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 the health and sports supplements section of the store. The elixir is real: at least every generation thinks they’re about to discover it. It’s part of the search for God’s secret knowledge, and it was the “other” tree in the Biblical Garden of Eden – the one we didn’t eat from. We’re still trying to make up for that omission.]

From Wikipedia on the elixir of life:

“The elixir of life, also known as elixir of immortality and sometimes equated with the philosopher’s stone, is a mythical potion that, when drunk from a certain cup at a certain time, supposedly grants the drinker eternal life and/or eternal youth. This elixir was also said to be able to create life. Related to the myths of Thoth and Hermes Trismegistus, both of whom in various tales are said to have drunk “the white drops” (liquid gold) and thus achieved immortality, it is mentioned in one of the Nag Hammadi texts. Alchemists in various ages and cultures sought the means of formulating the elixir.”

[…]

“The Elixir has had hundreds of names (one scholar of Chinese history reportedly found over 1,000 names for it.), including (among others) Amrit Ras or Amrita, Aab-i-Hayat, Maha Ras, Aab-Haiwan, Dancing Water, Chasma-i-Kausar, Mansarover or the Pool of Nectar, Philosopher’s stone, and Soma Ras.

The word elixir was not used until the 7th century A.D. and derives from the Arabic name for miracle substances, “al iksir”. Some view it as a metaphor for the spirit of God (e.g., Jesus’s reference to “the Water of Life” or “the Fountain of Life“). “But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

The Scots and the Irish adopted the name for their “liquid gold”: the Gaelic name for whiskey is uisce beatha, or water of life.

Aab-i-Hayat is Persian and means “water of life”. “Chashma-i-Kausar” (not “hasma”) is the “Fountain of Bounty,” which Muslims believe to be located in Paradise. As for the Indian names, “Amrit Ras” means “immortality juice,” “Maha Ras” means “great juice,” and “Soma Ras” means “juice of Soma.” Soma was a psychoactive drug, by which the poets of the Vedas received their visions, but the plant is no longer known. Later, Soma came to mean the moon. “Ras” later came to mean “sacred mood, which is experienced by listening to good poetry or music”; there are altogether nine of them. Mansarovar, the “mind lake” is the holy lake at the foot of Mt. Kailash in Tibet, close to the source of the Ganges.

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elixir_of_life>

[Incidentally, Mt. Kailish is a mountain which mountaineers do not/may not climb out of respect.]

“Comte de St. Germain, an 18th-century nobleman of uncertain origin and mysterious capabilities, was also reputed to have the Elixir and to be several hundred years old. Many European recipes specify that elixir is to be stored in clocks to amplify the effects of immortality on the user. Frenchman Nicolas Flamel was also a reputed creator of the Elixir.”

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elixir_of_life>

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 – one being the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, from which our unfortunate ancestors took a bite, and the other the Tree of Life, which we assume, would confer long or eternal life.]

“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3

Cherub. Source unknown.
Cherub. Source unknown.

[Some alchemists, such as Flamel (below), were believed to have found such an elixir. There are stories of others, such as the Compte de St. Germain, who were reputed to be too long-lived and youthful to be naturally so. Are there people living among us who are far older than they appear to be; who have lived generations past their own natural lifetimes? Such a potion is one of the apparently undiscovered secrets of God, which many Faustian types have sought after for millennia. We always think we might be close to finding it. Not Faust, though. He had agreed to spend eternity in the realm of Hell, thinking, perhaps, he’d enjoy the company better. A good Christian, too, might forgo the joys of eternal life if it meant never entering into the presence of God.]

From Wikipedia on the elixir of life:

“The elixir of life, also known as elixir of immortality and sometimes equated with the philosopher’s stone, is a mythical potion that, when drunk from a certain cup at a certain time, supposedly grants the drinker eternal life and/or eternal youth. This elixir was also said to be able to create life. Related to the myths of Thoth and Hermes Trismegistus, both of whom in various tales are said to have drunk “the white drops” (liquid gold) and thus achieved immortality, it is mentioned in one of the Nag Hammadi texts. Alchemists in various ages and cultures sought the means of formulating the elixir.”

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elixir_of_life>

“Comte de St. Germain, an 18th-century nobleman of uncertain origin and mysterious capabilities, was also reputed to have the Elixir and to be several hundred years old. Many European recipes specify that elixir is to be stored in clocks to amplify the effects of immortality on the user. Frenchman Nicolas Flamel was also a reputed creator of the Elixir.”

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elixir_of_life>

‘Some view it as a metaphor for the spirit of God (e.g., Jesus’s reference to “the Water of Life” or “the Fountain of Life”). “But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) ‘

Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elixir_of_life>

Long life – the Eighteenth century Comte de St. Germain

[The secret of long life. The Eighteenth century Comte de St. Germain came from nowhere, but was a favorite of kings. The mystery grew as it was rumoured that he was impossibly old. He was an adventurer with an assumed name and a supposed noble-but-tragic-and-dangerous past, not unlike Cagliostro. Unlike Caglisotro, he was never exposed, never revealed to be a charlatan. On the contrary, his knowledge and talents gained him respect. He is one (Nicolas Flamel (13thC.) and Fulcanelli (20th C.) are among others) who was thought to have found the secret of eternal life or the Philosopher’s Stone sought by the alchemists.]

“One can, I think, well assert that a portion of his miracles is due to his knowledge of physics and chemistry, in which sciences he is well grounded. At all events it is palpable that his knowledge has laid the seeds for him of sound good health; a life which will, or which has, overstepped the ordinary time allotted to men; and has also endowed him with the means of preventing the ravages of time from affecting the body. Among other statements concerning the Count’s astounding qualities, made to the Favorite by Mme. de Gergy after her first meeting with the Count, after a lapse of years, was that during her first stay in Venice, she received from him an elixir which for fully a quarter of a century, preserved unaltered the youthful charms she possessed at 25. Elderly Gentlemen whom Madame de Pompadour questioned concerning this peculiar incident, gave the assurance that the standing still of time in the aging and preservation of the youthful appearance of Mme. de Gergy, supported by the testimony of these old men, would make it appear still more probable.”

The Comte de St. Germain: The Secret of Kings
By Isabel Cooper-Oakley. Milano, 1912. Reprinted by forgottenbooks.org. P17.


Pasted from <http://books.google.ca/books?id=Jb1LN0s1yZ8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false> or http://www.forgottenbooks.org/info/9781606201022

[From Goethe’s Witches’ Kitchen scene we have Mephistophele’s recipe for naturally living for a long time:

Take yourself off to the nearest field,
To scratch around, and hoe, and dig in,

Maintain yourself, and constrain
Your senses in a narrow sphere:

Feed yourself on the purest fare,
Be a beast among beasts: think it no robbery,

To manure the fields you harvest, there:
Since that’s the best of ways, believe me,

To keep your youth for eighty years!

http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/German/FaustIScenesIVtoVI.htm#Scene_VI

Faust isn’t impressed.]