The first time I read the Introduction to Le Mystere des Cathedrales (The Mystery of the Cathedrales) by Fulcanelli I didn't quite know what to think — but I knew how I felt. While I was working my way through the Introduction I came upon the following statement:
"Behind science, says the alchemist, there is Science."
I wasn't quite sure what the author's intention was when he wrote this sentence, but from my perspective at the time it smacked of arrogance. Of course, my mood didn't improve much when I read the words printed on the following page (paraphrased):
"Science is condemned to turn endlessly inside a nutshell of its own making, learning ever more and more about less and less.”
Even though the second statement seemed much more confrontational, I couldn't stop thinking about Lang's first sentence and the idea that there could be another form of "Science", one with a capital "S", sneekily sitting behind the small "s" of modern "science". Of course, Lang's claim that this "Science" with a capital "S" was "unsuspected by a negligible few..." only rose my ire up by another degree.
I distinctly remember closing Fulcanelli's tome reading these passages, further frustrated that I hadn't even dipped into the contents of the work. It took me several days to consider that I might be the one displaying arrogance in this situation and that Lang, as the author of the introduction, might simply be stating the facts from his perspective.
But what was this perspective?
And how could one claim to be privy to another form of Science - particularly one written with a capital "S" to represent its rule over all the others? This seemingly innocuous question led me down a path that I would never have considered investigating otherwise.
This curious book, with Lang's even curiouser Introduction, represented one of my first steps in exploring the roots of modern science cultivated by Natural Philosophers such as Newton. While Newton arguably laid the foundation for much of modern science through his work, Principia, few people are taught that his idea of force was gleaned from more esoteric sources.
In fact, Newton possessed one of the most extensive collections of Alchemical texts that could be found in all of England. This has led some authors, such as Betty Jo Dobbs, to the conclusion that Newton not only represented on of the first modern scientists, but one of the last Alchemists as well.
To be continued...