Inner alchemy archives - Gerhardt Dorn

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Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 13:40:48 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

In "Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy" Jung quotes Dorn:
Transmutemini in vivos lapides philosophicos! (Transform yourselves into
living philosophical stones!). [Psychology and Alchemy, Collected Works
vol.12 par.187]

Jung's bibliography gives his source of the Dorn material as 'Theatrum
Chemicum', 1602. Is there an English translation of this work available?

Thank you.

Richard Patz

Date: 23rd Dec 1996
From: Adam McLean

Dorn is magnificent though we cannot really appraise his work as only short selected extracts have been translated into English. I have been trying to find someone to translate a substantial chunk of Dorn but with no luck to date. There is a translation into English of an important work by Dorn in MS Sloane 632 in the British Library:-

'A treatise of John Tritheme, concerninge the spagyricke artifice, exposed and interpreted by Gerrard Dorney', containing the greater part of Dorn's Speculativa philosophia. [The 'Speculative Philosophia', or second part of his 'Clavis totius Philosophiae Chymisticae', was printed in 12mo, Lugd. 1567.]

The handwriting is very difficult, I did try and transcribe some of this during a visit to the British Library earlier this year, but I had to give it up as it was taking far too long to make out the text. Working from a microfilm would be extremely difficult, one would need to work off the original manuscript.

There are some extracts of Dorn in one of Marie-Louise von Franz' books. I will try and transcribe some of these - though it may take a few weeks before I find time to do this.

Adam McLean

From: Adam McLean
Date: 25 Dec 1996

A small extract from Dorn's 'Philosophia speculativa'

This castle of inner truth will destroy many people; it is a cheap thing,
mostly despised and even hated. But one should not hate it, but rather love
it; it is the greatest treasure, it is loving to everybody and hostile to everybody.
You can find it everywhere and practically nobody has ever found it. Change
yourself, the heavenly wisdom says, from dead philosophical stones into living philosophical stones, because I am the true medicine and I change
everything which cannot exist into something eternal. Why are you possessed
by madness? Through yourself but not from you, is everything which you need
and which you wrongly seek outside.

There shines in us, though dimly in darkness, the life and the light of man,
a light which does not come from us, which however is in us, and we must
therefore find it within us. It belongs to Him who has put it into us; we can
find it in Him, in His light. Therefore the truth is not to be looked for in us,
but in the image of God which dwells within us, that is the one thing which
has no second other thing. It is the Being and is in itself the whole of existence.

Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 17:43:37 +0000
From: Br. Athanasius

I think that Mr.Dorn's comments are excellent and cut to the core
of one of the necessary prerequisite forms of knowledge that the
alchemical tradition presupposes, that of a comprehensive tradition,
which include a docrine of man, that is in accordance with the
cosmological presuppostion implicit within the most traditional
alchemic texts. More specically a correct doctrine of knowledge,
as connected to a spiritual anthropology, is absolulely vital
to a more than surface examination of any esoteric doctrine, alchemy
included. A correct epistemology, or more correctly ,a gnoseology,
is supplied by the various traditional contexts in which fruitful
alchemy was employed, Chrisianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. Moreover
there are many simularities in the gnoseologies of the various
traditions, the Nous of the Christ-European tradition has analogs
in the other traditions as well. The Stone of the Alchemic tradition
is analogous to the Nous of the Christian Tradition, and thus
connected to the various other analogs as well. The Nous is the
source of the objective inner illumination of Man. It is considered
as the Heart is the core of Mans being qua Man. It is the hidden
Stone that is the foundation of the Cosmos. " The Stone which the
builder's rejected" of the Scripture's can be glossed in this way.
The "builders" in a certain sense represent the rationalist or the
unillumined reason to be more precise, which rejects the Stone
which represent the higher or solar faculty. The direct faculty by
which we know God.

In Christ,

Brother Athanasius