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Independent Study Module No. 29

The Philosopher's Stone

  The creative force used by God to bring a solar system into manifestation, and the force used by the divine Hierarchies to form the physical vehicle of the lower kingdoms over which they rule as group spirits, expresses itself in a dual manner as Will and Imagination, and is the same as the united creative force of the male and the female which results in the creation of a human body. At one time man was bi-sexual, male-female, and therefore each was able to propagate his species without assistance from anyone else. But one-half of the creative force has been temporarily diverted upward to build a brain and larynx in order to enable him sometimes to create by his own mind, to form thoughts and speak the creative word of power that shall make his thoughts flesh. Three great creative Hierarchies were particularly concerned in bringing about this change: the Angels from the Moon, the Mercurians from Mercury, and the Lucifer Spirits from Mars.

  The Alchemists connected the Angels from the Moon, which rules the saline tides, with the element salt, the Lucifer Spirits from Mars with the element sulphur, and the Mercurians from Mercury with the metal mercury. They used this symbolic presentation partly because of the religious intolerance which made it unsafe to promulgate any other teaching than that sanctioned by the orthodox church of that day, and partly because humanity as a whole was not yet ready to accept the truths which were embodied in their philosophy. They also spoke of a fourth element, Azoth, the name composed of the first and last letters of our classical languages, and intended to convey the same idea as "alpha and omega" — that of all-inclusiveness. This referred to what we now know as the spiritual ray of Neptune, which is the octave of Mercury and which is the sublimated essence of spiritual power.

  The alchemists knew that the moral and physical nature of man had become gross and coarse on account of the passion inculcated by the Lucifer Spirits, and that, therefore, a process of distillation and refinement was necessary to eliminate these characteristics and elevate man to the sublime heights where the splendor of the spirit is no longer obscured by the coarse coating which now hides it from view. They therefore regarded the body as a laboratory and spoke of the spiritual processes in chemical terms. They noted that these processes have their inception and their particular field of activity in the spinal cord that forms the link between the two creative organs: the brain, which is the field of operation for the intellectual Mercurians, and the genitals, which are the vantage ground of the sensuous and passionate Lucifer Spirits.

  This tripartite spinal cord was to the alchemists the crucible of consciousness; they knew that in the sympathetic section of the cord which governs the functions that have to do particularly with the upkeep and welfare of the body, the Lunar Angels were specially active and this segment was therefore designated as the element salt. The segment governing the motor nerves which spend the dynamic energy stored in the body by our food they saw clearly to be under the dominance of the martial Lucifer Spirits, and they, therefore, named that segment sulphur. The remaining segment, which marks and registers the sensations carried by the nerves, was named mercury because it was said to be under the dominance of spiritual beings from Mercury. The spinal cord, contrary to the ideas of anatomists, is not filled with fluid, but with a gas that is like steam in that it may be condensed when exposed to the outside atmosphere, but may also be superheated by the vibratory activity of the spirit to such an extent that it becomes a brilliant and luminous fire, the fire of purification and regeneration. This is the field of action of the great spiritual Hierarchy from Neptune and is designated Azoth by the alchemists. This spiritual fire is not alike in every man nor is it as luminous in one as in another. That state thereof depends upon the spiritual advancement of the person in question.

  When the aspirant to the higher life had been instructed in these mysteries of symbolism and the time had come to speak to him plainly, the following teachings were communicated to him, not necessarily in these words nor in this manner. But at any rate he was given to understand and it was made clear to him that "anatomically man belongs to the animals, and that below that kingdom in the scale of evolution are the plants. They are pure and innocent, their propagative practices are untainted by passion, and their whole creative force is turned upward toward the light, where it manifests as the flower, a thing of joy and beauty for all to behold. Yet the plants are unable to do otherwise, for they have no intelligence, no consciousness of the outside world and no free-will in action. They can only create in the physical world, however.

  "Above man in the scale of evolution are the gods, creators upon the spiritual and physical planes. They also are pure as the plants, for their whole creative force is also turned upward and is expended in whatever manner their intelligence directs; and knowing good and evil, they always do good by choice.

  "Between the gods and the plant kingdom stands man, a being endowed with intelligence, creative power, and free will to use it for good or ill. At present, however, he is dominated by the passion instilled by the Lucifer Spirits and sends one-half of his creative force downward from the light to gratify his senses. This condition must be altered ere spiritual progress can be made, and therefore we must carefully consider the similarity between the chaste plant and the pure spiritual gods who both turn their whole creative power toward the light. In the course of evolution we have risen above the plant, which has creative power only in the physical world, and have become like the gods possessing creative power, on both the mental and physical planes of being, besides intelligence and free-will to direct it. This was accomplished by the diversion of one-half of the sex force upward for building a brain and larynx, organs which are still fed and nourished by this uplifting half of the sex force. But while the gods direct their whole creative force to altruistic purposes by the power of mind, we still squander one-half of our divine heritage upon desire and sense-gratification. If, therefore, we would become as they, we must learn to turn our whole creative energy upward to be used under the direction of our intelligence entirely. Thus only can we become as the gods and create from ourselves by the power of our mind and the Great Word whereby we may speak the creative fiat. Remember that physically we were once hermaphrodite like the plant and able to create from ourselves. Look into the future now through the perspective of the past and realize that our present uni-sexual condition is only a temporary phase of evolution and that in the future our whole creative force must be turned upward so that we shall become hermaphrodite spiritually, and thus able to objectify our ideas and speak the living word which shall endue them with life and make them vibrant with vital energy. This dual creative force expressed through the brain and larynx is the 'elixir-vitae' which springs from the living stone of the spiritually hermaphrodite philosopher. The alchemical process of kindling and elevating it is accomplished in the spinal cord where the salt, sulphur, mercury, and Azoth are found. It is raised to incandescence by high and noble thoughts, by meditation upon spiritual subjects, and by altruism expressed in the daily life. The second half of the creative energy thus drawn upward through the spinal canal is a spinal spirit fire, the serpent of wisdom. Gradually it is raised higher and higher and when it reaches the pituitary body and the pineal gland in the brain, it sets them to vibrating, opening up the spiritual worlds and enabling man to commune with the gods. Then this fire radiates in all directions and permeates the whole body and its auric atmosphere, and man has become a living stone, whose luster surpasses that of the diamond or the ruby. He is then The Philosophers Stone."


  (You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below.)

1. What are the dual forces that comprise the creative energy with which God creates a solar system?

2. What is the esoteric significance of salt, sulphur, mercury and Azoth?

3. What did the alchemists consider the crucible of consciousness?

4. Describe the substance with which the spinal cord is filled.

5. Distinguish between the plant, man, and the gods.

6. What is the "elixir-vitae"?

7. What is the Philosopher's Stone and how is it made?

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