The present volume owes its ongm to a Colloquium on "Alchemy and Chemistry in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries", held at the Warburg Institute on 26th and 27th July 1989. The Colloquium focused on a number of selected themes during a closely defined chronological interval: on the relation of alchemy and chemistry to medicine, philosophy, religion, and to the corpuscular philosophy, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The relations between Medicina and alchemy in the Lullian treatises were examined in the opening paper by Michela Pereira, based on researches on unpublished manuscript sources in the period between the 14th and 17th centuries. It is several decades since the researches of R.F. Multhauf gave a prominent role to Johannes de Rupescissa in linking medicine and alchemy through the concept of a quinta essentia. Michela Pereira explores the significance of the Lullian tradition in this development and draws attention to the fact that the early Paracelsians had themselves recognized a family resemblance between the works of Paracelsus and Roger Bacon's scientia experimentalis and, indeed, a continuity with the Lullian tradition.
The most ancient sciences in the world are Alchemy and Kabbalah, which are the practical, spiritual knowledge hidden in the depths of every great religion and mystical tradition. Modern scientists are only recently discovering what these ancient teachings have always known: that we are a part of a multidimensional universe, and that our Consciousness, our awareness, can expand to perceive matter and energy that are invisible to the flesh. Just as physics and chemistry illuminate our understanding of the physical world, Alchemy and Kabbalah constitute a scientific method to awaken the Consciousness and fully develop the human being, opening the doors to vast worlds that are hidden from the physical senses. This awakening or alchemical birth requires a precise scientific method, for everything that exists depends upon causes and conditions. Hidden in centuries of mystical texts and obscure drawings are the specific instructions that lead towards the opening of their inner senses and the entrance into a higher life. The Philosopher's Stone, the secret of transmuting lead into gold, and many other sacred mysteries long restricted to initiates who had proven their trustworthiness were publicly revealed for the first time by the author Samael Aun Weor. These mystical sciences are hidden in the twenty-two primary Tarot cards, whose origins and precise meanings have never before now been publicly revealed. Now, see for yourself how these ancient traditions are all truly one science. Discover the keys to unlock the mysteries hidden in scriptures, mystical texts, and enigmatic images, and most importantly the mysteries hidden within us.
This comprehensive annotated bibliography, first published in 1990, guides the user helpfully through where to find information on various elements on alchemy when researching. Divided into categories to aid finding the right area of interest, this book forms a unique reference tool.
Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society.What actually took place in the private laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets of Nature? What instruments and theoretical principles did he employ? Using, as their guide, the previously misunderstood interactions between Robert Boyle, widely known as the father of chemistry, and George Starkey, an alchemist and the most prominent American scientific writer before Benjamin Franklin as their guide, Newman and Principe reveal the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a famous alchemist and argue that many of the principles and practices characteristic of modern chemistry derive from alchemy. By analyzing Starkey's extraordinary laboratory notebooks, the authors show how this American chymist translated the wildly figurative writings of traditional alchemy into quantitative, carefully reasoned laboratory practice--and then encoded his own work in allegorical, secretive treatises under the name of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The intriguing mystic Joan Baptista Van Helmont--a favorite of Starkey, Boyle, and even of Lavoisier--emerges from this study as a surprisingly central figure in seventeenth-century chymistry. A common emphasis on quantification, material production, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of goals and practices from late medieval alchemy down to and beyond the Chemical Revolution. For anyone who wants to understand how alchemy was actually practiced during the Scientific Revolution and what it contributed to the development of modern chemistry, Alchemy Tried in the Fire will be a veritable philosopher's stone.
The Aspiring Adept presents a provocative new view of Robert Boyle (1627-1691), one of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution, by revealing for the first time his avid and lifelong pursuit of alchemy. Boyle has traditionally been considered, along with Newton, a founder of modern science because of his mechanical philosophy and his experimentation with the air-pump and other early scientific apparatus. However, Lawrence Principe shows that his alchemical quest--hidden first by Boyle's own codes and secrecy, and later suppressed or ignored--positions him more accurately in the intellectual and cultural crossroads of the seventeenth century.Principe radically reinterprets Boyle's most famous work, The Sceptical Chymist, to show that it criticizes not alchemists, as has been thought, but unphilosophical pharmacists and textbook writers. He then shows Boyle's unambiguous enthusiasm for alchemy in his lost Dialogue on the Transmutation and Melioration of Metals, now reconstructed from scattered fragments and presented here in full for the first time. Intriguingly, Boyle believed that the goal of his quest, the Philosopher's Stone, could not only transmute base metals into gold, but could also attract angels. Alchemy could thus act both as a source of knowledge and as a defense against the growing tide of atheism that tormented him. In seeking to integrate the seemingly contradictory facets of Boyle's work, Principe also illuminates how alchemy and other unscientific pursuits had a far greater impact on early modern science than has previously been thought.
Sheds new light on the identity of the alchemist Fulcanelli- Provides new understanding of the relationships between the most important figures of the esoteric milieu of Paris in the first half of the 20th century - Includes a wealth of rarely seen documents, photos, and letters Fulcanelli, operative alchemist and author of The Mystery of the Cathedrals and The Dwellings of the Philosophers--two of the most important esoteric works of the twentieth century--remains himself a mystery. The true identity of the man who allegedly succeeded in creating the philosopher's stone has never been discovered, despite ardent searches by many--even the OSS (the wartime U.S. intelligence agency, later to become the CIA) claimed to have looked for him following the end of World War II. Genevi ve Dubois looks at the esoteric milieu of Paris at the turn of the century, a time that witnessed a great revival of the alchemical tradition, and investigates some of its salient personalities. Could one of these have been this enigmatic man, reported to have last appeared in Seville, Spain, in 1952 when he would have been 113 years of age? The trail followed by the author encounters such figures as Papus, Ren Gu non, Schwaller de Lubicz, Pierre Dujols, Eugene Canseliet, and Jean-Julien Champagne. Working from rare documents, letters, and photos, Dubois suggests that one of these men could have been hiding his activity behind the pseudonym of Fulcanelli or that Fulcanelli may even have been a composite fabricated by several of these individuals working together. Beyond its attempt to reveal the actual identity of Fulcanelli, Fulcanelli and the Alchemical Revival also presents an explanation of the alchemical doctrine and reveals the unsuspected relationships among the important twentieth-century truth seekers it highlights.
Reputed to have performed miraculous feats in New England--restoring the hair and teeth to an aged lady, bringing a withered peach tree to fruit--Eirenaeus Philalethes was also rumored to be an adept possessor of the alchemical philosophers' stone. That the man was merely a mythical creation didn't diminish his reputation a whit--his writings were spectacularly successful, read by Leibniz, esteemed by Newton and Boyle, voraciously consumed by countless readers. Gehennical Fire is the story of the man behind the myth, George Starkey.
Though virtually unknown today and little noted in history, Starkey was America's most widely read and celebrated scientist before Benjamin Franklin. Born in Bermuda, he received his A.B. from Harvard in 1646 and four years later emigrated to London, where he quickly gained prominence as a "chymist." Thanks in large part to the scholarly detective work of William Newman, we now know that this is only a small part of an extraordinary story, that in fact George Starkey led two lives. Not content simply to publish his alchemical works under the name Eirenaeus Philalethes, "A Peaceful Lover of Truth," Starkey spread elaborate tales about his alter ego, in effect giving him a life of his own.
Both the quest for natural knowledge and the aspiration to alchemical wisdom played crucial roles in the Scientific Revolution, as William R. Newman demonstrates in this fascinating book about George Starkey (1628-1665), America's first famous scientist. Beginning with Starkey's unusual education in colonial New England, Newman traces out his many interconnected careers-natural philosopher, alchemist, chemist, medical practitioner, economic projector, and creator of the fabulous adept, "Eirenaeus Philalethes." Newman reveals the profound impact Starkey had on the work of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Samuel Hartlib, and other key thinkers in the realm of early modern science.
In this major reevaluation of Isaac Newton's intellectual life, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs shows how his pioneering work in mathematics, physics, and cosmology was intertwined with his study of alchemy. Professor Dobbs argues that to Newton those several intellectual pursuits were all ways of approaching Truth, and that Newton's primary goal was not the study of nature for its own sake but rather an attempt to establish a unified system that would have included both natural and divine principles. She also argues that Newton's methodology was much broader than modern scholars have previously supposed, and she traces the evolution of his thought on the intertwined problems of the microcosmic vegetable spirit of alchemy and the cause of the cosmic principle of gravitation.