EDITORIAL : THE MEANING OF THE
Philosophical and esoteric theories as well as deep emotional beliefs have no reality unless they are grounded and proven by practical and material experience. only through "work" and experience on the material plane can theory or belief, the subjective, become real knowledge, the objective. All theories, all feelings or emotions are but castles in the air" until they are proven via material manifestation. Another popular saying is "the proof is in the pudding". That which is Truth must show validity on all planes. This is inherent in the often quoted maxim "As above So below". Thus Understanding also can only arise from experience of material manifestation. Thus careful observation both internal and external must be essential in order for us to truly understand our experience.
Unfortunately many movements these days claiming to reveal spiritual or scientific Truth do ignore the factor of proof or the manifestation of Truth in their lives. Their truths never reach beyond the emotional (?spiritual) or the dogmatic (?scientific). By their fruits they should be and shall be recognized. Some show great disdain for the material and all material values believing the world to be beneath them. Caught up on soaring subjective emotions (?spirituality) some are so scattered in their energies that they are unable to support themselves or their families materially. Many beg, borrow and steal in dependence upon those they disdain, in their false spirituality. It must surely be the height of hypocrisy to aspire to spiritual greatness when at the same time being so dispersed as to be incapable of earning a stable living. How can one handle the spiritual world if one cannot handle the basic material world?
The material life must be the basis on which the spiritual life is worked towards. Only when ore has solved much of one's material problems and has become partly materially independent, is there then a stable basis from which to devote focussed attention to the Work of Self- or God-realization.
Laboratory simply means "working place". To me there are 3 laboratories in the Work. All are concerned with the material world.
Lab. No. 1 is where the separation, purification and cohobation processes are carried out in the vegetable, animal and mineral worlds using the tools of distillation trains, extractors, mortar and pestle and fire, etc.
Lab. No. 2 is our material body, where with the aid of products from Lab. No. 1, the toxic is separated from the pure, the subtle from the gross, where the fixed becomes volatile and the volatile becomes fixed. The same processes also occur in our digestion of the food we eat. The stomach being the vessel heated by inner fire with a menstruum of hydrochloric acid where initial maceration and circulation takes place. Separation occurs in the small intestine, and further purification in the liver and elsewhere. The physical body as a whole must also be transmuted in order to conduct and transform more subtle energies.
Lab. No. 3 is the material world as a whole where we work to earn a living, and our relationships with our family and colleagues.
In laboratory work generally, as mentioned before, careful observation is essential, both internal and external.
Internal observation, or self-remembering, consists of studying one's mental, physical and emotional interaction with family, colleagues, clients, patients, friends, etc., as well as one's interaction with the 4 elements and sulphur, salt and mercury in the vegetable, animal human and mineral worlds. Internal nature is thereby contemplated.
External observation consists of studying manifest Nature, the world of human and elemental behaviour. Understanding of the real nature of matter, the 4 elements, the 3 essentials, leads to an understanding of creation, of the purpose of manifestation, of the purpose and composition of Self and Nature. observation of the alchemical process on all these levels in these laboratories reveals objective reality or Truth and we are able to separate subjective illusion or the dross and play our True fulfilling role in the Cosmic dance.