“Enigma On The Subject Of The Philosophers” by Louis Grassot, 1803

 

ENIGMA
ON THE SUBJECT OF THE PHILOSOPHERS,
WHICH SERVES TO FORM THE UNIVERSAL MEDICINE

 

The material forms its home out of itself in a well through the assistance of Vulcan.
The vulgar cannot know its true source, the elements are confusedly enclosed in it.
It is an obscure chaos, all the water we draw from it is bitter, sour and yet sweet as honey.
It is old black saturn that contains in himself all that he needs, without needing any foreign thing. Its mine is so narrow that we can hardly enter.
The mountains and the plains possess it, it is also found in castles and cottages, on land, on sea and in all the places of the world, making itself known and recognised by all creatures.
The poor possess it like the rich.
We spit on it and the crowd steps on it in a season of the year.
The wind carries it in its belly, and like the eagle it cleaves the air and escapes from our eyes, fluttering over our heads, always moveing away from the earth.
It is stone by likeness and is in no way a stone, it is hot, cold, moist and dry.
It alone does not add anything, the elixir of the wise.
It is more abundant in the North than in Spain.
It creates stinking vapours, which one is obliged to avoid, its food being partly the earth.
It ascends to Heaven and from Heaven descends to the earth, containing the celestial influences very preciously in itself.
It cannot be consumed by the most violent fire, it is a phoenix rising from the ashes.
It contains salt, sulphur and mercury, body, spirit and soul.
The three kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral, derive their life from it.
It is, apparently, exhausted like a mummy from its colour, yet it is very lively.
Although it is scorned, it is richer than all Peru, and the wise men have nothing more precious.
It is a virgin who has never been touched.
It is a grey girl with a black veil, who carries in her bosom the priceless virgin milk which serves our needs.
In it is enclosed the water in which the king and queen bathe and purify themselves of their leprosy.
Brumblin said: ‘Take the matter that everyone knows, take its darkness away from it, then fortify its fire at its time, because it can suffer, it will follow various colours’.
The first will be saffron like, the second rusty, the third as poppy, and the fourth like ruby.
When this is so, the body becomes spiritual, tingeing and purifying all imperfect bodies, and you have the whole secret.
The material resembles a hen’s egg.
To which nothing is added but heat.
The shell is the vessel of glass, let it hatch from its mother in a gentle bath, during seven of our philosophical months which are composed of forty days, it will form a chicken which will have a red crest, plumage and black feet, when you have it, do not forget the poor.
The adepts say, our matter is everything.
It is conceived in hell, born on the earth, finds its life in heaven, and after its death it gains bliss and will subsist without interruption until the end of time.
Anyone who knows this divine matter can easily develop the obscure enigmas that the authors have used to veil it.
It must be called a divine matter, especially since God only gives knowledge of it to those whom he believes to be worthy.