28 January 2013
For over 2000 years alchemy has developed as a means to explore the world around us. It has become known as the ancient art of working to attain wisdom and immortality through the manipulation of elements. The exact origins of alchemy are unknown, but it is believed to have begun in either Greece or Egypt from records of alchemists found in Alexandria around 300 BC. Afterwards, it spread to China, India, and Europe. The philosophy of alchemists was to discovering how the baser metals might be converted into gold and silver, the discovery of a potion that could prolong life, and the manufacturing of an artificial process of human life. This elixir became known as the Philosopher’s Stone. Along with a materialistic meaning there is also a religious view point. The conversion of metals can be believed to be a symbol of change to a higher consciousness. Also, based on conclusions made from examinations of natural procedures alchemists reached the idea that nature was divided into four primary regions: the dry, the moist, the warm, and the cold, from which everything that survives must be derived from. Alchemists also divided nature into genders: male and female. Also, chemistry and alchemy go hand in hand. It is believed that alchemists made contributions to chemical productions found today. The attempts made by alchemists to arrange information about different chemical substances resulted in early formations of chemical elements. Today alchemy still remains strong as hundreds of books are translated and published. Alchemy continues to influence those in the field of academics and even the public.