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From: Steve Kalec
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997
To: Andre Le Sage
> Would you also agree that these three distillations should be performed at
> the same time?
In my understanding the Alchemical transmutations occur during
and through the projections of the unconscious onto the experiment.
At least an inner attunement should be had with one's outer distillation.
The inner can be performed before and after. It can be performed during
also. I myself have had wonderful experiences in inner practice after the
outer experiment. I have also had projection during my passive attunement
with the outer experiment. Many a times beautiful experiences were realized
well after the outer experiment as in the borderline states in my sleep an
> But in all your correspondence the idea of Death or as you put it
> "Dare to Die", is surely for us the most important, is not the Lady Sophia
> 'Our Lady' the Goddess that bestows wisdom, and might she also
> bestow Death, is this the Philosophical death of Alchemy from which,
> if we are fortunate, she pulls us from and thereby supplying Gnosis.
> "ET IN ARCADIA EGO" I think is the popular phrase, Only in death
> can one find The Garden of Gold Apples.
Yes, the deliciously tempting Red Apples of Desire were our passports
to the realization of matter down the tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden.
Through this death the Golden Apples of the Garden of the Hesperides are
found. The Golden Apples that give immortality to the gods. The Golden apples
of realization of the Spiritual Light become our passport up the Tree of life.
> Death and rebirth are a familiar concept to all here, the question is
>how real is the experience?
Yes , I am very certain that the concept is very familiar and well understood
by the members of this forum. I really hope that my mention of it is not being
understood as an expression of some kind of knowledge on my part. The
only real knowledge I posses is the knowledge of my awesome ignorance .
As to how real is the experience of the Philosophical death I can only
speak for myself. We each have our own Interior and Psychic life and I
believe that we each encounter the mystical death in our own way, in our
own time and in our own degree. I believe that we each die a little in our
psychology every day however everyone of us passes through a greater
Dark Night of the Soul at least once in our lifetime. Again please accept
that I know that the concept is well familiar to all here.
How real is the experience ? In sever cases very real. There are
the most unfortunate souls who never come out of it in this incarnation.
There are those who completely lose their souls as the Zombies of the
Haitian cults of Voodoo. They are the real living dead, who's objective
consciousness is lost and drowned in the collective unconscious and
they are the truly damned.
In my 30th year I have found my Garden of Gethseman. I was in
my 9th degree of the A.M.O.R.C teachings and I remember being very
overwhelmed by some of the higher principles being revealed. During
that period a darkness began to descend upon me. Through time, dark
clouds were hiding the Sun in my inner sky. Gloomy and melancholy
became my life. My whistling of favorite tunes ceased, in fact all music
disappeared. Something in me had left me, a part of me was no longer
there. My joyous happy self was no longer. Then fear started encircling
me, I was actually afraid of myself. I began to feel very evil and demonic
thoughts came into my mind. I fought them but they kept coming back
stronger. I truly feared that I would loose control of myself. I was never
a drug user nor have I abused myself in other ways, my wife couldn't
understand what was happening to me and she shared my suffering.
Many times I would hide from the world and myself by sleeping. I
was down in my hell. I was dead to what I used to be. How real was
this experience ? Like I say, I can only speak for myself and to me
it was very real. I fell into a deep depression and the whole process
lasted a little over a year. Dawn did break almost suddenly and I
remember the glorious day. The phrase " And he leadeth me in the
path of Righteousness for His name's sake " of the 23rd Psalm was
what triggered the Golden Dawn. We all have a key, we all have a truth
to realize. To me that was the most beautiful and potent of all magic
that I needed exactly at the time. I kept repeating the whole Psalm
over and over and every time I felt better and my life was getting brighter
with the grace that was descending over me and dissipating the clouds.
The lost part of me was back. Music and the whistling tunes were back
and I thanked the God of my heart for not abandoning me. I returned to
my studies on a new cycle with a greater appreciation and a praise for
the inner light which I had promised to ever kindle, treasure and nurture
always. I had crossed the valley of the shadow of death .
I dared here to reveal a little of myself on the personal note. This was
the best way that I could express and answer in my own experience as
to " How real is the experience " ?
Please forgive me that this came out so lengthy a message.
From: Andre Le Sage
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997
> In my understanding the Alchemical transmutations occur during
> and through the projections of the unconscious onto the experiment.
> At least an inner attunement should be had with one's outer distillation.
I think it is important not to confuse Distillation with Transmutation or
It is my understanding that these Distillations in the result ability to
Project, the Projection of our inner Spirit or Soul (as the result of inner
Distillation) into the result of our Outer distillations is the final operation
that produces the Stone of Philosophy or the Tincture. So yes I would
agree that Transmutation of the inner Soul is part of that inner distillation
and to some extent there is a Physical Transmutation associated with the
other Distillations, but Transmutation of Base metals and the like
are only accomplished with the completed Stone.
I did not mean to suggest that theses three things are experienced at the
same time or that one would be in a state of Gnosis while attempting to
transfer Vitriol into a retort!
That would never do.
It would be more like cooking three meals at the same time where perhaps
the by-products of one were needed for the others and only after one
was at a certain stage would we have the "experience" to further the
others. But like any good cook all would be ready on the table
together but we might not fetch them from the kitchen at the same time
but together they would form one feast, a feast fit for a King.
> > Death and rebirth are a familiar concept to all here, the question is
> >how real is the experience?
> I really hope that my mention of it is not being
> understood as an expression of some kind of knowledge on my part. The
> only real knowledge I posses is the knowledge of my awesome ignorance .
You and me both.
> How real is the experience ? In sever cases very real. There are
> the most unfortunate souls who never come out of it in this incarnation.
It is possible to find cloaked accounts of the moment of Gnosis spread
throughout the Alchemical writings, allusions to sweet sents etc. Although
easy missed once recognized they do bear a strikingly similar tone. This
leads me to the conclusion that the final Gnosis is accompanied with
the very real experience of Death. We have to make the leap of Faith
and in so doing face Death but once it is faced and behind us it does
not have to be faced again.
> In my 30th year I have found my Garden of Gethseman. I was in
> my 9th degree of the A.M.O.R.C teachings and I remember being very
> overwhelmed by some of the higher principles being revealed. During
> that period a darkness began to descend upon me........ I had crossed
>the valley of the shadow of death .
I have experienced similar to that described above but do not be surprised
if our Death causes your wife to call the paramedic, it will be proceeded by
total fear and the sense of someone standing behind you, you turn it is
death, but death becomes a beautiful Lady, Our Lady, twice is, Pull me
from the mud you cry and she lifts you to greet the Morning Star, etc etc.
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997
From: Belle Hall
Please allow me to concur with what Steve expresses so clearly. While so
much of the inner alchemical study is theory and historical philosophy,
the truth is that inner alchemy can occur on a personal level. My journey
has lead me to more than one deep episode of melancholy, a virtual
My recent studies have lead me to comparing and contrasting the mythos
of christianity, islam, hindi and buddhism which have so far shown me
remarkable similarities. There is in each reference to shadow. I was most
uncomfortable when reading about nirvana, the concept of anonymous void.
It was difficult for me to comprehend as a western female why anyone
would want to "achieve" nothingness?To me that seems blackness forever.
It was when I continued to study and realized that that "bodhisattva"
represents the enlightened one "the one who forgoes nirvana in order to
save others" that perhaps the death was necessary to restore light even
I perhaps am a slower learner than Steve because I have had more than
one inner death miraculously emerging each time.
The point here being that with the very real conclusion of one shadow is
a clear, bright opening ahead that is not feared, but revered.I do not
know if this is necessary for each alchemist, but it seems true for me.
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997
From: Bernard Bovasso
> I dared here to reveal a little of myself on the personal note. This was
> the best way that I could express and answer in my own experience as
> to " How real is the experience " ?
Thank you for sharing that. It is a very valuable statement.