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.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Alchemy by Titus Burckhardt. William Stoddart Translation. Spiritual attainment has frequently been described as a transformation whereby a human's leaden, dull nature is returned to its golden state.
This wonderfully insightful volume introduces some of the metaphors useful for establishing attitudes required for the soul's advancement: trust, confidence, hope, and detachment. It is a reminder that when any substance or entity un Spiritual attainment has frequently been described as a transformation whereby a human's leaden, dull nature is returned to its golden state. It is a reminder that when any substance or entity undergoes dissolution, it must eventually be resolved or re-crystalized in a new, possibly higher and more noble form.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 1st by Fons Vitae first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Alchemy , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Better than almost any other book on alchemy, but it is still almost totally overshadowed by a far more systematic and comprehensive study, Julius Evola's masterpiece 'The Hermetic Tradition', to which it functions as a good supplement.
Jul 09, Lissa Notreallywolf rated it really liked it. I would not have read this book in graduate school, where I was trained to read the introduction and the conclusion first, and to look carefully at the publication date before pursuing it further. However since I am no longer under those dictates, and have the time, I read this book very carefully and in the order the author intended. It raised many questions on the current proto-science take on alchemy, and the period perceptions of terminology we take for granted, being post-periodic table, po I would not have read this book in graduate school, where I was trained to read the introduction and the conclusion first, and to look carefully at the publication date before pursuing it further.
It raised many questions on the current proto-science take on alchemy, and the period perceptions of terminology we take for granted, being post-periodic table, post Jung and post-modern. I found the author's sexism repellent, but was able to take in much of his argument-that the collective unconscious is a Jungian perspective derived largely from Herbert Silberer-something I know already.
But Burckhardt makes clear that Jung's perspective confines revelatory inspiration to a hereditary knowledge, something from the basement of human knowledge rather than from any sort of divine revelation the traditional view of genius-it came not just from the extraordinary perceptions of an individual, it also came from a supra-conscious intelligence.
This is an important historical distinction-today we think of genius as an exemplary human being like Newton, but traditionally such genius was thought to be an indwelling of divine characteristics based on the receptivity of what we now know as genius. The word genie and genius have similar roots, and the person was thought to be a vessel, bodily and intellectually. Proto-science approaches to alchemy ignore the invocation of many alchemists for angelic guidance, something the irritating Granger drew to my attention in his analysis of Harry Potter, and the fact that magic in Rowling's books involves the invocation of good spirits like Harry's parents.
Burckhardt was his source, and it appears that Rene Guenon is a major source for Burckhardt, which of course involves further reading. Burckhardt is a good source for Hindu and Buddhist connections for alchemical theories, although I find him less than trustworthy in locating the historical tradition in Alexandria, then Constantinople, then Spain. He is however a good introductory source for Islamic influence, especially give n that he was a forerunner in translating the Sufi tradition.
It seems more likely that international congress of ideas had been going on for quite some time, and that the influence of the East, and Islam is something neglected in most Western historical courses, something Burckhart was trying to relieve. I am still looking for a good overview source of history of influence from the East, so if one is readily at hand, let me know. It is clear to me that during the Nestorian dispersion to the East, and during Crusades, the survivors brought back pieces of other cultures, which were probably of greater influence than we have been taught to encompass.
Generally we are taught to think that such influences came through the Jesuits, like Matteo Ricci, much later. See The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci I was surprised to find Chinese influences in alchemical illustrations until I recognized that the huge import of Chinese porcelains would have been accompanied by such "cloud hung" landscapes.
And indeed alchemical research helped Europe find it's own sources of porcelian, see The Arcanum by Janet Gleeson. Liebniz had a period of Orientalism, but I have no citation for that. And yes, I have read Edgar Wind. Apr 15, Murray rated it it was amazing Shelves: spirituality , myth-and-symbology , ideal-philosophy. Burckhardt is a great author. His biography indicates a man of wide interests and profound scholarship.
He is accessible in what he writes and often his views are stimulating and original; they are always informative. He provides an introduction to the symbolic and spiritual basis of Alchemy, or the Science of the Soul as his sub-title suggests.
I love thinking like Burckhardt is a great author. I love thinking like this - for he seeks to really understand and then make that understanding available. Jul 31, Will Gregor rated it really liked it. Wisdom traditionalism at its best.
Best overview of the subject. Zubeyde rated it it was amazing Sep 19, Fulan Kishwar rated it really liked it Aug 21, Nazari rated it it was amazing Feb 05, Amer Zaffar rated it really liked it May 11, Paul rated it liked it Aug 27, Jasbeer Musthafa rated it it was amazing Dec 03, Connor Johnston rated it liked it Sep 18, Andrew Bell rated it it was amazing Aug 26, D Finch rated it really liked it Oct 28, Arthur rated it it was amazing Oct 16, Bojan rated it it was amazing Mar 05, Stephen Miletus rated it it was ok Dec 14, Lancelot Schaubert rated it it was amazing Aug 07, John rated it really liked it Sep 08, Jeffrey Snodgrass rated it really liked it Oct 03, Andrew Cox rated it liked it Sep 07, Dana Jalobeanu rated it it was ok Dec 28, Samantha McGuire rated it it was amazing Nov 23, Flores rated it really liked it Dec 01, Arianne rated it it was amazing Mar 21, Wolf rated it really liked it Jun 02, Ismar Hacam rated it it was amazing May 16, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. About Titus Burckhardt. Titus Burckhardt. He devoted all his life to the study and exposition of the different aspects of Wisdom tradition.
He was an eminent member of the "Traditionalist School" of twentieth-century authors. He was a frequent contributor to the journal Studies in Comparative Religion along with other prominent members of the school. Burckhardt was the scion of a patrician family of Basel.
He was the great-nephew of the art-historian Jacob Burckhardt and the son of the sculptor Carl Burckhardt. Titus Burckhardt was a contemporary of Frithjof Schuon — leading exponent of traditionalist thought in the twentieth century — and the two spent their early school days together in Basel around the time of the First World War.
This was the beginning of an intimate friendship and harmonious intellectual and spiritual relationship that was to last a lifetime. Burckhardt was, as his grandfather, a connoisseur of Islamic art, architecture and civilisation.
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Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul
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