Caput Mortem

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Caput Mortem

Post  mescalinfusion on Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:57 pm

In the "Colloidal Gold/Silver" thread, I mentioned that all alchemical processes involve the removal of the "caput mortem", or corrupt matter, and therefore, the deeper one's understanding of the caput mortem, the deeper the understanding of the alchemical art.

I think then it would be great to start a discussion on it! What are people's thoughts on what this is?

I won't go into detail on my own thoughts yet. I figured I'd just get the ball rolling.

In alchemy, evolution is the process of matter "on the path of return". That is, God falls into matter, becomes matter, so that matter may come to know God. But there is, in matter, that which perpetuates itself and ever turns back in on itself (in reflection of the whole) and therefore holds back matter from evolving back to its source. This is necessary, since Nature must perpetuate itself and maintain its own survival. However, this slows down the evolutionary process unimaginably so. In the human microcosm, this easily observed as that which pulls us back, that which shackles us to our own selves and our material existence.

Alchemy then speeds up the evolutionary process, by removing the caput mortem from the trinity of existence.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Caput Mortem

Post  deviadah on Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:08 pm

Just to grant others a general idea:
Caput Mortuum is a Latin term meaning 'death's head'. In alchemy, it signified a useless substance left over from a chemical operation such as sublimation. Alchemists represented this residue with a stylized human skull, a literal death's head. In its current limited usage, the caput mortuum represents decline and entropy. - Wikipedia
I personally have stumbled across this concept a few times, but I have not really given it much consideration. So I will let it mature for a while and see what others have to say...

The insoluble salts precipitate to the bottom of our water bottles leaving a milky water ladened with the soluble white salts. We siphon off this salty milky water and preserve it. We dissolve over and over the ashes until all our soluble salts have been extracted leaving behind the Caput Mortem . from Salt Volatilization Experiment by Steve Kalec
The above is a practical application of Caput Mortem, but of course it exist in the spiritual realm of alchemy too!

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Last edited by deviadah on Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Caput Mortem

Post  mescalinfusion on Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:41 pm

but of course it exist in the spiritual realm of alchemy too!
oh definately! As I added in my first post, "In the human microcosm, this is easily observed as that which pulls us back, that which shackles us to our own selves and our material existence."

The wikipedia quote is very pertinent. Think of spiritual entropy and decline. But again, this is not a bad thing; it is a necessary part of nature. If there was no Caput Mortem at all in Nature, there would be no Nature. The Latin meaning is very pertinent as well. In Peter Marshall's The Philosopher's Stone, Peter has a meeting with the alchemist Robert Vrum, who tells him:
"A crucial point which involves all initiation rites is death. Comenius has a very interesting allegory about it in his Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart. For Comenius the paradise of the heart is symbolized by the figure of Christ. He describes how in a symbolic city, he sees people being attacked by Death, who is shooting people with arrows. One person is hit and made sick, another is hit and dies. But there's a very strange thing. Death has the bow but she does not have the arrows herself. She takes the arrows from the people. They bring the arrows so that she has something to shoot them with."

The conversation goes on from there on the subject of initiation and death, but does not illuminate the symbolism of this. My feeling is that the arrows are the Caput Mortem itself. Through alchemy, one rids oneself of the arrows which Death would take from you, and so Death no longer has any power over you. Also, one can see immediately why the Caput Mortem is so vital an aspect of Nature's existence, for what would Nature be if nothing ever died??

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Re: Caput Mortem

Post  deviadah on Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:13 pm

mescalinfusion wrote:Also, one can see immediately why the Caput Mortem is so vital an aspect of Nature's existence, for what would Nature be if nothing ever died?
This is a really important point that a lot of people neglect. It is also something that people get confused over when thinking about eternal life, or The Elixir of Life. The concept of time is something very difficult for us humans to think about, and to look at from another perspective. Although Einstein is a smart man I suspect the human race has put him on such a pedestal because what he is actually saying is so difficult to imagine that normal folks find it easier to call him a genius rather than a rebel.

Even eternity has an end, but once a person is living in that realm the end is near AND non-existent!

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