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alchemy

An unsystematic mixture of scientific and unscientific research and methods, including chemistry, physics, and medicine alongside astrology, spiritualism, and mysticism; a precursor to later scientific disciplines (a protoscience). Originating in the ancient East and Near East, alchemy (DVC, 45) later found fertile ground in the West and was taken seriously in Europe up to the Enlightenment. In the East, alchemy has been intertwined with Taoism; in the West, alchemy heavily influenced the beginning and development of Rosicrucianism and has impacted both Kabbalism and cryptography. Some Western alchemists were pseudo-practitioners whose main designs were to create magic potions and turn common elements into gold and silver; others were sincere learners who sought to understand difficult subjects through investigation and exploration. See also astrology; cryptography; Kabbalah; modernity; postmodernity; Rosicrucians.



Printed with permission from Bethany House Publishers, South Bloomington, Minnesota from the book "The Da Vinci Codebreaker : an easy-to-use fact checker for truth seekers" by James L. Garlow.
 

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