divine art of alchemy

Divine Art of Alchemy is Also Science

Divine Art of Alchemy

“Alchemy is an art, and as every art requires an artist to exercise it, likewise this divine science and art can be practiced only by those who are in possession of the divine power necessary for that purpose. It is true that the external manipulations required for the production of certain alchemical preparations may, like an ordinary chemical process, be taught to anybody capable of reasoning; but the results which he would accomplish would be without life, for only he in whom the true life has awakened can awaken it from its sleep in the prima materia, and cause visible forms to grow from the Chaos of nature.

“Alchemy in its highest aspects deals with the spiritual regeneration of man, and teaches how a god may be made out of a human being or, to express it more correctly, how to establish the conditions necessary for the development of divine powers in man, so that a human being may become a god by the power of God, in the same sense as a seed becomes a plant by the aid of the four elements, and the action of the invisible fifth.”~Franz Hartmann

Alchemy as Art

As Hartmann notes, Alchemy is as much art as it is a science, at least insofar as we think of those terms in the physical world. I’m sure that much of what we consider art with regard to spiritual development will one day be science. We simply haven’t yet learned the rules governing its use yet, so we have to use intuition, making it an art.

What does it mean to say that something is an art as much as a science, or even more than it is a science? Let me give you an example from my own life. When I first studied Computer Programming in the 1970s, it was more art than science. Programing languages were becoming standard, but precisely how to write programs with them was not. It was as much wide open as a novelist who can write a book in many different ways, as long as he follows the basic rules of grammar. If two programmers were given an assignment to write a program to do a specific job, each would come up with a very different solution. But by the 1990’s it had become more science than art. Now when two programmers wrote the same program, the more structured rules meant they would be nearly identical.

In the case of Alchemy, I don’t know enough about its history to say if something similar happened, but as Hartmann says, it never got to the point of being pure science. It remains, like most other spiritual disciplines, a mix of art and science. Continue reading “Divine Art of Alchemy is Also Science”

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spirit of art

Spirit of Art for a Harmonious World

“The voice of our age seems by no means favorable to art, at all events to that kind of art to which my inquiry is directed. The course of events has given a direction to the genius of the time that threatens to remove it continually further from the ideal of art. For art has to leave reality, it has to raise itself boldly above necessity and neediness; for art is the daughter of freedom, and it requires its prescriptions and rules to be furnished by the necessity of spirits and not by that of matter. But in our day it is necessity, neediness, that prevails, and lends a degraded humanity under its iron yoke. Utility is the great idol of the time, to which all powers do homage and all subjects are subservient. In this great balance on utility, the spiritual service of art has no weight, and, deprived of all encouragement, it vanishes from the noisy Vanity Fair of our time. The very spirit of philosophical inquiry itself robs the imagination of one promise after another, and the frontiers of art are narrowed in proportion as the limits of science are enlarged. The eyes of the philosopher as well as of the man of the world are anxiously turned to the theater of political events, where it is presumed the great destiny of man is to be played out. … I hope that I shall succeed in convincing you that this matter of art is less foreign to the needs than to the tastes of our age; nay, that, to arrive at a solution even in the political problem, the road of aesthetics must be pursued, because it is through beauty” ~Frederich Schiller

Spirit of Art

Schiller is correct in saying that real art is as much a spiritual thing as it is a physical one. Art that simply reflects the status quo of a materialistic society is not really art at all but simply a form of newspaper. Art needs to be more than a mirror reflecting what is around it. While such art can be useful in making us see things about ourselves that we don’t want to face, it has to be spiritual art, at least a little, when it does that.

Spirit of Art in Architecture

When the ancients designed buildings they often followed spiritual principles. They were built to be in harmony with man and nature. They were designed to stimulate spiritual thoughts and ideals. Awakening the spirit and soul was too much to ask of them, but they were one of many tools that aided that process. The great buildings of ancient Greece and classic Egypt are among the best examples of spiritual art in architecture. Today, however, architects are more concerned with showing off how they can stretch the limits of design and function with modern technology. There is nothing wrong with the technology, but it would be better utilized to make buildings that are harmonious and spiritually stimulating. Continue reading “Spirit of Art for a Harmonious World”

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True art, Artist and inspiration

True Art for Spiritual Inspiration

“The material mind sees as the principle of any art only a means to bring money, and not in such art a means for giving variety to life, dispelling weariness, resting that portion of the mind devoted to other business improving health and increasing vigor f mind and body. It holds to the idea of being ‘too old to learn.’ …
“The spiritual or more enlightened mind says: ‘if you would help to drive away sickness, turn your thoughts on health, strength and vigor, … on woodland scenes and growing healthy trees; on birds full of life and motion; for in so doing you turn on yourself a real current of this healthy life-giving thought. …
“But when the spiritual mind has once commenced to awaken, nothing can stop its further waking, though the material [mind] may try for a time to retard it.” ~Prentice Mulford

True Art

There are many things called art these days. Some of it deserves to be called art, some of it doesn’t. Some of it is social commentary, some of it is just whatever the artist feels like vomiting up at the time. In nearly all cases, its sole reason to exist is to make money for the artist.

Classic art had a greater purpose, a true purpose. It sought to reveal truth. It tried to inspire us. The artist wanted to teach us something important. Or is may simply server to relax us, to reduce stress. A worthy goal in this age, yet little in modern art does that accept some nature photography.

It has become popular in recent years to write novels based on the idea that secret messages are hidden in artworks by some of the great masters. This seems to be especially true of religious and spiritual paintings and sculptures. While these books are fiction, they have a valid point. Not that the painting reveal that Jesus was actually married, or that some of the apostles were women, or anything else of a material nature. What is hidden in some of the works of the great masters is spiritual truths, which the artist himself may not be aware of.

True Artists

Many of the great artists are very spiritual people. Even those who are only a little spiritual or intuitive may be inspired by a spirit muse. These muses send mental images to the artists that inspire entire works, or certain details found in them. Some of them may be simple geometric shapes in certain locations, others may be dealing with color combinations. Still others may use complex symbolic images, as in props seen near the main subject. These hidden images are there to appeal to and awaken the soul, not the mind. They send their message deep into us without our being aware of it. Yet the effect such art has on us is that it may get a few of us to start thinking more about the need to develop our spiritual self, not just the physical. That is where true art becomes useful and valuable.

Spiritual Mind and True Art

It seems like the second paragraph in the quote is about a totally different subject, but it really isn’t. The first part of the quote is about how the physical brain-mind thinks of art, and other things. He second is about how the spiritual mind thinks, but without specifically mentioning art. Yet art is still a part of it. Especially the true art discussed above.

Mulford tells us that the spiritual mind wants us to turn our thoughts to “health, strength and vigor.” He doesn’t get into how that is to be done. By mentioning woodland scenes, sea shores, tress, and so on, he is indirectly answering that question. One of the best things we can do to improve our strength and health is to get into nature more. Visit the seashore, climb mountains, hike through the woods. Those things benefit the body, mind, and spirit all at once. But for many of us, that is rarely, if ever, possible. That is where true art, spiritual art, can help. Continue reading “True Art for Spiritual Inspiration”

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highest state, expanded abilities

Mystics: Artists and Healers of Life

“The mystics are artists; and the stuff in which they work is most often human life. They want to heal the disharmony between the actual and the real: and since, in the white-hot radiance of that faith, hope, and charity which burns in them, they discern such a reconciliation to be possible, they are able to work for it with a singleness of purpose and an invincible optimism denied to other men. This was the instinct which drove St. Francis of Assisi to the practical experience of that poverty which he recognized as the highest wisdom; … St. Teresa to the formation of an ideal religious family; … Florence Nightingale to battle with officials, vermin, dirt, and disease in the soldiers hospitals. …” ~Evelyn Underhill

Mystics as Artists

Mystics are artists in the sense of being creators and agents of change. If they don’t make the changes them selves, they are either helping others to do so, or working with God and the angels to make it happen. They are not artists of chaos. They are not artists who seek to reveal the dark and slimy underbelly of life on the material plane. Instead they are

GeorgiaOKeeffe-Summer-Days-1936

GeorgiaOKeeffe-Summer-Days-1936

seekers of beauty, much like painter Georgia O’Keeffe saw beauty in the desert where she lived.

Mystics as Healers

The mystic life is also the life of a healer. Not that mystics typically spend much time healing illnesses of the physical body, though a few of them do. Most do not because the laws governing the material plane require a payment for such favors, which usually means that the healer will get sick as a result of healing another. Continue reading “Mystics: Artists and Healers of Life”

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