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Alchemy Forum 0401-0450

From January 25th 1996, the Alchemy forum was restructured and the messages were sequentially numbered. This is an unedited extract of messages 401-450.
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Thu Mar 07 09:16:54 1996
Subject: 0401 Conversion of energy to matter

From: Diane Munoz
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 20:15:02 -0800


>From: OISPEGGY
>Date: Mon, 04 Mar 1996 12:01:06 -0500 (EST)
>Also, are there any other examples of energy being converted to
>matter, or is this the only one? (the sun)
>
Maybe not what you're looking for... but that is exactly what electricity
does when it is sent through the lines into our homes... light from
lightbulbs, music from stereo systems etc... The energy that is created
from the dam or the nuclear reactor... and also holography is based on the
same principle. And what about ice/water/steam/condensation...?

>Carbon is from the sun, right? What is meant by us being carbon
>based? (I've heard that said.) What % of our bodies is carbon,
>the element of the sun? What does that mean?

That our bodies are coagulated light perhaps?

Armenua


Thu Mar 07 09:17:04 1996
Subject: 0402 alchemy and heresy

From: Vic Stevens
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 00:14:39 -0500


Christians weren't the first to attempt legislating alchemy out of existence.
Diocletian, the Roman emperor from AD 284-305, known as a great
[conservative] reformer, and, ironically, the last 'great' persecutor of the
Christians, had a stab at ridding the world of alchemists.

Following is footnote 12, p 117, from "A Study of Chinese Alchemy", by Obed
S. Johnson, 1928.

"The report that Greeks in Egypt were practicing alchemy, received official
notice in the year 290 of our era, when the emperor Diocletian issued an
edict commanding that diligent inquiry should be made "for all the ancient
books which treated of the admirable art of making gold and silver," and
that, without pity, such books should be committed to the flames."
Cf. Gibbon, E.: The History of the Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire, vol. I, pp. 427, 428., Cf. Encyclopedia Britannica,
eleventh edition, vol. I, p. 519. (end of footnote).

This quote has been taken out of context, I don't know the impetus behind
Diocletian's edict. What I do know of Diocletian's reign, his attempt at
snuffing alchemy may have been aligned with his financial reforms, including
taxation, and wage and price fixing -- an attempt at staving off inflation
that was later revoked.
====================
Glad to be back on line!


Thu Mar 07 09:17:13 1996
Subject: 0403 Goethe the Alchemist

From: Petra Gottlieb
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 16:04:51 +1100


I am calling to the stand: Mr. Adam McLean , Esquire.!
Mr. McLean, please tell us in your own words:
Was Goethe an Alchemist?

Please Adam, help us out here! You have done some fantastic work on Goethe's
Fairy Tale in your Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourcework # 14
You said on the cover: >>Goethe's dream-like and enchanting fairy tale of
"The Green Snake and the White Lily" is an allegory of transformation based
on the symbolism of alchemy. While it has fascinated readers for nearly two
centuries, few possessed the background knowledge to decode the alchemical
symbolism which forms the core of the allegory.<<

This was one reason why I wanted to study Alchemy. To decode Goethe's Fairy
Tale was my ambition, and I am presently working very hard on it...and even
if it takes up the rest of my life...I will know at the end.

Goethe himself said about his Fairy Tale: >>Diesen Abend verspreche ich
Ihnen ein Maerchen, durch das Sie an nichts und an alles erinnert werden
sollen.<< (This evening I promise to tell you a tale which shall remind you
of all [everything] and nothing). {depending on how knowledgeable we are}.

I will prepare something, too, but it will take a while.

Greetings from



---
Petra Christiane Gottlieb


Thu Mar 07 09:17:24 1996
Subject: 0404 Energy to Matter

From: simeon
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 96 22:15 MST


In relation to the questions posed on the conversion of energy to matter
posed by Peggy.

One must understand that the Universe (perhaps multi-verse would be a better
term) is a closed system, in the greater picture there is no loss, only a
recycling of the energy / matter. While in our reality scientists may
measure an energy loss, in truth the energy is only lost to their
instruments, as it moves through a transformation that allows it to move
into other dimensions of reality in other systems. It still exists within
the greater system, albeit perhaps it escaped ours for the time being. What
is not easily observed is the way this energy re-enters our system once
again (easily observed in the context of cause and effect in its relation to
the originally observed exchange or event).

Coming from a different perspective, each one of us is an excellent example
of energy being converted to matter, as is all of this Creation. If one
engenders that this reality we call Earth is a concentration of vibrations
slowed down to a rate that is slow enough whereby the atoms can then densify
and take form as matter, then is that not an example of energy becoming
matter? Indeed it is, as the energy has changed states, as ice to water to
steam or vice versa (only in this example the energy remains matter). Matter
and energy are not separate, but different states of the same thing. It is
all energy, as an atomic bomb dramatically demonstrates. Einstein's E=MC2 is
also supportive of this concept. It establishes a relationship between
matter and energy relative to the speed of light. Energy equals matter times
the speed of light squared, a rather profound statement coming from a
bonafide nuclear physicist.

On a more spiritual note, the energy of our souls, and that of other great
illumined beings is able to move between dimensions of reality whereby it
appears the energy / matter was lost, but it simply has moved on to another
system, part of the greater system we are a part of also. If one looks at
say the resurrection of the Christ, this would seem to demonstrate the
conversion of matter to pure energy form, at the time a soul incarnates,
this is somewhat of a reversal of this process, albeit the body seems to
formed solely from the elements of the Earth, it is the direct interaction
of spiritual energies such as a soul, that direct and orchestrate the
process, and again the principle I spoke of above applies (vibrations
densifying into matter). A more dramatic demonstrastion of this principle
would be that of the illumined being who appears into physical form from the
ether, India has seen many of these. The only problem is that most souls who
incarnate on Earth do not attain the ability to reverse the process at the
end of their stay here on Earth, therby they stay within the enrgy cycyle of
the Earth, returning to reform matter into a body once again until they have
freed themselves from the bondage through being consciously able to do what
Christ and other Masters have shown is possible. This is the highest aim of
true alchemy, which has been greatly obscured by the many who have sought to
transform matter in a laboratory to better understand the concept. The many
attempts to gain alchemical knowledge laboratory style are not in vain, for
these are attempts at bringing the true knowledge back into human
consciousness once again, but it is important to keep the true objective
clearly in mind when embarking upon any adventure of discovery lest we
become enmeshed and caught up in the means as the end.


Simeon Nartoomid
Crest In the Stone Mystery School
johgrove@rmii.com


Thu Mar 07 09:17:34 1996
Subject: 0405 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: Barry Carter
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 1980 22:56:21 +0000


Dear Peggy,

> Please excuse me for my lack of scientific terms and knowledge.
> I am not a scientist. I am trying to figure something out that
> I think relates to alchemy.
>
> The universe and all it contains, I have read, is composed of
> either energy or matter. Matter can turn into energy, for
> example, when I put gas in my truck I can then drive it a
> distance. Energy turning into matter seems less common to
> me. When does that occur? Can anyone give me examples? It
> must happen regulary under my nose and I fear I'm overlooking
> something obvious.

The whole question revolves around the question what is the nature of
matter and energy. Modern physicists tell us that matter is small
bits of matter which are composed of even smaller bits of matter
which are composed of something that sometimes looks like a wave
(energy) and sometimes looks like a particle (matter). They say
that these bits of stuff spend part of their time in this universe
and most of their time in an infinite number of other universes.
The point here is that the rules of matter that we understand break
down when you get to this quantum level of matter. Some physicists
even speak of time as being a local phenomena that is peculiar to
our universe. Try to think of any cause and effect series of events
without invoking time. The mind quickly boggles here. The book "The
Tao of Physics" has a very readable explanation of many of these
things. The thing about infinity is there sure is a lot of it.




Barry Carter
Blue Mountain Native Forest Alliance
Voice 541-523-3357
Fax 541-523-9438

The road to hell is paved with good inventions.


Thu Mar 07 09:17:44 1996
Subject: 0406 Book Search - Johann Segerus Weidenfeld

From: Russ House
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 00:57:12 -0500

Hi Jon,

This was said first to my knowledge in The Philosophers of Nature course,
Mineral Alchemy, Lesson 36, written by Jean Dubuis:

"The four "Secret Books" of Weidenfeld confirm the interest of Becker's
work. When this work appeared (Weidenfeld's he means), the Rosicrucian
lodges of the time quickly made the copies disappear; hence today only a few
originals remain. In these books, everything is revealed, but a key is
still missing. It hinges around the question of the identity of the famous
red and white wine of Ramond Lulle, i.e., the Wine Spirit of the Adepts.
Weidenfeld had promised to give us the answer to this question in a fifth
book which never saw the light of day. In Becker's work, however... some of
Weidenfeld's important recipes are found, but also and above all. the true
nature and origin of theis philosophical wine."

I think that a few weeks ago in the forum one of the contributors spoke
about another 'key' of Weidenfeld to actuate or sharpen the menstruums.

Regards,

Russ

>From: Jon Marshall
>Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 08:24:34 -0800
>
>
>On Mar 3, 4:19pm, Alchemy forum wrote:
>
>> From: Russ House
>>>
>> I think that Weidenfeld's book is of tremendous value. It has been said
>> that the R+C lodges of his day immediately bought up all copies of his book
>> to prevent.the information from becoming accessable to the public.
>>
>
>Hi Russ
>
>for ages i've wanted to know Who said this and where.....
>
>(tis a good book though)
>
>jon

====================================
Courses in Alchemy * Qabala * Esoteric Studies
The Philosophers of Nature on the web:
http://www.mcs.net/~alchemy/
email: alchemy@mcs.com


Thu Mar 07 09:17:55 1996
Subject: 0407 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: Russ House
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 00:28:04 -0500

>From: OISPEGGY
>Date: Mon, 04 Mar 1996 11:32:19 -0500 (EST)
>
>....snip...
>Well, back to the problem of matter being turned to energy, for
>now. When I drive my truck the gas (matter) is turned into
>energy and my truck moves. However, when my truck stops I
>look at what the universe has gained and lost. The universe
>has lost both the gas (matter) it took to move my truck and
>the energy (motion) that resulted. The energy is no more. It
>is spent. It is in the past. Instead the universe has my truck,
>moved a few miles. Is the universe better off? What benefit is there
>to the universe that my truck is in a different position, when
>energy is lost forever. (It is lost forever, isn't it?) So it
>seems to me that during the exchange of matter to energy the
>universe experiences a loss.
>...clip.....

I am replying somewhat impulsively, but that may not be out of character
for me ;-)

Don't count yourself out of the equations of the Universe. To do so is a
bit reductionist, if I understand the meaning of the word.

The Universe has the truck moved a few miles, and presumably you were
in the truck for some purpose. Is the universe better off? If you wanted
to go somewhere, I guess that it may be.

To take the equations a bit further, it may be interesting to consider that
humanity is one of the multitudinous (!) forms that the Infinite has assumed
in its epansion to achieve self-awareness and realization, having created and
populated Nature progressively in the process. In such a case, Nature is a
creation of the self-evolving Being, for the sole purpose of providing Itself
with a vehicle for realization. I like to think that in the origin, the
Infinite
was Infinitely Stupid since there is no time-space, no duality, no other, no
thing, even no-being.

The goal in the end is to 'return' in Infinite Knowledge and Being, after
the various
descents and reascents of consciousness and form, spirit and matter. The
relevance
to Alchemy? The evolution of the metallic kingdom is under the same laws of
Nature, and for the same reason... the self-creation of the Infinite.

Regards,

Russ
====================================
Courses in Alchemy * Qabala * Esoteric Studies
The Philosophers of Nature on the web:
http://www.mcs.net/~alchemy/
email: alchemy@mcs.com


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana" - Groucho Marx


Thu Mar 07 14:46:17 1996
Subject: 0408 Albigeois & alchemy

From: Jason Johns
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 00:39:38 PST


Dear All,

I read with great interest, Patrick J Smith's posting on Dragons and the Greek
legend regardin Typhon.

I am really intrigued by this as it matches quite closely to something I have been researching. Where and when does this legend originate from?

I sounds (to me anyway) that this could be a tale created to describe a great
cataclysm that occured. Possibly the last great flood (approx 10-15000BC?
And then it describes how man got over it all. Such people as Osiris,
Quetzacoatl travelling the world and spreading civilisation.

I would appreciate anyone who knows any more of these tales to let me know
them as I can put them to good use!

Best regards

Jayzn
[Jason.Johns.RXUK@eur.xerox.com]


Thu Mar 07 14:46:29 1996
Subject: 0409 alchemy and heresy

Date: 07 Mar 96 05:54:36 EST
From: MARVIN LOWES

Maury in his perceptive post writes:

> I think one would have to examine at the very
>minimum: (1) the perspective the alchemists had themselves, i.e., whether
>they considered themselves heretical or not; (2) the role of the so-called
>Christian interpretation of alchemistic thought would have to be
>investigated, i.e., understanding it as an attempt at a spiritualization of
>chthonic forces (I see in alchemy the attempt at a different solution, namely
>to bring about the union of opposites which is lacking in the historical
>Christian doctrine); and (3) examining the encoding of heretical ideas within
>the alchemical literature itself.

This seems to be to be full of insights and I would hate to see this discussion
end here, thought hinking about it I realize that any of these 3 topics could in
themselves constitute a life's work!

But (1) above - could anyone comment on that? That would be most helpful to
those of us who find that the more we listen and learn on this forum the more
errors we find in our own preconceptions.

Tony


Thu Mar 07 14:46:37 1996
Subject: 0410 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: Arnstein Vestad
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 12:52:10 +0100 (MET)


> Well, back to the problem of matter being turned to energy, for
> now. When I drive my truck the gas (matter) is turned into
> energy and my truck moves. However, when my truck stops I
> look at what the universe has gained and lost. The universe
> has lost both the gas (matter) it took to move my truck and
> the energy (motion) that resulted. The energy is no more. It
> is spent. It is in the past. Instead the universe has my truck,
> moved a few miles. Is the universe better off? What benefit is there
> to the universe that my truck is in a different position, when
> energy is lost forever. (It is lost forever, isn't it?) So it
> seems to me that during the exchange of matter to energy the
> universe experiences a loss.

All energy and matter in a closed universe is conserved.
The energy is converted to a different form, and the total
level of entropy in the universe is increased. What this means,
is that the energy used to drive the car, is converted to a
less usefull kind of energy, mostly heat that is transfered
to the ground that you drive on etc.

--Arnstein
arnves@stud.unit.no


Thu Mar 07 19:12:43 1996
Subject: 0411 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: William A. Ryan
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 08:02:48 -0500

Peggy, read Chapter 9 of In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky,
to understand a little more about the waste of energy. Also, think
about thoughts being translated into spoken words for energy converted
into matter. Think of the weight of words. Hence incantations in spells
etc.
Best Wishes, Kate Ryan


Thu Mar 07 19:12:55 1996
Subject: 0412 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: OISPEGGY@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 09:28:26 -0500 (EST)


Russ:
>The goal in the end is to 'return' in Infinite Knowledge and Being, after
>the various
>descents and reascents of consciousness and form, spirit and matter. The
>relevance
>to Alchemy? The evolution of the metallic kingdom is under the same laws of
>Nature, and for the same reason... the self-creation of the Infinite.

Yes, well good for the infinite, but what's in it for *me*?

- Peggy -


Thu Mar 07 19:13:03 1996
Subject: 0413 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: OISPEGGY
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 09:53:43 -0500 (EST)

>From: Logodox

>The truck has converted matter into energy, but neither the total matter or
>energy in the universe has changed, only the form of 1 or both of them.

Perhaps it is possible that the energy lost by driving the truck was
converted to enery via wind-resistance, breaking, etc... But I'd
feel more confident about this if I saw it demonstrated.

[...much interesting discussion deleted....]

>Your emotion is the Alchemical Chaos, Your MIND is the Alchemical ORDER,
>Your polarized concepts are the bride & groom, marry them and You will have the
>original hermaphrodite, the one being, pre-existing all matter !

Is this (above) a way of saying integrate the subconscious with the
conscious? Find the pearl of great price? Journey to Ixtlan? Swallow
the oyster? Polish the diamond? Slay the dragon? Incinerate the Phoenix?
Etc., ect... If so, its the first step -- is it not -- but not the entire
process? After that don't you have to find a higher (spiritual) guidance?
Then there probably is more.....

- Peggy -


Thu Mar 07 19:13:13 1996
Subject: 0414 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: OISPEGGY
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 09:22:19 -0500 (EST)

Bary Carter:
>The whole question revolves around the question what is the nature of
>matter and energy. Modern physicists tell us that matter is small
>bits of matter which are composed of even smaller bits of matter
>which are composed of something that sometimes looks like a wave
>>(energy) and sometimes looks like a particle (matter). They say
>that these bits of stuff spend part of their time in this universe
>and most of their time in an infinite number of other universes.

More universes? Jesus, I have enough problems already.

>The point here is that the rules of matter that we understand break
>down when you get to this quantum level of matter. Some physicists
>even speak of time as being a local phenomena that is peculiar to
>our universe. Try to think of any cause and effect series of events
>without invoking time.

So what happens to energy in regard to my "driving the truck" example.
The gas (matter) is turned to energy to move my truck. When my truck
stops I have less gas that I started out with, and the energy used
to move it is gone, so does that mean that the universe has less
raw material, energy/matter, than it did before I drove? Is it
being depleted all the time?

>The mind quickly boggles here.

Yes.

>The book "The
>Tao of Physics" has a very readable explanation of many of these
>things. The thing about infinity is there sure is a lot of it.

I shall watch for it.

Regards,

- Peggy -


Thu Mar 07 19:13:22 1996
Subject: 0415 (Energy to Matter) now: True Alchemy

From: OISPEGGY@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 10:20:32 -0500 (EST)

Simeon,

>The only problem is that most souls who
>incarnate on Earth do not attain the ability to reverse the process at the
>end of their stay here on Earth, therby they stay within the enrgy cycyle of
>the Earth, returning to reform matter into a body once again until they have
>freed themselves from the bondage through being consciously able to do what
>Christ and other Masters have shown is possible.

I have read of the Bardo, in _Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines_.
Although the esoteric is fascinating in its own right, my studies
also have a practical side. I wish to avoid becoming lost in the
Bardo or the labrynth, or the sea, or the Scajaquada (Rte.33), or
whatever other wasteful energy patterns occur after death. This
bug has been buzzing around the light (to the tune of the Beatles,
"This Boy" only insert "this bug") for too long. There must be
a better way.

>This is the highest aim of
>true alchemy, which has been greatly obscured by the many who have sought to
>transform matter in a laboratory to better understand the concept. The many
>attempts to gain alchemical knowledge laboratory style are not in vain, for
>these are attempts at bringing the true knowledge back into human
>consciousness once again, but it is important to keep the true objective
>clearly in mind when embarking upon any adventure of discovery lest we
>become enmeshed and caught up in the means as the end.

Can you say more about "true alchemy?" I do not have the energy to
spend years and years on lab experiments so this sounds promising.
On the other hand, no offense intended, whenever someone says "true
[fill-in-the-blank] I fear a 1-true-wayism diatribe is coming next.

Simeon Nartoomid
Crest In the Stone Mystery School
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

BTW, what is this mystery school?

Regards,

- Peggy -
oispeggy@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu



Fri Mar 08 09:39:28 1996
Subject: 0416 Goethe the Alchemist

From: Jeffrey A steele
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 96 14:37 CDT


A very evocative book on the subject of Geothe and alchemy is Alice Raphael's
_Goethe and the Philosopher's Stone_ (New York: Helix Press, 1965).

Jeffrey Steele, jasteele@macc.wisc.edu


Fri Mar 08 09:39:39 1996
Subject: 0417 ritual and alchemy

From: Pat Zalewski
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 96 08:18 NZST


>From: George Randall Leake III
>Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 16:46:09 -0600
>
>
>Just wondering since someone recently had said "where's the magic in
>alchemy" if anyone out there conductstheir lab work as a ritual
>(consciously or unconsciously)?
>

Yeh,
I do george, but it is a long winded drawn out process. One experiment I
did in ritual and used 18 horoscopes.

Pat zalewski


Fri Mar 08 09:39:48 1996
Subject: 0418 Energy-Matter

From: Rawn Clark
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 16:08:29 -0500

Dear Peggy,

In reading your post I was struck by one thought especially,
and that was that throughout, you were speaking in terms
of *material energy*. Each of the energy forms you spoke
of is a physical, material thing, where there is no real
conversion from a non-material energy into, or out of, a
physical vehicle per se, since each is being considered
within the realm of material physicality. How can I put this
more clearly...???

In classical Hermetics, The All is Mind, or Thought (by that
I do NOT mean "brain function"), and is posited as the entirety
of the Continuum, which expresses through the identifiable
poles of material form and Essential Being. This One
Substance, Mind, has infinite vehicles of expression, each of
which dove-tail into the other. One of those vehicles is the
physical manifestation of energy which you and others here
describe...but this is a very dense expression of Mind AND
energy! Physical energy is the "closed universe" of the
physicists, while Mind is the Infinite Universe of the Hermetics.

Sunlight for example is a physical thing which has predicatable
physical consequences, etc. But behind, or within, the Sunlight
is the Essential Mind. It is this Essence which is of the most
importance in physical Alchemy (IMO!!). It is the Essence
within that creates and defines the effect which material sunlight
has upon other matter.

A meta-physical axiom is that "mind controls matter". Well, I
say that energy is the vehicle of Mind's control of physical
matter. Perhaps this is why physicists are discovering that
physical energy dove-tails into Mind at a certain level, and
ceases to function at a definably "physical" rate of vibration.

Now physical energy requires a physical stimulous to impact
it within the realm of physical reality (e.g.:physical fire causes
molecular excitation, etc.), so simply thinking a thing may or
may not (most likely not, unless you have major *physical*
brain-power!) effect a physical energy form. However, when
one reaches within the self and connects consciously with
Essential Mind, it is then possible to impact a physical
energy from "above", from the inside out, so to speak. This
Mental influence travels via its vehicle of energy, dove-tailing
from one level into the next, till it manifests its inevitable
physical expression.

This, I think, is where physics and Alchemy are different:
Physics measures the physical manifestation of Mind yet
doesn't recognize Mind in the process; whereas in Alchemy
we see each physical substance as an expression of Mind
and it is this Essence with which we directly work. Alchemy
is not JUST physics (IMO), though the laws of physics are
certainly the stage upon which we enact our Cosmic Drama.

Please forgive the gross generalizations in the above...I hope
this helps instead of further obscuring!

Best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
7 Mar 96


Fri Mar 08 09:39:58 1996
Subject: 0419 FRENCH : Alchimie et Symbole

From: Christian Vanden Berghen
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 20:09:50 +0100


Bonjour a tous,
Voici un article que j'ai publie il y a quelques semaines dans une revue.
Il me semble que la reponse de Barry a la question de Peggy peut etre
completee par certains elements de cet article.
Amities a tous
Christian


Le sejour de l'etre humain dans le monde manifeste implique la confrontation
parfois douloureuse avec la dua-lite. Le physicien francais Louis de
Broglie, createur de la mecanique ondulatoire, presenta une theorie qui
devait troubler profondement la quietude des savants accroches aux theories
mecanistes du siecle dernier. Il demontra en effet l'existence simultanee
de deux etats contradictoires au sein de la lumiere : le caractere gra-nule
dans la continuite d'une onde. Le photon qui a l'apparence d'une quantite
isolee apparait en meme temps dans une fonction continue de l'onde : le
discontinu dans le continu. C'est cette simultaneite, que l'intelligence
cerebrale ne pourra pas saisir, mais dont l'experience demontre l'existence,
que le physicien Werner Heisenberg appellera le "Principe d'incerti-tude",
mais que la Tradition traduit par le "Moment Present".
Cette decouverte illustre parfaitement les limitations de l'intelligence
cerebrale face a la dualite qui nous rend si complexe la comprehension du Un
La simultaneite etant inobjectivable, il est impossible de la "raisonner".
Nous devons alors faire appel a une autre forme d'intelligence qui refuse
l'objectivation pour la remplacer par la symbolisation. Ceci appelle en
nous la recherche d'une vision intuitive.
Des qu'un concept se trouve formule, c'est-a-dire decrit et defini, il
devient statique, exoterique. Or, c'est precisement que nous faisons avec
notre intelligence cerebrale. C'est pour cela que la seule comprehension
possible des choses de l'Esprit passe par une maniere d'impregnation ou
intelligence cardiaque. La forme intuitive de l'intelligence est une
intelligence dynamique, esoterique.

Le symbole remplace de longues suites de raisonnements puisqu'il procede par
analogie. Personne n'a jamais dit au jeune enfant qui dessine une maison et
un soleil que la maison est "comme" sa maman, et que le soleil est "comme"
son papa, et pourtant il le "sait", car l'intelligence de l'enfant est
encore intuitive et analogique. Il faudra qu'il aille a l'ecole pour perdre
cette richesse et apprendre qu'un chat est un chat et rien qu'un chat.

Le symbole peut etre defini de plusieurs manieres qui seront toutes, par
definition, incompletes en fonction precisement de ce qui vient d'etre dit.
Disons alors que le symbole est un element concret qui nous evoque une
realite d'un autre ordre. Contrairement a ce que s'imaginent ceux qui ont
perdu cette forme de comprehension, le symbole ne sert donc pas a cacher
certaines choses aux regards indiscrets, mais au contraire a reveler des
verites inaccessibles a l'intelligence rationnelle, c'est-a-dire ne pouvant
pas etre exprimees en mots.
Le symbole est donc une fenetre s'ouvrant sur un autre monde seulement
accessible a un mode de pensee unitaire. Lui seul permet de comprendre (au
sens etymologique du terme : prendre ensemble) les dualites et leur
simultaneite.
Si nous examinons la notion de temps, nous admettrons logiquement qu'il se
mesure par le mouvement, c'est-a-dire par rapport a l'espace : le temps est
determine par le deplacement de la Terre dans l'espace. Or, le mouvement
est soit termine soit a venir , ne pouvant etre a la fois passe et futur.
Que devient des lors le Moment Present ? Il ne peut etre situe qu'en dehors
du temps et echappe donc a la comprehension humaine puisque l'homme est
entierement baigne et soumis au temps et a l'espace. Le Moment Present
evoque donc l'Absolu, dont l'approche ne peut se faire que par le symbole
qui seul nous permet d'echapper a nos limitations humaines.

Ce sont nos limitations cerebrales qui nous font parler d'avant la naissance
et apres la mort. Corollairement a cela, assimiler la mort a l'eternite est
absurde car la seule eternite se situe justement dans le Present.
L'attitude inverse reviendrait a accepter la notion de temps lineaire que
tente de nous imposer la science, et surtout de courir sans repos vers un
futur qui se derobera sans cesse a nous.

Seul le symbole nous permet de nous glisser dans cette faille entre le temps
et l'espace, entre le passe et le futur.

Christian Vanden Berghen




<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Christian VANDEN BERGHEN
Rota Solis asbl
Brussels/Belgium
christian.vanden.berghen@netropolis.be
ChristianVandenBerghen@msn.com
>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Fri Mar 08 09:40:08 1996
Subject: 0420 PRIMA MATERIA / SPIRITUS UNIVERSALIS

From: calhhh
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 18:13:41 -0400



I can not say strongly enough how much I have enjoyed this
Forum since my recent subscription, and how valuable it is
for all of us that for one reason or other are sincerely
interested in ALCHEMY. I can just imagine, how the Great
Masters of our Sacred Art would have felt and used such
a formidable resource .......

A few days ago while reviewing Franz Hartmann's ALCHEMY I came
upon a quotation that I thought would add something of value to
the forum discussion on the subject of PRIMA MATERIA as previously
discussed by LAPIS and others. Furthermore, reading it between
lines, also speak to us about the thematic relating to energy/matter
interaction, within the alchemical scope. So I quote :

-------------------------------------------------------------------

THE SPIRITUS UNIVERSALIS
Without which no alchemical experiment will succeed

Johannes Tritheim, an abbott and alchemist, whose writings are
plainer and more comprehensible than any other alchemical book,
says :

- All things have been made by the power of the divine word,
which is the divine spirit or breath that emanated from the
divine fountain in the beginning. This breath is the spirit or
soul of the world, and is called the "spiritus mundi". It was
at first like air, and contracted into a fog or nebular substance,
and afterwards became "water" (Akasa). This "water" was at first
all spirit and life, because it was permeated by and made alive by
the spirit. It was dark in the depths; but through the outspoken
word the light became generated therein, and then the darkness was
illumined by the light, and the "soul of the world" (the astral
light) had its beginning. This spiritual light, which we call
"Nature", or the sould of the world, is a spiritual body, which,
by means of Alchemy, can be made tangible and visible; but as it
exists in an invisible state, therefore is it called "spirit".

This is an universal and living fluid diffused throughout the
All of Nature, and which pervades all beings. It is the most
subtle of all substances, the most powerful on account of its
inherent qualities, penetrating all bodies, and causing the forms
in which it is active to live. By its action it frees the forms
of all imperfections, and renders the impure pure, the imperfect
perfect, and causes that which is mortal to become inmortal by
becoming fixed therein".

"This esence or spirit has emanated from the centre in the
beginning, and is incorporated into the substance of which the
world is formed. It is the Salt of the Earth, and withouth its
presence the grass would not grow, nor the fields be green; and
the more this essence is condensed, concentrated, and coagulated
in the forms, the more enduring will they become. This substance
is the most subtle of all things, incorruptible, unchangeable in
its essence, pervading the infinity of space. The sun and the
planets are merely condensed states of this universal principle,
and they distribute their abundance from their throbbing hearts,
and send them into the forms of the lower worlds and into all
beings, acting through their own centres, and leading the forms
higher up on the road to perfection. The forms in which this
living principle becomes fixed become perfect and permanent, so
that they will neither rust nor decay, nor be changed on being
exposed to the air; neither can such forms be dissolved by water,
nor be destroyed by fire, nor eaten up by the elements of the
earth.

"This spirit can be obtained in the same manner in which it is
communicated to the earth by the stars; and this takes place by
means of water, which serves as its vehicle. It is not the
Philosopher=B4s Stone, but the latter may be prepared of it by
causing that which is volatile to become fixed.

"I admonish you to pay strict attention to the boiling of the
water, and not to allow your minds to be disturbed by things of
minor mportance. Boil it slowly, and let it putrefy until it
attains the proper colour, for in the water of Life is contained
the Germ of Wisdom. By the art of boiling the water will become
transformed into earth. This earth is to be changed into a pure
crystalline fluid, from which an excellent red fire is produced;
but this water and fire, grown together into one essence,
produces the great Panacea, composed of meekness and strenght :
the Lamb and the Lion in one" .
------------------------------------------------------------------

I here propose that the description of the author while speaking to
us of the Spiritus Universalis, also makes us remember of what
happened on Genesis as well as what occurs in the Chaos contained
in the Vessel of our Work. Does it also remind us of the Mutus
Liber ... (?)

The author also describes the Prima Materia as follows:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
THE "PRIMA MATERIA"

If we wish to know nature we must learn to know God, and God
cannot be known without a knowledge of one=B4s own divine self.
The spiritual substance of which external visible nature is an
imperfect expression and manifestation, has been called "Prima
Materia"; it is the material for the formation of a new heaven
and a new earth. It is like "water", or a "crystalline ocean",
if compared with our grossly material earth, it is at once fire,
water, air, and earth, corporeal in its essence, and nevertheless,
incorporeal relatively to our physical forms.

In it as the "Chaos", are contained the germs, or seeds, or
"potencies" of all things that ever existed, and of all that
ever will exist in the future. It is the soul, or corpus of
nature, and by means of the magic fire, it may be extricated
from all substances, and be rendered corporeal and visible.
It is a unity, and nevertheless a trinity, according to its
aspects as Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt. These three are distinct
qualities characterising the spirit of light, and nevertheless
they are nothing different from the essence of the light, and
this light is eternal nature, or the soul of the world.

This "primordial matter" contains the powers that go to form
minerals and metals, vegetables and animals, and everything
that breathes; all forms are hidden within its depths, and it
is therefore, the true principium or beginning of all things.
It is the play and battle ground for all the astral influences
that come from the stars and the birthplace of the beings that
inhabit the astral plane, not less than of those that are born
into the (to us) visible world. It is the womb of eternal nature
from which everything that exists is born by the power of the
spirit acting within. from its fertile soil are produced good
and evil fruits, wholesome and noxious plants, harmless and
poisonous animals, for God is no distinguiser of persons, or
favouring any particular individual; each receives its share
of live, and will, according to its capacity to receive, and
each becomes ultimately that which its character destines it
to be.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

As LAPIS mentioned previously, part of the confusion when discussing
alchemical terminology, and specially so when one of the most hidden
subjects such as the PRIMA MATERIA is concerned, is the fact that the
same terms where used interchangeably to mean different things and/or
stages within our Work. On the writing above, Tritheim speaks to us
of the Spiritus Universalis, which indeed is contained in everything
that could be considered to be "LIVE" within the mineral, animal or
vegetable kingdom.

LAPIS states that the Prima Materia Universalis also called
Mercurius Universalis, Materia Remota, Materia Tertia, etc., is
the GENERAL VIGOR in its subtle energetic ethereal vehicle, the
Spiritus Mundi, the Astral Salt, the Prana or Od.

It is precisely this primordial matter, that as it is said in the
text quoted, "contains the powers that go to form minerals and
metals, vegetables and animals, and everything that breathes". But
also, it is important to underline that : "By its action it frees
the forms of all imperfections, and renders the impure pure, the
imperfect perfect, and causes that which is mortal to become inmortal
by becoming fixed therein".

Does this statement, in its best sense, sounds familiar with the
Alchemical Quest ....(?) In my humble opinion and being far from being
an expert alchemist, I will say that I agree that this "primordial
matter" IS the starting point of nature=B4s creation and therefore could
well be labeled PRIMA MATERIA.

Johannes Tritheim adds that "The sun and the planets are merely
condensed states of this universal principle, and also mentions
that "It is not the Philosopher=B4s Stone, but the latter may be
prepared of it by causing that which is volatile to become fixed."

This opens another door to a healthful discussion ..... I am not
argueing that the Mineral Work as conducted by many alchemists through
the ages with different materials (antimonists, galenists,..., etc.) is
mistaken, since it could be well argued that since this Spiritus
Universalis is contained in everything living, then any "living" matter
you are working with, already has enough of it to proceed with the Work,
given that the other materials that the alchemist have chosen to work
with are adequate to this Pursuit .

On the other hand it could also be argued that is precisely in the
knowledge of "condensing" this Spiritus Universalis, where resides
the neccesary way to philosophize our work and even more to
potentialize it .... Indeed it has been said that the True Alchemist
is just a facilitator of Nature, whom by doing specific procedures,
with the right materials, just accelerates Its Work.

So what is this primordial matter that " It is a unity, and
nevertheless a trinity, according to its aspects as Sulphur, Mercury,
and Salt." ? ? ?

In my opinion it is an Energy that through the processes of Nature is
condensed on our physical plane, through the marriage of the Sun and
the Moon, and that can be made clearly visible through the Art of
Alchemy ... This original marriage that speaks to us of the union of
a Positive (Male/Cosmic/Od/outer fire) and Negative (Female/Telluric/
/Kundalini/inner fire) energies, also constitute the primordial fire
of nature. Through the Ages, different native cultures have become
aware of its existence, and have tried to chanelled them through the
usage of Dolmens, Menhirs, Gothic Cathedrals, Pyramids, etc., giving
birth to art/sciences as Feng Shui, Sacred Geometry/Architecture, and
others, which were developed with different but interconnected purposes
in mind.

The Alchemists in turn are also trying to condense and potentialize
this energy through its laboratory processes, incorporating it to the
other Materials while at the same time and most importantly adding its
own internal divine spark into the mixture. It is this internal energy
of each Alchemist, that in my opinion, apports to the Work the tuning fork
after which his Stone in the process of creation will resonate to. And
that is why I feel that, as there are no two alchemist alike, there are
not two Philosoher=B4s Stones alike. This is also why we must pray again
and again, so that ourselves with the help of God, and in a simbiotic
process with our Lapis Philosophorum, continue to evolve through the
process that hopefully will carry us over to the successful conclusion
of our Opus Magnum.

Can the stone be made by an alchemist from the Spiritus Universalis
alone ? ? ? I guess it can .... but I also feel that it would require
a much more skilfull and patient Artist ....

I apologize for such a long posting, but hope to contribute with what I
consider to be a central and much interesting subject for discussion.

To all members, my fraterly love,

ORCIS


Fri Mar 08 09:40:17 1996
Subject: 0421 Becker's work

From: Petra Gottlieb
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 09:53:26 +1100


Russ,
you mentioned Becker's work in your last post.
Can you please give title, full name of the man, and may be location where I
could purchase the book?
Thanks from
---
Petra Christiane Gottlieb
petrag@iaccess.com.au
---
OHNE LIEBE KEINE KUNST! (Paracelsus)
WITHOUT LOVE THERE IS NO ART!


Fri Mar 08 09:40:25 1996
Subject: 0422 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: Logodox
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 19:20:55 -0600


>Yes, well good for the infinite, but what's in it for *me*?
>
>- Peggy -

Nothing while You are YOU, since the real You is the One infinite being, all
else is illusion. The universe doesn't care about You any more than it
cares about me. Its much bigger than US! The more one perpetuates his
separate "self" the further he travels from the "gate":

Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way unto life,

and few there be that find it !

Nature loves children, figure out why...

Best,

>

nous ----> logodox@sound.net


Fri Mar 08 09:40:34 1996
Subject: 0423 crocodiles

From: M.E. WARLICK
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 18:33:56 -0700 (MST)


Dear Jane:
I wanted to reply to your question, then got put on Jury Duty
for the week and had no time. Reptiles often appear in 17th century
prints and paintings of alchemical laboratories, although there is
some scholarly debate on the degree to which these images truthfully
reflect what real alchemical laboratories of the period would have
contained. To begin your search, I would suggest the following
articles: C.R. Hill, "The Iconography of the Laboratory," -Ambix_ Vol.
22 Part 2, July 1975, pp. 102-110, and Jane P. Davidson, "I am the
poison dripping dragon": Iguanas and their Symbolism in the alchemical
and Occult Paintings of David Teniers The Younger," -Ambix- Vol. 34,
Part 2, July 1987, pp. 62-80. Good Luck!
M. E. Warlick (mwarlick@du.edu)

> From: Jane E. Jenkins
> Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 10:26:57 -0600 (CST)
>
>
>
> Alchemy Forum Members,
> I am still baffled by the presence of stuffed crocodiles hanging in
> apothecary/alchemical laboratories. What were they used for? What was the
> symbolism attached to them? Any help in my search for more info would be
> greatly appreciated.
> Thanks.
> jenkins

>


Fri Mar 08 09:40:45 1996
Subject: 0424 True Alchemy?

From: simeon
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 96 18:27 MST



Peggy, you wrote:

"Can you say more about "true alchemy?" I do not have the energy to
spend years and years on lab experiments so this sounds promising.
On the other hand, no offense intended, whenever someone says "true
[fill-in-the-blank] I fear a 1-true-wayism diatribe is coming next"

Perhaps I could better have represented the concept at hand by saying 'the
highest form of alchemy' as all forms of alchemy that transform matter in
some way are 'true alchemy'. The ultimate goal at hand would be to transform
matter into pure energy through consciousness alone, such as was exemplified
by the Christ (and others). As we are existing in what Thoth refers to as a
fallen continuum, the efforts to attain this knowledge through laboratory
experimentation have a definoite place in the process. There are souls who
have incarnated for that specific purpose in order to 'open the scroll of
knowledge' for others to take the process increasingly further. Whatever
each of these souls accomplishes is recorded in the akashic recording
crystals of the Earth, and serves as a 'database' for others to draw upon
whether they realize it or not.
The task for you is to discern just what your correct path is in this
incarnation, that of the laboratory alchemist, that of the more nebulous,
but more direct purely spiritual transformation of matter (i.e. your own
form) or perhaps a combination of both. All of these paths are deeply
involved with Universal principle, and will require a great deal of commitment.

I would also like to preface any future posts I may place on the forum in
regards to my use of the word 'Truth'or 'True'. It is my belief that each
and every soul must discern what is truth to them in any given moment of
time. I use the word to represent that which I have discerned to be my
truth, if it does not feel right to another, then I support them in their
right to a different perspective. Each of us must come to firmly know what
their own truth is, without closing down to the possibility that they may
see it differently tommorow, or some point in the linear future.

The Crest In The Stone Mystery School is founded by my wife and partner Maia
Chrystine Shamayyim. It originally was The Rainbow Earth Dwelling Society
founded 1981, her name was originally Linda Christine Hayes. It became the
Star of Isis Mystery School in 1989 and then the Crest In The Stone Mystery
School in 1995. The foundation of the organization is 'source translated'
information received by Maia over the last 28 years. Maia was originally
made aware of her unique talents when she was 18 years of age. At that age
she started writing accountings of what she thought were imaginative
stories, but came later to find out they were validated by the work of
others she had no previous knowledge of, to be actual transcriptions taken
from the akashic recording crystals of the Earth. Within a couple yaers time
she was approached by Ultra and Inner terrestrial beings that taught her how
to more accurately read and translate the information she was able to access
from the akashic. They told her that they were preparing her to receive the
energies of her benefactor in the near future. In 1977, at Mt. Shasta she
was intriduced to her benefactor, and came to know him as Thoth Hermes
Trismesgistus (Tehuti). Since that time Thoth has given her a great deal of
information, much on the Inner earth in the early years. Later information
involves bringing ancient principles of alchemy and sacred knowledge into
the current time frame to reinstate it in the planetary consciousness. As I
mentioned previously on this post, simply by translating this information
into printed form as this current time it reweaves the thread within the
available 'database' for others to access whether they ever come into direct
contact with the material or not.

At this current time the core information available is in a 3 volume set of
compiled back issues of a Sacred Doctrine of Mysteries originally called the
Source when started in 1980, and now called Temple Doors. We still produce
this publication quarterly. The 3 volume set takes one from 1980 to 1992,
and then there are individual back issues available from that point. We hope
to compile a 4th volume to bring the set current before years end. At this
time we do not have a structured curriculum, but have plans to develop that
as resources become available. We intend to make the 'structured curriculum'
as experiential as possible, perhaps using the media of audio and video tape
to assist the process. We feel that learning from books can only open the
door to the greater mystery, one has to venture through the portal of their
own intent, commitment and ultimately their heart to truly gain the
experiential knowledge necessary to become the ultimate alchemist and
transform their own consciousness, form and all to a higher state of being.

An Introduction & Catalog of our organization and its available publications
/ tapes / services is available for A $5.00 requested donation to offset our
costs. If the $5.00 is a problem for anyone truly seeking the information,
they can contribute what they may, conversely if prosperity has shone upon
you then any additonal donations are always welcome to help us to continue
to provide the information to those less fortunate. We do accept Visa /
MasterCard for those who wish to use that convenience.

You can order by sending the request to: Johannine Grove
P.O. 235
Crestone, CO 81131
or calling (719) 256-4057
or e-mailing johgrove@rmii.com

blessings, Simeon


Fri Mar 08 09:40:55 1996
Subject: 0425 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: Patrick J. Smith
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 19:15:30 -0700


OISPEGGY wrote:

> ...When I drive my truck the gas (matter) is turned into
> energy and my truck moves...

Actually, if you carefully collect the exhaust from your truck's
tailpipe, and weigh it against the gasoline you've lost, you'll find
they weigh almost the same. Very, very little of the matter will have
been converted to energy.

To illustrate, suppose you're driving down Rt 3 at 60mph, and further
suppose that your truck gets 10 miles to the gallon, and develops 200
horsepower in the process. Then, in 10 minutes you'll have lost a
gallon of gas, and dissipated 200 x 330,000 = 66,000,000 ft Lbs of
energy, which is roughly 7x10^14 ergs (which seems like a lot).
Now, invoking Einstein's famous formula of mass-energy equivalence:

E = 1.1x10^15 ergs = mc^2; or m = about 1 micro-gram.

In other words, only about one-millionth of a gram of mass was
converted to energy by burning that gallon of gas. The rest was
converted to exhaust.


> ...Energy turning into matter seems less common to
> me. When does that occur? Can anyone give me examples?

By reversing the above arguement, you can see that it requires an
enormous amount of energy to produce a very small mass. One example
that no one has mentioned yet is the conversion of a gamma ray quantum
into an electron-positron pair (Gamma radiation is extremely high
energy electromagnetic energy---like light, only much higher energy).
In the case of the absorption of the sun's light by plants, it's true
that the mass of the plant is thereby increased. But the effect is so
small that it cannot be measured.

> ...What benefit is there to the universe that my truck is in a
> different position, when energy is lost forever. (It is lost forever,
> isn't it?)

Technically, the energy isn't lost. It just appears in different
forms---mostly as heat energy in the air and ground. But in a sense
it is lost: in its original form (potential chemical energy) it could
be used to do work (move your truck); but in its final form (heated
gases) it cannot be used to do useful work. The original form is a
relatively organized state. The final form is a very disordered state
(the random motions of gas molecules). The second law of
thermodynamics states that all physical phenomena procede in this way;
i.e., they increase the amount of disorder (or entropy) of the
universe. And when the universe reaches the state of maximum
disorder, no physical phenomena will be possible. But not to worry,
that won't happen for billions of years. But if you could find a way
to gather up that randomized heat energy and use it to move your
truck, you would have constructed what's popularly known as a
perpetual motion machine---a device which the second law states is
impossible, and, Joseph Neumann and Keely enthusiasts notwithstanding,
has never been convincingly demonstrated. This is, in fact, one of
the criteria the patent office has long used for rejecting patent
applications.

On the other hand, the earth is open to the sun's energy, and because
of this continual influx of solar energy, life (which is a dissipater
of energy) has been able to evolve and increase. In fact, the energy
stored in that gallon of gas was, millions of years ago, solar energy
shining down on a primeval swamp forest.


> So, what is it alchemists ingest to supplement and fortify their
> bodies? It can't be merely food (matter), or a good diet alone would
> do the trick. It must be energy, captured somehow...


The great physicist Bose pointed out that, in the living realm, the
problem is not energy. Energy is all around us, constantly, in
various forms. The struggle is for a highly organized form of
energy---what he called neg-entropy. And this is presumably what a
good diet provides, among other things. So one will have to look
elsewhere for immortality. But note that, because a living being is
an "open" system (takes in food, etc. and eliminates waste), there is
no physical requirement that we must age...

-Patrick


Fri Mar 08 09:41:05 1996
Subject: 0426 Albigeois & alchemy

From: Barry Carter
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 1980 22:42:25 +0000


Dear Jason,

A woman named Lucile Taylor Hansen wrote one of the definitive books
on "Quetzacoatl travelling the world and spreading civilisation". It
is called "He Walked the Americas" and it contends that Jesus did not
die on the cross but rather walked the Americas as Quetzacoatl etc.
I don't know if this book is still in print.


> From: Jason Johns
> Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 00:39:38 PST
>
>
> Dear All,
>
> I read with great interest, Patrick J Smith's posting on Dragons and the Greek
> legend regardin Typhon.
>
> I am really intrigued by this as it matches quite closely to something I
> have been researching. Where and when does this legend originate from?
>
> I sounds (to me anyway) that this could be a tale created to describe a great
> cataclysm that occured. Possibly the last great flood (approx 10-15000BC?
> And then it describes how man got over it all. Such people as Osiris,
> Quetzacoatl travelling the world and spreading civilisation.
>
> I would appreciate anyone who knows any more of these tales to let me know
> them as I can put them to good use!
>
> Best regards
>
> Jayzn
> [Jason.Johns.RXUK@eur.xerox.com]



Barry Carter
Blue Mountain Native Forest Alliance
Voice 541-523-3357
Fax 541-523-9438

The road to hell is paved with good inventions.


Fri Mar 08 16:17:34 1996
Subject: 0427 Newton's Alchem

From: Manwing
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 05:20:28 -0500


Thank you for the information on Dobbs' books. I have the Janus Faces of
Genius (easy to find). I have all the information that you sent about The
Foundations of Newton's Alchemy. The problem is that the book is out of
print. I have several book-finding services working on this problem but so
far with no luck. I was hoping to reach a broader audience and perhaps find
someone who knows where I might actually get a copy. I appreciate your
effort.



Fri Mar 08 16:19:13 1996
Subject: 0428 Locating the prima materia/healing dew

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 06:39:11 -0500
From: Maury

On Feb 8, 1996, Patrick Smith wrote:

>>...The image of `condensing the Universal Spirit' has been depicted
symbolically as the collection of dew (a condensate which seemed to the
ancient philosophers to materialize out of the vastness of the calm, clear,
night sky). Dew thus represented the Universal Spirit in its condensed form.
Some took this symbol literally, and spent their lives collecting dew from
the fields...<<

Patrick has provided many further amplifications of the idea of the prima
materia in his fine post. There are many rich ideas to which I would like to
respond, but given my time restraints, I can add only a few further
amplifications on the subject of "dew" - its a further addition to the theme
of locating the prima materia.

In alchemical philosophy, my understanding is that the essence of the
heavenly Sol descends into the flower - earth's anhr>
Thu Mar 07 0 countenance. In Robert Fludd's work, and one can see a fine illustration of
this idea in the frontpiece of Fludd's *Summum bonum* (1629) (See Paul M.
Allen's *A Christian Rosencreutz Anthology,* p. 204 for the illustration).
The solar quality has also survived in the symbol of the "golden flower" of
Chinese alchemy (The strength of the _aqua permanens_ is also called _flos_
in the *Turba,* and was used by later alchemists to express the mystical
transforming substance). The golden brillance of the sun had to submit to a
descent, and found its analogy in the glitter of earthly gold as _aurum
nostrum_, not, however, in the gross materiality of the metal. This process
is depicted most vividly in the 1550 alchemical text, the *Rosarium
philosophorum.* This phenomenal synoptic text covers the whole field of
alchemy at the time and is extensively quoted in later alchemical literature.
The text can be seen as a paradigm of this leading idea in alchemy, that is,
"locating the prima materia," as it assimilates "dew" and "cross" symbolism
in its alchemical opus [cf. Patrick mentions in his post, "The hieroglyph of
this Stone is the cross..."].

For those unfamiliar with this extraordinary text [Adam has written a very
fine brief commentary to the treatise when he published the English
translation], I'll first briefly describe it. This description is drawn from
various sources. The word _rosarium_ means both "rosary" and "rosegarden."
As many of you know, in the Church the rosary is a string of beads on which
religious prayers are counted as a kind of devotional meditative exercise
involving a cycle of formal prayers together with subjects for meditation
selected from the mysteries of the life of Christ or the Virgin Mary. The
Rosarium text is laid out in an analogous way - a series of 20 illustrations,
followed by amplificatory quotes and analogies from the great alchemists,
used as meditative exercises describing the preparation of the Philosopher's
Stone - the whole forms a rosary of selected blossoms, a cluster of symbols
associated with the sacred hieros gamos, i.e., a dense network of symbolic
images all clustering around the alchemical opus. The other meaning, that of
the mystic "rosegarden" was associated with the symbolic attributes of the
Virgin Mary and the taming of the unicorn (=Mercurius; as Patrick pointed to
in his post) by a virgin in the garden. From a psychological perspective, it
introduces the idea of the individual's encounter with the archetype of
Wisdom. There is a double meaning here - as there is with almost all
alchemical images - the rosarium is the enclosed garden/sealed vessel where
one finds Sapientia, and it is also Mary in whose body Christ takes shape -
Christ being the parallel to the _rubedo_ (=rose) or Philosopher's Stone.

The Rosarium then, is an account of the activation of the opposites, of
contraries, and their transformation. These opposites or "animosity," the
dual elements or "bodies" or principles, personified as King and Queen,
undergo a number of phases of their mystico-erotic relationship and
eventually unite in a new, androgynous being, called "the noble Empress," or
Wisdom (in figure 10). The "animosity" can only be bridged or converted into
"love" by a mediator; some element in between, yet it must be common to both
participants in the process. I will briefly summarize the process, somewhat
psychologically, and then examine the particular image of "dew." For the
sake of clarity and brevity, the following is a summary of only the first ten
images of the treatise.

The process starts with a fountain, symbolizing the activated energy of
transformation and continues with the meeting of the King and Queen. The
partners immerse themselves in an alchemical bath - allowing love (or enmity)
to engulf them, and blotting out other considerations. In a state of
passionate engulfment, psychosexual union takes place. This union results in
death; loss and dissolution. The result of love is not viable and undergoes
decomposition and putrefaction. At this point, it is the force of commitment
to the process (not necessarily to a partner) and its transformational work
that becomes all important. The soul ascends to heaven, the body is washed
in celestial dew. The soul returns and reanimates the corpse which stands in
its full, numinous glory. A new being is born - the transfigured
consciousness of the lovers. It is a process of unitive transformation for
reconciling opposites.

Figure 8 (Washing or Mundification) in the Rosarium text presents us with an
image of a dead united body lying on a mortuary slab. Above is a cloud, and
we are told by the text, that "dew" (_ros_) starts dripping from the cloud.
The epigram appended to the image is:

Here the dew falleth from heaven,
And washeth the black body in the sepulchre.

A movement is initiated from above downward (this is opposite the previous
figure which was from below upward). The text calls this "Gideon's dew."
Whenever a specific mythological reference is made in an alchemical text, we
can take that to mean that it is especially important. This isn't any old
dew, it's Gideon's dew - that would be telling the alchemist who is
performing this "experiment" that you are living out the myth of Gideon (see
Judges 6:36ff.).

At that time, Israel was then occupied by a foreign power - the Mideonites -
who had imposed an alien religion and were sacrificing to their gods to
demonstrate their occupying status. In that situation, Yahweh visited
Gideon, the youngest of his family - and he told him to take his father's
young bull, pull down the altar of the alien god (Baal), and cut down the
sacred post beside it. Then build an altar to Yahweh and take the bull and
offer it as a holocaust (burnt offering) to Yahweh, using the wood of the
sacred post. And Gideon did what he was told to do - he did it at night
because it was dangerous, and he was almost killed for it - but he got away
with that - but the spirit of Yahweh came to him again and told him to gather
an army and start a rebellion - but Gideon was very resistant to do that - it
was very dangerous - so he remonstrated with God about that and told him: "If
you really intend to deliver Israel through me as you said - I'll place a
fleece of wool on the threshing floor - if dew falls on the fleece and all
the ground remains dry, then I shall know that You will deliver Israel
through me, as You have said." And that's what happened. Indeed, he even
tested God a second time and reversed the procedure, so that the fleece had
to be dry and the ground wet with dew. And that happened, too.

Gideon puts Yahweh to the test to check out whether its an authentic call.
To put this psychologically, Gideon has a psychological attitude that seeks
to do justice to the unconscious - it's kind of like the difference between a
practical psychology based on signs and literal meanings, and a psychology
based on symbols [Also brought out in Patrick's post]. The text seems to say
that rescue cannot take place on abstract, intellectual knowledge alone, you
need the element of divine intervention - grace - the dew - a miraculous
agent of healing grace that is paradoxical - its moisture is enlivening and
yet it operates in a dimension outside rationality.

In the Rosarium, this _solutio_ [washing] process emphasizes its power to
answer questions, to provide a solution to problems - and most important, as
has been restated in posts on this Forum, the alchemists thought that the
opus demanded not only laboratory work, reading books, meditation, and
patience, but also love. Only a feeling-relationship to the contents of
whatever is under scrutiny imparts an abiding value to anything one has
understood. The alchemists seemed aware that intellectual understanding and
aestheticism both produce the deceptive, treacherous sense of liberation and
superiority which is liable to collapse if feeling intervenes (Since this
Forum's inception, we are witness to numerous examples and variations of this
in vitro). Feeling always binds one to the reality and meaning of symbolic
contents, and these in turn impose binding standards of ethical behavior from
which aestheticism and intellectualism are only too ready to emancipate
themselves. This consideration, I believe, is what is hinted at in this
alchemical treatise. Indeed, this is a crucial matter today, especially for
those who still believe that intellectual insight and routine understanding,
or even mere recollection, are enough to effect a cure of our psychological
dissociation.

The image of healing in the Rosarium is the image of "dew" - its what can
follow death, despair, hopelessness, and the separation that are pictured in
the two previous Rosarium figures. The dew descends, purifies, and
revivifies the dead body. This is the alchemical process of the
_mundificatio_, of purification [I believe Jon raised the discussion of the
motif of "purification" in previous posts]. With the soul separated from the
body, and the body in its separate dissociated state, it undergoes a process
of purification. One could interpret this psychologically, that is, by
thinking of the body symbolically as representing a psychological entity -
not a concrete, literal body - it refers to the ego - the ego is the body of
the psyche. What has taken place now is a purification of that dead ego by
the divine "dew" that's falling on it. The ego is to be purified from
contamination with the unconscious (in its many manifestations - ideational,
emotional, instinctual, ego-self identity, etc.).

From the perspective of depth psychology, the "dew" symbol is part of the
alchemical operation of _mundificatio_, the process of differentiating the
ego from the unconscious, a necessary condition for the return of the soul to
the body. From this perspective, it is this contamination, this admixture,
which once located, is the prima materia. The body then, is necessary if the
unconscious is not to have destructive effects on ego-consciousness, for it
is the body that gives bounds to the personality. The unconscious can be
integrated only if the ego (=Gideon) holds its ground (i.e., the
feeling-relationship). The alchemist's endeavor to unite the purified body
with the soul as pictured in the Rosarium text is also the endeavor of the
modern psychotherapist once he or she has succeeded in freeing his or her
ego-consciousness from contamination with the unconscious. It comes about
through separation of the ordinary ego-personality from all the inflationary
admixtures of unconscious material. This task entails the most painstaking
self-examination and self-education, which can, however, be passed on to
others by one who has acquired the discipline oneself. According to the
text, the process of differentiation is no light work; it
needs the tenacity and patience of the alchemist, who must purify the body
from all the superfluities in the fiercest heat of the furnace.

It can be surmised from the Rosarium that the alchemists seemed to have
understood that a radical understanding of this kind is impossible without a
human partner. A general and merely academic "insight into one's mistakes"
is ineffectual, for then the mistakes are not really seen at all, only the
idea of them. But they show up acutely when a human relationship brings them
to the fore and when they are noticed by the other person as well as by
oneself. Then and only then can they really be felt and their true nature
recognized.

Maury



Fri Mar 08 16:20:15 1996
Subject: 0429 Taoist Pearls

From: WTHEISEN
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 9:43:36 -0600 (CST)


There is a book, Alchemy, medicine and Religion in the China of
A.D. 320 the Nei P'ien of Ko Hung, translated and edited by James
r. WAre that you might find of interest.


Fri Mar 08 16:21:02 1996
Subject: 0430 Newton's Alchemy

From: WTHEISEN
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 9:40:34 -0600 (CST)


Do you want to buy the book about Newton's alchemy or just read
it? Our library and I suspect most libraries have a copy of the
book, but I am sure it is now out of print.


Fri Mar 08 16:21:39 1996
Subject: 0431 Conversion of energy to matter

From: WTHEISEN@tiny.computing.csbsju.edu
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 9:46:17 -0600 (CST)


Dear Peggy,
There is the process of pair production in physics that is a
transformation of energy into matter: if a photon of energy
has a sufficient amount of energy, about .5 MEV it can
produce two leptons, I believe, a positron and an electron.


Fri Mar 08 16:22:25 1996
Subject: 0432 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: WTHEISEN
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 9:51:56 -0600 (CST)


Dear Peggy,
Your speculations are not at all irrelevant, and should be pursued.
They seem to be on the edge of the concern about the relation
between spirit and matter, well worth the effort. I think
this is THE current issue in the debate about freedom and the
difference between brain and mind and soul.
Regards, Wilfred


Fri Mar 08 16:23:14 1996
Subject: 0433 (Was: matter/energy) now: Why do we age?

From: OISPEGGY
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 1996 10:14:26 -0500 (EST)


Patrick:
>But note that, because a living being is
>an "open" system (takes in food, etc. and eliminates waste), there is
>no physical requirement that we must age...

Then why do we age? What is it that alchemists do that stops aging?

Regards,

- Peggy -
oispeggy@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu

PS: Thanks to all who have responded to my inquiries with so many
interesting comments. Since few have email addresses in
their sigs I cannot send thanks individually in email, so I'm
slipping it in here.


Fri Mar 08 16:24:40 1996
Subject: 0434 Albigeois & alchemy

From: John Obrien
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 09:56:16 -0600 (CST)


> From: Barry Carter > Dear Jason,
> A woman named Lucile Taylor Hansen wrote one of the definitive books
> on "Quetzacoatl travelling the world and spreading civilisation". It
> is called "He Walked the Americas" and it contends that Jesus did not
> die on the cross but rather walked the Americas as Quetzacoatl etc.
>

Part of that is what we (Mormons) believe. That he was known as
Quetzacoatl, not that he did not die on the cross.


,o888b,`?~~~~~ ~~~~~P',d888o,
,8888 888 ?~~~ John D. O'Brien obriens@sound.net ~~~P 888 8888,
8888888P' ~~~ ~~~ ?8888888
888P' ~~~ "When all the World recognizes ~~~ `?888
`88 O d~~~ good as good, This in itself ~~~b O 88'
`?._ _.o~~~~~ is Evil." Lao Tsu ~~~~~o._ _.P'


Fri Mar 08 16:26:19 1996
Subject: 0435 True Alchemy

From: John E. Myers
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 8:22:48 EST5EDT


>From: OISPEGGY@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
>Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 10:20:32 -0500 (EST)
>
>I have read of the Bardo, in _Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines_.
>Although the esoteric is fascinating in its own right, my studies
>also have a practical side. I wish to avoid becoming lost in the
>Bardo or the labrynth, or the sea, or the Scajaquada (Rte.33), or
>whatever other wasteful energy patterns occur after death. This
>bug has been buzzing around the light (to the tune of the Beatles,
>"This Boy" only insert "this bug") for too long. There must be
>a better way.


There is. :)
J.E.M.

/ "All things come to * *
myersj@gactr.uga.edu / he who waits." * * * *
alt.immortal / I have time. * * *
* * * *
* *


Fri Mar 08 16:27:17 1996
Subject: 0436 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: OISPEGGY
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 1996 10:01:48 -0500 (EST)


Peggy:
>Yes, well good for the infinite, but what's in it for *me*?

Logodox:
>Nothing while You are YOU, since the real You is the One infinite being, all
>else is illusion. The universe doesn't care about You any more than it
>cares about me. Its much bigger than US! The more one perpetuates his
>separate "self" the further he travels from the "gate":

Yes, yes, I've read that many times before. It seems to be what all
the experts say. Little consolation in that. I suspect that most of them
started out from the "what's in it for me" perspective too. The problem
with the solution is that it requires destroying oneself (the ego anyway)
which is not appealing, particularly because the ego had a lot to do with
starting the endeavor in the firstplace. Think of all the years it took
to get a well-functioning ego in place and how essential it is to have
one in order to function well in society. Do I have to get rid of it
entirely, or just learn to use it as a tool? (A tool of what is the next
question.) Its like burning the bridge out from under oneself. One could
burn up with the bridge and spin off into mental illnesses or other
dysfunctional states. (From the many occultists I've observed, particularly
those who started very young, this is a real danger.) There is no guarantee
of safe passage.

>Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way unto life,

In my chats with the universe I have pointed out that this is not
a very good system (from my point of view) because it has a
severe bottleneck, and I would never let a system like this go into
production -- but the universe doesn't listen. I would never let
the universe run payroll -- guaranteed it would make a big, fat mess
out of it....grumble, grumble...

>and few there be that find it !

So it seems. A bottleneck. Is this a design flaw or is there a
reason for it? What are those stuck in the bottleneck supposed
to be doing? Spinning around and around until we get it right?

>Nature loves children, figure out why...

Let's see.... I have a 3 year old, and I still remember what it was like
to be a child, so I can say something about this. I can still wail and
whine and say "mine!" mine!" as I do to the universe, like any self-
respecting 3 year old, but I feel silly doing this and I think other
people look silly doing it too. (This is what they all look like to me,
all over the world, fighting about this and that.) The great part about
children IMO is that they do not have the layers of socialization that
distances them from experience. I think they experience more directly
and live more in the moment. This (IMO) is what gives them their
tremendous energy. Doing things for the first time, too, they are
often lost in awe and wonder over simple things like the taste of
pizza with olives or the softness of a rabbit.

- Peggy -


Sat Mar 09 10:22:48 1996
Subject: 0437 alchemy and heresy

From: WTHEISEN
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 10:00:06 -0600 (CST)


Dear Jon,
Can you give me the sources for the decrees against the practice
of alchemy in the British monasteries? I know of only two
decrees where the reasons for the prohibition of alchemy were
given: the decree of Pope John XII (against counterfeiting) and
the decree of Nicholas Eymerich in 1396, which condemned alchemy
because it was demonic. The Dominican general chapters condemned
alchemy throughout the 14th century, but their decrees never
gave any reasons for its condemnation.
Regards, Wilfred


Sat Mar 09 10:24:02 1996
Subject: 0438 crocodiles

From: John Obrien
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 10:05:18 -0600 (CST)


> > I am still baffled by the presence of stuffed crocodiles hanging in
> > apothecary/alchemical laboratories. What were they used for? What was the
> > symbolism attached to them? Any help in my search for more info would be
>
I'm inclined to think that they may be there as a resemblance of the
ouroboros. At least that is what I came up with when I took a few
seconds to think about it. Any comments?


John D. O'Brien obriens@sound.net


Sat Mar 09 10:25:15 1996
Subject: 0439 Albigeois & alchemy

From: p-smith@nemesis.SLC.Unisysgsg.COM (Patrick J. Smith)
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:56:26 -0700



Jason Johns asked about the origin of the Greek legend of Typhon.
Most likely, it originated in the following historical events:


Western civilization traces its aesthetic, intellectual and democratic
traditions back to classical Greece. But in the 15th century BC,
Greece was inhabited by relatively primitive Helladic tribes, while
the Minoan civilization flourished in sun-washed cities on Crete and
on the island of Stronghyli, now known as Thera. The Minoans
possessed a sophisticated form of writing, air-conditioned their homes
by channeling cool breezes into them, and their artisans created
graceful vases and other works of art. In the Aegean Sea, between the
coasts of Greece and present day Turkey, about 70 miles north of
Crete, lay the beautiful island of Stronghyli. It had an active
sea-port and merchant fleet, and there were terraced vineyards with
canals. In the center of the island stood the sacred mountain, and
the people bathed in the warm springs that flowed from it, and they
consulted the oracles in the exhalations that poured from clefts and
fissures in its side. But late in the 15th century, at the height of
its strength and glory, the Minoan civilization abruptly vanished.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that all the Minoan cities
were wiped out at the same time by an immense cataclysm. All of the
red-columned palaces that once had stood above the Aegean had been
destroyed, their building stones scattered.

In about the year 1400 BC, the 4900-foot mountain in the center of
Stronghyli exploded in the greatest volcanic eruption in history. The
wind had been blowing from the northwest and spread ash over an
80,000-square-mile area, mostly to the southeast. When the fiery rain
ceased, the hollowed out mountain fell into its magma chamber 1200
feet below sea level, creating a vast crater into which the ocean
poured. Immense tidal waves rushed outwards at 200 miles-per-hour,
and the coast of Crete was smashed by successive walls of water 100
feet high. Less than three hours later the Egyptian delta was
engulfed, and the ancient port of Ugarit in Syria was drowned. The
heavy fallout of volcanic ash filled Crete's fertile valleys,
destroyed the crops and rendered agriculture impossible for decades.
Almost the entire Minoan race perished. And all that was left of
Stronghyli was a blackened crescent, buried beneath 100 feet of
volcanic ash.

Those few scattered survivors who had managed to reach high mountains,
or were on distant voyages, fled to western Crete, and from there
northward to Mycenae on the nearby shores of Greece, which had not
suffered from the volcanic fallout because of the northwest wind. The
results of this migration were quickly apparent in the flowering of
Mycenaean civilization, about 1400 BC, when the written history of
Greece begins. Thus the cataclysmic events of that summer's day long
ago in the Aegean Sea changed the course of world history, and gave
rise to Western civilization.


Centuries later, Plato wrote the story of the destruction of Atlantis
which, some have conjectured, originated in the still partly
remembered destruction of the Minoan civilization. In the story,
Solon, an Athenian lawmaker on a visit to Egypt in 590 BC, was told by
Egyptian priests that he and his fellow athenians were the seed or
remnant of a former fair race which had disappeared in a single day
and night of earthquakes and floods during which the island of
Atlantis had sank beneath the sea. But the size of Atlantis was much
too large to fit in the Aegean; Plato had placed it in the Atlantic
(beyond the Pillars of Hercules, now known as the Straits of
Gibralter), and the time of destruction was set at 9000 years before
Solon's time. But there are two promontories on the coast of Greece
near Crete also called "Pillars of Hercules," and it has been
suggested that Solon misread the Egyptian symbol for "100" as "1000",
which would have put the size and date about right.

It has even been suggested that the Stronghyli cataclysm caused the
Biblical Ten Plagues in northern Egypt (red rain, darkened skies,
etc). According to these highly speculative accounts, the enslaved
Israelites tooke advantage of the confusion to begin their epic
migration. Some Egyptian records do point to such a catastrophy.
Reads one papyrus: "The land is utterly perished... the sun is veiled
and shines not."

-Patrick


Sat Mar 09 10:29:26 1996
Subject: 0440 Useless contributions and a bit on Taoist esotericism

From: tim scott
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 1996 13:57:33 -0800

> From: John E. Myers
> Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 8:22:48 EST5EDT
>
> >From: OISPEGGY@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
> >Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 10:20:32 -0500 (EST)
> >
> >Although the esoteric is fascinating in its own right, my studies
> >also have a practical side. I wish to avoid becoming lost in the
> >Bardo or the labrynth, or the sea, or the Scajaquada (Rte.33), or
> >whatever other wasteful energy patterns occur after death. This
> >bug has been buzzing around the light (to the tune of the Beatles,
> >"This Boy" only insert "this bug") for too long. There must be
> >a better way.
>
> There is. :)
> J.E.M.

I apologize in advance for the flame that I now find myself unable to
resist writing. (But if I do, I'm sure Adam will quickly put me in my
place...) but with all due respect to Mr Myers, his response is worse
than useless. And personally, I find it additionally condescending and
fatuous, although I'm sure that was not its intent. I'm sorry, the
mini smiley does not redeem it. It just made me explode. So much for
the personal attack. I really feel OISPEGGY wrote a sincerely question
worthy of a better answer than that.

In the decades I've read alchemy and all things cognate, the thing that
maddened me the most was the lack of anything AT ALL practical about
the "dumpsters" full of books with "alchemy" in the titles. As I have
mentioned, you can pretty much enumerate the books that give you a way
to start working in ANY way with it on your thumbs: Albertus and Junius
...both with their own deficiencies, but that's another discussion. This
is where LPN/PON is a godsend: to provide the practical balance against
the endless spinning of theory and speculation.

You are probably thinking here: "then why don't you just sign off this
list and have done with it, or at least contribute something positive
of your own?" Well, I will in a minute, but let me quickly clarify one
more thing: most everyone still on the list (a few departures are
not missed, I think you know who I mean) is contributing wonderful
things: there are excellent references, discussions of obscure texts,
there was a great sequence on the Prima Materia recently, really too
much to enumerate. And that's why I look forward to the mailings from
the list.

So much for the soapbox. Sorry about the length of this, but it may
help reduce the amount of misunderstanding and ill will I generate.

ObAlchemy: I see there have several people who have expressed an
interest in Taoist/Chinese alchemy. I have been looking at that a lot
for the last few years, and will post some information periodically
depending on how much interest there is. I have become especially
interested in the magical/qi gong aspects of the study. For instance,
there is quite a bit of controversy about such works as the Can Tong
Ci (Ts'an T'ung Ch'i, perhaps "Triplex Unity"). In the 1932 Isis
article where it first appeared the authors thought it was a work of
metallic chemical alchemy, whereas later commentators (and there is a
new work on it) insist that that is not at all the case, but that it
is an occult manual of breathing and other qi gong exercises. In
a very exhaustive article by Stan Rosenthal about the Tao Teh Ching
he comments:

"The earliest known reference to Alchemy (in Eastern and Western
Literature) is in the 'Shi-chi', written about eighty-five B.C., but
the 'Chou'-i ts'an t'ung ch'i' of Wei Po-yang (c.200 A.D.) was probably
the first major alchemical text to use a Taoist work to this end, some
auhorities believeing the treatise to be a derivation of the I Ching.
This form of alchemy was referred to by the Philosophical Taoists as
'debased Taoism'."

(see http://www.cnu.edu/~patrick/taoism/ttc/tao-teh-ching.rosenthal.txt
for this whole article, and go up in the path for more taoist
goodies. In addition, for those interested, I cannot too strongly
recommend the excellent Chinese philosophy web page, starting at
http://mars.superlink.net/user/fsu)

The question is whether so-called Taoist alchemy, when approached as
a mystical process rather than a laboratory one (albeit with definite
exercises, postures, rituals, etc.) is magic(k), alchemy or something
else, and whether further discussion of it is apposite here.

Best regards,

Tim Scott


Sat Mar 09 10:29:07 1996
Subject: 0441 Locating the prima materia

From: calhhh
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 21:10:48 -0400


Dear Forum Members :

I have just received a copy of Maury's message dated
Fri. 08 Mar. on LOCATING THE PRIMA MATERIA, which among
other things mentioned the commentaries given by Patrick
Smith on his post of Feb.08th.

When I first joined this forum, circa Feb. 19th, and among
the first messages of which I received a copy was the posting
of LAPIS on the PRIMA MATERIA subject, in which I am very
interested, and about which I also posted a long message
yesterday March. 07th, which I still have not seen posted,
so I do not kwow if its transmission has been delayed by
the system, or if it was "moderated", or if the messages
posted by anyone are not sent back to the one who posted it
by the computer system.

Previous to my posting I tried to get from the forum adm. a
copy of previous messages on this subject, so as to avoid
repeating in the future something that other member might have
already said, but it was explained to me that this service
was not available, and that sometime in the future all of
the messages would be posted on the Alchemical Virtual Library
Home Page.

Therefore, and due to my increased interest caused by Maury's
extremely stimulating response based on previous post,
I am writing to all of you who participated to ask you if you
please be so kind as to send me a copy of the previous posts
on LOCATING THE PRIMA MATERIA. Your help will be truly and
enormously appreciated.

Just to end, I will repeat my deep appreciation for the excellent
service provided by Mr. McLean, as well as for the enriching
messages posted by the members which in many ocassions give
ample evidence of their deep knowledge of both the practical and
theoretical parts of our Sacred Art of Alchemy, which evidently is
flourishing, and of which I am only a beginning student and admirer.

Best Regards to All,

ORCIS

calhhh@mail.pananet.com


Sat Mar 09 10:30:22 1996
Subject: 0442 "Matter-Energy" spin-off

From: RawnClark
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 19:26:37 -0500


Dear Peggy,

I read with great concern the exchange between yourself and Logodox, and
so I offer the following comments (their value is 2 cents! ).

Logodox: >>>"Nothing while You are YOU, since the real You is the One
infinite being, all else is illusion."<<<

This statement is a common one, but when pulled apart, it says little
essentially. You are you at all levels, not just at the most ephemeral...and
that's no illusion. The difference between the "One infinite being" and
"you"
is merely a matter of perspective, or location of conscious awareness. While
our conscious awareness is centered in a physical body, we do not directly
perceive ourselves as this infinite being, but we are no less the infinite.
Futhermore, this statement implies that all but the infinte is illusion, or
un-
real, a chimera (continue this line of thought as an equation, and it ends up
that the infinite is an illusion!). This philiosophy, taken to heart, can be
very
counter productive and flies in the face of experience, often leading to a
sense of irresponsibility in who and how we are in the world. It denies the
fact that the world is a very real place where we pass through very real
experiences. It tends to slide into misplaced moral judgments of
physical=bad and spiritual=good. This, IMO, is the real illusion, the
genuine
"sin" of duality, since it takes us from integration to opposition with the
universe *as it exists*.

As you point out, this philosophy leads to: "The problem with the solution is
that it requires destroying oneself (the ego anyway)..."

Much of the problem with this philosophy is that it denies us our starting
place, the raw material with which we must begin our work. It calls illusion
what is in fact our Prima Materia, in a spiritual-alchemy sense. Our Ore,
from which we craft our Stone (again in a spiritual-alchemy sense), is this
very ego-self. By this, I mean, who one is at the moment (our arbitrary
starting point); all the good parts and all the unsavory parts, rolled into
one.
Alchemy teaches us that Putrefaction is the first step, and in the spiritual
pursuit of alchemy, this means looking within and taking stock of the
entirety
of who we are...examining the personality especially, since this is the
grossest expression of such. This introspection requires a radical self-
honesty, and eventually leads to the purification of the personality. This
purification is nothing other than the conscious crafting of a personality
that
better expresses one's more essential Self. When (or as) the personality is
regenerated, other layers of self emerge and the process is repeated with
their inclusion. One step follows another, but without the base of our
stairway, we risk toppling over.

In this way, there is no loss of self, but an expansion of self. No burning
of
bridges, but a building of bridges.

You ask:>>"Do I have to get rid of it [the ego] entirely, or just learn to
use it
as a tool? (A tool of what is the next question.)"<<

This aspect of self is a tool for the Whole Self's expression in the material
realm...there is no disconnection of one realm from another, but a
continuous, unbroken flow. However, our conscious awareness is generally
limited to the physical. The point of a spiritual discipline is to expand
our
conscious awareness to include the Whole of Self (ultimately), being careful
to NOT disassociate our selves from ANY part of who we are in toto. Such a
disassociation can lead to the mental illness you mentioned.

You write:>>>"There is no guarantee of safe passage."<<
Logodox writes:>>>"Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way unto life,
and few there be that find it !"<< & >>>"The universe doesn't care about You
any more than it cares about me. Its much bigger than US! "<<

My experience is that these are very limited and limiting assumptions. My
experience is that the Universe is much Grander that these assumptions
imply. I have come to a very deep and intimate Love, Respect, Devotion,
Faith, Worship....I've run out of capitalizable words, and none of them
suffice
my meaning!.....for this Infinite Universe of Self, and say that it is Alive,
Immanent, and minutely Self-Conscious. I have absolutely no doubt that we
each succeed in reaching our Ultimate Goal. We each are this Infinite
Universe....Guidence is intimately woven into the fabric of each and every
moment of our existence...though it is so intimately a part of our
experience,
that we seldom name it Guidence! Do you see the color of your own eyes
when you look out through them? Each time we define the Infinite, we limit
the Infinite; but define the Infinite, we must, for that is the Nature of a
physical existence. The Art, is in remembering that each assumption which
limits is *also* un-true. The Infinite encompasses all polarities; so each
polarization that we humans arbitrarily define, exists *with* its opposite,
*within* the Infinite.

So says Rawn, at any rate. ;-)

Logodox writes:>>>"The more one perpetuates his separate "self" the further
he travels from the "gate":"<<

Can you guess what I have to say here?? This is both true and un-true... ;)
My experience is that the uniqueness of the individual is the doorway to the
more inclusive levels of self awareness. Our separateness at the physical
level is certainly only a part of the Whole picture, but a definite part
nonetheless, and a part which we dare not deny or belittle. It is where we
must begin, and conversely, where we must end. We expand inward and
express outward, and mix the Elements of Self -- bringing what is within,
without; and what is whithout, within. Higher levels of Self-Awareness
*include* the physical; without them, there would be no physical.

I would restate what Logodox wrote thusly: The more one separates one's
separate self from the Whole, the harder it is to find the gate; which is of
course, to be found within the separate self which attaches itself to the
Whole. ;-) That's Hermetic Zen!

Please understand that all of the above is *my* experience and *my* opinion,
and I in no way mean to denegrate the experience and opinion of either you
or Logodox. I could well be wrong!!! Even so, all I have to offer is *my*
experience and opinion.

Best to you!
:) Rawn Clark
8 Mar 96


Sat Mar 09 10:33:28 1996
Subject: 0443 Matter and Energy and Alchemy

From: Logodox
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 1996 20:43:22 -0600


At 04:30 P 3-8-96 +0000, you wrote:

[Yes, yes, I've read that many times before. It seems to be what all
the experts say.

Did You read it with "conditioned" "adult-erated" consciousness or with
childlike consciousness ?

[Little consolation in that. I suspect that most of them
started out from the "what's in it for me" perspective too.]

Agreed. Probably all beings go thru the "self" stage of evolution...

[The problem with the solution is that it requires destroying oneself (the
ego anyway)]

No!

[which is not appealing,]

Yes it is! Expand Your SELF to be all things, then harmonize and feel love
for the majesty of this creation!

[particularly because the ego had a lot to do with starting the endeavor in
the firstplace.]

Doubtful...ego is a false accumulation, albeit necessary at many levels.

[Think of all the years it took
to get a well-functioning ego in place and how essential it is to have
one in order to function well in society.]

Yeah, or so it seems so very much...

[Do I have to get rid of it
entirely, or just learn to use it as a tool?]

Super-modify it...Expand it, earn Nature's trust and she will reward You !

(A tool of what is the next question.) Its like burning the bridge out from under oneself. One could burn up with the bridge and spin off into mental illnesses or other dysfunctional states. (From the many occultists I've observed, particularly
those who started very young, this is a real danger.) There is no guarantee
of safe passage.]

True and a very grave danger indeed !

Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way unto life,

Consider the gate to be the riddance of SELF-ishness.
Consider life to be a state of harmony and (oft-bliss) such that there's no more
battle with the "OUT THERE" (psycholog); spiritually think of it as being in
tune and
harmony with ALL OTHER energy forms in the Universe.

[In my chats with the universe I have pointed out that this is not a very
good system]

Baloney, these chats are with Yourself, Your own point of view,
not the "actual" universe. Your REAL being is the actuality,
there isn't anything else, actually.

What system ? Have You studied the eastern way ? The Tao, Buddhism, Hinduism ?

What system ?
Respectfully Peggy, if You analyze what (imho) I think Your calling the
SYSTEM, You'll find that it's Your intrepretation of the universe, not the
UNIVERSE itself. I have studied it VERY, VERY, deeply and intently for over
30 years and about 20 years ago when I humbled myself before IT and assumed
IT to be perfect and myself to be at fault is (guess what) the exact time
when my life began improving radically in nearly all ways. IIIIIII
WWWAAAASSSSS the problem, not the universe!

Only with insufficient understanding could one critisize the universe at
large. I assume it is FAIR, but humans are not, guess why ? Ego in all of
its forms, especially in the expansion thereof (greed). I define greed as
being willing to hurt others for my own gain. I dont believe in altruism
either. Mother Teresa is not altruistic. Instead she has evolved her self
to be all those she helps! Isnt that a good system ? The universe is not a
zero-sum game. I.E. Someone does not have to lose, for You to gain. But
then, If You attain the gate, You realize the only true gain is spiritual.

(from my point of view) because it has a
>severe bottleneck, and I would never let a system like this go into
>production -- but the universe doesn't listen.

If You were in charge of the universe, it wouldn't exist ! Your (maybe)
naive set of rules could'nt have manifested it in the first place. (me
either of course).

I would never let
>the universe run payroll -- guaranteed it would make a big, fat mess
>out of it....grumble, grumble...

Really, something as trivial as payroll ? How about payroll programs in a
computer dealing with multiple states, provinces, countries ? Keeping track
of multiple details of work assignments ? Pretty complex huh ? Nonsense !
I guarantee You the fine balance of forces and energy on a single atom
dwarfs this payroll in comparison !!!

>>and few there be that find it !
>
>So it seems. A bottleneck. Is this a design flaw or is there a
>reason for it? What are those stuck in the bottleneck supposed
>to be doing? Spinning around and around until we get it right?

Design flaw ? I doubt it. If it was all by design then we would have no
free will.

According to "high" officials of various religions and mystical sects, Our
reascent to the ONE (and our previous fall therefrom) are necessary to make
us better...

>
>>Nature loves children, figure out why...
>
>Let's see.... I have a 3 year old, and I still remember what it was like
>to be a child, so I can say something about this. I can still wail and
>whine and say "mine!" mine!" as I do to the universe, like any self-
>respecting 3 year old, but I feel silly doing this and I think other
>people look silly doing it too. (This is what they all look like to me,
>all over the world, fighting about this and that.)

Obvious, not worth a response.

The great part about
>children IMO is that they do not have the layers of socialization that
>distances them from experience. I think they experience more directly
>and live more in the moment. This (IMO) is what gives them their
>tremendous energy. Doing things for the first time, too, they are
>often lost in awe and wonder over simple things like the taste of
>pizza with olives or the softness of a rabbit.

There Ya go !!! This spirit of wonder. along with hope, charity, truth and
love is the Alkehest !!! The fountain of Youth !!! If You invoke it strongly
enough (and can maintain it, You will be the living STONE) It does not take
any modern philosophy,
1100 pages of existentialistic nonsense, or any other sophistry to find this.

Read Eckartshausen ! He says this so clearly and beautifully, it is
astonishing.


Truly,


Best,

Skip


nous ----> logodox@sound.net


Sat Mar 09 17:26:53 1996
Subject: 0444 Paracelsus College Reincarnation

From: Petra Gottlieb
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 21:21:46 +1100



On behalf of Alec Gathercole (Paracelsian University)

To explain the motive behind this action this statement is posted.

The Paracelsus College in Salt Lake City was closed soon after the death of
Albert Riedel (Frater Albertus Spagyricus) in 1984. In "Essentia" Vol.4
Summer 1983 an editorial was written projecting a vision for the ongoing
work of the sections of the College into the 21st century.
This work has been carried on Down Under through another entity since 1987
with teaching seminars being presented within the guide lines stipulated and
Pharmezes type research projects developed.
A reliable seminar presentation has been accomplished and of the various
research projects developed two of which are ready for application having
been privately tested.

On the Twelfth Anniversary of the last seminar given here in Melbourne the
Paracelsian University was posted on Adam's Alchemy web site in an effort
to reincarnate it on to the world scene, changing the title of the entity
while retaining character of the personality.

It is proposed that teachings be presented in hired facilities provided by
the student groups, and research be continued in private laboratories in the
U.S.A. and the UK, as we are a long distance and few in number here.
We are canvassing former College participants and other interested parties
for expressions of interest in participating in the teaching, research or
launching of researched products, thereby keeping the vision of the original
founder fruitful.

We may be contacted via e-mail: petrag@iaccess.com.au,
by snail mail: P.O.Box 4213, G.P.O. Melbourne/Australia
or by phone: 011-61-3-9481-8435

We are willing to visit the U.S.A. and or the UK for the promotion of this
project, if appropriate.

From Alec Gathercole
for Auris Australis


Sat Mar 09 17:28:40 1996
Subject: 0445 "Matter-Energy" spin-off

From: Diane Munoz
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 08:38:01 -0800


Dear Peggy;

I have appreciated your contributions to this list as of late. Though not
much of a contributor myself, I read the list with great interest.

The reason why I appreciate your comments is that your questions I think
are the very questions that we all start with when we pursue a "road less
traveled". And we all know the frustrations when the rules and regulations
of this universe stifle our demand to understand and thus expand. First you
have to assume that there is always another way, always another answer...
and that you are never wrong for the way that you feel. "What you feel" is
the gate to finding the next path. And there are infinite gates. And
infinite paths. And all of them are "right." This universe is dual in
nature. You have to know what you don't want in order to know what you do
want. It's just the way it is. There are other universes that have
different laws, but first we have to understand this one before we can move
on to the next. Most likely because the foundation of understanding this
one is required to understand the next.

The only thing that I have learned is that all the truisms that every
sacred text has written are true! The problem was that I didn't have a
perspective from which to understand them. And then, when I have been able
to expand my perspective and come upon an understanding (usually through a
direct experience generated through my desire to understand) all of a
sudden the words I had read make sense! "Why didn't you just SAY so!" has
been my common exclamation! Of course they HAD... I only just now was able
to access the perspective to understand.

You see. The destruction of the ego-self is not necessary... your addiction
to it and its demand to keep you from changing is what is needed to be
destroyed. "You" are not your personality. It is only a miniscule part of
what YOU are. You have to be willing to turn away from the never-ending
demand from it for attention and turn yourself (your mind) to questions and
answers "outside" of it (of course, that is an illusion that _anything_ is
outside of you but it is the best term to use to inspire expansion out of
your known universe). Your ego-self used as a tool is your unique door to
knowing the unknown for it generates the catch-22's that make you say WHY?!
the question why? is so important because when you've discovered an
inconsistency or contradiction or injustice it means that you don't
understand the perspective that would allow this to exist in a universe of
opposites. When you can diffuse the opposition is when you can move on.

And in my discovery of the knowledge that I have craved to know, the one
question I have asked that has kept the process of knowing on a continuing
flow is "How is it possible that this could be so? What perspective could I
come from that would answer this particular question?" And always, the
answer includes the the coming together of opposing views (unity) and
dissipates any anger or judgment I had had that lead up to the question.
AND (this is the best part) it has demanded the asking of the NEXT
question--which I could never have seen until that moment. Thus the
continuum of making known the unknown and expanding that forever and ever.

To me that is what LIFE is about. Everyone's journey to understanding and
expanding and changing is different. But it seems it is perpetuated by
asking the same kinds of questions.

Regards....
Diane (Armenua)


Sun Mar 10 14:13:11 1996
Subject: 0446 Plant "Mercury"

From: Andrew M. Minkin
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 08:49:20 -0800



I have a general question about plant mercury, what I understand to be
ethanol (or carried by the ethanol). I know that it is easy to come by if
you ferment herbs, but what about using a jar maceration or Soxhlet
extraction? Does plant mercury exist comingling with the alchohol
menstruum or is it not released without more of a "natural" alchemical
process? i welcome any opinions and personal experience on this matter.

Andrew Minkin


Sun Mar 10 14:13:23 1996
Subject: 0447 Carbon from the sun?

From: Beat Krummenacher
Date: 09 Mar 96 12:15:22 EST


OISPEGGY wrote:
>The sun's energy is converted to matter via plants and the plants nourish the
animals. All life on the planet relies on the sun. Carbon is from the sun,
right? What is meant by us being carbon based? (I've heard that said. ) What% of
our bodies is carbon, the element of the sun? What does that mean?<

It is right that the solar energy makes possible the construction of the whole
organic matter in the end. Indeed one may not say that carbon is from the sun.
Carbon as component of organic compounds originates from the earth and the air.
It is the carbon dioxide of the air, which reacts with water and other chemical
elements from the floor under influence of the sunlight and forms the diverse
chemical compounds of all organic bodies. Carbon is thus just as little an
element from the sun as the remaining elements in the body.

The sun is the active mover of the physical processes. Its energy is in the
beginning of the formation of bursting with energy substances, which make
possible the life on our earth. This is the material, physical and chemical
aspect of life.

There is however an other side of life, which often is little considered: the
metaphysical aspect of life. Here too the sun plays an important role. It
invisibly mediates the solar fluid, which flows into the material world as
positive polarity of the "spiritus mundi". The moon in his invisible form
mediates the lunar fluid as negative polarity of the universal spirit. The
metaphysical aspect of life works in the concealed bodies of the creatures. The
conscious power of mind as well as the powers of the soul are supplied with the
spiritus mundi. As organizing principles they care for it, that the physical
manifestations of the individual creatures are viable.

Thus from the sphere of causality the intelligent energy comes, which
materializes itself in increasing material form. Originally all material
elements of our planet emerged from nuclear reactions in stars. The carbon of
our earth originally is thus of stellar origin. However this happened, still
long before physical life developed on our earth. Since beginning of time of
life on earth the elementary carbon has survived and is no more newly created
from the sun. As chemical element of the earth it is the earthly matrix, in
which the visible and invisible energies flow. The same is valid for all
remaining chemical elements. Because no direct changes happen more with the
chemical elements, the chemical processes can be very exactly described by
chemistry.

If it is successful however to impregnate matter with the fluids beyond it, so
materials are attained, which trigger effects going beyond chemistry. Alchemy
describes such effects and processes, which thus includes more than chemistry.
The latter only describes material processes.

Lapis


Sun Mar 10 14:13:33 1996
Subject: 0448 Practice of the "Rosarium philosophorum"

From: Beat Krummenacher
Date: 09 Mar 96 12:15:28 EST

Dear Maury,

You very beautifully describe and interpret the first figures of the "Rosarium
philosophorum". Your interpretation is worth considering from a psychological
view.

However there is a fully other approach. It is of course sober, however it can
well be brought in accordance with the alchemical work.

If you pursue the wet way of alchemy, you receive three substances: a volatile
spirit (mercury), an oily substance (Sulfur) and a salt (Sal). Joined in the
right quantitative ratio they dissolve and form a yellowish fluid. From it the
philosophical mercury can be distilled - the "wife".

One way to the stone of the philosophers exists now therein to dissolve calcined
gold in the philosophical mercury. Symbolically you unite "man" and "wife".
After that the resulting fluid is digested in the first degree of the fire. A
part of the fluid distills in the upper cool part of the flask. There the drops
condense and trickle down like dew etc. The whole process of the rework as
actual events begins to run down in the hermetically locked egg of the
philosophers. If you try graphically to describe the phenomenological events, so
you get as a possible description the "rose garden of the philosophers".

In other words: This famous alchemical book is a graphic description of the
practical process to the stone of the philosophers, more exactly to the rework.
Naturally one can psychologically interpret the pictures. However the essential
is a practical process, which runs down on the material level in this case. To
what extent a psychologization of material processes is however meaningful and
helps on in the practical alchemy is another question.

Distill ordinary spirit of wine. As long as highly concentrated alcohol
distills, you see little in the helmet. If water increasingly distills with the
alcohol, serpentine cords become visible in the helmet. Physically it deals with
changes of the surface tension of the distilling fluid which become visible. An
alchemist has graphically described this process once as follows: "Then let the
eagles fly. And if you see snakes appear in the helmet, so change the
recipient." If one knows that the word order "eagles fly" is called "distill",
the "snakes" in the helmet present the visible changes, so the description of an
ordinary distillation is not at all more so mythical and fantastic, how it
initially has seemed to be.

Today we have the aid of chemistry and physics to soberly describe material
processes. The alchemists did not have these aid. They had to grasp to a graphic
language to adequately describe their observations. If you read alchemical
texts, so you must conversely go ahead. You must try to translate the graphic
ideas in concrete physical-chemical processes. Of course this breaks the spell
on the beautiful pictures, however brings success in reality. If you take in the
products of your practical work, so you begin to dream of the pictures. The
circle closes again: Another manifestation of the Ouroboros.

Lapis
100667.1267@compuserve.com


Sun Mar 10 14:16:13 1996
Subject: 0449 Question Matter & Energy

From: Diane Munoz
Date: Sat, 09 Mar 1996 10:48:40 -0800



Dear Peggy;

I have appreciated your contributions to this list as of late. Though
not much of a contributor myself, I read the list with great interest.

The reason why I appreciate your comments is that your questions I
think are the very questions that we all start with when we pursue a "road
less traveled". And we all know the frustrations when the rules and
regulations of this universe stifle our demand to understand and thus expand.
First youn have to assume that there is always another way, always another
answer... and that you are never wrong for the way that you feel. "What you
feel" is the gate to finding the next path. And there are infinite gates. And
infinite paths. And all of them are "right." This universe is dual in
nature. You have to know what you don't want in order to know what you
do want. It's just the way it is. There are other universes that have
different laws, but first we have to understand this one before we can
move on to the next. Most likely because the foundation of understanding
this one is required to understand the next.

The only thing that I have learned is that all the truisms that every
sacred text has written are true! The problem was that I didn't have a
perspective from which to understand them. And then, when I have been
able to expand my perspective and come upon an understanding (usually
through a direct experience generated through my desire to understand) all of a
sudden the words I had read make sense! "Why didn't you just SAY so!"
has been my common exclamation! Of course they HAD... I only just now was
able to access the perspective to understand.

You see. The destruction of the ego-self is not necessary... your
addiction to it and its demand to keep you from changing is what is needed to be
destroyed. "You" are not your personality. It is only a miniscule part
of what YOU are. You have to be willing to turn away from the
never-ending demand from it for attention and turn yourself (your mind) to
questions and answers "outside" of it (of course, that is an illusion that
_anything_ is outside of you but it is the best term to use to inspire expansion out
of your known universe). Your ego-self used as a tool is your unique door
to knowing the unknown for it generates the catch-22's that make you say
WHY?!
the question why? is so important because when you've discovered an
inconsistency or contradiction or injustice it means that you don't
understand the perspective that would allow this to exist in a
universe of opposites. When you can diffuse the opposition is when you can move
on.

And in my discovery of the knowledge that I have craved to know, the
one question I have asked that has kept the process of knowing on a
continuing flow is "How is it possible that this could be so? What perspective
could I come from that would answer this particular question?" And always, the
answer includes the the coming together of opposing views (unity) and
dissipates any anger or judgment I had had that lead up to the
question.
AND (this is the best part) it has demanded the asking of the NEXT
question--which I could never have seen until that moment. Thus the
continuum of making known the unknown and expanding that forever and
ever.

To me that is what LIFE is about. Evswer to the sun's
countenance. I and expanding and changing is different. But it seems it is perpetuated by
asking the same kinds of questions.

Regards....
Diane (Armenua)


Sun Mar 10 14:17:02 1996
Subject: 0450 crocodiles

From: Jon Marshall
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 08:02:32 -0800



some long while ago i asked about the presence of crocodiles in lab pictures as
well,

and i thought basically there might be three solutions

1) medicines
2) iconographic reasons.
3) a scattered approach to studying nature- more interested in prodigies than
regularities.

firstly medicines:
According to Topsell (Histories of Beasts ed malcolm south) p58

"the medicines arising out of the crocodile are many. The first place belongs to
the caul which has more benefits or virtues than can be expresses. The blood is
held profitable for many things, and among others it is thought to kill the
biting of any serpent. Anointing the eyes with the blood cures both the dregs or
spots of blood in them and also restores soundness and clearness to the sight...
And it is said that, if a man takes the liquor which comes from a piece of
crocodile fried and annoints a wound or harmed part then he shall be immediatly
rid of all pain and torment. The dung is profitable against the falling off of
the hair and many such othe things"

I have looked in other books in vain for some greater detail for medicines that
might be made with this animal- particularly its dried parts (i suspect it would
be used in the chinese pharmocopea for something).

The next possibility is that the crocodile has an iconographic, or commentary
value. Like for instance an owl might represent wisdom etc....

The Bodlian MS 764 bestiary recently published by Folio claims that Crocodiles
represent hippocrits p62

and Topsell agrees with this mentioning the crocodile's tears "to get a man
within his danger he will sob, sigh and weep as though he were in extremity, but
suddenly he destroys him..... the proverb notes the wretched nature of
hypocritical hearts which beforehand with feigned tears endeavour to do
mischief.." (p53-4)

In which case the painters could be trying to convey that here is a person who
appears sad and wretched, but will destroy you and eat all your money....!

So what we have seen as an essential part of the traditional lab, might in fact
be part of a iconographic convention warning the beholder of the picture against
alchemy.

The bestiary quoted earlier says in another context "death and hell are like the
crocodiles" p191.

A final posibility, which again assumes the paintings are representations of
real labs- might be that well known connection between early science and the
'cabinet of curiousities'- basically people interested in nature collected
wonderous specimens of nature.
However against this position it might still be wondered why crocodiles seem
more common in portryals than manta rays, or two headed calves and the kinds of
prodigies and monsters the early Royal society was interested in. To this i have
no answer.

jon