Alchemy/Introduction

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search

Alchemy: What is it and why is it relevant today?[edit]

Historically, Alchemy was mankind's the first science of exploration into the nature of all things in the universe. In antiquity, it was more art than science and even though real procedure has always accompanied alchemy, alchemists were artists first and foremost, inspired and led with intuition. Lack of openness and inconsistent repeatability of experiments has resulted in a fledgling science, mostly considered important to the modern age as the roots that engendered chemistry.

Thousands of years of experiments resulted in much new knowledge of which only a small amount has survived to the present day. Unfortunately, the secretive nature of the early alchemists meant that knowledge was seldom shared and written to provide little clarity. Mostly, it has been passed down as a great work on ones self and therefore instructions could only be understood or passed on to initiates. Written instructions were purposefully obscured in hidden language, symbols and stories which assured only people who already knew the secrets could understand the texts.

Mythologically, Alchemy started with *Hermes the Thrice Great* who had three distinct forms or incarnations. Early alchemists were directly involved in smelting metal from ores, amalgamating metals and forging gold. The history of alchemy includes two main components: the outer and the inner or secret history. The inner history is only passed on orally and therefore is only available to initiates.

Genuine alchemical work is always (completely encrypted and) unnoticed. It has survived by divorcing the physical lab "experimentation procedure" pseudo-science art for a pure spiritual (Jung) interpretation. The resurgence of alchemy is very much due to the failure and imbalance inherent in left-brain science. Alchemy as a holistic science values both intuition and artistic interpretation that is contrary to linear thought processes which focus on a subset of the whole.