is what alchemy seeks to do. Fulcanelli said it best:


Furthermore, in our opinion, it seems insufficient to know how to recognize and classify facts exactly; one must still question nature, and learn from her in what conditions and under the control of what will her manifold productions can take place. Indeed, the philosophical mind will not be content with the mere possibility of identifying bodies. It demands the knowledge of the secret of their elaborations. To open ajar the door of the laboratory where nature mixes the elements, is good; to discover the occult force under whose influence her work is accomplished, is better. We are obviously far from knowing all natural bodies and their combinations, since we discover new ones daily; but we know enough to temporarily leave aside the study of inert matter and direct our researches towards the unknown animator, agent of so many marvels.

Enjoying the discussion. Cheers.

otove
05-26-2012, 02:52 PM
Vega33
Alchemists, being trained to consider the hidden, motivating force behind things, were meant to look at this and say: what is this principle which causes the coagulation of the fluid medium, to form the crystalline matter which we call salt?


...But we know enough to temporarily leave aside the study of inert matter and direct our researches towards the unknown animator, agent of so many marvels.

Hi Vega, is this to say that Man can truly understand something not so much by it's appearance, but by it's function. He can truly understand it's function only by the forces uniting form and function i.e. his Intellect or himself? Undoubtedly this is a sketchy shadow of what you intended me to understand.

Reading Jean Dubuis book; Fundamentals of Esoteric Knowledge, I found this diagram:
http://i48.tinypic.com/2rw1g7d.jpg

Surely 4 (Elements) follows 3 (Principles) follows 2 (Relative) follows 1(Absolute).

This arrangement appears reflected in a famous ritual where 3 Ruffians go to the Four corners of the Earth to hide a certain Body. The Three Descend into the Four . Dubuis arrangement however suggests 3 principles are formed by 4 elements, causing me confusion.

From what you say, I assume that the gap between Practical and Spiritual Alchemy is bridged by a kind of Synaesthesia of perceptions, as clumsy as that sounds. Let me explain what i mean below...

It hasn't gone unnoticed Vega, that the vagary of Alchemical talk, whilst damn near intolerable :mad: at times, is part of, 'Solve et Coagula'. Facts are inert, they get us know-where, it is the thing animating the facts that leads to higher states. The, 'AHAAA!!!' moment is a station of mind, we incorrectly assume it was a state[ment] of fact. Whilst working in the laboratory we are focusing outside of ourselves, and on the Oratory we are focusing inside. With time, patience and hope, the illusion of inside and outside (physical/spiritual) will dissolve.

Vega33
Mercury in its liquid form however is flowing, tends to unite its constituent particles together,

In Action, Mercury coagulates facts (a posteri experience), in Passion Mercury tends to confuse and conceal them. But if my analysis was correct (lol) Sulphur not only con-forms Mercury, but causes it to become passionate, heat and light

Well, this is still mostly hypothesis. More Ora et Labor :D

Otove

vega33
05-26-2012, 10:58 PM
Hi Vega, is this to say that Man can truly understand something not so much by it's appearance, but by it's function. He can truly understand it's function only by the forces uniting form and function i.e. his Intellect or himself? Undoubtedly this is a sketchy shadow of what you intended me to understand.

Well, people tend to understand what they're ready to understand I think, all we can do is share knowledge/energetic information and that which is capable of being received will take root. Myself personally, I would lean less towards function (which is the visible process that we see outwardly) and more towards touching the origin of that function. As Fulcanelli said, "Hermetic philosophy teaches us that bodies have no action on bodies and that only spirits are active and penetrating"...


It is they, these spirits, these natural agents, that provoke in the midst of matter the transformations which we observe there, yet wisdom demonstrates through experimentation that bodies cannot form among themselves anything but easily reducible, temporary combinations. Such is the case of alloys, some of which are liquefied by simple fusion, and of all saline compounds. Similarly, alloyed metals maintain their specific qualities in spite of the diverse properties which they take on in the state of association. We can then understand of what usefulness the spirits can be in releasing the metallic sulphur or mercury when we know that they alone are capable of overcoming the strong cohesion which tightly binds these two principles between themselves.

It is essential first to understand what the Ancients meant by the generic and rather vague term of spirits.

For the alchemists, the spirits are real influences, although they are physically almost immaterial or imponderable. They act in a mysterious, inexplicable, unknowable but efficacious manner on substances submitted to their action and prepared to receive them. Lunar radiation is one of these hermetic spirits.

The idea that a sometimes arduous preparation is required is often mentioned, while some books assume that preparatory phase has already been done. While it has been mentioned in many other places, since it is fresh in my mind I will give the example of what Jason Verbelli says about magnets and electricity, based on his study of people such as Walter Russell, Leedskalnin, etc. He looks at it as atomic wind or heat, so to speak... and by arranging the molecular structure in a particular way you can allow the reception of this energy which is already there. Much the same as crystal radios work. Similarly these influences or spirits can only be received if the vessels are structured in a way that allows the reception and conduction of the spirits. One could look at it as a metaphor for the graal, so to speak. People focus a lot on the stellated regulus of antimony in some alchemy forums, but often don't recognize that this "regulus" is merely an example of purifying and preparing a material in preparation to receive something... without that something, its of little use. And we prepare a material consciously, using our own intentional methods operated under the influence of a governing consciousness or spirit.

If we recognize that these principles operate on all levels then it explains a lot of stuff - for instance the tendency for many spiritual traditions to focus on things like plant products which can be carefully cultivated and ghee, which is sometimes used as a "smoothing mechanism" for the energetic influences in the body. Essentially they don't rule out animal products but emphasise understanding the qualities of the materials that enter our bloodstream, and what they allow the reception of.

If we look at the idea that "light doesn't travel" so to speak, as Walter Russell said, then an ordered and harmonic distribution of matter allows the omnipresent light of varying frequencies to present itself by means of wave-resonance. To "see" implies a pathway whereby the still light presents itself to us, and thus a connection between the seer and the seen. So its all about creating a harmony between the inner (the prima materia that is prepared) and the outer (the macrocosm, source of the greater energy, the "wheelwork of Nature" to which we attach our devices so to speak). This can be looked at as both spiritual and practical at the same time. And what produces this order? Vibration... the Word.

Stephen Emmens spoke of a curious fact:

that gold is found in greenstone that has made its way from the interior of the earth under conditions permitting very slow cooling. He also observed that gold is not found in ordinary lava flows where the heat has been quickly dissipated. Since lava and greenstone are composed of similar elements, he decided that “a non-auriferous limestone, subjected to the same natural laboratory treatment as an auriferous greenstone, is capable of producing gold by the transmutation of some of its own constituent particles.”

The slow cooling process implies a greater ordering process. I think its worth considering the idea that this "heat", trapped in igneous rock for long enough, under pressure, is producing "tones" or harmonics that eventually lead to the production of gold, harmonics that are not present in a lava which suddenly looses this harmonious, ordered inner heat of the earth and is reduced to a disordered and chaotic state in contact with parts of the outer crust that have less order to them themselves.

Of course it is all hypothesis until you start working with it, and you don't need big laboratories to begin experimenting with techniques of connecting the below and the above - you just need to pick a field you have experience in to try and apply these ideas. At least, such is my experience.

solomon levi
05-27-2012, 09:59 PM
Dubuis arrangement however suggests 3 principles are formed by 4 elements, causing me confusion.


"Formed", not created, thus no confusion necessary to me. The three essentials are "informed" by the relationship
between the four elements. Otherwise the three rest in/as unity, unmanifest.

otove
05-31-2012, 05:56 PM
Is alchemy really this complex? It is said, "become like children" to enter the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps a sabbatical is in order, none of this is making any sense!

Black Sclera
05-31-2012, 06:21 PM
the perfect logos is one seen not heard

vega33
06-03-2012, 09:02 AM
Is alchemy really this complex? It is said, "become like children" to enter the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps a sabbatical is in order, none of this is making any sense!

It's nothing complex, its the words that are used to describe it that are complex, because we must use human language to describe things. Its funny you mention "sabbatical" though - and not just due to the connection with the famous sabot, but because the secret is communicated in the simplicity of silence. To really listen to God and Nature, you have to stop speaking... hence Hermes would often say to Tat to "hold your tongue", and learn right use of speech - indeed, the Hermetica if you pay close attention to the translation differentiates between two different types of logos, the one type which is reasoned speech, and the other kind from which the so-called language of the birds arises.

I've listened to Nature before and let me say she is quite talkative, albeit kind of understated and quiet in our modern world, and sometimes its easier to go outside of the cities to find it... and yet it is going on even under our own noses. Solve et coagula, if u dig... see how the food enters the bloodstream via the villi after having been broken down into a fine liquid... see how the minerals are sucked up into the tree's sap after being dissolved in water... see how the magma, the liquid quartz, holds the metallic sulphur in suspension, as it circulates under the earth... to say nothing of the melting pots of thermal activity known as geysers (although be warned, our fire is no common fire). See how order allows flow, provides a suitable dwelling. etc., and how the fire/logos in-forms matter. That's about as clear as I can get.

But another forum member mentioned von Welling. I can't in all good faith recommend him as a sole source of information, but his experiment was of great help to me in answering to my satisfaction all those images of lenses and mirrors in alchemical engravings (eg especially Chymical Moonshine). Your path to understanding might be different, I don't know... but if you stick with the "Ora" and "Lege" (especially lege in the listening sense) you can't really go wrong, as long as you listen with the ears of the heart :P.

Cheers
-M

otove
06-03-2012, 08:32 PM
Thanks Vega, your generosity and patience is hugely appreciated. and your insights are beginning to make sense but you know what they say about leading horses to water.


...Order allows flow, provides a suitable dwelling. etc. the fire/logos in-forms matter.

This idea of transition is striking. The properties of liquids in motion are exact, and all things have a liquid state (at the correct heat), so mountains will dissolve like ice cubes, under heat. As to how this relates to the language of nature (understood by being quiet for some time) i will work on with some free time away from the city this summer.

Thanks again Vega.


High Black Sclera, your advice tallies well with Vegas. Profound quietude seems to be the key here. I have tried this before, but after a few weeks it was unbearable. is there more advice on this buried in alchemical recipes?

Thanks again everyone, Otove

vega33
06-06-2012, 09:59 AM
I don't know if I can respond to this with any authority. I think we all have our particular challenges to face when studying the Art.

For myself, I have in my natal chart Saturn in Virgo squared to within a pretty tight orb (2 degrees) of my Sun in Sagittarius. I know that some people on this forum don't believe astrology and celestial influences have any impact on mundane situations, but I guess Michael Persinger said it best when talking about the strength of the magnetic fields emitted by human brains etc: If someone is speaking to you, you hear it, yet the pressure waves being conveyed to your ear are on the order of 0.002-0.02 pascals (40-60dB). Static atmospheric pressure is 101.325 kPa.- up to 10,000 times more pressure. But we can't hear the atmosphere. It's the patterm that is most important, not the intensity that it is conveyed at. Ditto for things such as the magnetic field of the planets impacting the field of the earth, or light from a distant star - it all affects the pattern of vibration conveyed.

Anyway, Saturn: this configuration produces in the native a situation in which the body and its health become a central focus, but also it lends the native likelihood to work in fields such as automation and efficiency. When squared with the Sun however, it produces a conflict where the native has problems manifesting physically their known will. There is a conflict between preciseness in Virgo and the lazeus-faire attitude of Sagittarius. This has manifested for me in my own alchemical study as an ability to easily sense patterns and bridge doctrines to discover the central ideas which different artists are talking about at their core (discovering commonalities etc), but at the same time a real difficulty in manifesting this sensed knowledge via practical works. Tasks such as working with metals and other materials (eg soldering, fitting together models, performing chemical tasks that require precision etc) become Herculean efforts with Sun square Saturn in this sign, yet the challenges involved are worthy of being surmounted and indeed without the related health challenge I might never have delved as deeply into the workiings of the human body as I have.

I think tying this in with your question, it most likely relates to an aspect of your own natal chart, but without knowing the information I wouldn't hazard a guess. Myself I have often found my best communication with nature in the pursuit of photography, and looking closely at things in "macro" (I suppose this again fits in with my Saturn in Virgo aspect of examining the details of things). I have some photos that I'll publish shortly of some bubbles on the surface of a sulphur lake in a thermal park that I took, the bubbles look in every way like mercury both in how they act (their clumping etc) and their physical appearance. Yet the significance of this is not grasped unless you look closely at this aspect of nature, and contemplate it. In my own experience, I have found that in this contemplation of natural phenomena (in a non analytic way, often for me this is closely tied to the visual sense), the mind has the opportunity to finally be quiet and reflect the phenomenon, and thats the moment that the insight is grasped.

Good luck with the city-retreat stuff and all; and I look forward to hearing any results you feel like you can share. It really is a joy to me when I actually do get those whispers, because they are often intensely practical in their application.

Cheers
-M

Ghislain
06-06-2012, 02:02 PM
Is alchemy really this complex? It is said, "become like children" to enter the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps a sabbatical is in
order, none of this is making any sense!

Jesus said, "Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Lau Tzu Said, "Being the stream of the universe, true & unswerving, become as a little child once more" (Tao Te Ching 28).

As we get older we are moulded into a static personality with doubts, fears, beliefs and traits etc...

A Psychologist, knowing ones upbringing could probably tell how one would react to a given situation. We become predictable
due to the saved data we visualise everything through.

Children are blank slates, they take things as they see them as they are not analysing it with the aid of all the baggage a "grown-up"
uses to compare those things with. Children can go with the flow where a "grown-up" tries to control the flow.

This IMO is why it is said become like/as a child...it is to empty your full cup and allow the flow.

Otove, you posted a quote. I'm not sure where from...


...Order allows flow, provides a suitable dwelling. etc. the fire/logos in-forms matter.

Order fixes and becomes one thing...disorder allows for anything. With order there is little change it is
disorder that brings about diversity.

I dont think order allows flow, it restricts and directs flow...flow just happens.

Maybe :)

Sorry for all the editing..

Ghislain

vega33
06-09-2012, 10:23 AM
Otove, you posted a quote. I'm not sure where from...

Order fixes and becomes one thing...disorder allows for anything. With order there is little change it is
disorder that brings about diversity.

I dont think order allows flow, it restricts and directs flow...flow just happens.


Hello Ghislain

The quote was my own, and (with nothing negative being implied) I think the above quotes from yourself seem to demonstrate more your own position than any contradiction to what was said.

Your conception of order in the above quote suggests a static order, whereas my understanding of order is based on a dynamic, moving order... ie, you say that order "fixes and becomes one thing" - that it "restricts flow". Yet get a bunch of people marching simultaneously at the right frequency across a bridge and watch it crumble... this is the power of resonance, a phenomenon based on order or harmonic relationship. The right relationship with the macrocosm allows the stepping down of energy into smaller compartments and eventually into form, like the tuning of a cats whisker radio.

Anarchism and other such philosophies have an interesting, tenuous relationship with the emerging Aquarian consciousness on this planet. At first, such groups appear to be the embodiment of the Thelemic ideal, the concept of "Do what thou wilt", but an analysis of the situation reveals a different situation. Successful counter-culture groups develop an internal cohesion where people help one another out, develop their own trade of knowledge and skills, etc. In Liber Al, it is said, to paraphrase: "thus there is star and star, system and system, let not one well know the other". This modern definition of "culture" is changing to where groups of mutual interest in a special subject area will tightly band together in order to accomplish their aims. Such aims might be lofty or even trivial - from simply getting high, to building vehicles that run off alternative fuel sources. Put simply, we have shifted from a form of society where the many are ruled by or submit to the few (the Piscean ideal) to one based on community mindedness... with community used in the simplest sense of the word. While the old control structures still exist, and give some reason to fear a "new world order" (ie a single order for everyone), they are no longer as relevant as they once were. Yet creating is all about order, organization on various scales, etc. I think anyone who wants to produce or generate anything must recognize that pure chaos, aka the fire of the stove or the fire against Nature, is only useful in releasing things from bondage; but the fire of the sages is a generating, cold fire.

Fraternally
-M

solomon levi
06-09-2012, 11:38 AM
We could say order allows the flow of something and chaos allows the flow of something else.

otove
06-09-2012, 12:48 PM
Vega33. It's the pattern that is most important, not the intensity that it is conveyed at. Ditto for things such as the magnetic field of the planets impacting the field of the earth, or light from a distant star - it all affects the pattern of vibration conveyed.
This matches what I have read and come to understand. When reading of Zen literature, Koans and Haibun, there is a certain emphasis on the void, or vacuum. Writing aside, I have noticed Birds calling, and then Listening, to-and-fro, their silence receiving the impression, and processing the call. Silence echoes calls in many ways, i.e., length, attack, and decay. This all comes to a crux with this quote from Alistair Crowley:

“God creates the universe from chaos. His secret names are spokesmen, the certain original laws, which organize the space of spirit and material. The utterance of name is actuating of this law. But since macrocosm and microcosm are united, the same laws act in the space of microcosm, i.e., human psyche.”
Thus, any manifestations in the mental and spiritual plan are archetype means, whereas archetype is the invisible source of this manifestation and organizes chaos into the certain structure. “


Myself I have often found my best communication with nature in the pursuit of photography, and looking closely at things in "macro" (I suppose this again fits in with my Saturn in Virgo aspect of examining the details of things). I have some photos that I'll publish shortly of some bubbles on the surface of a sulphur lake in a thermal park that I took; the bubbles look in every way like mercury both in how they act (their clumping etc) and their physical appearance

I am Virgo also, and share your love of art; trying to encompass something boundless and distil the essential into a single succinct shot. But recently the opposite holds more appeal, rather than materialising something spiritual, rather to spiritualize something material. Any advice on this aspect of alchemy would be interesting.


Ghislain…This IMO is why it is said become like/as a child...it is to empty your full cup and allow the flow.
Order fixes and becomes one thing...disorder allows for anything. With order there is little change it is disorder that brings about diversity.

I don’t think order allows flow, it restricts and directs flow...flow just happens.

Vega33
Your conception of order in the above quote suggests a static order, whereas my understanding of order is based on a dynamic, moving order... ie, you say that order "fixes and becomes one thing" - that it "restricts flow". Yet get a bunch of people marching simultaneously at the right frequency across a bridge and watch it crumble... this is the power of resonance, a phenomenon based on order or harmonic relationship. The right relationship with the macrocosm allows the stepping down of energy into smaller compartments and eventually into form, like the tuning of a cats whisker radio.Is this related to the payoff between conscious or experiential knowledge against spontaneous creative adaptation?

Solomon We could say order allows the flow of something and chaos allows the flow of something else.

It is this aspect, the “Order ab/ad Chao” of alchemy that causes me most confusion, we are, according to various traditions, to create this vacuum (abhorred by nature?) only to fill it again. In the retort, their doesn doesn't t’ seem to be much emphasis on emptying the contents, rather re-spiritualizing and recycling the essential and separating it from the inessential and form conferring. Water has predictable behaviour, in the ocean for example, but across terrain behaviour is unpredictable. In spagyrics I have noticed, the sacrifice of of plant material for the principles it contains. This appears to be a poor analogy, as the very nature of the plant is destroyed, its ability to reproduce and further Order and spiritualize mater is curtailed.

Thanks again, Otove

Andro
06-09-2012, 12:58 PM
We could say order allows the flow of something and chaos allows the flow of something else.

We could also say that nothing allows the flow of something, so there can ('eventually') be an all-encompassing order to completely stop the flow of chaos (Hyle) - back into nothing - closing the loop - restart?

Or, in other words, the order which 'begins' as a red dot in chaos (Adam Rishon) 'gradually' expands to infinity /until there is no more chaos from which to create more order.

And then, the order apparently has no choice (?) but to implode for Restart (Tsimtsum).

And here we are...

Andro
06-09-2012, 01:01 PM
It is this aspect, the “Order ab/ad Chao” of alchemy that causes me most confusion, we are, according to various traditions, to create this vacuum (abhorred by nature?) only to fill it again.

Funny you wrote this at the same 'time' I was typing my post above :)

otove
06-09-2012, 01:18 PM
Get ya! but I actually wrote it in Open office yesterday. We may have posted at the same time though :)

vega33
06-11-2012, 09:22 AM
Writing aside, I have noticed Birds calling, and then Listening, to-and-fro, their silence receiving the impression, and processing the call. Silence echoes calls in many ways, i.e., length, attack, and decay. This all comes to a crux with this quote from Alistair Crowley:

“God creates the universe from chaos. His secret names are spokesmen, the certain original laws, which organize the space of spirit and material. The utterance of name is actuating of this law. But since macrocosm and microcosm are united, the same laws act in the space of microcosm, i.e., human psyche.”
Thus, any manifestations in the mental and spiritual plan are archetype means, whereas archetype is the invisible source of this manifestation and organizes chaos into the certain structure. “

That's a great quote. Crowley certainly had his share of things he understood well, despite a sometimes out of date Victorian ethics which was at times working against itself - at one stage spouting misogynist statements, the next writing beautiful poetry about how the women he had loved were mirrors of the divine to remind him of the face of God. In my youth when I was more into Crowley I spoke with a pretty knowledgeable Sufi in Melbourne about his life, and he revealed something I didn't know: that toward the end of his life Crowley started focussing more and more on the concept of "the mantra" or the Word, so to speak, perhaps seeing it as a more pure form of the magic he had already been practicing from various world traditions since starting his life in the Golden Dawn. My personal thesis is that his life was a kind of scientific experiment of his own devising, holding diverse belief systems in order to lead himself towards a resolution of all of them into one truth. Did he succeed? Perhaps, but most people focus on his earlier life and his sexual exploits, his "devilishness" so to speak. They put his writings on a pedestal. So its good to see you giving your own fresh/personal perspective on his work. I also totally get what you mean about the birds calling and listening. Thomas Vaughn, writing of Zeno, gave a proverb of his that ran something like: man has been given two ears, but only one tongue; that we might listen well, and speak little.


It is this aspect, the “Order ab/ad Chao” of alchemy that causes me most confusion, we are, according to various traditions, to create this vacuum (abhorred by nature?) only to fill it again. In the retort, their doesn doesn't t’ seem to be much emphasis on emptying the contents, rather re-spiritualizing and recycling the essential and separating it from the inessential and form conferring. Water has predictable behaviour, in the ocean for example, but across terrain behaviour is unpredictable. In spagyrics I have noticed, the sacrifice of of plant material for the principles it contains. This appears to be a poor analogy, as the very nature of the plant is destroyed, its ability to reproduce and further Order and spiritualize mater is curtailed.

I like spagyrics, but it is incomplete. Even Lully says so in his Testamentum: "My son! Remove, therefore, all all volatile moisture with the natural fire, but without calcination (ed.: my emphasis). Son! You know why the new and younger Philosophers are deficient in the knowledge of the natural properties, that is, more so in the strengthening of the natural power than in the purification of the destroyed materia; because they do not know how to make invigorating medicines that depend more on the form than on the substance. For they do not know how to extract the medicinal materia from the destroyed things, NB. which contain the materia with all its celestial power, NB. through a complete course of Nature, by a mild decoction of the Sun and the stars."

He goes on to say "they are deceived because they totally ignore the strength of the bound-together bodies, by which the active power is bound in its materia till the gradually ascending celestial heat can overcome the power of the ligatures. Therefore the said power is released and it flees from the burning fire which is its deadly enemy, and the materia is left behind powerless."

He finally exhorts us not to use the burning fire as a tool, at least in this task. Yet how many spagyric philosophers use things like an electric incubator or a gas flame to perform their circulatum? How many recognize that the fire must be one that will help rather than hinder the form or principle being "extracted"?

Re: the emptying the contents, my view is that it is not the whole picture. The main thing is that you're aiding Nature in producing a generation... and yet paradoxically in order to do this, you need to remove your preconceptions of how Nature generates and see it experientially by moving yourself out of the way while watching/listening. This kind of fits in with what Vaughn said in his introduction to "Light of Lights": he said that when he began to write he did it not out of any private endeavour (ie a book deal so to speak) but that he was "drawn and forced to it by a strong admiration of the works of Nature". This is pretty much the view of anyone who has studied long enough, and I find myself in much the same position, in awe and admiration for the way Nature operates. Chaos only enters in, in so far as the break down of the non-essential to separate the gross, chaotic from the properly aligned. Even where it appears that chaos is at work, there are patterns.

otove
06-13-2012, 12:30 PM
I have to admit Vega, the alchemical terms you use are beyond my current level of understanding. It is said that Alchemy/Nature hides her secrets from those you aren't meant to see them. And if that is the case with me, so be it. Another practicing alchemist had this to say:


"X did you a great service by reflecting your state to you, though you have partially deflected much of the potential salutary impact – all of which is par for the course at this stage. You want information which you have not as yet demonstrated need (whereas the alchemical tradition operates on a need-to-know basis); you have declared what you believe you know, yet your words and actions do not indicate that this is knowledge so much as opinion; you have come to this site for assistance, yet you deflect opportunities for transformation (that is, opportunities for more than informational learning)

This seems entirely accurate, if entirely frustrating after many years of esoteric study, but hey, "so mote it be".

Thanks again Vega,

Otove

vega33
06-15-2012, 06:45 AM
Perhaps if you find the terms confusing, the best course of advice I can give would be to study the writings of the alchemists on their own terms, and be aware that you will err and come to false conclusions several times most likely before you find the right road, and this is all part of the territory. I might be in the possession of some information that has granted me vision of some rather unusual difficult to explain physical phenomena, but that doesn't make me any more an adept than any other person on this forum who is studying the texts. I fail to see the terms as confusing or beyond understanding, but perhaps thats just because of my prior study. Good luck in your search in any case, no matter which direction you choose to head.

Fr P.'.A.'.M.'.

guthrie
06-15-2012, 06:59 PM
I like spagyrics, but it is incomplete. Even Lully says so in his Testamentum: "My son! Remove, therefore, all all volatile moisture with the natural fire, but without calcination (ed.: my emphasis). Son! You know why the new and younger Philosophers are deficient in the knowledge of the natural properties, that is, more so in the strengthening of the natural power than in the purification of the destroyed materia; because they do not know how to make invigorating medicines that depend more on the form than on the substance. For they do not know how to extract the medicinal materia from the destroyed things, NB. which contain the materia with all its celestial power, NB. through a complete course of Nature, by a mild decoction of the Sun and the stars."

He goes on to say "they are deceived because they totally ignore the strength of the bound-together bodies, by which the active power is bound in its materia till the gradually ascending celestial heat can overcome the power of the ligatures. Therefore the said power is released and it flees from the burning fire which is its deadly enemy, and the materia is left behind powerless."
Would you mind telling me where you got your English translation of Lull? Translations are hard to come by, and the Lullian corpus is big and complex, but I would like to be able to read the Testamentum.

vega33
06-16-2012, 08:31 AM
Hi guthrie

Sadly I don't have a complete copy of the Testamentum. Compass of the Wise quotes him heavily however, thats where the quote above comes from. The translation of Compass is available in a few different places, if you know where to look.

Cheers.

teofrast40
06-16-2012, 10:53 AM
Hi
There is an excellent translation in French of the Testamentum (collationated from all the sources) by Hans Van Kasteel, with a preface from Didier Kahn: LE TESTAMENT DU PSEUDO RAYMOND LULLE. BEYA EDITIONS ISBN 2-9600364-8-4

a reference for pseudolullian corpus
http://www.ramonllull.net/sw_studies/l_br/s_pseudo_1.htm

Hope not to sound annoying, but I think that it would be a good habit (quite lacking in this forum), when citing a text, to give also it's references. This would avoid ambiguities and ego plays (not pointing at anyone individually, I am saying this after four years of frequentation of this place, that I love).

With humility
t

Andro
06-16-2012, 11:25 AM
I think that it would be a good habit (quite lacking in this forum), when citing a text, to give also it's references.
This would avoid ambiguities and ego plays (not pointing at anyone individually, I am saying this after four years of frequentation of this place, that I love).

Hi Teo, I agree with you (and I also love this place :)), and I'm glad you brought up this important issue.

I've added this emphasis to the Site Related area: Cite Your Sources! (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2957-Cite-Your-Sources!&p=22440#post22440)

Thanks for pointing this out!

guthrie
06-16-2012, 06:52 PM
Thanks, I may get the french book, although my ability to read french is quite poor.
The lack of translations into English of many important texts is annoying. Adam Maclean has made a good start with his Magnum Opus series, but proper exploration of historical alchemy slowed down in the english speaking world after maybe the 1950's or such. There has been something of a revival this last decade and more though, which is good.

Illen A. Cluf
06-16-2012, 07:22 PM
Thanks, I may get the french book, although my ability to read french is quite poor.
The lack of translations into English of many important texts is annoying. Adam Maclean has made a good start with his Magnum Opus series, but proper exploration of historical alchemy slowed down in the english speaking world after maybe the 1950's or such. There has been something of a revival this last decade and more though, which is good.

I fully understand your concern. but disagree that there has been little attempt to translate alchemical texts into English. The RAMS disks contains hundreds of such treatises, including an English translation of the "Compass of the Wise". The entire collection of English electronic files only cost the price of a couple of books - an incredibly good value considering that it consists of hundreds of books of key alchemical texts - most not found on Adam MacLean's site.

There are also numerous individual attempts to translate works. However, most of those doing all the work (including myself - sometimes taking hundreds of hours for one transcription or translation) no longer have much desire to provide most others with copies, due to numerous occasions of total lack of appreciation or misuse of privileges. I have encountered this many, many times in the past when I freely provided them openly, but have since decided to share only with very select others. I truly wish it were otherwise. It would be nice to join a group of like-minded others who also take the time and effort to do the massive work of translating and transcribing and be able to share documents with each other.

However, I continue to share links to files where such readily exists. I notice that some others jealously do not even bother to share these links which others have provided openly.

If it hasn't already been done, it might be a good idea to create a thread where people can provide links to alchemical documents and sources all in one place for the benefit of everyone.

Just some thoughts.

Illen

vega33
06-16-2012, 09:01 PM
@teofrast: TBH, this is not a scholarly journal, and we do not need footnotes in our posts. I think think its clarifies the subject any to say "Compass of the Wise, on page 130 of the translation, by Leone Muller, quoting Lully's Testamentum's in Manget's Biblioteca Chemica Curiosa" (Latini snipped for brevity). If anything, it muddies the situation by excessive verbiage. Just to says "Lully's Testamentum tells us this" lets someone know where they need to go if they want to find the source, if they need more info about the particular translation they ask a question like guthrie very charitably did, for crying out loud. Some people would prefer the ambiguities to having too much information shoved in your face at once.

@Illen: such a place already exists, it is called the Alchemical Texts section. There is also a request area on certain other forums external to this one, but I should point out that with alchemical texts, sadly in this world corrupted by Mammon, even texts that have passed the date where they would be considered in copyright, have to have their copyright status verified before they can be shared online, to say nothing of the dubious status of some old translations, or works that may be held within various collections. So while I applaud the idea of collating such sources, one needs to be very careful about what one links to, publically at least.

And to noone in particular: to be quite honest, I would hope that people post their information with a motivation drawn more from a profound respect for the processes of Nature rather than in the spirit of "ego games". Vaughn says (as Eugenius Philalethes, in the introduction to Lumin de Lumine, page 241 of Waite's translation of his collected works, if anyone really gives a shit, my edition is a reprint from 1960 by University Books with gilt cover and an Eye of Horus logo on the side) "When I first put my thoughts to paper--God can bear me witness--it was not for any private ends. I was drawn and forced to it by a strong admiration of the mystery and majesty of Nature. It was my design to glorify the truth and in some measure to serve the age-- had they been capable of it.".

It is this attitude more than any other that I hope to see here, and it is to some extent why I continue write, even after years on multiple forums, email and web based, often on the email based forums with vile attacks against my character, and on both often with very little acknowledgement of any appreciation for the collation of information. Had I been writing out of an ego based motivation, I would have given up long ago, because people in the modern alchemical scene, especially online, can be shallow and want something for nothing, they want some alchemist to reveal the entire secret of the work in one post, replete with pictures of their own laboratory work and images of transmuted gold. No doubt they expect such an individual to have an anonymous email account to set up the forum account and to use multiple Tor proxies to anonymize their surfing so that when the three letter agencies arrive to black bag them for presumably being a threat to the fake gold economy (or for practicing medicine/healing people without a license, or being "proven" a fraud), they are nowhere to be seen. They also want such an individual to teach them how to create ghetto lab equipment and reagents from household chemicals... in short, they expect said individual to do the whole work for them. If one dares to claim any kind of knowledge, even small, without making technical references to chemistry, they will get shot down by people who roundly assert without knowledge that said person has no practical experience. And, to top it off, if this doesn't work, they will try character assassinations of the kind I have seen on alchemy email forums where a certain individual working with soot was "exposed" for being involved in campaigning for medical marijuana (despite this having nothing to do with their knowledge or lack thereof of the Art).

I still write despite having encountered a great deal of ignorant behaviour in the alchemical online community, perhaps part of this has to do with how in Nature light is never dispensed without its share of shadows, and because in general most of its members are genuine seekers are knowledge of some kind or another. But most of all it is because I want to share what I've learned of this secret agent that works in Nature, and the awe of the creation does not care for footnotes and references, except insofar as to show people the quotes are true -- something that can be gauged quite easily anyway by viewing the words that are written.

With love,
Fr P.'.A.'.M.'.

guthrie
06-17-2012, 05:25 PM
I fully understand your concern. but disagree that there has been little attempt to translate alchemical texts into English. The RAMS disks contains hundreds of such treatises, including an English translation of the "Compass of the Wise". The entire collection of English electronic files only cost the price of a couple of books - an incredibly good value considering that it consists of hundreds of books of key alchemical texts - most not found on Adam MacLean's site.

There are also numerous individual attempts to translate works. However, most of those doing all the work (including myself - sometimes taking hundreds of hours for one transcription or translation) no longer have much desire to provide most others with copies, due to numerous occasions of total lack of appreciation or misuse of privileges. I have encountered this many, many times in the past when I freely provided them openly, but have since decided to share only with very select others. I truly wish it were otherwise. It would be nice to join a group of like-minded others who also take the time and effort to do the massive work of translating and transcribing and be able to share documents with each other.

However, I continue to share links to files where such readily exists. I notice that some others jealously do not even bother to share these links which others have provided openly.

If it hasn't already been done, it might be a good idea to create a thread where people can provide links to alchemical documents and sources all in one place for the benefit of everyone.

Just some thoughts.

Illen
Thanks for the RAMS suggestion, I don't think I have seen them before. How good is the quality? If most of the translations have been done in the last few decades, I'd trust them more, but it is a little unclear from the website (an oddly designed website too). I'd rather avoid things like the A E Waite translation of the Turba which is apparently not very accurate.

I still think there is a reasonable middle line, obviously fully scholarly footnotes would be a bit much for many, but a mention of the source by name and author or translator will be enough for people to find their own copies/ sources. ISBN's or dates of publication are not necessary with the internet.

Illen A. Cluf
06-17-2012, 07:09 PM
Thanks for the RAMS suggestion, I don't think I have seen them before. How good is the quality? If most of the translations have been done in the last few decades, I'd trust them more, but it is a little unclear from the website (an oddly designed website too). I'd rather avoid things like the A E Waite translation of the Turba which is apparently not very accurate.


They've been around since Hans Nintzel decades ago - they were part of his collection. The quality varies from poor to quite good, depending on the title, but there are almost 300 treatises, many quite rare, which is an excellent value. I'm surprised you haven't heard of them - they are quite well known.

Illen

Krisztian
06-18-2012, 03:42 PM
Hans Nintzel's RAMS is a blessing in disguise! Unless you grew up in a wealthy family possessing rare manuscripts or, befriended some collectors by the grace of God, or perhaps by some other serendipity, purchasing the RAMS can allow for many years of digestion over the material offered.

glenerson
08-13-2012, 02:41 AM
what is manifested in the physical is also manifested in the spirit. the transmutation of lead to gold is basically the change that happens to the alchemist while in the process of doing so.

Ankhhape
08-13-2012, 01:21 PM
what is manifested in the physical is also manifested in the spirit. the transmutation of lead to gold is basically the change that happens to the alchemist while in the process of doing so.Isn't Spiritual transformation possible without Physical alchemy? Are there still alchemists trying to create gold/silver from base metals, or is this all metaphorical?

glenerson
08-13-2012, 08:04 PM
Isn't Spiritual transformation possible without Physical alchemy? Are there still alchemists trying to create gold/silver from base metals, or is this all metaphorical?

it depends on the alchemist. an alchemist might perform practical alchemy for the purposes of fulfilling his spiritual alchemy goals. say he tries to convert lead to gold by traditional methods. but lead will still remain lead. but really his soul is the "lead" that undergoes changes while in the process until it transmutes to "gold", a state of perfection, happiness and content.

we have lead and it is projected to our soul and it becomes our soul. then we subject the lead in different chemical processes. the changes that we observe is also projected to our soul. then based on the changes of the lead, our soul goes into stages until it achieves perfection. so the transmutation really actually happens within us.

this is how i approached my path. there might be alchemists here that think otherwise. but hey, you tread your own path, anyway.

z0 K
08-13-2012, 09:50 PM
it depends on the alchemist. an alchemist might perform practical alchemy for the purposes of fulfilling his spiritual alchemy goals. say he tries to convert lead to gold by traditional methods. but lead will still remain lead. but really his soul is the "lead" that undergoes changes while in the process until it transmutes to "gold", a state of perfection, happiness and content.

we have lead and it is projected to our soul and it becomes our soul. then we subject the lead in different chemical processes. the changes that we observe is also projected to our soul. then based on the changes of the lead, our soul goes into stages until it achieves perfection. so the transmutation really actually happens within us.

this is how i approached my path. there might be alchemists here that think otherwise. but hey, you tread your own path, anyway.

I practice alchemy in two labs. One is a physical practical scientific lab assembled to perform the art to make philosophers gold, not to transmute common Pb into common Au. The matter gained in the physical lab I utilize in my inner lab which is my own self.

The alchemical matter gained in the practical lab is like high energy food for the soul. You can attain transcendence without it but that could take many lifetimes.

Alchemically speaking either in the outer, physical lab, or the inner, spiritual lab, you are refining the same first matter. The difference is the amount of transcendent energy you can harness.

The common way to attain transcendence is to die. The gate between heaven and earth (alchemical, not religious), the Macrocosm and Microcosm opens and you fold into the Cosmic Egg.

With the Alchemical Elixir you can open a port to Cosmic consciousness that is distortion free which is quite unlike entheogenic plants: cacti, mushrooms, morning glory, cannabis, etc., or synthetics: LSD, DMT, etc. One can truly multitask in that state but you burn up the alchemical soul food expanding your horizons. There is no fugue state comedown. The revelation is not lost or warped in distortion as often happens with entheogens.

Anyway, that’s how I practice alchemy.

z0 K

Andro
08-13-2012, 10:13 PM
The alchemical matter gained in the practical lab is like high energy food for the soul.
You can attain transcendence without it but that could take many lifetimes.

I think you are making a very good point.

It has come to my knowledge that many great spiritual traditions have Alchemical 'Back Rooms' (Alchemical Medicines/Elixirs) at their most advanced/esoteric levels.

Nor many people are aware of this fact.

My info comes from private contacts, but I also managed to locate this little 'hint' on the Internet - note the section in bold:


Shardza told this disciple to finish his prayers before the 4th month, because after that they would not meet again.

Then on the second day of the 4th month Shardza was presented with the blessed medicine with the prayer complete.

He said, "Now I have to go to the empty places." So he went to the place called Rabzhi Teng (rob zhi steng) to stay.

He put up a small tent there. Several of his students followed him and he told them, "The base of all knowledge is faith, devotion and vow. So you must realize this and carefully practice."

In addition, he also gave them much advice.

Very often his gazes were straight into space.

On the 13th day of the 4th month, he made a gana puja offering of Tsewang Ba Yulma (tshe dbang bod yul ma), and he sang many teachings in the form of songs.

He then ordered his disciples to sew the tent completely closed, and not to open it for many days.

Then he went into the tent and said "good luck" to his students, as well as prayers. Then he sat inside in the posture with 5 characteristics.

On the next day, his students saw many rainbows above his tent. Some were big, some were small, some were round, others were straight, horizontal or vertical, all with many colors.

Particularly at night white lights like long white scarves shone forth brilliantly, which everyone saw. On the 4th day, there was an earthquake, and there were loud and strange sounds.

Also showers of flowers rained down. Between the stitches of the tent many lights with different colours, some with 5 colours, some with only a single colour came out like steam.

His student called Tsul'trim Wangchug (tshul khrims dbang phyug) said, "If we leave the body for much longer, everything will disappear and there will be nothing left from the corpse".

We should have something as relics for our devotion." So he opened the tent, and prostrated.

The body of Shardza was completely wrapped up with light, and the size had shrunk to that of a one-year-old boy.

It was suspended above the mattress at a height equal to the distance between the outstretched finger tip and the elbow of an arm.

He went into the tent, and saw the fingernails had come out of the fingers and were scattered on the mattress.

When he touched the body, the heart was still warm. He wrapped up the body with a cloth and kept it for 49 days.

He then did a puja of the 1000 names of the Buddhas, as well as many gana puja and other offerings.

After, when visitors saw the body and touched it, everyone had many special feelings rising in themselves.

All the people saw lights, rainbows and rains of flowers every day.

SOURCE (http://yungdrung-rignga-ling.forums-free.com/biography-of-shardza-tashi-gyaltsen-t110.html) (scroll down for this specific quote, but the entire text is interesting)

Ankhhape
08-14-2012, 05:02 PM
No offense meant, but if Practical Alchemy has and still ultimately fails to change any metal to gold (I assume it has yet to be accomplished?) is this any reflection on One's Spiritual Alchemy and that this too is ultimately an impossibility?

glenerson
08-14-2012, 08:49 PM
No offense meant, but if Practical Alchemy has and still ultimately fails to change any metal to gold (I assume it has yet to be accomplished?) is this any reflection on One's Spiritual Alchemy and that this too is ultimately an impossibility?

good question.

well, you subject a metal to processes. and it undergoes physical and chemical changes. it might change to what you believe is the alchemical gold, which is not necessarily Au79. Achieving this, it is projected to your soul, which also achieves the state of being in alchemical gold.

then the alchemist will believe that transmutation is successful.

so what am i saying? what you do to the metal shapes your soul concurrently. what the metal turn out to be becomes the state of your soul eventually.

otove
09-02-2012, 06:17 PM
Assuming real transmutation to be non-possible, it seems practical alchemy is only a clever allegorical veil for life/path work. Recipes peppered with overly exact terminology, bely a respect for consistency in transmitting truths in the Alchemical traditions, there and beyond, im lost, seed symbols are purely nouminal no? just my conclusion from reading this thread.

Bel Matina
09-09-2012, 06:02 AM
Don't forget the words of the Emerald Tablet, otove.

The beauty of Alexandria was that Greek philosophers, physicians, priests of all nations, common jewelers, cosmeticians, traders, mystery cultist all came together in a spirit of openness, and they have left us a deep vein that cuts through everything.

In the words of Paracelsus, "I have observed it in the macrocosm, and I have confirmed it in the microcosm."

Also remember that there are many paths to the art. With patient guidance and cultivation, even puffers and charcoal burners may find their eyes open to the mysterium magnum. Certainly there's no harm digging in the mine where the gold was discovered in the first place. Barring cave-ins, at least, I suppose. ;)

A truly catholic art can't help but be for everyone.

Ghislain
09-09-2012, 06:46 AM
Bel Matina

I was a bit taken aback when you said, "A truly catholic art can't help but be for everyone."

I always thought that "catholic" went hand in hand with "Roman", so I looked it up and the dictionary
entry for catholic is:


cath·o·lic 

adjective

1. broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all; broad-minded; liberal.
2. universal in extent; involving all; of interest to all.
3. pertaining to the whole Christian body or church.

Source: (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/catholic?s=t)

So one can be "catholic" without the dogma of the catholic church.

Every day's a school day :)

Thanks

Ghislain

Bel Matina
09-09-2012, 07:11 AM
Etymologically, catholic breaks down to kata (through) holo (entire, all) ikos (forms an adjective). Anything that runs through everything is catholic. Anything that does not... is not catholic.

Off the top of my head, I think that calling our art the (or a) "catholic art" dates back to Zosimos, but unfortunately I can't provide a specific quotation at the moment.

otove
09-09-2012, 09:49 AM
Thanks guys, as a beginner it is up to me too seek your advice/medicine, but also to dissolve preconceptions about alchemy, one of these is that alchemy is entirely one thing or another, perhaps it is better to celebrate this diversity, not to find distinct boundaries between real and unreal so early on.

Perhaps this saying by Hakuin holds true for beginners in Alchemy as well as Zen:


"A person who commits himself to the practice of Zen must be equipped with three essentials. A great root of faith. A great ball of doubt. A great tenacity of purpose. Lacking any one of them, he is like a tripod with only two legs.... By "great root of faith" is meant the belief that each and every person has an essential self-nature which he can see into; and the belief in a principle by which this self-nature can be fully penetrated. Even though you attain this belief, you cannot break through and penetrate to total awakening unless fundamental doubts arise as you tackle the difficult-to-pass koans. And even if these doubts crystallise so that you yourself become a great ball of doubt, you will still be unable to break it apart unless you constantly engage those koans with great burning tenacity of purpose. "

Thanks too you all, L'Otove

Krisztian
09-18-2012, 07:11 PM
Off the top of my head, I think that calling our art the (or a) "catholic art" dates back to Zosimos, but unfortunately I can't provide a specific quotation at the moment.

Andrea de Pascalis sure makes the same assertions Bel Matina; paraphrasing Zosimos that the Sacred Art is a psychophysical practice. I quote here:

". . . the artist, at peace with his [her] own body, seeks to calm his passions and waits for the divine spirit to be born within him [her], thus achieving the union of the One with the All" (Alchemy: The Golden Art, p.42).


Etymologically, catholic breaks down to kata (through) holo (entire, all) ikos (forms an adjective). Anything that runs through everything is catholic. Anything that does not... is not catholic.

I often find myself sensitive to 'protecting the Ancients'. Thanks for pointing that out Bel Matina, I also believe that our practice is catholic and I know that in the 20th Century alchemists like Dubuis still believed it when describing the way he does 'meditation' for instance.