Alchemy can be defined as an allegorical description of the human chemical factory and it's work in transforming coarse substances (base metals) into finer ones (precious ones).
Alchemy is both an art and a scientific disciple that predates modern chemistry. In fact, modern chemistry comes from a DIRECT affiliation from old alchemy.
This separation of the fine from the coarse, the separation of the light from the dark, relates to an inner process of purification, a liberation from impurities made possible by the conscious surrendering of our outwardly directed self-will (a passive negation) to a more conscious, inwardly directed essential affirmation (that is, a conscious affirmation which serves as the spiritualizing factor), resulting in the purification of our own existence, both inwardly and outwardly, resulting in the purification of our essential nature (spiritual purity). This process is the great struggle, and the outcome of this struggle is described by Meister Eckhart as the 'Everlasting Birth of Christ in the human soul.'
The discipline of Alchemy relates to how an individual can use the human biological machine as a chemical factory to transform one kind of matter, that is, the coarser ones, into finer ones. These material transformations are but the reflections of something happening on a much deeper level, mirroring the inner evolution of the human soul. These alchemical transformations within the human biological machine are but an existential representative effect, and not the cause, of an inner evolution of the essential self. Alchemy involves the process by which an individual refines the different substances within their human chemical factory, combining, separating and transforming these substances by various means, over a rvery long period of time, through the use of a slow heat generated by the application of an unwavering attention directed onto the unconscious manifestations of their own mechanical nature, producing a chemical and electrical mutation within their human biological machine, a mutation most likely representing itself even down to the level of the DNA molecule itself, which is all but a reflection of a much deeper mutation occurring within their essential self, all of which makes it possible for them to serve as an energy transducer for the unhindered flow of the creative force into the existing world.
[Note: Any changes in the essential self, by the use of certain psychological and emotional work, may cause electrical changes in various sectors of the brain and nervous system stimulating muscle and nervous system interactions releasing hormones that can alter DNA by affecting the permeability of the neural membranes or by altering the balance or composition of neurotransmitters, thus "turning on or off" DNA.] Although Alchemy is applicable on ALL levels, that is, applicable on the material, genetic, psychic, and spiritual levels, it is very important to note that alchemy is NOT about a way of producing a change in the human biological machine, but rather, in a way to note the changes in the biological machine when changes occur, due to an inner transmutation of the essential self. The changes of the latter are the generatrix of the former and NOT the other way around. Much disinformation is out there because there is an exclusive focus on the material aspects of alchemy overlooking its essential aspects.
Relating to the paragraph above, the great alchemist Fulcanelli said in his book The Dwellings of the Philosophers: "And so, I beg those who will read this little book to credit my words. I say to them once more, that they will never learn this sublime science by means of books, and it can only be learned through divine revelation, hence it is called Divine Art." [End Quote]
In his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall spoke of Alchemy as follows (p 498,499):
"Alchemy is the science of multiplication and is based upon the natural phenomenon of growth. "Nothing from nothing comes," is an extremely ancient adage. Alchemy is not the process of making something from nothing; it is the process of increasing and improving that which already exists
[...] "God is the "within" and the "without" of all things. The Supreme One manifests Himself through growth, which is an urge from within outward, a struggle for expression and manifestation. There is no greater miracle in the growing and multiplication of gold by the alchemist than in a tiny mustard seed producing a bush many thousands of times the size of the seed. If a mustard seed produces a hundred thousand times its own size and weight when planted in an entirely different substance (the earth), why should not the seed of gold be multiplied a hundred thousand times by art when that seed is planted in its earth (the base metals) and nourished artificially by the secret process of alchemy? "Alchemy teaches that God is in everything; that He is One Universal Spirit, manifesting through an infinity of forms. God, therefore, is the spiritual seed planted in the dark earth (the material universe). By art it is possible so to grow and expand this seed that the entire universe of substance is tinctured thereby and becomes like unto the seed--pure gold. In the spiritual nature of man this is termed regeneration; in the material body of the elements it is called transmutation. As it is in the spiritual and material universes, so it is in the intellectual world. Wisdom cannot be imparted to an idiot because the seed of wisdom is not within him, but wisdom may be imparted to an ignorant person, however ignorant he may be, because the seed of wisdom exists in him and can be developed by art and culture. Hence a philosopher is only an ignorant man within whose nature a projection has taken place.
[...] "That which is true in the superior is true in the inferior. If alchemy be a great spiritual fact, then it is also a great material fact. If it can take place in the universe, it can take place in man; if it can take place in man, it can take place in the plants and minerals. If one thing in the universe grows, then everything in the universe grows. If one thing can be multiplied, then all things can be multiplied, "for the superior agrees with the inferior and the inferior agrees with the superior." [End quote]
Rodney Collin Smith said the soul can be viewed as the cumulative sum total of all conscious moments that one has experienced throughout ones life. Working from this definition we can say that the physical process of alchemical transformation which takes place within the physical organism is cumulative also, since it is but a reflection of the cumulative moments of consciousness of the essential self. Thus, if this is true, then the alchemical process does not stop once it begins. It continues as long as the essential self becomes more conscious of itself. If the essential self falls asleep and temporarily gives up the struggle to be more conscious then the process does not stop or reverse itself, it simply ceases to continue.
The process of transformation will simply be reactivated at a later time when consciousness is present and more active. Assuming reincarnation exists, then it is possible that the cumulative efforts of the previous life to become more conscious are carried over into the next life and these results are represented within the very nature of the new physical vehicle, down to the molecular level, since, as already stated, the existential is but a reflection of the essential.
To be continued