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3823E

ROSIGRU Cl AN ORDER
A M O R C

Supplementary Monograph
T h e subject m a tte r of th is m onograph m u st be understood by th e re a d e r o r stu d en t
of sam e, no t to be th e official R osicrucian teachings. T hese m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y the R osicrucian O rder, ,A M O R C , both to m em bers
a n d n onm em bers, because th e y are not the secret, p riv ate teachings of th e O rder.
T h e object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden th e m in d of the stu d e n t b y
p resen tin g h im w ith the w ritin g s, opinions, a n d dissertations of au th o rities in various fields
of h u m a n en terp rise a n d endeavor. T h erefo re, it is q u ite probable th a t th e re a d e r w ill
note at tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are inconsisten t
w ith the R osicrucian teachings or view point. B ut w ith the reaiization th a t th e y are m ere
ly su p p lem en tary a n d th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
th em , one m u st tak e them m ere ly for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h ro u g h o u t th e supple
m e n ta ry series th e au th o rs or tran slato rs of th e subject w ill be given due cred it w h en ev er
w e have know ledge of th e ir id en tity .

if
a

RO SICRUCIA N PARK, SA N JO SE, CALIFORNIA

Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian

SPECIA L SU B JEC T
HERMETIC TEACHINGS

rap-

v<u-?ME;ncA-

LECTURE NUMBER

-APa9e One
INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS
The power to transform, or an act or process of transforming
something common into something precious is one of the definitions
given of the word "alchemy."
Transmutation or change on all planes
of existence, visible or invisible, and in all aspects of life is the
basic idea presented in those teachings derived from the sage, Hermes
Trismegistus, and which are called in their entirety by the name "Her
metic philosophy."
But whether by this name or another, throughout
all ages there have been those whose imaginations have been fired by
these ideas.
It was reasoned that as man was created in the image of
God, so then may men create as God creates.
"As above, so below" is
the axiom of the alchemist.
There could not be one set of laws for
the Cosmic and another for man; therefore one set of laws governed
all--Cosmic laws, and these laws would be the same, no matter where
applied.
Creation began when Cosmic Mind, through the power of will, pla
ced a concept into consciousness, where it was brought forth as ma ni
festation.
The alchemist, following this reasoning, conceived the
idea of "prima materia" or "first matter," a basic substance from
which all matter is formed.
This prima materia is what the Rosicru
cian calls "spirit energy," for when motion or vibration was injected
into spirit energy, through mind, will, and consciousness, then that
spirit energy divided itself into all forms of matter.
The alchemist did not know the terminology of modern physics, yet
he conceived and grasped the concept that, theoretically, it should
be possible to alter matter into the prima materia and form it into
whatever he desired, for in reality, all matter was one, there being
only a differentiation of vibration among its many formings.
Accept
ing this premise as a truth, the structure of the alchemist's reason
ing and the development of his ideas were logical.
He believed that
all common or base metals could be transmuted into what he felt was
their highest form gold, and that there could be created a "tincture"
that could effect this transmutation.
He dreamed of the transmuting
of the human body into a state of perfection, and of a universal
medicine that would cure all ills.
And he believed in the possibility
of the transmutation of all that was base and common in the essence
of man's personality into that transcendent being the Master person
ality.
These were more than just dreams, for there was the evidence
from those out of the past who had already walked that way.
The goal of the alchemist, then, is the transmutation of some
thing common into something precious.
It is achieved through a true
understanding of the Law of Correspondences, or Cosmic law working
on all levels.
The process of transmutation is, however, one of growth as well
as a change.
By tradition, the "how" of it has always been a care
fully hidden secret.
The medieval alchemist chose to describe the

steps of transmutation in most cautious terms, some listing as few


as four; others calling for twelve and over.
Paracelsus, who lived
most of his life in the 16th century, describes them in seven:
1. calcination, 2. sublimation, 3. solution, 4. putrefaction, 5. dis
tillation, 6. coagulation, 7. tincture.
These appear to be chemical
processes, yet could be used to describe processes active on higher
levels also.
The writers whose names and works will be introduced to you in
these following discourses all have the same basic concepts, yet
each speaks of his knowledge and search in his own individual way.
The Hermetic writings, or Hermetica, are works attributed to
Hermes Trismegistus, a character whom most historians regard as alle
goric or mythical.
However, Dr. H. Spencer Lewis speaks of Hermes as
being an actual person.
The treatises in the Hermetica are conversa
tions setting forth the inner m y s te ri es , the speaker-mystic receiving
the first hint of Cosmic consciousness and retaining it in conscious
mind.
". . . 1 . . . was freed, full of the power He had poured into
me, and full of what He'd taught me of the nature of All. . . . "
The Hermetica, together with the Emerald Tablet (which was the basis
of alchemy) are two strictly Hermetic works upon which both the sci
ence and philosophy of alchemy are founded.
The Emerald Tablet has already been discussed in RAD Series #5
on Symbols, Discourse 16, and in RAD Series #4, Number Syste ms , Dis
course 17.
The Emerald Tablet will be compared to the Hermetic
writings in two discourses of this series.
This first discourse
consists of summaries of four Hermetic writings.
Since they are
summaries, paragraph numbers have been omitted and abridgements and
omissions have not been indicated.
The following is a summary of Book I, Poimandre, which is a
dialog between Mind or Poimandre and Hermes, as told by Hermes.
Comments have been added to this summary in parentheses.
The writer begins by saying he was meditating and gives two of
the elements of his meditation:
elevation of thoughts or conscious
ness and restraint of the objective senses.
A vast Being appears.
Hermes asks Poimandre who he i s , and Poimandre responds that
he is Mind, which in Greek is N o u s . (We use nous in the sense of
the universal, cosmic creative force or energy which may be consid
ered as Mind or cosmic, psychic energy.
The writings say that Mind
is with man always.
To put this another way, man has the Cosmic
Mind within him; he is never separated from it.)
The writer, Hermes, wants to know the things that exist, to
understand their nature, and to know God.
He is told to hold these

in his mind and Mind, Poimandre, will teach him.


and meditate on them.

He is to concentrate

The aspect of Poimandre c h an g es , and all things are opened to


Hermes.
All becomes light. Then comes darkness belching smoke and
making an inarticulate cry like lamentation.
Out of the light comes
the Word which descends on the moist nature.
(This is creation, which
might be diagrammed as follows:
Mind
Darkness

Moist nature

F:
ire
n r
Air

Water

Light
w'clfrd

|
I

Earth)1

However, Light is Mind, the first God, and the Word is thus the
son of God.
This corresponds to man in whom mind is the father and
speech the son.
(Nous, Mind, is Father and corresponds to Ptah.
Logos, Word, is Son and corresponds to Thoth.)
The two are united, for life is the union of logos and nous, word and
mind.
Concentrating on the Light, the writer finds that it consists of
innumerable Powers, and that it has become an ordered, boundless kosmos, and what he has seen is the archetypal idea of creation, the cos
mic pattern.
The elements of nature come into being from the will of
God, by the Word and by copying or imitating the archetypal k o s m o s .
Thus, the material kosmos is a copy of the archetypal kosmos.
The first Mind is Life and Light.
It is bisexual or bipolar,
having within itself both factors necessary for creation.
So it brings
forth another Mind, the Maker of things (the architect of the universe
as some later writers have put it, or the artisan of alchemy who, as
nature, is assisted by the human artisan.
It is possible that this
is where Jacob Boehme got his concept of two Minds and two Wills.)
The second Mind was fire and spirit or air.
He made seven Admin
istrators who encompass the sensible or material kosmos.
(These

Administrators correspond to what Fludd calls intelligences, angels,


or governors of the planets.)
Their administration, the Hermetic
writings say, is called Destiny; (we might say karma.)
9

We have been told that the Word came out of the Light; and that
fire, air, water, and earth were separated and kept in motion by the
Word.
Now we learn that the Word leaps up from the downward-born
elements into the pure nature and is united to the Maker, the second
Mind, for the Word is one nature with that second Mind.
Without the
Word, the elements are pure matter.
Mind the Maker is the Demiurgos,
the Creator.
Together with the Word it encompasses the spheres of
the planets and stars, whirls them around so that they begin where
they end.
From the elements Nature, as the second Mind, wills and brings
forth creatures without Logos, winged things in the air, things that
swim in the waters, etc.
But Mind, who is Life and Light, is that
which gives birth to Man, that is, the Cosmic Man, who is like Man,
the image of his Father.
God loves His image and bestows on Man all
He has made.
Man wishes to create also and is given permission by the Father.
Each of the seven Administrators gives man a share in its own ordering.
(In other words, it is this share in the ordering which makes man co
worker of the cosmos, and it is partly this which he returns in his
ascent through the spheres to God.)
Man understands the essence of
the Administrators, and partakes of their nature, and wills to break
through the boundary of their spheres.
Nature is the form (morph on ) of God.
Man has the working of the
seven Administrators.
(The myth of the love of nature and man sym
bolizes their attraction, harmony and union.
Both are the image of
God:
they are the macrocosm and the microcosm.
Man, however, has
logos, reason, while nature is without reason.)
Furthermore, Man is
dual.
He is mortal because of his body and immortal because of the
essential Man, (or that part of him which is derived from Mind or
Nous.)
He has all things in his power, yet he is subject to Des
tiny.
He is above the Harmony or outside the kosmos, yet he is ser
vant to it.
As God is bisexual, so is Man.
The immortal part of
Man is sleepless as his Father is sleepless, yet he is, in his mor
tal part, overcome by sleep.
From the union of Man and Nature come seven men who are also bi
sexual.
(We have, then, the archetypal or cosmic Man, seven adminis
trators, seven archetypal men, and even God who are bisexual, or
bipolar; capable of creation from their own natures or elements.)
The seven men receive the vital spirit from ether, from fire its
ripeness, from earth the negative and from water the positive pola
rity.
In them Life becomes soul, and Light becomes Mind.
All living creatures had been bisexual but are separated, males
and females, and all creatures multiply according to their kind.

That one who would learn to know himself, however, will enter
into that Good which is above all being.
He who is led astray in
eros or love expends his love on the body and wanders in the darkness
of the sense world and suffers death.
("The man who knows himself"
refers to knowledge of the whole self as opposed to one who is lost
in the world of the objective senses.)
Ignorance, therefore, consists in love of the material which is
the source of darkness.
He who knows himself enters the Good because
the Father of all consists of Life and Light.
The immortal part of
man is derived from Life and Light.
The man who knows this returns
to Life.
Mind is present in good and holy men.
Guardian, will bar the evil activities.

Mind, being Doorkeeper or

When the material body is dissolved, it is subject to change and


its ideal form (eidos) becomes invisible.
Man then mounts upward
through the Harmony, the spheres.
To each of the seven zones he sur
renders an attribute.
He then ascends to the eighth sphere clothed in
his own power.
In other words, he has left with the seven spheres the
characteristics he derived from them.
Then those in the eighth sphere
mount up to the Father.
Becoming powers in themselves, they are in
God, which is the fulfillment for those who have attained gnosis or
knowledge from God.
Having given thanks to God, the writer begins to
preach to men the beauty of piety and gnosis.
He sows in them the
logos of wisdom.
They are given the water of immortal life to drink.
The remainder of Book I is a hymn and prayer.
'Holy is God the Father of all, who is before the first
beginning;
holy is God, whose purpose is accomplished by his several Powers;
holy is God, who wills to be known, and is known by them that
are his own.
Holy art Thou, who by thy word hast constructed all that is;
holy art Thou, whose brightness nature has not darkened;
holy art Thou, of whom all nature is an image.
Holy art Thou, who art stronger than all domination;
holy art Thou, who art greater than all pre-eminence;
holy art Thou, who surpassest all praises.
Accept pure offerings of speech from a soul and heart unlifted
to thee, Thou of whom no words can tell, no tongue can speak,
whom only silence can declare.
I pray that I may never fall away from that knowledge of thee
which matches with our being; grant Thou this my prayer.
And
put power into me, that so, having obtained this boon, I may
enlighten those of my race who are in ignorance, my brothers
and thy sons.
Wherefore I believe and bear witness that I enter into
Life and Light.
Blessed art Thou, Father; thy Man seeks to share thy holiness,
even as Thou hast given him all authority.1

Book V of the Hermetica is the teaching of Hermes to his son Tat,


which is another form of the word Thoth.
It concerns God, the mani
fest and the unmanifest.
But in this explanation we learn the nature
of God or the Cosmic.
The basic argument is that God is Himself unmanifest.
If He were
manifest, He would not exist, for the manifest is subject to becoming
or change.
God is not subject to change; therefore, He is unmanifest.
He always is, but He makes manifest all other things.
He is not brought into being by making himself visible, for this
is manifestation.
God alone is beyond making visible.
(This concept
is similar to oriental ideas of the world as appearance or m a y a .)
In
making all things appear, God appears in all and by all.
Pray to the Alone One, for only thought can "see" the hidden or
unmanifest.
If you wish to see God, contemplate the sun, the stars.
All order must be made; that which has no order has not been made.
All that is made has order consisting of place, number, and measure.
Who produced all that i_s except the hidden God, who made all
things by His will?
He is greater than all names.
He is the One
Only, and His work is to be Father.
His very being is to conceive
and make all things.
Hence He does not exist if He is not continu
ously making all that is in heaven, in the air, on earth and in the
deep.
He is both the things that are and those that are not.
Those
that exist He has made manifest, and those that do not exist He con
tains within Himself.
He is beyond all name and apprehensible by thought alone, yet
we can see Him with our eyes in that which is manifest.
He is in
corporeal, yet He has many bodies, or is materialized in all bodies.
All things that exist are He; hence, all names are names of Him.
For this reason He has no name, because He is Father of all.
He has no manner, nor place, nor anything of the manifest.
all are in and from Him.
He gives all and takes naught.

Yet

As Hermes says, "Thou art whatever I am; Thou art whatever I do;
Thou art whatever I say."
God
God
God
God

is
is
is
is

Mind in that He thinks.


Father in that He creates.
God in that He makes active.
Good in that He makes all.

(This diagram expresses the nature of God and creation:


God
Soul

More subtle, finer


vibrations, more
volatile, more
psychic or cosmic.)

Air
Water

(In Book VIII Hermes also teaches his son, this time regarding
destruction and death.
But from this we learn the nature of God, the
kosmos, and man.)
Death is a name void of fact, for death is destruction and nothing
in the kosmos is destroyed.
The kosmos is a second God, an immortal
being, and no part of it can die.
First is God, eternal, without beginning, the Maker of the whole.
Second is the kosmos, made by God in His image, kept in being by
God, an ever-living being.
The Father is eternal in Himself, but the kosmos is made everliving by the Father.
The third is man, made in the image of the kosmos.
He has mind
above all earthly creatures.
He feels himself to be part of the kos
mos and can apprehend God by thought.
He apprehends the kosmos as a
body, but he understands God as incorporeal, as the Mind of the Good.
Matter retains some disorder in the world, which is the reason
for growth and decay.
The kosmos is made by God and is in God.
Man is made by the
kosmos and is in the kosmos.
The beginning, end, and union of all is
God.
Book XI, like the first book, is a dialog between Mind and Her
mes, the latter wanting to know the nature and relationship of the
kosmos and God.
We have discussed God, kosmos, and man.
The series
or perhaps modes or manifestations of God are in a descending order,
to use a metaphor:
God, Aeon or eternity, Kosmos, Time, Becoming. . . .
God makes Aeon.
Aeon is in God.
Aeon's soul is God.
Aeon makes Kosmos.
Kosmos is in Aeon.
Kosmos' soul is Aeon.
Aeon makes Time.
Time is in Kosmos.
Time makes Becoming.

ROSICRUCIAN ORDER
AMORC
T R A D E M AR K

T.

Supplementary Monograph
PRINTED

IN U . S . A .

T h e subject m a tte r of this m onograph m u st be understood b y th e re a d e r or stu d en t


of sam e, not to be th e official R osicrucian teachings. T hese m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y the R osicrucian O rder,,A M O R C , both to m em bers
a n d n onm em bers, because th e y are no t th e secret, p riv ate teachings of th e O rder.
T h e object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden th e m in d of th e stu d en t b y
p resen tin g h im w ith th e w ritin g s, opinions, a n d dissertations of au th o rities in various fields
of h u m a n en terp rise a n d endeavor. T h erefo re, it is quite probable th a t th e re a d e r w ill
n ote a t tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich a re inconsisten t
w ith th e R osicrucian teachings or view point. R ut w ith th e realization th a t th e y a re m ere
ly s u p p lem en tary a n d th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
th em , one m u st tak e th em m ere ly for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h ro u g h o u t th e supple
m e n ta ry series th e au th o rs or tran slato rs of the subject w ill be given due cred it w hen ev er
w e have know ledge of th e ir id en tity .

RO SICRU CIA N PARK, SA N JO SE, CALIFO RNIA

"Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian"

SPECIA L SU B JEC T
HERMETIC TEACHINGS

RAD' 13 jSMggftiP 32B&LET

LECTURE NUMBER
2

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS

The earliest known references to the Emerald Tablet are Arabic of


the 9th century probably by way of Syrian versions.
These ascribe its
origin to Greek authors but differ as to who did write it.
Legend has
it that the Tablet was found with Hermes in his tomb or with Alexander
the Great in his tomb.
It was supposedly written in Phoenician charac
ters in an emerald tablet.
Versions of the tablet differ in some significant points.
I have
used the Latin and German versions found in Heinrich Khunrath's Amphi
theatre of Eternal W i s d o m , and this version is given in one of the lec
ture series on Symbols.
The tablet expresses the Hermetic axiom, As above, so below, but
it is not the only source of this concept.
It is found in other ter
minology in many religious and philosophical writings.
The tablet is unique because it is put in alchemical terms and
was one philosophical or metaphysical basis of alchemy.
Astrology and
magic are also based on this concept, or on the idea of the macrocosm
and microcosm.
The Emerald Tablet is in alchemical terms and sets forth alchemi
cal theory.
The Hermetic writings are in terms of mystical philosophy.
However, the ideas in both can be applied to alchemy.
The concepts,
therefore are parallel; one corresponds to the other.
EMERALD TABLET, translated from Khunrath's Amphitheatre
(Translated by R. Phelps)
"True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is
below (or inferior) is like that which is above (or superior), and
that which is above is like that which is below for accomplishing the
wonder of the one thing.
As all things are created (or restored) from
one, by the will and command (or by the meditation) of the one United
who created it, so all things are born (or spring) from this one thing
by dispensation and union (or adaptation.)
Its father is the sun, its
mother is the moon, the wind carries it in its belly, its nurse is the
earth.
This is the father of all perfection in this whole world.
Its
power is perfect when it is changed into earth; so you should separate
the earth from the fire, and the subtle from the thick or gross but
lovingly with great understanding and discretion.
It ascends from
earth to heaven and from heaven again to earth and receives again the
power of the Above and the Below.
Thus you will have the splendor of
the whole world.
All lack of understanding and lack of ability will
leave you.
This is of all power the most powerful power, for it can
overcome all subtlety and can penetrate all that is solid.
Thus was
the world created.
Thus many rare combinations originated, and wonders
are wrought, of which this is the way to work.
And thus I am called

Trismegistus, having the three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
All that I have said concerning the work of the sun is fulfilled."
In order to understand the Emerald Tablet, we will first point out
some of the main concepts in it, then read the text itself, and then
explain some of the concepts further.
Finally, since as far as I know
it has not been done, parallels between the Tablet and the Hermetic
writings will be discussed.
First and basic to Hermetic philosophy in any form is the As above,
so below idea, or as the Tablet says, "That which is below (or inferior)
is like that which is above (or superior)." This is analogous to the
macrocosm and microcosm, the great world which is the cosmos and the
small world which is man.
It is expressed in the writings by saying
that the cosmos is made in the image of God, and man in the image of
the cosmos.
Second, there are three expressions which use the idea of the one,
and we must understand what they mean.
The Tablet states, "That which
is above is like that which is below for accomplishing the one t hi n g ."
This one thing which is accomplished is what the alchemists called the
philosopher1s stone, but in mystical terms it refers to the attunement
and Cosmic consciousness.
The Tablet also says, "As all things are created from one. . . .
so all things are born from this one thing. . . . "
The one from which
all things are created is the first matter (prima materia) of the
alchemists.
We say all is vibratory.
All things are created from
the first matter.
All things are born from the philosopher's stone.
The Tablet teaches that all things are created by the will and
command of the one United, or, depending on the version, a similar
term.
This, of course, refers to God as creator, or in terms of the
Hermetica to Mind the Maker.
Third, Creation is by the will and command of God, and the com
mand is verbal; hence, it is the Creative Word.
Creation, then, is by
the will and Word.
Fourth, its (meaning the stone's) father is the sun, its mother
is the moon, representing duality, but duality within the o n e .
Fifth, the Tablet says, "This is the father of all perfection in
the whole world."
God, being perfect, is the father of perfection in
the world.
But since God created the first matter, it too could be
considered the father of perfection.
And the philosopher's stone or
Cosmic consciousness properly used also creates perfection.
Sixth, "Its power is perfect when it is changed into earth."
attains perfect power in earthly manifestation.

It

Seventh, "So you should separate the earth from the fire, and the
subtle from the thick or gross."
Whether the alchemy is practical or
transcendental, the earthly and material must be separated from the
spiritual or psychic.
Eighth, "It ascends from earth to heaven
earth and receives the power of the Above and
cent to earth and reascent to heaven in birth
life the ascent and descent in meditation, or
in the alchemical vessel which give power.

and from heaven again to


Below."
It is the des
and death, or during
the ascent and descent

Ninth, "This is the most powerful power, for it can overcome all
subtlety and can penetrate all that is solid."
This power is both
material or physical and psychic or subtle.
Tenth, "Thus was the world created
. . . of which this is the
way to work."
That is, as God created the world, and as the cosmos
creates, so can man.
Man should work the same way as does God and
nature.
One key to the meaning of the Emerald Tablet is the interpreta
tion of the "one thing" in the phrase "for accomplishing the wonder of
the one thing."
The first sentence of the Tablet says that the Above and Below,
the superior and inferior, the macrocosm and microcosm are alike b e
cause of their correspondence and for the purpose of accomplishing the
one thing.
Superior and inferior refer to the realms above and below,
and in ancient times this usually meant the realm above the moon and
that below the moon.
By the law of correspondences, the "one thing" refers to the
Divine or Cosmic itself, the Cosmic in the universe, and in man.
This
may be symbolized in alchemical terms by the philosopher's stone, or
the union of duality, or the chymical marriage.
It is represented in
mythology, in medieval legend, and in mystical symbolism.
But the "one thing" is both
transmutation, which is a return
state of being.
The "one thing"
mutation, whether it is physical

the Cosmic and the result of the


to the Cosmic or the primal cosmic
which is accomplished i the trans
or transcendental transmutation.

The second sentence tells us that all things are created from one
by the will and command of the one United (eines einigen) or by the
meditation of the one United who created it.
The one from which all
things are created is the prima materia, the first matter, from which
all elements arise.
The elements evolve from this matter to perfec
tion, and metals evolve from the lowest form to perfection or gold.
Development is from the "one" created by the will of the one United,
or God, to the one thing which is accomplished.

The "one thing" which is accomplished, and the one which is created
by God, and the one United or God Himself are all related and might be
considered as essentially the same or one.
The first matter is the b e
ginning of creation emanated from God, the "one thing" is the return to
perfection, the Cosmos, or God.
The one which is created by God may also be considered to be the
cosmos, which in the Hermetic writings is an image of God, or to be
man, who is an image of the cosmic and God.
Then the "one United" is
God, who creates the "one" which is the cosmos or man or the first
matter, from which the "one thing" is accomplished or transmuted.
The passage also says that all things are created from one b^ the
will and command or by the meditation of the one United in the same
way as things are born from the one thing.
As God creates, so do the
cosmos and man.
We might rephrase the first part of the Tablet:
The macrocosm
and microcosm correspond for accomplishing the one thing (transmuta
tion) . As all things are created from one (first matter) by the will
and command of the one United (God), so all things are born from this
one (first matter) by dispensation and union (in the work of m a n ) .
This is the Divine Mind which creates itself by itself and restores
itself to itself.
It is also the Divine in man, the artisan, who
creates by imitating the Cosmic Creator.
These basic concepts in dif
ferent forms are common to both the Tablet and the Hermetic writings.
The command is analogous to the Word or Logos in the Hermetica.
Creation and transmutation are accomplished by means of the will and
the command or logos, or as some versions of the Tablet say, by me di
tation.
Furthermore, this is a creation or restoration, which implies
a cyclic renewal, a continuing process.
The creator is the Cosmic agent or artisan who uses will and com
mand.
The cosmos and man are agent and artisan who use dispensation
and union or adaptation.
The third sentence begins, "Its father is the sun, its mother is
the moon."
The sun and moon symbolize duality of which the "one thing"
is the union.
But they also represent the Above and Below, the
superior and inferior realms.
Thus the "one" is born of a duality.
The sun is the light giving,
the active, the sulphur, the king, gold.
The moon is the light receiv
ing, light reflecting, the passive, the mercury (or s al t ) , the queen,
silver.
The sun is immaterial, the subtle, the volatile, the psychic;
in relation to the sun, the moon is the material, the gross, the fixed,
the lower vibratory ra t e s .

". . .the wind carries it in its be l l y " refers to the p n e u m a , the


spiritus, the breath and vital force, the immaterial element breathed
in with the air.
The belly refers to the womb and birth.
The one is
formed and brought to birth by the wind or vital force.
" . . . its nurse is the earth" represents the concept that in
creation or manifestation the earthly, material element is necessary.
But the nurse cares for, feeds, and brings the one to its proper devel
opment and perfection.
The nurse is the Platonic receptacle, that which
receives the vital force or soul.
The wind and earth form another duality, so that we have two
pairs, sun and moon, wind and earth.
The one in turn is the "father of all perfection in this whole
world."
That is, the first matter is the father of the "one thing" or
the philosopher's stone.
The one United creates the one first matter
which in turn is father of the "one thing" or philosopher's stone which
itself is a return to the Cosmic or the one United.
The "one" is born from the duality of the sun and moon but is it
self father of all perfection.
All things are born from One and
created by One and are perfection in the One.
"Its power is perfect when it is changed into earth."
In other
words, mundane, material manifestation is necessary for perfection and
power.
It is part of the cyclic process necessary for accomplishing
the "one thing."
First it is manifest in earthly form, then it is sep
arated into earth and fire.
" . . . you should separate the earth from the fire, and the subtle
from the gross."
Only after this separation does it ascend "from earth to heaven
and from heaven again to earth, and it receives again the power of the
Above and the Below.
The steps given here are:
1.

Earth, the receptacle, receives the soul or vital force.


"It is changed into earth."

2.

Earth or the gross is separated from the subtle or fire.

3.

The subtle (the soul or psychic part) ascends to the Above and
receives power, and it descends to the Below and receives
power.

"Thus you will have the splendor of the whole world."


This splendor
in terms of the transmutation of man is illumination or Cosmic conscious
ness . It is a union or oneness.

"All lack of understanding and lack of ability will leave you.


This is of all power the most powerful power, for it can overcome
all subtlety and can penetrate all that is solid."
"Thus was the world created," that is, by God.
"This is the way to work," meaning this is the way for man to
work.
As the alchemical process requires separation of the subtle and
gross, so meditation requires the separation of the psychic self from
the physical.
The work must be done "lovingly with great understanding and
discretion" or the student will attain neither physical nor transcen
dental transmutation.
The one or first matter is separated, and part ascends and des
cends just as the consciousness of the mystic is said to ascend and
descend during meditation.
The Tablet says, "And thus I am called Hermes Trismegistus,
having the three parts of the wisdom of the whole world."
This could
refer to the three basic steps which we have outlined.
It refers to
Hermes Trismegistus as king, philosopher, priest.
It also corresponds
to the three realms:
eternal, celestial or astral, and mundane or
temporal, or to God, nature, and man.
Knowledge of all three is
required for the threefold mastery implied by Trismegistus.
"All that I have said concerning the work of the sun is ful
filled."
The sun is the symbol of God as well as of gold which
represents perfection, the end of the process of transmutation.

ROSICRUCIAN ORDER
AMORC

Supplementary Monograph
P R I N T E D IN U . S . A.

T h e subject m a tte r of this m o n ograph m u st be understood b y th e re a d e r o r stu d en t


of sam e, not to be th e official R osicrucian teachings. T hese m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y th e R osicrucian O rder,,A M O R C , both to m em bers
a n d nonm em bers, because th e y are n o t the secret, p riv ate teachings of th e O rder.
T h e object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden th e m ind of th e stu d en t b y
p resen tin g h im w ith th e w ritin g s, opinions, a n d dissertations of au th o rities in various fields
of h u m a n en terp rise a n d endeavor. T h erefo re, it is quite probable th a t the re a d e r w ill
note at tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are in co n sisten t
w ith th e R osicrucian teachings or view point. B ut w ith the realizatio n th a t th e y are m e re
ly su p p lem en tary a n d th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
th em , one m u st tak e th em m ere ly for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h ro u g h o u t th e supple
m e n ta ry series th e au th o rs or tran slato rs of th e subject w ill be given due credit w henever
w e h av e know ledge of th e ir id en tity ,

Sv.

n iiia i

RO SICRU CIA N PARK, SA N JO SE, CALIFO RNIA

every

SPEC IA L SU B JE C T
HERMETIC TEACHINGS
r a d " 13 I f o t e g ^ n TfyQ,

ftOSMO
lLv-^Oaa

T~\

A_

LECTURE NUMBER

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS

In the Stobaeus Excerpts of Greek Literature is a passage which


expresses the As above, so below concept (Kore Kosmu, Mead p. 123).
The passage is not in the Scott translation (cf. Vol. I, 493-5, #68).
This may be a matter of which version of the Greek was used.
The
Kore Kosmu is concerned with the teaching of Isis to H o r u s .
"'This they ((Osiris and Isis)) who, taught by Hermes that the
things below have been disposed by God to be in sympathy with things
above, established on the earth the sacred rites o'er which the mys
teries in Heaven preside.'"
Some authorities have thought, because Isis is speaking to her
son and the passage speaks of Osiris in the third person, that the
passage must be spurious, for instance, added later.
However, this
is not necessarily true.
People have been known to speak of them
selves in the third person.
Furthermore, and more important, this
probably points to the use of Isis, Osiris, and Horus in the rituals
and teachings of a group, that is, their use as mystical names by
which the initiate assumes the role of one of the trio.
The same Stobaeus Excerpt has another passage pertaining to the
above and below concept:
" . . . the world which lies below has been set in order and
filled with contents by the things which are placed above; for the
things below have not power to set in order the world above.
The
weaker mysteries then must yield to the stronger; and the system of
things on high is stronger than the things below, and is wholly
steadfast, and cannot be apprehended by the thoughts of mortal man."
The Asclepius, which we have only in a Latin translation of the
original Greek, says, "Do you not know, Asclepius, that Egypt is the
image of Heaven, or more exactly, the transference and descent of
all that which is governed and exercised in Heaven.
And if it must
be more truly said, our land is the temple of the whole world."
This puts the Above in terms of Heaven or the world, while the
Below is likened to Egypt, which makes the passage similar to the
macrocosm and microcosm.
One.

The Tablet and the Hermetic writings both say that All is from
In Book III of the Hermetica we find this:

"God is first of all things, the universe and nature are derived
from God."
"God is the source of all that is; He is the source of mind,
nature, and matter, the wisdom that reveals all; for He is the
source of all, nature, energy, necessity, the end and renewal."

Book IV says, "With Logos, not with hands, did the demiurgos
(Mind the Maker) create the universal K o s m o s , so you should think of
Him as everywhere and ever-being, the Author of all things, the One
and Only, who by His will created all things.
"His body cannot be touched, seen or measured; it is not extended
in space; it is like nothing else.
It is neither fire, water, air,
nor breath (pneuma) ; yet all these come from Him."
This passage also states plainly the role of Logos, the Creative
Word, as the agent of the Author, Mind the Maker.
Book IV also contains
and root of all, is in all
source nothing is; but the
it is the beginning of all
no other source.

this passage:
"The One, being the source
things as root and source.
Without
source is from nothing but itself, since
else.
It is its own source, since it has

"The One, being the source, contains all number, but is contained
by none.
It generates every number and is generated by no number.
"Now all that is
increase and decrease;
That which is subject
cumbs through its own
One.

engendered is imperfect, divisible, subject to


but the Perfect is subject to none of these.
to increase increases from the One, but suc
feebleness when it can no longer contain the

"And now, 0 Tat, I have drawn for you, as far as possible, the
image of God.
If you will dwell on this with the eyes of your heart,
then believe me, my son, you will find the upward path, or rather,
the image itself will guide you. . . . "
The Tablet says, "As all things are created from one, by the
will and command of the one United (or Alone One) who created it, so
all things are born from this one thing by dispensation and union."
In the H ermetica, Hermes instructs his son Tat in Book V.2:
"Making all things appear, He appears in all and by all, but especially
in those in which He wills to manifest.
Therefore . . . pray first
to the Lord and Father, the Alone One from whom the One comes to show
His mercy to you, so that you may know and understand so great a God,
and that one ray from Him may shine in your mind."
Book X I . 11 also expresses the fundamental unity or the One:
is apparent that some One does these things, and that He is One.
Soul is one, life is one, matter is one."

"It

The creativity of God, or Mind the Maker, is an essential ele


ment in both the Tablet and the Hermetic writings.
Book X I . 17 has
this passage:
"As man cannot live without life, so God cannot exist

without making what is good.


It is, as it were, the life and motion
of God to generate life and motion in all things."
The perfection concept is common to both the Tablet and the
Hermetica. In the Tablet, it is said that all things are created
from the one, and this is the father of all perfection in this whole
world.
Book X I . 13 of the Hermetica states:
"It has already been shown
that nothing can be inactive; how much more this is true of God.
If
there is anything He does not do, He is imperfect, a thing which none
may dare say; He is not inactive but perfect, and He makes all things."
The Tablet says that all things are created by the will and com
mand of the one United.
Hermes as writer of the first book asks Poimandre, "From what did the elements of nature come into being?"
Poimandre answers, "From the will of God, having received the Word
and beheld the Beautiful (archetypal) kosmos and copied it. . . ."
The Word is analogous to the command in the Tablet, so there are
both elements, the Word and the will, in both the Tablet and the Her
m e t i c a . Also in Book I the text tells us:
"From the downward-born
elements, Nature as Mind willed and brought forth creatures devoid of
Logos (or Word). . . . "
But the previous sentence says, "Mind the
Maker together with the Word, encompassing the spheres and whirling
them around, turned around his own formations as a wheel. . . . "
Thus Mind the Maker and the Word created the sphe re s, the macro
cosm, or the Above.
Nature, or Mind the Maker as Nature, in turn
willed and brought forth creatures in the lower world which are
without Logos.
The will of God is also mentioned in Book X:
"Know then, Tat,
that God, the Father, and the Good are of the same nature, or rather
energy.
For nature is a term referring to growth both mobile and
immobile, or both human and divine, each of which He wills into being.
. . . God's energy is then His Will; further, His essence is to will
the being of all things.
For what is God, Father, and Good but the
being of all things that as yet are not? This (God's will) constitutes
the existence of all things that are.
This is God, the Father, the
Good. . . . "
The concept of
bisexuality of God,
and the first man.
a creature or being
himself in order to

duality is symbolized in the Hermetica by the


the seven Administrators, the seven cosmic men,
Bisexuality is also a symbol for self-generation;
who is bisexual does not need any other than
create.

This concept is stated in the Tablet by saying that its father


is the sun, its mother the moon.
The sun is the masculine and

positive; the moon is the feminine and negative.


But the sun and
moon are the two eyes of Horus; they are an inseparable pair and
part of the macrocosm.
They represent the duality in unity of the
macrocosm.
Asclepius 1:2 says:
"That only which tends upward is lifegiving; and that which tends downward is subservient to it.
Moreover
all that descends from on high is generative; and that which issues
upward from below is nutritive.
Earth, which alone stands fast in
its own place, receives all that is generative into itself."
Put in different terms, the superior is life-giving and genera
tive; that which is inferior is nutritive.
Earth is therefore the
nurse and receives that which is generative.
This brings us to Book X I .7:
"For the love and blending of con
traries and the unlike became light shining by the action of God, the
Father of all good, the ruler of all order, the governor of the seven
worlds.
Behold the moon, forerunner of them all, the instrument by
means of which Nature works and which changes matter here below.
Look at the earth set at the center of the whole, foundation of the
beautiful kosmos, feeder, and nurse of all earthly creatures."
The Tablet says,
earth. "

"Its power is perfect when it is changed into

The last part of Book XI speaks of the greatest evil being ig


norance of God.
"For there is nothing which is not the image of
God.
And yet you say God is invisible.
Do not speak thus, for who
is more manifest than He? For this very reason He has made all thing
that through all things you may see Him.
This is the goodness of God
this is His virtue, that He manifests Himself through all.
Nothing
is invisible not even the incorporeal.
Mind is seen in its thinking,
and God is seen in His making."
God is perfect, and the manifest is the image of God.
His
virtue is that He manifests Himself through all.
However, the word
virtue comes from the Latin word meaning strength, power, manliness.
The Tablet admonishes the student to separate the earth from
the fire, the subtle from the thick or gross.
In alchemical terms,
this means to separate the fixed and volatile, and in mystical terms
it means to separate the objective from the subconscious or the
material from the psychic.
It is the separation and suppression of
objective senses for meditation.
The Hermetica in Book X. 4-6 tells the student that in order to
apprehend the beauty of the Good, one must be able to see it.
It is
seen fully only by those released from the body, "for knowledge of it
is deep silence, and suppression of all the senses."

On the subject of separation, Book V I I . 2-3, the student is told


to seek a guide to lead him to the door of the House of Knowledge.
The book is headed:
"That ignorance of God is the greatest evil in
men."
"There shines the clear light pure of every darkness; there
no one is drunken but all are sober, looking with the eyes of their
hearts on Him who wills to be seen.
He cannot be heard with the
ears, nor seen with the eyes; the tongue cannot speak of Him, but
(He can be known) only with the mind and heart.
But first you must
tear off this garment which you wear, this web of ignorance, this
ground of evil, this chain of corruption, this cloak of darkness. .
If

In other words, you must separate the psychic and physical in


order to achieve mystical union, or in terms of the Tablet, in order
to ascend from earth to heaven.
Regarding ascent, Book IV teaches that all men have spee ch , but
not all men have Nous or Mind.
"But as many (men) as have partaken
of the gift (of mind) which God has sent, these, my son, in comparison
with the others, are as immortal gods to mortal men.
They embrace in
their own mind all things that are, the things on earth and the things
in heaven, and even what is above heaven; and raising themselves to
that height, they see the Good."
In Book XI.20 ascent is again put in mystical and psychic terms.
"If you do not make yourself like God, you cannot know Him, for like
is known by like.
Leap beyond all that is corporeal, and make your
self expand to that greatness which is beyond measure. . . . Become
higher than all heights, lower than all depths.
Bring together in
yourself all the qualities of all creatures, of the fire and water,
dry and moist
..."
The passage deals not only with ascent but
with separation of the psychic and material.
In Book 1.24-26 Hermes asks to be told of the ascent by which
men (enter life.)
The answer concerns transition.
"When the material
body is dissolved, you first yield the body to the work of change, and
the ideal form it had becomes invisible.
Your ethical habits you
surrender to the Daimon.
The bodily senses return to their sources.
. . .
Thus it is that man mounts upward through the Harmony (i.e.
the spheres) of the heavens."
To each zone man gives what he has
received from it, that is, on his descent at birth.
Then clothed in his proper power he ascends to the nature of the
eighth sphere and finally to the Father.
Becoming a power himself,
he is in God.
Like the Tablet, this associates power with the ascent,
and consequently with the descent to earth at birth.
This power,
which the Tablet states is perfect when it is changed into earth, in
Book XI is said to be active in the manifest.
"The Maker is in all
things; H e is not established in some one place, nor does He make
some one thing, but He makes all.
Being power, He is active in the
things He makes and is not independent of them, yet all that becomes
is subject to God."

Both the Tablet and the Hermetica say God is perfect.


Book XI
is headed, "That the Good is in God a l o n e , and nowhere else."
"The Good, 0 Asclepius, is essence free of every motion and all
becoming, having a stable energy centered in itself.
It lacks
nothing, is not subject to passions, and has an ever-full supply.
It
is one, yet the source of all, for what supplies all is good.
It is
for ever good.
But this belongs to none save God alone.
He does not
need anything, so that, desiring it, He should be evil.
He can lose
nothing, at which loss He might be pained.
There is nothing stronger
to do Him wrong. . . .Since these are non-existent in God, what is
left but Good alone?"
Book II puts the perfect in terms of good also.
"God alone is
good, all other things are separable from the nature of good.
Body
and psyche have no room for the good, for such is the greatness of
good that it is co-extensive with the existence of all things that
exist, corporeal and incorporeal, sensible and intelligible."
The individual cannot have The Good because Good is God and is
co-extensive with all that is.
That which is, therefore, is perfect
as a whole.

ROSICRU ClA N ORDER


AMORC
TR A D E MARK

Supplementary Monograph
P R I N T E D I N U . S . A.

T h e subject m a tte r of this m onograph m u st be understood b y th e re a d e r o r stu d en t


of sam e, no t to be th e official R osicrucian teachings. These m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y th e R osicrucian O rder, .A M O R C , both to m em bers
a n d n onm em bers, because th e y are no t the secret, p riv ate teachings of th e O rder.
T h e object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden th e m in d of th e stu d en t b y
p re sen tin g h im w ith the w ritings, opinions, a n d dissertations of au th o rities in various fields
of h u m a n en terp rise an d endeavor. T h erefo re, it is quite probable th a t th e re a d e r w ill
note a t tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are inconsistent
writh th e R osicrucian teachings or view point. B ut w ith the realization th a t th e y are m e re
ly su p p lem en tary a n d th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is no t endorsing or condoning
th em , one m u st tak e th em m ere ly for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h ro u g h o u t th e supple
m e n ta ry series th e au th o rs or tran slato rs of the subject w ill be given due credit w hen ev er
w e h ave know ledge of th e ir id en tity .

RO SICRUCIA N PARK, SA N JO SE, CALIFO RNIA

"Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian"

SPECIA L SU B JEC T
HERMETIC TEACHINGS
RAD-13

R-2

659

LECTURE NUMBER

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS

The Hermetic M u s e u m , published in 1678 and enlarged from a 1625


edition, is a representative collection of alchemical writers who
follow the symbolism and terminology of the older writers who went
before them.
Admitting that there is a hidden something which only
the adept can know, they state that anyone who seeks to know the
secret must search further.
This and the following discourses are selections from two of
these writings.
The spelling has been modernized.
One of the inter
esting subjects referred to is the "seed," a basic concept used to
symbolize growth and transmutation.
The Glory of the W o r l d ; or, Table of Paradise . . . The Science
of the Philosopher's S t on e. (Author is not g i ve n ). (Title Page
quotes from Pet, iii,5)
"For this they willingly, through their
wickedness, are ignorant of, that through the Word of God the heavens
were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water."
The Glory of the World, or, Table of Paradise:
A most precious
book, containing art, the like of which is not to be found upon earth;
showing the truth concerning the true Philosophy, and the most noble
medicine, and priceless tincture, together with divers other valuable
arts, and the instruments required for them.

"Now, in the name of God, the Almighty Creator and Preserver of


this world, I venture to show forth the hidden mysteries of nature,
which God has planted there, and deigns to reveal to men, that they
may see how marvellously things are created, and how wonderfully all
classes of natural objects are brought forth, for a testimony to all
believing Christian men, and for a comfort to all afflicted and troub
led hearts seeing that all things created perish and are decomposed
only to be renewed again, to be multiplied, animated, and perfected
after their kind.
For nothing that is created or born is at rest, but
daily undergoes increase or multiplication on the part of nature,
until it becomes that which is created and ordained to be the treasure
of all mankind.
"Therefore, beseech God to give you such wisdom and understanding
as will enable you to understand this art, and to bring it, by His
blessing, to a good issue for His own glory, and the good of your
neighbour.
. . . You must resolve to begin this blessed and divine
work in the name of God, for the service of all good Christians, . . .
For this treasure, which is above all other earthly treasures, is
granted to him alone who approves himself humble, honest, gentle, and
faithful, as far as the weakness of human nature allows, and keep the

laws of God through God's bounty and blessing, and who is not likely
to mistake the true nature of the gift, or to abuse it against his
own eternal welfare.
It is the gift of the Holy Spirit, the loving
bounty of the great God, which comes down from the Father of light.
He who masters this art'must have asked and obtained wisdom of God,
since he has not only gold, silver, and all the riches of this world,
but also perfect health, length of days, and the comfort to be derived
from a reassuring type of the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ

" . . . you may obtain the glorification which was given to


Christ. . . . Commit your care to God, trust His word, and keep his
holy commandments.
Then God will be with you in all things. . . .
Your art will then afford you true comfort, yield you all you need,
refresh you amid all your hardships, supply you with the means of
relieving the necessities of others, and constantly keep before your
eyes a living type of your own glorious resurrection. . . .
" . . . I beseech you, therefore, to acquit yourself wisely in
all you do, not to be in haste, but to reveal this mystery to no
mortal man, unless he is a lover of this art, and of a godly, sincere,
and merciful temper. . . . You must confess that this art is real.
. . . Moreover, you must ask God to enlighten you by the gift of His
Holy Spirit, to sharpen your understanding, to open your eyes, and to
grant you a profound insight into that unfathomable wisdom which lies
hid in our art, and which no sage has ever been able to express in
his writings.
"A spirit is within, which by deliberate skill you must separate
from the body.
Simply disjoin the material part from the vapor.
You
should then add the cold water of the spring.
With this you should
unwearidly sprinkle both.
You will then have the true Elixir of all
this art.
" . . . You must give a wide berth to the false alchemy of the
vulger herd. . . . Know also there is only one thing in the whole
world that enters into the composition of the Stone, and that, there
fore, all coagulation, and admixture, of different ingredients would
show you to be on a wrong scent.
If you could perform all the
different operations of our art, yet all your dissolving, coagulating,
. . . etc. would be useless without a true knowledge of our matter. .
. For even if you knew the right matter, your information would be
useless to you without a knowledge of the method of preparing it.
The
Stone in its final and effective form is not to be found anywhere in
the whole world, either in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath,
nor in any metal, nor in anything that grows, nor even in gold or
silver.
It must be prepared, i_.e., developed, into its final form.
Yet, for all that, it cannot, strictly speaking, be made better than
God created it, nor can the tincture be prepared out of it.
The

tincture must be added to it, and therefore has nothing to do with


our main object, since it is a different thing altogether. . . . "
"Know that our Stone is o n e , . . . For it
a Stone and
could bear no name so characteristic as that of the Stone of the
Sages.
Yet it is not any one of our existing stones, but only
derives its appellation from its similarity to them.
Our Stone is
so prepared as to be composed of the four elements.
On this account
it has been called by different names, and assumes different forms,
although it is one thing, and its like is not found on earth.
It is
a Stone, and not a stone, in the sense of having the nature of any
one stone.
It is fire, yet it has not the appearance or properties
of fire.
It is air, yet it has neither the appearance or properties
of air.
It is water, but it has no resemblance or affinity to the
nature of water.
It is earth, though it has not the nature or
appearance of earth, seeing that it is a thing by itself.
"You should also know that in our art we distinguish two things
the body and the spirit; the former is constant or fixed, while the
other is volatile.
These two must be changed, the one into the other
The body must become water and the water body.
Then again the body
becomes water by its own internal operation, and the two, i.e., the
dry and the liquid, must once more be joined together in an insepa
rable union.
This conjunction could not take place if the two had
not been obtained from one thing, for an abiding union is possible
only between things of the same nature.
Of this kind is the union
which takes place in our art, for the constituent parts of the matter
are joined together by the operation of nature, and not by any human
hand. . . . For instance, the Eagle is a "water" which being
extracted is then a body dead and lifeless.
If it is to be restored
to life, the spirit must once more be joined to it, and that in a
unique fashion. . . . "
'The enigma of the wise (the Stone) is the salt, and root of
the whole art and, as it were, the key, without which no one is
able either to lock or unlock its secret entrance.
No man can under
stand this art who does not know the salt and its preparation. . . .
"Metals have their own seed like all other created things.
Generation and parturition take place in them as in everything else
that grows. . . . The seed is a metallic matter which is liquified
from earth.
The seed must be cast into its earth and there grow
like that of every other created thing.
Therefore, we must prepare
the earth, or our first matter, and cast into it the seed, whereupon
it will bring forth fruit after its kind.
This motion is required
for the generation out of one thing, viz, that first matter.
The
body must become spirit, and the spirit body.
Thence arises the
medicine which is transmuted from one color to another. . . . The
first matter is one thing and fashioned into its present shape by

the hand of God and not of man, joined together and transmuted into
its essence by nature alone.
This we take, dissolve, and again con
join, and wash with its own water, until it becomes white and then
again red.
Thus our earth in which we now may easily see our sun
and moon, is purified.
For the sun is the father of metals, and the
moon is their mother, and if generation is to take place, they must
be brought together as husband and wife.
By itself neither can pro
duce anything, and therefore the red and white must be brought to
gether. . . . The first matter is the earth into which we cast our
grain, that is to say, our sun and moon, which then bear fruit after
their kind."
"If therefore any man know the principle and method of creative
nature, he should have a good understanding of our art. . . .
In the
beginning when God made heaven and earth, there was only one matter,
neither wet nor dry, neither earth, nor air, nor fire, nor light, nor
darkness, but one single substance resembling vapor or mist, invisible
and impalpable.
It was called Hyle, or first matter.
If a thing is
once more to be made out of nothing, that "nothing" must be united
and become one thing.
Out of this one thing must arise a palpable
substance, out of the palpable substance one body, to which a living
soul must be given, whence through the grace of God it obtains its
specific form."
". . .the Philosopher's Stone grows not only on 'o u r 1 tree, but
is found, as far as its effect and operation are concerned, in the
fruit of all other trees, in all created things, and vegetables, in
things that grow and in things that do not grow.
For when it rises,
being stirred and distilled by the Sun and Moon, it imparts their
own peculiar form and properties to all living creatures by a divine
grace.
It gives to flowers their special form and color.
All metals
and minerals derive their peculiar qualities from the operation of
this Stone.
All things are endowed with their characteristic quali
ties by the operation of this Stone, i.e., the conjunction of the
Sun and Moon.
For the sun is the Father, and moon is the Mother of
this Stone, and the Stone unites in itself the virtues of both its
parents.
If you understand the operation, the form, and the quali
ties of this Stone, you will be able to prepare it.
If you do not,
give up all thought of ever accomplishing this task."
"Observe, furthermore, how the seeds of all things that grow,
as, for instance, grains of wheat or barley, spring forth from the
ground by the operation of the Stone, and the developing influences
of sun and moon; how they grow up into the air, are gradually matured,
and bring forth fruit, which again must be sown in its proper soil.
The field is prepared for the grain, being well ploughed up, and
manured with well rotted dung; for the earth consumes and assimilates
its food, and separates the subtle from the gross.
Therewith it calls
for the life of the seed, and nourishes it with its own proper milk,

and causes it to increase in size and to grow upward.


The earth sep
arates, I. say, the good from the bad, and imparts it as nutriment to
all growing things; for the destruction of one thing is the generation
of another.
It is the same in our art, where the liquid receives its
nutriment from the earth.
Hence the earth is the Mother of all things
that grow, and it must be manured, ploughed, harrowed, and well pre
pared, in order that the corn may grow, triumph over the tares, and
not be choked by them.
A grain of wheat is raised from the ground
through distillation of the moisture of the sun and moon, if it has
been sown in its own earth.
The sun and moon must also impel it to
bring forth fruit, if it is to bring forth fruit at all.
For the sun
is the Father, and the moon the Mother of all things that grow."
"In the same way, in our soil and out of our seed, our Stone
grows through the distilling of the sun and moon; and as it grows it
rises upwards, as it were, into the air, while its root remains in
the ground.
That which is above is even as that which is below; the
same law prevails; there is no error or mistake.
Again, as herbs
grow upward, put forth glorious flowers and blossoms and bear fruit,
so our grain blossoms, matures its fruit, is threshed, sifted, purged
of its chaff, and again put in the earth. . . . When it has been
placed in its natural soil and watered with rain and dew, the moisture
of heaven, and roused to life by the warmth of the sun and moon, it
produces fruit after its own kind.
These two sowings are peculiar
characteristics of our art.
For the sun and moon are our grain, which
we put into our soil, as soul and spirit, and such as are the father
and mother will be the children that they generate."
"My son, I will now proceed to explain to you more in detail
the generation of metals, . . . their growth and development, with
their special form and quality.
You will thereby be enabled to
understand the principle that underlies our whole art.
Permit me,
therefore, to inform you that all animals, trees, herbs, stones, metals,
and minerals grow and attain perfection by the agency of natural
influences.
As it is with plants, so it is with metals.
While they
lie in the heart of the earth in their natural ore, they grow and
are developed day by day through the influence of the four elements.
Their fire is the splendor of the sun and moon.
The earth conceives
in her womb the splendor of the sun, and by it the seeds of the
metals are well and equally warmed just like the grain in the fields.
Through this warmth there is produced in the earth a vapor or spi r it ,
which rises upward and carries with it the most subtle elements.
It
might be called a fifth element, for it i_s a quintessence and con
tains the most volatile parts of all the elements. . . .
It is drawn
up by the sun and forced down again by the rocks, and as it falls the
vapor is transmuted into a liquid, i.e., sulphur and mercury.
Of
each of these a part is left behind, but that which is volatile rises
and descends again, more and more of it remaining behind, and becoming
fixed after each descent.
This 'fixed' substance is the metals. . . .

"For all metals, when perfectly developed, must ultimately


become moon and sun, though some need to be operated on by the sun
and moon longer than others.
For the sun is the Father and the moon
the Mother of all things that grow.
"For matter represents a perfect and inseparable union of the
four elements, which is the sum of our art, and is consequently able
to reconcile and heal all discord in all manner of metals and in all
things that grow, and to put to flight all diseases.
For disease is
discord of elements, (one unduly lording it over the rest) in animal
as well as metallic bodies.
Now as soon as our blessed medicine is
applied, the elements are purified and joined together in amity; thus
metallic bodies are fixed, animal bodies are made whole of all their
diseases, gems and precious stones attain to their own proper per
fection. "

ROSICRU Cl AN ORDER
AMORC
T R A D E M AR K

Supplementary Monograph
P R I N T E D IN U . S . A.

T h e subject m a tte r of this m onograph m u st be understood by th e re ad er or student


of sam e, not to be the official R osicrucian teachings. These m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y the R osicrucian O rder, .A M O R C , both to m em bers
an d nonm em bers, because th e y are not the secret, private teachings of the O rder.
The object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden the m ind of the stu d en t by
presen ting h im w ith the w ritings, opinions, an d dissertations of authorities in various fields
of h u m a n enterprise an d endeavor. T herefore, it is quite probable th a t the re a d e r w ill
note a t tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are inconsistent
w ith th e R osicrucian teachings or view point. B ut w ith the realization th a t th e y are m ere
ly su p p lem en tary an d th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
th em , one m u st take them m erely for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h roughout the supple
m e n ta ry series th e authors or tran slato rs of the subject w ill be given due credit w henever
w e have know ledge of th e ir identity.

ROSICRUCIAN PARK, SA N JO SE, CALIFORNIA

"Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian"

SPECIA L SU B JEC T
HERMETIC TEACHINGS
M p - 13

iW i C
R -2

639

LECTURE NUMBER
5

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS

Michael Sendivogius is thought to have been born in Moravia


in 1566 of Polish ancestry.
His escapades in the Europe of the 16th
century have a roguish quality about them.
Many of his adventures
with the more rapacious nobility who stopped at nothing in prying
the secrets of transmutation from the reluctant and helpless sus
pect especially one foolish enough to confess to such knowledge
made dramatic reading.
I

Sendivogius New Chemical Light printed in the Hermetic Museum


is a good example of the union of philosophy and alchemy.
The selec
tions given here also show the stress on nature and the analogy of
the growth of the seed.
New Chemical Light

(By Michael Sendivogius)

" . . . let the sons of Hermes know for certain that the extrac
ting of the essence of gold is a mere fond illusion, as those who per
sist in it will be taught to their cost by experience. . . .
If, on
the other hand, a person is able to transmute the smallest piece of
metal (with or without gain) into genuine gold or silver which abides
the usual tests, he may justly be said to have opened the gates of
nature, and cleared the way for profunder and more advanced study.
It is with this object that I dedicate the following pages, which
embody the results of my experience, to the sons of knowledge, that
by a careful study of the working of nature they may be enabled to
lift the veil and enter her inmost sanctuary. . . . The inward mean
ing of our philosophy will be unintelligible to vainglorious boasters
to conceited mockers, and to men who smother the clamorous voice of
conscience with the insolence of a wicked life; as also to those igno
rant persons who have fondly staked their happiness on senseless
methods.
The right understanding of our art is by the gift of God,
or by the ocular demonstration of a teacher, and can be attained only
by diligent, humble search, and prayerful dependence on the Giver of
all good things. . . .
I would earnestly ask the sons of knowledge
to accept this Book in the spirit in which it was written; and when
the HIDDEN has become MANIFEST to them, and the inner gates of secret
knowledge are flung open, not to reveal this mystery to any unworthy
person; also to remember their duty toward their suffering and dis
tressed neighbors, to avoid any ostentatious display of their power,
and above all, to render to God sincere and grateful thanks with
their lips, in the silence of their hearts, and by refraining from
any abuse of the Gift.
Simplicity is the seal of truth."
"Nature, then, is one, true, simple, self-contained, created
by God and informed with a certain universal spirit.
Its end and
origin are God.
Its unity is also found in God, because God made
all things.
Nature is the one source of all things; nor is anything
in the world outside nature or contrary to nature.
Nature is divided
into four 'places' in which she brings forth all things that appear
and that are in the shade.
According to the good or bad quality of

the 'place' she brings forth good or bad things. . . . Nature is not
visible, though she acts visibly.
She is volatile who manifests her
self in material shapes, and her existence is in the Will of God.
It
is most important for us to know her 'places,n and those which are
most in harmony and most closely allied, in order that we may join
things together according to nature, and not attempt to confound
vegetables with animals, or animals with metals.
Everything should
be made to act on that which is like to it, and then nature will per
form her duty.
"Students of nature should be such as is nature herself:
true,
simple, patient, constant, and so on. . . . They should always be
ready to learn from nature and to be guided by her methods, ascertain
ing by visible and sensible examples whether that which they propose
to perform is i n "accordance with her possibilities.
If we would
reproduce something already accomplished by nature, we must follow
her, but if we would improve on her performance, we must know in and
by what it is ameliorated.
"As nature has her being in the Will of God, so her will, or
seed, is in the elements.
She is one and produces different things,
but only through the mediate instrumentality of the seed.
For nature
performs whatsoever the sperm requires of her, and is as it were only
the instrument of some artisan.
The seed is more useful to the
artisan than nature herself, for nature without seed is like a gold
smith without silver or gold, or a husbandman without seed grain.
Wherever there is seed, nature will work through it whether it is
good or bad. . . . The seed, then, is the elixir of anything, or its
quintessence, or its most perfect digestion and decoction, or again
the Balm of Sulphur, which is the same as the radical moisture in
metals. . . . The four elements produce seed through the Will of God
and the imagination of nature; . . . the four elements by their
continual action project a constant supply of seed to the center of
earth, where it is digested, and where it proceeds again in gener
ative motions.
Now the center of the earth is a certain void place
wherein nothing is at rest, and upon the margin or circumference of
this center the four elements project their qualities. . . . The
magnetic force of our earth-center attracts to itself as much as is
needed of the cognate seminal substance, while that which cannot be
used for vital generation is thrust forth in the shape of stones
and other rubbish.
This is the fountainhead of all things terrestrial.
. . . The seed which is the product of the four elements is projected
in all directions from the earth-center and produces different things
according to the quality of the different places.
Thus while the
seed of all things is one, it is made to generate a great variety of
things. . . . So long as nature's seed remains in the center, it can
indifferently produce a tree or a metal, an herb or a stone, and in
like manner, according to the purity of the place it will produce
what is less or more pure.
But how do the elements generate the
seed? There are four elements, two heavy and two light, two dry and

heavy and two light, two dry and two moist, but one driest and one
moistest of all.
These are male and female.
By God's Will each of these
is constantly striving to produce things like to itself in its own sphere.
Moreover, they are constantly acting on one another, and the subtle
essences of all are combined in the center where they are well mixed and
sent forth again by Archeus, the servant of nature. . . .
"The first matter of metals is twofold, and one without the other
cannot create a metal.
The first and principal substance is the moisture
of air mingled with warmth.
This substance the Sages have called Mercury
. . . . The second substance is the dry heat of the earth, which is
called Sulphur. . . .(The seed is not the entire body nor part of it.)
For there is in every body a central atom, or vital point, of the seed,
even in a grain of wheat.
Neither the body nor the grain is all seed,
but every body has a small seminal spark which the other parts protect
from excess of heat and cold.
"The metals are produced in this way:
After the four elements
have projected their power and virtues to the center of the earth, they
are in the hands of the Archeus of Nature, distilled and sublimed by the
heat of perpetual motion towards the surface of the earth.
"Some think that each metal has its own seed.
But this is a great
mistake, for there is only one seed.
The sperm which appears in Saturn
(lead) is the same as that which is found in gold, silver, copper, etc.
Their difference is caused by the place and by the time during which
nature was at work on them. . . . For the purer the place is, the more
beautiful and perfect will the metal be.
We must note also that the
vapor is constantly ascending, and in its ascent from the ear th s center
to its superficies it purifies the places through which it passes.
Hence
precious metals are found now where none existed a thousand years ago,
for this vapor, by its continual progress, ever subtilizes the crude and
impure, and as continually carries away the pure with itself.
This is
the circulation and reiteration of nature.
All places are being more
and more purified:
and the purer they become, the nobler are their
products.
" . . . the seed is nothing but congealed air, or a vaporous humor
enclosed in a body, and unless the seed is dissolved by a warm vapor, it
cannot work.
Now the nature of this seed which is produced out of the
four elements is threefold:
it is either miner al , or vegetable, or
animal.
"Nature brings forth mineral or metallic seed in the bowels of
earth. . . . Yet . . . the fact remains. . . that that which is above is
as that which is below, and that which is born above has origin from the
same source which is at work down below, even in the bowels of the earth.

"The first matter of man is earth. . . . But the second sub


stance or seed which is already created, be put in the proper place,
nature will produce a new form of the same species.
The artist only
separates the subtle from the grosser elements, and puts it into the
proper vessel.
Nature does the rest.
As a thing begins, so it ends.
Out of one arise two, and out of two one. . . . Thus was the world
made, and so shall it end. . . . I say, therefore, it is the attri
bute of God alone to make one out of one.
You must produce one thing
out of two by natural generation.
Know, then, that the multiplying
sperm is the second substance and not the first.
The first substance
of things is not seen, but is hidden in nature or the elements.
The
second substance is occasionally seen by the children of knowledge.
"In the center of earth, then, there is a central sun, of
which the heat pervades the whole earth to its surface by reason of
the movement thereof, or by the motion of the firmament thereof.
This heat changes the water of the earth into air (or v a p o r ) , which
being more subtle than water, is violently driven upward through the
pores of the earth.
When it reaches the colder atmosphere it is
once more condensed into water. . . . By this action of the 'central
sun' the elements are distributed over the earth, and each finds the
place where it can grow. . . . I say, then, that the fire or heat is
the cause of the motion of the air and the life of all things; and
the earth is their nurse, or receptacle.
If our earth and air were
not cooled by water, the earth would be parched up. . . . Now in our
Art you should closely imitate these natural processes.
There should
be the Central Heat, the change of water into air, the driving upward
of the air, its diffusion through the pores of the earth, its reap
pearance as condensed but volatilized water.
Then you must give our
Ancient One gold and silver to swallow and consume till he himself is
burned to death, and his ashes are scattered into the water which you
must subject to coction for a sufficient space of time.
The result
will be the Medicine which is a cure for leprosey.
Be careful not to
take heat for cold, or cold for heat.
Mix only things which are like
each other, and separate contrary elements by heat.
If you do not
follow the guidance of Nature, all your efforts will be in vain.
I
swear by God that I have spoken to you as a father should to his son.
He that hath ears, let him hear, and he that hath sense, let him
understand.
"The Art of Alchemy is true in its nature.
Nature is true also,
but a true Artisan is rarely found.
Nature is o n e , our Art is o n e ,
but the workmen are many.
Nature, then, generates things through the
Will of God out of the first Matter (the product of the elements)
which is known to God alone.
Nature produces things and multiplies
them out of the second substance which is known to the Sages.
All
elements are mutually dependent, though they do not agree when joined,
but the queen of all is water, because it is the mother of all things

and over it broods the spirit of fire.


first matter is evolved. . . .

When fire acts on water, the

" . . . the Sages have been taught of God that this natural
world is ,only an image and material copy of a^heavenly and spiritual
pattern; that the very existence of this world is based on the reality
of its celestial archetype; and that God created it in imitation of
the spiritual and invisible universe, in order that men might be the
better enabled to comprehend His heavenly teaching, and the wonders of
His absolute and ineffable power and wisdom.
Thus the Sage sees
heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art,
not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge
which it reveals. . . . If you will but rightly consider it, you
yourself are an image of God, and a little picture of the great world.
Nature cannot work till it has been supplied with material:
the first
matter is furnished by God, the second matter by the Sage.
But in the
philosophical work, Nature must excite the fire which God has enclosed
in the center of each thing.
The excitation of this fire is performed
by the will of Nature, and sometimes by the will of a skillful Artist
who can dispose Nature, for fire naturally purifies every species of
impurity."
"The three principles of things are produced of the four ele
ments in the following manner: . . . fire began to act on air and
produced Sulphur; air acted on water and produced Mercury; water by
its action on earth produced Salt.
Earth, alone, having nothing to
act on, . . . became the nurse or womb of these three principles. . . .
"In every natural composition, these three represent the body,
the spirit, and the hidden soul.
If, after purging them well, you
join them together, they must, by a natural process, result in a most
pure substance."
(This gives the following table:)
Fire

Sulphur

Soul

Air
V--- >Mercury
Water
->-Salt

Body

Earth-

Receptacle

Spirit

^t^!^!^^!^l^^l^!^!gi!^!^!^!^Jt^!^^l^^!^l^l^!^t^^!^i^!^!aaia!{l!ai!!ai!!ia{!ia<)!iffilia{!!jg!t

ROSICRU ClAN ORDER


AMORC
T R A D E MARK

Supplementary Monograph
P R I N T E D IN U . S . A .

T h e subject m a tte r of this m onograph m u st be understood by th e re a d e r or student


of sam e, not to be the official R osicrucian teachings. These m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y the R osicrucian O rder, .A M O RC, both to m em bers
a n d nonm em bers, because th e y are no t the secret, private teachings of the O rder.
T h e object of these su p plem entary m onographs is to broaden the m in d of the stu d en t b y
p resen tin g h im w ith the w ritings,'opinions, an d dissertations of authorities in various fields
of h u m a n enterprise an d endeavor. T herefore, it is quite probable th a t th e re a d e r w ill
note at tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are inconsistent
w ith the Rosicrucian teachings or view point. B ut w ith the realization th a t th ey are m ere
ly su p p lem en tary an d th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
them , one m ust take them m erely for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h roughout the supple
m e n ta ry series th e authors or translators of the subject w ill be given due credit w henever
we have know ledge of th e ir identity.

ROSICRUCIAN PARK, SA N JOSE, CALIFORNIA

"Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian"

SPECIA L SU B JEC T

LECTURE NUMBER

HERMETIC TEACHINGS
RAD-13--------------------

&9SH. VJl7J77i
R -2

659

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS

The following discourse contains an alchemical recipe by


Francis Bacon, taken from his Natural History. Many have assumed
Bacon looked down upon alchemy, and that he said very little about
it.
Yet this discussion would seem to prove he knew more about such
subjects than is usually thought.
In this selection, Bacon is concerned with the basic similar
ities of things throughout all of nature, classifying them into
"two great Families of things," a typical alchemical concept.
Then
he discusses the making of gold according to the ideas of the times,
with emphasis upon the laboratory work involved.
Francis Bacon, English philosopher and author, is known to be
one of the greatest and most profound thinkers of his era.
We also
know him to have been Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order during the
early 17th century.
Following Bacon's discourse there is a discussion on meditation
from Basil Valentine's Triumphal Chariot of Antimony in which he gives
the "five principal heads in Meditation" to be attended to if one wishes
to be included among real alchemists.
The real identity of the author--said to have been a Benedictine
monk--and the date of his writings have always been a matter of spec
ulation.
The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony appeared first in 1604.

The parentheses in the following paragraphs are B a c o n 1s . His


spelling and text have been reprinted as they are in the book except
for the type.
"There be two great Families of T hi n g s , you may term them by
several nam es , Sulphureous and Mercu r e a l , which are the Chymists
words:
(For as for their S a l t , which is their third Principle, it is
a Compound of the other two,) Inflamable and Not Inflamable; Mature
anc^ C r u de , Oily and W a t r y ; For we see that in Subterranies there are,
as the Fathers of their Tribes, Brimstone and Mercury; in Vegetables
and Living Creatures, there is Water and Oyl; in the Inferior order of
Pneumaticals, there is Air and Flame; and in the Superior, there is
the Body of the Star, and the Pure Skey.
And these Pairs, though
they be unlike in the Primitive Differences of Matter, yet they seem
to have many consents; for Mercury and Sulphure are principal materials
of Metals; Water and Oyl are principal materials of Vegetables and
Animals, and seem to differ but in Maturation or Concoction.
Flame
(in Vulgar Opinion) is but Air incensed, and they both have quickness
of Motion, and facility of Cession, much alike:
And the Interstellar

Skey, (though the opinion be vain, that the Star is the Denser part
of his Orb,) hath notwithstanding so much affinity with the Star,
that there is rotation of that, as well as of the Star.
Therefore,
it is one of the greatest Magnalia N a t u r a , to turn Water or Watry
Juyce into Oyl or Oyly Juyce:
Greater in Nature, than to turn
Silver or Quick-silver into Gold.
"The Instances we have wherein Crude and Watry Substance,
turneth into Fat and Oyly, are of four kindes.
First, In the Mix
ture of Earth and Water, which mingled by the help of the Sun,
gathered a Nitrous Fatness, more than either of them have severally;
As we see, in that they put forth Plants, which need both Juyces.
"The second is in the Assimilation of Nourishment, made in the
Bodies of Plants, and Living Creatures; whereof Plants turn the Juyce
of meer Water and Earth, into a great deal of Oyly matter:. . .
"The World hath been much abused by the opinion of Making of
Gold.
The Work it self, I judge to be possible; but the Means
(hitherto propounded) to effect it, are in the Practice, full of
Error and Imposture; and in the Theory, full of unsound Imaginations.
For to say, that Nature hath an intention to make all Metals Gold;
and that, if she were delivered from Impediments, she would perform
her own work; and that, if the Crudities, Impurities, and Leprosies
of Metals were cured, they would become Gold-*, and that a little
quantity of the Medicine in the Work of Projection, will turn a Sea
of the baser Metal into Gold by multiplying.
All these are but
dreams, and so are many other Grounds of Alchymy. And to help the
matter, the Alchymists call in likewise many vanities, out of
Astrology, Natural M a g i c k , Superstitious Interpretations of Scrip
tures, Auricular Traditions, Feigned Testimonies of Ancient Authors,
and the like.
It is true, on the other side they have brought to
light not a few profitable Experiments, and thereby made the World
some amends:
But we, when we shall come to handle the Version and
Transmutation of Bodies, and the Experiments concerning Metals and
Minerals; will lay open the true Ways and Passages of N a tu r e, which
may lead to this great effect.
And we commend the wit of the
Chineses, who despair of making of Gold, but are mad upon the making
of Silver.
For certain it is, That it is more difficult to make
Gold, (which is the most ponderous and materiate amongst Metals) of
other Metals; less ponderous and less materiate, than (Via versa)
to make Silver of Lead, or Quick-silver; both which are more ponder
ous than Silver:
So that they need rather a further degree of
Fixation, than any Condensation.
In the mean time, by occasion of
handling the Axioms touching Maturation, we will direct a tryal
touching the Maturing of M e t a l s , and thereby turning some of them
into Gold; for we conceive indeed, That a perfect good Concoction,
or Digestion, or Maturation of some Metals will produce Gold.
And
here we call to m i n d e , that we knew a Dutchman that had wrought
himself into the belief of a great person, by undertaking, that he

could make Gold:


Whose discourse was, That Gold might be made, but
that the Alchymists over-fired the work:
For (he said) the making
of Gold did require a very temperate Heat, as being in Nature a subterrany work, where little Heat cometh; but yet more to the making of
Gold, than of any other Metal:
And therefore, that he would do it
with a great Lamp, that should carry a temperate and equal Heat, and
that it was the work of many Moneths.
The devise of the Lamp was
folly, but the overfiring now used, and the equal Heat to be required,
and the making it a work of some good time, are no ill discourses.
"We resort therefore to our Axioms of Maturation, in effect
touched before.
"The first is, That there be used a Temperate Heat; for they
are ever Temperate Heats that Digest, and Mature; wherein we mean
Temperate, according to the Nature of the Subject:
For that may be
Temperate to Fruits and Liquors, which will not work at all upon
Metals.
"The second is, That the Spirit of the Metal be quickned, and
the Tangible Parts opened:
For without those two operations, the
Spirit of the Metal, wrought upon, will not be able to digest the
Par ts .
"The third is, That the Spirits do spred themselves even, and
move not subsultorily, for that will make the parts close and pliant.
And this requireth a Heat that doth not rise and fall, but continue
as equal as may be.
"The fourth is, That no part of the Spirit be emitted but
detained:
For if there be Emission of Spirit, the body of the Metal
will be hard and churlish.
And this will be performed, partly by
the temper of the Fire, and partly by the closeness of the Vessel.
"The fifth is, That there be choice made of the likeliest and
best prepared Metal for the Version; for that will facilitate the
Work.
"The sixth is, That you give time enough for the Work, not to
prolong hopes, as the Alchymists do, but indeed to give Nature a
convenient space to work in.
"These principles most certain and true, we will now derive a
direction of Tryal out of them, which may (perhaps) by further Medi
tation be improved.
"Let there be a small Furnace made of a Temperate Heat; let
the heat be such as may keep the Metal perpetually molten, and no
more; for that above all, importeth to the Work:
For the Material,

take Silver, which is the M e t a l , that in N a t u r e , symbolizes most


with Gold; put in also, with the Silver a tenth part of Quick
silver, and a twelfth part of Nitre by weight:
Both of these to
quicken and open the Body of the Metal:
and so let the Work be
continued for the space of Sixth Moneths, at the least.
I wish
also, That there be as sometimes an Injection of some Oyled Sub
stance; such as they use in the recovering of Gold,
which by vexing
with Serations hath been made churlish:
And this is, to lay the
parts more close and smooth, which is the main work.
For Gold (as
we see) is the closest (and therefore the heaviest) of Metals; and
is likewise the most flexible and tensible.
Note, That to think
to make Gold of Quick-silver because it is the heaviest, is a thing
not to be hoped; for Quick-silver will not endure the mannage of
the Fire:
Next to Silver, I think Copper were fittest to be the
Material.
"Gold hath these Natures:
Greatness of Weight, Closeness of
Parts, Fixation, Pliantness or Softness, Immunity from Rust, Colour
or Tincture of Yellow.
Therefore the sure way (though most about)
to make Gold, is to know the causes of the several Natures before
rehearsed, and the Axioms concerning the same.
For if a man can
make a Metal that hath all these Properties, let Men dispute,
whether it be Gold, or no?"
No doubt Bacon did not put down the complete recipe any more
than well-known alchemists did.
His remarks on mercury and sulphur
also make it clear that he understood correspondences in other
fields than metals.

(Basil Valentine's Triumphal Chariot explains five principal


heads in Meditation.
The first is the invocation of God; the second, the contempla
tion of Nature; the third, true preparation; the fourth, the way of
using; the fifth, the use and profit.)
"I have found that in this Meditation there are five prin
cipal heads, which must be diligently considered as much by all who
are in possession of the wisdom of philosophy as by all who aspire
after that wisdom which is attained in our art. . . First there
should be the invocation of God flowing from the depth of a pure and
sincere heart, and a conscience which should be free from all ambi
tion, hyprocisy, and vice, as also from all cognate faults, such as
arrogance, boldness, pride, luxury, worldly vanity, oppression of
the poor, and similar iniquities. . . . For what has man that he
does not owe to God? whether you look at his body, or at the soul
which works in his body. . . . All this man must obtain from the
Blessed Father, who has created the earth, things visible and in
visible, the firmament, elements, vegetables, animals and all

things. . . . Therefore, let all your hope be stayed on God, and let
constant prayer, to impart to you this Blessing, be the beginning of
your work, in order that you may safely reach the end, for the 'fear
of God is the beginning of w i s d o m . 1
"He who would seek the greatest of all earthly benedictions,
the knowledge of all created good, and of the effectual virtue which
God has liberally implanted in stones, herbs, roots, seeds, animals,
plants, minerals, metals, and all things, must fling away every
earthly thought, hope only for freedom of heart, and pray to God
with the greatest humility.
Thus the aspiration after freedom will
soon be realized. . . .
"Next in order after prayer follows Contemplation, by which we
apprehend the essential properties of a thing, the circumstances by
which it is conditioned, its matter, its form, its operations and
their source, whence it is infused and implanted, how it is generated
by the Stars, formed by the elements, produced and perfected by the
three principles.
"Again, it enables us to understand how the body of anything
can be dissolved, i.e. resolved into its first matter or essence; to
this change I have referred. . . as the transmutation of the last sub
stance into the first, and of the first substance into the last.
"This Contemplation. . . is heavenly, and spiritually appre
hended, for only the spiritual mind can grasp the circumstances and
foundation of all things.
Now, this Contemplation is two-fold:
one
is called impossible, the other possible.
The former consists in
endless meditations, which have no result because their object is
intangible.
Such problems are the Eternity of God, . . . the
infinite nature of the Godhead. . . .
"The other part of Contemplation, which is possible, is called
Theory.
It deals with the tangible and visible which has a temporal
form showing how it can be dissolved and thereby perfected into any
given body; how every body can impart the good or evil, medicine or
poison, which is latent in it; how the wholesome is separated from
the unwholesome; how to set about destruction and demolition for the
purpose of really and truly severing the pure from the impure. . . .
"It is the most important aspect of our Art, and is expressed
by the following words:
Seek first the Kingdom of God and His
justice by Invocation and all other things that men need, for sup
port and health of the body, will be added unto you.
"On theory, which lays bare the most intimate relations of
things, follows Preparation, which is perfected by manual operation,
and yields a tangible result.
Out of preparation arises knowledge,
which lays bare the foundations of Medicine.

"Manual Operation requires diligent application, and knowledge


is founded on experience, while the difference between the two is
set forth by Anatomy.
Operation shows how all things spring into
existence, and become visible.
Knowledge points out practical meth
ods, and is nothing but Confirmation; manual operation showing the
good, eliciting the hidden nature, and bringing it forth into the
light for good; for as in spiritual things the way of the Lord must
be prepared, so in this Art also the way must be opened and made
straight, in order that the goal may be reached without any false
step or aberration.
"After preparation . . . we must proceed to the Proportions
of Weight, or doses. For you must avoid taking either too little
or too much. . . .
"When the Medicine is diffused through the whole body, to
counteract its defects we become acquainted with its uses. . . . We
must discover the conditions under which it is likely to be bene
ficial."
"You should know that all things contain operative and vital
spirits, which derive their substance and nourishment from their
bodies; nor are the elements themselves without these spirits
whether good or evil.
Men and animals have within them an operative
and vitalizing spirit, and if it forsakes them, nothing but a dead
body is left.
Herbs and trees have spirits of health, or else no
Art could turn them to medicinal uses.
In the same way minerals
and metals possess vitalizing spirits, which constitute their
strength and goodness:
for what has no spirit has no life, or
vitalizing power."
"Whoever, then, would perfectly understand the Anatomy of
Antimony, should, in the first place, become acquainted with the
manner of its solution. . . . In the second place, he should learn how
to regulate the fire, so that it shall be neither too fierce nor too
feeble.
Fire is the root of the whole matter.
By means of the fire
the vitalizing spirits are extracted and dissolved for the purposes of
our operation.
But care must be taken not to mortify and destroy the
spirit by means of too much heat.
"The third point for consideration is the proper proportion of
the substance, . . . as I have already noted, when enumerating the
five points which are requisite in Alchemy."
(Since the physical process in alchemy corresponds to the mental
functions in meditation and mystical union, the quotations from Basil
Valentine, and even Bacon's obviously physical recipe, can be applied
to transcendental alchemy.)

ROSICRU ClAN ORDER


AMORC
T R A D E M AR K

Supplementary Monograph
P R I N T E D IN U . S . A.

T he subject m a tte r of this m onograph m u st be understood by th e re ad er or student


of sam e, not to be th e official R osicrucian teachings. T hese m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b y the R osicrucian Order,_AM ORC, both to m em bers
an d nonm em bers, because th e y are not the secret, private teachings of the O rder.
T h e object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden the m ind of th e stu d en t b y
presenting h im w ith the w ritings, opinions, a n d dissertations of authorities in various fields
of h u m a n enterprise an d endeavor. T herefore, it is quite probable th a t the re ad er w ill
note at tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are inconsistent
w ith the Rosicrucian teachings or view point. But w ith the realization th a t th e y are m ere
ly su p p lem en tary an d th a t the R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
th em , one m u st take them m erely for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h ro u g h o u t th e supple
m e n ta ry series the authors or translators of the subject w ill be given due credit w henever
we have know ledge of th e ir identity.

ROSICRUCIAN PARK, SA N JOSE, CALIFORNIA

"Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian"

SPECIA L SU B JEC T

LECTURE NUMBER

HERMETIC TEACHINGS
RAD-13
_______
......

R-2

659

a_
I"*

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS

The man who wrote The Golden and Blessed Casket of N a t u r e 1s


Marvels used the pseudonym "Benedictus Figulus."
He was a follower
of Paracelsus and Alexander von Suchten.
The book is primarily a
collection of the writings of others, although Figulus did do some
that was original.
In the selection chosen here, "the One thing" or
spiritual essence is a reference to Hermes' Emerald Tablet.

THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION OF HERMES, INTERPRETED BY THEOPHRASTUS


PARACELSUS CONCERNING THE SUPREME SECRET OF THE WORLD.
"Hermes, Plato, Aristotle, and the other philosophers. . .
who have introduced the Arts, and more especially have explored the
secrets of inferior Creation, all these have eagerly sought a means
whereby man's body might be preserved from decay and become endued
with immortality.
To them it was answered that there is nothing
which might deliver the mortal body from death; there is One Thing
which may postpone decay, renew youth, and prolong short human life.
. . . Therefore the above philosophers, and many others, have sought
this One Thing with great labour, and have found that which preserves
the human body from corruption, and prolongs life, conducts itself
with respect to other elements, as it were like the Heavens; from
which they understood that the Heavens are a substance above the Four
Elements.
And just as the Heavens, with respect to the other elements,
are held to be the fifth substance,. . . so also this One Thing
(compared to the forces of our body) is an indestructible essence,
drying up all the superfluities of our bodies, and has been philo
sophically called by the above-mentioned name.
It is neither hot
and dry like fire, nor cold and moist like w a t e r , nor warm and
moist like air nor dry and cold like eart h. But it is a skilful,
perfect equation of all the Elements, a right commingling of natural
forces, a most particular union of spiritual virtues, an indissoluble
uniting of body and soul.
It is the purest and noblest substance of
an indestructible body, which cannot be destroyed nor harmed by the
Elements and is produced by Art. . . . This spiritual Essence, or
One Thing, was revealed from above to Adam, and was greatly desired
by the Holy Fathers, this Hermes and Aristotle call the Truth without
Lies, the most sure of all things certain, the Secret of all Secrets.
It is the Last and Highest Thing to be sought under the Heavens, a
wondrous closing and finish of philosophical work. . . . What the
mouth of man cannot utter is all found in this spirit.
"This is the Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot comprehend
without the interposition of the Holy Ghost, or without the instruction
of those who know it.
The same is of a mysterious nature, wondrous
strength, boundless power.
By Avicenna this Spirit is named the Soul
of the World.
For as the Soul moves all the limbs of the Body, so also

does this Spirit move in all bod ie s. . . . It is sought by many and


found by few.
It is beheld from afar and found near, for it exists
in everything, in every place, and at all times.
It has the powers
of all creatures; its action is found in all elements, and the quali
ties of all things are therein, even in the highest perfection. . . .
"When the philosophers discovered it, with great diligence and
labor, they straightway concealed it under a strange.* tongue, and in
parables, lest the same should become known to the unworthy, and the
the pearls be cast before swine.
"In its first state, it appears as an impure earthly spirit,
full of imperfections. . . . In its second nature, it appears as a
watery body, . . . because . . . its Virtue is greater.
It is much
nearer the Truth, and more effective in works. . . .
"But in its third nature it appears as an aerial body of an
oily nature, almost freed from all imperfections. . . .
"In its fourth nature, it appears in a fiery form, not quite
freed-from all imperfections,- . . . having many virtues. . . .
"In its fif;th and last nature, it appears in a glorified and
illuminated form|s without defects, shining like gold and silver,
wherein it possesses all previous powers and virtues in a higher and
more, wondrous degree.
"For it heals all dead and living bodies without medicine.

. . .

"This essence also reveals all treasures in earth and sea,


converts all metallic bodies into gold, and there is nothing like it
under Heav^Jfv
' .
,

i*

"And although these writings may be regarded as false by the


reader, yet to the initiated they are true and possible, when the
hidden sense is properly understood.
For God is wonderful in His
works, and His wisdom is without end.
"This work of God is far too deep for understanding, for it is
the last, greatest, and highest secret of Nature.
It is the Spirit
of God, which in the Beginning filled the earth and brooded over the
waters, which the world cannot grasp without the interposition of the
Holy Spirit and instruction from those who know it. . . .
"It is the best of all things, because nothing can compare with
it, and in it alone is truth. . . . Hence, it is called the Stone and
Spirit of Truth. . . .
"0 unfathomable abyss of God's Wisdom, which thus has united
and comprised in the virtue and power of this One Spirit the qualities
of all existing bodies!

"Threfore, Morien said,


things. '

'He who has it, the same also has all

"This spirit is one genius, and Divine, wonderful, and lordly


power.
For it embraces the whole world, and overcomes the Elements and
the fifth Substance."

AN EXPLANATION OF THE NATURAL PHILOSOPHER'S TINCTURE.


Alexander von Suchten

. . .

"And since God, Almighty, Himself has created the whole great
World, all celestial, animal, vegetable, and mineral natures from one
single thing and primeval root, how should man be wiser than God, and
for this work which not less than the Great Outer World contains
within itself the seed and qualities of all creatures use more than
one thing.
"For this said Art . . . should imitate nature.
The matter of
Art will be the matter of Nature, and, since the matter of Nature is
unique, . . . the matter of Art will be unique.
" (Theophrastus) in the Liber Metamorphoseos (sic) terms (the
three principles) Mercury, Salt, and Sulphur.
This is just the opinion
of Hermes and other philosophers /' speaking of Spirit, Body, and Soul.
. . . Remember for the present that he calls the one thing, from which
shall be born the great and also the little world, a Red Lion. . . .
But it is called a Lion on account of its great strength and power.
For as a lion is the strongest and fleetest animal, . . . so also,
among things created, there will not easily be found a fleeter, stronger,
more penetrating thing,
subjugating, overcoming, and ruling without
exception, man and others.
"Hermes confirms such swift strength, saying:
'This matter is
the strongest strength of all strength.' This is also experienced
by those who know this Lion, and by proper preparation have been
instructed how to use it upon other creatures.
Then one sees after
what manner this thing occupies, conquers, destroys, kills all things,
even changing them from one form into another. . . . Hermes:
'Behold
it conquers every subtle, and penetrates every solid, substance.
"'This Lion is named by many but known by few.'. . . Only those
whose eyes God has opened to Nature's virtues and powers, can
recognize and use it.
Yet in its substance, nature, and matter it
is so common, often-used a thing that Bernhardus says, 'the whole
world have it before their eyes.'
Morienus asserts it is so universal
that man could not live without it.

"Richard the Englishman says, 'This Lion by nature's aid and the
artists art may be transmuted into the White Eagle, and thus, out of
o n e , two are m a d e .'
"Here, the Author has wished to signify that, in this Art man
must follow the rule left him by God, the First Chemist.
For God,
having created all Creatures and Elements out of one thing, viz.
Water, it follows that He began by making two things out of the Origi
nal one thing, the first He has taken up on high, making of it a
heavenly water; the other was gathered together below, and by coagula
tion became Earth.
"Thus also in this work the Artist must divide his process into
two parts:

'

"1.
By distillation conduct part on high, making of it a clear,
heavenly Spiritual Water, here called a White Eagle. . . . Our Eagle
is the true key to human renovation, and the bath of new Birth and
Rejuvenation. . . .
"This Eagle is the first part of the water which ascends on high
The Ascendens of Hermes mentioned in his Table t.
"2.
The other part of the water or of our Lion according to
the teaching of Moses, became corrupted and dry.
That is now the
second part of our Art,. . . To speak plainly concerning it, it is
the dry, waste earth. . . . It has its first name of Lion by reason
of its aforesaid strength and sharpness.
Hermes calls the inferior substance gross or descending.
(Theophrastus) "says, 'For the Beginning of the World there is
One Sole Element which is Primary Matter, from the Division of which,
by reason of opposing qualities, were generated the four Elements,
which were in it potentially.1
"If you begin with one thing you must first make two of it.
But
by taking two, such as Earth and Water--Nature having educed this
Binary from one you are saved the trouble, and have only to generate
the third, which, as aforesaid, is always hidden in one of these two."

AN ANONYMOUS TREATISE CONCERNING THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE

"My noble and dear Son, in order that I may communicate to you
in the briefest manner my knowledge of the right, true, philosophical
Stone, now know and understand that this Stone is composed of two
things, Body and Spirit, to wit, male and female Seed, That is,
Mercurial Water and Corpus Solis (Body of the S u n ) , as may be read in
all philosophical works.

"And it is the general opinion that Mercury free from foreign


admixture should first be dissolved in a spiritual water, called by
philosophers primary matter of metals, Liquor Lunae (Liquor of the
M o o n ) , Aqua Vitae (Water of Li f e ) , Quintessence, and a fiery, burning
water or spirit, with which water, or primary matter, the metals are
delivered and freed from their rigid, frozen bonds, and are dissolved
into their primary nature, like the mercurial water itself. . . . Ice
dissolves into water by means of heat, because it was water before its
coagulation.
For everything is reducible to its primary condition.
Therefore, also, philosophers have written that the species or forms
of metals cannot be changed into gold and silver before being first
.
reduced to their primary matter.
"With respect to this regeneration of metals, observe well, my
son, that the same can take place by means of the primary matter of
metals, _i. e. , mercurial water alone, and through nothing else in the
world.
For this water has the greatest affinity to metallic natur e,
so that after equal mixture--it can never be separated from the same.
"Therefore have philosophers . . . indicated this water, saying:
Nature rejoices in Nature, Nature preserves, improves, unites with,
reduces, and exalts Nature.
Hence, it is necessary to know how to
prepare the Blessed Water which water is a fiery penetrating spirit,
a philosophical water, and the hidden key of this Art.
For without
this water, all Alchemy is vain.
Therefore, my son, remember that the
whole Fundament of the Philosopher's Stone consists in bringing to a
new birth the primary matter of metals -i.e., Mercurial Water, the
perfect Corpus Solis (Body of the Sun) that it be born again by water
and of the spirit, as Christ says. . . . Except Corpus Solis has been
born again through water and the Spirit, it grows up a purified,
astral, everlasting, immortal body, bringing much fruit and multiplying
after the manner of vegetables.
"Therefore, my son, let him not attempt this Art who knows not
of this new birth in Nature, and this bringing forth of metals through
the water and spirit of primary matter. . . . Hence philosophers have
written that:
'Everything brings forth its like, and what man sows
that shall he re a p . '
"Hence, my son, for thy work, seek no other body but gold, as
otners are all imperfect. . . . Therefore, says Isaac the Philosopher:
The Stone can only be extracted from a perfect body, the most perfect
in the world.
For were this body not perfect, how should we extract
therefrom a Stone having power to give life to all mortal, to purify
all corrupt, to soften all hard, and harden all soft bodies?'
"Now, my
silver are not
the common are
the perfection

son, the sages say in their books that common gold and
their gold or silver, since theirs are living, while
dead, and therefore incapable of imparting to others
they themselves are wanting in. . . . It is impossible

for common gold or silver to perfect other imperfect bodies unless .


the Corpus Solis and Lunae (Body of the Sun and Moon) be born
again through the Water and Spirit of Primary Matter, and arise as a
transfigured, spiritual, clarified, eternally fixed, subtle, pene
trating body, which afterwards shall have power to perfect and
multiply imperfect bodies.
"Now, my son, you have a short explanation why it is impossible
to do anything in this Art, except we reduce perfect bodies, by
philosophical fire or mercurial water, to their primary natures. . .
in which water are united the three principles, Salt, Sulphur, and
Mercury.
Therefore, it is necessary to know the Blessed Water of
Mercury, or Celestial, supernatural fire, by which bodies are dis
solved and fused.
This knowledge is the greatest secret and is
revealed by God alone.
Therefore, remember in this Art that fire is:
the instrument, according to Nature's example, and next that this
water, whereby Corpus Solis (gold) . . . is burned, destroyed, and melted,
is not a common fire, . . . but a supernatural, inconsumable fire. . . .
Also, my son, understand that this supernatural fire . . . is alone the
spiritual, sulphureous, fiery water of Mercury in which Corpus Solis
is fused and burned; and out of this melting and destruction, is again
born and created a new world and the Heavenly Jerusalem, i.e., an
eternal, clarified, subtle, penetrating, stable body which can
penetrate and perfect all other bodies."

ROSICRUCIAN ORDER
AMORC
T R A D E M AR K

Supplementary Monograph
P R I N T E D IN U . S . A.

T h e subject m a tte r of this m onograph m u st be understood by th e re a d e r or student


of sam e, not to be th e official R osicrucian teachings. These m onographs constitute a series
of su p p lem en tary studies provided b j the R osicrucian O rder,,A M O R C , both to m em bers
an d nonm em bers, because th e y are no t the secret, private teachings of the O rder.
T h e object of these su p p lem en tary m onographs is to broaden the m ind of the stu d en t by
presen tin g h im w ith the w ritings, opinions, an d dissertations of authorities in various fields
of h u m an enterprise an d endeavor. T herefore, it is quite probable th a t the re ad er will
note at tim es in these su p p lem en tary m onographs statem ents m ade w hich are inconsistent
w'ith the R osicrucian teachings or view point. But w ith the realization th a t th ey are m ere
ly su p p lem en tary and th a t th e R osicrucian O rganization is not endorsing or condoning
them , one m ust take them m erely for th e ir p rim a facie value. T h roughout the supple
m e n ta ry series the authors or tran slato rs of the subject w ill be given due credit w henever
we have know ledge of th e ir identity.

ROSICRUCIAN PARK, SA N JOSE, CALIFORNIA

"Consecrated to truth and dedicated to every Rosicrucian"

SPECIAL SU BJECT
HERMETIC TEACHINGS
RAD-13

R-2

659

LECTURE NUMBER

INNER HERMETIC TEACHINGS


The final discourse is taken from a rare alchemical book and is
an allegory using alchemical symbolism.
The selection used is from
Ripley Revived by Eiranaeus Philalethes, the pseudonym of an unknown
author.
Many have guessed at his identity, but it was so well hidden
that nothing can be satisfactorily proved.
He should not be confused
with Eugenius Philalethes, a pseudonym used by Thomas Vaughan, who
published the English edition of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes, the
Fama and Confessio Fraternitatis.
Ripley Revived, published in London in 1678, is a commentary
on a work by Sir George Ripley of the fifteenth century.
In the
allegory from the book, the lines indented and underlined are quota
tions from Ripley; the rest is the work of Eiranaeus Philalethes.
The allegory is the beginning of instruction on the twelve steps
of the alchemical transmutation.
It is in many ways similar to the
Chymical Marriage of C. R. C . , the third of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes
published in German early in the seventeenth century, and to the Most
Holy Trinosophia, an eighteenth century allegory.
The symbolism is based on the correspondence between the physi
cal transmutation and the mystical transmutation of man.
Everything
in the allegory is symbolic, transcendental alchemy.
The section begins with the statement that "Calcination is the
Purgation of our Stone."
It is the first gate to-the castle.
But
the allegory starts with the traditional journey:
"We have led thee
as it were by the hand through many a waste field and many a desert
and thicket."
They come to the Garden of the Philosophers, similar
to Michael Maier's garden.
In the garden is the castle with a high
wall and twelve gates.
When one gate is opened, the rest open of
themselves.
The castle, therefore, symbolizes the knowledge or secret
teachings as well as the twelve steps in the transmutation.
It is
also the alchemical vessel in which the transmutation of the self
takes place, and, like the garden, it symbolizes the self.
Some great
person is dead within the castle, so the castle is also in a sense
the tomb, similar to that of C. R. C. which also represents knowledge.
The inscription not only refers to calcination but uses the death
symbolism in the quotation, "Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt
return."
Among the mourners is one with the verse, "I am black but
comely," telling the reader that this is the black first matter and
the black of putrefaction which is part of the transmutation; there
is death and then rebirth.
Since the quote comes from the biblical
Song of Solomon, it makes the symbolism more complex by bringing in
the marriage symbol.

A guide must conduct the initiate through the castle; he is


later referred to as the water-bearer and the devil.
He represents
the subconscious mind.
He is "a very stupid fool," yet most faithful
and prudent, and he follows rather than goes before the initiate.
He is a drudge and a servant to all his brethren.
The language in the text has been modernized, and the material is
somewhat abridged.
Comments by the lecturer are in parentheses.
The first Gate opened,
Which is
CALCINATION
Calcination is the Purgation of our S t on e.
We have led thee as it were by the hand through many a waste
field and many a desert and thicket, and now lift up your eyes and
behold where you are, and now welcome my friend into the Garden of
the Philosophers.
Here you may behold a very glorious Castle, walled
about with a very high wall, and twelve Gates one following another
hindering your entrance and possession of it at will.
One being
opened, the rest open of themselves and yield to thee a far more
renowned conquest than ever Caesar or Alexander won.
The first Gate is dug hollow into the earth and little is to
be seen above the superficies.
View well the inscription which is
written over it, which is the words of that curse which God in
flicted on Adam:
"Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return."
(Turning to dust represents calcination.)
Mark the escutcheon that
is set on the Gate signifying that some great person is dead within;
therefore, behold the attendants all stand in mourning, amongst,
whom one with this verse of Solomon:
"I am black, but comely, etc."
This lady the sages have called Juno, or the metallic nature,
which is very comely, yet black, for why the sun has shined upon her.
Another who seems to supply the room of the Porter, speaks to you in
these words:
"Nothing enters hither that defiles, or that is un
clean. "
This Castle is a garrison and must not be viewed without a
guide (who, as was pointed out, is also called the water-bearer and
the devil) who may conduct us in and out, and show us what the places
are through which we pass.
And now is come, I shall acquaint you
somewhat with his conditions, that you may know how to please him,
that he may be more willing to go along with you in the right way.
First of all then, know that he is a very stupid fool.
There
is none more simple among all his brethren, yet he is most faithful
to his Lord and does all things most prudently.
He will not go be
fore you but will follow.
You must be very wary how you lead him.

If he can find an opportunity, he will give you the slip and leave
you to a world of misfortune.
By his countenance you will know
whether he is pleased or displeased.
Therefore, lay bonds on him,
that is, shut him close where he may not get forth, then go wisely
before with heat and ever observe his countenance, so shall you pass
on forward, or turn, or go back as you see his countenance and temper
inclined.
In the next place, you are to understand that he was born to be
a drudge, and is a servant to all his brethren.
He monopolizes the
whole toil and labor to himself.
If you do anything, he will take
snuff and will leave all the work for you to do.
Thirdly, he has the habit of perpetual working, and therefore
if you allow him one hour's respite, he will never work more, for in
his Father's house he committed the offence of Cham (Ham, the son of
Noah) and is therefore judged to be a servant of servants.
His body
is tender, yet he will have no clothes, for he is doomed to a per
petual inconstancy and is as unstable as water.
Restoring also of his natural h e a t .
Of Radical humidity it loseth n o n e ,
Inducing solution into our Stone most m e e t .
The first place you come to is a large room floored with black,
the hangings part black, bluish, and yellowish, in which you may see
a carcass entombed, and very rotten; a serpent almost dead with cold
laid to the fire, and a fountain still flowing forth to water a pot
which is near it in which is planted an herb much like Ros solis.
(The fountain represents the fountain of life; the Ros solis means
dew of the sun.)
The herb has the root black and leaves yellow, with
bluish veins and black spots in them continually standing in a dew.
(The leaves grow from the black first matter and are partly yellow,
meaning they are attaining the final end of the transmutation.)
Over
it is the sun as in the solstice, shining in its full vigor, and
under it a fire as it were of Etna burning continually.
(Fire not
only refers to the physical heat of transmutation, but concentration
and meditation.)
The fountain still sends a few small streams of
pearly water to the root of this herb, which by insensible pores
ascend and stand like drops discolored on the leaves of the herb,
which seems as though blasted and withering, and yet always full of
drops, which dropping down again and rising continually, resolve
the tree into a viscous juice, which is afterwards dried up into a
dust, yet unctuous to sight and very black.
(The ascending and
descending water in transcendental alchemy refers to raising the
consciousness in mystical union and its descent again to the objective
level.)
After Philosophy I_ you behight.
(Behight means to vow or promise.)
Then I saw Nature as a
Queen gloriously adorned, sitting on her throne and in her hand a

fair book called Philosophy Restored to its Primitive Purity, I did


obeisance to her, and she graciously took notice of me and gave me the
book to eat it up, which I did, and straightway she had another of the
same in her hand.
(Eating the book means absorbing its knowledge.)
Then was my understanding so enlightened that I did fully apprehend
all things which I saw and heard.
When I approached any Gate or Door,
straightway, as though they were acted on by a sensitive spirit, they
opened of their own accord, and all in the house did fealty to me and
said I was to be honored as Lord of the place.
For, they say, the
Queen and He are in love united, and she plights her troth to him.
(The initiate becomes Lord of the Castle and consequently the King who
is united to the Queen in marriage.
Paradoxically, he is also the
initiate who has just entered the Castle.)
A voice asked m e , "What would you in this World?"
I was a little
astonished but answered, "Nothing but that I might once more see that
admirable perfection which once I beheld in a Nymph who with seeming
affection saluted me and gave me a book to eat."
The voice answered,
"You are happy in that you have seen her, more happy in that she gave
you that book, which few in an age attain to.
She has gone into her
retired solitudes and as a legacy has left you two great treasures,
the Treasure of Riches, and the Treasure of Long Life."
Then I said:
"This is nothing but an aggravation of my misery.
If I may not see
her again, my life will be a burden."
I sat bemoaning myself when I heard a shrill voice close by me.
I looked and beheld an unspeakable Light; in comparison to it the sun
seemed dark.
Close by me I saw a most secret place, and in it a
secret room of diaphanous matter, and round.
(The light represents
knowledge and enlightenment.
The room is not only secret, but it is
of diaphanous or immaterial substance, and it is round symbolizing
wholeness.)
In the room was the lady I had formerly seen, and an
other in the person of a King in most gay raiment, a robe of beaten
gold, a crown of pure gold, and also there was a third person who,
like a Water-bearer, had a pitcher on his shoulder.
In the midst of
it burned a lamp.
The room was closed on every side and seemed made
of crystal.
The house was small, the chamber less, and the closet of
crystal no bigger than a small egg.
(The egg and the nut in the next
passage are similar symbols.
Both are round and both have an outer
shell and an inner part.
They are a sort of seed and a vessel en
closed within a vessel.)
The three parties with all their accoutrements might well have
been enclosed in a hazel nut; yet their delineaments were so lively
that I might easily discern her entire shape, whom I could not but
with distracted thoughtfulness and a sad countenance behold.
Per
ceiving this, she said to me, "Friend, why are you sad?"
"I am not
sad," I replied, "most Noble Lady, but am pensively meditating on
what I behold, which not a little amazes me, the sight not being
parallelled in John Tradescants Chamber c Rarities, which is the
system of the novel rarities of the known world.
She whom I lately
beheld glorious on a throne in the majesty of a queen, I now see

cloistered up in a small diaphanous pix, in a stature so small as is


scarce credible; and whom I deemed a virtuous Lady, to be so retired
naked with a man, and to see her provided with a lover when it was my
hopes to be ingratiated in her favor."
Then she said, "My friend, what you admire in this strange meta
morphosis of me, know that it is by a magical virtue (meaning pow e r) ,
which is alone given to me from God. As for any diabolical art, which
your scruple seems to manifest suspicion of, it is because of your
inexperience in these things.
Your ignorance does not provoke me, for
in these affairs you are but a child, and this liberty I allow all my
sons so to speak, think, and act.
"Know then that the devil is but one of my servants, and in my
kingdom he serves God.
Though of all my servants he is the worst, yet
he can do nothing of himself, either without me, or against me, or
above me.
He is a deceitful jugler and makes things appear what they
are not.
Whatever is affected by him is in my power.
"I am obedient to all my subjects, which are many, and they
obey me.
I rule them, and they do enforce me, for so my Lord has
pleased to ordain it.
In my body which you see, which is no body but
only representative, for I am all Spirit, I feel the sympathies and
antipathies, the actions and passions of everything in the world.
I
must always be present, for nothing can be well done unless I am pre
sent.
I always work according to the subject and its disposition,
which alters the effect wonderfully.
Whatever you see, that I am,
and more than you can see by far.
I am serviceable to all, yea to
the least worm in the world.
Because I am so serviceable, my Master
has appointed that nothing can or may disobey me, or offer violence
to me.
The devil here has no power, though malice enough.
"Therefore my Lord has given me an omnisciency of all things
which are done in the world, concerning the being, conservation, or
mutation of them.
Next, an omnipresency by which I am everywhere
present at once, and I am seated in the Will of God, which is my
Center.
All my subjects are put under man; therefore, he has a free
power to act upon anything within his reach in the world.
The soul
of man is, as it were, a magnet to me, and all my subjects, by
faith to my Lord and Master.
"Know that this place and my kingdom are in the state of innocency, and that the King is my servant.
He has many brethren who
are taken prisoners and kept in bondage, and there is no way to re
deem them unless he gives his flesh and blood for their ransom,
which cannot be effectual unless he dies and arises from the dead.
(Again, there must be death before rebirth.)
This I cannot perform
alone myself, nor can any help me but man, for God has here limited
my power.
(Man is the artisan who must accomplish the transmutation.)
I cannot bring agents and patients (or the active and passive) to
gether, though he has given me power to effect what may serve for

ransom for these poor captives.


He has given man a free power to act
in subordination to him in the world, though through the Fall the
wings of his power have not been clipped but clogged with ignorance.
"If you could understand and believe, your soul would command
all nature, for if you knew things as they are you would clearly see
the dignity of your soul, being the image of God.
This would command
faith and kindle desire.
In the soul this is that ecstatic passion
which attracts the whole phenomena of nature.
This is the dignity
of the mental man.
"Now, my friend, hearken to me, and what I advise, that do.
Help me in what I cannot, and I will help you in what you cannot do.
So shall you be subordinate to God, Lord both of me and mine.
The
blood of this King, which redeems his brethren, will give you a
medicine to command all the imperfections in your mortal body.
Though it is no antidote against death, the irrevocable decree being
past, yet it triumphs over all the miseries of life and possesses
a man of the most incomparable treasures of this world."
Full of admiration, I spoke to her,
"Lady, I thank you for
your so great favor to me.
I am yours, and whatever you please,
that I will do."
Then she said, "Under this chamber there is a stove.
Put fire
in it, for this king must sweat to death."
I asked what would be
come of her.
She answered, "Care not for that.
I endure without
hurt the most violent fires, for I am in them all, and no less in
the most frozen places."
Then I perceived the extent of Nature, and of a sudden she
appeared not to my sight, but where she was I saw a most exquisite
Light, which took up an incredible small room, and I thought my head
seemed diaphanous.
I wondered what became of my guide.
An answer
was given as if from within the glass, saying, "Let not thoughts fill
your mind; he whom you seek is with us, for so it must be, this King
is his Lord."
This made me view the Water-bearer, and his counte
nance told me that he was my very guide.
I found that his pitcher
was clear as pure silver, and the Bearer, the pitcher, and the water
were one.
In the very center of the water there was a most radiant
twinkling spark which sent forth its beams to the surface of the
water, and it appeared like a lamp burning, and yet no way distin
guishable from the water.
The voice spoke a second time, "Delay not to put the fire
under us, and govern it as you shall hear the voice direct you."
I put the fire in at the open door at the top of the high turret.
By a secret passage I conveyed my immortal fire under the chamber.
When all things were heated, the Water-bearer took his pitcher, and

through a small pipe he poured out his water, and the fire came out
with the water without any particular sha p e, only it added luster to it.
The Water-bearer popped under the streams, and I saw them no m o r e .
I saw a lady in the midst of it, who in no way resembled the
former beauty whose name was Nature; yet she was very beautiful like
Helena.
This lady was naked and at first appeared very small and
waxed bigger and bigger until the water appeared no more, but she her
self had transmuted its whole substance into her shape.
Unlike the
first lady, she was impatient of the heat I had made, yet she was so
enclosed she could not get out.
The King, seeing her, knew her to be his sister, his mother, and
his wife, and ran to her and took her in his arms.
She embraced him
so that he could not shake her o f f , and with sweat and tears so bestreamed his robes that they changed suddenly to a color of silver.
The King asked what she desired.
She answered that her desire
was to have of him conjugal fealty.
"For," she said, "I cannot en
dure this heat, and I must die in i t , and without me your Highness
can have no offspring."
The King condescended, and as soon as she
conceived the King's seed, she was better able to endure the fire.
She was not content with one and had more, even to eleven.
Then the
King became very weak and wasted away.
His sweat and tears grew into
a large stream in which both the King and she were drowned.
While I wondered at the strangeness of the object, I thought I
saw them ascend again, but considering it carefully I found that there
swam on the water a carcass void of life, so that it grew livid, black,
bluish, and yellowish; it infected the waters which were before clear.
Now they grew thick and black, resembling slime.
With the heat of the
sun, the moisture was dried up, and I sought what was become of the
bodies.
I found a venemous toad which seemed to be dying, and a raven
almost famished looking for meat lighted on the toad and with its
poison died,
(The King and Queen represent the positive and negative.
Their union produces both offspring or multiplication and putrefaction
or reduction to the first matter symbolized by the toad and raven.
The
four colors stand for the process of transmutation.)
A voice said to me, "You must not leave us; if you do our Persons
and Kingdom are lost without recover."
I saw Nature walking up and
down among the carcasses, and in her hand her unparallelled lamp.
I
saw in those rotten atoms the Ideas of all things, and I found the
dead King and his Wife were entombed in a Field Sable, and the Tomb
was of polished Ebony.
Most strange was it that the Tomb and entombed
carcass were inseparably one.
(Nature's lamp is the true light.
The
tomb is of the King and Queen, or the vessel of transmutation again,
but the Ideas of all things refers to all knowledge.)
On the tomb I found written a prophecy:
If the fire were kept
equal and continual, they should rise again and be more glorious and

powerful than before.


ascend and be reborn.)

(Entombment is descent and death; but they will

I said to the voice in the glass, "I must be directed both what
and how and when to do."
The voice answered me, "Take no care, only
do as I shall direct, and all shall be well.
In the meantime you may
view the places that are about.
Ask of me and I shall inform you in
whatever you desire."
I said I should count it a privilege to serve
her.
She gave me a ball of fine silk and said, "Make this fast to a
pin of this tower, and then go around and behold the place.
Carry
this with you and unwind it as you go, and by it you may return till
you know the place."
I was no sooner out of that place but a thick darkness appre
hended me.
Though my head was transparent and very light, and I took
a candle with me which was burning continually, yet the darkness would
not receive the light, for they were not homogenial.
Here and there
it condensed into strange figures as of birds, beasts, and creeping
things of monstrous shapes, so that the rays extended but a little way
and shot in beams, and the darkness stood in clusters.
There were a multitude who could not discern my light but beheld
it as if through a thick cloud and judged it ominous.
(In other words,
they could not behold the true light.)
They could not bear the luster
of the candle but cried out and ran away.
I saw that they had light
as of Fox-fire, or rotten wood, and glow worms.
With this they sat in
consultation reading Geber, Rhasis, and such (earlier alchemists.)
The
darkness had a false Light of its own with which it seemed its in
habitants were enlightened.
I set my candle down by which I intended to return.
When I was
out of sight of it, my head seemed opaque, and a wind almost blew me
down.
I took my thread and made it fast to my girdle. It was well I
did, for a vertigo came on me, and I fell and slumbered.
When I awoke,
thought it was no more dark but daylight.
I felt for my thread which
I could not see by that light.
I beheld I was in a ruinous place of
millions of turnings, each leading several ways.
Every room was so
lighted by Fox-fire and glow worms that it seemed to be day.
(The
ruin is both the world and maze.
The light is a false one.)
I took out a small book to see if I could read it.
It was called
Enchiridion Physicae Restitutae (Manual of Restored Physics) with an
Arcanum at the end.
I could not read one word.
An aged and decrepit
man met me, his face rugged, his eyes bleared, his hands and fingers
were worn down.
He saluted me merrily and asked what book I had.
"It
is," said I, "Arcanum Hermeticum." "It was a good book," said he.
"But," said I, "I went to peruse my book, and I can read not one word
in it."
He asked to see it and read out of it such strange things
that I had never heard of before.
The light was different from that about the Tower, so I tried
to read there, and all I could not read before I could read there

very w e l l . Only some places seemed left o u t , but I knew my book to be


perfect.
These I remembered to be the places in which the truth was
couched in few words.
I returned by my thread to my candle, and my head was at once
returned to its former diaphanity.
I took my candle, and places that
seemed light before returned to darkness.
But with time my eyes were
beginning to grow tender at the first glimpse of this true Li g h t , which
in comparison to the previous light seemed the Super-celestial Light of
Paradise.
I demanded of her in glass, with whom I had conversation before,
concerning what I had seen.
She said some wrote in alchemy according
to the light of fancy and not of Nature.
Their light seemed clear to
them, yet they can see nothing by it but what is phantastical or
sophistically written by the envious for the seducing of such fanci
ful doters.
The Light of Nature discovers the darkness where their
imaginary light only shines.
The light of Fox-fire and glow worms
makes their eyes so tender that the Lamp of Nature makes them fly.
They cannot see and endure the true Light of the wise men.
You went in among them without your candle and thread, and had
you lost your thread, you could never have returned.
I returned to my furnace and recruited my fire as I was directed.
I related what I had seen and desired the verdict of Nature on them.
She told me that they could never by this way expect anything but
loss.
They had no ground of truth, nor could they expect the great
secret, or any other profitable truth.
They work not on the matter
in the right way.
For this reason we preserve humidity, without
which our Stone cannot be penetrative.
Our moisture is not burned,
and the vessel is closed so the spirits are retained.
(In transcen
dental terms, this means that the true way retains a harmony, and
the mystical process is within the individual.)
We join kind with k i n d , for Nature is mended and retained with
its own Nature.
For this reason, our King is wedded to the Waterbearer's daughter.
His body, his pitcher, and the water in it are
all one, and his daughter is the Queen which arose out of the water
in which was seen a lamp burning.
The King is his son, and he is
greater than both.
Know that in this place there is nothing so hard
to get as water, which can be brought only by him that has the keys
of the whole Kingdom.
Take this for a great secret.
Our Water-bearer is Father to the
King and Queen.
The King being perfect in years, is at his own dis
pose and enjoys more riches than his father.
But his father has the
key of a closet in which are riches enough for all in the Kingdom
to make every subject as rich as the King, but only the King is to

RAD - 13
Lecture Eight

dispose of this wealth.


Yet he cannot have it in his possession un
til he marries his sister, which is in the water of the pitcher
invisible.
This his sister is also his mother and father, for it is
one with the Water-bearer, water, and pitcher.
When they embrace, the Water-bearer, water, and pitcher vanish,
and they remain alone.
At length they are both drowned and make one
sea in which swim two fish without flesh or bones.
After resolve,
they make one broth called Water permanent.
(This corresponds to the
symbol, often used by alchemists, of the two fish in the sea.
The
sea refers to the body; the two fish represent the soul and spirit, or
what we would call the soul and soul-personality or inner self.)

Alchemy applies to all existence, to the whole, and it is based


on metaphysical theory expressed in the Hermetic writings and the
Emerald Tablet.
Alchemy has levels of meaning.
In modern terms these
may be classified in four types, each of which parallels the others
with interchangeable symbols.
1.

Physical alchemy is the transmutation of matter resulting


in gold, the tincture, the elixir.

2.

Biological alchemy results in harmony between the body and


the inner self, and it is symbolized by the seed, the plant,
and man.

3.

Psychological alchemy results in self-integration.


It is
symbolized by the man and woman, the King and Queen and
their son.
Biological and psychological levels of transmu
tation are in a sense a combination of the physical and
transcendental processes.

4.

Transcendental or mystical alchemy results in the symbolic


marriage which is "chymical" or spiritual, or in Cosmic
consciousness.
The marriage, therefore, represents both
psychological self-integration and the union of man with
the Cosmic.

The effect of alchemy in literature may be seen in Chaucer's "The


Canon's Yeoman's Tale," Ben Jonson's play The Alchemist, Goethe's
Faust, and "The Fairy Tale" which ends The German Emigrants.

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