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13121683 Philosophers Stone a Study of the Quest for Perfection and Transmutation

13121683 Philosophers Stone a Study of the Quest for Perfection and Transmutation

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Published by Ebenezar Policarpo

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Published by: Ebenezar Policarpo on Dec 13, 2009
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01/13/2013

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The Philosopher’s Stone:
 A Study of the Quest for Perfection and Transmutationin the works of Paracelsus Theophrastus of Germany
Jesse London Estrin
A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of theRequirements of the Major in Religion at Vassar CollegeApril 2006
 
2
Table of Contents:Preface1)
 
Introduction2)
 
Paracelsus as Man and Myth3)
 
First Aspect: The Elementary Realm4)
 
Second Aspect: The Sidereal Realm5)
 
Third Aspect: The Celestial Realm6)
 
Conclusion
 
3
PREFACE
I have become drawn to alchemy because of its capacity to fuel the imagination. Itsnarrative of transformation – turning base metals into gold – can be used to tell the underlyingstory of many life processes. The alchemists believed that just as all metals – if left untouchedwithin the earth – naturally matured and developed into gold, so all natural processes wereguided by a divine teleology. The growth of a tree from a seed, the birth and development of achild, or the generation of a pearl within an oyster all partake of the rich mystery of transmutation. For life itself is a mysterious movement towards perfection, towards progressionand evolution. The alchemists saw this evolution as a divine drama, and the art of alchemy as aritualized attempt to actively participate in this sacred process.But the quest for perfection and transmutation is also an inquiry into human potential.This potential was understood to be no less than the innate human capacity to seek out,understand, and ultimately experience the Divine. Understanding this trend towards perfectionoperating within themselves, the alchemists attempted to facilitate the transformation of theirsouls into purified vessels capable of reflecting God’s light. Alchemy was seen as an efficienttool, or method, for such a journey into the ineffable. This esoteric mysticism has begun to catchthe attention of the modern public; the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung is known to have spent thelast 15 years of his life devoted to the study of alchemy. He saw in the cracked pages of 

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