Rosicrucian Writings Online

The Transition of a Famous Alchemist

By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest July 1937]
ON ONE of the last days of my visit in Nice, France, I was greatly disturbed by the sudden announcement of the passing of that great Rosicrucian scientist and alchemist, Francois Jollivet Castelot, president of the Alchemical Society of France, editor of that very old mystical magazine called "La Rose-Croix" which was also the official organ of AMORC of France, and in its forty-second year.
For many years Frater Castelot has been one of the most outstanding, most eminent, and most beloved of chemists and scientists in Europe. His work in chemistry, and alchemy especially, has attracted world-wide attention for a score of years and he has labored diligently and untiringly in his very complete laboratory. His one great outstanding determination was to prove to the scientific world that, despite their denial of the possibility of chemical transmutation or the transmutation of base metals into gold and other refined metals, such transmutation was not only a probability but possible through a very definite chemical formula.
He had as a background for his life work the mystical-chemical practices of the ancient alchemists and those of the Middle Ages. He knew, as we all know, that throughout the past centuries the advanced mystics of each cycle and period of time have performed a demonstration of the possibility of transmutation purely to illustrate the laws and principles involved. But according to the ancient written law that is binding upon all to whom the secret formula is given, each Grand Master, Imperator, or other supreme officer of each jurisdiction in each cycle of time is permitted to make only one such minor and mystical demonstration of alchemy during his lifetime. In fact, it is incumbent upon the great leaders of the several secret brotherhoods possessing the formula to have their superior officer make one such demonstration during his lifetime before the most reliable of witnesses and a selected assembly of the members under his direction. The limit placed upon these officers was purposely arranged in order that two very important things should not occur; namely, first, the commercialization of this formula, and second, the sudden cutting short of the career of the alchemist should he be on the verge of discovery of a more simple process that would tempt others to acquire the formula and commercialize it.
Years ago Frater Castelot revealed to the members of his Rosicrucian Brotherhood, and to his students who formed the Alchemical Society of France, the fact that he possessed the involved and costly process of transmuting a small piece of base metal into gold. This same process was demonstrated by us in the presence of members of our New York Grand Lodge and in the presence of newspaper men and scientists of various universities many years ago, and since then, in accordance with the ancient injunction, the process has never been repeated. The demonstration was highly successful and in this regard fulfilled the decrees of the brotherhood and the obligations which we had to fulfill. Since the purpose of the demonstration was to prove and reveal that transmutation was possible, this having been accomplished there was no good reason for its repetition. The record of this demonstration forms part of the official record of the activities of the Order in America.
Frater Castelot, however, continued his alchemical experiments, not as a superior officer of the organization but as a scientist. His lifelong labors were not associated with any idea of commercializing the process of making gold or other rare metals in an alchemical manner, but to simplify the process and to reveal to science a very positive revelation of the principles involved so that science could no longer deny that the process of transmutation in a truly scientific and simple manner was a fact.
It may be explained here that the ancient mystical process of transmuting metals into gold, as has been demonstrated by the Brotherhood on hundreds of occasions in the past, and as has been demonstrated in New York, is a very long and involved process, so costly in time and in the cost of rare ingredients used, and so limited to a very small amount of manufactured gold, that while it demonstrated very conclusively the mystical and alchemical process of transmutation, it never could be accepted by science inasmuch as science ignores the mystical principles applied. The entire process was one which could not be enlarged upon to make larger amounts of gold, nor used in any commercial form inasmuch as the resulting piece of gold would cost far more than its actual worth in weight.
Frater Castelot wrote many books dealing with mystical and alchemical processes, among them being such books as "Au Carmel," "Le Destin," "Chimie et Alchemie," "Essai de Synthese des Sciences Occultes," and many others. In his articles published in "La Rose-Croix" magazine, of which he was the directing manager, he tried to show the esoteric and mystical principles of alchemy as applied to human nature and to the spiritual and divine qualities of mankind as well as the purely scientific and chemical side of his experiments and studies.
He was also an honorary member of our North American jurisdiction and a very lovable, genial companion and friend to many thousands.
But the old story has to be written again, for the same old demonstration of a Cosmic principle has been demonstrated once more. So successful had Frater Castelot become in his search for a short, simple, purely scientific and chemical process of transmutation that during the month of March of this year the leading newspapers of Europe published very learned articles reporting the success of his ultimate experiments. And just a short time before his transition, Frater Castelot received a letter from Raymond Lautie, doctor of sciences and one of the chiefs of the Institute of Chemistry of Montpelier of France, praising Frater Castelot upon the success of the demonstration which Frater Castelot made at the university during the early part of this year. In fact, this letter from Raymond Lautie was dated February 6, 1937, and it refers to the seven experiments and demonstrations made by Frater Castelot and speaks of the very definite amounts of gold that were alchemically produced, and of silver also produced by such a process. He had also produced platinum and other metals, and it was to these unquestionable and uncontested proofs of the success of the Castelot experiments that the various newspapers of Europe paid tribute.
But it was this success that seemed to bring the fulfillment of some Cosmic law, difficult for us to comprehend, but quite evidently immutable and sure.
As pointed out in the "Journal des Debats" of April 26, published a few days after his very sudden and unhappy transition through an automobile accident, all of the great alchemists in the past mentioned by the journal in its long report have met the same Cosmic decree and have passed through sudden transition just upon the eve of a possible revelation of their secret process to the world. It appears to be the plan of the Cosmic that the scientific world, and particularly the commercial world, shall never learn the facts regarding the simple scientific process of transmutation. The Cosmic may permit a serious and earnest student of alchemy to continue unabated his experiments and his studies to a point where he proves to himself and can state to the world that he has found at last the simple process, and the Cosmic seems to permit these great alchemists in their various periods of time to make one demonstration of that more simple process. But in order to prevent that process from being revealed in detail, sudden transition ends the career of the alchemist and the secret of the process dies in his breast.
In the very hour of his joy that he had achieved the end of his researches, and without any warning, without an hour or moment of preparation, his earthly life was cut short instantly and he probably did not have even a moment for reflection upon the fulfillment of this ancient law.
Thus we see in this instance again the reason for the injunction that those who are acquainted with a mystical process shall not perform a demonstration of it more than once, nor attempt to delve more deeply into the secret laws of nature. There are some secrets of nature which it is not well for man to know, in order that the sovereign dignity of nature and the divine laws may be maintained and not lowered to any form of commercialism.
But still we deeply regret the passing of Frater Castelot, and the occult and mystical world will profoundly miss the companionship, the many learned discourses and discussions of this elder brother, and the leadership of this scientist in many other avenues of research.
But he will live again, for his entire life was one of devotion to the ideals, the principles that bring eternal life, and his advancement in the mystical and occult studies will prepare him for another incarnation of great usefulness to the races of mankind and their struggles with the problems of life.
We want every one of our members in the United States, Canada and Mexico and even in foreign countries to be sure and see the latest of the many pictures which Rosicrucians have created and sponsored in the past fifteen years. This new one is, "The Lost Horizon." It is a remarkable story of the work of the true "Great White Brotherhood" in Tibet, as referred to in many of our monographs and "The Rosicrucian Manual." If your local playhouse has not shown this picture as a first or second run, insist that it secure this "Columbia Production" and then see to it that all of our members and all of your friends and acquaintances in your neighborhood go to see it.

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