To most of us, the word “alchemy” calls up the picture of a medieval and slightly sinister laboratory in which an aged, black-robed wizard broods over the crucibles and alembics that are to bring within his reach the Philosopher’s Stone, and with that discovery, the formula for the Elixir of life and the transmutation of metals. But one can scarcely dismiss so lightly the science — or art, if you will –that won to its service the lifelong devotion of men of culture and attainment from every race and climb over a period of thousands of years, for the beginnings of alchemy are hidden in the mists of time. Such a science is something far more than an outlet for a few eccentric old men in their dotage.
What was the motive behind their constant striving, their never-failing patience in the unraveling of the mysteries, the tenacity of purpose in the face of persecution and ridicule through…
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