Introduction to Alchemy Unveiled by Johannes Helmond
Just a few decades ago, alchemy was belittled as a medieval superstition. Since then, however, scientists have been successful, by means of atomic fission, in producing a transformation of the elements. Now, at last, the possibility of alchemy has to be admitted in principle. In recent times, psychologists have begun to embrace alchemy and have reached a certain level of under- Standing whereby they have come to the conclusion that alchemy was less a process of physical transmutation than a process of inner psychic transformation of the human being. On account of this conclusion, alchemy is now being looked upon in a different light.
It should, however, be pointed out that modern psychology, especially as represented by C.G. Jung, has not grasped the central problem of alchemy. C.G. Jung conceives the process of alchemy as solely and totally psychological, and looks upon it as just a kind of individuation process, an integration of the contents of the unconscious. However, alchemy is considerably more than that C.G. Jung and his fellow psychologists overlook the eminently realistic character of alchemy, which is interdependent with the “Inner Body,” the corpus subtile of the human being. Jung considers this to be the purely psychological collective unconscious, even though, upon closer examination, the substantiality of this corpus sideribus, as it was named by Paracelsus, cannot be doubted.
Concerning the question of alchemy, we are not dealing with a mere psychoanalytical process, nor are we dealing with a simple cooking of gold, which alchemy is deemed by many to be. The lead which the alchemists are changing into gold is not the Pb of the common chemists, but, instead, the dark Saturnus of the Hermetic philosophers. Again, this is not the external “celestial or heavenly body” but its inner astral principle, which is present everywhere in the materia.
When dealing with alchemy, we are not dealing with the processes of the great outer world, but instead with very secret microcosmic processes which have formed, since time immemorial, the central subject of the Mysteries. Therefore it can be said, and rightfully so, that the Hermetic sciences are the oldest sciences mankind has. It is probable that these sciences originated from a tradition which even the ancient Egyptians held in awe, and which they depicted as “secrets of primeval times.”
The Greeks and Israelites received these mysteries from the Egyptians, and they were well-kept by them, especially by the School of the Prophets, which became extinct during the Babylonian Captivity. Later on, this ancient Hermetic tradition was taken up again by original Christianity, and it was continued by the first disciples and apostles as disciplina arcani. The Hermetic science came to the Neo-Platonist and to the Arabian philosophers from the original Christian Nazarenes and, through them, reached Europe in the Middle Ages.
As a result of this, several Hermetic centers were founded in Europe. That is how, in 1429, the Order of the Golden Fleece came into being. Out of this emerged the Rosicrucians, who did not initially appear publicly, but remained very private.
It was not until after the Thirty Years’ War that the Rosicrucians established a closer link with the rest of the world, especially in the form of the purely Hermetic Gold – and Rosicrucianism of 1710. This tradition is being consciously continued in the present only by our order.
In our present times, there are writings carrying the name of alchemy which are provided by certain sources and presented in very appealing covers. These writings have caused, in many in- stances, a considerable misuse, as they contain the most absurd theories. Our illuminated order is seeking to redirect these false doctrines through the publication of this treatise. It is not the intention of our order to disclose all the secrets of alchemy and to throw them under the feet of the great crowds of curiosity seekers, speculators and skeptics. Instead, this treatise is meant to show the few sincere seekers of the hidden wisdom the right direction wherein one must search for the great elixir. These seekers will then have a measure, a standard, in their possession to assist them in differentiating between the writings of the true Hermetic adepts and the elaborations of the dreamers and charlatans.
Whosoever of the sincere seekers and students of the Hermetic sciences is called upon will, without a doubt, sooner or later be in touch with our illuminated order and will receive further information and guidance which is not contained in these writings before you.
The table of contents below is from Alchemy Unveiled by Johannes Helmond.
- The Symbolic Language of Alchemy
- The Subjectum Artis
- The Primaterialistic Subject
- The Sulphur of the Philosophers (Sages)
- The Mercury of the Philosophers
- The Four Fires of the Alchemists
- The Receptacle of the Philosophers
- The Erring Ways of the Pseudo-Alchemists
- The Process of Magnum Opus
I. The Work of Dissolution
- The Preparation of the Azoth
II. The Main Task or the Main Work
- The Task of Cleansing
- The Preparation of the White Lapis
- The Preparation of the Red Lapis
- The Conjunction or the Unification
- The Last Cooking
- Remarks Regarding the After- Work
- The Necessity of Rebirth
- The Three Worlds
- The Rebirth as the Mysterium of Initiation
- The Osiris Mysterium
- The Mysteries of Eleusis
- The Great Mysteries of Eleusis
- The Mysteries of Israel
- The Christ-Mysterium as the History of Initiation
- The Two Paths
- The Mystery of Alchemy