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Old 10-02-2017, 08:35 PM   #89
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From Alchemy of the Soul: The Eros and Psyche Myth as a Guide to Transformation by Martin Lowenthal:
"The Greek Aphrodite, who was worshipped in Egypt as Isis, in Sumeria as Inanna, in Babylonia as Ishtar, in the Near East as Ashtoreth, and was known in Roman times as Venus, reveals the mysteries of the gods, of life, of death, and of spiritual realization." p. 8.

"Apuleius called his larger novel, of which the tale of Eros (Cupid, in Latin) and Psyche was a part, The Transformations of Lucius Apuleius of Madaura, later shortened to The Golden Ass. For Apuleius, the Eros and Psyche story is a coded version of the secret initiation practices referred to later in the novel when the main character, Lucius, becomes a priest in the cult of Isis. The spiritual mysteries were always coded in stories so that the words and practices that had the power of the "keys" to heaven were concealed from non-initiates. The story of Eros and Psyche gives a basic road map of the steps of alchemical initiation into the mystical circle of Isis." - p. 47.

"In addition to the alchemical transformations that the story as a whole represents, it also traces the development of Psyche as a "personal soul" into a "Sacred Soul."" - p. 60-1.

"...another meaning of the word "psyche," butterfly. A mature butterfly is the result of a metamorphosis from one form into another." - p. 69.

"Aphrodite, as a Great Mother Goddess of Love, Marriage, Sexuality, and Childbirth, is a Greek incarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was called Venus by the Romans." - p. 70.

"The process of turning the lead of ordinary experience into the gold of wisdom was referred to by alchemists variously as the "opus," the "transformation," or the "metamorphosis." For the initiated, the Greek and Roman myths, as well as Ovid's Metamorphoses and much of the work of Homer, were considered consciously alchemical works. It was customary for the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians to hand down the alchemical wisdom to succeeding generations in the form of myths, fables, and coded stories." - p. 76.

"One of the core principles of spiritual alchemy that is found in Kabbalah and many other mystical traditions states that the physical and spiritual worlds are mirrors of each other, that the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm and vice versa. In alchemy, this is called the "Doctrine of Correspondences." The Doctrine of Correspondences puts forth that what is true in Heaven corresponds to what is true on Earth, and what is true on Earth is also true of Heaven. They do not consider life, at its essence, to be divisible into a physical reality divorced from a sacred reality For them, the subtlest part of matter is soul. The subtlest part of soul is spirit. And the subtlest part of spirit is God, also referred to by many as Nous, the One Mind." - p. 79.

"This work is often referred to as the Magnum Opus, the Great Work, because it represents the culmination of conscious inner work that embodies profound wisdom and energy beyond the limitations of mundane time, space, and routines. This final, freshly radiant and open state is known as the Philosopher's Stone. In the myth of Eros and Psyche, it is also symbolized by the nectar of the gods that completes the initiation of the personal soul as a learning being into the sacred, the refinement of the spirit and of you as a listener into the luminous world of the Divine, embodied in your aliveness, clarity, and love. All reality, inner and outer, is transformed in this process, producing the blessed experience of rapture, heavenly pleasure." - p. 80.

"Our challenge is to transform this body into a vehicle for turning everything into the gold of spiritual value and the elixir of sacred delight to remove the muck of reaction from the hidden diamond of natural awareness." - p. 82-3.

"The sexual alchemists in this system tap the mutual energies of their partners to achieve ever-more-intense inner orgasms and ever-greater refinement of the generative energies. These are then gathered and used to create a subtle energy body." - p. 91.

"...the myth of Eros and about the alchemical path of turning everything into the gold of wisdom, the embodiment of that wisdom, and living life as a total person and member of a sacred community." - p. 95.

"Beyond the general alchemical principle of turning the base metal of everyday experience into the gold of wisdom, the myth of Eros and Psyche also contains specific alchemical symbols, processes, and steps in its structure and characters. These references in the myth, as presented by Apuleius and as retold here, reveal an entire system of sacred alchemy as initiation." - p. 101.

"From this original Chaos arose the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. These four elements are not the same as the physical forms we see as the material world, but are sublte qualities or principles that manifest in physical forms." - p. 102.

"Then a new element is introduced that is represented in three different forms: the nectar, the heavenly marriage itself, and the child that is born. Nectar is the gold of profound wisdom that is needed for the full transformation of into the gold of Divine Wisdom - the Philosopher's Stone of immortality - and entrance into eternity. The marriage unites Heaven (Eros) and Earth (Psyche)." - p. 106.

"The new, or fifth, element results when the four fundamental elements are harmonized and reconciled in a unity. In the alchemical tradition, the Philosopher's Stone is often called gold and the Elixir, drinkable gold. The essence of the Elixir, the liquid gold, is the supreme Wisdom that is clear, indestructible, and made of the original nature of the world and all being." - p. 107.

"These stages can be further elaborated as seven steps: calcination, dissolution, separation, conjunction, fermentation, distillation, and coagulation." - p. 108.

"Coagulation, the last step, brings together all the elements in a final marriage that represents transformation and embodiment of Wisdom and the creation of the gold of Profound Wisdom, the Philosopher's Stone, the diamond of true clarity, and the Elixir of sacred creation in the dimension of the eternal." - p. 110.

"In Western alchemy, [the Philosopher's Stone] is compared to such precious stones as the ruby, pearl, sapphire, and diamond. In Buddhist teachings, it is depicted as a diamond. A pure diamond is close to an absolutely clear physical substance and is the hardest, most indestructible thing in our universe." - p. 110-111.

"Through [Psyche's] three deaths, the sacred aspects of her soul are released to go through various unions with the spirit, represented by Eros, leading to the alchemical wedding." - p. 112.

"Eros is also associated with the bee and with honey. The sting of the bee and the arrow of Eros both signify the secret, sacred fire that breaks down metals and destroys the outmoded state of being." - p. 112.

"Apollo is the Sun and also represents gold. It is the oracle of Apollo that sets out the initial instructions to the father of Psyche that begin the journey and explicitly state that a marriage must take place." - p. 113.

"The caduceus, the wand of Hermes, with two intertwining serpents crossing each other to form three circles, symbolizes the dynamic circulation of fundamental male and female energies and the three separations and unions that are part of the alchemical work in creating the sacred marriage." - p. 114.

"The golden fleece is a form of Divine Wisdom that is used to catalyze the alchemical process." - p. 115.

"As mentioned previously, the supreme wisdom that turns the lead of everyday experience into the gold of Wisdom and sacred devotion is represented by the divine nectar. This divine state is also referred to as an Elixir, daughter, the Philosopher's Stone, a rose, a lily, a lotus blossom, and a bird." - p. 117.
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