PARACHEMICA

Volume 4: Number 4 Winter 1980




The Enneagram within the flask.
This is the symbol of the Paracelsus College/Utah Institute of Parachemistry.
The word enneagram means 9-lined figure and it is an ancient symbol of profound significance.
The understanding of its use has been passed down through hidden spiritual brotherhoods for well over 2,000 years. The enneagram was used as a method of passing on traditional teachings of the principles underlying the laws of the Universe.


Editorial: We Only Have Now
A Students View of Mental Alchemy
Questions and Answers
Web of Life

Parachemica Contents


EDITORIAL: We Only Have Now

Only in the Now can we act to evolve. The Now decides if our Future will be a True Future or merely a treadmill of the Past. Dwelling on a lost past and worry and fear on a possible Future lock us onto the treadmill of illusion where the future is nothing but a cyclic variation on the past, where no real growth in consciousness occurs, only illusory change.

However, conscious action in the Now dissolves non existant pasts and imaginary futures to produce Eternity in the Now. This is a difficult concept to understand and in order to do so it needs to be experienced or at least glimpsed.

The Now in fact is an everpresent crossroad where the choice is always whether to follow the treadmill of cyclic time and subscribe to past conditioned habits and beliefs, or make "the quantum leap" and find Eternity in the Now breaking free and seeing that the nature of time is completely dependant on our consciousness.

It is our beliefs and conditioning which determine our concept of Time, our past, present and future.

Previous cultures and recent primitive societies in terms of their technology, lived to some extent in the Eternity of the Now. The Australian Aborigine had a "Dreamtime" which coexisted with conditioned time and which was the continual source of conditioned time. The consciousness of the Aborigine was rooted in the "Dreamtime" since this was the True Reality of Timelessness or Eternal Now.

Our conception of Time therefore should be tied to our state of consciousness or evolution of awareness and not to the stream of events, facts, fashion and changes which are unreal by virtue of their continual dissipation and change.

Rather we could see our future in the higher consciousness of another and see in us the other's past.

Let us therefore begin NOW to be HERE NOW.

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A Students View Of Mental Alchemy

by Kevin Masman

INTRODUCTION

A previous article on alchemy in Parachemica, gave the general principles of physical alchemy in brief outline. Alchemy is very much alive and well, incorporating a spiritual science of the physical plane. Undifferentiatedin both material Substance and Creative Energy, the creative aspect of the One God differentiates and becomes the innumerable diverse forms of the physical world. Alchemists seek to reach behind these outer forms to isolate the purified "essenceof material manifestation. This "essence" of a given substance, whether of the animal, plant, or mineral world, naturally falls into three Essentials; termed Mercury (spirit/life force), Sulfur (soul/consciousness) and Salt (Body/vehicle). It is interesting to note that the Essentials of each kingdom bear striking similarities. Sulfur assumes the form of an oil in all three kingdoms, Salt as mineral salts, and Mercury as a fiery penetrative spirit in all kingdoms. This uniformity among kingdoms suggests that the three kingdoms are not as diverse as they outwardly appear. The history of alchemy is a chequered one. At times it has been thought of as a purely physical science which lent itself to the deceptions and gullability of the unscrupulous and ignorant "puffers". More recently the pendulum has swung to the non-physical, psychic polarity of alchemy, with the penetrative work of Jung and his students, in the form of analytical psychology. Jungian psychology is undoubtedly based on genuine alchemical principles, revolving around the central theme of "individuation". The latter is the process of integration into the inner Self, of those aspects of our psychic constitution that are unconscious and undeveloped (Jung's term is "undifferentiated")- Jung, like the alchemists, placed the highest value on this process.

Due to ignorance, we tend to get caught up in the pairs of opposites characterising the ego. For example, the greater the intensity of ego love, the greater the potential for ego hate - which is bound to be experienced sooner or later, as the Law of Polarity swings the ego from one polarity to the other. The resulting unhappiness and frustration in our lives drive us eventually to seek a life founded on inner peace. Peace can be realized (made real) through the alchemical process of transformation. What follows is a student's view of the application of the basic principles of alchemy, to the transformation of the inner man.

As Above, So Below

In the early Egyptian; Dynastic period, The Tabula Smaragdina, thought to have been written by Hermes Trismegistus, says in part "What is below, is like what is above. And what is above is like what is below, so that the miracle of the One may be accomplished". This key aphorism, known to all Hermeticists is fundamentally a statement of correspondence among the planes of manifestation, and has several important applications.

Paracelsus (an alchemist and doctor among other things), some five hundred years ago, re-iterated it thus - "The world is the Macrocosm, and man the Microcosm, and the elements of all that exist in the former exist in the latter ... ", and "Man lives within the invisible world comparable to the yolk of an egg. The chicken grows from the white of the egg, and man is nourished by the chaos. Within man are the sun and moon, the planets and all the rest of the stars, and also the Chaos. "'

He spoke of the correspondence of the seven planetary principles pervading each level of Nature in his well known "if I have manna in my constitution I can attract manna from heaven. Saturn is not only in the sky, but also deep in the earth and in the ocean. What is Venus but the artemisia that grows in your garden? What is iron but Mars? That is to say, Venus and artemisia are products of the same essence, and Mars and iron are both manifestations of the same cause. What is the human body but a constellation of the same powers that formed the stars in the sky? He who knows what iron is, knows the attributes of Mars. He who knows Mars, knows the qualities of iron." He, like Jung, held the view that microcosmic and macrocosmic events are synchronistic, as the One cause has its expression in both, so that "the miracle" of transformation may be played out. This theme has its fullest expression in the science of astrology.

Natal astrology is essential to the alchemist in providing a map of who he is, through the patterns and relationships of planets, representing the basic psychic functions, in signs and houses. Being a reflection of the macrocosm at the time of birth, he can look to astronomy to chart these relationships and influences. Thus he is provided with a personal starting point of information pertaining to his innate psychological constitution. The real advantage is that he can be himself, rather than what others expect of him. Understanding his weaknesses and inner stresses (between the planetary/psychological principles), he can work at reversing polarity and manifesting corresponding strengths. Why do this? So that he can progressively enjoy an independant state of peace and joy.

As every alchemist knows: if he uses too much heat too quickly, his preparation is destroyed. For example, a salt calcined in too violent a fire changes in colour from black to grey then to red rather than to white. Here the body (salts) of the herb have been burned out and from an alchemystical viewpoint are useless. Too little heat results in no manifestation.

In a corresponding way, if too much psychological pressure (pressure in physics generated heat) is applied to change, from a polarity of weakness to strength, serious damage can result in the form of -nervous breakdown" or neurosis. In this case the polarity is too great, between the ideal aspired towards, and the actual undifferentiated and unevolved psychic function.

An example of this is an afflicted saturnian function, manifesting in one way as a lack of discipline. If one was to introduce a harsh programme of discipline overnight, so to speak, then problems may arise in the form of periods of overindulgence or rebellion etc. or the inner conflict is projected and outer conflict results between self and others. Build discipline in small ways at first, then work to a point where discipline is in balance with selfnurturing and spontaneity. This way, out of balance (lack of) Saturn has become balanced Saturn, and harmony is achieved. Just applying a steady and constant pressure oriented toward growth by a gently purifying fire (this process is well known in yoga as tapasya - tapas - fire) has validity on both the physical and psychological levels.

STATICS

Physical laboratory alchemy makes use of certain subdivisions of Nature the main ones being (a) Unity (b) Polarity (c) Trinity - Essentials (d) Quarternity four elements (e) Quintessence (f) Seven planetary principles. Applying the law of "as above, so below", these divisions have corresponding inner counterparts as given below, in the opinion of the author. They have been termed "statics", as they are the basic tools manipulated and used in their own proper place in "dynamics", the other term coined, which is the process itself.

Physical Non-Physical
- Specimen from nature, from which the elixir is to be made - Sum total of the psyche
- Specimen brought to perfection as the alchemical elixir - the mind totally resolved and integrated back into pure unconditioned consciousness

(b) POLARITY
Physical Non-Physical
Any of the pairs of oposites such as heat/cold, gross/refined, light/heavy, fixed/volatile All psychic opposites like courage/fear, love/hate, conscious/unconscious



This principle pervades the whole creation. Other statics are themselves in polar form, and are manifest by virtue of polarity. This is revealed fully by contemplation of the patterns of the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

(c)TRINITY
Physical Non-Physical
- Mercury (spirit) - alcohol in plants, blood in animals and alkahest in minerals -Mercury - power of animation and life force.
-Sulfur (soul) - oils in all kingdoms - Sulfur - the "Essential I - Consciousness - the inner witness
- Salt (body) - Mineral salts in all kingdoms -Salt - the form aspect of the mind

Concerning the Essential I, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says - "You cannot see That which is the Seer of seeing; you cannot hear That which is the Hearer of hearing; you cannot think That which is the Thinker of thought; you cannot know That which is the Knower of knowledge. This is your Self, that is within all."

Mental forms (thoughts and feelings etc), the Salt Essential, are animated by life-force, the Mercury Essential, and both are witnessed and controlled by awareness, the Sulfur Essential.

(d)QUATERNARY

The four elements are the three states of matter (solids = earth, liquids = water and gases = air) plus energy - fire. Heat interpenetrates the three states as atomic motion, is independent of them, and is the agent of change of state from one to the other.
Empirically, three states of consciousness are experienced viz waking, dreaming and deep sleep. The ex periencer of these states is the fourth, independent of them, but interpenetrating them.
Physical Non-Physical
- Fire - heat Fire - The experiencer (of)
- Air - gases Air - Deep Sleep state
-Water - liquids Water - Dream State
- Earth - solids Earth - Waking State

There is a certain correspondence of these with the Four Worlds of the Qabalists - (a) Fire = World of Archetypes (b) Air = World of Creation (c) Water = World of Formation (d) Earth = World of Action.

(e) QUINTESSENCE
Physical Non-Physical
The Fifth is found within the four elements - is not an element but the Essential which contains the healing virtue That inner Being, unlimited by time as space, the changeless Witness of all, eternally complete and fulfilled, that the alchemist seeks to liberate from an impure mind.

(f) SEVEN PLANETARY PRINCIPLES
Physical (Kingdoms)
Planet Mineral K Plant K* Animal K
Sun gold chamomile heart
Moon silver moonwort brain
Mercury mercury Fennel lungs
Venus copper artemisia kidneys
Mars iron nettle gall bladder
Jupiter tin dandelion liver
Saturn lead comfrey spleen

*Only one herb has been selected out of innumerable herbs of each planet.

Non-Physical

Unevolved Evolved
Sun- Egotistical, selfish, arrogant, overbearing Warm hearted, confident, selfless, creative co-ordinator
Instability, easily led, unreliability, fussiness Sensitive, responsive, sympathetic, nurturing.
Gossip, nervousness, superficial, knowledge, criticism Skill, observant, versatility, communication, logic
Vanity, promiscuity, gaudiness, confusion Love, appreciation of beauty, harmony, charm
Impatience, irritability, brutality, recklessness Energy, strength, courage, pioneer
Extravagance, blind optimism, exaggeration Idealism, compassion, joviality, just generosity
Scepticism, mistrust, depression, inertia, miserliness. Self control, justice, patience, realism, responsibility

These classifications can be extended to include all human traits.

DYNAMICS

As was pointed out in the previous article on physical alchemy, the process consists of (a) Separatio (b) Purificatio and (c) Cohobatio (conjunction). In this brief outline of the dynamics of alchemy, the above "statics" are the fundamental tools used. To illustrate

A herb under the rulership of Jupiter (Planetary Principle) is selected in order to cure a malfunctioning liver (Planetary Principle). Water (Element water) is added, and heat (Element fire) is applied to effect a steam (Element air) distillation which separates the essential oil (Essential Sulfur), which to undergo purification is redistilled to separate the fine oils (subtle Polarity) from the fats and waxes (gross Polarity). Each operation is performed in glass vessels (practically speaking is the Element earth), and so on. The Physical herbal process is represented diagramatically below -

It is the Sulfur that has the power of cohesion to combine Essential Mercury and Salt into one unit. The herb now no longer partakes of the herbal kingdom but of the higher vibratory rate of the animal kingdom. The remedy used with correct dosage acts on the physical and mental level of the Mercury planetary principle of the patient, in this example.

Separation, purification and cohobation are stages which, "in order" that the miracle of the One may be accomplished, manifest "above" and "below". Two aspects of the inner (the "above") polarity of alchemy are briefly mentioned below - the passive meditational aspect, and the active ceremonial aspect.

SEPARATION

If one takes the time to turn within, one very fundamental fact becomes evident, that is, that the contents of the mind are witnessed by an inner Essential I. in our usual state, this I identifies (is at one) with the contents and states of the mind and thereby experiences happiness or misery, according to whichever state the mind adopt at a given time. A convenient analogy of this situation is uncorruptible gold - the Essential I, is mixed with corruptible base metals (of the unevolved ego). Alchemists speak of the base metals as diseased. But the problem is that the nature of the mind is change, and it largely depends on outer factors. Real happiness is a fleeting affair, as it is subject to corrosion by egocentric, unevolved personality traits.

Separation is the disentanglement of Essential I from the objects of awareness. The latter are witnessed not with any personal value judgement, but as what they really are - a play of the One creative energy. The base metals are still present, but they have been separated from the gold. But it will be found that much time and energy has to be invested in this practice to arrive at anything near a sustained separation.

The mind level, in Qabalistic terminology, the World of Formation, can be subdivided into seven groups of psychic functions. Seven, because this is a microcosmic reflection of the classical solar system macrocosm, and affords a convenience in practical work, to deal with but one of these functions (Planetary Principles) at a time. The choice of planetary/psychic (in the Jungian sense of psychic) function depends on two factors: (a) The need for regular cleansing and transforming. Here the inner work is accomplished according to a definite plan, based on the living symbol of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Using the relationships of the World of Formation, consisting of the six planetary Sephiroth surrounding the sun/Tipheret centre (see below), is of the most general use.

Psychic functions to be worked on are chosen in pairs, i.e.
Mars/Jupiter; Mercury/Venus; Saturn/Moon; Mars/Venus; Mercury/Jupiter, etc. maintaining by definition of symmetry involved, a built-in balance. The solar function cannot be worked on too much, as it is vital to have access to a psychic centre of balance and moderation in all of life's situations. This is analogous to the use of medicinal general tonics. (b) The need for special workings. These are to be selected according to needs of a short term nature, and is analogous to taking specific remedies for an acute condition under the same rulership.

Having selected which psychic function is to be worked on, it is now to be brought through to consciousness from the general mass of the psyche. The previous quotes from Paracelsus hinted at correspondences of every aspect of Nature on every plane. The mind is aided in its concentration on the desired planetary function, by introducing into consciousness specific triggers. Thus there are particular perfumes, colours, shapes, anthropomorphic forms, sounds (the God Names) and appropriate music for each of the planets/sephiroth. As these sensory data are built into the mind (using both physical and subtle counterparts), they can be used to arouse a corresponding feeling at will.

When the Essential I (Sulfur) witnesses these related but manifold sensory factors (Salt), synthesised into a living (Mercury) inner reality - separation has occurred. Consciousness (Sulfur) has the power of decision to animate a given form of the mind, which was in an analogous way noted in the herbal outline above. The degree to which this is done depends on the mind's ability to concentrate, which in turn depends on (a) the simplicity and quality of the triggers used, (b) the feeling aroused and (c) a relaxed but alert state of mind. (d) interest. The planetary psychic functions at issue in the natal chart are often found to be difficult to work with, because of blocks in corresponding feelings, or problems with the sense triggers. Such a situation indicates that the central consciousness has not got overall control, and such dis-integration was termed by alchemists "corruption" or dis-ease.

Meditative techniques make use of the above, but often using simple or abstract objects or triggers of concentration. The physical body is inactive, and the process is enacted purely mentally. But the physically active aspect of ceremonial enjoins the body in the drama created in the mind, by the use of gestures and physical intonation. Separation of a psychic function by way of ceremonial is termed invocation. Degree of success rests on the harmony, coordination and synthesis of the physical enactment, with the inner mental drama. The gentle pressure of will to perform this is analogous to the controlled heat applied in the outer laboratory to achieve separation. In both passive and active methods, sound vibration commands a special place in all three processes. According to scriptures of both East and West, God manifested by way of, and firstly as (sound) vibration. On the mental level, Separatio is concentration.

PURIFICATION

In physical alchemy, purificatio is the elimination of that which is not essential, to leave revealed pure essence. What is not essential in human nature are the many little I's, all clamouring to be heard. "I like this", "I don't like that", "I am a male", "I am ugly, miserable, worthless", and countless other similar scripts. One minute I am cheerful, the next I am sad; one condition activating while the rest become latent. The innumerable latent states comprising the unconscious, having a portion of psychic energy invested in them, are in mutual conflict, causing anxiety and psychosomatic disease. This general condition of relative disintegration, caused by the pull of the opposites, is analogous to the ' corrupt, diseased' base metals in need of redemption by passing them through the fires of purification.

What is essential, however, is the awareness of "I am" - subject without object -subject without modification. The word for myself, "I", is the only word in the English language that retains a single capital letter, no matter where it is placed in a sentence. The omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent Self has been, is, and will always be Self-fulfilled, needing nothing other than it-Self. The incorruptible gold has always been pure within itself, despite its coverings.

How is purificatio to be achieved? In a general way by the cultivation of the higher polarity of each planet (see statics), which is the use of the seven psychic functions, not for personal ego ends, but for the sake of the Essential I. The mind with its (seven) functions is a neutral tool, but it is how and why it is being used that is the crux of the matter.

Modern psychology has coined one alchemical term, describing this process "sublimation". Sublimation in its physical sense is dry distillation, but again only the pure subtle portion rises and recrystallizes. One important example of inner sublimation is the one Desire for union with the supreme One swallowing up the many petty, ego oriented desires seeking fulfillment in the outer world. The former is more refined and subtle, but also more integrated and pervasive than the latter, offering real and lasting satisfaction. Worthy of note is that the subtle is drawn from the gross in distillation, and in the same way, old mental patterns break down, releasing their psychic energy which coagulates at a less egocentric level.

Conscious restraint, guided by the precepts of the Wisdom Tradition, of egocentric mental and physical activity, alongside cultivation of more refined values, tends to create friction between ego and Self, resulting in a kind of psychic heat (referred to as pressure earlier). The path of Self love is trodden between excessive harshness on one hand, and too little self control on the other. Too much heat burns out part of the delicate humanity within us, and too little produces no change. Distillation, calcination, and rectification require just the right amount of fire, as any experience with practical alchemy will reveal.

In regular spiritual practices of the passive kind, the master key to purification is mental sound vibration. The Name of God - whichever of the numerous is chosen, is a special sequence of vibrations, with an inherent power to attract the pure energy of the Supreme Self. The Name repeated quietly with love and respect over a long period of time purifies the mind in a gradual but firm way. Whatever the mind dwells on, it becomes. By repeating God's Name(s), the mind itself eventually becomes God, or pure consciousness, if performed with the awareness of what the Name signifies.

Ceremonial too makes use of sound vibration, but incorporates the physical polarity of sound. Calls are interwoven in ritual gestures and symbolic actions that portray directly to the suggestible mind the state of perfection that is sought. Ritual is virtually ineffective if it is not performed simultaneously within, in attitude, as without in gesture. A well known symbolic action is circumambulation (circling), which is a simple but powerful symbol of the state of integration and timeless perfection, just as the circle has no beginning or end; only a centre.

Each of these means, if practised steadily and regularly can refine the mind to such an extent that it can serve as the perfect vehicle for the manifestation of the supreme Self, so that it may shine unimpeded by impurities. The Sepher Yetzirah refers to the mind at this stage as the "Pure and Clear intelligence". At the summit of purificatio the mind still exists, but as a flawless mirror, reflecting the Self back on itself, making it aware of its divinity.

COHOBATION

In many of the world's traditions an inner symbolic marriage is spoken of. The marriage of Shiva and Shakti of Hinduism and Yin and Yang of the Chinese Taoists are forms of the alchemical marriage, where two principles are indissolubly married (i.e. real marriage). In alchemical literature, the two principles are symbolised as (a) sun, the alchemical sulfur and (b) moon, the alchemical mercury and salt together.

On the physical plane, this can be demonstrated tangibly by the creation of a herbal or philosopher's (of the mineral world) stone. If heat was critical before, it is even more critical now as a new entity is being nourished and prepared for rebirth. A vegetable stone is the outcome of absolutely pure essences being repeatedly brought together in a closed vessel, until the previously immiscible substances actually merge into one another to form a waxen solid. This is an in between state where the fixed has been volatilised, and the volatile fixed, as one alchemical aphorism puts it. The key to cohobation is the binding and integrating power of Sulfur, the oil, which alone can mediate between the opposites of very volatile Mercury (alcohol) and the fixed nature of Salt (mineral ash).

It has then some rather unique properties - (a) it is the herb in a perfected state, and accomplishment brought about only by man, but using Nature's own laws. Should a man reach a corresponding state, he too is perfect. The healing powers specific for the herb of the Stone are very much enhanced over a tincture of the same herb. (b) The Stone will not dissolve in solvents, and is an indication of a successful marriage. The fully Self-realized man too cannot fall from his exalted state. (c) The Stone will transmute any other specimens of the herbal kingdom if immersed together in a medium such as water. The pure essences of the herbs supposedly rise toward the Stone, and the dross is repelled. Many a saint has brought the best qualities out in those with whom they have come in contact; a real form of transmutation. Scooping off the pure essences will give an elixir of the herb, without the usual lengthy spagyric process, needed to come up with the same result.

The inner alchemy of cohobation is exceedingly subtle. Up to this stage the Essential I has identified with one or the other pairs of opposites. The moon principle itself is polar-encompassing volatile Mercury and fixed Salt. in true inner cohobation, these opposites become reabsorbed back into the Essential I, and their opposing properties fuse into pure unconditioned Cosmic Consciousness.

Rather than being a mixture of opposites, it is a NEW exalted state. Cosmic Consciousness is the One Essence of all three Essentials. As the latter are demonstrated in laboratory alchemy to pervade the whole world (and universe as an extention), so too the experience of Cosmic Consciousness is all pervasive. There is nothing which is not It, whether force or form good or bad. If indeed this is then the One God, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, then It cannot be separate from us at any time, or place; it has only to be realised. It is the state we are all consciously or unconsciously seeking, - that is, unshakeable, unchangeable eternal peace and happiness.

After sufficient purification, the merging of the mind into its source and substance, the Essential I is true cohobation. Should this union resist dissolution by any of the elements referred to by Jung as the four psychic functions of the mind), then an alchemical Marriage has manifested.

In meditative practice after a sufficient time of awareness steadily flowing toward its object of meditation, which in this case is one of the seven principles, a degree of purity of the mind occurs such that the mind merges into the Witness Self. This cohobation is known as samadhi in the orient. The mind becomes One with the vibration of the Name, which is identical with Self. With the herbal stone process, repeated purification and cohobation is necessary to achieve an indissoluble physical marriage. Likewise in the passive path, repeated meditation (=purification) and merging of the mind into the Essential I (=cohobation), results in a completely new level of awareness, beyond the mind, which eventually becomes permanent and indissoluble. Ceremonially, cohobation is the return of, out of the field of awareness to the unconscious, the invoked and purified psychic function by the technique of banishing. However, when the mind, both conscious and unconscious, has been progressively purified to the point where there are no inner conflicts created in the first place by the division of conscious and unconscious - there is no unconscious to banish the energy into. Planetary sephiroth of the opposing pillars of the Tree of Life have merged over a period of time into the self conscious, central mediator, sephirah of Tiphereth. At this point, the physical aspect of ceremonial has served its purpose, for the actual cohobation occurs as described before in the non-physical realm.

Of special importance is this central sphere of the Sun, as it is a reflection on the mind level (Qabalistic World of Yetzirah) of the Essential I. In Qabalistic terminology it is referred to as the Lesser Countenance of God, while the Essential I, the Ultimate Mediator, is the Greater Countenance of God. "Like father, like son" is the relationship between them. Residing in Sephirah MaIkuth, the feminine (Holy Ghost) aspect of the Duty, called the Shekinah, returns via Tiphereth (the Son), to re-unite in marriage with the Father, in Kether. The situation can arise at the final stages of Purificatio where the absolutely pure essences are mixed but will not fuse into a new substance, of a Stone. In attempting cohobation the requisite substances can just sit there and look at each other. Similarly on the inner level, the mind can be free of perturbations, but it is still witnessed by the Essential I. Real cohobation depends on one key factor - a catalyst, that is, the Grace of God, the hand of redemption of a higher intelligence, an agent relatively external to the opposites being cohobated.

CONCLUSION

In these brief notes on alchemy, mention has been made of such diverse things as laboratory glassware, and Cosmic Consciousness, but encompassed by a common theme. The thesis is that the common theme running through occultism and mysticism is transformation, that is, alchemy and its process. In fact the whole of the creation is slowly but surely evolving towards the predestined state of perfection of the Creator. We as a microcosm can accelerate this natural process by aiming at the complete reabsorption of the mind back into its Source of pure awareness. Man's identity with God is then realized.

Note 1. Life and Doctrines of Paracelsus by Franz Hartmann.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q. In "Questions An Answers" of last Parachemica p. 14 it was mentioned that a suitable mixture of acetic acid and water is used to obtain the fixed tincture of antimony. What do yo mean with 'a suitable mixture'?

A. Basically the acid extracts the tincture, but using a greater or lesser quantity of water with it, will also extract the salt (convert antimony into antimony acetate) with which the extracted alchemical sulphur (the tincture) forms a bond. From the washed acetate the fixed tincture can thereafter easily be extracted with pure alcohol. The colour of the acetate will vary from near white to reddish brown. The less acid in the menstruum the lighter the acetate and consequently the smaller the yield of tincture. If on the other hand too much acid is used more alchemical sulphur will be extracted than what the salt can hold. During the process of freeing the extract from the acid (called washing) this excess alchemical sulphur will settle out and float on top as an acidic oil, which hinders the washing of the acetate and could result in loss of alchemical sulphur through evaporation.

Q. Exposing calcined tartar to the air (Parachemica Vol. 1, No. 3, page 16) I find that only very little moisture is attracted to it and that it does not become a liquid. Could I use distilled rain water to wet the black powder and filter the salts out ?

A. Yes. Patience and favourable conditions, however, will make it absorb enough moisture to run into liquid.

Q. Is incombustible oil the same as incombustible sulphur and if not, please explain?

A. They are not the same. Incombustible oil is one of the many names given to the Philosopher's Stone. The term incombustible sulphur, as applied by Sendivogius when he says: 'Burn the sulphur till it becomes sulphur incombustible', refers to Philosophical Earth. This might be confusing seeing that the P.R.S. teaches that oil is the sulphur (carrier or vehicle of consciousness) However, different alchemical texts have different terminology depending on the concepts of the author following a certain line of thought. Therefore, when studying alchemical writings it is necessary to get to know the author s way of thinking in order to understand what is meant. It can also be said that once one understands one knows what is meant.

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THE WEB OF LIFE

By

Chief Seattle, Chief of the Dwamish,
upon surrendering his land
to Governor Isaac Stevens in 1854.

The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land.
The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and goodwill.
This is kind of him, since we know he has little need of our friendship in return.
But we will consider your offer.

For we know that if we do not sell, the white man may
come with guns and take our land.
The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.
Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.
The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.

So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us.
The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably by ourselves.
He will be our father and we will be his children.
So we will consider your offer to buy our land.
But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us.

This shining water that lives in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors.
If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people.

The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst.
The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children.
If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

The white man's dead forget the country of their birth_ when they go to walk among the stars.
Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man.
We are part of the earth, and it is part of us.
The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers.
The rocky crests, the juices of the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man - all belong to the same family.

The red man has always retreated before the advancing white man, as the mist of the mountain runs before the morning sun.
But the ashes of our fathers are sacred.
Their graves are holy ground, and so these hills, these trees, this portion of the earth is consecrated to us.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways.
One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs.
The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers' graves behind, and he does not care.
He kidnaps the earth from his children.
He does not care.
His fathers' graves and his children's birthright are forgotten.
He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep, or bright beads.
His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways
The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man
But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand.
There is no quiet place in the white man's cities.
No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of an insect's wings.
But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand.
The clatter only seems to insult the ears.
And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night?
I am a red man an A do not understand.
The indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleansed by a mid-day rain, or scented with the pinon pine.

The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath.
The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes
Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.

But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares it's spirit with all the life it supports.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath, also receives his last sigh, and the wind must also give our children the spirit of life.
And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow's flowers.

So we will consider your offer to buy our land, if we decide to accept, I will make one condition the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.
I am a savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train.

I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
What is a man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit.
For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers.
So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin.
Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know, the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.
This we know, all things are connected, like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

But we will consider your offer to go to the reservation you have for my people.
We will live apart and in peace.
It matters little where we spend the rest of our days.
Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat.
Our warriors have felt shame, and after defeat they turn their days in idleness and contaminate their bodies with sweet food and strong drink.
It matters little where we spend the rest of our days.
They are not many.

A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the children of the great tribes that once lived on this earth or that roam now in small bands in the woods, will be left to mourn the graves of a people once as powerful and hopeful as yours.
But why should I mourn the passing of my people?
Tribes are made of men, nothing more. Men come and go, like the waves of the sea.

Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny.
We may be brothers after all, we shall see.
One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover - our God is the same God.
You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot.
He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white.
This earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on it's Creator.
The whites too shall pass, perhaps sooner than all other tribes.

Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land for some special purpose, gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.
That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the thicket? Gone
Where is the eagle? Gone
And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt?
The end of living and the beginning of survival.

So we will consider your offer to by our land.
If we agree, it will be to secure the reservation you have promised.
There, perhaps we may live out our brief days as we wish.
When the last red man has vanished from the earth, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, those shores and forests will still hold spirits of my people, for they love this earth as the newborn loves it's mother's heartbeat.

So if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it.
Care for it as we have cared for it, hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you take it. And with all your strength, with allyour mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children, and love it ... as God loves us all.

One thing we know.
Our God is the same God.
The earth is precious to Him.
Even the white man cannot be exempt from the common destiny.
We may be brothers after all.
We shall see.

Chief Seattle, 1854

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Today people distinguish intellectuality from sentimentality, but in point of fact, intellectuality cannot be perfect without sentimentality. Neither can the thinking power be nurtured, nor the faculty of reasoning be sustained, without a continual outflow of feeling. In this age of materialism we seem to have lost the value of feeling. We speak of heart, but we do not see its real importance, although it is the principle thing, the root of the plant of life. The heart quality is something which sustains the whole life. All virtues such as sincerity, respect, thoughtfulness, consideration, appreciation, all these qualities come through thre heart-quality. If he has no heart, a person is not capable of appreciating, nor of being grateful, nor capable of expressing his own soul, nor of recieving goodness and help from another. A person without heart-quality remains selfish, even foolishly selfish. If he were wisely selfish it would be worthwhile.

-The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan Vol.IV.


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