So what does /x/ think about Alchemy? Is there some validity to it, or is it just s a pseudoscience performed by the superstitious, in a time where little was understood about the natural world?
There's validity to it. Alchemy is the basis of chemistry. You really CAN turn lead into gold. It's just hard to do safely and stably. Especially when you lack the basic understandings of atoms.
>a pseudoscience performed by the superstitious
Alchemy wasn't a pseudoscience. It was a full-blown science, as best as it was understood at the time. It was research in alchemy that taught us how elements actually behave. A lot of the 'weird' shit in alchemy comes from logical, if incorrect, assumptions about the nature of nature.
>in a time where little was understood about the natural world?
We now know how the weather works, and how all the forests and critters came to be, however that doesnt relate to actual knowledge, by your logic any form of philosophy or enlightenment pre-scientific revolution is moot.
You take one misunderstood thing and make it into something understandable. Not necessarily in a truthful way. Think about how a car salesman operates. You can't ever really win an argument with one of them. Why?
ive studied it & its pretty much all BS. i mean lead into gold isnt what alchemy was about, its about 'sacred chemistry' which is just another of the many portals into devil worshipping. its all BS. learn modern theoretical physics & you will learn real more important shit that will blow your mind & you can get employeed with it.
Alchemy is the 'golden chain' of knowledge.
It passed on veiled and adapted teaching from the past, regarding the inherent proprieties of existence. It tried to distill over the time in allegory the complex of hermetic, gnostic and cabbalistic concepts that all toghether represent different aspect of the same process: the process of uncovering and understanding our nature and purpose.
Alchemy can easily be found today in advanced mathematics, chaos theory, quantum mechanics and analytical psychology.
Alchemy is immortal. Alchemy is the catena aurea. The aspects it takes over the aeons, be they primitive chemistry, occult philosophy or alternative physics do not matter.
What matters is that Alchemy is the primal legacy, it is the smokeless fire that burns within.
If someone is barely interested in hearing more specific information regarding the chain of personalities, knowledge and connections between the development of human progress and culture that relied on alchemical thought, I would be more than happy to share what I know.
Just remember this: never take anything to literally. It is the bane of our existence; to counter the fear of one thing with the practice of the other in extreme. Balance is the word.
Because it's wrong. It's a horse before the cart philosophy (same reason everyone trying to prove god exists or that the world is 6000 years old or all that bullshit keeps failing.)
Science, when applied correctly, gathers data then tries to derive conclusions from that. The above, alchemy, proving god, creationism, start with conclusions then try to find and force evidence to support those conclusions.
In a very real sense it's like this quote from Zero Effect. When you're looking for anything, that's science.
Congratulations on confirming you have no idea what alchemy is and only know New Age and Orientialist horse shit.
All modern chemistry IS itself alchemy. The term alchemy derives from the Arabic word "al-kimia" which is still used in some Arabic speaking countries today to describe ordinary high school and college chemistry. No transmutation. No philosopher's stone. No astrology or magic squares. Just chemistry.
Alchemy, historically, can be divided into two "branches," which can be dubbed Practical Alchemy and Theoretical Alchemy. Practical Alchemy, when stripped of its philosophical exegesis (that is the mystical symbolism of the science) became what we now just call ordinary chemistry. Theoretical Alchemy generally referred to experimentation in the fields of transmutation, creating chimeras, forms of alchemy which themselves bordered a lot on or were practically synonymous with magic. When fiercely rational scientists in the Western world sought to divorce and disassociate chemistry from the culture of mystics, philosophers or charlatans, they made a distinction between "chemistry" and "alchemy" with alchemy now being the catch all term for those theoretical applications they rejected as irrational and impossible. For some Westerners, this also served a useful purpose in differentiating the "scientific occident" from the "mystical east."
However, those alchemists who were committed to alchemy's more practical and easily proven scientific dimensions often criticized those alchemists who only sought to discover means of turning base metals into gold or sought elixirs of immortality, even if they themselves believed such things were possible, calling them things like "charcoal burners." Generally speaking, most of the accomplished alchemists in the practical sciences still saw this science as being symbolic of higher metaphysical truths, not just simply mundane phenomenon but metaphors for the world of the soul.
In addition to differentiating the backwards East from the modern West. The artificial distinction between chemistry and alchemy also served to illustrate the differences between the modern West and it's own medieval past.
When the New Age movement kicked into full swing, people seeking a higher spiritual reality to life, becoming disillusioned with scientism, modernism and the de-sacralization of nature and the universe found in "alchemy" something which appealed to them, unaware they were nonetheless adopted centuries old stereotypes of what "alchemy" was in addition to that same artificial dichotomy.
That's because charcoal is not necessary since alchemy is more akin to agriculture than chemistry, the only thing they have in common is alembics and even they are not always necessary. And they Great Work us accomplishment of both physical and inner transmutation since hermetic ism venerated man as much as nature am which are tied with inseparable bind. As above so bellow.
Ok then, I will try at best as I can to sum up some facts.
Let's start by stating what Alchemy is not. Alchemy is not a (pseudo)science, it's not a philosophical system, it's not a logical circuit, it's not art, it's not occult practice. It IMPLIES all of these, though it is neither.
I consider, so bare with my limitations, that Alchemy is both the search of the Logos and the search for the Logos. It is a means to an end, but an end which ultimately cannot be comprehended by human thought and form.
It is the natural strive for growth, under the inherent inner call of Prometheus. There is no backwards of forward axis in this. There is only the search for union with that which was once Pro Arche.
Please read on the history of mentalities and science. Most major figures that have immensely contributed to the advent of human progress have been first Alchemists and secondly society-related prodigies.
> Pitagora > Plato > Aristotel (the pillars of civilization)
[mediteranean space/ Alexandria] => Byzantine Empire (hermetic/gnostic scholars that after 1453 scattered in the latin kingdoms), Arabia (Ibn Sina) and ultimately Italy.
Cosimo de Medici > Paracelsus > Roger Bacon > Da Vinci > St Germain > Keplar > Copernicus > Bruno > Newton > ...
Neoplatonism, post-jungian studies, quantum mechanics. A trilateral system of analysis of the same alchemical core. It is not hard to belive that, mythologically speaking, both science and art stem from the same source: the fabled. Hermes.
Will continue if wished. I know I haven't said too much, but it's hard to set upon the subject accordingly.
>All modern chemistry IS itself alchemy. The term alchemy derives from the Arabic word "al-kimia" which is still used in some Arabic speaking countries today to describe ordinary high school and college chemistry. No transmutation. No philosopher's stone. No astrology or magic squares. Just chemistry.
This is, sadly, false. This is the "Wicca" of alchemy, trying to take the past, ignore it, rewrite it and making it "modern." The goals of alchemy can be easily and regularly exposed. Here's one of my personal favorites.
Just another guy trying for a preconception to accidentally discover something else. And no, the 1600s weren't some corruption of alchemy. Uneducated idiot here might try and claim, sans evidence, that this doesn't count because it happened sometime between the modern day and his mythical wicca style alchemy, but that's bullshit. This is exactly what alchemy was and has always been.
can you tell me more about hermes? also please continue in the direction you want to go, i find it realy facinating the way you are writing.
What would you study if you where a novice in alchemy? and you are interested in the theoretical, and or practical use if it does not involve "chemistry components?"
This guy is a childish retard who follows me around from thread to thread saying stupid shit like this. Intelligent people will note that he never provides any intelligent dialogue and just tries to incite irrational conflict. He is not a good human being.
I am gonna get shit for this, but who cares. Since Jung's work in alchemy began to infiltrate modern
psychology, alchemy as a 'mental' or at any rate a non-physical
process, has become a fashionable acceptance. Typical of the
'reductionist' attitudes of the twentieth century is the current belief
that alchemy has now been explained. It is 'nothing but' an early
and crude study of psychology and perhaps of ESP. Dazzled by the
success of science in providing a label for eve-ng, few have
bothered to inquire whether the aphorism of Hermes 'as above, so
below' might not require a process valid at mental level to be
equally valid at physical level.
A label has been affixed, and therefore the mystery is no more.
No-one, it seems, notices any conflict between the Jungian 'psychological
interpretation' and the documented historical record of men
like Helvetius and the Cosmopolite (Alexander Seton?) who
demonstrably did make tangible yellow twenty-two carat gold. That "which is above is also like that which is bellow" might never have been written.
I'm no alchemist (though I did read a few books on the subject), but this guy's right. Or atleast the only one who's got any actual insight in this thread.
I'm more acquainted with the phillosophical side of alchemy rather than practical (meaning I know only very little about it). Still, from my knowledge, I'd say that both of these parts matter equally to most practicing alchemists. The creation of the Phillosopher's stone is both a physical and a metaphysical task - one seeks to transform both the physical material and his own soul throughout the process of transmutation.
I don't agree with all of this, but it was well worth saying. Good on you, Anon-012005, good on you!
Into contexts like these I always like to toss the equivalent opposite conditon, that we have achieved the literal alchemist goal, that in the 21st century turned base metals to gold, straight up, and that when it happened pretty much no one cared, at all. The miracle of millenniums achieved and the larger percentage of humanity, not just indifferent, but oblivious. If that's not a metaphor of the times, I don't know what is.
And it can be carried forth! After all, what is the physical transmutation but a metaphor of transcendence? So when humanity doesn't care about the one, what does it say about the other? That humanity in the majority is hopelessly base and ignorant?
Yes. Look at /x/. People are out there turning other elements into gold. And then there's /x/. Which argues about the metaphor and accomplishes precisely nothing, so much so that most are ignorant of the above literal accomplishment, and the rest don't care. The literalism to their metaphor and yet, to them, it means what?
That humanity in the majority is hopelessly base and ignorant, apparently.
I don't think that you should blame Jung for any sort of reductionism. I'm inclined to think that the man took all of the traditions (gnosticism, hermeticism, and others as well) completely seriously and didn't just seek to 'explain them away' like so many other psychologists of his day and age (and, well, of ours to) sought to. I think it's a misinterpretation and bastardisation of his work by most jungians to see through it alchemy (and other traditions) just as some sort of proto-psychological matrix and not a thing that's actual in itself (also another thing is that he regarded psyche as utterly real anyway). I think it's quite apparent, if you read Jung's books, that he never meant for this deconstruction to happen, but nothing else could be expected of then current zeitgeist - only handful of people understood what he truly meant and the man was aware of that.
if alchemy is so akin to agriculture or chemistry or whatever you say...why are there chants & positionings & symbols etc etc in alchemy? i never hear of weird chants & secret ceremonies having to be performed in anything outside of simple indoctrination of evil doings. explain please
Good to see you Brother Weltrand, thank you for your compliment. Really have to get back to you on that mail, asap :D. AE.
Will gladly share some sources and tell you what I think.
First of all, I highly recommend this set of lectures. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsspQdRcxv0Bi4s1lUH3hRkfXXKA8AzxW
Just listen to the first one if you don't have time. I know that Manly P Hall gets some serious criticism for uncovered facts but this lecture is regarding the philosophy of Hermes and the "train of Thought", so to say :). Really informative and full of references.
Hermes is basically an archetype of the utmost elevated human being; the Living God that once was human and came back to seed the seeds of Light. The way Hermes / Thoth has ultimately been deified by the late egyptians and greeks was a degraded aspect.
Hermes is considered to be, by some factually and by some metaphorically, one of the last High Priest of Atlantis that survided and got to Egypt, where he taught the people of the place writing, science and art. The Royal Art, so to speak. Hence he is considered the Primal and Ultimate Patron of Human Progress towards Truth. He basically outlined some fundamental ireductible Laws that detail the ways of the Divine, the Path of Sophia, the uncovering of the Monad. It is very hard to source them today. Some place great truth into the Kybalion, others into the tens of editions of the Hermetica or other compilations of ancient hermetic texts.
I, for one, consider that you may find this set of Laws as tear drops between the lines of all human product. Literature, old and new, canonical and non-canonical texts (as the gnostic literatures), paintings, architecture, human nature and human systems. If you read Kant you find this synthesis, the tendency towards transcendentalism. If you afterwards read Lucian Blaga, you find the additional, ultimate restriction: transcendental censorship.
But I'm faring off. Next post>
>This is, sadly, false. This is the "Wicca" of alchemy, trying to take the past, ignore it, rewrite it and making it "modern."
Sorry, but you're completely and utterly 100% wrong on this part. Alchemy has always been divided into the exoteric (the external, the scientific) and the esoteric (the symbolic, the metaphysical, the philosophical). This goes all the way back to Ancient Greece.
>Modern discussions of alchemy are generally split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric aspects. The former is pursued by historians of the physical sciences who have examined the subject in terms of protochemistry, medicine, and charlatanism. The latter interests psychologists, spiritual and new age communities, hermetic philosophers, and historians of esotericism. The subject has also made an ongoing impact on literature and the arts. Despite the modern split, numerous sources stress an integration of esoteric and exoteric approaches to alchemy. Holmyard, when writing on exoteric aspects, states that they cannot be properly appreciated if the esoteric is not always kept in mind. The prototype for this model can be found in Bolos of Mendes's 3rd-century BCE work Physika kai Mystika ("On Physical and Mystical Matters"). Marie-Louise von Franz tells us the double approach of Western alchemy was set from the start, when Greek philosophy was mixed with Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology. The technological, operative approach, which she calls extraverted, and the mystic, contemplative, psychological one, which she calls introverted, are not mutually exclusive but complementary since meditation requires practice in the real world and vice versa.
the division into exoteric and esoteric and subsequently the practical (tried, achieved and proven) and theoretical (unproven or unachieved) is not something new at all.
>Just another guy trying for a preconception to accidentally discover something else.
That describes a good portion of the history of science. What's your point exactly? That discoveries made while experimenting with another hypothesis are invalid?
>And no, the 1600s weren't some corruption of alchemy
They were, with regards to the semantics. Like I previously stated, and which you failed to address, the term "alchemy" is simply a derivative of the Arab word "al-kimia" which is still used today in Arab parts of the world to describe modern chemistry as well as medieval alchemy. The term al-kimia comes from the Greek word "chimia." It wasn't until the 1600's to the 1800's that you see "chymia" and "chemistry" come into popular usage, but even then word still referred to both the ancient and medieval alchemy and modern chemistry. There was no qualitative distinction until later, when the new generations of chemists sought to differentiate the new science from the old science with its greater openness to the occult and grander speculations based on a very religious and philosophical view of the universe. But the problem here was that the distinction was based on a number of assumptions about the alchemists of the past such as: they weren't interested in practical applications of science and they were only interested in wild things like immortality and making gold. Both of these are false. While things like transmutation of base metals into precious metals like gold or silver acted as an impetus for experimentation, as such experiments began to look like they'd never yield real or complete success, alchemists became more skeptical and sought to explore the practical applications of those things which had been discovered during the course of such experimentation. Even if such things still remained theoretically possible for many, they became less of the goal in and of themselves since many began to feel they were too out of reach for most
At least in the modern West, "alchemy" came to be used to exclusively to refer to an occult forerunner to what we now call "chemistry" but even when both these terms first came about in Western vernacular, they still referred to one and the same thing. And even in many parts of the world, the distinction between "chemistry" and "alchemy" is not recognized because both are still referred to by a single term which encompasses all their various dimensions and nuances. It doesn't matter to these people whether they believe transmutation of metals remains possible or not. Whether one is experimenting to create gold from bronze or just learning simply high school experiments, both are "alchemy." Whether one is a hardcore materialist or atheist or whether one is a devout Muslim or Christian who still interprets things through the lens of religion, for these people whatever they may do in a laboratory is still called "alchemy," in their language.
So what we need to understand is that the qualitative difference between chemistry and alchemy only exists in the language of the modern west, where the two terms are used to refer to polar opposite worldviews whether in favor of or against the worldview/paradigm represented by alchemy or modern chemistry. But this has also resulted in a loss of all the different nuances between the two. And so the shift to a use of these two terms also represents the kind of Cartesian duality that exists in the minds of people living the modern West when they approach matters of science or of spirituality.
Chemistry, incontestably, is the science of facts, just as alchemy is that of causes. The first, confined to the material domain, is supported by experiment. The second preferably takes it's directives from philosophy. While the object of the first is the study of natural bodies, the other tries to penetrate the mysterious dynamics which preside over their transformations.
gold is valueable because you think it's rare. it's not. any king knew how to create gold out of other elements. it's the same technology that has been used to cast all these ancient monolith sites. but what to i know. i'm just sitting here levitating.
alchemy is just a distraction. it's far easier. go analog. combine fields and waves, adjust them to the element you are working with... aaaand you are done, now the elite will hunt you down and kill you. easy.
>Nigga, alchemy is just materialistic magic.
if you say so, and I am sure it is to you, but take calm in knowing that to philosophers the existence of the profane is a simple truth.
I applaud your willingness to provide the necessary balance to the conversation but if I were in your shoes I would certainly do so differently with an intention of expanding the growth of those involved to highest degree I could
the nature of thought allows for things to be both true or not true from each individual perspective, the truth tends to adhere to the consensus
it seems a waste to bog yourself down in the emotional details rather than presenting arguments that would encourage growth, either of knowledge, spiritual enlightenment or any other type the individual might be seeking.
Galileo was into astrology. What makes something relevant is objectively what makes it relevant, not the period during which any person of status stared at it for any period of time.
you can now turn your waste into gold
>During the 17th century, practical alchemy started to disappear in favor of its younger offshoot chemistry, as it was renamed by Robert Boyle, the "father of modern chemistry". In his book, The Skeptical Chymist, Boyle attacked Paracelsus and the natural philosophy of Aristotle, which was taught at universities. However, Boyle's biographers, in their emphasis that he laid the foundations of modern chemistry, neglect how steadily he clung to the scholastic sciences and to alchemy, in theory, practice and doctrine. The decline of alchemy continued in the 18th century with the birth of modern chemistry, which provided a more precise and reliable framework within a new view of the universe based on rational materialism.
>Later medieval Latin had alchimia / alchymia "alchemy", alchimicus "alchemical", and alchimista "alchemist". It was the mineralogist and humanist Georg Agricola (died 1555) who first dropped the Arabic definite article al- and began, in his Latin works from 1530 on, to write chymia and chymista. As a humanist, Agricola was intent on purifying words and returning them to their classical roots. He had no intent to make a semantic distinction between chymia and alchymia.
>During the later sixteenth century Agricola's new coinage slowly propagated. It seems to have been adopted in most of the vernacular European languages following Conrad Gessner's adoption of it in his extremely popular pseudonymous work, De remediis secretis: Liber physicus, medicus, et partim etiam chymicus (Zurich 1552).
Please stop posting.