NLP & The Philosophers Stone
It was reported last week that Isaac Newton’s recipe for the Philosopher’s Stone had been rediscovered. The Philosophers Stone being a substance of “first matter” which was capable of transforming base metals like lead into gold and also supposedly the source of the elixir of life, which if possessed, could rejuvenate the body or even help in achieving immortality. The search for the Philosopher’s Stone was one of the pursuits of alchemy, which Newton was very interested in. Though during Newton’s life time the penalties in England for practicing alchemy were severe, maybe because if the Philosophers Stone was actually discovered there would have been a debasement in the value of gold. Devaluation of their currency is a scary thing for people in power.
Isaac Newton is much more famous today for his contributions to science and maths, with his assertions about gravity, his laws of motion and calculus. During his time the sciences as we understand them were not fully formed. Physics, chemistry, and biology were not practiced in the manner that you would have learned at school and the structure of the atom was not understood. Influences form the occult and what we would call pseudoscience were much more intermingled with “true science” than they are today. In fact one way to think about alchemy is that it was a proto-science and it does have roots way back into ancient Egypt. The word alchemy itself is derived from the Egyptian name for Egypt. Eventually, in the west practices such as alchemy and astrology were largely abandoned in favour of proper science and ancient wisdom was set aside.
We do think about alchemy today as more connected to magic and make believe, than as something containing anything substantial. But there are other interpretations of what alchemy was actually all about. In eastern traditions the idea was more concerned with the spiritual development of the individual; the transmutation of the psyche from base state to a more rarefied enlightened state. Metaphorically turning oneself from lead into gold. What a thought, personal development, it would seem has ancient and esoteric roots too.
Much like science, modern personal development is much more structured than alchemic or esoteric practices. There is professional coaching and of course Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Yet the pursuit is still the same. Coaching is about taking someone from where they are to where they want to go, and that is often from lead to gold. Modern coaching has process and structure much like science does. As well as other things, NLP provides the coach with the tools to undertake this transformation of the client’s psyche. The NLP toolkit supplies, thinking, rapport building and communication tools for the Coach to utilise. NLP also includes the change techniques, to let go of negativity, change a behaviour, change a belief or a value or to perceive one’s situation from an altogether new perspective. NLP is the Philosophers Stone of professional coaching and it certainly can produce simply magical results.
Early 20th century psychiatrist Carl Jung returned to ancient wisdom in his studies of consciousness by utilising astrology and tarot. Today the edges of science are pushing at the boundaries of what consciousness is. I believe that it is possible that some ancient concepts do actually carry truth, though these are not always easy for us to see through our modern materialistic filters. And some of these truths are in fact metaphors for us to understand anew today. I am sure that human consciousness will give up more of its mysteries in the years ahead and as it does, we can all transmute ourselves from lead into the purest gold.
“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” Sir Isaac Newton