I've been reading up on Paracelsus and I came across some information concerning alchemy and C.G. Yung
Does anyone have insight or information about alchemy?
Sure, I've read some of Jungs works, most of them actually..
So I can certainly tell you about Jungs definition and understanding of alchemy, of course there are other people with other way different views on alchemy out there, but if you want to really know about Jung, read his books. I can also give you a link to a torrent with all of them in it if you want, just ask.
If you just have some quick questions about it though, I'll try to answer them.
Don't read too much into it friend, actually, you should read all about it in Jung's writings because he was very intelligent and definitely in contact with some circles "in the know" who helped him further his ideas. Alchemy though, was originally just a means of protecting enlightenment beliefs at a time when the church was trying to stamp them out, through philosophical allegories that Christians interpreted as nothing more than materialist scientific pursuits.
Here you go, pretty much all of his books, plus some videos to give a quick intro into what he was about.
Don't know if you've seen the article about Jung and alchemy on gnosis.org but it's a pretty good summary too.
It was systems like Gnosticism and Hermeticism that first bred alchemy.
piratebay blocked? Where the fuck do you live?
maybe this works.. if not, google this:
you should be bound to find some torrent site that isn't blocked this way..
Oh snap that worked, cheers. Like I say, England. A friend of mine here can access streaming sites that are blocked for me so I assume it has something to do with the ISP. BT = a bunch of willies.
The psychological theory of alchemy is nonsense. I mean there are psychological aspects to alchemy, but the primary method is actual physical work.
For a more indepth look at why Jung's take on alchemy is BS, look at Principe's The Secret of Alchemy.
That's not going into the concept of internal alchemy, which is another thing alltogether.
You've got it the wrong way around. Alchemy was entirely a physical, hands on practice up until it died out in the 1700's. Then the 1800's roll around, and by that point alchemy had died out and been replaced with chemistry, so a bunch of mystically inclined individuals started looking into all these cool old books with hidden symbolism and figured that the whole thing must totally be a metaphor, ignoring the vast expanse of historical evidence that alchemists took their work very literally.
You do realize that alchemy without hidden meaning is literally just chemistry right? Alchemists weren't just empiricists like the autistic scientists of today, they were freethinkers and philosophers. Many of them did have an inclination toward scientific experimentation, but not truly with alchemical goals in mind. No rational alchemist ever thought they could turn lead into gold, it was always an allegory for the process of continuously evolving and improving ones own mind. Transmuting base consciousness into apex consciousness. It was when Alchemy became more common in the public arena that outsiders began adopting it purely for it's material appeal.
Sorry, but you're wrong. All of the historical evidence suggests that practicing alchemists believed in transmutation (Chrysopoeia) right from the beginning. It was only with the writings of Mary Atwood in the 19th century that the psychological theory of alchemy emerged, and only because by then scientific materialism had so overtaken society that the concept of alchemy as a physical practice (albeit with spiritual elements) became publicly unacceptable.
All of the historical evidence from the early 1700's right back to ancient Egypt and Greece consists of archaeological remains of labs and lab equipment designed to attempt to induce transmutation, of notes taken by practicing alchemists as they worked in these labs with physical substances and described their results, and books which claimed to described techniques (with varying degrees of opacity) involving labwork with physical tools and substances to induce transmutation. Likewise, the literature, artwork and culture of the day all portrayed the alchemist as an individual working in a lab with physical tools, trying to induce transmutation (or lesser effects) through material means. Among all this there's not a single piece of evidence to suggest that anyone, anywhere, believed that this was just a metaphor for the search for enlightenment (although it works as one fairly well).
This isn't an attack on spiritual alchemy by the way. I believe that the kind of spiritual, internal alchemy you're discussing exists, what the Greek philosophers called theurgy and the Chinese sages nei dan (as opposed to wei dan, which was their version of physical alchemy). I'm a student and practitioner of internal, spiritual alchemy myself. But that doesn't change the fact that what was called Alchemy and what was described in alchemical texts before the 19th century was almost entirely a physical process, similar to modern chemistry, as you noted, but existing within the worldview of the time.
Good preoccupation. You should further read Jung and check out the connections with Pauli (the Jung-Pauli letters).
But be careful to watch after clean editions, mostly read those published by the Jung Foundation or the Zurich Institute professors.
Most of Jung's work is very hard to read into, because of his language and style.
Also, for those who want to go deeper, check out Archetypes and Strange Attractors.
Which means what exactly? Just because he was an alchemist doesn't make everything he did alchemy. He was also a practicing mystic, according to the article. There's a lot of crossover between the two fields in terms of language and symbolism because alchemy has spiritual elements that go alongside it and because it makes such a good metaphor for internal alchemy and spiritual growth (and, as I said, because it was confused for pure metaphor in the 19th century). Not to mention that practitioners of one often at least dabble in the other. But that doesn't make alchemy a purely spiritual pursuit.
Unless specified as internal or spiritual alchemy, the term refers to a physical practice, as it has since the classical era and before.
It's medieval "science" born out of the fact that catholic church stagnated the intellectual culture middle ages. There were no means to actual scientific progress to take place as a continuum for the knowledge of the ancient history and thus the scholars kind of based their "science" on the stuff they had access to which was religious dogma.
I know what you're getting at but you're vastly overstating the connection. On a theoretical level, yes, but on a practical level, the alchemy was entirely a physical process, especially since most of the people practicing it weren't mystics in any real sense of the word. If they had been, it would have been banned on theological grounds, but all of the laws against alchemy were based on issues with fraud or economic concerns.