Cohobation - Leandro Della Piana
Interviews With Frater Albertus p.466
Uranus In The Constellations p.474
Meditation And The Western Tradition p.477
The Four Elements - Fire p.488
Informative Interchange: Electro-Magnetism; Gur p.492
Cohobation - backcover
Frater Albertus has been interviewed in various countries. He has given interviews over several German Radio Networks and a live television interview was given at the Hotel Zeppelin in Stuttgart. Germany. In other countries, India, Australia, etc., many questions have been asked publicly about alchemy and related subjects. Frater Albertus' opinions and statements are based upon knowledge and above all his personal experience. In a report to Ciba-Geigy, the International Swiss Pharmaceutical Co., he has been referred to by a Swiss investigator as one of the greatest living experts on alchemy.
We are bringing in the following some excerpts from various interviews and open forum questions.
Q. Why have you not given to the public like Scientology, Transcendental Meditation, or as teachers from India and the likes? Look at all the followers such have and the money they have made.
A. The PRS is in the open. However, we do no proselytise like the ones you have just mentioned. Besides, we are not interested in having a large number of followers nor in making a lot of money because of them.
Q. You have said on several occasions that the PRS will not be in the open much longer. Has the height of the PRS work been reached by now?
A. I don't think so. We are heading for the climax in the near future. Before the PRS will disappear again, relatively soon I might add, there are some very important things yet in store for those who have worked on themselves within the framework of the PRS.
Q. I have been told that you can be rather outspoken and even tempestuous at time. How does this compare to your generally rather easy-going nature?
A. It all depends on how one looks at things. Some have the idea that if one is easy to get along with and is very patient this is a sign of weakness. When I stand my ground, and I have to make this quite plain to some at times, they are surprised when I put my foot down. I have even been told that I am not the same person any more and, as one did put it - believe it or not - evil spirits get hold of me. Maybe they get the surprise of their lives. I can coo with the babies, cuddle the young children, have fun with the younger people, and laugh with the adults; but when there is a time to be tough, and this does not happen very often, well, it happens so seldom that those who are involved don't expect it coming from me.
Q. Do you claim or have you hinted that you are an exalted master?
A. Good Heavens, no! How many times have I said in private and all over the world: "I am a little nobody and my name is of no importance." There is work for me to do and this I try to do.
Q. At times you are very evasive to questions. Right now I have the feeling.
A. I know, I know! What would you do when people come to you
with questions you have no answer for. You see, some expect me to answer a question they have just because I said I would. But what is meant by that is that any question deserves an answer and I have an answer to any asked me, of which the most common answer perhaps is "I don't know." And there you have your answer. It was not said that I have the answer that is expected, only that an attempt has been made to give an answer. But I do admit that I have been avoiding some answers to questions and will continue to do so simply because one can do more harm than good to answer things prematurely, especially to those who may not grasp the asdwer correctly.
Q. What is this work you've mentioned? I mean specifically.
A. To teach and practice alchemy with an emphasis on laboratory alchemy.
Q. Who authorized you to do this, or by whom were you commissioned?
A. Let me say: By no mortal being.
Q. Are you saying a heavenly messenger told you?
A. I don't know what you mean by heavenly messenger. (Frater Albertus articulated you.)
Q. Well, if it was no mortal being that would leave only an immortal one! Right?
A. In your way of thinking you may call it that.
Q. Why only in my way of thinking?
A. Because what you envision by what you say may not be what someone else envisions.
Q. Frater Albertus, you were to have met with Mr. Canseliet of France for an alchemical experiment. What became of that?
A. Canseliet wrote, after he gave me his personal promise, that he could not participate. He did not write why or give me an explanation. One can draw his own conclusions.
Q. Do you think that Canseliet as Fulcanelli's only student could have revealed something during such experiments that he was not allowed to reveal?
A. What I am going to say now you can draw your own conclusions from. This information I have directly from France, namely, that there is doubt about Canseliet's claims about Fulcanelli whose real name is Julien Hubert Champagne who was the master of J. Baucher. Besides the foreword of the Mystere des Cathedrales was written by Fulcanelli and not Canseliet. I have experienced personally the shroud of mystery French students of the occult cover themselves with. At one time, a meeting had been arranged between Dr. Encause Jr. (Papus), the head of the French qabalists, and myself in Paris during 1964. Upon my arrival, I found instead a note that he had to leave the day before and that a meeting with someone else had been arranged instead. The outcome was, a refusal to witness some demonstration to prove my claims if they were willing to prove theirs with their own chosen observers.
Q. What about your travels to foreign countries. Do you teach only or are there other things connected with them, like when you go to India? There is talk about an Ashram you were supposed to have visited frequently.
A. My primary objective during my travels is to teach those who have asked me to come to them and who have made all preparations for such teachings. This means providing facilities including a laboratory for practical demonstrations. As to India, there is more than that to it, as some of the ancient sanscrit writings need to be brought into the light of today's alchemistical concepts. Here, too, I am again somewhat evasive as I have been accused of, and rightfully so, because it will be a few years before more will be made known publicly and what will have to be written about.
Q. Talking about your writings, there are different opinions about your books. Take your last one, The Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains. I have been told that this is strictly autobiographical. Is this so?
A. Let me put it this way. The book was not written for those who have been students with the PRS. It is fiction and was written for those who needed some more information on the possibilities of practical laboratory alchemy and its prerequisites. There is a smattering of strictly personal information woven in its contents, yes, I admit. But the general theme is fiction. That should answer it in a way that is not evasive.
Q. Are you contemplating the writing of more books?
A. Yes, a publisher in Europe is waiting for one right now. My problem is time. There are several books that need to be written and published about concrete alchemistical laboratory results. Of these, there are many and very important ones on hand. But I need time and an undisturbed place to get it done. This is my most important problem at present concerning books.
Q. There is some talk going around that you have hidden charges for your teachings.
A. I have not had nor have I now any charges direct or indirect whereby I am paid for my teachings when instructing in classes given by the PRS. Only the last years, when going overseas, have my traveling expenses including accommodations been provided for by those who have asked us to come. Us means my wife and myself. Sometimes these expenses are paid fully. At other times, I pay personally the travel expenses for my wife. In years gone by, all expenses were paid by myself. But there has never been any payment for teaching students. Some money has been collected at times after classes ended among students and such has been donated the PRS or to the Student Fund as was specified. Furthermore, none of the officers of the PRS are paid any wages or salaries. Even royalties I have received from publishers and of our own publications I have turned over to the PRS. Only once did a one time officer of the PRS ask for one half of the royalties of one book which he helped to translate into a foreign language. That is the only case I know. At present, as in the past, officers have actually put some of their own money into the PRS to keep it financially afloat.
Q. What will become of all the belongings of the PRS when the time comes, as you've stated, and the PRS disappears again? I mean all your elaborate equipment or any royalties from your books and such.
A. The articles of incorporation as a nonprofit educational institution state that in such a case everything will go to the State of Utah to be given to schools, colleges, or universities as the case may be.
Q. You are teaching how to prepare medications from plants, minerals, even metals, also from animals if I am not mistaken. Isn't this dangerous? Could your students not use them or give them to others with fatal results?
A. What you say is not correct. What is taught is that we are doing research. This means we are trying to re-establish if what former alchemists have claimed that they have accomplished is factual. In other words, can it be done again today. After this has been proven, only then can a medicinal evaluation take place. And this can be done only by qualified medical or pharmaceutical individuals or groups. No student is given permission to make such tests when he is not legally qualified. In fact, students have to agree not to use any of the research results while at the PRS studying in any way or manner on their own or any other person including animals. The PRS does research only and makes such results available to all who qualify legally for whatever use may he appropriate. Please note that the PRS does not manufacture, sell, prescribe, or dispense any medications. We are doing alchemistical research only.
Q. Do you teach how to make gold?
Q. But in a book, The Occult Explosion, by Nat Friedman it is stated explicitly that the PRS is teaching in a two week course how to transmute lead into gold.
A. Anyone can make any claim but to substantiate it is another thing. We have not claimed at any time that we will teach how to transmute lead into gold.
Q. But I have read some of your own statements saying that you can make potable gold and have taught some of your students how to do that. Right?
A. Yes. I consent to that.
Q. Well, how will you explain this: I have been told that some of your students know how to prepare the philosophical mercury. But in this particular case I know of, this man could not make the gold dissolve so it would become potable gold. Shouldn't philosophical mercury dissolve the gold?
A. Yes, it should have dissolved it.
Q. Well, why didn't it work with him?
A. It was too crude. It has to be refined, so it will dissolve the gold without vacuum below 30o Centigrade, if it has been handled properly. It most assuredly will dissolve the gold as I have personally experienced and those who were with me, when this was done, can testify to.
Q. Why is this not known to the medical profession who are still injecting salt of gold solutions to patients when these are toxic and even prove fatal?
A. I do not know. Perhaps no one told them how it is prepared or no one has cared to accept such a statement. Besides, more research needs to be done on this matter as far as the PRS is concerned to make it available on a broader basis.
Q. Are students whom you teach sworn to secrecy or do they have to give an oath not to reveal what you teach them of your alchemical secrets?
A. No one has to give an oath or anything of the sort you've just mentioned. Anyone attending PRS classes can tell anyone what they hear or see.
Q. I have talked to some of your students but they too, are rather evasive at times.
A. I can't help that, as everyone is free to do and say as they please. Most likely they are cautious to whom they talk. I really don't know. You will have to ask them yourself.
Q. In another book, PSI Resumee,* you are mentioned rather lengthily by the author who interviewed you in Salt Lake City and rather favorably. Since he is connected with one of Vienna's largest daily newspapers, why does he not bring your results in the open so the public can be informed?
A. I don't know. But come to think of it, a newspaper brings daily news that is followed by more news. One has read one thing today and recollects later that it was in the paper. In his book he has a much more permanent record for the public who cares to read it, I think. Don't you think so. too?
Q. That's possible. Would you please tell me if the people that come to you that includes also those of course that you see in other countries - are required to have a certain education before they are accepted by you?
A. No, there are no such requirements. Since what we teach is presentIy not taught in colleges and universities, there are no set requirements. The closest was formerly taught as Natural History which is practically non-existing nowadays at universities.
Q. Do you really believe that Alchemy is of any value today in our scientifically enlightened age? Is alchemy not outdated and a speculative borderline pseudo science? Just look at the results of our chemistry today and the clumsy things alchemists performed before chemistry came of age.
A. I don't agree with you when you think of alchemy only as the forerunner of our present chemistry. Chemistry is only an outcome of alchemy. So is mineralogy, botany, pharmacy, in fact all other branches of the arts and sciences. Alchemy comprises the natural process of evolution and is not confined to chemistry only.
Q. But that is certainly not what the books say. Take any dictionary or encyclopedia, that will -
A. Excuse me, that is what the books say. But who says so in the books? Are those who write and make such statements qualified to do so? Could it not be that they just take what others said before them and just repeat what they, themselves, have not investigated?
Q. Do you believe that you could correct this?
A. Yes. To a certain extent, yes.
Q. Then why did you not do it?
A. Nobody asked me to.
Q. Well, this is a strange statement.
A. I don't think so. As long as those who write these things claim that they know about all this, how can I expect that they will take my word for it?
Q. Why don't you give some public lectures and enlighten the public on these issues?
A. Do you think it would do much good? I have my doubts about it. You know why? Because people going to public lectures expect at once some miracles or wonders to be performed when the word alchemy is mentioned. They want or expect to see some transmutation or such things. You know, like yogis that perform some physical feat or others with magical performances. You see, the alchemy we teach has nothing to do with circus-like performances. It is strictly a personal experience, and a very highly personal experience, and is not fit for public demonstrations. So sorry to disappoint you again.
Q. Are you sponsored by other organizations direct or indirectly?
A. No. The PRS is not connected with any mundane organizations whatever.
Q. Are there any others besides mundane?
A. I do not know of any other such organizations.
Q. What about heavenly organizations then?
A. One could hardly envision any organizations as we understand here on earth to exist in another sense somewhere else. At least I can't. It would then be of a mundane character.
Q. The Austrian poet and writer Hans Sterneder mentions that you made at one time the acquaintance of a person on the street who told you various things about yourself and your future that have come true. All this was to have taken place when you were still very young. Has this got something to do with it?
A. There have been several occasions in my life where I have met people similar to the one you mentioned now, but that has nothing to do with my doing the work I am engaged in.
Q. In your last book, The Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains, you relate a story about Nuristan. I have looked all over to find such a country but I can't find it. This, too, was then all fictitious?
A. No. It is not fictitious. There actually exists such a part in Afghanistan not too far from Kabul its capital city. Not too far means about 100 miles. Nuristan is a state or county within Afghanistan. The Hindu Kush where it raises up towards the Western Himalayas to the Karakoram Mountains will give you an idea where to find it. About 70,000 Nuristani live in the very high valleys of the Hindu Kush who are mostly blonde. A very unusual occurrance that gives much to think about. Any detailed map of Afghanistan will show you Nuristan. Such a place as Nuristan exists to this very day, but it is very little known when you compare it to other more widely known areas or places in Afghanistan, and can he found between 70o-72o longitude and close to 36o latitude.
Q. I'll have to look this up when I get back.
A. You can do this right here. See this, I had this map out some days ago and haven't put it back on file. There, right here is Nuristan, the province, and places like Kamdesh and Uama that do exist like here, and here it is.
Q. I'll be darned. I give you an apology. Really, I thought this whole name was made up by you.
A. No. I did not make up this story about Nuristan in Afghanistan.
Q. Then tell me, why is there so much secrecy about all this?
A. I don't know what you mean by that.
Q. I mean, you know, things that are not told openly, that are kept secret like this place of the - I don't recall the, names - something like Chagrims or the like, where all this transmutation business went on.
A. What difference would it make where it takes place as long as it does take place. By the way, Nuristan means: Land of the Light. That could speak for itself.
Q. Could you give me the exact location of this place you've mentioned in your book?
A. No, I can not. Some of these things just have to wait for a while.
Q. What about the place in India? Could you tell me about that?
A. Yes. The Ashram is at the Shastri Villa, Naihati W.B. India, where the Bhattacharya is presently continuing the work of his illustrious father Benoytosh. The ancient Tridosha has a very capable doctor as proponent there. I should mention also his devoted assistants. We are presently preparing a tour in which we both will visit the U.S.A. and Europe and perhaps Australia, if time permits.
Q. Will there be open public lectures?
A. Yes, in a sense, but not with the usual ballyhoo that some people from India use to arouse attention.
Q. When will that be?
A. It has been scheduled for 1979.
*Paul Uccusic, "PSI-Resumee," Ariston Verlag, Geneva.
By Carl W. Stahl
With Uranus we deal with the first planet beyond the seven planets of the ancients. Not that they were unaware of Uranus, Nepune, Pluto and other planets still more distant from the Sun. It was simply that they did not apply. Perhaps we should say mankind was not yet ready for their particular rate of vibration. Even now very few are capable of responding to these outer planets without in some way perverting the energy they receive. The position of Uranus, in our charts, shows where and how we are different from others. Our originality and inventiveness are indicated by Uranus. It shows the way in which our urge for freedom will manifest itself. Some keywords of Uranus are: freedom, change, revolution, unexpected, original, drastic, different, individual, inventive, truth and new birth. Uranus aspecting the Moon gives free and original emotional expression. Aspecting the Sun it gives original creative thought. With Mercury it gives new and original methods of communicating. With Venus original ideas on love and friendship. With Mars original and new uses of aggression and action. With Jupiter original ways to joy and expansion. With Saturn new and original methods of using restriction to produce results. With Neptune original daydreams and methods of imaging. With Pluto origial methods of obtaining insight and illumination. Since Uranus takes seven years to pass through one constellation it is the first of the generation gaps. This is so because each constellation it enters will have an entirely different idea of what is new, original and the truth. The search for freedom will be shaded by the constellation Uranus is in.
You will seek space from the monotony of everyday living by a search for love, friendship and brotherhood throughout the circle of your environment. You will welcome to your heart all who think, feel and are as you. Your approach to life will be a sharing of love yet there will always be a part of you that stands aloof from the actual act, an impersonal you. Permanent ties with others are the exception rather than the rule. You will have your own ideas about God and immortality.
Your temper is apt to be erratic and unexpected displays of the same may occur at any time. The proper use of this energy is to put it to work helping yourself solve the problems of truth, understanding and freedom of soul and body. Only those are truly free who think their own thoughts, go their own way and find new uses for old processes and ideas. Because of a tendency to want to impose our ways on others we can easily become tyrannical and overbearing.
The intuitive and original methods of Uranus make it possible with this position to break the bonds of convention and to bring about success in those areas which you consider desirable and good. You may attain ideas that the average person scarcely dares dream about. Luck rides with you on all that you attempt to do. Your approach to life and the professions is joyous, unusual, changeable and eccentric. If you will reach out for truth and freedom you will find help in unusual places.
The normally reserved native reaches out for truth and understanding. Restriction becomes a tool to be used in the search for freedom of expression and for progress in and through life. Practical methods are found to use the knowledge and understanding that this position of Uranus brings. Nothing can be used without some restriction being applied and it is the proper use and degree that foreshadows success on an planes of manifestation. Freedom on all planes of consciousness of which the native is capable of reaching.
The planet of freedom here brings freedom from the restraint of tradition and the past. The native seeks the truth without regard to what others in authority may have said or expounded about it. The true reality behind the apparent is here sought. "My way" is what the native stresses and he may be so blinded in defending his way that sometimes he loses his way in a jumble of words. A wonderful opportunity to discover nature's laws and bring them to practical fruition. One who may niake the truth visible to others.
Uranus here risks being used simply to bring about new and original ways of enjoying the relaxing things in life. New methods of preparing food, new kinds of drink, new waysof enjoying life. But beyond this the native has the ability to tune in on the cycles of life and by this means bring joy and happiness in the lives of others. Nature's laws, properly used, always lead to success in whatever form the director thereof wishes. A tendency to gamble and take chances with unexpected results.
Leadership ability and initiative that involve more than the physical level of consciousness. Because of your intuitive faculties you have the ability to sense the result of acions appplied and this could make you a gifted and farsighted leader. Ability to foretell other's reactions to your actions. This makes for a good tactician. You must watch your almost automatic reaction to all problems with force, whether it is to people or things. Force must be diluted with understanding that others also have rights as well as obligations.
The normally placid and peace loving native may become eccentric and unpredictable in his search for love and companionship. Love on a higher level could replace the more normal expression on a physical level. Love, friendship and companions are sought for everywhere the native may travel. Physical love, although still strong, takes a back seat to the search for an impersonal love that exists only on the mental and soul levels. Only love that is expressed on all levels of consciousness of which the native is capable is true love.
Native finds it easy to understand the ideas that others are directing his way. He still finds it difficult to look more deeply into any subject that comes to his :attention. Now, however, the intuitive qualities of the planet Uranus gives him the ability to grasp at a glance what would normally have been skipped over entirely. Because of your unique ability to communicate our ideas to others you find it easy to use this knowledge for profit as well as increasing the world's knowledge. Tendency to, seek to shock others with your knowledge rather than put it to practical use.
You have original moods and. feelings that seem strange and eccentric to others. You seem to feel that things are so and they are. The intuition of Uranus works emotionally instead of through the thinking apparatus. Your imagination may take you to the far corners of the universe and conversely only as far as your next emotional contact. You may have a tendency to, strange dress and behavior which will get you talked about. The humdrum life is not for you and you will wander far in your search for emotional contacts.
Your leadership qualities are enhanced by your intuitive understanding of truth and freedom. You realize that it is not enough to rule, you must be an enlightened ruler. Your approach to ruling others is original as well as different. The Leo strong person finds it difficult not to attempt to rule those he contacts. It is as natural as breathing but this position gives you knowledge, understanding and possibly even wisdom which may make it possible for you to do your thing without imposing your will on others.
Natives ability to plan is here enhanced by an intuitive understanding of what the end result will be. Shortcuts in doing the job are the natural result of this position of Uranus. Intuition supersedes thought and surpasses the speed of light where problems or schemes are concerned. The native must learn to enter the silence to obtain the most from this position, for only when all is quiet does the soul consciousness respond to requests for knowledge and understanding. Because of their quick response to all problems they make excellent businessmen if so inclined.
QUOTATIONS FROM THE PYMANDER
Listen within yourself and look into the infinitude of Space and Time. There can be heard the songs of the Constellations, the voices of the Numbers, and the harmonies of the Spheres.
To know divine thought, 0 souls, you descend and painfully ascend the path of the seven planets and of their seven heavens.
The sleep of the body is the sober watchfulness of the mind and the shutting of my eyes reveals the true Light.
Holy is God, who is determined that He shall be known, and who is known by His own to whom He reveals Himself.
By Hans W. Nintzel
The Psalmist said: "My meditation on him will be sweet. I will be glad the Lord" (Ps. 104-34) "Give ear to my words oh Lord, consider my
meditations" (Ps. 5-1). We even find the idea of meditation in the very first book of the Bible where we read: "And Isaac went out into the field to meditate" (Gen. 24-63). In the New Testament Jesus gives advice along these lines as: "But thou, when thou prayest enter into thy closet and when thou shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly" (Matt. 6 6). This admonition was adumbrated centuries before in the Old Testament, Psalms 46-10, "Be still. And know that I AM God." The ancient Hebrew canonical text, the Zohar, refers to two kinds of prayer. Those that are words of the mouth and "the Prayer of Silence," those that are the secret meditations of the heart. The Prayer of Silence is said to be a silent, unexpressed and inexpressible type of Prayer which conceals the Mystery of Perfect Union in the Divine Essence. Further, that the Prayer of Silence is actually spoken by the Divine Voice within us. (Zohar Pt. 1, fol 169a) Meditation, or Dhyana Yoga, is spoken of extensively in both the Bhagavad Gita and the, Upanishads. In the former (V1, 9-14) we find very precise instructions on how to meditate. The idea should be clear now that meditation is a very old practice and once was, or still is, espoused by the leading world religions.
This is all well and good but it would perhaps seem that such a subject is a little out of place in a publication dealing with alchemy, qabalah and astro-cyclical pulsations. Not that the alchemistical student is not a religious person per se, but meditation, well, it sounds so Eastern. This is the western tradition we speak of in these pages. Can there be a connection between meditation and the subjects listed foregoing? Can there be a place in the life of the alchemical student for meditation? It is the purpose of this article to show that not only is there a connection between all western tradition disciplines but that meditation should be a sine qua non in ANY spiritual pursuit, Alchemy or otherwise.
There is certainly a wealth of evidence that there are benefits outside these recondite pursuits through use of meditation. The quotes from the Sacred texts bear this out. The American prophet, Edgar Cayce in his readings often talked of the importance of meditation. For example: "For ye must learn to meditate just as ye have learned to walk, talk" (281-41). Again, "Through meditation may the greater help be gained" (287-2). In the "Secret of the, Golden Flower," translated by Wilhelm we read: "Children take heed! If for a day you do not practice meditation, the light streams out, who knows wither. If you only meditate for a quarter of an hour, by it you can do away with ten thousand aeons and a thousand births. All methods end in quietness. This marvelous magic cannot be fathomed." In his book Raja Yoga the great master of Yoga, Vivekenanda said: "The meditative state is the highest state of existence."
One of the early German qabalists was Eleazar of Worms (1165-1238). He was the spiritual leader of a group of qabalists that were ecstatics in nature. They heavily 'were into' meditation and contemplation. Another well known qabalist was Abraham ben Samuel, better known as Abulafia. Born in Spain in 1240, Abulafia wrote extensively on the qabalah. In his writings, he laid down rules for body posture to be followed by the student as he meditated on the Sephiroth. of the Tree of Life. He also prescribed a precise breathing discipline to be followed. Such disciplines are, of course, also at the heart of every Yoga system and various others as well. Interestingly, the Sephiroth, particularly those of the middle pillar, seem to correspond nicely with the psychic centers known as cakras or chakras. The Sephira MaIkuth corresponds with the Muladhara cakra and Kether with the Sahasrara. Kether, the receptable for downpouring light and the Sahasrara cakra the end of the journey for the rising Kundalini whence enlightenment is received. It might be argued that Yesod, being associated with the reproductive organs, is a better correspondence for the Muladhara and that Malkuth might correspond with the Kundalini. It could lead to some interesting discoveries to follow this out.
The Kundalini, of course, is that energy sleeping at the base of the spine. It is likened to a serpent coiled three and one-half times. The idea of Yogic exercises is to awaken the slumbering Kundalini and cause it to, ascend the spinal column or middle pillar. As it passes through the various cakras, or Sephiroth, these psychic centers are awakened and add to the spiritual growth of the practitioner.
Not too long ago, there lived a husband and wife, Richard and Isabella Ingalese who were spiritual teachers. They were, in addition, alchemists and, according to a little booklet entitled "They Made the Philosopher's Stone," they tell a marvelous account of how in fact they produced that Opus Magnum, the Stone. The Ingalese' books were many and covered diverse topics dealing with the occult arts, qabalah, alchemy and the like. In one of these, "The History and Power of the Mind" Richard Ingalese had much to say about meditation. The right kind and the wrong kind. Ordinary and "philosophical" meditation. Amongst other things he wrote "You go into meditation for the purpose of receiving knowledge from the highest source of knowledge. "
There are few who, have not heard of Albertus Magnus. This noted alchemist wrote on minerals and metals and in one of his tracts "De Adhaerendo Deo" we find a most insightful exposition of what might be called the "mechanics" of what meditation is. He wrote:"When St. John says that God is a Spirit and that he must be worshipped in Spirit", he means that the mind must be cleared of all images. 'When thou prayest, shut thy doors.' That is, the doors of thy senses ... keep them barred and bolted against all phantasms and images. Nothing pleases God more than a mind free from all distractions and occupations. Such a mind is, in a manner, transformed into God for it can think of nothing and understand nothing except God, other creatures and itself it only sees in God. He who penetrates into himself, and so transcends himself, ascends truly to God. He whom I love and desire is above all that is sensible and all that is intelligible sense and imagination cannot bring us to Him, but only the desire of a pure heart. This brings us into the darkness of the mind, whereby we can ascend to the contemplation of even the mysteries of the Trinity. Do not think about the world or thy friends, nor about the past, present or future; but consider thyself to be outside the world and alone with God, as if thy soul were already separated from the body, and no longer have any interest in peace or war, or the state of the world. Leave the body and fix thy gaze on the uncreated Light. Let nothing come between thee and God."
What Albertus Magnus is saying, of course, is that God is not corporeal and therefore cannot be communicated with via corporeal means. Yet, there IS a link to facilitate communication between man and God. This link is Mind. Through mind, man and God may interconnect. Unite. It is in this spiritual meeting ground of the mind that the manifestation of the Divine may blend with the essence of the mundane. The process for this is meditation.
Basil Valentine was a Benedictine Monk and an alchemist. In his book the "Triumphal, Chariot of Antimony" he speaks of correct and incorrect meditation. One of the five prerequisites he poses for success in alchemy is contemplation. Contemplation is a higher form of meditation. Valentine discovered incredible curative powers in a mineral-metal substance known as antimony. A substance that was known to be poisonous. He used various preparations of this substance to cure both physical and spiritual disorders of his brother monks. And where did the information come from that Valentine possessed on how to treat the substance to wring from it curative powers? While the precise answer was never directly given, Valentine indicates the information did come to him from God. It is not a difficult conclusion to reach that his revelations occurred during this contemplative state he suggests.
Let us look once more at the Qabalah and its connection with meditation. We find Leo Schaya, a respected writer on the subject, indicating that Chokmah, the second Sephira on the Tree of Life, has a second meaning in addition to the well known one of "wisdom." This second meaning, in phonetic Hebrew, is Mahshabah, which is translated as either "thought" or, more aptly, "meditation."
The Tree is usually represented as a uni-planar, flat lineal figure. However, qabalistic studies reveal the Tree to he operative in four planes or the "Four Worlds" as thy are called. These worlds, Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah, actually represent levels of consciousness. The meditations on the paths of the Tree are designed to "change" these levels of consciousness. Aleister Crowley even defined "Magick" as the ability to cause changes, in consciousness, by Will, Denning and Phillips discuss this aspect in their book "The Magical Philosophy" which is the third in a series of five books dealing with magic, etc. In the appendix of this volume are to be found a series of exercises called "Path Workings." These are easily discerned to be meditative practices. The end of the exercises is to integrate the various worlds or levels of consciousness.
Note that the word Yoga means to join or to unite. From "yoke." Unite what? Why these levels of consciousness. To integrate them. Alain Danielou declares Yoga to be THE method of reintegration, in his book of the same name. Concerning changes of consciousness, Paul Brunton in "The Secret Path" had this to say: "You cannot show my intellect that God, the Absolute, the Spirit, call it what you may, exists, but you can show this to me by changing my consciousness (i.e., raising the level of consciousness) until it can participate in the consciousness of God within me."
Carl, Jung, the great Swiss psychologist and student of alchemy, was also a proponent of meditation as a means of integration of these levels of consciousness. In Ralph Metzner's "Maps of Consciousness," we read: "The work of alchemy consisted in integrating and transmuting these (the four) elements, these levels of consciousness. They need to be integrated because in the normal condition of man they are in a state of conflict and confusion. " This state of confusion that Metzner speaks of could well be what the ancient alchemists meant when they referred to "chaos" or "nigredo," the blackness. Metzner further went on to identify this disorganized state of mind as being that condition Gurdjieff had in mind when he talked of the individual being besieged by "many 'I's'."
J. F. C. Fuller, a one-time disciple of the Golden Dawn and a sometime biographer of Aleister Crowley, wrote a book on Yoga. In it he wrote; "The key to deliverance is meditation which opens the lock of concentration; then the door of attainment swings open and the aspirant enters a higher dimension of consciousness the super-conscious world."
The integration process, of these various worlds, can be perhaps equated to those alchemical states known as solution and coagulation. Solve' et Coagula. It must be borne in mind that there ARE two aspects to, alchemy, the practical and the spiritual. Terms that apply to one aspect may well apply, in a different sense, to the other aspect. C. C. Zain points this out in his book on Spiritual Alchemy and A. E. Waite, that prolific translator of arcane texts also makes a case for this. However, Waite may have vacillated from a stand on practical alchemy to one on spiritual alchemy. Paracelsus also had some thoughts on this subject and is quoted by Carl Jung in "Alchemical Studies" (Vol. XIII of his collected works) as follows: "The impure animate body must be purified through the separation of the elements." Sounds like Metzner! Paracelsus went on to say: "this is done by your meditatng on it."
Dave Edwards in his fine book "Dare to Make Magic" posed an interesting question. He said that yes, it certainly was necessary to perform magic so that one may raise his/her level of consciousness. Then he asked, "Why should we want to raise our level of consciousness?" The foregoing a recurrent theme of the early mystical writer Plotinius, seems to answer the questions nicely. We need to raise our levels of consciousness (and integrate them) in order to perceive the workings of a higher order. We cannot observe the workings of the machinery of the universe whilst still stationed at Malkuth. The veils of Paroketh must be rent and the abyss crossed ere we fathom the mysteries concealed by the black veils of Binah. In other words, to become more spiritual, we need to pullaway from the mundane toward the spiritual realms. As we progress through the spheres, our vision becomes less clouded and our understanding increases.
The way to become attuned to vibrations of a higher order is to volitionally try and merge with them. One way of doing this is, of course, meditation. Therefore, it would be well to view meditation as a discipline quite eclectic and not posited on the east or west exclusively. It is a part of qabalah and alchemy. Charles Ponce in his book "The Kabbalah" reached a startling conclusion on a venerable old tome of alchemy, the Aesch Mezareph. He says, " (It is) an ancient alchemical treatise and it is unclear whether it is the product of Hebrew or Christian Kabbalism(!) It sets out the system of the Sephiroth in alchemical terms but was probably intended more as a meditational instrument than as a textbook of alchemy."
I think the point should be made by now that the ancient qabalists and alchemists not only advocated meditation, but they practiced it. While their rationale may certainly have, differed the end result, in the main, was enlightenment. Consider what a blessing this could be as we pore over the obscure and misleading words of the ancients. If the good Lord would shed some light on these writings, why we might be able to utilize them for good purposes. Well then, we have a fine recommendation from the very writers of these works on how to overcome that dilemma. Meditate.
Resting our case that meditation should be part of the daily practice of every alchemistical student, let us see just what meditation is. And isn't. The very word may conjure up a vision of loin-clothed yogis, eyes closed, legs wrapped about the back of the neck and off in a trance. Actually, this IS a possible form of meditation and it DOES have eastern roots as well as western roots. Today the eastern "flavor" is dominant as we have a plethora of teachers, Gurus and masters of all sorts "pushing" meditation. Yet, there is an air of unattachment about it all. The Maharishi mahesh Yogi himself declares his 'Transcendental Meditation" to be non-secular with no "isms" attached, A private researcher, Dr. Hugh Drummond is quoted in the March 1976 issue of Mother Jones magazine as saying, "The physiological benefits (more on the physiological benefits later) of meditation are pretty well established and appear to be independent of any particular method, ideology or cosmology." And so it is.
Meditation is the language of the heart. The Prayer of Silence. The outward prayer may be forced, embellished or even faked. The inner prayer cannot. No human can hear this and make a judgment, or be fooled. It is between you and that which IS The Creator. This idea is so, beautifully expressed by a Sufi poet and mystic, Jalal Ud Din Rumi who lived from 1207 to 1273. He was the spearhead of the Sufi movement as we know it today. In his mystical writings was the following beautiful passage which, while not necessarily referring to meditation per se, captures an essence. This prose is as follows:
"A voice came from God to Moses....
I am not purified by their praises,
'Tis they who become pure and shining thereby.
I regard not the outside and the words,
I regard the inside and the state of the heart.
I look at the heart if it be humble,
Though the words may be the reverse of humble.
Because the heart is substance and the words accidents.
Accidents are only a means, substance is the final cause.
A burning heart is what I want; consort with burning.
Kindle in thy heart the flame of love."
In more practical terms, meditation is a method of withdrawing from the outer to the inner. It is a way of stilling the mind. It is a state of activepassivity if you will. That is, while stilling the mind, one is actively "waiing," anticipating. An observed with expectancy, hushed expectancy. It is in the very real sense of the word, a communion. A meeting in the mind of the mundane and the Divine. In this place does enlightenment dawn. In this hushed stillness can we hear the voice of the One that pervades all. It is when we block out the outer distractions and noises that we hear what we yearn to hear. Our beloved. Our maker.
"How" to do it is easy enough. There are actually several "types" of meditative practices. How they differ is only in technique. One such method is that of Transcendental Meditation. Here, one is given a mantra in an initiatory ceremony. The mantra is a word or a phrase, usually in Sanskrit. The TM-er will sit quietly and allow his or her personal mantra, for such it is, to "come." It wells up from the inner being and "sounds" in the body. The "repetition" of the Mantra helps block out the distracting influences and has an influence of its own. That is, the mantra is especially selected for the practitioner by someone well versed in this technique. Thus, the mantra will have a particularly beneficial "resonant" effect on the practitioner. Almost like tuning a circuit to its natural frequency.
This is one use of a mantra. Another way is not so much as an "aid" but as a preamble. The recitation of a particular mantra prior to meditation (as opposed to during meditation ala TM) will set the mood as it were. Every Indian child is taught a "universal" mantra known as the "Gayatri" mantra. This mantra is supposedly the "highest" mantra there is. Interestingly, Gayatri is Devi Gayatri or a feminine aspect of Diety. Mother Gayatri. Further, She is a solar deity and would correspond to Tiphareth on the Tree of Life. At this sphere we also find the Christ consciousness. So, on a Hebrew glyph, we find the Eastern concept of a feminine God equated to the Christian concept of the aspect of God which corresponds to the Egyptian slain God Osiris and there we go! Let me add that I have personally found the practice of meditation preceded by the Gayatri mantra an efficacious method. I can recommend it from my experience with it. But by all means try your particular likes first. They will all result, one day, in what Patanjali said was the breakthrough of the duality of devotion into the unity of self and God.
R. Straughn In his book "Meditation Techniques of the Kabalists, Vedantans and Taoists" writes: The object of meditation then, is to lead you back to our proper identity, to your proper role. That of an uninvolved seer (se-er) and Willer of events. In Jane Roberts book "The Nature of Personality" this idea is dilated upon to some length. That we are the authors of the play, the director, the stage setters and the audience. Then we forget all by playing all the roles of all the characters simultaneously.
Straughn also has a provocative little item in the same book. He provides information on Dhumo Breathing, a technique espoused by Lama
Govinda and mentioned in the "Tibetan Book of the Dead." Basically, this technique is used to raise the body heat, amongst other things. Straughn makes the following statement in his exposition on the Dhumo: "The ambitous student, armed with what has been given here, should try to work out the correspondences between the breathing exercises and the sublimation of the procreative agent with the literature on alchemy, for they both deal with the same subject. A fact missed by those who, believing Yoga to deal basically with asanas and meditation, fail to grasp its alchemical aspect ... the sublimation of the procreative agent: Mercury."
Meditation is really a very simple practice. It is one thing that can be done in the privacy of a room, whilst alone in a forest and, for those more adept at the subject, in a crowd unbeknownst to those present. However, many are too prone to complicate that which is simple. Father Elias, a member of the Carmelite Order in Haifa Israel, described it thusly: "In the first phase of meditation, we are alone in the dark room of the universe. We may think about God, we may talk about Him but He remains a distant object in our minds. In the second phase of meditation, all of a sudden God makes His presence felt in the darkness. He begins to illuminate our souls. he makes us aware of His presence, analagous to the awareness we have of the objects around us. Love has entered a new phase. It is love between Two. We become aware that God loves US!" In 'Practice of the Presence', Joel Goldsmith refers to meditation as ". . . an invitation for God to speak to us." Roy Eugene Davis in his "An Easy Guide to Meditation" reinforces R. Straughn's thoughts by saying ". . . we appear (in meditation) to be at the center of it all, as the witness or the observed."
The practitioner of meditation will one day observe an interesting phenomena. He will look forward to, nay yearn, for the moment of meditation. For some, it is the only time for a little "peace and quiet." Yet, it is more than that, much more. And even though, at the onset, meditation may seem a chore, it will soon become a much desired practice. The Irish mystic George Russell, writing under the pen name of AE, eloquently expressed -his feeling in his beautiful and lyric book, "The Candle of Vision." Referring to meditation he said, "The dark caverns of the brain begin to grow luminous. We are creating our own light. By heat of will and aspiration we are transmuting what is gross in the subtle aethers through which the mind works. As the dark bar of metal begins to glow, at first redly, and then at white heat, or as ice melts and is alternately fluid, vapor, gas and at last, radiant energy, so do these others become purified and alchemically changed into luminous essences, and they make a new vesture for the soul and link us to a mid world, or heavenward, where, they too have their own home. How quick the mind is now! How vivid is the imagination! We are lifted above the tumult of the body. The heat of the blood disappears below us. We draw nigher to ourselves. The heart longs for the hour of meditation and hurries to it; and, when it comes, we rise within ourselves as a diver too long under the sea arises to breathe the air, to see the light. We have invoked the God and we are answered according to, the promise of old." Russell was indeed a mystic but I bet he had an athanor hidden away in a closet!
A different view on the subject, a "now" view, is offered by Edwin C. Steinbrecher his book "Guide Meditation." This technique is a departure from what we might call "classical" meditation. It involves the use of a Guide as found on what can be called the "astral level." The idea is to seek out someone or something that has been through it all before and can help us along, put us in touch with the data we seek. Steinbrecher explains his technique this way: "Guide Meditation is the product of the mingling of a number of spiritual and philosophical streams; astrology, tarot, alchemy, analytical psychology, qabalah and the Western Tradition which encompasses the Graeco-Judaeo-Christian spiritual heritage of the West. The Guide Mediation is a transformative process concerned with assimilating the disparate energies which exist in the human unconscious into the unified wholeness that is the awakened, enlightened being inherent in each of us, thus ending the illusions which cause separation, guilt and judgment." J. J. van der Leeuw said exactly the same thing, only in different terms and using a different "method" in his book, "Conquest of Illusion."
It might be well at this juncture to clear up, as best we can, the misunderstanding that often arises between what is known as "concentration" and meditation. The two are totally different but the difference, while real, is subtle. In "Concentration" Ernest Woods writes: "Meditation is a complete flow of thought about an object which you have concentrated on." As an example, Woods postulates a flower. We concentrate on it thinking, as it were, of its color, its petals, scent and letting in these related areas of thought. This is concentrating. Then the thoughts might go "Come in little flower, into my lonely mind. And as you meditate with the flower, soon you will be worshipping the flower and saying: 'Wonderful flower. Holy flower, forgive me, forgive my contumely and my pride. And the flower will forgive. And there will be love and ecstacy. That is meditation."
Patanjali put it succintly: "Concentration is the binding of the mind to one place. Meditation is continued effort there." And Woods again, in a different book: "Mind and Memory Training" states: "Concentration ends where meditation begins. Concentration involved contraction of the field of mental vision but meditation involves its expansion. Concentration is the unwavering focussing of the attention on any object to the exclusion of any other object. One starts by thinking about an object, the narrowing down the field so that one thinks of the object until finally the whole consciousness is filled with this object." Rammurti Mishra would add: "And we become the object" (Fundamentals of Yoga).
In his definitive work on the subject "Concentration and Meditation," Christmas Humphrey defined the purpose of meditation being to: "dominate the lower separative self, to develop the mind's own higher faculties towards a vision of life's essential unity and to unite this dual process into one continuous spiritual unfolding." In "Yoga and Western Psychology," Geraldine Coster formulates a set of 'steps' for meditation. These are: (1) Sense of direction, or the will, (2) the instrument of thought or the mind (3)for the object on which concentration is being attempted and (4) inobtrusive ideas or distractions. She further quantifies stages in the meditative process as being (a) selection of a subject (b) deliberation and (c) contemplation, She indicates that this is an awareness of the object as thought. The mind being transformed into the object. These three stages correspond nicely to what Mishra defined as (a) Conscious Mind (b) Sub-conscious mind and (c) Super-conscious mind. These stages, dharana, dhyana and samadhi may also correspond to those levels of the mind known as alpha, delta and theta levels.
Let us briefly examine some of the more or less "mechanical" aspects of mediation. What typeshould he used? What paraphenalia, if any? As to the former, W. Y. Evans-Wentz sets out a number of aphorisms in "Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines" that apply well. These are (listed under 'Ten Best Things') "(1) For one of little intellect, the best meditation is complete concentration of the mind on a single object (2) For one of ordinary intellect, the best meditation is unbroken concentration of the mind on the two dualistic concepts, phenomena/noumena and consciousness and (3) for one of superior intellect, the best meditation is to remain in mental quiesence, the mind devoid of all thought processes, knowing that the meditator, the object of meditation, and the act of meditating constitute an inseparable entity." This is as good a starting place as any but seems a little rigid. The really best thing is to try ANYthing. You will soon get the hang of it. Just DO it.
How about posture, clothing, incense and so on? The answer here is there is really no hard and fast "correct" set of rules. What ever turns you on! If glowing candles or incense helps to create an atmosphere conducive to meditating, do it. Fresh flowers "feel right?" Go get some fresh flowers but remember this is a daily discipline and daily fresh flowers could be a little troublesome. As for clothing, the less clothing the better. Binding garments and such are really impediments and distractions. Up, tight about nudity? Wear a robe or a blanket. What KIND of incense? Some say Sandalwood is conducive towards meditation. Can't prove it by me. I just like one that smells nice! Beads? Why not. Must they be Sandalwood or must they be rudrnksha? Who says so? And posture. Well now, this IS an important point. The better the posture, the better will be the results. The "Lotus" posture is best. Why? well if you consider the body to be a mass of electrical and nervous energies, the position of the parts of the body can make for good or poor "conduction" of these energies. They can also "shunt" energy to where it is best utilized. Maybe not the best analogy but it should do.
If you cannot, for physical or other reasons sit in a Lotus posture, do, a free Lotus. How about simply sitting cross-legged? Or even in a chair. Really, the asanas are good, but many of us are just not oriented or physically constructed for a full Lotus or "the Thunderer." The "God" position may be just what the doctor ordered! (i.e., sitting "normally" upright in a chair). The main thing is to keep the spine straight. The ancient Yogis postulated some reasons for various postures and "mudras" (finger positions or gestures). The idea of the Lotus position, or at least a cross-legged posture is that it is an aid to the inspiration of breath as a regulatory device. Maintaining equilibrium was to regulate the vital heat of the body while maintaining an erect spinal column regulated the nervous fluids pervading the body and bending (slightly forward) of the neck help regulate the breath's expiration. Finally, the pressing of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and focusing the gaze caused the vital forces to enter the median nerve, the Sushumna. In other words, the erect spinal column along with the latter discipline aided in raising the Kundalini.
As our final "look" at meditation and the western tradition, let us now bring this spiritual discipline, for such it is, into the laboratory. Perhaps, just as alchemy can be demonstrated, we can find actual physical evidence of benefits provided by meditation. First of all we can consider a mental aspect. Dr. F. I. Regardie in his book "Twelve Steps to Spiritual Enlighenment" indicates that the act of concentration leads to the development of the will and an enhancement of the image-building process. That is, the ability to visualize is improved, a function of great importance to anyone treading the path of the magician. That this is so is verified by Dr. Roberto Assagioli in his book "An Act of Will." We find there a series of exercises designed to strengthen the will and we discern that they are, largely, concentration and meditative type exercises.
For further occular evidence we can cite several scientific studies that have been performed. It is true that the bulk of these did concern themselves with Transcendental type of Meditation, but meditation it is. In SCIENCE Magazine, the March, 1970 issue, a study conducted by Dr. Robert Kieth Wallace of the Dept, of Physiology, School of Medicine, Center for the Health Sciences in Los Angeles was featured. The summary of this study is as follows:
Oxygen consumption, heart rate, skin resistance and electro-encephalograph measurements were recorded before, during and after the practice of TM by subjects. There were significant changes between the control period and the meditation period in all measurements. During meditation, oxygen consumption and heart rate decreased, skin resistance increased and the electro-encephalograph showed specific changes in certain frequencies. These results seem to distinguish the state produced by TM from commonly encountered states of consciousness and suggest that TM has practical applications.
Tests at the Harvard Medical Unit of Boston Memorial Hospital showed that oxygen consumption dropped sharply and carbon dioxide elimination also decreased sharply during meditation. In the April 1974 issue of "Psychology Today" we find that while using meditators in a study of blood pressure, Herbert Benson noted that 19 of his 20 volunteers had given up the use of drugs. According to their own testimony, changes in consciousness due to marijuana, LSD and heroin had become very distasteful since their introduction to meditation. Studies by the U.S. Army, the Greens at Menninger and countless other very rigid, very scientific studies show there ARE physical, measurable benefits to be gained by meditating. Even children benefit as shown by a study in the Eastchester N.Y. public schools, conducted by F. G. Driscoll, supt. of schools. Tests showed that students who meditated were less anxious about taking tests, improved their grades and got along better with fellow students AND parents.
We are all on a beautiful spiritual quest utilizing the rigors of qabalah and alchemy to aid in finding Truth. The truth about nature and the truth about ourselves, why we are who we are. Whence we came, whither we go. At the same time we need to be concerned about the care, and feeding of the bodies that house these egos, these souls. Now if indeed meditation not only provides the meeting place for Divine communication but in fact provides mental and physical benefits, it would seem that practicing meditation should become a part of our daily curriculum. The evidence is overwhelming from all sides. Those who advocate physical enhancement through meditation prove it with their galvanic devices and electro-encephalographs. Even the mental aspects of growth in will and visualization are a praxis that can be observed. And for spiritual growth? Countless millions will attest to a new serenity, a new peace of mind, to enlightenment and, at last, a merging into the vast and all pervading SOURCE. That which IS. God. Jehovah. Allah. Lord. Krisna. Brahm. The Solar Logos Gayatri. By whatever name we use, we are enabled now to feel the fullness of the love of the Father for the Child, to hear, to speak and be heard. Given this, shouldn't WE be meditating?
Turn inward for your voyage!
For all your arts,
You will not find the Stone In foreign parts.
- Angelus Silesius +
According to Orpheus, all existence is suspended from one immeasurable good - the Sovereign Principle. The cause of all things, denominated The One, iq also the good and the first; the good because it is the source, the manifestation of the virtues; the first because it is the summit of all natures, anterior to both the gods and nature.
The Orphic concept of God is one of thhe noblest ever conceived by the human reason - Deity is no longer a person or an anthropomorphic entity abiding in some empyreal sphere, administering despotic powers over mundane affairs. God is revealed as an eternally-abiding good, an ever-flowing fountain of truth and law, omnipotent unity, omniscient reality. In this interpretation Deity is not a being, but the source of beings; not light, but the source of light; not mind, but the source of mind; the hidden origin of all revealed things.
- TWELVE WORLD TEACHERS, Manly P. Hall.
By Frater K.H.
The preceding three elements so far discussed symbolize one primary hidden basic activity of one essential force or motion, one essential quality. This invisible quality or activity has been slowly preparing our vegetable matter. Thus, our fire is invisible and not perceptible to the senses. We refer here to the activity of fire in a philosophical sense rather than to the common thermal energy with which we are so familiar.
Fire is the last of our elements and as the last it will be first, as it was first. In our philosophical effort we must learn to deal with and distinguish between two fires or sulphurs. One originates in our substance and the other plays a part but does not enter into our substance. If you find yourself objecting to the vagueness and indirection of the above, you'll have to console yourself as we are merely restating the works of the sages.
To further confuse the issue we'll quote from the Hermetic Museum, "The New Chemical Light," page 137:
"This element is the most passive of all, and resembles a chariot: when it is drawn it moves; when it is not drawn, it stands still. It exists imperceptibly in all things; and of it is fashioned the vital rational soul, which distinguishes man from all other animals, and makes him like God. This rational soul was divinely infused into his vital spirit by God, and entitles him to be regarded as a microcosm, or small world by himself. But the fire which surrounds the Throne of God is of an infinitely pure and simple essence, and this is the reason that no impure soul can know God, and that no human eye can penetrate this essential fire, for fire is the death and destruction of everything composite - and all material substances are of this nature."
The philosophical fire used in the preparation of the philosopher's vegetable matter is of a nature that requires a philosophical bent of mind, For thousands of years men and women have struggled vainly to understand the nature of this secret fire. Due to its uniqueness, none could by pointing say
that fire would be discerned or evident by observation alone. A unique quality is required to penetrate the obvious and commonplace. That which all students search for has been hidden in the obvious and commonplace areas of life. We stress the word commonplace, as until the student is enlightened that which is common will always remain so. This is one reason why the sages and philosophers so loved the "common folV; they were so close to IT.
We may spend our entire lives busily separating common substances in one way or another and for one of many purposes. For example, can one recall how many cups of coffee or tea have passed through one's lips before the meaning of the word tincture became evident? What is tincture? Where does it come from? Why is that which is tincture combustible? Soul is tincture! To some this statement is commonplace; to others who know the meaning this is a strong statement. One could devote a whole book to tincture alone and not be finished. All work upon the vegetable matter pales into insignificance in comparison to the finished product which is pure living tincture. If it were dead there would be no tincture and it would not be capable of generating life, separating the pure from the impure, for tincture reveals to us the presence of life. The fire for which the student so earnestly looks is hidden in this mysterious product, tincture. There is the menstruum and that essence which tinctures it. When the subject has completed digestion, the entire body becomes a tingling living mass. As long as tincture can be separated into two substances the work is not complete. The union of male and female has not yet taken place. There are degrees of maturity within our subject as relates to its tincture. It is the attribute of discernment which is required when we regard tincture and its degree of maturity.
So it is during the past three seasons of winter, spring and summer that our invisible fire has been working in a most commonplace manner to mature our earth. It is in the fall season that the tinctures, as regarding degrees of maturity, are permitted to become evident. The colors of fall are the first visible sign of the invisible activity which has been going on. It is for this reason we should be cheered and comforted by the glorious sight of color which nature unfolds. The season of fall speaks to us and says agmy activity is your justification that your efforts are not in vain and there is reason for hope and God is not dead, as the detractions of life would have one and all believe." This life is a virtue received at the hands of our creator and given to all without stint. Thus it is, we as living beings are what we are due to the degree of fire and maturity of our living tincture.
We are all at various stages (not evolution) or degrees of living maturity, which has been determined by the proportions of raw materials available and the degree of the maturing fire present at the time of conception. Would not our success or failure in the work of the vegetable stone also be predetermined by the same law of proportion and fire?
Do we hear a tiny troubled voice speaking? "But I am not a vegetable matter, a potato or carrot, 1 am a living body of flesh, blood and bone, I'm human!" Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, all are under this same law and that which grows must obey or perish.
By now a new spirit of inquiry should be developing within the mind of the reader, and those who are perceptive. are already aware that we have deliberately ommited speaking of another phase.
It is most unfortunate that so many always tend to identify functions of soul, mind and body from the viewpoint of the body alone. We shall begin at this point of reference, as commonly accepted by the general concept of our society. All of the foregoing as presented, pertained to the body only as a growing and maturing entity. This physical body must obey the same laws of maturity as any vegetable matter. This holds true for the three kingdoms, as all have some proportion of the three essentials, sulphur, salt, and mercury. The inner invisible fire matures these three essentials and thereby the physical body is built up to the age of maturity. At this point a decline begins, unless THAT which is missing is supplied; the inner thermal activity begins to decline and, if not replenished, the physical body will experience a break down. Of the three elements fire came first and is also the last. We mention three elements as fire is common to earth, air and water. This missing or suppressed ingredient accounts for the frigidity and decline which we call old age. We must stress that all these points touched upon should be viewed through hermetic philosophy only, as no other frame of reference will suffice.
God made man from the dust of the earth and to the dust he shall return. So it is that animal man and woman must obey the law "that which nature produces must die." Fall is upon us and a sense of cold and death from winter is in the air. We look about but here is no escape. We see the first leaves, gloriously colored, begin their slow final journey to earth. No form or shape as produced by nature without the assistance of art can be permanent. The eye of the soul stares transfixed by the outward appearance of things as they are not. We shudder with an inward fear that comes upon us unbidden and we tremble at the implication of our thoughts. Within the mind a voice seems to echo back and forth loudly protesting, "I can not rest for I have no peace." There is a sense of desperation that somehow we have missed that which is IT. A haunting voice rises to the surface and cries "have we deceived ourselves?" Nature will continue its silent and invisible work no matter what our state of rnind and that mysterious IT will continue to circulate as the four elements.
Obviously, we are in desperate need of a superior guide to, help us penetrate into the secret fountain of nature. Our failures are proof enough that our faculties are ill equipped to go this journey alone. Thus, we must answer the question where, how, and to whom must we turn. This is the crux upon which our success or failure must hang, as that which is IT comes out of the one and to one it must return. So it is in the vegetable stone, our fire completes the work and of four there remains only one. We will see in our final labor the hidden -tincture, now revealed in its maturity. It was born in water, strengthened by air, matured by fire, to become our fiery vegetable stone, earth.
It was in death (dissolution as in fermentation) that our substance separated into the three essentials. We witnessed the spirit separating from the body and tincture (soul) now appeared in our menstruum saturated by
this living spirit. The body (salt) drops below and we see the separation
of the three essentials performed by the hand of nature alone. The essential
point is this: without water the above separation would not be possible. This
separation was brought about by the invisible fire which is the active prin
ciple and became manifest to our eyes as tincture or sulphur. The work is
ended when that which is volatile becomes fixed and the fixed volatile.
Thereby two materials coalesce together and become a living substance such
as that which did not exist before.
Extracts from Madame H. P. Blavatsky's book,
"Isis Unveiled" . . . About Paracelsus
Electro-magnetism, the so-called discovery of Prof. Oersted, has been used by Paracelsus, who was one of the greatest chemists of his time. He was a genius and he created a new epoch in the history of medicine. He was the founder of the School of Animal Magnetism, and the discoverer of the occult properties of the magnet.
Anton Mesmer imported it from Germany to Paris. Mesmerists and healers invoke the testimony of the deaf, the lame, the diseased and dying who were cured or restored to life by simple manipulations and the apostles "laying on of hands."
The full views of Paracelsus on the occult properties of the magnet were explained partially in his famous book ARCHI DAX ARUM, in which he describes the wonderful tincture, a medicine extracted from the magnet and called MAGISTERIUM MAGNETIS, and partially in the DE ENTE DEI and DE ENTE ASTORUM. But the explanations given were in a dictum unintelligible to the profane. "Every peasant 'sees,' he said, that a magnet will attract iron, but a wise man must enquire for himself . . . I have discovered that the magnet, besides this visible power, that of attracting iron, possesses another and concealed power." He demonstrated further that in man lies hidden a "sidereal force" which is that of emanation from the stars and celestial bodies of which the spiritual form of man - the astral spirit - is composed.
The identity of essence which we may term the spirit of the cometary matter always stands in direct relation with the stars from which it was drawn and thus there exists a mutual attraction between the two, both being magnetic. The identical composition of the earth and all other planetary bodies and man's terrestrial body was a fundamental idea in his philosophy "the body comes from the elements, the astral spirit from the stars ... Man eats and drinks of the elements for the sustenance of his blood and flesh; from the stars are the intellect and thoughts sustained in his spirit."
We must bear in mind that Paracelsus was the discoverer of hydrogen and knew well all its properties and composition long before any of the orthodox academicians ever thought of it; that he had studied astrology and astronomy as all the fire-philosophers did, and if he did assert that man is in direct affinity with Stars, he knew well what he asserted.
"In our dreams," says Paracelsus, "we are like plants which have also the elementary and vital body, but possess not the spirit. In our sleep the astral body is free and can by the elasticity of its nature either hover round in proximity with its sleeping vehicle or soar higher to hold converse with its starry parents and even communicate with its brothers at greater distances. Dreams of prophetic character, prescience, and present wants are the faculties of astral spirit. To our elementary or grosser body these gifts are not imparted, for at death it descends into the bottom of the earth and is reunited to the physical elements while the several spirits return to the stars. The animals, he adds, have also their presentiments for they too have an astral body."
Van Helmont who was a disciple of Paracelsus says much the same,
though his theories on magnetism are more largely developed and still more
carefully elaborated. The MAGNALE MAGNUM, the means by which the
secret magnetic properties "enables one to affect mutually another" is attributed by him
to that universal sympathy which exists in all doings in nature.
The cause produces the effect, the effect refers itself back to the cause, and
both are reciprocated. "Magnetism," he says, "is an unknown property of
heavenly nature very much resembling the stars and not at all impeded by
any boundaries of space and time. Every created being possesses his own
celestial power and is closely allied with heaven. This magic power of man
which thus can operate externally, lies, as it were, hidden in the inner man.
This magical wisdom and strength thus sleeps, but by a mere suggestion is
roused into activity and becomes more living, the more the outer man of
flesh and darkness is repressed ... and this I say, the Kabalistic art effects;
it brings back to the soul that magical yet natural strength, which like a startled sleep
had left it." - India +
Gur . . . EL Gohr (The Essence)
A friend who has done extensive research in the historical background of Alchemy and who is well versed in languages suggests the word Gur (see Parachemy, Spring 1977) is a bad literation of the Persian Gohr which means essence.
When the whole operation to inject a secular version of The Mysteries into Europe was begun, it proved impossible to suggest the network of associations available in Arabic and Persian from a chosen tri-lateral root. The nearest the French could get to it was the pun (argot) and the English stretched this to two factors, the pun and what Cockneys still call backslang a secret language unintelligible to the uninitiated.
El Gohr (The Essence) became Gohr-El, then Grel, then Grail. Making the Gur and searching for The Grail are possibly the same activity.
We are here to add what we can to life; not to get what we can from it.
- WILLIAM OSLER
The world does not consist of happenings only; it contains life as well, and to the life in the world, so far as it comes within my reach, I have to be a relation which is not only passive but active. By placing myself in the service of that which lives I reach an activity, exerted, upon the world which has meaning and purpose.
- ALBERT SCHWEITZER
All life is the manifestation of a single mystery. From The One Mystery comes forth The One Life to perform The One Work through Its operations of Separation, Purification, and Cohobation - to manifest without, or to give birth to, That which lies concealed within The Mystery Itself.
Through proportion, weight, and mass, innumerable manifestations appear out of The Mystery to reveal that the Essence of this One Mysterious Life is an Orderly, Intelligent Energy. The Light - a subtle, rapid vibration, of a volatile nature - and The Darkness - a dense, slow vibration, of a fixed nature - are of this Intelligent Energy which embraces the infinite quality and quantity of The Sound of The Mystery Itself.
The Sound of The Mystery resounds and The Earth and its myriad forms are as Its Echo. The Mediator of The Sound is The Intelligence. From the union of The Intelligence's Light - a pure, conscious energy - and Darkness - the womb which gives birth to all that is - there is created The Course of Divine Being. Thus, The Mediator, The Divine Intelligence, through Its Revelator, The Light, from out of Its Darkness, brings forth Below The Revelation of The Reality Above.
In the center of Light and Darkness it is. Between Heaven and Earth it is. In the midst of The Earth, existing as an intermediary between the kingdoms above it and the kingdoms below it, it is. It is that which is called Self-Consciousness, an intelligent awareness of self and the world of self. Upon the Human Kingdom it has been bestowed. Through its mediating influence, this intelligence has brought forth the grandeur and wonder of ages past and present. In impure, ignorant, and delusive surroundings, it has brought forth destruction and suffering for all upon the earth.
The Mediating Intelligence of the Human Kingdom is privileged to consciously assist in The Great Work of The One Life - to reveal the joyous Truth of The Living Reality. Yet this mediating intelligence has much work to do before there comes forth through its operation of cohobation the manifestation of that which is truly representative of The Truth.
Cohobation is to distill again from the same or a similar substance, to extract, to give off in drops, to let fall in drops. Cohobation implies unification. In order for anything to come forth, there exists, in some Tanner, a state of union, or amalgamation, which makes possible the issuance of a new manifestation. Different amalgamations produce different manifestations. Identical amalgamations under different conditions produce different results. When there exists in the amalgamation that which is extraneous to it, there comes forth from such a union that which is not a pure issue of it but is, because of the impurity of the union itself, but a distortion or a manifestation which is misrepresentative.
In our world of time, The One Life reveals The Truth of The Mystery drop by drop. At the core of The Mystery's infinite depths is That which impels mankind ever onward to discover what is hidden within it and to formulate what is seen of It. Striving for perfection, those who will consciously assist in The Work will ceaselessly, drop by drop, loosen and cast off that which is extraneous and detrimental to it. Out of Love for It, there will he extracted drop by drop from The Mystery Itself the Beauty of Its Sound.