Volume 2: Number 1 Spring 1977

A Rosicrucian Lamen

Of the Vegetable Tincture - Collectanae Chemica (1893)
Book Review - The Invisible College - Jacques Vallee'

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from "Collectanae Chemica" (1893)

Very few of the true philosophers have touched upon this subject, for it seemed trifling in respect to the great work, as the process in metals is generally termed; but there is a modern publication in English, a small thin duodecimo, without any author's name, having for its title "Aphorismi, seu Circulus majus et Circulus minus," wherein the whole process is plainly laid down.

This book is written by an undoubted master in the art; and no treatise, ancient or modern, is so explicit in the directions for conducting the great work. The directions are very short, but much to the purpose, provided the reader has an idea what part of the work is alluded to. The author, agreeable to his title delivers his doctrine by way of aphorisms. But to return from this digression.

We proposed in this chapter to lay open the vegetable process, as a clue to the more important work in the mineral kingdom. A certain person, who is now living, and advertises balsam of honey, tincture of sage, etc., has turned his studies this way; and from his great abilities as a professed physican and botanist, has convinced all unprejudiced persons that noble tinctures may be extracted from vegetables. We hope this gentleman will not despise our free communication, both to him and the public, if we show the insufficiency of his method, though it is ingenious, while we establish the rationale of ours on the never-failing ground of truth and philosophy.

He observes, with a precision which can only result from numerous trials, that different herbs impart their tinctures in such proportions of alcohol as he has found out. It is allowed that the volatile spirit and balsamic sulphur are thus extracted; but there are the essential, or fixed, salt and sulphur of the herb yet left in the process. These require another management to extract, which he is either ignorant of, or is so disingenuous as to conceal from the public; but that so noble a secret may lie open to all for a general advantage, here follows a plain account of the vegetable work.

Take any herb which is potent in medicine, and either extract the tincture with spirit of wine, or distil in the common way; reserve the distilled water, or tincture, when separated from the faeces, for use. Then take the feces, or Caput Mortuum, and calcine it to a calx. Grind this to powder. That done, take the water, or tincture, and mix them together; distil again, and calcine, forcing the moisture over by a retort, in a wary process, calcining and cohobating the spirit on the salt till it attains a perfect whiteness and oily nature, like the finest alkali, commonly called Flemish. As your salt requires it in the process, have in readiness more of the extracted tincture, or distilled spirit. that you may not work it. viz., the salt, too dry; and yet proceed cautiously, not adding too much of the moisture, so that the dealbation, or whitening, may keep visibly heightening at every repetition of the process. Frequent experiments may enable you to push it on to a redness, but a fine yellow is the best of all; for the process tends, in its perfection at this period, to a state of dryness, and must be managed with a strong fire. By following these direc tions, you have here the two tinctures in the Vegetable Kingdom, answering to the white and red tinctures in the mineral.

Of the Uses of the Vegetable Tinctures, with some general remarks on the great efficacy in medicine.

You have, by carefully following our directions above, procured the tinctures, white or yellow in the Vegetable Kingdom. The yellow is more efficacious if the work is well performed; either of them, by being exposed in the air, will soon run into a thick, essential oil, smelling very strong of the plant, and the virtues of any quantity may be concentered by often repeating the circulation. But you have no need of this, unless for curiosity, there being in your tinctures a real permanent power to extract the essential virtues of any herb you may require on immersion only, where the essential salt and volatile spirit, together with the sulphureous oil, are all conjoined, floating on the top of your tincture, and the terrestrial feces precipitated to the bottom; not as in distillation. or extraction of the tincture with alcohol, while the stalk and texture of the plant are entire; no, this Vegetable Tincture devours the whole substance of the plant, and precipitates only the earthy particles acquired in its vegetation, which no degree of calcination could Push to an alkali, without its essential salt. Such is the virtue of our Vegetable Tincture; and if the operation be ever so often repeated with different herbs, it loses nothing of its virtue, or quantity or quality, casting up the virtues of whatever herb is immersed, and precipitating the earth as before, when both are easily separated and the medicine preserved for use.

Let a medicine, thus prepared, be examined, and the principles by which it is extracted, with the general methods of preparation; if the distilled water, for instance, of any aromatical or balsamic herb, be took, common experience will convince us that nothing but its volatile parts come over the head; but take the Caput Mortuum. and it will calcine after this process. and afford an alkali, which proves itself to be an essential salt by its pungency, and will, in the air, run to an oil, which is its essential sulphur.

If you take the tincture extracted with alcohol, it is the same, only the more resinous parts of some herbs may enrich the extract, and the volatile sulphur giving the colour and scent, be retained, which escapes in distillation; but the potent virtue or soul of the herb, if we may be allowed the expression, goes to the dunghill. It is the same if the expressed juice of the herb is used; and if taken in powder, or substance, as it is sometimes prescribed, but little of its virtue, beyond its nourishing quality, can be communicated to the patient, except as a bitter or a vermifuge, in which cases, perhaps, it is best by way of infusion.

Let none despise the operation above laid down, because it is not to be found in the ordinary books of chemistry; but consider the possibility of Nature, who brings about wonderful effects by the most simple causes: neither let any imagine this process so easy as to perform it without some trials, patiently attending to her operations and endeavouring to account for any deficiency in the course of his work. For this reason it will be proper that the artist forms to himself an idea what the intention is to procure, how far Nature has prepared his matter to work upon. in what state she has left it, and how far it may be exalted above the ordinary point of virtue, which it could attain in the crude air, and this by the Philosophic Art assisting Nature, as a hand-maid, with an administration of due heat, which is nutritive and not corrosive. A recapitulation of the foregoing process, with some remarks on the different stages, will be sufficient here to explain our meaning above, and prepare the reader for what follows concerning the metallic tincture, or Stone of the Philosophers.

The virtues of herbs and simples are confessedly great and manifold; among these, some are poisonous and narcotic, yet of great use in medicine; none of them but want some preparation or correction. Now the common ways of doing this are defective; neither preserving the virtue entire, nor furnishing any menstruum capable of doing it with expedition and certainty. Alcohol, as was before observed, will extract a tincture and distillation a spirit. We reject neither of these methods in our work, as they are useful to decompound the subject; but we are not content with a part of its virtues.

To speak philosophically, we would have its soul, which is its Essential Salt, and its spirit, which is the inflammable sulphur. The body in which these resided we are not concerned for; it is mere earth, and must return from whence it came: whereas the soul and spirit are paradisiacal, if the artist can free them from their earthy prison without loss; but this can only be done by death. Understand us aright. Philosophically speaking, no more is meant than decomposition of the subject into its first principles, as the uniting them more permanently with an increase of virtue is most emphatically called a resurrection and regeneration. Now this decompounding is to be done with judgment, so as not to corrode or destroy, but divide the matter into its integral parts. At this period of the work the artist will consider what is further intended, keeping Nature in view, who, if she is properly assisted in her operations, produces from the dissolution of any subject something more excellent, as in a grain of corn, or any vegetable seed, which by cultivation may be pushed to a surprising produce; but then it must die first, as our Blessed Saviour very emphatically observes; and let this saying dwell upon the artist's imagination, that he may know what he generally intends; for the whole philosophical work, both in vegetables and minerals, is only a mortifying of the subject, and reviving it again to a more excellent life.

Now if the intention in the foregoing process was to increase simply any vegetable in its kind, the destruction and revivification must follow the ordinary course of vegetation by the medium of seed; and Nature can only be assisted by fertilising the soil, together with a proper distribution of heat and moisture. Yet there are not wanting authors, and particularly Paracelsus, who boldly described processes wherein the vital quality of the seed has been destroyed by calcination, and yet brought to life again at the pleasure of an artist. Such reveries are a scandal to philosophy, and a snare to the superficial reader, who is generally more struck with impossibilities, roundly asserted, than the modesty of true artists. These confess their operations are within the bounds of Nature, whose limits they cannot surpass.

The reader, then, will consider that our intention here is not to increase the seminal quality, but to concentre, in a little compass, the medicinal virtues of a herb. Nature is desirous of this in all her productions, but can only rise to such a point of perfection, in her ordinary course. through the crudity of the air and fixing power of the elements. Now if we take the vegetables at that point of perfection to which she has pushed them, and farther assist her in decompounding, purifying, uniting and reviving the subject, will obtain, what she could not otherwise produce, a real permanent tincture, the quintessence. as it is called, or such a harmonious mixture of the four elementary qualities as constitute a fifth, from thenceforth indissoluble, and not to be debased with any impurity.

But the virtue of this Vegetable Tincture is capable of improvement ad infinitum, in its own kind, by adding more of its spirit or extracted tincture, and repeating the circulation, which is every time more speedily finished, as there is a magnetical quality in the fixed salt, and essential oil, which assimilates to itself all the real virtues of what is added only rejecting the feculent earthy qualities; so that in a grain of the tincture much virtue may be concentered, not at all corrosive or ardent, but friendly to the animal life, and most powerful as a medicine for disorders which the herb appropriated to cure. Nay, something of this nature still sought for by the distillers of ardent spirits, when phlegm has been drawn away from the volatile sulphur, till it became proof spirit, as it is termed, which will burn dry, a plain indication that it contains nothing essential in it from the subject out of which was extracted; for that which is essential cannot be destroyed by the fire, but is reddened to an alkaline salt, having in its centre an Incombustible Sulphur, which, on exposing to the air manifests itself both not to the sight and touch. Now, if this Salt and Sulphur are purified sufficiently, and the distilled spirit, or extracted tincture, added, Nature finds a subject wherein she can carry her operations to the highest limit, if an artist furnishes her with proper vessels, and a degree of heat suitable to her intentions.


The Invisible College

Jacques Vallee
Subtitled: What a Group of Scientists has Discovered about UFO Influences on the Human Race.
(A Dutton Paperback) 1976

The relevance of this book on UFO's to students of hermetic philosophy, I believe, is great. Firstly, because the author in approaching a controversial and contemporary "occult" subject, does so with great balance and objectivity.

Secondly, the overall understanding needed to objectify the UFO phenomenon is similar to that which is needed to penetrate hermetic philosophy.

Thirdly, it may well be that the UFO phenomenon is not divorced from hermetic laws although being contradictory to modern physics.

Fourthly, the variety of psychic and spiritual experiences of many UFO percipients, both during and subsequent to UFO encounters, are very reminiscent of the experiences described by initiates of occult and Spiritual societies.

Again, it may well be that the UFO phenomenon is itself acting as an initiator for humanity as a whole today, in that the author sees the UFO as a means through which man's concepts are being re-arranged, causing a shift in our belief patterns or raising of consciousness.

But, the most interesting part of the phenomenon is the way and means the UFO is able to control and condition human belief.

The author believes and offers much evidence tha like a thermostat, UFO's may serve to stabilize the relationship between man's conscious needs and the evolving complexities of the world which he must understand.

He feels that it constitutes both a physical entity with mass, inertia, volume etc., which we can measure and a window toward another mode of reality for at least some of the percipients.

On analysis of many hundreds of UFO encounters and thorough examination of physical descriptions of crafts, occupants, etc., plus examination of all psychic components associated, a particular pattern did emerge.

This was the appearance of a built-in contradiction associated with sightings. Even when very well witnessed encounters occurred, a characteristic feature was a constant factor of absurdity that leads to a rejection of the story by the official layers of society (i.e. government, military, police, etc.) and an absorption at a deep unconscious level of the symbols conveyed by the encounter.

Alongside the clear reporting of cold, clear, factual data by witnesses, are absurd statements by little green men in silver suits; predictions partly true and partly ridiculous; random manipulation of thoughts and time/space orientation of witnesses; total conversion to mystical or religious faith of some witnesses; encounters with angels and/or demons, etc. - all coming from the same witnesses who reported clear factual data also.

Paradoxical situations such as these can have a definite mystical effect. If you strive to convey a truth that lies beyond the semantic level made possible by your audience's language, you must construct apparent contradictions in terms of ordinary meaning. For example, a case occured in France in 1954 when the UFO occupant asked the witness, "What time is it?". The witness replied, "It's 2.30", only to be bluntly told, "You lie, it is 4 o'clock." this story has a symbolic meaning beyond the apparent contradiction of the dialogue. Could it be that the true meaning of the dialogue is, "Time is not what you think it is", or "Any measure of time can only be relative"?

The next question was about space, and again was absurd. "Am I in Italy or Germany?" asked the UFO pilot. What scientist would take such a story seriously? What public official would risk his reputation by reacting in earnest? Even a priest night avoid it, for fear of demons! In fact, some witnesses have thought they saw demons because the creature had the unpredictability and mischievousness associated with popular conceptions of the devil.

If you wanted to by-pass the intelligentsia and the church, remain undetectable to the military system and leave undisturbed the political and administrative levels of a society, and at the same time implant deep within that society far-reaching doubts concerning its basic philosophical tenets, this is exactly how you would have to act. At the same time, of course, such a process would have to provide its own explanation to make ultimate detection impossible. In other words, it would have to project an image just beyond the belief structure of the target society.

Thus, the author rejects both the ideas of the believers ("Visitors from another planet") as being naive, and the assumptions of the skeptics ("hogwash and hallucinations").

The author's view represents that of a group of scientists from several countries who see themselves as approaching the phenomenon from a truly unbiased and objective viewpoint, and certainly this book seems to do this more than the vast majority of "sensational" UFO books before it.

Thus the UFO is seen to represent part of a complex control system which is manipulating our consciousness. At the same time, this manipulation is not necessarily seen as being alien or sinister or even recent in our times.

The form of the phenomenon (flying crafts with weird occupants) is of secondary importance.

The key to understanding lies in the psychic effect it produces in its observers. Their lives are often deeply changed, and they develop unusual talents with which they may find it difficult to cope. Most of these effects are identical to that produced in witnesses of religious miracles and phenomena.

In fact, the type of manifestations occurring during the Fatima and Lourdes miracles of the blessed Virgin Mary (odour pillars of light, flashing colours, luminous clouds, etc.) seem identical with typical UFO phenomena.

All of this phenomena can manifest in various forms, dictated by the belief needs of the percipients.

In other words, there is probably no difference between UFO visitations, Virgin Mary, Krishna or Buddha visitations their effects on the percipients being similar if not identical.

Now, to ask the question, who or what is manipulating or controlling us and where do "they" come from?, assumes that "they" are separate from us. There is now much evidence to suggest that the phenomena is at least a part of the human psyche.

This does not mean that "it is all in our minds" or that these phenomena have no physical reality. But it does mean that we still have only a very faint knowledge of the human psyche.

A spiritual explanation of the phenomena could well be that a spiritual hierarchy of "great beings" (Wise Men, "Angels", masters, "Great White Brotherhood", etc.) has been using the UFO as one of many possible tools to trigger off an acceleration in the evolution of consciousness in mankind; to divert man from his present self-destructive materialism. Although "higher beings" can only interfere with human free-will to a small degree, this is one method that can be used?

Now, these "higher beings", again, should not be seen as separate from our psyche, in that they represent the higher evolutionary potential or ideal lying within each of us, and not merely alien benefactors of mankind.

Taking a religious example, a Christian or Hindu sees Jesus Christ or Krishna as dwelling within their hearts. Thus, if an apparition was to occur of the same or a related entity, a strong psychic evocation would occur.

This example doesn't completely explain many witness responses to UFO's but may help to illustrate the caution needed when dismissing UFO's as completely separate and alien even though the witness may be horrified at what may appear as an alien encounter.

Returning once again to the mechanism and nature of UFO encounters, the author draws on a number of analogies to illustrate his hypothesis.

Firstly, in order to enlarge on the built-in contradiction, absurdity or paradoxical nature of most UFO encounters, mention is made of a hypnotic and thought transference method known as the Confusion Technique When a person is distracted by the absurd or contradictory, and their mind is searching for meaning, they are extremely open to thought transference, to receiving psychic healing, etc. Whatever they receive by way of thought transference, of course becomes their thought, and they have no resistance to it ...

The author asks if this Confusion Technique is deliberately being used to effect change on a major scale.

Secondly, analogy is made to the work of Ferster & B.F. Skinner, "Patterns of Reinforcement", wherein findings concerning control of behaviour and learning in animals (including Man) shows that drastic modification of behaviour can be achieved by selectively reinforcing certain actions (for instance by giving food to a pigeon only when he presses a certain lever). However, certain ways of reinforcing behaviour lead to better learning then others. If the training is too even and monotonous, the subject may stop in its development, or even return to an earlier state; the best schedule of reinforcement is one that combines periodicity with upredictability. Learning is then slow but continuous. It leads to the highest level of adaptation. And it is irreversible.

On analysis of the pattern of UFO activity between 1947 and 1962, just such a peridocity is clearly evident. Is this a schedule of reinforcement?

In summary, the author feels we are very close to understanding what UFO's are and what they do. As to their higher technological functioning, this is left for others to learn. The UFO technology may yet provide us with a basis for a higher technology which we certainly can use in the area of energy needs.

He has stated, the UFO is neither an object nor is it flying. They can dematerialize and they violate the laws of motion as we know them. The logic of the UFO is a meta-logic in the same sense as the relationship between physics and metaphysics. Its function appears to be the expansion of consciousness by subtle conditioning, and certainly UFO impact is vast although subtle and often unconscious, shifting our belief patterns towards greater acceptance of the metaphysical, ESP, astrology, Science fiction, reincarnation, clairvoyance, telepathy, the occult in general, etc.

The last two sentences of this thought-provoking book are "The solution lies where it always has been: within ourselves. We can reach it anytime we want."

- Don Foster

Other Recommended UFO Books:~
1. "Harmonic 33" by Bruce Cathie
2. "Harmonic 695" by Bruce Cathie
3. "The Pulse of the Universe - Harmonic 288" by Bruce Cathie (AH & AW Reed, London)

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