Andre VandenBroeck's "Al-Kemi" is much more significant than a memoir (as described by the author), and far beyond a simple collection of biographical data pertaining to the life of Rene Schwaller de Lubicz. Not that these points are absent. To the contrary, VandenBroeck depicts with great lucidity his understanding of the events and personalities involved his relationship with "Aor" late into the 1950's. Al-Kemi's more vital value however, resides in the fact that reads as a microcosmic course in Hermetic Philosopy, challenging the readers established ways of thinking (even reading!), and offering alternative perspectives. Despite VandenBroeck's knack of utilizing the printed word economically (or, perhaps due to this talent), he effectively communicates profundity through brevity. Hence, the reader will note two predominent ideological threads woven into the memoir: Rene Schwaller's metaphysics of perception (derived mostly from his interpretation of Pythagorean and Pharaonic geometry, or "symbolique", and ultimately spurring all modern philosophical controversies. The battle of "Archemides vs. Pythagoras", the question of two as the result of increase, or as the result of division of the one thing). Secondly, de Lubicz's stress placed on the role of Alchemical Salt. Thus, Rene Schwaller's extention of the Hermetic doctrine of Salt as the matrix of manifestation sends the reader on a mysterious and alluring journey. Absent of any chronology in this Hermetic adventure, back, forward, and simultaneously the trek visits the Parisian Alchemical world of the 1900's, complete with Fulcanelli, whose relationship with Schwaller often reminds one of John Dee and Edward Kelly's work together. This "fixing" of Salt moves behind the temple walls of Pharonic Egypt, finds testimony in the Gothic Cathedrals, presents us with the stormy climate of right-wing, monarchist, and elitist brotherhoods of post World War I France and Germany. And it is this Salt, that our perception inscribes experience upon, circulating eternally throughout nature, more critical, stable, and reliable than DNA in the course of esoteric "evolution" (if such a word can be used without detracting from Schawller's arguement), and providing the key to the Adepts' secret of Palingenesis.