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Socrates (470-399 B.C.)
My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.
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3. If you believe, it shall exist.
4. When you call, they will answer.
5. Success and failure, is one and the same: ignorance and depression is the enemy.
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|Alchemy is alive and Well|
by Hans W. Nintzel
While it hasn't made the front pages yet, alchemy is enjoying a revival. The truth is, it never went away. It merely has kept a low profile. Yet, more attention is being given to alchemy than ever before. We will look at some of the reasons for this, but first it might be well to explain what we mean by the term "alchemy".
A one word definition is 'evolution' or `transmutation`. The implication is, one thing is being changed into another thing. As an every day example, consider the sun. It is truly an alchemist as it constantly is transmuting helium into hydrogen. Wine that has gone sour, is wine that has been transmuted into vinegar. Modern alchemists understanding that the best kind of vinegar is made from red wine, deliberately try to turn wine sour.
However, wineries add sulfides to the wine to prevent souring. Fortunately some wineries do not do this and there are also ways of eliminating the sulfides from wine. And yes, this transmutation includes turning lead into gold!
So we are surrounded by everyday examples of alchemy. The making of a pot of tea is an alchemical process as it extracts an essence, called sulphur by alchemists to color the water which we then call tea. It might be noted that the term sulphur is an alchemical 'code word' that, in this instance, refers to the natural oils in the tea (or in any plant). There are many more examples but our purpose is to chronicle past and current events in this recondite domain.
Alchemy is a discipline that started way back in the annals of history as best can be determined. Ancient Greeks, Indians, Chinese and Egyptians were practitioners of alchemy. However, we do not intend to go that far back. We will return to the days of the sixties and seventies so that we may have some insight to Dr. Albert Reidel.
Frater Albertus, as he preferred being called, supervised and operated what is called a "mystery school", in the Wasatch montain range in Utah. Located in the Salt Lake City area, this school taught a curriculum of very interesting subjects. These included Qabalah, the ancient Hebrew technique of spiritual growth which incorporates the tenets of magic, astro-cyclical pulsation (astrology) and, Alchemy. The school was run in the manner of a Gurdjieff "Fourth Way" school.
Dr. Israel Regardie, who was my friend and mentor suggested this school to me. At the same time, the person who had taught me the rudiments of Qabala, Dan T., also referred to this school indicating I would do well to look into it. Simultaneously, Mary F. invited me to her home to meet two people who had a unusual 'hobby', alchemy!
These two people. Kurt and Helene von K. were destined to become good friends and teachers of mine. They talked about alchemy and how they cured their son of mental dysfunction through the use of alchemical preparations. They showed us a small vial of an oily substance and declared this was "oil of iron".
As a graduate civil engineer with an MBA and 20 years in the 'hard' and logical discipline of information systems, I could not readily accept what they told me. My engineering background always insisted that I should see, feel, taste and touch things to verify their reality. I had never heard of oil of iron, nor the oil of any other metal, so it could not possibly exist! That was my mind set at the time. Nonetheless, they managed to capture my interest.
What got me excited was, they had studied under one Frater Albertus at the very same school I had so recently heard so much about, the Paracelsus Research Society! They explained how to apply for the school and tantalized Mary and I with stories of alchemy.
It did not take long for me to get on the telephone with 'Doc' and with Dan. They urged me to go. The clincher was, Bill, an Episcopalian priest committed to attend and Mary decided to go as well.
We applied, were accepted and soon found ourselves in Salt Lake City, at the P.R.S. awaiting the commencment of the Prima class. The night before, the meeting room was abuzz with the new students. Sixteen in all, all ready to start the first of seven two-week courses at P.R.S. to learn the rudiments of alchemy.
Everyone was intensely interested in everyone else as to how they came here, what they were "into" and so on. It turned out, the students were "into" a variety of things. There was a couple from Canada who had studied alchemy, they said, for many years under the guidance of the god Mercury. There was an opera singer and her husband who was a conductor of a symphony as well as being a concert pianist. He had been a child prodigy and had studied under Kofdaly.
There was a sweet old lady in her late 70s who was "into" crocheting; a computer programmer; a chiropractor; a chap who told us he was the master of the martial art of swords (and gave some fascinating demonstrations of power); a high energy Ph'D candidate from Norway studying at M.I.T.; an industrial engineer; a surrealistic artist; a chemist (who was to perform some incredible alchemical experiments later on); a medical doctor; a priest; a lady who had been the secretary to a state governor and a civil engineer.
A mixed crew indeed! Yet before long, sharing this special experience, we came to be good friends and most of those friendships are as strong as ever today. Everyone button-holed everyone else and got into serious discussions of all sorts.
The martial arts expert, in answer to my question as to what this 'bought him', said: "I can tell past lifetimes from the aura". Well! I urged him to 'read' my past lifetime. He squinted at me, sort of over and behind me and I could scarce conceal a smirk. Boy, was he 'coming on'! After a few minutes he told me I had been a worker in the pyramids of Egypt but was killed in an accident. I was stunned!
This was the precise substance of a recurring dream I had as a teen. That I was working, as a stone mason in a pyramid when a block of stone struck me in the head and I died! This little incident was to be the first of many "weird" and often disquieting events during this class.
The next morning, we assembled in the meeting room, per instructions from 'Soror Emmy' bright and early. We could hardly await the arrival of 'Frater Albertus'. He arrived promptly and seated himself at the head of the table saying, as he was to do for the beginning of every class I took, "Good Morning Everyone" and then became silent and allowed his eyes to rest for a few moments on each student.
We all felt he could read our minds and the class got a little restless. Then he closed his eyes and seemed to drift off...or something. After what seemed an eternity, his voice, strong and clear said: "GOD is good". He then lapsed into silence and the class closed its respective eyes and waited. After a short time, he spoke: "God is GOOD" putting the inflection on the last word of the same sentence. Again a silence followed by his speaking: "God IS good".
We meditated on the import of this for several minutes and then he opened his eyes (as did the class), looked around at everyone thoughtfully and then started to dilate on this sentence. Each morning of every class he would start with this "Morning Meditation" as he called it.
He was amazing in that he never used notes, he always had his talk perfectly memorized. And he never gave the same one twice in the seven years I was to take these classes! It was observed that he always wore a cardigan sweater and that the sweater was in the "correct" color for that day. That is, red on Tuesday, Orange on Wednesday, Black on Saturday, etc. These are the corresponding "planetary colors".
In many ways he was truly astonishing, he had been born on May 5, 1911, 1:40 am in Dresden, Germany. His hands were very large, belying the fact that he was an artist with a delicate touch. He was very powerful as I found out, yet very gentle and patient. Frater Albertus was to initiate me into alchemy and be my teacher for the next ten years, until his death.
Each day followed the same format, a morning meditation followed by a session on Qabala where we studied the Tree of Life and other Qabalistic philosophies. He also taught Astro-Cyclical Pulsations showing how all of life follows (seemingly) predictable cycles, just like a sine wave. And, of course, the mainstay of the studies was Alchemy.
Always a session on theory followed by practical lab work where we could prove (or disprove) the theory given. We learned that all substances consist of three essentials and that they could be separated, purified and put back together again into a higher state.
He helped guide us through the morass of alchemical writngs so often written in obscure words and more obscure meanings. The theory he gave us helped to understand these writings and reveal them as extremely valuable aids to the student.
He himself exemplified his belief in creating written records. Each experiment that was performed, was carefully written up in notes. These notes were, of course, kept by the student, and one set was put on file in the P.R.S. records.
The three basics which Frater told us all things were made of, were called by the alchemists, Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. These were analogs for Soul, Body and Spirit. Or, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, or Solids, Liquids, Gasses.
In fact, a large set of 'triplicities' fit these terms. He described and showed us the differences in these three as they varied in the different kingdoms of vegetables, minerals and animals. He taught us how to extract these, from plants, how to purify them and how to conjoin them again. His purpose was to show us the parallels between the kingdoms and how, using this spagyric technique, one could make medicines. Potent medicines.
Medicines that were, in the main, different from those prescribed by orthodox physicians, yet medicines that have been known for millenia, preserved in "old wives tales", American Indian lore and in other 'occult' respositories. As we shall see, these medicines are being "revived" and are available to the public. It is my belief that it is from alchemical medicines pernicious diseases will at last be overcome.
These medicines consisted initially of herbs and plants. Then we progressed to working with such metals as Antimony and Iron. In P.R.S., we used, as a text, Basil Valentine's incredible book, "Triumphal Chariot of Antimony".
Herein lie explicit, clear instructions on how to transmute a rank, poisonous element into one that can be used medicinally. This was, to be sure, Antimony. From this matter, all manner of marvelous medicines can be made.
While Basil Valentine set down many 'recipes' there are a few "blinds" in his writings. To be absolutely sure in preparing such medicaments, one should seek a teacher to guide the student through the little traps set for the unwary.
It is interesting to note that in the March 1987 issue of "AMBIX" magazine, Dr. Lawrence Principe, now at Johns Hopkins University, wrote an article in which he received a government grant to replicate the work done by Valentine in "Triumphal Chariot".
His research proved to be invaluable as he showed a few 'traps' in the work and developed techniques to obtain the "Tincture of Antimony" by making this healing substance from the "glass"of antimony.
In a conversation with him, I indicated it was not so much a miracle that he was indeed able to replicate the experiments, but that he got the government to pay for it! Larry injects the scientific disciplines into an arcane subject.
In a different operation, we separated the essences of common chicken eggs and from the sulphur thereof, produced a medicine salutary in incidences of artheriosclerosis.
This substance, an oil, is also marvelous as a topical. Jody, my wife, will not be without it now as a skin care product. The metals, having long absorbed planetary influences, are far more powerful than herbs in healing.
Consider the energy in a half fingernail covered with Uranium. It could blow away a city, such as Hiroshima . How wonderful it would be if this energy were harnassed for healing rather than destruction!
Frater told us of the "Philosopher's Mercury" and of the "Stone of the Philosophers", legendary alchemical items. He did not show us, directly, how to create these things, but gave us hints, stories, analogies and insights.
His method was, true to the code of alchemy, NOT to give anything away on a platter, but to make you work for it. To sweat for it. So, it was to be years later on, that marvelous day that I succeeded in making some potent alchemical, medicinal products as well as the sought-for goal of the alchemists, mercury.
Oh, not quicksilver, but the Philosophcal Mercury. The Universal Dissolvent. When my friend and teacher Dan T., helped me achieve this goal, I literally fell on my knees to thank the Father for his grace in discovering this secret to me! This is a product that thousands have strived for and yet few have obtained.
Through all of this, Frater was ever mindful of and conveyed to us, the goodness and love of our common father for all his children. Indeed, as indicated by Valentine and others, the revelation of preparing these alchemical gifts were a direct gift of God.
I don't think anyone in this domain doubts that! To augment this spiritual aspect, Frater read to us from such canonical texts as the (King James) Bible. He "opened us up" to new ideas as to how Qabalah and Alchemy were quite prevalent in this Holy book.In fact, we were all amazed as he offered proof-after-proof to substantiate his statement that the Bible is a Manual of Alchemy and contained vast secrets for those who have eyes to see.
In my classes and seminars, I cite examples from such canonical texts as the Bible, to show how these texts are written in a code. A symbolic code that must be penetrated in order to glean the true (and hidden) meaning.
As an example, there is a section in John that shows how to prepare the Philosophical Mercury! Genesis is a treasure house of mysteries not discerned by the casual reader. As Paracelsus told us, the Qabala (a Spiritual discipline that is part and parcel of alchemy) opens all sealed epistles.
At the end of the seven year cycle at P.R.S., I had absorbed a good deal of alchemical knowledge. In fact, I got "hooked" on it. As a former counsellor in a drug program, this is the only "addiction" I can safely say is healthy!
Perhaps equally important to the teachings, were the many different groups of people I had met. Our bonding at P.R.S. enabled us to remain in close touch, even to this day. Subsequent to the classes, I met fellow alchemists from every part of the globe.
We too maintain a 'network'. Now while we were still attending PRS classes, Frater founded "PARALAB" a company chartered to prepare alchemical or "spagyrical" (as they are more correctly called) preparations for public sale. These were both medicinal and cosmetic items. (Unfortunately, Paralab plroved to be 'before its time').
He also wrote quite a few books. He taught the classes, mowed the lawns, and was a man of boundless energy. However, he once told as, that all this would end. That alchemical mystery schools each operated in their own cycle and PRS also had to end. But before this came about, he "transmuted" PRS into PARACELSUS COLLEGE. He dreamt, and set the ideas down on paper, of TRISTAR, a spectacular alchemical research and healing center.
Woven into the architecture were the symbols of alchemy. A sort of modern Gothic cathedral. Plans were drawn up, models made to scale, monies were begun to be appropriated, then he died. It was July 1984 when a dream and a reality left this plane.
Since he for some reason did not groom someone to be his replacement, the light has gone out. The college sits idly and no classes are being taught. Books he had in manuscript form may never see the light of day. There is no one on the horizon to pick up the torch he lit. But, he inculcated alchemy into many who will never forget him! And, more germane, who will continue to carry out the work in their own unique ways.
The people whose lives he touched may number into the thousands. Many are actively engaged in either "practical" alchemy or in allied research. Most of those are in communication with one another, to share ideas and results.
My personal activity in networking started with my producing retyped and translated copies of old alchemical texts. This has caused many a student to knock at my door. It is a rare day when I don't write some fellow alchemist somewhere in the world!
There are more alchemists than are dreamt of, Poland, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, India, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Australia and other countries.
Before examining alchemy today, let us take a brief look at the principals behind the phenomena of alchemy.
Firstly, as indicated, alchemists consider ALL things as composed of three essential, sulphur, salt and mercury. These are actually, consciouness (sulphur), a vivifying life force (mercury) and a vehicle in which the latter two are housed (salt).
They correspond to soul, body and spirit, in that order. This is the same spirit and soul as found in religion. However, in alchemy, we learn how to separate these three so that they can be seen and held.
This is part of the vast field of alchemical theory but a theory that allows direct proof to be made. You can see, weigh, and taste the three essentials from the various kingdoms. This enables you to KNOW and experience their existence rather than having faith.
Alchemy trades off knowledge for belief!
In the Indian alchemy called Ayurveda, the same principles apply under the term "Gunas" and include Sattva (consciousness), Rajas (spirit or energy) and Tamas (body or mass).
Techniques for separation of the three principles are available as well as teachings for the "Three Fold Process", Separation, Purification and cohobation.
As an example, in the plant world, one can extract the alchemical sulphur; which is the essential oil. Then one can extract, from the putriified plant, the spirit. This exhibits itself as alcohol.
Happily, "store bought" ethyl alcohol will do nicely. Finally, the residue of the plant, the 'fecal matter' is burned or calcined to a white ash or salt.
These are all purified and then brought back together (cohobated) and through a certain process can be formed into a stone-like matter. A "Plant Stone". So, we have killed the plant to enable it to give up its soul and spirit. Then we have re-united them and thus resurrected them in a new and glorified body.
This product is the highest form of the plant attainable.
Philosophically speaking, note that the plant could not do it for itself. It needed " a higher power" (in this case, man) to accomplish this highest transmutation. The plant stone can not only perform interesting physical phenomena, but is an extremely powerful medicine. What it will cure depends on what plant or herb it was made from. The laws of astrology apply here.
The plant stone is also a teaching device as its confection is an exact analog of how to make a stone in the other kingdoms. The curative powers of the plant stone are the focussed and the concentered healing powers of the original herb.
If the herb had been rosemary, the part of the body it would heal would be the heart as rosemary is a sun plant and the sun governs the heart.
Further, the sage plant, governed by Venus which also governs the kidneys, would be useful in kidney problems. Mercury governs valerian and the thyroid so a goiter condtion might be eased with a tincture from the valerian plant or, more likely CURED with a valerian plant stone.
While the sulphur is the major healing agent, utilizing, spagyrically ALL the parts of the plant, a more efficacious medicine will obtain.
Going a step further, we know that planets also have rulership over metals as well as plants and specific parts of the body. The Sun for example rules gold and Venus rules copper. The Sun also rules sunflowers, frankincense and rue as well as the heart.
It should be clear then, that a medicine cna be made for specific parts of the body from metals. And that since metals have "been around" longer, absorbing beneficial rays, they will be more potent.
Recall the analog of Uranium! How to do it-make a tincture from a metal? Why just like one does with the plants. "As above, so below". I can personally attest to the efficacy of Aureum Potabile or tincture of gold. The process is one of extracting the sulphur of gold, purifying it and using this product as a medicine.
As mentioned, if one could combine the other two essentials, the effect would be absolutely astonishing. However, getting the other two essentials in the mineral kingdom is not so easily done!
Returning to the present, what is happening now? Sources tell me that more alchemical information is being made available than ever before. Anyone working in this field can tell you that. Alchemy is said to have Sufi roots.
Frater Albertus in his book "The Alchemist of the Rockie Mountains" refers to this. He went so far as to say that in the HinduKush mountains, in a little town called Nuristan, alchemists were busy converting base metals into gold. Their purpose was to prepare for the financing of the coming avatar. An atlas shows this town to be in Afghanistan.
Did you ever wonder why the Soviets were so bent on getting into Afghanistan? There weren't all that many natural resources available. In fact, it is only a very hardy person that can eke a living from that difficult and hostile country. So what did they want? Could it be they heard that someone was producing gold there? Maybe even mass producing it? Who can say with certainty?
The same sources mentioned, said that the Adepts who were there moved to France well in advance of the Russians. Again, anyone in this field will tell you that, ye