Logic: The "Alkahest"
What Is Logic?
The principle of logic is the most fundamental feature of reality. Everything that exists relies on it.
Logic is the primary-mechanism of creation. It's the single tool by which everything else is made, and therefore is also the single tool by which everything can be understood. Logic is thus the "mediator between God and Creation".
Logic corresponds to the second of the seven-principles: "Voice".
This is why it is said God "speaks" creation into existence. Logic is God's Voice.
Logic begins with the simplest Boolean operator: "NOT", which returns a reflection of it's input. It's equivalent to a mirror which provides an inverted image of what is in front of it.
Duality, the third principle, is made as a logical reflection of One: When a mind reflects on itself it becomes two.
When you observe yourself you become two, the observer and the observed. This is the first act which marks the beginning of all creation, the separation of consciousness into two complementary parts.
Alchemy contains the concept of an "alkahest", a "universal solvent"...
In Renaissance alchemy, alkahest was the theorized "universal solvent". It was supposed to be capable of dissolving any other substance, including gold, without altering or destroying its fundamental components.
...reducing or dissolving substances into their fundamental virtues and properties.
Alchemy was always presented in terms of materials and substances but this may have been a subterfuge; it's possible alchemy was described as a material science in order to avoid religious persecution.
"Interest in alkahest ended in the mid-18th century when the German alchemist Kunckel pointed out that if alkahest were a true universal solvent, then it would dissolve even the vessel that held it."
Considering that the properties of the supposed alkahest are quite impossible for a material substance, it would make sense to look at non-material phenomena instead.
There is one thing that is capable of "dissolving substances into their fundamental virtues and properties": Logic / reason / understanding. This could be the true identity of the "alkahest".
Logic is a kind of "universal solvent". It's able to "dissolve substances into their fundamental virtues and properties". The universe was made by logic, and logic can be used to take it apart again, figuratively speaking.
Alkahest is used in magic to clear away fog and obstruction so that a desired thing can manifest. In spiritual alchemical processes, alkahest is the dark water of the unconscious in which the ego is dissolved.
The faculty of reason is what clears away mental fog and obstructions. Reason is the thing which dissolves ego.
Reason is the alkahest.
Logic (from the Ancient Greek: λογική, translit. logikḗ), originally meaning "the word" or "what is spoken", but coming to mean "thought" or "reason", is a subject concerned with the most general laws of truth, and is now generally held to consist of the systematic study of the form of valid inference.
Some more definitions:
- reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. (Oxford)
- a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration : the science of the formal principles of reasoning. (MW)
- a method of reasoning that involves a series of statements, each of which must be true if the statement before it is true. (Collins)
- The logic of a conclusion or an argument is its quality of being correct and reasonable. (Collins)
Logic is synonymous with reason, and is a means for determining the truth of a statement.
But what is it? How can it do that? How can logic find truth? If logic can find truth, then how much truth can it find?
Although we use logic routinely, we don't tend to think deeply about the implications of it.
What are the implications of the existence of logic?
Logic Implies Absolute Truth
If logic is a means for finding truth, then truth must exist. There must be actual truths which exist in order for logic to have any meaning.
Science assumes that absolute truths exist and that they can be found by observation and reason, that's it's purpose. The word 'science' is a synonym of 'knowledge', and a definition of knowledge could be "to understand truth". Thus science also implies absolute truth must exist.
science (n.) mid-14c., "what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;" from Latin scientia "knowledge, a knowing; expertness," (OED)
Logic Implies An Underlying Non-Physical Reality
Matter exists because of the "laws of physics". The rules that govern material reality dictate the properties of matter. Rules are an expression of logic, so the existence of the solid material world appears to depend on the existence of immaterial concepts.
Just as physical objects cannot conceptually exist until there is a space for them to occupy. Space itself can't exist without the principle of division and separation, of "here" being NOT "there". Space is the same thing as distance and it requires logic to separate and define the two extremes (like "near" and "far").
Logic Implies An Intelligent Creator
The ability to reason is the essence of intelligence. We could define it as such.
If logic/reason must exist before matter, then the universe is a mental construction. If logic/reason is the definition of intelligence, then the mind that built the logic into it must be intelligent.
However, that doesn't mean that the universe itself is necessarily intelligent, it could be a machine. In fact it looks a lot more like a machine than a consciousness.
It also doesn't imply that the Creator of the universe interferes with it's progress.
Logic As A Mechanism
Without logic it's impossible to have numbers, or relationships, or anything we can conceive of. Without logic there could be no concepts or ideas, at least as we understand them. Logic makes knowledge possible.
Logic isn't just a means to determine truth, it's the primary mechanism by which truth/reality is created.
Some may argue that logic is an 'emergent property' of the universe, but there could be no 'laws of physics' without logic.
The Tao could not have been divided without logic... So logic preceded the creation of Yin & Yang.
Logic = Logos = Word / Reason = Christ = Cross = Crossroads = Choice
The concepts of free-will and choice link closely to the principle of reason. If we don't have the power of reason, we can't choose. Without knowledge, reason and understanding there is no possibility of making an informed choice.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
To be free is the same thing as being able to choose. The more choice you have, the freer you are.
I think it's interesting that the symbol of Christ is the cross, and the cross can be considered the symbol of choice, as the crossroads symbolises choice. It's said you go to the crossroads to "make a deal with the Devil", and that fits the thesis very well.
Note, the cross symbol is also used to represent the heart, as the heart is like a cross with four main chambers & blood vessels. The word "cross" may be linked etymologically to the heart too, see Spanish "corazon" and English phrase "crux of the matter".
"Christ the Mediator"
Truth is what is real; fiction is what's not real.
"God" is "one" and is "truth", i.e. "God" is everything that is real and exists universally.
There's only one actual reality: Yang
"Goddess" is many and is "fiction", i.e. "Goddess" is everything that is less-real and exists only in a limited context.
There are many different views of reality: Yin
Logic enables you to discern & choose between truth and fiction.
Everything was made by logic, and so everything can be known by it.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Christ is said to be the "mediator between God and His creation".
"the Catholic Church actually acknowledges Christ to be our one and absolutely unique mediator who alone can reconcile us to the Father in a strict sense."
The "Christ Spirit", is identical with the principle of Logic: Christ = Logos = Logic
Logic is the mediator between God and creation:
Reason allows "the creation to know the Creator"; "Christ" came to help "the creation to know the Creator".
Logic is a necessary part of the Creator archetype. You can't create anything without a plan, or without making decisions.
Logic was used to create reality and we can use Logic to know reality. Logic completes the circuit of creation; God uses it to create us, and we use it to know God.
Alchemy sees God as Truth / What Is, Goddess as Fiction / What Is Not, and Logos or "Nous" as the primary mechanism that divides the two.
The sword symbolises logic because it separates things. It divides one part from the other. Just as logic separates truth from fiction.
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword:
and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Christ is portrayed here as having a "sharp twoedged sword, coming from his mouth". I don't think it could be clearer in it's symbolism. Logic is the sharp two-edged sword, which cuts both ways, and it's coming from his mouth. Logic is expressed though Voice, and it is Choice.
It's interesting to note the seven-stars in his right hand. Which would correspond to the seven-principles.
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