The origin of metals
Studying the spectroscopic light emitted by distant celestial bodies in a state of incandescent gas, we have the opportunity to understand their chemical composition. In the boundless expanse of space, there are many celestial bodies in the most diverse stages of cooling. The study of the spectra of their light and a comparison of the results gives us the opportunity to understand how the chemical composition of such huge mass of matter changes as it cools.
At the initial stage, while the temperature is very high, the spectroscope reveals only two elements in a celestial nebula: hydrogen and helium. Nitrogen develops as the gas cools down, then iron, magnesium and other metals appear. The number of different chemicals is growing more and more and finally, wide dark bands appear in the spectrum, telling us about the formation of certain chemical compounds. Finally, the temperature of the celestial body drops so much that it hardens. Water vapor condenses into a liquid, the temperature drops further, until it becomes no warmer than in a hot-heated bath. After that, organic life — plants and animal life — appears on the planet.
It is important to note that this process of cooling of the celestial body down and developing of various substances, the description of which took only a few minutes, actually lasts millions of centuries.
But how did variety of chemicals develop on the celestial body, if previously there was nothing but hydrogen and helium? In order to make ourselves aware of the process of this nucleation, we must turn to completely different phenomena; however, still similar to our current topic.
“All that exists above’’, says Hermes Trismegistus, ‘’is similar to everything below’’. The whole world is built according to one Divine plan, and all its divisions are only different cases of a single creative idea. Therefore, it is possible, skillfully using this analogy, to study the processes of a particular part of the universe which is unknown to us, and observing similar phenomena of the part which is known to us. Therefore, it is possible to draw conclusions about certain phenomena like electric current by observing the flow of water in pipes or to draw conclusions about the strength of a building, considering combinations of numbers and algebraic operations that served to calculate its dimensions.
Of course this technique, in addition to the deep knowledge, also requires the greatest thoroughness and tremendous caution in conclusions, without which it is easy to get lost in reasoning and completely deviate from reality. What is the way of verification? Only an experience, a test can verify it.
Can we really explain the essence of at least one natural phenomenon? Of course not. What do the profane understand by the word ‘’explanation’’? Only the existing analogy between the phenomenon under consideration and any other, long known and familiar to us.
Let me give you an example: for a long time, physicists tried to explain all natural phenomena by purely mechanical processes of pressure, impact, etc. In cases in which they were able to success, the phenomenon was considered to be explained. Why? Because of our everyday experience we are so accustomed to rough mechanical phenomena that we imagine that we really understand them, while in fact the phenomenon of impact of two solids is actually completely incomprehensible to us.
Indeed, we know that every solid body, for example, a locomotive buffer, is nothing more than empty space in which individual atoms of matter are scattered over relatively large distances from each other. The structure of matter resembles very much the structure of the universe, in which also individual material elements, the celestial bodies, are separated by immeasurably huge empty gaps.
And if this is so, then it would be much more natural to assume that in case of collision two solid bodies should in fact freely pass through each other. No impact should occur. However, daily experience teaches us the opposite and we are so attached to this experience that we do not want to think about the incomprehensibility of this phenomenon and might get even hostile to any indication of it.
This means that it is essentially not possible to explain the genesis of metals and other chemicals. We can only point out the existing analogy with the more familiar process, which we will do. First of all, we must distinguish between two kinds of genesis: the outbreak of the first primordial species of a kind and the origin of further species. We don’t know any details about the first.
The Eternal Wisdom established a general law that for the birth of any creature of any kingdom of nature, the combined action of two principles, male and female, is necessary. We now have to trace how this law specializes in various kingdoms of nature and to find out the role of each of these two principles.
Let's start with the higher animals or humans. It would seem that the female body has all the necessary materials and forces to build the body of the child; so why the pregnancy does not occur without the assistance of the masculine principle, which, from the material point of view, offers only an insignificant amount of substance.
Occult science answers this question as follows: imagine the building site where bricks, lime, blocks of marble and all the materials needed for the construction of the palace are collected. Let there be the workers with their tools. And yet, they can stand there for as long as they want, but the construction of the palace can only begin when the architect comes with a plan for the future building and tells the workers what and how to do with the available materials, where and how to apply the methods of work.
The materials and labor forces trained in working methods are the feminine principle. Masculinity is an architect with a plan. Who is this architect? He is the astral body of the future individual, attached to one or another material carrier, which we will call in the most general sense of the word - a semen, or seed.
Among the higher animals, only the seed secreted by the sexual organs of the male body can serve as the male principle, while only the sexual organs of the female organism can serve as the female principle.
Among the plants, the matter becomes much less defined. First of all, combined action of a male and female organs of a higher plant gives not a new plant, but only a seed from which a new plant might or might not grow.
Moreover, this combined action is not essential. A lot of plants are easily propagated by layering in addition to flowers and seeds. What is masculine and what is feminine in case of formation of a plant from a seed or from a layering?
In the earth, water, air and sunlight there are all the necessary substances and forces for the construction of oak, watermelon, pineapple or carrots, but none of this is built until the ‘’architect’’ comes with a plan, which is the astral body of the plant, attached to the seed or a branch, and which in this case are masculine. So, in our meaning of the word, we will have to call the layers (brunches) are the seed of the plant, and the real feminine principle, common to all plants, is the earth moistened with water, lit by the sun and the atmosphere.
In its pure form, this case is manifested in the lower plants like mushrooms and fungi. In their case, the pollination, which gives reason to think that a particular female organ is a particular organ of a plant, doesn’t exist.
Now, a little bit of practical overview. Gardeners are able to improve plant species by skillful selection of male and female principles — seeds, layering, soil of one or another composition, and so on, including the skillful regulation of the temperature at which the development of the future plant takes place. From such manipulations an improved plant can be obtained and a seed (in our sense of the word) of better quality, which can serve as material for further improvements of the breed.
Among the lowest plants, such as fungi, the seed can be a piece of shapeless mass of a cluster of many such fungi, a piece of fermentation enzyme or any fermenting substance, such as dough. However, to obtain the best results, where all the qualities of our fungus are fully manifested, bacteriologists use pure cultures that can be obtained from at least a piece of the fermenting substance according to the rules of bacteriology.
An insignificant amount of such a pure enzyme culture, introduced into a substance that is suitable as a feminine principle, sometimes makes it very quickly and chemically rebuilds according to a new plan corresponding to the astral agent that the enzyme brought with it. In this case, the substance acquires a number of new physical and chemical properties that characterize this enzyme and, in turn, it can be used to breed a new pure culture of this enzyme.
Assuming that the mineral kingdom is even more primitive than the plant kingdom, one cannot assume in it greater intelligibility with respect to the feminine than in plants. Since all plants, as we have seen, have one common female principle, then in case of minerals and metals, this should also be the case. And that common feminine principle of all metals was known to alchemists. They called it “Soul of the World” and knew how to extract or prepare it. Since we haven’t received this secret, then we can only ‘’rediscover America’’, carefully studying the birthplace of metals in nature and everything that happens there.
Suppose that after many years of work, we managed to get this Soul of the World in our hands. Now the second part of the work begins. We have to find the metal seed.
The metal as such is a very bad seed, because the active, living part of metal, the enzyme, is mixed with a mass of inert matter. Only by the methods of separating the Air from the Hard, which have some analogy with the methods of breeding pure cultures of plants, we can get some metal seed, the quality of which will depend on the kind of metal.
If we will connect this seed with the Soul of the World, putting them in suitable temperature conditions, we will get a new quantity of the same metal. Depending on our skills, the metal breed could be improved, in the same way as the gardener might improve or spoil the breed of the plant which he is trying to raise.
Suppose we are discussing gold. What can we produce from gold in the best case, if we will bring all the qualities of the gold to perfection? We will get the pure culture of the gold enzyme, which is the philosopher's stone. What can you do with it? Besides its usage in medicine, it can be used twice to manifest its properties as a masculine principle. First, we can make it act on ordinary gold. In this case the organic process, which is never reaching its culmination in nature because of lack of favorable conditions, will resume. And if the alchemist will be able to create these favorable conditions and reach the culmination, then the super-perfect gold, the ‘’tincture of the alchemists’’, which has much in common with a philosopher's stone will be attained. This is already a kind of mineral enzyme, and if we will keep improving its breed, we will soon reach again the philosopher's stone.
If, without improving its breed, we force this enzyme to act on an imperfect metal, such as lead, then an organic process will start in the lead, which will quickly move it along the path of metal evolution. And depending on the alchemist’s skills, it is possible to bring this evolution to the final culmination — the ordinary gold.
This is the basis of the ‘’great work’’ of the alchemists. Needless to say, all of the mentioned processes, similar to the processes of development and origin of plants and animals, are quite slow. It takes months and years, and it would be wrong to try to speed them up, for example, by raising the temperature at which the process is going on. After all, the process of development of the chicken in the egg requires moderate temperature and a long time, and it would be wrong to try to accelerate this process by heating of the egg.
Essay by V. M. Altukhov
From ‘’Isis’’ magazine
Translated into English from Russian by © Viktoria Polikarpova & Ankit Sinha, March 2020