An Introduction To Alchemy

One typically finds the subjects of Qabala and Alchemy occupying the same shelves, sometimes intertwined together within the same books, using similar vernacular. This is no coincidence, although it is often difficult for one to see just what ties the two together. A good way to bridge the gap, in the attempt to find the similarities, is by taking a look at what is sometimes called the "Alchemy of the Soul".

The main point of this idea is one of 'spiritualization' - if a person focuses arduously enough on spirituality, the denser components of that person will begin to vibrate with higher and higher energies. With continued effort, this has the effect of spiritualizing the complete entity - possibly even affecting the physical elements of that being. And as the physical body becomes more spiritualized, it increases naturally in health, strength and vigor; the truly spiritualized person actually glows with real energies that are only dimly lit in the average person (these energies remain invisible, however, to unworthy eyes). Such spiritualization occurs in multiple Kingdoms, but the effect is being felt in the lowest world of Qabala - the kingdom of Malkuth.

Far more important than the physical side of things are the higher aspects of life; all of the non-physical worlds of the universe - the higher worlds of the Qabala - have varying levels of 'spirituality';

The 9th Kingdom is more 'spiritual' than the 10th, and the 8th Kingdom is of higher spirituality than the 9th, and so on.

With the application of a great enough level of focus, the aspirant can use the mind and the higher spirit to conquer the physical world and to eventually gain access to the higher Kingdoms. This is the true meaning of Qabala - the use of the Will alone in discovery, and eventually self-mastery.

With the application of Alchemy, however, the adept can combine the physical with the spiritual using scientific means! Armed with a laboratory full of varying devices and substances, the philosophical technician brings the physical and the spiritual together with his or her hands - creating substances which will help the technician on the spiritual path.

This is the only difference between Qabala and Alchemy - Alchemy uses physical means in attaining the spiritual, whereas Qabala uses spiritual methodology in all things.

In both disciplines we have the four Elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. These descriptors have little to do with the physical, earthly meanings of the words - they are simply metaphors for varying levels of spirituality. For example, Earth is less spiritual than Water; as the metaphor shows, water can permeate and purify earth, flowing in or out depending on applied energy. Air is even more spiritual - it can permeate both earth and water, and can also fly to great heights. Fire, however, holds the trump card - it is the most spiritual of the group, as it can purify earth (as in a crucible), can spiritualize water (put it into the air in the form of vapor), can purify air (remove water from it using heat), and can rise to the greatest heights (in the form of rocket fuel, for instance). But aside from these more obvious connections, the actual Four Elements exist in various ways within all the worlds of the Qabala, according to varying degrees of spirituality; they exist as seperate but intertwining and interacting fields of Divine Energy.

Then there's the even more arcane 'Fifth Element', often called the Quintessence. This is highly elusive - it can be thought of as the 'Essence of the Highest', made from a perfect balance of the principle four Elements (within each Kingdom). Together, it is said that they comprise everything in the Universe - hence, the mastery of the Elements renders the mastery of all things...


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