International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture » Ethics and Aesthetics of Architecture and the Environment
Sunday, February 21, 2016
The Follies and Virtues of Alchemy
This is inspired by the discovery of some writings about "The Revelation of the True Chemical Wisdom" written originally by someone who purportedly lived 400 - 600 years.
The link is here: http://rexresearch.com/alchemy3/gualdus.htm
He appears to provide a variety of typical insights on longevity, then mentions how to make an elixir from 'Air-Salt', a suspicious substance that is not defined anywhere. Best knowledge might be that the treatise and included 'letters' are a later fabrication, as they are so similar to so many other materials that supposedly date from that time period.
Anyway, inspired by that material, I have decided to write the follies and virtues of alchemy once and for all:
1. To assume that there is a spiritual aim that can be reached.
2. To think that a visible result in chemistry is a good thing.
3. To remain ignorant of the true chemical properties of the substances one might consume.
4. To arbitrarily declare victory, when the spiritual aim is a confabulation.
1. To find higher purpose in some but not all objects.
2. To find meaning in critical examination.
3. To seek the virtue within the materials.
4. To engage in a personally meaningful process.
But, superstition aside, it is clear that what the alchemist aims at is something different than what materials science would suggest. So, what is it, a spiritual fabrication?
Much can be learned from the idea that alchemists don't get real results. Mercury? Lead? Please, they're poisonous!
However, that is not to say that special materials cannot have great ritual meaning within a life.
I myself have tasted Aqua Purae, and it is no ordinary water! Pure water is something that everyone should desire, and it is no longer available at the supermarket!
So, there is a virtue for alchemy after all! Having discernment about the highest qualities of existence!
Therefore, it is only in the privileged existence that alchemy holds sway!
When you lose the privilege, you lose the value of alchemy.
So, try things like not masturbating, or drinking the purest water you can find. Or putting real gold or silver next to your quartz or lapis lazuli crystals. Something might result! Slight improvements, or a sense of having a superstitious privilege! A slight gain in complexity!