Patrons of the Sacred Art

Can't log in? Contact Us

OPEN TO REGISTER: Click HERE if you want to join Alchemy Forums!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 27 of 34 FirstFirst ... 17 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 ... LastLast
Results 261 to 270 of 331

Thread: EM's P.S. Thread

  1. #261
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Aham View Post
    JDP,

    I’ve been wondering... what’s your scientific definition of one matter? For example, is your definition an atom, a molecule, an electron, proton, etc.? Where do you draw the line? Essentially, what I’m asking is if in your mind you consider an atom as the lowest discrete unit of matter or a molecule or something different. If you’ve answered this question before, I haven’t seen it so am curious.
    I don't subscribe to any particular theory of matter, whether alchemical, chymical, chemical or physical. I understand these theories and why their respective proponents like to think their own fit best to the known facts, but as an independent observer to me they all have flaws and rest on a lot of interpretations and assumptions based on things that can't be perceived with the senses. The true scientist is an empiricist, he only believes in what the senses tell him and show him. Therefore all theories of matter, which ultimately have to go to a hypothetical "unseen/untouched/unsmelled/untasted/etc." level, remain dubious at best and are subject to various interpretations. To give you an example of what I mean: no one doubts that gravity is very real, we can perceive its effects every single day of our lives, but there have been many theories brought forth to try to supposedly explain what gravity is. All of them rely on assumptions and speculation about things that no one so far has been able to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt, and if history teaches us anything, they will forever remain so. That's why they are called "theories" not "facts". But no one will doubt the empirical reality of gravity, even if we can't really truly explain it. So the empiricist simply accepts that gravity is a property of all observed matter (so far no substance has ever been found that is not affected by gravity or that can somehow "block" or "neutralize" gravity; in fact, some designers of proposed perpetual motion machines thought it would be very handy to stumble upon such a substance, for obvious reasons, but unfortunately none has ever been found) and moves on, while the speculators/theorists forever remain entangled in trying to supposedly "explain" it.

  2. #262
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    1,252
    Quote Originally Posted by Aham View Post
    JDP,

    I’ve been wondering... what’s your scientific definition of one matter? For example, is your definition an atom, a molecule, an electron, proton, etc.? Where do you draw the line? Essentially, what I’m asking is if in your mind you consider an atom as the lowest discrete unit of matter or a molecule or something different. If you’ve answered this question before, I haven’t seen it so am curious.

    Andro,

    While you may think that this debate is circular and possibly a waste of your time, it is helpful for the multitudes (I know it’s helpful to me) that read the back and forth because in the ‘conversation’ we can usually pick up new clues that were previously unknown. In the past when I saw these discussions erupt, I would think... here they go again but now I have found a new level of appreciation for the discourse that reveals information that wasn’t know to me before so definitely a plus in my book. In other words, if you have the time please don’t stop.

    TIA
    Of course these discussions aren't a waste of time. It's not a matter of who has the most dominant personality and thus try to bulldoze an answer, but what is actually right? From my perspective, I see a lot of people arguing for their position without first agreeing on definitions. If two people have totally different definitions on what the "matter" means, then they can both be right although they are both arguing totally different answers.

    The old alchemists were very clever, and used words for their own purposes, and with the absolute intention of confusing the readers. Everyone has pre-conceived views, so when a term is used, they might have a total different definition of that term than someone else. As a result, a totally different interpretation of the process evolves.

    Thus, whenever we get into such debates, we should first carefully define some of the key words. "Matter" is probably one of the most critical words used by alchemists. In their treatises, some alchemists used the expression "first matter" to mean the first matter of the Stone, or to be more open, the combined humid and dry principles, or the combined mercury/sulphur "matter". Combined, it is one matter and all that you need to make the Stone.

    Other alchemists might have used the expression "first matter" or "initial matter" to refer to the mineral matter FROM WHICH mercury and sulphur were extracted. In this case, this "initial matter" may be composed of more than one substance.

    Not only that, some alchemists presented theories that the entire process of making the Stone could be derived from one single matter. Either they were right or wrong. Other alchemists (and there are numerous treatises) suggest that the Stone is not just made from one matter, but at least 2-4 or even 5 substances. This includes, for example, many of the very earliest Arabic authors. So, which group of authors is correct? Do you see what I mean?

    So, in short, nobody's necessarily right and nobody's wrong. The problem is, that we argue our positions from the basis of studying different authors. One group of authors seem to say something totally different from another group of authors.

    So, again, the bottom line is, yes we do learn from these discussions. Absolutely! At the same time, I think it's critical to first establish a base, and carefully define words and sources before an argument seem to go nowhere. Also, NEVER assume that you are right and the other person is wrong simply because you have chosen to accept a totally different understanding of alchemy, based on different authors, than someone else.

    The real question, is which authors were legitimate and which were not?

    To me, this argument is much, much more relevant than any of the other arguments that we have seen. There were MANY authors who pretended to have achieved the Stone, but did not. However, how can we ever establish which authors were actually correct in their assumptions? The ONLY one everyone seems to agree with is Hermes Tresmigistus.

  3. #263
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Of course these discussions aren't a waste of time. It's not a matter of who has the most dominant personality and thus try to bulldoze an answer, but what is actually right? From my perspective, I see a lot of people arguing for their position without first agreeing on definitions. If two people have totally different definitions on what the "matter" means, then they can both be right although they are both arguing totally different answers.

    The old alchemists were very clever, and used words for their own purposes, and with the absolute intention of confusing the readers. Everyone has pre-conceived views, so when a term is used, they might have a total different definition of that term than someone else. As a result, a totally different interpretation of the process evolves.

    Thus, whenever we get into such debates, we should first carefully define some of the key words. "Matter" is probably one of the most critical words used by alchemists. In their treatises, some alchemists used the expression "first matter" to mean the first matter of the Stone, or to be more open, the combined humid and dry principles, or the combined mercury/sulphur "matter". Combined, it is one matter and all that you need to make the Stone.

    Other alchemists might have used the expression "first matter" or "initial matter" to refer to the mineral matter FROM WHICH mercury and sulphur were extracted. In this case, this "initial matter" may be composed of more than one substance.

    Not only that, some alchemists presented theories that the entire process of making the Stone could be derived from one single matter. Either they were right or wrong. Other alchemists (and there are numerous treatises) suggest that the Stone is not just made from one matter, but at least 2-4 or even 5 substances. This includes man of the very earliest Arabic authors. So, which group of authors is correct? Do you see what I mean?

    So, in short, nobody's right and nobody's wrong. The problem is that we argue our positions from the basis of studying different authors. One group of authors seem to say something totally different from another group of authors.

    So, again, the bottom line is, yes we do learn from these discussions. At the same time, I think it's critical to establish a base, and carefully define words and sources before argument seem to go nowhere. Also, NEVER assume that you are right and the other person is wrong simply because you have chosen to accept a totally different understanding of alchemy, based on different authors, than someone else.

    The real question, is which authors were legitimate and which were not?

    To me, this argument is much more relevant than any of the other arguments that we have seen. However, how can we ever establish which authors were actually correct in their assumptions?
    But someone has to be wrong and someone has to be right. It cannot be both ways. Either all it takes is one single substance to make the Stone, like some say, or it takes several to do so, like others say. And the only way to finally determine this is by achieving success in making the very thing under debate. But we can make educated guesses about who is more likely to be right or wrong. And so far I see nothing going for the very dubious claim that all it takes is one single substance, nothing else whatsoever being added to it, ever, not even at the very beginning of the work. I ask, where is this marvelous single substance in nature that can perform all the things the alchemists describe in their texts? And yes, the very "one matter only" claim restricts you to naturally-occurring single substances and precludes substances made through combination/mixture of substances by man's industry. So to put an example of this: natural antimony trisulfide would be a "one matter only" from the perspective of this claim (it occurs as an apparently "single" substance in nature), while "emetic tartar" would NOT qualify as such (it does not exist already made in nature, it is made through man's intervention by making two separate substances -viz. antimony trioxide and potassium hydrogen tartrate- react in the appropriate conditions.)

  4. #264
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    1,252
    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    But someone has to be wrong and someone has to be right. It cannot be both ways. Either all it takes is one single substance to make the Stone, like some say, or it takes several to do so, like others say. And the only way to finally determine this is by achieving success in making the very thing under debate. But we can make educated guesses about who is more likely to be right or wrong. And so far I see nothing going for the very dubious claim that all it takes is one single substance, nothing else whatsoever being added to it, ever, not even at the very beginning of the work. I ask, where is this marvelous single substance in nature that can perform all the things the alchemists describe in their texts? And yes, the very "one matter only" claim restricts you to naturally-occurring single substances and precludes substances made through combination/mixture of substances by man's industry. So to put an example of this: natural antimony trisulfide would be a "one matter only" from the perspective of this claim (it occurs as an apparently "single" substance in nature), while "emetic tartar" would NOT qualify as such (it does not exist already made in nature, it is made through man's intervention by making two separate substances -viz. antimony trioxide and potassium hydrogen tartrate- react in the appropriate conditions.)
    That was my point - someone is right and someone is wrong. But whoever's right is the person basing his understanding on those past alchemists who were right. So my point was, which past alchemists were right?

    Also, a point you seemed to ignore, is the definition of what someone actually means by "matter". IF the matter simply means the stage when the sulphur and mercury have already been isolated, then of course, it is only one matter that does everything. If, on the other hand, the definition of "matter" means the initial substances from which this "one matter" was extracted, then we well could have more than one "matter".

    Thus my focus on definitions.

    Regardless of any perspective, there's absolutely no question that both a "dry" substance and a "humid" substance must be used to create the Stone, whether or not they occur separately, or together. There's unanimous agreement on that.

  5. #265
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    That was my point - someone is right and someone is wrong. But whoever's right is the person basing his understanding on those past alchemists who were right. So my point was, which past alchemists were right?

    Also, a point you seemed to ignore, is the definition of what someone actually means by "matter". IF the matter simply means the stage when the sulphur and mercury have already been isolated, then of course, it is only one matter that does everything. If, on the other hand, the definition of "matter" means the initial substances from which this "one matter" was extracted, then we well could have more than one "matter".

    Thus my focus on definitions.

    Regardless of any perspective, there's absolutely no question that both a "dry" substance and a "humid" substance must be used to create the Stone, whether or not they occur separately, or together. There's unanimous agreement on that.
    I did not ignore it, but when these alchemists say "one matter only" they are talking about in terms of quantity, they are not talking about metaphysical concepts/theories regarding all matter being "one" and what have you. They openly attack everyone who takes more than one substance and say they are wrong, and "sophists", and what have you. This is obviously done with intention to deceive, unless the person writing such things was himself fooled by the "one matter only" claim and he wholeheartedly believed it himself, in which case he would have been just another victim propagating the same claim that he fell for. But when successful alchemists say the same thing, here we can easily suspect malice and intent to deceive others.

    At the time when the "one matter only" trap was devised (somewhere around late antiquity, since Zosimos already often finds himself in a position of having to clarify to his readers what previous alchemists actually meant by this "one matter", and he unequivocally describes it as the product of a mixture & interaction between several separate substances that will eventually become "one" in appearance), there were still a lot of unknown things about nature and its products, so it was still possible to deceive many people with this gimmick. It was still conceivable, specially by the more inexperienced segment of the population, that maybe one single substance in nature could exist somewhere that would display and carry out all the reactions and phase-changes described by the alchemists in their books. But in this day and age of widespread information such a possibility is pretty much nihil. For several hundred years now, thanks largely to the printing press and the increase in literacy and education among the general public, it has been possible to disseminate information about nature and its products to the masses more than ever before, specially by people who subjected just about any natural substance they could get their hands on to analysis, specially "analysis by fire", and so far no single natural matter that has ever been analyzed fits everything the alchemists describe. If there still are seekers around in our days willing to believe in the "one matter only" claim they must be doing so pretty aware of how unlikely the whole thing really is.

  6. #266
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    1,252
    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    I did not ignore it, but when these alchemists say "one matter only" they are talking about in terms of quantity, they are not talking about metaphysical concepts/theories regarding all matter being "one" and what have you.
    That is what I assumed they were doing. But you could be right. If not, for those who assumed the metaphysical concept, please clarify.

  7. #267
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Berlin
    Posts
    5,918
    Blog Entries
    1
    It's not a "metaphysical" concept (of matter). I have no idea who's assuming this (except perhaps JDP). It is a physically tangible substance when rendered/isolated. If not isolated (still mostly bound to a carrier), it can (like what is assumed to be "gravity") be known by its effects, like in more advanced spagyrical products or in various more or less "profitable" particulars.

    Also, I don't know why people assume that this "one matter" is supposed to be readily found in nature and subsequently cooked "as is".

    It isn't. That's the whole point.

    And I believe that's also why this merry-go-round debate keeps going, because the foundation is poorly understood. When authors talk about "taking it from the mine", this phrase does not usually carry the common meaning. Mining for alchemically active agents is different than mining for metals/minerals, just as it is different than, say, mining for bitcoin.

    To summarize the perspectives that I am offering for consideration
    :

    Yes, "our" matter is one.

    No, it is not something you just find in nature, readily available to be taken and cooked to perfection

    Yes, "our" matter is physically tangible.

    No
    , it is not "hypothetical" or "mystical".

    Yes, it can be ultimately regarded as a matter of chemistry and physics.

    No, it is not the chemistry and physics of the academia. It's a "different school", as per Fulcanelli.

    Yes, many matters found in nature (or in the store) can be used either as carriers from which to "mine" our matter and/or as agents/catalysts to perform this task. Not all of them are equally easy to work with. It's very likely that many matters can't be (realistically) worked with at all. I'd never mine from a plastic quarry, for example.

    Yes, combinations of various matters can be used, but these matters are not "our" matter. They can be "magnets", "mines", "mining tools", etc...

    A funny thing that often occurs in "quote duels", is when someone quotes an author talking about "one matter" and then someone else quotes the same author talking about multiple matters.

    It's a non-issue. Those statements are NOT contradictory.

    I can say with ease that (for example) the matter is urine. Or blood. Or Dew. Or sea salt. Or some sulfide mineral. Or any combination thereof. Just as easily as I can, in good conscience, dismiss all those matters as "our matter" two paragraphs later.

    Even common distillation is a form of "mining". Alchemical "mining" (separation) is performed to such a high degree of rectification (and often with different lab tools than common distillation), that the product no longer possesses (all or most of) the qualities or characteristics of the mine. That's one reason some people refer to it as "universal" spirit - it no longer resembles the "mine" it was taken from. And this must be tested in the lab, because online debates whether such a tangible spirit exists or not will be anything but productive.

    Before replying (regardless if there is "agreement" or not), I kindly ask everyone to carefully read the points that are being replied to - just to avoid addressing points that were never there to start with.

    And finally, to anyone fond of auto-playing statements such as "it's unproven", "it's an untested assumption", "it's hypothetical/theoretical/metaphysical", etc - I suggest researching different models/approaches/paradigms in the lab (even if they don't seem to fit currently held views), so proof can be found where it can actually occur - in the lab, not online. The posts of z0 k are quite enlightening in this regard.

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Andro; 12-09-2017 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #268
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    420
    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    It's not a "metaphysical" concept (of matter). I have no idea who's assuming this (except perhaps JDP). It is a physically tangible substance when rendered/isolated. If not isolated (still mostly bound to a carrier), it can (like what is assumed to be "gravity") be known by its effects, like in more advanced spagyrical products or in various more or less "profitable" particulars.

    Also, I don't know why people assume that this "one matter" is supposed to be readily found in nature and subsequently cooked "as is".

    It isn't. That's the whole point.

    And I believe that's also why this merry-go-round debate keeps going, because the foundation is poorly understood. When authors talk about "taking it from the mine", this phrase does not usually carry the common meaning. Mining for alchemically active agents is different than mining for metals/minerals, just as it is different than, say, mining for bitcoin.

    To summarize the perspectives that I am offering for consideration
    :

    Yes, "our" matter is one.

    No, it is not something you just find in nature, readily available to be taken and cooked to perfection

    Yes, "our" matter is physically tangible.

    No
    , it is not "hypothetical" or "mystical".

    Yes, it it can be ultimately regarded as a matter of chemistry and physics.

    No, it is not the chemistry and physics of the academia. It's a "different school", as per Fulcanelli.

    Yes, many matters found in nature (or in the store) can be used either as carriers from which to "mine" our matter and/or as agents/catalysts to perform this task. Not all of them are equally easy to work with. It's very likely that many matters can't be (realistically) worked it at all. I'd never mine from a plastic quarry, for example.

    Yes, combination of various matters can be used, but these matters are not "our" matter. They can be "magnets", "mines", "mining tools", etc...

    A funny thing that often occurs in "quote duels", is when someone quotes an author talking about "one matter" and then someone else quotes the same author talking about multiple matters.

    It's a non-issue. The statements are NOT contradictory.

    I can say with ease that (for example) the matter is urine. Or blood. Or sea salt. Or some sulfide mineral. Or a combination of them. Just as easily as I can, in good conscience, dismiss those matters as "our matter" two paragraphs later.

    Even common distillation is a form of "mining". Alchemical "mining" (separation) is performed to such a high degree of rectification (and often with different lab tools than common distillation), that the product no longer possesses (all or most of) the qualities or characteristics of the mine. That's one reason some people refer to it as "universal" spirit - it no longer resembles the "mine" it was taken from. And this must be tested in the lab, because online debates whether such a tangible spirit exists or not will be anything but productive.

    Before replying (regardless if there is "agreement" or not), I kindly ask everyone to carefully read the points that are being replied to - just to avoid addressing points that were never there to start with.

    And finally, instead of sounding like a broken record, always repeating "it's unproven", "it's an untested assumption", "it's hypothetical/theoretical/metaphysical", etc - I suggest spending more time in the lab, so proof can be found where it can actually occur - in the lab, not online. The posts of z0 k are quite enlightening in this regard.
    Mr. Andro.....Another well written piece !!!

    I must say that posts like this excite me.
    If you were running an alchemy course, I would sign up for sure.


    These words have been sitting in the back of my mind for many years.

    When there is no paradox this is the beginning of wisdom.

  9. #269
    Very useful clarification for any who choose to practically investigate, what I am not the first to call; the universal mercury.

  10. #270
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,014
    What indeed would be helpful now, would be some kind of recipies so everyone could work in the lab and observe the results themselves. Results then could be discussed on any level.
    I know that cooking recipies lack the alchemistical "spirit", but that would be a way to clarify things up. Of course some might not be interested in that kind of quest for various reasons.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts