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View Poll Results: Does practical Alchemy include the Mystical Experience?

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  • Practical Alchemy does include the Mystical Experience.

    17 85.00%
  • Practical Alchemy does not include the Mystical Experience.

    3 15.00%
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Thread: Alchemy and the Mystical Experience

  1. #21
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    Elaborating on my previous post, I would like to highlight that the action of the trans-Saturnian planets can be seen both in the process of Enlightenment (or, to use a Jungian term, Individuation) and in the operations of practical Alchemy.

    For example, the airy Uranian influence of elevating the forces to higher vibrational level is reflected in the Alchemical Sublimation; watery Neptune's way of dissolving the ego's boundaries we find in the Solution; and Pluto's often harsh action burning up what is hindering the restoration of one's true self is analogous to the Calcination.

    The matter thus opened up will be imbued by the cosmic forces and attain a higher level of its evolution. Again, this holds true not only for the substance in the flask but also for the Alchemist themselves, due to the correspondence that is happening between them.

    This is how practical Alchemy and mystical experience tie in with one another as seen from an Astrological perspective.

  2. #22
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    Much to reply to

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    I've had an extremely deep mystical/spiritual 'state' (for complete lack of a better term) in the past, but I hesitate to try to define a "mystical/spiritual experience". One of the problems is the word "experience".

    "Experience" implies an "experiencer", or someone who is "experiencing" something. The word "experience" brings up all sorts of questions, such as: Does it involve recognition? Does it involve a sense of something 'happening' to me? Thus the "experience" implies a recognition of the event in terms of past memories, experiences, expectations, etc. You become a separate, biased "observer"of the event, rather than let the event become part of you. If the experience involves a form of remembrance or identification, , then there must have been a feeling that the experiencer already "knows" or "recognizes" it. Can there be an experience without an experiencer?
    The few 'mystical' experiences I've been through seem to have happened to me, for my own sake -- which is one reason I define the Mystical Experience as 'a subjective and momentary submission and 'Union with the Divine' [. . .] resulting in a new knowledge and understanding of the 'Divine'. They all have involved a profound feeling of something happening to me.

    I personally don't think 'experience' involves any form of remembrance or identification. It is all happening, and everything is new. Even the few moments of deja-vu that I've experienced seem slightly new.

    Can there be an experience without an experiencer? It's a good question.

    But why would we seek something that is totally different from our "ordinary" daily lives? Are we bored with our "normal" routines? Or are our "normal" routines really not what we should be pursuing?
    What happens when 'religious pursuits' become the routine and ordinary life?

    So the real question is, can there be a period of time when the experiencer or observer is not important? At such a time, you do not want experiences, you just want nothing (i.e. no thoughts), and just a total state of "being". Only then can there be no "experiences" at all. In other words, at such a time, we are not experiencing the illusion of daily events based on observer prejudice, but the universe stark naked, as it really is.
    This reminds me of the 'Black Phase' of the alchemists. When I first started experiencing this state of wanting nothing, I didn't see it as a state of pure 'Being'.
    I saw it as lifeless and stagnant and wanted nothing to do with it. Then:

    It is this time, during which there are no experiences at all, a time when there is no conscious, deliberate pursuit or desire to achieve something, no 'observer', a totally uninvited and unsought state, with a quality of something totally fresh and new, a sense of vast emptiness and fathomless energy, a sense of immeasurable joy and love, a sense of the absolute, a sense of total beauty and completeness, that I would call the mystical/spiritual 'state'. It's the ultimate - the whole universe is in it, you are not observing it, but ARE truly and completely it. You become everything and everything is you until there is no longer a separate "you". It becomes the real thing, completely separate from experience and ego.
    To quote Andro, beautiful

    P.S. Practical alchemy is totally dependent on "experience". Thus, based on what i have said above, practical alchemy cannot possibly include the mystical experience (although it could conceivably trigger it).
    I think I see where you're coming from. Thanks for the response
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghislain View Post
    I cannot experience these states, but I have asked to see what is and through the medium of psychedelics I believe I have seen.
    I include deep psychonautic explorations in my definition of the 'Mystical Experience' because the medicine forces you to submit and learn something new.

    Certainly not cheating. Everyone should to experience it, as far as I'm concerned.

    There was a stage where I saw the Ego and laughed at it, and another stage where I realised that nothing at all matters. The final stage, for me, was seeing everything for what it is and the purpose of what we are. If I were to describe that then my words would corrupt it into yet another religious script. The answer lies in all of them, but how can you come to an understanding of something that has absolutely no meaning in the realm of this world...you need to seek the "mystical experience".
    Did you feel like you were experiencing all of this, or that you were the experience?
    I'm still thinking about what Illen wrote. If there could possibly be an experience without the experiencer, then the experiencer would be the experience. . .

    I feel like I cheated with the psychedelics and would love to be able to have the experience without them, but I'm too lazy .
    Or, if the submission of the false 'Ego' is to blame, then maybe you're too hyperactive?
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Beautiful.

    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    There is no ego.
    If there is no 'ego', then why is it named? :P

    As for the topic of this thread I think, IMHO, that Practical Alchemy without the Mystical Experience is a waste of time. But I can only speak for myself and I have nothing to debate about it... I just think that all pursuits in life should be in the realm of the Mysteries, the Divine... not saying I achieve this, but it's my aim.
    Not looking for a debate. Looking for Experience
    If you keep all pursuits in the realm of the Mysteries and the Divine, how do you stay 'grounded'? And better yet, how should the youth be educated in these pursuits?
    I don't see any of it in American "society"

    Again I am closer to the Fundamentalists than I at first thought. It's funny really... that the people I think are most brainwashed and narrow-minded (which they are), are probably closer to the truth than the rest of us (even if they might view this truth a bit fucked up than they should).

    I think most people confuse Fundamentalism with Fanaticism. Fanatics are the narrow/closed-minded ones whereas Fundamentalists stick to tradition. Fanatics try to change the world to their own views whereas Fundamentalists -- if they follow the lighter side of religion -- usually accept people for who they are.

    At least that's what I see here in America.
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3+O( View Post
    Thanks for sharing this story. I have had a similar experience which happened when I was mentally struggling to understand an alchemical text. I believe such states to be intimately related to the alchemical philosophy: there seems to be a deep resonance between that 'experience' or 'state' and the alchemical symbolism. That position is affirmed by the mystical interpreters of alchemy (Burckhardt, Evola, Atwood, Hitchcock) but did not read them until after I had already come to the same conclusion based on my own experience.
    Sound like the text 'broke your brain'
    Do you remember which text it was?
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by III View Post
    I don't think I could define "mystical experience". There are lots of examples possible. I know it when I see it, sometimes. Often I can recognize it only because I remember how I "got there", and it was quite sudden. Other times I have worked to open up to such. Working with my partner we have experiences whenever we sit down to do such, sometimes faster than other times.

    The last two months we have been on a steep up-curve on intensity of mystic experience, together. As tantric alchemists mostly, the only labs my partner and I have are our bodies and minds.
    Hi III,
    When practicing tantric alchemy, and there is a 'up-curve on intensity', can you predict when/where it finally flowers? I am curious because recently I have begun some Taoist meditation practices which involve 'charging' myself with energy, and then it's re-programming, and it has only come to the point of discomfort.

    But then again, I'm assuming the pursuit should be painless. Which I also assume to be naive...

    Divine ecstasy is transforming, repeatedly.
    Very beautiful
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    It is not so much the ego which stands in the way of spiritual experience but its confinement by limiting beliefs and by the five physical senses. In Astrology, the frontier of its realm is represented by Saturn - the last of the visible planets which confines the inner planets, and is being himself confined by his characteristic ring.
    I very much agree with you here Michael.

    Unlike some other metaphysical systems, Alchemy doesn't teach detachment from the physical world but bringing the spiritual light into it: The spiritual becoming physical, and the physical becoming spiritual.

    Thus the Emerald Tablet says:

    "Its force is entire if it be converted into earth."
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    The matter thus opened up will be imbued by the cosmic forces and attain a higher level of its evolution. Again, this holds true not only for the substance in the flask but also for the Alchemist themselves, due to the correspondence that is happening between them.

    This is how practical Alchemy and mystical experience tie in with one another as seen from an Astrological perspective.
    You're saying then, that the 'Mystical State/Experience' (opening of the Ego) is necessary in order to bring the spiritual light into the physical world?

    Can Alchemy be performed through the practice of Astrology to achieve the Mystical?
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    You're saying then, that the 'Mystical State/Experience' (opening of the Ego) is necessary in order to bring the spiritual light into the physical world?
    Yes. Some clearing of the mind from negative thoughts and emotions is generally part of the process, too.

    The spiritual light pouring into one's consciousness may be accompanied by a visual perception of light or increased brightness, by the way. That's probably where the term 'enlightenment' comes from.

    Can Alchemy be performed through the practice of Astrology to achieve the Mystical?
    Yes. Spiritually oriented Astrology goes hand in hand with Internal Alchemy.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    Hi III,
    When practicing tantric alchemy, and there is a 'up-curve on intensity', can you predict when/where it finally flowers? I am curious because recently I have begun some Taoist meditation practices which involve 'charging' myself with energy, and then it's re-programming, and it has only come to the point of discomfort.

    But then again, I'm assuming the pursuit should be painless. Which I also assume to be naive...



    Very beautiful

    Hi Kiorionis,


    I'm assuming the pursuit should be painless

    That may depend upon definition of "pain" or "painless". The whole thing is a cycle, the alchemical cycle, that is repeated over and over. So one is "exposed" to "energy" outside of their usual experience. Using EJ Gold's language this dose of "energy" triggers ones automatic response ("chronic reaction", "chronic" for short). One then digs out the trigger and releases/removes it to allow the "energy" to fully get through to one's self and integrating it. That "energy" is called "shaktipat" in certain forms and systems. It becomes information, knowledge, and in the end Wisdom. It happens in bearable steps and very systematically. The first thousands of times through the cycles it doesn't seem to make much difference. As one grows by taking the "energy", the "light" and making it "real" as part of our being as we bring it into the world over and over. The very energetic effect that causes a "compression" of the energy into the substance of being, ends one cycle and starts the next as the person then is once again exposed to energies that they were keeping out.


    From the "shape" of the curve of increase of the energies, one can see where it is headed. At some point it goes "vertical" and (my word) "lases". Now there is a catch (isn't there always). One runs into Hero's Paradox. Instead one has to perform calculus and go to the limit instead of infinitely approaching it. One enters the chamber instead of seeing how close to the door they can get forever. There is then a new "reborn" being of a larger magnitude, and then it all starts again unless the person believes that they have "at last made it, reached the ultimate" and stop looking. That is the best I can describe it.


    There are many ways to enter into the cycle. In the process one must face all their fears, everything that would come up at death, usually one blockage at a time. It's learning to "die before you die". As the person grows and evolves, the size of the steps increases.


    This all affects one's life. Understanding changes, choices change and become more and more conscious. I've seen marriages break up very suddenly. I've seen new relationships happen at first glance.. EJ's advice is "Make no sudden moves" and to "treat all relationships with respect". As my partner and I are doing this together we are changing in similar and complementary ways. EJ again compares it to being in a rock tumbler as we each knock the rough edges off of each other.


    can you predict when/where it finally flowers?


    If I am understanding your usage her, it flowers over and over, at the end of each "grand cycle" or something like that. There is always that feeling "At LAST I HAVE MADE IT" at the end of these grand cycles. This is how I can describe it. Others will describe it differently but usually, If I am talking face to face and negotiating meaning, we can come to an agreement of the description at least in parts and pieces. Good luck.

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