Originally published at: https://bigideas.network/the-elements/
Throughout history, people have believed some crazy things.
In the Christian Middle Ages, alchemists believed that man’s soul was divided in two after the fall of Adam and that if only it could be purified, then man would be reunited with God.
They believed if they could uncover the secret of ‘purifying’ everyday materials into gold, then they would also discover the secret of purifying the soul.
Needless to say that it didn’t work out.
At the time, they believed that everything in the universe was made up of four ‘elements’. Earth, water, air, and fire. This idea came from Aristotle, and it was accepted for thousands of years. It took until 1789 for a French chemist called Antoine Lavoisier to publish a treatise on thirty-three elements, which included oxygen, hydrogen, iron, and gold, and it formed the basis of modern chemistry.
Something I was delighted to find out is that modern science has actually discovered the ancient secret of turning other metals into gold . You can read about it here, but you blast mercury with radiation so that it becomes unstable, and a small portion of it will decay into gold. The only catch is that the process costs way more than the gold’s worth, and that irradiating your soul won’t purify it, it’ll just give you cancer…