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The Alchemy Academic Forum 251-300

From August 13th 1996, the Alchemy forum was restructured and the messages were sequentially numbered prefixed with the letter A. This is an unedited extract of messages 251-300.
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Subject: A0251 The works of Geber

From: Adam McLean
Date: 8 Oct 1996

Does anyone possess or have access to a copy of 'The works of Geber' translated by Richard Russell? This was originally printed in 1686, but a modern reprint was issued, edited by E.J. Holmyard in 1928. I do have access to the original edition, in the Ferguson collection, but it is not possible for a photocopy to be made at present. This is an important and influential treatise on physical and philosophical alchemy, and I would like to have this transcribed for the alchemy web site. If someone could provide me with a good quality photocopy of the 1928 edition, then it might be possible for me to scan this text and make it available on the web site.

Adam McLean

Subject: A0252 Rota Solis web site

From: Christian Vanden Berghen
Date: 8 Oct 1996

I am pleased to announce the launch of the new French-language ROTA SOLIS
site, specialising in the fields of spirituality, comparative religion, and
the sciences related to the wisdom tradition such as alchemy. The site
is subtitled, 'Votre Guide pour la Spiritualite Francophone' but contains
some English material as well.

Christian Vanden Berghen
rotasolis@netropolis.be


http://www.iocom.be/rotasolis/

Subject: A0253 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Christian Kiefer
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 09:26:24 -8

Rawn:

Your response to Flamel was very interesting and thought provoking.
A few comments:

> "Meaning" is the very essence of things. It is that which 'things'
> symbolize. So perhaps "meaning" is the medium of Universal communication,
> and is a consequence of the Universal structure, not limited wholly to human
> imputation. Our imputing of meaning is our part, in our conversation, with a
> Universe which speaks to us by imputing its own meaning through the things we
> perceive.

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with this, Rawn, but I'm having a
little trouble with it simply because I'm uncomfortable with the
premise that the term "meaning" can be applied to the Universe
(capital "U" noted). I question this from a standpoint of language.
After all -- isn't "meaning" a human construction and, if so, how can
it be applied to anything but the human? More of this to follow...

> The more we know about ourselves and our individual processes of perception,
> the easier it is to know when a flock of birds is just a flock of birds.

True, but again, if we know how we process, from psychological to
physiological, how much does this really reveal to us about the
"Universal structure" of things? This is not a rhetorical question.

> Our
> minds (and by this, I mean the broad spectrum of human consciousness, not
> just that limited to the physical brain) are capable of self-knowledge,
> giving us (after much labor) the power to discern between the meaning
> communicated by 'other', and the response of 'self'.

I'm not sure it's possible to reach a level whereby one can discern
between the meaning of the "other" and the response of the "self."
Aren't they one and the same in human consciousness, or is this an
ideal (like the satori) that we can strive for but (probably) never
reach?

> At this level, the
> rules of perception are quite different: meaning is communicated more
> directly as the instinctual imputation of meaning is set aside. These
> barriers to direct communication of meaning can be greatly mitigated by the
> intimate knowledge of their nature. This allows one to see through them, as
> it were, to the meaning communicated by the essential Universe.

This sounds like mystical hooey to me, Rawn (but of course, I mean
that in an open-minded, positive way). Is this coming from Eastern
philosophy? I mean Blake said the same thing in the "Marriage of
Heaven and Hell," but do you think that there was an implication
there that the doors of perception could ACTUALLY be cleansed, or was
he just stating the impossibility of reaching that level of
consciousness? It's fine to state that "everything would appear as
it is: infinite," but if humans can't reach that state: 1) how would
Blake or anyone know? and 2) why waste your breath on it?

Again, I'm asking, not criticizing (well, O.K., I'm criticizing, too,
but it's all so darned thought-provoking...).

> Conscious perception of the essential Universe, without the barrier of
> interposed human-meaning, allows one the ability to form a *conscious*
> response. This degree of self-consciousness seems an essential prerequisite
> to a genuine exploration of our Universe. Perhaps it was with this basic
> degree of adepthood that many of the Sages wrote? If so, it may color your
> considerations of "how the alchemists imputed symbolic meaning to their
> empirical observations and experience." Reversing the equation to read: "how
> their empirical observations and experience imputed symbolic meaning to the
> alchemists", proves amusing...and may actually be an equally productive
> meditation.

So what you're saying is that the world presents its own symbolic
meaning if we can view it without all our human filters? Am I on the
right track, or any track at all?

> Thanks for making me think so much!

Ditto, Rawn.

Best,
Christian

Subject: A0254 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Tue, 08 Oct 1996 21:47:03 +0100
From: Maurizio Nicosia

With true interest I have followed Flamel's considerations and
commentaries on the Omega letter of Zosimo, an alchemist whose historical,
philosophical and doctrines we still don't understand fully. I
thought even to ask him a comparison with the John Dee's Monas. Then the
Language of the Birds has orientated us elsewhere.

It is the second time that Flamel, with much kindly appreciations,
draws the edge of my coat on the subject of the Language
of the Birds (A0194 > A0212, A0224 > A0243). Always Flamel listens
with both ears, as well as if, evidently, his recent reflections are
surely previous to the meeting with MASTER CANCHES...

"...whatever stage of psychological development humanity may be in, the
innate pre-existent pattern of causality by necessity manifests itself
in the human attempt to understand our surroundings. I wonder - Flamel
wrote - if this is what Maurizio Nicosia had in mind in his
aforementioned remarks?" Flamel wonders, substantially, if I would think
of causality as "pre-existent pattern in the psyche". I fear I have not
been clear. Maybe too hermetic? I hope that you forgive me.

I didn't think of causality and the "pre-existent pattern in the
psyche", but their surmounting. I thought, moreover, of the difference
between the map and the territory. I didn't think, above all, of the
examples, frankly disconcerting for me, which Flamel proposes maybe as
paradoxes.

Flamel wrote: "my post is a brief reflection on the general problem of
making meaning out of experience and a contemporary illustration using
the 'language of the birds' ... One example: A patient in hospital, one
day watched some sparrows fluttering around outside the ward window. He
asked himself, "what's causing them to be fluttering around like that?"
He decided God was trying to talk to him through the movements of those
sparrows and as he looked at them he thought he got what the message
was. The message was: God wanted to tell him that he's the new messiah.
That's causality operating; he looks at a phenomenon and he's not
content with the idea that's its just random and meaningless, but he
assumes it has to have a meaning, so meaning is imposed on it".

Neglecting the pathological implications, and it would not lack to do so,
this is not an example of the language of birds, but of the delirium of men.

Some years ago, I visited Jupiter's cave in the Idas Mountains in
Crete. At the end of my visit, I drove toward Faistos. On the summit of the
Idas Mountains I thought, with a certain regret, that I didn't see an
eagle. Some seconds later an eagle furrowed the sky scarcely a metre
over my car, exceeding it. I stopped the car and went down. The eagle
had ascending whirling over my car, slowly, regally. Briefly the eagles
became three, then five, composing a 'meaningful' geometrical
pattern... Some minutes later they disappeared from my sight. It had been
a really touching experience, but I never thought to be the new messiah,
nor the reincarnation of Alexander the Great. Nor, may I add, that God
was trying to talk to me. It had been a good 'sign' and I put it aside
for my fine remembrances.

A sign which maybe Jung would index to the antipodes of causality,
that which he called synchronistic, those types of experiences released
from the law of cause and effect.

Surely the causality, according the Flamel's definition, is one and the
first of the "pre-existent patterns in the psyche". After Kant,
Kierkegaard has often repeated that the duty of man is to give meaning,
even to the unmeaningful. The Zarathustra of Nietzsche similarly repeats
that man is the redeemer of casualness. In their philosophy are
two strong aspects which I see are missing in the psychological
approach of Flamel:
1) the choice (in the attribution of meaning)
2) the reaching of a consciousness superior, higher, above reason and the
same ordinary consciousness (the daily dozing), a superior consciousness
literally at the antipodes from unconscious pulsions (promptings).

The 'summa' of Kantism is in Schopenhauer's concept of world as
representation; "When I think about how I find meaning out of my
experience - Flamel wrote - I realize that whatever I perceive from
without or within is a representation or image". Flamel finely
distinguishes representation from image. There are two forms of
representation: percepts, or perceptions, and images. If I observe a
cubic stone, I see only three of six faces, my 'perception' is always
partial. If I think the cube, with his six faces, his eight edges etc.,
in my 'image' there is all, it's total (J.P. Sartre, "L'imaginaire",
chap. I). The report (link) between percept and image slackens itself in the
chance of Tritons triangles, or dissolves in the chance of Plato's
dodecahedrons (well less visibles in nature, not 'perceptibles' if not
from mind).

I thought about the surmounting of perception, and of image, also. Symbols are
images, not percepts. But the symbol of the light is not the light, and
the symbol of materia prima is not materia prima, of course. Symbol is a
'road sign' which indicates the destination. It is a Philo-sophia, not a
Sophia. It is a map, not a territory. When Nature becomes readable,
she becomes a map. And when we have this map between the hands, where do
we go? Toward the territory which the map describes. The alchemists
said so: "to follow the tracks of the Nature".

Until there are representations, perceptions, images or symbols, there
is a subject, there is an object. With my short reflection I searched
for to say that the Language of the Birds is a 'way' to indicate the
experience of the surmounting of the dualism of subject-object. I searched
for to say, also, that it is necessary to break the book, to see
Diana's doves. In conclusion: the Language of the Birds is not a symbol.
It is an experience. Which? What do the birds do?

Flamel wrote: "Should we, like others have done, just condemn their
ideas or dismiss their perceptions as scientifically unfounded, and
therefore just attempt to understand them as strange curiosities in the
history of ideas; or should we resort to metaphysical hypostases to
explain what they said, indeed, as others who have tried to come to
terms with this material have done?"

My answer is implicit in this quotation of Plotinus, who wrote of an
experience, not of a symbol, an experience typical of hermetism: "All men,
till the birth, use senses before the intelligence and in first
place fall into sensible things: some remain with these for all their
life and believe that things are first and last ... These people are
similar to those heavy birds which had much earthliness, and becoming
heavy, aren't able to fly up, but receiving their wings from
Nature ... Others rise not much from the lower, because the best part
of their soul pushes them from pleasure towards the *beautiful*, but not being
able to see the summits, they fall down, toward the practical life ...
And there is a family of divine men who have a greater *vigour*
(virtus) and an acuter sight, with which they see with a penetrating
look the splendour up there, and rise up to the clouds and the
earthly fog..." (Plot., Enn., V 9, 1). These divine men, who have
completed the viaticum, try a new experience: the regeneration. They
live a new birth. Nay: a new birð.

With my best wishes, Your

Maurizio Nicosia
nicosia@sira.it

Subject: A0255 The works of Geber

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 08:37:18 +1000 (EST)
From: Gionni Di Gravio

Dear Adam,

The Works of Geber have recently been republished by Weiser Publishers.

Gionni Di Gravio
ulgd@dewey.newcastle.edu.au

Subject: A0256 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 01:05:43 -0400
From: Rawn Clark

Dear Christian,

>I wouldn't necessarily disagree with this, Rawn, but I'm having a
>little trouble with it simply because I'm uncomfortable with the
>premise that the term "meaning" can be applied to the Universe
>(capital "U" noted). I question this from a standpoint of language.
>After all -- isn't "meaning" a human construction and, if so, how can
>it be applied to anything but the human? More of this to follow...

I use the word meaning to denote "what is expressed". This is different than
"what is understood", understanding being relative and never complete in
communication between separate individuals.

Our perspective as physical beings, is that all non-physical things are less
real than physical things. We compare the astral and mental realities to the
physical, employing physical standards to do so (instead of astral and mental
standards), and conclude that they are symbolic of the physical, substantial
reality. But this is only a product of this particular perspective. From
the astral, and especially, from the mental realms, the conclusions reverse
and it becomes clear that the physical symbolizes the astral and mental.
Both perspectives are half right. Adding the two together reveals a
Universe in which the Above is connected with the Below, through a continuum
of Alikeness.

Idea and thought are the materia of the mental realm. At the more rarified
levels of the mental realm, even the symbols (such as words) we clothe our
ideas and thoughts with, fall away. What is revealed is essential meaning.
This is the root which expresses itself throughout the continuum, all the
way "down" the scale of vibration into physical manifestation. The Above
expresses Itself through the Below (immanence).

So yes, "meaning is the stuff of things"...every physical thing expresses an
inherant, essential meaning. The *communication* of that essential
expression is extremely complex, since it involves self and other.

>> The more we know about ourselves and our individual processes of
>>perception, the easier it is to know when a flock of birds is just a flock
of birds.
>
>True, but again, if we know how we process, from psychological to
>physiological, how much does this really reveal to us about the
>"Universal structure" of things? This is not a rhetorical question.

Just understanding our nature, in and of itself, does little unless it is
actively applied to the nitty gritty level of our personal perceptions and
communication. When applied there, it (knowing how we process) is a tool
with which we can discriminate between an observed
essential-expression-of-meaning, and our instinctual responses through which
we usually filter the Universe.

These instinctual processes of perception do not just disappear; instead,
they are set aside. They still occur, but do not consume the conscious
awareness in their activity. One's conscious awareness is focused upon the
essential-meaning-expressed -- separate from the known processes of self.

Nor are the results of the known-processes-of-self discarded. The
information they provide, when compared to one's unfiltered perception, is
very telling in terms of furthering one's self-understanding. This
information speaks with a voice of its own, expressing its own meaning as
well.

At any rate, knowing ourselves is the first step in learning about the
external Universe. Applying this knowledge internally allows us a clearer
picture of the essential Universe, simply because it allows us to
*consciously* distinguish between self and other.

Another aspect of my answer to your question, is that our internal mechanisms
of perception are a part of Nature. They reflect the whole of Nature in the
same way that anything else does. Their study, and especially the practical
application of what one learns, invariably adds to one's understanding of
Nature's ways (Universal structure).

"How much does this really reveal to us..." is a question no one can truly
answer for another. For me personally, following this philosophy works,
producing results which are personally satisfying. I recommend it to others,
and know a few other practitioners for whom it is an equally fruitful
approach.

>I'm not sure it's possible to reach a level whereby one can discern
>between the meaning of the "other" and the response of the "self."
>Aren't they one and the same in human consciousness, or is this an
>ideal (like the satori) that we can strive for but (probably) never
>reach?

I assure you that it is indeed quite possible to reach such a level of
self-consciousness, though there are probably very few who can maintain such
a level indefinately. My experience has been that at first this level of
mentation was only touched upon briefly and fleetingly. Slowly, over time
and with disciplined practice, I have been able to increase my clock-time in
this state, and render it a reliably accessible state.

>This sounds like mystical hooey to me, Rawn (but of course, I mean
>that in an open-minded, positive way).

;-) It is mystical (at least my particular phrasing of it makes it seem so),
and at the same time quite practical. It is not hooey to me.

>Is this coming from Eastern philosophy?

This is coming from my understanding of my experience. Hermetic philosophy
and Qabbalah in particular, have greatly influenced me.

>I mean Blake said the same thing in the "Marriage of
>Heaven and Hell,"

Sorry, I haven't read this. My official education ended with highschool (in
the USA, that means I missed out on Blake), and everything since then has
been selective self-education...I seem to have left out so much.

>So what you're saying is that the world presents its own symbolic
>meaning if we can view it without all our human filters? Am I on the
>right track, or any track at all?

Right track...take this turn: the world presents its own symbolic meaning,
regardless of if or how we view it. We have the option of peering around our
instinctual filters, instead of looking exclusively through them.

>> Thanks for making me think so much!
>
>Ditto, Rawn.

And ditto to your ditto!

Best to you,
Rawn Clark

Subject: A0257 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 09:17:44 -0500
From: George Leake

>>flamel wrote
>>The basic idea is that the mind, by the necessity of its very structure, must
>>impute meaning to its experience. This hypothesis, if true, has important
>>implications in understanding how the alchemists imputed symbolic meaning to
>>their empirical observations and experience.

>From: Rawn Clark
>"Meaning" is the very essence of things. It is that which 'things'
>symbolize. So perhaps "meaning" is the medium of Universal communication,
>and is a consequence of the Universal structure, not limited wholly to human
>imputation. Our imputing of meaning is our part, in our conversation, with a
>Universe which speaks to us by imputing its own meaning through the things we
>perceive.

*the flaw here is nobody I know can know truly my thoughts or anyone
else's--who are we to judge whether "meaning" can be a medium of Universal
communication? Perhaps within the confines of one's own temple walls,
perhaps.

[snip]

>Conscious perception of the essential Universe, without the barrier of
>interposed human-meaning,

*wait--what exactly do you mean here? Can there be perception without
consciousness(i.e. the interposing of human-meaning, as it were)? Perhaps
you mean among living things other than humans? Or as recorded on a video
camera perhaps? And I have no idea what you mean by an "essential
Universe". Do you mean the perceived universe from a human perspective but
say without interpretation?

allows one the ability to form a *conscious*
>response. This degree of self-consciousness seems an essential prerequisite
>to a genuine exploration of our Universe. Perhaps it was with this basic
>degree of adepthood that many of the Sages wrote? If so, it may color your
>considerations of "how the alchemists imputed symbolic meaning to their
>empirical observations and experience." Reversing the equation to read: "how
>their empirical observations and experience imputed symbolic meaning to the
>alchemists", proves amusing...and may actually be an equally productive
>meditation.

*this brings us back to the definition of magic--to extend this
thought--perhaps the same data gets perceived differently when the recorder
has his tuner adjusted differently.


George Leake
taliesin@mail.utexas.edu

Subject: A0258 Works of Geber

From: Adam McLean
Date: 9 oct 1996

My thanks to those subscribers who have pointed out to me that the Richard Russel translation of The Works of Geber is available in a Weiser reprint. Consequently, as it is easily available, I do not think that there is any need at present to produce a transcription for the web site.

Adam McLean

Subject: A0259 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Christian Kiefer
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 09:32:18 -8


Rawn:

On meaning:
> I use the word meaning to denote "what is expressed". This is different than
> "what is understood", understanding being relative and never complete in
> communication between separate individuals.

O.K.

> Our perspective as physical beings, is that all non-physical things are less
> real than physical things.

And this could also be applied to "conscious" and "non-conscious" beings
(humans compared to bugs) and "animate" and "inanimate" beings
(humans compared to, say, rocks -- although some humans I know are
dull as rocks so perhaps this is a bad example).

> We compare the astral and mental realities to the
> physical, employing physical standards to do so (instead of astral and mental
> standards), and conclude that they are symbolic of the physical, substantial
> reality. But this is only a product of this particular perspective. From
> the astral, and especially, from the mental realms, the conclusions reverse
> and it becomes clear that the physical symbolizes the astral and mental.

Perhaps, but this takes the quantum leap in assuming that what is
real is not necessariliy the physical plane. I'm not saying that
you're not correct here, Rawn, but geez you could write a whole 15
volume set on the "reality" of the astral (dreams, thoughts, etc.)
and the physical. Very, very interesting concept that the physical
symbolizes the astral and mental, though -- and I guess it's right in
keeping with the idea that the world is just a representation of the
mind -- i.e., this is all a dream, you're all in my head, how can I
stop the voices, why am I am this straightjacket, I want my mommy!

Sorry. Slipped a little. But I'm back now.

> Both perspectives are half right. Adding the two together reveals a
> Universe in which the Above is connected with the Below, through a continuum
> of Alikeness.

I like it, but how can be reconcile the two. The seem, after all, to
be opposites. Certainly the astral can't represent the physical
while the physical represents the astral -- or do you have a theory
on the possibility of this?

> Idea and thought are the materia of the mental realm. At the more rarified
> levels of the mental realm, even the symbols (such as words) we clothe our
> ideas and thoughts with, fall away. What is revealed is essential meaning.
> This is the root which expresses itself throughout the continuum, all the
> way "down" the scale of vibration into physical manifestation. The Above
> expresses Itself through the Below (immanence).

Sorry, but I don't follow. I realize that there is alot of talk
about this "rarified level of the mental realm" where all is
infinite, etc., etc., but I've never entirely bought into it. That
is: I realize that everything is connected, etc. and have had a
religious experience of two, mostly when dangling over a crevasse on
some lost frozen mountain somewhere, but what you seem to be saying
is that if all the symbolic & mythological trappings of our mind are
allowed to depart what we will then perceive of the physical world
will be TRUE and infinite. If this is true, then it is still the
physical world being filtered through the consciousness: even if "the
doors of perception" are wiped clean.

> So yes, "meaning is the stuff of things"...every physical thing expresses an
> inherant, essential meaning. The *communication* of that essential
> expression is extremely complex, since it involves self and other.

Same comment as above, and I'm still not convinced that all "stuff"
expresses something. This seems to denote intent, God, or something
else. Yes?

> Just understanding our nature, in and of itself, does little unless it is
> actively applied to the nitty gritty level of our personal perceptions and
> communication. When applied there, it (knowing how we process) is a tool
> with which we can discriminate between an observed
> essential-expression-of-meaning, and our instinctual responses through which
> we usually filter the Universe.

I'll buy that.

> These instinctual processes of perception do not just disappear; instead,
> they are set aside. They still occur, but do not consume the conscious
> awareness in their activity. One's conscious awareness is focused upon the
> essential-meaning-expressed -- separate from the known processes of self.

I'll buy that too. (Soon I'll be out of cash, though, you you'd
better not say anything else I agree with or I'll have to take out a
loan.)

> Nor are the results of the known-processes-of-self discarded. The
> information they provide, when compared to one's unfiltered perception, is
> very telling in terms of furthering one's self-understanding. This
> information speaks with a voice of its own, expressing its own meaning as
> well.
> At any rate, knowing ourselves is the first step in learning about the
> external Universe. Applying this knowledge internally allows us a clearer
> picture of the essential Universe, simply because it allows us to
> *consciously* distinguish between self and other.

Yeah, O.K., although doesn't any distinguishing between self and
other block that whole view of the essential meaning of the Universe
you were talking about earlier: i.e., isn't one of the points of such
a view that the self is part of, and therefore intisguishable from,
that "meaning"?

> Another aspect of my answer to your question, is that our internal mechanisms
> of perception are a part of Nature. They reflect the whole of Nature in the
> same way that anything else does. Their study, and especially the practical
> application of what one learns, invariably adds to one's understanding of
> Nature's ways (Universal structure).

Exactly my question re: the self and the other.

> "How much does this really reveal to us..." is a question no one can truly
> answer for another. For me personally, following this philosophy works,
> producing results which are personally satisfying. I recommend it to others,
> and know a few other practitioners for whom it is an equally fruitful
> approach.

Actually, Rawn, the whole thing sounds not unlike my own personal
philosophy. I think we're just arguing about how to describe it but
I think it all works out. Be it zazen, Qabbalah, or cat juggling,
we're all just trying to get more connected to this big, blood-filled
rock.

> >I'm not sure it's possible to reach a level whereby one can discern
> >between the meaning of the "other" and the response of the "self."
> >Aren't they one and the same in human consciousness, or is this an
> >ideal (like the satori) that we can strive for but (probably) never
> >reach?
>
> I assure you that it is indeed quite possible to reach such a level of
> self-consciousness, though there are probably very few who can maintain such
> a level indefinately. My experience has been that at first this level of
> mentation was only touched upon briefly and fleetingly. Slowly, over time
> and with disciplined practice, I have been able to increase my clock-time in
> this state, and render it a reliably accessible state.

I'm impressed. Are you going to start a center ala the Bagwan Shree
Rasneesh? Don't mind me -- just being a facitious bastard. Really,
if you can achieve this state on a regular basis I'm very much
impressed. Do you use meditation --- ?

> >This sounds like mystical hooey to me, Rawn (but of course, I mean
> >that in an open-minded, positive way).
>
> ;-) It is mystical (at least my particular phrasing of it makes it seem so),
> and at the same time quite practical. It is not hooey to me.

I'm glad.

> >Is this coming from Eastern philosophy?
>
> This is coming from my understanding of my experience. Hermetic philosophy
> and Qabbalah in particular, have greatly influenced me.

Areas where I lack, I'm afraid -- hence why I joined this discussion
group.

> >I mean Blake said the same thing in the "Marriage of
> >Heaven and Hell,"
>
> Sorry, I haven't read this. My official education ended with highschool (in
> the USA, that means I missed out on Blake), and everything since then has
> been selective self-education...I seem to have left out so much.

Blaahahhahah what? You haven't read Blake? Tisk tisk. Read it,
Rawn. It's about precisely what you've been talking about. If I can
find it on the net I'll E-mail it to you.

> >So what you're saying is that the world presents its own symbolic
> >meaning if we can view it without all our human filters? Am I on the
> >right track, or any track at all?
>
> Right track...take this turn: the world presents its own symbolic meaning,
> regardless of if or how we view it. We have the option of peering around our
> instinctual filters, instead of looking exclusively through them.

I'm turning, but it's a long train and the coal smoke makes the sky
black.

Best wishes,
Christian

Subject: A0260 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Adam McLean
Date: 9 Oct 1996

I noted some of the discussions (between Rawn Clark and Christian Kiefer, and between Maurizio Nicosia and Flamel) concerning symbols and perceptions, and the way the human mind imposes meaning upon experiences. Here is a short account, I discovered today, by the alchemist and doctor Johann Baptista van Helmont, of a vision he had of his soul. His reaction to this perhaps reveals something of his pragmatism and ability to face up to the realities of his vision. After having a profound experience of seeing his soul in a mystic rapture, he eventually realises that he must put his faith rather in his mind and his intellectual thinking.

Adam McLean

---------------

In the year 1610, after a long weariness of contemplation, that I might acquire some gradual knowledge of my own mind, since I was then of opinion, that self-cognition was the complement of wisdom, fallen by chance into a calm sleep, and rapt beyond the limits of reason, I seemed to be in a hall sufficiently obscure. On my left hand was a table, and on it a fairly large vial, wherein was a small quantity of liquor: and a voice from that liquor spoke unto me: "Wilt thou honour and riches?" At this unwanted voice, I became surprised with extreme amazement. I walked up and down, seriously considering with myself, what this should design. By and by, on my right hand, appeared a chink in the wall, through which a light invaded my eyes with unwanted splendor: which made me wholly forgetful of the liquor, voice and former counsel. Then pensively returning to the vial, I took it away with me; and attempted to taste the liquor, but with tedious labour I opened the vial, and assaulted with extreme horror I awakened.

But my ancient intense desire of knowing the nature of my soul, in which I had panted incessantly for thirteen whole years together, constantly remained with me. At length, amidst the anxious afflictions of various afflictions of various fortunes, when yet I hoped a Sabbath of tranquillity from the security of an innocent life transacted, in a vision I had the sight of my soul. It was a transcendent light, in the figure of a man, whose whole was homogenous, actively discerning, a substance spiritual, crystalline, and lucent by its own native splendor. But enshrined it was in a second nebulous part, as the husk or exterior cortex of itself, I could hardly distinguish, by reason of the superlative fulgor of the crystalline spirit enshrouded within it. Yet this I could easily discern, that there was no sexual impress, but only in the cortex or shrine. But the mark of the crystal was light ineffable, so reflexed, that the crystal image itself became incomprehensible: and that not by negation or privation (since these terms only accommodate to our imbecility) otherwise than this, that it presented a majestic Ens, which cannot be expressed by words; yet so finely, that you could not have comprehended the quiddity of the thing beheld. And then it was revealed unto me, that this light was the same, which I had glimpse of twenty three years before.

And these things I saw by an intellectual vision in my mind; for had the eye of my body once beheld this resplendent excessive object, it would for ever after have ceased from vision, and constantly have celebrated a blind man's holy day. And thus my dream discovered unto me, that the beauty of the human soul doth far transcend all conception of thought.

At that instant I comprehended thus much, that my long desire of seeing my soul was vain and fruitless; and thereupon I did acquiesce. For however beautiful the crystalline spirit did appear; yet my soul retained nothing of perfection from that vision, as at other times she was wont to do after an intellectual vision. And so I came to be instructed, that my mind, in this somnial vision, had as it were acted the part of a third person; nor was the discovery sufficiently satisfactory to compensate so earnest and insatiate a desire of exploration.


van Helmont, Johan Baptista. A ternary of paradoxes. London, 1650.

Subject: A0261 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Christian Kiefer
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 12:41:30 -8

Rawn:

The William Blake I was referencing is:

-------------------

The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the
end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard from Hell. For the
cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard
at tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be
consumed, and appear infinite, and holy whereas it now appears finite
& corrupt. This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual
enjoyment. But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his
soul, is to be expunged: this I shall do, by printing in the infernal
mehtod, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal,
melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was
hid. If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear
to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees
all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

--------------------------------------------

This is one paragraph out of a book-length poem called "The Marriage
of Heaven and Hell." If you want to chat about it, best to do so
outside of the Alchemy group as I think we'll be deviating off the
topic.

Best,
Christian
ckiefer@csus.edu

Subject: A0262 Condolences

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 96 14:13 NZST
From: Pat Zalewski

I have just heard that the wife of well known alchemist, Hans Nintzel, has
passed on after a long illness. I am sure that many of us here that know
Hans, would wish to pass on their condolences to Hans, along with best wishes
and support for the future from many members of the forum.

Pat Zalewski

Subject: A0263 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 00:17:02 -0400
From: KEEPERH2O

I have thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue between Rawn Clark and Christian
Kiefer, and others... I thought I would inject something here since I have
learned something recently that may have some obtuse bearing on the subject
matter -- May I apologize in advance if this has already been noted by
another: There is a tribe existant on the Arabian Penninsula, in Oman, that
stradles the ancient caravan route through the country of the Uberites.
These people claim to be descendants of those who were the contemporaries of
Egyptians, Babalonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. They still gather the
frankincense resin in the old way. In those days the resin was in such
demand that it was equal in value with gold. Thus the Roman desigantion of
"Arabia Felix" (Fortunate Arabia) to this wealthy land. The language these
people speak today is known by their neighbors as, "The Language of the
Birds."

An aside. In his recent post, Christian Kiefer tells Rawn,

>I like it, but how can be(we) reconcile the two.(?) The(y) seem, after
>all, to be opposites. Certainly the astral can't represent the physical
>while the physical represents the astral -- or do you have a theory on the
>possibility of this?

I see astral and physical bodies not as opposites at all but rather a
continuum from subtle to denser vibration.

Keeper

Subject: A0264 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: greg
Date: 9 Oct 1996 22:17:18 PDT

Flamel,
>...the innate pre-existent pattern of causality by necessity
>manifests itself in the human attempt to understand our surroundings.

I think that the phrase: "the innate pre-existing pattern of
causality" is inherently corraling the perception of experience into
a one sided view. While I believe that patterns exist that are
indeed pre-existent, they may not necessarily manifest as a result
of cause-and-effect relationship.
Doesn't the attitude of the subject take part in the
characterization of the experience as causal or non-causal? I mean
if one is looking for causes, there's usually some "hook" around to
hang one on.. (usually outside oneself).

>One example: A patient in hospital, one day watched some sparrows
>fluttering around outside the ward window. He asked himself,"what's
>causing them to be fluttering around like that?" He decided God was
>trying to talk to him through the movements of those sparrows and as
>he looked at them he thought he got what the message was. The
>message was: God wanted to tell him that he's the new messiah.
>That's causality operating; he looks at a phenomenon and he's not
>content with the idea that's its just random and meaningless, but
>he assumes it has to have a meaning, so meaning is imposed on it.

Are these the choices, pathology or meaninglessness? What if the
patient's response was to something actual, that there was something
in him--a feeling perhaps--that this experience was connecting to,
but being ill, his interpretation was off "the deep end."

Rawn Clark said:
>Thanks for making me think so much!

I second that emotion.

Christian:
>Perhaps, but this takes the quantum leap in assuming that what is
>real is not necessarily the physical plane.

"Quantum leap" is just about right. Have you had a look lately
at what quantum physicists are saying about mind and matter? Try
"The Dreaming Universe" by Fred Alan Wolf.

Greg
greg@myboard.com

Subject: A0265 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Christian Kiefer
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 15:12:19 -8

Adam & Co.:
> I noted some of the discussions (between Rawn Clark and Christian Kiefer,
> and between Maurizio Nicosia and Flamel) concerning symbols and perceptions,
> and the way the human mind imposes meaning upon experiences. Here is a short
> account, I discovered today, by the alchemist and doctor Johann Baptista van
> Helmont, of a vision he had of his soul. His reaction to this perhaps
> reveals something of his pragmatism and ability to face up to the realities
> of his vision. After having a profound experience of seeing his soul in a
> mystic rapture, he eventually realises that he must put his faith rather in
> his mind and his intellectual thinking.

Great quote & right in line with what Rawn & I have been discussing.
Thanks for sharing. It's always an interesting paradox when we
intellectually discuss throwing out the intellect!

Best,
Christian

Subject: A0266 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 16:09:23 -0400
From: Flamel

I appreciated the responses so far that have been made to this thread. Let
me try to clarify what I wrote and still remain within the scope of the
Alchemy Forum. I apologize if my lack of clarity led to some
misunderstandings of what I was trying to communicate.

My main point was an attempt to come to terms with what the old masters wrote
about their experience in observing their flasks. How did they arrive at the
meaning of what they saw was the question I posed. How did they come to
understand those extraordinary images we find in their texts? My hypothesis
was that all acts of apperception are influenced by the pre-existent
form-patterns of the human mind, that is, instinctual forms of mental
functioning - forms, not contents. The example I tried to use to demonstrate
my hypothesis was *one* of the form-patterns, that is, my reference to
causality. Certainly this was one of the most important ways the alchemists
imputed meaning to their empirical observations. I did not say this was the
only category of human understanding.

I tried to briefly elucidate what causality was and to explain, all to
briefly, about the distinction between my perception of a "real" object and
its corresponding internal representation or image. I confessed that my
subjective image is only grossly identical with the object. The difference
between image and real object shows that the mind, apperceiving the object,
alters it by adding or excluding certain details. The image therefore is not
entirely caused by the object; it is also influenced, I hypothesized, by
certain pre-existent psychic conditions which we can correct only partially.
The example I gave of the obvious pathological case and the taking of the
auspices in ancient Rome, part of the collective operations of the State, was
only to demonstrate how the very same procedure may operate in two
dissimiliar contexts, both showing how the premise of causality can be built
into the human mind.

In thinking about how the alchemists understood some of their observations,
the premise of causality, by necessity of the very structure of the human
mind, imputes a meaning to its experience. Causality is the principle
whereby an event is understood to be a necessary consequence of a prior
event, producing a sense of orderly, meaningful sequence to a chain of
circumstances. For instance, a cause may be either mechanical or
intentional. If one pushes a switch, the computer will go off. The
mechanical or efficient cause would be that the circuit is broken by pushing
the switch. The intentional or final cause would be that I am leaving the
office and I don't want to leave my computer on. These are two different
modes of causality. What I was suggesting was that causality was one example
of a pre-existent form-pattern. That just means that the mind is so
constructed that the events it encounters must be conceived as meaningful,
since causality has at its root the supposition of meaning - that is, events
are not arbitrary, random or disconnected. Every occurrence must have a
reason to exist, according to the pre-existent pattern of causality built
into the human mind.

I also mentioned the disease malaria as an example of what I was attempting
to get at. This disease entity, with its symptoms of cyclical episodes of
chills and fever, has been observed since earliest times. Primitives, in
keeping with all human beings - having causality built in - sought a cause of
this illness - they attributed it to possession by an evil spirit. The
ancients noticed that this disease occurred after people visited dank, swampy
regions of bad air - they called it the "bad air" disease. Moderns, with the
aid of a microscope and the scientific method, have discovered that this
disease is caused by a plasmodium, a pathogenic protozoa carried by
mosquitoes, to which we attribute the cause of the disease. This is probably
not the end of the matter. There will be other causes and meanings
discovered to take into account the reality of the mind with its pre-existent
form-pattern of causality which will provide meaning in attempting to
understand one's surroundings.

We all do the same thing relative to our own contexts all the time. For
instance, suppose I consult a mantic oracle, such as the *I Ching.* I toss
the coins after meditating on my question. I am looking for the intentional
cause of a particular mood or situation, for its meaning. And I discover
that meaning in the particular arrangement of the coin toss. In other words,
I am suggesting that meaning is a requirement built into our very structure.

If this hypothesis is true, one way to understand what the alchemists have
written is to examine the psychic form-patterns they have imputed to their
descriptions by adducing analogous descriptions from course of human cultural
history. This methodology is the well-known method of comparative anatomy.
Of course, this method cannot be used uncritically. In dealing with
historical texts it is absolutely essential to know the language and the
whole available tradition of the milieu in question and not to adduce
meanings from a later cultural milieu. This can be done when, and only when,
the meaning has been sufficiently well established with the help of methods
warranted by the historical milieu itself. Only then may we adduce for
comparison amplifications from other times and places, but under no
circumstances can we use them to explain the text. One cannot be cautious
enough in this regard.

Hoping I have clarified my previous post,

flamel
flamel@aol.com

Subject: A0267 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Christian Kiefer
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 14:47:27 -8

Keeper

> Thus the Roman desigantion of
> "Arabia Felix" (Fortunate Arabia) to this wealthy land. The language these
> people speak today is known by their neighbors as, "The Language of the
> Birds."

Great & interesting connection. Thanks for sharing.

> An aside. In his recent post, Christian Kiefer tells Rawn,
>
>>I like it, but how can be(we) reconcile the two.(?) The(y) seem, after
> all, to be opposites. Certainly the astral can't represent the physical
> while the physical represents the astral -- or do you have a theory on the
>> possibility of this?
>
> I see astral and physical bodies not as opposites at all but rather a
> continuum from subtle to denser vibration.

Can you explain this a bit, Keeper? I don't quite follow. And
thanks for reminding me that I need to re-read what I write or els my
speeling gits mad.

Christian

Subject: A0268 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Wed, 09 Oct 1996 06:20:37 -0500
From: Logodox

Had seen this referenced in a few places years ago. Remember reading about the
flight of a large group of birds seemingly inexplicable in its motions as a
"single" thing. "Complex Emergent Properties" (not my phrase) are observed
when many small parts contribute to an effect and the "whole" of the effect
is not yet explainable by science as a result of the known parts. For example,
consciousness is considered a CEP of the nervous system. Many of the
smaller creatures in the animal and insect worlds exhibit CEP's.

Has anyone related the Language of the Birds to the "correspondence" principle of the middle ages ?
All things are interconnected at a very subtle level, so it went. This idea
went out of fashion long ago but has reemerged due to 20th century
theoretical physics. It does follow that if there is a universal
correspondence between all things, that a state of awareness could be
achieved in which the (subtle) correspondences could be known between
(seemingly) unrelated phenomena.
This is not to support the person having Christ or Satan syndrome's idea
that the fluttering birds are a message specially to him...

The "spiritual" alchemical texts are fairly consistent (if one can correlate
the various symbols) in advocating a universal and omnipresent "BEING" which
is eclipsed by our dragons of self and is actually achieved in consciousness
only when the eye of mind is turned inward so that "light" can meet "light"
and become ONE in the IDENTIC experience.

Meaning can only be assumed to be a subjective view condionated by the level of
perceptual ability. Meaning could only be existent in and expressible by
"physical" objects when their level of complexity reaches the organizational
level of consciousness. No matter what I mentally "project" as "out there"
it is still really "in here" (in my mind). I know, some will say out there
and in here are really the same place. THEY ARE ONLY THE SAME PLACE
WHEN ONE HAS ATTAINED BUDDAHOOD, or as alchemists put it THE
MAGNUM OPUS in awareness.

Birds have voice but not speech. Many animals display patterns of
recognition of subtle forces that humans are not aware of. When the
Language of the Birds is perceived, it is done through the heightened
awareness of the sage...not necessarily as an intrinsic state of the birds
themselves.

logodox@worldnet.att.net

Subject: A0269 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

From: Adam McLean
Date: 10 Oct 1996

Logodox states:
>The "spiritual" alchemical texts are fairly consistent (if one can correlate
>the various symbols) in advocating a universal and omnipresent "BEING" which
>is eclipsed by our dragons of self and is actually achieved in consciousness
>only when the eye of mind is turned inward so that "light" can meet "light"
>and become ONE in the IDENTIC experience.

I am not sure if this generalisation is true. Although it is easy to make generalisations about aspects of alchemy, I find that they rarely provide us with tools to unlock or get closer to alchemy. I believe that in order to grasp what a particular alchemist intended in his writing we have to read each text in its context, against the background of the ideas which the alchemist was exposed to. It is extremely unlikely that Buddhist ideas, for example, were available to 17th century alchemists, so it will probably be counter-productive to read this into their texts.

I am not sure I understand what 'Identic' means. It is only mentioned in my dictionary as a form of 'identical' which doesn't make sense to me here. The language of the birds has defeated me again.


Adam McLean

Subject: A0270 Helmont's vision

From: greg
Date: 10 Oct 1996 21:32:48 PDT

Some reflections on the account of alchemist and doctor
Johann Baptista van Helmont:

The containing vessel / vial at his left hand represents his
earthly existence. Out of the darkness of the liquor comes a
voice (feminine?) offering him the possibility of honour and
riches, but at what price? He paces the hall disturbed at this
unwanted intrusion, this introduction to the chthonic aspect of
nature.

At his right hand rises the containing wall of the hall, another
feminine symbol, but this is pierced with the light of the pure
fleshless spirit. Dazzling him with its brilliance, he is
momentarily overcome and forgets the voice. Or does he.
Distracted he returns to the vial, its temptation and promise of
glory. In his passion to possess the promised riches, he struggles
to open the vial intending to taste the dark liquor but then he
stops in horror at the act he is about to commit...

Not able to escape his passionate desire to know the dark
feminine he laments his condition. As he hopes for respite
from life's recurring afflictions and feels that he is living
as best he can a vision of his spiritual nature appears.
This personification of homogenous spiritual stuff is made up of
a luminous crystalline substance. As crystal is formed out of
a pre-existing pattern, so too did he recognize that this light
had been known to him before.

His saving grace comes when he does not identify with this
vision. Had he done so, he "...would for ever after have ceased
from vision". In other words, this identity would have blinded him
to his own real existence as a man. He would instead have seen
himself as a godlike figure of some perfection.

Perhaps he recognized that his soul contained something of the
chthonic aspect of his dream, and was not transformed by this
spirit of pure light. That would be left to the work.

Greg
greg@myboard.com

Subject: A0271 General questions on alchemy

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 02:27:39 -0400
From: Flamel


On 7 Oct 1996, George wrote, in response:

>>>From: skmackie
>Sheryl wrote-->
> I have a friend who thinks that the activities of the alchemist are
>used mainly to keep the mind busy and out of the way so that spiritual
>development can occur.

George responds:
>that's quite interesting. In alchemy and related arts, it
>seems that the physical aspects of the work at times are meditative in
>nature. Then again, I've heard some who advocate the opposite position,
>i.e., you want to keep the mind clear and/or focussed on certain physical
>transformations. One thing that's clear: its difficult to generalize. I
>wonder what Flamel thinks.


Flamel puzzles himself with the space between the opposites of spiritual and
physical, the realm of caelum and white foliated earths. Flamel thinks of
the Zen tale: A question is asked, "Who discovered water?" The answer to
the question is, "I don't know who discovered it, but I know who did not
discover it - the fish."

This is one of those tales that kind of grows on one. Every time you reflect
on it you get new levels of meaning.

One level of meaning for me is that the whole history of alchemy can be
subsumed under the rubric of its all being data for a psychological
understanding. This is a kind of Copernican revolution that for the first
time allows us to see objectively the autonomous psyche and the way it
manifests itself in history, specifically, in the literature of alchemy.
However, as the Zen tale makes clear, as long as one is in identification
with the psyche, then its not visible to that individual, and one has to find
an Archimedean point outside of it before it can be seen, much in the same
way Copernicus had to transport himself off the earth before he could
discover the fact that the sun didn't revolve around the earth, but that the
earth revolved around the sun.

A bunch of fish listening to a lecture on the nature of water aren't going to
get it. We are all fish swimming around in the psyche, so we cannot perceive
it as an object, as an objective entity. You have to be separated from a
given object before you can perceive it to be an object. We are almost
always contained in the psyche in an invisible way. That containment can
take place in many different forms. For instance, there is religious and
metaphysical containment, in which a religious or philosophical creed, or
political or ideological creed, is the containing agent. It is very easy to
recognize the reality of the containment of an individual by the fact that
the individual is a perfectly reasonable and responsible person who is
willing to engage in thoughtful interchange until one touches the containing
medium, and then you hit a stone wall - all reason and decent human
interchange ends because what you are hitting then is an expression of the
transpersonal value the individual lives by, and therefore, his/her psychic
existence, being contained in that value stands or falls on its validity - so
it does not exist as an object - it exists as a containing medium, and that's
immediately visible. That's why there have been so many "flames" on this
Forum. Whenever you run into these containments in collective society you
get a mess - you wind up with a bunch of snarling animals.

Hoping I have addressed the general point by raising a third possibility,

flamel

Subject: A0272 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 03:31:14 -0400
From: KEEPERH2O


In a message dated 96-10-10 20:12:28 EDT, Christian Kiefer responded to my
track of his dialogue with Rawn Clark,

>> Certainly the astral can't represent the physical
> while the physical represents the astral -- or do you have a theory on the
> possibility of this?

I responded thus,

> I see astral and physical bodies not as opposites at all but rather a
> continuum from subtle to denser vibration.

>>Can you explain this a bit, Keeper? I don't quite follow. And
thanks for reminding me that I need to re-read what I write or els my
speeling gits mad. >>

Why knot? (chuckles)

I'll give it a shot, Christian. I understand the astral and physical
"bodies" as the same body, as is the so-called "mental body", which is also
on the continuum of the physical body. What makes them appreciable as
distinct in themselves is their rate of vibration. For example, in so much
as thought and the thought process is a part of you and your physical being,
and it can influence your physical being, as your physical being is a part of
you and your thought process, it is principally the subtlety of the one over
the other that distinguishes them. Both are "solid", but one is less dense.
Am I really saying anything worthwhile? I believe so. Meditation has
demonstrated to me the "solidity" of thought, and how the subtle solid begins
to press upon the denser solid, the electrical and chemical mechanism that
can precipitate either an emotional experience and / or a body of muscle and
bone into motion. The "astral body" is like the physical, part for part, but
its subtlety enables it to participate more on a level like that of thought
than the denser matter comprising the physical blood, muscle and bone,
organs, etc..

The way that I first experienced the validity of this was through a "speech
fast" that I used to take once a week, as a younger man, on Monday, in memory
of Ghandi, who used to do the same. How surprised I was when one day,
through the process of not acting upon the busyness of thoughts that had
previously prattled out in language, that I could literally "see" my thoughts
move across the horizon of my mind's eye, like veritable clouds in the sky!
This confirmed something I had heard about and read about in spiritual
science and meditation, from the Buddhists to the contemporary Yogi,
Paramahansa Yogananda.

My first experiences with astral phenomena, on the other hand, came though
experimentation with drugs. Now, this is in no wise an invitation to get off
on THAT tangent, but only to establish how I first came to understand such
things. Later, without any such influence, but principally though meditation
and yes, a bit of luck &/or serendipity, confirmation came again to the
existence of the astral "body". How I could possibly experience the center
of my conscious perception OUTSIDE of my physical body, in a way that met my
criteria of reality, as far as I could establish, may only be explained by
the "mental body" having taken a ride, as it were, in the "astral" form.
Surely there are others out there who will verify this from their own
experience. One of the things that has made me bolder, to speak of this, has
been the appreciation that I am not alone in having had this experience.

Christian, with respect to Rawn Clark, to whom you directed this question,
perhaps this testimony may bear towards some theory on the possibility of how
the astral may represent the physical.

Keeper
("Thanks for making me think")

Subject: A0273 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 18:13:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Barry Carter

Greg wrote:

>"Quantum leap" is just about right. Have you had a look lately
>at what quantum physicists are saying about mind and matter? Try
>"The Dreaming Universe" by Fred Alan Wolf.

A Finnish quantum physicist named Matti Pitkanen has developed a theory of
conciousness which incorporates something he calls "exotic matter". He
applies the term "exotic matter" to the Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic
Elements (ORMEs) which David Hudson extracts from ore using the alchemical
processes described in the book "In Pursuit of Gold: Alchemy in Theory and
Practice" by LAPIDUS. This theory seems to account for many phenomena and
anomalies of thought. You can read Dr. Pitkanen's theory on one of his web
pages which is located at:

http://blues.helsinki.fi/~matpitka/exo.html

Dr. Pitkanen's theory has evolved since this web page was created. Contact
me for more information.

Following is the Contents and Abstract of his paper:

5.1 # throats as super conducting charge carriers
5.2 Electronic super conductivity
5.3 The parameters of exotic super conductors
5.4 Claims of Hudson about ORMEs as super conductors

Abstract

A general T(opological) G(eometro)D(ynamics) based mechanism for
superconductivity in biosystems is proposed. The mechanism relies on many
sheeted nature of TGD:eish spacetime. Some atomic valence electrons can drop
from atomic spacetime sheet to some 'lower' spacetime sheet: this gives rise
to exotic atoms and 'electronic alchemy'. The process is accompanied by a
formation of so called # contacts located near the boundary of atomic
spacetime surface feeding electric flux to the lower condensate level. They
behave as bosons with quantized charge and by physical considerations must
be very light. By their lightness they suffer BE condensation on the
boundary of the atomic spacetime surface. The spacetime surfaces associated
with atoms can form join along boundaries condensate of size L and BE
condensation of # throats gives rise to the formation of macroscopic quantum
system with critical temperature T propto 1/L: the upper bound for the size
of this kind of system is about 10^(-4) meters in room temperature. #
contacts on the boundary of join along boundaries condensate can serve as
carriers of supra current. Also the exotic electrons at the 'lower' space
time sheet can form Cooper pairs via the attractive interaction with the
excitations of the BE condensate of # contacts and so that super
conductivity results. The mechanism might make biosystems superconducting:
the magic step leading from chemical evolution to bioevolution might in fact
be this 'dropping' of valence electrons to the 'lower' spacetime sheet. The
so called ORMEs patented by David Hudson represent empirical evidence for
the existence of exotic atoms and related super conductivity. A small
concentration of ORMEs in tissue, which makes biosystems superconducting:
this would explain the claimed effects of ORMEs on biosystems.

With Kindest Regards,

Barry Carter
bcarter@igc.apc.org

Subject: A0274 Higher vibrations?

From: Adam McLean
Date: 11 Oct 1996

Keeper wrote:
>I understand the astral and physical "bodies" as the same body, as is the
>so-called "mental body", which is also on the continuum of the physical body.
>What makes them appreciable as distinct in themselves is their rate of
>vibration. For example, in so much as thought and the thought process
>is a part of you and your physical being, and it can influence your physical
>being, as your physical being is a part of you and your thought process,
>it is principally the subtlety of the one over the other that distinguishes them.
>Both are "solid", but one is less dense.

Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now become
rather tired and worn out. This idea, that there are different levels of vibration
seems to have had its birth during the late 19th century theosophical period.
During that time, physics, through Maxwell, and later the radiochemists, had
discovered that there was a continuum of electomagnetic radiation, from radio
waves (long and of low frequency) to gamma radiation (short and of high
frequency). The theosophists at that time borrowed this idea and applied it to
heal the spirit-matter divide. This may have worked within the physics of that
time, but surely things have now moved on. There are now no mysterious
regions of the electromagnetic spectrum in which to hide our idea of the
astral body, the whole spectrum has been very clearly and precisely mapped
out through the progress of 20th century physics.

This metaphor of different levels of vibration seems to have reached its
"sell-by" date. We will find that using this idea before physicists or anyone
conversant with modern science, no longer serves to bridge the
spiritual-material divide, but only makes one appear to be invoking outdated
physics to support ones ideas. It may still have a place in the "X-files" but
surely this idea of higher vibrations is compromised as a basis for a
theory of matter and spirit. Indeed, we will find that philosophers of the
esoteric trying to find a physical model for spiritual forces, now turn
towards late 20th century physical ideas, of quantum theory, superstrings,
the topology of folded 11 dimensional spaces, in order to develop
parallels between matter and spirit.

Adam McLean

Subject: A0275 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 04:08:28 -0400
From: Rawn Clark

Dear George,

>>"Meaning" is the very essence of things. It is that which 'things'
>>symbolize. So perhaps "meaning" is the medium of Universal communication,
>>and is a consequence of the Universal structure, not limited wholly to
>>human imputation. Our imputing of meaning is our part, in our conversation,
>> with a Universe which speaks to us by imputing its own meaning through
>> the things we perceive.
>
>*the flaw here is nobody I know can know truly my thoughts or anyone
>else's--who are we to judge whether "meaning" can be a medium of Universal
>communication? Perhaps within the confines of one's own temple walls,
>perhaps.

I don't understand exactly what you're saying here. I think perhaps my
choice of words has muddled my intended meaning. As you point out,
between separate individuals, the absolutely complete and clear communication
of meaning, is impossible.

In my experience, meaning has three lives. 1) The essential meaning; for
example, the idea one seeks to express. 2) The expressed meaning; e.g., one
clothes the essential meaning in symbols such as words, gestures, tone of
voice, and within the parameters of one's natural abilities, projects the
essential idea as clearly as one can. Here, the essential meaning is
filtered through the expressor. 3) The communicated meaning: You read my
words which -- to me -- express my essential meaning reasonably clearly. Yet
as you read these words, you do so with your own understanding of what they
mean. The meaning with which I use my words is only partially communicated
by the actual physical words themselves. My words have two meanings, mine
and yours, each a step further from my essential meaning. What you
understand from my words -- the end result, as it were -- would be the
communicated meaning.

At each stage of communication, a relatively essential meaning is clothed in
symbols. What else, I ask you, is communication, but an exchange of
symbolized meaning?

>>Conscious perception of the essential Universe, without the barrier of
>>interposed human-meaning,

>*wait--what exactly do you mean here? Can there be perception without
>consciousness(i.e. the interposing of human-meaning, as it were)? Perhaps
>you mean among living things other than humans? Or as recorded on a video
>camera perhaps? And I have no idea what you mean by an "essential
>Universe". Do you mean the perceived universe from a human perspective but
>say without interpretation?

Sorry, I seem to have stuffed too much un-communicated meaning into those
words. ;)

"Conscious perception" -- Perception here, refers to our normal waking
processes of perception, large parts of which occur at levels below our
conscious awareness, at the direction of instinct and habit. Introspection
brings one an intimate knowledge of one's instinctual motivations and
processes. With such self-knowledge, these normally sub-conscious
processes can be transformed into conscious choices. "Conscious
perception" therefore, means perception as an entirely conscious act.

"essential Universe" -- This is the *objective* Universe. The Universe as it
exists, aside from the filters imposed in normal human perception. If normal
perception involves the interposing of filters between self and other, then
that means that what we normally perceive is a subjective perspective of an
objective/essential other. Our normal, subjective means of perception result
in a "communicated meaning", from the essential Universe to us. The Universe
which is "essential" in relation to our normal perception equates to an
"expressed meaning", and is therefore symbolic of an "essential meaning". At
the level of "conscious perception", one draws much nearer to the expressed
meaning, and shifts one's relation to the essential meaning significantly.

"without the barrier of interposed human-meaning" -- I'm refering here
specifically to the instictual filters of normal perception, but your point
is well taken. Human consciousness however, encompasses so much more than
your use of words implies. The focus point of our conscious awareness has
the power of motivity within the broad spectrum of human consciousness. It
also has the power to either expand its individual area of focus, or to
contract it. Our conscious awareness is not limited to normal perception
when actively turned upon itself. It is quite capable of perception at a
focus which includes more than just the communicated meaning of the essential
Universe.

This is a normal function of everyday consciousness actually. A good example
is a consideration of looking at the clock to check the time. You focus on
what the clock tells you, yet you are also seeing everything within your
field of vision. Every detail is registering at levels below your focus of
attention. Most likely, the only extraneous detail you will notice is
something that is out of place, or unfamilliar. All the rest, you take for
granted because it is "known" to you and outside of your specific focus. Now
as you read this and look over at the clock anew, noticing all the other
details, your experience is more conscious...information that was formerly
being noted at sub-conscious levels, is now being noted consciously.
Continued as a meditation, one can learn a great deal about how one is
affected by the normally "unseen" things, especially about how and why one
responds as one does instinctually.

Shifting one's focus to the objective Universe underlying our normal
subjectively perceived one, is an expansion of the same process.

*However*, since such a perception of the essential Universe implies that the
information perceived is less personalized, this information must
subsequently be personalized (overlaid with "interposed human-meaning") to be
of any practical value. ;-) ;-) ;-) The essential information must
inevitably be translated into one's own terms, but this is a function of
consciousness that one's focus of awareness can either include or exclude at
will. Separating the functions of perception and interpretation allows one
the time to examine both in depth, just like the re-examination of the
extraneous details in my clock analogy.

>*this brings us back to the definition of magic--to extend this
>thought--perhaps the same data gets perceived differently when the recorder
>has his tuner adjusted differently.

Yes. Perhaps one reason that alchemical literature employs the symbolism
that it does, in the way that it does, is to help one tune to a specific
frequency. Perhaps the process we all must go through to begin grasping the
literarure's symbolized meaning, is intentional and inherant in the very
presentation of these symbols. Reading, meditating, praying, and
experimenting, change us.

Best to you,
Rawn Clark

Subject: A0276 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 04:14:44 -0400
From: Rawn Clark

Re: A0259

Dear Christian,

>> reality. But this is only a product of this particular perspective. From
>> the astral, and especially, from the mental realms, the conclusions
>> reverse and it becomes clear that the physical symbolizes the astral
>> and mental.

>Perhaps, but this takes the quantum leap in assuming that what is
>real is not necessariliy the physical plane.

It is really not any kind of leap. It is ALL real; mental, astral, and
physical. Let me give you some concrete examples. Our perception of
physical reality, our whole experience of it, involves astral and mental
reality. I assume we can agree that the physical is real. Every physical
object you perceive, also elicits from you an emotional response... this is
one level of the astral reality inherant in your every moment. Every one of
your thoughts, is an example of the pervasiveness of the mental reality. Are
not your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations all real?

That they do not share the same standards of reality, does not mean they are
not real. An idea may not have the same physical reality as putting your
finger on a hot griddle, but the idea of finger-on-griddle is real in
relation to other ideas. The idea "Finger in glass of water" has substance
in relation to the idea "finger-on-griddle". So the mental realm is real in
context to itself, just as the physical reality is real in context to itself.
The same is true of the astral reality.

Further, without thought and emotion -- without mental and astral, we are
incapable of physical perception. The mental and astral realities are an
inherant part of the physical, they are just so very involved in our
experience of the physical that we've blindly overlooked them in its
definition. It is very like how we do not see our eyeballs when we look
through them; we are not even conscious of their mechanics as we use them..

>I'm not saying that
>you're not correct here, Rawn, but geez you could write a whole 15
>volume set on the "reality" of the astral (dreams, thoughts, etc.)
>and the physical.

Quite a few people have done this. I see little point myself. In fact I
think it misses the point if it doesn't lead the reader to actively seek
their own experience of things. No one can convey to another, through the
medium of words, the whole of their experience, so no matter how many
volumes one writes, it will always remain only a part of the picture.

>Very, very interesting concept that the physical
>symbolizes the astral and mental, though -- and I guess it's right in
>keeping with the idea that the world is just a representation of the
>mind -- i.e., this is all a dream, you're all in my head, how can I
>stop the voices, why am I am this straightjacket, I want my mommy!

That's one way to interpret it. I disagree that the world is *just* a
representation of the mind (unless we capitalize and deify Mind ). This
perspective leads down a path which devalues physical reality in the same way
that we ordinarilly devalue mental and astral reality. The attitude implied
is that the physical is just as un-real as the mental/astral. What I am
saying, on the other hand, is that the physical, astral, and mental are all
real.

>I like it, but how can we reconcile the two. They seem, after all, to
>be opposites. Certainly the astral can't represent the physical
>while the physical represents the astral -- or do you have a theory
>on the possibility of this?

All is interconnected, interpenetrating. Consider the human body. We know
that our emotions and our thoughts can affect our physiology (psychosomatic
illness). We also know that our physiology can affect our emotions and
thoughts (PMS). Both are true because thought (mental), emotion (astral),
and physiology (physical) interpenetrate.

>> Idea and thought are the materia of the mental realm. At the more
>> rarified levels of the mental realm, even the symbols (such as words)
>> we clothe our ideas and thoughts with, fall away. What is revealed is
>>essential meaning.
>> This is the root which expresses itself throughout the continuum, all the
>> way "down" the scale of vibration into physical manifestation. The Above
>> expresses Itself through the Below (immanence).

>Sorry, but I don't follow. I realize that there is a lot of talk
>about this "rarified level of the mental realm" where all is
>infinite, etc., etc., but I've never entirely bought into it. That
>is: I realize that everything is connected, etc. and have had a
>religious experience of two, mostly when dangling over a crevasse on
>some lost frozen mountain somewhere, but what you seem to be saying
>is that if all the symbolic & mythological trappings of our mind are
>allowed to depart what we will then perceive of the physical world
>will be TRUE and infinite. If this is true, then it is still the
>physical world being filtered through the consciousness: even if "the
>doors of perception" are wiped clean.

Oh dear, I hope this bit doesn't get too mystical-sounding for you... ;)
With the state of mind I was referencing above -- conscious awareness of the
"more rarified levels of the mental realm" -- one experiences the Universe
*as* consciousness. I don't mean that in terms limited to specifically
human-consciousness, but don't have the words to say it right. This state of
conscious awareness is reached in increments. At each step of the way, one's
perspective changes slightly, and the Universe looks a little different.
When the sub-conscious aspects of perception are brought within the focus of
conscious awareness, and set aside, one obtains a clearer perception of the
essential Universe. When still further barriers between one's self and the
essential Universe are brought under conscious direction, perception becomes
even more focused upon its essential object, and less upon the surface of
filters.

Ultimately, there is One True Universe. Part of the Mystery, is the paradox
that it is also Infinite (at least mentally) which means that that One Truth
is made of All Truths . . . each of our perceptions is True in relation to
the Whole, simply by fact of its occurance. Perception is relative. It is
complete only at the level of absolute Oneness.

To prove to you that I really am a mystic, I'll add that I'm absolutely
certain that the attainment of the level of consciousness indicated by "The
One" is within the capacity of the human being. To reaching such a state
though, one must eventually abandon the limits of specifically 'human'
consciousness and encompass all consciousness.

>Yeah, O.K., although doesn't any distinguishing between self and
>other block that whole view of the essential meaning of the Universe
>you were talking about earlier: i.e., isn't one of the points of such
>a view that the self is part of, and therefore intisguishable from,
>that "meaning"?

Yup, and therein's another paradox: We have to Solve the Coagula-ed, before
we can Coagula the Solve-ed. In order to reach the experience of the oneness
of things, we have to know our selves. That happens in increments and we
learn progressively more about ourselves over time. When we know just very
little about ourselves, we do not see all the ways in which we are connected.
As we learn more, we see more of the connections between self and other.
Eventually discovering that there is no 'other', and all that was formerly
considered 'other' is included in the experience of self.

>if you can achieve this state on a regular basis I'm very much
>impressed. Do you use meditation --- ?

Meditation is the key. I "use" my whole self.

>Blaahahhahah what? You haven't read Blake? Tisk tisk. Read it,
>Rawn. It's about precisely what you've been talking about. If I can
>find it on the net I'll E-mail it to you.

Thanks for the nudge, and thanks for the Blake snippet! I will eventually
read Blake, I promise. ;)

Best to you,
Rawn Clark

Subject: A0277 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996
From: Sean Blosl

> From: Logodox
> Has anyone related the Language of the Birds to the "correspondence"
> principle of the middle ages ?
> All things are interconnected at a very subtle level, so it went. This idea
> went out of fashion long ago but has reemerged due to 20th century
> theoretical physics. It does follow that if there is a universal
> correspondence between all things, that a state of awareness could be
> achieved in which the (subtle) correspondences could be known between
> (seemingly) unrelated phenomena.
> This is not to support the person having Christ or Satan syndrome's idea
> that the fluttering birds are a message specially to him...

It seems to me that the fluttering birds are a message to him.
While also being a message to anyone else or everyone else. In recent
posts I have noticed a few mentions that imply, that interpreting
messages as messages is related to neurosis of some kind.
How is this so?


> Meaning can only be assumed to be a subjective view condionated by the level of
> perceptual ability. Meaning could only be existent in and expressible by
> "physical" objects when their level of complexity reaches the organizational
> level of consciousness. No matter what I mentally "project" as "out there"
> it is still really "in here" (in my mind). I know, some will say out there
> and in here are really the same place. THEY ARE ONLY THE SAME PLACE
> WHEN ONE HAS ATTAINED BUDDAHOOD, or as alchemists put it THE
> MAGNUM OPUS in awareness.

I have also noticed in recent posts that there are implications
pointing to the fact that you can not "know" unless you are an exalted
one. How is this so?

Sean Blosl
osis@speakeasy.org


-----------------------------------------------------------------
Here is something to break up the technicality.

Dragon

Messages come from anywhere and everywhere when you are listening. Some
days the conversation of a couple sitting next to you on the bus carries a
certain message for you. You sit back and smile at the situation you have
found yourself in.

I had my bag all packed for the walk up to school today. All I forgot was my
cigarette lighter. Which to me, can be a major trauma. I had thought as I
walked about where I could stop and get a book of matches. Since there are
many stores between here and there, the event wasn't going to be all that
traumatic.

I passed probably ten different places that I could have gotten the
matches without ever stopping at one of them.

As I turned a corner I saw lying on the grass in front of me a full book
of matches. That is when I began to smile. That kind of funky smile I get
when something like this happens. The smile that someone might see on my
face and ask me just what it is that I am grinning about.

The smile came from getting the message. This message is very timely for
me. The match book brought with it a reminder of something that I thought
I would never forget. This message came the first time along with a stick.
The most perfect walking stick that you could ever imagine. It sat at the
end of a five or six mile trail, waiting, in my eyes, for me, to give me a
message. Sitting there for who knows how long, waiting for me to listen.

This message was so powerful to me that I set out to put it to a test a
couple of years after finding the walking stick. I decided that I needed
validity of such a simple idea. I didn't have any trouble in
understanding the message. But I had a hard time believing that anything
could be so simple. The message carried such an easy answer for what
seemed to be such a complex idea in my mind. And you know how we humans
are, we love to make things difficult.

So I set out to give this simplicity a test. I decided that I would
construct a kite from scratch. Using the idea that was contained in my
message. Of course I had to put as much complexity into it as I could
think of. The kite had to be huge and unique. I decided on the Chinese
Dragon. It consisted of a face and thirteen circles that followed behind
it. The face and each of the circles were made of bamboo then covered with
paper. Each circle had a foot or a hand coming out from each side with
streamers attached to them. The face was painted as that of a dragon with
pieces of broken mirror glued around its eyes. And the finishing touch was
a fifteen foot tail.

The idea I was seeking to have validity for wasn't near as complex as this
kite. The idea that, what you are looking for is coming your way, just as
you are moving toward it." Each piece for the kite was found where I was
naturally walking. I was amazed at how much bamboo was out there looking
for me.

From all this, the messages, the testing, the validity, and simplicity, I
never once thought that I may be Christ or Buddha or Lao Tse or Snoopy or
Johnny Carson. Although, I did have delusions of being a master kite
maker, until I took the Dragon for its first flight.

It laid on the ground weighing too much to reach the sky.

Maybe one day I will trust the simplicity and watch my Dragon fly...

Subject: A0278 Higher vibrations

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 08:47:49 -0600
From: Jim Bayer

>From: Adam McLean
>Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now become
>rather tired and worn out. This idea, that there are different levels of
>vibration seems to have had its birth during the late 19th century.....
>There are now no mysterious
>regions of the electromagnetic spectrum in which to hide our idea of the
>astral body, the whole spectrum has been very clearly and precisely mapped
>out through the progress of 20th century physics.

Yet there may be other spectrums (bio-magnetic) that our physics has yet to
consider--this wouldn't be too suprising given the reign of the logical
positivist model, and the considerable clutch it still holds on research
grants. In eastern schools of yoga and internal alchemy, from which the
conceptual basis of Theosophy originates, there have long been models of
spectrums of interpenetrating human energies. Perhaps it was rather the
discovery of electromagnetic phenomenon, and the vocabulary it generated,
that facilitated the translation of those concepts into western terms.

>This metaphor of different levels of vibration seems to have reached its
>"sell-by" date... Indeed, we will find that philosophers of the
>esoteric trying to find a physical model for spiritual forces, now turn
>towards late 20th century physical ideas, of quantum theory, superstrings,
>the topology of folded 11 dimensional spaces, in order to develop
>parallels between matter and spirit.

That is as it should be. But these new models are still in their infancy,
relativly unknown, and currently leaning more towards discussions of
mystical (all-is-one) rather than esoteric (one-is-all and here's how)
phenomenon. No doubt the vibrational model will eventually be
superceded--or, more likely, absorbed. And that model, and that model....
Yet the "truth" will remain elusive, always on the brink of the next
discovery. Perhaps the best approach involves the maintenance of as many
dissimilar models as one is capable of, and the acknowledgement that all
are inadequate. As they say, the map is not the territory.


Jim Bayer
(JimB@pitnet.net)

Subject: A0279 Physical, Astral, Mental, Spiritual

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 05:54:24 -0500
From: Logodox

Enjoying these recent posts about matter and spirit and "star stuff" and
whether they comprise a continuum etc., rekindled my thoughts and
memories to a great extent and further caused me to realize how
incomplete my concepts are regarding these things. Like Adam, I am
aware (though not nearly so keenly) of historical concepts of the
"subtle" bodies.

My tentative working concept of soul & spirit (i.e. alchemically) is that
spirit is a fundamental (non-human specific) form of energy, incorporeal
i.e. not existing as a "bounded recurring in space/time" particle.

I view soul as a higher level grouping or amalgamation of spirit and binding
the same to the corporeal. Much confusion arises due to the overlap and
religiousconsiderations of these two.

If one considers the UNIVERSE as all that exists in all dimensions, then it
follows that ALL things would be in a continuum of sorts. Space and time
phenomena are (obviously) a continuum in a strict sense.

My readings taught me to think of the astral plane as the "emotional" and
the spirit plane as "mental".

When the Greeks wrote about the universal and omnipresent "nous",
"being","intellect" etc., methinks they were indicating something ineffable
and possibly intellect, i.e. mind as a pre-existing (to matter) thing.

When they wrote of the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm and the
"little" world mirroring the "greater" world, it seems to me that they meant
that all physical things were preceded by (and later included) an "image"
or plan in the etherial region, prior to their unfoldment and construction
in the physical.

The cabbalists (and Boehme) consider this universal "being" to "desire" to go
outward from the "inner" world and to emanate from a dimensionless point in
the outgoing.

Sorry this is so disjointed. Spirit and Soul are vast and abstruse subjects.

They do not fit into the category of definable discrete objects. I've been
puzzled by the word "being" all my life. Is being a thing or an action?

My working belief is that being is (in philosophy) both energetic and passive,
i.e. both action and thing. Of course alchemical readings tell me that the
STONE is a balanced hypostatic union of "circulating" forces "brought into
equilibriate accord" by the ART.

WORDS, such difficult little nuisances !


logodox@worldnet.att.net

Subject: A0280 The language of the Birds and 'Symbolic Thinking'

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 06:09:11 -0500
From: Logodox

>From: Sean Blosl
>I have also noticed in recent posts that there are implications
>pointing to the fact that you can not "know" unless you are an exalted
>one. How is this so?

Know what? Exalted? Does not each one possess what he has earned?
Is knowledge freely given? Is there a lotto for enlightenment?

>Messages come from anywhere and everywhere when you are listening.

This is highly interesting to me. I too have sometimes gotten cues from
seemingly unconnected events.

Sean, if all is really interconnected, then (have read this) will not Your
inner self present You with the experiences needed for Your advancement ?
Even if they come from other people You don't know? Thing to realize here
is that the interpretation and interplay is within You and the meaning is
for You...

Im only saying that the "world at large" is not necessarily directing these
messages to You, but perhaps Your higher (inner) self is teaching You. It is
fun and exciting for me when this (rarely, unfortunately) happens to me!


logodox@worldnet.att.net

Subject: A0281 The language of the Birds

From: Andre
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 96 16:59:38 PDT

What follows is an extract from a text the Adam has asked me to transcribe for him. I post it now because it seems relevant. Someone asked if Fulcanelli was the only source for references to the Phonetic Cabbala. The extract that follows shows clearly and unambiguously that he is not.

The author talks here about himself.

"He had the knowledge of that wonderful Mystery (containing the Secrets of the whole of Creation)
The Language of Nature, and that in his native Tongue; whereby the very Name of every Thing gave
him clear Inspection into the Nature of it. This Knowledge had Adam in his innocence, but by his Fall lost it;
else it had been understood (as our Author affirms) in the Language of every Nation.

Extract from 'Preface to the Reader' in, 'Four Tables of Divine Revelation', by Jacob Behmen

Subject: A0282 Higher Vibrations

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996
From: Lewis Goudy

>From: Adam McLean
>Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now
>become rather tired and worn out.

The vibrational coin has as obverse "wavelength", and the crucial
role played by scale in mediating phenomena and the beings that
experience them is not merely nascent but incandescently so. While
charlatans have always aped those the world deems wise it remains
true that haste makes waste. To those inclined to throw out the
vibrational baby with the theosophical bathwater I commend

The Beauty of Fractals
Heinz-Otto Peitgen and Peter H. Richter
Springer-Verlag, 1986

which also contains invited contributions by
Benoit B. Mandelbrot
Adrien Douady
Gert Eilenberger
Herbert W. Franke

"...the authors present variations of a theme whose repercussions
reach far beyond the realms of mathematics. They show how
structures of unseen complexity unfold by repeated action of simple
rules...a major challenge to the prevailing scientific conception."

Subject: A0283 Higher vibrations

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996
From: Rawn Clark

Dear Adam,

>There are now no mysterious
>regions of the electromagnetic spectrum in which to hide our idea of the
>astral body, the whole spectrum has been very clearly and precisely mapped
>out through the progress of 20th century physics.

I'm no physicist, but it seems to me that this assumes the "astral body" to
be electromagnetic. At best, only the physical affects of the astral would
be physically measurable. With what physical measure would one guage an
emotion for instance? We can physically measure only the physical effects
produced by an emotion (e.g., body chemistry, brain waves, facial expression,
body language).

However, we can guage an emotion, in emotional terms. We know how an emotion
feels, and can compare it to other emotions we have experienced. The problem
to a shared science in this regard, is that emotions are entirely personal
experiences, the wholeness of which we are incapable of communicating to
another. We cannot establish an exactly shared measure for emotions like the
measures we share for physical things.

Relative to our *physical* definition of the Universe, the astral and mental
themselves are immeasurable. We tend to equate "immeasurable" with the
concept "unreal", or "less real", without first taking a close look at what
we're trying to measure with.

Best to you,
Rawn Clark

Subject: A0284 Higher vibrations

Date: 12 Oct 1996
From: Adam McLean

Some people may have misunderstood my posting on 'Higher Vibrations'. I am not advocating that we dispense with the idea of subtle bodies, but rather that we don't attempt to justify or articulate our ideas about these subtle bodies by wrapping them in late 19th century physical ideas of vibrational energies, as science has moved on and at the end of the 20th century there no space left in the electromagnetic spectrum in which they can be placed. We should have the confidence to allow our ideas of subtle bodies to stand on it own ground, as Rawn Clark suggests.

Lewis Goudy ask that we consider fractals (Mandelbrot sets - mathematical structures built by reiterating simple equations involving complex numbers) and he suggests that their increasing complexity of structure at smaller and smaller scales, may mean that there is some kind of space in which the vibrational theory of subtle forces may still find a place. I am not so sure about this. Fractals - in all their surprising complexities - are in fact entirely predictable and computable. There are no surprises, no uncertainties in this world of discrete mathematics. The essential aspect of life forces, it seems to me, are not predictable, they are mercurial, everchanging, shifting forms. Life forces seem to be more at home in the world of quantum physics, than in the stark world of Mandelbrot and Julia sets, Fatou dusts, and bifurcation diagrams.

Adam McLean

Subject: A0285 Higher vibrations

From: Simon R Knight
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 23:43:18 0000

On 11 Oct 96 at 10:05, Adam McLean wrote:

> Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now become
> rather tired and worn out....
> This may have worked within the physics of that time, but surely things have
> now moved on. There are now no mysterious regions of the electromagnetic
> spectrum in which to hide our idea of the astral body, the whole spectrum has
> been very clearly and precisely mapped out through the progress of 20th
> century physics.

When aspiring to an understanding of higher realities, modern science is
of little assistance. Modern science is concerned with the physically
observable universe, and references to astral or mental realities, is a
disturbing reminder of a period which science has always sought to
leave behind. The foundations of modern science, are built upon thought
structures that originated within the minds of individuals seeking
physical-material explanations for everything.

Science dismisses higher realities, based upon its observations of the
physical one. The assumption is made that any higher reality can only
be a physical one. This assumption is part of the very foundations of
science, and represents a world view which is failing to account for much
that is being discovered today.

Science has studied the electromagnetic spectrum in great depth, and
states that nothing exists in it, that corresponds to a soul or
spirit. The error which must surely be so evident, is that science
itself has already pre-defined that this is where the soul and spirit
would be found! How can a science that clearly rejects the existence of
non-material realities, have come to appoint itself as knowledgeable
in this respect? Science makes the pronouncement that the
electromagnetic spectrum does not contain the soul or spirit, and
considers this as evidence for their non-existence! This actually
appears entirely logical to many!

A true study of electric and electromagnetic phenomena, will reveal
the extent to which they are bound up with matter, and the force of
gravity. Science would do well to consider how the force of
gravity effects its own consciousness, considering its own
preoccupation with this force everywhere in outer nature. So obsessed
is science with the forces of gravity and electromagnetism, that it has
been lead to view everything quantitatively; even quality is reduced
to expression in terms of quantity. When someone sees a color of a
rainbow, there is an effect upon their feelings, that can never be
expressed by the number of an electromagnetic frequency. Science has
little use for qualites; all the colors of a rainbow have been reduced
to mere electromagnetic occillations, in its mind.

Just as the soul (astral body), or spirit (mental body) cannot be
reduced to part of the electromagnetic spectrum, nor can the quality
of a color like red be reduced to a mere electromagnetic frequency.
It would be much more scientific to say that when we outwardly
perceive visible light in its various colors, that there is also an
electromagnetic oscillation that accompanies it. The one being associated
with the "presence" or manifestation of the other. Little can be
deduced about the quality "red" in a quantitative science, other than to
associate its perception with the oscillation that attends its presence
in physical space.

There has been some discussion recently that has refered to higher
realities such as "astral" or "mental" as if they are simply ideas or
concepts in the mind, this I feel leads certain ambiguities as to
what is actually being refered to. In my own (small) experience,
perception of these realities is nothing like ordinary consciousness;
at least, not my ordinary consciousness anyway. : )

Being fortunate enough to have experienced certain higher realities, I would
like to say that they appeared very powerful. On occasions where
such realms have opened up, I have been able to observe my physical
surroundings simultaneously. The higher visual and sentient
perceptions were experienced to be far more powerful and penetrating
in their effect that any physical ones. The physical perceptions were
so less powerful by comparison, that I could easily have taken my
attention away from them entirely. During such moments, dimensions
were visible which were full of brilliant light and color; the inner
thoughts and feelings of those around me were perceived quite
clearly. Around individuals in my physical surroundings, there
were emanations of light and color, that rayed out in all directions;
everything conveying meaning and knowing, in a totally new, and yet
distantly familiar way!

I mention this because alchemy seems to be deeply aquainted with such
perceptions, as is evident in its writings. I have no doubt that much secret
knowledge is perceived by these means, and it is in this direction that
alchemy must surely reach its highest meaning. There are others
in this forum that appear very aware of this, and they would no doubt
emphasize that conscious initiation of such perceptions, is within
reach of everyone who is prepared to put a little time into developing
them. We already have our physical senses for perceptions of a
physical world, but for its higher dimensional counterparts, higher
dimensional senses are required. A question arises; how can these
higher dimensional senses be cultivated, and how long would it take.
In the first instance, a particular course of development is usually
followed, that has evolved through long experience.
"Knowledge of the higher worlds" by "Rudolph Steiner", is a good
introduction to this, but there are *other* works also. In the second
instance (i.e. how long), while everyone is individual, it clearly
does not have to take long to aquire an experience of a previously unseen
realities. Once perceived, one stands at the start of a great adventure,
an adventure that present science could never dream of! : )

Simon R Knight

Subject: A0286 Higher Vibrations

Date: Sun, 13 Oct 1996 04:54:34 -0400
From: KEEPERH2O

On 11 Oct 96 at 10:05, Adam McLean wrote:

>Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now
>become rather tired and worn out....
>This may have worked within the physics of that time, but surely things
>have now moved on. There are now no mysterious regions of the
>electromagnetic spectrum in which to hide our idea of the astral body, the
>whole spectrum has been very clearly and precisely
>mapped out through the progress of 20th century physics.

With a great deal of respect to Adam, his knowledge of resources, and obvious
effort on the behalf of us all to host this excellent forum, I am not your
classic scientist or physicist. I freely admit I have been heavily
influenced by the terminology of the Theosophists because they were among the
first serious investigators I became familiar with to attempt to explain
things I was finding on my own without any references other than the Gothic
Magicians (such as Eliphas Levi and de Laurence) and the lore of witches. On
the other hand, I must give a lot of credit to a personal daemon, who took me
under his wing, if you will, to begin my instruction in Hermetic Magic,
Alchemical concepts and a rather fundamental brand of shamanism. When I
speak of "vibrations" I am reaching for the best metaphor available to me to
illustrate the experience; the consciousness or awareness of something that
has, I'm sure many will accept, has been rather neglected by Western Science.
With all proper proportion for its obvious achievements, why must we repair
to that department everywhere when its defense of our experience is so
wanting? Oh, Karl Jung impresses me, and for a long time had me believing
Alchemy was purely the ancient Western Psychology. However, since I got into
the Alchemical mansion through the back door of Hermetic Magic, I've seen
there's even more going on here. Much of it, such as the weight of recourses
some of you bring to bear, I'm afraid, will forever be beyond me, because it
is beyond the wealth or time I have to spend. I must keep it very simple.
My laboratory is my life and personal experience. The tools at my disposal
are received mostly through a ritual tradition of working in "Sacred Space"
along with some very powerful symbols I have found there. What makes them so
powerful is that, however much as I have come to see them, Hermetically
speaking, as "the thing that they stand for", so do they reveal their power
to my imagination. Thus the relevance to the topic, "Language of the Birds
and Symbolic Thinking," and it's recent child, "Higher Vibrations."

I would be remiss to not appreciate Adam's reference to tired, possibly
outmoded ways of describing things, such as subtle and dense matters and
their interplay. What is relevant, in any case, is an awareness of their
existence and testimony to some experience of observing their process. If
anyone can describe it -demonstrably- better, I am "all eyes". The fact
that some of you do, from time to time, has me eagerly checking in each day,
to see where the "electric" discussion is going. :)

Love it!

Keeper

Subject: A0287 Higher Vibrations

Date: Mon, 14 Oct 96 07:51 NZST
From: Pat Zalewski

>>Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now
>>become rather tired and worn out....
>>This may have worked within the physics of that time, but surely things
>>have now moved on. There are now no mysterious regions of the
>>electromagnetic spectrum in which to hide our idea of the astral body, the
>>whole spectrum has been very clearly and precisely
>>mapped out through the progress of 20th century physics.

Adam and I part company on this one. Though the idea of the subtle bodies
was possibly first introduced to the West through Theosophy in the 19th
century its concepts were vaguely mapped out. In the works of Alice Bailey
we get to see the very intricate cross purposes that these bodies have. I
don't follow all of Bailey teachings but in the subtle body anatomy I have
found her very accurate. Most of the works of Bailey are really not that
old. By accuracy, I mean that I use the subtle bodies in my radionics
practice. If there is a problem I might a blockage (like a homeopathic
maism) in either the Astral or Etheric body and adjust my radionic frequency
to there. Though the patient usually has not a clue on what I am talking
about if I explained this I find that I can concentrate on the subtle body
in question and remove the blockage. Each subtle body is said to be an
invisible force in a different dimension to our own. They are not to be
confused with what some people call the aura, which is just an electro
vibration given off by the physical body. Also from even the early works of
Carrington and Muldoon the Astral Body (one of the subtle bodies) we find
that there has been a lot of scientific work done on this. Parapsychology
journals are full of reports of out of body experiences that I put down to
the Astral Body. So from a scientific viewpoint I will stick to the subtle
bodies until some better theory comes along. I would suggest for further
information read 'Vibrational medicine' by Gerber and M.D., who has some
good bibliographies on the subtle bodies and their effects when medicine is
apllied. From the viewpoint of modern physics I would refer Adam and others
to Talbot's book 'Holographic Universe' which basically says that theory and
framework in only referenced by our limited understanding (Quantum
mechanics). In short we create our own realities, but whether it be a modern
mathematical concept or a holographic concept using subtle bodies makes no
difference, as it is a reality. Before I surpass the theory of subtle bodies
I would have to explore them to their limit and that I have not done yet.
Just try working through Bailey's volumes of the Seven Rays and you will see
what I mean and I have been on her system for years and do not see the end in
sight.

Subject: A0288 The language of the Birds

Date: Mon, 14 Oct 1996 09:48:26 +0100
From: Laurent Dutriaux

Adam McLean recently wrote 'I have never come across the Language of the
Birds' in my study of alchemical texts'. I give here a hint for the
existence of the Language of the Birds in the past centuries. If we
consider the well known engraving: Melancholy by Albrecht Durer, an
emblema for the many meanings of the black color (see for example the
authorative work of J. Van Lennep), we can see a ladder in the middle of
the drawing. To explain the presence of this ladder, many commentators
invoke a loose connection with Jacob's ladder (as in the frontispiece of
the Mutus Liber). In fact, in French, the word for ladder is echelle
(scale). If we now look at Dom Pernety's Mytho-Hermetic dictionnary, we
find the definition:
Echel: Latiere de l'oeuvre au noir tres noir ou putrefaction
parfaite. (i.e matter when black or perfect putrefaction).
This provide us an interpretation of the ladder in Durer's
engraving which is in acordance with both Fulcanelli's affirmation on the
Language of the Birds and the general meaning of Durer's drawing.

Laurent Dutriaux

Subject: A0289 Higher Vibrations

From: Steve Rosen
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 15:44:05 -0400

From: Steven Rosen

According to Adam,
>Surely the recourse to the idea of different levels of vibrations is now
>become rather tired and worn out....
>This may have worked within the physics of that time, but surely things
>have now moved on. There are now no mysterious regions of the
>electromagnetic spectrum in which to hide our idea of the astral body, the
>whole spectrum has been very clearly and precisely
>mapped out through the progress of 20th century physics.

I suggest that while the classical electromagnetic spectrum may not
in itself provide a suitable interface with esoteric notions such as
"subtle body vibrations," modern physical structures such as the
*quantum of action* of quantum mechanics -- which entails irreducible
uncertainty - - may work better. It is not a question of attempting
to 'reduce' realms of inner experience to objective treatment; it is
a matter of finding a way of bringing inner and outer reality into
harmony. There can be no such harmony if, in the spirit of
Descartes, we keep exoteric and esoteric matters completely isolated
from one another.

Subject: A0290 Higher vibrations?

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 07:46:06 -0600
From: Jim Bayer

>From: Adam McLean
>This metaphor of different levels of vibration seems to have reached its
>"sell-by" date. We will find that using this idea before physicists or
>anyone conversant with modern science, no longer serves to bridge the
>spiritual-material divide, but only makes one appear to be invoking outdated
>physics to support ones ideas. It may still have a place in the "X-files" but
>surely this idea of higher vibrations is compromised as a basis for a
>theory of matter and spirit. Indeed, we will find that philosophers of the
>esoteric trying to find a physical model for spiritual forces, now turn
>towards late 20th century physical ideas, of quantum theory, superstrings,
>the topology of folded 11 dimensional spaces, in order to develop
>parallels between matter and spirit.


Adam, could you be so kind as to provide us a synopsis of spirit/matter
relationships according to contemporary physics? Much appreciated,

Jim Bayer (JimB@pitnet.net)

Subject: A0291 Alice Bailey

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 09:29:39 -0600
From: Jim Bayer


This post is directed primarily to Pat Zalewski, though others interested
feel free to respond.
Pat--I've also been working through the Bailey material, would be
interested in discussing it with you privately. A jumping-off point might
be the comparison between the seven "planes" and the "Practical Z.
Preparation For Divination" in the Golden Dawn material...

Jim Bayer (JimB@pitnet.net)

Subject: A0292 Higher vibrations - spirit/matter

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 07:46:06 -0600
From: Adam McLean

>Adam, could you be so kind as to provide us a synopsis of spirit/matter
>relationships according to contemporary physics? Much appreciated,
>Jim Bayer


I don't think contemporary physics in itself directly addresses the spirit/matter problem. Of course, a number of physicists have discussed such ideas, but it is not part of the day to day work of physicists at Cern or in the Fermilab, nor does this necessarily appear in their scientific papers.

What is important for those of us interested in alchemy and esoteric ideas, is to realise that fundamental physics has undergone a profound change during the 20th century, and the old post-Newtonian deterministic paradigm has finally died in the ever-shifting continuum of quantum physics. Einstein has been held up as the archetype of 20th century physics, but it now appears that Einstein's contribution, general relativity, did not really mark a profound change in viewpoint. Perhaps later generations will see Max Planck as taking the most important step in physics, for it is his quantum theory that closes down determinism and opens up possibilities for the re-enlivening of metaphysics and consequently esotericism.

At the end of the 20th century, fundamental physics has crossed over a threshold. The structures it must now investigate in order to form a theory of matter exist at such a small scale and are quantised as events of such great energy that it is no longer possible for physicists to design experiments in order to test their theories. The vast particle accelerators just cannot acheive high enough energies to explore quantum gravity. To do this one needs accelerators billions of times more powerful that those existing at present, and indeed there appears to be a theoretical limit on what could be contructed. So, in order for physicists to extend quantum theory to include gravitation, they can no longer rely on experiments. Already physicists are adopting such criteria as the neatness, beauty, or symmetry of a theory in order to judge whether it is a step forward in their description of matter. Physics is now merging into metaphysics, as it struggles to use ideas of seven dimensional spheres folded in eleven dimensional spaces, and the topological knotting of superstrings.

Theoretical physicists are thus now concerned with metaphysics, and must face the fact that they will have to advance their ideas without recourse to practical laboratory experiments, and in a strange way this echoes the speculations of the alchemists some hundreds of years ago. One consequence of this can be seen in the fact that many fundamental physicists no longer find a contradiction between their 'day-job' physics and their personal beliefs, and there is no problem for them to express interest in religious or esoteric ideas.

Further, there are theoretical limits to an exact description of reality, for mathematical systems are filled with indeterminacy - Kurt Godel proved this in the 1930's - the consequences of which few people have realised. There are now profound theoretical reasons why the monolithic closed-system physics, which emerged in the 19th and early 20th century, are fundamentally impossible. It is obvious that the life sciences, which up till now have dealt with large non-quantum structures, must push towards the quantum region in order to understand the workings of the brain and consciousness.

In a world where all is ultimately a continuum of metaphysical speculation, there will again be space for an alchemical perspective.

Adam McLean

Subject: A0293 Higher vibrations - spirit/matter

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 96 06:13 +0100
From: Waldemar Hammel

Adam McLean wrote:

>I don't think contemporary physics in itself directly addresses the
>spirit/matter problem. Of course, a number of physicists have discussed such
>ideas, but it is not part of the day to day work of physicists at Cern or in
>the Fermilab, nor does this necessarily appear in their scientific papers.

Modern physics directly faces the spirit-matter problem under the aspect of
perception-percepted entity problem (e.g. in measure-theories). John von Neumann
and Pauli made already deliberations in that direction.
The old philosophical and new linguistic question of the interdependences
between man (receptor), the act of perception, and the reason for perception
(matter) is ascending as unsolved again. Language is the connector between them,
and language generates the fundamental grammar structures for consciousness,
perception, and understanding.
Whole physics may be nothing but an excursion in perception and language, (as
whole philosophy before Wittgenstein was only an appendix to language problems).
All that is very actual in physics and will surely become more important in the
future. But all that has nothing to do with esoterics or mysticism.

>What is important for those of us interested in alchemy and esoteric ideas,
>is to realise that fundamental physics has undergone a profound change
>during the 20th century, and the old post-Newtonian deterministic paradigm
>has finally died in the ever-shifting continuum of quantum physics. Einstein
>has been held up as the archetype of 20th century physics, but it now
>appears that Einstein's contribution, general relativity, did not really
>mark a profound change in viewpoint. Perhaps later generations will see Max
>Planck as taking the most important step in physics, for it is his quantum
>theory that closes down determinism and opens up possibilities for the
>re-enlivening of metaphysics and consequently esotericism.

There were three changes in physics during the last periods, all concerning
perception.
Newton invented a theory which described absolute entities: space, time, and
force. Human perception was treated as beeing able to recept absolute and
independent things (entities) outside of humans brain. A theory of eternal
invariants. (essentially a perception theory!= perception results in the
knowledge of absolute natural entities).
Einstein recognized that the Newton invariants were perception-sensitive, and so
they could be modified and were no longer invariant. Speeding up to higher
velocities v < =c) he resulted new functional invariants (e.g. e=mc°2+1/2mv°2).
So in the beginning he called his theory 'theory of invariants' (the
functional invariants he had extracted from Newton´s theory). These functional
invariants then became again absolute invariants, making the same mistake as
Newton on annother level. Relativity theory also is fundamentally nothing but a
perception theory. This time perception should result in the knowledge of
absolute functional natural entities. Therefore this theory is more abstract.
Not the percepted matter itself but it's interactions created invariants which
had the value of beeing absolute and independent from humans brain and
perception.
Quantum physics now is the next logical step:
Entities outside of us (matter) are not absolute but depend on the
conditions of perception, the interactions between them do also (wave-particle
paradox etc.). Matter, energy, and information are perception-born things. Whole
physics is treating fundamental with perception problems. The syntax and
semantical structures of our sensory organs, the same structures of our language
and therewith our consciousness create what we call world. Under that conditions
there are no invariants left to make up a common physics as know before.
Parts of modern physics gave up even the idea of the existence of natural laws,
because also they are nothing but perception-born invariants, which carry their
always becomming longer tail of creation-algorithms with them from level to
level of further unification.
Suddenly world is indeterminated, variable by variation of perception.
Quantum physics again is a perception theory and with a plausible inner logic it
brings us to life-sciences and (neuro)linguistics etc.
Before doing anything else we must find out how our brain is working and what
our perception is like. We have a lot of work to do, before we can create a new
science called 'physics' where the Planck-quantum is described as a peak-signal
result from interactions and the entity 'time' will no longer be an absolute
syntax-quantity but belong to the category 'qualities', what means: time may be
a semantical spin-off-effect of each interaction.
But also here I do not see possibilities for esoterics or mysticism.

>........................................... The vast particle accelerators
>just cannot acheive high enough energies to explore quantum gravity. To do
>this one needs accelerators billions of times more powerful that those
>existing at present, and indeed there appears to be a theoretical limit on
>what could be contructed. So, in order for physicists to extend quantum
>theory to include gravitation, they can no longer rely on experiments.
>Already physicists are adopting such criteria as the neatness, beauty, or
>symmetry of a theory in order to judge whether it is a step forward in their
>description of matter. Physics is now merging into metaphysics, as it
>struggles to use ideas of seven dimensional spheres folded in eleven
>dimensional spaces, and the topological knotting of superstrings.

The symmetry argument was initially used by Einstein when constructing the
relativity theory. (Symmetrical structures are of great value for the economy of
perception, You see, how strong Einstein´s theory is influenced by normal
perception strategies). In his later life he gave it up, especially when
searching for his so called 'unified field theory', eventually he suspected the
symmetry-argument as a subjective (anthropocentrical) one.
In general 'symmetry', 'beauty' etc. are qualities (attributes) given to
percepted things. As long as we are not able to understand how quality emerges
from quantity it is not possible to understand the opposite: how quantity
emerges from quality. So the use of these expressions in physics has more
prosaical character (a kind of helpless) then a descriptive one (as beauty,
charm, and flavour in the quarks-theory)
That is not an invitation for unbased metaphysical speculations or mysticisms.
Modern physics has a lot of new, great, and not-expected tasks, but to say (to
hope) that it will merge into metaphysics is a kind of calculated pessimism.

>Theoretical physicists are thus now concerned with metaphysics, and must
>face the fact that they will have to advance their ideas without recourse to
>practical laboratory experiments, and in a strange way this echoes the
>speculations of the alchemists some hundreds of years ago. One consequence
>of this can be seen in the fact that many fundamental physicists no longer
>find a contradiction between their 'day-job' physics and their personal
>beliefs, and there is no problem for them to express interest in religious
>or esoteric ideas.

There may be a 'weak force' not only between elementary particles but also in
some physicists, which leads them to esoteric ideas.
Religious and esoteric images are not and can not be contradictory to physics or
any other of the nature sciences, because simply science does not treat with
or about that confessions or professions.
Physics has not and had never the duty to proof or to unproof any religious
contents, physicists always believed in different religions, otherwise Indian
physicist, Jewish physicists, or Muslim physicists would not be able to work.
The idea that physics and religion (and esoterics) are contradictions is an
ended theme from the last centuries.
What echoes alchemy at the modern problems of physics is the fact that alchemy
initially is a perception-linguistic-hypothesis about the inner organisation of
the individuum, and therefore of the world outside of it. Initially alchemy
treated with language (kabbalah etc.) and perception-problems (the alchemist
must be of inner cleanness/ he must be aware of his perception acts, and how
appears matter before my perception, etc.)
That is the connection between the two things.

And, as I wrote in one of my first letters to the forum, I find it very
regrettable, that modern alchemists (also most of the members of the forum) do
not refer to that roots of alchemy (that would be a chance for alchemy to become
very actual and senseful, close to physics, linguistics, analytical philosophy
and life-sciences), but they make restless new (more or less senseless)
speculations over speculations. They think about the language of the birds
instead of discussing and becoming acquainted with the important and strange
implications of their own language, which determines their consciousness and
perception, and by that the whole world which they are able to know about.
They are friendly with the future and the past, they know heaven and hell, the
meaning of the planets, they interpret the symbolisms of plants names, they
speak with the birds and the dust, they read the constellations of stars like a
book, but they don't see themselves worthy enough to meditate and reflect about
themselves and their limitations in body and minds.
To my opinion that kind of alchemy is seen as very suspect and it is right not to
respect it.

>Further, there are theoretical limits to an exact description of reality,
>for mathematical systems are filled with indeterminacy - Kurt Godel proved
>this in the 1930's - the consequences of which few people have realised.
>There are now profound theoretical reasons why the monolithic closed-system
>physics, which emerged in the 19th and early 20th century, are fundamentally
>impossible. It is obvious that the life sciences, which up till now have
>dealt with large non-quantum structures, must push towards the quantum
>region in order to understand the workings of the brain and consciousness.

That above statement about the importance of Goedel's theory is right.
But mathematics has a lot of other unsolved problems.
E.g. the translation of the 'cero' in the 13th century by Leonardo of Pisa.
He tried to translate 'cero' from a language-culture which has a trivalent
logical structure (Indian Sanskrit) to the occident with its bivalent logical
language- and mind-structure. Until today the character 'cero' is a strange not
fully integrated value in mathematics. The importance of that reaches up to the
gravitational theory (black holes), to quantum physics(boolean-algebra), even to
superstring-hypothesis.
But also here I cannot see an open door for religion, esoterics etc.

>In a world where all is ultimately a continuum of metaphysical speculation,
>there will again be space for an alchemical perspective.

There are reasonable speculations and unreasonable ones.
Most of the speculators on the list seem to belong to the last cathegory.
Alchemy should go back to it's roots:
-structure of my sensory organs
-syntax and semantics of my sensory organs
-what is my perception like?
-how does it work?
-what about my language?
-how does matter (world) appear before me?
-why in that recognized way?
-how emerges quality from quantity?
-what kind of entities are attributes?
-last of all: who am I ? what then is (means) that world before my eyes ?

Sorry for that long letter, but the whole time I was disappointed by 'the
language of birds' and other features, and now I took the chance as
Mr. McLean wrote this very informative and near-to-reality letter.

With my best regards

Waldemar Hammel

Subject: A0294 Higher vibrations - spirit/matter

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 19:15:22 -0600
From: Jim Bayer


>>Adam, could you be so kind as to provide us a synopsis of spirit/matter
>>relationships according to contemporary physics? Much appreciated,
>>Jim Bayer
>
>I don't think contemporary physics in itself directly addresses the
>spirit/matter problem.
>...
>It is obvious that the life sciences, which up till now have
>dealt with large non-quantum structures, must push towards the quantum
>region in order to understand the workings of the brain and consciousness.
>
>Adam McLean

Adam, thanks for the review of the state of physics today. I may have
worded my question poorly--I realize physicists aren't directly addressing
issues of spirit. You originally suggested that the vibrational model of
spirit/matter relations was being superceded by a quantum model. I merely
wanted to hear how you would apply quantum theory to an understanding of
these relations.

Still curious,

Jim Bayer

Subject: A0295 Alchemical significance of materials

From: Adam McLean
Date: 17th Oct 1996

I post this question from an architecture student in Sydney, Australia :-

In a design I am working on at the moment, I am looking at using
materials to "speak" to people, conveying certain things about the
importance and meaning of different places. I had a look at the
alchemy web site, but what I am really interested in is whether or
not different materials have different alchemical significances, and
where I can find out about what these are if this is the case.

I would really appreciate any advice you have an my quest for material
significances!

Subject: A0296 Higher vibrations - spirit/matter

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 10:05:14 -0400
From: Jeffrey

Jung postulated in his alchemical work the existence of what he
called the psychoid realm, the inner space wherein psyche and matter are the
same or conjoined. He likened this space to what Dorn has called the unus
mundus, the realm of subtle bodies and another world intermediate between the
normal physical world and the world of pure idea or spirit. Jung wrote:

"But, just because of this intermingling of the physical and the psychic, it
always remains an obscure point whether the ultimate transformations in the
alchemical process are to be sought more in the material or more in the spiritual
realm. Actually, however, the question is wrongly put: there was no
either-or for that age, but there did exist an intermediate realm between
mind and matter, i.e., a psychic realm of subtle bodies whose characteristic
it is to manifest themselves in a mental as well as a material form. This is
the only view that makes sense of alchemical ways of thought, which must
otherwise appear nonsensical."

The idea seems to me to be that true alchemical transmutation occurs
at the level of the subtle body, which many times will have a physical impact
as well. But the stone itself is concentration of subtle energies in a subtle
body form and may not have been of a purely physical nature at all.
Of course the subtle realm at least as Jung takes it, is in equal measure
physical and spirtual or psychic. Despite the new develoments physics
has taken I think we must beware of the projection of knowledge we usually
make on the scientist - they are possibly the least able to work with the
subtle realm by the nature of their training.

Jeff

Subject: A0297 Alchemical significance of materials

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 09:15:43 -0500
From: George Leake

>In a design I am working on at the moment, I am looking at using
>materials to "speak" to people, conveying certain things about the
>importance and meaning of different places. I had a look at the
>alchemy web site, but what I am really interested in is whether or
>not different materials have different alchemical significances, and
>where I can find out about what these are if this is the case.

Frankly I think this fellow would do well to look into the philosophies of
Giordano Bruno

George Leake

Subject: A0298 Renaissance painting and alchemy

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 18:23:59 -0500 (EST)
From: DEMARCO

I am completing a study of a painting by Titian whose subject is the
PIETA and which was intended by the artist to lIe above his tomb in a
Venetian church. The central topos of the painting is stone -- used in
an aesthetic, theological and I believe alchemical sense. Although much
has been written about this painting almost no one has introduced the
subject of alchemy with respect to the imagery and symbolism of what
Titian intended. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who can
add to the literature of which I am aware concerning Renaissance and
particularly North Italian painting, or indeed sculpture.
Secondarily, can anyone cite some literature dealing with the Faustian
aspects of alchemy?


Nick Demarco -- DeMarco@Vassar.edu

Subject: A0299 English alchemy books

From: Adam McLean
Date: 18th October 1996

This morning I decided to extract all the English alchemy books from my database and place them in date order.
This will allow us to see the evolution and transmission of ideas. (However, please note, I have not been able to extract in this list the reissues and reprints of books, though there are not that many). We can immediately note that the early publications are almost entirely of physical alchemy (Ripley's allegorical 'Compound' in 1591 is an obvious exception). We can see short lived ideas such as that that of the antimonial cup during the 1630's-40's, and the sudden explosion of alchemical publication in 1650 (which has a large component of philosophical or spiritual alchemy) and we note how Thomas Vaughan's writings seem to lead this cycle of alchemical publishing. This stream of publication tails off towards the end of the 17th century. I hope this list might be of some assitance to those wishing to explore the historical evolution of English alchemy. I myself have been working on a book on this theme for some years.

Adam McLean

------------------------------------------------

1559 [Gesner, Konrad.]. The Treasure of Euonymus,...
1575 [Paracelsus] [1493-1541]. The true and perfect order to distill oyles...
1576 Gesner, Conrad. The newe Iewell of Health,...
1580 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. The first part of the Key of Philosophie...
1585 Bostocke, Richard. The difference betwene the auncient phisicke,...
1591 Duchesne, Joseph. A Breefe Aunswere of Josephus Quercetanus Armeniacus,...
1591 Ripley, George. The compound of alchymy...
1596 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. A hundred and foureteene Experiments and Cures...
1597 Bacon, Roger [1214?-1294]. The Mirror of Alchimy...
1605 Duchesne, Joseph. The Practise of Chymicall, and Hermeticall Physicke,...
1612 Tymme, Thomas. A Dialogue Philosophicall. Wherein Natures secret closet is opened,...
1616 Anthonie, Francis [1550-1623]. The apologie, or defence of a verity heretofore published...
1616 Willis, Timothy. The search for causes. Containing a theophysicall investigation...
1623 Cotta, John [1575?-1650?]. Cotta contra Antonium; or an ant-Antony: or an Ant-Apology,...
1623 Lambye, John Baptiste. A revelation of the Secret Spirit...
1623 Scot, Patrick. The tillage of Light...
1624 Flamel, Nicholas. Nicholas Flammel, His Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures...
1634 Evans, John. The universall medicine: or the vertues of the antimoniall cup...
1640 Primerosius, Jacobus. The antimoniall cup twice cast;...
1642 Evans, John. The universall medicine: or the virtues of my magneticall...
1648 Cohausen, Johann Heinrich [1665-1750]. Hermippus Redivivus: or, the Sages' Triumph over Old Age...
1649 Vigenere, Blaise de. A Discourse of Fire and Salt,...
1649 Weigel, Valentinus. Astrologie theologized:...
1650 Vaughan, Thomas. Anthroposophia Theomagica: Or A Discourse of the Nature of Man...
1650 Vaughan, Thomas. Magia Adamica: Or The Antiquitie of Magic,...
1650 Vaughan, Thomas. The Man-Mouse Taken in a Trap, and tortur'd to death...
1650 Dee, Arthur. Fascilicus Chemicus: or Chemical Collections....
1650 More, Henry. Observations upon Anthroposophia Theomagia, and Anima Magica Abscondita.
1650 Vaughan, Thomas. Anima Magica Abscondita: Or A Discourse of the universall Spirit...
1651 Vaughan, Thomas. Lumen de Lumine: Or A new Magicall Light discovered,...
1651 Vaughan, Thomas. The Second Wash: Or The Moore Scour'd once more,...
1651 d'Espagnet, Jean. Enchyridion Physicae Restitutae; or, The Summary of Physicks Recovered...
1651 French, John. The Art of Distillation,...
1651 Glauber, Johann Rudolf. A Description of new Philosophical Furnaces,...
1651 More, Henry. The second lash of Alazonomastix;...
1652 A Hermeticall banquet, drest by a Spagyricall Cook:...
1652 Vaughan, Thomas. Aula Lucis, Or, The House of Light:...
1652 Vaughan, Thomas. The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R: C:...
1652 Ashmole, Elias. Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum. Containing Severall Poetical Pieces...
1652 Carpenter, Agricola. Pseuchographia Anthropomagica: Or, A Magicall Description of the Soul...
1652 Fioravanti, Leonard. Three exact pieces of Leonard Phioravant Knight, and Doctor,...
1652 P., H. Five Treatises of the Philosophers Stone...
1653 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. Medicina Diastatica or Sympatheticall Mumie:
1654 Maier, Michael. Lusus Serius: Or, Serious Passe-time....
1654 Partlitz, Simon von Spitzberg. A New Method of Physick:...
1654 Philalethes, Eirenaeus Philoponus. The Marrow of Alchemy…
1655 [Hartlib, Samuel.]. Chymical, medicinal, and chyrurgical addresses: made to Samuel Hartlib,...
1655 Vaughan, Thomas. Euphrates, or the Waters of the East;...
1655 Nollius, Henry. Hermetical Physick: or, The right way to preserve,...
1656 Culpepper, Nicholas [1616-1654]. Mr. Culpepper's Treatise of Aurum Potabile....
1656 Maier, Michael. Themis Aurea. The Laws of the Fraternity...
1656 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. Paracelsus of the Supreme Mysteries of Nature...
1656 Parresiastes, Philophilus. Enthusiasmus Triumphatus, or, A Discourse of The Nature, Causes,...
1657 Croll, Oswald [1580-1609]. Philosophy Reformed & Improved in Four Profound Tractates...
1657 Nollius, Henry. The chymists key to shut, and to open: ...
1657 Nuysement, Jacques de [Baron Clovis Hesteau.]. Sal, Lumen, & Spiritus Mundi Philosophici:
1657 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. Paracelsus Of The Chymical Transmutation, Genealogy and Generation of Metals...
1657 Starkey, George [d. 1666.]. Natures Explication and Helmont's Vindication...
1657 Valentine, Basil. Basilius Valentinus…His last Will and Testament...
1658 Ashmole, Elias. The way to bliss...
1658 Heydon, John. A new method of Rosie Crucian physick:...
1658 Starkey, George. Pyrotechny Asserted and Illustrated,...
1659 Bacon, Roger [1214?-1294]. Frier Bacon his Discovery of the Miracles of Art, Nature...
1659 Eglinus, Raphael Iconius [1559-1622]. Cheiragogia Heliana. A Manuduction To the Philosopher's Magical Gold:
1659 Fludd, Robert. Mosaicall philosophy: Grounded upon the Essentiall Truth or Eternal Sapience...
1659 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. Paracelsus his Aurora, & Treasure of the Philosophers....
1660 Heydon, John [1629-]. The Rosie Crucian Infallible Axiomata, or, Generall Rules to know...
1660 Paracelsus [1493-1541]. Paracelsus his Archidoxis: Comprised in Ten Books,...
1660 Starkey, George. George Starkeys pill vindicated from the unlearned alchymist...
1660 Valentine, Basil. The Triumphant Chariot of Antimony,...
1661 Boyle, Robert. The Sceptical Chymist or Chemico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes,...
1662 Heydon, John. The English Physitians Guide: Or a Holy-Guide,...
1662 Heydon, John. The harmony of the world:...
1662 Heydon, John. The holy guide:...
1662 Le Fèvre, Nicolas. [1610-1674?]. A Compendious Body of Chymisty,...
1662 Poleman, Joachim. Novum Lumen Medicum;...
1664 Heydon, John [1629-]. Hampaaneah Hammegulleh: Or, The Rosie Crucian Crown:...
1664 Heydon, John. The wise-mans crown: or, the glory of the Rosie Cross...
1664 Le Fèvre, Nicolas. [1610-1674?]. A Discourse upon Sr. Walter Rawleigh's Great Cordial: ...
1664 MacKaile, Matthew. Moffet-Well: or, A Topographico-Spagyricall description of the Mineral Wells,...
1665 Bolnest, Edward [fl. 1665-1672]. Medicina instaurata, or; A Brief Account of the true Grounds...
1665 Heydon, John. Elhavareuna or the English Physitians Tutor In the Astrobolismes...
1665 Starkey, George. An epistolar discourse to the learned and deserving author...
1666 Spurstow, W. The spiritual chymist: or six decades of divine meditations...
1669 [Thraster, William.]. The Marrow of Chymical Physick;...
1669 [Vaughan, Thomas.]. A Brief Natural History Intermixed with variety Of Philosophical Discourses;...
1669 Beguin, John [fl. early 17th century]. Tyrocinium Chymicum: or, Chymical Essays,…
1669 Philalethes, Eirenaeus. Secrets Reveal'd; Or, An Open Entrance to the Shut-Palace...
1670 Acton, George. A letter in answer to certain quaeries ...
1670 Clarke, William. The Natural History of Nitre:...
1670 Croll, Oswald. Bazilica Chymica, & Praxis Chymiatricae or Royal and Practical Chymistry...
1670 Helvetius, John Frederick [1625?-1709]. The Golden Calf, Which the World Adores and Desires:...
1670 Suchten, Alexander von. Alex. Van Suchten of the Secrets of Antimony: ...
1670 Valentine, Basil. Basilius Valentinus,… Of natural & supernatural things...
1671 Webster, John. Metallographa: or, An History of Metals...
1672 Bolnest, Edward [fl. 1665-1672]. Aurora Chymica: or a rational way of Preparing animals, vegetables...
1673 Cooper, William [fl. 1675-1689]. The Philosophical Epitaph of W.C. Esquire...
1674 Barba, Albaro Alonso. The Art of Metals,...
1674 D., H. V. The Tomb of Semiramis hermetically sealed, ...
1674 Sendivogius, Michael. A New Light of Alchymy:...
1675 Cooper, William. A Catalogue of Chymicall Books....
1675 Starkey, George. Liquor Alchahest, or a Discourse of that Immortal Dissolvent...
1677 Faber, Albert Otto. De auro potabili medicinali ad potentissimum principem,...
1677 Tachenius, Otto. Otto Tachenius. his Hippocrates Chymicus..
1678 Boyle, Robert. Of a Degradation of Gold Made by an Anti-Elixir:...
1678 Geber. The Works of Geber,...
1678 Philalethes, Eirenaeus. A breviary of alchemy; or a commentary upon Sir George...
1678 Philalethes, Eirenaeus. Ripley Reviv'd: or, an Exposition upon Sir George Ripley's Hermetico-Poetical...
1678 Valentine, Basil. Basil Valentine His Triumphant Chariot of Antimony...
1680 Aurifontina Chymica: or, a Collection of Fourteen small Treatises concerning...
1680 Becher, John Joachim [1635-1682]. Magnalia Naturae: or, the Philosophers-Stone Lately expos'd...
1680 Boyle, Robert. The Aerial Noctiluca: Or Some New Phoenomena, and a Process...
1682 [Bacon, William.]. A key to Helmont....
1682 [Digby, Kenelm.]. A Choice Collection of rare Secrets and Experiments in Philosophy,...
1682 Case, John. The wards of the key to Helmont proved unfit...
1683 MacKaile, Matthew. The Diversitie of Salts and Spirits Mantained....
1683 Salmon, William. Doron Medicum. An idea of the process of the universal...
1683 Starkey, George. The admirable efficacy, and almost incredible virtue of true oyl,...
1684 Collectanea Chymica: A Collection of Ten Several Treatises in Chymistry,...
1685 Helmont, Franciscus Mercurius van [1618-1699]. The Paradoxical Discourses of F. M. Van Helmont,…
1685 Weidenfeld, Johannes Segerus. Four books of Johannes Segerus Weidenfeld,...
1687 [Midgeley, R.]. A new treatise of natural philosophy,...
1688 Colson, Lancelot [fl. 1660-1676]. Philosophia Maturata: An Exact Piece of Philosophy,…
1688 Helmont, Franciscus Mercurius van. One Hundred Fifty Three Chymical Aphorisms…
1689 Glauber, Johann Rudolf. The Works of the Highly Experienced and Famous Chymist,...
1690 Andreae, Johann Valentin. The Hermetick romance: or the chymical wedding....
1690 Urbigerus, Baro. Aphorismi Urbigerani, Or Certain Rules,...
1692 Penotus, Bernard. Penotus Palimbios: or the Alchymists Enchiridion....
1692 Y-Worth, William. Chymicus Rationalis: or, the Fundamental Grounds of the Chymical Art...
1694 Philalethes, Eirenaeus. Three Tracts Of the Great Medicine of Philosophers...
1694 Philoctetes, Eyreneus. Philadelphia, Or Brotherly Love To the Studious...
1696 [Schwartzfus, Anonymus von.]. Sanguis naturæ, or, a Manifest Declaration of the sanguine...
1696 Ali Puli. Centrum Naturae Concentratum: or the Salt of Nature regenerated....
1698 Hortulanus Junior. The Golden Age: Or, the Reign of Saturn Review'd....
1698 Philadept. An essay concerning adepts: or, a resolution of this inquiry,...
1698 Philalethes, Eugenius Junr. [Samber, Robert.]. Some Reflections On a late Book Called The Golden Age,...
1700 Annus sophiæ jubilæus. The Sophick Constitution: or, the Evil Customs...
1702 Mystagogus, Cleidophorus. Mercury's Caducean Rod:...
1705 Kunkel, Johann. Pyrotechnical Discourses. Being I. An Experimental Confirmation of Chymical Philosophy,...
1705 Mystagogus, Cleidophorus. Trifertes Sagani, Or Immortal Dissolvent....
1705 Y-Worth, William. The Compleat Distiller: or the Whole Art of Distillation...
1707 Salmon, William. Medicina practica: or, the practical physician: shewing the true method...
1709 Philalethes, Eirenaeus. A True Light of Alchymy....
1712 Freind, John. Chymical Lectures: In which almost all the Operations of Chymistry...
1714 A Short Enquiry Concerning the Hermetick Art...
1715 A Philosophical Enquiry Into some of the Most considerable Phenomena's...
1722 [Sendivogius, Michael.]. A Philosophical Account of Nature in General,...
1723 [Limojon de Saint Disdier, Alexandre Toussaint]. The Hermetical Triumph: or, The Victorious Philosophical Stone.
1732 Wisdom reputed Folly: or, the Composition and Reality...
1739 Bacon, Roger [1214?-1294]. The Philosopher's Stone; or Grand Elixir, Discover'd by Friar Bacon;...
1745 Chrysopoiea: Being a Dissertation on the Hermetical science....
1757 Elixir magnum: the Philosophers Stone found out...
1770 A Guide to Alchymy: or the Grand Secret laid open:...
1782 Price, James. An account of some experiments on mercury, silver and gold,...
1796 Pew, R. Observations on the art of making gold and silver,...
1806 Flamel, Nicholas. Testament of Nicholas Flamel...

Subject: A0300 Modern alchemical practice

From: greg
Date: 19 Oct 1996 22:06:00 PDT

Hi, I was wondering about the forms the practice of Alchemy is
taking for the modern alchemist.

I understand that there are probably many tecniques of meditation,
probably as diverse in form as the people who practice them--
that would be what I will call the "Introverted" side. What I'm
speaking of here is the "Extraverted" side of modern practice, and
what forms that may be taking, if any.

The way I see it, the alchemists of the past worked with natural
elements in the retort and the crucible, attempting to transform
matter. Most likely not everyone who practiced this was able to
glean philosophical insight from simply performing the physical
manipulation of substances, this came only to a relative few who
were blessed to become conscious of the correspondence between the
physical practice, and their own lives.

The physical manipulation of substances which the alchemists
performed were early attempts at a very young science, so these
people were truly operating at the "edge" of contemporary knowlege,
and so placing themselves at times in physical danger which eased
as they learned.

If people today were to make a practice of repeating physical
experiments of the alchemists, it would take on the character of
ritual. At this level, the practice becomes something other than
that which the early alchemists experienced, but perhaps it has a
certain "magical" effect, I don't know.

It seems to me that in the true spirit of alchemy the modern
alchemist needs to be open to new physical practices that may not
at first glance appear to be related to alchemy at all.
Has anyone found such "Extraverted" practices?

Greg