Today were going to introduce the subject of alchemy. It’s a big subject and an important subject. The best that I can do is just give a little bit on it and people can follow up on their own to their heart’s desire.
Following the 12th-century there was a Renaissance and it was produced by translations of Islamic works of science for English-speaking Christians. People were emerging from a dark age while the Islamic countries had advanced knowledge of the sciences.
There are actually three branches of alchemy and I’d like to say that alchemy can be looked at in several different ways.
One way is the study of the physical sciences like chemistry, healing, medicines, and things like that.
A second way of looking at it is in the development of the soul. This includes the development of nonphysical energies and ways of working with those energies. This type of alchemy is very symbolic and subjective.
A third way of looking at it is changing base metals into gold. What that means is simply the transformation or transmutation of black energy or negative energy, poisons or toxins into good things. This is how to take the things that are bad in life and turn them into empowerments. It’s a form of mental reframing.
There are also three schools of alchemy.
Chinese alchemy is founded on Taoism and what I’ve read of it is based upon five elements. It gets into acupuncture and the energy channels within the body. Kung Fu and the other martial arts all deal with some of these things and it is very powerful.
Mantak Chia is extremely effective in explaining a lot of these things. I really enjoyed his books and would recommend them.
The teachings of the East included the development of the immortal physical body. It could be tangible to a degree and awareness existed in it beyond the death of the physical body. This sounds very similar to Organic Gnosticism and the development of the soul.
There is also Indian alchemy. This of course is considered the origin of Tantra. The left-hand path of tantric Buddhism taught the development of the thunderbolt body or diamond body.
This is the same thing as what we see in the east which is called the immortal physical body.
These schools taught the development of a soul body that was very substantial and existed on all levels of the astral planes.
Contrast this with Christianity which taught Sophia and how it involved creating the soul out of mental energy. This was done by totally renouncing the lower levels.
Western Alchemy began with Greek and Roman philosophy. This crossed over into the Islamic culture and after the crusades it started moving into medieval Europe.
Everything was formed from only four elements, earth, air, water and fire. You might think this is entirely symbolic, but here’s a thought. What if you said solids, liquids and gases and plasmas? That’s a different story because there are four states that each element can exist in. So let’s not be too quick to judge these things.
Alchemy coexisted with emerging Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries and by the middle of the seventh century most of Christianity was alchemical, meaning that it was mystical. It was talking about the marriage of the Christ and Sophia. It was talking about the marriage of the heart with the Christ spirit. So it was taking on religious connotations.
Another favorite topic in alchemy was turning lead into gold, the transmutation of the base into the pure, but also about eternal life. Those were the main things that led to mystical Christianity which came out of this movement.
Here we have the philosopher’s stone which was also the elixir of immortality that flourished in 12th-century Spain. In the 13th century Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon were monks who taught alchemical subjects and they taught a fairly structured system of alchemical processes that could purify the soul so it could be reunited with God.
In the 14th and 15th centuries you have the beginnings of the Rosicrucians with the mythical life of Christian Rosenkreuz. The Rosicrucian manifestos were written around 1607 to 1616,
They were alchemical in nature, and thought to be written by Michael Maier, Robert Fludd and Thomas Vaughn.