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February 1997.

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Subject: INNER - Interpreting symbols
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 1997 15:13:47 -0500
From: Br.Athanasius

Dear Mr. Leake,

It is clear to me, after reading your response, that we are dealing
with two fundamentaly different approaches to reality. Your statements
seem to indicate a relativistic approach, I am , with no aplologies, an
objectivist, this is evident in the cosmology that I outlined, ( which
had as its point of departure symbolism). Thus, when I say Truth,
I mean the objective reality that is not variable from person to person
( be they Aquinas,Bruno or Marx, either Groucho or the other one).
I mean the Truth, that is immutable, eternal and transcensdent.
As a result of this, my symbology reflects that initial presupposition.
This , as I am sure you are aware, is not peculiar to me, Plato,
Plotinos, the Greek Church Fathers, et. al. subscribe to the same
basic perspective. The Zohar, and Kabbalism in general, also
subscribe to this same basic perspective. In the context of alchemy,
which I must first confess that I have very little knowledge of
secondary sources, Jung in particular, the authors of such critical
texts as "The Sophic Hydrolith" , "The Glory of the World" and
the "Turba Philosophorum" also are ojectivists in orientation.
The touchstone of Alchemy "The Emerald Tablet" is clearly of
the same ilk, ( as a matter of fact what I said, in my initial
statements ,about the symbol are essentialy the teaching of the Tablet,
in its first dictum) The view that reality is objective is the core of all
truly traditional perspectives. That being said, I do not see how one
can say such a thing as "Truth is polyvalent for some" either it is or
it isn't and if we can't know than discussion of such things is totally
pointless.

For the record, I did not say that a "symbol transcends" but that the
reality that a symbol manifests is transcendent, and that the symbol
partakes of the qualities of the thing symbolized, and since truth is
polyvalent, than it's expression, the symbol, partakes of that quality
of polyvalence, java notwithstanding.

That you agree with my statements at to the basic errors and the dangers
of reductionism, I am pleased. But I stand behind my statement, and I
see no misphrasing at all. I send "tendency" this is not a generalization.
There is such a tendency in modern times, that is a simple fact.

"Certainly this is one way of viewing it" you said, this is a statement
that states the obvious. Since I view it that way, it must therfore, be
"one way". But what does that mean? I am not saying that it is one
way of viewing, nor even a" way of viewing" but a statement as to the
the nature of the reality, (that is as pertaining to the domain of
manifested reality, it is wholly inadequate, however to the realm
of the Unmanifest, but all things are).

Your last statement as to the " Epicurean" quality of my statement are
as inaccuract as they are offensive. The Psalm verse " Taste and see
that the Lord is Good" is used as the communion hymn many times
during the year a the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which
is the normal liturgical service of the Orthodox Church, which is
Christian nil disputum.
I am an Orthodox monk, and I would ask for some level of courtesy in
the area of religious subjects. I make a concerted effort to avoid
polemical statements in this area, and ask for the same effort. Look up
the Psalms, George, it's in there. The Jews and the Christians have used
the Book of Psalms for thousands of years, and as far as I know they have
never been accused of Epicureanism. I am aware that you probably meant
these comments somewhat in jest( I hope). I hope that you take these
comments with the good intent that I meant them.

I would be greatly interested in some statements by you and to your
cosmology. " It is better to light one single candle than to curse the
darkness" my last epistle was an positive effort to delineate some
cosmology. I do not expect everybody to agree with it. I plan to outline
in future postings in this area. I hope that there is some interest.

the servant of God,

Brother Athanasius

Subject: INNER - Crowned Serpent
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 00:36:46 -0400
From: Deanna Herrera

To All,
I received many informative and interesting replies and am taking some time
to reply to those I would like to. I went for a long run and broke my leg
while hurdling a fence (unfortunately it was not a metaphorical fence I
hurdled, but the kind made out of big molecules) and am having other
problems, so please be patient with delayed responses. I have printed out
the e-mails and am reading them from my couch. Thank You to all and anyone
who did reply to my querries RE: Serpents and symbols
Deanna

Dr. Deanna Herrera

Subject: INNER - Interpreting symbols
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 97 14:12:42 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Thank you Brother,

May I say I wholly agree with you... And a brief quote from the Aesch Mezareph
I had been planning to send Mr. Leake myself might here be in order:
"... But if anyone hath placed those things in another order, I shall not
contend with him, inasmuch as all systems tend to one truth..."
I'm not convinced that the purpose of this forum is to evaluate in terms of
one's own lights what others are generous enough to share with us; nor do we
have to censor or to explicate for the benefit of 'those who might not fully
understand'. Anyone who's on this forum is here either because they
understand, or because they wish to.

Mike Dickman

Subject: INNER - Interpreting symbols
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 14:04:42 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Br.Athanasius
>It is clear to me, after reading your response, that we are dealing
>with two fundamentaly different approaches to reality. Your statements
>seem to indicate a relativistic approach

That's news to me! Perhaps there's a specific bit you can cite?

>I am , with no aplologies, an
>objectivist, this is evident in the cosmology that I outlined, ( which
>had as its point of departure symbolism). Thus, when I say Truth,
>I mean the objective reality that is not variable from person to person
>( be they Aquinas,Bruno or Marx, either Groucho or the other one).

Oh, I see what you're saying. I think the problem here is more one of what
you think of as objective reality differs from mine.

>I mean the Truth, that is immutable, eternal and transcensdent.

Not knowing what exactly you mean by these terms, its hard to determine
what objective reality we're talking about here

>As a result of this, my symbology reflects that initial presupposition.
>This , as I am sure you are aware, is not peculiar to me, Plato,
>Plotinos, the Greek Church Fathers, et. al. subscribe to the same
>basic perspective. The Zohar, and Kabbalism in general, also
>subscribe to this same basic perspective. In the context of alchemy,
>which I must first confess that I have very little knowledge of
>secondary sources, Jung in particular, the authors of such critical
>texts as "The Sophic Hydrolith" , "The Glory of the World" and
>the "Turba Philosophorum" also are ojectivists in orientation.
>The touchstone of Alchemy "The Emerald Tablet" is clearly of
>the same ilk, ( as a matter of fact what I said, in my initial
>statements ,about the symbol are essentialy the teaching of the Tablet,
>in its first dictum) The view that reality is objective is the core of all
>truly traditional perspectives. That being said, I do not see how one
>can say such a thing as "Truth is polyvalent for some" either it is or
>it isn't and if we can't know than discussion of such things is totally
>pointless.

The main question would be what constitutes Truth

>For the record, I did not say that a "symbol transcends" but that the
>reality that a symbol manifests is transcendent, and that the symbol
>partakes of the qualities of the thing symbolized, and since truth is
>polyvalent, than it's expression, the symbol, partakes of that quality
>of polyvalence, java notwithstanding.

Of course

>That you agree with my statements at to the basic errors and the dangers
>of reductionism, I am pleased. But I stand behind my statement, and I
>see no misphrasing at all. I send "tendency" this is not a generalization.
>There is such a tendency in modern times, that is a simple fact.

Ok. I'll let this one go regardless of my questions of whether you mean
tendencies among the whole or among everyone individually...

>"Certainly this is one way of viewing it" you said, this is a statement
>that states the obvious. Since I view it that way, it must therfore, be
>"one way". But what does that mean? I am not saying that it is one
>way of viewing, nor even a" way of viewing" but a statement as to the
>the nature of the reality, (that is as pertaining to the domain of
>manifested reality, it is wholly inadequate, however to the realm
>of the Unmanifest, but all things are).

Right

>Your last statement as to the " Epicurean" quality of my statement are
>as inaccuract as they are offensive.

I thought I was making a self-reference, actually (note the java bit)

>The Psalm verse " Taste and see
>that the Lord is Good" is used as the communion hymn many times
>during the year a the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which
>is the normal liturgical service of the Orthodox Church, which is
>Christian nil disputum.

Oh, yes, that. I maintain nonetheless that the phrase has a certain double
entendre to it, no disrespect meant to you or your religion!

>I am an Orthodox monk, and I would ask for some level of courtesy in
>the area of religious subjects.

Naturally. Frankly, I admire you for your vocation. Seriously.

> I make a concerted effort to avoid
>polemical statements in this area, and ask for the same effort. Look up
>the Psalms, George, it's in there.

I think there's no denying its there, but I think there's no denying this
beautiful phrase has a culinary ring to it.

>The Jews and the Christians have used
>the Book of Psalms for thousands of years, and as far as I know they have
>never been accused of Epicureanism.

Woah! I guess you consider Epicureanism a bit of sin or something...had no
idea it would offend anyone...

> I am aware that you probably meant
>these comments somewhat in jest( I hope). I hope that you take these
>comments with the good intent that I meant them.

Of course they are in jest--in good humor, in a sort of fraternal sort of
way...

>I would be greatly interested in some statements by you and to your
>cosmology.

Thanks. If I can make it fit this forum I will

>" It is better to light one single candle than to curse the
>darkness" my last epistle was an positive effort to delineate some
>cosmology. I do not expect everybody to agree with it. I plan to outline
>in future postings in this area. I hope that there is some interest.

I am deeply interested.

George Leake

Subject: INNER - Serpents and Sex, etc
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 01:09:32 -0400
From: Deanna Herrera

To those of you who graciously replied to my queries.

To: Mike Dickman,
Very interesting. I appreciate the thoughtful comments on cabala and
also, the good data. I realize that the question was a basic one so I am
thankful for the respectful reply. A bit surprised by the richness of
responses I have received and retrieved from the replies to others re:
cabala and etc... Even the most basic of questions can open up discourse
on a variety of levels of interperetation and understanding. I get a bit
lost on the naga data. Although I am quite interested in it. I need some
basic readings on those. It gets somewhat obtuse for my concrete mind.
Any suggestions besides what you have already sent my way? I hope to hear
from you soon.


To: Br. Athanasius,
Thank you for the gift of your thoughts. I believe
this to be true, that there is no opposition between physical
interperetation of a symbol and a psychic interperetation etc... What I was
trying to get at, unsuccesfully, is that symbolic interperetation can be a
form of projection of one's inner life onto the outer world, which is no
less valid than other types of knowing when one understands a meaning of a
symbol (although, there are often many meanings).{This part gets a little
personal so please be patient.} But it can act as a key to opening doors
of knowing the hidden aspects of the Self or collective Soul development.
For instance, I went grocery shopping one day and left a bag of food on a
countertop. An hour later, in Beta wave mode, I put my hand in the bag
to retrieve the goods and what I found was a snake which then curled itself
around my hand.
Earlier that day, in alpha mode, I had meditated and was struck by an image
of three men in a pyramid who were offering me a snake. This suprised me
because I do not practice active imagining in my meditations. In fact, the
vision interrupted my meditation, like an image on a screen.
The next day another snake found it's way into my bed. I was not
meditating this time either, the snake was real and I threw it outside.
Clearly, I was not intending to understand the MEANING of the snake
symbolicaly, in terms of a psychological view. Instead I was infused with
a certain knowing or impression of the snakes archetypal power in my life
during that time period. Now, if I did not pay attention to the appearance
of snakes in both meditative and waking states I could have lost some
good intuitive understanding of the message that was being sent. I will not
waste time detailing my beliefs as to where and from what/who the message
was sent. The point is that I was not making a psychololical inquiry into
the meaning of 'snake' and at the same time a psychological understanding
was the cognitive vehicle I used to make sense of the inner knowing later
in time. Intellectual understanding is not the same as knowing, it is
simply one attempt to define and describe events that are beyond reason.
Beyond the rational.
So what?
I experienced a transcendent knowing or understanding of the reptile and
that in turn was beneficial. The same week, (I was ill at the time) I had
a dream of worms slithering inside of my belly. After the dream I was
symptom free for two years after three years of extreme physical pain and
surgery.
Perhaps I felt the physical impact of, the upper domain of quality...
conjoining with "the realm of quality" (well said by you). Inner, knowing
and psychological understanding are not mutually exclusive and both can
approach similar transformation of self. The knowing can come through the
back door or the grocery bag. It can also come from scholarly or
psychological pursuits.
That for me is the inner personal work related to my intellectual/
psychological understanding of this specific symbology. Sorry, to bore you
with this narrative but I am making a point. A psychological querry does
not exclude spiritual, physical intellectual, or emotional querries. It
simply gives one (me) a language to explore and navigate the process of
inner knowing. Also, I do believe in archetypal power so, the historical
coding of symbolic knowledge is important to unlocking or managing the
power of a given symbol. Worms and snakes are related symbolicaly by their
regenerative natures (transformation, rebirth and all of that) am I wrong?
And at the same time symbols do as you say, withstand interperetaion over
time. Simply because one chooses a certain language to gain access to
hidden realms of "essense" does not make that language any less useful or
valid in obtaining knowledge. Like you say, It is not untrue, it may only
be limited. What is language if not symbolic? We are limited and freed by
language.
I disagree that the Interior is the kernal that must be sought with the
greatest of effort. Effort, spiritual growth, and Christianity do seem
married ideologicaly. The notion of Effort (work) does not follow
logically with the rest of your argument. Taste and See do not imply any
more effort than Feel and Think. Unless, I misunderstood your last
paragraph, I really do not see and taste the whole idea of effort and how
it is related to spiritual knowing of universal order. Many traditions
utilize games and play to obtain understanding, to evoke higher beings,
inner knowing and altered states of consciousness through having fun. Being
is one way of knowing and so is daydreaming. Some times I think that the
interior is with us all of the time and shows itself in the simplest forms,
we simply forget to look. /for instance, I was in Oaxaca doing some work
this Holiday season where I witnessed something mundane and holy. A small
girl was sitting on my lap. She was very very poor but was not asking for
money. She simply wanted some attention. So I was touching her hair and
speaking to her about small things. A little boy walked by us and was
singing teribbly and loudly for money. I had given the girl some pesos for
a drink and some food. She then gave the little boy all of the money I had
given to her for his song. That certainly was a transformative experience
for me sans effort. It was a matter of looking and listening and paying
attention to the beauty in others which brought me back to remembering my
own inner truth/ knowing which is not that far from the universal truth of
giving. O.K. I'll get off of my lecturette here. I just don't think that
inner knowing needs to be this constant effort thing of self sacrifice and
buddha like denial of attachment or whatever, there is no parting of the
clouds or dramatic transformation. It might be the paying attention to
what is miraculous in regular life minus heavy intellectualisms and
philosophising (I am not saying here that I think you were doing either).
I apologize for the stream of concsiousness slightly schizophrenic
correspondence. Making words out of what is beyond description is
difficult.
I am checking myself here, I am getting off of the Alchemy topic. So sorry.

If you are the least of monks I can hardly imagine the fine quality of
person held by the median of monks.
Deanna


To: Adam McLean
Thank you for the reply.
You answered my questions. I will research the original. I found the book
holding the plates in Italy and returned it to the library there in Rome.
I have quite a bit more to go on now. You have provided me with useful
call ws. It seems that the "Donum Dei" is not far from what I guessed to
be the significance of the plates. Pretiosissimum donum dei, "the most
precious gift of god". Thank you for the translation.
I am having difficulty with my retrieval of data via websites.
Technological problems, insufficient RAM. I hope to gain access to
engravings you have added to the web sites. Yes, I have seen modern
drawings of patients in flasks. This material is similar to homunculous
drawings, which seem related to a very different chemical process. I will
review Jungs 'Studies'. I have also seen individuals encased in amber.
These I find particularly interesting because the Self is seen as
undergoing an evolutionary process of natural gestation in a living
substance, intact unto itself with no external manipulation. That too can
be used for meditative practices. What do you think? Am I off the track?
Deanna

To Mackie,
I didn't mean to speak over anyone's energy. Particularly yours. However,
I disagree. I think sometimes Alchemy can be an either/ or and it can also
be a both/and. It just depends on the viewpoint. How can anything be a
never? Like the plates I described, the king can still be a king and hold
his integral constellation of elements and the queen a queen even though
they both merge and then become the Other. The integrity of an idea or
concept or way of interpereting a discipline does not imply permanence nor
is it immune to alteration. Nor does it negate other viewpoints. All
things are true and sometimes at once. And sometimes only one truth can
hold it's integrity at one time. Not looking for a reply. Very sincerely,
Deanna

Subject: INNER - Interpreting symbols
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 08:32:32 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Mike Dickman
>May I say I wholly agree with you... And a brief quote from the Aesch Mezareph
>I had been planning to send Mr. Leake myself might here be in order:
>"... But if anyone hath placed those things in another order, I shall not
>contend with him, inasmuch as all systems tend to one truth..."

Well, you certainly have a right to believe what you want. Whether its one
truth or infinite truths it hardly matters. Unless someone's going to
censor me, you're going to have dissent.

What we can probably agree about are the external forms we can all read
and perceive.

In this case, there's more than one definition of Gnosis, and whatever
some of you may feel, there's more than the dualistic version. There's
definitely connections with gnosis and alchemy in the Renaissance, not to
mention in modern times, but the primary connection Yates speaks of is the
Corpus Hermeticum.

>I'm not convinced that the purpose of this forum is to evaluate in terms of
>one's own lights what others are generous enough to share with us;

Yes, indeed, I agree. Is that going on here?

>nor do we
>have to censor or to explicate for the benefit of 'those who might not fully
>understand'. Anyone who's on this forum is here either because they
>understand, or because they wish to.

Yes. D'accord.
George Leake

Date: Tue, 04 Feb 1997 05:11:53 -1100
From: Br.Athanasius
Dear Mike,

The quotation is excellent, and indeed quite pertinent. I have attempted
to give share my insights ( such as they insights, and indeed mine, if
you check on me you will find that what I have been saying is quite
unoriginal to me. I do not strive to be original, merely in accordance
with the truth).

It is a time-honered tradition in communication about esoteric truth
of any kind, to include, the " He who has ears to hear, let them hear"
type of statement. One cannot possibly force someone to believe
something the do not wish to believe. This I know. Esoteric truth
is by definition, not accessible to all, not because it is not intended
for all, indeed it is, but because the many will not, in most cases,be
willing to do what is needed to assimilate these truths. This is a
simple fact.
What is needed? To seek something one must first come to have
some idea what one is seeking, so that if one does find it one will
recognize it.

Thank you and God bless you,

Brother Athanasius


Subject: INNER - Interpreting symbols
Date: Tue, 04 Feb 1997 04:59:50 -1100
From: Br. Athanasius

Dear Mr. Leake,

Please expand on this concept of the multiple definition of gnosis, and
define, if you will, what is the "dualistic version".

I look forward to your explanation

the servant of God,

Brother Athanasius

Subject: INNER - Interpreting symbols
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 11:16:17 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Br. Athanasius
>Please expand on this concept of the multiple definition of gnosis, and
>define, if you will, what is the "dualistic version".

Sure--I'll give you a brief one. You know the latter, and its plain from
your previous postings you're talking about a specific religious movement
that some say evolved into Manichaeism.

Otherwise, there are many other takes on the term 'gnosis' that can be
defined (as I think I did earlier) as inner spiritual knowledge.

And I'm not ruling out a connection between the two, just suggesting that
the latter does not always take the form of the former.
George Leake

Subject: INNER - Gnostics / Gnosis
Date: Wed, 05 Feb 1997 20:07:04 -1100
From: Br.Athanasius

I do not recall speaking of the "Gnostics" ( that is to say the 2nd
century heretical group associated with Valentinius) in a previous
posting.
I generally use the term gnosis, to refer to that supra-rational form of
knowledge associatated with the nous, as per St.Maximus the Confessor
et.al. The term gnosis and even gnostic has its place in the writings
of many Orthodox fathers of the East. Actually the term is connected to
the Sanskrit word jnana, which means both love and knowledge. For
these two terms are expressions of a reality that is ultimatly unified.
In truth, to know is to love and to love is to know.

In Christ,

Brother Athanasius
Ascension Monastery

Subject: INNER -Gnosticism and Alchemy
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 12:09:38 -0500
From: Gilbert Arnold

Gnosticism generally refers to a process that sometimes occurs within
certain individuals who, when analysing religious thought (their own or
others), results in an attempt to explain creation and a supporting notion
of Divinity to rationalize the religious thought under consideration and
harmonize it with the individual's realization of Self and world perception.

This type of process started rather early in human evolution and has
been on going ever since in every culture and has had various forms of
manifestations. In Western thought it has manifested in such writings as
the Corpus Hermeticum, the Emerald Tablet, certain parts of the Old and
New Testaments, the Nag Hammadi Texts, Kabala, Alchemy along with
practiced and applied Psychology, Medicine and Science.

I take major exeption to the term heretical being used in reference to
Valentinius's "Gnostics" in a forum about Alchemy. Valentinus's work
consisted of building a model of creation that would explain in a rational
fashion his perception of Creation. Other's such as Ireneus, could not
accept this; persecution was then induced periodically throughout
history until the Renaissance.

Activities continued as did creativity until the advent of Luther and
others whose views were viewed as heretical amassed enough
political clout to protect themselves against persecution induced by the
church of Rome. Luther and others, including alchemists, moved to
certain principalities whose regents had the military clout required to
thumb their noses at Rome.

Another favorite roman passtime was the closure of Monasteries were
research activities involved knowledge that threatened roman
ecclesiatical authority. The closure of the Lambsprung Monastery on
one hand and the "Basil Valentine" method of documenting serious work
on the other are an illustration of the triumph of gnosis over the forces of
persecution and ignorance. I owe most of my training to those brave
monks who carried on the wisdom tradition.

So if it was not for "heretics", there would be no Alchemy. A lot of the
demonstrable, real, tangible lab preparations I can show at any time
came to me through my Benedictine training that was inspired by Greek
and Christian gnosticism. Also remember that Gnostics, including
Valentinus, inspired Carl Jung to produce his work.

Blessings,

Gilbert

Gilbert Arnold (Most Rev.), MHOSB, P.Eng.
Bishop, Church of Antioch-Canada
http://surf.rio.com/~beagle/arnold.html

Subject: INNER -Gnosticism and Alchemy
From: Donald Minson
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 12:47:58 +0000

Here is the web address for the Gnosis Archive:
http://www.webcom.com/~gnosis/

It is a big site with some cross references to the Alchemy web site
among many others and is filled with lots of information and texts
and online lectures and reading lists and ....well see for
yourself...make your own judgements ...it is well done &
informative...

Donald Minson

Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 14:04:31 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

I am not a member of a gnostic church or community. Any error of view in
Gnostic Christian matters is from my lack of knowledge. No disrespect is
intended.

While reading the Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library) I was struck by the
apparent similarity of the Bridal Chamber and the Alchemical Wedding.

Quoting Wesley W. Isenberg, trans.:

"According to this tractate, the existential malady of humanity results from
the differentiation of the sexes. When Eve separated from Adam, the original
androgynous unity was broken. The purpose of Christ's coming is to reunite
'Adam' and 'Eve.' Just as a husband and wife unite in the bridal chamber, so
also the reunion effected by Christ takes place in a bridal chamber, the
sacramental, spiritual one, where a person receives a foretaste and
assurance of ultimate union with an angelic, heavenly counterpart. 'Christ
came to repair the separation which was from the beginning and again unite
the two,' so that restoration may be accomplished and rest achieved."

Further, certain references to baptism made me think of the bath of the King
and Queen prior to union.

"The Lord [did] everything in a mystery, a baptism and a chrism and a
eucharist and a redemption and a bridal chamber." (Philip 67:28-30)

"Baptism is 'the Holy' building. Redemption is 'the Holy of the Holy.' 'The
Holy of the Holies' is the bridal chamber." (Philip 69:22-25)

Remarks anyone? Elucidation is always welcome.

Richard Patz

Subject: INNER - Meteorologia cosmica title page
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 16:42:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

I have been looking at the title page of Robert Fludd's Meteorologia
cosmica. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/fluddbk-8.html

Can anyone tell me what the image is in the circle above the reclining man
at the bottom?

Thank you.

Richard Patz

Subject: INNER - Tantra Yoga
From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 20:09:41 -0500

To Richard Roberts,

You wrote ,
>The tableau depicts my
>secret theory that alchemy is in reality Tantra Yoga, or rather the form
>it took when reaching the West in order to prevent its practioners from
>persecution at the hands of the Judeo-Christian religion, which despised
>the body and sexuality as invitations to damnation. However, the
>crowned couple on my cover are in Tantric embrace.

I am really excited hearing you say this because I fully agree.
I have always believed that the union of the great opposites, Sun and Moon
is truly the mysterium coniunctionis of our Royal Queen, the Divine
Goddess Shakti with our Royal King, the Hindu God Shiva . Both of
which are aspects of Brahman, who is the one God, the absolute, the
ultimate reality, or pure consciousness.The Eastern method of Tantra Yoga
shares the same common problem with Western Alchemy. Union with the
Brahman ( to achieve the STONE ) cannot be so long as Shiva and Shakti,
King and Queen , Sun and Moon are separated. They need each other
in order to be activated, quickened and become the One Brahman again.
The whole man, masculine and feminine energies , conscious and
unconscious selves united in Oneness of consciousness.

To me, the western methods of raising the inner Secret Fire is the
very pranayama method along with visualization and concentration method
of the raising of the inner divine psychic and cosmic energies of the
Kundalini Serpent. Which salamanders , serpents or dragons are very often
seen as the vital mercurial forces in Western Alchemy.I have often dared to
state this to Western Alchemists and I have very often received the cold
shoulder for it. So I was very glad to see your statement. Thank you.

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec

Subject: INNER -Gnosticism and Alchemy
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 01:19:14 -1100
From: Br.Athanasius

It was not my intention to open the subject of what is heretical vs.
non-heretical , this is not the forum for that type of question. My
intention by using the term " heretical" in connection, was to identify
the group commonly associated with the term "Gnostics", the
spirited defence of Valentinius et al. by Mr.Gilbert notwithstanding,
Needless to say I do reject Mr.Gilbert outline of history, I do not see
alchemy and heresy as marching arm and arm against the evils of
Rome. I am no defender of Rome to be sure, yet I think we must avoid
Rome-bashing, at least in this forum.

That being said, I whole-hearted reject Mr.Gilbert's definition of
gnosis, this is an entirely modernistic and psychological view of reality.
This is the classic revisionist, evolutionist approach. I reassert my
defintion of gnosis as is demonstrated by the ancients quite uniformly
from Plato to Plotinus, from St. Paul to St, Maximus. Pagan or Christian
the epistemology of the traditional world view is essentially the same.
It is rooted in the assertion that Knowledge of what Truly is, is
available to Man, that man qua man is capable of certain knowledge.
And that the acqusition of such knowledge is the end-purpose of man.
Socrates said " The unexamined life is not worth living", Jesus Christ
said " And you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free"
St.Athanasius said, " If man does not know himself he cannot know
God" This is the predominant word-view of the alchemical writers
East and West. ( Christian, Islamic and Jewish)

Mr.Gilbert may be well served to remember, that European history
is not limited to the goings on in the West. The so-called " wisdom
tradition" was never endangered in the Christian East as it was in the
West. Monasteries were not plundered in the East until the rise of the
20th Century and the prevailing modernistic and rationalistic
perspectives accociated therewith.

Furthermore, That Valentinius was an inspiration to Carl Jung I do
not doubt. I contend that the world-view as advanced by Jung can not
be reconciled to the alchemical world-view. His view is essentially
rationalistic and modern, the alchemists ( and Hermetists, and
Kabbalists et. al) is essentially gnostic ( ie noetic) and traditional.
The "collective unconsious" of Jung supercedes the noetic
apprehension of the traditionalists
That Jung accumulated a vast amount of alchemical ( occult in general)
data I do not doubt, that he had an interior understanding of it I very
much doubt. ( I realize that these last comment will make me quite
unpopular, or maybe more unpopular). As I have said before, the most
basic error is to confuse and or truncate multiple level or reality to one.
This is the ideology of Carl Jung par excellance I quote the man himself:

" Today the psyche does not build itself a body, but on the contrary,
matter , by chemical action, produces the psyche. This reversal
of outlook would be ludicous if it were not one of the outstanding
features of the spirit of the age. It is the popular way of thinking
therefore it is decent, reasonable, scientific and normal.
Mind must be thought of as an epiphenomenon of matter......
To grant the substantiality to the soul or the psyche is repugnant
to the spirit of the age, for to do so would be HERESY"

( Modern Man in Search of a Soul pp. 175-176)

The view that the mind is an epiphenomenon of matter is totally
at varience with the alchemical world view. If the mind, soul and
psyche are epiphenomenal of matter, that the immortality of the
soul is impossible (which was a key " gnostic " feature, the
"gnostics" were very anti-material) it renders transcendence
impossible. That the "popular way of thinking" is thereby " decent,
reasonable, scientific and normal" is so wrong as to be totally
idiotic. I do not have such confidence in the "spirit of the age"
as Mr. Jung. He elsewhere asserts that the only reality is the
psyche, denying any possiblity whatsoever of metaphysics,
"Not only is it (the psyche) the condition of all metaphysical reality,
it is that reality". That combined with the previous dictum reduces
all reality to the level of psyche and hence matter. His view is further
amplified "all comprehension and all that is comprehended is in
itself psychic, and to that extent we are hopelessly cooped up in an
exclusively psychic world". Yet , inexplicably he goes on to say
"the psyche cannot leap beyond itself, it cannot set up any
absolute truths for its own polarity determines the relativity of its
staements". Now if this is true, how can he make the earlier statements
about the nature of metaphysical reality? This is totally absurd, the
epitome of contradiction, foolish even on an exclusively rational plane,
which by its own rule it cannot escape. I will never understand why
those who cannot see, must deny this possiblity to others. That one
does not have metaphysical knowledge is fine, but that one insists
on the impossiblity of such knowledge for anyone, and goes so far
as to contradict himself to do so, is totally beyond my understanding.
(on the rational level at least)

I cannot wait for the responses to this.

The servant of God,

Brother Athanasius
Ascension Monastery

Subject: INNER - Heresy
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 22:40:34 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

Amen, Gilbert.

I wonder how many of our Inner-Alchemy members subscribe to the heretical
Copernican theory that the earth goes around the sun?

Subject: INNER - Meteorologia cosmica title page
Date: Sun, 9th Feb 1997
From: Adam McLean

The image above the reclining man is his internal organs - the heart above the diaphragm and the stomach, liver, gall, intestines etc below. The play of the elements in the outer macrocosmic world, is paralleled with the inner anatomy of the microcosm.

Adam McLean

Subject: INNER - Heresy
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 97 11:56:35 UT
From: Mike Dickman@msn.com>

Excuse me for butting in here, but doesn't "eresia" simply mean
"choice" in Greek?... My Greek is unfortunately a little like
Shakespeare's, but this was the meaning I seem to recall gleaning
from Meade...

That certain choices be considered illegal by the various powers-that-be -
past, present, OR future! (not to mention religious, political, or
politico-religious) - has never yet stopped anyone who really wants to get
something done, even if sometimes momentarily obscuring, obfusticating,
or slowing it down...

By this defenition, also, EVERYTHING becomes a heresy - Unless, of
course, there really ARE certain individuals/groups who do have
undeniable and indisputable access to the perfect and correct
interpretation of the (often politically contradictory) will of the gods...?
... I hae me doots!...

I cannot but return to the quote from the Aesch Mezareph I used a little
earlier.

It is not our "rightness" that matters.

If "wisdom" has any manifestation at all, surely it is always - and only -
that of "compassion", that is to say, of understanding and accepting
the rightness of others, and of making their way easier for them?...
What other value could "wisdom" that does not manifest like this ever
have?

... (This is not to say that the discussion, by the way, is not absolutely
fascinating for all the details and the erudition that it shows, and I should
personally like to thank all those involved)...

Respectfully
md

Subject: INNER - Gnosticism and Alchemy
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 97 11:56:39 UT
From: Mike Dickman

As to the Gnostic Archive - and I agree with Donald: it is well kept,
extraordinarily well documented, and a most congenial place to be -
you should be able to access directly through the links set up on
Adam's site...

If you're interested in this kind of thing, it really is worth the ride!

Respectfully,
md

Subject: INNER - Meteorologia cosmica title page
Date: Sun, 09 Feb 1997 15:19:08 -0800
From: Victoria GaVoian

> From: Adam McLean
>The image above the reclining man is his internal organs - the heart
>above the diaphragm and the stomach, liver, gall, intestines etc below.
>The play of the elements in the outer macrocosmic world, is paralleled
>with the inner anatomy of the microcosm.

Adam, I was wondering if you could translate the words surrounding the
circle. The X and + within the circle plays a significant role in my
studies.

Victoria GaVoian

---------
The Latin words are simply:-

The four directions of space

Septentrio - North
Oriens - East
Meridies - South
Occidens - West

and the winds

Boreas - North wind
Aquilo - North East wind
Subsolanus - East wind
Eurus - South East wind
Auster - South wind
Affricus - South West wind
Favonius - West wind
Corus - North West wind

Adam McLean

Subject: INNER - Response on Jung
From: Donald Minson
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 01:52:03 +0000

Brother Athanasius,

I do not wish to defend Carl Jung to you brother but I do so feel
compelled to defend the essay from which you pulled your quotes...
context is everything and the one in which you used his quotes to
serve your opinions is far from the content of the essay and further
from its meaning...the essays were published in 1933 and not written
collectively nor in any same year...with psychology as a fledgling
science suffering the materialistic scientific worldview that marked
the spirit of the age to which Jung was opposed he took on a task
of convincing scientists of the importance of including the spirit
and soul in their assays of the psyche ...a most precarious position
as you might well imagine... in doing so he described the thinking of
the spirit of the age to demonstrate its faults in swinging,
oppositly to former thinking, completely to a onesided view of psyche
as matter...one must often explain diplomatically in order to
convince rather that offend...stimulating negative emotions is never
a logical approach to gaining understanding...I have chosen a few
quotes of my own from the essay.

He begins the essay talking about how scientific materialism came
into being and says (174)" there were always a fair number of
intelligent scientists who had enough insight and depth of thought to
accept this irrational reversal of standpoint ONLY UNDER PROTEST"
...here it seems he is in agreement with the insightful and
intelligent...

"the fact that a metaphysics of the mind was supplanted... by a
metaphysics of matter, is a mere trick...(174)"

...further describing the mind-set he says:

"Intangible, inner happenings seem to have to yield place to things
in the external, tangible world, and no value exists if it is not
founded on a so-called fact. aT LEAST THAT'S HOW IT APPEARS
TO THE SIMPLE MIND"(175) (all emphasis is mine)

...no doubt he didn't consider himself a simple mind...
...here again he admonishes the spirit of the age:

"the spirit of the age cannot be compassed by the processes of
human reason. It is an inclination, an emotional tendency that works
upon weaker minds...(175)"

...defending again that a onesided mindset is inappropriate:

"But people who are not above the general level of consciousness
have not yet discovered that it is just as presumptious and fantastic
for us to assume that matter produces spirit; that apes give rise to
human beings...(176)"

"What or who, indeed is this all powerful matter?(176)"

"if our consciousness were not of today only, but had historical
continuity, we should be reminded of similar transformations of the
divine principle in Greek philosophy, and this might dispose us to be
more critical of our present philosophical assumptions. We are,
however, effectively prevented from indulging in such reflections by
the spirit of the age...(176-77)"

...here he speaks, I think, for the collective generally...the simple
minds..."the crowd-mind (177)"

" We delude ourselves with the thought that we know much more about
matter than about a "metaphysical' mind, and so we overestimate
physical causation and believe that it alone affords us a true
explanation of life...(177)"

...an obvious admonition...

"Since we have literally no idea of the way in which what is psychic
can arise from physical elements, and yet cannot deny the reality of
psychic events, we are free to frame our assumptions THE OTHER
WAY ROUND FOR ONCE, AND TO HOLD THAT THE PSYCHE
ARISES FROM A SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE which is inaccessible
to our understanding of matter. To be sure, this will not be a modern
psychology, for to be modern is to deny such a possibility. For better
or worse, therefore, we must turn back to the teachings of our
forefathers for it was they who made such assumptions...(180).."

...perhaps you see that it is not he that is "reasonable,
scientific, normal" modern and rational in his outlook but only they
that participate unthinkingly, thoughtlessly in the spirit of the
age, those people who purport the ideas of your quote selection...a
selection drawn from a descriptive of the behavior and attitudes that
were poularized by the spirit of the age which is later admonished
by Jung...

"This being so, we shall do well to admit that ther is justification
for the old view of the soul as an objective reality---(183)"

...and about your comment on the collective unconscious...I think it
innappropriate to compare to the quotes you chose as I have tried to
show with some clarification are not Jungs inclinations... I do,
though, hold a personal opinion which shouldn't be included in
Jung's ideas: that the unconscious is the kingdom within us and that
it is as likely that God would give us this gift to better know him
as every other gift he's given ...I am sorry for all the reductionist
scientific sterility that surrounds the concept of the unconscious
for to me it is a holy place...

It was around or a little after the time of this book that Jung began
his work with alchemy...the metaphysical and spiritual are one of
the things that draw me toJung I feel that his interaction with it
was much more than a simple model or useful tool for his science it
is well known in Jungian circles that he placed it highest on his
list for spiritual interaction with God and to deny the theoretical
possibility that he understood and applied and sought the stone
with religious fervor and sanctity which even we each seek in our
lives, simply with an off-hand comment based on opinion only, is
not a very righteous nor pious consideration of a fellow human being
whose endeavors have brought many back to their religion as well
as into alchemy's fold...

Donald Minson

Subject: INNER - Qabbalah Websites
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 15:54:20 -0600 (CST)
From: Mackie Blanton


1. www.cyborganic.com/people/ovid/kbllinks
[List of Qabbalah pages on the WWW]

2. www.netvoyage.net/~dalfin
["The Qabbalah Connection"]

3. www.csbh.mhv.net/~m...kabbalah/kab_book
[Qabbalah and mysticism book list]

4. www.io.org/~vma/kabbalah
["kabbalah Home Page" under auspices of B'nai Baruch]

5. www.torah.org
[Project Genesis: Online classes in Kabbalah]


6. www.digital-brilliance.com/kab
[Excelent reading list and WWW directory]

7. Smoss@l.net
["Kabbalah Net": email discussions with Rabbi Steven Moss]

Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 16:23:10 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Richard Patz

>While reading the Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library) I was struck by the
>apparent similarity of the Bridal Chamber and the Alchemical Wedding.[snip]

Actually I find this quite cogent indeed. I also mean no disrespect to
anyone, but this weekend I found something about the deity Priapus and
certain pre-Christian premarital practices involving anointing phallic
symbols (and much else I'll leave to those who want to conduct further
research) in order that the bride to be would be thus impregnated by a
deity--so that the first born would be born of divine seed--I wish I had
the text in front of me to cite--though I think Robert Graves' White
Goddess is cited there--anyhow, the suggestion that this taking in of the
divine nature of the deity, and the anointing of the deity and some
connection to the Greek word Chrystos makes this cogent to both the Bridal
Chamber and the Alchemical Wedding examples given.

Back to Alchemy for a minute--has anyone ever postulated a connection
between divine seed and the Philosopher's Stone?

George Leake

Subject: INNER - Heresy
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 20:15:49 -1100
From: Br.Athanasius

It was not my intent to start a discussion on heresy, which I have said
will probably shed more heat than light. Though I feel compelled to
set the record straight as it were. Heresy is not simple error, that is
heterodoxy. Heresy is as Meister Eckhardt rightly taught, is a "sin of
the will" one can be wrong without being heretical. The concept of
heresy, so often misunderstood today, cannot be separated from the
cosmological and epistemelogical presuppositions connected to the
world-view that the concept arose from. Those branded as heretics
by the Church, wrongly or rightly, ( many Saints were accused of
heresy starting with Christ and the Apostles) by and large accepted
these presuppositions, they claimed that they were right on a
particular point, and that the prevailing view was untrue is some
way. This is not the same thing as saying " I have my opinion and
you have yours" they taught that they knew the truth and
attempted to convince people of this fact. That many people have
been wrongly accused of heresy (such as Copernicus, Jesus,
St.Maximus and others) DOES NOT mean that there is no such a
thing as real heresy. That is the same thing as saying that because
a particular person have been wrongly charged with a crime, that
such a crime does not exist. This is highly spurious reasoning.

Brother Athanasius

Subject: INNER - Gnosticism and Alchemy
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 12:20:27 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Br.Athanasius
>Pagan or Christian
>the epistemology of the traditional world view is essentially the same.

Ironic. This sentence by itself I would not agree with if you hadn't
qualified it below


>It is rooted in the assertion that Knowledge of what Truly is, is
>available to Man, that man qua man is capable of certain knowledge.

See, now, this I have no problem with. I might quarrel with whether this
knowledge is always the same, however, or the process the same, except in
some very general way.


>And that the acqusition of such knowledge is the end-purpose of man.

I think many philosophers and spiritual people have agreed with this. Of
course, once again, such knowledge is not always the same.


>Socrates said " The unexamined life is not worth living", Jesus Christ
>said " And you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free"
>St.Athanasius said, " If man does not know himself he cannot know
>God" This is the predominant word-view of the alchemical writers
>East and West. ( Christian, Islamic and Jewish)

What about--for argument's sake--someone like Cleopatra the Alchemist?


>The so-called " wisdom
>tradition" was never endangered in the Christian East as it was in the
>West. Monasteries were not plundered in the East until the rise of the
>20th Century and the prevailing modernistic and rationalistic
>perspectives accociated therewith.

Wait a minute...I seem to recall a couple of events that contradict this,
though perhaps on a very specific scale, namely the Second Crusade, and the
War with the Turk.


>Furthermore, That Valentinius was an inspiration to Carl Jung I do
>not doubt. I contend that the world-view as advanced by Jung can not
>be reconciled to the alchemical world-view. His view is essentially
>rationalistic and modern, the alchemists ( and Hermetists, and
>Kabbalists et. al) is essentially gnostic ( ie noetic)

gnostic=noetic?

>and traditional.
>The "collective unconsious" of Jung supercedes the noetic
>apprehension of the traditionalists
>That Jung accumulated a vast amount of alchemical ( occult in general)
>data I do not doubt, that he had an interior understanding of it I very
>much doubt. ( I realize that these last comment will make me quite
>unpopular, or maybe more unpopular). As I have said before, the most
>basic error is to confuse and or truncate multiple level or reality to one.
>This is the ideology of Carl Jung par excellance I quote the man himself:
>
>" Today the psyche does not build itself a body, but on the contrary,
>matter , by chemical action, produces the psyche. This reversal
>of outlook would be ludicous if it were not one of the outstanding
>features of the spirit of the age. It is the popular way of thinking
>therefore it is decent, reasonable, scientific and normal.
>Mind must be thought of as an epiphenomenon of matter......
>To grant the substantiality to the soul or the psyche is repugnant
>to the spirit of the age, for to do so would be HERESY"
>
> ( Modern Man in Search of a Soul pp. 175-176)
>
>The view that the mind is an epiphenomenon of matter is totally
>at varience with the alchemical world view.

I'm not sure there's ever been one "alchemical world view"...there seems
to be some dominant strains, one of which claims that all matter resonates
on the spiritual plane and is living...


>If the mind, soul and
>psyche are epiphenomenal of matter, that the immortality of the
>soul is impossible (which was a key " gnostic " feature, the
>"gnostics" were very anti-material) it renders transcendence
>impossible.

What if the soul touches God or some other representation of the
Divine/Infinite upon the body's death?


>That the "popular way of thinking" is thereby " decent,
>reasonable, scientific and normal" is so wrong as to be totally
>idiotic. I do not have such confidence in the "spirit of the age"
>as Mr. Jung.

Does it seem to you that he endorses this 'spirit of the age'?


He elsewhere asserts that the only reality is the
>psyche, denying any possiblity whatsoever of metaphysics,
>"Not only is it (the psyche) the condition of all metaphysical reality,
>it is that reality".

I'm having trouble seeing how this "den[ies] any possiblity whatsoever of
metaphysics" necessarily, or how the psyche then is the only reality...to
the metaphysical question, I think he's stressing that it mainly dominates
the psyche--we can build churches and paint ikons and so forth, but
spiritual matters are mostly one of the psyche--this does nothing to
"denying any possiblity whatsoever of metaphysics"


>That combined with the previous dictum reduces
>all reality to the level of psyche and hence matter.

I don't see this--its nothing more than an observation of the 'spirit of
the age'. On this question, as far as I can tell, no one has proven that
psyche is on the level of matter.


>His view is further
>amplified "all comprehension and all that is comprehended is in
>itself psychic, and to that extent we are hopelessly cooped up in an
>exclusively psychic world".

Just a note--I'm not sure I agree with Jung here...it might be a matter of
definition though


>Yet , inexplicably he goes on to say
>"the psyche cannot leap beyond itself, it cannot set up any
>absolute truths for its own polarity determines the relativity of its
>statements". Now if this is true, how can he make the earlier statements
>about the nature of metaphysical reality?

I'm having trouble seeing the contradiction...my guess is you're saying if
Jung asserts the psyche contains the entire reality of metaphysics, where
is there room for absolute truth?


>This is totally absurd, the
>epitome of contradiction, foolish even on an exclusively rational plane,
>which by its own rule it cannot escape.

You'll have to explain it better...


I will never understand why
>those who cannot see, must deny this possiblity to others. That one
>does not have metaphysical knowledge is fine, but that one insists
>on the impossiblity of such knowledge for anyone, and goes so far
>as to contradict himself to do so, is totally beyond my understanding.
>(on the rational level at least)

Yes, well I'm not sure Jung necessarily contradicted himself, and I don't
think he denied metaphysical knowledge to anyone. All he knew was his
own knowledge. And knowledge one can get from a book or a math theorem.


George Leake

Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 09:54:33 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Richard,

Hi! - I'm not sure if you got my missive quoting ideas gleaned from Crowley
and Suarès (neither of whom are the most reliable sources, I know, but both
of whom, I'm sure you'll admit, are interesting, if only for their
snottiness)?... I was a little surprised that Adam didn't put it on the forum
as such, but assumed he sent it on to you?...

[Mike, I assume you are referring to your two postings on 'The Kabbalah and
Exodus'. These were actually posted out on the INNER alchemy group on the
11th January. Please understand, that e-mail often goes missing. I get dozens
of returned e-mails a day. If this occurs regularly you should contact your service
to complain of missing mail. - Adam]

The point being that this concept (or formula) - Solve/Coagula = King / Queen
< purification > union, does, on one level, permit of that interpretation...
[Let me briefly sum up the argument for those who were not party to it:
The contention - based on Gen. I, 27 and the term ALHIM, (masc. sing. root +
fem. pl. ending) in the original, which is here (King James) blithely
translated as "God" - is that "creation" was twofold, or at least occured in
two distinct phases...

The first phase creates, as it were, A-DM = "embodied Aleph" ('localised
awareness', or 'sentience', in the absolute broadest sense of those terms -
male, female, human, non-human, etc., ad infinitum), and - AT ONE AND
THE SAME TIME - a primordial female counterpart, called by Suarès ISHA
and - inasmuch as she is later ousted - literally spurned in favour of her
supplanter, Eve - by Crowley LILITH. (These names, however, as far as I
can ascertain - which is not very far, I can assure you! - do not seem
absolutely fundamental to the argument.)

A-DM is then placed (Gen. II, passim.) in a garden east of Eden, where,
although everything seems utterly paradisiac, 'an help meet' unto 'him'
cannot be found. It is of note, too, that the name of "God" (ALHIM) has
changed here to YHVH, given as "the LORD God" in King James (their
capitals)... This "LORD God" then (Gen II, 21 - 23) puts A-DM to sleep
and draws from 'him' 'his' 'rib', out of which he proceeds to fashion a
(supposedly) second woman, 'flesh of my flesh' and who 'shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of Man'... Gen. II, 24 - 25 go on to say
that this shall ever be the cause of 'man' leaving his 'father and mother'
and 'cleaving unto the wife' (cleaving? - strong word that!), "... and they
shall be as one flesh..."

Skipping over the interlude with NChSh (= MShICh) in the garden - not
because it is in any way devoid of interest, by the way! - we come at last to
the point where (Gen. III, 22 - 24) the "LORD God", becoming a little
sarcastic at A-DM's pretensions - and his sharing - only! - in the FRUITS
of his meet (i.e., according to the OED, "suitable, fit, proper", or could we
say "no better than deserved"?) 'help's' initiation - sends forth THE MAN,
drives out THE MAN, (= A-DM = 'embodied sentience') - with no mention
of ChVH (as the 'woman' is named only SUBSEQUENT TO A-DM's
becoming aware of their nakedness) and sets "at the east of the garden
of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep
the way of the tree of life".
(Whether this last sentence is to be interpreted as 'His' setting them up as a
guard or as a seal/talisman is open to question. Surely the east of the
Garden, which was, itself, "east of Eden", would be in its very midst?)

Coming back, then, to the Royal Couple image, the Bridal Chamber (often
in the 'heart' of a labyrinthine rose-garden), and the images of pranayama
breath-modulation evoked by Steve Kalec, are we not somewhere in the
realm of - shall we say, to not put too fine a point on it 'many-fold' integration -
often followed by apparent collapse and reentry into putrefaction, tending
ever onwards toward a final and perfect trans-substantiation in the primordial
union of ABBA 'Primordial Father' (= YH), AIMA 'Primordial Mother'
(= IHVH ALHIM) and ARIK ANPhIN / ATIK YVMIN 'Vast Countenance' /
'Ancient of Days' (= AHIH), which would then, in its turn, both seal and
reverberate down through all other unions of the ZAUR ANPIN
'Lesser Countenance' and its corresponding MLKH 'Queen' or KLH 'Bride'?

My QBLH is a bit nicked from everywhere and everything, so any comments
on the above will be more than appreciated. I also apologise for the 'blinding
clarity' of my presentation... I am simply musing through my fingertips:
forgive me!

Respectfully
md

Subject: INNER - Heresy
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 14:39:01 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Dear Brother Athanasius,

Like yourself, I'm not sure discussion on heresy would be that fruitful, but I
would just like to point out two things that I am NOT saying in my first
comment on this matter...

Firstly, nowhere do I deny that there is such a thing as real heresy: it is,
as you so aptly quote, "a sin of the will" (Interestingly, I had heard -
though this may very possibly be wrong, I can't for the life of me remember
the source - that someone, idiot though he must be, had finally come up with
the "proofs" that Eckhart was one!)

And, secondly, nowhere have I suggested we adopt the attitude 'you have your
opinion and me mine' - that is not what I'm saying at all. What I AM saying is
that if one does someone the disservice - harm, even - of considering their
world-view a priori wrong, one will have a lot of difficulty learning anything
from them.

... And, after all, there is so much to learn...

Peace,
md

Subject: INNER - Quotation
From: Donald Minson

[O]rators and others who are in variance are
mutually experiencing something that is bound to
befall those who engage in senseless rivalry:
believing that they are expressing opposite views,
they fail to perceive that the theory of the
opposite party is inherent in their own theory.
--Thrasymachus of Chalcedon

Subject: INNER - Response on Jung
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 21:48:40 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Donald Minson's beautiful and spirited defense and my own soft spot for old
C.G. notwhithstanding, I think it only fair to point out, however, that - as
far as extreme oriental stuff was concerned, at any rate - and because, in
this domain, he was always dependent on translations above and beyond his own
control (I think particularly of Evans-Wentz's 'editings' of Dawa Samdup -
Wilhelm's stuff is in another league altogether), he is very often
extraordinarily wide of the mark.

Interested readers are encouraged to look into John Reynolds' "Self-Liberation
Through Seeing With Naked Awareness", Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY 12507,
1989, for an accurate rendering of the text 'edited' by Wentz as the "Tibetan
Book of the Great Liberation" by a very able Tibetan translator indeed. (Being
one myself, I should know!)

Appendix I very clearly sets forth the problem of the Wentz-Jung
colaborations, at the same time very skilfully demonstrating the actual
considerations of authentic Dzogchen (rdzogs-pa chen-po) view, meditation and
action...

Alors, Jung is Jung sans doute, perhaps, but as far as the Far East is
concerned should definitely be approached with caution.

Respectfully,
md

Subject: INNER - Quotation
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 97 07:44:41 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Oh, Donald -

Thank you so much for this most beautiful and apposite of anodynes... I, for
one, would be interested to have its source; our Thrasymachus looks like a man
with whom closer acquaintance might bring great joy.

With love,
md

Subject: INNER - Divine seed=Stone
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 22:14:06 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

To George Leake: You're not reading your email!

You asked:
>Back to Alchemy for a minute--has anyone ever postulated a connection
>between divine seed and the Philosopher's Stone?

On 2/9 Steve Kalec wrote:"Union w/Brahman(to achieve the Stone)
cannot be as long as Shiva and Shakti are separated."

This was in response to "my secret theory that alchemy is in reality Tantra
Yoga or rather the form it took when reaching the West in order to prevent
its practicioners from persecution at the hands of the Judeo-Christian
religion, which despised the body and sexuality as invitations to damnation."
Steve also said: "I am really excited hearing you say this because I fully agree
.I have always believed that the union of the great opposites, Sun and Moon,
is truly the mysterium coniunctionis of our Royal Queen, the Divine Goddess
Shakti with our Royal King, the Hindu God Shiva.... The Eastern method of
Tantra Yoga shares the same common problem with Western alchemy."
To Steve Kalec: I shall respond to your perceptions at greater length in the
next few days. In the meantime, thanks for the validation.

Richard Roberts

Subject: INNER - Jung,Heresy,Relativism,&Error
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 22:02:00 -1100
From: Br. Athanasius

My essential criticism of Jung and others are that of relativism. I
do not wish to focus on that as opposed to the doctrines of any
one particular expositor of such. Some of you feel the Jung has
been a positive contributor in some sense to the field of religion or
the study of esoteric doctrines, in that his particular insights have
helped people to understand such doctrines. I contend that, from
my perspective, ( at least), this has not been the case. This
touches on the domain of religion proper, and since
we all have very different perspectives, I feel that fruitful discussion
is unlikely, I fear of offending unnecessarily. I would be quite willing
to discuss these matters offlist, as they are not really within the
stated topic of this group. I, myself enjoy direct debate, but I am
aware such is not often the case with many today.

It is my contention that, there is an essential contradiction in
relativism, and I deem that substituting opinion with objective
knowledge is either relativism or leads to it. The psyche cannot be
its own subject and object. Psychology means" science of the soul"
or "word of the soul" and as such what one understands the soul to
be is a critical factor in the judging of the value of such a science.
What is the soul? I contend that the soul, as defined by the
modernist, be they Jung or whomever, is not the same as the soul
as defined by many (if not all) of the traditionalists. Some have
said that this is not the case. George Leake has said that there is
not one alchemical world view. I now ask those who have differed
to give me some indicators from THE PRIMARY SOURCES, the
level of discussion has not appealed to the texts. My assumption
is that one must look to the masters to have some idea of the
science. I wish to move beyond mere opinion. Please cite the
texts that contradict the perspective that I have attempted to
alude to. I must admit that my study of these texts has
been focused on a few of what I consider to be the critical texts,
and I must also admit, that my metaphsical assumptions are not
derived from such things. I more see in them the reality that I have
experienced in another domain, (primarily the religious and the
philosphical)

My metaphsical assumptions presuppose the concept of certitude
that man can and should be certain about certain facets of reality.
What I think some of you have seen as uncharitiable, is the very
key to my metaphysical outlook. I know that today many people
see certitude as simply arrogance. I have often heard the query
"What make you think that you know?" the answer is simply
I know that's who I know. The criterion of truth is truth itself,
Plato tells us that a mark of true knowledge is certitude. I see
this same concept indicated in the Emerald Tablet, The Glory of the
World, The Sophic Hydrolith etc. No one has told me any different.
I want someone to show me how that, these documents (or ones
of your choice) do not support such a contention, and please
George don't just go through my posting and make comments
that you don't agree, I know you don't agree, I want some positive
vision of reality from your perspective. (I probably won't agree
to it, but it will be much more edifying to the readers)

As a final note, Lent is approching soon for the Orthodox, and
as such I will not be able to comment much in this forum,
(Lent in a monastery is extreamly rigerous). I would like to
end this discussion on a positive note, in the next several
weeks. Too, I wish people to know that I do not intend to
offend. I have enjoyed the argument very much.

the servant of God,

Brother Athanasius
Ascension Monastery

Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber and the light
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 14:21:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Joe

In a message dated 97-02-11 04:58:03 EST, you write:

>Back to Alchemy for a minute--has anyone ever postulated
>a connection between divine seed and the Philosopher's Stone?

Well I have, but I doubt I'm part of the "anyone" in your question. Do you
know Newgrange in Ireland and its reputed function as a "seed catcher"? I'm
talking about the long light shaft over a passage way into the megalithic
tomb, the shaft that pierces a highly carved stone which has been set up over
a kind of Yoni stone or vas, if you would, which may have held the ashes of
the last king. On solstice the first rays of the new sun penetrate the shaft
to the stone. Karnak, in Egypt, has a "seed catcher" function too leading
from a grand causeway to a holy of holies. It too is a solstice marker.
Serpent Mound in Ohio has a similar feature also. The common denominator
between the sites is the kind of monomyth which Robert Graves explicates in
The White Goddess, a myth which alchemy shares as a structure - as Jung and
many others have revealed. With the first rays of the sun/king/god the female
earth is opened for the work. I see a lot of "divine seed" and "philosopher's
stone" in such agricultural scenarios, as did Joe Campbell and Mircea Eliade.
But maybe I'm mired in overview. Anyway, I appreciated the questions in your
post, George. And I am not one who is sqeamish about the sexual nature of our
"metaphors" and their links to the divine. The sacred and the profane meet
and mingle in the vas, as they do in the impregnating light shafts at
Newgrange, and Luxor, and Chillocote, Ohio.

Joe

Subject: INNER - Jung,Heresy,Relativism,&Error
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 15:23:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Joe

Hello Brother A.

In your post you wrote:

>The psyche cannot be its own subject and object.
and then later you said:

>"The criterion of truth is truth itself".

Well I'm a composition teacher and all week I've been
abusing my students with interesting tidbits concerning logical
inconsistancies so I could be just wildly projecting but do I detect a
little bit of that here? The other thing which strikes me about those two
statements is that I believe they are the core of the argument which you're
having with George and others. Here again, my recent tribulations with logic
in the classroom lead me to think there may be a bit of "begging the
question" in both statements. Those statements, to me, are your argument. You
can't logically start the argument by offering them as proven truths. To "the
psyche cannot be its own subject and object" I would answer in the frames of
my own argument: Yes it can. It must. To me, that's the center of what
alchemy is about and the world view of the alchemical drama. To the second:
"The criterion of truth is truth itself" I am reminded of Kurt Goedel and his
"warnings" about deciding that formal systems, logical, mathematical, and
otherwise, are logically consistent and lead towards an endtruth. But you're
right. That just makes me a relativist of sorts. Peace be with you in your
lent, brother. When I was a kid we knelt in a circle, as a family, and said
the rosary for the conversion of Russia every night of lent. Except for
Sunday, my father had convinced himself that Sunday was not a real part of
lent. So on Sunday we got to watch television and Russia could go to hell.
More relativisim.

Joe

Subject: INNER - Jung,Heresy,Relativism,&Error
From: Br.Athanasius
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 18:17:03 -1100

Dear Joe,

Interesting information, but logic is limited to the plane of reason,
that is to say rationality, one cannot apply it's methods to knowledge
of a supra-rational quality. The relagating of all types of knowledge
to the dictates of limited logic is a main error of the West. I suggest
that you read the essays " The Contradiction of Relativism" and
the " Rationalism Real and Apparent" by F.Schuon. My argument
on purely formal and rationalistic line would indeed fall. But
it is of a very different order. (By the way. Russia was converted in
988A.D. so you need'nt worry about your T.V watsching on their
account.)

Thank You and God bless you,

Brother Athanasius
Ascension Monastery

Subject: INNER - Jung,Heresy,Relativism,&Error
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 17:38:12 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Br. Athanasius
>My essential criticism of Jung and others are that of relativism.

I have understood this and am still wondering why I am a "relativist". I
have seen the relativism defined in many ways, but I'm guessing that the
way in which you are characterizing it is for you there is one truth based
on perception of objective reality that has led you to believe, say,
killing of humans is a sin and morally wrong, but perhaps the killing of
cows is not, whereas the relativist might say in this culture we do, but in
Hindu culture killing cows is not condoned.

So, perhaps in order for us to understand what you mean, because most of
us want to hear what you have to say, I definitely value your input, I want
to hear what you mean by relativism.

>I do not wish to focus on that as opposed to the doctrines of any
>one particular expositor of such. Some of you feel the Jung has
>been a positive contributor in some sense to the field of religion or
>the study of esoteric doctrines, in that his particular insights have
>helped people to understand such doctrines.

A lot of the esoteric material Jung has spoken of I hesitate to call
'doctrine'. Here we are talking about alchemy, I fail to see how alchemical
philosophy is doctrinal.


>I contend that, from
>my perspective, ( at least), this has not been the case.

What books on alchemy do you value, then?


Personally, I think Jung's chapter "Religious Ideas in Alchemy" from his
book Psychology and Alchemy (I'm using the Princeton English translation)
is as straightforward an introduction to alchemy as any(I think it compares
nicely to Atwood in many ways). Rather than making sweeping general
condemnations of Jung, let's get into specifics. If you like, I would be
happy to transcribe some specific passages from this work, and we can
debate it from there.

I also think there's a big difference between Jung himself and
interpreters of Jung.


>This touches on the domain of religion proper, and since
>we all have very different perspectives, I feel that fruitful discussion
>is unlikely, I fear of offending unnecessarily.

I don't see how we can talk about Alchemy at all--especially on an "Inner"
Alchemical Forum--an avoid raising different religious perspectives. My
advice to you, if you can try it, is to step outside of yourself and your
beliefs if you can when discussing these things. Honestly, Brother
Athanasius, I really respect your beliefs and your dedication. When I argue
with you over Jung or relativism or what exactly is meant by gnosis, its my
ideas arguing yours in the abstract Platonic realm of the forms, I'm not
executing a midfield tackle or attempting an assault on your moral or
ethical character.
That said, if you want to say such an such an idea is heretical in context
of this or that church, that's fine, but its not a "relativistic" idea at
all to say that maybe not every person or culture or religious tradition
shares that. Personally, I think the latter types of things are objectively
realistic. Maybe that's because I live in a crowded diverse urban area.


I would be quite willing
>to discuss these matters offlist, as they are not really within the
>stated topic of this group.

Maybe not at this level, but certainly the spiritual context of alchemy as
talked about by Jung indeed is appropriate to the scope of this very forum.
So is, by the way, probably the works of many Church fathers on the one
hand, and the work of Aleister Crowley, on the other, where cogent of
course.


I, myself enjoy direct debate, but I am
>aware such is not often the case with many today.

As long as we can all "get along like good Christians"


>It is my contention that, there is an essential contradiction in
>relativism,

Perhaps. Please define this. The contradiction could be because it is a
faulty external definition.


>and I deem that substituting opinion with objective
>knowledge is either relativism or leads to it.

I'm not sure how this follows...although I definitely see the problem with
"substituting opinion with objective knowledge", if indeed any knowledge
can be deemed objective.


>The psyche cannot be its own subject and object.

Both can be contained within it, and here's how. The separation between
the perceiver and perceived.

Psychology means" science of the soul"
>or "word of the soul" and as such what one understands the soul to
>be is a critical factor in the judging of the value of such a science.

I'm not sure everyone agrees the psyche and soul is the same thing though.


>What is the soul? I contend that the soul, as defined by the
>modernist, be they Jung or whomever, is not the same as the soul
>as defined by many (if not all) of the traditionalists.

I would agree. In fact I would take it further. I say the view of the soul
is not the same amongst most modernists and amongst most "traditionalists".
(course I'm not sure that includes everyone--is there anyone besides those
two, and if so, what are they called, and where is the dividing line?)


>Some have
>said that this is not the case. George Leake has said that there is
>not one alchemical world view. I now ask those who have differed
>to give me some indicators from THE PRIMARY SOURCES, the
>level of discussion has not appealed to the texts.

Hey, I have tried. Frances Yates speaks of some of these people. What
other thinkers have postulated a world view like Giordano Bruno?


>My assumption
>is that one must look to the masters to have some idea of the
>science. I wish to move beyond mere opinion. Please cite the
>texts that contradict the perspective that I have attempted to
>alude to.

I don't think you have enunciated a perspective one could debate. You've
mentioned something about "traditionalist", and some things about objective
reality, and mentioned your standing as a member of an Eastern Orthodox
monastery (I do have some personal familiarity with that faith). Is there
some philosophy or text that represents your perspective? I'm also still
wondering why you got so upset about the Epicurean comments.


> I must admit that my study of these texts has
>been focused on a few of what I consider to be the critical texts,
>and I must also admit, that my metaphsical assumptions are not
>derived from such things. I more see in them the reality that I have
>experienced in another domain, (primarily the religious and the
>philosphical)

Of course, for example, by "the religious" I'm sure you must have a
specific set of texts in mind. Right? For instance, are there any religious
texts outside your domain?


>My metaphsical assumptions presuppose the concept of certitude
>that man can and should be certain about certain facets of reality.
>What I think some of you have seen as uncharitiable, is the very
>key to my metaphysical outlook. I know that today many people
>see certitude as simply arrogance. I have often heard the query
>"What make you think that you know?" the answer is simply
>I know that's who I know. The criterion of truth is truth itself,
>Plato tells us that a mark of true knowledge is certitude.

So you're saying the fact you're convinced, alone, is proof enough for you
of the existence of God?


>I see this same concept indicated in the Emerald Tablet,

I'd love to see how the Emerald Tablet supports that...


>The Glory of the
>World, The Sophic Hydrolith etc. No one has told me any different.

Well, naturally, the Emerald Tablet talks about certitude, but how do you
know you and the writer of the Emerald Tablet (who do you think wrote it,
btw?) are certain about the same things??


>I want someone to show me how that, these documents (or ones
>of your choice) do not support such a contention, and please
>George don't just go through my posting and make comments
>that you don't agree, I know you don't agree, I want some positive
>vision of reality from your perspective. (I probably won't agree
>to it, but it will be much more edifying to the readers)

Ok, I'm not just agreeing and disagreeing. I want to see a more fleshed
out version of your philosophy--unless it is that certitude (some say
faith) is proof enough. If that's your philosophy, then I'll comment.
Otherwise, I think we need a better idea.


>As a final note, Lent is approching soon for the Orthodox, and
>as such I will not be able to comment much in this forum,
>(Lent in a monastery is extreamly rigerous). I would like to
>end this discussion on a positive note, in the next several
>weeks. Too, I wish people to know that I do not intend to
>offend. I have enjoyed the argument very much.

I have enjoyed it as well, and good luck in your pursuits.

George Leake

Subject: INNER - Quotation
From: Donald Minson
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 23:43:34 +0000

> From: Mike Dickman
> Thank you so much for this most beautiful and apposite of
> anodynes... I, for one, would be interested to have its source; our
> Thrasymachus looks like a man with whom closer acquaintance might
> bring great joy.
> md

Sorry Mike,

...it was simply a quote I coincidentally found in an essay and
couldn't find the source listed......I had hoped it would not be
in poor taste...it is easy to mistake anothers intent with simply
words...e-mail has its difficulties yet to overcome...

Donald Minson

Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 00:03:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Mike Dickman
>Hi! - I'm not sure if you got my missive quoting ideas gleaned from Crowley
>and Suarès

Yes. I did receive your postings. I am still looking for the back issues of
Maitreya that you mentioned. They sound like wonderful resources.

You mentioned Lilith. An excellent book about her is "Lilith - the First
Eve" by Siegmund Hurwitz. He presents a wide ranging historical survey with
a separate psychological discussion. Much food for thought.

Richard Patz

Subject: INNER - Jung & Valentinus
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 00:28:30 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

TWO HERETICS c1997 Richard Roberts

I should like to offer my views on Valentinus, and then on Fri. a
timely valentine to all our members.It is perhaps to Valentinus that
the Nag Hammadi scrolls were rescued from obscurity. Discovered
in 1947 they were offered for sale to various bidders. Purchase by the
Bollingen Foundation was dependent upon verification of their authenticity
by Valentinian scholar Gilles Quispell. A single page convinced him that
THE GOSPEL OF TRUTH was authored by Valentinus, but many
obstacles would prevent the translations of the many codices until
the 1960s. In the meantime, Jung, who deemed the Gnostics"not so
much heretics as theologians," was presented with parts of Codex I
(the so-called Jung Codex), the only part permitted to leave Egypt in the
1950s. Certainly such an important religious document would not have
been delivered into the hands of a champion of reductionism, so I think
Donald Minson's interpretation is correct: Jung decries the
contemporary "spirit of the age." Brother Athanasius misconstrues
Jung's words when he says that "the world view as advanced by Jung
cannot be reconciled with the alchemical world view," because through
his study of the mystical alchemists Jung by his own account found
what he considered to be the bridge between Gnosticism and the modern
psychology of the unconscious. Why would Jung devote so many years of
his life(vols. 12,13,14 of the collected works) to alchemy if he were indeed
opposed to the "alchemical world view"?

Jung's opposition to reductionism cost him dearly, and still does to
this day.The Jung book talks on-line which Donald Minson also participated
in last week were replete with discussions of Jung's shadow, his so-called
anti-Semitism and crypto-fascism. These are the same charges that were also
unjustly levelled against Joseph Campbell after his death, and they are the
price one pays for taking a stand against reductionism and Marxism when they
embody "the spirit of the age." The Church errs, I think, when it does not
recognize as its friends defenders of the metaphysical world view, such as
Jung and Campbell, because their philoophies do not fit into Church dogma.
Indeed, I honestly believe that Jung and Campbell have kept more people from
going over to the doctrine of the Materialists than have been driven there
by the rigidity of Church dogma.

Jung's true stance is best exemplified by his break with Freud, which
eventually led to innuedos of anti-Semitism from Freud's followers. To
show how far ahead of his times--and Freud--was Jung, some ninety years
ago Freud confided in Jung that he was adopting him "as an eldest son,
anointing him as a successor and crown prince." However, when Jung
inquired what Freud's views might be on precognition and parapsychology,
Freud exclaimed,"Sheer nonsense!"

In Campbell's introduction to Viking's THE PORTABLE JUNG (which he
inscribed to me,"To Dick in celebration of our San Francisco conversations,
with warm affection, and admiration. Ever, Joe") we read:"The next traumatic
event occurred in 1910, the year of the Second Congress of the Association
of Psycho-Analysis, where Freud proposed, and even insisted against
organized oppositon, that Jung should be appointed Permanent President.
'My dear Jung,' he urged on this occasion, as Jung tells, 'promise me never
to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see,
we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.'...In some astonishment
Jung asked him, 'A bulwark against what?' To which he replied, 'Against the
black tide of mud...of occultism.'

"'First of all,' comments Jung on this episode, 'it was the words
"bulwark" and "dogma" that alarmed me; for a dogma, that is to say, an
indisputable confession of faith, is set up only when the aim is to suppress
doubts once and for all. But that no longer has anything to do with
scientific judgment; only with a personal power drive.'"

Jung was being heretical in the same way that Valentinus was
heretical in the eyes of the Church fathers who condemned him, albeit not
without admiration; for Jerome wrote,"No one can bring a heresy into being
unless he is possessed by nature of an outstanding intellect and has gifts
provided by God. Such a person was Valentinus."In the middle of the second
century A.D.,Valentinus was considered for bishop of Rome, so he once was
held in high regard by the Church. Subsequently, he and his followers drew
more criticism than any other group of Gnostics.

I had the pleasure of meeting the aforementioned Gilles Quispell in
San Francisco when I was researching my collaboration with Campbell
"Tarot Revelations." In Gnosticism the Creator God, known as the
Demiurge, is also called Saklas(Fool) because having been assigned
the task of creating the world by Sophia(Wisdom) he concludes that he
is lord of the universe, and is called "Fool" by Sophia. I wondered to
Quispell if there could be a connection between Tarot's Fool and the
Gnostic Saklas.

Saklas bears a close resemblance to the angry god of the Old
Testament,and the relation to Freudian psychology was not lost upon
Jung, who credited Freud with introducing the Gnostic evil paternal
authority into modern psychology. In Freud's myth, the primal father
became a demon who created aworld of dissappointments, illusions,
and suffering. Missing was the primordial feminine spirit from a higher
god who gave humans the possibility of spiritual transformation. In
"The Gospel of Phillip," Jesus is questioned about his love for Mary
Magdalene, and indirectly replies that she is the manifestation of
Sophia, who in Valentinianism is the bide-to-be of Jesus.
Small wonder that this was considered heretical!

So we have a delicious philosophical irony here in the lives of
these two heretics, Valentinus and Jung. The former is adjudged
heretical in the eyes of the religious "spirit of the age" because he
revolts in thePromethean sense against the dogma of a tyrannical
Father/God. The latter as "anointed son" revolts against the father of
the psychoanalytic movement, not a religious movement at all, but a
reductive, deterministic "spirit of the age." The two come together
perhaps as embodiments of the spiritual aspirations of the human
mind and heart.


Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber and the light
From: Marcella Gillick
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 17:36:55 +0000

> From: Joe

>Do you
> know Newgrange in Ireland and its reputed function as a "seed catcher"?

Joe,
I hadn't ever heard of it being called a ''seed catcher'' - but even in
mythological stories Newgrange was the place where mortal women went
to give birth to sons fathered by Gods. I've heard the stone basins inside
Newgrange being referred to as 'parabolic reflectors' - said to have been
used to concentrate solar wind energy. I would quite like to discuss the
whole thing further, if you e-mail me as below

Regards
Marcella (gillickm@forbairt.ie)

Subject: INNER - Valentine's Day
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 23:00:49 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

On this day when the quest for the soul mate occupies the conscious mind,
never realizing of course that like the bluebird of happiness he or she resides
in one's own backyard, that is in the unconscious, you may be interested in
learning about some of the origins of Valentine's Day. It seems to be a
variation on the alchemical sacred marriage. As recounted in Rutherford's
THE TROUBADOURS, in southern France during the era of courtly love,
on 2/14 of each year, participants known as Valentines and costummed to
represent Cupid, Mercy,Loyalty, and Chastity would assemble to worship
Love in a ritual that was obviously intended to parody the Mass. Indeed,
it might be argued that these persons were Valentinian Gnostics, or
descendants of that, or even earlier pagan traditions; for the culminating
ritual involved Cupid's drawing from a silver casket(symbolic of the moon
goddess Diana?) the names of all the participating males, who then
became the Valentines of the respective ladies who had drawn them for
the ensuing year.

Each man was then obligated to be faithful to his lady for the year;
to periodically make gifts to her and to keep her supplied with flowers;
to joust for her honor; and to escort her "withersoever she wished to go,
for purposes of piety or pleasure." Marriage between Valentines was
prohibited, but should a gentleman fail in his duties to his lady,
excommunication was the penalty, proclaimed by burning a bundle of
straw on his doorstep.

Whether he then was made to leave the community I do not know, but
he never again could be anyone's Valentine. Modern ladies, would you
not prefer this for the year to the token box of chocolates and the
occasional bouquet?

Marija Gimbutas has written of even earlier rituals(2-4,000B.C.) in
which one day out of the year all the women of the culture were required to
make themselves available in their village's roadside Temple of Love to any
and all men who might pass that way on that day. In effect, by that means
they honored the principle of fertility which the Great Mother represented,
and which they themselves embodied.

Note the common theme in both of the above cultures. One's personal
choice in love and sex is made intentionally subservient to a deity, Cupid
or the Great Mother, and thereby a lesson is learned.

Happy Valentine's Day All!

Subject: INNER - Jung,Heresy,Relativism,&Error
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 97 11:36:01 UT
From: Mike Dickman

I, too, would like to wish Brother Athanasius a peaceful and profound lenten
retreat... I look forward to hearing from him after the Easter festivities.
Happy St. Valentine's day to one and all!

Love,
md

Subject: INNER - Qabbalah Websites
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 15:00:16 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake


>From: Mackie Blanton


Most of these I couldn't find...

>1. www.cyborganic.com/people/ovid/kbllinks
> [List of Qabbalah pages on the WWW]

File Not found. The requested URL /people/ovid/kbllinks was not found on this server.



>2. www.netvoyage.net/~dalfin
> ["The Qabbalah Connection"]

The requested URL /~dalfin was not found on this server.



>3. www.csbh.mhv.net/~m...kabbalah/kab_book
> [Qabbalah and mysticism book list]

Netscape "unable to find this server"



>4.ww.io.org/~vma/kabbalah
> ["kabbalah Home Page" under auspices of B'nai Baruch]
File Not Found

The requested URL /kabbalah was not found on this server.


>5. www.torah.org
> [Project Genesis: Online classes in Kabbalah]

This one, that I could find, is splendid. Traditional


>6. www.digital-brilliance.com/kab
> [Excelent reading list and WWW directory]

Occult kabbalah, essays by thelemist Bill Heidrick, for example


>7. Smoss@l.net
> ["Kabbalah Net": email discussions with Rabbi Steven Moss]

So in other words, NOT a website (since my server couldn't find it)

George Leake

Subject: INNER - Bridal Chamber and the light
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 97 20:00:25 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Just a brief word - not my own, either - on Newgrange and her sisters
woldwide:

"... In fact the stone circles were like the centres of great ripples
spreading across the land, set out with perfect geometry on the face of the
country, the radiating lines of one circle meeting those of another and
dividing the country into vast crystalline shapes surrounding the sacred
centres... the prehistoric carved spirals, such as those at New Grange in
Ireland and those found on rocks and standing stones at many other places...
(being)... based on integral Pythagorean triangles. In the same way, the
geometry of the country with its lines and spirals is precise, yet its beauty
lies in the fact that it is never rigid, for it is everywhere related to the
earth's natural features, the peaks and headlands over which the sitings were
made. These features reflect the patterns of the heavens, for the whole system
of alignments is based on obsevations of the sun, moon and stars made from
within the stone circles..."

Yup! You guessed it: John Michell... But for anyone who hasn't been in the
West Kennet long-barrow recently, try the large, flat stone set into the floor
in the first chamber on your left as you go in... Buzz is not quite the word.

Love,
md

Subject: INNER - Qabbalah Websites
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 23:41:10 -0800 (PST)
From: Zeljko Bistrovic

I have web site about Kabbalah. This is still under construction
but I will finish it in March.The URL is

http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/1471/Hindex.html

If you have some comments or ideas e-mail me.

"Zeljko Bistrovic"

Thanks,

your Aharon

Subject: INNER - ferment
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 19:57:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Jon Stevenson

I am wondering what the consensus of the old masters is regarding the
state of ferment, or nigredo, in the inner work.

Is there one?

I am relatively new to alchemy (this time around) and have not yet done
any external work.

Many thanks.

Jon Stevenson

Subject: INNER - ferment
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 97 19:28:02 UT
From: MIKE DICKMAN

Jon

A starting point might be Charles Poncé's article "The Alchemical Death: Notes
from a Journal" in Maitreya III (Shambhala, 1972) and John Reid's
extraordinary "Course on Practical Alchemy" which you'll find right on Adam's
website... Your question, I think, will answer itself...

Have fun.

Respectfully,
md

Subject: INNER - ferment
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 11:37:52 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

>From: Jon Stevenson
>I am wondering what the consensus of the old masters is regarding the
>state of ferment, or nigredo, in the inner work.

To whom do you refer when you say"old masters"?


Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 15:28:37 +0000
From: John France

Jon Stephenson

I do not wish to deny the importance of the practical laboratory work
you refer to, but I feel that you have given me the opportunity to 'come
clean' and, in this erudite forum where I have already found much
helpful discussion, present my own opinions regarding the issues raised
for me by your question, but questions do tend to give rise to
questions, so I apologise in advance for perhaps not addressing your
question in the direct manner in which it was presented.

>. . . .what about the inner work? My suspicion is that
>it should be concurrent with the practical work. However, is there
value to waiting to start the practical work until a certain inner level
has been reached? Or is it better to just dive into the lab work right
away?
>
>If these questions seem basic, please forgive.

Holmyard and others report the opinions of many (particularly the
earlier) alchemists who were neither committed to the activity, nor, in
some cases, convinced of the possiblity, of making the physical object -
real gold. This, despite the many well-documented reports of successful
transmutations, appears to indicate their lack of interest in producing
physical gold either for themselves or (and apparently more usually) for
others.

My own approach to alchemy is that the practical and the inner work you
refer to are one and the same thing, and that in this sense the inner
work becomes 'physical' (ie, manifest in the measureable, commonly
observable experience we refer to as reality). The physical phenomena we
observe are simply the by-products of practical work taking place within
the alchemist (the laboratory), an arguement supported in esoteric and
mystical traditions where attention is often drawn to the dangers of
persuing the container at the expense of the content. In my view this
practical work consists mainly of the conscious manipulation by the
alchemist of real chemical processes within him/her self in order to
produce more highly refined chemicals which will, in turn, affect more
refined (ie, more perfected) activities. To me the alchemical discipline
lies in confining these enhanced activities to the achievement of
perfection or union, initially within the laboratory but ultimately
within the, then perfectly perceived, real world.

I would welcome comment on this viewpoint
--
John France

Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 97 20:30:50 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Jon

Leaping into lab work - or anything else for that matter - should, in my
experience, be done slowly and carefully - much (if I may put it this way?) as
one might leap out of bed with a hangover...
As to having had a purge-out experience already, good start...
Keep looking for 'em... There's more in there than in all the rest put
together (cf., e.g., Flamel 'Le Livre de Laveures' ('The Book of Rinsings')
and the coniunctio-separatio series in the 'Crowning of Nature' on Adam's
web-site). Poncé, as quoted in my own intro to the 'Cantilenae de Phoenice
Redivivo' (also on the web-site for the nonce), contends that the alchemist's
only real business is in the mine, hunting and extracting "lead", and then
purifying it in the laboratory ('the place of work and prayer')... "Gold" is a
gratifying result of all one's labour, perhaps, but, in the final analysis,
ultimately useless UNLESS one knows how to multiply it ad infinitum, at which
point, anyway, it is only put to work in the service and for the wellbeing of
others...

This, at any rate, is one view.

Love,
m

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 17:52:52 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

In "Alchemy, The Philosopher's Stone", Allison Coudert provides a list of
correspondences between alchemical processes and the signs of the Zodiac
that Dom Pernety (18th C. France) gives in his alchemical dictionary:
Aries           Calcination
Taurus Congelation
Gemini Fixation
Cancer Dissolution
Leo Digestion
Virgo Distillation
Libra Sublimation
Scorpio Separation
Saggittarius Ceration
Capricorn Fermentation
Aquarius Multiplication
Pisces Projection
I wondered what opinions people might have about these associations. Aries
(Cardinal Fire) and calcination, Taurus (Fixed Earth) and Congelation, or
Cancer (Cardinal Water) and dissolution - I have no trouble with these. But
I have difficulty connecting Gemini (Mutable Air) with fixation. Can someone
elucidate?

Richard Patz

Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 20:22:49 -0500
From: Kate Ryan

My experience has only been with plants. These experiments have only
been in producing herbals medicines so far. I have to say that the
practical work, which was first with a group of people, which involved
timing, commitment, equipment, communal chanting, prayers, drumming, etc
was not only ego-freeing ( I was a child of the last of the Victorians),
but produced results that actually helped and cured people who believe
in me and love me.
My next self dicipline was to produce herbal medicines on my own with
the aid of study, books and hope. As one teacher of Shiatsu I met says,
you do it for yourself, and if you actually help someone, thats an added
benefit. One again these were tried on myself, friends, family and one
or two of the less faint-hearted strangers to my ways.
These experiments produce:- commitment, involvement, trust, and
responsibility. Consciousness a word I would not use but I find it
difficult to replace, is all of the above. The medicine is nothing if
the seeking and self involvement is not an integral part of this. I
love the word used of refinement, because my fragile experiments involve
the trial and error of refinement. I hold myself back from the chemical
experiments with a multitude of excuses. Oh, I am too old, I dont have
the equipment, I cant do that ( 100 times), and yet we can.
I am sure that I am not alone, and that together we can at least start
from a known point, like John's practical course, which is so generously
on Adam's site for us. It is the overcoming of the known safety to
reach into the unkown which actually is not so difficult. I am still
not sure if it is laziness, the desire too live off other people's backs
or what, but eventually one tires even of these excuses, and takes the
dive into the water. There has to be a balance of the reading-dreaming,
state, the emotional can I- can't I state, and the actual start of
experimentation. When these are brought together, and I cannot talk of
what I dont know, but of the pride that my medicines were used, and
worked, then I can believe and trust that the refinement of the
experiment, trial and error, together with the understanding of the
experiment in the refinement of the thinking must achieve something.
The word dicipline was used, and the discipline is of self. Here on
Adam's site we have people who have been doing practical work for years,
and yet they do not turn their backs on us. They have been at this
place themselves, and still are, but on a higher turn of the spiral.
This is what the practical work means to me at my plant level.

With very best wishes,

Kate Ryan

Subject: INNER - Ferment
From: simonell
Date: 21 Feb 97 15:28:01 -0500

>>I am wondering what the consensus of the old masters is regarding the
>>state of ferment, or nigredo, in the inner work.
>
>To whom do you refer when you say"old masters"?

I suppose those for whom a consensus exists that they were successful in
their work.

Subject: INNER - Another question
Date: 21 Feb 97 15:32:44 -0500
From: Jon Stevenson

So far in my reading, it would appear that most are agreed as to the order
that the works should be done in: plant, then mineral.

What I was wondering was: what about the inner work? My suspicion is that
it should be concurrent with the practical work. However, is there value to
waiting to start the practical work until a certain inner level has been
reached? Or is it better to just dive into the lab work right away?

If these questions seem basic, please forgive.

My thanks,
Jon

Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 97 13:45:42 UT
From: Mike Dickman

John (and Jon)

My own attitude on this (and, again, I too invite comment) is very similar to
yours, John, except for two or three details...
The two main traditions I have worked in over the past 35-odd years (to wit,
Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the ancient, Nyingma, school of
Vajrayana (that is to say 'adamantine vehicle' - socalled 'tantric' Buddhism)
and Dzogpa Chenpo ('Complete Perfection', the practice beyond practice at the
very apex of all Tibetan schools), and Ch'uan-chen - i.e., 'Complete Truth' or
'Complete Reality' - Taoism) all have an alchemical section - an alchemical as
it were "path" - as do manifestly many others, the one's leaping to mind
without so much as stopping to think being, for example, Shaivatantra, Sufism,
certain currents of Qabalah, and, of course, Hermetic Christianity...
The point of this hinges on the word "path", and on the interpretation of what
seem to be a chemical, but I suspect is - if not entirely, at least expressly
- symbolic terminology...
Much of the writings of Chang Po-tuan and Liu I-ming, which, unfortunately, I
do not have in the original and would probably not be able to read if I did
(although I am in the process of getting them, and am going to try!) revolve
around exactly this question... Books I might suggest on the subject are
Cleary's translations of "The Four Hundred Words on the Gold Elixir" ('The
Inner Teachings of Taoism', Shambhala, 1986) and "Understanding Reality"
('Understanding Reality', University of Hawaii Press, 1987)... It has been
suggested that Cleary be read with a pinch of salt; the point, then, is - much
as one would with Crowly, but to a FAR lesser extent - to read him with a
pinch of salt... What he is saying is absolutely fascinating.
I would like to add a brief translation extracted from the writings of my own
teacher here... It is taken from the rtsa gzhung (tsa shung, or 'root text')
of the spu gri reg phung (Putri Rep'ung, 'The Razor-Sharp 'Kila' that Cuts at
a Touch') [The Collected Works of H.H. bDud 'Joms Rin po che, Vol. BA (15),
fols. 5-6, pp. 467-469]...
For information's sake, the 'kila' or 'p'urba' mentioned in the text is a
three-bladed or triangular "dagger" whose unbearably sharp point is the
penetrating power of perfectly purified innate awareness, the three sides of
the blade representing in their turn the threefold manifestation of this
purity in the form of an outward expanding series of 'dimensions' of being,
which, when realised and unified, constitute enlightenment.They are: (i) the
dimension of pure reality, recognised as being the innate 'emptiness' of
ultimate reality in any composite phenomenon, be this subjective or objective,
this being considered the quintessence of the awareness, or 'mind' of a
Buddha; (ii) the dimension of blissful enjoyment, the radiant expression of
ever-arising phenomena, this being the nature of a Buddha's communicative
faculty whether as expression or as understanding; and (iii) the
all-encompassing expression of this understanding in the form of universal and
unsolicited compassionate activity for the benefit of all sentient beings... A
trifle 'technical', I admit: excuse me!... The translation... (my notes are
numbered and in brackets)
"... Fourthly, concerning the 'kila' of substances, he who weilds it is an
individual of perfect lineage and powerful vehemence, like sandalwood (*1)...
The 'kila' with which one strikes is of silver, gold, copper, iron, or of
woods with analogous properties (*2), and is decorated with a head, beneath
which there is a knot, a haft or 'waist' of one hand's breadth, after which
there is a 'navel' comprising a knot and the head of a 'makara' sea-monster.
The point is slightly rounded, square or semi-circular in shape, and it is
three bladed (i.e., triangular), lustrous, brilliant and beautiful, sharp,
nectareous and maddening, powerfully poisoning as it strikes... Its targets
are the eight fears (*3), the six conditions of good fortune(*4), three
necessities (*5) and seven degenerations (*6).
"The method by which one strikes: in the citadel of the view of one who is in
perfect union with reality (a 'yogin'), free of the least trace of contrived
meditation and possessed of the very life force of the attitude of compassion,
by the skilful means of visualising yourself as the meditation deity, the
materials as the sons of the four families, and the target as really being
there in reality, extract them as you would a string of jewels from the vast
face of a lode of gemstones.
"The sign of having hit is that one establishes profundity in one's ability to
perform the four compassionate activities of pacifying, increasing,
magnetising and subjugation (*7). The error of missing is that you are unable
to reverse unfavorable circumstances and assemble conducive ones, or to tame
and train those who are unruly, uncultivated and wild and therefore do not
protect and spread the Buddhist teachings. The qualities stemming from
correctly striking are that neither oneself nor others under one's protection
can be harmed by the eight fears, that you possess the six aspects of good
fortune and control over the three necessities, while at the same time cutting
off the seven degenerations, thus realising what is meaningful for both
yourself and others, and, freeing it and its holders from the defect of
narrow-mindedness and lowly meanness, you become one who spreads the authentic
Buddhist teachings..."

The notes to this, then, are as follows:
(1) Which, one will note, is not the most aggressive of perfumes... but it IS
pretty all-pervading...
(2) These metals and:or woods represent the Buddha families of
(i) Vajra - 'Mirror-like Wisdom' - purified anger-hatred
(ii) Jewel - 'Wisdom of Intrinsic Equal-Nature' - purified haughtiness-
pride
(iii) Lotus - 'Wisdom of Understanding Each Thing In and As Itself' -
purified Desire
(iv) Activity - 'Wisdom of the Accomplishment of Activity' - purified
envy-jealousy
The fifth - central - family is the visualised meditation-deity himself, and
he represents the 'Buddha' family, the 'Wisdom of the Absolute Nature of the
Expanse of Phenomena', and the purification of the 'root poison', ignorance,
which very often masquerades under the guise of what is generally called
"knowledge".
(3) The eight fears are: fear which is like a lion, analogous to pride; fear
which is like an elephant, analogous to ignorance; that which is like fire,
analogous to hatred; that like a snake, analogous to jealousy; fear which is
like a thief, analogous to wrong view; fear like one in iron chains, analogous
to miserliness; fear like a raging river, analogous to desire; and fear which
is like a cannibal, analogous to doubt.
(4) The six situations of good fortune are extracted from the following ten:
being a human; being born in a central (=civilised) country; having one's
senses intact; being free of extremes of evil action; having faith in the
teachings of liberation; and continuous compassion arising for the plight of
others [these are said to stem from oneself; those that stem from others
are:] the fact that a Buddha has appeared; that he has taught; that his
teachings still flourish; that these teachings have followers.
(5) A place to practice meditation; the leisure to do so; and the supplies
necessary for protracted retreat
(6) The seven degenerations are: degeneration of oneself (aging, stupidity,
defilement, etc), of others (as friends, companions, guides, etc.), of the
correct point of view (drifting into duality, eternalism, nihilism or
unbelief), of moral discipline, conduct, livelihood and of life (in terms of
its quality, accessibility and value)
(7) Pacifying situations, attitudes and even beings that harm or bring harm,
generating wealth and well-being for beings who have none, magnetising or
attracting good fortune and vitality for those whose are flagging, and
subduing through splendour those negative beings and situatiuons
non-susceptible to more the other three gentler means.

Okay! After this long squawk (it's now after 2:00; I've been at it since just
after 10:00, but then I've always been a slow translator!), my point is:
there's not much reference in all this "kila of substances" to anything WE
would call substance, process, chemicals, chemical changes or laboratory...
And yet, aside from some very rare transmutations of substances and a brief
excursion into Rasayana, or exercises in extracting essences (living, for
example, on flower- or metallic-essences), this IS the main road of what is
dubbed 'alchemy' in Vajrayana Buddhism.
Come to what conclusions you will.

Respectfully,
md.

Subject: INNER - "Flamel's" Music
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 97 19:46:06 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Thinking over Richard's question concerning Gemini and Fixation, I suddenly
recalled the fact that there was this rather strange and quaint series of
correspondences attributed to - but in fact, of course, having nothing
(direct, anyway,) to do with - Flamel in an unpublished French ms. in a
private collection. I thought it might be of interest...
    SUN      A    God, sole and unique           ut
MOON B Purification of the lunar re
MARS C Etheric spirit mi
MERCURY D Salt of nature fa
JUPITER E Rectification and circulation sol
VENUS F Congelation of air la
SATURN G Tincture of nature's salt si
SUN H Sulphur of nature ut
MOON I Putrefaction of the lunar re
MARS K Sublimation mi
MERCURY L B(aine) M(arie) fa
JUPITER M Damned earth sol
VENUS N Distillation la
SATURN O Cohobation si
SUN P Air, Earth, Water, Fire ut
MOON Q Marriage re
MARS R Universal solvent mi
MERCURY S Virgin's milk fa
JUPITER T Crow's head Putrefaction sol
VENUS U Hermetic sigillation la
SATURN X Furnaces si
SUN Y Reverberation ut
MOON Z (what looks like) Sisciaxtion re
MARS & Universal medicine mi
Any comments, anybody?

Respectfully,
md

Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 22:18:10 -1000
From: Gary Whiting

> From: John France
> My own approach to alchemy is that the practical and the inner work you
> refer to are one and the same thing, and that in this sense the inner
> work becomes 'physical' (ie, manifest in the measureable, commonly
> observable experience we refer to as reality). The physical phenomena we
> observe are simply the by-products of practical work taking place within
> the alchemist (the laboratory), an arguement supported in esoteric and
> mystical traditions where attention is often drawn to the dangers of
> persuing the container at the expense of the content. In my view this
> practical work consists mainly of the conscious manipulation by the
> alchemist of real chemical processes within him/her self in order to
> produce more highly refined chemicals which will, in turn, affect more
> refined (ie, more perfected) activities.


As a psychologist who specializes in work with medically-referred
patients, I agree with this viewpoint entirely. Most of these clients
have stress-aggravated physical difficulties and are failing to "heal"
(which our miraculous bodies know best how to do, sans prescription
medications) because of countless uncharted biochemical/neurological
factors that impede their immune response. I am trained in hypnosis,
and in our initial work and use of session-made audiotapes a vas is
formed around the massa confusa, which allows for a kind of self-calming
that is very much of a piece with feeling "contained" (versus
out-of-control). I have found that alchemical imagery does indeed allow
for the kind of "tincturing" of inner strife that transmutes not only
conscious experience, but measurable effects in the physical system.

Using these observations as a springboard, I would like to again
engage a topic that has so far gone unresponded to: if we are ourselves
to do the "inner work" of alchemy, we must first seek out the lead, the
prima materia. That means direct and unflinching confrontation of our
own shadow, that part of us that is unseemly and chaotic and unbridled,
which Jung has made clear is the "moral task" of the individual
alchemical work. Depression, for example, or anxiety are therefore
"harbingers" of the work, as are compulsive or obsessive behaviors
(which is why Jung knew that alcoholics have first call on a "spiritual
solution"--being of the solutio--and why he was so influential in the
formation of AA......to acknowledge that you are "out of control" is to
know that you must turn toward something higher that will inform your
life).

Given that these postings are devoted to the "inner work" of alchemy,
I had expected more honest talk of what we do when we struggle,
individually, with our own "massa confusa", the ways we are a mess, and
how we shape this into the alchemical work. This of course is personal
rather than scholarly, and this site seems to be almost entirely devoted
to the latter. Which is fine,in a way, but I'm just so aware (as I said
earlier) of how much the work involves solitariness, the stone as the
"orphan's son"; how much of the motivation to do the work involves a
dismay at how the world is "corrupt" and how much the panacea is needed.
More than dismay: Freud and Jung (as psychiatrists) both became aware of
the fact that there is something perverse and grotesque at the core of
the human soul. Freud felt that it was civilization's task to contain,
repress, inhibit this, but there it was, immutable; Jung knew, with the
alchemists, that a spirit is trapped in this unseemly dark form, that
instead of locking it up and turning away we must reach out to it and,
consciously, help it find the light. Hard to do, given that the lead is
poisonous and potentially overwhelming (ask any alcoholic or sex addict)
but..."the pearl of great price is found in the dung heap, where few
choose to look".

Anyone else care to talk about this?

Best wishes,
Gary W.

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 02:47:49 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan

Richard,

The element of air (=RVCh) is associated with the mind.
Gemini's ruler, Mercury, is also associated with mind, the nervous system,
lungs and hands and all twin structures in general. This sign is also
associated with communication and the function of linkage.

In qabalah, the ruach is conceived of as volatile and ever-changing. It is
this principle of our human constitution which is to be "fixed," i.e., made
stable, non-volatile.
A chemical definition of fixed means additionally, "being in a stable,
combined form."

What are to be combined and stabilized are first the ruach, the self
conscious principle, and the nephesh, which for our purposes here may be
understood as the habit-mind or attitude.

The ruach and the nephesh correspond the the spheres of tiphareth and yesod,
the spheres of the sun and the moon.

We need to be a little careful here and realize that the sun and mercury are
sometimes equivalent in symbolism and stand in for each other. In particular,
in alchemical symbolism mercury often has a more exalted significance than
which is usually understood in a primarily astrological light. The
relationship of the colors yellow and orange to tiphareth and hod in the
"minutum mundum" are suggestive in this respect.
The inference here is that the self-conscious aspect of human personality is
sometimes equally well represented by solar and mercurial symbolism.

The second act of fixation results from a linkage of the united duality of
human personality (our vision and our habits working in accord) with the
neshamah, the understanding, the "divine soul" or super-consciousness,
which may be here understood as an exalted mercury symbol, sometimes
connected with the archangel Raphael, the "healer of god," associated with
the element of air in the G,',D,', system.

But in all this, the ruach, the mind, is the area of application of the
principle of fixation, which consists of right relationship of the functions
of consciousness and the establisment of clear communication between the
divine mind and human personality, a communication so filled with the life
breath that it vivifies our unconscious habits of perception and attitudes
toward life.

Additionally: Gemini = lungs, nerve force; ruach = aleph = Uranus (by
modern qabalists;
here, the subtle nervous system) = The Fool > latin, follis, a bag of wind,
may yield some interesting lines of thought.

If you are not familiar with "The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages," by
Paul Foster Case, may I now refer you to this tersely written volume?

OK?

Blessings,

Dan

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 15:44:54 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Dan

>But in all this, the ruach, the mind, is the area of application of the
>principle of fixation, which consists of right relationship of the functions
>of consciousness and the establisment of clear communication between the
>divine mind and human personality, a communication so filled with the life
>breath that it vivifies our unconscious habits of perception and attitudes
>toward life.

That makes sense. The fixation of Gemini - the most fugitive of signs.

Is that what each of the signs in Dom Pertney's Zodiac is then: "the area of
application" rather than an astrological description of the process? (Maybe
it is not a situation of either/or)

>Additionally: Gemini = lungs,

Although I am not a student of medicine (or medical astrology for that
matter) can we say then that the lungs are the place where oxygen is
"fixated" into the bloodstream?

But what about Leo = heart? This doesn't seem like a place of digestion
except insofar as the Sun - the heart of our solar system - is the ruler of
Leo. The solar nature of the sign, the season it represents (July-Aug),
might best describe the gentle heat of digestion.

Is there another correspondence for Leo in the human body? Is it one that
Dom Pertney might have been aware of?

>If you are not familiar with "The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages," by
>Paul Foster Case, may I now refer you to this tersely written volume?

Thank you. I will look for this book.

Your introduction of Tarot to this conversation brings up a second point. Do
people feel that Dom Pertney's Zodiac combines well with the
astrological-Tarot correspondences that they might be used to? It might
depend on who's deck one is using.

I am most familiar with the Golden Dawn system.
Aries           Calcination     Emperor
Taurus Congelation Hierophant
Gemini Fixation Lovers
Cancer Dissolution Chariot
Leo Digestion Strength
Virgo Distillation Hermit
Libra Sublimation Justice
Scorpio Separation Death
Saggittarius Ceration Temperance
Capricorn Fermentation Devil
Aquarius Multiplication Star
Pisces Projection Moon
Nevertheless, I can't help wondering, should we perhaps be considering a
different set of Tarot associations to alchemical processes based on
alchemical symbolism?

In "Alchemy, the Secret Art", Stanislas Klossowoski de Rola reprints the
illustrations by Mylius in the "Philosophia reformata". When I first saw
these beautiful drawings (a while ago), some of them appeared to be so close
to Tarot images that I was dumbfounded.

A couple of quick examples:

Multiplicatio: shows a woman seated on a lion. Lion cubs are nursing at the
lion's breast. The woman holds a globe showing a pelican pecking at its
breast to feed its young.

This image reminds me of the Strength card. And isn't multiplicatio the
strengthening or concentrating of the power of the Stone?

Fermentatio: shows Luna and Sol lying in a field. The alchemist, to the
left, is sowing the field. To the right, an angel blows a trumpet.

This image reminds of the Last Judgement card: with the dead rising from
their graves to the sound of the angelic horn. Fermentatio, as I understand
it is a rising, like the action of yeast in baking bread.

Opinions? Comments?

Richard Patz

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 12:46:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan

Richard,

In a message dated 97-02-25 05:29:33 EST, you write:

> Is that what each of the signs in Dom Pertney's Zodiac is then: "the area
> of application" rather than an astrological description of the process?
> (Maybe it is not a situation of either/or)

If you draw here on your experience with gematria, in which the meanings of
some words appear to be in contradiction to others of the same value, but
which, through a process of antithesis, shed light on the root concept
through meditation, you are on a profitable track.

> >Additionally: Gemini = lungs,
> Although I am not a student of medicine (or medical astrology for that
> matter) can we say then that the lungs are the place where oxygen is
> "fixated" into the bloodstream?

Yes. Oxygen is critical to the fire in every cell which furnishes the energy
on which our vehicle runs (phosphorus plays a key role here also).
Additionally, our habitual breathing (rate, depth) influences our state of
mind (and emotion!).

> But what about Leo = heart? This doesn't seem like a place of digestion
> except insofar as the Sun - the heart of our solar system - is the ruler
> of Leo. The solar nature of the sign, the season it represents (July-Aug),
> might best describe the gentle heat of digestion.

Digestion is a destructive, firey process which breaks complex molecules into
simple forms suitable for assimilation (in the Virgo phase).

> Is there another correspondence for Leo in the human body? Is it one that
> Dom Pertney might have been aware of?

Digestion is the usual yetziratic attribution to teth. Leo rules also the
spine in general and the upper portion of the back in particular.

> Do people feel that Dom Pertney's Zodiac combines well with the
> astrological-Tarot correspondences that they might be used to? It might
> depend on who's deck one is using.
>
> I am most familiar with the Golden Dawn system.

The correspondences which I have used vary slightly:
>  Aries           Calcination     Emperor
> Taurus Congelation Hierophant
> Gemini Fixation Lovers
> Cancer Dissolution Chariot Separation
> Leo Digestion Strength
> Virgo Distillation Hermit
> Libra Sublimation Justice
> Scorpio Separation Death Putrefaction
> Saggittarius Ceration Temperance Incineration
> Capricorn Fermentation Devil
> Aquarius Multiplication Star Dissolution
> Pisces Projection Moon Multiplication
However, I certainly do not insist upon these as apodictic, though they are
useful and workable.

> Nevertheless, I can't help wondering, should we perhaps be considering a
> different set of Tarot associations to alchemical processes based on
> alchemical symbolism?

Quite possibly. We must always be aware of individual differences and
corresponding variations in the process of the work.

> In "Alchemy, the Secret Art", Stanislas Klossowoski de Rola reprints the
> illustrations by Mylius in the "Philosophia reformata". When I first saw
> these beautiful drawings (a while ago), some of them appeared to be so
> close to Tarot images that I was dumbfounded.

As I am not directly familiar with these images, comment is difficult.

> A couple of quick examples:
>
> Multiplicatio: shows a woman seated on a lion. Lion cubs are nursing at
> the lion's breast. The woman holds a globe showing a pelican pecking
> at its breast to feed its young.
>
> This image reminds me of the Strength card. And isn't multiplicatio the
> strengthening or concentrating of the power of the Stone?

Multiplication refers to the growth and dissemination of the inwardly formed
stone to all parts of our body, i.e., grounding this state of consciousness
in each cell of our vehicle. At least, this is the way I look at it.
Again, symbols admit of a variety of interpretations, and we oughtn't make
too rigorously rational demands in interpretation of them. Lest this
statement be misunderstood, let me clarify it. We need to allow the symbols
to speak to us through meditation before (and after) we begin "cutting and
pasting."
The lion symbol may not have at all times the sign Leo as its primary
correspondence. What we are dealing with here are the correlation of two sets
of symbols of a process, and one of these sets, the zodiac, does not admit of
an easy rearrangement.

> Fermentatio: shows Luna and Sol lying in a field. The alchemist, to the
> left, is sowing the field. To the right, an angel blows a trumpet.
>
> This image reminds of the Last Judgement card: with the dead rising from
> their graves to the sound of the angelic horn. Fermentatio, as I
> understand it is a rising, like the action of yeast in baking bread.

This is certainly suggestive, though the heat associated with fermentation is
a particularly gentle heat, which is not the impression I have of the fire of
Judgement. This is not to argue the point, but merely to make an alternate
observation.

Blessings,

Dan

Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 16:01:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan

John,

In a message dated 97-02-22 17:13:37 EST, you write:

> My own approach to alchemy is that the practical and the inner work you
> refer to are one and the same thing, and that in this sense the inner
> work becomes 'physical' (ie, manifest in the measureable, commonly
> observable experience we refer to as reality). The physical phenomena we
> observe are simply the by-products of practical work taking place within
> the alchemist (the laboratory), an arguement supported in esoteric and
> mystical traditions where attention is often drawn to the dangers of
> persuing the container at the expense of the content. In my view this
> practical work consists mainly of the conscious manipulation by the
> alchemist of real chemical processes within him/her self in order to
> produce more highly refined chemicals which will, in turn, affect more
> refined (ie, more perfected) activities. To me the alchemical discipline
> lies in confining these enhanced activities to the achievement of
> perfection or union, initially within the laboratory but ultimately
> within the, then perfectly perceived, real world.


Clearly, John, the laboratory of the alchemist is his own "body." Equally
clearly, we must understand by this term something more inclusive than what
modern science considers the body.

The container of this work on one's vehicle is the human "aura," which is
formed, in part, by the contents of the psyche. When we awaken our higher
centers in the brain through exercise, the currents of the aura swirl around
them, due to the established focus of vitality within them. Eventually, our
habitual patterns of thought are influenced. In meditation, while our
cognitive processes are quieted, we receive subtle impressions of the larger,
but largely obscurred, "astral" world, which contains the "physical" world.

This is not to say that external laboratory work has no validity; however, I
have the organs and systems of the body(s) primarily in mind.

When there is real commitment to a (notice the indefinite article: the
process is archtypal and COMMON) work, the auric vessel forms.
Within this environment, as the cognitive processes naturally draw upward the
libido or prana (distillation), through chains of associations which, in this
case, diverge widely from the limited sphere of the ego, the nascent higher
centers accept this influx as nutriment. The process is not unlike the birth
of a star, in which swirling gases concentrate at a point (remember, Kether
is in Malkuth). When sufficient mass is achieved the fusion reaction results
and radiation of solar energy (essence) ensues. This is analogous the the set
of experiences most people will have as they unfold. After this, the higher
center, specifically the ajna chakra, is self-feeding and secretes a fluid
substance, the nectar,amriti, elixer, moon juice, which initiates other
changes in our bodies. The process is generally quite slow; and we are
"disadvantaged" because the work takes place on ourselves, as it is an open
secret that "man" (the human body/personality) is the first matter and
subject of our work.
Nothing changes in the world, but our organ of perception is enhanced and we
percieve the world anew in the brighter light radiating from our activated
ajna chakra. This is the light that is not to be hidden under a bushel
basket.

But the work begins with manifestations of the four elements within our
current world of perception, and our artful manipulation of same.

Blessings,

Dan

Subject: INNER - Inner/practical work
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 97 21:55:59 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Gary

In my reply to Jon Stevenson dated 22nd. Feb., it is exactly this latter
consideration of yours that I evoke.
The final cantilenae of Maier's "Cantilenae Intelectuales de Phonice Redivivo"
very clearly drive at just this point as well as it's correlative, the problem
of "fool's gold"... I, for one, should be very pleased to take this up with
you;

Respectfully,
md

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 97 16:50:03 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Richard,

Just a parenthesis... Shambhala's e-mail address (for possible copies of
Maitreya I - VI) is: shambhalbooksellers@internetMCI.com... If you'll excuse
the impertinence, I warned 'em you might be coming (!)...

Hope this's helpful.

Love,
md

Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodites (Note on Confererence)
From: Vladimir Georgiev
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 23:48:40 +100

From Jean.MacIntyre@ualberta.ca (Jean MacIntyre)

The Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association

The Multicultural Middle Ages and Renaissance:
A Dialogue of the Disciplines
Sponsored by the University of Alberta

The Banff Centre for Conferences
May 15-18, 1997

......................................................................

3. Max Bell 156 History of Science
Chair : Robert Graybill, Central Missouri University
"Holy Hermaphrodites and Medical Facts" The Depiction of Hermaphrodites in
Alchemy and Medicine"
..................................................

Vladimir Georgiev

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 1997 12:58:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

First permit me to thank Dan for his observations and opinions. This has
been a very useful discussion for me.

And thanks to Mike for the Maitreya info! I'm there!

At 08:33 PM 27/02/97 +0000, you wrote:
>Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 12:46:12 -0500 (EST)

>From: Dan

>The correspondences which I have used vary slightly:
>  Cancer          Dissolution     Chariot            Separation

> Aquarius Multiplication Star Dissolution
Could you remark further on these two variations?

Aquarius and multiplication is an association I am comfortable with (putting
aside the question of Tarot for a minute). Aquarius rules masses of people,
societies and fraternal organizations - the multitude as it were.

I am interested to hear your alternative observations.


Richard Patz