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Thread: Above & Below WHAT?

  1. #1
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    Above & Below WHAT?

    We're all familiar with "As Above - So Below".

    But the deeper question may not be what this says, but perhaps what it doesn't say?

    Above WHAT? Below WHAT?

    What is the point of reference?

    Is there a LINE ???

    If yes, where do we draw it?

    Above & Below "ground level"? Above & Below "sea level"?

    Above my head and below my feet?

    As "Six Feet Up" - so "Six Feet Under"?

    As in Olympus - so in Tartarus?

    There may be a mystery hidden here

    Just a little something to ponder

  2. #2
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    You are playing the fool like Hamlet, but I'll bite the bait.
    The question does not begin with a Tabula Rasa and it is certainly linked to a vast literature that precedes it.
    The notions of "above" and "below" are not completely unrelated to some of the options that you gave in a humorous way (i.e, "above the mont Olympus and below the mount Olympus"), because Religion came first and philosophy came second, but was forced to use some ideas that the first one had (i.e, most Religions placed the God "above" something and the world was a "below" of that something --that something could be the mount Olympus or whatever).

    Philosophy created the notion of two different worlds... sometimes with a few others in between as to make a smooth transition (i.e, Plotius clearly identified 4 "realms": the Monad -Hen-, the Intellect -Nous, the Soul -Psyche- and the Matter). Other previous philosophers have been clearly "geographical" (i.e, Aristotle would draw that "line" you mention in the ecliptic of the moon that divides a place of the universe composed by Aether and a lower region composed of 4 elements)... Other philosophers were less "geographical" (thankfully)

    The point of the Emerald Tablet is to compare the two extremes a superior one that is Spiritual, an inferior one that is material... But somehow making them a bit relative by stating that the two realms are similar as to make the "miracles" of only one thing.

    ... But I feel like I am talking to Socrates who is asking me a naive question because he knows the answer! (otherwise I would be writing: "Welcome to Alchemy Forums, Andro!" )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andro View Post
    What is the point of reference?
    From my perspective ‘As Above, So Below’ suggests the point of reference is from outside a system.

    If the phrase was meant to be looked at from inside a system, it might sound more like ‘That is Above, and That is Below.’

    The syntax of ‘As Above, So Below’ (to me) definitely suggests an outside perspective, perhaps directing the attention at a microcosmic object like a glass vessel or the interaction within a macrocosmic system such as the Sun and Earth.
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

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    One of von Welling's answers:



    The number of circles/places of heaven and hell vary (see for example Dante in the Divine Comedy)

    A meaning that might not go that far:

    "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

    It could mean to make something that usually only exists in heaven manifest down here below. Something with action above (wherever that is) and below where we live.

    The perspective then would be that of the angel with the trumped on the ladder.



    Sometimes the perspective is not from a ladder, but from the middle of a chain:



    Or the black ray of Saturn, that connects the old one with the salt in that image:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    The syntax of ‘As Above, So Below’ (to me) definitely suggests an outside perspective, perhaps directing the attention at a microcosmic object like a glass vessel or the interaction within a macrocosmic system such as the Sun and Earth.
    Sounds like you're talking about Scale Invariance

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    The microscopic world looks like the macrocosmic world. The dream is reality, reality is the dream. Heaven is hell, hell is heaven.

    In other words, for me, there is no such thing as above or below. The phrase implies there is no difference between any dualistic states... everything is ONE. So it is clear to me that the phrase never inteded to imply "above something" or "below something".

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


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    Quote Originally Posted by Awani View Post
    The microscopic world looks like the macrocosmic world. The dream is reality, reality is the dream. Heaven is hell, hell is heaven.

    In other words, for me, there is no such thing as above or below. The phrase implies there is no difference between any dualistic states... everything is ONE. So it is clear to me that the phrase never inteded to imply "above something" or "below something".

    If that's really the case, there would be no possibility of any interaction imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    If that's really the case, there would be no possibility of any interaction imo.
    How do you mean?

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


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awani View Post
    How do you mean?

    When you say

    Quote Originally Posted by Awani
    The phrase implies that there is no difference between any dualistic states.
    you seem to exclude the possibility of an exchange of information between two parties. Be they of any kind.
    Talks and discussions become useless. Sex gets pointless. Feelings of a possibility of transcendence or numinosity were nonsense, if there isn't a distinction made between the "I"(or "you", or "self", or the term you feel is most appropriate to describe "yourself") and an (assumed?) other.

    You seem to rather understand this part of the Tabula Smaragdina as a description of a state that imo isn't really possible to achieve in this life. At least not until you have to go to the store to buy yourself some food.

    The Tabula imo is intended to describe a process and interaction of polarities and not a state. The goal though may be the unification of dualities, which is maybe the state you describe, if I understand you right.

    But one has to work (process) for it and in it's last instance it isn't completly achievable within the physical boundaries. Only in parts or perceived as an idea. What possibilities may occur after life is a different story, if there is one.

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    On a "high" level there is no dualism. Everything is nothing (no-thing), useless (use-less), pointless (point-less) and nonsense (non-sense).

    The phrase "as above, so below" means that it is the "same" above and below i.e. no difference. Pretty clear in my opinion. Nothing about something being above or below something else... because nothing can be.

    Naturally dualism exist on the "microscopic" level, for example in the piss ant world of human beings... and (according to The Law) dualism exist on the "macrocosmic" level as well... but the mirror image of each to the other reflect - at the end - the same thing.

    Is it a paradox that dualism is in fact oneness in disguise? Probably, but a paradox is not proof something is wrong... only proof that our comprehension is limited by our "dualistic" minds. In the perfect state of mind a paradox becomes tautology.

    IMO.

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


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