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A pseudo-scientific / philosophical pursuit with the goal of perfecting matter and the human spirit through transmutation.

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A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22

  • May 18, 2011
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Often misconceived of as some fanatical "false science", alchemy has a long complex history and the alchemical pursuit has resulted in much of our modern sciences including aspects of metallurgy, chemistry, and homeopathy.
While the most commonly acknowledged goal of alchemy was to transmute base metals (most famously lead) into gold, which was considered the purest and rarest metal, the more significant goal of alchemy was to understand life and to traverse the human condition in search of enlightenment and spiritual transcendence. Much of alchemical practice has been mythologized or demonized by popular monotheistic religious groups, but in recent years, very much thanks to certain theosophical belief systems and of course to psychoanalyst Carl Jung, alchemy is once again being looked at within a more serious context for its contributions to early science and for its implications in spiritual and psychological realms.
The beliefs and iconography found within alchemy can also be seen in various Gnostic, Buddhist, Taoist, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic sects. Many of the ideas overlap with transcendentalism and archetypal psychology.
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May 19, 2011
Great write up! I've always been fascinated by alchemy, thanks for this post to teach me more about it!
May 19, 2011
I may do an essay on alchemical symbolism at some point too. I've been toying with the idea. If I do, want me to send you a link?
May 20, 2011
Def send me that link so that I can learn more, I find it fascinating!
 
May 18, 2011
excellent! the details you communicated here are on the money....I know since I am also known as woopak the alchemist.. :)
May 19, 2011
What are the five principles (meaning principle elements) of the Great Work?
 
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Alchemy is an ancient tradition, the primary objective of which was the creation of a fabled elixir, known as the Philosopher's Stone, capable of turning any base metal into gold or silver, the same also acting as a universal medicine said to indefinitely prolong youth and keep one from death. The alchemists themselves stressed that the operation was natural, being a microcosm of the world itself, and following the same principles of development that apply to plants, animals and minerals. Today it is widely believed that the alchemical processes were allegorical as metaphors for a spiritual discipline, akin to a technique for the obtainment of enlightenment. Others, even today, still believe the existence of the Philosopher's Stone is a physical reality. Alchemy can be viewed as a protoscience, a precursor to modern day chemistry, having provided many procedures, equipment and names of substances that are still in use.

These words circulate throughout occult and magical circles, and they come from Hermetic texts. The concept was first laid out in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, in the words "That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing"

In accordance with the various levels of reality: physical, mental, and spiritual, this relates that what happens on any level happens on every other. This is however more often used in the sense ...
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