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Alchemical Kubrick

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posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 12:29 AM
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I'm not sure what area on this board is exactly right for this. Tonight I watched an AMC program about Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey" and it made me recall this essay about the film by Jay Weirdner that I read a couple of years ago. It's a long read but any fan of the movie, or Kubrick's work in general as well as anyone interested in esoteric fields like alchemy should find it rewarding.

Alchemical Kubrick

At the very least Weirdner presents a compelling interpretation of Kubrick's enigmatic film. I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts on the subject. Weirdner makes frequent mention to the mysterious early 20th century alchemist Fulcanelli that many may not be familiar with. Fulcanelli is a fascinating topic on his own and I'm preparing a post on the subject based on Jay Weirdner and Vincent Bridges intriguing "The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye: Alchemy and the End of Time".




posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 10:33 PM
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Guess I'm the only one. Weirdner analyzes "2001" as the only example in cinema of a film that is directly talking about what he terms the "Great Work" of alchemy. No matter what your position on these matters it is an insightful analysis revealing aspects of this highly regarded but difficult to understand movie. Weirdner identifies the monolith with the alchemical concept of the Prima Materia and the Philosopher's Stone. He also astutely recognizes that the four chapters of the film correspond to the four sephirot of the middle pillar of the Cabbalistic Tree of Life. Even the name of the character Dave Bowman is revealed to hold a high significance. If you've seen "2001" and sensed something profound that you couldn't put your finger on than the article is worth your time. If you haven't seen "2001" then you've missed perhaps the finest film in cinematic history and should endeavor to view it as soon as possible.



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 10:54 PM
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Well, I'll say it. Interesting Post! I had a thread a while back, couldn't figure out hwo to fix the spelling in the title though :-(
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 01:34 AM
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Very cool, thanks for posting the thread Twitchy. Too bad the conversation didn't last longer. I'm glad the article by Weirdner could fill in at least some of the questions raised in your thread such as why a moon of Saturn was shown orbiting Jupiter and what Kubrick may have been suggesting with the black monolith. I think some of the people posting on that thread were grossly underestimating Arthur C. Clarke. I also think there's frequent confusion regarding the interplay of the creation of the story between Clarke and Kubrick. Kubrick was inspired by Clarke's fiction, particularly "Childhood's End". The Clarke short story "The Sentinel was the basis for 2001. The novelization of 2001 was based on the script for the movie. Clarke's sequels ("2010" etc.) did not involve Kubrick, and neither did the movie 2010 which was adapted and directed by Peter Hyams. It in no way compares to Kubrick's vision.

One of the cool things about this is that it directly ties into one of my own, small areas of personal study, Alchemical Jack Kirby.

[edit on 2-10-2005 by Cicada]



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 01:54 AM
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I came across that essay in my own readings on alchemy. And I'm also a Kubrick fan (note my ATS ID).

Here's my own view. I'm not wedded to it, if you want to offer some critique.

For one, Wiedener focuses on Fulcanelli. Fulcanelli is very popular with "fringe" writers today, yet his writings are far afield of the philosophical mainstream of alchemy.

While there are some definition paralells between 2001 and the Great Work, I feel that they are explicable in terms of "great minds thinking alike," rather than direct derivation.

It's important to remember also that Kubrick worked with Arthur C. Clarke in the treatment of the original book. Not that Kubrick had not alchemical axes to grind, but I would much more readily suspect Arthur C. Clarke of injecting any alchemical symbolism.

There are certain basic ways of portraying human transformation, and I'm not certain that all the paralells between alchemy and the film are intentional.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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Awsome read, its alot to take in right now.
But its Still poses many questions regarding who are we and where are we goin. The more man uses his tools that he creates takes parts of his soul. I think this is a true statement, it seems to me people living a tribal or a more primitive existance seem tobe happier, and have a better community existance, compared to modern civilization. Look at the terrible crimes commited by "Civilizied" people in a "Civilizied" world. I have tried to find similar crimes against people in the tribal way of life...I haven't been successfull.

The monlith, seem to be a Negitive way of evolving, maybe its because its not our evolution naturally but evolving at someone/or something elses design. Now that opens the question about, would have man Evolved without the monlith??


What happens After the Starchild?....Is this when we Grow beyond our Tools, as in Not needing them. Even though Hal9000 was destroyed, did computers also Evolve from this experience, funny the only one questioning the mission was the computer.

Does anyone know How old Alchemy is?..and what its origins are??

thats all for now

peace



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

I came across that essay in my own readings on alchemy. And I'm also a Kubrick fan (note my ATS ID).

Here's my own view. I'm not wedded to it, if you want to offer some critique.

For one, Wiedener focuses on Fulcanelli. Fulcanelli is very popular with "fringe" writers today, yet his writings are far afield of the philosophical mainstream of alchemy.

While there are some definition paralells between 2001 and the Great Work, I feel that they are explicable in terms of "great minds thinking alike," rather than direct derivation.

It's important to remember also that Kubrick worked with Arthur C. Clarke in the treatment of the original book. Not that Kubrick had not alchemical axes to grind, but I would much more readily suspect Arthur C. Clarke of injecting any alchemical symbolism.

There are certain basic ways of portraying human transformation, and I'm not certain that all the paralells between alchemy and the film are intentional.


It's amazing actually that you've heard of Fulcanelli at all. Fringe would certainly be the word for it. Even Manly P. Hall failed to make mention of Fulcanelli. Fulcanelli is obviously an enigma, with the stories of his activities obvious allegories. It's possible that Fulcanelli and his writings are something of a surrealist prank, but the material at the least suggests a profound knowledge and ease with esoteric material. Fulcanelli was all about argotic symbolism, secret punning languages, and the use of an in-group cant for the transmission of ideas. Whoever he was he certainly utilized this technique in his own writings making analysis tricky at best. What is mainstream alchemy? By this do you mean an actual active science or the modern era's perception of the ancient science?

Of course there's no arguing positions of subjective opinion on any given piece of art. After the point of completion even the artist's opinion becomes one of many of equal potential validity. There are certain key patterns in story telling and every one who uses them is obviously not in on some "big secret". It's not enough to reduce things to this level and leave it there though. Where do these patterns emerge from, and in what manner are they being transmitted over geography and time?


originally posted by LDragonFire
The monlith, seem to be a Negitive way of evolving, maybe its because its not our evolution naturally but evolving at someone/or something elses design. Now that opens the question about, would have man Evolved without the monlith??


I would say that the monolith represents a force that is beyond appellations like good and evil, positive and negative, a larger concept that these notions are an aspect of.


originally posted by LDragonFire
Does anyone know How old Alchemy is?..and what its origins are??


Ancient, preliterate. You'll find conflicting accounts and theories. Alchemy as a word seems to derive from the Egyptian Al-Khem, meaning "the black". Egyptian legend suggests a transmission of scientific knowledge from an even earlier lost culture, from the Zep Tepi or First Age. Of course this is a huge field open to much debate.




[edit on 3-10-2005 by Cicada]



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Cicada
What is mainstream alchemy? By this do you mean an actual active science or the modern era's perception of the ancient science?
[edit on 3-10-2005 by Cicada]


It was a pretty unfortunate choice of words on my part, that's for sure.

I mentally winced while typing it, but couldn't think of a better choice words, and was pressed for time while I was responding.

I think it can be said that there are definite streams of thought, major trends in the history of alchemy. And I think it's also fair to say that Fulcanelli stands apart from these streams. While every alchemical writer is unique, many of them make obvious references to the teachings of earlier authorities. Fulcanelli's "alchemy" encompasses a great deal that more classical alchemy (say from Europe 14th-18th centuries) does not.

I'm thinking of a line of inquiry that moves through the wyuu20.
s of, say, Trismosin, through Cornelius Agrippa and Robert Fludd, to Eirenaeus Philalethes and others. And all I meant was that Fulcanelli doesn't really try to continue that line of thought.

As far as the modern world's perception, The dwellings of the Philosophers has probably had more impact on the modern perception of "the unseen world" than the classical tradition does now. Current views owe more to Jung, Fulcanelli and Colin Wilson than to Avicienna.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Originally posted by Cicada
What is mainstream alchemy? By this do you mean an actual active science or the modern era's perception of the ancient science?
[edit on 3-10-2005 by Cicada]


It was a pretty unfortunate choice of words on my part, that's for sure.

I mentally winced while typing it, but couldn't think of a better choice words, and was pressed for time while I was responding.

I think it can be said that there are definite streams of thought, major trends in the history of alchemy. And I think it's also fair to say that Fulcanelli stands apart from these streams. While every alchemical writer is unique, many of them make obvious references to the teachings of earlier authorities. Fulcanelli's "alchemy" encompasses a great deal that more classical alchemy (say from Europe 14th-18th centuries) does not.

I'm thinking of a line of inquiry that moves through the wyuu20.
s of, say, Trismosin, through Cornelius Agrippa and Robert Fludd, to Eirenaeus Philalethes and others. And all I meant was that Fulcanelli doesn't really try to continue that line of thought.

As far as the modern world's perception, The dwellings of the Philosophers has probably had more impact on the modern perception of "the unseen world" than the classical tradition does now. Current views owe more to Jung, Fulcanelli and Colin Wilson than to Avicienna.


Sweet. The Dude truly does abide.

Fulcanelli is a fun mystery because it defies any easy analysis. Weirdner and his writing partner Vincent Bridges make a pretty strong case that whoever Fulcanelli was, he was talking about a breed of Gnostic eschatology and the calculation of a literal Last Judgement based in part on observation of the zodiacal precession of equinoxes. I'm really a novice in all of these areas, so I couldn't say how it relates to Renaissance era alchemy but I suppose that any system of complex thinking is going to involve the utilization of varying symbols when translated over long periods of time. An individual like Fulcanelli partaking in what he called a "spoken Cabala" of interrelated symbols then has multiple levels to draw upon allowing for deeper encryptions. The fact that surrealism and psychology employed the language of alchemy at roughly the same time, and the Fulcanelli mystery's position to both of these movements, is intriguing.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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Lol.

I am not nearly as well read Fulcanellistically as I need to be to make anything more than a passing judgement. So call this my impression. (and I don't usually do impressions!)

For many alchemists, astrology was a central tool. If you take a look at Cornelius Agrippa's "Three Volumes of Occult Philosophy," you see a fascination with charts for calculating "the right moment" for any alchemical activity. Yet other alchemists rejected this approach, based on Galatians 4:9-10. (In those days, the majority of alchemists were expicitly Christian.) But astrology remained a central fascination with the larger contemporary culture as well as with alchemists.

There is another piece of scripture that is even more problematic, that being Thessalonians 5:1. On its surface it seems to mean (and is read thus by Christians today) that it is impossible to calculate the date of the eschaton beforehand. There are those, however, who interpret Paul's remarks ("I have no need to write to you") to mean that Paul doesn't specify the date because anyone with the requisite knowlege can calculate it for himself. Or because the date has already been calculated by experts and is well known in the (First Century) church. The reading of the preceding chapter and the following few verses might seem to add some weight to that interpretation.

Fulcanelliwise, I'm not sure how much our author actually knew in an explicit sense. The impression I got from reading a German text of some of his work was that the author was gifted in the art of deploying technical jargon to the point of using alchemical buzzwords as if they were intellectual hand-grenades for his assault on the normative state of consciousness.

Ironic use of the term "spoken Kabalah." And a good example of what Fulcanelli does. The words "spoken Kabalah" are extremely ancient, and carry a specific meaning within the study of the mysteries of Torah:

Traditionally, there are 4 kinds of Kabalah.
1. The written Kabalah, that anyone, of any spiritual maturity, can learn by reading a given book.
2. The "spoken Kabalah," that is passed from a master to his disciples. Some will understand.
3. The "whispered Kabalah," that is murmered on from one mouth to one ear at a time, and is given only to one's successor.
4. The "silent Kabalah," that one learns only by gaining insight directly, which cannot be put into human words.

See. That's an example of what I'm talking about Fulcanelli (whichever person-or persons that was), uses technical jargon to demonstrate a knowledge of the buzzwords, but uses them in such non-traditional ways as to make one wonder whether Fulcanelli is an initiate referring to secret things, or merely a tyro with allusions of grandeur.




posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 08:40 PM
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I wrote a short story, called "interview with the Alchemist" and posted last year on ATS.

Regrettably, when the archives got transferred to the new server, it copied my story improperly. All of the quotes and apostrophes got turned into question marks.

But if you will page down to the end of the replies, I have reposted it in the stories original form. Just go to the bottom of the page.

the story is here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



[edit on 3-10-2005 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 12:07 AM
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'ts not often to have a gathering of alchemists these days.

Cicada, for what it is worth, I have not read any Weirdner but will look into him. I've seen 2001 several times and believe there may be something to the correlation phenomenon of like minds.

I think there is a pink floyd "echos" goes with 2001 as well. Though that was (I believe) intentional.

That said, do any of you have an opinion of elizabeth claire prophet's works? especially "saint germain on alchemy".

What about the thomas cleary's translation of "the secret of the golden flower"?

Or jung's "alchemical studies"?

Are there any alchemists out there read/practice advaita?

Dr strangecraft, thanks for the "4 kinds of kabala"... printed that one.

Sri Oracle



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Traditionally, there are 4 kinds of Kabalah.
4. The "silent Kabalah," that one learns only by gaining insight directly, which cannot be put into human words.

Which I think boils down to this...
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 01:01 AM
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Twitchy, you can review my take on your theories on your long-running "tryptamines thread" (page 3). My main difference with your views is that I believe that spirit is a bridge that takes us beyond the neurochemical basis of ordinary consciousness. In short, I believe that we are more than our indole rings.

Again, I can replicate every experience in my rather thorough experimentation with hallucinagens, using only prayer and no chemicals. Chemicals can give some people a view of the New Jerusalem, but you have to climb down off the mountain and start walking if you ever want to reach the promised land.

With regard to Kabalah, none of those 4 kinds involve psychotronic drugs of any kind.

Saying that all religion is "really about tryptamines" is sort of like saying that love is reducible to the urge for sex. Not that it isn't present, but when you limit religion to revelatory experience, you're not really talking about religion anymore.

It's like saying that the game of poker is "really about spades." Believe it if you want to. But you've missed the point, and you'll never win that way.

As far as the focus of this thread is concerned, I think the study of alchemy was neither a search for self-transformation, nor any ohter kind of "high." Instead it meant an attempt to manipulate matter in a way that was perceptible regardless of one's state of being.

.



posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 12:41 AM
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I'm sorry. I missed all the posts on this thread after March 10th completely. I didn't mean to ignore your questions Sri Oracle. Sorry you had to wait eight months for an answer.


Originally posted by Sri Oracle
'ts not often to have a gathering of alchemists these days.


I would in no way classify myself as an alchemist but I am very interested in the subject. I'm certain Dr. Strangecraft is much more conversant on the subject than I am.



Originally posted by Sri Oracle
That said, do any of you have an opinion of elizabeth claire prophet's works? especially "saint germain on alchemy".


I'd never heard of her before but checking out her website quickly showed me her line of study was not for me. I'm kind of a dreamy realist (and a surrealist), but I'm a realist none the less and I'm not much for systems involving literal souls, past incarnations, and the like. I'm not a fan of psychophysical dualism. It's not that I'm just closed "minded" (see how hard our language makes it to avoid psychophysical dualism) as many would say, but that I believe the roots of these modelistic concepts lie in poetic description of scientific phenomena, primarily astronomy. Alchemy could be the key to solving the metaphoric code, a system of information conveyed across the span of history in ever-evolving spirals of interlinked fields of information. This all sounds quite fantastic, save that it is safe to say that the field of alchemy has included perhaps the greatest and most proficient thinkers in history, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Jan Van Eyck, Francis Bacon, Dr. John Dee, Isaac Newton, etc., etc.

The Comte de St. Germaine more than fits into the above mentioned category of nigh-super human capability, at least if the legends are to be believed. Here's Manly P. Hall's account of St. Germaine from "The Secret Teachings of All Ages": The Mysteries and Their Emissaries

Hall also gives treatments on major alchemical figures Hypatia and Cagliostro in that chapter.


Originally posted by Sri Oracle
What about the thomas cleary's translation of "the secret of the golden flower"?

Or jung's "alchemical studies"?

Are there any alchemists out there read/practice advaita?


I had also never heard of Thomas Cleary, whose work on brief examination to me seems interesting, but then I was raised a pseudo-Buddhist. I see that the "Secret of the Golden Flower" is quite a major alchemical text. Alchemy-texts available at Wal-Mart. Weird.

Jung is always an interesting topic but too much for me to get into now. Here's the Wikipedia article for those unfamiliar with his work: Carl Jung. For the most part I appreciate Jung, but my take on psychology is much more akin to the Interbehavioral Psychology of J.R. Kantor and Noel Smith.

As odd as it may sound this system is not so far removed from Advaita Vedanta.



posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 09:26 PM
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Sorry you had to wait eight months for an answer.


Most oracles learn patience early




see how hard our language makes it to avoid psychophysical dualism


InI see no difference between I and Ibrother. Rasta.



I believe the roots of these modelistic concepts lie in poetic description of scientific phenomena, primarily astronomy. Alchemy could be the key to solving the metaphoric code, a system of information conveyed across the span of history in ever-evolving spirals of interlinked fields of information.


Reminding me of the thread on the Akashic Record. I would say that purifying the soul is certainly a key to unlocking the symbolism. There are faster methods to comprehend the metaphoric code however the effects are limited: Have a two cups of Yerba Mate and then scan a copy of the I Ching. Crash course in wisdom.



This all sounds quite fantastic, save that it is safe to say that the field of alchemy has included perhaps the greatest and most proficient thinkers in history, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Jan Van Eyck, Francis Bacon, Dr. John Dee, Isaac Newton, etc., etc. The Comte de St. Germaine more than fits into the above mentioned category of nigh-super human capability, at least if the legends are to be believed.


Prophet asserts that Bacon is actually an incarnation of St. Germaine. Ocassionally I can channel Da Vinci when I draw black and white perspective. Have you ever tried to draw a perfect circle? The exercise often helps me channel Masters.



The Mysteries and Their Emissaries


The physical incaration of St. Germaine spoken of there is one of several mentioned by Prophet. She claims to be channeling his spirit and knows he has appeared manifest as several other noteworthies. Interesting read on Hypatia and Cagliostro, I do not recall the characters from previous study.



I had also never heard of Thomas Cleary, whose work on brief examination to me seems interesting, but then I was raised a pseudo-Buddhist. I see that the "Secret of the Golden Flower" is quite a major alchemical text.


Careful of the Wilhelm/Jung translation... it is at best a good translation of a bad trascription. Here is a little from the text of Cleary's translation:

"If you can look back again and again into the source of mind, whatever you are doing, not sticking to any image of person or self at all, then this is "turning the light around wherever you are." This is the finest practice."

"The light is easily stirred and hard to stablize. When you have turned it around for a long time the light crystallizes."

"After 100 days the light is spontaneous: a point of true positive energy suddenly produces a pearl, just as embryo forms from the intercourse of a man and woman. Then you should attend it calmly and queitly."



For the most part I appreciate Jung, but my take on psychology is much more akin to the Interbehavioral Psychology of J.R. Kantor and Noel Smith. As odd as it may sound this system is not so far removed from Advaita Vedanta.


I find feng shui to be the art of effective interbehavioral environment planning. I am coming to terms with the fact that one of life's true missions is to know where and when to be in order to effectively help others rebound when they fall. Of course without an, "I told you so."



Sri Oracle



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