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Thread: Was Plato against the Hermetic path?

  1. #11
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    " High time ". This an alchemy forum. Why are you allergic to doing any practical work ?. You have tone like you are somehow better than glassware and hands on work.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    " High time ". This an alchemy forum. Why are you allergic to doing any practical work ?. You have tone like you are somehow better than glassware and hands on work.
    Yes Kibric ... only via the Laboratory can we prove or disprove our theories and assumptions.

    Until that point it is all pure conjecture.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    " High time ". This an alchemy forum. Why are you allergic to doing any practical work ?. You have tone like you are somehow better than glassware and hands on work.
    What is wrong with urging others to consider their intentions for pursuing the art like I did?

    Why do you think I am allergic to practical work rather than simply being disinterested in the hands on approach to spirituality furnished by the Hermetic path? The Hermetic path is not the only way to gnosis; neither alchemy nor any of the other Hermetic sciences is required. I am not somehow better than anything, I just don't like what I learnt about the later stages of the Hermetic path, that is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    Yes Kibric ... only via the Laboratory can we prove or disprove our theories and assumptions.

    Until that point it is all pure conjecture.
    I agree that only via the laboratory can we prove theories and assumptions within alchemy. As for proving theories and assumptions about alchemy, this doesn't require lab work - far from it. It would be like saying you can only decide not to pursue a chemistry degree after doing lab work. To the contrary, one only needs to read around the subject to learn what alchemy's place was in the Hermetic path and so on. Once one has acquired this knowledge, an informed decision can be made about whether they want to pursue the art.

  4. #14
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    Hi Tannur

    Quote Originally Posted by Tannur View Post
    I agree that only via the laboratory can we prove theories and assumptions within alchemy. As for proving theories and assumptions about alchemy, this doesn't require lab work - far from it. It would be like saying you can only decide not to pursue a chemistry degree after doing lab work. To the contrary, one only needs to read around the subject to learn what alchemy's place was in the Hermetic path and so on. Once one has acquired this knowledge, an informed decision can be made about whether they want to pursue the art.
    How do YOU prove theories and assumptions about Alchemy ?

    I would be interested to hear what is "Alchemy's place in the Hermetic path" ???

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    Hi Tannur



    How do YOU prove theories and assumptions about Alchemy ?
    I just read primary and secondary books and reflect on what I read until I reach some sort of conclusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by black
    I would be interested to hear what is "Alchemy's place in the Hermetic path" ???
    I have already mentioned my opinion on this in the initial post. Alchemy was the first step in the Hermetic path to gnosis which was taught in Ancient Egyptian mystery schools. The other sciences to be studied were astrology and magic, respectively. Alchemy is a rational science which was intended to be studied for the most amount of time in comparison to the other two in order to teach the student "Platonian" dialectic. Obviously Plato didn't even exist early on in this tradition but Platonian Dialectic certainly did. In fact, I am of the belief that Plato himself borrowed this idea of using Dialectic for spiritual purposes in his own mathematical path. So anyway, the student would learn spiritual Dialectic through studying Alchemy. The high priests of Egypt quickly realized that it is this "ratiocination aimed towards God" which leads men to gnosis. One can safely assume that this period of Dialectical training via alchemy would have taken a good 10 years for most students. After that they would be ready to study astrology then magic. Magic would have included a theurgy component by which the student would eventually attain henosis. In fact, even in the Neoplatonic path teachers like Iamblichus eventually added back the ancient Egyptian theurgic element and started using rituals instead of just the pure Dialectic of Plato, Plotinus and others. It is significant that they saw this practice as linking their path more closely to the rites of the Egyptian mystery schools.

    See also here: https://www.renaissanceastrology.com...ticalpath.html

  6. #16
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    Hi Tannur

    Thank you for your answers.

    Do you consider that you have attained the spiritual Dialectic and that is why
    you are not working through the practical Alchemy ?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    Hi Tannur

    Thank you for your answers.

    Do you consider that you have attained the spiritual Dialectic and that is why
    you are not working through the practical Alchemy ?
    Yes, to a certain extent.

    Note; I wrote a rather long reply at first but then decided to remove it to avoid speaking about things I don't have firsthand knowledge of.
    Last edited by Tannur; 10-26-2020 at 09:42 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    @Tannur:
    The "Bad Body" thing was a misinterpretion. Back in those days they had a different terminology, so the words we use nowadays are not the same like they were used back then.

    On the contrary: Actually the alchemists of all times adviced to "Visit the interior of the earth" instead of denying or torturing it.

    On the other hand I heard about people in India who hurt themselves really hard all day long to reach the state of enlightenment. Allegedly this path works for them too, but I don't know much about this.

    At the core there is the same motive over and over again. Be it in the already mentioned religions (including your so appreciated islamic path), or be it in ordinary fairy tales of the brothers Grimm, Perrault and others. You see it when you see it. As I already said, I feel unable to explain it better or further. I can only recommend to read and compare the similarities and differences.

    But I can tell you what it's not: Just believe something anyone else has told you just for the sake of believing (or the salvation of your soul, or your body, or your spirit, or anything else you think you possess).
    Not sure if you are denying what I said about every path being based on purification and acquisition of the virtues or not, but you seem to have ignored that statement of mine completely. I am sure no one who knows anything about spirituality would disagree with it.

    At the same time, I also agree that there is a more esoteric core to spirituality which also serves as a kind of esoteric backbone. Purification and virtues are like the outward things that lead to the inward alchemy, but the inward alchemy itself is seeing God in everything. The Naqshbandi's call this "solitude in the crowd", ie solitude with God. It is gradual subtilizing of the grossness of reality, or, equivalently, the gentle dissolving of the ego. God is not to be found in a cave in a mountain somewhere or in the Hajj but can be found everywhere in daily life. One just has to think about daily events teleologically and see the One in the multiplicity. This is "as above, so below". So in that sense, I definitely do agree that it isn't just about purification and acquisition of the virtues, although this is definitely the outward alchemy of it which leads to the inward subtilizing of the gross, which reflects outwardly on the horizons in the macrocosm so that you begin to see God in everything. You surely cannot be referring to anything else and I am slightly confused as to your claimed inability to convey this idea even if as an imperfect attempt.

    Also, why you quote the alchemists as spiritual authorities on this is beyond me. They were natural scientists, not spiritual masters. Even mathematics is a higher science metaphysically than alchemy, which focuses on the physical world. Metaphysics is higher than mathematics and deals with that which is completely unconnected to matter. In simple terms, man is the nexus between the animal and angelic realms. This must also be reflected inwardly in his intellect. Thus, the hierachy of sciences appears, with metaphysics being the supreme, "angelic" science and then downwards to the other sciences. Alchemy falls within the subject of generation & corruption in natural philosophy and perfects the knowledge of it. Aristotle was content to simply state the first principles, some of the propositions, and then move onto the next highest science in the metaphysical ladder. The alchemists focused on generation & corruption instead, so they remained within physical science.
    Last edited by Tannur; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:36 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannur View Post
    Also, why you quote the alchemists as spiritual authorities on this is beyond me. They were natural scientists, not spiritual masters. Even mathematics is a higher science metaphysically than alchemy, which focuses on the physical world. Metaphysics is higher than mathematics and deals with that which is completely unconnected to matter. In simple terms, man is the nexus between the animal and angelic realms. This must also be reflected inwardly in his intellect. Thus, the hierachy of sciences appears, with metaphysics being the supreme, "angelic" science and then downwards to the other sciences. Alchemy falls within the subject of generation & corruption in natural philosophy and perfects the knowledge of it. Aristotle was content to simply state the first principles, some of the propositions, and then move onto the next highest science in the metaphysical ladder. The alchemists focused on generation & corruption instead, so they remained within physical science.
    You seem to confound alchemy with chemistry or chymie. I recommend reading the first few pages of Hermetic Recreations (recrátions hérmetiques) to get the idea of a distinction between alchemy and chemistry/physics.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    You seem to confound alchemy with chemistry or chymie. I recommend reading the first few pages of Hermetic Recreations (recrátions hérmetiques) to get the idea of a distinction between alchemy and chemistry/physics.
    Can you point out what in my post led you to that conclusion?

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