It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism .
Everyone knows Newton as the great scientist. Few remember that he spent half his life muddling with alchemy, looking for the philosopher's stone. That was the pebble by the seashore he really wanted to find.Fritz Leiber, in "Poor Superman" (1951), also in the anthology Tomorrow (1952) edited by Robert Heinlein
Cinema returns us to anima, religion of matter, which gives each thing its special divinity and sees gods in all things and beings. Cinema, heir of alchemy, last of an erotic science.Jim Morrison, in The Lords and the New Creatures: Poems (1969), The Lords: Notes on Vision
The old distinctions among emotion, reason, and aesthetics are like the earth, air, and fire of an ancient alchemy . We will need much better concepts than these for a working psychic chemistry.Marvin Minsky, "Music, Mind, and Meaning" (1981)
There is no legal alchemy by which a State may thus create the cause of action that would otherwise be denied for a publication which, as respondent himself said of the advertisement, "reflects not only on me but on the other Commissioners and the community." Raising as it does the possibility that a good faith critic of government will be penalized for his criticism, the proposition relied on by the Alabama courts strikes at the very center of the constitutionally protected area of free expression.Justice William J. Brennan, decision, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, Supreme Court of the United States, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)
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