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zoas23
12-28-2016, 12:49 AM
A long time ago I sent a link to a book to a friend who likes alchemy and is also a painter.
(the book was old, probably written between 1400 and 1700, it was online as a pdf and it was, if I am not wrong, in Latin -though MAYBE it was in English).

The book was quite "big"... and it contained several very different sections.
BUT the 3 main sections were:

1) Instructions on how to draw and paint a human body and aimed for an audience of painters... with chapters on the proportions of the body, tips on how to draw or paint the head, the hands, the proportions, etc...

2) Recipes on how to make pigments for painting and obtain different colours using natural materials.

3) Recipes on how to make the Philosopher's Stone... and explanations about some theories of alchemy.

I am interested in finding it again because I liked its "diversity" and how it was mostly written with a very "Renaissance" spirit in which a book can describe both how to make the Stone, how to make pigments for painting and give drawing lessons.

Anyone knows the book???

Schmuldvich
12-28-2016, 05:14 PM
"Polygraphice", 1701!

https://archive.org/details/polygraphiceor00salm

zoas23
12-28-2016, 06:55 PM
Thank you!!!!

A fascinating book, but specially because of the connection between Art (in the sense of "museum art") and Alchemy.

Schmuldvich
12-29-2016, 06:08 PM
Funny you post this question when you did. I first read "Polygraphice" about a year ago when I found it, and just two days ago I picked it up and started reading it again....Then you post this. Too cool!

I, too, find it well-written and very pleasing to read. Neat book.

zoas23
12-29-2016, 07:29 PM
Funny you post this question when you did. I first read "Polygraphice" about a year ago when I found it, and just two days ago I picked it up and started reading it again....Then you post this. Too cool! I, too, find it well-written and very pleasing to read. Neat book.

Yeah... it is happening to me ALL THE TIME. i.e, the name of a person with whom I haven't spoken in 5 years comes to my mind... the next thing that happens is that this person phones me. This happens when you are in synch with the universe.

What I like about this book is that it brings the true Tradition of alchemy.
When we look at the old engravings and paintings of labs, we often see things that simply look like decorations: musical instruments, paintings, etc.
Or we see books like Atalanta Fugiens in which the words, images and music have the same status.
I think the old tradition was not limited to "making the stone"... it also involved knowing how to draw or engrave, play and compose music, making art, writing LITERATURE (as opposed to most modern authors who write "manuals" with less poetry than the operator's manual of my fridge -Canseliet is often seen as a "bad alchemist" who never made the Stone himself, I would say: at least he was an AMAZING writer!).

That's what I like about this book... It teaches you how to make the Stone, but also how to paint, how to make a perfume, etc. Those parts of the tradition were somehow lost, though some persons still practice them (I like a lot the ways of Jacques van Lennep, who is an outstanding neo-dada artist, but also a true academic when it comes to Alchemy... I like a lot what Salazius, who is often hanging around here, is doing... he somehow began to create art -drawings, objects, mirrors, etc).

That's an interesting part of the alchemical tradition too (at least it is for me).

Schmuldvich
12-29-2016, 08:19 PM
Yeah... it is happening to me ALL THE TIME. i.e, the name of a person with whom I haven't spoken in 5 years comes to my mind... the next thing that happens is that this person phones me. This happens when you are in synch with the universe.

What I like about this book is that it brings the true Tradition of alchemy.
When we look at the old engravings and paintings of labs, we often see things that simply look like decorations: musical instruments, paintings, etc.
Or we see books like Atalanta Fugiens in which the words, images and music have the same status.
I think the old tradition was not limited to "making the stone"... it also involved knowing how to draw or engrave, play and compose music, making art, writing LITERATURE (as opposed to most modern authors who write "manuals" with less poetry than the operator's manual of my fridge -Canseliet is often seen as a "bad alchemist" who never made the Stone himself, I would say: at least he was an AMAZING writer!).

That's what I like about this book... It teaches you how to make the Stone, but also how to paint, how to make a perfume, etc. Those parts of the tradition were somehow lost, though some persons still practice them (I like a lot the ways of Jacques van Lennep, who is an outstanding neo-dada artist, but also a true academic when it comes to Alchemy... I like a lot what Salazius, who is often hanging around here, is doing... he somehow began to create art -drawings, objects, mirrors, etc).

That's an interesting part of the alchemical tradition too (at least it is for me).
Absolutely!

You nail it on the head with the statement, "This happens when you are in sync with the universe". So true. You also mentioned, "a person with whom I haven't spoken in 5 years comes to my mind... the next thing that happens is that this person phones me". It is a daily goal of mine to harness this power, or to better rephrase that, allow these events and intentional energy exchange to happen at my will. I am getting good at it and try not to abuse this potential. Not sure why, but I make it a point of mine to have as little of an influence on this Earth as I can and tend to try to more or less allow it to flow through me and go along for the ride. After all, were we not put here in this realm to experience things only a human can experience? I believe so, and I feel this is why I live my life how I do (SPOILER: It works really well!).

"Polygraphice" not only writes about these other arts outwardly like music, art, glasswork, enameling, etc . but also continually instills true Alchemy principles throughout the entire book. This, to me, speaks volumes and makes the whole text a valuable addition to anyone's collection.

Sadly, as you point out, much of these arts, or at least the full embodiment of these arts has been lost due to monetizing these systems, going for quantity over quality, and simply straight-up bastardizing these once-noble arts.

Music, for instance is extraordinarily sacred and exceptionally powerful (both in the physical realm i.e. levitation/disintegration, and in the mental realm i.e. calming/terrifying/spiritual). Look at modern music and tell me it is not a gross bastardization of something that was once sacredly revered. The fact that music is mathematically precise and music's effects can be seen as various physical manifestations continues to prove this point even more. Colors too, all correlate in a mathematically precise way that is nothing short of divine in my opinion. It's a shame that "Mystery Schools" are not as accessible today as they were in previous times in history.

zoas23
12-31-2016, 08:41 AM
You nail it on the head with the statement, "This happens when you are in sync with the universe". So true. You also mentioned, "a person with whom I haven't spoken in 5 years comes to my mind... the next thing that happens is that this person phones me". It is a daily goal of mine to harness this power, or to better rephrase that, allow these events and intentional energy exchange to happen at my will.

I like the synchronicity events that happen without involving a determination. For some reason it is happening to me all the time.
The most remarkable one happened when I was doing a performance at a Museum with some other 20 or 30 friends (a performance group we had).

A friend of mine had a single friend and I was single too, so he arrived to the weird idea that we had to be together as a couple... and the performance was his "excuse" to introduce us to each other. So had this conversation:

-I am going to take a girl to the performance, you don't know her, but she already knows who you are and I know you are going to become a couple.
-... well, but I hate introductions like that... Love... Love is not something that you can plan... it doesn't work that way with me.
-I knew you were going to say such thing, but this is different, in this case you are simply going to say "hello" and you'll be instantly in love.
-I doubt it.
-She is beautiful, the only weird thing is that she's taller than you... but I think that none of you would mind the stereotype that the man has to be taller than the woman.
-I don't care about such stereotype, it's true, but I don't like tall women... for some reason I only like VERY short women.
-It won't matter in this case, with her everything is going to be different, it's going to be a love at first sight. I know what I am talking about... you'll be together eternally

So... I went to the performance without paying much attention to his words and my friend showed up with his boyfriend, but without his friend. He explained to me that his friend got coward at the last minute and thought that a crowded place was not good for something like a "first date". I said "OK", I didn't mind and I was quite nervous about the performance.

We began the performance and it was pretty bad, I didn't like it... and then I saw that one of the other performers was a girl who was playing the sax. I had to do some actions according to our "script" for the performance, but I got completely dumb... I couldn't stop looking at her. When we finished she walked towards me and asked me if it was raining. I said that I didn't know, but we could check it at the patio, so we went to the patio of the Museum. I saw she was taller than me. She said: "I always wanted to say 'hello' to you, but I never dared to do it... I guess you don't know me, but I know who you are... we've been next to each other at a gig a month ago, and I hoped that you were going to look at me, but you never did... and I've read some essays that you wrote". I immediately fell in love. I asked her if she liked the essays and she said "yes, I have printed them and I store them in a box". I laughed and said: "Well, I don't know if I want to be stored in a box, so you can have me instead of storing me in a box". She blushed like a tomato. That's how my girlfriend and I talked to each other for the first time... and we are still together.

Some days later I phoned my friend and I told him: "You were absolutely right!!! She is taller than me, I said 'hello' and I was already in love and this is eternal". He asked: "What? Did you meet her?". I said "yes, you were right about every detail... you were only confused about who is the person!". I still laugh each time I remember how my friend perfectly predicted everything, except that he said everything thinking of somebody else.

Other than that, the idea of "being in synch with the Universe" was taken from "On Dreams" by Philo of Alexandria (he described 3 types of dreams... the most usual ones are the ones that happen when a person is in synch with himself, and they are the most typical dreams. The second type are the dreams that happen when a person is in synch with the universe, the dreams become symbolic and prophetic. The third type happens when a person is in synch with God, in that case the dreams are true revelations... funny, the works of Philo are very much like the words of Plato: there are no lost books, with the exception of the part in which he describes a dream of a person who is in synch with God... the only thing that got lost. A bit like Aristotle's comments on Comedy).


"Polygraphice" not only writes about these other arts outwardly like music, art, glasswork, enameling, etc . but also continually instills true Alchemy principles throughout the entire book. This, to me, speaks volumes and makes the whole text a valuable addition to anyone's collection. Sadly, as you point out, much of these arts, or at least the full embodiment of these arts has been lost due to monetizing these systems, going for quantity over quality, and simply straight-up bastardizing these once-noble arts. Music, for instance is extraordinarily sacred and exceptionally powerful (both in the physical realm i.e. levitation/disintegration, and in the mental realm i.e. calming/terrifying/spiritual). Look at modern music and tell me it is not a gross bastardization of something that was once sacredly revered. The fact that music is mathematically precise and music's effects can be seen as various physical manifestations continues to prove this point even more. Colors too, all correlate in a mathematically precise way that is nothing short of divine in my opinion. It's a shame that "Mystery Schools" are not as accessible today as they were in previous times in history.

Yes, that's the beauty of this book. It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite novels, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnerotomachia_Poliphili ), which is a novel about love, dreams, architecture, alchemy, art. The character of the novel is Poliphilo... which literally means "Friend of many (things)".

Funny, I didn't remember the name: "Polygraphice"... and I related it to the novel whose character is Poliphilo.

I think the "Poli" is something that we somehow lost.... I mean this "Polymath" aspect of Alchemy, which is quite beautiful actually... and probably the "true sense" of alchemy. With "true sense" I mean the capability of doing something "more" than transmuting metals or creating a marvelous medicine, but a complete philosophy that includes art, music, a proper philosophy... a true "polimathy".

Again, the Atalanta Fugiens comes to my mind... It is obvious that Maier wanted to create a beautiful book and if we get into his head, it's not very risky to assume that he was thinking: "I want to express my ideas with words, with engravings and with music"... which is quite an interesting approach to alchemy, it is almost a "manifesto" for me of what is alchemy about.

For some reason this "extended definition of alchemy" (I'm plagiarizing again an idea from an author, Joseph Beuys and his "extended definition of art" concept) got a bit lost and it all became two things:
-Transmuting metals.
-Making a medicine.

So it is interesting to find books like this one and see how many subjects it united. How many areas of study and praxis... polimathy.