عنوان مقاله [English]
Alchemy is one of the most important branches of the supernatural sciences. Today, alchemy is considered as a kind of magic, unscientific and superstitious work. But in the past, it did not mean that. Alchemy has an ancient history and the mysteries of which have made it complicated and expanded. Studying the history of civilization shows that alchemy has an important place and various branches of science have branched out of it. Alchemy is more than magic. The unity that exists within the alchemy of different civilizations proves that alchemy is not a trick; because alchemy has common principles in India, China and Western civilizations, despite the different spiritual environments. If alchemy were a lie and a trick, in the way it was expressed in all civilizations, irrationality and exaggeration would be observed and the trick would be revealed; but alchemy has all genuine traditional indications.
Today, a one-sided view of alchemy has led to a distinction between the technical aspect, namely chemical processes, and its traditional and spiritual aspects. To understand alchemy, it is important to identify its nature. Opinions about alchemy vary according to its scientific or artistic nature and raise different expectations of the place of alchemy in human civilization. If alchemy is studied only in terms of the conversion of materials and metals, given the importance of the sanctity of gold and silver, alchemy is still a spiritual work. because gold and silver, in the first place, were sacred metals and, in the second place, a symbol of wealth.
The definitions of alchemy in civilizations were associated with specific purposes. The first goal was to acquire gold metal and become wealthy. Second, the preparation of elixir of youth and immortality; the third most important goal was to reach truth and perfection, and the mystics also intended alchemy. Thus, the conversion of metals to gold was associated with the cultivation of the human soul, and the alchemical process was a symbol of salvation. Alchemy information was transmitted through conversation between teacher and student, and education was not in writing. The symbolic language of alchemical texts has also added to its complexity. The combination of alchemy with mysticism and mystical language connects it to the field of art, and on the other hand, alchemy includes various aspects of different sciences.
The research question is what role did alchemy play in human civilization and in terms of its ancient meaning is it science or art? There are many ambiguities in alchemy for various reasons, the most important of which has been the method of conveying alchemy through dialogue, avoiding note-taking, and the symbolic language of texts. Examining the research conducted in the field of alchemy, it was found that alchemy has been effective in a wide range of sciences such as psychology, astronomy, chemistry, pharmacy, medicine, knowledge of materials and elements, glassmaking, pottery, etc. On the other hand, alchemy, like traditional art, has always been associated with mysticism and has similarities with art in customs, techniques and tools. This article focuses on the nature of alchemy and its role in the formation of human civilizations. To achieve the purpose of this research, which is to explain the nature of alchemy in human civilization, studies on alchemy as an art and also alchemy as a science are conducted to determine whether Islamic alchemy is closer to science or art in this comparison.
Author in examining the history of science and art preferred science; because without knowledge and awareness, imagination does not exist. This is why art is dedicated to human beings; it is based on consciousness. Art has a deep and spiritual relationship with science, and although art in its traditional sense is unscientific and irregular, it reflects the mental order and objective manifestation of art with science. According to this fact that science includes the material aspect of things and art emphasizes the spiritual aspect, alchemy is the perfect result of the science and art blend. Research in alchemy has always emphasized the mysterious nature of alchemy texts and also alchemists' attempts to conceal alchemy Techniques and traditions. This issue needs more attention; because secrecy and concealment of knowledge is a behavior that is a sign of stinginess, a behavior that is completely contrary to the principles of alchemy. Nevertheless, we can say that alchemy is a kind of practical mysticism to achieve the truth. The most important alchemists in history have been prophets and mystics; thus, alchemy is not in conflict with religion and they share common goals, ideas, and actions. The only ambiguity that causes alchemy to be neglected is the separation of the clergy from its material aspect which has been caused by the passage of time. Of course, in religions, this qualitative decline has been an inevitable phenomenon throughout history, and for this reason, there has been a need for a prophet and a new religion to repeat and remind the principles of truth.
Therefore, alchemy is a science that has an artistic expression and according to the discussions about the meaning of alchemy, alchemy is a sacred process that when this sanctity separates from alchemy, alchemy will not remain and instead, it becomes another branch of supernatural science. Alchemy is a kind of practical mysticism for achieving truth, and its spiritual aspect is so important that if it is separated, there will be no more alchemy. This level of spirituality causes alchemy to be not explainable as words Because the description of this concept in form of writing causes the descent of the spiritual burden and makes it more material and lower. So, whenever and wherever spirituality is explained in the form of writing it has led to misunderstandings such as polytheism and idolatry in divine religions. This fact is also authentic for alchemy. Another issue is that the history of alchemy is much older than mysticism, and many of the invocations and wonders that are common in mysticism and Sufism have their origins in alchemy. The alignment of alchemy with mysticism, which is a way of attaining the sacred truth, shows that alchemy itself is the most ancient mysticism to which perfect human beings resorted in the order of the path. Alchemy is a path that has been comprehensible and palpable as long as man has not strayed from the truth. The miracles of the prophets and the miracles of the mystics originated from chemistry that was all spiritual and connected to the eternal truth. Finally, in response to what alchemy is, it can be said that alchemy is not only beyond the branch of science and art but also shapes mysticism in human civilizations, especially Islamic mysticism.
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