A Modern Alchemical View of the Philosopher's Stone

by Richard and Iona Miller (aka Philo Stone), ©1981

animated buckyball



There is an inherent relationship between numbers and archetypes. Several cultures have made use of these correspondences. For instance, the letters of the Hebrew, Greek, and Mayan alphabets correspond directly with numbers and the archetypal patterns (or gods) they represent.

Number encodes the behavior of archetypal dynamics. Archetypes are given to manifesting themselves in an "ordered sequence." The number field is a subjective and objective reality. Number can express a qualitative aspect as well as measure quantities.

The element connecting the sequence of archetypal images with the series of natural numbers seems to be the libido, psychic energy (psychological term), or psi energy (parapsychological term). The archetypes constitute eternal timeless forms of order on one hand, which become temporal forms when our consciousness begins to operate with them. Jung has described number as the most accessible primitive manifestation of this transcendental spontaneous principle of movement in the psyche.

The underlying field potential of the natural number sequence (Nuit) provides a common framework for the alchemical marriage of psyche and matter which forms the Philosopher's Stone. It is possible to formulate individual transformative equations in the field of numbers and archetypes. Understanding occurs when the human being resonates with the pattern of the number field. (Note the derivations of pattern = pater = father; matrix = mater = mother).

This experience of "one world," the unified field of psyche and matter, is part of a magickal process, that of creating the Philosopher's Stone. It involves a conscious pathworking, participating in archetypal patterns through active imagination. Active imagination functions primarily through the process of visualization. This may be aided by electronic means! It is easier to hold a visualization when it is projected onto a video screen.

In magick, one uses the will to pursue a self-motivated course of action, involving ceremonial or ritual. Rituals involve employment of geometrical "keys" to evoke specific archetypal patterns into manifestation on the intellectual, emotional, or physical plane.

Ceremonial elements are coordinated by drawing from the system of correspondences known as QBL, or Qabalah. In QBL, the numbers 1-10 (Spheres) express archetypal modes-of-being, and 0-XXI (Paths) represent the dynamics of their interrelationship as they relate to the transformative process of the human psyche. Thus, the glyph of the Tree of Life represents every possible condition of human existence, both the givens and the potentials. From it, we can determine the motivation-factor at the core of any temporal development which emerges from the latent pattern in the number field.

To sum up: numbers appear to represent both an attribute of matter and the unconscious foundation of our mental processes. For this reason, number forms, according to Jung, that particular element that unites the realms of matter and psyche. It is "real" in a double sense, as an archetypal image and as a qualitative manifestation in the realm of outer-world experience. Number thereby throws a bridge across the gap between the physically knowable and the imaginary. In this manner it operates as a still largely unexplored midpoint between myth (the psychic) and reality (the physical), at the same time both quantitative and qualitative, representational and irrepresentational.(1)

The circuit of the Tree of Life may be projected in six directions: Above, below, E.,W.,N.,S. from directions given in the ancient Hebrew text, Sephir Yetzirah, The Book of Formation.

The Diamond Body

This projection forms an octahedron within a cube, the crystalline structure of the diamond. These trees have a common center in Malkuth, the physical plane. The points of the octahedron lie in the centers of the plane faces of the enclosing cube. This is the Diamond Body or Philosopher's Stone, a symbol of the Self.

There is a connection between the strict mathematical order of this crystal form and the concept of archetypes. In Number and Time, M.L. von Franz quotes Werner Nowacki concerning the spiritual aspect of symmetry elements in crystals:

Symmetries are formal factors which regulate material data according to set laws. A symmetry element or a symmetry operation is in itself something irrepresentational. Only when--as in the present case--it has an effect upon something material does it become both representational and comprehensible. As primal images the symmetry groups underlie, as it were, crystalized matter; they are the essential patterns according to which matter is arranged in a crystal.(2)

The geometrical dual of the Diamond Body figure (the Philosopher's Stone was a "double thing") is the Vector Equilibrium Matrix. This geometry coincides with the 6-directional projection of the Tree of Life, discovered by Frater Achad (Charles Stanfield Jones) and described in The Anatomy of the Body of God.

Combining the geometry of the Tree of Life with the V.E.M. is a way of graphically showing equilibration and symmetry amongst the various components of existence, both psychological and physical. This geometrical glyph forms a meditation key useful as a visualization aid to achieve Self-Realization.

(Enclose Picture A)

Picture of The Macrocosmic Snowflake
From Frater Achad; Anatomy of the Body of God, N.Y., Weiser, 1976. pg. 53.

(Enclose Picture B)


Figure shows the relationship of the Vector Equilibrium Matrix to the geometrical circuit of the Tree of Life. The geometrical progression centers on Tiphareth, the Heart Center. With infinite expansion, the spherical progression of the center would encompass the entire Cube, as shown.

Meditation upon a geometrical form, or talisman, is a rudimentary form of feedback. Modern techniques for influencing EM fields include biofeedback. Biofeedback (bio means life; feedback means return to the source) experiments indicate that man can practice control over his inner body functions.


(Enclose Picture C)

Biofeedback experimentation has been found to be extremely well suited to the Western mind. Research and experience has shown it to be a rapid and promising means toward such goals as self-awareness, self-exploration, and self-control. This could mean anything from balancing the personality to breaking unwanted habits.

In Tibetan Buddhism, a YANTRA is an instrument of contemplation or meditation which aids concentration by narrowing down the psychic field of vision and restricting attention to the center. It provides a focus for self-immersion with the purpose of realizing inner experience.

Other types of psycho-physical changes might occur as one contemplates the form of the Philosopher's Stone. As in certain methods of yogic experience of the psychic spectrum becomes progressively subtle as one moves toward the center of the V.E.M.

The will is used to focus the psyche, balancing the continuous flux of mental activity. Once the adept understands the working of the senses in perceptual filtering, (s)he should harness the mind. Mental fluctuations are produced by the psyche's contact with phenomenal existence. Stilling the mind yields access to fundamental patterns underlying manifestation.

Meditation nears the center of the figure, the symbol of final release. It represents the innermost center of consciousness, the abode of the supreme goddess Nuit, whose mysterious presence is experienced in the depths of one's being. The anomaly at the center of the V.E.M represents the threshold of matter.

This center which is nowhere (Now-Here) marks the limit of the spiritual quest where outer life ends and inner life begins. The Qabalists expressed this by the phrase "Kether is in Malkuth." In the nexus of the V.E.M. there is no shape, and no form, for ALL is immersed in the void.

visual yantra

Ideally, this visual yantra is internalized; it becomes a psychic complex constellating the higher Self. This cosmic truth, embodied in the adept, produces illumination.

In another type of meditation, known as RISING ON THE PLANES, the adept can experience both evolution and involution. The ability of the Philosopher's Stone to generate its own geometrical projection toward infinity makes it a "ladder" reaching from microcosmic to macrocosmic proportions.

After using a pre-recorded videocassette program of the Diamond Body geometry to imprint the matrix in the mind, the adept can mentally construct the entire image of the Philosopher's Stone from the center. This is a recreation of the cosmos unfurling itself in the process of evolution.

Once the whole image has been visualized (its shorthand form is the V.E.M.), he begins his meditation from the outermost periphery of the figure. Moving consciousness inwards, plane after plane, he symbolically reproduces the dissolution of all the cosmic principles represented by the Spheres and Paths.

Through such a meditation, the adept experiences the drama of ascent and descent of the soul into the phenomenal world. This "purifies" the adept's consciousness through an initiatory death and rebirth. After attaining the sought-after identification with the Self, the extended consciousness which is symbolized by the V.E.M. contracts on itself and vanishes into the VOID (outside of the geometrical parameters of space and time).

(1) Von Franz, M.L., Number and Time, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, 1974.
(2) Ibid.


Our original aim, as stated, was to find a unitarian language or code, with corresponding concepts between the unconscious and matter.

This unitarian language was postulated as alchemy, and developed through recourse to the philosophy of Qabala and the fields of physics, psychology, and magick.

A cross-disciplinary description was developed for the Philosopher's Stone, the goal of alchemy.  The Stone was described as consisting of the geometrical reciprocals, the Vector Equilibrium Matrix and the Diamond Body.  This description is mathematical as well as philosophical.

Cross-references were developed between Western (magick) and Eastern (yoga) forms of mysticism.  In doing so, we created an immortal body, and "made psyche matter."

A model of Nuit as the Isotropic Vector Matrix was developed, ("thou art continuous...").  Also, She was postulated as the "nuclear nothingness" in the center of the V.E.M. and the Ain of the Diamond Body figure.  The ALEPH/TAU of sacred time--the realm of immortality, because it is prior to the world of transient forms.  This spiritual matrix of all matter is indeed eternal. 'Nothing' matters, with or without it!

This model, giving a conceptual description of the spiritual aspect of subatomic processes, is an on-going description of the original creation.  It allows us to conceptualize the spiritual aspect of the subatomic threshold of matter.

We described application of the Stone: the process of applying one's Self produces psychological insight and mystical experience.  We can choose to apply ourselves to the Great Work, and immerse ourselves in the autonomous stream of psychic imagery, becoming a frequent traveler in that realm.

We explored the unity of psyche and matter by describing physical properties of archetypes, but without falling prey to literalism.  While the correspondences are explicit, they remain metaphorical.  We have attempted to unite our spiritual position with the body, through the medium of resonance.

We have, within the modelling, fulfilled or justified the key descriptors used by medieval alchemists to transmit the qualities the Stone must possess to be judged true.

Practical and speculative information was communicated.  But the art of soul-making requires individual work: the Great Work.  Jung described the alchemical task:

The adept produces a system of fantasies that have a special meaning for him.  Although he keeps within the general framework of alchemical ideas, he does not repeat a prescribed pattern, but following his own fancy devises an individual series of ideas and corresponding actions which it is evident have symbolic character.  He starts with production of the medicine that will unite his spiritual position with the body.  The image of the self (golden quaternity) draws a quintessence out of the chthonic spirit.(1)

Picture Of The Diamond Body Meditation Aid
The Diamond Body Meditation Aid

 Presentation of concepts is a form of circulatio, tying together the beginning (Aleph) and the end (Tau) of the book.  And like circulatio, this material can be worked again, and again, and again.

We've attempted to sublimate, or ennoble matter.  And attempted to coagulate spirit, or "make it matter," in a physical form (i.e. a book, art-piece, or other creativity).

We have attempted to show that spiritual science is independent of any particular religious bias, either monotheistic or polytheistic.  The V.E.M. figure is a symbolic unification of both modes.

The mystical paths of diverse religions confer the same topological realm, whether experiences are called by Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindi names.  The available experiences have been described by the Saints of all religions.  There was a Way for souls to go home to godhead before Buddha, or Christ, or Confuscious, etc.

There are two routes on the Path of Return: that of exaltation of the imagination, or of the via negativa, or detachment from the inner drama.  Both are ways of ridding the soul of mind and matter.  These are progressively subtle distinctions.

Jung has said, "...Who now has any sympathy with the perplexities of an investigator who busies himself with magical substances."

When the "magical substances" and the concerns of microphysics are congruent, we have "seen through" the Philosopher's Stone.  We have peered into the Stone, itself and seen the marvel of the Creation.  And we have also seen by means of the Stone, into the process of soul-making.

There is no conceptualization past this point, except to empty out the mind of all symbolic contents and merge back into God.  This of course is the Vision Across the Abyss.  It is further working of Path 13, II, THE HIGH PRIESTESS which the aspirant must cross to reach the final goal, Kether.

Perhaps the following correspondences will provoke further intuitions from the reader:

 DIAMOND BODY = 179 + 86 = 265 =13 
                                                                  13 = Love, Unity
                                                        490 = 13 = perfect
                                                        463 = 13 = crystal, glass
                                                        571 = 13 = balance
                                                        580 = 13 = rich, ancient
                                                        607 = 13 = Adam Primus
                                                        706 = 13 = lilies or roses
                                                        832 = 13 = Albedo Crystalli
                                                        850 = 13 = blue, my perfect one
                                                        346 = 13 = a spring, spring water, 
                                                                          a water pipe or channel, 
                                                                          good pleasure, the Will-power
                                                       418 = 13 = The Word of the Aeon, ABRAHADABRA
                                                     bohu = 13 = emptiness, chaos, void
                                                   hegen = 13 = Sound, muttering, thought, musing
(1) C.G. Jung, ALCHEMICAL STUDIES, Princeton University Press



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