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Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997
From: Jim Spigener

On Mon, 18 Aug 97, Diane Munoz wrote:

> The most important component of the Philosopher's Stone is how
> the person who takes it is changed and what they become as a
> result of the change. The wisdom that has settled into the words
> and actions of those who have taken alchemy to its height
> speak for themselves.

Dear Diane,

If possible, would you please talk more about the wisdom, the words and the
actions of the people you refer to in your last sentence? I would like to
know what sort of transformation takes place. In what way is someone wiser?
In what way a better person? If they have transformed themselves into a
philosopher's stone, which I assume is your meaning, how do you think they
feel internally? I ask this not as a challenge, but sincerely. My
connection with alchemy is through my dream work, but I believe they're
geared towards the same end. And I am far from being a philosopher's stone.

Jim Spigener


Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997
From: Gionni Di Gravio

Dear All,

I can understand the reasons for what has transpired here concerning this
thread, it has not been a pleasant experience to watch.

To a certain degree, we all carry with us an "idea" of what the
philosopher's stone is about, perhaps it is what motivates our interest
in alchemy. I wonder how this discussion would have evolved if it
had been conducted as part of the INNER discussion group,
understanding that what someone feels when they have unlocked
mystery, they believe the whole world should know along with them.
Perhaps we should have a return of sorts to the question of what
people believe to be the philosopher's stone. These can be
thoughts, impressions, poems. I don't believe a situation where a
persons words can be used to hang them is anything to be proud of, in
relation to a subject such as alchemy, it is by nature both mysterious
and solid, and so calls for both our analytical and poetic minds to
comprehend in full.

So I'll share with you all what I believe to be the philosopher's stone:

The philosopher's stone is a gigantic crater on the surface of the earth,
made of a dark stone, like basalt, which has been polished smooth over
countless centuries and aeons. Each soul polishes its little bit.

Any other suggestions?

Sincerely,

Gionni Di Gravio


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997

The most profound substance of the universe is consciousness.
To me the greatest mystery of all is that I can be aware of myself.
What is this that is conscious of myself ? What is this that lies
concealed and hidden within myself and knows me , without whom
I would not know myself. What is this ( I am ).

Through this consciousness that the self has of its self , it becomes
conscious of what seems to be outside himself , the world as it is.
Yet as his consciousness of himself changes so does his consciousness
of what seems outside of himself. Is the outside really inside as
consciousness ? Is there such a thing as " the world as it is ", or
is there only consciousness ? What madness ? Is the world at all
or is there only me ? The truth is really that all is as I am conscious
of. " Change your conception and consciousness of the world, and
you will have changed the world ". Is this the art of transmutation ?
If we change our consciousness and our concepts of ourselves we
also change ourselves. So what are we ? Can it be that we are nothing
else but forever changing consciousness ?

To me herein lies the secret of the " Philosophers Stone " . The
invisible aspect of everything and all is consciousness. Consciousness
is truly a living vibratory energy, and the " All " that is seems to participate
in a continuum of consciousness all linked as one. No one thing can change
its consciousness without effecting and changing the consciousness of
all else. In this I believe is the magic of the tincturing effect of the Stone ?
So again, I feel the madness, for I am beginning to believe that there
is nothing we can see and experience that is real. All of this that is
around us is an illusion. Its not real. Nothing is real, not even the heavens
above. They are all conscious energy-stuff of the universe to which our
physical senses and brains assign forms, dimensions and meaning. They
are realities which we create. The only thing which is actual is conscious
energy, the pure essence of being. To me the " Philosopher's Stone ", is
this pure burning ( vibrating ) essence of being and penetrating substance
which , when applied to metals and plants will exalt them. After the complete
unfoldment of our consciousness and its distillation, it becomes a perfect
essence, the very soul of matter. In this manner of speaking, the stone is
truly a substance ( spiritual ) which will impart its nature and perfection to all
things it comes in contact with, beginning with ourselves. Thus to me , this
purest of consciousness essence is also the Elixir of Paracelsus.

I believe that it would be very unwise for me to add more madness to my
already boggled mind by eating or drinking some ergot mushrooms.

Best Regards to All,

Steve Kalec


From: Noel Kettering
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997

Steve Kalec wrote:

> The most profound substance of the universe is consciousness.
> To me the greatest mystery of all is that I can be aware of myself.
> What is this that is conscious of myself ? What is this that lies
> concealed and hidden within myself and knows me , without whom
> I would not know myself. What is this ( I am ).

Yes, Frater Kalec, I share your opinion! I believe that this
consciousness is the Stone.

"Know Thyself", says God, "I AM the Philosopher's Stone".

> Is there such a thing as " the world as it is ", or is there only
> consciousness ? What madness ? Is the world at all or is there
> only me ? The truth is really that all is as I am conscious of.
> " Change your conception and consciousness of the world, and you
> will have changed the world ".

"Know Thyself", says God, "I AM the one thing out of which all
things are made".

Peace be with you,

Noel


Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997
From: Buzz Lange

Waitaminnit..!

>The philosopher's stone is a gigantic crater on the surface of the earth,
>made of a dark stone, like basalt, which has been polished smooth over
>countless centuries and aeons. Each soul polishes its little bit.
>Any other suggestions?

It is an extremely secret, undocumented scientific fact that the
Philosopher's Stone is really highly refined unobtainium,
whose vapors cause endless discourse at the slightest hint of
their discovery. The proof is in these postings.

If ergot were the Stone, Hydergine would be the Elixir, and I
don't think so.

I enjoy the pitch and roll of these messages, and especially
chuckle at the definitive conclusion that started this thread. It's
as if a knuckle were burped in the water aft of the submarine
we're chasing. Our path only widens, and a great fluster arises
as we posture again for the hunt.

There are times, however, that I am convinced that many of us
would rather fluster than hunt.

Cheers,
Buzz.


From: Gaye Strand
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997

Steve Kalec wrote:

> To me the " Philosopher's Stone ", is this pure burning ( vibrating )
>essence of being and penetrating substance
> which , when applied to metals and plants will exalt them.


And because we are multi-dimensional beings we "wear" metals
and plants as our bodies thus interact consciously with these kingdoms.
We respond to and act out as our human being these multi-dimensional
attributes in a kaleidoscope of patterns/ways/behaviours.

Perhaps we can through the process of Know Thyself and all that this
absolutely means, imbue these fields with our consciousness and
therefore 'exalt / modify / re-program' microcosmically?

Best regards,

Gaye


Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997
From: George Leake

>From: Gionni Di Gravio
>To a certain degree, we all carry with us an "idea" of what the
>philosopher's stone is about, perhaps it is what motivates our interest
>in alchemy. I wonder how this discussion would have evolved if it
>had been conducted as part of the INNER discussion group,
>understanding that what someone feels when they have unlocked
>mystery, they believe the whole world should know along with them.
>Perhaps we should have a return of sorts to the question of what
>people believe to be the philosopher's stone.

*perhaps so, but if someone is challenged to back up their ideas, hopefully
they wouldn't treat us with such disrespect as we have just witnessed. Its
annoying enough Shelley insults McLean, but then he won't even justify his
outrageous claims.

*and of course insults take place on more than one level.


> These can be
>thoughts, impressions, poems. I don't believe a situation where a
>persons words can be used to hang them is anything to be proud of,

*nobody's proud of Shelley--this is more a case of "infixo aculeo fugere".


George Leake


From: Adrian Monk
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997

>Gionni Di Gravio wrote:
>The philosopher's stone is a gigantic crater on the surface of the earth,
>made of a dark stone, like basalt, which has been polished smooth over
>countless centuries and aeons. Each soul polishes its little bit.

It might be of interest to you to know that after his reception into
one of the Masonic orders the candidate is given a small white stone
in the shape of a perfect cube, with the instructions to work on it
with the (symbolic) craftsman's tools of that degree and with those
with which he was presented in the previous degrees of Craft masonry.
It is, of course, the inner man which is to be worked on, the rough
edges to be smoothed, the stone to be polished, etc. The symbolism is
clear. I rather liked you imagery above, although as far as Alchemy is
concerned I personally am not a follower of the "Inner" school of
interpretation..

Adrian Monk
Bedford, England


Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997
From: Jeffrey

I think it is a good idea to struggle to formulate our notions of the stone.

I like all the postings in this regard. It is also important to remember
that there are different stones and different levels of the stone, i.e. the
white and the red. Moreover as my studies of alchemy go ever deeper it seems
that the levels at which the stone can be experienced grow ever deeper. I
concur that the stone at one level is the transmuted conscious human being.

But following Jung's notion (Answer to Job) that God is in as much need of
redemption as the human being I believe that the stone is also the Filius,
the son of the Great World, brother of Christ-in short, a transmuted God.

The stone, at the next level, would then be the union of the redeemed human
being and the redeemed God, which forms a third entity that binds the other
two as one. Most of us assume that God is already perfect and our work is
the union with It, but in gnostic alchemy God is, at least in part, trapped
and unconscious. Hence once the first stone is created, the redeemed human
personality, the work of redemption goes on forever, as ever more sparks of
divinity are experienced, purified, and redeemed, being then added together
to the make the living and newly created divinity, the Philospher's Stone.


Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997
From: Bernard Bovasso

Reply to Steve Kalec's letter of Wed, 20 Aug 1997

>To me herein lies the secret of the "Philosophers Stone ".
>The invisible aspect of everything and all is consciousness.
>................
>I believe that it would be very unwise for me to add more
>madness to my already boggled mind by eating or drinking
>some ergot mushrooms.

Steve:

If this is what you conclude in response to Mr. Shelley's
self-promotion and soma-is-all propaganda, your understanding
of the stone is no better than the disfirgurement of consciousness
through the parasitic fungoid growth, ergot, the sclerotium of
*claviceps purpea.* The Lapis, which is hardly a "thing" or material
substance, is more than a hallucinogenic head trip, mind change
or exchange of one variety of consciousness for another, just as the
Hermetic quest for THE REAL is not to be confused forThe Actual.

You do this when you say:

>So again, I feel the madness, for I am beginning to believe
>that there is nothing we can see and experience that is real.
>All of this that is around us is an illusion. Its not real. Nothing is
>real, not even the heavens
>above. They are all conscious energy-stuff....etc.

You apparently have a concept of REAL to be able to say
"nothing is real" or even ask "what is real?" The Real has to do
with Being whereas "things" and "what" have to do with Actuality
and existence. Being, following the tradition that evolved from
Parmenides through Plato, etc. is uncreated, impermeable, and
atemporal. It is thus identified with the Logos and a God concept.
The stone represents the indwelling of Being, its immanence as
the Mercurious. But then the stone would represent that nature
of ourselves that conceals such indwelled potential. The alchemical
quest is to free the Mercurious from the Lapis since it has the
power to transform natures. This is no mere fleeting acid trip, an
halluciongenic excursion, but in effect the REAL THING which is
NO-thing as far as the essence of our lives are concerned (note:
NO-thing is not "nothing" just as The Real cannot be negated by
The Actual)

Sincerely,

Bernard


From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997

Dear Bernard Bovasso,

> your understanding of the stone is no better than the disfirgurement
> of consciousness through the parasitic fungoid growth, ergot, ....

I can only reply that I wouldn't know, I have never taken any
hallucinogens so I can't compare . But thanks for your gracious
Judgment and your merciful swift execution.

> But then the stone would represent that nature
> of ourselves that conceals such indwelled potential.

Is that not what you understood where I said,
" What is this that lies concealed and hidden within myself and
knows me ..... ?

> The Lapis, which is hardly a "thing" or material substance, is more
>than a hallucinogenic head trip, mind change or exchange of one variety
>of consciousness for another,.....

Is that not what you heard where I said,
" To me the " Philosopher's Stone ", is this pure burning ( vibrating )
essence of *(being)* and penetrating substance which , when applied to
metals and plants will exalt them. " -- And --
" In this manner of speaking, the stone is truly a substance *( spiritual )*
which will impart its nature and perfection to all things it comes in contact
with, beginning with ourselves.

> This is no mere fleeting acid trip, an halluciongenic excursion, but in
> effect the REAL THING ...

What did you think I meant when I said, " It would be unwise for me to
eat and drink any ergot mushrooms".... I meant that I would not defile and
pollute the pure essence of consciousness, that it should rather be
alchemically distilled and purified. I really don't understand how you
misunderstood me. Maybe you did not understand my metaphors used as
" madness". It is true that I am not a writer and that my grammar stinks,
but some fellow alchemists in this forum did understand me . However
allow me to apologize if what I meant did not come out as clear. I shall
do my best to be more careful .

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec


Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997
From: Layne Little

Steve,
Could you please give me the source of this quote (page or verse
number if possible):

> " What is this that lies concealed and hidden within myself and
> knows me ..... ?

It is beautiful and seems to betray an element of gnostic influence.

Perhaps you were merely quoting yourself, caught up in the moment's
gnosis. Either way let me know.

Thank you.

Layne



Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997
From: Bernard Bovasso

>> your understanding of the stone is no better than the disfirgurement
>> of consciousness through the parasitic fungoid growth, ergot, ....
>
> I can only reply that I wouldn't know, I have never taken any
>hallucinogens so I can't compare . But thanks for your gracious
>Judgment and your merciful swift execution.


Dear Steve;
I apologize for my heavyhandedness. My tone was uncalled for
regardless how I may have disagreed with your view, or perhaps
read you wrong. What put me off was your conclusion:
"I believe that it would be very unwise for me to add more
madness to my already boggled
mind by eating or drinking some ergot mushrooms."

It just irked me that you appeared to be playing on this fellow
Shelly's own turf and honoring his argument by even considering
the use of ergot as a substitute or equivalent to the meaning
of the Lapis. There is no choice here, wise or unwise, because
there is no comparision.

Yet, this does not mean that psychotropic substances were
unknown to religious, mystical and alchemical practices, however
this fact may be warped to justify someone's literalistic notion
that the Stone is this or that or whatever. I submit to you, and
others on the list who may be interested, the following excerpt
from a book of mine of ten years ago where I discuss this:

HEAVENLY HONEYDEW
(by Bernard X. Bovasso)
Another favorite arcanum for Parcelsus was called Thereniabin,
and which in name is as much related to Chern as Cheyri (theren-
and Chern lean on each other as far as pronounciation goes). Here
we come closer to home with regard to psychotropic and
hallucinogenic substances. Jung observes: "Here Paracelsus lays
particular stress on Thereniabin and Nostoch (as before on Cheyri)
and on the 'tremendous powers' of Melissa. Melissa is singled out
for special honour because in ancient medicine it was considered to
be a means of inducing happiness, and was used as a remedy for
melancholia and for purging the body of 'black, burnt-out blood.'"
Obviously, "Melissa" refers to the blackness as well as Chern.
Again, a black/white polarization is achieved insofar as a
substance called in blackness (Melissa) serves to homeopathically
cure the blackness of melencholia, leading to the whiteness of
"happiness."
In a footnote Jung continues; Thereniabin is "...pinguedo
mannae (the fat or oil of manna), popularly known as honeydew- a
sticky, resinous coating on leaves, with a sweetish taste. This
honey, Paracelsus says, falls from the air. Being a heavenly food,
it assists sublimation. He also calls it 'maydew.'" Then further
amplifying Jung's note, the Editor adds another: "(For a possible
connection between ergot-based honeydew and Coleridge's image in
'Kubla Khan,' see Todd, 'Coleridge and Paracelsus, Paracelsus and
LSD.'" The last four lines of Kubla Khan read:
Weave a circle round him thrice,/ And close your eyes with holy
dread,/ For he on honey-dew hath fed,/ And drunk the milk of
Paradise.

The heavenly dew is not without biblical precedence: "...and in
the morning dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew had gone
up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like
thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground..." (Exodus 16:14). What was
this descended heavenly whiteness? In the context of modernly known
refined narcotics? In the Psalms 78:23; "Yet he commanded the skies
above, and opened the doors of heaven; and he rained down upon them
manna to eat, and he gave them the grain of heaven..." so that "Man
ate of the bread of angels." Does the reference to "grain" imply
the significance of psychotropic ergot as the angel-food? If it
does it has been well expurgated by the early Church Fathers who
realized, as we today begin to suspect, that the problem of drugs
is more abuse than use. In abuse they are valenced toward the
Devil, or the entropic agency that would finalize life and
generation, renounce the womb, and continue in tail-eating erotics
and psychic uroborics.
***
What is striking here is not so much that the old doctors in
the lead of the Old Testament knew about psychotropic substances,
but that the word signatures for such substances remain consistent
through John's Revelation and back to even a greater antiquity. And
in all cases the linguistic roots cher and Chern double in meaning
for "black" as well as "mother" and ultimately as Mr. Wormwood, the
red devil himself. Apparently alchemists and poets took a different
view of the company such substances kept.

The reference to Nostoch, however, if only questionably,
suggests something diabolical, in the sense of Wormwood. Jung
notes: "Nostoch is not, as Bodenstein supposes, a species of fire,
but a gelatinous alga that appears after continuous rain. These
algae are still known as Nostocs in modern botany. It was earlier
supposed that Nostocs fell from the air, or from the stars. (They
are also called star jelly and witches'-butter.) Ruland defines it
as 'a ray or radiation of a certain star, or its offscouring,
superfluity, etc. cast on earth.' Hence, like thereniabin, it is a
sublimating arcanum, because it comes from heaven."
Alarmingly, the above quoted footnote has a familiar ring: And
the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven,
burning as it were a lamp...and the name of the star is called
wormwood... (Rev. 8:10). More so with regard to Jung's reference to
Martin Ruland, who compiled his Lexicon alchemie sive Dictionarium
alchemisticum (Frankfurt a. M., 1612), and with the audacity to
mention the "radiation of a certain star" as if nuclear radiation,
the Johannine star Wormwood, and the Chernobyl event were his
familiars. Jung's Alchemical Studies from which this is gleaned was
copyright in 1967, nineteen years before I took notice of such
coincidences. Certainly I read this work twenty years ago but with
no mind to notice the drug connection. No doubt Jung was speaking
in "low voice" on the subject, now become a roar for myself after
the Chernobyl event. ***
From the sapphire "flower" of the Cabalists to the arcanum
Cheyri of Paracelsus, a plant is indicated wrought in Chern, the
blackness of the unconscious, to the spiritualized byle of
transcendental consciousness, only to be Christianized by John as
Mr. Wormwood himself. But this brings us back full turn to the
"redman." Jung, quoting from the alchemical Tractus Aureus
Hermetis, indicating the overcoming of death by the son: "'...he is
clothed with the red garment, and the purple (chermes) is put on.'"
Jung adds: "He lives from 'our fire,' and nature 'nourishes him who
shall endure forever' with a 'small fire.' When the son is brought
to life by the opus, he becomes a 'warrior fire' or a 'fighter of
fire.'" In a footnote he qualifies: "Bellator ignis is
ambiguous." But not so fast! The "warrior fire" is also
historically revealed as the Red Warrior (the chermes refers to
purple, carmine or a crimson robe, the priestly sacrificial
attire). This leaves more to be said about red Russian heroes long
before the Bolsheviks.
***
Excerpted from *THE WHITENESS.*
Copyright 1987 by Bernard X. Bovasso
Library of Congress TXu 264-337
All Rights Reserved


Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997
From: Steve Kalec

Dear Layne,

> Could you please give me the source of this quote (page or verse
> number if possible):

That was just something that came out from me as I was
trying to express the feeling I have of this deep inner consciousness
that I sense so often. An aspect of awareness through whom I know
myself. This conscience above the ordinary objective level that watches
unceasingly my every move and every thought and from whom I can
never ever hide for he is myself. As I said , to me there is no greater
mystery than the mystery of my being able to be conscious of myself.
Some would say, big deal ! its simple, you have consciousness thats
all. But to me still the mystery exists. What is this inner mirror that my
self sees himself in as a reflection.

Best Regards

Steve Kalec






From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997

Dear Bernard Bovasso,

> your understanding of the stone is no better than the disfirgurement
> of consciousness through the parasitic fungoid growth, ergot, ....

I can only reply that I wouldn't know, I have never taken any
hallucinogens so I can't compare . But thanks for your gracious
Judgment and your merciful swift execution.

> But then the stone would represent that nature
> of ourselves that conceals such indwelled potential.

Is that not what you understood where I said,
" What is this that lies concealed and hidden within myself and
knows me ..... ?

> The Lapis, which is hardly a "thing" or material substance, is more
>than a hallucinogenic head trip, mind change or exchange of one variety
>of consciousness for another,.....

Is that not what you heard where I said,
" To me the " Philosopher's Stone ", is this pure burning ( vibrating )
essence of *(being)* and penetrating substance which , when applied to
metals and plants will exalt them. " -- And --
" In this manner of speaking, the stone is truly a substance *( spiritual )*
which will impart its nature and perfection to all things it comes in contact
with, beginning with ourselves.

> This is no mere fleeting acid trip, an halluciongenic excursion, but in
> effect the REAL THING ...

What did you think I meant when I said, " It would be unwise for me to
eat and drink any ergot mushrooms".... I meant that I would not defile and
pollute the pure essence of consciousness, that it should rather be
alchemically distilled and purified. I really don't understand how you
misunderstood me. Maybe you did not understand my metaphors used as
" madness". It is true that I am not a writer and that my grammar stinks,
but some fellow alchemists in this forum did understand me . However
allow me to apologize if what I meant did not come out as clear. I shall
do my best to be more careful .

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec