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Thread: Christian Alchemy

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    Christian Alchemy

    I am a life-long, practicing Catholic, I love my Faith and my Lord and would never forsake Him for the sake of polite argument. So, what I will put below I know and believe to be right.

    Alchemy was only "occult" because what they were doing, if done poorly, would have killed a lesser man, and also because of the Catholic Church's attempts at abolishing it after a "Protestant" called Isaac Casaubon related it to the Devil's work. Before Casaubon, Alchemy was practiced in many monasteries across Christendom. In the Middle Ages, most monasteries were akin to our modern conception of a hospital. The monks who practiced medicine practiced it not only physically, using the Essences of plants that grew locally in their region (one monastery in France had concocted a powerful anesthetic), but also Spiritually; which is what Med schools and Nursing schools profess in their daily work, known as the Holistic Approach. The words Holistic and Holy share the same linguistic origins from the greek holos meaning "whole, entirely" and can also be found in the etymology of the word Sacred (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy#Etymology).

    The Holistic Approach in the medical field, as I've described, is the approach that the patient is "one" entity, a combination of Mind, Body, and Spirit, and the aim of medical practice is to treat "ALL" aspects of the patient in all three of those realms. However, that is only textbook perfect and is hardly seen in its entirety in an actual medical facility. What has become known as Alchemy is the practice and application of the Holistic Approach.

    Alchemy, unfortunately, has a vague origin, as does the Bible in relation to the individuals who penned it (not in relation to the fact that It is God's direct Word - we all know that It is). Now I'm sure if you've looked into it enough you would come across something known as the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus.

    It reads thus:

    "Truly, without Deceit, certainly and absolutely ó

    That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, in the accomplishment of the Miracle of One Thing. And just as all things have come from One, through the Mediation of One, so all things follow from this One Thing in the same way.

    Its Father is the Sun. Its Mother is the Moon. The Wind has carried it in his Belly. Its Nourishment is the Earth. It is the Father of every completed Thing in the whole World. Its Strength is intact if it is turned towards the Earth. Separate the Earth by Fire: the fine from the gross, gently, and with great skill.

    It rises from Earth to Heaven, and then it descends again to the Earth, and receives Power from Above and from Below. Thus you will have the Glory of the whole World. All Obscurity will be clear to you. This is the strong Power of all Power because it overcomes everything fine and penetrates everything solid.

    In this way was the World created. From this there will be amazing Applications, because this is the Pattern. Therefore am I called Thrice Greatest Hermes, having the three parts of the Wisdom of the whole World.

    Herein have I completely explained the Operation of the Sun."

    Looking at the second paragraph, upon much meditation of the subject, at least to me, it sounds like it is describing all things in this Universe as coming from God and are of God (which sounds closely similar to St. Thomas Aquinas' concept that God is the source, "un-caused cause", and primary force of motion in all things; Isaac Newton practically said the same thing with his Laws of Motion). The second paragraph also seems to be telling us (interpreting it through a Christian lens) that we should follow Christ. His Way is the way to perfection and balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit (represented in Alchemy as Sulfur, Salt, and Mercury). One would ask, "But where is the Soul in all this?" Well, alchemists attested that the Mind and the Soul were the same thing. A way to confirm this is in listening to Christ when he told us that to imagine having intercourse with someone is the same as the physical act of it.

    Paragraphs three and four describe the 7 Alchemical Processes:

    1. Calcination
    2. Dissolution
    3. Separation
    4. Conjunction
    5. Fermentation
    6. Distillation
    7. Coagulation

    And yes, these are also the steps in modern, spiritless chemistry. But they are also the steps of the many things that we practice in our faith. We can even compare these seven steps to the Creation in Genesis and the before, during, and after of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We can even correlate these seven stages to the Holy Mass, and there are even 7 Sacraments.

    I don't want to take too much space discussing such correlation here, but if you'd like to find the inherent similarities between the Alchemical Processes and the Creation/Crucifixion/Holy Mass then be my guest and follow this link --> http://alchemylab.com/contents_solar.htm and scroll down to "Operations of Alchemy". All seven are there and the links for them describe the intellectual/soulful, spiritual, and physical manifestations of each step.

    Example: Calcination involves the heating, burning, or destruction of a substance (i.e. the Scourging at the Pillar, The Crucifixion, and Christ's descent into Hell). Mental/Soulful and Spiritual Calcination is the destruction of Ego and of our attachments to the material world (i.e. The Agony in Gethsemane, Christ's 40 Days of Fasting, The Tempting of Christ).

    The last paragraphs basically confirm that the 7 Alchemical Processes are derived from the steps God took in the Creation depicted in Genesis; 6 days of Creation and 1 of Rest. Now, where the Tablet says "Hence I am called Thrice Greatest Hermes..." (the translation is from the greek translation of the original Tablet, which has been lost to history). In Greek mythology, Hermes was the messenger god, the medium through which the Heavens could communicate to those on Earth and give those on Earth the knowledge needed to balance the Mind/Soul, Body, and Spirit. Of course there is no such thing as Hermes, so the Tablet must have mistaken an identity through the lens of Grecian mythology. The clue to who it "really" is lies with the phrase "Thrice Greatest", or from the Latin "Trismegistus". This, of course, is the title of which we give God when we identify Him as the Holy "Trinity".

    So if Hermes Trismegistus wasn't Hermes but God Himself then where is this Emerald Tablet in the Bible? It is in Exodus 24; verse 12: And the Lord said to Moses: "Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and the law, and the commandments which I have written: that thou mayst teach them." Notice the structure of the sentence; God gave Moses "tables of stone" and (IN ADDITION TO) "the law" and "the commandments".

    In conclusion, I cannot see how Alchemy, in this Christian sense, which must undoubtedly be the Truth, would want to be abhorred by Christians and abolished by the One Holy and Apostolic Church. Obviously, as purported by Exodus, God had given "tables of stone" to Moses in addition to the law and commandments. Of these tablets, surely, must have been the Emerald Tablet. And notice that God gave Moses 3 items (the tablets, law, and commandments). It is through Alchemy that God gave us the formula to connect and observe His Will in all aspects and in the balance of Mind/Soul, Body, and Spirit, and it is the Bible which is the recipe book.

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    The One Mind of the Emerald Tablet, is spoken of in terms of Sun, Moon (Water), and Wind (Spirit), or Father-Son-Spirit, in other words, a Trinity. And chemistry is not always "spiritless!" Why, just look at LSD-25. That was organic chemistry, yet, Consciousness is not only evoked by its addition to the human being, in it's pure form, it scintillates in the dark from its Phosphorus (Light Bearer: Greek) atoms. Of course, the Greek word Phosphorus, means the same thing as its Latinized word -Lucifer! So, it really depends on how you look at things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_david_91 View Post
    I love my Faith and my Lord and would never forsake Him for the sake of polite argument.
    As far as I'm concerned, there is no need to forsake your 'Lord'.

    But if you are also able to make allowance for other perspectives as well (while keeping yours), you can still have polite discussions - even if you agree to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by john_david_91 View Post
    It is God's direct Word - we all know that It is
    I suggest it would be healthier (for the sake of constructive discussions) to replace "we all know" with "I know".

    Unless, of course, you are either using the Royal Plural, or meant to say "we all christians know".

    But if you are projecting your personal belief system on everyone else (by saying - about the bible - that "we all know that it's god's direct word"), it is most likely to turn into a recipe for one-sided sermons instead of productive discussions. Sorry, this is the voice of experience talking...

    Quote Originally Posted by john_david_91 View Post
    it is the Bible which is the recipe book.
    Recipe for what, if you don't mind my asking?

    I agree that the bible contains many excellent alchemical allegories.

    But (IMO) it also contains lots of means of maintaining political power and hierarchy via religious control.

    I, for one, have zero interest in disputing/debating christian mythology in any kind of historical, moral or religious/self-righteous context.

    But - I suppose I would be very interested in hearing more of your views on correlations between biblical texts and Alchemy.

    Welcome to Alchemy Forums.
    Last edited by Andro; 10-14-2011 at 01:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john_david_91 View Post
    I am a life-long, practicing Catholic, I love my Faith and my Lord and would never forsake Him for the sake of polite argument. So, what I will put below I know and believe to be right.
    Are you telling us, or are you telling yourself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    I suggest it would be healthier (for the sake of constructive discussions) to replace "we all know" with "I know".

    Unless, of course, you are either using the Royal Plural, or meant to say "we all christians know".

    But if you are projecting your personal belief system on everyone else (by saying - about the bible - that "we all know that it's god's direct word"), it is most likely to turn into a recipe for one-sided sermons instead of productive discussions. Sorry, this is the voice of experience talking...
    I agree that this phrasing is rather ambiguous. It was constructed as such to be in the event that a Christian happened to read this, but also so to include "we all Christians know..."



    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Recipe for what, if you don't mind my asking?
    I consider the Bible to be the recipe book for all aspects of Alchemy (and I don't mean that in a biased way in the least). I find that it gives the keys to the transmutation of corporeal and incorporeal Sulfur, Salts, and Mercuries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    But (IMO) it also contains lots of means of maintaining political power and hierarchy via religious control.
    I have noticed, through my experience, that such political power, hierarchy, and religious control comes from various interpretations of Scripture that are born of the Seven Deadly Sins from their most minuscule to their most prominent manifestations in our realm of observation. It is a hope of mine that one day people will have finally interpreted the Bible as it was meant to be, and so far I have found that such interpretation comes from the Alchemical Processes described on the Emerald Tablet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    I suppose I would be very interested in hearing more of your views on correlations between biblical texts and Alchemy.

    Welcome to Alchemy Forums.
    I look forward to sharing my theories with you all and thank you, Androgynus, for your post ^_^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frater IA View Post
    Are you telling us, or are you telling yourself?
    Both

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    This might interest you: http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showt...hp?5-The-Bible

    Andro: you said all I wished to say...

    Interestingly, in a funny way, both I and john_david_91 has felt the same, even though we both have complete opposite opinions. Only in alchemy! Ha ha. But I must say that we differ in one aspect, and this could be debated at length.

    As I have understood it you (john), and correct me if I am wrong, see proof in the Bible of alchemy and that you see alchemical iconography as metaphors for the Christian faith BUT I see that the Bible is a diluted form of alchemical text, thus Hermes is NOT God, but God is Hermes... if you get me... and if you do there is a major difference. Because I think (and I may have misunderstood all I have read so far on alchemy), but alchemy is not someones will... it is all about our own will.

    Quote Originally Posted by john_david_91 View Post
    It is through Alchemy that God gave us the formula to connect and observe His Will in all aspects and in the balance of Mind/Soul, Body, and Spirit, and it is the Bible which is the recipe book.
    IMO!

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    ...alchemy is not someones will... it is all about our own will.
    I do have to say that I don't particularly see Alchemical Iconography as "strictly" metaphors "for" Christianity. You are right that I see proof of Alchemy in the Bible as much as I see proof of Alchemy and Its Processes in daily life Sulfuricly, Salticly, and Mercuricly. According to the Book of Genesis it was the Seven Alchemical Processes that The All used to create the Universe (and ultimately they ARE OF The All/One Only One/ect.), therefore I see the Laws of Nature as the Will of God both Above and Below. My view of the Alchemist is that he exercises "his" will to further God's Will (i.e. Laws of Nature) which seems to be exactly what the Philosophers meant when describing the reasons for the Praxis. Everyone has the choice to strive towards perfection, those who choose to do so become Alchemists, thereby it becomes "their will" to become perfect (it becomes OUR WILL). We cannot, as the Philosophers have repeated countless times, become perfect by our own shear will. Only through the Will of the Source (or it can be called Laws of Nature, the Universal Fire) can this perfection be obtained. We cannot achieve perfection WITHOUT the Will of God for Its Will is what dictates and maintains the mechanics of the Universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    thus Hermes is NOT God, but God is Hermes...
    I am not attempting to douse your flame of belief, but merely expressing what my observations have revealed to me through the 7 Alchemical Processes applied to the Sulfur of the subject of this study and of my being.

    The Emerald Tablet is lost to history, its true location no longer known. Though we may all have our theories there is no guarantee that it will be found in our lifetime, but we can hope. When it was known and tangible and seen by those who came before us it was studied by many, of those many were the Greeks, whose translation survived the disappearance of the Tablet itself. The Greeks had many gods which denominated a Sulfuric, Saltic, and Mercuric aspect of Nature. Hermes was the messenger god, one who communicated to the divine and the mortal and represented both. The Greeks had no comprehension of Monotheism and so strove to identify the individual who had engraved the Tablet, concluding it to be Hermes because of the nature of that which is said upon it. Though through Alchemy the Greeks were shown something bigger than their pantheon of separate gods they could not bring themselves to abandon complexity for simplicity. But they left a clue as to the origin of the Tablet by calling Hermes the Thrice Great. As remarked by me and another member this is the same as saying one is a "trinity". It is this vital clue that links the Emerald Tablet and Alchemy to the monotheistic God (in Alchemy known as the Source, Force, All, One Only One, ect.).

    Your statement, dev, correlates with the statement that "1 does not equal 1, but rather 1 equals 1". "Hermes" was the only way in which the Greeks were able to describe the Christian God (the Alchemist's Source).

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    I have no belief really, only hunches...

    So then you disagree with the theories that this ONE thing is: imagination, psychedelics, an elixir of some sort etc etc (there are many)... but that in fact it is God itself?

    I get you on the Will thing... and I agree... I guess it comes down to what we define as God? As you keep using Christian in your argument then we are clearly not from the same angle. What is your opinion on Allah? Wrong or same entity/force? If you do think so then it is really not a Christian God, just what the Christians called it as others have called it by other names.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    Don't get me wrong. We need those elixirs and such to prolong our lives in the material world so we can further build ourselves Sulfuricly and Mercuricly towards perfection. I do believe that it is through the imitation of Christ (who I believe to have BEEN a living Philosopher's Stone and Alchemist) that we can achieve the perfection that the Philosophers strove for and what Alchemists strive for even now.

    And you are most certainly right, dev. It does indeed come down to what we define as God, and you are right that it is not really a Christian God, because It is limitless, infinite, to seclude It to one denomination makes It imperfect, which is impossible for God. Certainly others have called It buy other names.

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