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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alchemy - Education (definition)


"Alchemist" redirects here. For other uses, see Alchemist (disambiguation).


Page from alchemic treatise of Ramon Llull, 16th century
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base metals into thenoble metals gold or silver, as well as an elixir of life conferring youth and immortality. Western alchemy is recognized as a protoscience that contributed to the development of modern chemistry and medicine. Alchemists developed a framework of theory, terminology, experimental process and basic laboratory techniques that is still recognizable today. But alchemy differs from modern science in the inclusion of Hermetic principles and practices related tomythologyreligion, and spirituality.

OVERVIEW
The best known goals of the alchemists were the transmutation of common metals into gold or silver, and the creation of a "panacea," a remedy that supposedly would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely; and the discovery of a universal solvent.[1] 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 proto-chemistry, medicine, and charlatanism. The latter is of interest to the historians of esotericism, psychologists, spiritual and new age communities, and hermetic philosophers.[2] 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 can not be properly appreciated if the esoteric is not always kept in mind.[3] The prototype for this model can be found in Bolos of Mendes' second century BCE work, Physika kai Mystika (On Physical and Mystical Matters).[4] 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 callsextraverted, and the mystic, contemplative, psychological one, which she calls introverted are not mutually exclusive, but complementary instead, as meditation requires practice in the real world, and conversely.[5]

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Note: Please read Blog Participation Requested - Announcement - Education",  which explains and describes the purpose of this series of topics. This post does not make a statement "for" the following content and does not make claim that it has a direct relation to Freemasonry. It is for educational purposes only! All credit given to for content obtained from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 

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4 comments:

  1. According to W.Bro. Timothy Hogan, Alchemy was highy influential in the development of the rituals of Craft Masonry.

    http://vimeo.com/29201135

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your input on this topic.

    ReplyDelete

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