Tuesday, August 9, 2016

alchemists were after gold not wisdom

Where did all the bullshit about alchemy being spiritual get started? it is of course easily
fed by the hermetic notions of a world soul and prime material that can be manipulated.
But if all the symbolism was not about chemistry, with a mystical bent to it but the goal
being material things like gold and physical immortality, whence all the physical
chemical activities that resulted in the discovery of some elements and other things?
you don't do that by meditating.

it seems to have started with an American Civil War General, Ethan Allen Hitchcock.

" http://mysticbourgeoisie.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html
"during the winter of 1856-7 General Hitchcock writes a volume of 300 page entitles REMARKS

In this book, published in Boston, the author sets forthe the reasons for his contntion that the
alchemists were neither frauds nor dupes but that they spoke in symbolic language, and that the real
subject of all their desires and efforts was not any philosopher's stone or any transmutation of base
metals into gold, but distinctly the human race and its improvement. The one desirable thing was
wisdom, - that self-knowledge from which flows the uprightness of life which is salvation."

pp. 425 - 426 Fifty Years in Camp and Field: Diary of Major-General Ethan Allen Hitchcock ...
By Ethan Allen Hitchcock "
 in Wikipedia is
"Contributions to alchemy studies[edit]
By the time of his death, Hitchcock had amassed a large private library, including over 250 volumes
on the subject of alchemy. This collection was widely regarded as one of the finest private holdings
of rare alchemical works and is preserved by St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of
Missouri-St. Louis. Through Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists and other writings,
Hitchcock argued that the alchemists were actually religious philosophers writing in symbolism. In
Problems of Mysticism and its Symbolism, the Viennese psychologist Herbert Silberer credited
Hitchcock with helping to open the way for his explorations of the psychological content of

Remarks upon Alchemy and Alchemists (published in 1857)
Swedenborg a Hermetic Philosopher (1858)
Christ the Spirit (1861)
The Story of the Red Book of Appin (1863)
Spenser's Poem (1865)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan_A._Hitchcock_(general)#Contributions_to_alchemy_studies "

notice something here. this guy was interested in Swedenborg, and in James Webb's The Occult
Establishment I noticed that all the really major dangerous stuff track back to two sources of
lineage of influence, Swedenborg being one of them. I forget the other right now.  Swedenborg
had a lot of weird experiences and believed he was talking with angels, but he said at one point
that ALL spirits will lie. doesn't sound angelic to me. satan can transform himself into the likeness
of an angel of light Paul warns.

then that title Christ the Spirit would seem to imply a confusion between the Second and Third
Persons of the Holy Trinity and perhaps even a denial of the physical nature of Christ's
Resurrection. Not having read the book I can't be sure, but both are possible given the title and
neither inconsistent with occult philosophy.

Spenser's Poem would be about The Faerie Queen which essentially posits that a knight who
wears the cross of Christ would properly have to do with the fae, and though all kinds of
deception by spirits is indicated (Spark notes) the association makes the fae look legitimate.
That it is a red cross is indicating this knight is a Templar, of which the less said the better.
They had already been hijacked by (or perhaps did help form) speculative masonry and other
groups by Hitchcock's time.

The Red Book of Appin is a flat out grimoire. I don't propose to read any of this garbage
having been exposed already in my wrong headed teens and prefer to forget most. But the
picture I'm getting on this guy is that he was into dark stuff.

Hitchcock influenced Silberer, Silberer influenced Jung, Jung with the help of a familiar
spirit aka demon and assorted Nazi mysticism begat a sizeable chunk of the New Age and
took Freud's dip into mythology into a whole hog wallow.

Jung invented the notion of the collective unconscious, which is bullshit. a similar idea in
theosophy and related occult philosophy is the akashic records where is recorded everything
that ever happened. That by definition would include every thought that ever happened, most
of which is going to be bullshit. So if it exists it is worthless. A classic example of what you
can get when you seek to find the real history of whatever, is a couple of proto Nazi mystics
Webb I think it was wrote about, who meditating discovered that originally there was Aryan
Adam and Eve, who were if I recall right 12 feet tall, lived at the north pole or something
like that and ate cabbage and drank ice water and would have conquered the world on this
brew if Helga a Jew hadn't come along and introduced them to beer.

yeah. right. so much for universal collective unconscious and records of ancient reality.
(an occasional psychic stamp of some events on a location, which is probably what those
hauntings that do not interact with the viewer and seem to replay events every time seen
would be, is not akashic records as proposed.)

The collctive unconscious is a fraud, the product of a fraud. Famously, Jung was treating
some girl who had dreams consisting of ancient false gods including hindu. Supposedly
she could only have gotten this by tapping into the collective unconscious. OOPS! she was
the daughter of a scholar in all this with a library for her to wallow in. that gal was NOT A
BLANK SLATE. Jung knew this. Jung lied.

But I digress.

Years ago I stumbled on some mention of ancient Egyptians processing gold out of
gold mining slag, when the easily gotten gold was used up and they were after trace
amounts. My guess is that the whole alchemy nonsense was the result of some lackey
seeing this, and jumping to the wrong conclusion.

I read the Turba Philosophorum decades ago, probably in the 1980s. All the different
lectures in it contradict each other. There is one commonality among them.

Alchemy is a process, of taking something, breaking it into its constituent parts,
doing things to these parts or in some cases to only some of them, and then
putting the parts back together to make something totally different than what you
started with.

some similarities to cooking of the more complex sort are obvious. And once you get
the gist of this process, you can start applying it to social manipulation and even
pedagogy and whatnot. But that doesn't mean that that is what it was always about.

The failure of alchemists to make gold is legendary. less well known are some
apparent successes, which may be nothing more than developing a good counterfeit
to gold, that by weight (from the lead part) and temperature tolerances (from some
alloying) would pass assay of the medieval sort.  In one case in one of the German
kingdoms, a king ordered all alchemic gold items turned in for reimbursement, no
questions asked. a shield or a plate of such was in a museum whether it was ever
tested I don't know. Clearly someone succeeded on a massive basis and the king
wanted this stuff off the streets. probably because it was fraudulent.

Alchemists developed many herbal and chemical mix medicines, and Paracelsus'
remedy for syphilis and other things was essentially an early experiment in

But I digress.

the failure as I said was legendary, and a cartoon in an old history book I had
in Palo Alto High School (or was it Jordan Jr. High?) was a single square, with
the recurring character Hy Story now done up in wizard gear and chemical equipment
on the table and the landlord is telling him "and if the rent isn't paid by tomorrow you
can go make gold somewhere else."

so now suddenly you have all this "spiritual alchemy" garbage. while it is not
exactly garbage to say you can apply alchemic procedures on society and individuals
economically and psychologically, it IS garbage to say that that is all that alchemy
was ever about.

with the failure of alchemy physically, the search to explain the alchemy and hermetic
reputation for wisdom and to preserve that reputation so you could keep your mystic
reverie and sense of awe and wonder going and maybe pocket some cash was on.

Some clever bastards may have applied alchemic procedure to non physical mental
and social issues as an extrapolation, but that grew OUT of alchemy, the chemical
efforts were not a decay FROM it or a misinterpretation of it.


  1. Yawn! What a pile of shark toes! Utter nonsense and boring too! Yawn!

  2. shark toes. I like that. something to add to the collection of nonexistent stuff to compare something to that you consider nonsense, like mare's nests, frog hair and hen's teeth. did you invent that phrase or did you get it somewhere?