The Philosophers of Nature was an international organization active from the late 1970’s through the 1990’s that promoted a deep engagement with alchemical practice. Jean Dubuis, the founder and long time President of the organization, fostered a sophisticated and integral intiatory vision of the art based on his professional experience assisting Nobel Prize winning nuclear physicist Jolliot-Curie, his work in the international electronics industry, and his extensive experience interacting in the fruitful fields of various esoteric disciplines.
These experiences allowed Dubuis to express a more mature and effective vision of esoteric spirituality that challenges less direct understandings of these practices. For those of you joining Scott Olsen, author of The Golden Section Nature Greatest Secret, and I for the upcoming Evolver Learning Lab event “Sacred Geometry and Alchemical Transformation: The Mystery of Squaring the Circle” (Click Here for more details) we will be exploring another avenue of these ideas in presenting a vision fostered by Buckminster Fuller’s protege Keith Critchlow, as taught by Prince Charles’ School of Traditional Arts.
The following interview excerpt, from a conversation held with Mark Stavish, Director of the Institute for Hermetic Studies, gives a small taste of the possibilities that exist in the ‘Royal Art‘ when we move beyond psychological models and into the realm of actual practical application:
“Dubuis: To date I have more than sixty years’ experience in esotericism. I went through many initiatic or esoteric organizations. In all those organizations I found things that were good and not so good, and I have tried to get rid of those things that were not so good through LPN.
I think that the main problem stands that in the real initiatic path you must have no priest, no master, or guru. Because the real initiation means that when you present yourself at the door of the temple you are a free being. So, to use a word I don’t like, the Eternal Father can’t recognize one of his sons if he is a slave of the earth, whatever the field he is a slave of. Freedom is the first thing you must acquire in order to be initiated. The Inner Freedom, of course.
Stavish: Since alchemy plays a major part in the teachings of LPN, how do you define it?
Dubuis: I believe alchemy is an initiatic system in which you may have no delusions. It is the only initiatic path where there is an objective control in the laboratory. So if your experiments show you’ve gone beyond the ordinary material laws of the universe, it shows that you’re an alchemist that has had an inner awakening, and that corresponds to the rules set by Paracelsus; and Paracelsus said, “You will transmute nothing if you have not transmuted yourself before.”
Stavish: In today’s New Age movements, many teachings imply or outright state that an initiation is a strong emotional response to something of a spiritual nature. How do you define initiation?
Dubuis: I don’t believe that it is what we can call a true initiation. But it is the beginning of an initiation; what can be called a true inner contact. That is, something that makes your real inner me start relating to your physical body on earth. In general, these first contacts can’t be expressed intellectually, but they come to being through intuitive or symbolic experiences.
If you would like to be on this sphere, not even be an initiate, but aspire to initiation, to aspire to be an alchemist, to aspire being a cabbalist, or aspire to be an adept of an initiatic path regardless of whatever it is, you need to have a generous heart, in the real, deepest sense of the term. But you also need a solid brain so you can see through things. You must have generosity in your heart, but not something that means you are stupid in this world, and to spoil all that you have. All the things that you were given belong to you. You are responsible for using them correctly for your own becoming, or for the becoming of all the other beings on earth.
Stavish: Is alchemy for everyone?
Dubuis: Not everyone must become an alchemist. The whole of nature is a plan to make gods. We are all “zero beings” in origin, and all, with no exception whatsoever, we will be infinite beings at the end of time… Alchemy allows us to go faster, to get rid more early of our worldly burdens, but it is only one of the paths.
I must add, that in the technological civilizations, alchemy corresponds particularly to the disposition of the countries, but it is not mandatory.”
Click Here to continue reading the interview at The Hermetic Library.
Image courtesy of Triad Publishing