What is Alchemy? What are the Purposes of Alchemy?
Alchemy is an ancient field of study hidden behind mystery and mystery. As a quest that has been the dream of man for thousands of years, alchemy practitioners have sought a way to turn lead into gold. However, the purpose of alchemy went far beyond simply obtaining a few gold bars. Alchemy was based on a complex spiritual worldview, with the belief that everything around us has a universal kind of spirit, that metals are not only alive but also grow in the world. Lead, the basic common metal, was thought to be the still spiritually and physically immature form of metal seen as high as gold. Metals according to alchemists; It was not individual, unique substances that were supposed to be on the periodic table, but rather the same substances that were at different stages of development and subtlety on the way to spiritual perfection.
Alchemy was an art, partly based on experiment, partly on magic!
As James Randi points out in his “Encyclopedia of Secret and Supernatural Claims, Scams, and Deceptions”, “Beginning from the centuries, blossoming in the Middle Ages, alchemy was an art that was partly experimental, partly based on magic. The first researchers about the functioning of nature, their studies; They formed around the mythical substance known as the Philosopher’s Stone, which is thought to have many valuable properties such as healing, extending the life and turning ordinary metals into precious metals like gold (The ” philosopher stone ” in question is not a real stone, but rather a liquid that is thought to have magical powers. was a substance that could be found in wax or powder form.).
As the historian Nevill Drury mentions in his book “Magic and Witchcraft”, it is thought that the word “alchemy” derives from the ancient Egyptian word chem or qem, black (from the alluvial black soil on the banks of the Nile). It is known that “chyma”, a Greek word meaning to melt or pour metals, is settled as “al-kimia” in Arabic. Arabs played a great role in the spread of alchemy. Many books on alchemy were translated from Arabic to Greek before being introduced to Europeans. The gains of converting lead metal into gold can be clearly seen these days. But the ancient alchemists’ search for ways to turn ordinary metals into gold cannot be regarded as simple greed; Drury explains this situation: “Alchemists see all metals with equal maturity and perfection.
Gold represented the highest sophistication in nature.
It became the symbol of human renewal and resurrection. A person described as gold; While dazzling with her spiritual beauty, she won against the power of the hidden evil. Lead, the most elementary metal, represented a sinner and an unrepentant person who was easily overcome by the forces of evil. With the idea that lead and gold both consist of air, water, earth and fire; By varying the proportions of the constituent elements, lead could be transformed into gold. Gold was superior to lead. Because of its nature it consisted of the perfect balance of four elements. ” Alchemy can manifest itself in some unexpected places. For example, Isaac Newton, known for his work on the laws of motion and gravity, is estimated to have written more than a million words of alchemy notes in his lifetime.
Chemical Heritage Foundation; In March 2016, he purchased a 17th-century manuscript on Newton’s alchemy.
The article, which has been hidden in a private collection for decades, described in detail how to make the ‘philosophical’ mercury, which is thought to bring any metal to gold or is thought to bring it one step closer to making the magic philosopher’s stone that promises immortality. James Voelkel, director of the Chemical Heritage Foundation rare artifacts, reported that the text was probably copied from George Starkey, an American chemist. The Latin text is available online for those interested in “Preparation of Mercury [Sophick] for the Philosopher’s Stone with the Antimony Stars of Mars and Luna from the Manuscripts of the American Philosopher.”
Is Alchemy Real?
It is quite clear why alchemy is doomed to fail: it is based on a misunderstanding of basic chemistry and physics. The theories and experiments of the alchemists are based on the Aristotelian assumption that the formation of the earth and everything in it is based on the four basic elements (air, water, fire and earth) and three essential elements (salt, mercury, and sulfur). Today we know that the universe is made up of atoms and elements. Since lead and other metals do not consist of fire, water, earth and air, it is not possible to turn them into gold by adjusting the content percentages of these elements. Although alchemy was never successful, this did not stop people from claiming that they had solved old mysteries.
Rumors continued for centuries that people had found the Philosopher’s Stone. Although some wealthy people never saw a return on their investment, they hired alchemists to do research on their behalf. In the Middle Ages, false alchemists were so common that famous authors, including poets like Ben Jonson and Geoffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales), reflected this in their works.
Although the Philosopher’s Stone was a legend and alchemy failed, the alchemists were not entirely wrong.
Although the amount obtained is of microscopic dimensions and the processes required to obtain it are much more costly than the result; With modern physics tools such as a particle accelerator, it is possible to obtain gold from other elements. The contrast between lead and gold still remains, although alchemy is already over. While lead is a poisonous and common metal that can harm children and cause brain damage; gold is highly valuable, worth wealth and is used as jewelry. Alchemy has left us an important legacy, although it never achieved its goals of immortality or turning lead into gold. Alchemists were the first practitioners of modern chemistry that existed.
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