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I just completed a post under the thread of Alchemy .... here is part of it:
In the quest for the holy grail, Arthurian legends, the grail is described variously as a cup, a dish, a stone, or a jewel ... .... the search for the grail is to search for the castle where it is kept .... and the question one must pose is "Who does the Grail serve?" It is also spoken of as "a wondrous thing, hidden in the flower garden of the king where the elct of all nations are called" (Walfram Von Eschenback: Parzival) .... in the version of tales where it is referred to as a "stone" it will be housed in a temple using only the purest of materials, such as the fire-stone abestus, which sends forth a fire that does not burn; and the water-stone elitropia, whose water is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. One of the grails ability is to shape-change .... there are five changes described in sequence from spear to cup to sword to stone to child ... these five shapes equate to the five elements of spirit and matter: the spear is fire, the cup is water, the sword air, and the stone earth, the fifth element is soul or spirit. he grail as a stone of the purest kind .... called lapsit exillas .... "there never was human so ill but that if he one day sees that stone, he cannot die within the week that follows" (Parzival) .... Lapsit exillas is the philosophers stone.... and it is, I believe, the final stage in alchemy ....
if alchemy is the process of transforming our own consciousness (from the mundane to gold .... or the light) then the philosopher's stone would be that place in the inner sanctum of the brain where all of this takes place .... the small pineal gland AKA the third eye, interesting it is also called the epiphysis (as in epiphany) ... I saw this quote from someone else (Genesis 32:30, Jacob says "I have seen God face to face and I will call the place Peniel." ....face to face (panim'el panim) is the basis for the word Peniel ....
The Zohar referes to the mystical face of man where each Sephiroth is reflected .... the upper most Sephira, Kether, is called "sainted old age" or "star of the universe" and on him depends the life of all things from the curve of his skull, dew flows incessantly down onto the lower heavens: the philosophers' mercury .... (I read this in a book of alchemy and mysticism) ....
all very interesting and it makes more sense if you look at the symbols .... I still believe we are all alchemists and the philosophers stone exists within each of us .... getting there is quite another problem ..... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine [quote/]
I read in the Five Books of Moses Genesis 32:30 (translation and commentary by a Robert Alter) that the name Peniel builds on "face to face" (panin 'el panim) .... and it is proceeded with
"And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." And he said, "Not Jacob shall your name hence be said, but Israel, for you have striven with and men, and won out." A Jacob asked and said, "Tell your name please"
And he said, "Why should you ask my name?" and there he blessed him. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, meaning "I have seen god face to face and I came out alive."
It is my understanding that when one has a vision or revelation (which takes place when the inner spiralling energy reaches the pineal gland) for some it is the experience of seeing God face-to-face .... and why was Jacob then referred to as Israel .... if the "promised land" is a state of mind as well as a physical place, is it possible that this is the place also called Israel .... if so, then the Zohar has even further implications because it describes in great detail the face of man and all its meanings .... I'm not sure I am making sense here, just a lot of thoughts flowing at the moment .... thank you for your consideration of the question and your patience ....does Israel exist internally as well as externally? he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine