The Three Levels - Introduction
Alchemy, and its herbal healing application, Spagyrics, are the holistic healing lineage of the West. Created by the great 16th century healer, Paracelsus, Spagyric medicine and the philosophical framework for its use are very much the equal to better-known lineages such as Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In his laboratory and healing practice, Paracelsus studied and wrote about plants’ chemical constituents, but he also studied their energetic and subtle properties. He understood that the physical properties of healing herbs, such as immune support or relaxant effects, were manifestations through those plants of the life force of Nature. As an Alchemist, Paracelsus worked with the classical procedures and processes of Alchemy. As a healer, he sought to apply those processes to plant work for the creation of medicines. In combining his knowledge from Alchemy and healing, Paracelsus created a new way of working, which he called Spagyric.
He coined this word from two root words, meaning “separate” and “recombine”. In the lab, the process is just that- the separation of the subtle and physical aspects of the plant, their purification and refinement, and their recombination. This rejoining brings the plant together again as a living whole, but elevated from its original state. This equal emphasis on wholeness and refinement is unique to Spagyric work.
Nature seeks wholeness and balance, and the plant’s physical self is a manifestation of Nature’s intelligence and wholeness. In Spagyric work, plants are understood as instruments of Nature’s work towards wholeness- every plant is part of a whole, and each plant seeks to be whole. This intelligence of the wholeness of Nature flows through the plants, and protects their life force. It is this intelligent energy that is the source of healing, not the physical chemicals that create the effects. In this way, Nature’s intelligence speaks to us through plants, and it is this intelligence that Spagyrics seeks to bring forth into the medicine.
To protect the whole being of the plant, all that the plant created as it grew is considered important in the final Spagyric. If any aspect of the plant were left out or discarded, its being would no longer be whole and its healing effects would lack intelligence. Many of the physical operations of Spagyrics are designed to refine but maintain all the physical aspects of the plant.
To protect the intelligence of Nature as expressed though the plant, Spagyric processing also incorporates subtle energetic work, such as following certain time and planetary cycles, and working gently following Nature’s own processes to continue the growth cycle of the plant, even when it is no longer apparently a plant in a recognizable physical form.
In the laboratory, Spagyric work has a dual emphasis: refining the physical plant for the body of effects it brings, along with magnifying the energetic properties for intelligent direction of those effects for healing. This understanding of medicine as physical and energetic is unique to Spagyric philosophy, and unique to Al-Kemi Spagyrics is an even further refinement of specific Spagyrics for specific levels of healing.
Paracelsus had a very sophisticated view of the subtle inner makeup of plants and people, and his understanding of this makeup is what we follow in our work. Perhaps the most useful healing insight he gave is that illnesses may be most apparent on the physical level, but that does not mean they originated there. The energetic body and even the eternal soul aspect can be the source of imbalance, and all levels can create and manifest imbalance, which can then travel to any other level.
Not only plants have a three-level makeup- people do too, and these three levels of being play the same role within the being they reside in. The body of a plant has a similar function in the plant’s life as your body plays in your life, and the same is true of the spirit and soul. Each level of being, in plant or person, is part of the whole in the same way. This correlation makes targeting the level of treatment possible, since Spagyrics can be created which emphasize the plant’s body to act on the patient’s body, spirit to spirit, or soul to soul. This innovation is unique to Al-Kemi Spagyrics, and is the most true and complete application of Paracelsus’ legacy.
Following Paracelsus’ work has given us the Spagyric processes that make this targeted healing possible, in which we work with the constituents of the physical plant where each of the subtle levels reside, purifying each level more as we work up through the plant. Spagyrics works though refinement and concentration, so the more refined and concentrated the medicine is, the higher in your being it will work. Each level of being has its own access point and usefulness, and focusing on that level in the plant creates a Spagyric for that level in the person. The three levels of being are: