This quote by Aleister Crowley was covered extensively on The Axis of the Universe page and it is one of his most important quotes, "The sole source of energy is the Tao. Who may declare its nature? It is beyond Sense, yet all form is hidden within it. It is beyond Sense, yet all Perceptibles are hidden within it. It is beyond Sense, yet all Perceptibles are hidden within it. It is beyond Sense, yet all Being is hidden within it. This Being excites Perception, and the Word thereof. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, its Name((The. Zero contains all possibilities, for it may be written 0= X (-X), where X is anything soever and -X its opposite. However complex X may be, it is always to be cancelled by its -X. Thus the universe is always potentially anything and everything, yet actually Nothing.)) operateth continuously, causing all to flow in the cycle of Change, which is Love and Beauty. How do I know this? By my comprehension of the Tao."
What he's saying is that the Universe is made up of polar opposites and all the polar opposites will cancel out and this cancelled out state is the Tao and the ground state. The Universe, as in the One Verse, polarised itself into 1 and 1 so that the two would come together and cancel themselves out into none. The 1 and 1 are on opposite sides of the cycle to maintain a balance with the none in the middle. The closer they are to the middle the faster than cycle because the lower g forces allow it. But when they reach the middle there is no movement because none is needed in the none.
Every single number on the Cartesian Coordinate System needs its minus counterpart in order to maintain a balance. This is another quality that zero has that no other number has. It can exist by itself without any other counterpart because it is always balanced and balance can only be achieved without going into imbalance that is numbers and the Universe. But if every number has a minus counterpart and automatically cancels itself out to zero then that would mean that zero lies underneath all numbers and doesn't have to be in the center of the Cartesian Coordinate System. It can exist everywhere and nowhere in it. The center that the zero occupies likewise can in reality exist anywhere that the zero is as well and this means that the center of anything is the center of everything. The potential for nothingness that a Black Hole is is everywhere in the Universe, like it is everywhere in mathematics. To access that zero that lies underneath all numbers and the center that it occupies, make the two one and the one become none. This will reduce the time and space of the Cartesian Coordinate System to zero so that any part of it can be accessed without moving. This is essentially what is meant by movement without moving. All numbers have the potential of having no time, speed and distance if they became what was hidden underneath them.
This article from Live Science confirms what occultists like Aleister Crowley have been saying, but without the occultism, "Considering the amount of energy packed in the nucleus of a single uranium atom, or the energy that has been continuously radiating from the sun for billions of years, or the fact that there are 10^80 particles in the observable universe, it seems that the total energy in the universe must be an inconceivably vast quantity. But it's not; it's probably zero.
Light, matter and antimatter are what physicists call "positive energy." And yes, there's a lot of it (though no one is sure quite how much). Most physicists think, however, that there is an equal amount of "negative energy" stored in the gravitational attraction that exists between all the positive-energy particles. The positive exactly balances the negative, so, ultimately, there is no energy in the universe at all.
Stephen Hawking explains the concept of negative energy in his book The Theory of Everything (New Millennium 2002): "Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less [positive] energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together," he wrote.
Since it takes positive energy to separate the two pieces of matter, gravity must be using negative energy to pull them together. Thus, "the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero."
Astrophysicists Alexei Filippenko at the University of California, Berkeley and Jay Pasachoff at Williams College explain gravity's negative energy by way of example in their essay, "A Universe From Nothing": "If you drop a ball from rest (defined to be a state of zero energy), it gains energy of motion (kinetic energy) as it falls. But this gain is exactly balanced by a larger negative gravitational energy as it comes closer to Earth’s center, so the sum of the two energies remains zero."
In other words, the ball's positive energy increases, but at the same time, negative energy is added to the Earth's gravitational field. What was a zero-energy ball at rest in space later becomes a zero-energy ball that is falling through space.
The universe as a whole can be compared to this ball. Initially, before the big bang, the universe-ball was at rest. Now, after the big bang, it is falling: light and matter exist, and they are moving. And yet, because of the negative energy built into the gravity field created by these particles, the total energy of the universe remains zero.
Ultimate free lunch
The question, then, is why the ball started falling in the first place. How did something – composed of equal positive and negative parts, mind you – come from nothing?
Physicists aren't exactly sure, but their best guess is that the extreme positive and negative quantities of energy randomly fluctuated into existence. "Quantum theory, and specifically Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, provide a natural explanation for how that energy may have come out of nothing," wrote Filippenko and Pasachoff.
They continued, "Throughout the universe, particles and antiparticles spontaneously form and quickly annihilate each other without violating the law of energy conservation. These spontaneous births and deaths of so-called 'virtual particle' pairs are known as 'quantum fluctuations.' Indeed, laboratory experiments have proven that quantum fluctuations occur everywhere, all the time."
Cosmologists have constructed a theory called inflation that accounts for the way in which a small volume of space occupied by a virtual particle pair could have ballooned to become the vast universe we see today. Alan Guth, one of the main brains behind inflationary cosmology, thus described the universe as "the ultimate free lunch."
In a lecture, Caltech cosmologist Sean Carroll put it this way: "You can create a compact, self-contained universe without needing any energy at all.""
In Alchemy there is a concept called the First Matter which is the basis of pretty much everything in that ancient science. The concept of the First Matter sounds very similar to the concept of the Big Bang in which the nothing formed itself into the everything that is the Universe. In the same way the First Matter contains the everything that is the elements and everything that make up.
This is from The Elusive First Matter chapter of the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy, by Dennis William Hauck, "The First Matter, Prima Materia in Latin, is the most confusing concept in alchemy, and even alchemists had a difficult time defining it. The 1612 edition of the Lexicon of Alchemy lists over 80 different definitions for the First Matter, and at least 200 different descriptions of it are found in the writings of medieval alchemists. Among the popular synonyms for the First Matter were such alchemical concepts as fire, water, air, earth, sulfur, mercury, salt, quintessence, the sun, the moon, and the stone. Also included were philosophical ideals like imagination, love, light, consciousness, thought, spirit, soul, and God. Even such terms as blood, urine, menses, manure, and dirt were considered fitting definitions by alchemists.
The reason the First Matter is so hard to pin down is that it is everything and nothing at once. It is the primal One Thing that existed before time, as well as the primordial chaos that contains all possibilities. It is said the First Matter carries the germ or seeds of all things that ever existed and ever will exist in the future. It is the infinite cornucopia from which the myriad of all created things in the universe emerge.
Yet this unbelievably elusive and potent cosmic force was the subject of the alchemists’ work as they tried to accumulate it in its pristine form from natural sources and expose it in metals and other compounds through their chemical manipulations. They sought it deep in underground mines and in the black virgin soil in the middle of forests. They carefully spread out burlap bags to collect the morning dew, which they believed held traces of the First Matter. They even distilled hundreds of gallons of children’s urine seeking the magical essence. They looked for it everywhere, including in their own bodies, minds, and souls.
What Is the First Matter? The Emerald Tablet refers to the First Matter as the “One Thing,” the primordial chaos of the universe fashioned into material reality by the thoughts or Word of the One Mind. This idea of a divine presence seeking expression in the material universe seems to have originated with the ancient Egyptians and has become a basic tenet of Hermetic philosophy.
The Egyptians denoted the First Matter with the hieroglyph known as kh, which looks like a circle with two wide horizontal black bands running through it. This cipher for the First Matter is the first hieroglyphic letter that makes up the Egyptian word khem, which is the root of our word alchemy. It is also the only hieroglyph that no traditional Egyptologist knows the meaning of for sure. Other hieroglyphs are associated with a common item such as a basket, stool, owl, vulture, and so on.
But this particular symbol has both tangible and intangible nuances. The easiest definition is “black matter that is alive,” but what exactly is that? Most language experts have translated it as “placenta,” but others feel it might mean “fertile dirt” or “living black soil.” In fact, it is the holy script for the First Matter, the basic dark matter of the universe from which all things have sprung.
The ancients thought of the First Matter as a spiritual substance of which external visible nature is an expression and manifestation. This primordial matter contains the powers that form minerals and metals, vegetables and animals, and everything that breathes; all forms are hidden within its depths, and it is, therefore, the true principle or beginning of all things.
In ancient China, philosophers referred to the First Matter as the “Tao,” which is an equally difficult term to describe. The Chinese spiritual alchemist Lao Tzu considered the Tao as plural in manifestation but singular in essence, totally real yet totally unknowable, a nonpersonal, amoral, primordial chaos. He described it in the Tao te Ching: “There is a thing confusedly formed, born between heaven and earth. Silent and void, it stands alone and does not age, goes round and does not weary. It is capable of being the mother of the world.” The Tao is the unborn origin of the universe, the chaotic source of all that exists between heaven and earth.
Western alchemists depicted the First Matter as the ouroboros or uroboros, which is a serpent or dragon eating its own tail (see Chapter 5). In alchemical drawings, sometimes two serpents or dragons were shown, with a lighter, winged serpent above and a darker, walking serpent below. The interplay between these two primordial principles is the engine that drives reality—that creates the singular force behind the evolutionary perfection of the universe.
Psychologist Carl Jung commented on the psychological meaning of the uroboros in his Mysterium Conjunctionis: “In the age-old image of the uroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and tuning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists the Prima Materia of the art was man himself. The uroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e., the shadow. This feedback process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the uroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself, and gives birth to himself.”
To alchemists, the First Matter is a primordial, unorganized state of energy or protomatter that is the same for all substances and exists in an unmanifested state between energy and matter. The chaos or energy of the First Matter is organized or directed by the light of consciousness. Hermetic philosophers believe the whole universe came into being because of an image, thought, or word projected by the divine mind of God in the fabric of the universe, the First Matter.
Unfortunately, our culture has rejected the concept of the First Matter. For us, things are either real or not real. We have no room in our thinking for the gray area of reality between manifested and unmanifested where the First Matter exists. For this reason, the alchemists often referred to the First Matter as the “cornerstone the builders forgot.” That is why rejected things like feces, manure, urine, and even the shadowy dark desires and beliefs we shove into our unconscious are symbols of the First Matter.
The Principles of Alchemy Properties of the First Matter Down through the ages, alchemists have written about the characteristics of the First Matter in an attempt to help identify, accumulate, and transform the mysterious substance. In the following sections, I’ve brought together some of these descriptions.
The First Matter Is Eternal The First Matter cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. The amount of First Matter in the universe is fixed, permanent, and unaffected by time. Modern alchemists associate it with dark matter, which the equations of physics say makes up most of the universe but cannot be detected. Physicists believe dark matter is responsible for the basic structure of the universe and have proven that billions of bits of the invisible matter stream through our bodies every second.
The First Matter Is Everywhere to Be Found Because the First Matter is the source of all things, it is present everywhere and in all things. To find the First Matter, you must search in the twilight area between manifested and unmanifested reality. Scholars call the kind of space in which the First Matter appears a liminal location, which means anything at the edge, crossroads, or threshold where normal boundaries fade away.
Check out J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books for many subtle descriptions of the First Matter. For instance, the in between or liminal aspect of the First Matter is captured in the invisible train platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters located in King’s Cross station between platforms Nine and Ten. Rowling is saying that even in the most common and everyday situations, the magical possibilities of the First Matter are available to us if we only break free of our Muggle-headed preconceptions and see the world as the alchemists saw it.
The First Matter Is Cyclic Both Eastern and Western alchemists understood the cyclic nature of the First Matter and believed it changed into all things light and dark, manifested and unmanifested, in a grand pattern of transformation. In the West, the ouroboros (the dragon eating its own tail) symbolized this idea.
The Eastern symbol for this process is the Tai Chi or Yin-Yang diagram, which depicts the spinning forces of darkness (Yin/matter) and light (Yang/mind), each containing the seed of the other and constantly changing into one another. Yin is seen as feminine, passive, and satisfied in its existence, while Yang is seen as masculine, active, and hungry.
The First Matter Contains All the Elements The First Matter contains all the components of creation, including the Four Elements and the Quintessence (see Chapter 7). The alchemists believed that the actual form the First Matter takes when it manifests into a material substance depends on the proportions of the Four Elements being expressed. The Elements can be changed into each other, and this manipulation of a substance’s First Matter is what transforms it.
The First Matter Is the Source of the Philosopher’s Stone The First Matter was believed to be the only thing from which the Philosopher’s Stone could be prepared, and as far back as the Alexandrian alchemist Zosimos, alchemists stated that once the First Matter was known and purified, it became the much-sought-after Stone.
The German alchemist Heinrich Khunrath described the First Matter as the true Light of nature, which guides and illuminates all seekers after divine truth. “It is in the world,” he wrote, “and the whole edifice of the world is beautifully adorned and will be naturally preserved by it. But the world knows it not. Above all, it is the subject of the great Stone of the philosophers which the world has before its eyes and yet knows it not.”
Working with the First Matter No alchemical process of transformation—whether in the laboratory, in the body, or in the soul—can succeed without the participation of the elusive ingredient of the First Matter. Certainly nothing was more important to an alchemist’s work than this spiritized essence. The alchemists made it clear in their writings that by applying the grades of fire with which they worked, they could extricate the First Matter from any substance and render it tangible and visible.
Alchemists, in their attempts to change base metals into gold, developed most of the laboratory methods of working with the First Matter. The idea behind their work is fairly simple. Strip a metal of the gross qualities and physical properties that identify it, and it yields the one “primitive matter” that is the same for all metals. Next, impose the appropriate new qualities upon the primitive matter, and the desired new substance is attained.
So the metals all originate from the same matrix, which is their First Matter. “The metals are similar in their essence, and differ only in their form,” wrote Albertus Magnus in Of Alchemy. In another work, he added, “One may pass easily from one metal to another, following a circle.” The modern atomic theory of matter expresses a strikingly similar conclusion.
The First Matter can be exposed and accumulated from any material if that material is completely dissolved and broken down into its most fundamental essences. The Alexandrian alchemists believed all one had to do to accomplish this was to divest a material of the gross physical properties represented by Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. However, reducing a substance to its First Matter was always a difficult task, although some materials, such as dew and fertile black earth, released their First Matter easier than other substances.
Trying to extract the First Matter from a substance represented months of hard work roasting, pulverizing, dissolving, and breaking down materials said to contain large amounts of the mysterious essence. Alchemists also referred to the First Matter as the “Mercury of the Philosophers,” because they believed the essence or soul of all metals was mercury and therefore spent much effort trying to extract the First Matter from mercury.
If you attempt to find the First Matter, whether in nature, in the lab, or within yourself, beware of its awesome power. The alchemists described the First Matter as a “poisonous dragon” whose fire can instantly reduce us to ashes. Yet it is also the “Egg of Nature” and a source of tremendous transformative energy. The secret is to acknowledge the mystery and power of the First Matter and work with it slowly and reverently. But if you look this dragon in the face and attempt to take control of it, you will be destroyed.
The alchemists often referred to the hidden essence of First Matter in a substance as its inner “star,” and appearances of the First Matter are often accompanied by displays of light. In this sense, the First Matter is the Anima Mundi (Soul of the World), and is present in all things. Alchemists believed the First Matter also existed in the human body as the eternal star which we call the soul. The spiritual work in alchemy focused on purifying or rectifying the First Matter within and, thereby, perfecting the very soul of the alchemist."