Exoteric Alchemy Beliefs

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Throughout this course’s exploration of traditional alchemy, immense attention was paid to the more well known european-mediterranean alchemical tradition and has elected to overlook other settings in which traditional alchemy thrived and originated from such as China or India. One of the core principles discussed in this class was that of exoteric alchemy which focuses on the natural and physical aspects of alchemy, such as the transmutation of metals such as other metals to gold, and the attainment of perfection for human health. Were these goals aligned with those of the chinese alchemists? In which ways do the traditions of european-mediterranean alchemy and the traditions of chinese alchemy differ? In order to begin this investigation, one should clarify the european-mediterranean position on exoteric alchemy as well as the methods used for the purpose of carrying out the alchemists’ ambitions. It was heavily believed that all substances found in the world, that is the materials that everything was made…show more content…
One of the more famous pursuits of exoteric alchemy would be the desire to transmute lower metals (iron, copper, nickel, etc.) into higher, more valuable metals (silver and gold). While this has never been reliably or efficiently accomplished, it was something that many alchemists all over the world sought after and some even claimed to have attained. Typically in order to complete this task, a special object was required that granted the alchemist near supernatural powers: the philosopher's stone. This object has also been referred to as the elixir and may represent man’s complete knowledge, understanding, and master of the natural world. (Marlan, p. xvii-xix) It is also believed that such an object can be used to perfect the human body and grant perfect health or immortality to an individual. (Eamon, p.
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