Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Alchemist.

Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose practitioners have, from antiquity, claimed it to be the precursor to profound powers. 

The defining objectives of alchemy are varied but historically have typically included one or more of the following goals: the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone; the ability to transmute base metals into the noble metals (gold or silver); and development of an elixir of life, which would confer youth and longevity and unimaginable wealth.

The alchemist.

Take raw materials.
develop some sort of pseudo-scientific method and attempt to create the conditions to capture the essence of life.

The raw materials remain inert.
Night after night, the alchemist prepares processes which will transform base metal into solid gold.

Centuries pass, ever more elaborate spells appear scrawled and scribbled in his books of spells.

Hope burns bright.

Maybe this time.

The raw materials remain inert.
In vain the alchemist's best practices?

Is there even a gleam?

He frantically turns pages in his collection of spells.

All his efforts for nought.

Maybe he is missing something?

A brutish form appears unexpectantly.

He stands aside the alchemist.

He speaks as if to persons absent:

"Why, as I told thee, ’tis a custom with him,
I' th' afternoon to sleep. There thou mayst brain him,
Having first seized his books; or with a log
Batter his skull; or paunch him with a stake;
Or cut his weasand with thy knife. Remember
First to possess his books, for without them
He’s but a sot, as I am, nor hath not
One spirit to command. They all do hate him
As rootedly as I. Burn but his books."

We are magically transported to an isle of wonder:

The brute continues:

"Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,

Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments

Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices

That, if I then had waked after long sleep,

Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,

The clouds methought would open, and show riches

Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,

I cried to dream again".

Clouds open, as if by enchantment.

We awake not.