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What is alchemy?

 

Alchemy has always been a subject of great curiosity, considered mysterious and forbidden. To this day it is shrouded in esoteric mysteries and mostly relegated to the realms of myth and legend.

But the desire to recognize what holds the world together, what the world consists of, is as old as humanity itself. Aristotle addressed this longing in his “Metaphysics”:

 

"In human nature lies the drive for knowledge"

 

The means and methods of research may have changed, but in alchemy as well as in atomic physics, the search for knowledge is action. Alchemists sought transformation on all levels: material, energetic, mental and spiritual. Whether it was a physical object such as metal or one's own body, or a non-physical object such as emotions, life force, or the spirit, alchemy provided the creative process and medium through which greater degrees of transformation could take place.

So alchemists were not only charlatans and swindlers who imitated valuable natural substances with a chemical technique and who wanted to make people believe that they could produce gold. Not at all, because alchemy also developed new techniques such as distilling and sublimation, the corresponding devices and laboratory work. In addition, many practical discoveries were made such as phosphorus, porcelain and black powder. Their spiritual side fertilized the fine arts.

Archaeological finds such as mercury adhering to glass bulbs prove that the research of the alchemists served to produce basic pharmaceutical substances. As we know, mercury was used in the 16th century to treat syphilis, which was rampant across Europe. The search for remedies was therefore a central drive of alchemical research. Paul Luther, the son of the reformer, was both a doctor and an alchemist.

In this regard, it is significant that in 2016 in Halle (Germany) in a scientific exhibition on alchemy, the particle accelerator of the Swiss CERN was shown at the end of the exhibition, because the search for transatomic particles for research in the 21st century is what the philosopher's stone was in the 16th century for the alchemists: A substance that preceded the reputation of being a kind of panacea and thus the goal of all scientific endeavors.

Therefore, alchemy can be described as an early form of science or as an old branch of natural philosophy.

Alchemy tries to heal, enlighten and protect us from negative forces and influences. Alchemy can empower us, bringing us into a state of heightened awareness while additionally helping us to be more effective, creative and productive in our daily lives.

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