Burckhardt devoted his life to the study and exposition of the different aspects of Wisdom tradition. He was a frequent contributor to the journal Studies in Comparative Religion along with other prominent members of the school. This is an intellectual masterpiece which analyzes comprehensively and with precision the nature of esoterism as such. This work clearly established Burckhardt as the leading exponent, after Schuon, of intellectual doctrine and spiritual method. Much later—in a series of articles published in both French and German in —he covered the cosmological ground very fully indeed, and also made many detailed references to the main branches of modern science.
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Burckhardt devoted his life to the study and exposition of the different aspects of Wisdom tradition. He was a frequent contributor to the journal Studies in Comparative Religion along with other prominent members of the school.
This is an intellectual masterpiece which analyzes comprehensively and with precision the nature of esoterism as such. This work clearly established Burckhardt as the leading exponent, after Schuon, of intellectual doctrine and spiritual method. Much later—in a series of articles published in both French and German in —he covered the cosmological ground very fully indeed, and also made many detailed references to the main branches of modern science.
Not unconnected with his interest in cosmology, Burckhardt had a particular affinity with traditional art and craftsmanship and was skilled in the evaluation of traditional architecture, iconography, and other arts and crafts.
In particular, he dwelt on how they had been—and could be—turned to account spiritually, both as meaningful activities which by virtue of their inherent symbolism harbor a doctrinal message, and above all as supports for spiritual realization and means of grace. Here of course it is a case of scientia sacra and ars sacra , these being the two sides of the same coin.
This is the realm of the craft initiations of the various traditional civilizations, and specifically of such things, in the Middle Ages, as operative masonry and alchemy. Many extracts from this book are included here. His main activity during these years was the production and publication of a whole series of facsimiles of exquisite illuminated medieval manuscripts, especially early Celtic manuscripts of the Gospels, such as the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow from Trinity College, Dublin and the Book of Lindisfarne from the British Library, London.
This was pioneer work of the highest quality and a publishing achievement which immediately received wide acclaim both from experts and the wider public. Studies in Comparative Religion , Vol. INTEREST in alchemy has been greatly enhanced during this century through studies and research carried out in this field by historians of science and also by psychologists.
The historians of science have thought in their studies to discern in alchemy a primitive chemistry and the roots of the modern science whose name derives from alchemy. The psychologists, beginning with C.
Jung, who devoted two works to the subject, regard alchemy as a psychology couched in the language of metallurgy. Rarely has a study been made of alchemy as a science of the soul in the light of a spiritual principle that manifests itself at once in the soul and in the cosmos and therefore relates soul and cosmos, or the microcosm and the macrocosm, intimately to one another. In fact one can say that the book under review is the first work in which integral alchemy, as a spiritual science of the soul but related both in language and inner correspondence to the cosmos, has been elucidated both with precision and in depth.
In this as well as many other passages the author has expounded not only the principles of alchemy but also of all traditional cosmology, and even of art which is closely connected with it. That is, alchemy seeks to lead man by stages from the materia prima to the state of purity which makes possible the wedding of soul and Spirit, the moon and the Sun. It is noteworthy that the author of this work has written several outstanding books on Islamic esotericism or Sufism as well as on the traditional art of East and West.
He has applied knowledge of both the above subjects as well as his intimate knowledge of the metaphysical and cosmological doctrines of other traditions especially of Hinduism, where Tantrism presents many striking resemblances to alchemy to the clarification and elucidation of basic alchemical symbols and doctrines. In this manner he has made clear certain questions which no other contemporary book had been able to explain satisfactorily.
The chapters of the book, starting with a short historical introduction, deal with nearly every aspect of alchemy, from an explanation of its language to the discussion of planets and metals, the elements, the materia prima , sulfur, quicksilver and salt and the alchemical marriage.
In addition to the text, the book abounds in illustrations from different alchemical manuscripts, some made available for the first time in this work. The appearance of this book in English should correct once and for all many errors prevalent in this field. It should make clear to historians of science, of whom at least some would agree with this point of view, that although alchemy did give birth indirectly to chemistry, yet if we are to study it scientifically we must take full account of its unified world view according to which the events in the soul of man and in nature are inextricably connected; this inner correspondence between man and nature is something that has been forgotten by modern man including the chemists.
It should also show up the serious limitations and errors of any purely psychological interpretation of alchemy such as would seek to study the psyche without reference to the luminous world of the Spirit which alone can comprehend the soul, in the sense of both encompassing and understanding. For students of art and comparative religion in general this work is also of great significance. From the point of view of translation this book has been well done; its presentation is also excellent, with very few errors.
A short list of the names and dates of alchemists and a bibliography of works on the subject add to its usefulness. One could wish, however, that some of the sentences which appear only in Latin had been followed by their English translation thus making this easier to read for all and sundry.
Like Liked by 1 person. Thanks for your really. I really appreciate it and also the time you have spent researching these subjects. You can use google drive or dropbox as well if its possible. Like Like. Such a shame they were taken down from Internet Archive.
Hi there. I hope you read this. The link that you posted now longer exists. I was wondering if you still have zip file for the books by Titus Burckhardt. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
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Insight into Alchemy
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Alchemy : Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul
Alchemy by Titus Burckhardt
Titus Burckhardt: Alchemy – Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul