They Made The Philosophers’ Stone
They Made The Philosophers’ Stone
Introduction by Frater Albertus
Para Publishing Co., Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah
Those interested in metaphysical and esoteric literature are most likely familiar with the names of Richard and Isabella Inglese. Their books have encouraged many to delve deeper into what is called "The Mystery of Life". Among their publications still available today are: "History and Power of Mind", "The Greater Mysteries", "Astrology and Health", "The Evolution of God and Man", "Fragments of Truth", and "Occult Philosophy".
Undoubtedly those who have read the books of Richard and Isabella Ingalese suspected that the contents thereof were an outcome of prolonged study, but the direction that study was to take was almost unknown. Had it not been for a public lecture given by Richard Ingalese at the end of the 1920's (he copyrighted this essay in 1928 under his name) we would as yet be relatively unaware of the goals their studies achieved. As will be seen in this article, all their mental efforts were aimed at a substantiation of the law of polarity. It became apparent to them that theory alone without its counterpart in practical manifestation, cannot endure for long. Just as body and mind are a unit animated by spirit, so must theory become animated by praxis. Even if animation were possible, a body without a mind is incomplete and could at best be described as an automation. Yet even here, mind must necessarily control the material manifestation.
The student enters into metaphysics or esotericism by way of theory, which theory must eventually prove itself in practice. Manifestation can only be established by practical application of theory through knowledge. The outcome thereof either proves or disproves the theory. All manifestation is accomplished by the utilization of Will, which is but another term for "being alive."
Life is wherever substance exists and wherever life and substance are, there we find governing mind or consciousness. In other words, consciousness exists in the atom and electron as well as in the galaxies of the universe. Understood in this light, the old hermetic axiom "as above so below, as below so above," takes on a more profound meaning. Since time immemorial men have tried to find the key which would unlock the mystery of all existence-not just concerning mankind, but for all substance and non-substance alike. Therefore subjective and objective have separate meanings. The former dealing with the intangible and the latter with the tangible. An interplay of the two creates phenomena. Since mind cannot be separated from the very substance it governs, one cannot exist without the other.
In the universe there is but one primal substance, no matter how dense, how coarse, or how subtle and seemingly imperceptible. This primordial first substance is known as "Chaos." Substance is found in all forms and manifestations in this state and it is therefore termed "chaotic." Matter is formed out of this state according to the requirements and specific circumstances in the ever evolving spiral of evolution. In this way matter is ever becoming or ever changing and does not remain stationary. This is the meaning of the words "chaotic condition" and is not to be confused with the generally accepted definition of disorderliness. Everything in this chaotic state is according to law and order, but because of its multitudinous expressions, understanding of the true meaning escapes the finite mind of man conveying to him the image of a chaotic condition without law and order. Paradoxically, the reverse is true.
Similarly in the universe there is but one mind or supreme consciousness, known also as the Oversoul or Overself, etc. Each particle of the "Chaos" is imbued with a segment of this overall consciousness, or soul essence; often called, "a spark of the Divine."
There is only one universal life or spirit. All substance is alive-even that which we call dead. A corpse for example, could not undergo putrefaction or what man calls disintegration from one state of being to another were this not the case. The overall consciousness or sum total of a coordinated being, such as man, may have its dominating composite consciousness removed and implanted in different forms of substance, but the inherent consciousness of each cell is still active as a unit. Whenever a unification of individualized particles of substance occurs, a superior state of consciousness takes temporary control. In this manner an adeptship is eventually revealed in a personification evolving through individualized cell expressions. In the animal world these cellular units of expression are known by a variety of names from the lowest amoeba to man.
Body, Spirit and Soul are the three essentials in our universe. All esoteric approaches have as their aim the separation of these into distinct entities. Whoever cannot separate Body, Spirit and Soul, is not prepared to enter into the realm of the alchemist. It is here and here only that the reunification takes place.
To test this theory was the aim of Richard and Isabella Ingalese. Only by so doing could it be substantiated or refuted. For them Alchemy provided the only means of verification.
When one reads of the time consumed to achieve demonstrable proof, it becomes evident that practical application is more difficult than theorizing. First proper reading material had to be found which would shed light on the subject and indicate a method of procedure, beginning with theoretical instruction. Even here complications arose. It was more difficult to find a competent teacher than at first anticipated as even the theoretical teachings conflicted. In fact, most of the teachers believed physical laboratory alchemy to be nonexistent. The subject matter was to be understood in a spiritual sense only. When questioned, the answers inevitably were that alchemy was of a mental nature, never to be understood literally or demonstrated on a practical-physical plane of awareness. The practical plane found few followers, while the mental had most of the adherents.
If practical alchemy lacked only proof, one may logically question why a division was necessary. This is exactly where the trouble began. There were and still are many advocate of mental or spiritual alchemy who after attempts to find " practical laboratory alchemy came to the inevitable conclusion that there was none. Why? They confused alchemy with chemistry! True, the Encyclopedia tells the reader that alchemy was the forerunner of our present day chemistry, and chemists `long ago dispensed with the silly superstitions embedded in alchemy. For it is a fact that anyone taking the alchemistical symbolical terms at face value, is doomed to failure. For example, such terms as Sulphur, Salt and Mercury, are not what their names imply but are only indicative of symbolic expressions.
Here was the reason for their failure! Failure will continue for all who are not guided in factual alchemy by competent teachers. It was this instruction that the Ingalese's lacked. Nowhere is there an indication that either of them had such a teacher. The two volumes of Paracelsus translated by A. E. Waite into English, was their theoretical fountainhead. Paracelsus gave practical advice, but through the printed word only. There was no oral instruction nor the assistance of practical demonstrations. Every step had to be concentrated upon, then carefully tested, with failure as an inevitable result of their first trials. It is not surprising that many years were spent in trial and error before the first meager results appeared.
In 1911, Richard Ingalese then in his fifty-sixth year and his wife in her forty-eighth year were, in his words, "determined to put our conception of the teachings of Paracelus to laboratory tests and commenced our experiments”. It took them nine long years of continuous hard work before their labors finally met with success and they achieved their goal, namely the Philosopher's Stone. In the first six of those years they experienced many failures and heartbreaking disappointments.
Those who have worked in practical alchemy will be somewhat startled if not disappointed by statements Richard Ingalese made in his lecture. First, he differentiated between the metallic alchemy and the medicinal, which later they decided to follow. The question is: "Why did he not test the stone upon the metals to see if it tinged?”. Here would have been sufficient proof of its medicinal virtue and strength. Secondly, he stated the dose which both took twice a week, was the size of an uncooked grain of rice. This would seem an enormously large dose judging from reports of earlier Alchemists.
In answer to the first question, it would be logical to assume that the test was probably made upon metals but very wisely not mentioned in the lecture because of the consequences such a statement would have aroused in public. For this reason the question may have been deliberately avoided and left unanswered. This is only an assumption on my part, and may be taken by the reader for what it is worth.
The second question is not so obscure. The large dose could possibly have been due to an insufficient potency of the stone. Ingalese himself says that in its first state it looked like soft white marble and only after laboring an additional three years did they complete the red stone which he describes by saying, "the product was crude." This would seem to indicate that the stone lacked sufficient maturity to allow a reduction in dosage.
We are not greatly concerned here with the individuals known as Richard and Isabella Ingalese nor to their whereabouts up to the nineteen thirties and thereafter. We are, however, interested in the message they gave and in the alchemical work performed by a married couple. The husband, Richard Ingalese, attorney at law, found it necessary to give a public address on Alchemy outlining their combined results in the laboratory, and then proceeded to publish those findings. Unfortunately, unlike Volpier, who died in 1947 in Germany, and who described in detail the process he had followed, the Ingaleses did not give specific outlines of the procedures involved. Consequently their steps and methods cannot be duplicated and verified. Even here, however, pronounced differences in the procedure are evident and cannot be overlooked. We plan to publish a translation of the original manuscript of Volpier (his nom de plume) in a future issue of the Golden Manuscript Series. Archibald Cockren, who began in practical alchemy at about the same time as the lngaleses, in the somewhat sketchy description in his book "Alchemy Restored and Rediscovered" gives more details than revealed by Ingalese in his lecture.
As for now, we can only concur with the final words of Richard Ingalese in his lecture when he said, "This is our testimony on behalf of Alchemy-which each person may accept, or reject, according to his conviction."
-- Frater Albertus
Wherever there is sunshine, there is shadow. Wherever there is the genuine, there is the imitation; and nowhere, in all history, is it truer than in regard to Alchemy. Particularly was it noticeable during the Middle Ages. Then there was a recrudescence of Alchemy; and because there were a few genuine Occultists that came forward to call the attention of the world to the ancient art, immediately there sprang up hundreds and hundreds of pretenders; and this has continued from the time of Paracelsus to the present. Because of these pretenders I want to talk very plainly tonight about them in order to save your faith and your pocketbooks.
By faith is meant that as soon as he has a taste of psychism, his mind turns to the Occult Sciences and then he is in a current of thought that draws to him both good and bad. I mean, by bad, those people who have studied Occult Sciences, acquired a smattering of knowledge, and, having failed to achieve any degree of success, commence to recoup all the financial outlay they have made from their credulous fellow students.
The destruction of faith is worse than the depletion of the pocketbook; but students are liable to both when they enter the occult current.
If you find that you are being imposed upon, when with all sincerity you are devoting your time, thought, and money to study, the shock is so great that you are too apt to throw the whole thing aside and say, "It is so honeycombed with dishonesty that I don't wish to have anything to do with it." That is the destruction of your faith and is a real calamity, because sometimes several incarnations must pass before you come to the point where you are once more willing to again make the venture. And so I warn you of what you may meet in the occult currents. The Occult Sciences are the hidden sides of the physical sciences. Everything that has a manifestation in the physical world has a corresponding manifestation in the metaphysical world. To illustrate, in the case of Astronomy: If you are studying it from the physical side, you have a number of theories to account for the origin of planets. You know something of their chemical constituency, something of their, movements and other incidental matters of that kind. But the occult side of Astronomy would be to know how the planets came into existence, the cause of their motion, and the purpose of their being.
The Occultist is not satisfied with theories. He wants facts. He is not content with the phenomena of life, he wants the noumena, or cause; and therefore he studies on both sides of all the sciences. When you commence to study causes, instead of effects, you immediately get into the occult current, and sooner or later you meet both wise and unwise people. A great many persons have studied occult books and therefore call themselves Occultists; but they are only book Occultists -- quite different from practical Occultists. The sciences and philosophy are only theories with them, which may be right, or which may be wrong. They seldom attempt to prove either. These teachers of book Occultism are doing good work if they do not pretend to have what they do not possess. If they tell you they have gained knowledge from the inner side of being, and have only a theory to offer you and that theory misdirects you, then your faith is shattered. But, there are people in Occultism, as elsewhere, who teach for money only, and are indifferent to the accuracy of their teaching. But do we not find much said about such teachers in the Gospels, also?
A short time ago I received a letter from one of the most prominent astrologers in America, stating that he was compiling a book of occult formulas. He asked me to subscribe for a copy. I replied, "The price you charge is remarkably low, only twenty-five dollars a copy. If your formulas are the results of the laboratory, and not of the library, you may put me down for a book; but if they are of the library, I don't want it-because probably I have all the books you have used in your compilation and perhaps a few more." He was honest enough to write, "It is the result of my researches in the library." Many persons who did not know the distinction between library and laboratory paid the price for that book, which was useless to them.
When in New York, two years ago, I met some of my old students whom I had not seen for many years. A group of them were studying Alchemy. I was somewhat amazed and, of course, interested. I asked to meet their teacher, be cause, for the first time in the history of the world, laboratory Alchemy was being taught openly. When they tried to find him, he had disappeared, but not until he had collected his fees. He had selected for his pupils those who had studied Occult Philosophy for years and supposedly knew something. First, he taught them what the books said about the theories of Alchemy. Then, two nights before he left-not telling them he was going, he said, "I shall give you the formula for making gold, which is easy to do; the only difficulty is to dispose of the metal after you get it." And they were credulous enough to believe it.
He said, '`I will give you the name of all the elements except one. That is not permitted to be given out, but I will concentrate upon it and you who are intuitive will get that name. Then you can go home and make all the gold you want on your kitchen stove." And they accepted his statement as true.
He charged a large amount of money for his course of lectures; and the only "Alchemy" he knew was the alchemy of human nature. Of course, a person with common sense would say, "If this man knows how to make gold, why is lie going about giving lectures at several hundred dollars a course, when all he had to do was to use his kitchen stove and make all he wanted?"
The person who divulged the secret is a promoter of railroads and accustomed to handle large financial transactions; and yet, he was credulous enough to accept a floating faker's statement when it came to the Occult.
A woman who studied with me for a short time -- a very short time before I ended her studentship, subsequently went to Arabia; and when she returned, sought people in New York City and in Chicago who were interested in Occultism-she is operating in Washington now - and said that while she was in Arabia one of the great Occultists there imparted to her the knowledge of how to make the "Great Elixir." She offered to sell it for a considerable sum, claiming that it would restore youth in a few months; and she made people believe it. Her stay in each city was limited, of course. The more incredible such statements are, the greater number, of people believe them.
A man came to me a short time ago and said he had a way of making jewels. I replied, "A great many chemists can do that." He answered, "I make them alchemically. You can't tell them from nature's gems. I want you to put some money into the manufacture of them." I asked, "What is your process? Just give me an intimation of one of the leading ingredients. Do you use mercury?" "No," he said. "No mercury." I could but reply, "Then you have not the knowledge you claim, for the oil of mercury is the basis of all jewels."
Other people may come to you who are earnest and sincere, but self-deceived. I was in the Calkins Chemical Company a few days ago and was talking with the manager, who said he had just had a funny experience. A man came in and showed him a mass of melted, colored glass, and said, "I want five hundred dollars, and, in the course of a month, will make myself and you wealthy men, for I have found the great art of the Alchemists. I have learned to transmute mercury into gold."
The manager happened to be a hard-headed business man, more interested in business than in the Occult, and replied, "How do you do it?" His visitor answered, "I take a pound of mercury and go out into the sunshine, get a certain angle of the sun's rays, let them pass through this glass and fall upon the mercury, and the action of those rays through this glass causes the mercury to change its vibrations; and immediately it is transmuted, before your eyes, into gold”. The manager asked, "Have you two dollars?". The man replied, "Yes”. "Then you don't need five hundred dollars, for I shall be just as friendly to you as you have been to me. I will sell you a pound of mercury for two dollars. Take it out on the sidewalk and turn it into gold. That will give you half your capital, buy another pound and you will have your five hundred dollars”.
Twice I have been invited into the foothills near Los Angeles to see men who had Alchemical laboratories, so-called, who desired to extend their plants and only wanted a few thousand dollars for that purpose. The first man had quite an elaborate assayer's outfit and he went through the process of assaying for gold. He supposed I knew nothing about his process. After finishing, he took out some gold he previously had put in, and said, "You see how I make it?". I had to say, "I think you are a first-class assayer, but not an Alchemist".
Another man had a laboratory and wanted only ten or fifteen thousand dollars to enlarge his plant. He claimed that by passing a current of electricity through mercury it would be turned into gold. He said he had done it, and yet he was collecting money to make gold.
There are other people self-deceived, just as dangerous as those who try to deceive you. I remember a number of years ago a man came to Chicago and interested some banker in his process of transmuting junk into gold. Some of the precious metal had to be used in the transmuting. As far as I could learn, there was no accretion of gold; but the bankers thought there was, and furnished the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the Alchemical Laboratory. Four days after the work was started, the inventor blew himself and his plant to bits. The man was sincere, but had a wrong theory and knew so little of chemistry, or of Alchemy, that only disaster could occur.
Forty years ago I first read the "Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus". Of all the books I have seen oil the subject -- and I have seen many -- there are no others which contain so much knowledge as those two volumes. Dr. Waite's collection and translation is the best. Soon after I had finished reading the two books, a man came to me and said, "I have been doing some chemical work, and when I cleaned my ovens I found a piece of gold the size of a silver half dollar, I want you and your friends to join me in finding out where that gold came from. Unfortunately, I don't know. I want money enough to live on until I can find how it was made". I asked if he had no way of checking up his process. He answered, "No”. I suggested the possibility that he had put something into his oven that had contained gold and when the experiment was finished the precious metal was left at the bottom. I did not join him, but many of the students of Occultism did, and lost much money.
Good strong characters who have failed in Alchemy do not defame the art. Some of the wisest men in the world studied Alchemy and failed. Robert Boyle, the great chemist, spent much of his time studying Alchemy. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society in England. He was a strong character. Finally, at the end of his life, he said he believed in Alchemy, absolutely, but that he did not have the peculiar type of mind to lead him to success.
Sir Isaac Newton spent the early part of his life trying to become an Alchemist; and when he failed, he concluded that he did not have the talent to gain the knowledge, but believed in it to the end of his life. These men are of real merit, real scientists, men of character. When the average man of little stamina and petty mind fails, he turns against the science and either declares -- "There is nothing in it", or, if dishonest, he goes forth to recoup his losses at the expense of the public.
From the illustrations I have given, you can see readily that the path of the investigator of the Occult Sciences is beset with dangers from both wiseacres and conscious frauds. It behooves one, then, to be on guard constantly when seeking either a teacher or a companion in one's studies. Always look up the antecedents of a would-be associate. Find out what he has studied and achieved. No one reaches success in Alchemy who first did not master other things; for he requires the self-reliance which comes from many conquests before he has the "will to do" -- to persist. If a person poses as a teacher, ask for some evidence of his knowledge before you enroll as his student. If he seeks financial aid to prosecute, or to complete, occult investigations, require some demonstration of his ability in that direction. No honest man could object to such requirements. A bank would not lend money to a man to enlarge his business until he had shown his qualifications to succeed. And above all, remember this, that laboratory Alchemy is never taught. It is a matter of individual conquest. It is true that after a student has shown his persistency and evidenced his character under the trying circumstances that the novice always encounters in Alchemy, and has acquired even a crude success, then some experienced ego in the great art will give, from time to time, the younger student some helpful hints which may aid him in his quest.
It requires a peculiar type of mind to succeed in this master art. I do not mean a superior mind, necessarily, but one that is tenacious, patient, intuitive, and insatiate for knowledge. All Alchemists are Occultists, but all Occultists are not Alchemists, for many students do not care for this study. Many prefer art, literature, music, sculpture, mathematics, mechanics, or some other phase of knowledge, and, in time, become masters of their selected art or science.
We speak of two kinds of Occultists, the practical and the theoretical; so there are two kinds of Alchemists, the laboratory Alchemist and the library Alchemist. The latter claim that all Alchemy is symbolical. This theory originated in 1850 when an English woman published anonymously a book entitled "A Suggestive Inquiry Concerning the Hermetic Mystery and Alchemy, Being an Attempt to Recover the Ancient Experiment of Nature". Soon it was followed in 1865 by another book to the same effect, by a Mr. Hitchcock, in America, entitled "Remarks on Alchemy and the Alchemists".
These persons have many followers in both countries today. But for untold thousands of years all Alchemists, both library and laboratory, asserted that the science was a material one; and history shows that it gave birth to both chemistry and physics. The history of Alchemy also shows that at different periods there were men who acquired great fortunes without any other means of acquisition except Alchemy and who claimed that the wealth came through their knowledge of how to transmute baser metals into gold. This, of course, shows that the hermetic art always has been a physical science in addition to a philosophy. Dr. Waite in his very entertaining book. "Lives of Alchemistical Philosophers", has given brief biographies of many historical Alchemists which confirm this statement.
The medieval Alchemists had to phrase all their hermetic writings in theological terms for self-protection. This, naturally, led many persons, who thought in symbols, to believe that Alchemy was mental, or, as they said, spiritual, rather than material. And such students first study and then teach Alchemy only as a means of evolutionary unfoldment. A symbolic mind can use almost any picture, or symbol, on which to hang any philosophy; and alchemy lends itself readily to symbolic interpretation by reason of its inherent nature. One of the most prominent leaders of the Theosophical Movement in Germany once called on me in Chicago to discuss metaphysics. He demonstrated his conception of Occultism by mathematics, starting with a point, then a line, and after that, the circle. He had read extensively and thought deeply, but took this method of demonstrating his conclusions.
It is such minds that claim all Alchemy is symbolic. These people say they are studying, or teaching, "spiritual" Alchemy. What is spiritual Alchemy? Many persons are inclined to say a man, or woman, is spiritual when he, or she, is very thin. If persons are anemic, they are particularly spiritual; or if they adopt certain diets and reduce their weight, they are spiritual, or like a spirit, or a ghost. Half of the people in the world who use the word spirit, or spiritual, have no conception of the idea behind it. It does not belong to any particular cult, or church, or to obeying the "thou shalts" and the "thou shalt nots". Nor is it subscribing to some particular creed, or adopting some theological dogma; nor is it reading certain books or participating in certain ceremonials. Spirit is the Universal Mother God, and spiritual is that which has the attributes of Spirit. What are the attributes of Spirit? Three, and three only --- Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence. An individual could not be omnipresent, because only Deity, Itself, is that; but a person may be spiritual just in proportion as he manifests in his life something of omniscience and omnipotence-something of knowledge and of power. So when they speak of spiritual Alchemy there is the intimation that it gives knowledge and power. In this sense they are correct. But as generally used, that term is intended to convey the idea that Alchemy is never material, but only philosophical.
The Hermetic Philosophy, or Alchemy, started one hundred and twenty-five thousand years ago in Lemuria when the Lesser Gods revealed the knowledge to the most advanced men of that race. It did not commence in Egypt, as so many persons believe. Before Lemuria sank beneath the waters of the Pacific, it was carried by the cream of the Lemurians into India where it has been practiced, by the few, ever since. But it was revealed to the elect of the Atlanteans, also, who carried the art with them into Northern Africa just before Atlantis was submerged, and the Egyptians were the heirs of this knowledge. As India became decadent, the best of the race traveled westward and met the custodians of Atlantean knowledge, where the knowledge of the two races was combined.
When intellectual darkness settled on all the nations, Arabia was the custodian of the sacred fire that kept some knowledge and wisdom in the world. It is to Arabia, then, that almost all Alchemists gratefully must look. This should not be taken to mean that there were no Alchemists outside that country during the Dark Ages, for there have been solitary ones here and there. The word Alchemy is from the Arabic, "Al" meaning the, and "kimia" meaning infusion, or elixir; for the primary purpose of most Alchemists is not to transmute baser metals into gold, but to find the Elixir of Life. In other periods of history, other names were given to the art; but the inspiration of the great adventure has always been to control sickness and death, and all who have gained, their goal have been rewarded, more or less, by this power.
Metaphysical, or philosophical, Alchemy, under whatever name it may be designated, contains certain cardinal principles, the first of which is the unity of the universe, which is one in essence. It is atomic, primarily, having two aspects, the consciousness and the material sides, the latter being the vehicle for the former. Out of this essence came, force and substance, mind and matter, in all their multitudinous manifestations. This primal essence is represented in the books as mercury; for the Alchemist learned ages and ages ago, by chemical experiments, that mercury is the mother of all things and that even life itself is but subconscious mercurial gas in motion.
The second principle of the philosophy is that there is but one purpose in the universe-to evolve minds out of consciousness, through many forms, and to develop the minds thus made into higher and still higher grades. At times this was taught openly, as evolution through reincarnation, and at other periods this truth was veiled.
The third great principle of Alchemy was, and is, that this is a universe of cause and effect. If these cardinal principles are accepted, then every claim of the Alchemist must be admitted to be at least logical. Some leading modern scientists have been driven, inch by inch, to accept enough of these basic propositions to no longer scoff at Alchemy, but to appreciate the pioneers in that field who laid the foundations for much of our present knowledge.
Empedocles, the Greek philosopher and alchemist, discovered, or rediscovered, the four elements and named them. Zosimus, the Theban Alchemist, invented sulphuric acid; and I might go down the entire list, if we had the time. But it is enough to say that Geber, the Arabian Alchemist, in the eighth century, wrote a book entitled "Summit of Perfection," in which he disclosed the chemical knowledge of the Alchemists of his time. In that book is shown that those men calcinated, boiled, dissolved, precipitated, sublimated, and coagulated chemical substances. They worked then, as chemists do now, with gold, mercury, arsenic, sulphur, salts, and acids. Those Alchemists maintained then, as the ancients did and the modern ones do, that all metals are compound bodies having their origin in sulphur, salt, and mercury, in differing proportions. This book became the textbook in Arabia, and later, in the colleges in Spain dominated by the Arabian thought and culture. This book, still later, became the textbook on chemistry for Europe and the world. Alchemy in its esoteric form, then and later, was conveyed to students only under signs, symbols, and half-truths, leaving to the patient, intuitive mind the interpretation of the symbols and the piecing together of the half-truths into a complete science.
Most of the modern scientists, by reason of their childish conceit, are still unwilling to admit that the ancients actually accomplished their undertakings; but feel that the moderns will reach the ideals of the ancient Alchemists. The Occultist must continue to smile at such vanity, knowing, as he does, that time will justify, not only the philosophy of Occultism, but of all the Occult Sciences. This is not intended as a sneer at the accomplishments of the modern scientists, but as a caution to the intelligent student not to take too seriously the claims of the present-day scientists that they have all wisdom and success.
Nothing of basic importance has been discovered this century which does not confirm the fundamental teachings of Occultism. Take, for illustration, the theory of the electrical nature of matter and the method of its grouping. It well deserved the Nobel Prize, for it was a physical demonstration of the old Alchemistical doctrine, "As in the Macrocosm, so in the Microcosm."
Sir Ernest Rutherford bombarded nitrogen gas with alpha rays of radium and produced helium. This is transmutation of matter-done differently by the ancient Alchemists, buts nevertheless, done. So, too, Dr. Adolph Meithe, followed by Dr. Kurlbaum, passed electricity through mercurial vapor and changed a part of it into gold. Professor Nagaoka, of Japan, did the same thing. In the same year, Arthur Smits and A. Karsen, of Amsterdam, decomposed lead and turned part of it into gold. Is this not modern Alchemy? Why should any modern man, scientist or skeptic, presume to say the ancient Alchemists did not have the knowledge they claimed? Is there but one way-the electrical-to transmute metals? Paracelsus, in his books on Alchemy, shows seven different ways to produce the result for gold alone.
Remember what knowledge the ancient Alchemists admittedly contributed to the world; and then think how they accomplished their results with crude appliances and primitive chemical aids; and give them their share of credit, esteeming them, not as pretenders, but as men of honor and of science who were able to formulate from experiments the propositions which modern science confirms.
To be a successful student of laboratory Alchemy, one first must acquire the philosophy of the subject, and then live that philosophy until it transmutes one's nature and makes it conform to the ideals of the Occultist. This is not a very easy thing to do, for such ideals are higher than those of other cults and creeds, by reason of the very nature of the subject and, the power it confers when success crowns effort.
The Philosopher's Stone is the objective of most students; and when acquired and intelligently used, it confers physical immortality at will. This astounding statement is confirmed by my observation; for incredible as it may appear, I know of one Alchemist more than six hundred years old, and one whose age is more than four hundred, and another whose age is more than two hundred years; and all of these look and function as do men in the prime of life at about forty years. It can be seen from this that if a man's character is not good, if he is destructive in thought and evil in intent, he could, in time, through similar natures, organize a hierarchy of evil which, opposing the good, could delay evolution and limit its constructive harvest. And so, men of doubtful character are not permitted by Divine Law to achieve success in the higher realms of Alchemy.
If I had to define Alchemy, I would call it an exposition of nature's evolutionary processes. For illustration, let us use mercury once more, because you hear more about that than anything else in Alchemy-unless it is the making of gold. If you understand one globule of mercury, its nature, the forces that bind it together, and the chemical essences within it, it will unlock the entire Universe to you. Mercury is the key of the Universe, and that is the reason it is so dominant in all books on Alchemy. The man who breaks down a globule of mercury, to its ultimate, understands how the world is created. And when he makes the Philosopher's Stone, he becomes a real creator, for he has made a little world; and the process is identical in creating a Macrocosm or Universe.
This element is not called mercury always. It had different names in. different languages. In the time of the Arabians it was frequently called arsenic, which is not the arsenic of medicine, but another name applied to mercury.
Alchemy is the mother of all sciences because in it is contained the story of the creation of the world, the story of the matter, the story of mind. Were I going to picture it, I would call laboratory Alchemy the illustration of the philosophy of Alchemy. In other words, it is applied Metaphysics.
There are two branches of laboratory Alchemy, the metallurgic and the medical. The metallurgic pertains, of course, to metals. Primarily, it is the extracting of metals from ores, then extracting the essences from the metals and, finally, extracting oils from the essences. Those are the three steps of analytic, metallurgic Alchemy. After one has succeeded in reducing and finding out the ultimate nature of a metal, then one can reassemble it. So that part of the science is both analytical and synthetical. But instead of recreating the same thing, one may break down the metal and find a number of different elements and may reassemble some of them to make something else. Alchemists have had that knowledge for many cycles, and modern science is just beginning to acquire and apply it.
To illustrate: Modern scientists can make gold, although the United States Bulletin on the subject, shows that it costs more to make that metal than it is worth. For a long time chemists thought that gold was an element, but now they have accepted the alchemical statement that gold is a compound. So, instead of doing as the modern physicist does, putting mercury into a tube and passing an enormous amount of electricity through it to get a trace of gold, the Alchemist breaks down base metals and combines their essences to make the precious metals in commercial quantities. Modern science expects to do the same, and many of the brightest minds in all nations are devoting their lives to experiments along this line.
Professor Edwin Walter Kemmerer, of Princeton, Poland's financial savior, warns that it is time to face the probability of currency chaos caused by the discovery of synthetic gold. A few years ago, just after the Great War, newspapers throughout the world were announcing various discoveries of methods to manufacture the precious metal; and many nations feared that the Alchemists of Germany would succeed in making gold in such large quantities that they could pay their war debts with the manufactured, but depreciated metal.
The chemists of England gave a new turn recently to transmutation when they asserted that they were trying to change gold into tin and into copper, because the world's supply of gold seemed unlimited, while that of tin and of copper would be exhausted within one hundred years. This viewpoint is characteristic of England, because tin is an English product. But that nation does not take into consideration that the Andes Mountains of South America may supply all English deficiency in tin and copper and all other metals so necessary to the needs of future generations. Or, if our English chemists would concede for a moment that the Alchemists might have some knowledge, they would find in Paracelsus' books a process for transmuting iron into copper.
But nature has her own way of keeping her secrets which she reveals to those only who serve her in her own way; and so the modern Alchemists can afford to smile at the efforts of the modern scientists to transmute metals commercially, knowing that throughout the ages other bright minds have made similar efforts and failed. In fact, many of the present day chemists and physicists are in the same egos who in other lives made unsuccessful efforts in the same direction. And they will not succeed until they conquer their egotism and imitate nature as the Alchemists do.
It is not only in regard to precious metals that Alchemists flatter nature by imitation; they break down metals, extract their oils, and reassemble their atoms as semi-precious stones and as jewels and gems. There was not a crowned head in Europe which did not wear jewels made by Count St. Germain, for he was liberal with his presents to royalty, with whom he was a great favorite. The best that modern chemists have been able to do is to make small synthetic jewels. Every one knows of the synthetic rubies and emeralds of the present day. Some are very well done and only experts can detect the false from the true. The modern chemist is less fortunate in making diamonds, producing only very small ones. The handsomest jewels in India today were never taken out of the ground; they are the products of ancient and modern Alchemists.
On this part of Alchemy, the things I have said I know, not from my own knowledge, but from hearsay -- from other Alchemists and from Occult books and records. Mrs. Ingalese and I, so far, have only taken up the second branch of laboratory Alchemy -- medical Alchemy.
In this connection, I have a word of explanation to offer in behalf of the nature of this lecture. For forty years Mrs. Ingalese and I have shared with the world some of our experiences and knowledge through our lectures and books. We have tried always to keep our personalities in the background, as our works show. But, the very nature of this lecture and its purpose require that for once I must break this lifetime rule, for otherwise this lecture would be useless. My purpose in giving it is to add the testimony of Mrs. Ingalese and myself to the truth of the claims of the Alchemist as far as our own experiences have gone. Those learned men have been grossly maligned during the Nineteenth Century and until the third decade of the present one. The only concession made now by the wise (? ) men of the present time is that "the theories of the Alchemists were probably correct, but they never realized their dreams." And this statement is reiterated in books, lectures, and classrooms, without the least evidence to support its later portion. On the contrary, tradition and circumstantial evidence all confirm the claims of the ancients.
Our experience and our testimony are as follows: For years we thirsted for the knowledge of how to cure disease and to prolong life. We knew that a strong mind in a strong body is essential to this purpose, and therefore we studied the theories of every prominent school of medicine, and many of those not prominent. None of these held out fulfillments of our hopes. The nearest approach to our ideal was the Occult School of Medicine. For seven years we studied in this School, that being the time required to complete the course; and we were well rewarded for our efforts, though we were not taught how to prolong life indefinitely, or how to renew youth. But we were taught how to cure disease with herbal remedies and with the mind and Cosmic Forces. To save answering innumerable questions concerning this School, let me say that Occult Medicine, like all the other Occult Sciences, is not taught in a school building situated in any particular place, but by graduates of the system who received their knowledge from an individual teacher and who transmit, in the manner in which they received them, the teaching "from mouth to ear."
No one is accepted as a pupil in this School who has not studied Occult Philosophy for at least a period of seven years, and who has not, in a great measure, lived what lie has learned. The teacher, alone, is the judge of the qualifications of a pupil, and comes to him when, from an evolutionary viewpoint, he is ready to be taught-the life and the mental desire of the pupil attract the teacher.
Our study of Occultism and of Occult Medicine naturally brought us in contact with the literature of Alchemy. It was the one system that seemed to offer our hearts desire. Our other work and our situation in life were such that we could not essay the Hermetic Art at that time. And so we commenced to collect manuscripts and books on the subject and to save our money for the great adventure. This was continued for more 'than a decade. We learned all we could about the art, through literature and inquiry; but during those years, we deferred the attempt to try out the theories practically. But we made up our minds which branch of the subject we finally would essay.
We ascertained from the books that it was first requisite to study metallurgic Alchemy in order to know how to reduce metals for their oils. To illustrate: A globule of mercury is fluidic. The first thing a metallurgist does is to remove its metallic covering so as to "fix" its contents. Then the "fixed" portion is reduced to powder, which, in turn, is again reduced to an essence, and from that is extracted an oil. This oil is then crystallized, after which it is ready for Alchemical experiments. All this is much easier described than done, but it was necessary for us to have a definite idea of what we desired to do to accomplish our purpose, and the works of Paracelsus gave us this information. Some one has said, "You can destroy all other books on Alchemy, for their knowledge and more is contained in the Alchemical writings of Paracelsus."
In 1911 we determined to put our conception of the teachings of Paracelsus to laboratory tests and commenced our experiments. Our quest was the Philosopher's Stone, and not the transmutation of metals. We had to learn, however, the analytical side of metallurgic Alchemy, but went no further in that direction. We never have made gold, nor gems. That is a branch which is exceedingly interesting; and when we have the leisure, we shall pursue that part of the art. But we have seen and talked with those who claimed success in that branch, and, knowing their characters as we do, we have no reason to question their statements; besides which, modern science confirms the possibility, and our studies show the probability. But we are not convinced that the process is profitable. It is a question which looms large whether the time, money, and incessant labor devoted to this branch of the work would not produce larger monetary returns in some other field of endeavor. We are rather inclined to believe they would. But for the sake of knowledge, we will some day master that branch of the arts.
After we established our laboratory and commenced our experiments, it did not take us long to find that we had enlisted, not only in a difficult study, but in a very expensive one; and that our income would be overtaxed to meet the requirements. It was therefore agreed that I should return to the practice of law to supplement our resources and that Mrs. Ingalese should pursue the experiments. There have been women Alchemists in the past who have assisted their respective husbands in the work, but I believe Mrs. Ingalese was the first women to take the initiative in the art; and to her goes all the credit of the pioneer for the four long years of solitary effort and for the final discovery of how to make the stone. My part was to produce the means to carry on the work, to consult with my wife and to encourage her in the hours of disappointment and despair; and, later, first to assist in the work, and then to relieve her of the toil of bringing her results to perfection.
The essential theory of the Alchemists is that all metals have oils and these oils are the spirits, or virtues, of the metals. That was the first principle which confronted us, and, necessarily, it was true or false. The examination of the textbooks on chemistry failed to disclose information on this subject: Interviews with prominent chemists brought denial of this theory; but I could not reconcile their denial with the fact that petroleum products seemed to indicate otherwise. I was told that such products were the results of animals or vegetable deposits; but learned by later investigation that this theory of science was incorrect, as is the theory that coal and its oils are derived from the vegetable world, but we were confronted with the fact that either chemistry, or Alchemy, was mistaken, and we had to determine the truth for ourselves.
As oil of gold was one of the four elements of the Philosopher's Stone-according to the books-we naturally commenced to reduce gold. But gold at two hundred and forty dollars a pound is an expensive thing to experiment with; and, after a while it dawned on us that the principle would be the same if we used copper at fifteen cents a pound. So the experiments were transferred to the cheaper metal.
Three long, weary, heart-breaking years were devoted to the pursuit for the red oil of copper, with never a ray of light to bless the labor or to encourage hope. Nothing but dogged determination held us to our purpose. One night, a telephone message from my wife to come home at once as she had "it" which to us, of course, meant the oil. All speed limits were broken reaching home, and Mrs. Ingalese exhibited to me a brown substance that was hardening fast. She pronounced it the red oil of copper.
At the commencement of our endeavors, we had agreed that we would try never to deceive ourselves and would not hesitate to say what we honestly thought, because the easiest thing in the world is to believe what one wants to believe. Hard as it was, I had to say "That liquid is neither red, nor is it an oil, but it is greasy". She replied, "When I phoned you, it was a red oil; but it has hardened and oxidized".
So there was nothing to do but to try again; and after another experiment she produced the oil of copper. When we had that, we no longer cared what chemistry taught, nor what chemists believed. The laboratory had told us that the Alchemists were right.
I closed my office then, resigned from all my clubs, stopped lecturing and writing and all social duties and pleasures, and devoted my time to work in the laboratory with my wife. We thought that victory was close at hand, but found that it was still some years away. The fifth year gave us the oil of sulphur; but not until we had many fires and explosions and two asphyxiations. The sixth year produced the oil of mercury, the basis of all Alchemy. By this time we had sold all our securities and had two mortgages on our home, but had determined to continue with the work until we met with success, if it took this life and all subsequent ones. But we had all the oils required to make the Stone, and, thus encouraged, we tried to crystallize and fuse them.
In 1917 we succeeded in making the White Stone of the Philosophers. It looked like soft, white marble, and its effect upon the body was startling. We dared not try it on ourselves at first. But there was a third member of our family, a beautiful Angora cat of which we were very fond. We took a vote to see which of the three should test out that Stone, and the cat, neglecting to vote, was elected. It survived the first dose, and we repeated it on the two following days, with the cat becoming more frisky than usual. After that we tried it ourselves, each. taking a dose at the same moment so we would excarnate together if it should prove fatal. But it proved beneficial and energized our bodies.
Shortly after that event, the wife of a prominent local physician died; and the doctor, knowing of our experiments and that the books claimed that such a Stone, if used within a reasonable time, would raise the dead, asked us to experiment on the body of his wife. Half an hour had elapsed since her death and her body was growing cold. A dose of the dissolved White Stone was put into the mouth of the corpse without perceptible result. Fifteen minutes afterward a second dose was administered and the heart commenced to pulsate weakly. Fifteen minutes later a third dose was given and soon the woman opened her eyes. In the course of a few weeks, the patient became convalescent, after which she lived seven years.
Encouraged by this success, we redoubled our efforts to make the Red Stone of the Philosophers, which is the one most mentioned in Alchemical writings. This effort was continuous from 1917 to 1920, when our quest was rewarded. True, the product was crude, but it answered to every test of a newly-made Stone; but it was so crude we were unable to retain the first dose and had to refine it by months of labor before it became suitable even for a weak medicine.
Afterwards, we commenced to take the Red Stone regularly twice a week. The dose, in size, was about as large as an uncooked grain of rice; in Troy weight, less than half a grain. The dose was very small, yet almost from the first, the results were wonderful, and, during a series of years, quite miraculous.
As I have remarked before, nothing is quite so easy as self-deception and to preclude this possibility, we had a number of friends, including two physicians, to check the effect of the Stone upon our bodies. For many months, the symptoms were all subjective, such as renewed strength and greater endurance. Then the effects were quite patent to an observer; as, increased circulation of the blood, stronger heart, better color, greater number of red corpuscles, and other physical manifestations.
There were several elderly people whom we were under obligations to help in case our search proved successful, and we offered to share the results of our efforts with them; but, being wisely cautious, they preferred to wait until we had tried out the Stone for a year. After that, -our renewal club was formed and we all took the magic medicine. We called our group "The Renewal Club" because the books promised that the Red Stone, if persistently used for years, would renew and restore the physical body to the perfection of manhood, or womanhood. Seven years have passed, and all the members of the group -- except one -- are manifesting this truth in their bodies. The one member excepted was more than eighty years of age when she commenced the treatment. Her body was diseased; she did not follow the directions; and she finally died from the action of drugs, given to her by her dentist, which produced coma-kidney disease being one of her complications.
At first the action of the medicine upon our group was very slow because the Stone was weak; but as time passed, its power increased with each elevation, until in January 1926, it was perfected for medical purposes. Mrs. Ingalese and I have not done as well as some of the other members of the group because of the condition we were in when we commenced the treatment. From 1911 to 1920, though having the knowledge and the means to keep our bodies healthful we did not use mind or any medicine in that behalf because, otherwise, we could not have known what effect the Alchemical products would have on us.
From a physiological viewpoint, those were important years in our lives, since our bodies had reached an age when strict attention and care were necessary to prevent quick deterioration. But, even under those conditions, our bodies now attest the power of the Stone, as all who have known us for the last two decades can testify.
The books, or manuscripts, claim that the Red Stone of the Philosophers will cure any illness, and that after one has taken it for five years one cannot contract any disease.
We desired to test the truth of that statement and tried the Stone on many "incurables." The number of cases cured was remarkable, but we found it not infallible. Aside from personal benefit, the one reason we entered upon the great quest was to know the truth about medical Alchemy, which I would summarize as follows:
The Alchemists who wrote on the subject usually did so within a period of a few years after obtaining the Stone. The marvelous work done by it, for themselves and others, stimulated their enthusiasm and warped their judgment. A careful observation over a greater number of years and a larger number of cases would have made them more accurate. These good men had no intention to deceive, but they spoke, or wrote, too soon.
Mrs. Ingalese and I both know that if the Stone is administered to a young, or a matured, person in normal health, it will prevent old age; that if given to a healthy but aged person, it stops further physical deterioration and starts him backward toward youth. From testimony of creditable witnesses and corroborative evidence, we believe that such cases reach perfected manhood and remain there at the will of the possessor of the Stone. So, physical immortality and perpetual youth are realities, and not dreams.
We know that the Stone restores virility in men at any age, and normal desire in both sexes. If a woman has recently passed her change of life, it restores all normal functions of the sex organs. But, if she has long passed that period, then, childbearing is out of the question.
The Stone is an aid in acute diseases, but cannot be relied upon alone to cure since its action is too slow. In chronic cases, where there are no complications and fair vitality, its action is certain in any disease; where there are complications and low vitality, other aids are advisable. Of course I am assuming in the foregoing statements that the person using the Stone also exercises common sense in regard to eating, drinking, sleep and work. If one disregards all laws of hygiene and misuses mind and body, then one must take the consequences of one's thoughts and acts; for there is no vicarious atonement either in medicine or in morals. If a person desires longevity and youth, he must obey the rules in the Chapter on Immortality in "The Greater Mysteries."
It was the implicit faith in the power of the Stone to cure all disease, under every circumstance, that caused their more conservative and wiser brothers to use all aids to restore health, and then utilize the Stone to perpetuate life, health, and youth, for centuries.
I have been asked often if it were not the mind, or faith, of the patient which produced the marvelous results in the cases we have observed. I answer, "NO," because some of them did not know what they were taking, and others did not believe in its power but took it as a "forlorn hope."
This is our testimony in behalf of Alchemy and the Alchemists, which each person may accept, or reject, according to his conviction, until such time as our bodies, now sixty-five and seventy-three years of age, respectively, by their youth and vigor, will compel acceptance of our statements.