Keep This Quiet! Initiations explores alchemy, through the focus on Jung and Pauli. The copyright of this Vintage engraving of Alembic distillation is by Morphart Creation.

Below is an excerpt  from KTQ! III:

In Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, Michael White highlights a passage from the papers, in which Newton’s assistant (for five years beginning in 1683) recorded the hours the great scientist kept. . . .

Newton almost never “went to bed, till 2 or 3 of the clock, sometimes not till 5 or 6, lying about 4 or 5 hours, especially at spring & fall of the leaf.” In those seasons he spent “about 6 weeks in his laboratory, the fire scarce going out night or day, he sitting up one night, as I did another until he had finished his chemical experiments. . . . What his aim might be I was not able to penetrate into.’”  A million-plus words by Newton on the subject having recently come to light, the answer, we now know, was alchemy.

D. W. Hauck reported, “As a practicing alchemist, Newton spent days locked up in his laboratory, and not a few have suggested that he finally succeeded in transmuting lead into gold.”

Secretively, Newton wrote, “For alchemy does not trade with metals as ignorant vulgars think.”

C. G. Jung and Alchemy

In Knittlingen, Germany, Dr. Johannes Faustus’s original home, a museum plaque corrects a derogatory impression: alchemy, it states, was not fired by the intent to transmute base metals into precious metals, lead into gold, but had, more deeply, a spiritual goal: psychological transformation.

Stephan A. Hoeller notes the degree to which—largely due to Jung—the reputation of alchemy has been restored. Jung was perplexed as to what linked us back to the gnostic myths and traditions of seventeen hundred or more years earlier. He wrote: “First I had to find evidence for the historical prefiguration of my own inner experiences. That is to say, I had to ask myself, ‘Where have my particular premises already occurred in history?’”  Jung’s early experience included writing a gnostic treatise, Seven Sermons to the Dead, privately published for friends in 1916. The three-day period of intense writing was in response to ringing doorbells with no one there and a heavy sense of ghostly presences.

Hoeller describes Jung’s 1926 dream of being caught in the seventeenth century. This led him to finally identify the purpose of the unsuspected wing next to his house in still earlier dreams: he would be locked into the study of alchemy.