Extreme Web Surfs!
Friday, January 30, 2004
If you think alchemy is just an historical footnote- a pseudoscience from the past that has no impact on us today - are YOU in for a big surprise! Alchemy is fascinating both for the mystical and very practical legacies it has handed down to us. It was not only a pivotal stage in the history of science, it was also a synthesis of science, philosophy and religion and an attempt at understanding the totality of existence. Rather than laugh at such an attempt, we might reflect on how our understanding of the physical universe is divorced from ANY spiritual significance in most circles, and whether that has benefited us as a species..
The Alchemy Web is one of the best megasites I have ever found in its complete coverage of a single subject. Start here, of course!
A Nice History of Alchemy ,and another quick overview from a contemporary pagan-oriented site (not a plus, in my opinion - but you know my policy is generally just to present the resources and let you think for yourself..).
The History of Alchemy in America - nice essay
University of Bristol Site (features a Flash Virtual Alchemy Lab)
A New Light on Alchemy - Article from History Magazine
Great site (in French) providing online, page by page access to the original texts of many alchemical classics (scans of the manuscripts themselves..)
In contrast to our age when 'western' and Islamic civilizations seem to be in opposition everywhere, the golden age of alchemy was one in which men of science and philosophy shared knowledge. In fact, in Muslim Spain, there was a wonderful exchange between Islamic, Christian and Judaic mystics and philosphers for several centuries..
Islamic Alchemy is well covered at this site..
On the other side of the world. a Chinese Alchemy also developed..
Finally, a nice online edition of Porta's 'Natural Magick'
Norway from South to North - nice photo journey..
Is Mexico Taking Back the U.S. Southwest?
Native American Art
Nasty Conversational Techniques..
And finally, the wild and wack world of Forensic Entomology!
'Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.'
C. S. Lewis