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from Magicians, Seers and Mystics by Maurice Magre

The Book of Abraham the Jew

Wisdom has various means for making its way into the heart of man. Sometimes a prophet comes forward and speaks. Or a sect of mystics receives the teaching of a philosophy, like rain on a summer evening, gathers it in and spreads it abroad with love. Or it may happen that a charlatan, performing tricks to astonish men, may produce, perhaps without knowing it himself, a ray of real light with his dice and magic mirrors. In the fourteenth century, the pure truth of the masters was transmitted by a book. This book fell into the hands of precisely the man who was destined to receive it; and he, with the help of the text and the hieroglyphic diagrams that taught the transmutation of metals into gold, accomplished the transmutation of his soul, which is a far rarer and more wonderful operation.

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, that of Nicolas Flamel, the man who received the book. 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. But their despair was unnecessary. The secret had become alive. The magic formula had become incarnate in the actions of a man. No ingot of virgin gold melted in the crucibles could, in color or purity, attain the beauty of the wise bookseller’s pious life.

There is nothing legendary about the life of Nicolas Flamel. The Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris contains works copied in his own hand and original works written by him. All the official documents relating to his life have been found: his marriage contract, his deeds of gift, his will. His history rests solidly on those substantial material proofs for which men clamor if they are to believe in obvious things. To this indisputably authentic history, legend has added a few flowers. But in every spot where the flowers of legend grow, underneath there is the solid earth of truth.

Whether Nicolas Flamel was born at Pontoise or somewhere else, a question that historians have argued and investigated with extreme attention, seems to me to be entirely without importance. It is enough to know that towards the middle of the fourteenth century, 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. It was not a big stall, for it measured only two feet by two and a half. However, it grew. He bought a house in the old rue de Marivaux and used the ground floor for his business. Copyists and illuminators did their work there. He himself gave a few writing lessons and taught nobles who could only sign their names with a cross. One of the copyists or illuminators acted also as a servant to him.

Nicolas Flamel married Pernelle, a good-looking, intelligent widow, slightly older than himself and the possessor of a little property. Every man meets once in his life the woman with whom he could live in peace and harmony. For Nicolas Flamel, Pernelle was that woman. Over and above her natural qualities, she had another which is still rarer. She was a woman who was capable of keeping a secret all her life without revealing it to anybody in confidence. But the story of Nicolas Flamel is the story of a book for the most part. The secret made its appearance with the book, and neither the death of its possessors nor the lapse of centuries led to the complete discovery of the secret.

Nicolas Flamel had acquired some knowledge of the Hermetic art. The ancient alchemy of the Egyptians and the Greeks that flourished among the Arabs had, thanks to them, penetrated to Christian countries. Nicolas Flamel did not, of course, regard alchemy as a mere vulgar search for the means of making gold. For every exalted mind the finding of the Philosopher’s Stone was the finding of the essential secret of Nature, the secret of her unity and her laws, the possession of perfect wisdom. Flamel dreamed of sharing in this wisdom. His ideal was the highest that man could attain. And he knew that it could be realized through a book, for the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone had already been found and transcribed in symbolic form. Somewhere it existed. It was in the hands of unknown sages who lived somewhere unknown. But how difficult it was for a small Paris bookseller to get into touch with those sages.

Nothing, really, has changed since the fourteenth century. In our day also many men strive desperately towards an ideal, the path which they know but cannot climb; 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. But for most, the visitor does not come and the book is not written. Yet for Nicolas Flamel the book was written. Perhaps because a bookseller is better situated than other people to receive a unique book; perhaps because the strength of his desire organized events without his knowledge, so that the book came when it was time. So strong was his desire, that the coming of the book was preceded by a dream, which shows that this wise and well-balanced bookseller had a tendency to mysticism.

Nicolas Flamel dreamed one night that an angel stood before him. The angel, who was radiant and winged like all angels, held a book in his hands and uttered these words, which were to remain in the memory of the hearer: “Look well at this book, Nicholas. At first you will understand nothing in it ¾ neither you nor any other man. But one day you will see in it that which no other man will be able to see.” Flamel stretched out his hand to receive the present from the angel, and the whole scene disappeared in the golden light of dreams. Sometime after that the dream was partly realized.

One day, when Nicolas Flamel was alone in his shop, an unknown man in need of money appeared with a manuscript to sell. Flamel was no doubt tempted to receive him with disdainful arrogance, as do the booksellers of our day when some poor student offers to sell them part of his library. But the moment he saw the book he recognized it as the book that the angel had held out to him, and he paid two florins for it without bargaining. The book appeared to him indeed resplendent and instinct with divine virtue. It had a very old binding of worked copper, on which were engraved curious diagrams and certain characters, some of which were Greek and others in a language he could not decipher. The leaves of the book were not made of parchment, like those he was accustomed to copy and bind. They were made of the bark of young trees and were covered with very clear writing done with an iron point. These leaves were divided into groups of seven and consisted of three parts separated by a page without writing, but containing a diagram that was quite unintelligible to Flamel. On the first page were written words to the effect that the author of the manuscript was Abraham the Jew ¾ prince, priest, Levite, astrologer, and philosopher. Then followed great curses and threats against anyone who set eyes on it unless he was either a priest or a scribe. The mysterious word maranatha, which was many times repeated on every page, intensified the awe-inspiring character of the text and diagrams. But most impressive of all was the patined gold of the edges of the book, and the atmosphere of hallowed antiquity that there was about it.

Maranatha! Was he qualified to read this book? Nicolas Flamel considered that being a scribe he might read the book without fear. He felt that the secret of life and of death, the secret of the unity of Nature, the secret of the duty of the wise man, had been concealed behind the symbol of the diagram and formula in the text by an initiate long since dead. He was aware that it is a rigid law for initiates that they must not reveal their knowledge, because if it is good and fruitful for the intelligent, it is bad for ordinary men. As Jesus has clearly expressed it, pearls must not be given as food to swine. Was he qualified to read this book? Nicolas Flamel considered that being a scribe he might read the book without fear. He felt that the secret of life and of death, the secret of the unity of Nature, the secret of the duty of the wise man, had been concealed behind the symbol of the diagram and formula in the text by an initiate long since dead. He was aware that it is a rigid law for initiates that they must not reveal their knowledge, because if it is good and fruitful for the intelligent, it is bad for ordinary men. As Jesus has clearly expressed it, pearls must not be given as food to swine.

He had the pearl in his hands. It was for him to rise in the scale of man in order to be worthy to understand its purity. He must have had in his heart a hymn of thanksgiving to Abraham the Jew, whose name was unknown to him, but who had thought and labored in past centuries and whose wisdom he was now inheriting. He must have pictured him a bald old man with a hooked nose, wearing the wretched robe of his race and wilting in some dark ghetto, in order that the light of his thought might not be lost. And he must have vowed to solve the riddle, to rekindle the light, to be patient and faithful, like the Jew who had died in the flesh but lived eternally in his manuscript.

Nicolas Flamel had studied the art of transmutation. He was in touch with all the learned men of his day. Manuscripts dealing with alchemy have been found, notably that of Almasatus, which were part of his personal library. He had knowledge of the symbols of which the alchemists made habitual use. But those that he saw in the book of Abraham the Jew remained dumb for him. In vain, he copied some of the mysterious pages and set them out in his shop, in the hope that some visitor conversant with the Cabala would help him to solve the problem. He met with nothing but the laughter of 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.

Nicholas Flamel’s Journey

For twenty-one years, he pondered the hidden meaning of the book. That is really not that long. He is favored among men for whom twenty-one years are enough to enable him to find the key of life. At the end of twenty-one years, Nicolas 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. Only then did events group themselves harmoniously according to his will and allow him to realize his desire. 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.

No one in Paris could help Nicolas Flamel understand the book. Now, this book had been written by a Jew, and part of its text was in ancient Hebrew. The Jews had recently been driven out of France by persecution. Nicolas Flamel knew that many of these Jews had migrated to Spain. In towns such as Malaga and Granada, which were still under the more enlightened dominion of the Arabs, there lived prosperous communities of Jews and flourishing synagogues, in which scholars and doctors were bred. Many Jews from the Christian towns of Spain took advantage of the tolerance extended by the Moorish kings and went to Granada to learn. 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.

Nicolas Flamel thought that in Spain he might meet some erudite Cabalist who would translate the book of Abraham for him. Travelling was difficult, and without a strong-armed escort, safe passage was nearly impossible for a solitary traveler. Flamel made therefore a vow to St James of Compostela, the patron saint of his parish, to make a pilgrimage. This was also a means of concealing from his neighbors and friends the real purpose of his journey. The wise and faithful Pernelle was the only person who was aware of his real plans. He put on the pilgrim’s attire and shell-adorned hat, took the staff, which ensured a certain measure of safety to a traveler in Christian countries, and started off for Galicia. Since he was a prudent man and did not wish to expose the precious manuscript to the risks of travel, he contented himself with taking with him a few carefully copied pages, which he hid in his modest baggage.

Nicolas Flamel has not recounted the adventures that befell him on his journey. Possibly he had none. It may be that adventures happen only to those who want to have them. He has told us merely that he went first to fulfil his vow to St James. Then he wandered about Spain, trying to get into relations with learned Jews. But they were suspicious of Christians, particularly of the French, who had expelled them from their country. Besides, he had not much time. He had to remember Pernelle waiting for him, and his shop, which was being managed only by his servants. To a man of over fifty on his first distant journey, the silent voice of his home makes a powerful appeal every evening.

In discouragement, he started his homeward 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 merchant from Boulogne, who was travelling on business. This merchant inspired him with confidence and trust, and he whispered a few words to him of his wish to find a learned Jew. By a lucky chance the French merchant was in relations with a certain Maestro Canches, an old man who lived at Leon, immersed in his books. Nothing was easier than to introduce this Maestro Canches to Nicolas Flamel, who decided to make one more attempt before leaving Spain.

One can easily appreciate the depth of the scene when the profane merchant of Boulogne has left them, and the two men are face to face. The gates of the ghetto close. Maestro Canches’ only thought is expressed by a few polite words to rid himself as quickly as he can of this French bookseller, who has deliberately dulled the light in his eye and clothed himself in mediocrity (for the prudent traveler passes unnoticed). Flamel speaks, reticently at first. He admires the knowledge of the Jews. Thanks to his trade, he has read a great many books. At last he timidly lets fall a name, which hitherto has aroused not a spark of interest in anyone to whom he has spoken ¾ the name of Abraham the Jew, prince, priest, Levite, astrologer and philosopher. Suddenly Flamel sees the eyes of the feeble old man before him light up. Maestro Canches has heard of Abraham the Jew! He was a great master of the wandering race, perhaps the most venerable of all the sages who studied the mysteries of the Cabala, a higher initiate, one of those who rise the higher the better they succeed in remaining unknown. His book existed and disappeared centuries ago. But tradition says it has never been destroyed, that it is passed from hand to hand and that it always reaches the man whose destiny it is to receive it. Maestro Canches has dreamed all his life of finding it. He is very old, close to death, and now the hope that he has almost given up is near realization. The night goes by, and there is a light over the two heads bent over their work. Maestro Canches is translating the Hebrew from the time of Moses. He is explaining symbols that originated in ancient Chaldea. How the years fall from these two men, inspired by their common belief in truth.

But the few pages that Flamel had brought are not enough to allow the secret to be revealed. Maestro Canches made up his mind at once to accompany Flamel to Paris, but his extreme age was an obstacle. Furthermore, Jews were not allowed in France. He vowed to rise above his infirmity and convert his religion! For many years now, he had been above all religions. So the two men, united by their indissoluble bond, headed off along the Spanish roads north.

The ways of Nature are mysterious. The nearer Maestro Canches came to the realization of his dream, the more precarious became his health, and the breath of life weakened in him. Oh God! he prayed, grant me the days I need, 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. The inflexible law had appointed the hour of the old man’s death. He fell ill at Orleans, and in spite of all Flamel’s care, died seven days later. As he had converted and Flamel did not want to be suspected of bringing a Jew into France, he had him piously buried in the church of Sante-Croix and had masses said in his honor. For he rightly thought that a soul that had striven for so pure an aim and had passed at the moment of its fruition. could not rest in the realm of disembodied spirits.

Flamel continued his journey and reached Paris, where he found Pernelle, his shop, his copyists, and his manuscripts safe and sound. He laid aside his pilgrim’s staff. But now everything was changed. It was with a joyous heart that he went his daily journey from house to shop, that he gave writing lessons to illiterates and discussed Hermetic science with the educated. From natural prudence, he continued to feign ignorance, in which he succeeded all the more easily because knowledge was within him. 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. He spent three years more in searching and in completing his knowledge, but at the end of this period, the transmutation was accomplished. Having learned what materials were necessary to put together beforehand, he followed strictly the method of Abraham the Jew and changed a half-pound of mercury first into silver, and then into virgin gold. And simultaneously, he accomplished the same transmutation in his soul. From his passions, mixed in an invisible crucible, the substance of the eternal spirit emerged.

The Philosopher’s Stone

From this point, according to historical records, the little bookseller became rich. He established many low-income houses for the poor, founded free hospitals, and endowed churches. But he did not use his riches to increase his personal comfort or to satisfy his vanity. He altered nothing in his modest life. With Pernelle, who had helped him in his search for the Philosopher’s Stone, he devoted his life to helping his fellow men. “Husband and wife lavished succor on the poor, founded hospitals, built or repaired cemeteries, restored the front of Saint Genevieve des Ardents and endowed the institution of the Quinze-Vingts, the blind inmates of which, in memory of this fact, came every year to the church of Saint Jacques la Boucherie to pray for their benefactor, a practice which continued until 1789,” wrote historian Louis Figuier.

At the same time that he was learning how to make gold out of any material, he acquired the wisdom of despising it in his heart. Thanks to the book of Abraham the Jew, he had risen above the satisfaction of his senses and the turmoil of his passions. He knew that man attains immortality only through the victory of spirit over matter, by essential purification, by the transmutation of the human into the divine. He devoted the last part of his life to what Christians call the working out of personal salvation. But he attained his object without fasting or asceticism, keeping the unimportant place that destiny had assigned him, continuing to copy manuscripts, buying and selling, in his new shop in the rue Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. For him, there was no more mystery about the Cemetery of the Innocents, which was near his house and under the arcades of which he liked to walk in the evenings. If he had the vaults and monuments restored at his own expense, it was nothing more than compliance with the custom of his time. He knew that the dead who had been laid to rest there were not concerned with stones and inscriptions and that they would return, when their hour came, in different forms, to perfect themselves and die anew. He knew the trifling extent to which he could help them. Yet he had no temptation to divulge the secret that had been entrusted to him through the book, for he was able to measure the lowest degree of virtue necessary for the possession of it, and he knew that the revelation of the secret to an undeveloped soul only increased the imperfection of that soul.

And when he was illuminating a manuscript and putting in with a fine brush a touch of skyblue into the eye of an angel, or of white into a wing, no smile played on his grave face, for he knew that pictures are useful to children; moreover, it is possible that beautiful fantasies which are pictured with love and sincerity may become realities in the dream of death. Though he knew how to make gold, Nicolas Flamel made it only three times in the whole of his life and then, not for himself, for he never changed his way of life; he did it only to mitigate the evils that he saw around him. And this is the single touchstone that convinces that he really attained the state of adept.

This “touchstone” test can be used by everyone and at all times. To distinguish a man’s superiority, there is but a single sign: a practical and not an alleged-contempt for riches. However great may be a man’s active virtues or the radiant power of his intelligence, if they are accompanied by the love of money that most eminent men possess, it is certain that they are tainted with baseness. What they create under the hypocritical pretext of good will bear within it the seeds of decay. Unselfishness and innocence alone is creative, and it alone can help to raise man.

Flamel’s generous gifts aroused curiosity and even jealousy. It seemed amazing that a poor bookseller should found almshouses and hospitals should build houses with low rents, churches and convents. Rumors reached the ears of the king, Charles VI, who ordered Cramoisi, a member of the Council of State, to investigate the matter. But thanks to Flamel’s prudence and reticence, the result of the inquiries was favorable to him.

The rest of Flamel’s life passed without special event. It was actually the life of a scholar. He went from his house in the rue de Marivaux to his shop. He walked in the Cemetery of the Innocents, for the imagination of death was pleasant to him. He handled beautiful parchments. He illuminated missals. He paid devout attention to Pernelle as she grew old, and he knew that life holds few better things than the peace of daily work and a calm affection.

The “Death” of Flamel

Pernelle died first; Nicolas Flamel reached the age of eighty. He spent the last years of his life writing books on alchemy. He carefully settled his affairs and planned how he was to be buried: at the end of the nave of Saint Jacques la Boucherie. The tombstone to be laid over his body had already been made. On this stone, in the middle of various figures, there was carved a sun above a key and a closed book. It contains the symbols of his life and can still be seen at his gravesite in the Musee de Cluny in Paris. His death, to which he joyfully looked forward, was as circumspect and as perfect as his life.

As it is equally useful to study men’s weaknesses as their finest qualities, we may mark Flamel’s weakness. This sage, 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. Whenever he had a church built, or even restored, he requested the sculptor to represent him, piously kneeling, in a comer of the pediment of the facade. 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, on the outskirts of Paris, eleven saints were carved on the front, but a side door was surmounted with a bust of Flamel.

The bones of sages seldom rest in peace in their grave. Perhaps Nicolas 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. But these precautions were useless. 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. Everyone who was seeking the famous projection powder, which turns all substances into gold, came prowling round all the places where he had lived in the hope of finding a minute portion of the precious powder. It was said also that the symbolical figures which he had had sculptured on various monuments gave, for those who could decipher it, the formula of the Philosopher’s Stone. There was not a single alchemist but came in pilgrimage to study the sacred science on the, stones of Saint-Jacques- la Boucherie, or the Cemetery of the Innocents. The sculptures and inscriptions were broken off under cover of darkness and removed. The cellars of his house were searched and the walls examined.

According to author Albert Poisson, towards the middle of the sixteenth century a man who had a well-known name and good credentials, which were no doubt fictitious, presented himself before the parish board of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. He said he wished to carry out the vow of a dead friend, a pious alchemist, who, on his deathbed, had given him a sum of money with which to repair Flamel’s house. The board accepted the offer. The unknown man had the cellars ransacked under the pretext of strengthening the foundations; wherever he saw a hieroglyph he found some reason for knocking down the wall at that point. Having found nothing, he disappeared, forgetting to pay the workmen. Not long afterwards, 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. By the seventeenth century, the various houses which had belonged to Flamel were despoiled of their ornaments and decorations, and there was nothing of them left but the four bare walls.

History of the Book of Abraham the Jew

What had happened to the book of Abraham the Jew ? Nicolas Flamel had bequeathed his papers and library to a nephew named Perrier, who was interested in alchemy and of whom he was very fond. Absolutely nothing is known of Perrier. He no doubt benefited by his uncle’s teachings and spent a sage’s life in the munificent obscurity that Flamel prized so dearly, but had not been able altogether to maintain during the last years of his life. For two centuries the precious heritage was handed down from father to son, without anything being heard of it. Traces of it are found again in the reign of Louis XIII. A descendant of Flamel, named Dubois, who must still have possessed a supply of the projection powder, threw off the wise reserve of his ancestor and used the powder to dazzle his contemporaries. In the presence of the King, he changed leaden balls with it into gold. As a result of this experiment, it is known he had many interviews with Cardinal de Richelieu, who wished to extract his secret. Dubois, who possessed the powder but was unable to understand either Flamel’s manuscripts or the book of Abraham the Jew, could tell him nothing and was soon imprisoned at Vincennes. It was found that he had committed certain offences in the past, and this enabled Richelieu to get him condemned to death and confiscate his property for his own benefit. At the same time the proctor of the Chitelet, no doubt by order of Richelieu, seized the houses that Flamel had owned and had them searched from top to bottom. About this time, at the church of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie, robbers made their way in during the night, lifted Flamel’s tombstone and broke open his coffin. It was after this incident that the rumor spread that the coffin had been found empty, and that it had never contained the body of Flamel, who was supposed to be still alive.

Through whatever means, it is believed Richelieu took possession of the book of Abraham the Jew. He built a laboratory at the Chateau of Rueil, which he often visited to read through the master’s manuscripts and to try to interpret the sacred hieroglyphs. 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. Knowledge of the mutations of matter, of life and death, is more complex than the art of planning strategies or administering a kingdom. Richelieu’s search gave no good results.

On the death of the cardinal, all traces of the book were lost, or rather, all traces of the text, for the diagrams have often been reproduced. Indeed, the book must have been copied, 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. In any case, the mysterious book has now disappeared. Perhaps a copy or the original itself rests under the dust of some provincial library. 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, the knowledge to interpret it, the wisdom not to divulge it too soon.

Is Nicholas Flamel Still Alive?

But the mystery of the story of Flamel, which seemed to have come to an end, was revived in the seventeenth century. Louis VIV sent an archeologist named Paul Lucas on a mission to the East. 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. A scholar had in those days to be both a soldier and an adventurer. Paul Lucas united in himself the qualities of a Salomon Reinach and a Casanova. He was captured by Barbary corsairs, who robbed him, according to his own story, of the treasures he had brought from Greece and Palestine. The most valuable contribution that this official emissary made to science is summarized in the story he tells in his Voyage dans la Turquie, which he published in 1719. His account enables men of faith to reconstitute part of the history of the book of Abraham the Jew.

The story goes as follows: At Broussa Paul Lucas made the acquaintance of a kind of philosopher, who wore Turkish clothes, spoke almost every known language and, in outward appearance, belonged to the type of man of whom it is said that they ” have no age.” Thanks to his own cultured presence, Lucas came to know him fairly well, and this is what he learned. This philosopher was a member of a group of seven philosophers, who belonged to no particular country and traveled all over the world, having no other aim than the search for wisdom and their own development. Every twenty years they met at a pre-determined place, which happened that year to be Broussa. According to him, human life ought to have an infinitely longer duration than we admit; the average length should be a thousand years. A man could live a thousand years if he had knowledge of the Philosopher’s Stone, which, besides being knowledge of the transmutation of metals, was also knowledge of the Elixir of life. The sages possessed it and kept it for themselves. In the West, there were only a few such sages. Nicolas Flamel had been one of them. Paul Lucas was astonished that a Turk, whom he had met by chance at Broussa, should be familiar with the story of Flamel. He was still more astonished when the Turk told him how the book of Abraham the Jew had come into Flamel’s possession, for hitherto no one had known this.

“Abraham the Jew was a member of our group,” the man told him. “He had determined not to lose sight of the descendants of his brothers who had taken refuge in France. He had a desire to see them, and in spite of all we could do to dissuade him he went to Paris. He made the acquaintance there of a rabbi who was seeking the Philosopher’s Stone, and our friend became intimate with the rabbi and was able to explain much to him. But before he left the country the rabbi, by an act of treachery, killed our brother to get possession of his book and papers. The rabbi was arrested, convicted of this and other crimes and burned alive. The persecution of the Jews in France began not long afterwards, and they were expelled from the country. The book of Abraham was sold to Flamel by a Jewish man who did not know its value and was anxious to get rid of it before leaving Paris. Having discovered the Philosopher’s Stone, Flamel was able to remain alive in the physical form he possessed at the time of his discovery. Pernelle’s and his own funerals and the minute care he bestowed on the arrangements for them had been nothing but clever shams.”

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, Flamel had been able to remain alive in the physical form he possessed at the time of his discovery. Pernelle’s and his own funerals and the minute care he bestowed on the arrangements for them had been nothing but clever shams. He had started out for India, the country of the initiates, where he still lived. The publication of Paul Lucas’ book created a great sensation. In the seventeenth century, like today, 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. In fact, this is a belief that has existed at every period in modern human history.

Was Nicolas Flamel one of these adepts? Even if he was, can it reasonably be presumed that he was alive three centuries after his supposed death, 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, who says that in the seventeenth century, Flamel visited Monsieur Desalleurs, the French ambassador to the Sublime Porte? Every man, according to his feeling for the miraculous, must come to his own conclusion. I think, myself, that in accordance with the wisdom which he had always shown, Nicolas Flamel, after his discovery of the Philosopher’s Stone, would have had no temptation to evade death; for he regarded death merely as the transition to a better state. In obeying, without seeking escape, the ancient and simple law that reduces man to dust when the curve of his life is ended, he gave proof of a wisdom that is none the less beautiful for being widespread.

by David Livingstone, of The Dying God

The alchemical process, according to Zosimus of Panopolis, the foremost of the Hellenistic alchemists, and who lived at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth century AD, “is the Mithraic Mystery, the incommunicable Mystery.”(i) However, alchemical teachings could have no known association with Persian Zoroastrianism. Therefore, what does this quote tell us about the nature of Mithraism, and its connection to alchemy?

Although it contradicts the opinions of modern scholarship, Mithraism in Roman times was a cult regarded as preserving the wisdom of the “Magi”, having been founded originally by Zoroaster, as early as before the Trojan War. This opinion was to some extent promoted by Franz Cumont, who basically single-handedly founded the study of Mithraism, though today scholars of the subject have essentially rejected his thesis. As scholars maintain, there is very little evidence to maintain that Mithraism derived from Persian Zoroastrianism, but this was not the basis of Cumont’s theory.

Rather, Cumont had maintained that the early strata of the cult’s doctrines may have been formulated by a group of “heretical” Magi, which he refers to as Magussaeans, who inhabited Asia Minor, and which were by them imparted to the Greeks. In this cult of theirs we find teachings strikingly different from mainstream Zoroastrianism. Rather, these reflected a combination of Zurvanite Zoroastrianism and “Chaldean” or Babylonian astrology and magic. It was this creed, when brought to the Greeks of Asia Minor, with the advancing Persian armies in the sixth century BC, that contributed to the emergence of Greek “philosophy” and the Orphic cult of Dionysus. In the Hellenistic Age, it was the continuing presence of numerous Magian influences at the city of Alexandria in Egypt, with the inclusion of Greek philosophy, that contributed to the outgrowth of Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, and Hermeticism.

Although these Magi were regarded as the great founders of the art, the adepts of alchemy in Hellenistic times preferred to follow Hermes, thought to have been a great ancient Egyptian sage. Zoroaster, explained Zosimus, agreed with Hermes that men could raise themselves above Fate, but he took the way of magic, while Hermes, on the other hand, took the way of philosophy. Essentially, as Jack Lindsay described, in The Origins of Alchemy In Graeco-Roman Egypt:

It would seem then in the third and second centuries BC at Alexandria there went on a considerable fusion of Greek and Iranian thought. This fusion was expressed by bringing together the two great figures of Zoroaster the Persian and Hermes-Thoth the Egyptian in a large new corpus of magical recipes and ideas, above all in an endless series of pantheist correspondences between men, animals, plants, stones, stars and planets. (ii)

In this period, numerous works were compiled and erroneously credited to Zoroaster, as well as to his most famous pupil Osthanes, the “Prince of the Magi”, and his purported patron, Hystaspes. The reputed founder of early alchemy was thought to have been Osthanes, to whom several works on the nature of plants and minerals and their astrological properties were ascribed. Osthanes was said to have accompanied Xerxes on his campaign against Greece as his chief magus, and Pliny the Elder, believed, that he was the person most responsible for the introduction of magic into Greece. Osthanes, mentioned Pliny, was the first person to write a book on magic “and nurtured the seeds, as it were, of this monstrous art, spreading the disease to all corners of the world on his way. However, some very thorough researchers place another Zoroaster, who came from Proconnesus, somewhat before Osthanes’ time. One thing is certain. Osthanes was chiefly responsible for stirring up among the Greeks not merely an appetite but a mad obsession for this art.” (Pliny, Natural History, XXX: 8)

It is said that after the Persian emperor’s defeat at Salamis, Osthanes remained behind in Greece to become the teacher of the philosopher Democritus, an Ionian philosopher, born in 460 BC. The reputed author of seventy-two works, Democritus had apparently also visited Babylon to study the science of the “Chaldeans”, of which he is to have written on the subject. He summed up the results of his investigations in a Chaldean Treatise, another tractate was entitled On the Sacred Writings of Those in Babylon, and as a result of his visit to Persia, he wrote Mageia.

One of the first alchemical works written was by a certain Bolos of Mendes, in the second century BC, but falsely attributed to Democritus. One of the texts accredited to him, the Leyden Papyrus, consists mostly of recipes, but in one passage, Democritus describes an incident of divine revelation from his former master Osthanes, in which he acquired his alchemical knowledge.

It was long thought that it had been among the Magi that the various metals were connected with their astrological properties, but it was Zosimus who connected their cult with alchemy itself. To Zosimus, the mystic’s aim was to free the soul from the evil confines of matter and return it to God. To obtain the perfection of gold, he had only to free the essence of the noble metal from the base materials that imprisoned it. The goal of the alchemist, he explained, was the pursuit of a “stone which isn’t a stone, this precious thing which has no value, this polymorphous thing, which has no form, this unknown thing which is known to all.” (iii)

In Hermeticism, as described in the Poimandres, typical to Hellenistic mysticism, the soul must ascend through the seven planets, and into the eighth sphere, where it may unite with God. According to the Poimandres, man must first undergo a spiritual death and resurrection, followed by an ascent through the spheres of the seven planets, leaving behind him in each of them part of his being, the part which the original man had received from the stars. Finally, he will be reduced to just himself, and can enter the eighth sphere, to join the powers assembled there, with whom he comes before the Father and enters God.
Thus, we are able to discern the meaning of the explanation of the theology of Mithraism, as it was provided by Celsus, Roman writer of the second century AD:

 These truths are obscurely represented by the teaching of the Persians and by the mystery of Mithras which is of Persian origin. For in the latter there is a symbol of the two orbits in heaven, the one being that of the fixed stars and the other that assigned to the planets, and of the soul’s passage through these. The symbol is this. There is a ladder with the seven gates and at its top an eighth gate. The first of the gates is of lead, the second of tin, the third of bronze, the fourth of iron, the fifth of an alloy, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of gold. They associate the first with Kronos (Saturn), taking lead to refer to the slowness of the star; the second with Aphrodite (Venus), comparing her with the brightness and softness of tin; the third Zeus (Jupiter), as the gate that has a bronze base which is firm; the fourth with Hermes (Mercury), for both iron and Hermes are reliable for all works and make money and are hard-working; the fifth with Ares (Mars), the gate which as a result of the mixture is uneven and varied in quality; the sixth with the Moon as the silver gate; and the seventh with the Sun as the golden gate, these metals resembling their color.” Origen. Against Celsus, (Contra Celsum), 6.22)

Therefore, essentially, the alchemists employed the language of chemical procedures as allegory. Transmuting lead into gold implied the purification of the soul. This process was represented by the transmutation of lead, the bases form, and the subsequent removal of its impurities until gold was achieved, also represented astrologically as ascending through the six planets, culminating in a
vision of the Sun, symbolized by gold.


i Lindsay, The Origins of Alchemy, p 324.
ii Lindsay, The Origins of Alchemy, p 324.
iii Lindsay, The Origins of Alchemy, p 324.

originally posted February 27th, 2012 on

Stories about TSA abuse litter the internet like confetti after a security theater parade. So the fact that Senator Schumer is proposing the addition of passenger advocates at TSA checkpoints is a serious step forward. Unfortunately, Schumer’s press release states that under his plan “TSA would train existing officers in dispute resolution and require the agency to have one TSA officer designated as the on-duty passenger advocate to assist fliers with concerns and complaints at all airports.”

While the passenger-advocate concept is laudable, the implementation defies logic. If the abuses come from within TSA, does it make any sense to continue to trust TSA to ameliorate their own problems?

Secondly, TSA has violated the public trust so deeply that it’s hard to imagine passengers trusting one TSA employee when they are being abused by another. A passenger advocate, from the passenger’s point of view, is just going to look like yet another TSA employee. Or, worse, passengers will continue to mistake the advocate for a law enforcement officer. This is already a  problem because TSA employees are called “officers” and given uniforms that resemble law enforcement uniforms, despite the fact that they are not law enforcement officers.

Finally, if TSA were capable of policing their own, they already would have done it. In order for any advocate to be effective in a checks and balances system, the advocate must have autonomy. Will a TSA passenger advocate employee really be able to stand up to their own boss if it is the supervisor who is being abusive? It’s too much to ask, knowing what we do about human nature and the inclination to submit to authority. Time to dust off the old Milgram study, once again.

by Michael Schneider

Just a few numbers and their shapes compose this archetypal alphabet upon which the designs of the universe, from atoms, flowers, seashells to the human body and galaxies and are based. The forms of nature are forces made visible. Each number and shape conveys specific meaning, and everything in nature tells us its purpose if we know how to read the language in which it is written. Great spiritual art, crafts and architecture have always used this language of number, shape, pattern and proportion to manifest harmonious composition. Knowing nature’s own language is a step towards our harmonious, respectful cooperation with a wonderworld of beauty, and a key to understanding the symbolic significance of numbers and shapes wherever they occur.

The symbolic significance of numbers and shapes is not arbitrary or cultural but comes from their timeless characteristics, their properties alone, and the ways they relate with others. It’s best to let numbers and shapes themselves teach you directly, so bring a geometric compass, straightedge, colored pencils and blank paper for hands-on experiences.

We don’t need any math background to learn the gentle alphabet of nature’s design language. The most important reason for these studies is their healing and uplifting property. With this in mind, Plato wrote:

“‘You amuse me,’ I said, ‘with your obvious fear that the public will disapprove if the subjects you prescribe don’t seem useful. But it is in fact no easy matter, but very difficult for people to believe that there is a faculty in the mind of each of us which these studies purify and rekindle after it has been ruined and blinded by other pursuits, though it is more worth preserving than any eye since it is the only organ by which we perceive the truth. Those who agree with us about this will give your proposals unqualified approval, but those who are quite unaware of it will probably think you are talking nonsense, as they won’t see what other benefit is to be expected from such studies.”

These classes are informative and inspiring, and will rekindle and enhance your own investigations and understanding by means of the wisdom inherent in numbers and shapes.

Come learn the language of your native world!

This information is especially valuable to artists, craftspeople, architects, educators and students of symbolism in worldwide traditions.

For information about specialized workshops for your group email Michael



1&2 Unity & Polarity

This first session begins with an overall introduction to the language of numbers and shapes. It introduces participants to the ancient traditions of “philosophical mathematics” including symbolism of the geometer’s tools, the spiritual allegory of geometric construction, and overview of the Timeless Alphabet. Through hands-on activities with the compass, straightedge and marker, we’re guided to see geometric construction as a creation myth, a metaphor for the process by which all the forms of nature are created.

Unity is a fact of nature, and all numbers and shapes unfold from Unity, number 1, represented by the point, circle and sphere, are most efficient forms and worldwide symbols of heavenly perfection. But Unity casts its own shadow to “create” polarity, represented geometrically by the compass itself, and the Vesica Piscis, the almond opening through which all other numbers and shapes are born.



3: Trinity: Tri-Unity

The birth of the number 3 and triangle enables opposites to balance and transcend to a new wholeness they couldn’t achieve by themselves. A third leg makes a tripod stable, and a third strand of hair allows a braid to knot as one whole, just as neutral judges balance opposing parties, neutrons balance atoms, and the Supreme Court plays the role of the balancing, transcendent third force. This class surveys the appearance of trinities in nature and as worldwide religious symbols, investigating spiritual art which uses the unseen triangular frame to convey this archetypal power.




4: Fair And Square

This class examines the symbolism and appearances of the number four and its representative forms, the square, cube and tetrahedron. Fourness is the essence of volume, underlying the forms of crystals and creatures, and is a symbol of earth, manifestation and the four states of matter (“mater” or mother) shaping and clothing the designs of nature, arts, crafts and architecture. Thus it appears worldwide as a number of directions and migrations, represented everywhere from goddess art to divinatory board games.




5: The Flag of Life

In starfish and flowers, corporate logos and flags, the number five and the amazing regenerative geometry of the pentagon and pentagram star appear in nature and human affairs as a sign of life (the flower of every edible fruit is five-petaled). It is a worldwide symbol of humanity, authority, harmony, beauty and excellence. Participants will learn to recognize the five-ness of living forms, and see how artists from Egypt and Greece to Raphael and Dali have applied five-fold symmetry — the flag of life — to create harmony in their compositions.



6: The Joy Of Six

The principle of sixness is that of structure, function and order, the efficient properties of space, power and time. It appears as the close-packed crystalline patterns of snowflakes, diamonds, chicken wire and honeycombs, as well as the underlying pattern within much spiritual art including the Sphinx and Egyptian jewelry and painting, Chinese sculpture and the U.S. Great Seal.. Multiples of six (especially 12, 24, 30, 36 and 60) provide the sacred measures of space, weight and time, from rulers and protractors to clocks and calendars. Participants will explore the mystery of the sixfold pattern as it appears in many of its universal guises.



7: The Virgin Number

The number seven was considered “virgin” by the ancients because no number goes into it (without remainder), and its geometric construction cannot be captured by compass and straightedge. Thus it appears to us as objects we cannot grasp like the colors of the rainbow and tones of the musical scale. The predominance of seven in religious and mythological symbolism reveals its role as the number of stages in a whole process, from the number of crystal systems and endocrine glands to chakras and “heavens” clues to the stages of our spiritual journey. Participants will learn how to tune a musical instrument to the Pythagorean scale used in ancient musical healing therapy.



8: Periodic Renewal

What is it about the number eight and the geometry of the octagon which makes it so popular in the design of sacred buildings around the world? Participants will tour various expressions of the properties of this fascinating number and see how it reveals the principle of the musical octave, periodic renewal, at work through the universe, from the mythology of Grandmother Spider and the Siberian Shaman’s eight-legged horse, the pattern of rhythmic flow symbolized in the I Ching, in computer chips, the Taoist “Eight Immortals” and Buddhist mandalas which make visible the “Eightfold Path”. We’ll look at sacred architecture including mosques, ancient temples and even the U. S. Capitol Building to discover the principle of “periodic renewal” at work.



9: The Horizon

In traditional worldwide number lore, nine, or thrice three, was referred to as “the horizon” symbolizing the ultimate, the maximum, “the whole nine yards”. This class will look at the ways people have revered the number nine and its principles through their arts, crafts, architecture, literature, mathematics, mythology, religion and folk-sayings, from “cloud nine” and a pagoda’s nine levels to a cat’s nine lives. Casual attire: no need to “dress to the nines”.




10: New Unity

The number ten is a traditional symbol of fulfillment, a return to unity after having gone through the experience represented by single-digit numbers. Tens, hundreds and thousands represent greater powers of Unity. Participants will see how a knowledge of the mathematical principles within “ten” help us to understand its appearances in nature, as well as the philosophical basis of many cultures’ religious scripture, architecture and arts. We will explore the traditional wisdom held in the Tetraktys, symbol of the Pythagoreans, as well as the hidden map of ourselves in the Kabbalah’s “Tree of Life” diagram.




11: The Passageway

The number eleven is quite a mystery. References in sacred literature, philosophy, art and architecture are rare and obscure, but they do exist. It was considered to tresspass beyond 10, but incomplete approaching 12. Resembling the principles of the number 2, of which it is a lower form, 11 represents a door, tunnel or passageway, not only between the realms represented by numbers 10 and 12, but appears as the number of days of the Babylonian New Year’s Festival (the door between years), as the link between the Chinese Magic Squares of Heaven and Earth, as Egyptian bread offerings, in many Islamic references, and is important in the history of measure. To where does this passage lead us?



12: Cosmic Dozens and
The Cosmological Circle

“The universe is simple if you use imagination.
Its pattern is the number Twelve which structures all Creation.
You need not study physics or be versed in numerology
To draw from Threes and Fours the duodecimal cosmology.”

–“Twelve Fold Universe” by John Michell

To live in accord with the perceived cosmic order, countless societies mirrored upon Earth the patterns they saw in the sky and in mathematics, particularly around the wondrous properties of the number twelve. Twelve is the traditional “framework number” embracing and interrelating the numbers below and beyond it. From time immemorial the archetypal “twelve-around-one” pattern of the zodiac was mirrored in twelve-tribe societies, the mythologies of twelve heroic ordeals, twelve spiritual disciples, and the designs of monuments, temples and cultures mediating between Heaven and Earth, from Stonehenge to the U.S. Government. Come learn about worldwide traditions of the Duodecimal (twelvefold) Cosmology.

The “Cosmological Circle” refers to an ancient geometric diagram which appears throughout the world underlying the designs of temples, kivas, churches, mandalas and other expressions of sacred arts, crafts and architecture. Its secret is that it makes visible the harmony of all the numbers 1 through 12 and so represents a harmonious sacred microcosm. We’ll see how its “squared-circle” design insures that such temples are properly oriented to the solstices and equinoxes, and symbolizes that the site occurs at the meeting of Heaven and Earth.

by Sharlene Prasad

A recent report has revealed that the Department of Homeland Security, through a private contractor, is monitoring Twitter and Facebook for words that may indicate suspicious activity. The program has been running for over a year, and alerts authorities to various flag words like “infection” and “ammonium”. The program was brought to light by a Freedom of Information request from a privacy group, Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The watch words are generally common and innocuous, but when you put too many of them together, it’s a sure-fire way to catch terrorists. The effectiveness of the program is under question, because it targets innocent people, while the likelihood of actual enemies of the State posting requests for recruits and weaponry on Facebook is slim.

Some of the watch words include various drug substances, like “cocaine”, “heroine”, or “meth”, listed because of the ongoing drug war and the current border issues with Mexico. Other words are even more random and can’t be easily explained, like “pork”, “cloud”, and “wave”.

So remember to not post on Twitter that you saw a cloud that looked like a cupcake, or you’re in part of the world that’s experiencing a heat wave, because your post might go on the watch-list. If your post is flagged as suspicious, further investigation could be initiated and shared with other government agencies.

In short, what we have is a clear invasion of privacy. With so much of the world interacting in cyberspace, this allows the government to monitor all the goings-on in our lives. Furthermore, it enables them to build phony cases against anyone they please by stringing together Twitter posts about their throat infection.

Interested in ammonium-free household cleaners for environmental reasons? Well, don’t post about it, because you might be a threat to the nation.

No one is arguing that Facebook and Twitter posts are private property. The whole point of social media is to connect with people and share your thoughts with the world. But most people don’t make a post about their family dinner that included pork and expect to be entered into a government database. The feds have no business collecting this personal information that is meant for friends and family, and saving it for future bogus criminal cases. The government is on a steady march towards being able to imprison its citizens on a whim, and this secret program is a strong cornerstone in that plan. It’s already been killing American citizens without significant pushback. At least authoritarian countries like China are clear about what they are doing – the United States government engages in the same actions while trying to convince the people that they are still living in a free and democratic nation.

Canada is currently in talks with several other nations around the globe to build and maintain permanent military installations or bases: Kuwait, Germany, Jamaica, Senegal, Kenya, Singapore, and South Korea. These are publicly admitted plans. I’m sure there are other back room deals on the table as well. If you ever doubted it or required more evidence that the very men we “elected” to be our representatives or “leaders” serve the Rothschilds (and Israel), and our alleged democracy is a bullshit stage-act, this is it.

The question any intelligent Canadian would probably ask now is “Why?” Well, Defense Minister Peter MacKay seen here with Israel’s Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, answers the question of the military anticipatory and seemingly drastic actions with; “”Canada is a “go-to” nation for international military engagements and the federal government is embracing the increasingly expeditionary role……..”, and when asked about the military’s current fast-pace and rash decision making, he said it was  “…..the highest it’s been in 60 years” –and it will continue for the foreseeable future.

“The focus of the planning, let’s be clear, is on our capability for expeditionary participation in international missions,”

Never mind the obvious fact that the large majority of Canadians outright say they want less “defense” spending, Canada is embarked on a military-spending spree “unlike anything experienced since the Second World War. In just 10 years, our annual defense spending has more than doubled — from $10 billion in 2000 to $21.8 billion today — and is just getting into its stride.”
Canadians are being forced to pony up $30B for F-35 fighter jets that wont even be built, much less useful and fly-ready, until 2016 and another $40 billion to replace navy ships over two decades.”
Another repulsive quote was, “”We’re big players in NATO, we’re a country that has become a go-to nation in response to situations like what we’re seeing in Libya, like we saw in Haiti, we are constantly working within that paradigm of countries to see where we can bring that niche capability to bear.”

A Canadian general was in charge of the UN-sanctioned NATO invasion and destruction of Libya, and Canada was among the first with “boots on the ground” in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there over a year ago. Canada is negotiating with seven countries around the world to establish permanent military bases: Kuwait, Germany, Jamaica, Senegal, Kenya, Singapore, and South Korea. The warehouses of military equipment and other facilities would support “high-tempo expeditionary operations in places such as Afghanistan, the Middle East, Haiti, Africa and most recently in protecting civilian life in Libya.” Canadian fighter jets led the charge in the NATO mission in Libya, and Ottawa plans to send 950 military trainers to Afghanistan to coach Afghans after its 2,800 combat troops withdraw from the war-torn country in July.” (Yeah, right.)

Fuckin’ schoolyard bullies, chilling with the tough guys, I’ve always noticed how NATO never picks on anyone its own size.

In Canada, 75% think that the war has not been worth its financial cost. 60% do not believe that the “war on terror” is something that can be won. 37% believe that the U.S. military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have made Canada safer and 35% believe that Canadian military actions in Afghanistan and Libya have made Canada safer. 6 in 10 are more concerned about a terrorist attack in their country now than they were before September 11, 2001. The Ipsos Reid poll was conducted August 26–30, 2011. Now they’re planning more such Invasions. Libya was never debated in parliament nor even mentioned at all during the last election campaign.

But with a Conservative party majority win, (achieved through fraudulent election rigging and “lost vote” practices) Prime Minister Harper shouldn’t have any problems sacrificing Canadian sons, daughters and resources to Zionist-controlled defense contractors. Not to worry, though…its all for the best. The best apparently being — eliminating the roadblocks to ensure the goal of the Rothschild’s world government tyranny plan.

Even the “opposition” couldn’t care less, the official third party, socialist opposition NDP, is  a Masonic led (until the death of Leader Jack Layton) opposition. Jack Layton didn’t even utter the word Libya during the election campaign and the NDP doesn’t oppose Canada’s “new military role.” their only real big problem with Harper’s “Throne Speech” was over “the environment.”

The Zionist elite Rothschild bankers have used their control over government credit to buy everything and everyone worth owning. They control every one of the Fortune 500 companies, the media, politicians and universities. Thus, anyone who aspires to climb the ladder politically, culturally or economically will be coerced into knowingly selling his soul to these globalists, fuck over his own countrymen and play the game that results in the destruction of his own civilization.

Thus, our culture (as sad as the truth is) is utterly complicit in its own enslavement.  That’s the goal of the global elite, control of EVERYTHING. Bought and gift wrapped for them, with our own money!

by Amadeus Diamond

From Spirituality on Wiki: Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.

The Wrong Track

In the western world, we seem to have lost any grip on our spirituality. As a general rule, we are either found giving up our spiritual freedom (‘inner life’) to some sort of authority figure in fear of getting lost; or wasting our spiritual freedom by denouncing all spirituality as superstitious and repressive in fear of being duped. Both of these attitudes to spirituality refuse to compromise with each other, and refuse to allow for a perceptive or intuitive interpretation of the garden of a Planet we live on.

And so the existentialist crisis of the 20th C continues today. Why are we here? What is expected of us? When or why, if ever, will it end? Is there meaning to life? How is it that the same questions we have been trying to analyse, intellectualise – and basically figure out since (in the most academic sense) the mid-30’s – are still plaguing us today? The conflicting ideas that we are either lost in this world, or taken care of, have been the driving force behind genocides, revolutions, notable censorship and legislation changes, devout idiocy and inhumanity, and some grand leaps in science and forward-thinking. Why is there no coagulation between any of these ideas? In trying to answer any of these questions, including the latter, we have made an absolute mess of our world and each other.

Does religious hegemony not realize that God (and in turn, Christ) can’t be ‘granted’ or ‘denied’? Does the ‘disillusioned’ (yet somehow enlightened) atheist youth not realize that God is inherent in all life? Surely, it can’t be that we are designed to wander the annals of time without purpose. Are we subjects of disinformation and repression of spirit? Are we just plain scared? Whichever path we took getting here, it isn’t working.

Spirituality is supposed to bring people together. It is supposed to be the driving force behind tolerance, compassion and happiness. Yet we haven’t achieved any degree of these aspects. However, looking back at the description of Spirituality that our consensus reality has deemed the applicable one, an outcome of tolerance, compassion and Love should be a given considering the amount of time, effort and money we put into developing our ‘spiritual practices’. Or conversely out ‘anti-spiritual’ practices. It is obvious that we have something deeply and disingenuously wrong with our idea of spirituality when we’re also, seemingly, trying to destroy all other living things.

And so is there any wonder why, as a species, we keep stumbling down an ever-steepening track to madness and self-destruction? When we are destroying our Planet by ways of deforestation, forced extinctions and pollution…. When over half the world’s population is living in poverty… When we can’t even make the decision to not make things worse for ourselves…How can we ask without laughing “What’s wrong?” To my mind, this question answers itself. If there is any wonder, it is because we are afraid of facing the truth; which is waving neon-lit banners in front of our eyes every single day.

When some of our most influential icons are people like Oprah, Lady Gaga and the ‘cast’ of Jersey Shore, and their effect is tangible cultural influence, it is no wonder why, for most people, life really is a series of dis-eases. We are living in what the ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna quite accurately calls the “Death Culture”. In the words of Amazonian Shamans, the problem with our western society is that we have severed our connection with ‘spirit’. We are no longer connected with the creative forces of this universe. We are no longer the masters of our own becoming. We are no longer the Gods we were born to be. Tomorrow no longer belongs to us.

Not only have various philosophers, religious leaders and politicians seen this current global situation coming, Shamen from all over the world, have been acting as a (somewhat ineffective) counterweight to what has been an uprooting all of spiritual practices in the west. Religions and teachings have been bastardised over the centuries and no longer preach the love and tolerance written in their texts. Shamen of the Amazon have no texts. They use their knowledge of the plants and plant teachers termed ‘entheogens’ and a set of beliefs related to these plant teachers termed ‘Shamanism’.

What is shamanism?

Wiki: Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world.

Ayahuasca and its DMT

For thousands of years indigenous shamen of the Amazon have communed with spirits and as a result, gardened and nurtured our two most precious resources – The Rainforest and it’s people. How have these shamen communed with spirits? Through the targeted used of altered states of consciousness. In the Amazon basin tribes have used a mysterious hallucinogenic brew as a shamanic sacrament for, perhaps, 4000 years(1)(some have claimed as long as tens of thousands (2) ). This brew is ingested by the shaman, who will then experience intense hallucinatory visions. These visions may hold the cure to an ailment, clues to where game may be found, or which animals to watch out for. There is also talk of these visions allowing one to reach out of their physical body and interact with a non-physical world of spirit and the entities that inhabit it.

The brew is known by various names but most commonly referred to as Ayahuasca or The Vine of Souls. It is a combination of two specific botanical elements. One is a DMT-containing leaf from the plant Psychotria Viridis, and the other the crushed bark of the vine Banisteriopsis Caapi. The B.Caapi vine contains a chemical called Harmine, which is in a class of compounds known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs. In the human stomach there is an enzyme known as monoamine oxidase. This enzyme prevents DMT from being orally active by breaking it down and excreting it. However, taken with an MAOI, DMT becomes orally active and produces the visions these shamen experience. Anthropologists and Pharmacologists such as Luis Eduardo Luna, Jeremy Narby, Kat Harrison, Charles Grob and Dennis McKenna have done extensive work with Ayahuasca and its analogues.

Leaving aside, for the moment, the spiritual implications of this brew, it is already by virtue of it’s format a great mystery. How were supposedly primitive, pre-literate people in the Amazon able to distinguish between the estimated 438,000(3) species of plants and trees to find the exact two able to produce the effects needed to have intense, supposedly spiritual visions? Of course there is the possibility of chance but when you factor in the various processes these plants undergo to become Ayahuasca, the chance becomes so slim it is scarcely academic behaviour to entertain such an idea. This is a well-known, but still unanswered question anthropology, ethnopharmacology and ethnobotany face.

The potential for highly evolved, preliterate chemistry is not the only strangeness this brew presents. The active chemical, DMT, is present in most life, and theoretically could exist in all life. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It is present is all life. Tryptophan is 2 enzymatic steps away from DMT(4). The two enzymes, which enable tryptophan to be converted to DMT, are also ubiquitous in living organisms. One enzyme removes the acid group causing the ‘amino acid’ to become an ‘amine’ – i.e tryptamine. A second enzyme then adds methyl groups to the amine. Adding two methyl groups would change ‘trypamine’ to ‘di-methyl-tryptamine’ which is DMT(5). It is entirely possible that DMT is an endogenous chemical in all known life.

Another fascinating point is how the brew seems, rather than to trigger self-manifested hallucinations, to truly expand the perception of a shaman to perhaps see into the root of a medical ailment. I like the metaphor Dr. Rick Strassman used of a ‘reality thermostat. We don’t know enough about the levels of DMT the brain naturally produces, and how those levels change with different stimuli to say for sure, but its totally valid to postulate that DMT is a kind of monitor for how we perceive reality. Under this model there is a ‘normal’ ballpark for the level of DMT present in the brain which elicits our consensus reality.

Where this gets interesting is the suggestion that notably decreased, or increased levels of DMT might have a real effect on not only our perceptual apparatus, but also our emotional and interpersonal habits. Could the pineal gland really be the ‘third eye’ everyone is talking about? In some animals, the third eye is actually still a physical eye know as a Parietal eye (6). Now this may, or may not be related to the pineal gland of the human but some philosophies and even scientific-minded trains of thought allow for a viable connection to be established between the two.

Could DMT and its relationship with the human pineal gland be a ‘signature’ of consciousness on all it inhabits? I think it’s quite likely. When we stop to consider that the accepted model for what is represented in the very first cave art humans ever made, is that what’s represented is shamanic visions, is not hard to then put two and two and two together regarding consciousness, the evolution of ideas, and our connection to DMT.

It is, then, very intriguing that DMT is a schedule 1 hallucinogenic substance internationally, and is not only able to elicit these incredible visionary experiences, but it is also present in every human being at every moment. If you are caught with this substance outside your body, you can’t be sent directly to jail. But it is inside your body all the time (7). Perhaps it is the perception that exchanging the alert, everyday state of consciousness for a more open and loving one is a threat to the ‘corporate hegemony’ that keeps this experience out of the hands of he vast majority of us.

As an example, Ayahuasca seems to be the voice of the Amazon rainforest calling out to those systematically destroying it. In a conversation I had with Graham Hancock in May 2011 he made the point that spirit, if it exists, cannot manifest physically. These plants may be the ‘nature’, however you consider that, trying to reach us on a non-physical, spiritual level. If we are to take the idea seriously that DMT might be the signature of life on this planet, then we must also consider that all living things have cognitive spirit behind them. It certainly seems there are lessons to be learned from Ayahuasca and its related brews. The increased appreciation that is bestowed upon its drinkers (as a general rule), for the rainforest and its absolute miracle of diversity and bio-flexibility seems to mirror this notion.

Ayahuasca, Yage and a number of other psychedelic, or psychotomimetic brews in the Amazon have long been termed plant teachers. They seem to hold the keys Shamen need to reach the knowledge they intend to receive. Kat Harrison once asked, very pointedly, ‘how can a plant be a teacher?’. The question is still one with no concrete answer. These plants seem to hold information about the nature of our experience here on earth, and in this dimension that our scientific view hasn’t gotten to grips with yet. At least two worthwhile scientific studies have been doen on the usage of Ayahuasca(8).

Ayahuasca usage as a sacrament has been ruled as protected by the laws of Religious Freedom in the United States twice. First, the Uniao de Vegetal(9) and then the Santo Daime(10) have both won court cases granting them legal exemption from the Schedule 1 status of DMT under laws of Religious Freedom. The SDC has won at least three court cases in the US, The Netherlands and Italy. Maybe now that we are facing some very real ecological and existential challenges at this point in our history, we may open up to the wisdom of these plant teachers and perhaps, for the sake of scientific thoroughness, really get down to what these plants are and how upon why we are interacting with them and bringing back such important messages.

The Mushroom

The psychoactive mushroom is probably the most interesting of all the shamanic sacraments. Some particular species of the fungi known as Mushrooms contain a chemical called Psilocybin or Psilocin. As presented in the 80’s and 90’s with much enthusiasm by the psychedelic writer and botanist Terrence McKenna, there is a theory that psilocybe-containing mushrooms; or ‘magic mushrooms’; were the force behind our ancestor’s divergence from the Homo genus (10). This is known as the ‘stoned ape’ theory and includes the notion that low doses of these mushrooms improved our ancestor’s eyesight making hunting more profitable, and increased sex-drive meaning more offspring. These are all rather culturally desirable traits.

More recently, Graham Hancock in his book ‘Supernatural’ argues with a great deal of scientific evidence that the same mushrooms were responsible for our shift from routine-based hunter-gatherers into artists and philosophers. The cave paintings of Alta Mira in Spain, Lascaux and Chauvet in France show motifs and models that are nearly ubiquitous in the context of the shamanic experience. Graham invokes a number of real credible scientists that agree with some degree of his postulations including Prof. Benny Shannon, John Mack PhD, Rick Strassman PhD, Jacques Vallee PhD and a number of others. It seems these proto-shamen were using the mushroom Semilanceata. Commonly used still today under the moniker the ‘Liberty Cap’.

One of the interesting claims Hancock puts forward is that the Alien Abduction phenomenon is related to the DMT phenomenon and may possibly be a result of a spontaneous burst of endogenous DMT. They seem to share an uncanny number of similarities such as therianthropic elements, ‘probing’, and the potential for un-going relationships with ‘beings’ from ‘somewhere else’.

Interestingly, mushrooms are the shamanic format that has gained the most positive press. This youtube video shows a CNN report entitled ”‘Magic’ Mushroom Surprise: Study Finds Lasting Benefit”(11) In that video we hear Dr. Roland Griffiths speak about the potential for the mushrooms to be used to treat anxiety in terminal cancer patients. Well…CNN has actually already covered this one. In an article posted September 7th, 2010, CNN covered to the work of Professor Chares Grob; a professor at the UCLA School Of Medicine(12).

His work was experimental psychiatric work administering psilocybin to terminally ill cancer patients and gauging what effect it had on their psyche in regard to stress and anxiety. As he can be seen discussing in the film ‘DMT: The Spirit Molecule’, he got some quite positive results from this research and psilocybin mushrooms are now seriously being considered as viable tools in psychiatry and psychology. Dr Grob has also done work with Ayahuasca in the early 90’s.

Iboga and Ibogaine

Iboga is a root-based sacrament used in central Africa by the Bwiti tribe in Gabon. The President of Gabon partakes of this ritual sacrament regularly and it is protected under religious freedoms standards.

Rocky Caravelli of the ‘Awakening The Dream’ house near Puerta Vallarta in Mexico claims that Ibogaine, which is an extract from the Iboga root, alleviates 90% of withdrawal symptoms from substances such as alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Another claim is that it addresses the cravings brought on by an addiction to a substance for anywhere between 2 and 6 months after the treatment his clinic offers using Ibogaine. If his treatments are to be taken seriously, this seems like the anti-addiction drug. He further claims it can be used as an antidote to an array of psychological ailments and a limited number of physical ailments (13).

Another common attribute is its ability to allow its user to commune with dead friends and relatives. Reportedly, a good number of users address unfinished issues with family and friends during their (rather nasty) ordeal on Ibogaine (14). Indigenous and modern cultures in central west Africa believe they commune with their ancestors to receive wisdom on various subjects. Graham Hancock recalls in ‘Supernatural’ and lectures how he was able to find closure in his relationship to his father who had passed on prior to his ingesting Ibogaine.

Ibogaine is also a Schedule 1 substance in the US and a number of other countries. It is no under regulation in Canada or Mexico, so a large number of addicts go abroad to receive treatment with Ibogaine for their addictions (15). Why this is the case, I don’t now. It seems a successful treatment that doesn’t act as a revolving door, as most clinics and rehabs seem to. It’s a medicine used be people for thousands of years and I think its worth our unreasonably inhibited society to give it a look-in when we have such a problem with abuse of other substances.

The Groundwork Has Been Laid

None of what I have said is new. We have known that these cultures have used these plants to heal for thousands of years with great success. We know that these plants can allow you to transcend this physical word and embrace parts of yourself you didn’t even know existed. We know that this substances open up an infinite capacity for love in a human being. Both giving love, and receiving it. Why then, are we stuck in such an archaic mindset that all these sacred plants are nothing more than ‘drugs’ and must be suppressed?

We embrace alcohol and cigarettes as acceptable social drugs. We even accept coffee as an acceptable alternative to amphetamines. We allow sugar to be introduced to almost every food group and every food product, yet we can’t give these ancient healing plants a good chance to show us their power. It makes such little sense to me that western culture actively tries to hoist itself into countries that perhaps don’t want democracy. Even if so, it hasn’t even worked in the west yet. How can we be trying to push a system that hasn’t worked yet?

Without integrating these ancient plants, society is going to have a very hard time trying to find a method of operation that is sustainable and humane. Without considering the what these plants have to show us, we are prematurely closing the book on reality and experience. We are abandoning the true exploratory basis of science for a more conservative, almost religious approach. I am not an advocate of any religion or any particular philosophy, but I say; By God, let the plants free!


(1) McKenna Ph.D, Dennis – Ayahuasca- A Pharmacological History(1998) pg. 3

(2) Strassman, Ph.D, Rick – DMT: The Spirit Molecule(2001) pg. 43


(4) McKenna, Ph.D, Dennis – Manifesting The Mind(2009)

(5) McKenna, Ph.D, Dennis – Manifesting The Mind(2009)


(7) Barker S.A., Monti J.A., Christian S.T. (1981). “N, N-dimethyltryptamine: an endogenous hallucinogen”. International Review of Neurobiology 22: 83–110

(8) McKenna, Terrence(1992) Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge – A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Bantam)





(13), Manifesting The Mind (2009)