A General Look at Alchemy Part 3
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The Philosopher's Stone is a catalyst that transmutes an object to its highest expression. With the application of the Stone, for instance, base metals are transformed into gold; men are changed into gods. The stone is a prime requisite in Alchemy and Hermeticism, without it the state of regeneration and resurrection are not attained.
Legends of mystical stones are to be found in various cultures; for instance, taoists refer their stone as the "Stone of Wisdom." The Burmese called theirs "the Stone of Live Metal."Muslims venerate a stone that lies reposed in the kaaba. This stone is said to be a fragment of a meteorite. It is traditionally believed to be white in hue but because of the sins of men, it turned black. There is a stone called "Cintamani" said to be a state jewel of the mystical and mythical city of Shamballa. Shamballa is believed to exist in the etheric plane above the Gobi desert. Esoterically speaking, "Cintamani," or the "love-jewel," represents the perfect expression of the anahata, or heart chakra, the enlightened mind, or bodicitta. When a seeker is told to acquire Cintamani, the unfoldment of the heart chakra is meant. This has its parallel with the Grail Quest in that, microcosmically speaking, a spiritual principle within man is the object of the search. This is further supported by the tradition that King Solomon's temple was built without the sound of tools. A certain stone called "shamir" was used to fashion the Temple. Esoterists know that the Temple refers to the causal body, the vessel clothing the Monad, the Spirit of Man. The Temple, or the causal body is built with the shimmering stone of virtues, good works, and an enlightened mind. These are nourishment that beautifies the Temple.
Perfect Love is truly a catalyst. Its power transforms human expression into that of the divine. Love is an aspect of the buddhic component within man; alchemically speaking, it is described as the gluten of the White Eagle.
From the above it can be gathered that the Philosopher's Stone is no stone in an ordinary sense. This is stressed repeatedly by alchemists in their writings. They declare that the Stone is made out of the First Matter, and is composite of the four elements. The Stone is believed to be hidden within man. Powers of the Godhead are ascribed to this fabulous Stone. Its appearance, so say the alchemists, is unsightly to look at, is to be found in filth, and is valueless to the majority of men. Since there are various categories of alchemy, it is probable that the Stone differs at each alchemical level, taking on a different characteristic and nature.
Aside from Love, other aspects of God, of Omneity, can be said to be the Stone, such as Supreme Reason, Wisdom, Power and Light. These qualities all have the ability to purify and illumine body, mind, and soul. To acquire the Stone is to discover Truth, Reality, and the Absolute, the "fixed," the non-aggregate--and this is the Magnum Opus--to experience and to know Reality veiled by the "adversary," "deceiver," "opposer," or "maya." It is the sublimest work any person can do.It fulfills the old adage: "Man, know thyself." The Stone derives its power from the highest aspect of man, from his divine Self which is essentially a spark of God.
Christ is sometimes described as a stone--a corner stone that is also at the same time its peak--which architecturally, describes a pyramidal structure; in the above sense, Christ, Light, Life, and Love are synonymous, for they all partake the nature of the Stone; they all have the capacity to transmute man's being. Christ Consciousness is the Stone that transmutes man holistically.
The heart of the crown chakra, and the heart chakra anchored to the thymus gland, are sites where the stone unfolds its power. Within the crown, the sahasrara chakra, the Christ Stone magnetizes the head centers and crystallizes in the brain ventricles, resulting in the manifestation of hormones and nectars of a spiritual quality that flows into the blood stream and raising the vibratory rate of the body's atomic-structure. This transformed blood is the saving blood of Christ.
There is a divine flame of life, anchored in the heart. When nourished by the mystic Stone, by the Love--Life--Light principle, it radiates energy and magnetism to the surrounding area--to the thymus gland, to the pericardiac sac and fluid, and to the heart itself. It regenerates the blood cells as the blood stream circulates through the heart and lungs resulting in youth, vitality and radiant health. Hindu yogis declare that those who do not love, grow old quickly. In the light of the above, the "how" and "why" are easily discerned.
There are occultists who believe that the Philosopher's Stone represents a certain gnosis transmitted to worthy aspirants by Adepts of the Art. This Stone, then, concerns doctrines of mystical/occult principles that allows one to attain perfection in a single life time. Initiation and ritual play a vital role in this transmission. By applying esoteric principles, the aspirant is transformed into a master soul. An Adept is in a sense the Philosopher's Stone, for his very presence transmutes all who are fortunate enough to come into contact with him.
The First Matter
Nothing comes from nothing, therefore, matter and life must have had a source. The Absolute is that source; it is the Supreme Reality, and it is constantly emanating and absorbing back into Itself the energies and intelligences that manifest universes into existence. Out of the Absolute, there is an effluence of Prakriti and Purusha--Cosmic Root Substance and Cosmic Mind-Consciousness-Intelligence. These two principles are personified by Shiva and Shakti.
Cosmic Root Substance is the Prima Materia, the First Matter, or "Chaos," from which all elements and substance proceed. It is spirit energy unstructured as yet into particles of matter by the Cosmic Mind. Hindu mystics sometimes call First Matter "Akasha," meaning "Space."
Cosmic Mind creates by presenting a form, a thought-form, a blue-print of the intended manifestation, and coalescing around it the required substance from Prima Materia. First, the fluidic energies are concentrated into electrons, protons, and other subatomic particles; they are later combined to form an atom, which possesses the germ of "the Seed," the atomic number and structure of the blue-print and thoughtform of what it will eventually become. Atoms are then grouped to molecules which are later formed into a mass cognizable by the senses. The substance then fills the form-image, the "husk" of the Seed.
The mind of Man, being part of the Cosmic Mind, has the potential of creating in a similar manner as the Supreme Creator. Only when Man truly reflects the image of his creator will he be given authority to do so.
Alchemists declare that the First Matter is to be found within Man. Actually, our whole universe is permeated with it. It is everywhere present but no where manifested until magnetized by the Mind.
Differentiation between Matter and Consciousness is solely an illusion existing at the surface of Reality. The Many in its relative existence can be reduced to one--the Absolute, the Supreme Being. Qabalistically speaking, The fruits of the Tree of Life are absorbed into Ain Sof and Ain Sof Aur; these are reduced in their essence to Ain, the One, the All, the Unknowable.
In a figurative sense, the alchemical seed, just like an ordinary seed, possesses both germ and husk--the male and female qualities. As applied to alchemy, the germ is the atomic number and the "DNA" of the substance, while the husk is the form that the substance would fill. Thoughtforms are seeds. They are blue-prints that manifest in the physical plane when magnetized and substantialized with the First Matter.
Alchemical Seeds are archetypes--the essences or germs of manifestations, and that which is in the process of being manifested. Everything has a seed, a conception of what a thing is destined to be. Mind, the Director, the Philosopher's Stone, nourishes Seeds with Prima Materia.
The following are the probable steps used by medieval alchemists for a transmutation on the physical level: first, the base metal is molten down--the heat of the flame has a transforming effect on the molecular level. Secondly, at a certain point of the operation, the mind of man comes into play, controlling and directing at atomic and subatomic levels--changing the vibratory rate, the atomic number and structure into gold. It is said that to make gold we must have gold. This does not refer to the adding to base metals a piece of gold. This seed of gold, is a seed in the form of an electronic pattern or blueprint of gold held in one's higher consciousness. The mind must be in a gold-consciousness state.
On a transcendental level, to transmute oneself into a god, one would require a god-pattern, a god-ideal visualized and meditated upon. Once the picture is perfected one assumes or identifies oneself with it, keeping it constantly in mind even after the meditation session. This would result in an increased vibratory rate of the various principles composing Man. Technically, the mind of Man synchornizes with the god-archetype, and by magnetic induction, is transformed into the god. Visualization, or mental imaging, is the method used with which the archetype is established. Precipitation may occur instantly, as in a paranormal manifestation, or after a lapse of time depending on the nature and magnitude of the archetype.
The processes described above appear to be one of the great Hermetic secrets of the Egyptian Mysteries. The methods correspond with the practices of Vajrayana in Tibetan Buddhism, as for instance, the discipline of the "divine pride" of being a Buddha.
Ethically speaking, before man attempts to put the forces of nature into action, it is expedient that he contemplates as to the worthiness of his designs. If his designs do not fit nor fulfill divine requirements, then bringing them into manifestation would simply be a violation of Cosmic law, and consequently, may be regarded as an operation of black magick. According to Martinism, it is this very violation of the Law that brought about "the Fall" of Adam Kadmon.
According to alchemists, Mercury, Salt and Sulphur are the three-fold aspects of all phenomena--to be found in all compounds of a mineral or organic nature. It is postulated that by differing the proportions of each aspect in a compound, would cause a transmutation to occur. Mercury, as well as Salt and Sulphur, are not the common vulgar materials so used to effect a transmutation. This is made clear by exponents of the Royal Art.
Esoterically, Mercury represents Spirit, Salt--Body; and Sulphur--Soul. Every phenomenon and object in Nature is believed to possess these three attributes. It is thought that by separating each aspect of an aggregate substance, purifying, and then recombining them, the result would be a total refinement of the object.
Philosophically speaking, Mercury is the Mind; Salt--Will and Wisdom; Sulphur--Love. The three are components or principles of the Philosopher's Stone, and they work potently to transmute any base metal or character into golden perfection. Without these principles, the coveted Stone is ineffectual in its capacity to change vibratory rates.
Sulphur moulds a person into a balanced individual, with the desire and motive to act creatively; Salt actually bestows the individual with the will and power to act; while Mercury, the intellectual principle, is the coordinating factor of both Sulphur and Salt. Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt together with the mysterious Azoth, the Divine Fire, or "Scamayim," are the attributes of the Stone, and they work wonders when applied knowledgeably. These triune principles and Azoth correspond to the Christian Trinity and teh feminine principle personified by Mary. Azoth is the Shakti aspect of the triune godhead.
The Seven Metals
Metals in the world of alchemy and esotericism, in general, represents various conditions and principles to be found in Man and Nature. For instance, metals may represent the seven components or bodies making-up the being called "Man"; the seven exoteric rays from the Great Central Sun; and the seven major chakras within the subtle body. The seven metals also correspond to the seven angels presiding over the rays; to the seven archangels, the seven Chohans, the seven pairs of Elohims, etc.
Symbolically, the seven metals represent the seven planets known to the ancients--counting also the sun and moon, which are not planets proper, but a solar body and a satellite. The correspondences are as follows: gold-Sun, silver-Moon, lead-Saturn, mercury-Mercury, tin-Jupiter, iron-Mars, and copper-Venus.
The true subject of alchemy is Man--Man is the object of the transmutation. The alchemist is at once the subject and the object, the operator and that which is operated upon. Metals are associated with elements of Man's character. Pure gold is the character of a "perfect" person--it is the manifestation of that perfection already inherent within man's highest principle.
Within the etheric body, the chakras are the microcosmic planets. In Gichtel's "Theosophia Practica," a diagram is shown of a human being with the position of the orbs placed in the body. This indubitably reveals the fact that the chakras were known by Occidental mystics in the past centuries and played an important role in their spiritual tradition. The seven seals in Revelation is indeed another "revelation" of this fact.
Compassion is one of the Ego's highest feelings for other life-units who are struggling in the business of living. The sense of unity with all life around is an indication of one's growing realization of God. Being "my brother's keeper" is no longer a burden to such a person advancing in the spiritual path; it is a dharma or duty that one feels a privilege in obeying--of being true to Self. It was because of such a sense of duty that spiritual alchemists embarked upon the search for a Universal Panacea to cure the ills, suffering, and pain of a fallen humankind.
Pain, illnesses, and imbalances may be found in various levels of the microcosm--the physical, emotional, mental, etc. The Universal Panacea, in general, can be said, to be principles and laws of God that would establish harmony and health if applied.
Physical pain and illness are the result of a lack of prana, of the life-force, or "Mumia," as Paraclesus called it, into the psycho-biological system. This interrupted flow is mainly the result of a psychic condition unleashed by negative thoughts and emotions. When the channels or prana-influx are purified, when the Yin and Yang, the positive and negative polarities within the body are well-balanced, when the four elements residing in the body are in a state of equilibrium, then health should result.
There is a higher source of the life-essence that is rayed from the Great Central Sun directly to the Monad and down to the Atma of man, and this is associated with the flame of life residing in the physical heart. Daily devotions to the flame within and to the "Father who art in heaven," causes a descent of the essences of life, of the Atmic fire, into the quaternary vehicles of Egoic expression and results in a regeneration of the whole psychobiological system.
A surplus of the life-force within the body is radiated-out and forms an aura of protection around the corpus. There are, however, major terminal points where the life-force flow out in a concentrated state. The hands are just two of these terminal points. The energy radiated out from these chakras are called by various names: Od-force, animal magnetism, nerve energy, etc. Egyptian mystics of bygone days called it "Sa-Ankh."
There is an interesting concept concerning the above principle and the Atmic fire. When concentrating and meditating upon the Atma, the higher forces tends to flow more abundantly, and this energy together with the solar, lunar, and earth prana, when imbued upon a substance, such as water, would cause the fluid to be charged with life-essences capable of restoring the sick into wholeness when consumed by them.
This magnetically charged water can be considered as one of the manifestations of the Elixir of lIfe, the Nectar of the gods, or the Universal Panacea. Tantric icons of deities are sometimes depicted as holding a vessel of nectar in their hands. Evidently, a certain law and principle are indicated by this mudra. Practitioners of meditation would do well to experiment holding in their hands a cup of water during meditation and consuming it directly after the meditation session. The result could be invigorating and vivifying to the psycho-biological system, reinforcing the vital forces already present.
Fire is essentially divine, emanating as it does from the godhead. "God is a consuming fire," is a well-known expression to be found in holy scriptures. Fire purifies and accelerates the motion of atomic particles--it increases their vibration. Fire is a creative principle, a divine tool in Shiva's hand, transforming and transmuting matter to spirit, and spirit to matter. Heraclitus considered fire to be the first principle from whence all things owe their existence; by "fire" he meant the Divine fire, the "Scamayim" of the Qaballists that is continuously being outpoured by Ain Sof. The center of this emanation in our solar system is the sun. In man, it is the Monad. This indicates that all that is, is essentially fire.
Man, the Monad, is a spark of Fire from the Great Central Sun; all of Man's principles are fire in lesser manifestation and intensity. A spark of the Monad lies hidden in Man's heart. Fueling this flame with daily devotions of Right Action, Right Thought, Right Speech, meditation and prayer, increases the power, wisdom, and love of the divine nature of Man--this is spiritually represented by the threefold nature of the heart-flame, the fleur-de-lis.
Adepts of alchemy advise their students to work on the Prima Materia with the Internal and External Fire; that is, the fires of the mind, kundalini, Christ substance, sexual energy, prana, and chemical fire. This teaching of master minds reveals that fire manifests in various ways in visible and non-visible worlds. Fire is defined as "an internal activity whose external manifestation are heat and light."
Fire was worshipped in various ancient cultures as a manifestation of the Supreme Being. Initiates of the temples invoked the Divine Fire within their beings in their daily rituals of adoration and esoteric exercises. Alchemy continues the tradition of honoring the fiery principle, however, adding a new dimension to the rites of worship by applying it practically and scientifically.
Mythologically, Prometheus was said to have stolen fire from heaven and given it to primitive man, to the displeasure of the gods, for humankind was not yet ready to use this principle in a creative, unselfish manner. The secrets of Fire was subsequently withdrawn, but not completely, for here and there, the sons (initiates) of those gods came of age and were, consequently, entrusted with the mysteries of fire and were given the authority to wield the force intelligently, wisely, and compassionately for the benefit of all beings.
In nanotechnology, a science still in the theoretical stage, miniature machines on the nano scale are hoped to be realized by future generations. The problem faced by scientist today is the creation of the first nano-machine, a "universal assembler," that would create other machines and parts composing of selected molecules and which would later be programmed to do special work. One of their ideas of developing this nano universal-assembler is to create a tiny assembler in the millimeter scale that would in turn create another assembler of a smaller dimension, and so on until it reaches the nano scale. This technology when realized, has a wide range of application in the fileds of medicine, ecology, and industry. The potential for abuse is also inherent. In a sense this infant science is related to alchemy, for its development is applicable in the art of transmutation and precipitation on the physical level. Using their own terminology, it is the fires of the alchemist's mind that is the "universal assembler."
Fire fascinates and hypnotizes man, almost bearing him away to higher realities, as allegorized by the myth of Zeus in the form of an eagle snatching away Ganymede to the heavens. The closer one approaches God's fiery presence, the more one is cleansed of all karmic sins lodging and ossifying the four lower bodies.
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