Isaac Newton’s recipe for magical ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ rediscovered: 17th-century alchemy manuscript reveals ingredients it was thought could make people… immortal.
A handwritten manuscript from nearly 400 years ago has revealed a glimpse of the recipe for the mythical ‘philosopher’s stone.’
The 17th century document was penned by Isaac Newton, and is a copy of another known alchemist’s text.
After decades in a private collection, the text was purchased by the Chemical Heritage Foundation in the US, which has revealed the early steps in a process alchemists thought could turn lead to gold.
Isaac Newton produced many works that would now be classified as occult studies. These works explored chronology, alchemy, and Biblical interpretation (especially of the Apocalypse). Newton’s scientific work may have been of lesser personal importance to him, as he placed emphasis on rediscovering the occult wisdom of the ancients. In this sense, some believe that any reference to a “Newtonian Worldview” as being purely mechanical in nature is somewhat inaccurate.
After purchasing and studying Newton’s alchemical works in 1942, economist John Maynard Keynes, for example, opined that “Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians”. In the Early Modern Period of Newton’s lifetime, the educated embraced a world view different from that of later centuries. Distinctions between science, superstition, and pseudoscience were still being formulated, and a devoutly Christian Biblical perspective permeated Western culture. [via]
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