In this companion book to Alchemy Deciphered, Alasdair Forsythe discusses the foundations of alchemical theory and natural philosophy. What does the water cycle have to do with yin-yang, and what does this teach us about alchemy? Find out in An Introduction to Alchemical Philosophy.
The philosophy of alchemy is not limited to the understanding of alchemy alone. If it were then it must surely be untrue, as there can be no truth that does not apply in every circumstance and in every situation. To be called a truth it must be true everywhere and at all times. Alchemical philosophy is fundamental, it applies in every instance of every circumstance of everything, throughout the universe.
Alchemical philosophy should not strictly be referred to as anything other than just ‘philosophy.’ It is the same philosophy that governs everything: from the movement of the stars, to the birth of a child, to the development of a planet. Alchemical philosophy is not an aspect of alchemy; it is an aspect of the universe.
Alchemy itself could be said to be no more than the natural effect of philosophy. It is an inevitable result of the philosophy which governs our universe, and so the existence of alchemy can be predicted by anyone who comes to a good understanding of philosophy. Naturally, this is how alchemy came about: a philosopher strived to understand the nature of reality, and from his understanding of philosophy he knew how to guide Nature to create a physical manifestation of its principles, the process for which we now call ‘alchemy.’
No one can be called an alchemist, and no one will have any chance of making the Philosophers’ Stone, unless one understands what they are doing and why they are doing it by reflecting on the fundamental philosophical principles on which alchemy is based. Hence the purpose of this book.