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Thread: Time in Alchemy

  1. #1
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    Time in Alchemy

    In Mircea Eliade's Forge and The Crucible, it makes reference to an early Chinese alchemy text, Huai-nan-dz, which is about accelerating the growth of metals and also the Summa Perfectionis, which says, 'what Nature cannot perfect in a vast space of time we can achieve in a short space of time by our art'.

    I am wondering if any of you have seen similar thoughts about time or time quickening in any other alchemy texts?

  2. #2
    See Chinese Alchemy and the Manipulation of Time by N. Sivin and Time in Chinese Alchemy by Fabrizio Pregadio for some discussion of this topic, you should be able to easily find pdfs of both of these articles.

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    Thank you very very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harris Caplan View Post
    In Mircea Eliade's Forge and The Crucible...
    Although I have enjoyed his books never forget he is a scholar only. For instance he wrote what is classed as the Bible of Shamanic studies called "Shamanism"... but he never actually even left his office writing that. Basically he only uses other peoples sources, and what this can result in is Chinese Whispers.

    For me I place more value in authors who try and have some sort of direct experience with their subject matter (if at all possible). Not trying to discredit any value that Eliade might have for whatever research you are doing. Just a friendly "beware".


    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
    For instance he wrote what is classed as the Bible of Shamanic studies called "Shamanism"
    Is this the same as the 'Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy'?
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harris Caplan View Post
    In Mircea Eliade's Forge and The Crucible, it makes reference to an early Chinese alchemy text, Huai-nan-dz, which is about accelerating the growth of metals and also the Summa Perfectionis, which says, 'what Nature cannot perfect in a vast space of time we can achieve in a short space of time by our art'.

    I am wondering if any of you have seen similar thoughts about time or time quickening in any other alchemy texts?
    The idea that the alchemist can "accelerate" the processes of nature became a common topic in the literature. The alchemists usually thought, or at least they liked to pretend they did due to their penchant for philosophy, that they were "imitating" or "following" nature, but unlike nature they also could speed up the processes that took her thousands of years to accomplish. You can find this idea in many texts. It had become such a common topic that it in fact was a usual part of the heated debates about alchemy during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. For example, in the 14th century "New Pearl of Great Price" by Petrus Bonus we find it listed as one of the usual objections to alchemy:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=m4...ars%22&f=false

    "Moreover, we know that the generation of metals occupies thousands of years. This is the case in Nature’s workshop in the bowels of the earth: hence we see that even if this Art were possible, man’s life would not be long enough for its exercise. Everything requires for its generation a certain predetermined period of time; and we find in the case of animals and vegetables that this period of generation and development cannot be hastened to any considerable extent. It might indeed be said that Art can do in a month what Nature requires a thousand years to accomplish --- by intensifying and exalting the temperature of the digestive warmth. But such a course would defeat its own object, since a greater degree of heat than is required for the development of metals (i.e., an unnatural temperature) would hinder rather than accelerate that development."

    To which objection Bonus replies:

    "Every undigested thing capable of digestion, and every impure thing capable of purification, can be digested and expurgated. Now this is the case with iron, lead, copper, tin, etc.; consequently, they can be completely digested, and for any metal to be perfectly pure and digested is to be gold or silver; hence all metals can be changed into gold. As in every digestion there is some superfluity, it must be separated from the substance by means of digestion, because heat brings together things homogeneous and separates things heterogeneous. Outward heat aids the inward or natural digestive heat, and in this way the digestion is accelerated and perfected--- as food is better digested if the inward animal heat be aided by warm baths. In the case of fruits, we see that when there is a deficiency of outward heat, they are not properly ripened. This want of inward heat we meet with him in all metals except gold; and, in comparison with gold, this is true even of silver. Complete digestion is also called optesis or elixir, while its opposite is described by Aristotle as scatesis or assation. In the case of assation the inward heat is not so completely drawn out by means of moisture as in the case of those metals which are subject to optesis. By digestion, or optesis, as the philosopher informs us, a new metal is formed out of common metals, because the digestion of the substance is now complete. That which begins to generate by means of digestion, must also complete what it has undertaken by means of digestion, because it is the same agent which predisposes to a certain form and imparts the form itself, This agent is Nature, either by herself, or with the aid of Art. Do we not see lead, and gold, and all metals, generated by nature in mines out of their first principles, viz., quicksilver and sulphur? But this generation is not brought about without a transitional substance intermediate between the softness of quicksilver and the malleable hardness of the metals. This intermediate substance is coagulated, but not purified, and according to the different conditions of digestion, time, place, quality, etc., becomes either gold, or a common metal with a predisposition to be developed into gold. This intermediate matter is that on which our Art sets to work; and it strives to purify and digest it into the form of gold, which can change all other metals into that precious substance, Thus the digestion of our Art is different not in kind but in degree, place, and time, from that of Nature, being as much more perfect as the form of gold is more perfect than gold itself. But if our digestion, and our place, or artificial organ, are at least equal in power to those of Nature, it is clear that the Art of Alchemy is possible, as far as the conditions of place and digestion are concerned. Moreover, our Art must attain better results than Nature, because it can bring a well-regulated supply of outward heat to bear on the material, and this outward heat powerfully aids the inward action. But the very question whether our Art is able to change back gold into one of the common metals is absurd: certainly Nature never attempts anything of the kind. Nor does our Art endeavor to change one imperfect metal into another, since for such a course there is no precedent in Nature. We might indeed change each imperfect metal into the next higher, as Nature may be supposed to do, if we only knew the exact mixture of quicksilver and sulphur required for such a purpose; but as we do not, and shall never know, we can only change imperfect metals into gold, in which, as we are aware, there must be a total absence of impure sulphur. It is quite possible, however, as Geber says, that this change of one imperfect metal into the one next above it may sometimes take place accidentally, through the failure of an attempt to commute them into gold. Another difficulty is propounded by those who fully admit the possibility of imitating the digestive process by which Nature effects the transmutation of common into precious metals; but as Nature requires so many years for that purpose, they do not see how our elixir can bring about the change in a moment in time. We answer that the digestion of gold and of our elixir are alone complete; but whereas gold is a compound, and is only sufficiently digested for its own purposes, the elixir is the form of gold, and its digestion suffices not only for itself, but is so exuberant, and capable of such indefinite multiplication, as to make up in a brief space of time for what is wanting in the common metals. The digestion itself does not take place in a few moments, but has been brought about by the preparation of the Elixir in our Magistery, and is now simply transferred to the common metal in a few moments; moreover, we must not forget to reckon the amount of digestion which has already taken place in the common metal."

  7. #7
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    Some may even equate Time with the 'matter' of the Great Work.

    According to N.A. Kozyrev, Time has active (physical) properties besides its passive property of duration. Time effects the events in the World due to these active properties.
    These properties manifest in cause-effect relations and express themselves in counteraction to the usual course of processes which lead to the destruction of systems organization.
    Time [active] influence is very small in comparison with the usual destructive course of processes, however it is dispersed everywhere in Nature, therefore there is a possibility of its accumulation.
    Such possibility is provided in living organisms and massive cosmic bodies, in stars at first.
    Active properties of time can provide the interrelation of objects, when there are no usual physical effects between them.
    Time joins the entire World in a single whole. It is the organizing beginning and the source of vital possibilities in the World
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Green Lion View Post
    Fulcanelli did not speak about the end of time of the temporal point of view, but about the allegorical point of view. The end of time is the fixation of time, the use of forgery of Saturn which congeals the time. It is the application of the (allegorical) cold which creates a particular phenomenon: the appearance of Spiritus Mundi.
    There is also a sort of 'debate' in dimensional theory, whether Time is or isn't an actual dimension (hence the question whether there are 10 or 11 dimensions).

    Start with this:



    And then watch this:



    My perspective is slightly different, in that I think that the 10th (and last/ultimate) dimension is composed exclusively of 'Time', UN-observed, UN-realized and UN-specified.

    Perhaps this is the closest 'thing' to our Alchemical 'Black Sun', or to what is referred in the movie Doctor Strange as the 'Dark Dimension'. The Omniversal underlying potential of EVERYTHING.

    I'll also venture my hypothesis that every even-numbered dimension is 'temporal' in nature, used to 'move' (or at least give the appearance of motion) through the uneven-numbered 'spacial' dimension that precedes it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    Is this the same as the 'Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy'?
    Yes... official title: Shamanism - archaic techniques of ecstasy


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

  9. #9
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    Incredible, yes absolutely, time as the matter of the work. Let me run this idea by you all.
    In a vase filled with just empty space, the lab or process work is done on time to quicken time, so that what then goes into the vase of empty space is matured or ripened or grown or picked or mined.
    In other words, no longer doing the work on lead or chemicals, but on the time that is in that vase of just empty space to transmute what is in that vase of space.

    Love to hear thoughts. Similar to anything that anyone on here does or has heard about?

  10. #10
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    So maybe put a clock in the vase you experiment with? Both digital and mechanical.

    Or germinate seeds in the vase, to see how germination rates are influenced.
    Temperature would need to be kept very stable between different germination experiments.

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