The Philosopher's Stone - from The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
Interviews With Frater Albertus p.498
Fixed Oil of Sulphur p.504
Neptune In The Constellations p.509
The Noble Eightfold Path p.511
Informative Interchange - Simple Vacuum Extraction Method p.515
Interviews With Frater Albertus commenced in the Fall 1977 issue of Parachemy, Vol. V, Number 4, and will continue in future issues. The material presented is excerpted from various interviews that have taken place and from questions asked in open forum sessions held in the United States, Europe, Australia, India, and other countries.
Q. When will you lecture with the Dr. from India? Will you both stress subjects of a general or a specific nature?
A. In 1979. Emphasis will be placed on the Tridosha, the ancient Indian teaching of how to know about your physical functions and how to control them.
Q. What about alchemy?
A. Tridosh is Alchemy, because all evolution has but one aim and that is perfection of the species relating to the three essentials in alchemy.
Q. You've said something about the philosophical mercury as one of the three essentials. Can you elaborate on this?
A. Let us talk about the universal mercury or universal Spirit, which is the same. What is known as philosophical mercury is but an emanation of the universal mercury. In physics you would call it an isotope for want of better terminology.
Q. In that case it would have physical properties. Right?
Q. If that is the case, it would have to withstand a chemical analysis.
A. Of course.
Q. What is this analysis? I mean what does it show?
A. This question is somewhat difficult to answer.
A. Because so much is involved. Not everything can be subjected to tests, as we understand them, and yield what is expected. Nevertheless, a chemical analysis in your sense of wording it is possible. It would fall under the definition of a gas that can be liquified. It distills over at about 28-30 degrees C. This would fall into the category of such as dimethyl esters and the likes, but it is not such. That is why it is so difficult to give it a specific place. It can also distill over at a much higher temperature and still be the same, only it is more impure. So, you see, it is not quite as easy to be specific about it in your sense of an analysis. Let me add, if you expect to get the same result by subjecting a homeopathic preparation to an analysis as you would an allopathic one, you will find you do not. You cannot expect the same results.
A. Because in a homeopathic preparation you find hardly any chemical substance by analysis but there is in it the inherent dynamics too subtle to detect by conventional means. So, it is very difficult to place the so-called philosophical mercury in such a category as one might expect to place it.
Q. Then it is a comparatively simple matter as far as the constituency
of the philosophical mercury is concerned. Maybe it is already a kn ' own
substance but not recognized as such. Perhaps a simple acid or alkali?
A. You know what, I have a letter from a student- who attended Prima class in Europe who claimed to have made a plant stone of enormous size, even larger than a baseball. He has it all figured out. Let me get his letter. Here, I quote from it:
"The whole thing is very easy to understand:
"The mercurius is a strange thing, and since it has a chemical basis, it consists of certain elements.
"If the mercurius is set free in putrefaction - for example by acetum distillatum on vitriol, there remains the Caput mortuum and SCHWEFELSAURE* (German) is set free about 5 % in concentration.
"Another example: for the production of highly concentrated SCHWEFELSAURE the FeO and FESO4, remains as red caput mortuum and the SCHWEFELSAURE is produced (in Industry).
"In the book of Bernus: Alchemie and lleilkunst you read on page 113 about a 9-day process in which Gold is produced. Silver and copper are solved in SALPETERSAURE** and then the solution is cooked in SCHWEFSAURE. After one week gold is produced.
"That all means, that MERCURIUS PHILOSOPHORUM is SCHWEFELSAURE. The process lasts the longer the less SCHWEFELSAURE is in the Mercurial-Water. That is why the Adepts gave new mercurius once a week in many cases. (on both normal ways.)"
Q. Can this claim be substantiated?
A. What is here mentioned as either sulphurous or sulphuricacid has been substantiated, as it is presently produced even industrially. But it is definitely not "The" philosophical mercury alchemists speak of. Flow could this be the substance mentioned that does not wet ones hands and can he used to pour over gold and make it potable. I shudder with horror just to think of someone drinking such a potion of corrosive acid. Sulphuric acid is just about the strongest acid there is. You can see for yourself how quickly one can jump to conclusions. One has to be introduced, initiated, as they called it formely, into the still prevailing secrets of alchemistical laboratory procedures until they are secret no more.
Q. This sounds sensible. I admit it would really be a catastrophe if one were to mistake sulphuric acid as the philosophical mercury. This I can see. But what about the real philosophical mercury? Have you got some?
Q. Would you show it to me and demonstrate how it works upon gold?
Q. Oh good! Go ahead, I can hardly wait!
A. Turn off your tape recorder.
Q. Can I take my camera and take some pictures?
A. Of course. Why not? When you see what goes on, it is no secret anymore. You may even take some pictures or slides.
Q. There seems to be danger involved in making statements like the one just mentioned. Why is it that people jump to conclusions so easily?
A. There can be many reasons, but one seems to be common in nearly all cases of those who enter upon a new course of knowledge and understanding which opens up new horizons. Usually, it does not take too long before one becomes conscious of former inadequacies and wants to let others know of newly found knowledge. It may be overwhehningly new to the beginner but later will turn out to be rudimentary compared to all that which is yet to come. I have seen people that attended a class or two start preparing alchemistical medications - that is what they called it - but they did not even know the difference between a spagyrically and alchemistically prepared medication. Worse yet, they would administer them unto others. Some gave cabalistical readings and in reality hardly knew what they were talking about. But any kind of tarot cards and what have you and other mysterious mumbo jumbo had to help. But most of all I shudder when I see those who did not know anything about astrology, except perhaps the signs and names of the Zodiac and a smattering of astrological booklearning, hang out their shingles and proclaim themselves professional astrologers. Just think what they are doing to some innocent, unsuspecting souls.
Q. But you are teaching Alchemy, Cabalah, and Astrology. What about that?
A. You are right. At the PRS these three, that you have just mentioned, are taught. Please listen carefully. I said: They are being taught.
Q. Well, what is the difference?
A. The difference is that what is taught is subject to investigation and verification by the students themselves. We begin with elementary instructions and continue gradually over a period of years with more advanced teachings for each and everyone to apply in their own life for verification. All instructions are strictly individualistic and we issue no diplomas or certificates of completion. It is too sad to note tliat those who went out on their own have taken what was taught at the PRS and changed and altered what was given to them to suit their own fancies and liking before they even became aware of what was going on inside the PRS.
Q. Frater Albertus, don't you give professional advice as an Astrologer, Gabalist, and Alchemist?
A. Good Heavens, No! I am a teacher. Period. I am teaching individuals how to find their own personality and thereafter they have to find for themselves if what they were taught is valid in their daily lives. Never have I given professional advice in any of the three subjects that we have discussed. By professional advice I mean one who receives payment in money or receives remuneration in any form because of a legally accredited status.
Q. But you could go as a professional if you wanted to.
A. Some have suggested that I should do that.
A. I have refused and will continue to refuse because the responsibility connected with it is so enormous that those who are engaged in such pursuits, if they did know, would think twice before getting involved in making easy money.
Q. Do you believe that all astrologers, I mean professional astrologers, are bad and swindlers?
A. Of course not. There are some that are very honest and sincere, especially those who are qualified. I have talked about those who imagine themselves to be competent and are deluded by their own illusions about themselves. But then, they are so convinced about their abilities that it becomes useless to talk to them about it. When one asks them, they know all about it. Except they don't know about their own selfs. And that is the great pity. They tell their clients what they should or should not do and all this before there is proof on hand as this concerns the future. One wonders why they could not predict their own future any better when one observes how they, excuse my pig latin, "louse up" their own lives. Too often, it turns out to be either a misinterpretation or just plain ignorance about the laws of celestial mechanics and their lawful manifestations - come with me to the laboratory and I will show you the philosophical mercury.
Sulphur at first sight appears to be somewhat different than the other minerals. It is of a single nature (homogeneous), i.e., S, as opposed to the other minerals, for example Sb2S3 which is a compound (heterogeneous). In order to separate the oil of antimony, the fixed salt is first made and from this salt is made the separation. Yet, nothing has been said about a fixed salt of sulphur. This does not, however, prevent it from existing, No analysis of the salt has been conducted by the writer, hence the actual structure of the compound is unknown, yet the oil may be separated therefrom with little effort but with no little patience.
The following method is the result of practical laboratory experimentation and not idle speculation. It would be very pleasing if some students would attempt the preparation and report their findings and refinements., and any additional thoughts they may have on the subject.
Fill a soxhlet extractor thimble with crude sulphur and place in the extraction chamber. Extract the sulphur with glacial acetic acid or a 6N acetic acid until the acid is of a deep red color and boils violently. At this point, the solution has become saturated and some of the salt precipitates and this is the reason why it boils violently. Allow the solution to cool and place in a retort and remove the vinegar. Dissolve the red powder in distilled rain water, filter out impurities and gently evaporate the water. Repeat this process until the powder is completely neutralized. (This is extremely important.) The vinegar which was distilled from the red powder should then be used once again to extract the sulphur. Repeat the extraction until no more powder is obtained.
Take all the red, neutralized powder obtained and separate the essentials according to art and you will have the oil of sulphur. This last sentence sounds simple but it is here where many errors are made. To be more specific, place the dried, neutralized red powder to about 3/4 of an inch depth in a retort and form a good vacuum. Slowly raise the heat over several days until a liquid begins to distill. This should be of a yellow color. Gradually raise the heat until all the liquid has distilled from the sulphur. (This should take about two weeks at the proper heat.) If too much heat is applied, the retort may burst and your efforts be wasted. If too little heat is used, no result will manifest.
Take all the yellow liquid obtained and by using a very slow distillation separate the spirit which will distill first as a clear water. When all the spirit is distilled, take another receiver and increase the heat until a yellow oil will distill. This is the true oil or sulphur of sulphur.
Those who have read Collectanea Chemica will know something of its medicinal value. However it is advised that your results be first checked for
purity by someone qualified in the subject before actually ingesting the substance.
The clear spirit, when sufficiently purified, is an excellent solvent for sulphur, and here considerable experimentation, and research is open to an enquiring mind.
Above is a diagram of the apparatus suitable for the last distillation if a retort is not available.
This apparatus does in fact have some advantages over a retort in that it has better cooling, and this distillation may be monitored by means of the vacuum pressure gauge, which is helpful in regulating the heat.
Hints on experimental practice:
1) Note in the diagram that the flask is not resting on the hotplate. The reason for this is to prevent breaking or the cracking of the flask when the temperature is quite high. Experience speaks here.)
2) The flask is flat bottomed. This allows a larger quantity of red powder to be as close to the heat source as is feasible and facilitates an easier distillation.
3) When ball and socket joints with the required clamps are used, a pressure greater than that of the atmosphere may be used. This will allow the distillation to proceed somewhat faster. The pressure gauge is needed to monitor the pressure so that the flask will not explode. (The glassware will be safe to a pressure of at least 10 inches of Mercury.)
4) At the beginning of the distillation, a strong vacuum is advised since this will allow the distillation to proceed a little faster.
5) The first note is the most important. The others can be used as the student sees fit or as is possible with the available apparatus. It is the basic principle of how to separate the Mercury and Sulphur from the Salt that this article attempts to convey. There are doubtless many changes which can be made for one reason or another, but regardless of differing experimental technique the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, i.e., so long as the goal is obtained then the method is largely irrelevant. Those who have read of the medicinal value of the oil of sulphur will surely regard this as a most worthy goal and make determined efforts to obtain it.
By Carl W. Stahl
Neptune is where the native is aware of his limitations and incapacities. This leads to frustration and a desire to draw inward and away from the objective world into an imaginary world of his own built of day drearns'and fancies, On the other hand it may lead, through contemplation and meditation, to the knowledge that the world as we know it is simply a mirror image of the only true world, the spiritual. Those strongly under Neptune, as when it appears close to an angle, or in close aspect with the Sun or the Moon, have a tendency to play a part. The world of imagining and make believe are more real to them than that in which they spend their waking moments. Keywords are; sensation, craving for rhythm, music, operas, dancing, spiritualism, mysticism, occultism, gambling, drinking, drug addiction, reading mysteries and sex novels, illusion, delusion, hypnosis, visions, mother complexes, day dreaming, the obscure, the mysterious, transcendental and imaginative. Fantasy with emotional overtones are the result of Neptune aspecting the Moon. In aspect with the Sun creative thought is fed by day dreams and the imagination. With Mercury fantasy and imagination interfere with, or in some cases aid, the ability to communicate with others. With Venus the possibility of an imaginative and ideal love. With Mars imagination leads to many new ways to use energy, some practical and some impractical. With Jupiter an imaginative and mystical approach to cycles and ritual. With Saturn restriction shapes the day dreams and may produce practical results, or frustration. With Uranus dreams and imagination may lead to a successful search for freedom of the soul and mind. With Pluto use of the silence and withdrawal within oneself could lead to illumination.
Since Neptune looks at things from a different point of view we find that these natives approach love, friendship and brotherhood with a whole hearted disregard for the conventions and standards that serve as guidelines for the majority. Idealism, fantasy and the desire to play a part are all interwoven into an unreal tapestry. If you can see behind the sham of life into the true reality you will be well on your way toward returning to the creator who conceived this world in which we live. Do not allow yourself to be duped out of your spiritual heritage.
The native tends to be frustrated by the imaginative Neptune in this position. Instead of being able to strike out forthrightly and aggressively he finds himself filled with vague delusions and impractical day dreams. Idealistic ideas tend to put a damper on the native's practical approach to life. If you want it you get it, it's as simple as that. If you stop to consider others you hold yourself back from material success. Native would do well to try to compromise between the two viewpoints and advance on both levels.
Native finds it easy to radiate an aura of success and financial ability far beyond his real worth. Neptune's position always marks the area where the native can really play a part convincingly. He can either expand here in a material and financial success, though somewhat dubious a manner, or he can awaken to the inner meaning of life and begin to live it here and now, while assisting others to do likewise. Danger here that the native may think himself the god-sent founder of a new religion seeking to persuade others that his is the only way.
Those with Neptune here are uniquely fitted to solve the problem of the real and the unreal. Capricorn insists on the practical approach to life's problem, i.e., material success; but Neptune wants to unveil the reality behind the apparent scene. If properly handled this brings spiritual enlightenment and initiation. Here the native's dreams could take him up the mountain and tempt him as Christ was tempted with an offer of all the world's goods. The wise man refuses the treasures that age corrupts and settles for those he can lay up in heaven.
Here creative genius and creative imagination go hand in hand. To the one who is ready the door lies open to understanding and wisdom. The practical and the spiritual go hand in hand to create a soul personality that lies harmoniously between spiritual and earthly realms. Whatever you imagine you can create. You have this god given gift of creativity. Use it to better yourself and others. Always share your lot with others and lend a hand to those less imaginative than yourself. In this direction lies progressand enlightenment.
The illusive Piscean becomes even more illusive and inclined to play a part to the hilt. He can be anything that any one may desire. Make your wants known and immediately he becomes that person. They particularly delight in making sport of strangers who are unaware of their theatrical ability. Danger of allowing themselves to become too closely allied with the character they have adopted. Tendency to confuse their mystical inclinations with the god-he,ad itself leads to messiah complex.
The normal leadership qualities of Aries are here extended from the physical to the higher levels. Insight, imagination and a peculiar spiritual understanding can give the native power on many levels of consciousness. If the native insists on the lower levels of leadership he can become quite frustrated, impractical and one who misleads others to their own detriment. If an advanced individual, the gates of heaven lie open before him. A happy-go-lucky and opportunistic approach to life.
The practical, knowledgeable, philosophic approach to life now becomes an impractical, idealistic and imaginative approach to frustration. The point reached on the Path, is of course, the final interpreter of the use we make of this illusive planet's influence. To those who sincerely seek the way it could open the doors of understanding. Particularly an understanding of one's place in the scheme of the brotherhood of man and one's unity with the Divine whole. For are we all not brothers? As we do unto one so we do unto all god's creatures.
The visionary Neptune finds difficulty in bringing through its true spirituality in this constellation. Mercury, its ruler, tends to insist that the image making faculties be used to confuse and confound both the native and others. Depending on the state of development this position can be used to either advance spiritually or to frustrate oneself on the material
plane. Communication can be extrasensory or just simply fouled up. Gives ability to sell dreams to others and perhaps to mislead themselves as well.
The planet of imaging in the constellation of the imagina
tion leads to a somewhat emotional, confused and frustrated way of life. The vague and dreamy qualities of Neptune find nothing of substance to provide a practical footing in this constellation. The emotions are constantly interfering with the ideals the native desires to bring to practical fruition. Frustration, emotionalism and an overdeveloped imagination hinder rather than help in this. A special effort must be made to take the fantasies in rein and to work hard for understanding the role of the emotions in the life.
This makes either an imaginative leader or a confused and
frustrated one. Which it is depends on the native's understanding of nature's laws. If the truth behind the veil of nature is penetrated he can successfully and confidently rule his own destiny and that of others. If not, then he can only lead himself, and those who depend on him for leadership, astray. The creative power must be used constructively to build your life according to nature's laws. Imagination lends scope io your outlook and could put you in the forefront of the leaders of your time.
Virgo's ascetic, frugal, precise and orderly way of life bends, and sometimes vanishes completely under this expansive and imaginative influence. All the rules of system go before the vague and dreams of progress and success. Even the ability to communicate with others becomes somewhat of a hassle. To the truly spiritual and idealistic this brings an opportunity to uncover and reveal to others the true laws of nature. System and order on the higher levels replaces merely physical and materialistic orderliness. +
1. The holding of right attitude, at all times free from prejudice, illusion, superstition, doubts, fears, and animosities.
2. The living of the highest standard of conduct which the mind can conceive; living the truth one knows.
3. The control of speech so that it is always true, simple, gentle, and entirely honest.
4. Right conduct. Honest, just, and enlightened relationship with other living things.
5. The practice of harmlessness. To live without hurting, either by killing or injuring physically, or the causing of sorrow, either mental or emotional.
6. Perseverance in noble action. The overcoming of all of the illusional life.
7. Right thinking. The directing of the mind toward the understanding of the supreme wisdom.
8. Right meditation. The practice of the inner experience.
In the Alchemical Laboratory Bulletins, Vol. II, No. 1, 1970, pages 6-7, is an interesting "Simple Vacuum Extraction Method" which when modified a little permits, by means of a very simple and cheap glass apparatus and heating source, a smoothly running reflux extraction.
Efficient heating by a simple bulb is possible bypainting the inside wall of the inner stove tube white to get maximum reflection and by painting the bottom of the erlemneyer flask black to obtain maximum light absorption by the erlemneyer flask, which is converted into heat. A 50 watt lamp bulb is more than enough for a regular, gentle boiling process of about 150 cc Spiritus fermenti. The heating source is very regular, without danger of burning, and very cheap: 20 set ups with 150 mI of alcohol corresponds with 1000 watts!
The circulations or extractions are started as follows: Heat the erlemneyer flask with the alcohol and the tube (but without the upper stopper) above a low burning bunsen until the vapours are leaving the tube. Do not burn the black paint at the bottom of the flask. The process of ascending vapours can easily be followed by feeling with the hand the rising heat. Once the vapours come out, remove the system quickly from above the flame. Put the rubber stopper in the tube and hold this in place with one hand while with the other hand the tube is cooled by means of a wet cloth. When the system is put above the light bulb, you will in each case have to arrange for the right distance between the bulb and the flask in order to obtain a gentle boiling. A pressure meter as used in the Bulletin article is not necessary. If the tube has a cold upper part of about 10 to 20 cm, the principle of the cold stove tube wall (from James Watt in physics) holds, which
means that the vapour pressure in a closed space is determined by the temperature of the coldest wall.
This one can cheek by feeling. Sometimes, the boiling process is not so smooth and regular, but if it is not too vehement, it is all right.
A) Rubber stopper
B) 12mm glass tube
C) Rubber stopper
D) Flask bottom painted black
E) Glass fibers
F) 13cm, galvanized stove tube
G) 50 watt bulb
H) 17cm galvanized stove tube
I) Lamp socket
j) Wooden plank
Circulations or extractions set up in this simple way can go on for weeks
without control. At one time, when I worked with sophisticated apparatus in various laboratories, I never used nor had any idea of such simple techniques. I even have to admit that this technique is better than others with cooling water, vacuum pumps, thermostatically controlled heating sources, etc. And yet it is so simple. - Belgium +