PDA

View Full Version : Philosophical Principles of a Universal Chemistry



z0 K
04-07-2013, 06:51 PM
Philosophical Principles of a Universal Chemistry

From Table of Contents:

"Concerning the Mercuries of Metals and the Philosophers Stone (pg 376)
…Son of Cain is by Moses propos’d as its Inventor. It was very commonly known, particularly to the Egyptians, in the first Ages. Among those who have principally excell’d therein of late, are Issac Hollandus, Basil Valentine, Arnoldus de Villa nova, Raymond Lully, Trithemius Spanheim, Paracelsus, Helmont, Zwelfer, Becher and Boyle, In that part of it called Alchemy, Alexander Sutchen, Gasto Dulcon Claveus, but particularly Philaletha, deserve perusal.
In order to aquire this Art, its Scientifical Elements must be well understood; and its Operations personally view’d and manually perform’d: whence its two Parts of Theory and Practice.
Its Theory, in general, is acquired by Information, axiomatically and demonstratively delivered in the synthetical manner, a priori; but analytically and a posteriori, in particular.
Its Practice is acquired by a careful Instruction in the proper manual Operations; which in general, are limited by place, time and subject and suitable means; and by particular, by the manner of performing."

Anyone interested?

Kiorionis
02-24-2017, 01:54 PM
I am interested.

Aham
02-24-2017, 02:48 PM
I believe it's the same book as this (http://archive.org/details/philosophicalpr00shawgoog) and downloadable.

Another version here (http://www.alchemylife.org/arkivs/Hddn/fpucx.pdf)

Kiorionis
02-24-2017, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the link, Aham

z0 K
02-24-2017, 03:33 PM
I believe it's the same book as this (http://archive.org/details/philosophicalpr00shawgoog) and downloadable.

Another version here (http://www.alchemylife.org/arkivs/Hddn/fpucx.pdf)

Yes, that's the book. The laboratory work of alchemy is parsed out in that text book in chymistry format minus the sagely metaphors. It is a good reference when trying to understand the sometimes ambiguous writings of the earlier alchemical philosophers' procedures.

Aham
02-24-2017, 11:21 PM
Hi z0 K, if you were going for zero kelvin, why not 0K? LOL. Just messin with you.

If you recommend it, it's definitely on my print and read list. Thanks for the recommendation and Kiorionis, thanks for resurrecting the thread. I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. :)

horticult
02-25-2017, 06:20 PM
interested!

z0 K
02-25-2017, 06:40 PM
interested!

Philosophic Principles of Universal Chemistry
Peter Shaw, 1730.

Supplement:
Containing,
An Historical and Experimental Inquiry into the Business of Mercruification, the Mercuries of Metals, Animated Mercuries, and the Great Philosophical Work.

Sect. I
Mercurification, or the MERCURIES of METALS


Many Arguments for and against the reality of the Mercuries of Bodies:

1. Abundance of things have been currently handed about relating to the Mercuries of Bodies; and abundance of Expectations have been found upon them: yet the Processes commonly prescribed for obtaining these Mercuries, often perform so little upon experience, that Rolfinke has even publickly denied the possibility of preparing them; and this in a particular Treatise wrote for the purpose. Becher however has confuted the Performance of Rolfinke; and given us at the same time a Method for actually procuring the Mercuries in dispute. Kunkle likewise more that once appeals to ocular Demonstration for the proof and reality of the thing; and Langelot teaches us the manner of doing it, with all its circumstances, at large. Nay, Kerkringius queries if any one can be at this day so unexperienced in Chemistry, as not to know the method of preparing the Mercury of Antimony either one way or another: Assuring us that things which in the time of Basil Valentine were very great Secrets, are now the common Experiments of every trifling Chemist. Yet a Cloud of late seems brought upon all this Evidence by Cassius, who positively declares, that of five hundred Processes and more, relating to this business, he has not met with one from which he could conclude so much as the possibility of the thing.

These Mercuries have a real existence, and may be procured in Practice upon just foundations.

2. Amidst these seeming Contradictions we are obliged to side with Experience, which certainly affords a foundation for the Thing; and the capital Instruments for bringing it to an experimental trial in Practice, are Common Salt, volatile urinous Salts, Sal-armoniac, and Salt of Tartar: but what principally forwards and promotes the work, is the depuration and subtilization of the reguline part of Antimony, or other metals from their superfluous inflammable Sulphur, and arsenical Earth.

z0 K
02-26-2017, 08:42 PM
Georg Ernst Stahl’s Animism theory excerpted from a biography by Lester S. King detailing routine actions in living things is a practical presentation in medical philosophy at that time concerning the transcendent alchemical Principle: Anima Mundi:

“...Foremost among his basic concepts is the irreducible difference between the living and the nonliving. Mind and matter are distinct and ultimate. Matter, particulate in its nature, exists as a real entity in its own right and comprises the material aspect of the universe. But equally real and equally deserving of the designation ens are the immaterial aspects, of which the anima is the key manifestation. While both the living and the nonliving are composed of matter, only living creatures have an anima. The immaterial vital principle serves as the ultimate differential feature that distinguishes the living from the nonliving.

“A second major principle involves the concept of goal or purpose. The philosopher (or scientist) who tries to describe and explain the phenomena of life must take account of the goal activity. Behavior is not blind or mechanical. Living creatures can be understood only if we pay attention to their striving toward particular ends or purposes. This striving, in turn, implies a directive agency controlling the goal-seeking effort. The agent is the anima.

“A third principle concerns the place of mechanism in the scheme of things. All nonliving creatures-the inorganic or ‘mixed’ — are entirely mechanical. Living creatures, up to a point, also are mechanical; but the mechanism involved represents only the instrument of the directing agent or anima. The agent exerts itself, manifests itself, through mechanical principles.

“These major doctrines give rise to certain corollaries: the anima that directs the purposive activities of the body acts in an intelligent fashion. It is rational and exhibits foresight to bring about the desired ends. Furthermore, the directing force can be understood only as a process involving a time span. It implies wholes rather than parts, and only a false philosophy will focus exclusively on the parts and neglect the whole.

“On this framework Stahl elaborated a rather detailed and intricate, if rambling and untidy, superstructure. The entire doctrine of animism rests on the ultimate distinction between the living and the nonliving. Stahl pointed out certain significant differences — the nonliving, which may be either homogeneous or heterogeneous, is relatively inert, remains stable over an indefinite time span, and is not readily changed or decomposed. Living creatures, however, are always heterogeneous and always have a great tendency to decomposition and putrefaction. Yet the components of the living body, despite this tendency to putrefaction, remain stable over the limited time that life persists. The tendency to decomposition is held in check by a conserving agent. This agent, the essence of life, is the anima, which thus preserves the body from corruption. ...

“...We do not perceive the anima, nor can we study it directly. Instead, we perceive and study the bodily activities in health and the changes in disease, that is, physiology and pathology, and from these data we infer the nature of the anima. Stahl was not in any sense an obscurantist or mystic but, rather, a hard-headed clinician. He taught that the proper study of medicine involves the functions of the body, and his voluminous writings concerned themselves with physiology, pathology, and clinical medicine. But while emphasizing the importance of these aspects, he placed them in a suitable perspective: that the motions of the body, in health and in disease, are subordinate to a certain directing and integrating force–the anima.

“The mind acts on the body in various ways. So-called voluntary actions, depending on a deliberate exercise of will, are quite obvious. But more important for Stahl’s system are those bodily effects that result from other psychic causes. Stahl repeatedly referred to the effects on the body produced by psychic disturbance, and he offered examples in two major areas. What we today call emotions–anger, fear, disgust, hatred, love –produce certain significant changes in the bodily functions. The alterations in pulse, respiration, or various digestive activities that result from emotional stress were well-known and obviously were quite different from “voluntary” motions that involve skeletal muscle. Stahl’s reasoned explanation presupposed an immaterial ens, the anima, that felt the emotion and reacted on the bodily organs by inducing changes in their motion.

“This is the crux of animism. The anima regulates all bodily actions in accordance with certain goals. Life is purposeful. The anima is the source not merely of motion but also of directive, purposeful motion. Purpose thus involves the deliberate activity of mind, whereas chance concerns the activity of matter alone, without the intervention of mind. Purpose, implying a goal toward which activity is directed, has what we may call a forward reference, comparable with the final cause of Aristotle. Whatever happens by chance depends solely on backward reference, the vis a tergo.”

http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/science-and-technology/chemistry-biographies/georg-ernst-stahl

Kiorionis
02-27-2017, 05:35 AM
Very interesting, z0 K.

For me, your last post seems to imply that 'health' is not based on a universal standard (being healthy or being ill), but on a standard of how well a person feels while persuing their 'goal'.

From this, health is relative to the amount of energy one has on hand to apply to their work, which creates a certain Quality of life.

Creating or evolving into a certain Quality of life is fairly alchemical, IMO.

I am enjoying the thread.

z0 K
02-27-2017, 05:55 PM
Very interesting, z0 K.

For me, your last post seems to imply that 'health' is not based on a universal standard (being healthy or being ill), but on a standard of how well a person feels while persuing their 'goal'.

From this, health is relative to the amount of energy one has on hand to apply to their work, which creates a certain Quality of life.

Creating or evolving into a certain Quality of life is fairly alchemical, IMO.

I am enjoying the thread.

Great observation!

I believe that is what it is all about. Health is relative to the amount of energy one has on hand. And feeling good or well is proportionate to the amount of energy one has on hand. In this case, alchemy, we are trying to gather Spiritus Mundi into our selves. Anima Mundi is like the Yin to Spiritus Mundi as Yang.

Since Stahl’s time medical practice in general has gone away from study, experimentation and observation of the Anima in life force. Jung rekindled the idea of anima in his medical practice and now it is relegated to the field of archetypes in the depth psychology pantheon. Stahl was attempting to delineate an empirical relationship of anima with living matter studied by the life sciences.

For me alchemy is all about gathering as much Spiritus Mundi as you can to elevate and transform Anima Mundi in an ongoing evolution of the self.

I believe Stahl was pivotal in the transition of Alchemical philosophy into scientific observation. He tried what is nearly impossible: to demonstrate, determine (fix) or expose the soul an immaterial phenomena in matter in laboratory experimentation. He was unable to convince the materialists rising at the time in science.

Tremendous breakthroughs were happening in the understanding of molecular evolution that became the science of Chemistry. Chemistry did not need to entertain the philosophical ideas of soul and spirit when it had matter and energy to measure. So the alchemical Dragon and Lion were rejected by what became Modern Science in my opinion. Because of this chemists are unable to apprehend alchemy in the laboratory. I know of scarcely a couple that have; then they became alchemists fluent in chemistry. An alchemist a few hundred years ago once remarked about how some throw out the philosophical matter in the flask because they do not recognize it incrudated with the feces from the reactions.