René Schwaller de Lubicz—Life and Work

 Alsatian Egyptologist and Hermetic philosopher, René Schwaller de Lubicz. Plan-de-Grasse, c. 1960.

Alsatian Egyptologist and Hermetic philosopher, René Schwaller de Lubicz. Plan-de-Grasse, c. 1960.

René ‘Aor’ Schwaller de Lubicz (1887–1961) was an Alsatian artist, chemist, revolutionary, Neopythagorean, and Egyptologist. More covertly, however, he was a practicing Hermetic adept deeply experienced with esoteric laboratory processes. As integrally conceived by de Lubicz, alchemy possesses a fundamental theological directive, and in a very specific sense forms a hieratic ars or technē (art, science, technique); whether practised on sensible species or on the human soul, the aim of this hieratikē technē is to liberate the consciousness of an entity by rendering its body—its vehicle of expression—increasingly immortal. For de Lubicz, the bodies known through empirical phenomena, i.e. through the mineralogical and biological kingdoms, are transitional bodies—gestational phases—in the genesis of the absolute instrument of consciousness: the ‘Anthropocosmos’, conceived as the initium, telos and integrum of the entire process of cosmogenesis. More specifically, Lubiczian alchemy focuses on the so-called ‘fixed nucleus’ or ‘indestructible salt’, the stable form upon which the mutational phases of this cosmic alchemy were seen to pivot. Lubiczian alchemy, by centring on the esoteric formation of all ‘bodies’, to include the hidden ‘nucleus’ of continuity between metallurgical, biological and spiritual corporeality, speaks directly to the perception of alchemy as a nondual, operative-spiritual process.

 
This is the moment in which consciousness is integrally corporified and, paradoxically, in which it becomes independent of the body: the body itself becomes energy, being no longer the support of an energy, no longer the container but wholly the contents.
— RENÉ SCHWALLER DE LUBICZ —
 

Read More

The Call of Fire: The Hermetic Quest of René Schwaller de Lubicz
A bio-bibliographic study.
 

The Alchemy of Desire: The Metaphysics of Eros in René Schwaller de Lubicz
A study of Schwaller's controversial text, Adam l'homme rouge.

The Hermetic Problem of Salt
Chapter one of my 2011 PhD thesis, Light Broken Through the Prism of Life.

Remarks on Hermeticism, by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz
One of Schwaller's most revealing alchemical texts, translated from the French.


Publications

‘The Juncture of Transcendence and Concretion: Symbolique in René Schwaller de Lubicz’.
An academic study of Schwaller's concept of symbolique and its relation to the alchemical trinity, Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt. In Lux in Tenebris: The Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericismed. Peter Forshaw (Leiden: Brill, 2017).

‘The Alchemy of Desire: The Metaphysics of Eros in René Schwaller de Lubicz (A Study of Adam l’homme rouge)’. In Octagon II: The Quest for Wholeness, Mirrored in a Library Dedicated to Religious Studies, Philosophy and Esotericism in Particular, edited by H. Thomas Hakl, Gaggenau: Scientia Nova, 2016.

The War Between Symbolists and Egyptologists: René Schwaller de Lubicz in Egypt: 1936-1951.
In The Heretic, Issue 6, 2015. 

‘The Call of Fire: The Hermetic Quest of René Schwaller de Lubicz; A Bio-Bibliographic Study’. An illustrated survey of Schwaller's life and work based on my 2013 talk at the Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle. In Clavis: Journal of Occult Arts, Letters and Experience, Volume 3: Cipher and Stone, ed. William J. Kiesel and Daniel A. Schulke. September 2014. 

‘Agent of All Mutations: Metallurgical, Biological and Spiritual Evolution in the Alchemy of René Schwaller de Lubicz’. A detailed, 60-page study of Lubiczian alchemy is featured in part two of the scholarly anthology, Alchemical Traditions: From Antiquity to the Avant-Garde, ed. Aaron Cheak (Numen Books, 2013).