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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The struggles of Huma Abedin

On the behind-the-scenes story of Hillary Clinton’s closest aide.

In a dreary campaign, it was a moment that shone: Hillary Clinton, on the road to the caucus in Iowa, stopping at a Mexican fast-food restaurant to eat and somehow passing unrecognised. Americans of all political persuasions gleefully speculated over what her order – a chicken burrito bowl with guacamole – revealed about her frame of mind, while supporters gloated that the grainy security-camera footage seemed to show Clinton with her wallet out, paying for her own lunch. Here was not the former first lady, senator and secretary of state, known to people all over the world. This was someone’s unassuming grandmother, getting some food with her colleagues.

It might be unheard of for Clinton to go unrecognised but, for the woman next to her at the till, blending into the background is part of the job. Huma Abedin, often referred to as Clinton’s “shadow” by the US media, is now the vice-chair of her presidential campaign. She was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the state department and has been a personal aide since the late 1990s.

Abedin first met Clinton in 1996 when she was 19 and an intern at the White House, assigned to the first lady’s office. She was born in Michigan in 1976 to an Indian father and a Pakistani mother. When Abedin was two, they moved from the US to Saudi Arabia. She returned when she was 18 to study at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her father was an Islamic scholar who specialised in interfaith reconciliation – he died when she was 17 – and her mother is a professor of sociology.

While the role of “political body woman” may once have been a kind of modern maid, there to provide a close physical presence and to juggle the luggage and logistics, this is no longer the case. During almost 20 years at Clinton’s side, Abedin has advised her boss on everything from how to set up a fax machine – “Just pick up the phone and hang it up. And leave it hung up” – to policy on the Middle East. When thousands of Clinton’s emails were made public (because she had used a private, rather than a government, server for official communication), we glimpsed just how close they are. In an email from 2009, Clinton tells her aide: “Just knock on the door to the bedroom if it’s closed.”

Abedin shares something else with Clinton, outside of their professional ties. They are both political wives who have weathered their husbands’ scandals. In what felt like a Lewinsky affair for the digital age, in 2011, Abedin’s congressman husband, Anthony Weiner, resigned from office after it emerged that he had shared pictures of his genitals with strangers on social media. A second similar scandal then destroyed his attempt to be elected mayor of New York in 2013. In an ironic twist, it was Bill Clinton who officiated at Abedin’s and Weiner’s wedding in 2010. At the time, Hillary is reported to have said: “I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would [be] Huma.” Like her boss, Abedin stood by her husband and now Weiner is a house husband, caring for their four-year-old son, Jordan, while his wife is on the road.

Ellie Foreman-Peck

A documentary filmed during Weiner’s abortive mayoral campaign has just been released in the US. Weiner shows Abedin at her husband’s side, curtailing his more chaotic tendencies, always flawless with her red lipstick in place. Speaking to the New York Observer in 2007, three years before their marriage, Weiner said of his future wife: “This notion that Senator Clinton is a cool customer – I mean, I don’t dispute it, but the coolest customer in that whole operation is Huma . . . In fact, I think there’s some dispute as to whether Huma’s actually human.” In the film, watching her preternatural calm under extraordinary pressure, you can see what he means.

In recent months, Abedin’s role has changed. She is still to be found at Clinton’s side – as the burrito photo showed – but she is gradually taking a more visible role in the organisation overall, as they pivot away from the primaries to focus on the national race. She meets with potential donors and endorsers on Clinton’s behalf and sets strategy. When a running mate is chosen, you can be sure that Abedin will have had her say on who it is. There’s a grim symmetry to the way politics looks in the US now: on one side, the Republican candidate Donald Trump is calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country; on the other, the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton relies ever more on her long-time Muslim-American staffer.

Years before Trump, notable Republicans were trying to make unpleasant capital out of Abedin’s background. In 2012, Tea Party supporters alleged that she was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and its attempt to gain access “to top Obama officials”. In her rare interviews, Abedin has spoken of how hurtful these baseless statements were to her family – her mother still lives in Saudi Arabia. Later, the senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain spoke up for her, saying that Abedin represented “what is best about America”.

Whether senior figures in his party would do the same now remains to be seen.

Caroline Crampton is web editor of the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 26 May 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit odd squad