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Leon Corlew
06-04-2014, 02:20 AM
A few days ago I believe I experienced, for a moment, Gnosis, or enlightenment as the Buddhists would say. I had for some time an innate understanding of the fact that I as a human am inseparable from my surrondings, from the system I exist in (this is a simplification, Gnosis is fundamentally untransferable knowlage). In this I also realised an allegory for the relationship between Gnosis, Alchemy, and various religious practices.

Imagine, if you will, that you stand in a forest and suddenly a beautiful stained galss window appears in the air of its own accord. It then falls to the earth and shatters. You know that if this beautiful thing has appeared once it can appear again and so you construct a scaffold of wood to the shape of the window you saw. It appears again and rests in the scaffold for some time, until the scaffold rots and collapses. Seeing this you rebuild the scaffold and then build a cathedral (or gate, doesn't really matter, some structure) of stone over that, securing the window for all time.

The window is Gnosis, which may and does appear spontaneously. When it is seen the imperative of preserving it is known to the observer, for no realisation is truer. The wooden scaffold is the multitude of practices designed to remove the things that distract from the Gnosis, meditation, mindfulness, ect. The cathedral represents the physical perfection of the vessel carrying the Gnosis (the body) by the Stone.

Now getting to the point, I have come to the belief that one cannot appropriate the 'cathedral' of another. If the stone responds to an individual (and we know it does, the is much anecdotal evidence on this site of the Work taking people to very dark places internally) then there is no reason to believe that a process which may work for one person may work for another. (Note the similarity of this and the concept of Tao, as above so below)

So, I believe I must formulate my own process, from the ground up. To do so will require an understanding of the basic tenets and derived tenets of Hermeticism which I currently do not posess. First question: Does any of this resonate with anyone or am I pissing into the wind? Secondly, if anyone has come across any books on the Philosophical side of Hermeticism (the motion and maniulation and nature of the elements, the nature of the Stone and the nature of its action on matter, the nature of Nature, ect.) that they believe to be written truthfully and with a clear understanding of their content would they post their names? Thank you.

Andro
06-04-2014, 05:58 AM
Leon,

I enjoyed your post very much. VERY much. I hear you. I see things similarly.

I think I am now better able to understand the nature of your quest. Here and there on this Forum, I have also posted about/referenced books such as you mention, I recommended a few and wrote about the need for them. Those posts went largely unnoticed, or at least UN-replied to :)... Up to you to locate them, if so inclined.

I am also not able to copy/replicate processes discovered/developed by others. The Hermetic Laws of the Knowable Universe are the actual 'instruction manual'. 'Recipes' vary among authors and almost invariably cause much confusion, if the Principles are not firmly integrated.

The other day over skype, I was telling a very good friend from half way across the world how I am mentally and practically incapable to replicate or copy the methods and paths with which I was entrusted by other Alchemists (with whom I was extremely fortunate to meet on my journeys). Maybe that's why I've had so many powerful exchanges and 'sharing of secrets' with a few advanced Alchemists over the years, because in the end, after all participants bring something of value to the table, everyone goes back to doing their own thing, and all the practical side of the sharing is translated into principles which everyone applies in their own way. So I very much agree with what you wrote. You're welcome to skype me (talking comes much easier to me than writing).

Thanks for your wonderful post.

Eshai
06-04-2014, 11:57 AM
So, I believe I must formulate my own process, from the ground up.
This resonates with me.

I have had the fortunate experience to have witnessed this in many individuals in the construction trades. People want the title of... whatever (insert any title), without taking the time to pay their dues as a proper apprentice. They think they can learn a few things, and a few tricks, (they acquire those "recipes," like Androgynous mentioned) and they truly believe that with those alone they can take jobs and complete them professionally. Sometimes they get lucky, or the environment and other workers are accommodating (which only contributes to the luck factor), and this spurs them on, unaware that they were merely lucky... but inevitably they overextend, and they fail, and they are painfully reminded that they still have a lot to learn (a lot to deeply understand) before they can truly be classified on the level of journeyman, expert, master.

You cannot shortcut experience. There's really no such thing as a "fast track." You build a pyramid from the bottom up, just like you said. And that's exactly how understanding works. It's easy to get caught up on how much time it truly takes to master an art, or trade--any art. It truly takes a lifetime, and then some. It is unfortunate that we don't live longer. It seems like we can live just long enough to truly master something, and then we die (or our bodies fall apart, at the very least). If you dwell on this too much, it's easy to fall into despair.

Kiorionis
06-04-2014, 01:04 PM
I liked this as well, the best one I've read by you so far Leon ;)

One work of natural philosophy, while not Hermetic philosophy, that I highly recommend is Francis Bacon's Novum Organum Scientarium, or The New Instrument of Science.

It is a work detailing the faults of deductive science and praises inductive reasoning towards the discovery of truth. You could also call it the Baconian Method.

Another that I'm currently reading and very much enjoy is The Mysticism of Sound and Music. It's the teachings of Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan, who relates the whole of the universe to sound vibrations,musical structure and color. Could say its his perspective to the underlying structure of things.

Anyways, hope this helps :)

Leon Corlew
06-04-2014, 11:01 PM
I enjoyed your post very much. VERY much. I hear you. I see things similarly.


This resonates with me.


I liked this as well, the best one I've read by you so far Leon ;)


I am very glad to hear that others see things the same way, I have noticed a certain preoccupation with following recipes among the users of this forum, which is not a path that really jives with my notions of Alchemy (not really a path at all). On a more practical note, in reading various Alchemical texts I have been able to see a generalised process which leads to the Stone, a "superstructure" on which most if not all processes are based but have not been able to understand why this is the superstructure. I have been unable to derive deeper meaning from the cooking instructions of those who went before us, and to me understanding what I am doing is of the upmost importance; I would rather walk slowly in the light of my own reason than rush headlong through darkness, heeding only the coded instruction of the anchients. (I do understand why I can not derive the inner workings of these processes from these writting alone, I will explain this further down as I progressively resond to your comments.)



I think I am now better able to understand the nature of your quest. Here and there on this Forum, I have also posted about/referenced books such as you mention, I recommended a few and wrote about the need for them. Those posts went largely unnoticed, or at least UN-replied to :)... Up to you to locate them, if so inclined.


I will certainly do so, thank you.



I am also not able to copy/replicate processes discovered/developed by others. The Hermetic Laws of the Knowable Universe are the actual 'instruction manual'. 'Recipes' vary among authors and almost invariably cause much confusion, if the Principles are not firmly integrated.


I think that the issue in following the instructions of others is that they are never complete. Consider this, very few texts explicate the entire physical process, and almost none fully explicate the interal/spiritual/mental process. As there are almost ceratinly multiple ways to the stone it will not do to blindly mix and match pieces of different processes, as the parts will not correspond.

Furthermore, I do not know if it would even be possible for someone to transmit, in any meaningful way, the spiritual part of their Work to another. Alchemical treaties already represent such a dense and unapproachable headspace that to incorporate the bare Spiritual connotations of the Artist's mind (rather than just the denotations) would likely result in something completely illegible. This is of course wandering far into the realm of speculation, as to my knowlage no such text exists.



The other day over skype, I was telling a very good friend from half way across the world how I am mentally and practically incapable to replicate or copy the methods and paths with which I was entrusted by other Alchemists (with whom I was extremely fortunate to meet on my journeys). Maybe that's why I've had so many powerful exchanges and 'sharing of secrets' with a few advanced Alchemists over the years, because in the end, after all participants bring something of value to the table, everyone goes back to doing their own thing, and all the practical side of the sharing is translated into principles which everyone applies in their own way. So I very much agree with what you wrote.


Yeah, even if someone was imparted with someone else's entire process, internal and external, it would not nessesarily line up with that Artist's "internal structure", so to speak. In this way each process may be distinct (in corrospondence with the intrigacies of the Artist) though they all may follow that superstructure I spoke of.



You're welcome to skype me (talking comes much easier to me than writing).


Thank you, I will likely take you up on that offer at some point in the future (need to install Skype though, not even sure if it works on Linux), but for now I have much to read and absorb and understand.



Thanks for your wonderful post.


You are most welcome.



One work of natural philosophy, while not Hermetic philosophy, that I highly recommend is Francis Bacon's Novum Organum Scientarium, or The New Instrument of Science.

Another that I'm currently reading and very much enjoy is The Mysticism of Sound and Music. It's the teachings of Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan, who relates the whole of the universe to sound vibrations,musical structure and color. Could say its his perspective to the underlying structure of things.


Ah, thank you, I'll have to look into these, funny you should mention the Bacon book, I am currently reading his collection of essays (this edition happen to include New Atlantis as well).



I have had the fortunate experience to have witnessed this in many individuals in the construction trades. People want the title of... whatever (insert any title), without taking the time to pay their dues as a proper apprentice. They think they can learn a few things, and a few tricks, (they acquire those "recipes," like Androgynous mentioned) and they truly believe that with those alone they can take jobs and complete them professionally. Sometimes they get lucky, or the environment and other workers are accommodating (which only contributes to the luck factor), and this spurs them on, unaware that they were merely lucky... but inevitably they overextend, and they fail, and they are painfully reminded that they still have a lot to learn (a lot to deeply understand) before they can truly be classified on the level of journeyman, expert, master.


Certainly, a man may be able to follow instructions to do this or that, but faced with adversity, something not covered in the instructions, can he improvise? And more importantly, does he understand why what he has done is done in the way he did it? Can he improve in the process? No, he cannot, not without a clear understanding, from the most basic level, of what he is doing. For something like construction this may not be so important, people built houses long before they understood the nature of the force that opossed them. But our Art is closer to the center of all things, more affected by minutia, and, as such, must be carried out in clear understanding of its principles.



You cannot shortcut experience. There's really no such thing as a "fast track." You build a pyramid from the bottom up, just like you said. And that's exactly how understanding works. It's easy to get caught up on how much time it truly takes to master an art, or trade--any art. It truly takes a lifetime, and then some. It is unfortunate that we don't live longer. It seems like we can live just long enough to truly master something, and then we die (or our bodies fall apart, at the very least). If you dwell on this too much, it's easy to fall into despair.

This is what drove me (and, I suspect, many others) to attempt to absorb and recreate the processes of others, that which is forever bitting at the heals of Man, mortality. After the experience described at the beginning of this thread I see the folly in this. Firstly, I am nowhere near death, there is no reason to rush but to 'make haste slowly', as it is said. Secondly it was the spirit of inquiry that initially lead me to the occult and philosophy and mathematics and esoterica in general, not the search for power, for abilities and the achievment of feats.

And so I will galdly resign myself to tearing down what I know, building myself some shiny new alchemical eyeballs and taking another look at all of this. I do expect that my desire (no matter how small it may become, for there is a world of difference between very little and none at all) for the material prowess granted by the Stone may well be a great stumbling block in my future, certainly overcoming this desire will be an aspect of the internal Art. But I suppose I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

III
06-05-2014, 01:17 AM
Hi Leon Corlew,


Many of your questions, dealing with the mental, spiritual, emotional parts of things and construction of the being are directly dealt with in yoga and most specifically Tantric Alchemy. The metaphysics, which is the map in a sense, is agreed upon and is teachable. Learning how to come into the "same space" (chamber, energy, map, other similar words) with somebody starts immediately. There are the written teachings, the spoken teachings, the unspoken teachings and the unspeakable teachings if you want to label them by characteristics. Different schools teach variations on maps, separated more by terminology than actuality. Octaves, scales, spectrums, exponential, and similar non-linear vocabulary is used by almost everybody trying to describe their experiences of the structures of the labyrinth, as well as fractal and/or hologram. To understand a group's map one must learn the vocabulary and the archetypes required to have the same understanding. Then one needs a teacher or some special friends that are able and willing to share the unspoken and unspeakable teachings. I went to a high level invocational get together. It took until the 4th day to get everybody there in sufficient agreement of the map at the highest levels we all had in common. We all go home with new sets of recipes.


I learned all sorts of pieces of things but I had to do my own work that placed the pieces in the relatively correct places, for me, and got them working. Unspoken/unspeakable recipes are done over and over again until one gets it right. Then that opens the door to another chamber and suddenly there is a different recipe to solve to go beyond that chamber. I have a Tantric Alchemical partner. She has progressed from beginning student to full student to apprentice and then to partner. She doesn't have to have me to know what to do next. Her access to the MAP is her own. She, as each of has to do, has to make her own synthesis, over and over with refinements as we all do However, we play and work well with each other. I would expect that we will together meet anywhere from a few people to a dozen or more with whom we may exchange parts of the Map in the course of the summer. That is one way we grow.

Dendritic Xylem
06-05-2014, 02:09 AM
You're definitely on the right track searching for the fundamentals. IMHO, one reason alchemy is so misunderstood is because most of us focus on alchemical manuscripts during our research. These manuscripts generally use very secretive and cryptic descriptions of the experiments, often omitting key points.

I feel that it is a good idea to study early unconventional scientists who distanced themselves from alchemical culture. Special focus should be given to those who experimented with energies that are analogous to the spiritus mundi or secret fire. Many of these scientists/researchers were naive and VERY revealing because they didn't fully understand the implications of their work.

Here's some examples....
The Physics of the Primary State of Matter (Davson 1955)
An Original Treatise on Electro Vital Force (Hartford 1908)
Early Magnetism in it's Higher Relations to Humanity (South 1846)
Animal Magnetism (Lee 1843)
Practical Instruction in Animal Magnetism (Deleuze 1843)
Researches on the Dynamics of Magnetism, electricity, heat, light, crystallization, and chemism, in their relations to vital force (Reichenbach 1851)

Most of the works listed were supposedly kept in the Golden Dawn hermetic Library.

Dendritic Xylem
06-05-2014, 02:30 AM
Also check out Charles Littlefield's works...
The Beginning and Way of Life (1919)
Man, Minerals, and Masters (1937)

Leon Corlew
06-05-2014, 01:44 PM
Many of your questions, dealing with the mental, spiritual, emotional parts of things and construction of the being are directly dealt with in yoga and most specifically Tantric Alchemy.

I actually have been interested in Tantric Alchemy for some time. The issue I have always foreseen in this is finding a suitable partner, as well as a dedicated and serious group with which to trade ideas (though come to think of it, I did meet one potential partner last semester, who is unfortunately moving to California). Would such an issue likely be solved by simply "opening one's self" to the idea of its resolution? I have noticed that this has served me quite well in finding other psychonauts, you stop looking, stop troubling yourself with it, and they come to you.

Or is there perhaps a more conventional method of making contact? Also, recommend any reading? And thank you.




You're definitely on the right track searching for the fundamentals. IMHO, one reason alchemy is so misunderstood is because most of us focus on alchemical manuscripts during our research. These manuscripts generally use very secretive and cryptic descriptions of the experiments, often omitting key points.

I feel that it is a good idea to study early unconventional scientists who distanced themselves from alchemical culture. Special focus should be given to those who experimented with energies that are analogous to the spiritus mundi or secret fire. Many of these scientists/researchers were naive and VERY revealing because they didn't fully understand the implications of their work.

Here's some examples....
The Physics of the Primary State of Matter (Davson 1955)
An Original Treatise on Electro Vital Force (Hartford 1908)
Early Magnetism in it's Higher Relations to Humanity (South 1846)
Animal Magnetism (Lee 1843)
Practical Instruction in Animal Magnetism (Deleuze 1843)
Researches on the Dynamics of Magnetism, electricity, heat, light, crystallization, and chemism, in their relations to vital force (Reichenbach 1851)


I actually had not considered this, and have never heard of these people. I knew that people like Tesla and Feynman and Fuller knew things that traditionally reside outside of realm of Western science but I have always been tentative to get into their writtings, as I guess they would be quite hard to aproach. Thank you for this new reasource. :)

Dendritic Xylem
06-05-2014, 02:48 PM
No problem, glad to help ;)
The 1800's was a wonderful time for science. Researchers were better utilizing the scientific method, while also holding on to their roots in natural philosophy. Scientists during this period seem to be more open minded and less dogmatic than modern fundamentalists.

p.s - If you want to understand Tesla then read the chapter on him in Lost Science by Gerry Vassilatos (you should probably read the entire book though....the first chapter is on Karl Reichenbach, whose book I listed above.)

Andro
06-05-2014, 03:00 PM
The 1800's was a wonderful time for science. Researchers were better utilizing the scientific method, while also holding on to their roots in natural philosophy. Scientists during this period seem to be more open minded and less dogmatic than modern fundamentalists.

For a more advanced/philosophical/less dogmatic/less fragmented scientific perspective - Tesla, Leadskalkin, Russel, Reich, Hieronymus, Reichenbach and others like them are a must IMO.

For Hermetic Foundations, The Kybalion is quite invaluable, but The Golden Chain of Homer is also quite rich in Natural Philosophy if one looks well enough... I'd also add the likes of Parmenides and Heraclitus, and maybe the later ones as well (Virgil, Plato, etc...). The Gnostic Writings are of course essential as well, even more so as they actually predate christianity in their Hermetic content.

Dendritic Xylem
06-05-2014, 03:16 PM
Thanks Androgynus!

III
06-05-2014, 09:23 PM
I actually have been interested in Tantric Alchemy for some time. The issue I have always foreseen in this is finding a suitable partner, as well as a dedicated and serious group with which to trade ideas (though come to think of it, I did meet one potential partner last semester, who is unfortunately moving to California). Would such an issue likely be solved by simply "opening one's self" to the idea of its resolution? I have noticed that this has served me quite well in finding other psychonauts, you stop looking, stop troubling yourself with it, and they come to you.

Or is there perhaps a more conventionaly method of making contact? Also, recommend any reading? And thank you.





Hi Leon,


J.R. Haule has written a 2 volume book on Tantric Alchemy that is most excellent. E.J. Gold wrote LIFE IN THE LABYRINTH, also excellent and quite a few other books. THE HIDDEN WORK is all about how to do Prayer Absolute. This is a recipe book. It has the invocation in it for the prayer. When at EJ's and they lead the group into Prayer Absolute, it's an amazing experience. If one follows the directions the prayer occurs but there is no memory of the words of the induction sequence. If a person follows the words they don't have the experience. If they perform the instructions they do the prayer and have no memory of the words. RAJA YOGA by Vivekananda is also most informative.


I learned young how to recognize girls, young ladies and later middle aged ladies who could go into a deep empathic trance with me. I meet them walking by or in my dreams shortly before running into them wherever we both happen to be.


Consider what is happening. These ladies are going to open their hearts with me. This can be a little scary to them. Their "intuition" is telling them to. They have to feel safe. This requires purification and preparation on my part. They are going to be pouring out their fears and abuse they have been through and that is scary to them.


If you are radiating LOVE they will find you. I've never had to do more than post an offer to discuss or study some of these books at a suitable place, and haven't had to do that for 25 years. Now I just sit around the pool or in the hot tub, or a park bench or whatever where people go by and be willing to talk to whoever comes along. Finding a partner to practice alchemy with for decades is a serious business. When I kick the worlds underpinnings out from under somebody I have to work with them until they are reconstructed back to a suitable level of stability. Tantric Alchemy is all about building ones own unique being. A lot of people don't get the distinction between Tantric Yoga as compared to Tantric Alchemy. The purpose is different, from their own self descriptions. Understanding what any given writer might say is often their best attempt at describing a difficult. The "recipes" in Tantric Alchemy are also spoken most generally. When I am sitting face to face and we are entered into trance and attempting to perform an "alchemical sequence" (recipe) of this energy and that energy and mixing and blending and adding another energy, all passing back and forth. It's something like a volley in tennis or whatever. It takes a lot of practice to actually get it right. How does one learn an interactive joint meditation? Yo u both get to a recognized start and then try it from there. If each time one makes it a step or two further, it usually takes multiple tries to complete each part of the sequence. The "recipe" is a description. It can start as easily as "learn to feel the direction of rotation of each of the chakras" and it can of your own and of the other person. Noboy is hiding how to do it. However, there are no words that can make it happen. It is more learning how to interpret the sensations that one can become aware of.


My partner and I have a relationship of LOVE. This is not a casual thing. We are both planning it to be a rest of our lives relationship. We teach some, give Shaktipat, help other pairs get started in an Alchemical relationship and help out individuals for whom we can make a difference in a short relationship. It is all a very intense way to live. Good luck.

Andro
06-09-2014, 05:50 PM
This thread may help: How to... get into the Weird Wild Wise Wide Sacred Science of Alchemy?
(http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?2501-How-to-...-get-into-the-Weird-Wild-Wise-Wide-Sacred-Science-of-Alchemy)