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Thread: Was Plato against the Hermetic path?

  1. #21
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    You said alchemy focuses on the physical world and mathematics would be a level higher.

    This is true for chemistry, but not for alchemy which is the science of the "All in all" (see Basil Valentine's "de occulta philosophia" for example - not the book by Agrippa von Nettesheim!)

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    You said alchemy focuses on the physical world and mathematics would be a level higher.

    This is true for chemistry, but not for alchemy which is the science of the "All in all" (see Basil Valentine's "de occulta philosophia" for example - not the book by Agrippa von Nettesheim!)
    Are you saying alchemy doesn't focus on the physical world?

    Sendivogius: "I have composed, O friendly reader, the preceding twelve treatises for the benefit of the students of this Art; in order that they might understand the operations of Nature, and after what manner she produces all things which are in the world, before they put their hands to any experiment. Otherwise, they might be trying to open the gate without a key, or to draw water with a sieve. For in regard to our Holy and Blessed Art, he for whom the sun shines not, walks in thick darkness, and he who does not see the light of the moon, is involved in the shades of night."

    But in the sixth treatise, he says: "But vegetable seed exhibits most clearly the process by which Nature evolves natural objects out of the four elements",

    pointing to the fact that alchemy is about generation & corruption.

    Again, here is Nollius advising a certain "Englishman" regarding the art:

    "I resolved to grant his request; and for that end I did purposely lead him into a dissertation or reasoning about the Generation of natural bodies, and having brought him thither I advised him to search curiously after what manner, and by what means, this great and secret, though daily, work was performed: Signifying farther unto him, that the Foundation of our Art did, next to the divine assistance, consist chiefly in the perfect knowledge of Corruption and Generation."

    The alchemists even quote directly from Aristotle's generation & corruption on occasion. I am not sure how you can reconcile this with alchemy being the "art of arts" (as you seem to be saying by quoting the "all in all" statement, which was clearly intended hyperbolically more than anything).

    Notwithstanding the above, I am not sure how you can reconcile your understanding with the fact that alchemy is related to matter at every step, even at the very end in the production of the Stone. And if it goes into metaphysics, it is only in the traditional sense of metaphysics being the higher science which *provides* the more metaphysical principles for alchemy, as Norton implies in the Ordinal (he is writing in the medieval era after all):

    "Great need he hath to be a Clerke,*
    That would perceive this subtle Werke;
    He must know his first Philosophie,
    If he trust to come by Alkimye:

    And first Ye shall well understonde,
    All that take this Werke in honde
    When your Materials by Preparation
    Be made well apt for Generation,
    Then thei must be departed a Twinn,
    Into four Elements if ye would winn:
    Which thing to doe, if ye ne can,
    Goe and lerne it of Hortolan."

    "Clerke" means someone versed in all seven liberal arts, which end in mathematics. Metaphysics is the next highest science after mathematics. But even here, my previous point about alchemy being about generation is clearly stated:

    "When your Materials by Preparation
    Be made well apt for Generation"

    So Norton is saying that he who searches into this art must: 1. know all the other sciences of philosophy, including metaphysics (which fully agrees with Majriti's view of this in both Rutbat al-Hakim and Ghayat al-Hakim), and 2. that alchemy is about generation, which is a part of Aristotelian natural philosophy (generation & corruption).

    Perhaps you should consider quoting more authors on how alchemy is "all in all", because one quote is certainly not enough to establish a point as hyperbolically stated as that.

    Might I suggest that you are confusing the interpretation of the opus with the art itself? I do not deny that the complete interpretation of what happens in the flask (the colours, especially the white and red) have deep metaphysical significance about the journey of the soul towards the Divine. But this is not the art itself.

  3. #23
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    I don't see how quoting more authors could help in this case as you obviously haven't even read those three or four I already recommended to you.

    I see that you seem to try to understand whether there is anything special about alchemy, which I appreciate. Please understand that in this case this is not a question of winning a debate with arguments, or convincing with words, or who can quote the most sources.

    The fact alone that you still stick around although you threatened (?) to leave again weeks ago, already may show that you maybe simply just can't and alchemy already might have caught you.

    If this should be the case then why don't you just enjoy that feeling, follow your curiosity, work in the lab and start to read the books that got recommended to you.

    If you think they are boring, you are welcomed to come back. I can also recommend others that may be more compatible with your current taste.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    I don't see how quoting more authors could help in this case as you obviously haven't even read those three or four I already recommended to you.

    I see that you seem to try to understand whether there is anything special about alchemy, which I appreciate. Please understand that in this case this is not a question of winning a debate with arguments, or convincing with words, or who can quote the most sources.

    The fact alone that you still stick around although you threatened (?) to leave again weeks ago, already may show that you maybe simply just can't and alchemy already might have caught you.

    If this should be the case then why don't you just enjoy that feeling, follow your curiosity, work in the lab and start to read the books that got recommended to you.

    If you think they are boring, you are welcomed to come back. I can also recommend others that may be more compatible with your current taste.
    I can't really discuss with someone who refuses to engage in evidence and proper civilized debate. I appreciate your recommendations and your time but it is just not possible to continue.

  5. #25
    Hi Tannur

    Your view strikes me as entirely dualistic, actually.

    True alchemy is all about transcending the dualism between matter and spirit. In other words, about drawing spirit down into the physical while elevating the physical towards the spiritual plane.

    The Emerald Tablet repeatedly speaks to this:

    "That which is below is like that which is above
    and that which is above is like that which is below
    to do the miracle of one only thing."

    "Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth."

    "It ascends from the earth to the heaven
    and again it descends to the earth
    and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

    By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you."

    Cheers

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Hi Tannur

    Your view strikes me as entirely dualistic, actually.
    Not sure how this is anything but exaggeration when just a few posts ago I was talking about seeing the One in multiplicity - something I have experienced at several points in my life.

    Maybe, like Florius Frammel, it would be better if you point out what in my posts led you to that conclusion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach
    True alchemy is all about transcending the dualism between matter and spirit. In other words, about drawing spirit down into the physical while elevating the physical towards the spiritual plane.
    I am specifically talking about lab alchemy in and of itself. Not Jungian interpretations of it. Not "alchemical meditation". Just alchemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach
    The Emerald Tablet repeatedly speaks to this:

    "That which is below is like that which is above
    and that which is above is like that which is below
    to do the miracle of one only thing."

    "Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth."

    "It ascends from the earth to the heaven
    and again it descends to the earth
    and receives the force of things superior and inferior.

    By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you."

    Cheers
    I agree with all of this. It doesn't contradict anything I said.

  7. #27
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    You have been civilized and polite FF. You are talking to a brick wall.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    You have been civilized and polite FF. You are talking to a brick wall.
    What does this have to do with the truth? It's a shame some people here can't seem to debate using arguments. ("I recommend that you read book x" isn't an argument by the way. )

  9. #29
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    All your quotes come from books.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibric View Post
    All your quotes come from books.
    We can't do away with books but we can at least not be so lazy as to not even bother to quote from them when they are so easily available in the internet.

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