The Spiritual Basis of Alchemy

Back in the middle ages, Alchemists labored to turn lead into gold.

Today we sort of scoff at that. Everyone knows you need nuclear physics, not mere chemistry, to turn lead into gold.

Plus if we produced gold by the ton, its value would plummet.

But the ancient alchemists actually labored from an honorable premise – which was that God didn’t create a world where people HAD to fight over resources. They were deeply religious; they had faith that chemistry and prayer would lead to a solution. They believed God was generous and his creation was bountiful.

Today we do have alchemy, every day. A few examples:

  • Intel converts hunks of sand into Pentium chips. You can hardly think of anything more worthless than sand, but Pentium chips are worth more than their weight in gold.
  • Companies like Microsoft and Facebook and Google turn 1’s and 0’s into incredibly powerful software that solves complex problems and links millions of people. Software programmers literally create wealth out of thin air.
  • We humans fight over the distribution of scarce resources. But in reality, the only TRUE resource is Wisdom and Ingenuity. Wisdom and Ingenuity create value where value did not exist before. It converts worthless things into prize possessions.

There are ALWAYS enough things and resources and materials to go around. The ONLY thing that is ever in short supply is Wisdom.

In 1 Kings 3, Solomon becomes king and asks for Wisdom:

The LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”

That same Wisdom is available to you too. My all-time favorite verse, from James 1:

“If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it WILL be given unto him.”

That’s quite a promise, my friend. Ask God to make you an alchemist. He’s too good, too generous to turn you down.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: This article is directly inspired by a talk I heard by Paul Zane Pilzer 20 years ago. The innovations of the last two decades have only proven how right he was.