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House Productions 97

My essential request was (and is) to find a new way for alchemy today. All the hints that science knows nearly nothing etc. are right, the animosity of alchemists against science is to my opinion wrong. What else are we (scientists) doing in our hardware- and mind-laboratories than working out alchemy? We separated the elements, we found a new universe, we worked out the old dream of transmutation, we liberated the fire in the heart of matter and transformed it into bread, we found remedies for a longer life, we recovered the basic nature forces in the background (gravitation, weak force, electricity, strong force), we recovered a new universal valid agens: structure and information, etc., what is all that when not alchemy? Alchemy was our mother, but now she is a grandmother, faded and exhausted. She gave us the initial questions, with them we started and kept successful until today. And now, as we have a lot of new questions since long, she has no answers for us, only repeats the old statements and pictures like a soul-less robot. She has lost her overview, her power for synopsis is gone. She worked once successfully with matter, she tried to work later on with energy (but that became already mystic and esoteric), she lost by sleeping the "great work" with information. She was not able to transmute herself into the modern setting. She works like every ideology: her old axioms are petrified, her language is no longer understandable, her implications no longer plausible, she lost the cultural keys for keeping connected to the development. That does not mean that alchemy is superfluous. The opposite. To my opinion we would imperatively need a new, living alchemy in a time, where the cultural plausibilities (not only of the Occident) are descending, the structure of societies is hit, the consciousness is struggling more and more into chaos. In former times alchemy implied great ethical ideals, it was religion, science, philosophy, it was holistic. That holistic or synoptical overview would be what we need today urgently. Why not deliberate if alchemy could form such a overview - in former times it was able to do so! We should trace the historical important ideas of "the royal art" on one side and connect them with historical elaborations of themselves and further provable historical implications and interactions on the other side. Then we could recognize where the development stopped and analyse why it stopped. After we could create kernels of alchemistic idea-conglomerates. Then we would have to extrapolate these kernels to the modernity and develop them sensibly or to make new, modern kernels and to connect them with actuality (neurosciences, linguistics, physics etc., etc.) (Eventually producing a change of paradigm...) That would be a kind of matrix for the further development of alchemy as a holistic science, and we would be able to get sensible predictions out of it (in a scientific manner, alchemy was science!!)

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The argument would be that alchemy has diversified into the different kinds of human knowledge and activities (that is necessary, because in former times most kinds of knowledge and investigating-activities simply did not exist). With that basic structure alchemy could have professorial chairs in universities. That kind of new alchemy would even have important cultural spin-off effects: - a new connection between the object-orientated perception of former times with the structure-orientation today - the connection between the quality-reception of world (symbolism and semantics) in the middle ages and the quantity-reception (syntax and (pragma)) of today - the connection to the decline of anthropocentrism from "king of the universe" to "meaningless dust" (evolution theory, but evolution was an original theme of alchemy!) - from the dream to understand the world to the bitter realisation of an even not-knowing-myself (perception and language, also an original alchemistic theme: e.g. kabbala) - and so on.... To give one example for the power and implications which an alchemy could have when worked out into modernity: An Arabian alchemist (scientist), I think to remember it was Al Kindi, tried to find numerical values for what we call "quality" or "attributes" of the objects of perception. He constructed a very sophisticated system, quite plausible in those times, and he was able to make astonishing and correct predictions with it. (If someone is interested, I'll find out where I found it). Modern thermodynamics (Prigogine et al) and the science of "synergetics" have the same problem, but they go another way: they try to find out how quality emerges from quantity, and then to make it numerical describable. (The middle-ages tried to deduce quantity out of quality). The problem is much more important than it seems on the first view. This above explained would be my dream of the future of alchemy.

Waldemar Hammell

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