Harry Potter, Russia, The Flash, Getty Research Institute and A. H. Almaas share an interest in alchemy and the philosophers’ stone.

philosophers-stone-alchemyShambhala will be releasing A. H. Almaaas’ eighteenth book, The Alchemy of Freedom: The Philosophers’ Stone and the Secrets of Existence, in late February 2017.

A quick search on Google reveals:

  • Harry Potter: The Philosophers’ Stone is in the news as an extremely rare first edition of the book, which includes 43 annotations and 22 original drawings by the author, is set to go on display at Edinburgh’s Writers’ Museum.
  • Dr. Alchemy, a villain on CW’s The Flash, has come into possession of mystical artifact, the Philosopher’s Stone – I assume a villain in possession of the Philosophers’ Stone is not good news for planet earth.
  • Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, is hosting an exhibition titled ‘The Art of Alchemy’, on view through February 12, 2017.

From The Alchemy of Freedom book description:

For millennia alchemists sought the philosophers’ stone, the miracle substance believed to be the key to all the secrets of existence. The quest was fueled by some of the prime questions of human existence: What am I? Why am I here? How has this world come to be?

This quest is mentioned in Anika Burgess’ article How Alchemy Has Been Depicted in Art through the Ages on Atlas Obscura: 

In the 1738 edition of Physica subterranea, written by German alchemist Johann Becher, there is a particularly intriguing illustration. Titled The Body as an Alchemical Laboratory, it depicts a figure framed by drapes and surrounded by floating symbols. To an untrained eye, these symbols are indecipherable. But for those that studied alchemy—primarily known for attempting to turn base metals into gold—they codify formulas, elements, planetary metals and ingredients. 


Some of the symbols shown relate to Venus (linked to copper), Mercury (linked to quicksilver), along with “primary catalysts” like sulfur. Their design is almost mystical, akin to the hidden codes of a secret order. It’s a fascinating example of how alchemy has been depicted over the centuries.

alchemy-of-freedomIn his new book, Almaas, founder of the Diamond Approach, shows that the tremendous liberating power of the mysterious philosophers’ stone is closer to us than we realize. In fact, it is the true nature of all reality—in all times and all places, without being limited to being anything in particular. Through the philosophers’ stone, real transformation can happen, our consciousness can become free, and we can open to all the possibilities of reality.

Of course, many are still curious about turning lead into gold – perhaps the Russians are coming closer to that reality: Turn Coal into Gold? Russia Scientists Say They’ve Discovered Alchemy Process.

alchemy-philosophers-stoneLeaving that quest to others, Almaas discusses factors that are involved in igniting the catalytic property of the philosophers’ stone and then begins to unpack the properties of true nature when it is free of constraints. Finally, we are left with the revelation that true nature is endlessly knowable, and yet nothing we can know or say about it exhausts its mystery and power. The result is a new understanding of what liberation and practice are—and a view of what it’s like when seeking ceases and life becomes a process of continual discovery. We begin to appreciate that the freedom of reality expressed in the complete and fulfilled life all human beings seek—and few find—is actually the simplicity of the ordinary.

“I am just loving The Alchemy of Freedom. A. H. Almaas tells it like it is, without neglecting how it seems to be. He eloquently describes the indescribable ‘true nature’ of reality as the ‘philosophers’ stone,’ the key to the secret of existence, as enlightened, extraordinary ordinariness. He seems intriguingly to speak as if enlightened, yet, most importantly and blessedly, he does not claim ‘enlightenment’ as his possession. He does not trap himself in what the Chan masters of old called ‘the demon ghost cave’ of considering one’s self to be enlightened, and so, set apart from life and above others. In fact, he manifests himself as open-minded, open-hearted, and ever curious. He clearly enjoys life through the exquisitely equalizing wisdom experience. The inconceivable voidness’s compassionate, clearlight way seems to unfold him as its oracular mirror. I so much appreciate his teaching. I could go on, but better that he goes on with his lapidary guidance, and best that you all continue your own journey of discoveries with this great gift of a book!” —Tenzin Robert A. F. Thurman, founder and president of Tibet House US and author of Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Almaas has scheduled two public book talks and signings in 2017 to share more of his insights on alchemy and the philosophers’ stone as keys to the secrets of liberation.