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Chapter 4
Transmutation
TRANSMUTATION is always suggested by any mention of alchemy. The mind at
once pictures thoughtful men with lettered parchment and quaint books at hand on
which are to be seen strange symbols. They are surrounded by retorts of peculiar
design, furnaces, cupels, test-tubes, filters, and outlandish chemical containers. Such
is the setting once furnished by material alchemy. And material alchemy may still be
practiced, although with better tools. But such alchemy is for gain of material
possessions; while the one with which we are here concerned is to change transient
mental force into a permanent spiritual body capable of exercising true spiritual
power.
To indicate how spiritual alchemy differs from other forms of this Hermetic Art, let
us take as example some event of life. Success, for instance, when viewed from the
material plane is something greatly to be prized. But to the mental alchemist it may be
something of immense value, or something that had better be left alone, depending
entirely upon how it affects the organization of the astral body.
If it is accompanied with violent feelings of discord that set up antagonisms between
different thought-cells in the astral body, the mental alchemist considers it a
misfortune; for he knows that these mental inharmonies will later attract into the life
other physical events of greater disadvantage than such advantages as the success has
now gained. If, however, the success is associated with harmonious mental states, the
mental alchemist considers it beneficial; for he knows that the mental harmonies thus
organized in the astral body will later attract still further gain. But as even a loss may
be so viewed mentally as to engender harmonious mental states, and thus later attract
gain through the psychokinetic power of the thought-cells set in motion; he does not
look upon the success itself as good, or the loss as evil. Either may be made a source
of mental harmony or mental discord, a source of future physical and mental gain or
loss. Therefore, to him, the important thing is not the event, but the attitude toward
the event as affecting the mental organization of the individual.
To the spiritual alchemist, likewise, it is not the event that is good or evil, but the
attitude toward it. Events are also the materials with which he works; they are his
metals. But instead of considering their effect upon the mental organization in
reference to its power to attract other events in the future, he considers their effect
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upon the soul. He views them not as affecting the material fortune, but as affecting
those elements of character that not merely persist beyond the tomb, but that may be
given a vibratory rate intense enough to affect spiritual substance and through union
with other high-rate energies derived from experience, build up an immortal spiritual
form.
Mental Force
--It is easy to perceive that each experience has an effect upon our physical lives. It
also has an effect upon our mental makeup. When we become aware of it, our
consciousness receives additional energy. By its likeness to other mental factors, or
entering the mind coincident with them, and by its association with the feeling of
pleasure or pain, it is built into the mental organization as a definite energy persisting
in the astral body. As such an energy it has a power of attraction toward external
conditions and events that correspond in vibratory rate to it. That is, it exercises an
attractive power toward events that have the same quality and the same harmony or
discord.
Each such experience is also an additional factor of information which may be so
organized into the mentality as to increase the ability to think. The ability to think
depends upon the number of separate experiences, including those mental and
emotional as well as the merely physical, that have entered the consciousness, and
upon the way they are organized. Upon the ability to think depends the mental force.
A thought is a set of motions within the astral brain. If these motions, or vibratory
frequencies, are transmitted through electromagnetism to the substance of the
physical brain, the thought rises from the unconscious into the region of objectivity.
The individual is then objectively conscious of a thought that may have been present
for either a long or a short time in his unconscious without his being aware of it. Or if
there is a sensation coming from the physical world, the rates of the physical brain it
sets in motion are transmitted through electromagnetism to the astral brain where
they are registered and compared with other rates of motion set up by previous
experiences. Such a comparison when it rises into objective consciousness through
its motions being transmitted to the physical brain, is said to be a definite perception.
Every thought is thus composed of numerous factors, each factor being definite
motions set up by previous experiences that persist in the astral form. These
experiences may have been with the physical world, or may have been derived in
great measure from mental processes; for thinking itself is an experience. But from
whatever immediate source derived, a thought is a complex organization of modes of
motion derived from experience that co-operate because of their association.
They are not isolated units, but complex organizations of motion. The wider the
experiences, the more material for thought there is at hand; but to utilize this material
requires practice in properly organizing the various motions in the astral body into
systematic groups. It is not sufficient to have innumerable physical experiences if
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you would possess mental force. You must also cultivate the ability to organize them
by means of mental processes into clear cut ideas.
Yet as every experience of life adds new motions to the astral form, and these
motions when definitely organized into thought become the source of mental force, it
follows that every experience of whatever nature may be made a mental asset that
adds the energy of its motions to the mentality. But whether an experience becomes a
constructive factor in the mentality, or a destructive factor, depends entirely upon the
mental attitude toward it. If it is viewed only as a source of pain, or as something
merely interfering with the desires, it sets up discordant and disintegrative vibrations
in the astral body that tend to attract material misfortune. But if it is welcomed as a
step in progress, and the pleasant features sought out, it sets up harmonious and
integrative vibrations in the finer form that tend to attract material fortune. To
transmute otherwise discordant mental elements into those that are harmonious and
beneficial is the work of the mental alchemist; for every experience of life, by using
the proper process may be made to add energy to the mental organization in a way
that increases the mental force.
This force at any given time depends upon the vividness and intensity of the thought.
The vividness depends upon the ability of the thinker to separate the factors of which
the thought is composed from other mental elements not concerned in it. This is
accomplished through concentration. The intensity, however, depends upon the
number of separate mental factors utilized, the energy contained in each, and the
completeness with which they are joined to act as a single organization of thought
energy.
Thus it is that mental force results from utilizing the experiences of life as integrative
factors in the process of building clear cut mental pictures. If such a force is to result
in physical phenomena, or in any way to operate directly upon physical substance, it
must be vitalized with electromagnetic energy. Electromagnetic energy also may
impart motion to the substance of the astral form, and so strengthen the astral force;
but electromagnetic energy is not necessary for thought to act upon the entities of the
astral plane, or to act upon the astral brains of those yet on the physical plane and
influence them in their actions.
Spiritual Power
--It should now be clear that mental force has no more to do with motives than
physical strength. Morals play only minor roles in either; and on the astral plane as
well as on the physical plane an entity may exert great mental pressure, even though
actuated by evil motives. Thought is a force that may be used either for good or evil,
and is a potent weapon of black magic as well as a healing balm ministered by
brethren of the light. It may be used to destroy the soul, or to build up and vitalize a
crystal raiment in the region of eternal day.
As thought, however, its duration is limited, unless its vibrations are raised above the
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astral plane. The astral is more enduring than the physical, but it too must pass away.
There comes a time when the planetary cycles dissolve the astral world, as well as the
physical. And under the influx of planetary forces the form of man, as it persists on
the astral plane after death, at its appointed time crumbles into dissolution. And when
this second death shall come, thoughts and consciousness, objects and individuals,
occupying the astral plane dissipate as vanish the mists of morning before the rising
sun.
Is this then the end? Not so, unless the life has been sordid and the soul bound to
lower realms by selfish aims. Normally, in the course of the life in the astral realm
after physical death, there is a continuation of varied experiences. Opportunity is
afforded for the development of spiritual qualities that perhaps had only begun to
germinate while on earth. And after a time, through the processes of growth, the
attitude is developed that constitutes the aim of our spiritual alchemists. Thus there is
no extinction of thought or of consciousness; for these have raised their vibrations
sufficiently to affect the more enduring spiritual substance. The thought
organization, and therefore the consciousness, has been transferred to, and persists
in, the substance of the spiritual world.
The spiritual alchemist, however, does not wait for a long schooling in the lands of
the beyond. Through the processes of his art he builds up now, while still on this
earth, a virile spiritual body organized by harmoniously associated spiritual
thoughts. And because the more interior the plane from which an energy emanates,
provided it can find a point of contact for communicating its motions, the more
potent it becomes, the spiritual alchemist exerts a truly wonderful influence in the
world. Saintly men have ever performed, and apparently without effort, things that to
others seem miraculous. Their thoughts are not merely the force of mental factors
existing on the astral plane, but are finer and more potent energies of a still interior
plane. This is the difference between mental force and spiritual power.
The Metals Must Be Pure
--But before mental force can be transmuted into spiritual power, its metals must be
carefully purified. The dross, which is the effect of an experience considered from
the external plane, must be separated from the pure metal, which is its effect upon the
soul. The first task then, in the practice of spiritual alchemy, is carefully to analyze
every event and circumstance of life as it presents itself. This separates the dross
from the metal. The metal is finally purified by taking a proper attitude toward the
experience and acting resolutely upon it. However carefully metal and dross are
separated by mental analysis, it takes action to get rid of the dross.
Success and failure, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, triumph and defeat,
love and disappointment, life and death, friendship and enmity, all are conditions that
may come into the life and have an effect upon the soul. This effect is the real metal.
And under each of these circumstances there is a proper mental attitude and a proper
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course of actions that separate dross from real metal and discard every impurity.
To be egotistical in success or discouraged by failure, to use health for selfish aims or
to bemoan illness, to live in undue luxury or to become embittered by poverty, to be
tyrannical in victory or to cower in defeat, to be licentious in love or disheartened by
its loss, to desire life above honor or to fear death, to value friends above integrity or
to stoop to sordid acts to injure enemies; all these attitudes and acts keep the metals of
which they are composed in a state of impurity that effectually prevents
transmutation.
But to be modest in success and undaunted by failure, to use health to work for all and
to be patient in illness, to be charitable with wealth and kind in poverty, to be
magnanimous in victory and unhumbled by defeat, to be pure in love and strong in its
loss, to be useful in life and fearless in death, to be honorable with friends and just to
enemies; all these mental attitudes and the acts springing from them, remove the
dross and impurities and present the metals composing them in a state of purity that
offers no resistance to transmutation. Each is potentially gold, and when thus
purified is a pure mental force that readily may be converted into spiritual power.
It should be understood, however, that merely bringing either physical metals or the
corresponding experiences of life together in proper proportion does not insure that
they will melt and properly fuse. Their correct proportion only greatly reduces their
melting point and facilitates their fusion. But to bring about the proper fusion, as
explained in chapter 1, they must be heated in a reverberatory furnace. And as there
explained, the most effective reverberatory furnace that can be used by the spiritual
alchemist is fed by unselfish love.
It is the dominant vibratory rate of the individual which determines the inner-plane
level on which his soul functions. And any thought or experience which tends to raise
the individual's dominant vibratory rate helps feed the reverberatory furnace
necessary for transmutation. The dominant vibratory rate is little influenced by
knowledge. But it is powerfully influenced by emotion.
Thoughts, feelings and actions which spring from a desire to help others, rather than
gain some profit for self, are fine fuel for the reverberatory furnace. Such
constructive efforts and the emotional states accompanying them generate some of
the highest vibratory rates known to human life. And those who live by the universal
moral code--A Soul Is Completely Moral When It Is Contributing Its Utmost To
Universal Welfare
--most consistently furnish fuel for the reverberatory furnace;
because not just a few of their thoughts, feelings and actions are motivated by the
desire to benefit others, but because they persistently hold this feeling. Further
explanation of just how the reverberatory furnace works is set forth in Chapter 4, of
Course 17, Cosmic Alchemy.
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Seven Metals Must Be Present
--Yet however pure the metals, no complete transmutation is possible unless all
seven are at hand in ample quantity. Without a heart, representing the Sun and
untransmuted gold, the physical body of man can not function. Without a skeletal
structure, representing Saturn and lead, a material organism suggests the resistance
of a jelly-fish. Without a venous system, representing Venus and copper, higher
forms of life can not function on the external plane. Nor do they function
energetically without an arterial system, representing Jupiter and tin. A nervous
system, represented by Mercury both as planet and metal, is essential to any
worth-while thinking on the material plane. A muscular system, representing Mars
and iron, is essential for such physical movement as enables man to work. And all
organisms on earth depend upon a fluidic system, represented by the Moon and
silver, for growth and the replacement of worn out tissues. So likewise, if man is to
have transmuted gold, the ingredients of which it is composed must all be there. A
spiritual body is not a fit vehicle for the soul if some of its essential organs are
wanting. To provide these there must be adequate experiences of all seven types.
The wonderful results sometimes produced by holy men and regarded as miracles by
the multitude are not the workings of the tremendous will and mental intensity so
pleasing to writers of occult fiction. While true that yogis, fakirs and magicians
produce startling phenomena by concentration, and by utilizing astral energies
through frenzied intensity; the more worth-while results spring from a still interior
plane. Real adepts and truly saintly men produce even more remarkable and useful
conditions with very little exertion upon their part. Their spiritual bodies are so
thoroughly organized and built up that the slightest desire fully realized within
imparts motions to the astral form from the spiritual body. These energies, because
inaugurated from a higher plane, impart a tremendous force to astral substance,
which acts through electromagnetism upon physical substance immediately to bring
about the desired result.
But to exert such spiritual power upon the physical and astral planes is not the chief
aim of the spiritual alchemist. He works also to transmute all the experiences of life
into a glorious and immortal spiritual form. And to build up such a form, all the
elements must be present in proper proportion.
Even as a sound and vigorous physical body requires that all the organs and parts be
present, so also a sound and vigorous spiritual body may not be constructed with
certain types of experience missing. It is a common thing to hear people express pity
for a person deprived of arms or a leg, nor do we expect much efficiency from such a
cripple. Let us also feel pity in at least equal measure for the man or woman in whose
life those experiences are lacking that develop courage and executive ability.
Or suppose an individual has had experiences that develop parental affections and
domestic fidelity, but has missed those that develop combativeness. Nature may
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have neglected to furnish him with iron at this particular point in his cyclic journey;
but he should realize that without it complete transmutation is impossible. Therefore,
with this knowledge, he should determine to possess iron, to develop courage and
initiative, and thus to gain the metal which as yet he lacks.
If there has been a shortage of copper in the life, there will have been few experiences
to call out the affections and the love of the beautiful. Realizing this, an effort should
be made to supply the deficiency. The attention should systematically be directed to
the artistic. If it seems unwise to permit the affections to be drawn out by any
particular individual, then some work may be selected in which affection may be
amply expressed toward mankind as a whole. No environment is so destitute but that
it offers opportunity for expressing affection and beauty. Thus in any situation the
spiritual alchemist can gain the copper so necessary for the completion of his work.
For that matter, the ores of all the metals are ready at hand and we have but to reach
out and take them. But we all too often become contented with some ores to the
neglect of others. Thus do our lives become lop-sided. There may be plenty of
experiences with tin, with the acquisition of wealth and its distribution, but almost
none with silver, or family life. There may be plenty with iron, or strife, and almost
none at all with the responsibilities that constitute the ores of lead. We may even
become elevated to power, and thus acquire untransmuted gold, without gaining any
adequate amount of those intellectual processes from which is derived mercury. But
we need not remain devoid of any essential ingredient; for there is always
opportunity to acquire them. They are the seven types of experiences that enter into
any well-rounded life; all of which are essential to build up a perfect spiritual body,
which is the ultimate object of transmutation.
Fluxing the Metals
--Not only should the metals be acquired and purified in ample quantity, but the best
results are obtained when there is a definite relation between the volumes placed in
life's crucible. Silver should equal iron, copper should equal lead, and tin should
equal mercury. In these proportions they constitute the natural fluxes of each other,
and they more readily raise their vibrations to an intensity affecting the spiritual
plane.
The examples we have of the power of two minerals to heighten their vibrations
when together, or to lower their melting point when thus fluxed, are multitudinous.
All, I am sure, have witnessed the effect of pouring water on quicklime. The
temperature is raised until much of the water passes off as steam. Or if baking soda is
added to sour milk in the making of biscuits, minerals that were liquid increase their
vibratory rates until they become gaseous, giving a lightness to the bread. But if there
is too much sour milk in proportion to the soda, or too much soda in proportion to the
sour milk, then it is not a satisfactory flux, and the resulting bread is unpalatable.
The aim in the use of such combinations is to have just enough of the acid to balance
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the alkali, just enough of the positive to balance the negative. And this principle is
constantly applied in the smelting of ores.
Many ores that come to a smelting plant are so refractory that they defy the heat of the
hottest furnace. But these same ores, mixed with a proper flux, that is, with an equal
weight of an ore of opposite polarity, are easily melted. Quartz, for instance, is
unusually resistant to heat. Dolomite, also, is very refractory. But pulverize them
both and mix together so that the amount of acid in the quartz has the same weight as
the amount of alkali in the dolomite, and the ores melt at a low temperature, and
permit the metals they may contain to flow into a molten mass at the bottom, from
whence to be drawn off into molds.
Utilizing this principle of polarity, adding positive ores to those negative, until they
just balance, is the chief secret in smelting. It is likewise an important factor in
spiritual alchemy. In smelting, if either positive or negative element greatly
predominates, the ore refuses to melt, even though great heat is applied. And in
spiritual alchemy, if one metal is greatly in excess of its polar opposite, there is
difficulty in raising the vibratory rates properly, and even so, some essential part of
the sought for product will be missing.
Therefore, in the processes of spiritual alchemy, it is well to give due regard to this
principle of flux; and care should be taken when it is apparent that there is beginning
to be an excess of some particular metal, even though thoroughly purified, that a
similar amount of the metal of opposite polarity be sought out, purified, and added to
the transmuting composition.
To recognize the proper flux for each alchemical metal, although there are other
methods of determination, the one most convenient is to use the test of astrological
correspondences. Take the solar system as our model. The Sun is the center, about
which revolve three minor planets and three major planets. The Sun, representing
gold, needs no flux. Its vibrations can be raised to those of transmuted gold merely
through the use of power for spiritual purposes. On one side of gold we find lead, tin
and iron; Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. On the other side we find copper, mercury and
silver; Venus, Mercury and the Moon. Saturn is a masculine planet and must be
balanced by the feminine Venus, that is, copper and lead should be present in equal
volume. Jupiter is a masculine planet and must be balanced by Mercury, which
essentially is neither male nor female, but convertible. Thus tin should equal in
volume the amount of mercury. Mars is a masculine planet and must be balanced by
the feminine Moon. Iron and silver should be acquired in like amounts. Any excess of
positive metal over negative metal, or any predominance of negative over positive,
offers resistance to raising the vibratory rate, and consequently hinders
transmutation.
Transmuting Lead
--Heavy responsibilities, drudgery, monotonous labor, financial loss, financial gain
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through careful planning, system applied to effort, disappointments, prolonged
sickness, delays, obstacles, persistence, patience, sorrows, restrictions, and death are
some of the more common forms of lead.
Because of their dull and heavy nature the ores of lead are not hard to classify. But
because selfishness is so strongly entrenched in human nature they one and all are
difficult to purify. Yet they may be purified by careful reflection upon their uses in
the building of character and regarding them in such a way that each will be seen as an
opportunity to build something specific and valuable into the soul.
But even when so purified, and the dross of appearances completely removed, they
have a low vibratory rate. Furthermore, in some lives there tends to be an excess of
lead. As a consequence, in order to melt it, or dissolve in the spiritual light, an
adequate flux becomes necessary. This flux is furnished by an equivalent amount of
copper.
Heavy work and responsibility should be balanced by amusements and relaxation.
Sickness and sorrows should find solace in love and affection. Obstacles and
restrictions should be displaced from the mind by periods given over to social
intercourse. Loss and death should find compensation in friendship. These provide
the opposite polarity which overcomes the resistance of lead to transmutation.
Therefore, whenever the alchemist has on hand a superabundance of lead, let him
energetically cultivate the affections, compassion, refinement and sympathy.
When lead is pure, material motives give place to those more spiritual. Yet even so,
the thought of spiritual gain to the self is apt to linger. So long as lead is unfluxed with
copper its vibratory rates are difficult to raise. They are sufficiently intense to impart
motion to the substance of the astral plane, and thus add energy to thought force, but
they are not fine enough to affect spiritual substance. Yet by mixing lead with an
equivalent amount of copper the vibratory rates of both are heightened, and when the
heat of the reverberatory furnace is applied transmutation readily takes place. Only
when the rate is raised sufficiently to affect spiritual substance can lead become a
component of the spiritual body. Only then does it become an ingredient of the
imperishable spiritual gold.
Now if asked why spiritual lead and spiritual copper when combined in equal
quantities have an intensity of vibration that imparts organized modes of motion
from astral substance to spiritual substance and thus builds up certain necessary
structures in the spiritual body, it must be answered that it is through the same
principle that enables a metallurgist to reduce an acid mineral when united to an
alkaline mineral to a molten state from the solid form with a temperature that would
not perceptibly affect either alone. In the molten state both minerals have attained to
a markedly different molecular vibration, and their glow indicates there has been set
up in the electromagnetic field, a finer than material substance, intense vibratory
rates that previously had no existence.
But to insure the transmutation of lead it should be treated with the heat of the
reverberatory furnace. That is, in addition to purifying each leaden experience by
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considering it as an opportunity for the soul to develop its latent powers, each should
be considered in reference to its value in universal progression. Each weight and each
responsibility has an effect upon the soul, and it has an effect upon the progress of the
race. Enthusiasm for universal welfare, and the use of each leaden experience as a
factor that in some manner benefits the whole, adds the necessary element of feeling.
The emotions that arise from such devotion to carrying out the divine plan add the
heat that completes the transmutation.
Transmuting Tin
--Genial warmth, financial gain, religion, philosophy, patronage, full feeding,
joviality, favors received and granted, conceit, impure blood, sports, wealth,
optimism, and a hearty constitution are common forms, or ores, of tin.
Tin, because it normally has a rather high vibratory rate, is not difficult to transmute.
It must be purified, of course, by a discernment of the effect of each circumstance on
the soul, and by taking advantage of each to accomplish something for the
advancement of the inward character. Religious aspirations, actions of good will,
devotion to charity, the reverence of the mighty works of Deity, all have a vibratory
rate sufficiently intense to require very little acceleration to complete their
transmutation.
Yet at times there is an excess of tin that should be fluxed with an adequate amount of
mercury. Good fortune and opulence should never be divorced from the exercise of
intelligence. Religious aspirations fail to attain their objective unless guided by
reason. Unless there is plenty of mercury also, devotion readily becomes fanaticism.
The good that one might do, for want of efficient direction, may flow into channels of
destruction. Wealth gives opportunity for dissipation, but mercury reveals its folly.
Whether rich or poor, a city dweller or a rural resident, or in any other circumstance
of life, there is always opportunity to gather and purify mercury. Every condition that
confronts you is a problem to be solved. There is a right way to meet each event of
life, and the effort adequately to solve these problems is a fruitful source of
alchemical mercury. Therefore, if nature has brought you tin in abundance, see to it
that you gain an equal amount of mercury. Analyze closely your own actions, learn to
discriminate between the true and the false, exercise resolutely your intelligence in
all matters that you do, or that come to your hand. Thus do you acquire the proper flux
for an excess of tin.
But even in the exercise of beneficence, the effect upon the soul alone should not
limit the viewpoint. There is a wider vision that perceives the effect, even of acts of
charity and of endowments to so-called worthy causes, upon the progress and
development of a larger society.
The effect upon the soul when separated from the external effect of appearances
purifies the tin; but when it is used also as a means to further universal construction,
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to aid society in its advancement, the reverberatory heat is applied that completes its
transmutation.
Transmuting Iron
--Accidents, fires, antagonisms, initiative, constructive effort, fighting for the right,
courage, energy, activity, mechanical trends, strong desires and passions, acute
illnesses and operations, lavish expenditures, law suits and enmities are some of the
common kinds of iron.
Iron, while one of the most useful metals, unless fluxed with an equal amount of
silver, determinedly resists being dissolved in the spiritual light. It has a coarse,
though violent, vibration, that communicates strong energies to astral substance, but
fails to make an impression on the finer substance of the spiritual world. It is one of
the most potent sources of mental force, but unless properly fluxed affords almost no
spiritual power.
Should there, therefore, be something of an excess of the events furnishing iron, there
should be a resolute attempt to acquire an equivalent amount of silver. Effort should
be made to establish and enjoy a home. Interest should be taken in providing food,
not merely for yourself, but for others. Shelter and raiment should acquire a larger
importance. And if there are no children, dependents should be acquired, cherished
and painstakingly cared for.
No matter how impoverished the circumstances, no matter how restricted the circle
of acquaintanceship, there is always opportunity to acquire adequate silver. The
parental instinct can find expression in the solicitude of a child for its dog. A hermit in
his mountain cabin can look to the welfare of the squirrels and birds. Deer will come,
in time, to eat from his hand. Even the flowers in our cultivated gardens are
responsive to the tender thoughts and ministrations of those who lovingly supply
their wants. Everywhere can be found dependents, not forgetting the needy poor and
the otherwise helpless among humanity.
The housewife who prepares and serves to her family two or three meals a day, is
collecting silver. So is the man of the house who toils at office, factory or farm with
the thought in mind of being a good provider. If his thoughts are on what money will
buy for himself, or on the attainment of honor, he is not acquiring silver. But if his
attention is much engrossed by supplying the needs of his family, if on his return
from work he brings food or clothing, or suggests that they be ordered by others, he is
adding silver to his alchemical supply.
In addition to being purified, by separation from the dross of the external effect of
violent, aggressive and constructive activities, and fluxing with an equivalent
amount of silver, iron, like lead, needs considerable heat from the reverberatory
furnace. Its vibrations, as they are acquired on the physical plane, are little adapted to
imparting motions to anything finer than astral substance. Therefore, not only the
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effect on the soul, but the effect on society at large of all such activities should be kept
in mind. Not merely the attitude, what does war do to my soul? but also the attitude,
what does war do to mankind? should be a foremost consideration.
Machinery, industrial development, the erection of huge manufacturing plants,
because they lighten or increase my physical burdens, and because they restrict or
expand my periods of leisure from irksome employment and thus influence the time I
can devote to other things, have an influence upon the development of my soul. What
that influence is depends, of course, entirely upon my attitude toward these
situations. I can gain in soul advancement or retrogress under any of the conditions
met in modern industrial life. Recognizing this, and making gain from each
experience, is to purify the metal and get rid of the dross. But if I am to complete the
transmutation, in addition to purifying and fluxing with silver, I must also try to
perceive the effect of each event on the progress of universal society. And I must
fervently bend my energies to directing all such activities into channels of universal
good. Such zeal to assist constructively in universal progression furnishes the heat
with which to finish the transmutation of iron.
Transmuting Copper
--The gain or loss of husband or wife, the relation with friends, love affairs and
scandal, social advancement or disgrace, jealousy, beauty, artistic appreciation,
amiability, conjugality, mirthfulness and the expression of the affections are some of
the more common kinds of copper.
Copper, like tin, when once purified is one of the easiest of metals to transmute. It has
about it an inherent warmth that raises its vibrations to a point where with very little
additional heat they communicate their motions to spiritual substance. Love is
convertible. It is desire, passion, attraction, affection, fire, enthusiasm, God. It ever
exerts a molding influence upon the form, whether that form is physical, astral, or
spiritual. It is the attractive force that manifests throughout nature, and that holds the
form together. To live there must be a desire for life, although this desire may reside
almost exclusively in the unconscious mind. People sometimes say they no longer
desire to live, but unless the desire to live was stronger than the desire not to live they
would die. Either an individual or a race that fails to love life strongly soon perishes.
Likewise, the love for a spiritual life and the things of the spiritual plane are requisite
for continued spiritual existence. But aside from this, the vibrations of love, when
unselfish, tend to affect spiritual substance and build up the spiritual body.
Nevertheless, as with other good things, there can easily be an excess of copper. It
manifests chiefly as a tendency to seek the line of least resistance. Disagreeable
duties are shirked. Problems are avoided rather than faced. Hard work of all kinds is
avoided, and there is a tendency to spend too much of the life pleasure seeking rather
than in the accomplishment of worthy enterprise. Joy and amusement have their
place, but such excess of copper, before there can be constructed a complete spiritual
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body on the inner plane, must be balanced and fluxed with an adequate amount of
lead.
Lead is not hard to find. It may be had in quantity anywhere. There is always work to
be done by those with the will to do it, especially hard, disagreeable, and monotonous
work. Yet it is a great affliction to the soul to be born and raised with a silver spoon in
its mouth, waited on hand and foot, always with someone else to face the difficulties
and shoulder the burdens. It is a great affliction unless it comes to realize the
necessity of acquiring a suitable flux of lead, and refuses to be thus weakened
through over sheltering. Even a plant, if it is to grow hardy and strong, must learn to
endure the hardships of rugged existence. So also, if it is to have a powerful spiritual
body, the soul with an unusual amount of copper must be fortified with a flux of lead.
Wherever men live, there await responsibilities and burdens. Anyone can see them,
although not all are eager to shoulder them. Hardship, privation and unremitting toil
for the sake of others is an ample flux for excessive copper. And the copper itself is
quickly converted into spiritual values and thoroughly transmuted when its effect, in
each instance, as affecting the progress of the cosmic whole, is realized and
considerately planned.
Transmuting Mercury
--Intellectual activities, educational advantages, teaching, writing, travel, contacts
with literature, clerical mistakes, errors in contracts, mathematical work,
accountancy, stenography, and acting as agent of another are the more common ores
of mercury.
It is a metal of unusual variability and restlessness, and a most essential factor in the
handling of other metals. Unless it is present, even lead is frustrated; for plotting and
scheming, either constructive or destructive, comes to naught unless carried out
intelligently. Iron needs it also; for combat and building alike depend for
effectiveness upon intelligence. Nor can we live in a truly religious manner, or
otherwise cultivate tin properly, without the exercise of reason. The gold of power,
the silver of domestic responsibility, and the copper of worth-while friendships, alike
are made more valuable by the presence of the mental keenness of mercury.
An over supply of this most adaptable of the metals is possible only through lack of
an equal amount of its natural flux. We can not have too much intelligence, nor can
we overdo the exercise of reason, except when we allow them to monopolize the life
to the exclusion of other metals, and especially tin. Unless adequate tin is present,
intellect readily assumes to itself a surety and infallibility that is not borne out by a
record of its past performance. It becomes arrogant in the belief that it alone is
capable of rightly directing the conduct of men, and of solving the problems of the
universe.
This attitude, which material science has often held, unduly narrows the vision to the
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scope of the physical world alone, and denies that which can not directly be
apprehended by the five senses. But because of this narrow vision, science is
compelled every decade or so to shift its platform to embrace conditions that
previously had been ignored or denied. When intellect presumes too much, or
whenever there is excessive mental activity, before the mercury will transmute it
becomes necessary to supply an equivalent flux of tin.
This tin may be had anywhere, and opportunities for its gathering are presented to
each individual every day. A smile of kindness is not beyond the accomplishment of
the most erudite man of science. A story that will evoke a laugh can readily be picked
up and passed on, although remembering and telling it is an art to be cultivated.
Prayer, now and then, even though silently uttered, costs little in the way of effort;
and to pass the time of day with either a street sweeper or a banker is not a great price
for tin. And as the financial means permit there should be gestures of more concrete
munificence.
Finally, when properly fluxed with tin, the metal should be treated in the
reverberatory furnace. To provide this heat, each gain in knowledge, and each mental
advancement should be felt to be additional equipment which there is strong desire to
use in the interests of universal progression.
Transmuting Silver
--Domestic relations, the home, children and other members of the family,
dependents in general, food, shelter and the various commodities that make life
endurable furnish those experiences that are the commonest forms of silver.
Where such contacts evoke tender emotions and the desire to nourish and protect
weaker individuals, they are transmuted with little further effort. But such as come
grudgingly, or that engender resentment, need careful purifying and treatment. In
any event, the addition of an equivalent amount of iron hastens the process and gives
the product a well balanced composition.
Not only is iron everywhere present, but more often than not it is forced upon us by
others. It should never be obtained with a sense of enmity or hatred, but with the
sense of firmly standing for that which is most beneficial to all. To permit others to
impose upon us unduly not merely weakens our power of resistance, but through
building up the habit of taking advantage of people, actually injures the character of
the person doing the imposing. Yet in energetically struggling to advance those
causes that are for universal welfare, in protecting the weak, and in repelling
invasion, neither anger nor the desire for destruction should actuate the person, but
instead there should be present an energetic determination merely to establish
conditions that are for the betterment of society. This furnishes an ample flux for
silver.
In the reverberatory furnace, the home life and the domestic relations throughout,
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should be recognized as steps in the plan of universal construction. Parenthood here
should be perceived as the shadow of a still wider and more potent influence having
for object the care and development of others.
Transmuting Gold
--Honor, position, station, employment, authority or lack of it, leadership, power,
egotism, credit, the relation to boss or employer, and political efforts are the more
common contacts of life that furnish those experiences that may be classified as
untransmuted gold.
These do not require to be fluxed with other metals, but they do need to be purified
with unusual care. Furthermore, whatever station of power and authority is attained
in life, whether humble or exalted, carries with it some opportunity of influence for
cosmic advancement. Even loss of employment or discredit injures the soul only
when there is an error in viewpoint. Yet because of such experiences a better
understanding may be had of the needs of others in similar circumstances. Some
opportunity to exercise an influence for the betterment of human life is ever present,
and when grasped and such power as at hand is exercised, gold is quickly transmuted,
and together with the other six transmuted metals completes the building of an
imperishable and perfect spiritual form.