Ahh...sweet alchemy. The advanced metaphor of life. Egyptian tradition says early Egyptians were taught alchemy by their god, Thoth, who was originally believed to be a moon god while also associated as the god of wisdom, learning, and magic. Thoth was believed to be reincarnated into Hermes Trismegistus himself, portrayed as an Egyptian priest or pharoah who taught his people the alchemic magic of Thoth.
From the Historia "Doerum Fatidicorum", history has it that the imaginary Thoth Hermes Trismegistus, the "Three Times Greatest, the First Intelligencer," was regarded by the magical Egyptians as the "embodiment of the Universal Mind," living around the time of Moses and Moses' sister, Mariae, who herself was believed to be associated with the field of alchemy. The Alexandria, Egypt, historical texts first originated around Sumer and Akkad in the third millenium B.C. From this it was surmised that an early Egyptian alchemist by the name of Chemes wrote a book titled, "Chema," which told about his experiments that attempted to turn base metals into gold, believed to be the fundamental principal of alchemy.
Still today, alchemy refers to the early forms of nature's investigations, along with early philosophical and spiritual disciplines that have been practiced up to the 19th century, based on a history of 2,500 years. The most documented of scientific disciplines, it is also considered to be the best known. Individuals such as Carl Jung and Isaac Newton were heavily involved in its disciplines, but the psychoanalyst Carl Jung had the most to do with its renewal. As stated previously, alchemy was considered a pseudo-science that was entirely based on the fact that gold could be made form other metals. But it was later discovered to be a spiritual art form that basically transformed the alchemist himself in a psychological mannerwhich was publicized by Carl Jung himself into a more popular mainstream theory.
Alchemy, as it entered the time of Freud and the newly developing psychological field, was very much lacking in acceptance and approval. Another student of alchemy, a disciple of Freud who was called Herbert Silverer, had committed suicide when he published a work dealing with the psychoanalytic implications of alchemy and it met with serious disfavor from Freud. But things began to change as in 1926, Carl Jung had a dream where he had become an alchemist. He had been taken back to the 1600s, and was engaged in the opus, or great work of alchemy. He had dreams in 1925, 1926, and in later years where he was in ancient houses surrounded by Alchemical codices of "great beauty and mystery."
From these magical artistic dreams, over the years Carl Jung gathered a library of great art that is still one of the finest private collections in the world, based on his dreams and images of alchemy. Supposedly, this collection of rare works on alchemy is still in his former house in Kusnacht, a Zurich suburb. From this famous man, the field of alchemy was more accepted along with the new field of psychology.
"A soul that has gained no knowledge of the things that are, and has not come to know their nature, nor to know the Good, but is blind, such a soul is tossed about among the passions which the body breeds; it carries the body as a burden, and is ruled by it instead of ruling it. That is the vice of the soul. On the other hand, the virtue of the soul is knowledge. He who gets knowledge is good and pious; he is already divine..." ~Hermes Trimegistus, Libellus X, Corpus Hermeticism.