Better Living Through Alchemy
Lynn Osburn © 2011
all rights reserved
“Better Living Through Alchemy” began as an outline and notes for a lecture I conducted at the Meeting of the Minds conference hosted by Chapman University in Southern California in 1994. The presentation was given in a lecture hall in the science building on a Friday afternoon. I had enriched the project with a slide show presentation of classic Alchemy artwork dating back to the 1500s. As students left one class heading to another they came past the open door to my lecture and upon peeking in were fascinated by the highly evocative symbolism in the artwork. This of course was the goal of those ancient masters of Alchemy known as Adepts and Sages. The room filled with students; many thought this was a new course added to the curriculum. After the presentation several came up to me and wanted to sign up for the course.
Since that time my outline and notes grew into a book length project. Then it evolved and the chapters began fusing into independent volumes. Segments from Origins of Alchemy have been published in journals on the World Wide Web, including Alchemy Journal and Hermetic Foundation Journal since 2001. Here for the first time I’ve made the complete Volume I available in electronic format.
Lynn Osburn March 23, 2008
Volume I of Better Living Through Alchemy, Origins of Alchemy e-published in 2008 was in PDF format. Since that time It has doubled in size and divided into two parts: Part I, Origins of Alchemy and Part II, Spiritual Elements in Alchemy. This new edition completes the initial phase of this opus. I am at work on the last phase of Better Living Through Alchemy, Volume II Alchemy Praxis, the Magnum Opus.
Lynn Osburn September 4, 2011
Anamare plunged to the bottom of Ocean riding her dragon searching for the Stone of the All-wise Philosophers. Succeeding on the quest they arose from Ocean on waves of Argent Vive and ascended into the firmament. The power of the Stone distorts space/time as she holds it aloft and opens a Pore-tal to the Kore of the Great Mystery. Her dragon focuses Mercury and sets course into the wormhole unfolding Paradoxa transcending Space/Time.
When I was growing up in America back in the 1950s and 1960s DuPont the chemical corporate giant used the trademarked slogan “Better Things for Better Living…Through Chemistry” to advertise their economic paradigm. “Better Living Through Chemistry,” (the variant used by a host of corporations to avoid DuPont’s trademark) brought us poisoned groundwater, poisoned air, our bodies poisoned with traces of synthetic molecules and heavy metals, our bodies poisoned with artificially altered food produc ts.
The list of woes and complaints generated from “better living through chemistry” continues to grow. Yet there is nothing inherently pathological in the science of chemistry. Miracle drugs chemically engineered have vanquished diseases and alleviated painful symptoms. The drug companies promise even more in their advertisements. TV commercials claim one pill will give you energy; another will make you feel young. One breath mint company’s commercials insinuate their sugar pill will enhance the user’s problem solving skills while enabling the user to step out of conformity to solve the problem—that’s a lot of magic from a breath mint.
What the drug companies promise is quite alluring and generates billions of dollars in annual retail sales. If advertisements for chemical concoctions claimed that ingredients were compounded with magic spells to make them work miracles the government attorneys would accuse them of fraud. However it is legitimate to proclaim that through the genius of science and the technology of chemistry ingredients have been compounded that can work miracles. This scientific proclamation to have produced a miracle-working pill finds acceptance because science has replaced magic as the reality interface between people and Nature.
Magic has a certain spiritual vi tality while science usually operates mechanistically seemingly lacking in spiritual vitality. Science hasn’t lost its soul; for a very long time now its body has been enslaved by national and corporate economic interests. Before that time the spirit that imbued the scientific methods with creative genius was the dynamic soul, Alchemy. For thousands of years alchemy technicians compounded pills called Stones that cured disease, alleviated pain, unleashed energy and rejuvenated the body. The people experiencing these Philosopher’s Stones believed they were magic; the alchemists always said the Stone was art and science coupled to the inspiration of the divine.
Alchemy is a philosophical discipline utilizing proto-scientific principles that are applied through scientific methods. Alchemy blossomed about 2000 years ago out of the culture chaos where East met West at the beginning of the current epoch: an epoch nearing its end, an epoch where civilization thus far has gone global on a tidal wave of technical knowledge.
The alchemist sages and adepts not only established the essential methods used in modern medicine and the sciences of chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychopharmacology and psychology; they also created the paradigm at the heart of the global counterculture and psychedelic movement—the desire to know thyself and live in balance and harmony with Nature.
Alchemy is the spiritual discipline of the Initiate culture. The Initiates throughout history have run afoul of the authoritarian hierarchy of rulers established by economies of governments and dogmas of religions.
The marriage of the decaying Roman empire to a fanatic religion of the masses, Paulist Christianity, created the Holy Roman empire and through several ecumenical councils brought fourth the Dark Ages and outlawed the pursuit of knowledge by declaring the Tree of Knowledge bore the fruit forbidden by god. The resulting creative stagnation and spiritual repression banned all avenues of communion with the mysterious and seriously inhibited Western cultural growth. The alchemists took that psycho-social babble of religio-statesmanship and spun a golden thread through it that tapped the creative energies despite prohibitions by the church-state. Alchemis ts devoted their lives to the pursuit of self development under the guise of making gold. Early on they cooked the ancient instinctual patterns and primordial drives of our ancestors distilling and congealing from them the archetypal psychic structures that drive us today.
The goal of the alchemical “magnum opus” (great work) was no less than individual self-perfection through physical transmutation and spiritual transcendence. To that end the alchemists experimented with countless substances unlocking the mysteries of chemical composition and probing the nature of energy/matter.
They worked in laboratories making profound medicines called tinctures, elixirs, cylssi, and stones from a multitude of plants and minerals. The production of alchemical medicines they called the Spagyric Art. From the spagyric art came the sciences of pharmacology and psychopharmacology. Spagyric preparations were for healing the body, clearing the mind, and some were capable of extending life many years beyond the average lifespan.
The “great work” of alchemy on “metals and minerals” was undertaken in the laboratory. The starting material was reduced to its “prima materia” (first matter) and broken down by and into the “four elements,” then ultimately reassembled into a red and a white powder. Both were extremely potent and deadly. The alchemists rarely ever revealed the detailed processes for making the red and white “Philosopher’s Stones.” They believed it was essential for each “operator” to do the work individually, so they obscured their recipes, simply describing the procedures as generally taking two paths, the Humid and the Dry. The “humid path” operations took longer to complete but were not as difficult as the “dry path” operations which required more subjective finesse and artful technical discernment.
Alchemy lore asserts an operator tested the efficacy of the powders by “projecting” a minuscule portion onto any metal; lead, tin, copper or brass, were favorites. The powders acted like catalysts transmuting the metal into silver or gold depending on which powder was used. If the transmutation was successful the adept consumed an extremely dilute modified admixture of the two powders. A profound transmutation began, causing a metamorphosis of being. The operator became immortal and capable of transcending space/time—a universal navigator. Legends abound in the old literature about transmuted alchemist sages appearing in times of great need and miraculously helping humanity, then vanishing. Tradition has it that one of the last things an adept did before transcending space/time was to leave a written record—a memoir and guiding light for those still in the labyrinth.
The Western philosophical discipline called alchemy crystallized around the second century CE. The earliest alchemical operators were centered in Alexandria, Egypt. “If there was an enormous public library at Alexandria, there were also many private libraries of the inner schools dealing with the sacred science of unseen things. It was precisely from these private circles that all the mystic writings proceeded, and we can see from the nature of the Gnostic and other works of this kind which have reached us, that their authors and compilers had access to large libraries of mystic lore. … And not only was there a library, but also a kind of university, called the Museum, dedicated to the arts and sciences and embracing among other things an observatory, an amphitheatre of anatomy, a vast botanical garden, an immense menagerie, and many other collections of things useful for physical research.
“It was an institution conceived on a most liberal plan, an assembly of savants lodged in a palace, richly endowed with the liberality of princes, exempt from public charges. Without distinction of race or creed, with no imposed regulations, no set plan of study or lecture lists, the members of this distinguished assembly were left free to prosecute their researches and studies untrammeled and unhampered.
“… So far there had been no philosophy in the proper sense of the word; that did not enter into the curriculum of the Museum. Hitherto Alexandria had had no philosophy of her own, but now she is destined to be the crucible in which philosophic thought of every kind will be fused together, and not only philosophy, but more important still, religio-philosophy and theosophy of every kind will be poured into the melting pot, and many strange systems and some things admirably good and true will be moulded out of the matter cast into this seething crucible. …
“Slowly but surely the wisdom of Egyptians, of the Babylonians and Chaldeans, and its reflection in some of the Jewish doctors, of Persia, too, and perhaps even to India, begins to react on the center of Grecian thought, and religion and all the great problems of the human soul begin to oust mere scholasticism…from the schools; Alexandria is no longer to be a mere literary city, but a city of philosophy in the old sense of the term; it is to be wisdom-loving…”
The early Alexandrian alchemists adapted ancient Egyptian, Babylonian and Hindu metallurgical procedures to pursue their investigation of the Spirit and Soul in the matter. These procedures possessed magical and religious importance for the Egyptian and Babylonian priesthoods, especially the methods used to refine gold and other metals from rock ore and to make synthetic stones of religious significance. The Alexandrian alchemists proceeded with a proto-scientific philosophical spiritual approach with emphasis on experimentation. They were also adept at preparing herbal medicines and compounding powerful psychotrophic extracts. Many taught alchemy openly at the Museum near the Serapis temple and library, the Serapeum.
However, the quintessential esoteric paradigm underlying alchemy, the pursuit of individual self evolution, seems to be the offspring of the marriage between Hindu tantric alchemy and the teachings of the enigmatic Taoist sages. Lao Tsu is the most well known among the Taoist sages; he lived in China about 2400 years ago. Along with this marriage from the East was the fusion of philosophies and praxis that has come down to us as the Gnosis or Gnosticism.
In fact writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus were found that dated from the 4th Century in the collection of Gnostic manuscripts that became known as the Nag Hammadi Library. “We come to a class of writings that one would hardly have expected to find in a Gnostic library. This consists of the texts which, in some cases, reveal to us a teaching intermediate between Gnosticism and Hermetism, whilst others belong properly to Hermetic literature. …As for the properly Hermetic writings of this category, they are—significantly—grouped together, five of them in Codex VI—which was one of the most in use, as we can see from the portions of feathers slipped in between the leaves to mark certain places in the book.
“What remains so remarkable is the presence of these Hermetic writings in a library of which all the rest is essentially Gnostic. Moreover, the gloss of the Gnostic compiler—‘This is the first discourse that I have copied for you. But there are many others that have come into my hands: I have not transcribed them, thinking that they have already reached you….’—greatly heightens the interest of its presence in this collection. What it shows is that there was in circulation in Upper Egypt, in the second half of the fourth century (the period of our codex), a far more important collection of Hermetic treatises, already translated from Greek into Sahidic Coptic, and destined, no doubt, for use by sectaries more or less related to those of Chenoboskion.
“The intentional juxtaposition of Hermetic writings and Gnostic treatises shows that some interchange was then going on between the two schools of doctrine. Here, living once again before our eyes, is that syncretic movement which associated the Gnostic prophets not only to the Hermes of Cyllene, but also to the more learned Hermes of the Greek mystical treatises. This is precisely the blend of ideas whose occurrence at the epoch had been suggested, but not satisfactorily proved, by the little treatise of Zosimos the alchemist Upon the Letter Omega; in which myths derived from the writings of Zoroaster, some of those of Nicotheus ‘the hidden’ and of the Jewish Gnosis, are treated upon the same footing as writings On the Natures and On Immateriality, which are imputed to the authority of the Trismegistus.”
According to many historians alchemy was introduced into India by the Arabs. However “mercury” was mentioned in the fourth century “Bower Manuscript,” and the transmutation of metals and ores into gold was described in several Buddhist texts between the second and fifth centuries. The Mahaprajnaparamitashastra of Nagarjuna, was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva over three centuries before the zenith of Arab alchemy which occurred during the life of Jabir ibin Hayyan, aka Geber around 760 CE. The discourse of Nagarjuna lists among the siddhi (miraculous powers) the transmutation of stone into gold and gold into stone.
Another Hindu alchemical text, Avatamska Sutra (second-fourth century) reported: “There exists a Hataka juice or essence. One liang of this solution can transform one thousand liangs of bronze into pure gold.” Further details are given in Mahaprajnaparamitopadesha by Nagarjuna, translated into Chinese 402-405 CE: “By means of drugs and incantations one can change bronze into gold. By skillful use of drugs, silver may be transformed into gold and gold into silver. By spiritual strength man can change clay or stone into gold.”
“The Hatha-yogis and the Tantrists attempt to transmute their bodies into incorruptible ones. The new body they call divine body of gnosis. The Hindu alchemist pursues the same goal: the transmutation of the body indefinitely prolonging its youth, strength and suppleness. The tantric Hatha-yogi works on the physical body and the mind while the alchemist works on substances. Both aim at “‘purifying’ these impure materials, at ‘perfecting’ them and finally, transmuting them into ‘gold.’ ...‘Gold is immortality:’ it is the perfect metal, and its symbolism rejoins the symbolism of the pure spirit, free and immor tal, which the yogi endeavors, by asceticism to ‘extract’ from the ‘unclean’ and ‘enslaved’ psycho-mental life. ...The alchemist hopes to achieve the same results as the yogi by ‘projecting’ his asceticism on to matter. Instead of submitting his body and his psycho-mental life to the rigours of yoga, in order to separate the Spirit (purusha) from all experience belonging to the sphere of the substance (prakrti), the alchemist subjects metals to the chemical operations which correspond to the ‘purifications’ and ascetic ‘tortures.’ For there is a complete solidarity between physical matter and the psycho-somatic body of the man: both are products of the primordial substance (prakrti). Between the ‘basest’ metal and the most refined psycho-mental experience there is no break of continuity.
“All this is more easily understood if one studies the ideology, symbolism and techniques of alchemy in their yogi-tantric context, and if one takes account of a certain Indian spiritual prehistory embracing the belief in men-gods, magicians and immortals. Tantric yoga and alchemy have integrated, and given a new significance to these myths and yearnings as, in China, Taoism and alchemy have done with a number of immemorial traditions.”
The great Hindu alchemist and sage Nagarjuna taught that the alchemical process of fixing mercury, indeed the whole of alchemy, was revealed by the great god Shiva personally, and secretly transmitted from one generation of adepts to the next. Nagarjuna described the alchemical adept: “intelligent, devoted to his work, without sin and master of his passions...Those who are truthful, free from temptation, love the Gods and are self-controlled and used to live upon proper diet and regimen—such are to be engaged in performing chemical operations.”
Shiva is called the god of mercury in the Rudrayamala Tantra. Shiva says his generating principle is mercury and extolled its efficacy when it has been fixed (dead) six times. Mercury was also called Harabija, “semen of Shiva” in the lexicon of Maheshvara. The Survarna Tantra asserts that by eating fixed mercury (nasta-pista) a human can become immortal. The Rudrayamala describes the fixed mercury as having no brilliance nor fluidity; it’s lighter than quicksilver and coloured. The Rasaratnasamuccaya III delcares a human body can be transmuted into a divine one through the action of an elixir obtained from ‘mercury.’ In that text Nagarjuna said he had developed remedies for “wrinkles and white hair and other signs of old age...Mineral preparations act with equal efficiency on metals as on the human body.”
“This favourate metaphor of Indian alchemists illustrates one of their fundamental conceptions. Like the human body, metals can be ‘purified’ and ‘made divine’ by mercuric preparations which communicate the healing virtues of Shiva, for Shiva, to the whole tantric world, is the God of deliverance. The Rasarnava recommends that mercury should be applied first on metals and then on the human body. If we are to believe the Rasahrdaya Tantra, alchemy may even cure leprosy and restore to old men their pristine youth.
“From times of the greatest antiquity an important section of the Indian spiritual elite applied itself to ‘experimentation’—the direct, experimental knowledge of all that constitutes the basis and processes of the human body and the psycho-mental life....
“The Indian alchemist drew up the elements of a pre-chemistry the moment he abandoned the strictly traditional plane of reference and applied himself to the objective study of phenomena and experimentation with the aim of completing his knowledge of the properties of matter. Hindu scholars were capable of exact observation and scientific thought... Metallurgical processes were described with greater accuracy by Hindu writers three centuries before Agrippa and Paracelsus. In the pharmacopoea, the Hindus achieved impressive results....
“Operational contact with the ‘substances’ was not without spiritual consequences—as was the case in the West from the time when scientific chemistry came into its own. To work actively on ores and metals was to touch prakrti, to modify its forms, to intervene in i ts processes. Now, in the ideological universe in which the alchemist works, and which is that of tantrism, prakrti is not only the cosmological principle of classical Sankhya and yoga; prakrti is the primordial mode of the Goddess, of the Shakti.”
“Taoism goes back to the days of the guilds of smiths, custodians of the most wondrous of the magic arts and the secrets of the primal forces. It was in Taoist and neo-Taoist circles that alchemical techniques were propagated.... Their ideas of longevity and immortality belong to the sphere of mythologies and folklore which is virtually universal. The notions of the ‘herb of immortality,’ of animal or vegetable substances charged with ‘vitality’ and containing the elixir of eternal youth as well as the myths concerning inaccessible regions inhabited by immortals, are part of a primitive ideology going far beyond the confines of China....
“Chinese alchemy was built up, in so far as it is an autonomous discipline, by utilizing: traditional cosmological principles; myths connected with the elixir of immortality and the immortal sain ts; techniques pursuing the prolongation of life, beatitude and spiritual spontaneity.... There is a very obvious and close connection between the ‘preparation of gold,’ the ‘drug of immortality’ and the ‘evocation of the Immortals’”
Han dynasty historian, Ssu-ma Ch’ien lived in the first century 145-86 BCE. In Records of the Historian he recounts how Taoist master sage, Lao Tsu, “having lived in Chou for a long time, realized it was in decline and left. As he reached the pass, the pass-keeper, Yin-hsi, said, ‘You are about to retire. Please try your best to write a book for me.’ Thereupon Lao Tsu wrote a book in two parts, expounding the ideas of the Way and its virtue in over 5000 words and then [he] departed. None knew how he ended. Probably Lao Tsu lived to be more than one hundred and sixty years—some say more than 200 years—because he practiced the Way and nourished his old age.”
Pass-keeper Yin-hsi became Master Yin-hsi, inspired by the teachings Lao Tsu had written for him in the Way of Things, the Tao te Ching. From it master Yin-hsi developed a method to keep one in harmony with Tao. He called it The Secret of the Golden Flower.
The Secret of the Golden Flower advances the Taoist “premise that the cosmos and man, in the last analysis, obey the same law; that man is a microcosm and is not separated from the macrocosm by any fixed barriers. The very same laws rule for the one as for the other, and from the one a way leads into the other. The psyche and the cosmos are to each other like the inner world and the outer world. Therefore man participates by nature in all cosmic events, and is inwardly as well as outwardly interwoven with them. ...The fundamental idea is that Tao, though itself motionless, is the means of all movement. [And life is] the multicolored play of nature which cannot evade the laws of the Tao.”
The Taoists believed, and the secret doc trine proposed, that human consciousness is of two natures. Body-consciousness is stimulated to react by phenomena and is bound to the laws of physics. It is the emotional consciousness awakened by the five senses through unreflecting reactions to impressions received from the external world. Spirit-consciousness prevails when body-consciousness is quiet.
Psychic energy and vital energy flow out from the individual into the phenomenal world. Vital energy is exhausted at death. Body-consciousness is linked to organic processes and decays returning to the earth. Spirit-consciousness is linked to intellect and imagination and powered with psychic energy. At death it rises from the earth then failing to maintain its energy output, dissipates, or its energy is drawn into the common reservoir of life energy. The master of the Pass reasoned that reversing the direction of energy flow from outward to inward would prolong life. He called the process of reversing the flow of psychic and vital energies, “Circulation of the Light.”
Circulation of the Light:
“The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together. ...When the light circulates, the energies of the whole body appear before its throne. ...You have only to make the light circulate: that is the deepest and most wonderful secret. The light is easy to move, but difficult to fix. If it is made to circulate long enough, then it crystallizes itself; that is the natural spirit-body. In carrying out this fundamental principle you need to seek for no other methods, but must only concentrate your thoughts on it. When the light is made to move in a circle, all the energies of heaven and earth, of the light and the dark, are crystallized.
“...When one begins to apply this magic it is as if, in the middle of being, there were non-being. When in the course of time the work is completed, and beyond the body there is a body, it is as if, in the middle of non-being, there is being. ...There develops the seed pearl. It is as if man and woman embraced and a conception took place. Then one must be quite still and wait. The circulation of the light is the epoch of fire.
“...In the midst of primal transformation, the radiance of the light is the determining thing. The radiation and dissipa tion of spiritual consciousness is chiefly brought about by this energy when it is directed outward. Therefore the Way of the Golden Flower depends wholly on the backward-flowing method. The decision must be carried out with a collected heart, and not seeking success; success will then come of itself.
“...As soon as the heart stirs, there develops breath-energy. Breath-energy is originally transformed activity of the heart. ...Since heart and breath are mutually dependent, the circulation of the light must be united with the rhythm of breathing. ...Although the breath that flows in and out through the nose is not the true breath, the flowing in and out of the true breath takes place in connection with it.”
By the ninth century The Secre t of the Golden Flower had generated the “Religion of the Golden Elixir of Life.” Practitioners of this esoteric and secret religion were met with tolerance and favor during the T’ang dynasty. But over time, as it became more popular, adepts were accused of political intrigues. Adherents were persecuted by hostile governments. In 1891 fifteen thousand members of the Religion of the Golden Elixir of Life were murdered by Manchu hirelings.
From the third century BCE. to the third century CE. Taoist adepts inspired by the Secret of the Golden Flower sought to produce a substance that would turn base metals into gold and give men immortality. This philosopher’s stone created by artful diligence in the kitchen was to be crushed “into a marvelous powder, a gold dust which ‘spread mistily like wind driven by rain’ through the five organs. The universal medicine freed its owner from all worldly miseries. New teeth would grow, dark hair would cover the old man’s baldness, and his sick wife would regain perfect health.”
During approximately the same time period in Egypt, Greek colonists living in Alexandria partook in a cultural synthesis that mingled elements of Egyptian religion and Greek philosophy together with religious fragments from the Levant and the East. The god Hermes ascended from this crucible. From then on he was a fusion of the Homeric Greek god Hermes and the ancient Egyptian god Thoth, the divine inventor of magic, language and writing. Hermes “‘opens the doors of birth and of death.’ He controls exchange, commerce and learning: he is the gods’ messenger, the mediator, the reconciler.”
By 200 BCE Hermes had become humanized, developing into a mythical king. His 36,000 books on the Principles of Nature written over his 3200 year reign were reduced in number to a mere forty-two, which the Christian patriarch Clement of Alexandria claimed to have seen carried in a solemn procession. The books were anonymous writings on Egyptian philosophy, the offspring of Greco-Egyptian philosophical intercourse. Those Sages writing under the pseudonym, Hermes, preserved for us the composite wisdom called Hermetic philosophy.
Hermetic philosophy with its tradition of anonymous adepts was adopted by the early Alexandrian alchemists. Many texts claim Hermes Trismegistus was the first master of alchemy. However alchemy incorporated many elements of a more pragmatic nature, taking Hermetic philosophy from the merely cerebral, and applying it to the phenomenal.
Very few of the manuscripts a ttributed to Hermes Trismegistus escaped destruction by the emerging Roman-Catholic Empire. However when the Moslems invaded Egypt and settled there after 640, they found manuscripts and inscribed tablets in the pyramids. Arabic writings on the subject recount tales of discovering a tablet of mystical instructions in the tomb of Hermes. E. J. Holmyard uncovered the oldest known version of it inserted in The Elementary Book of Foundation, by Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyam), the greatest and most prolific Arab alchemist; it is dated to the eighth century. There Geber recounts how the great magician sage, Apollonius of Tyana, discovered in a tomb an engraved emerald tablet in the mummified hand of Hermes Trismegistus. Apollonius flourished in the first half of the first century CE. His biographer Philostratus (170-230 CE.) detailed Apollonius’ travels in India and his claim to be the reincarnation of Pythagoras. The tablet contained the Creed of the Adepts—the legendary Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus.
The eighth century Emerald Tablet represents the quintessence of Taoist philosophy and its Secret of the Golden Flower congealed into Western consciousness. It leaves nothing out in its brevity, revealing the whole of the art and creation of the world in the sublime simplicity so loved by the Taoist masters.
‘Tis true without falsehood, and most real: that which is above is like that which is below, to perpetrate the miracles of One thing. And as all things have been derived from One, by the thought of One, so all things are born from One by adoption.
The Sun is its father; the Moon is its mother. The Earth is its nurse; The belly of the Wind carries it. Here is the essence of every Perfection in the world. Its strength and power prevail when turned into earth; thou wilt separate the earth from fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with great care.
It ascends from earth to heaven, descends again to earth and receives the power of the higher and the lower. By this means, thou wilt have the glory of the world. And because of this, all obscuri ty will flee from thee. Within this is the power, most powerful of all powers. For it will overcome all subtle things, and penetrate every solid thing. Thus the world was created. Wonderful adaptations will emerge from this; it is the Way.
And for this reason, I am called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the world. What I have said of the Sun’s operations is complete.
The first paragraph reveals the relationship between the macrocosm and microcosm. Man and the universe are like each other, complete each other miraculously becoming One. All things are One individually and One whole when taken together.
The second paragraph reveals One is a trivalent emanation born in the embrace of opposites: sun and moon, light and dark, positive and negative, on and off, one and zero, existence and nonexistence, etc. The union of opposites creates a body (Earth) or manifestation of that union. The manifestation is the One thing derived from the two. The One thing continues as long as the body of that union can be nurtured. One is the continuing embrace of opposites. In other words the trivalent potentiality in all things is one of opposition, attraction, balance—or expansion, contraction, stasis—the three conditions of the universe postulated by modern physics. To unleash the power of One separate the subtle from the gross: separate the opposites, carefully.
Paragraph three describes the process and the results of separating the opposites, heaven and earth, and separating One from them. The One is it that ascends to heaven and descends to earth thereby gaining the power of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Paragraph two said the belly of the Wind carries it. It ascends and descends on the air one breathes. All one has to do is separate it from the air breathed in and circulate it as described by the Taoist alchemists and all obscurity will flee from thee.
“It was in the fourth century, amids t the merciless fight which Christianity was waging against paganism, that alchemy flowered. Zosimos of Panopolis, a writer of that epoch, appointed himself the defender of the alchemical art. His allegories and comments are cited by medieval experts as the most profound and venerable documents of the arcana.
“Zosimos declared the knowledge of metals, precious stones, and of scents dates back to the epoch mentioned in Genesis: ‘The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair.’ The mysterious sons of God were believed to be fallen angels who had mated with women of antediluvian times. [Grateful], the angels taught these women various arts, [desiring] their companions make jewels, colorful garments, and perfumes with which to adorn their beauty.”
A woman adept of the early period calling herself, Isis, had revealed in her treatise that Amnael, the first of the angels and prophets, gave her alchemical wisdom because he wanted to have sex with her. Many alchemists participating in the early original formative years of this new epoch were women. Zosimos directs several of his tractae to his sister alchemist Theosebia who was openly initiating apprentices though Zosimos advised against it.
Zosimos further revealed that Chemes, a very early master of alchemy, had written a book called Chema, which the fallen angels had used to instruct their lovers, the daughters of men. The Greek word “chemia” described the alchemical art until the Arabs added to it the article “al” from their language creating the word alchemy. Al kimiya meant to the Arabs not only the elixir or Philosopher’s Stone itself but also the medium of transmutation.
One of the earliest alchemist in the West was a mysterious Greek woman who wrote under the pseudonym, Maria Prophetissa (also called Mary the Jewess). Zosimos and other alchemists have identified her with Miriam, the sister of Moses. Maria was a skilled adept credited with inventing several devices that demonstrate laboratory techniques routinely employed by modern science. She designed an apparatus that enclosed a vessel in a box of hot ashes to produce low and steady heat to initiate reactions of materials placed in the vessel. She devised the routine of placing the reaction vessel into a dung heap to incubate alchemical principles, thus taking advantage of the prolonged warmth produced by the bacteria composting the dung. She invented the double boiler to produce still higher but steady heat necessary for other phases in the production of the Philosopher’s Stone.
Unfortunately the alchemical writings of Maria Prophetissa are incomplete, surviving only in fragments copied by later writers. In one treatise ascribed to her, “Practica Mariae Prophetissae in artem alchemicam,” possibly of Arabic origin, she discusses matrimonium alchymicum (alchemical wedding) with the philosopher Aros. From it comes the oft repeated alchemical dictum “Marry gum with gum in true marriage.” The renown twentieth century psychiatrist and pioneering investigator into the psychology of alchemy, C. G. Jung, wrote concerning the nature of that alchemical gum, “Originally it was ‘gum arabic,’ and it is used here as a secret name for the transforming substance, on account of its adhesive quality. Thus Kunrath declares that the ‘red’ gum is the ‘resin of the wise’—a synonym for the transforming substance.” Had Jung been an initiate of alchemy he would have known that gum arabic was itself a pseudonym for the true transforming substance—the red resin of the wise—a gum ga thered from the resinous flower clusters of female Cannabis sativa plants. That highly fragrant reddish resin has been produced in India since time immemorial and carried to the west by Arab traders.
Another early adept using the pseudonym, Cleopatra, wrote a book called Chrysopeia (Goldmaking). In it she describes the Ouroboros, accompanied with an illustration of a snake devouring its tail. The upper half with the head is dark. The lower half is light. Above it in three concentric circles is written, “One is All, by him is all, and for him is all, and in him is all. The Serpent is one; he has the two symbols (good and bad)...” The Ouroboros was a Gnostic creation that transformed the evil serpent of Christendom into a symbol for the union of opposites in the Way of One. The Ouroboros is the Western equivalent of the Taoist Yin-Yang: a circle dynamically divided in two halves, one light, the other dark, each chasing the other and each containing a point of the other wi thin it. The Yin-Yang is the Eastern symbol for the union of opposites in the Way. The serpent and the Tree of Knowledge became the most cherished symbols of alchemy.
The Ouroboros or serpent devouring its tail is perhaps the best symbol possible that demonstrates the nature of Nature—the Green Economy. All biotic life on Earth exists as one collective biomass by maintaining a balance where the living biomass consumes the dead biomass in an ongoing cycle perpetuated by green plants.
Early Christian zealots believed the serpent that tempted Adam to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge had caused the downfall of Man. They also believed the fallen angels had sinfully given women knowledge meant for god alone. So they cursed this forbidden knowledge that enabled men to rival god. The dogmatist Saint Augustine wrote of the Christian disdain for knowledge admonishing against “the vain and curious desire of investigation, known as knowledge and science.”
Most alchemy manuscripts of the third and fourth century have come to us in copies from a much later date. The Chyrsopeia of Cleopatra is preserved in a manuscript dating from the ten th or eleventh century.
Persecution of the alchemists was initiated while the art was still centered in Alexandria. The study of medicine and alchemy was conducted in buildings adjacent to the Serapis Temple, the Serapeum. Theophilus, archbishop of Alexandria, ordered the Serapeum destroyed, but the scholars resisted. Then Emperor Theodosius, destroyer of paganism, forced the philosophers to retreat. The temple was destroyed but the library was saved. Learning continued in the Museum until the woman adept and teacher, Hypatia, was murdered there on the steps in 415. After that, philosophers sought refuge in Athens where the Initiate Mystery cults were still protected from Christian fanaticism.
In 529, Emperor Justinian instituted the official suppression of ancient learning, science and philosophy. Pantheistic culture disappeared but alchemy survived even though Theodosian law had decreed that all alchemy books be burned in public with the bishop presiding. The conceptual knowledge alchemy contained was essential to the further development of civilization in the West. And alchemy was flexible enough in its traditions and concepts to re-postulate the formulae of the Way in the language of the church.
The seventh century alchemist and Christian mystic, Stephanus of Alexandria, fused some elements of church orthodoxy into alchemical doctrine and dedicated his Nine Lessons in Chemia to Heraclius, emperor of the East. The alchemical writings of Stephanus made the quest for knowledge and methods of science palatable to the church-state. By elevating the value of knowledge in the eyes of the church, Stephanus opened the way for one of the few bright spots during the Dark Ages—the perseverance of the Byzantine monk archivists whose love of knowledge set them to work copying whatever old writings providence handed them. They devoted their lives to rescuing some of the wisdom fanatically destroyed by their Christian brothers.
Alchemical poets appeared on the scene, inspired by the writings of Stephanus and the ancient wisdom restored by the monks from the eighth through the eleventh centuries. Those early alchemists that avoided persecution by using pseudonyms—Cleopatra, Isis and Mary—were then venerated as was Hypatia though she was romanticized by later European authors outside the realm of alchemy.
Valued as it was, this trickle of wisdom could not pull European thought out of the pit of ignorance the catholic hierarchy and its flat-earth/flat-universe antinomianism had ordained for humanity. The darkness was not dispelled until after the Moslems invaded Spain and from there some of the learning of antiquity so assiduously preserved by the Byzantine monks of Eas tern Christendom re-entered the West.
The Islamic scholars found a ready audience willing to accept their advances in alchemy and science. The new wave of European students of chemia enthusiastically absorbed the new Arabian alchemy and made it their own. The resulting expansion of knowledge began the slow erosion of the church-state worldview that dominated and inhibited Western thought.
The ultimate failure of the church-state to control thinking people was facilitated by the art of papermaking introduced by the Moslems, and finalized not long after the invention of the movable type printing press. Nowadays while people pray to god for help and look to science for salvation, the mysterious spirit of the Way, and the underlying soul of the matter, live on in the body of alchemy.
Early alchemists Zosimus and Isis said alchemical knowledge came from fallen angels sexually attracted to human women. The early Christian church fathers believed them and claimed the angels had sinned against the orders of god. Who were these angels?
The Book of Enoch (Enoch 1), the Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Enoch 2) and the Book of Jubilees contain more details about the fallen angels referred to in Genesis. Enoch 2 was probably written by a Hellenistic Jew in the first century CE. Enoch 1 and the Book of Jubilees are Jewish works of the intertestamental period written down in the second century BCE. The information contained in them is much older than the date of these manuscripts.
Enoch was the great grandfather of Noah. Genesis 5: 22-24 says, “And E-noch walked with God after he begat Me-thu-se-lah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of E-noch were three hundred sixty and five years: And E-noch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” The Books of Enoch describe how he was taken to the heavens after a tour of the earth: “The Lord spoke, ‘Have no fear, Enoch, good man and scribe of goodness. Come hear my voice. Go speak to the Watcher of Heaven, who have sent you to intercede for them. Tell them: You should intercede for men, and not men for you. Why did you leave lofty, holy Heaven to sleep with women, to defile yourselves with the daughters of men and take them as your wives...?’” After God’s rhetorical admonition against his lustful yet loving angels he said to Enoch, “As for the Watcher who sent you to intercede for them, tell them: ‘You were in Heaven but the mysteries were not revealed to you. You knew worthless ones, and in the hardness of your hearts you revealed these to women, and through these secrets women and men work much evil [on] earth.’ Say to them, ‘You have no peace.’”
After his audience with God, angels including the archangel Uriel took Enoch on journeys through hell and heaven. From there the angel Raguel took him to the Seven Mountains in the Northwest and the Tree of Life. “Fragrant trees encircled the throne. Among them was a tree like no other. Its fragrance was beyond all fragrance, and its leaves and blooms and wood never withered....” Michael, the leader of the angels tells Enoch, “As for this fragrant tree, no mortal is permitted to touch it till the great judgment....” Enoch was instructed by the Lord to write down what had been revealed to him and to teach the people this wisdom. He did so in 366 books. Scholars believe the meaning of the name Enoch stems from a variant of the Hebrew root connoting “to train, to educate.”
Scholars have been able to verify the general historical accuracy of the Old Testament by comparing the biblical episodes to much older parallel chronicles written in cuneiform characters on clay tablets from the ancient Mesopotamian kingdoms of Assyria and Babylonia. The oldest of all are from Sumer. Shumer is “land of the Watchers” in Akkadian, the root semitic language used by the Assyrians and Babylonians.
The Sumerian King List records all the rulers of earth back over 400,000 years. This huge stretch of time coupled with reigns into the thousands of years has caused most historians to reject its accuracy. However all the early rulers were gods—immortals. The King List does record the reign of Enmeduranki whose name meant “ruler whose me connect Heaven and Earth.” A tablet described by W.G. Lambert tells a story similar to Enoch’s: “Enmeduranki [was] a prince in Sippar, beloved of Anu, Enlil and Ea. Shamash in the Bright Temple appointed him. Shamash and Adad [took him] to the assembly [of the gods]... They showed him how to observe oil on water, a secret of Anu, Enlil and Ea. They gave him the Divine Tablet, the kibdu secret of Heaven and Earth... They taugh t him how to make calculations with numbers.” Anu, Enlil, Ea, Shamash and Adad were Sumerian gods called Anunnaki meaning “those who from Heaven to Earth came.”
A tablet referred to as CBS 14061 describes an incident paralleling the Enochian marriage of an angel to a human woman. The tablet tells of a young god named Martu who fell in love with the daughter of the high priest of Nin-ab. Martu complained to his goddess mother, “In my city I have friends, they have taken wives. I have companions, they have taken wives. In my city, unlike my friends, I have not taken a wife; I have no wife, I have no children.” Martu’s mother asked him if the woman he desired “appreciated his gaze.” Then the goddess gave her consent to the marriage. Enlil the leader of the gods on Earth became increasingly upset over the pollution of Anunnaki blood by these marriages and over the young Anunnaki gods becoming more interested in freedom and idyllic life on earth than taking orders from Enlil. He said “I will destroy the Earthling whom I have created off the face of the Earth.”
The peoples of ancient civilization, Sumerians, Egyptians, Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Hebrews e tc., in their sacred writings all describe gods that physically dwelt on Earth. This was aside from their writings on philosophy and mysticism. According to the Sumerians these gods came from the planet Nibiru, “planet of the crossing;” the Assyrians and Babylonians called it Marduk, after their chief god. The Sumerians never called the Anunnaki, “gods.” They were called din.gir, a two syllable word. Din meant “righteous, pure, bright;” gir was a term used to describe a sharp-edged object. As an epithet for the Anunnaki dingir meant “righteous ones of the bright pointed objects.” The Sumerian pictograph for the word looks like a two-staged rocket with a pointed capsule at the top.
Sumerian texts break up history into two epochs divided by the great Deluge—the Biblical Flood. After the waters receded “‘the great Anunnaki who decree the fate’ decided that the gods ‘were too lofty for mankind.’ The term used—elu in Akkadian—means exactly that: ‘Lofty Ones;’ from it comes the Babylonian, Assyrian, Hebrew, and Ugaritic El—the term to which the Greeks gave the connotation ‘god.’”
Returning to Genesis chapter six, after the sons of God took human wives, verse four continues: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became the mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” However the King James version erroneously translated the Hebrew term nefilim as “giants,” and shem as “renown.” If the original words are used the verse reads: “The Nefilim were upon the Earth, in those days and thereafter too, when the sons of the gods cohabitated with the daughters of the Adam, and they bore children unto them. They were the mighty ones of Eternity—The People of the shem.” Nefilim stems from the Semitic root NFL, “to be cast down.” The first line of Genesis 6:4 means Those who were cast down were upon the Earth. They were the fallen angels!
They were also the People of the shem. “The Mesopotamian texts that refer to the inner enclosures of temples, or the heavenly journeys of the gods, or even to instances where mortals ascended to the heavens, employ the Sumerian term mu or its Semitic deriva tives shu-mu (“that which is a mu”), sham, or shem. Because the term also connoted ‘that by which one is remembered,’ the word has come to be taken as meaning ‘name....’ Like most Sumerian syllabic words, mu had a primary meaning; in the case of mu, it was ‘that which rises straight.’ Its thirty-odd nuances encompassed the meanings heights, fire, command, a counted period...”
After Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II had rebuilt Marduk’s sacred precinct within fortified walls made of fired brick and gleaming black marble, he recorded: “I raised the head of the boat ID.GE.UL the chariot of Marduk’s princeliness; The boat ZAG.MU.KU, whose approach is observed, the supreme traveler between Heaven and Earth, in the midst of the pavilion I enclosed, screening off its sides.” ID.GE.UL means high to heaven, bright at night. ZAG.MU.KU means bright mu which is for afar.
The Mesopotamians believed the gods were immortal. The Sumerians said one year on planet Nibiru, a sar, was equivalent in time to 3600 earth years. They also said Anunnaki lifespans were 120 sars which is 120 x 3600 or 432,000 years. According to the King List 120 sars had passed from the time the Anunnaki arrived on Earth to the time of the Flood. However when the Lofty Ones came to Earth their lifespans began to sync with Earth’s faster orbit and they faced rapid aging compared to that on Nibiru. They discovered that by eating food from their home planet they could keep the aging process synced to the pace of Nibiru.
The Sumerian god of wisdom Enki (Ea) was the leader of the first sons of Anu that came down to Earth. He played the pivotal role in saving humanity from the global Deluge. He defied the Anunnaki ruling council and told Ziusudra (the Sumerian Noah) how to build a ship on which to save humanity from the killing flood. Ea would have been over 120 sars old at that time, yet his relationship with humanity continued to be actively reported for thousands of years thereafter.
Within his sacred precinct “Mound of Creation” in Eridu, Enki unraveled the secrets of life and death. His emblem was two serpents entwined on a staff—the basis for the winged caduceus symbol used by modern Western medicine. Enki was the god who created the first humans: “In those days, in those years, The Wise One of Eridu, Ea, created him as a model of men.” His name was Adapa, Adam in the Old Testament: “Elohim created the Adam in His image—in the image of Elohim created He him.”
Through Enki’s creative efforts “wide understanding he perfected for him.... Wisdom [he had given him].... To him he had given Knowledge; Eternal Life he had not given him.” Anu wondered “why did Ea, to a worthless human the plan of Heaven disclose—rendering him distinguished, making a shem for him?” Enki “made him take the road to Heaven, and to Heaven he went up. When he had ascended to Heaven he approached the Gate of Anu.” Enki had told Adapa that if Anu offered him food, he was not to eat the Bread of Life nor drink the Water of Life because they were poison.
After Adapa answered Anu’s questions Anu said, “‘What can we do for him? Fetch him the bread of (eternal) life and let him eat!’
“They fetched him the bread of (eternal) life, but he would not eat. They fetched him the water of (eternal) life, but he would not drink...Anu watched him and laughed at him.
‘Come, Adapa, why didn’t you eat? Why didn’t you drink? Didn’t you want to be immortal? Alas for downtrodden people!’
“‘(But) Ea my lord told me: “You mus tn't eat! You mustn’t drink.”
“‘Take him and send him back to his earth.’”
And so humanity missed out on immortality until the sons of the gods fell in love with the daughters of men, married them and had children by them. Then not wanting their lovers to die they taugh t them the secrets of immortality that Ea had discovered. Those secrets were the secre ts of alchemy. Ea’s youngest son was Ningizzida, Lord of the Tree of Truth, in Mesopotamia. He was revered as Thoth in Egypt and Hermes in the West.
By the beginning of the current era philosophers had removed the physical existence of the gods to the abstract, implying their powers were aspects of spiritual phenomena coincident to the forces of Nature. The early alchemists of that time period still claimed like the ancient pries ts before them, that the knowledge they possessed was a gift from the gods, and their pursuit of immortality was in emulation of the gods’ pursuit of immortality.
The first maxim of alchemy is “That which is above is like that which is below.” If the religious and mythical origins of alchemy represent a portion of the above, then the anthropological record represents a portion of the below. Historian Mircea Eliade wrote extensively about the cultural origins of alchemy. He showed that alchemy was possibly the first offshoo t of shamanism and was connected with the origins of agriculture and especially metallurgy. The divine smith was the ancestor of the alchemist.
The shaman/smith highly regarded stones from heaven—meteorites. This celestial metal was sacred. “It was inevitable that meteorites should inspire awe. They came from some remote region high up in the heavens and possessed a sacred quality enjoyed only by things celestial.... They fall to earth charged with celestial sanctity; in a way, they represent heaven. This would suggest why so many meteorites were worshipped or identified with a deity....
“Rock crystals, supposedly broken away from the heavenly throne, do in fact play a special role in the shamanic initiation ceremonies of the Australian aborigines, among the Negritos of Malacca, in North America and elsewhere. These ‘stones of light,’ as they are called by the maritime Dyaks of Sarawak, reflect everything that happens on earth.
“They disclose to the shaman wha t has taken place in the sick man’s soul and the destination to which his soul takes flight. ...The shaman is he who ‘sees,’ because he is endowed with a supernatural vision. He sees just as far into space as into time. Likewise he can perceive what is invisible to the layman—spirits, gods, the soul....
“A mine or an untapped vein is no t easily discovered; it is for the gods and divine creatures to reveal where they lie and to teach human beings how to exploit their contents. These beliefs were held in European countries until quite recently. The Greek traveler Nucius Nicander, who had visited Liege in the sixteenth century, brings back the legend of the discovery of the coal mines of northern France and Belgium. An angel had appeared in the guise of a venerable old man and had shown the mouth of a gallery to a smith who had until then fed his furnace with wood.... In other traditions i t is also a demi-god or a civilizing hero, a divine messenger, who is the originator of mining and metallurgy.
“...The sinking of a mine or the construction of a furnace are ritual operations, often of an astonishing primitivism. Mining rites persisted in Europe up to the end of the Middle Ages: every sinking of a new mine was accompanied by religious ceremonies. ...One notes the desire to appease the spirits guarding or inhabiting the mine....
“Let us note in passing the animal behaviour of the ore: it is alive, it moves at will, hides, shows sympathy or antipathy to human beings—a conduct not dissimilar from that shown by game towards its hunter.
“There is above all the feeling that one is meddling with the natural order of things ruled by some higher law and intervening in a secret and sacred process. Consequently, every precaution is taken tha t is considered indispensable to the ‘rites de passage.’ There is the obscure feeling that some mystery is at stake involving human existence, for the discovery of metals has indeed left its mark on man....
“Still charged with this dread holiness the ores are conveyed to the furnace. It is then that the most difficult and hazardous operations begin. The artisan takes the place of the Earth-Mother and it is his task to accelerate and perfect the growth of the ore. The furnaces are, as it were, a new matrix, an artificial uterus where the ore completes its gestation.”
In 1925 R. Eisler announced a hypothesis concerning the existence of Babylonian alchemy. This was after the publication of Assyrian chemical texts by R. Campbell Thompson. The tablets were from king Assurbanipal’s great library at Nineveh. Eisler believed these texts were the oldest historical documentation of the idea of the maturation and perfecting of metals, and they constituted proof of the Mesopotamian origins of alchemy. His argument was based on the interpretation of the meaning of term ku-bu in the main text. He believed ku-bu meant embryos, divine embryos. Others translated the term as “a sort of demon,” and an “abortion.” The text says:
“When thou settest out the [ground] plan of a furnace for ‘minerals’ [ku-bu], thou shalt seek out a favourable day in a fortunate month, and thou shalt set out the [ground] plan of the furnace. While they are making the furnace, thou shalt watch [them] and thou shalt work thyself [?] [in the house of the furnace]: thou shalt bring in embryos [born before time..,]....
“Thou shalt kindle a fire underneath the furnace and thou shalt put the ‘mineral’ into the furnace. The men whom thou shalt bring to be over the furnace shall cleanse themselves and [then] thou shalt set them to be over the furnace.”
In the Babylonian Epic of Creation, (Enuma elish, IV, 136, line 3) “ku-bu designates the monstrous body of Tiamat likened to a foetus, whose demiurge is preparing to shape the world.” The “demiurge” that shapes the world in the Epic of Creation is the god Marduk, the eldest son of Enki.
“To sum up: in the symbols and rites accompanying metallurgical operations there comes into being the idea of an ac tive collaboration of man and nature, perhaps even the belief that man, by his own work, is capable of superseding the processes of nature.
“The act, par excellence, of the cosmogony, starting from a living primal material, was sometimes thought of as a cosmic embryology: the body of Tiamat was, in the hands of Marduk, a foetus. And as all creation and all construction reproduced the cosmogonic model, man, in constructing or crea ting, imitated the work of the demiurge.
“It was an intervention in the process of growth, an attempt to expedite maturation or to induce the expulsion of the embryo.
“It was from such ritual experiences, taken in conjunction with metallurgical and agricultural techniques, that gradually there clearly emerged the idea that man can intervene in the cosmic rhythm, that he can anticipate a natural outcome, precipitate a birth. ...That was the point of departure for the great discovery that man can take upon himself the work of Time, an idea which we have seen clearly expressed in later Western, texts. Here too lies the basis and justification of the alchemical operation, the opus alchymicum which haunted the philosophic imagination for more than two thousand years: the idea of the transmutation of man and the Cosmos by means of the Philosopher’s Stone. On the mineral level of existence, the Stone was realizing this miracle: it eliminated the interval of time which separated the present condition of an ‘imperfect’ (crude) metal from its final condition (when it would become gold). The Stone achieved transmutation almost instantaneously: it superseded Time.”
The ancient Persians created a religion of Time. Exoteric portions of it survived in the fragments of the spiritual discipline of the prophet Zoroaster. The ancient Persian religion of Time has been called Zurvanism after the name of the primal deity, Zurvan, whose name means Time.
“Zurvanism was evidently popular in pre-Islamic Iran, but none of its texts have survived. Zurvanite theology has, therefore, to be reconstructed from such outside sources as orthodox Zoroasterian literature and Christian and Arabic writers. The resulting account must consequently be tentative. The ancient myth apparently related that Zurvan, the great God, existed alone. He offered sacrifice for a thousand years because he wanted a son, but after so long doubted the efficacy of his sacrifice. At the moment of doubt he conceived twins within his hermaphrodite self. Ahriman was the personification of his doubt Ohrmazd the embodiment of his wisdom. …[Zurvan] granted rulership over the world to Ahriman. To Ohrmazd he granted the high priesthood, sovereignty over the spiritual world, and the final victory.
“The point behind the Zurvanite myth appears to be a dissatisfaction with the Zoroasterian belief in two independent and opposed forces in life. Zurvanism was concerned to find the Undifferentiated One from which the two, the manifold, arose (a spiritual search which was perhaps stimulated by Greek or Indian thought)…
“The keynote of Zoroasterian teaching is the overriding conviction that Ohrmazd is wholly, absolutely and exclusively good, whereas Zurvan contains within himself the potential for evil. Zurvanites, therefore, considered that good and evil were not polar opposites, and so questioned the very basis of the Zoroasterian myths of creation and renovation.”
Elements of the Zurvanite spiritual practice are quite similar to the methods and ideals found in certain Hindu spiritual disciplines which are well documented. These practices were absorbed into the Alexandrian crucible of syncretic fushion being forged in the first centuries of the current epoch that began roughly about 2000 years ago. Elements of this praxis were incorporated into Alexandrian alchemy and are still to be seen in the symbolism associated with the alchemical lion.
The newly fashioned praxis from there spread West becoming part of the initiation process of the Mythraic Mystery cult which for a time was the most popular religious cult in Roman culture. The practice was embraced by the highest social ranks of the Roman Empire through the Sol Invictus cult of the Roman emperors and military.
“The image of this mystery was found in the ruins of the Mithra temple of the Roman port of Ostia, where it was dedicated in 190 by a certain C. Valerius and his sons. A nude male body wears the head of a lion. Four wings issue from his back, bearing the symbols of the seasons of the year. In each hand is a key, and in the left a scepter of authority as well. A serpent winding in six turns up the body rests its head (turn7) above the brow. And the symbol on the man’s chest is of the fiery thunderbolt, which nothing can resist.
“But this symbol of the fiery bolt, in exactly the same form, is the normal attribute of a certain aspect of Buddhahood, known as the BuddhaVajradhara, ‘Bearing the Bolt,’ who stands for that Supreme Illumination of which the Buddhas who appear in time and space are but the visible manifestations. Such a bolt may appear in the Buddha’s hand or engraved upon his chest, where it signifies ‘the weapon or substance of adamantean truth and reality, compared with which all other substances are fragile.’ The Sanskrit term vajra means both ‘thunderbolt’ and ‘diamond.’ As a diamond cannot be cut by other stones, so do all things fall before the bolt; they belong to the merely phenomenal sphere and can offer no resistance. And in that branch of Buddhism known as the Vajrayana, ‘Thunderblot Way,’ which is an extremely bold and colorful, magico-mystical form of Tantric Buddhist discipline, the Buddhist mystic, through meditation, postures, and the pronunciation of spells, may substantialize the vajara power immanent within himself, which then can be applied either to sorcery or to the attainment of ultimate Illumination.
“…We note in the lower left-hand corner the tongs and hammer of the god Vulcan, of fire and metalcraft: the fire by which the metal is brought from its ore and by which the craftsman creates forms. At the lower right is the cock, announcer of the new sun. Before him lies the pine cone symbolic of the seeds of life produced by the ever self-renewing cosmic tree. And finally, the serpent winding up the body of the lion-man is duplicated in the caduceus, which corresponds not only in form, but also certainly in sense, to that of the cup of King Gudea of Lagash. The single serpent of the main figure has become in the caduceus two—as Adam became Adam and Eve. And these wind up the axial pole (axis mundi), the spinal line of the lion-man himself, who is the Alpha and Omega of all the productions of time.
“In other words, the syncretic mythic lore of this cosmopolitan period was in no sense a mere hotchpotch raked together from every corner of the earth. The symbolism throughout was as consistent as could be, and in accord, furthermore, with a common heritage shared by all from of old. For, as all these religions of the agriculturally based high cultures had been developed, actually, from a few (astonishingly few) insights of the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages, locally adapted to landscapes and to manners of somewhat (though not absolutely) differing requirement, so in this age of intercultural exchanges they could be readily brought together again by anyone properly trained in his own tradition.
“…We see that Zurvan Akarana is also a dual god: a naked lion-man enveloped by a snake of seven folds. The lion is symbolic of solar light, which is eternal; the serpent, of the rhymic, circling around the lunar tides of time, which never cease. Thus the figure is precisely what its name tells: Zurvan Akarana, ‘Boundless Time,’ in which eternity and time are one yet two.”
The adept Initiate transcending the seventh degree of the Mythraic Mysteries entered the realm of Zurvan Akarana, boundless time or Eternity. The adept had become one of the immortals manifesting the unfolding evolution of personal self divinity. The adept had become one of the gods.
The seven degrees of the initiatic processes became the seven stages of alchemy in Alexandrian Egypt. The classic depiction of Zurvan underwent a metamorphosis as well. Alexandrian alchemists were pragmatic experimentalists that considered results to be more of value than philosophical rhetoric. Zurvan was transformed into Aion in the Western Mystery schools. He stands upon a globe which represents the world or universe. With the alchemists Aion was transformed into Ion.
“In the Mithraic religion we meet with a strange god, Aion, also called Chronos or deus leontocephalus because he is conventionally represented as a lion-headed human figure. He stands in a rigid attitude, wrapped in the coils of a serpent whose head juts forward over the head of the lion. In each hand he holds a key, on his breast is a thunderbolt.
“In the Mythriac mysteries the snake is often shown as the antagonist of the lion, in accordance with the myth of the sun’s fight with the dragon.... To be ‘entwined’ or embraced is the same as to be ‘devoured,’ which...means entering into the mother’s womb. Time is thus defined by the rising and setting sun, by the death and renewal of libido, the dawning and extinction of consciousness.... Oromazdes (Ahura-Mazda) and Ahriman came into being through Zrwan akarana, ‘infinitely long duration.’ So time, this empty and purely formal concept, is expressed in the mysteries through transformation of the creative force, libido, just as time in physics is identical with the flow of energetic processes.”
Aion and Zurvan are basically one in the same and both bear a remarkable resemblance to Phanes, the hermaphroditic god of the Orphic mysteries. Phanes has a human head, is entwined with a serpent and has wings. Phanes means “Revealer.” He is “the Shining One, the First-Created, the ‘Father of Eros....’ The significance of Phanes is akin to that of the Indian Kama, the god of love, who is likewise a cosmogonic principle.... Numerous mythological and philosophical attempts have been made to formulate and visualize the creative force which man knows only by subjective experience.... We would be better advised, therefore, when speaking of libido, to understand it as an energy-value which is able to communicate itself to any field of activity whatsoever, be it power, hunger, hatred, sexuality, or religion, without ever being itself a specific instinct.”
Aion, Zurvan Akarana, Ion, represented the continued emanation, evolution and individualization of the creative force through Time earlier symbolized by Phanes in the Orphic mysteries. In the Mithraic mysteries they also represent the syncretism of the Thunderbolt Way of Vajrayana Buddhism, an extremely bold magico-mystical Tantric Buddhist discipline. The adept practitioner is able to manifest the thunderbolt power, vajra, within himself and use it to attain ultimate illumination. Aion, Ion, Zurvan was a personification of ultimate transcendence—of the Logos and Eros, Word and Sensation—into absolute Gnosis where duality is fused into the profound Paradox and Mystery.
The Christian Roman Emperor Constantine’s victory in 312 at the Milvain Bridge marked the beginning of the end for Mithraism in the Roman empire. Except for the brief reign of Pagan Emperor Julian, the Mithraist philosopher, Christian prohibitions of religious freedom continued to tighten, which merely forced expression of the human religious spirit into greater sophistication—Alchemy in Alexandria.
“Historians of the sciences distinguish three periods on the formation of Greco-Egyptian alchemy: (1) the period of technical recipes for the operation of alloying, coloring, and imitating gold (for example, the Leiden and Stockholm papyri, which date from the third century B.C.); (2) the philosophical period, probably inaugurated by Bolos of Mendes (second century B.C.), which is manifested in the Physika kai Mystika, an apocryphal treatise attributed to Democritus; (3) finally, the period of alchemical literature properly speaking, that of Zosimos (third-fourth centuries) and his commentators (fourth-fifth centuries). Although the problem of the historical origin of Alexandrian alchemy has not yet been solved, the sudden appearance of alchemical texts around the Christian era could be explained as the result of a meeting between the esoteric current represented by the Mysteries, neo-Pythagoreanism and neo-Orphism, astrology, the “wisdom of the East” in its various revelations, Gnosticism, etc. (this current was especially the concern of cultivated people, of the intelligentsia) and the “popular” traditions, which were the guardians of trade secrets and magical and technical systems of great antiquity. A similar phenomenon is found in China with Taoism and neo-Taoism and in India with Tantrism and Hatha Yoga. In the Mediterranean world these “popular” traditions had continued into the Hellenistic period a spiritual behavior that is archaic in structure. [And] the growing interest in the traditional techniques and sciences having to do with substances, precious stones, and plants is characteristic of this whole period of antiquity.
“...Attempting to connect a discipline that has haunted the Western world for two thousand years with efforts to counterfeit gold is to forget the extraordinary knowledge of metals and alloying that the ancients possessed; it is also to underestimate their intellectual and spiritual capabilities. Transmutation, the chief end of Hellenistic alchemy, was not an absurdity in the contemporary condition of science, for the unity of matter had been a dogma of Greek philosophy for some time....
“For rather than the philosophical theory of the unity of matter, it is probably the old conception of the Earth Mother bearing minerals as embryos in her womb that crystallized belief in an artificial transmutation, that is, a transmutation performed in a laboratory. It is contact with the symbolisms, mythologies, and techniques of miners, smelters, and smiths that in all probability gave rise to the earliest alchemical operations. But it is above all the experimental discovery of living substance, as it was felt to be by the artisans, that must have played the decisive part. Indeed, it is the conception of a complex and dramatic life of matter that constitutes the originality of alchemy in contrast to classical Greek science. We have good reason to suppose that the experience of the dramatic life of matter was made possible by knowledge of Greco-Oriental Mysteries.”
In the original Greek text titled, “The Treatise of Zosimos the Divine, Concerning the Art,” two different words were used interchangeably that were translated as “sacrificer.” One means “the sacrificial priest who performs the ceremonies.” The other is “the prophet and revealer of the mysteries.” The sacrificer tells Zosimos, “he who renews me is the sacrificer, by casting away the grossness of the body; and by compelling necessity, I am sanctified as a priest and now stand in perfection as a spirit.” Zosimos asks him who he is. He answers, “I am Ion, the priest of the inner sanctuaries, and I submit myself to an unendurable torment.” The sacrificer is both priest and revealer meaning the liberation of creative energy represented by Phanes in the earlier Orphic mysteries also resides in Ion, the alchemical offspring of Aion.
With Alchemy the religious evolution of awakened humanity proceeded to unfold beyond the realization of a personal savior within, and of the world savior without. The new ideal was personal realization of divinity through artful manipulation of Nature inspired by Nature—a sort of self-induced metamorphosis both physical and psychical. The pursuit of alchemy demanded experimentation in order to manifest the spirit in the matter. Experimentation lead to more questions of Nature leading to new hypothesis that developed into theories requiring greater synthesis and more experimentation. Alchemy plunged headlong into the challenge. Its body segmented into the sciences whose life blood was experimentation. Its spirit remained in the unrelenting pursuit of knowledge. And Ion, the divinity inherent within the alchemical operator, became the force driving chemical reactions delineated by modern Science orthodoxy—the positive and negative ion.
Anamare Frontispiece (cover); Judy Tompkins-Osburn; Sculpture, gold and silver on malachite with Australian fire opal; © 1986.
Arbor Philosophica, Pandora; 1550; from http://hdelboy.club.fr/ripley_scrowle.html
Donum Dei; 1550 from http://hdelboy.club.fr/ripley_scrowle.html
Alchemy Tree of Knowlwdge; from http://hdelboy.club.fr/ripley_scrowle.html
Alchemist Devouring Stone Controls Time, Atalanta Fugiens, Michael Maier; 1617
Ancient Alexandria, from www.legioiiicyrenaica.org
Nag-Hammadi codices, from www.bible-researcher.com/cannon7.html
Shiva Drinking Poison, from http://www.dollsofindia.com/dosslofindiaimages/paintings/
Taoist Immortals Crossing the Sea, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Immortals
Egress of the Immortal Fetus, Taoist Yoga, Alchemy and Immortality, by Lu Kuan Yu; Samuel Weiser Inc. 1973.
Thoth, painting by Gary Robertson based upon the bas relief of Thoth opening the mouth of Osiris in the temple of Seti I, Abydos, Egypt, circa 1300 BCE; from Awakening Osiris, by Normandi Ellis; Phanes Press; 1988.
Hermes Trismegistus, Anonymous Renaissance portrait, from http://students.aces.uiuc.edu
Isis, from www.pantheon.org
Maria Prophetissa from http://altreligion.about.com/library/graphics/bl_prophetissa2b.htm
Cleopatra VII, from http://www.mymacedonia.net/cleopatra/images/ptolemaic.gif
OUroboros of Cleopatria, see http://www.iras.ucalgary.ca/~volk/sylvia/Cleopatra.htm
Cleopatra’s Chrysopeia from http://www.iras.ucalgary.ca/~volk/sylvia/Cleopatra.htm
Hypatia in Museum, from http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/8/4/72341/16309
Hypatia of Alexandria, from www.malaspina.com
Tetramorph, from mosaic, Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos, 1213, from www.siegfried-o-mueller.de
Eagle Headed Angels at the Tree of Life, ancient Mesopotamian; from Stairway to Heaven, Zecharia Sitchin, Avon Books, 1980.
Bearded Angels picking fruit from the Tree of Life, ancient Mesopotamian; Stairway to Heaven, Zecharia Sitchin, Avon Books, 1980.
Din Gir, pictograph, ancient Mesopotamian; from 12th Planet, Zecharia Sitchin, Avon Books, 1978.
Shem, two stage rocket, Tomb of Huy, 1320 BCE; Thebes, Egypt; from Stairway to Heaven
Byblos Rocket Coin; found at Byblos, ancient Canaanite-Phoenician city on the Mediterranean Coast; from Stairway to Heaven, Zecharia Sitchin, Avon Books; 1980.
Ea with initiate, ancient Mesopotamian; King Gudea cylinder seal; The Summerians; C. Leonard Woolley; W.W. Norton & Co; 1965.
Emblem of Ningizzida; King Gudea’s Cup; Lagash, 2025 BCE; Stairway to Heaven, Zecharia Sitchin, Avon Books, 1980.
Shaman, from www.texasbeyondhistory.net/kids/newwords.html
Demon of a Mine; Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus, 1555
Alchemy Furnace, Ephesian Diana; from www.altreligion.about.com
Zurvan Akarana, Boundless Time; Occidental Mythology, by Joseph Campbell; page 262.
Aion, 2nd –3rd Century Rome; Psychology and Alchemy, by C.G. Jung; plate XLIV
Phanes in the Egg, Orphic relief, Modena; from Symbols of Transformation, by C.G. Jung, plate XII
Zosimos Ion Initiation, from http://www.livinghumanheritage.org/Arabic%20Alchemy.html
Negative Ion, from http://www.deeper-sleep.com/
A History of Religious Ideas, Vol. II, by Mircea Eliade; University of Chicago Press; 1982
Alchemical Studies, C.G. Jung; Princeton University Press, 1967
Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, by G.R.S. Mead; London and Benares Theosophical Publishing Society; 1900
Magic, Supernaturlaism, and Religion: A History of Magic and Its Influence of Western Civilization, by Kurt Seligmann; Grosset & Dunlap, New York; 1968
Mythology, an Illustrated Encyclopedia; Richard Cavendish, editor; Barnes and Noble; 1993
Myths From Mesopotamia, Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh and Others, a New Translation by Stephanie Dalley; Oxford University Press, Oxford, NY; 1989
Occidental Mythology the Masks of god, by Joseph Campbell; 1964, Penguin Books 1982
Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy, by Manfred M. Junius; Inner Traditions International Ltd., New York; 1985
Psychology and Alchemy, by C. G. Jung; Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ; 1980
Symbols of Transformation, by C.G. Jung; page 281
Taoist Yoga, Alchemy and Immortality, by Lu Kuan Yu; Samuel Weiser Inc. 1973
The Eternal Hermes From Greek God to Alchemical Magus, by Antoine Faivre; Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, MI; 1995
The Forge and the Crucible, the Origins and Structures of Alchemy, by Mircea Eliade; University of Chicago Press; Chicago, IL; 1962
The Fulcanelli Phenomenon, by Kenneth Rayner Johnson; Neville Spearman (Jersey) Limited, Great Britain
The Other Bible, Ancient Alternative Scriptures, Willis Barnstone editor; Harper Collins, New York; 1984
The Secret Book of the Egyptian Gnosis, by Jean Doresse; MJF Books, New York; first published in French, 1958
The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life, translated and explained by Richard Wilhelm; Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich; New York, London
The 12th Planet, by Zecharia Stichin; Avon Books, New York, NY, 1978
The Wars of Gods and Men, by Zecharia Sitchin; Avon Books, New York, NY, 1985
The Way of Lao Tzu, translated, with introductory essays, comments and notes by Wing-Tsit Chan; Bobbs-Merrill Company Inc., Indianapolis, New York; 1963
Table of Contents
Spiritual alchemy is the inner directed metamorphosis that causes a transmutation of being. The process of transmutation develops through several stages. The first stage is stirring the chaos. The chaos can be stirred gently by conscious effort through the Inner Circulation, or the chaos can be shaken roughly by caprice or chance. Whenever the chaos is stirred the world-view changes.
The Chaos that stirs
Analogs of unconscious dogs
Better not to see
The chaos that stirs
The chaos that stirs
The waters below
Vortex out of time
Broken bits that used to be
Chaos here means the result of loosening the dominant perception, myth or paradigm that gives order to the world. Reality dissolves into bits that spin about as a new order attempts to coagulate. The process perks along with ups and downs, ins and outs. The chaos can boil over causing emotional distress, or worse. An intense spontaneous apprehension of chaos can rupture the vessel causing psychosis and dementia. This can happen when worldview is dissolved in an instant. Such can be initiated by a sequence of thoughts unfortunately timed or a cascade of neurotransmitter scintillations. When the chaos is stirred it is best to proceed slowly. The Inner Circulation can remedy the adverse psychic effects of too much chaos.
Once the chaos has been stirred the operator goes through several psychosomatic stages alchemy loosely defines by color: negredo (black), albedo (white) and rubedo (red).
Negredo is the dark stage, the natural process of decay and putrefaction; the color is black. The old alchemists called it the raven’s head. It is not enjoyable and involves negative feelings unrelated to the happenings of daily life. Negredo imbues moods of depression, futility, failure, apathy, abandonment and the loss of clarity. The conscious operator knows this is the symptom heralding the decay of the first matter (old worldview).
Searing breath, dragon fire
Blowing black, darkness doom
Scorching courage, lost lair
Valiant lion, mane consume
Descending black on black
Numbing vaporous cavern
LIGHT’S meaning gone
Putrid smoking dragon
Victim’s hopeless caldron
Boiling black to black
Dissolving, timeless, aion
Prisoner, formless, lost
Surging, wreckless, oblivion
Darkening, mindless, cost
Fading black in black
Negred mood, empty goals
Spirit dead, bodies die
Endless void, lost souls
Ancients lead, here lie
Albedo is the bright stage; the color is white. Alchemists sometimes describe the prelude to the white stage as the peacocks tail because a full spectrum of colors appear heralding the emergence of the white queen. The full potential of feelings and kaleidoscope of psychic imagery issue forth a new world of possibilities. Enthusiasm, clarity of thought, and feelings of universal brotherhood prevail.
Rubedo is strong; the color is red. Alchemists sometimes refer to this stage as the red king to signify the power that brings unity. The red stage engenders confidence, sense of determination, directed will and the perseverance of faith.
The operator is tinged with these alchemical hues as the internal metamorphosis or innerstanding cycles through alchemical operations that dissolve and coagulate the first matter. After each round of dissolution and reforma tion the prima materia is more purified until the Philosopher’s Stone is realized. Very few operators have fixed the point opening a paradox and distilled over into transcendence. Know thyself is the ultimate goal. How much self do you desire to know? Everyone has personal limitations and every practitioner can accomplish gradual progress, which is success.
“Everything comes from the One and returns to the One, by the One, for the One. Thus speaks, reassuringly, Ouroboros (a snake or dragon eating its own tail), the eloquent symbol of the Infinite Eternal One, which represents perfectly the Great Cycle of the universe, as well as the Great Work which reflects it: perfect stillness and perfect motion....
“The further one grows in the knowledge of the principles of this art, the richer one becomes in intuitive comprehension, or ‘innerstanding.’ This naturally applies to all alchemical texts... The student will at first be intrigued, then will be tempted to dismiss the whole thing as gibberish (the latter word, ironically enough, derives from the dismissal of Jabir or Geber the Arab alchemist’s work as unintelligible); then, if he is pa tient and humble enough (alchemists say that patients is the ladder of philosophers, and humility the key to their garden), the first intuitive sparks igniting in his spirit will encourage him to continue until he begins to be able to separate the subtle from the gross, the true from the false. One must proceed with care, ‘softly, with great ingenuity.’”
Professor of Psychology, Dr. Max Luscher, in 1947, unveiled his Color Test proving that accurate psychological information about a person could be obtained through choices and rejections of colors. Since then Dr. Luscher’s Color Test has been used the world over by psychologists and physicians as a valuable aid in helping patients; the test is also used by industry for job applicant screening. Prof. Dr. Max Lüscher is the head of the Institute of Psycho-medical Diagnostics in Lucern (Switzerland). He studied clinical psychiatry, philosophy and psychology in Basel. He has held a professorship in Amsterdam, teaching positions at the Universities of Paris and Rome, at Yale University in the USA, in South America and Australia. The Lüscher-Color-Diagnostic has been in clinical use since 1947, and has been translated into 27 languages.
“In the ‘Full’ Luscher Test there are seven different panels of colors, containing in all seventy-three color-patches, consisting of twenty-five different hues and shades, and requiring forty-three differen t selections to be made. The resulting test-protocol affords a wealth of information concerning the conscious and unconscious psychological structure of the individual, areas of psychic stress, the state of glandular balance or imbalance, and much physiological information of great value either to the physician or to the psychotherapist....
“We know that every specific color inspires not only the same perceptional stimulus, but also exactly the same experiential stimulus in every single individual, no matter what that person’s culture may be. Orange-red has a stimulating effect on everyone, and dark-blue has a relaxing effect on everyone. Therein lies the universal validity of color psychology.
“The thing that is individual, however, is the personal liking, the indifference or antipathy that a person feels toward a color, for example, toward stimulating orange-red or relaxing dark blue. A person who desires stimuli and stimulation will find orange-red appealing. Someone who is overstimulated and exhausted won’t endure red-orange... Thus every color has a certain objective universal experience quality. But—and herein lies its secret—that same color produces an emotional experience, an affect... Strong emotional experiences trigger bodily reactions. These bodily reactions can be measured. But the things we cannot measure are the emotional experiences themselves....
“Just as music inspires feelings, renders moods, and expresses the very subtlest emotions, so too the colors, through their hue, degree of lightness, and intensity, arouse the very same specific sensations in every individual. Whether this sensation (like the exciting stimulus in orange) is appealing or unpleasant depends on a person’s present emotional state—that is, the individual’s sense of self.”
The physiology of color, the mechanism by which color is seen and understood as color is not completely understood. The physiologists have observed that light had a catabolic (breaking down) effect, while darkness had an anabolic (building up) effect on the visual purple within the retina of the eye. “White subjected visual purple to catabolism and broke it down; black, on the other hand, brought about anabolism and restored visual purple to its original s tate. The same effects were found to occur with red-green and yellow-blue, resulting in a ‘contrast effect’ applicable to all colors in terms of their brightness or darkness....
“If it is psychically or physically in need of emotional peace, physical regeneration and release from tension or stress, then the instinctive response will be to choose the darker colors. If the organism needs to dissipate energy by outgoing activity or in mental creativeness, then the instinctive response will be for the brighter colors.”
Luscher observed that psychic life was a complex interplay of forces that often manifest in feelings of many hues, and that emotionally and psychically humans were 4-color beings cycling psyche through the colors, red, blue, green and yellow. The value in each color is dualistic. For instance red as pleasure is love, appetite, or strength; red as displeasure is fury, disgust or overexcitement. In comparison blue as pleasure is relaxation, satisfaction, or harmony; blue as displeasure is paralyzing tranquility, deadly boredom giving rise to dissatisfaction, agita tion and disquiet.
Red is the color of self-confidence and s trength. Red is erotic; the red light district is the land of unbridled sexual conduct. The artist Vasily Kandinsky gave a precise description of red saying it has an internal effect “as a very lively, bright, unquiet color, which however, does not have the frivolity of yellow, which exhausts itself in all directions.” The poet Rimbaud believed a woman who wore red could be easily seduced. Red is the color of domination and rebellion. Red is energetic penetration and re-creation when it is tinged with yellow. However red can also be threatening, signs are painted red to warn of danger .
Blue is the color that embodies the ideal of unity and harmony. The mystic and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described the feeling-quality of blue as an “attractive void.” In his Theory of Colors, Goethe wrote, “We like to follow an object that flees from us, and, similarly, we like to look at blue, not because it presses in on us but because it pulls us after it.” Kandinsky described the profound qualities of blue: “The tendency of blue to get deeper is so great that its deeper hues become more intense and seem more characteristic, more in timate. The deeper the blue, the more it summons man into infinity, arousing his yearning for purity and ultimately transcendence. Blue is the typical celes tial color. Blue very profoundly develops the element of calm.” Symbolically blue corresponds to the female, horizontal direction, the left side.
Yellow is the color embodying the basic need for free development. Concerning the color yellow Goethe wrote, “It is the color closest to light. In its utmost purity, it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful, serene, gently stimulating character.” Concerning the same point Kandinsky wrote that “yellow tends so greatly toward lightness (white), that there can be no such thing as very dark yellow. If one looks at a circle filled with yellow, one notices, that the yellow radiates, a motion comes from the center and approaches us almost visibly.” Yellow is the color of illumination and salvation.
Green is static—the stimulating quality of yellow and the relaxing quality of blue are preserved in absolute green. The color green embodies pent-up potential energy. Green the color of fir trees corresponds to stability, solidity, constancy, persistence, resilience of the will, and the sense of self-worth.
Luscher’s “primary” Color Test utilizes four basic colors called the psychological primaries: dark-blue, blue-green, orange-red and bright yellow; and four auxiliary colors: violet, brown, black and neutral gray. The basic colors have particular significance as follows:
“Dark blue: represents ‘Depth of Feeling’ and is concentric, passive, incorporative, heteronomous, sensitive, perceptive, unifying. Its affective aspects are tranquility, contentment, tenderness, love and affection.
“Blue-green: represents ‘Elasticity of Will’ and is concentric, passive, defensive, autonomous, retentive, possessive, immutable. Its affective aspects are persistence, self-assertion, obstinacy, self-esteem.
“Orange-red: represents ‘Force of Will’ and is ex-centric, active, offensive-aggressive, autonomous, locomotor, competitive, operative. Its affective aspects are desire, excitability, domination, sexuality.
“Bright yellow: represents ‘Spontaneity’ and is ex-centric, active, projective, heteronomous, expansive, aspiring, invesitgatory. Its affective aspects are variability, expectancy, originality, exhilaration.”
Violet is a mixture of blue and red implying attempts to unify the impulsive conquest of red and the gentle surrender of blue. It’s sort of a mystic union with notions of sensitive intimacy leading to fusion between subject and object.
Brown is darkened yellow-red; it is passively receptive and sensory. It represents sensation as it applies to the bodily senses.
Black is the negation of color and represents the idea of nothingness and extinction. “Black is the ‘No’ as opposed to the ‘Yes’ of white. White is the virgin page on which the story has yet to be written, black is the end beyond which there is nothing more. While white is included in the Full Luscher Test, it does not occur in the eight colors, but white and black are the two extremes, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”
Gray is neutral and free from any stimulus or psychological tendency. It is neither subject nor object, nei ther inner nor outer. It provides a separation between contrasting areas. Gray implies non-involvement and contains an element of concealment.
Individuals respond to the intensity of light as it enters the eye and affects the visual purple and makes its way to the cerebral cortex via the optic nerves and to the pituitary gland via a network of nerve fibers that originate in the nucleus of the retina.
It is well known that light emission is related to lipid peroxidation in biological material, and that this process occurs spontaneously in the brain. There is an inner sea, Cerebro-Spinal Fluid, where GOD sprinkles light in the sweet nourishment that feeds the brain. Lipids in the inner sea emit photons with wavelengths 420-450, 475-485, 510-540, 560-580, 625-640 nanometers during the processes of oxygenation creating chemiluminescence. Those wavelengths of blue, green, yellow and red light are effervescent scintillations into the inner sea where no eye can see even though the Mind does.
Every nerve fiber connecting the billions of neurons is a coil containing chains of highly unsaturated fatty acids that carry clouds of de-localized electrons called pi electrons. The clouds of pi electrons carry electrostatic forces and emit photons as fields of energy wave over them in the chaos of sensory input/response. The Mind sorts out the Chaos into a Cosmos flow illuminated by light the Mind’s I can see. When two photons are in resonance they can unite forming a short lived particle known as π0 particle which can break up into two photons again, without mass, as a pure wave motion. Herein lies the foundation for the Theory of Relativity. This is the portal to the Microcosm.
And when the Peacock’s Tail unfolds from within, colors flood the mind with ecstatic emotion and transcendent meaning.
The father of analytical psychology, originator of depth psychology and modern investigator of the human psyche par excellent, Dr. Carl G. Jung, spent decades trying to help thousands of mentally ill patients, many institutionalized with severe symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia. Jung found that certain themes occurred among the thousands of patients. He began mapping those themes and from them developed psychological functions and processes that he could apply to treat his patients.
Though he had read Dr. Herbert Silberer’s 1914 book on psychology and alchemy, Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism (later re-titled, Hidden Symbolism in Alchemy and the Occult Arts), he dismissed alchemy as “rather silly.” Only later did he write, “Light on the nature of alchemy began to come to me only after I had read the text of the Golden Flower, that specimen of Chinese alchemy which Richard Wilhelm sent to me in 1928. I was stirred by the desire to become more closely acquainted with the alchemical texts. I commissioned a Munich bookseller to notify me of any alchemical books that might fall into his hands.”
Two years prior, in 1926, Jung had a dream where he was an alchemist living in the 1600s engaged in the magnum opus or great work of alchemy. Jung believed the dream indicated alchemy was the link connecting ancient Gnosticism with modern psychology. Through the dream his role in reviving this link became apparent to him.
Dr. Jung gathered the largest priva te collection of alchemical texts in the world. As he pursued his investigations Jung was astonished to discover those functions and themes he mapped in his medical practice were mirrored in alchemical texts hundreds of years old. Jung’s creative and inspirational approach developed from his professional medical practice coupled to his intense study of ancient alchemical texts generated voluminous commentaries. His published commentaries popularized the nascent modern pursuit of spiritual alchemy.
Though he may have dismissed alchemy as “rather silly” on first exposure to it through Silberer’s landmark work, Jung was nonetheless greatly influenced by Silberer’s revelation that alchemy was really the pursuit of spiritual evolution and fulfillment. Silberer gave credit to A.E. Hitchcock for first suggesting this in, Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists, published in 1857. Hitchock, was a Major General in the U.S. Army, a philosopher soldier. He amassed a large collection of original alchemical manuscripts. Perhaps because he was a professional soldier and not an academic nor scientist Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists was overlooked by the scientific and academic communities at the time, but it had a following among occultists.
Silberer was a Viennese psychiatrist psychoanalyst involved with the circle of pioneers in the field of psychology surrounding Sigmund Freud, including Carl Jung and Alfred Adler. So through the publication of Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbols, alchemy though long dismissed as foolish, again came to the attention of professionals and academics. Sadly when Silberer presented a copy to Freud he was severely criticized. He became despondent and hung himself. Had he not received such a harsh response from his mentor Freud no doubt he would have pursued the subject in greater detail many years before Jung became engrossed with it. Jung learned from the tragic fate of Silberer and braced himself for rejection from Freud when Jung published his own theories on psychoanalysis and psychology. Freud, upon reading Jung’s published theories severely criticized him also.
Dr. Smith Ely Jelliffe, translated Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism in to English in 1917. In his translator’s preface he adeptly summed up the newly emerging field: “Hence the products of mind in evolution are more plastic—more subtle and more changing. They are to be found in the myths and the folk-lore of ancient peoples, the poetry, dramatic art, and the language of later races. From age to age however the strivings continue the same. The living vessels must continue and the products express the most fundamental strivings, in varying though related forms.
“We thus arrive at a science which may be called paleo-psychology. Its fossils are the thought-forms throughou t the ages, and such a science seeks to show fundamental likenesses behind the more superficial dissimilarities.
“The present work is a contribution to such a science in that it shows the essential relationships of what is found in the unconscious of present day mankind to many forms of thinking of the middle ages. These same trends are present today in all of us though hidden behind a different set of structural terms, utilizing different mechanisms for energy expression.
“The unceasing complexity of life’s accumulations has created a great principle for energy expression—it is termed sublimation—and in popular parlance represents the spiritual striving of mankind towards the perfecting of a relation with the world of reality—the environment—which shall mean human happiness in its truest sense. One of the products of this sublimation tendency is called Mysticism.”
In his autobiography Jung wrote, “First I had to find evidence for the historical prefiguration of my inner experiences. That is to say, I had to ask myself, ‘Where have my particular premises already occurred in history?’ If I had not succeeded in finding such evidence, I would have never been able to substantiate my ideas. Therefore, my encounter with alchemy was decisive for me, as it provided me with the historical basis which I had hitherto lacked....
“I had very soon seen that analytical psychology coincided in a most curious way with alchemy. The experiences of the alchemists were, in a sense, my experiences, and their world was my world. This was of course, a momentous discovery: I had stumbled upon the historical counterpart of my psychology of the unconscious. The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology. When I poured over these old texts everything fell into place: the fan tasy images, the empirical material I had gathered in my practice, and the conclusions I had drawn from it. I now began to understand what these psychic contents meant when seen in historical perspective. My understanding of their typical character, which had already begun with my investigation of myths was deepened. The primordial images and the nature of the archetypes took a central place in my researches, and it became clear to me that without history there can be no psychology, and certainly no psychology of the unconscious.”
Jung used the term psyche to describe the totality of the intangible stuff comprising the human condition. From it came the opposites, the archetypes and the functions. In classic mythology Psyche was the personification of the human soul as a beautiful girl loved by Eros. In Gnostic religious philosophy psyche refers to the human soul, one third of the triad of pnumen (spirit) and hylic (body) that emanate from the One. In Neoplatonic religious philosophy psyche is the second emanation from the One, regarded as a universal consciousness and as the animating principle of the world. In psychology it has come to mean the mental or psychological structure of a person especially as a motive force.
Dr. Jung developed considerable insight into the nature of the psyche during his long professional career. He said “The psyche is part of the inmost mystery of life, and it has its own peculiar structure and form like every other organism. Whether this psychic structure and its elements, the archetypes, ever ‘originated’ at all is a metaphysical question and therefore unanswerable. The structure is something given, the precondition that is found to be present in every case. And this is the mother, the matrix—the form into which all experience is poured.
“A wrong functioning of the psyche can do much to injure the body, just as conversely a bodily illness can affect the psyche; for psyche and body are not separate entities, but one and the same life.
“The psyche consists essentially of images. It is a series of images in the truest sense, not an accidental juxtaposition or sequence, but a structure that is throughout full of meaning and purpose; it is a ‘picturing’ of vital activities. And just as the material of the body that is ready for life has need of the psyche in order to be capable of life, so the psyche presupposes the living body in order that its images may live.
“There is no difference in principle between organic and psychic formations. As a plant produces its flowers, so the psyche creates its symbols.
“Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one ano ther and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing.
“Every science is a function of the psyche, and all knowledge is rooted in it. The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders.
“Far from being a material world, this is a psychic world, which allows us to make only indirect and hypothetical inferences about the real nature of matter. The psychic alone has immediate reality, and this includes all forms of the psychic, even the ‘unreal’ ideas and thoughts which refer to nothing ‘external.’ We may call them ‘imagination’ or ‘delusion,’ but that does not detract in any way from their effectiveness... Our much vaunted reason and our boundlessly overestimated will are sometimes utterly powerless in the face of ‘unreal’ thoughts. The worldpowers that rule over all mankind, for good or ill, are unconscious psychic factors, and it is they that bring consciousness into being and hence create the sine qua non for the existence of any world at all. We are steeped in a world that was created by our own psyche....
“The ego, ostensibly the thing we know most about, is in fact a highly complex affair full of unfathomable obscurities. Indeed, one could even define it as a relatively constant personification of the unconscious itself, or as the Schopenhauerian mirror in which the unconscious becomes aware of its own face.
”The psyche creates reality every day. The only expression I can use for this activity is fantasy. Fantasy is just as much feeling as thinking, as much intuition as sensation. There is no psychic function that, through fantasy, is not inextricably bound up with the other psychic functions. Sometimes it appears in primordial form, sometimes it is the ultimate and boldest product of all our faculties combined. Fantasy, therefore, seems to me the clearest expression of the specific activity of the psyche. It is, pre-eminently, the creative activity from which the answers to all answerable questions come; it is the mother of all possibilities, where, like all psychological opposites, the inner and outer worlds are joined together in living union....
“Natural man is not a ‘self’—he is the mass and a particle in the mass, collective to such a degree that he is not even sure of his own ego. That is why since time immemorial he has needed the transformation mysteries to turn him into something, and to rescue him from the animal collective psyche, which is nothing but an assortment, a ‘variety performance’.. ..
“Just as a man has a body which is no different in principle from that of an animal, so also his psychology has a whole series of lower storeys in which the spectres from humanity’s past epochs still dwell, then the animal souls from the age of Pithecanthropus and the hominids, then the psyche of the cold-blooded saurians, and, deepest down of all, the transcendental mystery and paradox of the sympathetic and parasympathetic psychoid systems....
“Just as, in its lower reaches, the psyche loses itself in the organic-material substrate, so in its upper reaches it resolves itself into a ‘spiritual’ form about which we know as little as we do about the functional basis of instinct.
“Psychic processes therefore behave like a scale along which consciousness ‘slides.’ At one moment it finds itself in the vicinity of instinct, and falls under its influence; at another, it slides along to the other end where spirit predominates and even assimilates the instinctual processes most opposed to it.
“Nowhere and never has man controlled matter wi thout closely observing its behaviour and paying heed to its laws, and only to the extent that he did so could he control it. The same is true of that objective spirit which today we call the unconscious: it is refractory like matter, mysterious and elusive, and obeys laws which are so non-human or suprahuman that they seem to us like a crimen laesae majestatis humanae. If a man puts his hand to the opus, he repeats, as the alchemists say, God’s work of creation. The struggle with the unformed, with the chaos of Tiamat, is in truth a primordial experience.”
Professor Jung taught that four functions enabled consciousness to become oriented in the field of ectopsychic facts. The ectopsyche he determined to be a relationship system between the contents of consciousness and facts and data coming in from the environment. It concerns the orientation evolved from the interaction of external stimulus and the senses. In contrast the endopsyche is a relationship system between the contents of consciousness and processes in the unconscious.
The four functions are sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition. The four functions are grouped into pairs of opposites (or complements): thinking and feeling is one pair; intuition and sensa tion is the other pair.
“You can make the so-called cross of the functions. In the center is the ego, which has a certain amount of energy at its disposal, and that energy is the will-power. In the case of the thinking type, that will-power can be directed to thinking. Then we must put feeling down below, because it is, in this case the inferior function. That comes from the fact that when you think you must exclude feeling, just as when you feel you must exclude thinking....
“The same is the case with sensation and intuition. How do they affect each other? When you are observing physical facts you cannot see around corners at the same time. When you observe a man who is working by his sense function you will see, if you look at him attentively, that the axes of his eyes have a tendency to converge and to come together at one point. When you study the expression or the eyes of intuitive people, you will see that they only glance at things—they do not look, they radiate at things because they take in their fullness, and among the many things they perceive they get one point on the periphery of their field of vision and that is the hunch .”
Jung often described the psyche by using the metaphor of an onion with many layers. He also summed it up lucidly by supposing “our mental sphere to look like a lighted globe. The surface from which the light emanates is the function by which you chiefly adapt. If you are a person who adapts chiefly by thinking, your surface is the surface of a thinking man....
“In the diagram sensation is given as the peripheral function. By it man gets information from the world of external objects. In the second circle, thinking, he gets what his senses have told him, he will give things a name. Then he will have a feeling about them; a feeling-tone will accompany his observation. And in the end he will get some consciousness of where a thing comes from, where it may go, and what it may do. That is intuition, by which you see around corners. These four functions form the ectopsychic system.
“The next sphere represents the conscious ego-complex to which the functions refer. Inside the endopsyche you first notice memory, which is still a function that can be controlled by the will; it is under the control of your ego-complex. Then we meet the subjective components of the functions. They cannot be exactly directed by the will but they still can be suppressed, excluded, or increased in intensity by will-power. These components are no longer as controllable as memory, though even memory is a bit tricky as you know. Then we come to the affects and invasions, which are only controllable by sheer force. You can suppress them, and that is all you can do. You have to clench your fists in order not to explode because they are apt to be stronger that your ego-complex.
“This psychic system cannot really be expressed by such a crude diagram. The diagram is rather a scale of values showing how the energy or intensity of the ego-complex which manifests itself in will -power gradually decreases as you approach the darkness that is ultimately a t the bottom of the whole structure—the unconscious. The personal unconscious is that part of the psyche which contains all the things that could just as well be conscious... There is nothing in this particular sphere that is necessarily unconscious in everybody. There are people who are conscious of almost anything of which man can be conscious... The personal unconscious is really something very relative, and its circle can be restricted and become so much narrower that it touches zero....
“Finally we come to the ultimate kernel which cannot be made conscious at all—the sphere of the archetypal mind. Its presumable contents appear in the form of images which can be understood only by comparing them with historical parallels. If you do not recognize certain material as historical and if you do not possess the parallels, you cannot integrate these contents into consciousness and they remain projected. The contents of the collective unconscious are not subject to any arbitrary intention and are not controllable by the will. They actually behave as if they did not exist in yourself—you see them in your neighbors but not in yourself....
“As a rule, when the collective unconscious becomes really constellated in larger social groups, the result is a public craze, a mental epidemic that may lead to revolution or war or something of the sort .”
“The tremendous role which the opposites and their union play in alchemy helps us to understand why the alchemists were so fond of paradoxes. In order to attain this union, they tried not only to visualize the opposites together but to express them in the same breath. Characteristically, the paradoxes cluster most thickly around the arcane substance, which was believed to contain the opposites in uncombined form as the prima materia, and to amalgamate them as the lapis Philosophorum. Thus the lapis is called on the one hand base, cheap, immature, volatile, and on the other hand precious, perfect, and solid; or the prima material is base and noble… The material is visible to all eyes, the whole world sees it, touches it, loves it, and yet no one knows it. ‘This stone therefore is no stone,’ says the Turba, ‘that thing is cheap and costly, dark and hidden, and known to everyone, having one name and many names.’
“…As the Tractatus aureus de Lapide says: ‘Our matter has as many names as there are things in the world.’ The arcane substance is also synonymous with the Monad and the Son of Man mentioned in Hippoly tus: ‘Monoimos … thinks that there is some such Man of whom the poet speaks as Oceanus [A condensation of the Iliad, XIV, 201 and 246: ‘I am going to the ends of the fruitful earth to visit Ocean, the forbear of the gods … even Ocean Stream himself, who is the forbear of them all.’—C.G. Jung], when he says: Oceanus, origin of gods and origin of men. Putting this into other words, he says that the Man is all, the source of the universe, unbegotten, incorruptible, everlasting; and that there is a Son of the aforesaid Man, who is begotten and capable of suffering, and whose birth is outside time, and neither willed nor predetermined…. This Man is a single Monad, uncompounded and indivisible, yet compounded and divisible, loving and at peace with all things yet warring with all things and at war with itself in all things; unlike and like itself, as it were a musical harmony containing all things; … showing forth all things and giving birth to all things. It is its own mother, its own father, the two immortal names. The emblem of the whole man says Momoimos, is the jot or tittle. [The iota, the smallest Greek character, corresponding to our ‘dot’ (which did not exist in Greek). Cf. Luke 16:17: ‘And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fall.’—C.G. Jung] This one tittle is the uncompounded, simple, unmixed Monad, having its composition from nothing whatsoever, yet composed of many forms, of many parts. That single, undivided jot is the many-faced, thousand-eyed, and thousand-named jot of the iota.’
“The mystery of the smallest writ ten sign, the point, is also known to alchemy. The point is the symbol of a mysterious creative center in nature. The author of Novum lumen admonishes his reader: ‘But you, dear reader, you will have above all to consider the point in nature … and you need nothing else, but take care lest you seek that point in the vulgar metals, where it is not.’
“John Dee (1527-1607) speculates as follows: ‘It is not unreasonable to suppose, that by the four straight lines which run in opposite directions from a single, individual point, the mystery of the four elements is indicated.’ According to him, the quaternity consists of four straight lines meeting in a right angle. ‘Things and beings have their first origin in the point and the monad.’ The center of nature is ‘the point originated by God,’ the ‘sun-point’ in the egg. This, a commentary on the Turba says, is the ‘germ of the egg in the yolk.’ Out of this little point, says Dorn in his Physica Genesis, ‘the wisdom of God made with the creative Word the ‘huge machine’ of the world. The Consilium coniugii remarks that the point is the chick. Mylius adds that this is the bird of Hermes, or the spirit Mercurius. The same author places the soul in the ‘midpoint of the heart’ together with the spirit, which he compares with the angel who was ‘infused with soul at this point. (i.e. in the womb.)’ Paracelsus says that the ‘anima iliastri’ dwells in the fire in the heart. It is ‘incapable of suffering,’ whereas the ‘anima cagastris’ is capable of suffering and is located in the water of the pericardium.
‘Just as earth corresponds to the triangle and water to the line, so fire corresponds to the point. Democritus stresses that fire consists of ‘fiery globules.’ Light too, has this round form, hence the designation ‘sun-point.’ This point is on the one hand the world’s center, ‘the salt-point in the midst of the great fabric of the whole world,’ as Khunrath calls it (salt = Sapientia). Yet it is ‘not only the bond but also the destroyer of all destructible things.’ Hence this ‘world egg is the ancient Saturn, the … most secret lead of the sages...’ The most perfect form is round, because it is modeled on the point. The sun is round and so is fire, since it is composed of the ‘fiery globules’ of Democritus. …The point symbolizes light and fire, also the Godhead in so far as light is an ‘image of God’ or an ‘exemplar of the Deity.’ This spherical light modeled on the point is also the ‘shining of illuminating body’ that dwells in the heart of man.’
“The point is identical with the scintilla, the ‘little soul-spark’ of Meister Eckhart. We find it already in the teachings of Saturninus. Similarly Heraclitus, ‘the physicist,’ is said to have conceived the soul as a ‘spark of stellar essence.’ …Alchemy, too, has its doctrine of the scintilla. In the first place it is the fiery center of the earth, where the four elements ‘project their seed in ceaseless movement.’ ‘For all things have their origin in this source, and nothing in the whole world is born save from this source.’
“It is by the straight line and the circle that the first and most simple example and representation of all things may be demonstrated, whether such things be either non-existent or merely hidden under Nature’s veils.
“Neither the circle without the line, nor the line without the point, can be artificially produced. It is, therefore, by virtue of the point and the Monad that all things commence to emerge in principle.
“That which is affected at the periphery, however large it may be, cannot in any way lack the support of the central point.”
The Point is the beginning, a location without dimension; it is the first and last manifestation. The Point is born from the marriage of Spirit and Body. Imbued with energy and presence, it is the first Soul. When it moves the continuum has length. When it turns (changes direction) another point is born; when they move apart the continuum has width. When the second point turns a third point is born; when they move apart space unfolds. When all the points return to one, the continuum returns to the point. The ultimate act of alchemy is to fix a point. The continuum collapses into the fixed point opening a paradox of infinite possibilities. The point is the soul of the operator. When the spirit moves the point it becomes unfixed into a new location anywhere in the universe. Then the operator has become a universal navigator.
Existence is born from movement. Spirit/energy -matter/form react to potential differences between existence and non-existence. Existence is everything. Non-existence is nothing. The universe is ultimately everything and nothing, point and void, a paradox. Everything at once is chaos; nothnothing at all is the unknown. The unknown is unconscious. Things coming into existence emerge from the unknown. Things departing existence merge into the unknown. The periphery of existence is the boundary of the unknown. The peripheral boundary of the universe is transcendent and intangible.
The Point can be fixed through the Inner Circulation of spiritual alchemy. Fixing the Point is essential for the attainment of the Philosopher’s Stone. The inner path is the practice of a lifetime that fixes the Point from within. The Point can be fixed from the outside as well. The outer work can take a lifetime or an instant. Whether thrilling or dreadful it is ultimately pragmatic, but little progress will be made without the development of innerstanding. With innerstanding the operator becomes a navigator.
Three Philosophical Principles
The three philosophical principles of alchemy formatting existence are Mercury, Salt and Sulfur. They correspond to Spirit, Body and Soul. They are not the material substances with the same names utilized by chemistry. The principles are called philosophical because they are transcendent and intangible. Transcendent means functioning through all levels of existence in every dimensional configuration potentiated. Intangible means elusive to objective measurement.
Alchemy puts forth the proposition that energy and matter are one and the same thing, though they are polar opposites. The spectrum between these poles manifests as movement through space/time continuum. Spirit is the expression of energy, and Body is the form matter takes as it manifests the movement of energy. Each body is individual and unique. The character of that uniqueness is Soul.
Philosophical Mercury, Sulfur and Salt mix to maintain the countless forms manifest as matter. In alchemy the great work is to perceive the Spirit, the Body and the Soul in order to apprehend the nature of things. This is accomplished by determining the relationship of Mercury, Sulfur and Salt in the Elements under investigation.
Mercury is the life force, the vital power, the spirit, the volatile. It is considered anonymous and not conscious. Absolute mercury is pure energy.
Sulfur is the soul, the personality general and specific, the individual soul is volatile sulfur and the universal soul is fixed sulfur. Volatile Sulfur is imagination; Fixed Sulfur is will. Soul is consciousness also the central point of consciousness. Sulfur is fiery, radiant, burning. Absolute Sulfur is pure essence.
Salt is the body, the manifestation, the shape of matter; body is pure shape which is pure form and is transcendent to matter. Absolute body is pure information.
Four Philosophical Elements
The union of the three Philosophical Principles appears to our senses as matter which manifests in four possible conditions or states. Alchemy views the four states of matter as the elemental states, earth, water, air and fire. Science views these conditions as states of matter, solid, liquid, gas and radiation (heat). The four alchemical Elements share certain properties that allow bits in the matter stream to combine into things occupying space through time. The properties are cold, moist, dry and hot. Fire is hot and dry; air is hot and moist; water is moist and cold; earth is cold and dry. Because of their dual qualities the elements can separate or intermingle . Earth and water are fixed elements that draw down. Air and fire are volatile elements tha t rise up.
Within the constellation of the four Elements a fifth is hidden. It is called the Quinta Essentia or Quintessence. It permeates the whole of creation. “The Quinta Essentia is the force that binds everything, the foundation without which the Elements would be dead matter. It is the spiritual core of all things and, according to Paracelsus, the extract of the Elements, that is, their incorruptible eternal substratum. As such it is simultaneously the origin and the goal of all evolution. The Quinta Essentia is the cohesive force of all living creatures and all existing things.”
The liberation of the Quintessence from the substance under investigation is the immediate goal of many alchemical procedures. The Quintessence is a manifestation of concentrated vital life force or vital energy. The Quintessence fuels the transcendent metamorphosis of the soul which is the ultimate goal of alchemy. To this end the adepts always proceeded in the same manner: solvite corpora et coagulate spiritum: dissolve the body and coagulate the spirit.
Jung wrote an extensive and detailed psychological commentary to Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the Secret of the Golden Flower. Wilhelm’s translation and Jung’s commentary are scholarly works. Neither makes any note of pragmatic Taoist breathing practices in relation to the text of the Secret of the Golden Flower. By ancient tradition Taoist masters personally taught the actual brea thing methods to students. When the students became masters of the Inner Circula tion they taught the next generation of students. And so it is today. The Secret of the Golden Flower focuses more on the philosophical aspects of the Inner Circulation that students of all Taoist breathing practices may find beneficial and inspirational.
“Master Lu-tsu said, The decision must be carried out with a collected heart, and not seeking success; success will then come of itself… Breathing comes from the heart. What comes out of the heart is breath. As soon as the heart stirs, there develops breath-energy. Breath -energy is originally transformed activity of the heart. When our ideas go very fast they imperceptibly pass into fantasies which are always accompanied by the drawing of a breath, because this inner and outer breathing hangs together like tone and echo. Daily we draw innumerable breaths and have an equal number of fantasies. And thus the clarity of the spirit ebbs away as wood dries out and ashes die. [The Chinese character for ‘breath’ (hsi) is made up of the character tzu, ‘of,’ ‘self,’ and the character hsin, ‘heart’ or ‘consciousness.’ Wilhelm]
“So, then, should a man have no imaginings in his mind? One cannot be without imaginings. Should one not breathe? One cannot do without breathing. The best way is to make a medicine of the illness. Since heart and breath are mutually dependent, the circulation of the light must be united with the rhythm of breathing. For this light of the ear is above all necessary. There is a light of the eye and a light of the ear. The light of the eye is the united light of the sun and moon outside. The light of the ear is the united seed of sun and moon within. The seed is thus the light in crystallized form. Both have the same origin and are different only in name. Therefore, understanding (ear) and clarity (eye) are one and the same effective light.
“How to use the heart correctly during breathing must be understood. It is a use without use. One should only let the light fall quite gently on the hearing. This sentence contains a secret meaning. What does it mean to let the light fall? It is the spontaneous radiation of the light of the eyes. The eye looks inward only and not outward. To sense brightness without looking outward means to look inward; it has nothing to do with an actual looking within. What does hearing mean? It is the spontaneous hearing of the light of the ear. The ear listens inwardly only and does not listen to what is outside. To sense brightness without listening to what is outside is to listen inwardly; it has nothing to do with actually listening to what is within. In this sort of hearing, one hears only that there is no sound; in this kind of seeing, one sees only that no shape is there. If the eye is not looking outward and the ear is not harkening outward, they close themselves and are inclined to sink inward. Only when one looks and harkens inward does the organ not go outward nor sink inward.”
Since the publication of Wilhelm’s translation the actual breathing techniques taught by Ancient Taoist masters have been published by their modern day disciples. An excellent one, Taoist Yoga Alchemy and Immortality, by Lu K’uan Yu, is a profound training manual intended to develop Qi (chi), Jing (ching) and Shen energy in the practiser through physio-psychic breathing exercises.
“My masters Liao Jan and Liao K’ung once said: ‘When beginning to cultivate (essential) nature and (eternal) life, it is necessary first to develop nature…’
“When the heart (mind) is settled, one should restrain the faculty of seeing, check that of hearing, touch the palate with the tip of the tongue and regulate the breathing through the nostrils. If breathing is not regulated one will be troubled by gasping or laboured breaths. When breathing is well controlled, one will forget all about the body and heart (mind). Thus stripped of feelings and passions one will look like a stupid man.”
Today one can find many variations of the Taoist breathing techniques published on the internet.
The Inner Circulation begins by inhaling a breath of air through your nose. Thou wilt separate the subtle from the gross, gently and with great care. Subtle is the Spirit in the air. The belly of the wind carries it. The alchemists call it the Quintessence. Though it is easily separated from the air, it is in everything. The Taoists call the quintessential spirit of life-energy Qi.
The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together.
Use your imagination and think of separating the subtle spirit of life-energy from the gross matter, the molecules of oxygen, as you inhale. Inhale gently through the nose with your tongue tip touching the roof of your mouth. Imagine the spirit separating from the air and arcing above your tongue filling the brain and traveling down your spine as you complete the inhalation.
Spirit descending upon the air ignite the fire of life; energize imagination, inspiration and vitality. The spirit will pulse up and down your spine. Hold it at the bottom. Then exhale slowly.
Move your tongue tip from the roof of your mouth to the bottom front gums below your teeth. Then exhale slowly through your mouth while imagining the energy pulse you held in your groin region is steaming upward through your organs bathing them in warm moisture. As the exhalation ends the steaming “water of life” condenses into an energy cloud-body focused in the front of your mind—you’ll feel it as pulsations in the hemispheres of your brain..
Body rising through the earth fortify the water of life; manifest strength, determination, will-power and health. Body rises like warm moisture through your viscera inducing a pulsing sensation as it satura tes various nerve plexi on its trip to the top. Body condenses in the field of imagination. With the next inhalation Spirit joins Body and the spirit-body circulates again.
Practicing this simple Inner Circulation calms the body, reduces stress and focuses the mind. Progress is slow but steady with daily practice. The Inner Circulation becomes akin to nutrition. With proper nutrition a person functions optimally and considers this level of performance to be normal. Poor nutrition becomes manifest as below normal performance. Likewise the Inner Circulation occasions enhanced levels of personal functioning that are so gradual the operator considers them to be normal . The operator notices a decline after missing the Inner Circulation for a few days and returns to it, the same as returning to good nutrition, in order to regain optimum normal performance levels.
This is just the beginning of the practice and focuses only on the simple main circuit or channel of the Inner Circula tion also known as the Microcosmic Orbit. The energy or “light” can be circula ted in either direction. Other methods teach the circulation starts at the groin, goes up the spine, the sea of all yang channels, into the head on the inhalation, then down the front, the sea of all yin channels, on the exhalation. There is a full circulation taught by Lu K’uan Yu that encompasses all channels. He teaches a me thod of Jing sublimation through the main circuit. He also gives instructions for the “distillation” of Shen. The latter requires much practice in the first two before any progress can be made.
There are other methods or exercises to cultivate the three treasures, Qi, Jing and Shen. The three treasures loosely correspond to the Western Philosophical Principles of alchemy: soul, body, and spirit. Though they are three in one same mystery I have come to experience them as Philosophical Powers, Qi being the power of continuation, Jing being the power of crea tion, and Shen being the power of manifestation. One can explore the internet to find traditional and Westernized Taoist practices popularly known under categories, Qi gong and Tai chi chuan, both being branches of Taoist Nei Dan alchemy. Every practicer should explore the traditions and adapt the praxis best for them.
Lu Kuan Yu advises that, “You should sublimate the three precious elements, namely the generative force [ching, jing], (vital) breath [chi, qi] and spirit [shen] to restore their original strength and the foundation will be laid when these three elements unite; only then can immortality be attained.”
“Question: I have read Taoist books which all urge the development of the light in the original cavity or center of the spirit (tsu ch’iao, in the center of the brain between and behind the eyes) at the start of practice but I do not see why. All Taoist schools regard this as the aim of the cultivation of (essential) nature without giving details. Will you please tell me where true nature actually manifests?
“Answer: (The tsu ch’aio cavity in) the center of the brain branches out into two minor channels on its left and right; the left one stands for t’ai chi (supreme ultimate) and the right one for ch’ung ling (immaterial spirit); they are linked with the t’ien ku (heavenly valley) center above them and the yung chuan (bubbling spring) centers in the soles of the feet after running through the heart in the chest.
“The Tan Ching says: ‘Nature is (in) the heart and manifests through the eyes; life is (in) the lower abdomen and manifests through the genital organ.’
“(Essential) nature is spiritual vitality in the heart that manifests through the two channels from the center of the brain. So when seeing is concentrated on the spot between the eyes, the light of (essential) nature manifests and will, after a long training, unite with (eternal) life to become one whole. This union is called seeing the void that is not empty and he who is not awakened to this union will achieve nothing in his prac tice.”
In the center of the brain there exists a system of interconnected symmetrical cavities called ventricles. Within the ventricles flows an inner sea of light emitting nutriments that feed and protect the brain. This inner sea of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid, CSF, circulates through the brain and the spinal column. The Lateral ventricles are shaped somewhat like tuning forks. When the power of the three treasures are in resonance at threshold amplitude in the lateral ventricles energy vortex fields expand along the axis of the Sylvius Fissures. Then the Supreme Ultimate and Immaterial Spirit activate.
“In his work on Rosicrucian anatomy, The Microcosmi Historia, Robert Fludd assigns the three departments of the Empyrean (or mundane heaven) to the cranium of the microcosm (man). Fludd calls the highest plane or division of the brain the Radius of Diety, or the Uncreated Light. The middle he designates the Luminous Sphere, or the Created Light; and the lowest he terms the Spiritual Sphere or the Empyrean. Fludd further visualizes these spiritual aspects as abiding in certan recesses of the brain. He establishes the locaton of these compartments by recourse to the divisions of the cranium laid down by earlier anatomists. In his astronomical teachings, Pythagoras taught that the gods did not reside in the planetary bodies but, more correctly, in the interplanetary ‘intervals.’ In accordance with this astromical concept, medieval desciples of Galen and Avicenna assigned no organs to the ‘spirits’ (vital centers) in the brain, but gave them cavites (ventricles) in which to mingle there essences. From this viewpoint, the soul was likened to a vapor, gas, or even a humidity, bottled up during life in remote caverns of the body (i.e. the ventricles, arteries, etc.).
“For the most part, the ancients concerned themselves with only three of the brain ventricles, i.e., the laterals (considered as one), the third, and the fourth. In the earlier works of Albertus Magnus, these cavities are represented by three circles of equal size filling the entire cranium. No effort was made towards anatomical accuracy... It is the temperament of the twentieth centurary to take too extreme an attitude towards matters of earlier learining. We have outgrown a little, so we can reject all. The recently discovered ciphers of Roger Bacon are a warning against hasty conclusions, and there is evidence that Albertus Magnus knew the true purpose of the ventricles, while we are acquainted only with their shape.
“Hippolytus, the Ante-Nicean Father, writing in the early centuries of the Christian Era, published several fragments from the arcanum of the Gnostics and other heretical sects. One of these fragments, Against Heresies, is related to our subject. He speaks first of the brain as being the dominant portion of the entire body and follows the concept of Aristotle that it remains calm and unmoved, being isolated by a narrow isthmus from the contentions of the animal nature and ‘containing within itself the spirit.’ He then observes that, when dissected, the brain reveals within itself a vaulted chamber, on either side of which are little wings which are moved gently by the motion of the spirit.
“According to Culpepper, imagination is seated in the anterior ventricle, memory in the posterior, and judgment in the median cavity between them. This old physician, whose name will endure to the end of science, further makes the front ventricle to be hot and dry, the central warm and moist, and the rear cold and dry. Do these ventricles, then, contain the philosophical sulphur, mercury, and salt, the ingredients of the Wise Man’s Stone, which Paracelsus, in his Nine Books of the Nature of Things, declares to signify soul, spirit, and body? Among the figures of Nicholas flamel from, The Book of Abraham the Jew, is one depicting the sun and moon pouring their rays into a small central bottle. Is the third ventricle that vessel in which the ‘marriage’ of the sun and moon takes place? ...Robert Fludd makes each of the cavities twofold, a right and a left, in harmony with modern science. The two lateral ventricles he terms sense and imagination; the halves of the third ventricle, cogitation and estimation; and the halves of the fourth ventricle, memory and motion.
“The intellectual sphere and the imaginative sphere are oddly linked by a slender sinuous ‘worm.’ The two lateral ventricles are divided by a thin, transparent ‘skinlike,’ wall, called the septum lucidum or speculum. The words septum lucidum are generally translated ‘translucent wall,’ but in their older form they can also be interpreted as ‘the wall of light,’ and the word speculum means, ‘a mirror,’ or ‘that which catches reflections.’
“According to Sir Kenelm Digby, the ‘species and similitudes of things’ have their abode in the lateral ventricles, ‘where they are moved and tumbled about when we think.’ The speculum is, then the magic mirror, upon the surface of which ‘spirits’ conjure up the shadows of ideas.
“In their search for the elixir of life, the alchemists discovered the occult properties of a certain mysterious ‘dew’ and were moved to write thereof, but always in a most guarded manner. ... This ‘dew’ lost all its virtue unless it was gathered by certain means in especially purified vessels. One ancient alchemist recommended four glass plates, another linen cloths that had been made absolutely clean. The purified vessels, the clean glass plates, and the linen cloths refer, of course, to the regenerated body of the alchemist, who has gained the right to discover the Universal Solvent by cleansing, as it were, the inside of his own cup. The philosophers also revealed that this mysterious ‘dew’ drips down into the heart of the redeemed (baptism), by which such a man is empowered to understand all mysteries.
“It has already been hinted that the ‘dew’ was to be found only in the most mountainous parts. This of course intimates the brain, which is the high place so often referred to in the sacred writings. Lest this analogy be regarded as far-fetched, let us turn to the Siphera Dtzenioutha—The Book of the Concelaed Mystery—wherein it is said of the head of the great Universal Man that has been formed in the likeness of the cranium, or skull (the monad) and ‘is filled with the crystalline dew.’ ...The Rosicrucians were declared to have concealed their sanctum—the House of the Holy Spirit—from the profane by surrounding it with what one of their writers called ‘clouds’ or ‘mists.’
“A few quotations from the Ha Indra Rabba Qadisha—The Greater Holy Assembly—will give further hints. ‘And from that skull distilleth a dew upon him which is external, and filleth his head daily.’ It may be well to mention here that the word cranium, or skull, is used in the Zohar to signify what the Pythagoreans would call the monad (or wholeness). It is, so to speak, the seed of the world and is referred to as a skull to symbolize its spherical shape. It is also written that the ‘dew of the lights is thy dew.’ Are not these lights identical with the stars of Paracelsus, which must never be considered as heavenly bodies but powers or centers of intellection? ‘All that intellect can conceive of,’ writes the Swiss Hermes, ‘comes from the stars.’ and he adds: ‘The activity of the organism of man is the result of the actions of the interior constellations of stars exisiting in his inferior world.’
“We have already learned that the Seven Builders seated upon their akasic thrones in the vast cranium of the Universal Man have their microcosmic correspondences in the human brain. These are the Seven Stars—the supernal ones—whose essences are carried by the ‘dew,’ even as the sidereal ‘humidity’ carries the seven aspects of the astral light. Thus, Mars correspondes with the cerebellum, Saturn with the corpora quadrigemina, Venus with the pineal gland, Mercury with the same gland after it has been tinctured with Kundalini, Jupiter with the whole cavity of the skull filled with akasa, the moon with the fornix, and the sun with the prana in the third ventricle.
“The crystalline ‘dew’ described by St. John and the oceans above the heavens indicated in the opening verses of Genesis are not without their physiological correspondences in the human body. The Ocean of Eternity and the Milky Way—are these not again hints as to the crystalline ‘dew’ of the adepts? The amrita, or the ‘water of immortality,’ was obtained, according to the Vedas, from the churning of the great ocean. The word means literally, ‘deathless.’ Here is the elixir of life of the alchemists.
“Denuded of its symbolism and applied to the microcosm, all these allegories point to a secret in occult anatomy. The activity of the human brain, which we have already seen to be filled and surrounded by a subtle humidity, causes an akasic precipitation, a brain ‘dew’ which is more of a luminous ether than a liquid. This ‘dew,’ however, is more tangible than a gas, and as the manna is said to have fallen from heaven, so this ‘dew’ of thought trickles down between the two hemispheres of the cerebrum and finally fills the third ventricle, which is the reservior, so to speak, of this heavenly water. This ‘dew’ carries in suspension, or as the alchemists might say, is ‘tinctured’ by the mental activity of the seven brain stars which form the northern constellation of man. ... Paracelsus thus sums up the mystery: ‘The whole of the Microcosm is potentially contained in the Liquor Vitae, a nerve fluid—in which is contained the nature, quality, character and essence of beings.’
Energy configures a vortex field running parallel to the Sylvius fissures on both sides of the skull. The fields extend about one foot from the head. At the same time two more energy vortices open. One is at the base of the skull extending out a few inches away from the head. The other is a point of energy located between the eyes just below the middle of the forehead. The energy point vortex also extends out about one foot from the head.
When these four fields activate a void point opens at the crown of the head. The void potential intensifies as the fields activate then extend from the head. If power is increased to the next threshold output the vortex fields configured by the Lateral ventricles unfold downward along the sides of the body. Then the void potential at the crown point on the head becomes extremely intense accompanied by a powerful sensation of emptiness . As the extended Lateral ventricle fields unfold sweeping downward the void point expands. Then the sensation of a vacuum powerfully pulling against the unfolding ventricle “wings” becomes so great that a shaft opens in the void point. It rises about one foot from the crown of the head. A brilliant ray of finely focused light sweeps out and It looks upon Itself. It sees Itself in your life, an eye for an I. And you are It, but It is more than you.
If the Circulation can be maintained at that level one may see the shaft is a portal and the energy cycling through you is shaped like a tall thin donut. The vortex shaft is opened in the center of the donut which is in the long channel of the Inner Sea that courses through the spinal column. The wings of the Lateral ventricles, Supreme Ultimate and Immaterial Spirit hold the portal open. The field at the base of the skull stabilizes the portal shaft. And the floating Point between the eyes navigates the portal. This portal is the bridge between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm: between space/time and eternity. Through the floating Point one may navigate the bridge and thus the Universe as well.
The Spirit or Mercury is the eye carrying the I of the soul along the portal navigating through the Universe. Should the operator be able to increase the energy to the next threshold the Spirit, through the portal, can carry the body as well as the soul across the points in the Universe. This is a very dangerous undertaking as most of the points in the Universe cannot support life of the human body. At even higher energy input levels the body is burned to pure information which is indestructible. This Philosophical information is transcendent to all points in the Universe therefore the operator can navigate any point or point system in the universe.
How can this be? One might ask. The photons generated and exchanged in the mercury waves pulsating CSF sea become entangled in the in tense vacuum sensation when the vortex portal begins to open as the Supreme Ultimate and Immaterial Spirit expand and unfold. In the donut analogy the photon light entangled in the torroidal vacuum bends back upon itself and space/time is warped wi thin the vortex field generated.
When the Supreme Ultimate and the Immaterial Spirit unfold, the Point at the crown of your head opens and the light or tunnel or shaft leading to the Cosmic Egg is revealed.
The manifestation that you identify with as your life is really an infinitely complex inter connection of systems of matter/energy cycles of movements that complete themselves periodically—your body in the Macrocosm. And the ineffable secret of what you really are is able to exist in the turbulence of these dependable cycling systems of matter/energy.
You become aware that you are none of these things within the pantheon of matter/energy that is the great mother Void Chaos. Travel the Power through the Point at the top of your head and you will know the essence of every thing is a projection perpendicular to the surface of the Cosmic Egg. As each and every one of these individual surface qualities of the ONE cosmic egg move away from the surface they separate connection from each other except at the source—the surface of the cosmic egg. Once the quality has projected from the surface It becomes one manifest and transcends the microcosm. The cycles of matter/energy cling to It and the thing is created in the Macrocosm.
When the body dies the cycles of movement cease within the human microcosm. Chi, ching and shen exit the body through the Point at the top of your head, the gate between the Microcosm (heaven) and the Macrocosm (earth). Matter/energy recyclers return your body to the collective biomass. Chi, ching and shen—the Power of your qualities—return to the surface of the cosmic egg. The surface is vast enough to entertain all possible qualities willing to manifest.
Beneath the surface of the cosmic egg qualities are fused akin to microcosmic plasma. This fusion is the transcendent mystery of the great mother Void Chaos. At the center of the cosmic egg is ONE Eternal Point that is No-Thing, the great father of All, from which your eternal essence springs.
If your physical body maintains the three Powers you can travel to the surface of the cosmic egg and return. If your sub tle body maintains the three powers you can travel heaven in the microcosm and be cognizant of that reality. If your subtle body is not developed the microcosm will manifest as fanciful dreamlike distortions. And only the rudest of correspondences between the higher and the lower will be capable of manifestation, if at all .
I know this because I have distilled sufficient shen to open the Point and distill the subtle body into the Microcosm. To do this you must create an alchemical elixir from macrocosmic substances. This elixir mus t contain spagyrically enhanced chi, ching, shen in an energy/matter matrix. When the elixir is taken into your body tremendous alchemical Power enters the inner circulation and floods the shen collectors in the center of your brain. The shen channels on either side of your head extend out about a foot then unfold downward around your body. This Power creates a field that pulls hard and away from the feeling of center in the middle of your being. The center begins to feel low pressure sensations that are pulling a vacuum in the center. The feeling sensation becomes void potential so intense the emptiness forces the Point at the top of the head to open for It is at the center of the Void. And It opens the Point.
Power erupts tremendously through the Point of absolute void. It rises through the gate and looks at Itself in the Microcosm. When It scans the surface of the cosmic egg all qualities that penetra te every thing can be known. And through this all things can be known.
If in time the caprice of Fate smashes your physical body you abandon it to the recyclers for your chi, ching, shen then empowers your subtle body. There you manifest transcendent to life and death.
When you can open the Point after distilling sufficient shen you will see All that exists, All of existence extends from Points on the surface of the cosmic egg. The Points are located next to each other and since they are without dimension the surface of the cosmic egg is without dimension. The surface of the cosmic egg consisting of emerging points is a dimensionless continuum. At the surface all of the Points are tinged with complexes of pure quality from the subsurface plasma making each combination a unique individual. At the surface pure unique quality is caught by the potential difference It creates with matter/energy. Matter/energy clings to It pulling It into the Macrocosm. There It moves through the power of energy and persists through the substance of matter.
Matter and energy are one in the Macrocosm. Ma tter exists as gross qualities manifest as substance. Energy exists as subtle qualities manifest as power. Qualities are non matter/energy; qualities are subjective Points to which matter/energy clings thus manifesting the universe. The universe is mysterium conjuctionis of the Microcosm of Eternity unfettered by the limi tations of dimension, and the Macrocosm limited by space/time continuum manifestations.
Science contends the universe star ted with a big bang where substance and power issued forth from a single point. This was the birth of the Macrocosm—space/time continuum where the power of energy shapes the substance of matter.
Alchemy contends the Point that gave birth to the Macrocosm is the surface of the Cosmic Egg. And the Point that gave birth to the Cosmic Egg is eternal No-thingness at Its center. No- thingness is the essence of ONE. It manifests as Power of number in Quality of substance.
Since No-thingness is the essential nature of It; this great mystery is absolutely unknowable. The first thing clinging to the NOthing is energy. Energy is absolutely subtle and as such does not exist outright but emanates Power which is pure persistence. Clinging to the pure persistence is pure substance. In this pure undifferentiated form the Power-Substance plasma surrounds the Point of NOthingness. Power and substance are Qualities of It. Qualities are subjectivities that gauge Power and feel Substance.
Congealing at the Power-Substance plasma boundary is the surface of the Cosmic Egg. The surface is the interface between the undifferentiated plasma and the individualization of matter-energy matrices in space/time. At the surface all Quality Points have substance; this Substance is pure matter. Pure matter is substance empowered by patterns of motion that repeat in cycles. This manifestation creates space for the movement to cycle through time. Thus all creation is on the surface of the Cosmic Egg.
Physicists say the substance of the universe burst forth from the point of the big bang in less than nano-seconds . From that substance matrix with the power propelling It the universe grew out, changing little in fundamental principles over billions of years. All of the subs tance-power quality points erupted at once in the smallest imaginable space in the smallest segment of time going forth from the dimensionless continuum of the microcosmic Cosmic Egg out into the macrocosmic space/time sphere of things.
All the points of matter on the surface of the Cosmic Egg in the dimensionless Microcosm manifest as substance movement when individuated from the dimensionless surface. The points of matter become individuated substances when power expands the substance in the point of matter. It has nowhere to go but out away from the surface. Substance erupts forcing space to manifest. It does so as empty points adhere to points of substance radiating from the surface matter of the Cosmic Egg. The empty points multiply filling in distance as the substances all radiate away from the microcosmic center and away from each other.
From what power are the empty points created? Entropy clings to the emptiness at the end as energy clings to nothingness in the beginning. As substances move through space/time empty points are created in order to manifest the points of substances reacting to the empowerment of energy-matter. The empowerment of energy expands in all directions giving rise to substance. The empowerment of matter transforms substances giving rise to cycles of change. Power drains from energy into entropy during expansion; power drains from matter into entropy during substance transformation. Entropy expires the power creating emptiness to contrast and define by opposition the expansion of power and the transformation of substance. So at the periphery the expansion of energy is consumed by entropy. At the periphery substance cannot cycle because Entropy consumed Energy. Without energy entropy can make more empty points to envelope cycling substances by draining the substance of projected matter power. This matter drain manifests as substance disintegration. It cycles down into empty points in empty space enveloped by NOthingness. The empty points collapse as Entropy the great emptiness desires to be filled. The collapse of Entropy into emptiness is so profound the Nothingness clings to It until the center point of emptiness is filled with NOthingness. Energy is reborn in the essence.
From this one can see the Macrocosm consists of aggregate points in an amorphous conglomerate. The conglomerate expands or con tracts depending upon energy-matter actions driven by the point of NOthingness at the center of the dimensionless Microcosm.
The Universe consists of the eternal dimensionless Microcosm and the relative space/time continuation of It in the Macrocosm. This mysterium conjuctionis comes about through the absolute emptiness of ultimate Entropy. When NOthing exists Entropy is absolutely empty. In this state Entropy absolutely desires to be filled with a yearning so complete that NOthing comes into Entropy. This seed of NOthing penetrates Entropy and since NOthing evolves the coming is completely contained in the evolving womb of Energy. This womb of Energy thus penetrated by the NOthing evolves Matter. In this way Energy and Matter exist as plasma evolving power and substance qualities from the coming of NOthing into Entropy.
At the surface of the Cosmic Egg NO thing evolves from the underlying plasma into unlimited points of power and substance evolving into sets and subsets of quality matrixes. In this way the coming of NOthing into Entropy creates the evolving Microcosm.
With the Microcosm thus complete Entropy emptied into the Macrocosm. The Macrocosm was completely filled with an infinite number of points completely filled with Entropy still yearning to be filled so completely in the macrocosm that NOthing evolving in every ONE of the points in the microcosm came into the points of Entropy in the macrocosm. Thus the power and substance of Matter and Energy unfolded into things that move through the qualities of space/time. Thus NOthing evolves body, soul and spirit in the things that move through space/time.
Thus the Universe unfolds from NOthing to NOthing from Microcosm to Macrocosm. Thus NOthing evolves continuous creative manifestations through power and substance
May your operations be fruitful on the Way of one and One.
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 “Glucose present in the CSF is oxidized by the enzyme glucose oxidase (GOD) to gluconic acid with the liberation of hydrogen peroxide, which is converted into water and oxygen by the enzyme peroxidase (POD). 4 aminophenazone, an oxygen acceptor, takes up the oxygen and together with phenol forms a pink coloured chromogen which can be measured at 515nm.” Guidelines on Standard Operating Procedures for Clinical Chemistry [Online, 2006], Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
 Oxygen- or organic hydroperoxide- induced chemiluminescence of brain and liver homogenates; Cardenas, Varsavsky, Boveris and Chance; Biochemical Journal 198, 645-654 (1981)
 Flax Oil as a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases, Dr. Johanna Budwig, Apple Publishing Company, Vancouver, British Colombia Canada, 1992.
 Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Carl G. Jung; Random House Inc.; 1961; page 204. .
 Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism, Herbert Silberer; Mofatt, Yard and Company, New York, 1917; page iv-v.
 Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Carl G. Jung; Random House Inc.; 1961; page 200, 205,206.
 Psychological Reflections, C.G. Jung; Bollingen Foundation Inc.; 1953; Princeton University Press; 1970; pages 3-26.
Analytical Psychology, Its Theory and Practice, C.G. Jung; Vintage Books, New York; 1968; pages 16-17, 47-48.
 Mysterium Coniunctionis, C.G. Jung; Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1977; pages 42-49.
 The Hieroglyphic Monad by Dr. John Dee (1564), Holmes Publishing Group P.O. Box 623, Edmonds, WA 98020.
 Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy, Manfred M. Junius; page 40.
 Circulation of the Light and Making the Breathing Rhymical, Secret of the Golden Flower, Richard Wilhelm; page 40, 43; first U.S publication, 1931; Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich 1962.
 Taoist Yoga Alchemy and Immortality, Lu K”uan Yu; page 1; 1973; Samuel Weiser Inc. New York.
 The ancients believed the cosmos rests on the number four. Four points connected is the minimum requirement to project a pure mathematical body into three dimensional space and the field of existence. This mathematical body is the four-sided pyramid. The pyramid is acute and unstable. Stability is attained when four is doubled. Eight points connected is the minimum requirement to project a stable mathematical body into three dimensional space and the field of existence. This mathematical body is the cube. Four-sided and eight-pointed it is the cornerstone of the universal theater. The atomic weight of oxygen is 16 and the quintessential spirit of life-energy saturates it. Long before oxygen was known philosophers intuited that spirit is in the air.
 Taoist Yoga Alchemy and Immortality, Lu K”uan Yu; page 2; 1973; Samuel Weiser Inc. New York.
 MAN GRAND SYMBOL OF THE MYSTERIES, THOUGHTS IN OCCULT ANATOMY, Manly P. Hall; Chapter X, The Ventricles and the Brain Dew; 1972; PRS Inc.