posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 06:31 PM
While I have not done much serious research on the subject, you do hear different takes on it here and there if you have certain tastes in reading
I have always been intrigued by the surface explanation of transmutation of lead into gold- which is only half the story, but the half that most
captivated the uninitiated. The reason this amazes me so much is the fact that you COULD turn lead into gold, in the same way that breeder reactors
turn non-fissile material into more fuel, but there was no understanding whatsoever of the principles that made this possible at the time. It makes me
wonder if somebody didn't find an as of yet unrecognized natural process whereby very small amounts of lead could be exposed to particle bombardment
and eventually transmuted into gold. So there might be an inefficient and mostly trivial basis to it.
The above is important to the metaphysical side of the philosopher's stone, as one of the best known principles of alchemy is "as above, so below",
meaning that higher and lower forms which do not immediately seem alike- even the life cycles of natural things like metamorphosing insects,
seeds/plants, and even minerals (which seem to grow at a slow pace, through processes like crystalization or gradual depositing by water) are in fact
reflections of each other on different scales. Thus when an alchemist saw a good change taking place anywhere in the physical world, it was an
opportunity to understand the complexities of the human soul.
So if an alchemist were to stumble upon a process by which something black and dirty and "bad" was juxtaposed with something beautiful, clean,
incorruptible and valuable- either just because lead and gold do occur together naturally in some ores, or because they had actually discovered some
process like I described in the first paragraph, then this would have seemed to hold the promise of human redemption, elevation, or enlightenment, and
he would be compelled to understand the process metaphorically.
edit on Sat 7 Jul 2012 by The Vagabond because: edit to fix typo (incomplete