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Potentially Controversial Paragraph in 'Hermes Old & True Natural Path'

Andro

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From the English translation of 'Hermes Trismegistus Old and True Natural Path', page 19:

"Man is composed of body, soul and spirit, each principle has its property; the outer body or person is a living death, a dark blanket, a dead grave; it is the curse, the dwelling wall between God and the souls. The man who with all his heart loves this living death, and carries out its will, and after the teachings of Christ does not hate it, he is a child of hell; Satan has his seat in him and sends away the divine light from the soul, and so it darkens forever. If only man would kill this living death while being alive, kills it under the cross, so that this old carcass becomes a fertile field in which a precious pearl resides, a good thing, a pure noble Salt body, which, when the dust of the underlying elements cursed by their transient nature are lain down (for the elemental flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, for it is born of curse) on the day of resurrection, will rise up in Christ; it becomes a house of purified souls by means of Christ's blood, whereby the body and the soul are once more illuminated by the light of God and become equal to the angels of God, as Christ teaches. His body is then a pure Salt, a good thing, his soul a Fire, his spirit is a divine light and power, which is light, Fire and Salt, or body, soul and spirit, a new image born by the spirit of God, to the triune God as eternal praise."
What do the here present Alchemists/Seekers make of this passage?

Is it entirely allegorical? To what extent should it be taken 'to the letter'?

I would be very interested in reading your perspectives on this...
 

Kiorionis

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Hey Androgynus, :)

What do the here present Alchemists/Seekers make of this passage?

For me this passage follows the development of the Hermetic Tree. Recently I read a very good book on the Mystical Qabalah. It presents the idea of two different types of 'Trees of Life'.

The first Tree is the Fallen Tree, the image most commonly associated with the Qabalah:
kabbalah-tree-of-life.gif


The second Tree is the Perfect Tree:
Flattree.gif


The difference between the two is the resurrection of the Kingdom/Malkuth, or, in the words of the Old & Natural, "If only man would kill this living death while being alive, kills it under the cross, so that this old carcass becomes a fertile field in which a precious pearl resides, a good thing, a pure noble Salt body, which, when the dust of the underlying elements cursed by their transient nature are lain down on the day of resurrection, will rise up in Christ."

There is then a transition from dwelling in the Kingdom to dwelling in the Knowledge of the Ayn, or a Covenant with the Living Elohim. It could be considered the transition from 'Living in Death' to 'Living in Elohim' (Elohim being the name for the Creator in Genesis). It's interesting to note that this Knowledge of the Ayn takes the position of Da'ath on the Fallen Tree:

Wikipedia said:
Da'at is not always depicted in representations of the sefirot, and could in a sense be considered an "empty slot" into which the gem of any other sefirot can be placed. Properly, the Divine Light is always shining, but not all humans can see it. The concealment or revelation of the Divine Light shining through Da'at does not actually happen in Da'at itself. It only seems that way from the human perspective within Malkuth. The perception of change can only occur in Malkuth. Humans who become self-giving (Altruism) like the Light become able to see it, and for them the benefits of Da'at's light seem "revealed". However, humans who remain selfish (Selfishness) cannot see it, and for them its benefits seem "hidden".

Also interesting to consider is that when males hit puberty, their 'voice drops' :p

Is it entirely allegorical? To what extent should it be taken 'to the letter'?

I don't think it's too allegorical. More a theoretical (and dogmatic) structure to the internal practice.
 
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Illen A. Cluf

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From the English translation of 'Hermes Trismegistus Old and True Natural Path', page 19:

What do the here present Alchemists/Seekers make of this passage?

Is it entirely allegorical? To what extent should it be taken 'to the letter'?

I would be very interested in reading your perspectives on this...


IMO, the paragraph is entirely allegorical. The Stone also consists of a body (salt), soul (sulphur) and spirit (mercury). The "outer body" is the appearance of the raw matter - it's a "dark blanket" in appearance. In other words, as found in the mine, from the outside it looks greyish-black. It is only a deceptive outer appearance and not the real goodness which dwells inside. This false appearance is where evil dwells and is thus likened to a "dead grave", the barrier between God and the soul that lies within. It is the dark home of Satan, who blocks the light from entering. It is the feces that must be removed in order to reveal the true gold. Thus the matter must be "killed" while it is still alive (i.e. fresh from the mines and not yet burned in the Fire), "under the cross". This is an allusion to the Cross that sits over the World, or the symbol of Antimony. The "precious pearl" that resides inside is the pure, noble, Philosopher's Gold. It only rises from the putrefaction of the body, the "elemental flesh" or "old carcass". From this death, new life is created, and thus rises up the new-born "child" or "Christ". This is through the blood of the Red Lion or "Christ's blood", and the body and soul are illuminated by the Light. The body (Stone) then becomes a purified Salt (regulus) the soul or Philosophical Sulphur becomes a Fire, and his Spirit or Philosophical Mercury becomes a "divine light and power". Thus we have Salt, Fire and Light, or body, soul and spirit. This is the "new image" of the triune (three-parted) God.
 

sam

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IMO, the paragraph is entirely allegorical.

Although I thank Kiorionis for his insightful and interesting post I would have to agree with Illen here. Especially in sight of the 13 letters and the 7 pillars who support that interpretation further IMO. Its also more practical in terms of labwork :)
 

Awani

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IMO another way of saying:

“Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing.” - Gospel of Philip

:cool:
 

Salazius

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'Hermes Trismegistus Old and True Natural Path', page 19:

"Man is composed of body, soul and spirit, each principle has its property; the outer body or person is a living death, a dark blanket, a dead grave; it is the curse, the dwelling wall between God and the souls. The man who with all his heart loves this living death, and carries out its will, and after the teachings of Christ does not hate it, he is a child of hell; Satan has his seat in him and sends away the divine light from the soul, and so it darkens forever. If only man would kill this living death while being alive, kills it under the cross, so that this old carcass becomes a fertile field in which a precious pearl resides, a good thing, a pure noble Salt body, which, when the dust of the underlying elements cursed by their transient nature are lain down (for the elemental flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, for it is born of curse) on the day of resurrection, will rise up in Christ; it becomes a house of purified souls by means of Christ's blood, whereby the body and the soul are once more illuminated by the light of God and become equal to the angels of God, as Christ teaches. His body is then a pure Salt, a good thing, his soul a Fire, his spirit is a divine light and power, which is light, Fire and Salt, or body, soul and spirit, a new image born by the spirit of God, to the triune God as eternal praise."

My opinion is that he is seeing the process of the Stone in man, perfection of the matter being seen as a universal process, even in the flesh. It is not really allegorical IMO.
My personnal experience of Internal Alchemy made me think that our flesh body, until the energetical system is no alive, is a walking corpse. It is truly already "dead".
 

Andro

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our flesh body, until the energetical system is not alive, is a walking corpse. It is truly already "dead".

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

Dead%20and%20Alive%20-%20Schrodingers%20Cat_zpsjqxkb7ad.jpg
 

Bel Matina

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The passage is allegorical in a sense, and literal in a sense.

To understand the hermetic notion of "death", it's necessary to understand what "life" is, in a hermetic context.

First, consider what it means to be "alive", especially as pertains to such notions as "life after death". This is not life in a mechanical, material sense, but life in the sense of being alive, having an experience.

The term "spirit" is used to denote the content of experience, especially in such a condition as no word can be applied to it. If it can be labeled, it can be said to have an "identity" or "soul", but this does not change the fundamental nature of the spirit. As the spirit moves, it moves the souls and forms relationships between them. It's these mechanisms, these rules that govern them that form the "body".

These rules, however, are a fiction of the relationships that arise between souls as they are moved by the spirit - there is no grounds to assume that the spirit is governed by them. In fact we find in every age that those who follow the rule of their expectation over the nature they see move in front of them are the meanest and most miserable of folk. Their expectation guides their will and traps their spirit. It is these bodies, cut off from the life that created them, that we hold to be "dead".

I hope this was helpful.
 

Ghislain

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There is then a transition from dwelling in the Kingdom to dwelling in the Knowledge of the Ayn, or a Covenant with the Living Elohim.

Ein Sof, or Ayn Sof, in Kabbalah, is understood as God prior to his self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual Realm, probably derived from Ibn Gabirol's term, "the Endless One". Ein Sof may be translated as "no end", "unending", "there is no end", or Infinity. Ein Sof is the divine origin of all created existence, in contrast to the Ein (or Ayn), which is infinite no-thingness.

Source:Ein Sof.

Ghislain

Edit: This has really given me something to think about...it fills in a missing link.
 
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zoas23

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I didn't read the book, so I do not have the general context.

But I believe he is talking about the old neo-platonic issue of the "earthly passions" vs. "desire" (Eros).

... but I'm not a fan of commenting on books which I have not read from beginning to end.
 

black

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Hi Mr. Andro

I just came across this thread and I'm wondering if you came to any conclusions
that you may like to share ?

I'm thinking of doing some research on this piece.

"Man is composed of body, soul and spirit, each principle has its property; the outer body or person is a living death, a dark blanket, a dead grave; it is the curse, the dwelling wall between God and the souls. The man who with all his heart loves this living death, and carries out its will, and after the teachings of Christ does not hate it, he is a child of hell; Satan has his seat in him and sends away the divine light from the soul, and so it darkens forever. If only man would kill this living death while being alive, kills it under the cross, so that this old carcass becomes a fertile field in which a precious pearl resides, a good thing, a pure noble Salt body, which, when the dust of the underlying elements cursed by their transient nature are lain down (for the elemental flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, for it is born of curse) on the day of resurrection, will rise up in Christ; it becomes a house of purified souls by means of Christ's blood, whereby the body and the soul are once more illuminated by the light of God and become equal to the angels of God, as Christ teaches. His body is then a pure Salt, a good thing, his soul a Fire, his spirit is a divine light and power, which is light, Fire and Salt, or body, soul and spirit, a new image born by the spirit of God, to the triune God as eternal praise."
 

Andro

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I'm wondering if you came to any conclusions that you may like to share?
My conclusion is that it's both allegorical and literal.
 

Chiliasticus

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From the English translation of 'Hermes Trismegistus Old and True Natural Path', page 19:

What do the here present Alchemists/Seekers make of this passage?

Is it entirely allegorical? To what extent should it be taken 'to the letter'?

I would be very interested in reading your perspectives on this...

I take it as entirely allegorical and entirely literal. Just as we are Body and not Body so is this literal and not literal.
 

Jimmy Rig

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I think it is quite literal.
Why did Jesus's ministry (of his fathers will-spirit) begin after his 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan?
He had to overcome the living death-bodily desires before he could spread his light.

Once he was reborn, physical death could not touch him as he was a regenerated light being. (born of the spirit)
 

Chiliasticus

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I think it is quite literal.
Why did Jesus's ministry (of his fathers will-spirit) begin after his 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan?
He had to overcome the living death-bodily desires before he could spread his light.

Once he was reborn, physical death could not touch him as he was a regenerated light being. (born of the spirit)

40 days on the Ark, 40 days on the Mountain, 40 days in the Desert. they call it a Philosophical Month for a reason.

Jesus was never inventing anything anew by speaking strictly to the public in parables, He was simply following the tradition the majority of the people had left behind or that they often never truly understood.
 

Andro

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I'll say it again, I am quite certain that this paragraph is to be taken both literally AND as an alchemical allegory.

What I find interesting in ICH's writing, is that he speaks quite clearly about the operations in the practical section, BUT leaves out the preparation of the Matter and the obtainment of the "Astral Spirit" (except for being VERY explicit about what the Matter is and about the appropriate times/seasons for gathering the Spirit).

However, what he lacks in openness in the "practical" part (the 3 Rotations), he definitely makes up for it in the introduction(s), when he speaks about the "generation of metals" and their "sperm", as well as during some of the "religious ramblings". He is most revealing about the practical "secrets" in those sections, not in the "practical" ones.

I believe that this passage, for example, allegorically describes the separation/sublimation of the pure Salt/Magnet from the Matter:

this old carcass (the matter, possibly "aged") becomes a fertile field (by its preparation/conditions) in which a precious pearl resides, a good thing, a pure noble Salt body (the subtle "magnetic" Salt), which, when the dust of the underlying elements cursed by their transient nature are lain down (residue left at the bottom) [...] on the day of resurrection, will rise up (separated, sublimed/raised & exalted from the "base" matter) in Christ; it becomes a house of purified souls by means of Christ's blood (Universal Spirit in the Air), whereby the body and the soul (Fixed Salt & Fixed Sulfur which remained at the bottom) are once more illuminated by the light of God (Spiritus & Our Mercury) and become equal to the angels of God, as Christ teaches. His body is then a pure Salt (either the purified Salt/Magnet or the Finished Stone, probably the latter in the specific context of this allegory).
Also, the nature of the vessel (also alluded to in the book's full title) and the sublimation process are allegorically described when he talks about the "Generation of Metals" in the "Bowels of the Earth".

As for the "matter" itself, it's rather obvious that he is directly explicit about it, on numerous occasions, in his own writing as well as in the quotes he provides.

In summary, when we read with more "open" eyes, the levels of explicit clarity are literally "through the roof". IMO.

It's also a good occasion to emphasize that the "attraction" does not occur via common deliquescence of the "magnetic" salt, but literally via the liquefaction of the magnet material and its subsequent increase in mass/volume/weight.

Anyway, that's one way to read it :)
 

Andro

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Now seriously...

WHY would this author (ICH) add to the full title of his book the words "Without Glassware"? ("ohne Gläser" in German)

Hermes Trismegistus
Old and True
Natural Path
OR:
The Secret
OF
How To Prepare
The Great Universal Tincture
Without Glassware
For Humans And Metals
And there are a few alchemical texts saying how all the fancy glassware and distillations and circulations and sublimations and cohobations, etc. are not to be taken literally, because they are not to be necessarily understood in the "common" sense of the word.

And further yet, many good authors talk a lot about mines & minerals, and the generation of metals... but what if they want to point us not to those subjects, but to their sperm/seed, which is not of any particular kingdom?

Now, there are Alchemists who use hard chemistry to "tear down" imperfect metals/minerals and subsequently obtain a Mercurial Spiritus from them. This is absolutely doable and totally legit. But why complicate things so much!

ICH also quotes "Alexander Sidonius" (a.k.a. "Seton", "Suchten", etc.):

So the artists should know, that the sperm of the metals is no different than the sperm of all things, namely a humid vapor or steam. Therefore, all those search in vain who wish to reduce the metals to their first matter. The philosophers did not mean to designate this Prima Materia, but solely the Materia Secunda; Count Bernhardt mentions that such quantity of solutions, circulations and calcinations are not necessary, for you seek in vain for something that is hard in a thing when it is everywhere gentle and soft in itself.
I admit I have kept one distillation setup, a few glass flasks and a heating mantle, but most of my "protocols" can be equally performed without them, with simple earthen pots and kitchen items that most people already have in their homes. And distillation can be useful in our "modern times" to get rid of all (or most) of the crap that's out there nowadays.

Now, I'm not saying that alchemists who use chemistry with fancy flasks and setups are "wrong". That would be a silly, rigid and dogmatic statement on my part. What I'm suggesting is to open our eyes a bit wider and see the mind-blowing simplicity in nature's operations. Then, after truly realizing the Foundations of the Work in its naked simplicity, we may elect to move to the more fancy gizmos, IF this can help make our processes more speedy and efficient.

Easily and naturally available matters (such as Dew, for example) are relatively "weak" in their Spiritus concentration, we are told. And this is quite true. But we can prepare/harvest a "Super-Dew" (for example) without any great cost, labor or fancy equipment, to use as our "Astral Spirit". Technically speaking, we can also forsake the various lenses and mirrors, although they can be interesting to work with in the right climates and latitudes.

As Sendivogius wrote in his 'New Chemical Light': "Simplicity is the Seal of Truth".

My bottom line is that I have chosen, long ago, to adhere to Simplicity in all its Splendor.

K.I.S.S.

_________________________________
 
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Seraphim

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???

"The Holy Scripture states that only one gate exists into this life for all people, and this same is also the exit. For as we are born into this world, we are also by the same means reduced to Prima Materia, like the grain of wheat, which is thrown into the Fire and by death of Putrefaction born anew and multiplied a hundredfold.

All this happens through the Spiritus Mundi Universalis, which opens and closes the gates, and is the movement toward life and death. Death is the putrefaction, the divorce of evil from the good, the pure from the impure, through which the new Body and the Tincture are born again to life. For just as a stalk grows from a seed, so comes forth from the old Body through Putrefaction a new Body, each according to its property and kind."

What of this new Body? What form?
 

Jimmy Rig

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What of this new Body? What form?

Man in his light state illuminated by the spirit of God. (to produce a Good Thing from man) It speaks about it at the top of this thread. (also from I.C.H.) The spiritus mundi universalis is.. the gate keeper so to speak. We have to work with it in order to begin the work. It is able to dissolve our gold (purify it by the fire) (agent and patient). There is a seed in man, that when the dark corpse is put to death, may putrefy and sprout a new fiery body born of god's fiery penetrating spirit and be reborn in a new light; or .. the dawning of the day.

Its a great work to be obedient and pentient before God. A worthwhile goal.

Woman's work and child's play,
Its noted in the book to be a tedious and boring work; though on reflection I am not sure about this part. (Joy comes with it also.) This line is an edit.. for transparency purposes.
To humble ourselves and stop chasing the glory,
The best gifts are received not stolen,
It is a subtle topic but very important.

IMO of course, keeping within forum guidelines.
 
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