NotesAlchemy The alchemical panacea From Wikipedia: The panacea, named after the Greek goddess of universal remedy Panakeia, Panacea, also known as panchrest, was supposed to be a remedy that would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. It was sought by the alchemists as a connection to the elixir of life and the philosopher’s stone, a mythical substance which …Continue reading "Notes" As well as knowledge Faust might seek immortality [As well as knowledge, Faust might seek immortality, but, oh, right…. Immortality was something he didn’t ask for (though an eternity in Hell is a kind of immortality), but for many seekers of knowledge-at-all-costs, that is their prime pursuit – to find the alchemical elixir of life. Today we still look for it, but in …Continue reading "Notes" Potions can fulfill all of our alchemical and Faustian aspirations [Potions can fulfill all the alchemical and Faustian aspirations of humans, from finding God, to gaining secret knowledge, to restoring health and promoting long life – even immortality. At least that’s what we’ve imagined over time. These are essentially also the same things promised by the two trees in the Garden of Eden in the …Continue reading "Notes" The elixir of life also known as elixir of immortality [The idea that there is a substance – in this case a drink – that will restore health and youth and vigor has entranced humans. It is found in ancient texts, in the foundations of alchemy, and in religion. In the biblical story of the Garden of Eden we find there are two trees – …Continue reading "Notes" The search for secret/hidden/lost knowledge still goes on today… [The search for secret/hidden/lost knowledge still goes on today, with a special emphasis on drug use, including the restoration of knowledge of plant use by other cultures which was in many cases concealed in the contact with European who strongly disapproved of “pagan” practices. Terence McKenna and his brother worked to those ends in the …Continue reading "Notes" Philosophers are sworn, aye, every one…. Philosophers are sworn, aye, every one, That they will thus discover it to none, Nor in a book will write it for men here; For unto Christ it is so lief and dear That He wills that it not discovered be, Except where it’s pleasing to his deity Man to inspire, and also, to defend …Continue reading "Notes" It is scarcely surprising that in the atmosphere of superstition…. “It is scarcely surprising that in the atmosphere of superstition and ignorance which reigned in Europe during the middle ages Bacon’s achievements were attributed to his communication with devils, and that his fame spread through Western Europe not as a savant, but as a great magician! His great services to humanity were met with censure, …Continue reading "Notes" From the bottom of our hearts we ought to thank the modest men who held in their hands the magical Emerald Formula “From the bottom of our hearts we ought to thank the modest men who held in their hands the magical Emerald Formula that makes a man master of the world, a formula which they took as much trouble to hide as they had taken to discover it. For however dazzling and bright the obverse of …Continue reading "Notes" A hollow stick – take heed, sirs, and beware! A hollow stick – take heed, sirs, and beware! – In end of which an ounce was, and no more, Of silver filings put, all as before Within the coal, and stopped with wax, a bit, To keep the filings in the hole of it. And while the priest was busy, as I say, This …Continue reading "Notes" …by our pure and chaste country Jerusalem! “…It is true that the theatres never now carry me away, nor do I now care to know the courses of the stars, nor hath my soul at any time consulted departed spirits; all sacrilegious oaths I abhor. O Lord my God, to whom I owe all humble and single-hearted service, with what subtlety of …Continue reading "Notes" The preparation of silver and gold. “The preparation of silver and gold. Diocletian sought out and burned books about this. [It is said] that due to the Egyptians’ revolting behavior Diocletian treated them harshly and murderously. After seeking out the books written by the ancient [Egyptians] concerning the alchemy of gold and silver, he burned them so that the Egyptians would …Continue reading "Notes" Art about alchemy was popular among the middle class of northern Europe from the late 1600s through much of the 1800s “Art about alchemy was popular among the middle class of northern Europe from the late 1600s through much of the 1800s, and part of that popularity was making fun of the alchemist. He is sometimes shown setting the house on fire. Often, he is poor. Worse still, he is wasting the family income on his …Continue reading "Notes" With the Reformation another spirit arose and legends took a different form. “With the Reformation another spirit arose and legends took a different form. In the Protestant world the orthodox magic of the Roman Church lost its saving power and was regarded as no less diabolic than all other black art. He was irretrievably lost who had once given over his soul to magic and the devil …Continue reading "Notes" Thus, as science steadily continued to uncover and rationalize the clockwork of the universe “Thus, as science steadily continued to uncover and rationalize the clockwork of the universe, founded on its own materialistic metaphysics, Alchemy was left deprived of its chemical and medical connections — but still incurably burdened by them. Reduced to an arcane philosophical system, poorly connected to the material world, it suffered the common fate of …Continue reading "Notes" There was a hissing sound and a slight effervescence “There was a hissing sound and a slight effervescence, and after fifteen minutes, Helvetius found that the lead had been transformed into the finest gold, which on cooling, glittered and shone as gold indeed. A goldsmith to whom he took this declared it to be the purest gold that he had ever seen and offered …Continue reading "Notes" The Paracelsians were quick to offer an alchemical interpretation of Genesis “The Paracelsians were quick to offer an alchemical interpretation of Genesis. Here they pictured the Creation as the work of a divine alchemist separating the beings and objects of the earth and the heavens from the unformed prima materia much as the alchemist may distill pure quintessence from a grosser form of matter.” Dictionary of …Continue reading "Notes" I made a projection of my divine powder “I made a projection of my divine powder on quicksilver, and in less than an hour it was converted into fine gold. God knows how joyful I was, how I thanked Him for this great grace and favor and prayed for His Holy Spirit to pour yet more light upon me that I might use …Continue reading "Notes" has each one of us signed with the blood of his human nature…. “…has each one of us signed with the blood of his human nature a compact with some such spiritual power, with the demonic element within him, with that spirit of negation, of cynicism, of cold unideal utilitarian worldly-wisdom which mocks at faith and love and every high and tender impulse…?” The Project Gutenberg eBook of …Continue reading "Notes"