Platonism and Alchemy

Posted: December 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

Came across this on r/occult on reddit.com This is a link page. A kind of feed for people of similar interests.

It seems to me that most of the people who post there are very intelligent. Not the typical stereotypes of the New Age person, but my interactions have been limited.

I think this lecture is built primarily on people’s curiosity and fascination with people who were perceived as sages in history. The alchemists certainly inspire my imagination.

Yet from my study of the discovery of chemical elements, which often introduced me to alchemy from a chemist’s perspective. In spite of all the colorful language, and the rich poetry of it, these guys were struggling because they had no basic scientific method. No way to compare results against a standard of testing.

In fact alchemists guarded their information and data from each other, and thus no peer review existed.

This does not mean we can’t anything out of these guys. The spark they work on the imagination is worth contemplating. The language and poetry of what they did illuminates a rich history of trying to link up intuition with what they observed in nature.

I personally believe the spiritual impulse comes from man’s instincts to understand nature at an emotional level. For this hunger, the language and tradition of alchemy might provide with some tools.

Linking this to Plato provides additional insight. Plato believed that things existed with the same kind of power that mathematical truths did. If one shifts Plato’s understanding of numbers to a more modern version I think the idea of forms still has some merit. I will make this argument at a later point.

I also feel like a lot of these lecturers, workshop folks, are excessively boring. It does make one wonder if they aren’t just rambling, injecting fancy words, hoping to
pry the seeker from their hard earned cash. I feel that way with a lot of Ram Dass stuff.

I am now watching part 2, and it gets a lot better.

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