Alchemy and Curiosity
I’m reading an interesting book right now called Letters to Vanessa. I’m only a few chapters in, but I find the book fascinating so far. For instance, did you know that Isaac Newton didn’t think his work on gravity was very important, which is why he allowed his findings to be published, whereas his alchemical work he though was too dangerous and could fall into the wrong hands so the majority of his work which was completed after his discovery of gravity was never published.
Alchemy is “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination”. Most of us think of those medieval alchemists as crazy people who thought they could turn lead into gold, that they could develop an elixir to keep them young forever; really it was so much more than that.
Alchemy is the discovery of how things in nature can change and how they relate to you. Alchemy wasn’t just about the transformation of material, but also the transformation of self. Of course perhaps alchemists were mad, in fact, Newton was considered a bit crazy in his later life because he continued in his alchemical studies.
One thing that I appreciate about those ancient alchemists though is their ability to see and believe in a world full of vibrant life and energy; their ability to see past what is immediately apparent and see what is possible, even if only in their imagination.
What if we could bring some of that childlike wonder and exploration into our lives today? I imagine the world would be much more fun and magical. What if we looked at everything with curiosity time and time again, no matter how many times we had seen it? We would continually be discovering new things and changes in things that we currently believe to be unchangeable.
I guess the reason I love the alchemists so much is because they were always curious :)