Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Alchemy’ is a word that’s been following me around for a while now. Think it started with The Alchemist, the Paulo Coelho best seller. Later, I ran into it a couple of times here and there before finding it again in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment by Frances Yates. The mysterious ‘politico-religious’ movement, originating in the early seventeenth century Europe, had roots in the ancient arts of Magia, Cabala and Alchemia and aspired to achieve a new world-view in which advancing sciences would strangely mingle with angelology to establish “a universal reign of mystic and philosophic harmony”. [1]

Needless to say, I’m visiting the WIKI a lot lately to look up all sorts of things the book talks about. (Posted an earlier entry on Cabala.) It seems ‘alchemy’ is not just about man men running after gold (although a lot of that had been going on); the allegories of achieving transmutation of metals and finding cure for all diseases hide a more profound spiritual philosophy. Think the following lines from Rumi’s poem describes it the best –

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love
in earth and sky
in heart and soul
of every being.

Through your loving
existence and nonexistence merge.
All opposites unite.
All that is profane
becomes sacred again.

[Extracted from The Alchemy of Love,
The Love Poems of Rumi
Translated by Deepak Chopra and Fereydoun Kia

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