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2,535. ‘Newton spent much of his time absorbed by alchemy.’ (Science & Alchemy & Isaac Newton) Genius of Britain: The Scientists Who Changed the World, Jim Al-Khalili, Channel 4 2012
3,517. As I thought of these things, I drew aside the curtains and looked out into the darkness, and it seemed to my troubled fancy that all those little points of light filling the sky were the furnaces of innumerable divine alchemists, who labour continually, turning lead into gold, weariness into ecstasy, bodies into souls, the darkness into God; and at their perfect labour my mortality grew heavy, and I cried out, as so many dreamers and men of letters in our age have cried, for the birth of that elaborate spiritual beauty which could alone uplift souls weighted with so many dreams. (Star & Soul & Beauty & Alchemy & Spiritual & Dream) W B Yeats, Rosa Alchemica
5,765. Sulphur and mercury are the two elements of which the alchemists thought the universe was composed. (Evolution & Sulphur & Mercury & Alchemy & Universe & Human Being) Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 4/13: The Hidden Structure
5,772. The first written reference we have to alchemy is just over two thousand years old and it comes from China. (Evolution & Alchemy & China & Human Being) Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 4/13: The Hidden Structure
5,773. The belief of the ancients that all cures must come either from plants or from animals – a kind of vitalism. Now the alchemists introduced minerals into medicine – salt for example. (Evolution & Alchemy & Human Being) ibid.
5,775. Fire is the alchemist’s element. (Evolution & Alchemy & Fire & Human Being) ibid.
5,776. Fire is a process of transformation and change by which material elements are rejoined into new combinations. (Evolution & Fire & Human Being) ibid.
5,791. He practised alchemy; in secret he wrote immense tomes about the Book of Revelation. (Evolution & Isaac Newton & Book of Revelations & Alchemy & Human Being) Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man: The Majestic Clockwork 7/13
30,800. Unknown to others he had been consumed by alchemy ... The Lucasian Professor had become the sorcerer’s apprentice ... He wrote over a million words on alchemy. (England & Great Britain & Newton & Science & Alchemy) Tristram Hunt, Great Britons: Isaac Newton
36,239. European aristocracy transferred its lighted candles from Christian alters to Masonic lodges. The flame of occult alchemists which had promised to turn dross into gold reappeared at the centre of new circles seeking to recreate a golden age. (Freemasonry & Alchemy) James Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men introduction
61,133. Alchemy ... I believe it took Islamic scholars to turn this quasi-religion into something much more scientific: chemistry. (Islam & Science & Alchemy & Chemistry) Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Science & Islam: The Empire of Reason, BBC 2010
61,134. Coin-making is one of the many examples of how the practical needs of the booming economy began to turn the magical practice of alchemy into modern chemistry. (Islam & Science & Alchemy & Chemistry & Coins) ibid.
62,891. They dreamed of immortality. From the Far East through Europe to London the back-streets and cellars were a seething bubbling hot-bed of alchemical research. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Chemistry: A Volatile History
62,892. Boyle was bringing alchemy out of the shadows and into an enlightened rational age. He was opening up the scientific method for everyone to see. The alchemists must have feared he was giving away their secrets. But he wasn’t so much interested in debunking alchemy as getting rid of its metaphysical baggage, and replacing it with a more rigorous scientific approach. ibid.
62,893. The world’s first true alchemist was Ernest Rutherford. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Atom: The Key to the Cosmos
62,890. There is a vital agent diffused through everything in the Earth, a mercurial spirit extremely subtle and supremely volatile which is dispersed through every place. (Alchemy & Newton) Isaac Newton, Notes on Alchemy c.1680
62,894. He [Isaac Newton] also scoured the Bible looking for supposedly hidden formulas to explain alchemy, the mythical process that turns base metals such as lead into gold. By the eighteenth century alchemy had been discredited as mystical folly. Yet Newton, one of the pillars of rational science, irrationally obsessed over it. (Alchemy & Newton) Nostradamus Effect: The Apocalypse Code
62,895. The first people who systematically tried to unlock the secrets of what the world were made of and to alter it were the alchemists. They flourished in the later Middle Ages, working in secret, protecting their knowledge with codes and ciphers. It’s easy to dismiss the alchemists as deluded mystics, ever trying to turn lead into gold. Michael Mosley, The Story of Science: Proof & Passion
62,896. I have absolutely no doubt that the quest to understand what the world is made of was hugely helped by the work done down the years by the alchemists. ibid.
62,897. A Philosopher’s stone: a legendary source of limitless wealth and eternal life. It’s a popular myth, and for alchemists it was a serious quest. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) Ancient X Files: Philosopher’s Stone and Lost Ark
62,898. It is hoped the manuscript will shed light on Newton’s supposed quest for the Philosopher’s Stone. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) ibid.
62,899. The Philosopher’s Stone is the alchemists’ ultimate hope. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) ibid.
62,900. For around half of Newton’s life the practice of alchemy was illegal and punishable by death. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) ibid.
62,901. Alchemy posed a more earthly threat to monarchy. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) ibid.
62,902. By Newton’s time alchemy was also considered to be a source of forged currency. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) ibid.
62,903. But Newton himself was evidently engaged in work so dangerous or valuable his notes had to be writ in code. (Alchemy & Philosopher's Stone & Newton) ibid.
62,904. ‘This is why alchemy exists,’ the boy said. ‘So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold.
‘That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.’ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
62,905. Who does not understand should either learn, or be silent. John Dee, The Hieroglyphic Monad
62,906. Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science. When I was thirteen years of age, we all went on a party of pleasure to the baths near Thonon: the inclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a day confined to the inn. In this house I chanced to find a volume of the works of Cornelius Agrippa. I opened it with apathy; the theory which he attempts to demonstrate, and the wonderful facts which he relates, soon changed this feeling into enthusiasm. A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind; and, bounding with joy, I communicated my discovery to my father. My father looked carelessly at the title page of my book, and said, ‘Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash.’