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Master Lu Tzu said: That which exists through itself is called Meaning. (Tao). Meaning has neither name nor force. It is the one essence, the one primordial spirit. Essence and life cannot be seen. It is contained in the Light of Heaven. The light of Heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes. Today I will be your guide and will first reveal to you the secret of the Golden Flower of the Great One, and, starting from that, I will explain the rest in detail. The Great One is the term given to that which has nothing above it. The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to achieve non-action. One must not wish to leave out the steps between and penetrate directly. The maxim handed down to us is to take in hand the work on the essence. In doing this it is important not to follow the wrong road. The Golden Flower is the Light. What color has the light? One uses the Golden Flower as an image. It is the true power of the transcendent Great One. The phrase, "The lead of the water-region has but one taste," refers to it. The work on the circulation of the Light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together (the place of Heavenly Consciousness, the Heavenly Heart). The Heavenly Heart lies between sun and moon (i.e., the two eyes). The Book of the Yellow Castle says: In the field of the square inch of the house of the square foot, life can be regulated. The house of the square foot is the face. The field of the square inch in the face: What could that be other than the Heavenly Heart? In the middle of the square inch dwells the splendor. In the purple hall of the city of jade dwells the god of utmost emptiness and life. The Confucians call it the center of emptiness; the Buddhists, the terrace of life; the Taoists, the ancestral land, or the yellow castle, or the dark pass, or the space of former Heaven. The Heavenly Heart is like the dwelling place, the Light is the master. Therefore when the Light circulates, the powers of the whole body arrange themselves before its throne, just as when a holy king has taken possession of the capital and has laid down the fundamental rules of order, all the states approach with tribute, or, just as when the master is quiet and calm, men-servants and maids obey his orders of their own accord, and each does his work. Therefore you only have to make the Light circulate: that is the deepest and most wonderful secret. The Light is easy to move, but difficult to fix. If it is allowed to go long enough in a circle, then it crystallizes itself: that is the natural spirit -body. This crystallized spirit is formed beyond the nine Heavens. It is the condition of which it is said in the Book of the Seal of the Heart: Silently in the morning thou fliest upward. In carrying out this fundamental truth you need to seek for no other methods, but must only concentrate your thoughts on it. The book Leng Yen says: By collecting the thoughts one can fly and will be born in Heaven. Heaven is not the wide blue sky, but the place where the body is made in the house of the creative. If one keeps this up for a long time, there develops quite naturally in addition to the body, yet another spiritbody. The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life (literally, golden ball, golden pill). All changes of spiritual consciousness depend upon the Heart. Here is a secret charm, which, although it works very accurately, is yet so fluent that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, and complete absorption and calm. People without this highest degree of

intelligence and understanding do not find the way to apply the charm; People without this utmost capacity for concentration and calm cannot keep fast hold of it. 2. THE PRIMORDIAL SPIRIT AND THE CONSCIOUS SPIRIT Master Lu Tzu said: In comparison with Heaven and Earth, man is like a mayfly. But compared to the Great Meaning, Heaven and Earth, too, are like a bubble and a shadow. Only the primordial spirit and the true essence overcome time and space. The power of the seed, like Heaven and Earth, is subject to mortality, but the primordial spirit is beyond the polar differences. Here is the place whence Heaven and Earth derive their being. When students understand how to grasp the primordial spirit, they overcome the polar opposites of Light and darkness and tarry no longer in the three worlds. But only he who has looked on essence in its original manifestation is able to do this. When men are set free from the womb the primordial spirit dwells in the square inch (between the eyes), but the conscious spirit dwells below in the heart. This lower fleshly heart has the shape of a large peach: it is covered by the wings of the lungs, supported by the liver, and served by the bowels. This heart is dependent on the outside world. If a man does not eat for one day even, it feels extremely uncomfortable. If it hears something terrifying it throbs; if it hears something enraging it stops; if its is faced with death it becomes sad; if it sees something beautiful it is dazzled. But the Heavenly Heart in the head, when would it have been in the leased moved? Dost thou ask: Can the Heavenly Heart not be moved? Then I answer: How could the true thought in the square inch be moved? If it really moves, it is not well. For when ordinary men die, then it moves, but that is not good. It is best indeed if the Light has already fortified itself in a spirit body and its life force gradually penetrated the instincts and movements. But that is a secret which has not been revealed for thousands of years. The lower heart moves like a strong, powerful commander who despises the Heavenly ruler because of his weakness, and has seized for himself the leadership of the affairs of state. But when the primordial castle can be fortified and defended, then it is as if a strong and wise ruler sat upon the throne. The two eyes start the Light circulating like two ministers at the right and left who support the ruler with all their might. When the ruler in the center is thus in order, all those rebellious heroes will present themselves with lances reversed ready to take orders. The way to the Elixir of life recognizes as supreme magic, seed-water, spirit-fire, and thought-earth; these three. What is seed-water? It is the true, one power (eros) of former Heaven. Spirit-fire is the Light (logos). Thought-earth is the Heavenly Heart of the middle house (intuition). Spirit-fire is used for effecting, thought-earth for substance, and seed-water for the foundation. Ordinary men make their bodies through thoughts. The body is not only the 7 ft. tall outer body. In the body is the anima. The anima, having produced consciousness, adheres to it. Consciousness depends for its origin on the anima. The anima is feminine, the substance of consciousness. As long as this consciousness is not interrupted, it continues to beget from generation to generation, and the changes of form of the anima and the transformations of substance are unceasing.

Suddenly there develops a seed pearl. It is that which we have received from the great emptiness. This is nothing more than a reduction of the anima and a bringing to perfection of the animus. Only after a completed work of a hundred days will the Light be real. The scarab rolls his ball and in the ball there develops life as the effect of the undivided effort of his spiritual concentration. is in direst need. If this method is followed. that which has form from the very beginning. The anima seeks death. it is the power of lightness and purity. and consciousness is annulled. When one begins to apply this magic. the radiance of the Light is the determining thing. there develops by itself in the middle of the Light. or purification of the power. But the pupil understands how to distill the dark anima so that it transforms itself into Light. The animus is in the Heavenly Heart. plenty of seed-water will be present of itself. The circulation of the Light is the epoch of fire. If now and embryo can grow in manure. and in this way the spirit is protected. and shed its skin. In the physical world it is the sun. there was a non-being. and beyond the body is another body. When in the course of time the work is finished. the anima subjected. it dreams. When the Light is allowed to move in a circle. besides this. The animus lives in the daytime in the eyes. The animus loves life. In the midst of primal becoming. But whoever is dull and moody on waking. And the circulation of the Light is the magical means of limiting the dark powers and gaining mastery of the anima. 3. all the powers of Heaven and earth. in the middle of the nonbeing. why should not the dwelling place of our Heavenly Heart also be able to create a body if we concentrate the spirit upon it? The one effective. And thus can the holy fruit mature. The method used by the ancients for escaping from the world consisted in burning out completely the slag of darkness in order to return to the purely creative. when it descends into the house of the creative. The emanation and dissemination of spiritual consciousness is chiefly brought about by this power when it is directed . Darkness returns to darkness and like things attract each other. It is the power of the heavy and the turbid. it is as if. but which. It is as if man and woman embraced and a conception took place. the spirit-fire will be ignited. fleshly heart. All sensuous pleasures and impulses to anger are effects of the anima. When living in the eyes. divides into animus and anima. After a hundred days. It is of the nature of light. That is what is described as seed-like. and the thought-earth will solidify and crystallize. during life. it is bound to the bodily. true essence (logos united with life). Then one must be quite still in order to await it. Even if the work is not directed toward bringing back the creative. one returns to the creative. it is as if. and chained to his bodily form. at night it houses in the liver. when housing itself in the liver. or purification of the concept. a point of the true Light-pole. is fettered by the anima. CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT AND PROTECTION OF THE CENTER Master Lu Tzu said: Since when has the expression "circulation of the Light" been revealed? It was revealed by the "true men of the beginning of form". but confines itself to the magical means of the circulation. there is the animus in which the spirit shelters. there were a being.But. it is the conscious spirit which after death is nourished on blood. then only will it become spirit-fire. The anima partakes of the nature of darkness. in man the eye. Dreams are the wanderings of the spirit through all nine Heavens and all the nine earths. of the light and the dark. are crystallized. in the middle of one's being. Therefore the concentration of the animus is effected by the circulation of the Light. it sees.

To concentrate the seed-flower of the human body above in the eyes. or Lao Tzu says: inward vision.outward (flown downward). not with a momentary fantasy. are all rotating with it at the same time. this Light streams out. and not until he is old will he turn a single time to the backward-flowing way. take heed! If for a day you do not practice meditation. one falls. the backward-flowing method is necessary. Only through contemplation and quietness does true intuition arise. Immortality is contained in this sentence and also the overcoming of the world is contained in it. or when Buddha calls it: the view of the Heart. The force of the Light exhausts itself and trickles away. for that. Understanding and clarity. Only then do we have it in hand. one can fly. Children. all that is this Light. This marvelous magic cannot be fathomed. but with the exhaustion of the circular course (soul wanderings) of all the eons. but it is. All holy men have bequeathed this to one another: nothing is possible without contemplation. formative powers. who knows whither? If you only meditate for a quarter of an hour. In between there are cooler and warmer moments. After a person has the one tone of individualization behind them. that is the great key of the human body. That is the common goal of all religions. The beginning and the end of the work must be one. The Light-flower of Heaven and earth fills all thousand spaces. it is said: Release is in the eye. When a pupil takes little care of his thoughts and much care of his desires. therefore it is not just something outside the body. by concentrating the desires. Everything depends on there being no interruption. just as the Light is circulating. It has to do. Therefore. In the book Leng Yen it is said: By concentrating the thoughts. mountains and rivers. Mountains and rivers and the great earth are lit by sun and moon. from the course to the fine. All methods take their source in quietness. But also the Light-flower of one body passes through Heaven and covers the earth. But when the work is started. it is said: The seed-blossom of the human body must be concentrated upward in the empty space. so that all methods seem quite easy and taken for granted. The Light is not in the body alone. and all motion (of the spirit). Therefore it is not only within the body. That brings the nine-fold darkness (of rebirths) into the world. a circulation of the true. creative. knowing and enlightenment. it is all the same. Circulation of the Light is not only a circulation of the seed-blossom of the body. In the book of the Secret Correspondences. But the goal must be to reach the breadth of Heaven and the depths of the sea. so Heaven and earth. That refers to it. When Confucius says: knowing brings one to the goal. Therefore a breath-pause means a year – according to human reckoning – and a hundred years measured by the long night of the nine paths (of reincarnation). you can set ten thousand eons and a thousand births at rest. . they will be born outward according to the circumstances. neither is it only outside the body. In the Simple Questions of the Yellow Ruler. one must press on from the obvious to the profound. in the first place. are likewise this Light. that goes without saying. Therefore the meaning of the Golden Flower depends wholly on the backward-flowing method. he gets into the path of depravity.

How can the glance be directed at the same time upward (yellow middle). On looks with both eyes at the end of the nose. and then are held to the guiding line. whereby one is easily distracted. Therefore it is taken as a guiding line. The nose must serve the eyes as a guiding line. one makes the mistake of directing them outward. The condition. Only when the eyelids are sunk properly halfway. Then all is well. so that the eyes are brought into the right direction for looking. Fixating contemplation is a Buddhist method which by no means has been handed down as a secret. Neither did they mean that. makes the beginning. It is not necessary to direct the attention especially to the central castle. It does not necessarily mean the middle of the head. The meaning of these two words is very fluid and subtle. the thoughts should be concentrated on the yellow middle. whereby one easily sinks into a dreamy reverie. Looking at the nose serves only as the beginning of the inner concentration. and again the nose is not seen. If today people sit and meditate only one or two hours. how can anything come of it? The two founders of Buddhism and Taoism have taught that one should look at the end of one's nose. What is really meant by this? The expression. one can let it be. that is the fulfillment of this condition. sits upright and in a comfortable position. it is connected with the release of the release of the whole process of creation. after that. When one fixes the thought on the midpoint between the two eyes. The main thing is to lower the eyelids in the right way. so that it is now up. the heart is directed also. so that the eyes close. he guides his work by it without continually bothering himself to look at the plumb line." is very cleverly chosen. and holds the heart to the center in the midst of conditions (on the fixed pole in the flight of phenomena)." is a very fine expression. in Buddhism the center in the midst of conditions. That is the way a mason hangs up a plumb line. and downward (end of the nose). or the lids shut too much. body. "end of the nose. The two are the same. so that the nose is not seen. The condition is the portal. looking only at their own egos. but it does not bring about the rest with inevitable necessity. everything is contained in it. we must strive for the form which existed before the laying down of Heaven and earth. Wherever the eye looks. Within our 6 ft. but he cannot master it if he does not know what the word means. As soon as he has hung it up. But they did not mean that one should fasten one's thoughts to the end of the nose. If they are closed too much then one makes the mistake of letting them turn inward. while the eyes were looking at the end of the nose. without trying to force the Light to stream in by a concentrated effort. It is only a matter of fixing one's thinking on the point that lies exactly between the two eyes. In Taoism it is called the yellow middle. and then allow the Light to stream in of itself. is the end of the nose seen in just the right way. either one opens wide the eyes and looks into the distance. The center is omnipresent. the Light streams in of its own accord. . now down? All that means confusing the finger with which one points to the moon with the moon itself. What has to be changed by reflection is the self-conscious heart. "The center in the midst of conditions. The Light is something extremely mobile. which has to direct itself toward that point where the formative spirit is not yet manifest.Anyone can talk about reflection. If one is not guided by the nose. In these few words the most important thing is contained. or alternating. and call it contemplation. But when the eyes are opened too wide.

There is a Light of the eye and a Light of the ear. the less important it becomes. there develops breath-power. In the first period of release there are chiefly two mistakes: laziness and distraction. When the flight of thoughts keeps extending farther. Nothing is gained by pushing reflection further. When our hearts go very fast they imperceptibly pass into fantasies which are always accompanied by the drawing of a breath. The heart cannot be influenced directly. What comes out of the heart is breath. CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT AND MAKING THE BREATHING RHYTHMICAL Master Lu Tzu said: The decision must be carried out with a whole heart. and. Contemplation without fixation is Light without circulation. The seed is also the Light in crystallized form. but one must examine where the thought is. understanding (ear) and clarity (eye) are one and the same effective Light. Then the heart must be made quite light and insignificant. because this inner and outer breathing hangs together like tone and echo. Breath-power is originally transformed activity of the heart. Should a man have no images in his mind? One cannot be without images. Daily we draw innumerable breaths and have an equal number of fantasyrepresentations. In sitting down. the circulation of the Light must be united with the rhythm of breathing. the result no sought for. Then the true breathing is manifested and the form of the heart can be made conscious. the heart is light. the result will come of itself. Therefore. That is the double method of strengthening the illumination. the breathing is rough and superficial. one should stop and begin contemplating. Only one must not stay sitting rigidly if worldly thoughts come up. When the heart stirs. What contradicts it is false contemplation. We want to bring the status of the heart together in rest – that is true contemplation. one begins by cultivating the breathing power. after dropping the lids. The Light is contemplation. the heart must not enter into the breathing too completely. The Light of the eye is the united Light of the sun and moon outside. one establishes a plumb-line with the eyes and shifts the Light downward. The circular course is fixation. 4. . and where it fades out. Should one not breathe? One cannot do without breathing. for every movement of the breath affects the heart.Fixating contemplation is indispensable. The Light of the ear is the united seed of sun and moon within. and not seek beyond the point of origin. where it began. But that can be remedied. the quieter. The best way is to make a cure out of the illness. for every movement of the heart brings about breathing power. then the heart is directed toward listening to the breathing. for to find the heart (consciousness). And thus the clarity of the spirit is depleted just as wood dries out and ashes die. This leads to no goal. All at once it becomes so quiet that it stops. Both have the same origin and are different only in name. the breathing is light. It means the circular course of the light.that cannot be done. One must be content to see where the thought arose. As soon as it has tone. it ensures the strengthening of illumination. For this. Light of the ear is above all necessary. Fixation without contemplation is circulation without Light. Let one contemplate and then start concentrating again. to get behind consciousness with consciousness . In order to steady the heart. Since heart and breath are mutually dependent. Breathing comes from the heart. But if the transposition downward is not successful. The more it is released. What one hears is that it has no tone. the less important. If breathing is light. When the heart is light. and does not penetrate into what is fine. One should not be able to hear with the ear the outgoing and inhaling of the breath.

While sitting. The heart easily runs away. then results will certainly be achieved. Buddha said: When you fix your heart on one point. one can help them with remedies. This she does with her hearing. one will often be distracted without noticing it. always keep the heart quiet and the power concentrated. If one becomes sleepy during meditation. Distraction and confusion at least have a place. If one is not seated during meditation. That is an important magic spell. because there is still some clarity in it. laziness comes from the spirit not yet being pure. and this is what is called protecting the collected breathing power. neither does the power of heat suffer interruption day or night. it cannot penetrate into the interior. but in laziness pure darkness rules. When a man can let his heart die. Should one not be able to bring it to rest then by concentrated quietness? The great holy ones who knew how the heart and breathing power mutually influence one another. Laziness of which a man is conscious. Therefore with her heart she conducts this power inward.Therefore the breathing power is used as a handle. but in laziness and absent-mindedness the anima alone is active. the flowing in and out of the true breath is connected with it. that is an effect of laziness. the power penetrates. then the primordial spirit wakes to life. and laziness of which he is unconscious. but laziness and absent-minded are heavy and dark. confusion can be straightened out. Distraction comes from letting the spirit wander about. always has the attitude of listening with a bent ear. In this way ash concentrates her whole heart. therefore. Breathing power easily becomes coarse. then nothing is impossible for you. The awakening of the spirit is accomplished because the heart has first died. The reason the hen can hatch her eggs is because of the power to heat. When the heart penetrates. Distraction can be overcome. To become conscious of the inattention is the mechanism by which to do away with inattention. Thus the concentration of the spirit is not interrupted. and the spirit awakes to life. do you not understand the nature of motion? Motion can be produced by outside means. It is as in sickness if one feels pains and itches. Because the concentration of the spirit suffers no interruption. In the Book of the Elixir. Distraction is much easier to correct than laziness. so it is necessary to gather it together by means of breathing power. How can the heart be made quiet? By breathing. It is only another name for mastery. can it then happen that it is not fixed? The two mistakes of laziness and distraction must be combated by quiet work that is carried on daily without interruption. But the power of the heat can only warm the shells. In inattention the animus is still present. To kill the heart does not mean to let it dry and wither away. When that is done. one must. conscious laziness is not complete laziness. One can make the heart move merely by running. The heart alone must be . Children. Unconscious laziness is real laziness. Although the breath that flows in and out through the nose is not the true breath. but laziness is like a disease that is attended by loss of feeling. Breathing alone serves to remove laziness. therefore it has to be refined by the heart. are many miles apart. it is said: The hen can hatch her eggs because her heart is always listening. even when she has left her eggs. Therefore a hen. and the chick receives the power of the heart and begins to live. but it means that it is undivided and gathered into one. have thought out an easier procedure as a way of helping posterity.

one may sit during the burning of an incense candle. If there is time in the morning. heart and power correspond to one another. In the afternoon. one becomes sleepy. These conditions are only recognized when they have been personally experienced. When one sets out to carry out one's decision. To sense brightness without listening to what is outside. then it is troubled. one only hears that there is no sound. I do not mean that no trouble is to be taken. care must be taken to see that everything can proceed in a comfortable. When the spirit has become clear one can sit down again. one should stand up and walk about. The ear listens only within and does not listen to what is outside. then the breathing power is heavy. one goes along in an independent way. it has nothing to do with an actual looking within. if it is troubled. it is pure. I will enumerate them here. What does hearing mean? It is hearing the Light of one's own ear. To sense brightness without looking outward means to look inward. This sentence contains a secret meaning. but the right behavior lies in the middle way between being and non-being. One must not sit down (to meditate) in the midst of frivolous affairs. During the quiet state the right conditions and the right place must be provided. All entanglements must be put aside and one must be supreme and independent. Only then can a state of quietness be attained. In this sort of hearing. if heavy. it has nothing to do with actually listening to what is within. one only sees that no shape is there. In the course of time there will be success without one's getting lazy and falling asleep. That is the union of the seed and the Light of the sun and moon.conscious of the flowing in and out of the breath. One need only let the Light fall quite gently on the hearing. Only when one looks and harkens inward does the organ not go outward nor sink inward. Nor must the thoughts be directed toward the right procedure. If too much trouble is taken there is danger of doing this. The eye looks inward and not outward. My school differs from the Buddhist yoga school. human affairs interfere and one can therefore easily fall into laziness. if light. 5. How to use heart correctly during breathing must be understood. but before you reach the condition in which you sit like a withered tree before a cliff. is to listen to what is within. easy manner. It is use without use. one must not fall victim . it must not be heard with the ears. If the eye is not looking outward and the ear is not harkening to bring to your special attention. they close themselves and are inclined to sink inward. one must not have any vacuities in the mind. in this kind of seeing. That is to say. That is self-evident. But one must lay aside all complications and sit quite still for a time. If. then laziness and absent-mindedness develop and one wants to sleep. What does it mean to let the Light fall? It is the radiance of the Light of one's own eyes. as a result of laziness. that is the best. in that it has confirmatory signs for each step of the way. Too much must not be demanded of the heart. First I would like to speak of the mistakes and then the confirmatory signs. It is not necessary to have an incense candle. then the thing has been grasped. then the breathing is light. MISTAKES DURING THE CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT Master Lu Tzu said: Your work will gradually draw itself together and mature. quite automatically. If it can be heard. Supreme and without confusion. If it is not heard. In this way laziness and absent-mindedness are done away with. If one can attain purposelessness through purpose. there are many other possibilities of error which I would . Furthermore. On must be careful t hat.

all openings are quiet. This is the case. at the worst. the spirit has continuously and uninterruptedly a sense of great gaiety as if intoxicated or freshly bathed. But after he has been occupied thus for three to five hundred years. the whole body feels strong and firm so that it fears neither storm nor frost. that is. for example. Furthermore. One must strive to make deeds one's words. One wants to break through them and cannot. Rotten and stinking things on earth that come in contact with one breath of true power will immediately live again. intelligible world). When a man knows the wrong paths. All of these are wrong paths. and feels relieved by this. and few thoughts of the resplendent spring on the great earth. The Book of Successful contemplation says: The sun sinks in the Great Water and magic pictures of trees in rows arise. and one has the feeling that the great earth is a world of light and brilliancy. If. it is a sign that the Light principle in the whole body is harmonious. when there is quiet. CONFIRMATORY EXPERIENCES DURING THE CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT Master Lu Tzu said: There are many kinds of confirmatory experiences. one goes among the fox-spirits. pure and spotless. and many images of coldness and decay display themselves. It is a sign that the Golden Flower is opening. after fixation. It is not permissible to be trivial and irresponsible in heart. one goes to Heaven. one follows them. cannot cloud the brightness of the seed of the spirit. one after another all sorts of ties suddenly appear. Yellow gold fills the house. The fragile body of the flesh is sheer gold and diamonds. then the Golden Flower begins to bud. That is a sign that the Golden Flower is crystallized. The ensnaring world is where the five kinds of dark demons disport themselves. Nor must a man be led astray by the ten thousand ensnarements. Things by which other men are displeased. for a couple of thousand years. and taking his pleasure in coral trees and jeweled grass. furthermore. that is a sign that the body of the heart opens itself to clarity. In this way one sinks into the world of darkness. the flowers and fruits. when. This happens if. This means the matter has become a servant. The setting sun means that in Chaos (in the world before phenomena. If a man tarries in this state long he enters the world of illusory desires. one has chiefly thoughts of dry wood and dead ashes. the steps are white jade. after the quiet state has begun. or at the most. when I meet them. The power is cold there. Red blood becomes milk. 6. his reward is over and he is born again into the world of turmoil. When. and the silver moon stands in the middle of Heaven. he can then inquire into the confirmatory signs. If one tarries there long one enters the world of plants and stones. Highest good is like water. a foundation is laid: that is the condition free of opposites. One must not content oneself with small demands but must rise to the thought that all living creatures have to be freed. Such a foxspirit might also occupy himself in the famous mountains enjoying the wind and the the ensnaring world. At best. It is the ruler of the . breathing is heavy.

the abysmal is there. in the course of time. Different things appear to each person according to his gifts. This is a great confirmatory experience. It is the first secret. how much more then is it the case with the true circulation of the Light which has already manifested itself clearly. the god who is revealed in the sign for that which greatly disturbs. But not everything can be expressed. This is called: The spirit returns and pushes against Heaven. the fleshly body becomes quite shining like silk or jade. the Light of the eyes begins to blaze up. it is a sign of a good aptitude. The first is that. If one opens one's eyes and seeks the body. one can experience it in such a way that one really floats upward. When the Golden Being appears who should it be but Buddha? For Buddha is the Golden Saint of the Great Enlightenment. everything is equally light. It seems difficult to remain sitting. each one quite clear. The sun which sinking into the Great Water is the image for the creative and abysmal. With these things it is just as it is when one drinks water. then only are they real. the gods are in the valley. a glassy world of jewels. But the sounds are all like an echo in a valley. Inside and outside. that is a circulation of the Light arising out of circumstances. That is the picture representing the row of trees. When it moves on one place farther. we must understand them from the ground up. does the Light-pole come over the earth again. one feels as if drawn upward. The second part refers to the building of the foundation on this. And now it is possible to leave all three of these experiences. Chen is also symbolized by wood. If the occupations are regulated by correct thoughts. a person must not give up their ordinary occupation in doing it. The ancients said: When occupations come to us. That is a very favorable sign. so that everything before one becomes quite bright as if one were in a cloud. The brilliancy of the Light is gradually crystallized. In the same way a man must convince himself about these experiences. when things come to us. This is called: In the empty chamber it grows light. but never oneself. Or. Men are heard talking as though at a distance of several hundred paces. If one experiences these things. but circulates according to its own law.Great Polarity. A sevenfold row of trees means the light of the seven body-openings (or heart-openings). it is not to be found any more. One can tell for oneself whether the water is swarm or cold. In time. In the northwest is the direction of the creative. THE LIVING MANNER OF THE CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT Master Lu Tzu said: When there is gradual success in producing the circulation of the Light. we must accept them. When in ordinary life one has the ability always to react to things by reflexes only. when one has entered the state of meditation. when one sits in meditation. That is why a great terrace arises and upon it. Buddha appears. The abysmal is the direction of midnight (mouse. At times the following can be experienced: as soon as one is quiet. Only when the sign Chen is reached. north). At the winter solstice the thunder (Chen) is in the middle of the earth quite hidden and covered up. 7. The great world is like ice. This is called the presence of the gods in the valley. Chen. the Light is not scattered by outside things. Now there are these confirmatory experiences which can be tested. wherefore the images of trees in rows appears. The rest can be correspondingly inferred. One can always hear them. Even the still-invisible circulation of the Light gets started this way. without any admixture of a thought of others or of himself. .

untroubled by the slightest excitement. It is then the collected Light of polarity. The effect is in the two eyes. indicating thereby the initial release which works from without upon what lies within. Who would dare disobey? Then one illumines the house of the abysmal (water) with both eyes. Darkness enters and becomes master. Then let one lower the lids of the two eyes as if one received a holy edict. now we tarry in the center and rule what is external. Wandering in Heaven. the power of the dark is limited. it is the body of the creative. the cause the poles of Light and darkness to rotate. Till now we have worked from the outside on what is within. But there is a still more marvelous kind of circulation. with the Heavenly Heart exactly in the middle. Wherever the Golden Flower appears. Things that are related . that is. Heaven no longer withholds the Meaning. and is tossed about on the stream. now it is a dissemination of the commands of this Master. the more can the Golden Flower bloom. The Elixir depends from beginning to end on the One. The whole relationship is now reversed. it does not become dependent on things. After the sequence of events is clear and the nature of the release is known. The sixth month the white snow is suddenly seen to fly. one eats the spirit-power of the receptive. is directed outward. and the Golden Flower shines with concentration. The results is that the heart (consciousness). The two eyes are like the pole of the Great Wain which turns the whole of creation. These verses are full of mystery. The third watch the disk of the sun sends out shining rays. one must first see to it that the body and heart are completely controlled. becomes dependent on things. a summons to the minister. The principle of that which adheres to (lightness). it was a service in aid of the Master. Non-action prevents a person from becoming entangled in form and image (substantiality). This is to aid one in obtaining the Master. Heretofore we have spoken of the circulation of the Light. The deeper secret within the secret: land that is nowhere.8. A MAGIC SPELL FOR THE FAR JOURNEY Master Lu Tzu said: Yu Ching has left behind him a magic spell for the Far Journey: Words crystallize the spirit in the place of power. Disciples keep it secret and hold to it strictly! The circulation of the Light is the inclusive term. that is the true home. that one is quite free and at peace. but reveals the ultimate truth. The meaning is: The most important thing in the Great Meaning is the four words: non-action in action. the true Light of polarity goes out to meet it. The further the work advances. Action in non-action prevents a person from sinking into numbing emptiness and a dead nothingness. Hitherto. They go through the two lower transitions in order to gain the upper one. is light outside and dark within. If one wants to penetrate the more delicate regions by this method. letting go of all entanglements. When the rotating Light shines within the heart. The water blows the wind of gentleness. the metal in the middle of the water. It is for the pupils in the beginning stages. the lead in the water-region.

This is the quieting of the spirit in the space of the ancestors. listens to something. When one is far enough to have gathered it. the filling up of the oil when one goes to receive life. the state of which it is said: The moon gathers up the ten thousand waters. When he continues to alternate movement and quietness. it means: To live together with demons. body and heart must be left completely free. they unite inseparably. This condition is the penetration of Heaven into earth. The whole body feels lighter and would like to fly. in the house of primordial power. the movement is the root of Heaven. we must rise and fall with him. but it is creative Light meeting creative Light. a person lives together with people and not with demons. As soon as the Heavenly Heart is stirring. Thus the Light of the spirit sees the summit that is the leader. It is not only the Light in the abyss. and unceasing life begins. The One is the circulation of the Light. This is the state of which it is said: Clouds fill the thousand mountains. corresponding with it. and rises and falls of itself. the time when all wonders return to their roots.attract each other. One is aware of effulgence and infinity. one feels light and free and need take no further trouble. the time when the child comes to life. At this time. The Heavenly Heart rises to the summit of the creative. When he moves and we move with him. These movements are all underlings. Gradually it (life) goes here and there quite quietly. where it expands in complete freedom. it is at first scattered and one tries to collect it. one must immediately mount with all one's feeling to the house of the creative. this quietness is the cave of the moon. If he rises and falls with inhaling and exhaling. the movement that follows afterwards. When the Heavenly Heart still preserves calm. and one must lead it speedily and with one's whole being into the yellow castle. the Heavenly Heart suddenly begins a movement. As soon as these two substances meet each other. When a person looks at something. All entanglements disappear without trace. it comes and goes. Thus does the polarity Light-line of the abysmal press upward. That is what is called going to and fro between the root of Heaven and the cave of the moon. This movement is in accord with the time. he who is looking inward suddenly forgets that he looks. during every movement and every moment of rest. movement before the right time is a fault of softness. is a fault or rigidity. he cannot get at it. When he is quiet and we are quiet with him. Then suddenly it wants the deepest silence. But the details of this must be carefully explained. This is the return of the one Light. then the Heavenly ruler is the t rue man. In the midst of this darkness. the six senses are not active. This is the moment of true creative unity. eyes and ears move and follow the things until they have passed. it rises and falls imperceptibly. one ought to go on with him unceasingly in movement and quietness. . When the Heavenly Heart has already moved. The pulse stands still and breathing stops. Then I no longer know at what place the house of my spirit and my crucible are. If now. the taking possession of former Heaven. When the desire for silence comes. This is the care and nourishment of one's own origin. not a single thought arises. Thus the eyes behold the central yellow dwelling place of the spirit. and when the Heavenly ruler follows them in their tasks. If one begins. If a man wants to make certain of his body.

"golden elixir". "jade furnace". It is incorporeal space where a thousand and ten thousand places are one place." This shows how the spirit penetrates the power. the "mysterious pass". one eats the spirit-power of the receptive. The two next lines are concerned with the mutual interpenetration of sun and moon. If. But. but remember that these words and phrases are symbols. the "immortal embryo". As to the beginning of the poem. the first two lines refer entirely to the activity of the Golden Flower. where all that is miraculous returns to its roots. The following two lines have to do with the activity of the pole of the Great Wain. The light of the eyes illumines the house of the abysmal. "mercury". it is the instinct of the being. Is this not a movement without purpose? Action in inaction has the same meaning. Hearing ideas like "heaven" and "earth". If things are quiet and one is quite firm. Therefore it is said: If. when no idea arises. Fire and Water ."fire" and "water". "In Heaven" means the house of the creative. Symbolic Language of Taoist Alchemy by Chadds Ford Those who are interested in Taoist alchemical language and its deeper meanings must look into the symbolic words and figure out the hidden meanings behind the cryptic and difficult to fathom symbols and phrases. The third watch is the abysmal water. Water is the sign of the abysmal. The place is not changed but divides itself. They use a language which speaks of one thing to allude to another. It is immeasurable time when all the eons are like a moment. Then movement leads to movement. The instincts are based upon the fact that there are external things. The time is not changed. it is the movement of Heaven. The white snow that flies. but divides itself. which is about to turn into the creative. The sun's disk is the one polar line in the sign for water. "tiger" and "dragon". the eye is the wind of softness. and controls there the seed of the great Light. it is safe within the cave of power. "lead". this is not movement in itself. and the "gate of no gate" one must not think such words refer to the preparation of chemical potions to ingest or parts of the body. They are thoughts that go on beyond their own position. the release of Heaven suddenly moves.When one is so far advanced that every shadow and every echo has disappeared. can fall and come under the domination of the instincts. One moves the movement and forgets the movement. this happens so that the fire can be nourished. when stimulated by external things. the rise and fall of the whole release of polarity. The being that is placed over against Heaven. is the true darkness of polarity in the middle of the fire sign. As long as the heart has not attained complete peace. The sixth month is the adhering fire. in Heaven. that is about to turn into the receptive. it cannot move itself. one is moved. one is moved. so that one is quiet and firm. That is the true idea. and how Heaven penetrates the earth. when not stimulated by external things. "medicine". the right ideas come. In this is contained the way to take the sign for the abysmal and the way to reverse the sign for the adhering fire. "Wandering.

It means either the "tiger" as the physical aspects of life and the "dragon" as the spiritual aspects -. long-lasting and unbending like the sense one gets from "lead". effervescent. The fervor and impetuosity of people is passionate and volatile and so it is referred to as fire. which is heavy and dense. Using the other side of our disposition. active. and lasts a long time without disintegrating. and doesn't last a long time. However. It is called "jade" because the mellow and beautiful tones of jade are like the calm serenity and steady going quality of the work. the calm. Because it is difficult to pin down and is formless and elusive this aspect of reality and consciousness is likened to mercury. and control to nurture and guide our more impulsive and wild side. unfathomable. to refer to states of mind. the side which is pliant. logic. Using the more contained and settled "water" side is using thoughtfulness. What is called "mercury" in the alchemical texts refers not to actual material "mercury". when speaking of the "tiger" and the "dragon". and metaphysical. It has a more settled quality. deep. more contained and wise side is steady and careful. the terms are also used to refer to the non-ordinary aspects. then the "ordinary" tiger and dragon are overcome. through the self-cultivation work. to complete and balance the often too staid and overly controlling "water" nature is allowing that side of our character expression. This true knowledge is solid. a "flexibility" which contrasts with the fiery and volatile side. centered. in most cases refers to either of two basic considerations.these are sometimes called the ordinary tiger and ordinary dragon. Lead and Mercury The ideas of lead and mercury use the ideas of "lead". and so it is referred to as water. They are symbolic of deeper sides of our nature. The other side of people's character. and "mercury" which is lively. The Jade Furnace The "jade furnace" is symbolic language for the "container" or "field" within which the work of self-cultivation and empowerment takes place. spontaneous. or the aspects such as those of the conditioned consciousness and the emotionally obsessed or illusioned consciousness in relation to the evolved consciousness which has learned to transcend the "ordinary" states of being conditioned or being emotionally obsessed. What is called "lead" in the alchemical texts is not ordinary material lead but the deep rich sense of true knowledge. When. and the "true tiger" and "true dragon" of primordial essence arise.The concepts of "fire" and "water" do not refer to actual fire and water. but to the yin aspects of reality's nature. The Tiger and the Dragon Alchemical language. one refines away the conditioned temperament and the obsessing emotional habits and feelings. . When this happens a clarity is awakened which is so clear and fundamentally beautiful that it seems like a bright light or a shining "mystic" pearl. the excitable and temperamental "fire" nature. When this clarity is firmly in place it pervades the universe without hindrance. a "softness". By finding a balance between these two sides of our makeup we become more complete and whole.

Proceeding wrongly it could be called obsession. sincerity. The Immortal Embryo After birth the fundamental and original essence is without knowledge. Proceeding wrongly it could be called illusion. and the "golden elixir" can crystallize. When the golden elixir is established and recognized. the commencement of non-being. and actual. true blissful tranquility settles in place and the calmness of autonomous and non-personal knowing is attained. however. It would be a mistake for people to conceive of it in such a manner. perseverance. and the great valley. and not actually recognize it. It is where essence and life abide. yang. To undo the false and establish the real is to open up the conditions for the golden elixir. To think that the terms alchemical "medicines" or spiritual medicines refer to mundane physical substances is to fall way short of proper and deep understanding. As life progresses. patience. Proceeding rightly it could be called clarity. The golden elixir is called golden because it is even. honesty. and is without physical location. etc. as knowledge is gained. tranquility. evenness. It is possible to evoke the realness of the golden elixir. subtlety. It is not an ordinary aperture or place of the body which has shape and form and can be pointed to. quietude. The Golden Elixir When one's self-cultivation conforms to what is appropriate for the times and circumstance. the door of birth and death. One must go deeper than such surface approaches. The cycle of life rises and one . objectivity. The mysterious pass is immaterial and formless. It is the intangible which connects with the primordial source. the false can disperse. yet it is full. personal and cultural agendas. the real can solidify. are the real "medicines". balance. Proceeding rightly it could be called objectivity. shining. and bias. Proceeding wrongly it could be called aloofness.The term "furnace" is used because it evokes the idea of slow cooking or slow evolution. genuine. yet all these terms refer to a basic immaterial quality of consciousness which has to do with reaching open and vital spiritual essence. The mysterious pass is the access way which leads to the stabilization and preservation of essence and life. and mellow like the quality of real truth. The Mysterious Pass The mysterious pass is profoundly subtle. It is called the opening of the mysterious female. simplicity. It is called the elixir because it is the fountainhead and source of all that is real. Proceeding rightly it could be called balance. sensitivity. that fundamental primordial essence generally becomes seduced and distorted by external influences. but to the medicines of real inner knowledge and conscious and conscientious practice. due to delusions. Ideas of yin. Medicines The "medicines" of alchemical language don't refer to physical medicines one should take into one's physical body. just as one slowly evolves and changes when one applies oneself diligently and perseveringly in self-cultivation practice. The jade furnace does not refer to some specific place in the body.

It is called immortal because when one contacts it. It is to know the path of the universal. They look to the abdomen.yet now takes place on the spiritual and psychological plane -. one contacts that which all enlightened beings since time immemorial have realized. It is called the embryo because it is a "second beginning" which parallels one's physical birth -. Being a spiritual path. One must be absolutely precise and without tendency -. they mistakenly take physical locations in the human. on can turn around the situation and regain the vitality. earthly. and bliss of original fundamental essence. Too often people cannot recognize true unblemished sense. It is called immortal because the state of mind to which it refers is the universal and undying essence which hasn't changed since the beginning of time and will never change. The immortal embryo is not a physical is the beginning of one's true. It is a state of consciousness. To live in contact with it is to live in contact with that which is significant at all times and all places. In the end. It is no wonder such people struggle all their lives . too up or too down. To regain it one must come face to face with that which is nameless and void. One must not be too much or too little. the path of yin and yang. undiluted life. One must know reality without the filters and buffers of fantasy and bias. Then. To cleave to the course of usual conditioning is to be ensconced in the mundane which doesn't know its own beauty. To cleave to the course of usual conditioning is to miss being an "enlightened and empowered immortal being". too full or too empty. Nicholas Flamel The Book of Abraham the Jew » Alchemy Articles Main Page .a million times sharper than a razor's edge. Yet if one follows the course of self-cultivation assiduously. and the path of nature. the whole path of the heart and rationality as one. To follow such a path is to follow practices which help one to remain authentic and true to oneself and to the original source of all things. the immature can mature and what has been lost can be regained again. or the head as places where the immortal embryo should reside. it must be a path of "realness". fooling and deluding themselves. wholeness. They indulge in bogus practices in efforts to once again establish their original "face". the path of Alchemy is simply a spiritual path. only to grow into old age without attainment. the torso. one side or the other. following the course of nature. To follow such a path is to eschew delusion and acculturation. or heavenly body as places which will help them regain the fundamental source and harmony. They go through complicated fantasies and mental gyrations.moves away from original sense and imbalance and delusion replaces true original autonomous wholeness. It is called an embryo because if one attains it one regains the simplicity and clarity of an infant.

The secret had become alive. performing tricks to astonish men. Flamel was carrying on the trade of a bookseller and had a stall backing on to the columns of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie in Paris. But their despair was unnecessary. There is nothing legendary about the life of Nicholas Flamel. a ray of real light with his dice and magic mirrors. After his death or disappearance many students and alchemists who had devoted their lives to the search for the Philosopher's Stone despaired because they had not in their possession the wonderful book that contained the secret of gold and of eternal life. In the fourteenth century. and he. It was not a big stall. . gathers it in and spreads it abroad with love. The magic formula had become incarnate in the actions of a man. that of Nicholas Flamel. The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris contains works copied in his own hand and original works written by him. his deeds of gift. like rain on a summer evening. To this indisputably authentic history. legend has added a few flowers. But in every spot where the flowers of legend grow. This book fell into the hands of precisely the man who was destined to receive it. may produce. All the official documents relating to his life have been found: his marriage contract. which is a far rarer and more wonderful operation. with the help of the text and the hieroglyphic diagrams that taught the transmutation of metals into gold. underneath there is the solid earth of truth. his will. Or a sect of mystics receives the teaching of a philosophy. Or it may happen that a charlatan.Wisdom has various means for making its way into the heart of man. a question that historians have argued and investigated with extreme attention. No ingot of virgin gold melted in the crucibles could. seems to me to be entirely without importance. His history rests solidly on those substantial material proofs for which men clamor if they are to believe in obvious things. It is enough to know that towards the middle of the fourteenth century. the man who received the book. Whether Nicholas Flamel was born at Pontoise or somewhere else. in color or purity. the pure truth of the masters was transmitted by a book. perhaps without knowing it himself. accomplished the transmutation of his soul. Thanks to the amazing book of Abraham the Jew all the Hermetists of the following centuries had the opportunity of admiring an example of a perfect life. attain the beauty of the wise bookseller's pious life. Sometimes a prophet comes forward and speaks.

In our day also many men strive desperately towards an ideal. But one day you will see in it that which no other man will be able to see. He bought a house in the old rue de Marivaux and used the ground floor for his business. intelligent widow. And he knew that it could be realized through a book. It was in the hands of unknown sages who lived somewhere unknown. So strong was his desire. She was a woman who was capable of keeping a secret all her life without revealing it to anybody in confidence. Nicholas Flamel dreamed one night that an angel stood before him. the path which they know but cannot climb. For Nicholas Flamel. slightly older than himself and the possessor of a little property. regard alchemy as a mere vulgar search for the means of making gold. His ideal was the highest that man could attain. Pernelle was that woman. Nicholas Flamel did not. and they hope to win the magic formula (which will make them new beings) from some miraculous visit or from a book written expressly for them. Every man meets once in his life the woman with whom he could live in peace and harmony. The secret made its appearance with the book. really. held a book in his hands and uttered these words. for the secret of the Philosopher's Stone had already been found and transcribed in symbolic form. For every exalted mind the finding of the Philosopher's Stone was the finding of the essential secret of Nature. of course." Flamel stretched out his hand to receive the present from the angel. Somewhere it existed. thanks to them. perhaps because the strength of his desire organized events without his knowledge. and the whole scene disappeared in the golden light of dreams. Nicholas. and neither the death of its possessors nor the lapse of centuries led to the complete discovery of the secret. a good-looking. the visitor does not come and the book is not written.for it measured only two feet by two and a half. that the coming of the book was preceded by a dream. The ancient alchemy of the Egyptians and the Greeks that flourished among the Arabs had. Flamel dreamed of sharing in this wisdom. so that the book came when it was time. which were to remain in the memory of the hearer: "Look well at this book. But for most. At first you will understand nothing in it ¾ neither you nor any other man. when Nicholas Flamel was alone in his shop. which shows that this wise and wellbalanced bookseller had a tendency to mysticism. Sometime after that the dream was partly realized. Over and above her natural qualities. Perhaps because a bookseller is better situated than other people to receive a unique book. who was radiant and winged like all angels. However. Yet for Nicholas Flamel the book was written. the secret of her unity and her laws. has changed since the fourteenth century. Nicholas Flamel married Pernelle. the possession of perfect wisdom. Nicholas Flamel had acquired some knowledge of the Hermetic art. as do the booksellers of our day when some poor student . penetrated to Christian countries. it grew. One of the copyists or illuminators acted also as a servant to him. But how difficult it was for a small Paris bookseller to get into touch with those sages. an unknown man in need of money appeared with a manuscript to sell. Nothing. Flamel was no doubt tempted to receive him with disdainful arrogance. He himself gave a few writing lessons and taught nobles who could only sign their names with a cross. But the story of Nicholas Flamel is the story of a book for the most part. The angel. she had another which is still rarer. Copyists and illuminators did their work there. One day.

notably that of Almasatus. The leaves of the book were not made of parchment. the secret of the duty of the wise man. Nicholas Flamel had studied the art of transmutation. pearls must not be given as food to swine. the secret of the unity of Nature. on which were engraved curious diagrams and certain characters. to rekindle the light. In vain. Then followed great curses and threats against anyone who set eyes on it unless he was either a priest or a scribe. He was in touch with all the learned men of his day. because if it is good and fruitful for the intelligent. and he paid two florins for it without bargaining. He felt that the secret of life and of death. it is bad for ordinary men. He felt that the secret of life and of death. intensified the awe-inspiring character of the text and diagrams. But the moment he saw the book he recognized it as the book that the angel had held out to him. but containing a diagram that was quite unintelligible to Flamel. and philosopher. in the hope that some visitor conversant with the Cabala would help him to solve the problem. astrologer. the secret of the duty of the wise man. and the atmosphere of hallowed antiquity that there was about it. it is bad for ordinary men. It was for him to rise in the scale of man in order to be worthy to understand its purity. had been concealed behind the symbol of the diagram and formula in the text by an initiate long since dead. He had knowledge of the symbols of which the alchemists made habitual use. which was many times repeated on every page. On the first page were written words to the effect that the author of the manuscript was Abraham the Jew ¾ prince. Was he qualified to read this book? Nicholas Flamel considered that being a scribe he might read the book without fear. He must have had in his heart a hymn of thanksgiving to Abraham the Jew. He was aware that it is a rigid law for initiates that they must not reveal their knowledge. They were made of the bark of young trees and were covered with very clear writing done with an iron point. He had the pearl in his hands. Levite. It had a very old binding of worked copper. had been concealed behind the symbol of the diagram and formula in the text by an initiate long since dead. some of which were Greek and others in a language he could not decipher. whose name was unknown to him. which were part of his personal library. As Jesus has clearly expressed it. Manuscripts dealing with alchemy have been found. in order that the light of his thought might not be lost. the secret of the unity of Nature. because if it is good and fruitful for the intelligent. The mysterious word maranatha. like those he was accustomed to copy and bind. But most impressive of all was the patined gold of the edges of the book. But those that he saw in the book of Abraham the Jew remained dumb for him. The book appeared to him indeed resplendent and instinct with divine virtue. priest.offers to sell them part of his library. like the Jew who had died in the flesh but lived eternally in his manuscript. wearing the wretched robe of his race and wilting in some dark ghetto. He must have pictured him a bald old man with a hooked nose. He met with nothing but the laughter of . These leaves were divided into groups of seven and consisted of three parts separated by a page without writing. And he must have vowed to solve the riddle. to be patient and faithful. he copied some of the mysterious pages and set them out in his shop. He was aware that it is a rigid law for initiates that they must not reveal their knowledge. but who had thought and labored in past centuries and whose wisdom he was now inheriting. pearls must not be given as food to swine. Maranatha! Was he qualified to read this book? Nicholas Flamel considered that being a scribe he might read the book without fear. As Jesus has clearly expressed it.

Then he wandered about Spain. At the end of twenty-one years.skeptics and the ignorance of pseudo-scholars ¾ just as he would today if he showed the book of Abraham the Jew either to pretentious occultists or to the scholars at the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres. safe passage was nearly impossible for a solitary traveler. It may be that adventures happen only to those who want to have them. the patron saint of his parish. which he hid in his modest baggage. In towns such as Malaga and Granada. The Jews had recently been driven out of France by persecution. he had not much time. the silent voice of his home makes a powerful appeal every evening. But they were suspicious of Christians. which ensured a certain measure of safety to a traveler in Christian countries. and part of its text was in ancient Hebrew. who had expelled them from their country. He has told us merely that he went first to fulfil his vow to St James. He had to remember Pernelle waiting for him. which was being managed only by his servants. and his shop. this book had been written by a Jew. and started off for Galicia. particularly of the French. Nicholas Flamel had developed in himself sufficient wisdom and strength to hold out against the storm of light involved by the coming of truth to the heart of man. he started his homeward journey. Now. He put on the pilgrim's attire and shell-adorned hat. Possibly he had none. trying to get into relations with learned Jews. Many Jews from the Christian towns of Spain took advantage of the tolerance extended by the Moorish kings and went to Granada to learn. For everything good and great that happens to a man is the result of the co-ordination of his own voluntary effort and a malleable fate. there lived prosperous communities of Jews and flourishing synagogues. Nicholas Flamel knew that many of these Jews had migrated to Spain. Only then did events group themselves harmoniously according to his will and allow him to realize his desire. To a man of over fifty on his first distant journey. He is favored among men for whom twenty-one years are enough to enable him to find the key of life. Traveling was difficult. No one in Paris could help Nicholas Flamel understand the book. Nicholas Flamel has not recounted the adventures that befell him on his journey. His way lay through Leon. where he stopped for the night at an inn and happened to sup at the same table as a French . took the staff. and without a strongarmed escort. he contented himself with taking with him a few carefully copied pages. Since he was a prudent man and did not wish to expose the precious manuscript to the risks of travel. There they copied Plato and Aristotle ¾ forbidden texts in the rest of Europe ¾ and returned home to spread abroad the knowledge of the ancients and of the Arab masters. In discouragement. That is really not that long. to make a pilgrimage. Nicholas Flamel thought that in Spain he might meet some erudite Cabalist who would translate the book of Abraham for him. Besides. The wise and faithful Pernelle was the only person who was aware of his real plans. This was also a means of concealing from his neighbors and friends the real purpose of his journey. in which scholars and doctors were bred. which were still under the more enlightened dominion of the Arabs. he pondered the hidden meaning of the book. Nicholas Flamel's Journey For twenty-one years. Flamel made therefore a vow to St James of Compostela.

merchant from Boulogne. The nearer Maestro Canches came to the realization of his dream. At last he timidly lets fall a name. Levite. he had him piously buried in the church of Sante-Croix and had masses said in his honor. This merchant inspired him with confidence and trust. and now the hope that he has almost given up is near realization. and that I may cross the threshold of death only when I possess the liberating secret by which darkness becomes light and flesh spirit! But the prayer was not heard. He fell ill at Orleans. an old man who lived at Leon. immersed in his books. and in spite of all Flamel's care. but his extreme age was an obstacle. How the years fall from these two men. The gates of the ghetto close. But the few pages that Flamel had brought are not enough to allow the secret to be revealed. Maestro Canches has heard of Abraham the Jew! He was a great master of the wandering race. One can easily appreciate the depth of the scene when the profane merchant of Boulogne has left them. could not rest in the realm of disembodied spirits. Maestro Canches' only thought is expressed by a few polite words to rid himself as quickly as he can of this French bookseller. His book existed and disappeared centuries ago. perhaps the most venerable of all the sages who studied the mysteries of the Cabala. who decided to make one more attempt before leaving Spain. which hitherto has aroused not a spark of interest in anyone to whom he has spoken ¾ the name of Abraham the Jew. Nothing was easier than to introduce this Maestro Canches to Nicholas Flamel. the more precarious became his health. and there is a light over the two heads bent over their work. Maestro Canches is translating the Hebrew from the time of Moses. Flamel speaks. For he rightly thought that a soul that had striven for so pure an aim and had passed at the moment of its fruition. The night goes by. . reticently at first. he has read a great many books. He admires the knowledge of the Jews. grant me the days I need. Oh God! he prayed. By a lucky chance the French merchant was in relations with a certain Maestro Canches. Maestro Canches has dreamed all his life of finding it. who has deliberately dulled the light in his eye and clothed himself in mediocrity (for the prudent traveler passes unnoticed). But tradition says it has never been destroyed. Thanks to his trade. Jews were not allowed in France. united by their indissoluble bond. As he had converted and Flamel did not want to be suspected of bringing a Jew into France. He is very old. one of those who rise the higher the better they succeed in remaining unknown. The inflexible law had appointed the hour of the old man's death. that it is passed from hand to hand and that it always reaches the man whose destiny it is to receive it. close to death. He is explaining symbols that originated in ancient Chaldea. Maestro Canches made up his mind at once to accompany Flamel to Paris. and the two men are face to face. died seven days later. prince. a higher initiate. and he whispered a few words to him of his wish to find a learned Jew. astrologer and philosopher. and the breath of life weakened in him. Furthermore. priest. headed off along the Spanish roads north. The ways of Nature are mysterious. who was traveling on business. So the two men. Suddenly Flamel sees the eyes of the feeble old man before him light up. he had been above all religions. inspired by their common belief in truth. He vowed to rise above his infirmity and convert his religion! For many years now.

it was nothing more than compliance with the custom of his time. Yet he had no temptation to divulge the secret that had been entrusted to him through the book. he accomplished the same transmutation in his soul.Flamel continued his journey and reached Paris. in his new shop in the rue Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. he continued to feign ignorance. "Husband and wife lavished succor on the poor. but at the end of this period. From his passions. But now everything was changed. he followed strictly the method of Abraham the Jew and changed a half-pound of mercury first into silver. his shop. With Pernelle. by the transmutation of the human into the divine. From natural prudence. What Maestro Canches had already taught him in deciphering a few pages of the book of Abraham the Jew was sufficient to allow his understanding of the whole book. continuing to copy manuscripts. restored the front of Saint Genevieve des Ardents and endowed the institution of the Quinze-Vingts. And when he was illuminating a manuscript and putting in with a fine brush a touch of sky blue into the eye of an angel. founded hospitals. who had helped him in his search for the Philosopher's Stone. founded free hospitals. And simultaneously. He knew the trifling extent to which he could help them. and his manuscripts safe and sound. by essential purification. He laid aside his pilgrim's staff. and he knew that the revelation of the secret to an undeveloped soul only increased the imperfection of that soul. He devoted the last part of his life to what Christians call the working out of personal salvation. and then into virgin gold. the blind inmates of which. or of white into a wing. no smile played on his grave . It was with a joyous heart that he went his daily journey from house to shop. He established many low-income houses for the poor. that he gave writing lessons to illiterates and discussed Hermetic science with the educated. where he found Pernelle. he acquired the wisdom of despising it in his heart. At the same time that he was learning how to make gold out of any material. He altered nothing in his modest life. according to historical records. But he attained his object without fasting or asceticism. to perfect themselves and die anew. Having learned what materials were necessary to put together beforehand. which was near his house and under the arcades of which he liked to walk in the evenings. the little bookseller became rich. He knew that man attains immortality only through the victory of spirit over matter. mixed in an invisible crucible. But he did not use his riches to increase his personal comfort or to satisfy his vanity. came every year to the church of Saint Jacques la Boucherie to pray for their benefactor. when their hour came. he had risen above the satisfaction of his senses and the turmoil of his passions. If he had the vaults and monuments restored at his own expense. there was no more mystery about the Cemetery of the Innocents. He knew that the dead who had been laid to rest there were not concerned with stones and inscriptions and that they would return. in memory of this fact. and endowed churches. buying and selling. The Philosopher's Stone From this point. his copyists. keeping the unimportant place that destiny had assigned him. He spent three years more in searching and in completing his knowledge. he devoted his life to helping his fellow men." wrote historian Louis Figuier. For him. a practice which continued until 1789. Thanks to the book of Abraham the Jew. in different forms. for he was able to measure the lowest degree of virtue necessary for the possession of it. built or repaired cemeteries. in which he succeeded all the more easily because knowledge was within him. the substance of the eternal spirit emerged. the transmutation was accomplished.

he requested the sculptor to represent him. who attached importance only to the immortality of his soul and despised the ephemeral form of the body. was inspired as he grew old with a strange taste for the sculptural representation of his body and face. Flamel's generous gifts aroused curiosity and even jealousy. piously kneeling. On this stone. there is but a single sign: a practical and not an alleged-contempt for riches. The rest of Flamel's life passed without special event. in the middle of various figures. And this is the single touchstone that convinces that he really attained the state of adept. was as circumspect and as perfect as his life. It seemed amazing that a poor bookseller should found almshouses and hospitals should build houses with low rents. His death. not for himself. He had himself twice sculptured on an arch in the Cemetery of the Innocents: once as he was in his youth and once old and infirm. When he had a new house built in the rue de Montmorency. for he knew that pictures are useful to children. it is certain that they are tainted with baseness. a member of the Council of State. It was actually the life of a scholar. if they are accompanied by the love of money that most eminent men possess. However great may be a man's active virtues or the radiant power of his intelligence. The tombstone to be laid over his body had already been made. for he never changed his way of life. Rumors reached the ears of the king. Nicholas Flamel made it only three times in the whole of his life and then. This sage. or even restored. we may mark Flamel's weakness. To distinguish a man's superiority. the result of the inquiries was favorable to him. it is possible that beautiful fantasies which are pictured with love and sincerity may become realities in the dream of death. moreover. . there was carved a sun above a key and a closed book. churches and convents. on the outskirts of Paris. eleven saints were carved on the front. He paid devout attention to Pernelle as she grew old.face. and he knew that life holds few better things than the peace of daily work and a calm affection. Whenever he had a church built. and it alone can help to raise man. The "Death" of Flamel Pernelle died first. As it is equally useful to study men's weaknesses as their finest qualities. who ordered Cramoisi. in a comer of the pediment of the facade. Nicholas Flamel reached the age of eighty. He went from his house in the rue de Marivaux to his shop. It contains the symbols of his life and can still be seen at his grave site in the Musee de Cluny in Paris. This "touchstone" test can be used by everyone and at all times. to which he joyfully looked forward. He illuminated missals. to investigate the matter. Though he knew how to make gold. but a side door was surmounted with a bust of Flamel. he did it only to mitigate the evils that he saw around him. But thanks to Flamel's prudence and reticence. What they create under the hypocritical pretext of good will bear within it the seeds of decay. He carefully settled his affairs and planned how he was to be buried: at the end of the nave of Saint Jacques la Boucherie. He handled beautiful parchments. Charles VI. for the imagination of death was pleasant to him. Unselfishness and innocence alone is creative. He walked in the Cemetery of the Innocents. He spent the last years of his life writing books on alchemy.

forgetting to pay the workmen. named Dubois. for those who could decipher it. The board accepted the offer. Dubois. Having found nothing. Not long afterwards. In the presence of the King. A descendant of Flamel. had given him a sum of money with which to repair Flamel's house. who was interested in alchemy and of whom he was very fond. a Capuchin friar and a German baron are said to have discovered in the house some stone vials full of a reddish powder ¾ allegedly the projection powder. The sculptures and inscriptions were broken off under cover of darkness and removed. threw off the wise reserve of his ancestor and used the powder to dazzle his contemporaries. There was not a single alchemist but came in pilgrimage to study the sacred science on the. at the church of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. who must still have possessed a supply of the projection powder. who possessed the powder but was unable to understand either Flamel's manuscripts or the book of Abraham the Jew. But these precautions were Boucherie. He no doubt benefited by his uncle's teachings and spent a sage's life in the munificent obscurity that Flamel prized so dearly. About this time. As a result of this experiment. . The unknown man had the cellars ransacked under the pretext of strengthening the foundations. which were no doubt fictitious. and this enabled Richelieu to get him condemned to death and confiscate his property for his own benefit. History of the Book of Abraham the Jew What had happened to the book of Abraham the Jew ? Nicholas Flamel had bequeathed his papers and library to a nephew named Perrier. he disappeared. Everyone who was seeking the famous projection powder. on his deathbed. For two centuries the precious heritage was handed down from father to son. or the Cemetery of the Innocents. the formula of the Philosopher's Stone. robbers made their way in during the night. and there was nothing of them left but the four bare walls. presented himself before the parish board of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. which turns all substances into gold. who. he changed leaden balls with it into gold. At the same time the proctor of the Chitelet. the various houses which had belonged to Flamel were despoiled of their ornaments and decorations. Absolutely nothing is known of Perrier. seized the houses that Flamel had owned and had them searched from top to bottom. By the seventeenth century. but had not been able altogether to maintain during the last years of his life. It was said also that the symbolical figures which he had had sculptured on various monuments gave. stones of Saint-Jacques. He said he wished to carry out the vow of a dead friend. It was found that he had committed certain offences in the past. who wished to extract his secret. no doubt by order of Richelieu.The bones of sages seldom rest in peace in their grave. The cellars of his house were searched and the walls examined. a pious alchemist. could tell him nothing and was soon imprisoned at Vincennes. Hardly was Flamel dead when the report of his alchemical powers and of his concealment somewhere of an enormous quantity of gold spread through Paris and the world. towards the middle of the sixteenth century a man who had a well-known name and good credentials. According to author Albert Poisson. wherever he saw a hieroglyph he found some reason for knocking down the wall at that point. without anything being heard of it. Traces of it are found again in the reign of Louis XIII. it is known he had many interviews with Cardinal de Richelieu. came prowling round all the places where he had lived in the hope of finding a minute portion of the precious powder. Perhaps Nicholas Flamel knew this and tried to protect his remains by ordering a tombstone of great weight and by having a religious service held for him twelve times a year.

who robbed him. spoke almost every known language and. of life and death. According to him." Thanks to his own cultured presence. Through whatever means. Paul Lucas united in himself the qualities of a Salomon Reinach and a Casanova. or rather. of the treasures he had brought from Greece and Palestine. is more complex than the art of planning strategies or administering a kingdom. who belonged to no particular country and traveled all over the world. The story goes as follows: At Broussa Paul Lucas made the acquaintance of a kind of philosopher. which happened that year to be Broussa. Every twenty years they met at a pre-determined place. and this is what he learned. Nicholas Flamel had been one of them. was revived in the seventeenth century. for it is recorded in the seventeenth century that the author of the Tresor des Recherches et Antiquites Gauloises made a journey to Milan to see a copy which belonged to the Seigneur of Cabrieres. having no other aim than the search for wisdom and their own development. besides being knowledge of the transmutation of metals. Knowledge of the mutations of matter. Lucas came to know him fairly well.lifted Flamel's tombstone and broke open his coffin. Paul Lucas was astonished that a Turk. in outward appearance. and that it had never contained the body of Flamel. The sages possessed it and kept it for themselves. there were only a few such sages. for the diagrams have often been reproduced. the book must have been copied. it is believed Richelieu took possession of the book of Abraham the Jew. In the West. human life ought to have an infinitely longer duration than we admit. And it may be that a wise fate will send it at the proper time to a man who has the patience to ponder it. which. It was after this incident that the rumor spread that the coffin had been found empty. who was supposed to be still alive. The most valuable contribution that this official emissary made to science is summarized in the story he tells in his Voyage dans la Turquie. the knowledge to interpret it. In any case. But that which a sage like Flamel had been able to understand only after twenty-one years of meditation was not likely to be at once accessible to a politician like Richelieu. Richelieu's search gave no good results. which he published in 1719. the wisdom not to divulge it too soon. He was to study antiquities and bring back any inscriptions or documents that could help forward the modest scientific efforts then being made in France. His account enables men of faith to reconstitute part of the history of the book of Abraham the Jew. Indeed. belonged to the type of man of whom it is said that they " have no age. Perhaps a copy or the original itself rests under the dust of some provincial library. He was captured by Barbary corsairs. according to his own story. which he often visited to read through the master's manuscripts and to try to interpret the sacred hieroglyphs. A man could live a thousand years if he had knowledge of the Philosopher's Stone. which seemed to have come to an end. was also knowledge of the Elixir of life. This philosopher was a member of a group of seven philosophers. He built a laboratory at the Chateau of Rueil. all traces of the book were lost. Is Nicholas Flamel Still Alive? But the mystery of the story of Flamel. the average length should be a thousand years. Louis VIV sent an archeologist named Paul Lucas on a mission to the East. A scholar had in those days to be both a soldier and an adventurer. all traces of the text. who wore Turkish clothes. On the death of the cardinal. the mysterious book has now disappeared. whom .

Flamel visited Monsieur Desalleurs. There was a Jew in Flamel's time who had determined not to lose sight of the descendants of his brothers who had taken refuge in France. for hitherto no one had known this. like today. according to his feeling for the miraculous. who says that in the seventeenth century. Flamel had been able to remain alive in the physical form he possessed at the time of his discovery. In fact. Comte de St. He made the acquaintance there of a rabbi who was seeking the Philosopher's Stone. must come to his own conclusion. In obeying. can it reasonably be presumed that he was alive three centuries after his supposed death. without seeking escape. by virtue of a deeper study than had yet been made of the life force and the means of prolonging it? Is it relevant to compare with Paul Lucas' story another tradition reported by Abbe Vilain. the ancient and simple law that reduces man to dust when the curve of his life is ended. the French ambassador to the Sublime Porte? Every man. which had been brought by the Eastern sage. The rabbi was arrested. He had a desire to see them. Pernelle's and his own funerals and the minute care he bestowed on the arrangements for them had been nothing but clever shams. after his discovery of the Philosopher's Stone. Was Nicholas Flamel one of these adepts? Even if he was. as you know.he had met by chance at Broussa. this is a belief that has existed at every period in modern human history. was given to Flamel by a Jewish intermediary who did not know its value and was anxious to get rid of it before leaving Paris. they were expelled from the country. he gave proof of a wisdom that is none the less beautiful for being widespread. But the most amazing thing that Paul Lucas heard was the statement made by the Turk that both Flamel and his wife Pernelle were still alive! Having discovered the Philosopher's Stone. convicted of this and other crimes and burned alive. Our friend became intimate with the rabbi and was able to explain much to him. should be familiar with the story of Flamel. myself. "though there are but few of them in the world. The publication of Paul Lucas' book created a great sensation. for he regarded death merely as the transition to a better state. "Our sages. I think." The book of Abraham. there lived discerning men who believed that all truth came out of the East and that there were in India adepts who possessed powers infinitely greater than those that science so parsimoniously metes out to us." he told Lucas. Nicholas Flamel. would have had no temptation to evade death. where he still lived. But before he left the country the rabbi. the country of the initiates. He had started out for India. by an act of black treachery. The persecution of the Jews began not long afterwards and. killed him to get possession of his papers. and in spite of all we could do to dissuade him he went to Paris. that in accordance with the wisdom which he had always shown. Germain » Alchemy Articles Main Page . He was still more astonished when the Turk told him how the book of Abraham the Jew had come into Flamel's possession. In the seventeenth century. may be met with in any sect.

He was an aristocrat who lived with princes and even with kings almost on a footing of an equal. For such men prudery. of the treasures of Aladdin's lamp. He had a love of jewels in an extreme form. Jewels cast their reflection on him and threw a distorting light on the whole of his life. of a white sapphire as big as an egg. And it appears from Grosley's memoirs that in Holland he became the lover of a woman as rich and mysterious as himself." is a harmless pleasure if these treasures have been inherited or have been made through the help of miraculous knowledge. and his colors were so vivid and strange that faces looked pale and insignificant by contrast. That is what happened in the case of the Comte de Saint-Germain. >At first sight all this is incompatible with the high mission with which he was invested. and he ostentatiously showed off those he possessed. His contemporaries did not forgive him this weakness. Apparently a man cannot be taken seriously if he does not conform strictly to the laws of nature. And if Mademoiselle Lambert had the ideas of her time on the subject of gallantry. reasonable men can conceive wisdom only under the boring form of a sermon and think of the sage only in the semblance of a clergyman. the figures were covered with jewels. But the contradiction is perhaps only apparent. daughter of the Chevalier Lambert.A Man Beyond His Time Many average. When therefore it happens that a genuine sage. follows a woman. he is condemned eternally by the army of short-sighted people whose judgment forms posterity. or lightheartedly raises his glass. with the part he played in the Hermetic societies of Germany and France. which he carried about everywhere with him. mystifies his contemporaries. Nor did they forgive him for keeping for an entire century the physical appearance of a man of between forty and fifty years old. and the most abject enslavement to ritual habit and prejudice must be the everyday virtues. Though he never ate any food in public. The importance he attached to jewels was so great that in the pictures painted by him. It appears from the memoirs of Baron von Gleichen that when Saint-Germain was in Paris he became the lover of Mademoiselle Lambert. He had an immense stock of amusing stories with which he regaled society. hypocrisy. It is no great eccentricity in a man to pull down his cuffs in order to show the sparkle of the rubies in his links. His Lifestyle Saint-Germain seems also to have been free personally from the solemnity in which men of religion and philosophers wrap themselves. Moreover. we often have an erroneous conception of the activities of a master. the Comte de Saint-Germain can hardly be reproached for lingering one night in her room in order to open in her presence the mysterious . by way of amusing himself. His outward appearance of a man of the world was necessary in the first place for the purposes of the secret diplomacy in which Louis XV often employed him. He gave recipes for removing wrinkles and dyeing hair. he liked dining out because of the people he met and the conversation he heard. who lived in the house in which he lodged. He kept a great quantity of them in a casket. The possession of an "opal of monstrous size. and he was called a charlatan because he possessed a secret which allowed him to prolong his life beyond known human limits. which were in themselves remarkable. He enjoyed and sought the company of the pretty women of his day.

This Spanish queen was Marie de Neubourg. An inner force that is irresistibly strong compels men to talk. for he extended to him a friendship that aroused the jealousy of his court. Louis XV must have known who he was. He might have added that he was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace. when the aristocracy immersed itself in the occult sciences. In vain his contemporaries tried to penetrate the mystery." said Voltaire of the Comte de Saint-Germain. and the pleasure he derived from his conversation and the admiration he no doubt felt for the range of his knowledge cannot explain the consideration. flattered themselves that they had solved the riddle of his birth.jewel casket and invite her to choose one of those diamonds that were the admiration of Madam de Pompadour. was the subject of interminable talk. on a certain plane. Those who disliked Saint-Germain said that he was . It may be that there exists a way by which a man may attain the highest spirituality and yet keep this pleasure. It makes no difference whether a man is a king or a count. This is a very remarkable fact. For Louis XV and the count to have held out against the curiosity of beloved mistresses we must presume in them either a strength of mind that they certainly did not possess or else some imperious motive which we cannot determine. and SaintGermain treated him as an equal. A Man Who Never Dies "A man who knows everything and who never dies. Count Charles of Hesse Cassel. with whom he lived during the last years in which history is able to follow his career. almost the deference. He worked at alchemy with him. However. Moreover. the chain of the senses no longer exists and kisses cease to burn. since Saint-Germain was an extremely well known figure. It was to him that Saint-Germain entrusted his papers just before his supposed death in 1784. secret societies and magic. who was said to possess the elixir of life and to be able to make gold at will. Madam du Housset says in her memoirs that the king spoke of SaintGermain as a personage of illustrious birth. must also have possessed the secret of his birth. and increasingly subject to it in proportion as they spend their time with women. this man. whom she knew at Bayonne. His Origins The commonest hypothesis about his birth is that Saint-Germain was the natural son of the widow of Charles II of Spain and a certain Comte (Count) Adanero. and in vain the chiefs of police and the ministers of the various countries whose inhabitants he puzzled. all alike are subject to this force. He allotted him rooms in the Chateau of Chambord. whom Victor Hugo took as the heroine of his Ruy Blas. a man can no longer harm either himself or others by virtue of the power that the transformation has wrought in him. he had for him. In those days. neither Louis XV nor the Count of Hesse Cassel ever revealed anything about the birth of Saint-Germain. The count even went so far as invariably to withhold the smallest detail bearing on the life of his mysterious friend. He shut himself up with Saint-Germain and Madam de Pompadour for whole evenings. For pleasure in life drags a man down only when it is carried to excess.

sat down in an armchair near the fire and interrupted the conversation by saying to the man who was speaking: 'You do not know what you are saying! I am the only person who is competent to speak on this subject. but one of them was withdrawn from his guardianship. many people who heard him play the violin said of him that he equaled or even surpassed the greatest virtuosos of the period." However. while those who hated him said. and he seems to have justified his remark that he had reached the extreme limit possible in the art of music. He took the name of Saint-Germain from the little town of San Germano. The impenetrable silence kept by him and by those to whom he entrusted his secret would in this event be due to fear of the Emperor of Austria and possible vengeance on his part. who regard him as a genuine adept and even think he may still be living. in the effort to add to his discredit. who has frequently made the statement that the Comte de Saint-Germain was one of the sons of Francis Racoczi II. which seems the most probable of all. and I have exhausted it. he seems not to have excelled as a poet. The story was put about that he was dead. and dressed with superb simplicity. The belief that SaintGermain and the descendant of the Racoczis are one and the same is firmly held by many people. There survive of his an indifferent sonnet and a letter addressed to Marie Antoinette (quoted by the Comtesse d'Adhemar) that contains predictions in doggerel verse. who brought him up in Italy. The children of Francis Racoczi were brought up by the Emperor of Austria. Prince of Transylvania. It was the same with music. where he had spent some years during his childhood and where his father had estates. at least . The Alchemist By far the greatest obvious talents of the Comte de Saint-Germain were connected with his knowledge of alchemy. but actually he was given into the charge of the last descendant of the Medici family. and you have earned my showing you a few paintings of mine. which I gave up when I found I had no more to learn.'" Indeed. The Comte de Saint-Germain was a man "of middle height. At the request of Madam de Pompadour he also wrote a rather poor outline of a comedy." "And he very effectively kept his word. It is the work of the theosophists and Annie Besant. Yet if Saint-Germain he knew how to make gold. Fairly recently a new genealogy of Saint-Germain has been put forward." said Gleichen. he was wise enough to say nothing about it. that he was the son of an Alsatian Jew named Wolff. though he was not known to have money on deposit at any banker's. Nothing but the possession of this secret could perhaps account for the enormous wealth at his command.the son of a Portuguese Jew named Aymar. One day he took Gleichen to his house and said to him: " I am pleased with you. Said Gleichen of the first time he met Saint-Germain: "He threw down his hat and sword. "for the paintings he showed me all bore a stamp of singularity or perfection which made them more interesting than many works of art of the highest order." He spoke with an entire lack of ceremony to the most highly placed personages and was fully conscious of his superiority. What he does seem to have admitted. Saint-Germain was also an accomplished artist. And it would help to account for the consideration that Louis XV showed him. This would give an air of probability to the memories of southern lands and sunny palaces which Saint-Germain liked to call up as the setting of his childhood. strongly built.

he contented himself with describing the smallest . When he was telling a fool some event of the time of Charles V." said his friend Gleichen. however. He asserted also that he could increase the size of pearls at will. Everyone agreed then that. for he supported it by magnificent gifts. thinking the stones were false. under the name of the Marquis de Montferrat. "according to the receptivity of his hearer. she commented on the beauty of a cross of white and green stones. but the queen. If their recollection is accurate this evidence destroys the hypotheses according to which Saint-Germain was the son of Marie de Neubourg or the son of Francis Racoczi II. for a long time and without the smallest change. in appearance. Madam du Hausset refused. and they turned out to be genuine and extremely valuable. "I promise you that you shall. Madam du Hausset subsequently had the stones valued. is that he could make a big diamond out of several small stones. Madam du Hausset tells us that one day when he was showing the queen some jewels in her presence. for whom I have the greatest respect. We can compare with this the offer he made to Mademoiselle de Genlis when she was a child: "When you are seventeen or eighteen will you be happy to remain at that age." he said very gravely." And he at once spoke of something else. signed to her that she might accept. and when the Comtesse d'Adhemar saw him again in 1775. the appearance of a woman of twenty-five. according to the memoirs of Casanova. He disappeared for fifteen years. Saint-Germain nonchalantly made her a present of it. for if he had been. While he deliberately allowed his hearers to believe that his life had lasted inconceivably long. she declared that she found him younger than ever.ambiguously.000 francs. he was a man of between forty and fifty. that Saint-Germain. And when she saw him again twelve years later he still looked the same. The musician Rameau and Madam de Gergy (with the latter of whom. If all that he said on this subject was mere bragging. But when he spoke to somebody less credulous. "Very well. at least for a great many years?' She answered that she should indeed be charmed. His Amazing Youthfulness But the feature in Saint-Germain's personage that is hardest to believe is his astounding longevity. "He diluted the strength of the marvelous in his stories. and some of the pearls in his possession certainly were of astonishing size. he informed him quite crudely that he had been present. he was still dining about 1775) both assert that they met him at Venice in 1710. A gift as precious as this could not be forgotten! It is also true. he would not have been more than about twenty in 1710. Later. it was expensive. He proceeded by veiled allusions. is talking nonsense. but I confess it is likely that this lady. The period of his great celebrity in Paris extended from 1750 to 1760. when questioned by Madam de Pompadour on the subject of his meeting with Madam de Gergy fifty years earlier and of the marvelous elixir he was supposed to have given to her. Madam de Gergy told Madam de Pompadour that she had received from Saint-Germain at Venice an elixir that enabled her to preserve. The diamonds that he wore in his shoes and garters were believed to be worth more than 200. replied with a smile: "It is not impossible. Both of them agree that he then had the appearance of a man of between forty and fifty years old. he never actually said so.

It may be that a subjective conception of time. an English newspaper. and the suppression of impatience and expectation. enable a highly developed man to reduce to a minimum the normal wear and tear of the body. It was the effect of the elixir. He thus almost entirely stopped the physical wastage that proceeds.not that I am not infinitely older than I appear. as he was passing through Vienna. He who succeeds in raising himself above his emotions. The Comte de Saint-Germain asserted also that he had the capacity of stopping the mechanism of the human clock during sleep. it would be no miracle. Not long ago a London medical periodical reported the case of a woman who at seventy-four had preserved " the features and expression of a girl of twenty. the flame of our desire. in suppressing in himself anger and the fear of illness. there appeared before her a young girl. the London Mercury. from breathing and the beating of the heart. who was a practical joker. quite seriously published the following story: "The Comte de Saint-Germain presented a lady of his acquaintance. I confirm them in this idea because I see that it gives them much pleasure -. He was fond of offering his intimate friends the recipe of a purge made of senna pods. which he prepared himself. the acid of our fears.'" Tradition has related that he said he had known Jesus and been present at the Council of Nicea. with a vial of his famous elixir of long life. . who was concerned at growing old. She had become insane as the result of an unhappy love affair. If the face of a man who is not tormented by his emotions should retain its youth." About 1760. When the lady summoned her servant next day. without our knowing it. One of her servants. It is the activity of our nerves. A few drops more and I have no doubt the servant would have answered her mistress with infantile screams!" "Has anyone ever seen me eat or drink?" said Saint-Germain. with such vivacity and in such detail that his hearers received the impression that he had actually been present at the scene. thought the vial contained a harmless purge and drank the contents. and her insanity consisted in the perpetual reliving of her last separation from her lover. is capable of overcoming the attrition of the years and attaining an age at least double that at which men now die of old age. But he did not go so far as this in his contempt for the men with whom he associated and in his derision of their credulity. The lady put the vial into a drawer. without a wrinkle or a white hair. the faces and gestures of the speakers. the room and the part of it they were in. a middle-aged woman. gave imitations at his house of well-known men of his time. When he came to Saint-Germain. was a mixture of oatmeal. which daily consume our organism. he imitated his manner and voice in an imaginary conversation that Saint-Germain was supposed to have had with the founder of Christianity. Everyone who knew him agreed in saying that though he liked sitting down to table with a numerous company. almost a child. But is it really so surprising that the authors of memoirs depict Saint-Germain as retaining the same physical appearance during a whole century? Human life may have a duration infinitely longer than that ordinarily attributed to it. to a Herr Graeffer who offered him some Tokay. 'These fools of Parisians. of whom Lord Gower made him say: "He was the best man imaginable. His principal food." From her conviction that she was young she had remained young. This tradition originates from the fact that Lord Gower. he never touched the dishes.' he said to me one day. 'believe that I am five hundred years old. but romantic and thoughtless.circumstances.

and Louis XV's friendship for him was well known. the beginning of the reign of Louis XVI. notably. that was typical of the ordinary course of Saint-Germain's life." Alexis' brother. and Louis. that Saint-Germain returned to France and saw Marie Antoinette. therefore. The Comtesse d'Adhemar has left a detailed account of the interview. who immediately asked Saint-Germain if he was going to settle in Paris again. He sent d'Affry orders demanding the extradition of Saint-Germain and have him arrested by the Dutch Government and sent to Paris. It was easy. Louis XV did not agree with his minister's policy with regard to Austria and tried to negotiate peace behind his back by using Holland as an intermediary. "A century will pass. The adventurer Casanova gives us some details of this escape. His Prophecies It was about this period. It was to her that he turned to obtain access to the queen. Since his flight to England.His Careers Saint-Germain's activity and the diversity of his occupations were very great. but the memory of him had become a legend. not daring to admit his participation in the affair. But his principal role was that of a secret agent in international politics in the service of France. for the Comtesse d'Adhemar to arrange a meeting with Marie Antoinette. Not long after this.a story. he happened to be in a hotel near that in which Saint-Germain was staying. blamed it all on his emissary. According to Horace Walpole's letters. "before I come here again. handed over to Saint-Germain of his own free will 20. the minister for foreign affairs. Gregory Orloff. The Duke de Choiseul seized his opportunity. the French minister in Holland. a true Englishman. an uncommon action. He was interested in the preparation of dyes and even started a factory in Germany for the manufacture of felt hats. that of the Duke de Choiseul. was informed of this step. and found himself mixed up in a complicated story of jewels. He had time to escape and take ship for England. seeing that Saint-Germain had not rendered him any particular service." . where he was to play an important but hidden part in the revolution of 1762. Count Alexis Orloff met him some years later in Italy and said of him: "Here is a man who played an important part in our revolution. Saint-Germain was sent to The Hague to negotiate there with Prince Louis of Brunswick. This drew on him the enmity of many important men. Monsieur d'Affry.000 sequins. he was found in Russia. including. At that time he wore the uniform of a Russian general and called himself Soltikov. He was not arrested a second time in England. and complained bitterly to his minister for foreign affairs that France was carrying on negotiations that did not pass through his hands. It was this enmity which compelled him to leave hurriedly for England in order to escape imprisonment in the Bastille. he had not reappeared in France. came to the conclusion that "he was not a gentleman" because he used to say with a laugh that he was taken for a spy. in fact." was his reply. duped fathers and girls madly in love with him -. But Saint-Germain received warning just before his arrest. This decision was communicated to the king in the presence of his ministers in council. Walpole. swindlers. Saint-Germain had been arrested in London some years previously on account of his mysterious life. He had been set free because there was nothing against him. He became Louis XV's confidential and intimate counselor and was entrusted by him with various secret missions.

and Maurepas thought it would be wisest to imprison in the Bastille a man who had so gloomy a vision of the future. for I have only a limited time to give to France. have cast their eyes on the Duke de Chartres. Out of courtesy to the Comtesse d'Adhemar. "and in refusing to allow me to see him you think only of maintaining your authority. He will come to the scaffold instead of to the throne." he said." . "and I count him among those who will contribute to the ruin of the kingdom. whose scepter will be the executioner's knife." At this moment the attention of both of them was distracted by the sound of a door being shut. "He will be exposed. In order to bring about this result. His terrible and amazing predictions filled Marie Antoinette with foreboding and agitation. Our police officials have a very keen scent. The Encyclopedist party desires power. They will do away with the Catholic religion. but he asked to see him without his minister. being told of it." "So that only royalty will be left. but the fact that you paved the way for them will be enough to blacken your memory.In the presence of the queen he spoke in a grave voice and foretold events that would take place fifteen years later. Only one thing surprises me. Maurepas. He informed Maurepas of the interview that Saint-Germain had had with the queen. in order to make even more serious revelations. and when that time has passed I shall be seen again only after three generations. "The queen in her wisdom will weigh that which I am about to tell her in confidence. You will not see these calamities. SaintGermain asked to see the King. it will upset the monarchy. The expression on Maurepas' face changed. who are seeking a chief among the members of the royal family. and the magistracy. the nobility. You are destroying the monarchy. The duke will become the instrument of men who will sacrifice him when he has ceased to be useful to them. There will be a bloodthirsty republic. Maurepas visited her in order to acquaint her with this decision. The years have not spared me." The king did not possess sufficient authority to have an interview with anybody without the presence of his minister. "He is my enemy. Saint-Germain stood before them. "Not even royalty. "The king has called on you to give him good counsel. not from malice but from incapacity. The comtesse uttered a cry. "I know the scoundrel better than you do. whereas the queen declares that the Comte de Saint-Germain looks like a man of forty." the queen interrupted impatiently. The Encyclopedists. nearly all of whom see in him an active instrument of the revolutionary movement. which it will obtain only by the complete fall of the clergy." he said. Not for long will the laws remain the protection of the good and the terror of the wicked." It is quite plain from these words that Saint-Germain's ideas were entirely different from those ascribed to him by the majority of historical authors of this period. I shall not be to blame when anarchy with all its horrors devastates France. The wicked will seize power with bloodstained hands. She received him in her room." he said.

he must have been at least a hundred years old in 1784. his death in that year cannot have been genuine. I saw him when the queen was murdered. that were to take place in the years that followed. others at which the decree must be carried out as soon as he has pronounced it. even the equipment of the Garde Nationale. The official documents of Freemasonry say that in 1785 the French masons chose him as their representative at the great convention that took place in that year. As had been foretold to him. All efforts to find him proved useless. "each time to my amazement. Although. His whole behavior gives color to the supposition that he was the accomplice of a pretended death." he said. at the castle of the Count Charles of Hesse Cassel. but he refused to see a doctor and was tended only by women. For biographers and historians this date seems likely to remain the official date of his death. His "Death" Secluded at Eckenforn in the count's castle. There is today a deficit of some forty millions. It was known that he had left all his papers and certain documents relating to Freemasonry to the Count of Hesse Cassel." . and Cagliostro present. after the taking of the Bastille. 1815.Having uttered this in one breath. He said he had come from China and Japan. on the 18th of Brumaire. Maurepas did not see the calamities for which he had helped to pave the way. under the dictatorship of philanthropists and orators the national debt will reach thousands of millions." And he told her in broad outlines all the events. He said he felt feeble. "The French will play with titles and honors and ribbons like children. From that day forward. My hands are tied by someone who is stronger than I. SaintMartin. shut it behind him and disappeared. "There is nothing so strange out there. Finally. he walked to the door. either during the days immediately following or later. Saint-Germain announced that he was tired of fife. He refused to give any information about his friend or his last moments. The keen scent of Maurepas' police officials was not keen enough. But I can do nothing. and turned the conversation if anyone spoke of him. and on the eve of the murder of the Duke de Berry. in January. the mystery in which the Comte de Saint-Germain was shrouded grew deeper than ever. on the evidence of reliable witnesses. In 1784 a rumor was current in Paris that the Comte de Saint-Germain had just died in the Duchy of Schleswig. He died in 1781. They never discovered what had happened to the Comte de Saint-Germain. Well. which is the nominal cause of the Revolution. He seemed careworn and melancholy. The count for his part asserted that he had lost a very dear friend. They will regard everything as a plaything." wrote Comtesse d'Adhemar in 1821. not excepting the death of the queen. But his attitude was highly equivocal. There are times when it is possible to draw back. on the day following the death of the Duke d'Enghien. No details exist of his death. the Comtesse d'Adhemar reports at great length a conversation she had with him in 1789 in the Church of the Recollets. No tombstone at Eckenforn bore his name. In the following year Saint-Germain was received by the Empress of Russia. His face looked no older than it had looked thirty years earlier. with Mesmer. "as that which is happening here." "I have seen Saint-Germain again. or rather of his supposed death.

said he spoke to him there soon afterwards in the Piazza di San Marco. though less conclusive. who studied alchemy. of whose end we are ignorant and whose duration seems so long that one's imagination hesitates to admit it. The Comtesse d'Adhemar quotes a letter she received from Saint-Germain in which he says." It seems that Cagliostro took part in the preparation of the revolutionary movement. He continued an unknown career. But men are judged only by their own statements and by the merits they attribute to themselves. has prepared. Secret Societies Many writers who have studied the French Revolution do not believe in the influence exerted by the Comte de Saint-Germain. Only his age and his jewels attracted notice. though there is no direct evidence for this. who visited him on several occasions in Holstein to receive directions from him. It is said that he initiated Cagliostro. and even obliterated the traces he had made. not for himself. But he was an architect betrayed by the workmen. He left no arrogant memorial of himself such as a book. . though many modem masons have denied this and have even omitted to mention him as a great source of inspiration. There is other evidence. And he left out of his calculations the powerful reactions of hatred. He was the architect who drew the plans for a work that is as yet only on the stocks. Yet the part he played in the spiritual sphere was considerable.Mademoiselle de Genlis asserts that she met the Comte de Saint-Germain in 1821 during the negotiations for the Treaty of Vienna. He had dreamed of a high tower that should enable man to communicate with heaven. The two men were to be far separated from one another by opposite currents and a different fate. The Englishman Grosley said he saw him in 1798 in a revolutionary prison. He influenced Freemasonry and the secret societies. He worked for humanity. His only foibles were the harm less affectation of appearing a great deal younger than his age and the pleasure he took in making a ring sparkle. and the Comte de Chalons. of his survival. speaking of his journey to Paris in 1789. He was modest. which Saint-Germain tried to check by developing mystical ideas among the most advanced men of the period. "I wished to see the work that that demon of hell. In Vienna he took part in the foundation of the Society of Asiatic Brothers and of the Knights of Light. who was ambassador in Venice. and someone else wrote that he was one of the crowd surrounding the tribunal at which the Princess de Lamballe appeared before her execution. Cagliostro. It is true that he set up no landmarks for posterity. It seems quite certain that the Comte de Saint-Germain did not die at the place and on the date that history has fixed. and it was he who gave Mesmer his fundamental ideas on personal magnetism and hypnotism. the rarest quality in men of intelligence. But he reckoned without the slowness with which the soul of man develops and without the aversion that man brings to the task. and the workmen preferred to build houses for eating and sleeping. He had foreseen the chaos of the last years of the eighteenth century and hoped to give it a turn in the direction of peace by spreading among its future promoters a philosophy that might change them.

once it was developed itself. it was to be found somewhere. perhaps in a book written by a master. the Order of the Templars was reconstituted. and Frederick II." It was this immortality of the spirit that Saint-Germain tried to bring to a small group of chosen initiates. which was never to be realized. But matters were to turn out differently. The light kindled by a few wise visionaries. when he came to the throne. that the old dream of a world guided by philosopher-initiates would have been realized. He believed that this minority. whose grand master was the Duke de Chartres. the Philalethes attempted the reform of Freemasonry. which combined Swedenborg's visions with Martinez de Pasqually's theory of reintegration. Condorcet. he must strive unceasingly to free himself of matter in order to enter into communication with the world of higher intelligences. help to develop another small number. from the practical point of view. They spoke of this revealing word. at which every Masonic lodge in France was represented. In Germany there were the Illuminati and the Knights of Strict Observance. a few faithful . it may be that the course of events would have been altered.All over the country secret societies sprang up. he founded the group of Philalethes. which was recruited from the cream of the Friends Assembled. He taught that man has in him infinite possibilities and that. If they had attained their aim. or truth-lovers. Neither the nobility nor the clergy escaped what had become a fashion. and the Princesse de Lamballe became grand mistress of one of them. It was a sage's dream. this hidden treasure it was said to be in the hands of "unknown superiors of these sects. In two great successive assemblies. who was the nominal head. Saint-Germain expounded his philosophy at Ermenonville and in Paris. There were to be found in it Plotinus' emanations and the hierarchy of successive planes described by Hermeticists and modem theosophists. and Freemasonry. In France. founded the sect of the Architects of Africa. was not to be broken. Saint-Germain's Philosophy With the co-operation of Savalette de Lange. which was sublime and disinterested. The Prince of Hesse. and Cagliostro were all members of this group. in its turn. and Savalette de Lange. linked firmly together by men's egoism and hatred. towards the more ignorant masses. in the rue Platriere. There were even formed lodges for women. in beneficent waves. created by accumulated injustices had paved the way for terrible effects. These effects were in their turn to create the causes of future evil. with mystics such as Court de Gebelin and Saint-Martin. perhaps in traditions. Old causes. but whose boundless value they guessed. He was understood by some. would. and that a vast spiritual radiation would gradually descend. Martinez de Pasqually taught his philosophy at Marseilles. The initiates of these sects understood that they were the depositories of a heritage that they did not know. Bordeaux and Toulouse. increased the number of its lodges in every town. founded the lodge of the Friends Assembled. if they had succeeded in directing the great force of Freemasonry by the prestige of their philosophy. The chain of evil. It was a Platonic Christianity. who would one day disclose the wealth which gives freedom and immortality. perhaps in themselves. The new spirit manifested itself in the form of associations.

After having been. Legend of the Eternal Master Napoleon III. Moreover he was lavish with money. Sometimes they send to their imperfect brothers. with a strange smile. of his wealth and of the mystery that surrounded him. in 1820. "was not appreciated for who he . What happened to the Comte de Saint-Germain after 1821. By reason of his knowledge. though the source of his fortune remained a mystery to everyone. he disappeared without leaving a trace. of whom Saint-Germain has been considered to be one. speaks of a certain person whom he knew towards the end of Louis Philippe's reign and whose way of life bore a curious resemblance to that of the Comte de Saint-Germain. instructed one of his librarians to search for and collect all that could be found about him in archives and documents of the latter part of the eighteenth century." theosophist Madam Blavatsky says of him. "lived alone and never alluded to his family. Was it the same Major Fraser who. the source of the most sacred branch of the Ganges River. of middle height and strongly built. and a great number of papers. this holder of the secret knowledge of the East.watchers over the well being of their brothers. he often gave his hearers to understand that he had acquired his learning elsewhere than from books. The rumor was current that he was the illegitimate son of a Spanish prince. who are blinded by passions and ignorance. was deposited in the library of the prefecture of police. and Jesus were the greatest of these. Thus once again a synchronous accident upheld the ancient law that decrees that the life of the adept must always be surrounded with mystery. Many is the time he has told me. curiously enough. that he was certain he had known Nero. Major Fraser had the appearance of a man of between forty and fifty. for a possessor of the Philosopher's Stone. puzzled and interested by what he had heard about the mysterious life of the Comte de Saint-Germain. he might reasonably have been taken for an heir of the first Rosicrucians." Like Saint-Germain. "This pupil of Hindu and Egyptian hierophants. in his memoirs. His memory was absolutely incredible and. was extinguished almost as soon as it was kindled. and the part of the building in which the dossier was kept was burnt. He possessed a marvelous knowledge of all the countries in Europe at all periods. wrote Vandam. Unfortunately. "He called himself Major Fraser. also like Saint-Germain. in which he said he had reached Gangotri. and so on. the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune supervened. and bathed in the source of the Jumna River? It was at the end of the nineteenth century that the legend of Saint-Germain grew so inordinately. had spoken with Dante. in which year there is evidence that he was still alive? An Englishman. the Buddha. which he calls An Englishman in Paris. forming an enormous dossier. But there were many other more obscure messengers. But the theosophists and a great many occultists regarded him as a master of the great White Lodge of the Himalayas. According to it there live in inaccessible lamaseries in Tibet certain wise men who possess the ancient secrets of the lost civilization of Atlantis. sublime messengers to teach and guide them. a cause of astonishment to Parisian society for a considerable time. Albert Vandam. This was done. published an account of his journey in the Himalayas. of the integrity of his life. The legend of these masters is well known. Krishna.

The Comte de Saint-Germain is immortal. The brotherhood of Khe-lan was famous throughout Tibet. his senna tea. and one of their most famous brothers was an Englishman who had arrived one day during the early part of the twentieth century from the West. when they hear a step on the staircase.was. They do not jump up to open the door to their guest. There will always be. enigmatic travelers. His sanctity and the phenomena produced by him caused him to be proclaimed a Shaberon Master after a residence of but a few years. For a great number of imaginative and sincere men the Comte de Saint-Germain is more alive than he has ever been. even if he is no longer alive and we must relegate to legend the idea that the great Hermetic nobleman is still wandering about the world with his sparkling jewels. to perpetuate him. mysterious doctors. but his real name is a secret with the Shaberons alone. particularly in England and America. He spoke every language. coming to give them advice. as he always dreamed of being. wiser and happier. There are men who. that the Comte de Saint-Germain was still alive. Some will have bathed in the sources of the Ganges." Between 1880 and 1900 it was admitted among all theosophists. bringers of occult secrets. think it may perhaps be he. says the tradition. like Saint-Germain. and others will show a talisman found in the pyramids. His memory lives to the present day among the Tibetans. The Comte de Saint-Germain is always present with us. as there were in the eighteenth century. Might not this mysterious traveler be the Comte de Saint-Germain? But even if he has never come back. when freed from the body. The stupid world has always treated in this way men who. that he was still engaged in the spiritual development of the West. have returned to it after long years of seclusion devoted to study with their hands full of the treasure of esoteric wisdom and with the hope of making the world better. and knew every art and science. including the Tibetan. and that those who sincerely took part in this development had the possibility of meeting him. and his taste for princesses and queens even so it can be said that he has gained the immortality he sought. Eight Famous Taoist Immortals . who at that time had become very numerous. There are men who. But they are not necessary. for material barriers do not exist for him. They diminish the range of the mystery by giving it everyday. when they go to sleep. are pervaded by genuine happiness because they are certain that their spirit. material form. to bring them some unexpected philosophical idea. will be able to hold converse with the master in the luminous haze of the astral world.

Chang Kuo Lao A recluse with mystic powers. upon the overcoming of which he was given a sword possessing supernatural powers. Once when meditating. When again required he had simply to sprinkle it with water and it resumed its normal proportions. His symbol is the peach. Lu Tung-pin A Taoist scholar and recluse. He is also depicted as carrying a fan with which he could revive the dead. With this he rid the country of dragons and other monsters that infested it. and the feather of the Phoenix. disclosing a casket of jade containing a scroll upon which were written the secrets of immortality and of the transmutation of metals. Ts'ao Kuo-chiu A military commander who turned hermit. He is said to have had a mule that could carry him a thousand miles in a day. called the Yu Ku. the bird of immortality. He is the patron saint of the drama. During his probation he is described as having to undergo ten temptations. and his symbols are a pair of castanets and a feather fan. His symbols are the sword and the Taoist fly-brush. His symbols are a musical instrument made of bamboo. upon whose back he was transported to the Happy Land of Immortality. which he could fold up like a piece of paper and put in his wallet. T'ieh-Kuai Li . the wall of his cave was rent asunder. an emblem of longevity. who received the secret of immortality from Chung-li K'uan.Chung-li Ch'uan is said to have discovered the Elixir of life. As he followed the instructions given therein the cave became filled with luminous clouds out of which came a stork.

Her symbol is the lotus. Lan Ts'ai-ho Sometimes dressed as a male and sometimes as a female. At last. Numerous methods are given in Taoist writings for the realization of immortality. she attained her quest. He is the patron saint of Apothecaries. He is sometimes represented as accompanied by a deer. and wore only one shoe. He is said to have been a disciple of Lao-Tzu. Five Classes of Immortals based on Taoist Alchemy The idea of immortality permeates the whole of Taoist teachings. whereupon he fell from its branches and became immortal. was consigned to the flames. being considered dead. enabling him to use and enjoy all things to the fullest possible extent by assigning them to their proper place in life. He is the patron saint of musicians. At the end of earthly life. Lan ts'ai-ho disappeared into a cloud.A beggar with a crutch. and was instructed by him to climb a peach tree. and a crab. foremost among which is a system of mental and spiritual practices. containing magical medicines with which he healed many of the sick. whose songs told about the unreality of this fleeting life and the delusiveness of earthly pleasures. She lived in the mountains and became more and more ethereal. and the body in his charge. and his symbol is the flute. The aim of Taoist teachings is to free man from all that which is transient. instructing him to leave his body in the care of a pupil. . and is the patron saint of florists. which he is usually represented as playing. the flower of open-heartedness. His symbols are a pilgrim's gourd. found only a heap of ashes. dispensing with earthly food. Always dressed in colorful robes. He was a pupil of Lu Tung-pin. During his absence the pupil was summoned to the bedside of his dying mother. Li T'ieh-Kuai. It is realized through perfect union with the Tao. so he entered the body of a beggar who had just died and in this continued his life. She is a patron of female Taoists. Han Hsang-Tzu Scholar. In a vision she was instructed that if she ate mother-ofpearl she would gradually become immortal. who summoned him to Heaven. on returning. Lan Ts'ai-ho's symbol is a basket of flowers. floating from peak to peak. A wondering minstrel. Its conscious attainment is one of the fruits of alchemical life with which the more profound teachings of Taoism are concerned. Ho Hsien-Ku Called the Immortal Maiden. poet and student of transcendental lore. He is said to have been able to make flowers grow before the eyes of the beholders.

It made visible what at first had no form. though it is obscure. though it is soft. coming and going at will.According to the levels of spiritual attainment. if it could be gathered together. sickness and death. but though they eat. Celestial Immortals Celestial Immortals go even further in their work than spiritual immortality. Though it can be contracted. TAO is that which penetrates the Universe and touches every part of it. it transformed murky chaos into crystal clearness. it knows neither exuberance nor decay. clothing and shelter. and dress like people. its energies penetrated the void and filled space. It cannot be exhausted. Thought they cannot project their spirits. Earth Immortals Earth Immortals remain on the earth. it can become clear. They can dissolve into energy or solidify into form. Spiritual Immortals Spiritual Immortals are capable of supernatural power and transformations. but they are different from ordinary ghosts in that they are able to communicate spiritually and subsist for a long time. Flowing like a fountain. it would not even fill a child's hand. there are five classes of immortals in Taoist Alchemy: Ghost Immortals Ghost Immortals remain ghosts. hunger or thirst. yet they can avoid the bother of food. drink. to another world that cannot be imagined by the ordinary intellect. Original Tao Instructions by Huai Nan-Tzu The Tao And Its Manifestations TAO is that which encompasses the Universe and gives it dimension. it can also be expanded. Its height cannot be measured nor its depths fathomed. but they are not affected by cold or heat. it can become . they can shed physical shell to attain an ethereal independence. it can become strong. They go beyond our human world. If it could be opened out it would fill the entire Universe. though it is weak. Human Immortals Human Immortals remain human. yet they can avoid the calamities of aging. By ceaselessly flowing.

When people derive benefit from TAO. that processes of change go on without end. giving to one rich and glossy fur. to another abundant plumage. The misplaced rainbow will never appear. without recognizing the power to which they owe existence. await the operation of TAO before they come into being. The Transforming Power of Tao TAO at its most sublime does not regard itself as the author of Creation. it holds together the Universe and Time. and they await the operation of the same principle before they die. nor does the elder brother that of his younger brother. nor as the power which completes. they render it no praise. even though they live in the midst of a myriad diversities. that the sun and moon are bright. the gathering of clouds. Those who do not interfere and leave nothing undone are in harmony with TAO. the fall of rain. The operations of TAO are mysterious. and permeates stone and metal. breathe. both living and not living. The energy of TAO operates in the smallest thing and yet compels the mighty universe. and that water flows without stopping. and supplies the great with inspiration. the light and the dark. without feeling any resentment. and abysses deep. nor destructive comets cross the sky. They resemble the actions of the potter. it causes the growth of all creatures. so when they misuse it . and are established in the center. transforms and fashions all things. It is so tenuous and subtle that it pervades everything like water soaked earth. fly or crawl. Because of TAO fathers do not mourn the untimely death of their children. they walk with the highest spiritual beings and all the Universe is at peace. and so on. It is by TAO that mountains are high. Its power molds the universe and harmonizes the masculine and feminine. In the natural succession of change. without end. nor is the wife a widow. All things are in accordance with their various natures. the young are not left as orphans. The benign and gentle breath of TAO cherishes all things. When the wise obtain the power inherent in TAO. it contains the balance of the light and the dark. All mysteries arise from it. it forms the four seasons and brings the elements of nature into accord. and are resolved by it. for TAO is the beginning and end of all creation. The rising of wind. and the stars revolve in their courses. whose wheel forever goes round and round. Through its powers embryos mature and creatures are born. those who know tranquility and are content. TAO contains the balance of the masculine and the feminine.hard. so too the rolling of thunder. because of the harmonious nature of TAO. Things which walk. that beasts walk and birds fly. devoid of conceit. The Permeation of Tao It is through TAO that the stars and the earth move. those who speak with care understand power. are in possession of harmony. are as they should be. creations are finished and polished. and afterwards dissolve again into their pristine elements. it enriches vegetation with moisture.

it never acts in vain. they revert to their foundation. it cannot be overlooked. yet. as the case may be. When they accumulate and store up riches. moving slowly or quickly as they wish. it will not be low. and so they are enabled to travel through Infinity. The Serenity of Those Who Dwell in Tao Those who come after these ideal people are unable to emulate them. this may not be considered an increase of their true wealth. they are always content. it will not be high. and it will not become shallow. is it to be considered any impoverishment. It rises and falls with the masculine and the feminine. It bends and straightens with the hard and the soft. Wise and balanced people of TAO are always tranquil and without desiring. because of their perfect tranquility. Quiescence in Tao When a mirror and water are brought close to an object. their fullness of spirit remains unchanged and is not unsettled by these wanderings. the mystical path leads them to know the TAO and the people call them gods. they may yet be understood by knowing their actual origin and destiny. Ideal Persons of Tao When the ideal person of TAO walks upon frost or snow they leave no footprints. nor when they distribute or scatter it. below they pass through the Gate of Boundlessness. Subtle and intangible. Penetrating and pervasive. the four seasons give them power. Deduct from it and it will not be reduced. although the transitions of the visible Universe baffle investigation. Shadowy and indistinct. The Sky is their canopy. it has no form. and have no cares. they may not reproach it. Although everything within the four corners of the Universe is under their control. Even though the affairs of the world are not easily administered. Fill it. A . Perfectly free and knowing no restraints. and it will not be found deep. Above they roam through the vastness of space. they advance through the Empyrean. If it is overthrown. TAO exists everywhere. when the sun shines upon them they cast no shadow. Their many spiritual achievements appear magical and mysterious to the common mind. Dig into it. They cause the rain to sprinkle moisture on the roads and the wind to sweep the dust. the Earth is their vehicle. Plane it and it does not become thin. it reinforces all things from the formless. Cut it. no matter how hard they try. There is nothing that does not pass before their vision in their travels. on their return. with the light and with the dark. Indistinct and shadowy its resources have no limit. If it is piled up. and it will not be injured. they may be directed by a comprehension of the course they naturally take. crooked or straight. lightening serves to drive them when lagging and thunder provides a path where there was none. yet it cannot be sought out. Add to it and it does not increase. they reflect it as square or round. In like manner does the heart of a wise person naturally reflect the principles of TAO. They are this way because they have a firm grasp of TAO. Hidden and obscure.and bring disaster upon themselves.

do not bring their weight heavily to bear upon the people at large. although a myriad things present themselves before them. inwardly they never lose their inherent actuality. that implies an excitation of the mind. it apportions the world naturally and for everything. and the depraved stand in awe of them. for they are conscious of both. they are powerless to disturb them. great and small. nor do they injure them. When a person responds to the calls made upon them by natural concerns. and when their faculties are bought into contact with externals. if they are unable to revert to their true self. they become the subject of desires and aversions.wise person does not need to hear sounds or see forms. all prancing and rearing in excitement and utter confusion. when in positions of prominence and authority. since they do not oppose the world. the TAO is almost extinguished in them. long and short. due provision is made. . TAO is always ready to respond to those who seek it. Fine people come to them for protection. their mind is enticed into action by external objects. Those who are perfectly centered in TAO do not permit any change through an external agency to take place in their nature. the world does not dare to content with them. the influences which affect people and excite them subsequently. As soon as a person's desires and aversions are aroused. Though they undergo variations outwardly in common with everything else. even in the midst of silence. Utterly non-existent. may obscure their real nature. If a person is identified with TAO. Such people. The natural quiescence of the nature with which people are born is implanted by the Universal power.

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