Alchemy and Tantra

In his final blog, Giles Oatley reveals the secret to the philosopher's stone...

Throughout the writings of Samael Aun Weor you will find many of the key elements of the formulas of Highest Yoga Tantra, otherwise known as Alchemy.

The Two Trees of the Garden of Eden are the two essential branches of all knowledge. The Tree of Life is the science of Kabbalah. The Tree of Knowledge is the science of Tantra, or as it is known in the West, Alchemy.

Alchemy: Al (Arabic, as in Allah) means "God." Also El (Hebrew) for "God." Chem or Khem is from kimia (Greek) which means "to fuse or cast a metal." Also from Khem, the ancient name of Egypt. The synthesis is therefore Al-Kimia: "to fuse with God."

Tantra: Sanskrit for "continuum" or "unbroken stream." This refers to the continuum of vital energy that sustains all existence, and also to the class of knowledge and practices that harnesses that vital energy, thereby transforming the practitioner.

The Tree of Knowledge (Alchemy/Tantra) is Daath (Hebrew for knowledge), which is the same as Gnosis (Greek for knowledge).

This science was known and practiced by the ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, Chaldeans, Greeks, Tibetans, Indians, Zen and Chan Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sufis, and many, many more. The understanding of the Tree of Knowledge (Daath) is fundamental in order to understand any religion or mysticism.

Books and classes on Alchemy and Tantra are becoming as common as weeds. There is a growing fascination with this subject, and yet, what of it is genuine and pure?

“If you feel that the view and practice of Dzogchen (Tantrism) is quite simple, it is a sign that you have not understood it properly. It would be quite ironic if the highest of the nine vehicles, the Great Perfection, were the most simple. That would be very ironic indeed.” (The Fourteenth Dalai Lama)

The ancient and long-revered tradition of Tantrism is synonymous with the true heart of Western Alchemy. Both seek to transform the initiated student into the ultimate fulfillment of human existence: a purified soul, an angel, a Buddha, a Master, free of suffering and marked by the spontaneous expression of pure and selfless compassion.

While Alchemy is best known for greedy gold-seeking "chemists," there were a handful of real alchemists, men and women who learned how to conquer death, spontaneously generate precious metals and gems, and cure incurable diseases; most of all, they were known for creating the Philosopher's Stone: a magical item which could work miracles and bestow eternal life.

These stories are identical to the tales of yogis and monks of the East who walked upon the winds and performed all manner of miraculous acts.

The Philosopher's Stone is related with the foundation stone mentioned repeatedly in the Christian Gospels.

“The stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.” (1 Peter 2: 7-8)

The Philosopher's Stone is created by perfecting our own rough and unworked stone, the Brute Stone of the primeval Masons. The secret wisdom of the Tree of Knowledge reveals the science to develop the Philosopher's Stone, or in other words, the Intimate Christ re-vested with the bodies of gold, working with the human soul.

Giles Oatley lectures in forensic statistics, data mining and decision support systems for crime detection and prevention. He has also worked in the care sector for several years with adults with challenging behaviour and severe learning difficulties. He chairs the Gnostic Institute of Anthropology.
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Is there such a thing as responsible betting?

Punters are encouraged to bet responsibly. What a laugh that is. It’s like encouraging drunks to get drunk responsibly, to crash our cars responsibly, murder each other responsibly.

I try not to watch the commercials between matches, or the studio discussions, or anything really, before or after, except for the match itself. And yet there is one person I never manage to escape properly – Ray Winstone. His cracked face, his mesmerising voice, his endlessly repeated spiel follow me across the room as I escape for the lav, the kitchen, the drinks cupboard.

I’m not sure which betting company he is shouting about, there are just so many of them, offering incredible odds and supposedly free bets. In the past six years, since the laws changed, TV betting adverts have increased by 600 per cent, all offering amazingly simple ways to lose money with just one tap on a smartphone.

The one I hate is the ad for BetVictor. The man who has been fronting it, appearing at windows or on roofs, who I assume is Victor, is just so slimy and horrible.

Betting firms are the ultimate football parasites, second in wealth only to kit manufacturers. They have perfected the capitalist’s art of using OPM (Other People’s Money). They’re not directly involved in football – say, in training or managing – yet they make millions off the back of its popularity. Many of the firms are based offshore in Gibraltar.

Football betting is not new. In the Fifties, my job every week at five o’clock was to sit beside my father’s bed, where he lay paralysed with MS, and write down the football results as they were read out on Sports Report. I had not to breathe, make silly remarks or guess the score. By the inflection in the announcer’s voice you could tell if it was an away win.

Earlier in the week I had filled in his Treble Chance on the Littlewoods pools. The “treble” part was because you had three chances: three points if the game you picked was a score draw, two for a goalless draw and one point for a home or away win. You chose eight games and had to reach 24 points, or as near as possible, then you were in the money.

“Not a damn sausage,” my father would say every week, once I’d marked and handed him back his predictions. He never did win a sausage.

Football pools began in the 1920s, the main ones being Littlewoods and Vernons, both based in Liverpool. They gave employment to thousands of bright young women who checked the results and sang in company choirs in their spare time. Each firm spent millions on advertising. In 1935, Littlewoods flew an aeroplane over London with a banner saying: Littlewoods Above All!

Postwar, they blossomed again, taking in £50m a year. The nation stopped at five on a Saturday to hear the scores, whether they were interested in football or not, hoping to get rich. BBC Sports Report began in 1948 with John Webster reading the results. James Alexander Gordon took over in 1974 – a voice soon familiar throughout the land.

These past few decades, football pools have been left behind, old-fashioned, low-tech, replaced by online betting using smartphones. The betting industry has totally rebooted itself. You can bet while the match is still on, trying to predict who will get the next goal, the next corner, the next throw-in. I made the last one up, but in theory you can bet instantly, on anything, at any time.

The soft sell is interesting. With the old football pools, we knew it was a remote flutter, hoping to make some money. Today the ads imply that betting on football somehow enhances the experience, adds to the enjoyment, involves you in the game itself, hence they show lads all together, drinking and laughing and putting on bets.

At the same time, punters are encouraged to do it responsibly. What a laugh that is. It’s like encouraging drunks to get drunk responsibly, to crash our cars responsibly, murder each other responsibly. Responsibly and respect are now two of the most meaningless words in the football language. People have been gambling, in some form, since the beginning, watching two raindrops drip down inside the cave, lying around in Roman bathhouses playing games. All they’ve done is to change the technology. You have to respect that.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 05 February 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Putin's war