Ye Essential Saltes

This article provides a formula for making essential salts for use in magical arts. I originally developed (a more peculiar version of) the formula for an ancestral rite inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward wherein Lovecraft describes an operation for raising the dead from their ‘essential Saltes’, i.e., ashen remains. It seems Lovecraft got the idea from Puritan minister and witch hunter, Cotton Mather (paraphrasing Borellus a.k.a. Pierre Borel):

The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been incinerated.1

Lovecraft’s story would have been less entertaining sans ‘criminal Necromancy’, so he restored a ritual element to the use of the ‘Saltes’, based on Eliphas Levi’s writings on black magic.2 In any case, the formula may be more generally applied as I will show.

Salt is one of the Three Essentials in Western alchemy; the other two being Sulfur and Mercury. It is the Body of a living thing, where indwell that thing’s Soul (consciousness) and Spirit (vital force, animating principle). The spagyric process consists of separating out the Three Essentials of a plant, purifying them, and then cohobating them. The essential oil (Sulfur) and alcohol (Mercury) are purified via recurrent distillations; the essential salt is purified via calcination, i.e., incinerating the dead plant matter that remains following distillation, until it becomes a fine, white ash, which is then recombined with the purified oil and alcohol—solve et coagula.

Although my formula is based on attributing spiritual meanings to chemical changes à la alchemy, it differs from alchemy in an important way. The aim of the art spagyrical is to release and rarify the already indwelling spirit or essence of a medium, whereas my technique involves projecting an essence into a medium, viz., a matrix of salt and water, and afterward evaporating the water to concentrate the essence within the salt. Thus, the sorcerer may produce essential salts for anything she can evoke within the medium, and she is not limited to the inherent essences of minerals, plants, and animals (which I concede may be more potent in certain applications). Such salts so made may be diversely employed in various acts of ritual magic, including electronic thaumaturgy.

Fig. 1 — A bottle of prepared salt.

Making the Essential Salts

The formula outlined is as follows:

  1. Obtain an appropriate quantity of salt water.
  2. Transfer the desired essence to the salt water.
  3. Evaporate the water and calcine the salt.
  4. Pulverize and store the salt.

Obtain the Salt Water

There are various reasons for using saline water as a medium for the essence transfer that follows, rather than evoking directly into the salt itself. The operation that transforms the salt’s essence is a kind of magical contagion,3 and while water is often known as a purifier, it is so because of its ability to dissolve and wash away soil and the contaminants associated with “dirt.” “[It] is irresistibly the element of memory […] water takes on and retains all that is washed within it.”4 “As a solvent, water makes solid and tangible substances like earth and salt lose their coherence and transform into something else, and this becomes a model for the way that water can carry other kinds of powers and essences that are more arcane, but equally invisible.”5 Elemental water is commonly understood as being “the most passive, receptive element, and the greatest receiver and absorber of energy.”6 It also signifies the liquid state between earth (solid) and air (gaseous), and so makes a fine quick-body into which to combine the subtle with the gross. The analogy between deep waters and the deep mind makes evoking into water analogous to implanting an idea in the deep or unconscious mind. The journey of collecting and then evaporating the water and separating the salt is, like the spagyric art, a process through (not just by) which the sorcerer produces a rarer and more potent product.

The best brine is procured from the ocean at an auspicious time such as during a ritual at midnight when the moon is new or full (i.e., during spring tides; water, especially sea water, has a strong connection with the moon). If you are unable to travel to the shore, you can buy sea salt from a grocer and dissolve it in collected rainwater. Salinating tap water with table salt would work also, I suppose, but I discourage you from using iodized salt.7

The quantity of salt water required for the operation depends on how much salt you wish to produce and how large a volume of liquid you would transfer the essence to. Contingent on the actual measure of its salinity (normally between 3.5% and 5%), one gallon of seawater will usually yield 4 to 4.5 oz. of salt crystals (by weight; 1 oz. of ground salt equals nearly 5 tsp. by volume). If making your own salt water, you should receive nearly the same quantity of salt as you submitted.

If using seawater, strain it through a sieve or other filter to remove any debris before pouring it into a vessel for the essence transfer. If making your own salt water, you can heat it just to a boil to help dissolve the salt, then immediately remove it from the heat source and allow it to cool to ambient temperature before proceeding.

Transfer the Essence

There are many ways to go about transferring the desired essence into the salt water, and I encourage you to use those that are familiar. One simple way employs a combination of sigilization and visualization. Firstly, having contained the salt water in a suitable vessel (I use a clear, glass bottle that has been consecrated) and identified the thing you will call the essence of, construct its sigil by one of the usual means, and draw that either on the vessel itself or on a flat surface beneath the vessel. You may situate said sigil in the center of a device incorporating additional sigilla or other signs supporting agents, as illustrated below.

Evocation Devices

Having prepared and arranged all materials for the rite, contemplate the essence until you determine a suitable color and temperature or feeling for it,8 and then visualize that color either rising from the sigil beneath the vessel or projecting from your hands if you are invoked of an agent to assist the transfer. Direct the color to suffuse the entire quantity of liquid, amplifying it as needed, until you are satisfied of the essence transfer to the water.

The basic formula may be made more elaborate as needed.

Evaporate the Water

You can find instructions in books or online for various means of separating salt from salt water. Here is the method I use: Boil the solution in a clean pot until about 90% of it has evaporated (you may collect the distilled water as it evaporates). The remaining water will be thicker than when you began, and salt crystals will already have begun forming on the sides of the pot. Pour this condensed liquid into a glass baking dish and place that outside in the sun to finish evaporating. Do not leave it out overnight if you are in a climate that accumulates moisture at that time, as the salt will absorb water from the surrounding air (hygroscopy), and may deliquesce in sufficiently humid environments. If you are working in high humidity, or if the weather is averse, place the pan in an oven set to its lowest temperature (mine is 170° F), until the salt has dried.

While the water is boiling and evaporating is a good time to meditate on how the “ghost” of whatever you evoked vaporizes into the æther, leaving the corpus behind for you to work with. It is also appropriate to incant prayers or spells or perform ritual acts at this time, which reinforce the network between the spiritual essence, the material salt, and the magical work you intend to do with them.

When the salt is dry, you can either grind it immediately or calcine it over a flame or on a stove thus cremating the body. The latter will make the salt drier still, and more ashy, but could color it—which might be an intentional effect if you desire grayer ash. Calcining in a clean and proper crucible is the surest way to avoid introducing impurities to the salt. Heat the crucible in a bed of sand to help evenly distribute the heat around it and prevent hot spots.

Once solvent and solute have been separated, the salt remains an indexical link to the essence that was transferred to the original solution.

Pulverize and Store the Salt

Scrape the salt out of the pan or crucible and grind it with a mortar and pestle until it becomes like fine ash, which is how you should treat it from here on: as being no different than the cremated body of that which you earlier evoked. This is another opportunity to further enchant the materia magica.

Move the salt to a dry, glass bottle or other container that you seal and label. Be mindful of how you dispose of any salt residue on your utensils. I rinse mine in consecrated water at a crossroads (living in the city, I find that planted traffic circles suffice).

Using the Essential Salts

The enchanted salt may be used as a magical link in any appropriate ritual or magical activity. Sprinkle some on hallowed ground or on a sigil. Dissolve some in ink or paint, or a sacramental libation. Keep the salt in an urn on your altar and give it devotions. &c. &c. In my work with technomancy, robomancy, &c., I use such salts in my electronic circuits either my mixing them into conductive paints or inks, or by dissolving them in a small vial of water—thus increasing the electrical conductivity of the water—which I connect to the circuit. So connected, the salt helps inform the subtle or occult temperament of the circuit or the magician-computer interaction the circuit is part of.

Fig. 3 --- An electric circuit passing through a salt-water solution. The pentacle in the center of the circuit represents any electrical load in parallel with the solution---cf. the schematic symbol for a motor. The pentacle symbolizes the spiritual manifesting in matter.
Fig. 3 — An electric circuit passing through a salt-water solution. The pentacle in the center of the circuit represents a load in parallel with the solution, symbolized by the pentacle, a sign of the spiritual manifesting in matter. N.b., in this configuration the aqueous solution acts as a current divider, meaning the circuit’s current is divided between the solution and the load represented by the pentacle. To represent the flow of occult energy from the solution to the pentacle, arrange them in series with the solution placed between the supply voltage and the pentacle.

Electrical Considerations

Most of my circuits are powered by direct current (DC), which has some effects when passed through water via a pair of electrodes:

  • Polarization occurs when positively charged ions accumulate at the cathode and negatively charged ions gather at the anode, appearing to reduce the aqueous solution’s conductivity.
  • Electrolysis occurs when the electric current causes the water molecules (H2O) to split, and hydrogen gas appears at the cathode while oxygen gas appears at the anode.
  • The metal of which the electrodes are composed, or any chemicals coating the electrodes or the vessel containing the water, or present in the water itself, may react to the electric current.

I use electrodes made of stainless steel (usually 22 gauge, type 316, although 304 may work as well for this), which is inexpensive and an inert metal so it does not produce unwanted effects. When employing the aqueous solution in a circuit involving a microcontroller, I usually connect it to an input pin and program the microcontroller to respond to the connection; thus the solution becomes effectively a switch. At 3.3 or 5 V, neither polarization nor electrolysis is usually a significant problem, but where it may constitute difficulty there are ways to attenuate or prevent such effects, including adding an oscillator to the circuit to alternate the direction of current flow.

Fig. 4 --- One of my sorcerous robots; attached to its back is a vial containing 2 mL of solution with electrodes.
Fig. 4 — One of my robots; attached to its rear is a vial containing 2 mL of enchanted saline solution, with electrodes.

The Cyberpunk As Modern Alchemist

This is an excerpt from Timothy Leary’s “The Eternal Philosophy of Chaos,” which I have included it here for inspiration.

The baby-boom generation grew up in an electronic world (1960s to 1970s) of turn-on, tune-in television and personal computing screens. The cyberpunks, growing up in the 1980s to 1990s, develop new metaphors, rituals, lifestyles for dealing with the universe of information. More and more of us are becoming fuzzy logic shamans and digital alchemists.

The parallels between the culture of the alchemists and that of cyberpunk computer adepts are numerous. Both employ knowledge of an occult arcanum unknown to the population at large, with secret symbols and words of power. The “secret symbols” compose the languages of computers and mathematics, and the “words of power” instruct computer operating systems to complete Herculean tasks.

Knowing the precise code name of a digital program permits it to be conjured into existence, transcending the labor of muscular or mechanical search. Rites of initiation or apprenticeship are common to both. “Psychic feats” of telepresence and action-at-a-distance are achieved by selection of the menu option.

Young digital alchemists have at their command tools of a clarity and power unimagined by their predecessors. Computer screens are magical mirrors, presenting alternate realities at varying degrees of abstraction on command (invocation). The mouse or pen of the digitizing tablet is the wand, controlling the fire of the CRT/monitor display and harnessing the creative force of the operator. Spinning disk drives are the pentacles, inscribed with complex symbols, earthen tablets to receive the input of “air”, resulting in the crackling intellectual electricity of the processor chip circuitry programming. The RAM chips are, literally, the buffers (“buffer pools”), the water, the passive element capable only of receiving impressions and retransmitting, reflecting.

Iconic visual programming languages are a Tarot, the pictorial summarization of all possibilities, activated for divination by juxtaposition and mutual influence. It is a Periodic Table of Possibilities, the Western form of the Eastern I Ching. Traditional word-oriented programming languages — FORTRAN, COBOL, and the rest — are a degenerate primitive form of these universal systems, grimoires of profit-oriented corporations.

Detailed database logs of the activity of operating systems form the Akashic records on a microscale. At a macroscopic level, this is the “world net” knowledge base, the worldwide online hypertext network of information soon to be realized by the storage capacity of CD-ROM and the data-transmission capability of optical fiber — William Gibson’s cyberspace “matrix”.

Personal transmutation (the ecstasy of the “ultimate hack”) is a veiled goal of both systems. The satori of harmonious human-computer communication resulting from the infinite regress into metalevels of self-reflection is the reward for immaculate conceptualization and execution of ideas.

The universality of 0 and 1 throughout magic and religion — yin and yang, yoni and lingam, cup and wand — are manifested today in digital signals, the two bits underlying the implementation of all digital programs in the world in our brains and in our operating disks. Stretching it a bit, even the monad, symbol of change and the Tao, visually resembles a superimposed 0 and 1 when its curving central line is stretched through the action of centrifugal force from the ever-increasing speed of rotation of the monad.

Being Athanor

Related articles: Of Magic and Machine

The Alchemist as Cyborg

Abstract: Is an alchemist’s athanor part of her?

It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc
and then she clearly understood
if he was fire, oh, then she was wood.
// Leonard Cohen, “Joan of Arc”

The word cyborg first appeared in Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline’s 1960 article, “Cyborgs and Space,” as an abbreviation of cybernetic organism, referring to human-machine systems that could survive the hazards that space travel threatened the “natural” biology of humans [1]. Today, the cyborg of popular fiction re/sembles the vulgar dichotomy between mechanism and vitalism: cold metal and wires conjoined with warm flesh and blood. But cybernetics offers a theory of how mind “is not limited by the skin” [2], that is anything but monstrous or bleak, and I propose it has as much to do with the Great Work as with space travel or the body electric, and is as old as Thoth, the tongue and heart of Ra.

I don’t think this tendency towards cognitive hybridization is a modern development. Rather, it is an aspect of our humanity which is as basic and ancient as the use of speech, and which has been extending its territory ever since. [3]

As Norbert Wiener coined it in 1948, from the Greek kybernētēs for “steersman” (who pilots or navigates a vessel), cybernetics is “the study of control and communication in the animal and the machine” [4]. Control and communication because goal-oriented action (such as control of the path of a ship) requires information (where are we going, where are we now, what is the difference, and how do we close that gap; repeat until we arrive at our destination), and animal and machine because goal-oriented or purposive behavior is not limited to so-called living organisms. Wiener explains:

When I give an order to a machine, the situation is not essentially different from that which arises when I give an order to a person. In other words, as far as my consciousness goes I am aware of the order that has gone out and of the signal of compliance that has come back. To me, personally, the fact that the signal in its intermediate stages has gone through a machine rather than through a person is irrelevant and does not in any case greatly change my relation to the signal. Thus the theory of control in engineering, whether human or animal or mechanical, is a chapter in the theory of messages. [5]

It is my thesis that the physical functioning of the living individual and the operation of some of the newer communication machines are precisely parallel in their analogous attempts to control entropy through feedback. [6]

The transmitter, signal, receiver, and especially response in Wiener’s explanation make up a feedback system. Cybernetics describes how feedback produces (brings forth) order from disorder (cf. chaos, entropy, noise). Notice the circularity in feedback, which is a recurring (!) theme in cybernetics as well as alchemy (e.g., Ouroboros), and is illustrated in Gregory Bateson’s consideration of where a blind man ends, which also speaks to the coniunctio of natural and artificial:

Suppose I am a blind man, and I use a stick. I go tap, tap, tap. Where do I start? Is my mental system bounded at the handle of the stick? Is it bounded by my skin? Does it start halfway up the stick? Does it start at the tip of the stick? But these are nonsense questions. The stick is a pathway along which transforms of difference are being transmitted. The way to delineate the system is to draw the limiting line in such a way that you do not cut any of these pathways in ways which leave things inexplicable. If what you are trying to explain is a given piece of behavior, such as the locomotion of the blind man, then, for this purpose, you will need the street, the stick, the man; the street, the stick, and so on, round and round. [7]

In a sense (established by the observer who makes sense of what she observes; cf. the differentiation of forms from the First Matter), the blind man’s walking stick is part of him, and I shall now demonstrate two senses in which the alchemist’s athanor — as metaphor for her laboratory — is part of her.

Many alchemical processes require long gestation periods, and the athanor furnace was developed to maintain regular temperature and fuel supply while the alchemist attends to other matters. (Note that regulatory and autonomous behaviors are both cybernetic concepts, but I will not elaborate on them here; instead, I will focus on how the structure of the athanor is analogous to the purpose for which it was created, and how its operation informs the behavior of its operator.) The operations taking place within the belly of the machine no less than demonstrate the mysteries of alchemy. These demonstrations are the alchemist’s means for making sense of her world, for giving and finding order and integrity to it, with it, in it. She presents sulfur and mercury to the athanor, and the athanor tells her what happens when they come together. She re/cognizes allegory in the athanor’s tale, and extends the marriage of sulfur and mercury to objects that are not sulfur or mercury per se — including, perhaps, herself and the athanor.

This process of interactively discovering-inventing reality is treated explicitly in cybernetics and its epistemological constructivism [8]. Cybernetically speaking, the alchemist and athanor are structurally coupled and determined. Their inter-actions (cf. con-versations) involve changes in each which re/produce co-responding changes in the other (cf. the Hermetic Principle of Correspondence: “as above, so below”). The alchemist does something to the athanor, the athanor reacts to the alchemist’s action, the alchemist reacts to the athanor’s reaction, and so on. Each re/action occurs concurrently with structural changes in the re/actor, hence the import-ance (worth taking in) of the alchemist’s labor-atory (place of work).

Sad as it is to say, you never understand anything by merely reading a book about it. That’s why every science course includes laboratory experiments, and why every consciousness-liberation movement demands practice of yogas, meditations, confrontation techniques, etc. in which the ideas are tested in the laboratory of your own nervous system. [9]

The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be “out there” and the person that appears to be “in here” are not two separate things. [10]

The outer and the inner are one thing, one constellation, one influence, one concordance, one duration, one fruit. [11]

Now I would like to turn your attention from how the athanor is like the alchemist, to how the alchemist is like the athanor.

When the masters in alchemy say that little time and money are required to accomplish the works of science, above all when they affirm that one vessel alone is needed, when they speak of the great and unique Athanor which all can use, which is ready to each man’s hand, which all possess without knowing it, they allude to philosophical and moral alchemy. As a fact, the strong and resolute will can arrive in a short time at absolute independence, and we are all in possession of the chemical instrument, the great and sole Athanor which answers for the separation of the subtle from the gross and the fixed from the volatile. This instrument, complete as the world and precise as mathematics, is represented under the emblem of the Pentagram or five-pointed star, which is the absolute sign of human intelligence. I will follow the example of the wise by forbearing to name it: it is too easy to divine. [12]

The athanor is defined as a “self-feeding, digesting furnace, in which an equable heat is maintained.” Is not this a fairly good description of the human body? [13]

Commenting on organization (of the body) as message (cf. Marshall McLuhan: “the medium is the message” [14]), Wiener said, “the individuality of the body is that of a flame rather than that of a stone, of a form rather than that of a bit of substance” [15]. Paul Foster Case said, “It is the essence of fire, manifested as the human organism, which provides us with the instrument for the Great Work” [16]. What is the Great Work? “[It] is, before all things, the creation of man by himself [17], that is to say, the full and entire conquest of his faculties and his future” [18].

The ‘conquest of his faculties and future’ evokes cybernetics in the sense of Clynes and Kline and our purpose-ful use of technology to improve and extend our lives and our selves. In our “inner” laboratory, we re/combine (solve et coagula) our experiences to inform novel experiments, increasing the variety of re/actions we are capable of and wisdom to know which re/actions are appropriate to various circumstances. It suggests taking response-ability for our participation in the con-struction (building with) of the world, the “outer” laboratory. “In a piece of wood there lie concealed the forms of all animals, the forms of plants of every description, the forms of all instruments; and he [and she] who can carve them finds them” [19].

The ‘creation of man by himself’ suggests self-organization, autonomy, and autopoiesis (“self-creation”) [20], and the idea that any living organism maintains itself through operational closure (cf. hermetically sealed), feedback, and dynamic equilibrium. “Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest (let no one belong to another, who can belong to herself).” The “internal” athanor is the womb through which we are born again, of our immaculate conception (cf. incorruptible gold), not violated by “external” in-fluence (flowing in). “For it is not on paper that you will find the words to understand, but in Him [and Her] who put the words on paper” [21].

Books and newspapers, audio and videotapes, street signs and so forth do not contain information, but rather they transport potential information, and that is an important difference. If you don’t understand Chinese, the characters of the I Ching will just look like a bunch of chicken scratches on white paper. The world contains no information. The world is as it is. […] [Informed behavior] takes place in a person who has transformed a signal into a piece of information. (emphasis in original) [22] [23]

What is necessary is to recognize the nervous system as a unity defined by its internal relations in which interactions come into play only by modulating its structural dynamics, i.e., as a unity with operational closure. In other words, the nervous system does not “pick up information” from the environment, as we often hear. On the contrary, it brings forth a world by specifying what patterns of the environment are perturbations and what changes trigger them in the organism. The popular metaphor of calling the brain an “information-processing device” is not only ambiguous but patently wrong. [24]

The older point of view saw, say, an ovum grow into a rabbit and asked “why does it do this” — why does it not just stay an ovum?” The attempts to answer this question led to the study of energetics and to the discovery of many reasons why the ovum should change […] Quite different, though equally valid, is the point of view of cybernetics. It takes for granted that the ovum has abundant free energy, and that it is so delicately poised metabolically as to be, in a sense, explosive. Growth of some form there will be; cybernetics asks “why should the changes be to the rabbit-form, and not to a dog-form, a fish-form, or even to a teratoma-form?” […] Even whether the system is closed to energy or open is often irrelevant; what is important is the extent to which the system is subject to determining and controlling factors. So no information or signal or determining factor may pass from part to part without its being recorded as a significant event. Cybernetics might, in fact, be defined as the study of systems that are open to energy but closed to information and control — systems that are “information-tight” [cf. autonomy — J.M.]. (emphasis in original) [25]

The “outer” and “inner” athanor correspond to practical and spiritual alchemy. “There are two Hermetic operations, the one spiritual, the other material, and they are mutually dependent” [26]. Cf., “Some events have the appearance of proceeding from the outside into us, and others appear to originate within us and proceed outward. The lesson of all higher ecstasies is that this difference is arbitrary and unreal” [27].

Notes & References

  1. Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline, “Cyborgs and Space,” Astronautics, September 1960.
  2. Gregory Bateson, Step to an Ecology of Mind (New York: Ballentine Books, 1972) 454. Cf. Paracelsus: “[Man] is enclosed in a skin, to the end that his blood, his flesh, and everything that he is as a man [i.e., a Little World or microcosm] may not become mixed with the Great World [macrososm].” This agrees with the operational closure of autopoietic systems.
  3. Andy Clark, “Natural-Born Cyborgs?” Science at the Edge: Conversations with the Leading Scientific Thinkers Today (New York: Union Square Press, 2008) 73.
  4. Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (New York: Wiley, 1948) 19.
  5. Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (New York: Avon, 1967) 25.
  6. Ibid., p. 38.
  7. Bateson, op. cit., 459.
  8. For more about constructivism in this context, see Lynn Segal’s The Dream of Reality: Heinz von Foerster’s Constructivism, 2nd Ed. (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2001).
  9. Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising (Tempe: New Falcon, 1983) 28.
  10. Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (New York: Bantam, 1984) 293.
  11. Paracelsus and Jolande Székács Jacobi (Ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).
  12. Éliphas Lévi, Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual (York Beach: Weiser Books, 2001) 115.
  13. Paul Foster Case, Esoteric Keys of Alchemy (Vancouver, BC: Ishtar Publishing, 2006) 11.
  14. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: Mentor, 1964) 23. Cf. Paracelsus: “the shape of man is formed in accordance with the manner of his heart.”
  15. Wiener, op. cit., p. 139. Cf. p. 130: “It is the pattern maintained by homeostasis which is the touchstone of our personal identity. Our tissues change as we live: the food we eat and the air we breathe become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, and the momentary elements of our flesh and bone pass out of our body every day with our excreta. We are but whirlpools in a river of ever-flowing water. We are not stuff that abides but patterns that endure.” Cf. also, “Pythagoras stood for inquiry into pattern rather than inquiry into substance,” in Bateson, op. cit., p. 449.
  16. Case, op. cit.
  17. Cf. the Tetragrammaton and Exodus 3:14: “I am that I am.”
  18. Lévi, op cit., p. 113.
  19. Paracelsus, op. cit.
  20. For more about autopoiesis, see Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela, The Tree of Knowlegde: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding, Revised Ed. (Boston: Shambhala, 1987).
  21. Paracelsus, op. cit.
  22. Heinz von Foerster and Bernhard Poerksen, Understanding Systems: Conversations on Epistemology and Ethics (New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, 2002) 96.
  23. Cf. Von Foerster’s Hermeneutic Principle: “The hearer, not the speaker determines the meaning of an utterance,” in Sara B. Jutoran, “The Process from Observed Systems to Observing Systems,” Nova Southeastern University School of Humanities and Social Sciences 26 Nov. 2008.
  24. Maturana and Varela, op. cit., p. 169.
  25. W. Ross Ashby, An Introduction to Cybernetics (London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd., 1957) 4.
  26. Lévi, op cit.
  27. Peter J. Carroll (talking about the magical wand and cup as will and perception), Liber Null and Psychonaut (Boston: Weiser, 1987) 188.