But back at the beginning of 20th century, and with the alchemical last cooking in mind, Pierre Curie’s discovery of the piezoelectric effect was just accidental. His research was in fact originally addressed to high temperatures, which we today consider as mechanical vibration, and the resulting magnetic variations. To give an idea of the mindset within those alchemical milieux, we know that Canseliet was obsessed with television waves from antennas, he said that the presence of antennas would have made it impossible to do alchemy in future times. While, in my opinion, alchemy is now impossible mostly for socio-psychological reasons, not for electromagnetic pollution. As everything that moves is electromagnetic wave. Canseliet forma mentis could not be too different from Curie, Champagne and Fulcanelli: they sought the great strengths, the cataclysms. We know that Curie disdained the very small electrical charges caused by piezoelectricity, as well as the rearrangements of the charge of the matter and the new polarization. The scientific panorama about mild electrical fields was regarded with contempt, in such extent that Maria Curie overtly complained of the low esteem in which her husband was held by the French scientific community. While she, who completed her research on radioactivity, was glorified. In fact the war industry owes her a lot, still today.
The electron, the insignificantly small, and too fast, electron, used to be neglected in the beginning of 20th century. Alchemists thought that only the modification of the atomic nucleus could operate alchemical miracles and transmutations. Canseliet was definitely a great alchemist, greater than his master Champagne and, allow me, greater than Fulcanelli too, but it did not come from a chemical background and neglected the electronic movement studies that we know today to be at the base of every chemical and biological reaction. When we move our muscles we need not events within the nucleus of our atoms, but only small adjustments of the electronic clouds. Can Alchemy be an exception? This principle will be understood later by another French alchemist, Henri La Croix-Haute (2) (but he exaggerated with the short vision of a 1960’s man). Today, when we think about electricity, we think of Tesla and his huge voltages, which costed him his career, but we know that the small voltages are a world apart, with separate scientific models, and not just a matter of scalar forces. The tiny electronic buoyancy variations are a world apart, compared to Tesla’s electrical floods. Small electronic variations do not require large ovens, but just the nature. Sometimes, absurdly, the small voltage emitted by the natural temperature daily variations. Not in the Last Cooking, though.
Canseliet’s mindset was not solely due to the beginning of the 20th century fascination for destructive and annihilating strengths, but was (is) a typical mindset among those who followed the metallurgical dry process. A rude way, that not only does not allow to admit the slightest variation in the process, but does not allow to easily understand the alchemical working of the Secret Fire. The metallurgic dry process is mostly concerned with ones artisan skills, which can become overwhelming (nothing can go wrong). It is the way of copying one’s master’s movements. The way of manual experience. But it is not the way of visionary creativity, it is not a playful path, because the teachers have taught so, and so one has just to repeat. Especially, this is not the way to grasp the “why” before the “how”. Since the “how”, in this particular way, is far too important.
It is apparent, in my opinion, that Canseliet was the greatest among his fellows: his philosophical egg abortion’s description was not a declaration of impotence, but on the contrary, a declaration of knowledge and skills. In fact no one of his contemporary described the Egg’s musical event. It was as if Canseliet had challenged his colleagues to go that far: “Do better than me, if you can, and tell your own experience with the egg whistles”. It would have been interesting to hear Fulcanelli’s commentary on both the Musical Hell and the Concert in the Egg by H. Bosch (3), but he did not, he was obsessed with the remora, which is the bottom step of the Egg.
Pay attention to Canseliet’s eighth chapter “Conjunction and separation”, always in “l’Alchimie Expliquée sur ses Textes Classiques”, in the paragraph where he said that the preliminary work, or first opera, is a work with crucible. A paragraph that an adept of the dry metallurgical way would not have underlined. Canseliet threw it out carelessly, and said that similar proceedings could be found in the 17th century pharmaceutical treaties by Glaser, Lemery and the two Lefebvre, Nicolas and Nicaise. They were known as iatro-chemists, pharmacists. And a pharmacist used the crucible barely in some purification, perfect separation and dehumidification works. A pharmacist didn’t, and didn’t need, to cast metals.
Canseliet ended the paragraph comparing Philalethes description of preliminary work, first opera, with Glaser’s process, saying that they are the same proceedings, but with Glaser’s greater simplicity of language. In another part of the book, Canseliet cited the antimony glass, which does not appear in the metallurgical dry way.
Towards the end of his life, Pierre Curie, who assisted his wife in search for radioactivity, showed early signs of over-exposure to radium. In fact, his clothes were often so radioactive he had to postpone experiments by several hours because it interfered with his instruments. In fact the unit of radioactivity is called “curie” in his and Marie’s honor. But, unlike his wife, he was spared a gruesome death by radiation sickness. Instead, he was killed in a freak accident, run down by a wagon on the Place Dauphine as he was crossing the busy street.
- See Canseliet, the Art of Music & Weight , Brouaut’s Frontispiece, the Organ Pythagorean Proportions;
- See La Croix-Haute and the Mercurial Electron , Alois Gaschler & Electric Gold Dissipation ;
- See also Hieronymus Bosch and the Concert in the Egg ;