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Thread: One Matter - One Vessel - One Fire

  1. #391
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    If you take such an interpretation, then the suggestion is actually that at least 3 substances (i.e. "matter/spirit", "vessel/body", "fire/soul") are being handled to make the Stone, not literally "one". Many alchemists affirm this (while others say they are four, and some even five.)
    JDP,

    Four and five substances sounds a lot like a metaphor for the 4 elements and the 5th (Quintessence). I never look at the literal meaning first as lot of what the Philosophers state is multi-layered which is why it's so difficult to decrypt their sayings (unless you speak the language of the Philosophers). This concept is especially true for words/phrases sounding so obvious written in 'common' terms, on which we find is always a prefixed warning stating to never follow them to the letter in every true philosophical work on Alchemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Yes, this makes sense. Spirit, soul and body also bring to mind (no pun intended) the three principles sulfur/mercury/salt that are their equivalents and that Paracelsus (who introduced this concept) associated with the Holy Trinity.

    Of course, the Trinity is thought of as One in Christianity, so there could be a further explanation in this why some Alchemists (many of whom were Christians) referred to 'one matter', when they meant a tripartite composition.

    Just a thought, in extension of your hypothesis.
    Michael,

    I think you hit the nail on the head - multi-layered meaning. Mercury/Salt/Sulfur - Spirit/Body/Soul - Matter/Vessel/Fire - Father/Son/Holy Spirit. Yes you are right, a lot of Philosophers were heavily influenced by Christianity which had a profound impact on their concepts of the creation of the Universe. This is why true authors of this Art are called Philosophers and not simply Alchemists/Chemists, and many of them make this distinct division. The Philosophers see the spiritual incorporated into the material world and explain it as such, through enigmas, metaphors, mythology, scripture &c. An example can even be seen in the story of Christ being killed/putrefied on the cross then sealed within a tomb in which he rose again with a new body, a Divine being, who has ever lasting life (all very important concepts concerning the great work). The Philosophers also borrowed a lot from Genesis in order to explain their views on creation and how the 'first matter' came into being. If you aren't familiar with these stories or the mythology it can be fairly daunting task of interpreting a Philosophers mindset and unraveling it all to make sense. A lot of authors state that the whole 'recipe' can be written on a single page of paper it's so simple, so you can imagine how a 400+ page book is merely just 'fluff' with a few pearls of wisdom cast!

    ~Auroboros

  2. #392
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    I just wanted to add that I must apologize if my discussion has come off topic. As I am slowly progressing through the replies on this thread, I realized Andro's initial post was more in line with sharing what we use personally as our "one matter, one vessel, one fire" (within the context of figuring out the stone of the philosophers) - not so much a philosophical discussion on its ægnimatical meaning. I hope a discussion is still appropriate, if not please let me know where we can continue this discussion (as I love alchemical poetry). As for what is physically (commonly) the meaning of the 1/1/1, a lot of Artists are fairly consistent with the interpretation being a male & female sperm/seed as the matter (Mercurius duplex), an egg shaped vessel, and a dual fire, the fire of nature.

    ~Auroboros

  3. #393
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Yes, this makes sense. Spirit, soul and body also bring to mind (no pun intended) the three principles sulfur/mercury/salt that are their equivalents and that Paracelsus (who introduced this concept) associated with the Holy Trinity.

    Of course, the Trinity is thought of as One in Christianity, so there could be a further explanation in this why some Alchemists (many of whom were Christians) referred to 'one matter', when they meant a tripartite composition.

    Just a thought, in extension of your hypothesis.
    Right you are in my opinion, and with perfect unity (quintessence) it really does become One Thing. Marriage is a symbolism of this quintessence, which I feel the Alchemists used themselves to describe how 3 things become One Thing.

    Of course however, JDP is under the impression that the Alchemists literally... meant a completely single thing outside of unity and marriage, I'd say his ideology is closest to that of a single element... not realizing the fact that his knowledge of what Matter is, goes only as far as his awareness takes him. He still awaits the Science Community to help discover things for him. He still needs to shovel through the matrix... how deep does the rabbit hole go? Really, who knows!

    Just my two cents!

    As Above, So Below

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