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The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle and His Alchemical Quest Paperback – 8 Oct 2000


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Review

Principe is to be congratulated on bringing ÝBoyle¨ into a new focus. -- D. M. Knight "Nature"

"The Aspiring Adept" is an audacious, enchanting, and deeply rewarding book, one that will be of equal interest to historians, chemists, and interested laypersons. It is a real treat.

Lawrence Principe's book goes a long way toward recovering the complexity of Boyle's mind and work. . . . [His] ability to reconstruct Boyle's laboratory practices, ascertain the relations between Boyle and a large community of like-minded practitioners, and retrieve, fully or partially, some of Boyle's alchemical writings is . . . remarkable.--Mordechai Feingold "American Scientist "

Principe is to be congratulated on bringing [Boyle] into a new focus.--D. M. Knight "Nature "

Principe has performed a great service by printing some of the choicer parts [of Boyle's unpublished works]. . . . [He] avoids the easy temptation to interpret Boyle's alchemical operations in terms of modern chemistry.--Peter Dear "Physics World "

"The Aspiring Adept " is an audacious, enchanting, and deeply rewarding book, one that will be of equal interest to historians, chemists, and interested laypersons. It is a real treat.--A. J. Rocke "Chemistry in Britain "


"The Aspiring Adept " is an audacious, enchanting, and deeply rewarding book, one that will be of equal interest to historians, chemists, and interested laypersons. It is a real treat.--A. J. Rocke "Chemistry in Britain "


Principe is to be congratulated on bringing [Boyle] into a new focus.
--D. M. Knight "Nature "



"The Aspiring Adept " is an audacious, enchanting, and deeply rewarding book, one that will be of equal interest to historians, chemists, and interested laypersons. It is a real treat.
--A. J. Rocke "Chemistry in Britain "


Lawrence Principe's book goes a long way toward recovering the complexity of Boyle's mind and work. . . . [His] ability to reconstruct Boyle's laboratory practices, ascertain the relations between Boyle and a large community of like-minded practitioners, and retrieve, fully or partially, some of Boyle's alchemical writings is . . . remarkable.
--Mordechai Feingold "American Scientist "


Principe has performed a great service by printing some of the choicer parts [of Boyle's unpublished works]. . . . [He] avoids the easy temptation to interpret Boyle's alchemical operations in terms of modern chemistry.
--Peter Dear "Physics World "

"Principe is to be congratulated on bringing [Boyle] into a new focus."--D. M. Knight, "Nature"

""The Aspiring Adept " is an audacious, enchanting, and deeply rewarding book, one that will be of equal interest to historians, chemists, and interested laypersons. It is a real treat."--A. J. Rocke, "Chemistry in Britain"

"Lawrence Principe's book goes a long way toward recovering the complexity of Boyle's mind and work. . . . [His] ability to reconstruct Boyle's laboratory practices, ascertain the relations between Boyle and a large community of like-minded practitioners, and retrieve, fully or partially, some of Boyle's alchemical writings is . . . remarkable."--Mordechai Feingold, "American Scientist"

"Principe has performed a great service by printing some of the choicer parts [of Boyle's unpublished works]. . . . [He] avoids the easy temptation to interpret Boyle's alchemical operations in terms of modern chemistry."--Peter Dear, "Physics World"

About the Author

Lawrence M. Principe is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Institute for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at The Johns Hopkins University.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an important contribution 10 Oct. 2007
By Albert Hand - Published on Amazon.com
Lawrence Principe is one of the top alchemy scholars today, easy to read and listen to, and actually quite a nice guy. This volume--one of many important texts authored by Principe--represents a key development in the rehabilitation of alchemical studies in the history of science. Anybody who is interested in the academic study of the subject should become familiar with the argument, which is well-organized, easy to understand, and packed with useful information. Sure, it's dense dry and historical, but you won't be bored. The bibliography will lead you to plenty more of the latest scholarship, which is beginning to be well represented at good university libraries.

Speaking of libraries, this would be an important addition to a library collection dealing with the history of chemistry and the historiography of science.

Those who are interested in spiritual alchemy and occultism will also find much of value in this book, especially those thirsty for responsible writing and useful data about the history of occult science, as well as theological dimensions of alchemy.
0 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cannabis in Alchemical Literature: Green Lion, Philosopher's Stone 4 Oct. 2013
By Theophilus Parabombastus - Published on Amazon.com
Cannabis in Alchemical Literature: Green Lion, Philosopher's Stone

Three things suffice for the work: a white smoke, which is water; a green Lion, which is the ore of Hermes, and a fetid water... The stone, known from the chapters of books, is white smoke and water.

Michael Maier
Atalanta Fugiens

Of this self-same body, which is the matter of the Stone, three things are chiefly said; that it is a green Lion, a stinking Gum, and a white Fume... Having twelve pounds of Green Lion thus brought into gum, thou mayst believe...

St. Dunstan (pseudo)
Philosophia Maturata

A green Gum called our green Lyon, which Gum dry well, yet beware thou not burn his Flowers nor destroy his greenness.

Sir George Ripley
The Bosome-Book of Sir George Ripley

You will see marvelous signs of this Green Lion, such as could be bought by no treasures of the Roman Leo. Happy he who has found it and learned to use it as a treasure!

Paracelsus
The Treasure of Treasures

Beware therefore of many, and hold thee to one thing. This one thing is naught else but the lyon greene...

Bloomfield's Blossoms

Perfect bodies we naturally calcine with the first, without adding any impure body but one commonly called by philosophers the green lion, and this is the medium for perfectly combining the tinctures of the Sun and Moon.

The Golden Tract

And now it is known in Metallic Mysteries, that at the very Entrance, we meet the enigma of the Lion of Green growth, which we call the Green Lion; which, I pray thee, do not think is so-called, from any other Cause but its Colour.

Aesch Mezareph

Then the sowing of the field can take place, and you obtain the Mineral Stone, and the Green Lion that imbibes so much of its own spirit.

The Glory of the World

Green Lion, Bird of Hermes, Goose of Hermogenes, two-edged sword in the hand of the Cherub the Tree of Life, etc.; it is our true, secret vessel, and the Garden of the Sages in which our Sun rises and sets.

The Three Treatises of Philalethes

You have then nourished and dissolved the true lion with the blood of the green lion.

The Golden Tripod

Leo Viridis- is the Ore of Hermes... The green is that which is perfect upon the stone, and can easily be made into gold. All growing things are green, as also our stone. It is called a plant. The stone cannot be prepared without green... Gold, according to some opinions.

Martinus Rulandus
Lexicon of Alchemy

I have seen the Green Catholic Lion, and the Blood of the Lion, i.e., the Gold of the Sages, with my own eyes, have touched it with my hands, tasted it with my tongue, smelled it with my nose.

Heinrich Khunrath

I know well this Lyon Greene...

Hunting of the Greene Lyon

Upon the delicate leaves thereof it retaineth for our use that sweet heavenly honey which is called the manna, and, although it be of a gummy, oily, fat, and greasy substance, it is, notwithstanding, unconsumable by any fire.

Rabelais
Gargantua and Pantagruel

This is called the blessed stone; this earth is white and foliated, wherein the Philosophers do sow their gold... The fourth color is Ruddy and Sanguine, which is extracted from the white fire only.

Jean dEspagnet
The Hermetic Arcanum

O how many are the seekers after this gum, and how few there are who find it! Know ye that our gum is stronger than gold, and all those who know it do hold it more honorable than gold... Our gum, therefore, is for Philosophers more precious and more sublime than pearls...

Turba Philosophorum

Our Gold is not vulgar Gold, which is sold by goldsmiths, or anything like it, but it is a certain other substance more precious than Gold itself, whose green and golden Colour doth sufficiently demonstrate its original and Excellence. This Green Gold in its first root is clothed with a foul Garment, which must be separated by dissolving it by help of Mercury of Gold, first extracted out of Gold, and abounding with a bright golden Sulphur; which alone is capable of performing this Solution; because it dissolves nothing but the golden nature of Gold, which is of its own Nature...
But this Golden Mercury is wonderfully intricate to be searched out, and though it be found everywhere, yet it is most difficult to be found, by those who know it not, thought easy to those who know it, and know its Nature exactly. For it is a white and serene, ponderous, Acid and pontic Liquor, of an ethereal Substance, which is sublimed with a most gentle fire, and converted into Air...
This is that Liquor permanent and Triumphing over all Metals and Stone, the blood of the Green Lion, the Secret Fire...

Christopher Grummet
Sanguis Naturae

Therefore I affirm that the Universal Medicine for bodies is the philosophic gold, after it has been separated and drawn to the highest state of perfection. Our common gold has absolutely nothing in common with the philosophic gold we use to begin our task. In that respect common gold is dead and clearly useless.

Philip a Gabella
Consideratio Brevis

By gold I mean our green gold- not the adored lump, which is dead and ineffectual.

Thomas Vaughan
Aula Lucis

Take the fire, or quicklime, of which the philosophers speak, which grows on trees, for in that God himself burns with divine love.

Gloria Mundi

It appears then that this Stone is a Vegetable, as it were, the sweet Spirit that proceeds from the Bud of the Vine...

Count Bernard Trevisan
Verbum Dismissum

Trust my word, seek the grass that is trefiol. Thou knowest the name, and art wise and cunning if thou findest it.

The Sophic Hydrolith

You ought to know concerning the Quintessence, that it is a matter little and small, lodged and harbored in some Tree, Herb, Stone, or the like...

The Tomb of Semiramis

It contains the fire of Nature, or the Universal Spirit; with Air as its vehicle it contains Water, which must be separated in the beginning of the work, and also earth which remains behind in the form of caput mortuum, where the fire has left it, and is the true Red Earth wherein the fire dwelt for a while. The subject, duly collected, should not be less than eight nor more than sixteen ounces: place it in a china or glazed basin and cover it loosely to keep the dust out.

Sigismond Bacstrom
Rosicrucian Aphorisms and Process

Long have I had in my nostrils the scent of the herb moly which became so celebrated thanks to the poets of old... this herb is entirely chemical. It is said that Odysseus used it to protect himself against the poisons of Circe and the perilous singing of the Sirens. It is also related that Mercury himself found it and that it is an effective antidote to all poisons. It grows plentifully on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia...

Michael Maier
Septimana Philosophica

Our secret fire, that is, our fiery and sulfurous water, which is called Balneum Mariae... This water is a white vapor.

The Secret Book of Artephius

Know the secret fire of the wise, which is the one and sole agent efficient for the opening, subliming, purifying, and disposing of the material.

Letter to the True Disciples of Hermes

Study, then, this fire, for had I myself found it at the first, I should not have erred two hundred times upon the veritable material.

John Pontanus
The Secret Fire

No philosopher has ever openly Revealed this secret fire, and this powerful Agent, which works all the Wonders of the Art.

The Hermetic Triumph

Mercury, i.e. the white flower, can be used and applied to the tinctures of all planets.

The Little Peasant

If you ask whether the substance of our stone be dear, I tell you that the poor possess it as well as the rich.

The Book of Alze

Mark well that which follows: The substance of the Stone of the Philosophers is common: one finds it everywhere...

Albertus Magnus
Compound of Compounds

Whoever wishes to know the method of compounding the medicine ought to begin by seeding and planting it in his own garden...

This kind of precious thing will be found in every house. Nevertheless, ignorant people are not able to recognize it.

Chang Po-Tuan

It is manifest to all men, the poor have more of it (materia prima) than the rich. The good part of it people discard, and the bad part they retain.

Paracelsus

Men have it before their eyes, handle it with their hands, yet know it not, though they constantly tread it under their feet.

Sophic Hydrolith

The work is easy and the medicine is not far away. If the secret is disclosed, it will be so simple that every one may get a good laugh.

Chang Po-Tuan

Indeed, if we were to tell the vulgar herd the ordinary name of our substance, they would look upon our assertion as a daring falsehood. But if they were acquainted with its virtue and efficacy, they would not despise that which is, in reality, the most precious thing in the world.

Gloria Mundi

One ounce thereof is better than fifty pound.

Thomas Norton

There is an Hearbe in India, of pleasaunt smell, but who so commeth to it, feeleth pleasant smart, for there breede in it, a number of small Serpents.

John Lyly
Euphues and His England

The fourth method of awakening [i.e. enlightenment] is through the use of specific herbs. In Sanskrit it is called aushadhi... knowledge of the herbs is a closely guarded secret...

Swami Saraswati
Kundalini Tantra

This stone is of delicate touch, and there is more mildness in its touch than in its substance. Of sweet taste, and its proper nature is aerial.

Khalid said: Tell me of its odor, before and after its confection.

Morienus answered: Before confectioning, its odor is very heavy and foul. I know of no other stone like it nor having its powers. While the four elements are contained in this stone, it being thus like the world in composition, yet no other stone like it in power or nature is to be found in the world, nor has any of the authorities ever performed the operation other than by means of it. And the compositions attempted by those using anything else in this composition will fail utterly and come to nothing. The thing in which the entire accomplishment of this operation consists of the red vapor, the yellow vapor, the white vapor, the green lion, ocher, the impurities of the dead and of the stones, blood, eudica, and foul earth.

Begin in the Creators name, and with his vapor take the whiteness from the white vapor. The whole key to accomplishment of this operation is in the fire, with which the minerals are prepared and the bad spirits held back, and with which the spirit and body are joined.

In answer to you question about the white vapor, or virgins milk, you may know that it is a tincture and spirit of those bodies already dissolved and dead, from which the spirits have been withdrawn. It is the white vapor that flows in the body and removes its darkness, or earthiness, and impurity, uniting the bodies into one and augmenting their waters.

Without the white vapor, there could have been no pure gold nor any profit in it.

The Book of Morienus

All true philosophers agree that the First Matter of metals is a moist vapor...

Anonymous
On the Philosopher's Stone

Our true and real Matter is only a vapor... This Green Dragon is the natural Gold of the Philosophers, exceedingly different from the vulgar, which is corporeal and dead... but ours is spiritual, and living... Our Gold is called Natural, because it is not to be made by Art, and since it is known to none, but the true Disciples of Hermes, who understand how to separate it from its original Lump, tis also called Philosophical; and if God had not been so gracious, as to create this first Chaos to our hand, all our Skill and Art in the Construction of the great Elixir would be in vain.

Baron Urbigerus
Aphorismi Urbigerani

There are two vapors: the light and the heavy. They are the steam and the smoke. They are the dry and the moist. The smoke is the dry, the steam is the moist. The smoke is the soul, the steam is the spirit, and it is the moist.

Muhammed Ibn Umayl al-Tamini
Silvery Water, or The Chemical Tables of Senior Zadith

Many who found it were so intoxicated by its fumes that they remained in their place and could no longer raise themselves.

An Anonymous Treatise on the Philosopher's Stone

Another burned his eyes out, and was thus unable to supervise the calcination and the fixation: or bleared his sight with smoke to such an extent that before he cleared his eyes the nitrogen escaped. Some died of asphyxiation from the smoke. But for the greatest part they did not have enough coal in their bags and were obliged to run about to borrow it elsewhere, while in the meantime their concoction cooled off and was utterly ruined. This was of very frequent, in fact of almost constant, occurrence. Although they did not tolerate anyone among themselves save such as possessed full bags, yet these seemed to have a way of drying up very rapidly, and soon grew empty: they were obliged either to suspend their operations or to run away to borrow.

The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart

These blear'd eyes
Have wak'd to read your several colours, sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock's tail, the plumed swan.
Thou has descry'd the flower, the sanguis agni?

Ben Jonson
The Alchemist

The philosophers have called this maid and blessed water by many thousands of different names in their books. They call it heaven, a heavenly water, a heavenly rain, a heavenly thaw, a May thaw, water of Paradise, an aqua fortis and an aquam Regis, a corrosive aquafort, a sharp vinegar and liquor, also Quintam essentiam vini, a waxy green juice, waxy mercurium, green water and Leonem viridis, quicksilver, menstruum or blood. They also call it urine and horse piss, milk and virgin's milk, water of arsenic, silver, Luna or Lunae water, woman, a female seed, a sulphuric steam and smoke, a fiery, burning spirit, a deathly all-penetrating poison, a dragon, a scorpion which eats its young, a hellish fire of horse dung, a sharp salt, sal armoniacum, a common salt, a lye, a viscous oil, the stomach of an ostrich which eats and digests all things, an eagle, a vulture and hermetic bird, a vessel and Sigillum Hermetis, a melting and calcinating oven, and innumerable other names of animals, birds, plants, waters, juices, milks and blood, etc. They have used all these names and written of it figuratively in their books. They have suggested that such a water is made of these things, with the result that all ignorant people who have searched for it in these things, have not found the desired water.

A Magnificent and Select Tract on the Philosophical Water

Let it be sublimed in an high body and head...

Geber
Search of Perfection

Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Shewing their birth and where they did proceed?

William Shakespeare, sonnet 76

I have (though in a despised weed) procured the good of all men.

Francis Bacon

I have cast fire upon the earth, and see, I watch until it blazes.

Gospel of Thomas

Templar cannabis recipe in Villard Folio:[...]
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