From my last blog I got the sense that the Spirit of Alchemy was calling and decided to look into it some more. I had to special order a book that wasn’t in print called History of Alchemy by M.M. Pattison Muir.
Just in the first chapter, the sentiments about the nature of things in essence resonates so profoundly with me that while reading, I thought I could have written it myself. Not only are the thoughts expressed by the Ancient Greek alchemist so poetic, I understand them. The author says something to the effect that some of the writings don’t make sense to the modern scientist but to me they spoke a billion words in just a few sentences.
These days, alchemy is considered a philosophy and pseudoscience and I can accept it as that but with modern science, they mostly remove the philosophies that arise in the Spirit of Nature that gave chemistry and atomic theory its platform and the basis for which all the following greats have proceeded from.
While I have just barely began to read this book and delve deeper into alchemy, I just have to copy a little bit of the first chapter that was so profoundly endearing to me that I feel certain that Alchemy is my spiritual and magical path.
Chapter 1, page 12 History of Alchemy
“The Greeks likened their imaginings of nature to the natural facts they observed; the alchemist created an imaginary world after their own likeness. [this is not a sentiment about the thoughts of the christian god but from the observation regarding the things unseen but seen aka; atoms]
While Christianity was superseding the old religions, and the theological system of the Christian Church was replacing the cosmogonies of the heathen, the contrast between the powers of evil and the power of good was more fully realized than in the days of the Greeks; a sharper division was drawn between this world and another world, and that other world was divided into two irreconcilable and absolutely opposite parts [this is what I feel and pretty much said in a previous post]. Man came to be regarded as the center of the tremendous and never-ceasing battle, urged between the powers of good and the powers of evil. The sights and sounds of nature were regarded as the vestments, or the voices, of the unseen combatants [made to be evil like demons]. Life was at once very real and the mere shadow of a dream. The conditions were favorable to the growth of magic; for man was regarded as the measure of the universe, the central figure in an awful tragedy.
Magic is an attempt, by thinking and speculating about what we consider must be the order of nature [what we want it to be], to discover some means of penetrating into the secret life of natural things, of realizing the hidden powers and virtues of things, grasping the concealed thread of unity which is supposed to run through all phenomena however seemingly diverse, entering into sympathy with the supposed inner oneness of life, death, the present, past and future. Magic grows, and gathers strength when men are sure their theory of the universe must be the one true theory, and they see only through the glasses which their theory supplies. “he who knows himself thoroughly knows God and all the mysteries of His nature” says a modern writer on magic. That saying expresses the fundamental hypothesis, and the method, of all systems of magic and mysticism. Of such systems, alchemy was one.”
Clearly there are differences when it comes to the subjective energy of what GOD is but in essence, considering what was just said, magic being that we (as an individual) must be the order of Nature and Nature to me is the Mother. So I won’t split hairs.
Having read just one chapter and a couple other books regarding Alchemy but not on it’s history, I think it is important and it makes a difference to me that the author pointed out that the era in which this type of scientific inquiry regarding nature and spirituality was also wrapped up in a time when Christianity was blanketing the west and the theories proposed by the Ancient Greek thinkers like Lucretius, changed with the way we change. In other words, memed or assimilated.
Of course, physics and chemistry and all sciences really, that we know today are not the same and the advancements have made a whole new world however, when it comes to the spiritual nature of things, the essence of magic, life, death and what it all means… I am thoroughly in agreement.