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Alchemy discussion forum > Bibliography > Articles on alchemy > The Eclectic Life of Alexander Wilder

The Eclectic Life of Alexander Wilder
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Paul Ferguson

Joined: Fri Feb 15th, 2008
Posts: 1514
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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2013 11:36 am
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"Wilder met Hitchcock through a mutual friend, a bookseller, who arranged the meeting for Wilder who was a fan of Hitchcock’s books, including Swedenborg a Hermetic Philosopher (1858), and The Story of the Red Book of Appin (1863) where Hitchcock shared his theories about alchemical metaphors in fairy tales. In 1857 Hitchcock had anonymously published Remarks on Alchemy and the Alchemists, which anticipated Jung by almost a hundred years in the theory that alchemical language was actually a symbolic code for spiritual experiences. Hitchcock argued that the alchemical mercury was the human conscience. Until the conscience is awakened the alembic (human being) contains only base metals (ignorant suffering). Hitchcock wrote that fire and sulphur were alchemical symbols for conscience because conscience burns until what is left is pure. The gold conscience gives us is a spiritually aware soulful life. Wilder based his own 1869 work Alchemy or the Hermetic Philosophy on Hitchcock’s book. At the beginning of the Civil War, Hitchcock sold his library to the great regret of Wilder who hated to see such a comprehensive collection scattered to the four corners of the world. A future blog will explore Hitchcock’s extraordinary life and his hermetic interpretation of alchemy, fairy tales, Swedenborg, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets."

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