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Thread: The chest of the mysteries

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxus View Post
    Do remember, and you are frequently reminded that when we speak plainly we are being most obscure and when we speak obscurely we are actually speaking most plainly(at least as plainly as is permitted). So the fact that you believe the cooking procedure is the one most plainly described should tell you that...it ant that simple!
    Many people misunderstand this saying and try to liberally apply it to anything the alchemists say that for whatever reason they do not happen to like. When the alchemists said that, they were referring to things like apparently clear "recipes", like those seen in the typical "puffer" collections of processes, with all the substances involved being clearly spelled out by their proper names, which the alchemists keep blasting as "sophistical and false", and which sometimes also make their appearance in alchemical treatises properly. This saying does not apply to passages where the matters to be used in making the Stone are already hidden under a barrage of "decknamen". The "coction" part of the process will not reveal these, so there is no need to try to be too secretive about it. The majority of alchemists make very little "secret" of this last part of the process simply because by reading such desciptions you won't be able to figure out what substances they used at the beginning of the process. That simple.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    After having read what many Alexandrian, Byzantine and Arab alchemists say on the subject of "Magnesia" (their favorite code-name for the initial composite "matter"), there are two possibilities:

    1- The "water" is generated from the "Magnesia" itself

    2- The "water" is a separate preparation with its own peculiar set of substances that give it birth, and is then applied to the "Magnesia" (for example, as seen in al-Iraqi's "Cultivation of Gold" treatise, where one of the components of the "Magnesia" is obviously a liquid)

    Maybe the answer to the apparent contradiction is that there are two separate -but still related- approaches that give positive results. One method prepares the "water" from the "Magnesia" itself (by adding some key substances to its composition), while the other one prepares the "water" separately and then uses it to compose the "Magnesia". In all cases, though, this "water", no matter when prepared, is crucial and absolutely necessary to make the Stone. Without it there can be no "Stone", since part of its very substance is derived from this "water" by "coagulation" through prolonged "coction".
    As for #1, there is a 'different' water generated from the magnesia. It is often called "the water of sulphur" (also called "vapour") and derives from the second operation. The 'first' water is rarely ever mentioned in any texts. This applies to #2 of your choices.

    Thus I think there are at least two distinct 'waters', as you identified above in separate points.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    Simple in theory, difficult in practice?

    Also, thanks for the reply, Luxus
    Yes its not at all what you imagine it is, like I said when they speak most plainly they are actually being most obscure.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxus View Post
    Yes its not at all what you imagine it is, like I said when they speak most plainly they are actually being most obscure.
    Nope, that saying does not apply to such a thing as descriptions of the "coction". There is no need to. It won't reveal anything important regarding the beginning of the work, no matter how clearly you describe it. To give you a more "mundane" analogy, it is like if I described to you how to fry a country-style chicken steak, but did not explain anything else regarding how it is prepared first (like for example, how to make the "batter" for the chicken.) By simply reading the description of how to fry the already prepared chicken, you will NEVER figure out how it was actually prepared.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    The majority of alchemists make very little "secret" of this last part of the process simply because by reading such desciptions you won't be able to figure out what substances they used at the beginning of the process. That simple.
    The majority, actually all make a secret of the whole process from beginning to end. None of these keys will be given to you, you must earn each one.

    This is why symbolically the path of alchemy is symbolised by a maze because its full of deceptions. It is the fools path who walks half naked in rags

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxus View Post
    Know that the adepts have in their wisdom locked the mysteries in a chest that has three locks. Three keys are required to open it and gain access to the treasures of antiquity. The adepts in their writings hint at how the first two keys may be obtained but when it comes to discussion of the last key they press their finger tightly against their lips. They teach and believe that this last key must be given to you by the revelation of God, they say only a good man will receive it. Few are those who have had the honour of placing that last key in the lock and turning it three times!
    When we *cut* a whole in pieces, we are always doing it in a subjective way... which doesn't mean that it does not work (actually it is often convenient to cut a whole in pieces as to analyze it).
    I.e, Qabalah *cuts* the whole in 10 pieces (or 32 actually)... being myself a true lover of Qabalah, I have no problems in stating that if someone REALLY thinks that the Universe has 10 (or 32) "parts", then that person has a problem.

    The allegory of the chest with 3 locks works... as long as you remember that it's an allegory (i.e, similar to the case of those alchemist who describe the whole of the work in 12 steps and others describe it in 7 steps... and quite often they are not really saying something different, just "cutting the same cake" in a different way as to analyze it).

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Nope, that saying does not apply to such a thing as descriptions of the "coction". There is no need to. It won't reveal anything important regarding the beginning of the work, no matter how clearly you describe it. To give you a more "mundane" analogy, it is like if I described to you how to fry a country-style chicken steak, but did not explain anything else regarding how it is prepared first (like for example, how to make the "batter" for the chicken.) By simply reading the description of how to fry the already prepared chicken, you will NEVER figure out how it was actually prepared.
    Or it is like taking a photo of a cow and then cutting it into three. No one other piece will allow you to recover the whole picture, you need all three!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxus View Post
    The majority, actually all make a secret of the whole process from beginning to end. None of these keys will be given to you, you must earn each one.

    This is why symbolically the path of alchemy is symbolised by a maze because its full of deceptions. It is the fools path who walks half naked in rags
    If that was true then it would pointless to even bother to write about it in the first place. Better just not write anything.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxus View Post
    Or it is like taking a photo of a cow and then cutting it into three. No one other piece will allow you to recover the whole picture, you need all three!
    The majority of alchemists disagree with this statement, since they did not make anywhere even near as much mystery surrounding the "coction" part as they did about the beginning of the work. It goes without saying that the beginning of ANY SUBJECT, not just alchemy, is the most crucial part.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxus View Post
    The majority, actually all make a secret of the whole process from beginning to end. None of these keys will be given to you, you must earn each one.

    This is why symbolically the path of alchemy is symbolised by a maze because its full of deceptions. It is the fools path who walks half naked in rags
    But at the same time, many of the sages wrote that if you read, and re-read their texts, the truth will become known to you. They used a lot of symbolism and allegory. Once you break that, it becomes easier and easier to understand what they actually meant.

    They also inserted a lot of nonsense and deliberately added operations that had nothing to do with the process of alchemy. But some of them taught how to detect those deceptions and diversions. Others would also reveal some of the decknamen that they used. Eventually, you can begin to read between the lines and see some consistency.

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