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THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE

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Author Topic: THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE  (Read 976 times)
Bianca
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« on: August 07, 2007, 10:27:12 pm »

                 




                                            P H I L O S O P H E R ' S    S T O N E




.
The philosopher's stone (Latin: lapis philosophorum; Greek: chrysopoeia) is a legendary substance, supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold; it was also sometimes believed to be a means of making people younger. For a long time it was the "holy grail" of Western alchemy.

In the view of spiritual alchemy, making the philosopher's stone would bring enlightenment upon the maker and conclude the Great Work.

Originally the Philosopher's Stone was believed to be the chemical that changed base metals into silver or gold, often it was termed the Power of Projection.

It was first mentioned by Zosimos the Theban (c. 250-300) in the third century. Throughout the generations the Philosopher's Stone has taken on an immense range of powers; not only has it been called the secret of life and health, but also possessing spiritual significance. The notion of its spiritual qualities expanded until in the thirteenth century a program evolved that led the alchemist through a strict devotional ritual and purification. After completing this ceremony he was thought worthy to perform his activities.

Eventually the Philosopher's Stone was thought to signify the force behind the evolution of life and the universal binding power which unites minds and souls in a human oneness.

Finally, it represented the purity and sanctity of the highest realm of pure thought and altruistic existence. A.G.H.
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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2007, 10:33:06 pm »








In alchemy


Alchemists once thought a key element that the stone was made of was a mythical element named carmot.

Alchemy itself is mostly an original concept and science practised in the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, and India. However, the concept of ensuring youthful health apparently originated in China, while the concept of transmutating one metal into a more precious one (silver or gold) originated from the theories of the 8th century Arab alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan (Latinized as 'Geber'). He analysed each Aristotelian element in terms of the four basic qualities of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness. Fire was both hot and dry, earth cold and dry, water cold and moist, and air hot and moist. He further theorized that every metal was a combination of these four principles, two of them interior and two exterior.

From this premise, it was reasoned that the transmutation of one metal into another could be effected by the rearrangement of its basic qualities. This change would presumably be mediated by a substance, which came to be called al-iksir in Arabic (from which the Western term "elixir" is derived). It is often considered to exist as a dry red powder made from a legendary stone — the "Philosopher's Stone".

In the 11th century, there was a debate among Muslim chemists on whether the transmutation of substances was possible. A leading opponent was Avicenna, who discredited the theory of transmutation of substances:

"Those of the chemical craft know well that no change can be effected in the different species of substances, though they can produce the appearance of such change."

According to legend, the 13th-century scientist and philosopher Albertus Magnus is said to have discovered the philosopher's stone and passed it to his pupil Thomas Aquinas, shortly before his death about 1280. Magnus does not confirm he discovered the stone in his writings, but he did record that he witnessed the creation of gold by "transmutation."

The 16th-century Swiss alchemist Philippus Paracelsus believed in the existence of alkahest which he believed to be an undiscovered element from which all other elements (earth, fire, water, air) were simply derivative forms. He believed that this element alkahest was, in fact, the philosopher's stone.

Jabir's theory and the concept of knowledge that metals like gold and silver could be hidden in alloys and ores, from which they could be recovered by the appropriate chemical treatment. Jabir himself is believed to be the inventor of aqua regia, a mixture of muriatic (hydrochloric) and nitric acids, one of the few substances that can dissolve gold (and which is still often used for gold recovery and purification).

Gold was particularly valued as a metal that would not rust, tarnish, corrode or otherwise grow corrupt. Since the philosopher's stone would turn a corruptible base metal to incorruptible gold, naturally it would similarly transform human beings from mortal (corruptible) to immortal (incorruptible).

Essentially one of the many theories was that gold was a superior form of metal, and that the philosopher's stone was even purer and superior to gold, so much so that if combined with lesser metals would turn them into superior gold.

A mystical text published in the 17th century called the Mutus Liber appears to be a symbolic instruction manual for concocting a philosopher's stone. Called the 'wordless book', this was a collection of 15 illustrations.
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2007, 10:34:55 pm »








Contemporary interpretations


The Latin American spiritual teacher Samael Aun Weor stated that the Philosopher's Stone is synonymous with the symbol of the stone found in many other spiritual and religious traditions, such as the stone Jacob rests his head upon, the cubic stone of Freemasonry, and the rock upon which Christ lays the foundation of the temple.

“ Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on it shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe it is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence. - 1 Peter 2: 6-8 ”

He states that this "stone of stumbling" and "rock of offence" is the creative-sexual energy, which in Kabbalah is Yesod ("foundation") that must be transmuted through sexual alchemy. It is said to be rejected by the "builders," meaning those who seek spiritual edification, because they reject the transmutation of sexual energy, and instead use it to achieve sensual pleasure.
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 10:37:03 pm »








In art and entertainment


The philosopher's stone has been subject, inspiration, or plot feature of innumerable artistic works — novels, comics stories, movies, animations, and even musical compositions. It is also a popular item in many video games. The following is a very incomplete list.




 Literature


Natural Magic (1558), by Giambattista della Porta
The Philosopher's Stone (1789), by Christoph Martin Wieland.[8] German fairy tale.
Hinzelmeier (1857), by Theodor Storm.[8] Romantic style German fairy tale.
Philosopher's Stone (1859), by Hans Christian Andersen.
The Trumpeter of Krakow (1928), by Eric P. Kelly.
One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), by Gabriel García Márquez.
The Philosopher's Stone (Colin Wilson book) (1971), by C. H. Wilson.
The Ogre Downstairs (1974), by Diana Wynne Jones.
The Alchemist (1988), by Paulo Coelho.
Foucault's Pendulum (1988), by Umberto Eco, where a character claims that the Stone is actually the Holy Grail.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997), by J. K. Rowling (renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US; note also that when the stone is referred to in Latin in a Potter context, it is called lapis philosophi rather than philosophorum, i.e. "of the philosopher" instead of the original "of philosophers").
The Baroque Cycle trilogy (2003–2004), by Neal Stephenson, where it is used to explain an unusually heavy gold sample.
Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone (1995), by Max McCoy.
The Red Lion 1946, by Maria Szepes Hungary. Story of a mans journey through four centuries of lifetimes after acquiring the Philosopher's stone.
The Eight, by Katherine Neville.
The Alchemyst:the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (novel, 2007), by Michael Scott.
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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2007, 10:39:58 pm »








Music


The concept-album Grand Materia (2005) by the Swedish metal-band Morgana Lefay is about Nicolas Flamel and his life and how he made the Philosopher's Stone.
"Philosopher Stone" is a Van Morrison song found on Back on Top.
The American progressive metal band Tool refer to the Philosopher's Stone on their 2001 album "Lateralus" on the opening track "The Grudge":

 


References



^ Heindel, Max, Freemasonry and Catholicism, ISBN 0-911274-04-9
^ Burt, A.L. 1885. The National Standard Encyclopedia: A Dictionary of Literature, the Sciences and the Arts, for Popular Use p. 150. Available online.
^ Sebastian, Anton. 1999. A Dictionary of the History of Medicine. p. 179. ISBN 1-85070-021-4. Available online.
^ Robert Briffault (1938). The Making of Humanity, p. 196-197.
^ Julian Franklyn ans Frederick E. Budd. A Survey of the Occult. Electric Book Company. 2001. p. 28-30. ISBN 1843270870.
^ Samael Aun Weor. Arcanum 2: The Priestess. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
^ Samael Aun Weor. Final Catastrophe. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
^ a b Zipes, Jack. Spells of Enchantment. New York: Viking, 1991.

 
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