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Qualities and Requisites

May 12, 2009

Alchemy —like any science— requires certain qualities in its students: sincerity, earnestness, compassion, austerity, and discipline, to name but a few. It also requires a background in those traditional literatures on which it is based. For alchemical texts written in European languages this would most likely include (at the very least): Torah, New Testament, the Gnostic, Apocryphal and Inter-testamental scriptures, the Corpus Hermeticum, the Timaeus of Plato, the Enneads of Plotinus, etc. Whomsoever enters into the study of alchemy without the necessary qualities and requisites is about as likely to succeed as one who would begin the study of physics without any knowledge of math or scientific methodology.

  1. xiaoyaoxingzhe
    March 12, 2010 at 1:41 am

    This seems rather daunting. Are you saying that before one begins to study alchemy it is necessary to possess all the qualities required of the student, and be familiar with all of those texts? If that is the case, no wonder there are so few competent alchemists!

  2. March 12, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Not at all. Sincerity by itself would do the trick, because with sincerity you are one within yourself and you will follow your own lead to develop those other requisites as they are needed. If you have earnestness and discipline you will have the necessary drive to study the requisite materials. Compassion will get one far on its own, if it is true compassion and not mere sentimentality. So, not everything has to be there initially, but one must be ready, willing and able to develop all the qualities. The textual background helps in deciphering the texts – but here again, sincerity or contact with a guide, can provide all that is needed. However, without a guide, more is required of the would-be student. But again, sincerity is the rudder.

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