Lapis Philosophicus – the jewel of the alchemist; the goal that the alchemist, through alchemy, seeks. Possession of this jewel is, according to aural tradition, sufficient to gift the alchemist with both wisdom and the secret of a personal immortality.
Let me begin the story – of the secret of lapis philosophicus – at the end, and which writing about this particular story will be the last writing of mine on any Occult, esoteric, matter, and thus the end of my chatter.
The story ends with an anticipated discovery: that the penultimate stage (however named: Magus, GrandMaster, GrandLadyMaster) of that life-long genuine Occult journey which begins with initiation (of whatever kind: hermetic, ceremonial, self) is the same whether one began on, and thence followed, what has been described as ‘The Left Hand Path’, or whether one began on, and thence followed, what has been described as ‘The Right Hand Path’. For in the context of beyond The Abyss, such designations based on such a dichotomy become, and are, irrelevant because without sense and meaning.
That is, the ‘outer secret’ of the inner, the real, the living, alchemy is that the end and the result of both our apparently separate journeys is the same; the same place, the same understanding, the same knowledge. For wisdom is undivided, the same for all of us, whatever we believed or assumed when we began. Or expressed another way, lapis philosophicus is what it is, and always has been, and does what it does, and always has done, in terms of how it affects and changes those few who have succeeded in their decades-long endeavor and thus discovered it, and discovered it where it has always been hidden.
Naturally those who have not discovered, not found, lapis philosophicus either will not appreciate this or will disagree with it; as will, of course, all those who pretend to others (and/or to themselves) that they have found lapis philosophicus and thus claim or award themselves some exalted title or some Occult grade or whatever.
As I mentioned in a previous MS:
“Our real work, both as individuals and as an Order – our Magnum Opus – is genuinely esoteric and Occult, and thus concerned with lapis philosophicus and not with some purely causal self-indulgence, or some ephemeral outer change in some causal form or forms, or with using such forms to try and effect some external change. For it is this esoteric, this Occult, work which will, affectively and effectively, introduce and maintain the Aeonic changes we desire and plan for – in its own species of acausal Time.”
Furthermore, this work as one moves after decades of pathei-mathos toward The Abyss of necessity involves a living of the sinisterly-numinous. For those of the LHP – having followed ‘the sinister’ – living numinously for a period of some years; for those of the RHP – having followed ‘the numinous’ – living sinisterly for a period of some years. For such a living (and the pathei-mathos which of necessity is part of it) is a means to know, to live (to move toward becoming) the natural balance, the Life, beyond abstracted opposites and all abstractions. There develops thus a knowing of Wyrd, an Aeonic perspective, taking the ‘sinister’ individual beyond personal destiny, beyond the self, and far beyond the attempted, the primitive, deification of the ego of the charlatans and the novices of one particular ‘path’. After which follows the ordeal of The Abyss which, for both types, both paths, is a living alone for a month or more in a certain difficult if simple manner, as for example outlined in the traditional Camlad rite of the abyss.
What, then, is the ‘inner secret’ of the living alchemy? What in other words is the nature of lapis philosophicus, the affects, of the object whose discovery is the ultimate purpose of our life-long Occult journey? The last part of this ‘secret’ is symbolized by the last stage/grade, begun but not yet attained as one’s mortal nexion closes: during the right alchemical season, and at the right causal Time beyond one’s mortal power to choose, to decide, for it is when it is, and will by the discovery of lapis philosophicus become known and can neither be chosen/decided by us nor forestalled by any means. The middle part of this ‘secret’ is that the object of our journey never really was distant and neither was it hidden at all; we only assumed or believed it was, and we only had to learn to not only see as we can see but did not know we could but also to know, to understand, to feel, to appreciate, what is seen, sans denotatum, and be such denotatum words (verbal, written), symbolic, ideation (of ‘the mind’), archetypal, or whatever. The first part of this ‘secret’ concerns a certain knowledge: about ‘the living water’, azoth; about the nature of Time, of Being, of consciousness, of the Cosmos, and thus about our nature as mortal existents, as beings, in this realm of phenomenon; of how we are Time beyond its perceived dichotomy and are and have been and will be Being, and have the potential to become/return-to Being beyond our perceived temporary existence as conscious mortal beings. But one has to be ‘there’/here – now/then/when and in/within/beyond Time – in order to ‘see’, to know, to feel, to appreciate, to understand, this. The rest is either preparation or null.
Some Occult Terms Briefly Explained
The expression ‘the Aeonic perspective’ – also known as the Cosmic perspective – is used to describe some of our esoteric/Occult pathei-mathos, some of our experience; that is, to describe some knowledge we have acquired through a combination of practical experience, through a scholarly study, and through using certain Occult faculties and skills, such as esoteric-empathy.
This knowledge concerns several matters, some to do with how we understand the individual human being, some to do with our perception of Aeons, and some to do with our praxis and the purpose and effectiveness of our methods and techniques both exoteric and esoteric.
In terms of causal forms, there is the initiated understanding that what, for human beings, is esoteric, evolutionary – that what presences acausal energy and thus Life – is inner not outer change. That is, that no causal form, no non-Occult praxis, produces or can produce Aeonic change, although such forms, such praxis, may occasionally result in some, a few, individuals each century, via pathei-mathos, achieving a certain insight and understanding and thence becoming changed, more evolved, human beings.
Or, expressed differently, the changes wrought by causal forms – by wars, revolutions, empires, nations, and through means such as politics or social reform, or by governments – are transient, and do not, over centuries, affect human beings en masse. For humans remain and have remained basically the same; rather primitive beings, dependent on and in thrall to abstractions, to their emotions, to archetypal forces, and never developing their latent faculties, never fulfilling their Cosmic potential, with only a rare few human beings achieving wisdom.
al-χημία [ from χῡμεία ] – ‘the changing’.
According to aural tradition, esoteric alchemy – the secret alchemy – is a symbiotic process that occurs between the alchemist and certain living ‘things’/elements, the aim of which symbiotic process is to acquire or to produce Lapis Philosophicus, and which ‘jewel of the alchemist’ is reputed to possess both the gift of wisdom and the secret of a personal immortality.
Alchemy, correctly understood and appreciated, is not – as the mis-informed have come to believe or been led to believe – concerned with the changing, the transformation of inert, lifeless, substances (chemical or otherwise) but with the transformation of the alchemist by a particular type of interaction with living ‘things’, human, of Nature, and of the Cosmos, and of living ‘things’ existing both in the causal and the acausal realms. [Hence the old association between alchemy and astronomy.] This interaction, by its nature – its physis – is or becomes a symbiotic one, with the alchemist, and the substances/things used, being thus changed by such a symbiosis.
That is, it is concerned with what we describe as ‘the sinisterly-numinous’; with accessing and using/changing the acausal energies of living beings, and which acausal energies of necessity include the psyche of the alchemist.
Hence, esoteric alchemy is a particular type of ‘internal change’ within and of the individual as well as a practical esoteric Art involving the manufacture/use of particular types of esoteric – living – substances/’beings’/things.
By esoteric we mean not only the standard definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary, which is:
” From the Greek ἐσωτερικ-ός. Of philosophical doctrines, treatises, modes of speech. Designed for, or appropriate to, an inner circle of advanced or privileged disciples; communicated to, or intelligible by, the initiated exclusively. Hence of disciples: Belonging to the inner circle, admitted to the esoteric teaching.”
but also and importantly pertaining to the Occult Arts and imbued with a certain mystery, and redolent of what we term ‘the sinisterly-numinous’.
The psyche of the individual is a term used to describe those aspects of an individual – those aspects of consciousness – which are hidden, or inaccessible to, or unknown to, the individual. Basically, such aspects can be considered to be those forces/energies which do or which can influence the individual in an emotional way or in a way which the individual has no direct control over or understanding of. One part of this psyche is what has been called “the unconscious”, and some of the forces/energies of this “unconscious” have been, and can be, described by the term “archetypes”.
In practical terms, the psyche of the individual is a nexus, between causal and acausal.
By term wisdom we mean not only the standard dictionary definition – a balanced personal judgment; having discernment – but also the older sense of having certain knowledge of a pagan, Occult, kind to do with livings beings, human nature, and concerning Nature and ‘the heavens’. To wit, possessing certain faculties, such as esoteric-empathy, a knowing of one’s self; possessing an Aeonic knowing; and thus knowing Reality beyond, and sans, all causal abstractions.