Good evening, folks, you are listening to The Hour of the Time. I am William Cooper. Well, tonight you need to get your pen and notebook and get ready for some pretty heavy stuff to come your way, because we are going to do it again. We are continuing with our groping around in the darkness, try and find some light. *laughs*
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Get ready, folks, it’s going to blow your mind.
[Intro music: Unknown classical music, William Cooper speaking over it: Tonight, folks, we are going to learn about The Alchemical Meme and Secret Societies. You better prepare yourself.]
At the heart, [ladies and gentlemen,] of the alchemical mystery, [of course,] lies a secret. Now, this is no ordinary secret. It is that which they really want us to believe, cannot be told. The experience of Gnosis, and they believe, if you study the secret societies and the occult long enough, you will understand that they believe that ultimately this inexplicable knowing, the Gnosis, cannot be conferred or taught, only incubated and gestated.
[And remember, I told you that all through the process of initiation, the climbing up through the degrees of the different brotherhoods or secret societies, one is never told the interpretation of the symbology of the ceremonies of the initiatory rites and the esoteric teachings to be found in their writings. One either gets it, or one does not. And those who get it are helped up the ladder by those above them and those who do not do not progress. Simply, ladies and gentlemen, they do not progress. And they never learn the ultimate secret, which is what we are looking for, isn’t it?]
Somehow, this Gnosis had been transmitted from generation to generation through thousands of years. [Now, if you doubt that, I suggest that you get into the books and get into the history and do the research that I have done and you will find that this underground stream of particular knowledge, that one only finds in the secret societies and ancient brotherhoods, what some might call the Secret College, is unbroken. And once you understand what it is, and you are able to grab hold of any portion of that stream, you can follow it forward, or backward, through time.] And we find the same content in the experience of Gnosis from the modern samyana experiments at Maharishi University to the Ancient Egyptians [and before.] We find the same content in spontaneous experiences from mystics of all eras. The secret at the core of alchemy is an ineffable experience of real workings of our local cosmological neighborhood. [Doubt it not.]
So how can one incubate and gestate such an experience? The answer may lie in the word transmitted. Modern sociologists have begun to discuss the concept of memes, or complex idea groups — such as monotheism and democracy — that appear to have the ability to replicate themselves. Memes seem to have other properties as well, such as an unusual psychic component. The spread of Spiritualism in the nineteenth century is a superb example of a viral-like meme outbreak [with serious para-psychological implications. A modern version might be the New Age Movement.] Traces of Spiritualism’s meme can be found surviving into the New Age nineties, with its dolphin channeling and near-death experiences, [in fact, if you compare the writings of this two different movements, although occurring in different centuries, you will find that the ideas and the basic premises are almost exactly the same.] The recent film entitled The Sixth Sense is deeply influenced by Spiritualism’s perspective on the afterlife, conveying the meme directly and powerfully to millions of moviegoers.
It helps to think of the secret at the core of alchemy as a very special and sophisticated variety of meme. Like a spore or a seed, the meme has a protective shell that is also attractive to appropriate hosts. In the case of the alchemy meme, that shell is the seductive allure of the transmutation, [… Transmutation … Look it up!] The transformation of base metal into gold. However, even if one absorbs the outer shell of the alchemy meme, there is no guarantee that the inner core will blossom and the meme become active. [Remember? Far beneath the bitter snow lies a seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring, etc, etc, etc. The music on this broadcast is never frivolously played, folks. You see,] for the core to blossom, a series of shocks or initiations are required. [Such as a bomb going off at a federal building in Oklahoma City, airplanes crashing into tall twin towers in New York City, killing thousands of people, an atomic bomb dropped upon two cities in Japan. A complete and total economic collapse.]
The sophistication of the alchemy meme is such that the experience of Gnosis at its core can be stimulated only by these shocks. [Now, the shocks that I told you about are major shocks, not just to individuals but to entire cultures, and sometimes to the entire world. There is no doubt whatsoever that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima changed the entire world forever.] Therefore, to transmit the idea of complex of the Gnosis meme through time requires a series of encounters between those in whom the meme is active and those who have merely been exposed to it. From this need evolved the idea of priesthoods and then, as religious structures degenerated, mystery schools and secret societies. We can think of these as incubation devices for spiritual memes.
Through the millennia, the undigested seed of the alchemy meme was jumbled together with other spiritual memes, creating a seemingly endless series of hybrid spiritual expressions masquerading as alchemy. [Pay close attention to that word ‚masquerading‘!] However, from its [first independent] appearance in first-century Alexandria to its modern expressions such as Fulcanelli and the Golden Dawn,] the secret at the core of the alchemy meme can be traced by its gnostic ineffableness. The secret protects itself, but in doing so leaves an unmistakable fingerprint. By following these gnostic fingerprints, [people like me] can track the progress of the alchemy meme through history [of the human race.]
In the late 1880s a Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, the medical examiner for the City of London, was … [it just happened by chance,] an advanced Rosicrucian adept. A Rosicrucian is a member of the Ancient Order of the Rose and Cross. And he is one of the founders of the hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. 19th century England most notable occult organization. He tells us, in a 1890 lecture on alchemy that „it is never taught in so many words. It may dawn on anyone of you — the magic event may occur when least expected.“ [Just like I have always told you.] thereby demonstrating that he, Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, at least understood that there was a gnostic secret at the core of alchemy.
Now, he can be taken as an authority. He was steeped in Rosicrucian ideas, and in helping to found the Golden Dawn, [which was the first semi-public gender-neutral magical society that accepted both men and women as initiates.] And he clearly felt that he was part of some larger pattern or process, [and you will find that all of these adepts always have that sense of belonging to something larger, always at work, and they are. For they are also known throughout history as the builders. The builders, always working toward the completion of the Great Work. Their tools don’t make any noise, for the most part.]
His aptly named „flying roll“ lectures, therefore of more than passing interest, was given early in the organization’s history and was presented to the group at large. [And we can think of it as a sort of cozy preaching-to-the-choir type of exposition of the basic Rosicrucian alchemical tradition. [But remember, even when speaking to the adepts, they always speak in the esoteric secret language, so there is no danger ever of the profane, that’s you, listening and actually understanding what it is, that he or they or anyone of them at any time is actually really saying or communicating.]
The lecture opens with the assertion that alchemy means simply „the Higher Chemistry“, which treats of „essential nature of the Elements, metals and minerals.“ And this is a good and direct explanation for the ancient term alchemy which avoids the pitfalls of speculative philology [and other over-esoteric derivations and it guarantees that you will not understand one word of what it really means. But we will get there. I will make sure that you understand it. It may take quite a few nights of revelatory teaching, but eventually some of you will get it. The next paragraph that he utters plunges us into something very strange.]
Westcott tells us that the word alchemy was first used by 3rd century emperor Konstantins court astronomer Julius Firmicus Maternus. He then quotes a curious passage about skill in alchemy depends on having the Moon in the House of Saturn. [Now, most of you are lost right there, you think he is talking about astrology. Not on your life, he is talking about time.]
That skill in alchemy depends on having the Moon in the House of Saturn. Even more confusing, Westcott then asks: “what house does he [Firmicus] mean? The Day (Aquarius) house or the Night (Capricorn) house of Saturn?” And then further confuses everyone by wondering if this fourth century astrologer could have meant the attribution as referring to Uranus. [Now remember, in ancient days astrology was astronomy! But we have to assume that he is wrong because] the planet Uranus was not discovered until 1781 [and so Konstantins court astrologer could not have been referring to that planet, unless he knew something that nobody else knew, up until the time of that discovery. And so we might suspect that this is simply bad scholarship. A case of enthusiasm outrunning erudition, yet Dr. Westcotts scholarship in other works is sound enough. It is as if the comments are a species of in-joke. Not meant to be taken literally but assumed to be metaphor and allegory by those who know the punchline. And since Dr. Westcotts included such luminaries as W. B. Yeats [sp?], S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Dr. Thomas Burrage, Annie Hornamen, Moyna Mathers, Florence Far, the Reverend Author Iten, the groups practical alchemist A.E. Wait and other members of the esoteric London scene. It is likely that a number of these folks did indeed understand the in-joke. Possibly many in this group could answer the good coroners rhetorical questions, even though the rest of us looked wondering what we missed.
[And those of you who have studied any part of the history of the occult recognize those names as some of the greatest names in the underground stream during the 19th and early 20th centuries.]
And so the secret protects itself, continually, even from those who think they know it. But it is save to say, folks, that this strange lecture provides an important cluster of clues and impressions with which to begin the hunt. [Most of you would have dismissed it as unintelligible drivel. Big mistake!] You see, the hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has somehow inherited or rediscovered a part of the gnostic secret at the heart of the alchemical mystery.
Westcott, whatever his propensity for occult in-jokes, shows later in his lecture that he does indeed understand the secret quite clearly. He quotes from an old French description of the sequence of the alchemical process. And here is what he says: „The sun begins his special form of change in Leo in his own House, next Scorpio follows. And the work reaches completion in Sagittarius.“ To make sure that we understand, Westcott insists at the close of his lecture: „to perform Alchemical processes requires a simultaneous operation on the astral plane with that of the physical. Unless you are Adept enough to act by Will power, as well as by heat and moisture; life forces as well as electricity, there will be no adequate results.“
[And, ladies and gentlemen, not one word of that means what you think you heard.]
The source for this secret would seem to be the Rosicrucian movements that had swirled around Europe since the early seventeenth century. The Rosicrucians had become by the late nineteenth century the prototypical secret society for incubating the alchemical meme.
[Are there some of you who are just getting even a glimmer of what Alchemical Meme even means?]
In 1555, Nostradamus pinned a quatrain. And here is what he said:
„A new sect of philosophers shall rise,
Despising death, gold, honors and riches,
They shall be near the mountains of Germany,
they shall have abundance of others to support and follow them.“
In 1614, a publicly printed text appeared of an anonymous manuscript, that had been circulating among Europe’s intelligentsia for several years. It was called The Declaration of the Worthy Order of the Rosy Cross.“ Known by its first two Latin words, Fama Fraternitatis, it revealed the purported existence of a brotherhood founded by one Christian Rosenkreuz, who apparently [according to the legend] lived in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
[And I am going to tell you right now, he never lived at all. He is in fact a metaphor for something entirely different.]
In Nostradamus‘ time the word philosopher was synonymous with alchemist. Here, with a vengeance, was a „new sect of Philosophers.“ The Fama tells us of a search for occult knowledge of a man called Christian Rosenkreuz. He traveled to the Middle East – Palestine, Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Spain – before returning to Germany to found his secret brotherhood. [Now, that’s the story, that’s the legend. There is no record of a Christian Rosenkreuz ever having lived. No one who ever knew him or wrote about him, nothing whatsoever.] One hundred and twenty years after Christian Rosenkreuz’s death at the advanced age of 106, one of the brethren discovered in his tomb and his uncorrupted body. This was the signal for the brotherhood to emerge and spread their message, hence the publication of the Fama.
Their message, of course, was nothing less than the dawn of a new Golden Age. [Aha, now we are getting into some meat here. You have heard me discuss that on many occasions. The announcement of nothing less than the dawn of a new Golden Age.] The Fama informs us that the Brotherhood possessed the key to a secret knowledge, capable, [listen very carefully to me, folks,] capable of transforming society and ushering in a new era, one in which „the world shall awake out of her heavy and drowsy sleep, and with an open heart, bare-headed and bare-footed, shall merrily and joyfully meet the new arising Sun.“
[Remember, I told the secret is sometimes hidden in plain sight? Well, you just heard it.]
And the quote is taken directly, verbatim, from the next Rosicrucian production, the professed Confessio Fraternitatis, a Latin restatement of the basic themes but with a more direct emphasis on its revolutionary implications. It also goes to the very core of the alchemical mystery. [And at this point you have already heard almost everything that you ever need to know, except how its done.
The Rosicrucians were alchemists, but the Fama and the Confessio are both highly critical of the „puffer“ type of alchemical worker who sits in his lab and actually attempts to get the mineral gold out of boiling lead. *laughs* The Fama talks of „ungodly and accursed gold-making, whereby under the color of it many runagates and roguish people do use great villainies, and cozen and abuse the credit which is given them.“ The Fama implies that the Rosicrucians could make gold but found the higher spiritual alchemy to be more important. [No one can literally make gold out of lead.] It discussed a higher spiritual alchemy that related to the coming Golden Age and how to prepare for it. That, clearly, was the intent behind the publications of the first two Rosicrucian documents.
The third volume, however, was very different. The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz appeared in 1616 and is the only Rosicrucian document that is claimed by its author, Johann Valentin Andreae, a Protestant minister from Germany. [Let me say that again, a Protestant minister from Germany.] The Wedding is full of the occult imagery and surreal metaphors experienced by Christian Rosenkreuz as he observes a royal wedding. [It attempts nothing less than to express the inexpressible. And after this strange work, the original Rosicrucians fell silent, the fell silent. And it is not known if they did indeed respond to any of the many thinkers who sprang to their defense, for many did, and there where great intellectual discussions all over Europe about the emergence of this secret order. And we must assume that they did. The secret was kept, because, ladies and gentlemen, the movement continued and is active today. Although today there are two branches. One which servers to sort of titillate the minds of those just may be getting started in study of the occult secrets. And another one is a very serious group of builders, indeed.]
Although obscure, Westcott’s lecture serves as proof that Rosicrucian ideas retained their continuity through the centuries. This alone, ladies and gentlemen, is very impressive, but it is the continuity of content that strikes us most strongly. [From this continuity of content we can deduce the outlines of the secret, the meme itself. And use these outlines, these fingerprints, to trace the core of the tradition back to history by following the underground stream.]
[Interlude music: Unknown classical music]
Ladies and gentlemen, if you go to your video store and you rent or purchase, if they don’t have it you can order it, rent or purchase a film called Things to come. It was made many many years ago. In that film you will recognize, if you are an astute student, you will recognize many things that I have discussed in our Mystery Babylon series, and that I am revealing to you tonight. You will also see a symbol, a globe with wings, you will also see a war, which will remind you of the war waging right now in Afghanistan, being fought in exactly the same manner. Against a backward barbaric people, by bombing them from the sky repeatedly until they are overcome. It tells of a New World that will emerge, a Golden Age. Get that movie, watch it. Understand, that throughout the history of the world these adepts, these priests, these followers of Horus, the widow’s sons, the sons of light, the builders, have worked in the temples without windows, to bring about ultimately over centuries and millennia their Utopian world. And don’t doubt it for a moment. And if you do, you will demonstrate, to me at least, that you are a fool.
The word alchemy, as a name for the substance of the mystery, is both revealing and concealing of the true, initiatory nature of the work. [The Great Work.] Al-khem, Arabic for “the black”, refers to the darkness of the unconsciousness, the most prima of all materia, and to the “Black Land” of Egypt. Thus, the name reveals the starting point of the process and the place where this science attained its fullest expression [and the place where the building is carried on.] This revelation, however, important as it is, effectively conceals the nature of the transmutation at the heart of the great work.
[No matter who you are listening or what you believe in, what religion you have … what creed you adhere to, what race you are, alchemy has been working upon you personally for many years. And you have been affected by it, whether you recognize it or not. It is a fact that is true. And it is about time that you began to recognize it, so that you can see where it will take you, because it will take you! So lets go back in history and lets begin in Egypt.]
For three thousand years or more Egypt [ruled the known world, in fact, it] was the heart of the world. Much of the knowledge that is the underpinning of Western civilization had its origins in Egypt, [believe it or not.] Our modern, essentially European, view of the ancient world is distorted by the fun house lenses of Greek and Judaism and Christian history. The Bible gives us an Egypt of powerful pharaohs and pagan magicians, mighty armies, slaves and invasions of chariots out of the south. Herodotus gives us a travelogue, complete with inventive stories from his guides. To the Hebrews of the Old Testament, Egypt was the evil of the world from which God had saved them. To the Greeks, it was an ancient culture to be pillaged for ideas and information. [The super-imposition, ladies and gentlemen, of these concepts produced a skewed image of Egyptian civilization. Most of what you think you understand about ancient Egypt you don’t understand at all. For instance, the Pyramids, or at least three, the greatest Pyramids, what we know as the Great Pyramids, on the planes at Gizeh, where not tombs for any pharaohs. They were temples of initiation. And the initiation that the ancient Egyptians performed was much like the initiation of George Herbert Walker Bush and his son, George W. Bush, in the crypt — why do you think they call it a crypt? — at Yale University.] To understand the origin of [the vast subject of] alchemy, we must let go of the fun-house lenses and look clearly at what the remains of the ancient Egyptian culture can tell us. [So forget everything that you have ever been taught.]
When we do this, two things immediately jump out at us. First, the ancient Egyptians were the most scientifically advanced culture on the planet up to the present day, if we have indeed caught up with them; and second — their science, in fact, their entire culture — seems to have been revealed rather than developed. [You cannot find a point in Egyptian history where they were learning what they had. They had it from the beginning. Talk about mysteries.] The Egyptians claimed that their knowledge was derived from the actions of divine forces in what they called the First Time, or Zep Tepi. [This body of knowledge was passed down through the ages by] a group known as the Heru Shemsu, or, [as I have taught you on many previous episodes, the body of adepts known as the] Company of Horus, [or the full body of adepts known as the congregation of the mysteries. Remember, Osiris was the doctrine, Isis was the church and Horus represented the full body of the congregation of initiates.] Each pharaoh, down to Roman times, was an Initiate of the Company of Horus and thus privy to this secret knowledge.
[And the symbol was in those days the emblem of the head of the Cobra upon the forehead. Remember, they are also called the Order of the Dragon, the Order of the Snake, the followers of the Luciferian Philosophy, that some of you call Satan.]
We can think of this secret knowledge as the core of „alchemy“ in its broadest sense. However, at we look closely at what the Egyptians tell us about their science, we find that it is based on an intimate understanding of the stars. We also find that it is coded somehow into many of the ancient monuments that have existed in Egypt for centuries. [And if you listened closely to me on previous broadcasts, I have told you that the sum total of human knowledge was always built into the buildings of the culture of all of the ancient civilizations.] These monuments, such as the Sphinx and its temple, point to an even more ancient civilization from which the Egyptians recovered their knowledge. In that sense, the knowledge of the Egyptians, of which alchemy is a half-remembered fragment, is the lost science of the last evolutionary societal epoch. But if this is true, what happened to end this epoch?
The legend says that a great catastrophe destroyed this advanced culture and modern scientific evidence tends to bare that out.
One of the earliest alchemical texts is the fragmentary „Isis the Prophetess to Her Son Horus“, found in the Codex Marcianus, a medieval collection of Greek fragments. And this work seems to be a unique blend of Hebrew mysticism and Egyptian mythology that could only have come from Alexandria, sometime, of what is known as the Christian era, the Egyptian goddess Isis tells her son, Horus, [remember, Isis was the mother, sister, wife of Osiris,] she tells her son, Horus, that while he was away fighting and defeating the evil one, Seth, she was in Hermopolis studying angelic magic and alchemy. She relates that „after a certain passing of the kairoi and the necessary movement of the heavenly sphere, it happened that one of the angels who dwelt in the first firmament saw me from above.“ The angel is enflamed by sexual passion for Isis, but he cant answer her questions about alchemy. He bargains on another encounter by offering to bring a higher angel who will tell her everything that she wants to know. The first angel shows Isis the magical sign of the higher angel. This sign consists of a bowl of shining water and a moon sign that resembles the emblem of the moon god Khonsu of Thebes.
And at noon the next day, the angel returns with the higher angel, who is called Amnael. This higher angel also finds Isis desirable and is willing to trade for information. He reveals the mystery of his sign and then swears her to a great oath. In this oath, we find echoes of the great mystery and one of the keys to its explication: „I conjure you in the name of Fire, of Water, of Air, and of the Earth; I conjure you in the name of the Heights of Heaven and the Depths of Earth’s Underworld; I conjure you in the name of Hermes and Anubis, the howling of Kerkoros and the guardian dragon; I conjure you in the name of the boat and its ferry-man, Acharontos; and I conjure you in the name of the three necessities and the whip and the sword.“
After this strange oath, Isis is told to never reveal the secret to anyone but her son, Horus, her closest fried. [Now remember, we are not talking about real people here. I told you who these characters really are.] The knowledge will make them one — as the knowledge has now made Isis and the angel one. [So the church and the congregation will become one.]
And then a curious thing occurs. When the mystery is revealed, it seems strangely flat, as if something was left unsaid in the answer. Horus is told to watch the peasant, who may or may not have been the mythical boatman Acharontos. He is then given a lecture on „as you sow, so shall you reap.“ [Guess what, folks, this was several 1000 years before the birth of Jesus, who said the same thing. „As you sow, so you shall reap.“] Horus is told to realize that „this is the whole creation and the whole process of coming into being, and know that a man is only able to produce a man, and a lion a lion, and a dog a dog, and if something happens contrary to nature, then it is a miracle and cannot continue to exist, because nature enjoys nature and only nature overcomes nature.“
[If you understand what it is that she said, it is not flat at all. It is profound truth.]
Isis goes on to relate that she will now give Horus the secret of preparing certain „sands“. She says: „One must stay with existing nature and the matter one has in hand in order to prepare things. Just as I said before, wheat creates wheat, a man begets a man and thus gold will harvest gold, like produces like. Now I have manifested the mystery to you.“
[And after hearing that, do you really believe that gold can changed from lead? Do you believe that lead can be changed into gold? Not at all, it cannot happen, despite what Art Bell and his guests, who claims that he has done it and can do it and others have done it, they are full of crap, they are bullshitting you big time. They would love for you to think that that’s what alchemy is really all about, because, in the process of doing that they are in engaged in alchemy, and they are affecting your beliefs. They are screwing with your minds.]
The instruction then passes to hands-on lab work in melting and preparing metals such as quicksilver, [which is mercury,] copper, lead, and [of course] gold. At the end of this lengthy preparations, Isis exclaims: „Now realize the mystery, my son, the drug, the elixir of the widow.“ [*laughs* Most people would be sneaking around, looking for some kind of a hallucinogenic potion to take. It is a drug of the mind. Its called ‚Knowledge of the Secret‘. It holds great power.]
What are we to make of this strange story, with its curiously flat revelations? [Well, probably not much at all without the asides that I have conveniently conveyed to you.] Possibly our very earliest alchemical text would present us with the same problems and ambiguities that we will find throughout the entire alchemical corpus. [Or body.] There seems to be something in the very subject itself it forces its images toward the surreality of pathological metaphor. It is, it could be, or is it? Merrily deceased imagination, or are there meanings beneath the fantasy? [And I tell you absolutely yes, meanings of such profound truths, such absolute power over huge numbers of people and things, that those who understand how it works are constantly awed that it works at all and that it works so well.
With all of this in mind, we can see that „Alchemy“ points to the ancient science, as revived by the Egyptians, and to the darkness of the unconsciousness where powerful psycho-sexual forces can be encountered and used in the process of transformation. Egyptian science, with its concern for stellar movements as the background of mythical dramas, points us another step down the road, [as does the realization that there is a core to the process, far beyond the furly [sp?] internal. And as we ravel alchemy’s ultimate secret, we will return to the story of Isis and the angel and the origin of alchemy. But first we need to briefly follow the trail of those who held this information, [and since we have been following that trail for so long on this broadcast, we will on Monday night pick it up again,] the Hru Shemsu, the Followers of the Widow’s Son, the congregation of Horus.
— Stops reading —
Good night, folks, and God bless each and every single one of you. Good night Annie, Pooh and Alison, I love you.
[Outro music: Unknown music]