Since the launch of Nemeta in September 2018, I have been uncertain what material to include here in Course 1 Gaian Alchemy. Not due to lack of material on the topic: After all, Planetary Tantra is itself a complete system of alchemy defined generically as the transmutation of mind and senses through interactivity with nature. Moreover, content in Course 9 Biomysticism and 10 Mythophrenia develop this practice in diverse ways. How exactly to select units for this Course has always been problematic.
As far as I can recall, I originally intended this classroom in Nemeta to release some version of the 1982-1985 course on alchemy and ecopsychology given in Santa Fe. It runs to 550 single-spaced typewritten pages with hundreds of illustrations and symbols drawn from alchemical manuscripts. But something happened and I did not manage to convert that original work into units here. The option to go back to it and make selections involving editing and updating, or even leaving it as it originally was, is not feasible due to the time it would involve. The material in block 101 TOWARD A FUTURE ALCHEMY and 102 THE GREAT WORK comes from that original project. But there is much, much more that remains unpublished. At this point, I am not sure where I would find it in my files.
So it happens that I do not find other units among the hundreds in development on Nemeta that I can include here. It seems odd that this topic, which is central to the Gaian practice of Gnosis today, would be so spare in material but that is how it stands at the moment.
Readers of Not in His Image will note that I gave considerable attention to the topics of deep ecology and so-called ecopsychology. Doing so, I touched on the foundations of Gaian alchemy going back to the 1980s. In 1.101 Atmospheric Physics I explained: “My provisional approach to The Great Work presented in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1981 and revised in 1984-5 into a 21-lesson package went dormant for some years. In 1992 Theodore Roszak published a definitive work, The Voice of the Earth. The subtitle is: An Exploration of Ecopsychology. It seems that from the late Eighties onward the notion of ecopsychology emerged among the avant-garde of American academics, for whom Roszak is a leading figure. The Course was proposing ecopsychology before it was named as such.”
In fact, that single unit contains a complete synthesis of the “Great Work,” and I don’t see how I could have stated it more clearly or completely. For now, the nine units in this Course will have to stand for all I can say about Gaian alchemy. It looks like it may be all I really need to say, short of overdeveloping the theme and repeating myself. However, I remain alert for any existing material that might surface in the future appropriate to be included here. As for adding new content, that is always a possibility but the odds of my doing that are low.
In the perspective of so many years since 1982 in Santa Fe, I hold strongly to the view that my writings on the Great Work present a unique contribution that establishes a primary truth: The operations of the human psyche (sensation, cognition, memory, imagination) are events in the terrestrial habitat to be considered as real and palpable as the extra-human processes of nature. What you feel and think about the wind on your face is an event of nature, exactly like the wind on your face. To me that says it all.
Orientation to Gaian Alchemy
Nemeta Course 1 is dedicated to a subject at the heart of Planetary Tantra, and linked intimately to Sophianic Animism. Among the varied components of the Sophianic vision that I have attempted to formulate and deliver in my life since the Terma in August 2008, this one stands perhaps above all others: human co-operation with the dreaming power of the Earth. That is, of course, the working premise of PT: “interactive magic with Gaia,” so defined in October 2008. It is likewise the working premise of alchemy in the Gaian perspective. The studies in this Course show how that guiding premise emerged years before I defined Planetary Tantra as such, and how it has morphed and matured in the ensuing years.
In the legacy of medieval and Renaissance alchemy, I found in Latin (thanks to the works of C. G. Jung) two signal phrases:
Tam ethice quam physice. “As much moral as physical.”
Nature performeth her operations gradually; and indeed I would have thee do the same: let thy imagination be guided wholly by nature. And observe according to nature, through whom the substances regenerate themselves in the bowels of the earth. And imagine this with true and not with fantastic imagination. – Artis Auriferae, “The Art of Goldmaking” (Compiled 1610 AD)
Somewhere in the hard copy of “The Course” I have the original Latin for the latter citation. The operative syntax is: imagine this with true and not with fantastic imagination.
Come to think of it, I can add a third word: invenio. This is Latin for “I find, I discover.” Invenio occurs practically as a kind of command prompt, c:\invenio, in the alchemical legacy. When you come to realize that discovery is invention, genuine sense-based discovery along the lines of the Great Work, you are on to the NPU and you know with the confidence of a gnostic that originality is the only game in town.
So… Gaian Alchemy is the name I give today to a vast body of research and original writing stretching back to October 1982, when I presented “THE COURSE” to a group of students in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That presentation consisted of 40 lessons, once per week for 40 weeks, concluding on July 4, 1983. The original version contained a considerable amount of astrological material, framed in the genre of Terrastrology as it called it at the time. Subsequently, I revised The Course and reduced it to 21 lessons, cutting out the astrological sections which I compiled into another course specific to that topic. The revised course, typewritten and printed on standard US letter-size paper, runs to 515 pages.
Obviously, the form assumed by Gaian Alchemy today has required extensive reworking, condensation, cutting, amplification, and revision, to produce the sets or modules you find in these Blocks. Forthcoming Blocks will contain some carefully selected excerpts from the 1982-85 Course, appropriately framed for Correction.
And here is final guiding meme in Latin: festina lente. “Make haste slowly.”
Block 101: Toward a Future Alchemy. The foundation of atmospheric physics pioneered by the genuine alchemists of the past. Placing psyche in its habitat. The Christocentric spin of received materials. Overcoming the delusions and detours of Anthroposophy, Hermetics, and Jungian psychology.
|§ HIGHLIGHTS AND PREVIEWS|
|1 PAM’s Sensorium||1012 years, 10 months|
|§ 101 TOWARD A FUTURE ALCHEMY|
|1.101 Toward a Future Alchemy||100 years, 4 months|
|1.101 Psyche in its Habitat||100 years, 4 months|
|1.101 Atmospheric Physics||100 years, 4 months|
|1.101 Art and Artifex||100 years, 4 months|
|§ 1.102 THE GREAT WORK|
|1.102 The Once and Future Grail||100 years, 4 months|
|1.102 The Great Work Revised||100 years, 4 months|
|1.102 Hermetics and Handover||1012 years, 10 months|
|1.102 Alchemy Without Christ||1012 years, 10 months|
|NO ADDITIONAL UNITS PLANNED|