Freedom is more than choice. It’s awareness of choice, but awareness of choice is not true, actualized freedom without vision. So what vision do you have for your freedom?
Alchemy was dual sided. On the flip side of alchemy with all its concern over material structure and physical evolution and behaviour, you have the concern for a mystery element, one that actually came to the fore more in eastern alchemy than western. Manu. Mind. Prakriti.
There are many complex references to the physical behaviour of human consciousness and cognition, and much of eastern mysticism revolves around processes that would amount to internal alchemy. This was the purpose even behind the practices of yoga and chi kung.
In this model, the matter of consciousness and physical matter have no separation. It is more introspective than western alchemy even though they too engaged in chemical experimentation or medicine as well as their physical and meditative practices, but their intention was the same. By refining the matter of the mind, ones perception could become so clear that their personal soul or atman could become one with the universal soul of Brahman, and they could transmute any physical state or condition through the virtue of their perception and insight. This is what gave rise to the belief in the powers of the greatest yogis.
There was later some cross pollination, so to speak, between eastern and western alchemists around the time Marco Polo made contact, but there were isolated incidents even before then. India and Egypt had little trouble communicating, and scholars from India made their way into China over time as is obvious by the rise of Buddhism in China.
So yes, that sums up alchemy roughly, and alchemical symbolism has been used as an explanatory metaphor in a great many other sources. E pluribus unum is vaguely like the Greek term and expresses the same sentiment. All is one.
It sounds like it would have been more interesting to study in school then science. Perhaps, and would give teachers a philosophical basis for their social refinement efforts with the students.
Perhaps a distinction would be useful. How western alchemy and eastern differ from each other really is simple. Western alchemy was more naturalistic, and strongly linked to its complimentary discipline of natural philosophy, whereas eastern alchemy was more heuristic, a way to understand knowledge and consciousness and the conditions of life that affect as well as are affected by it. There is less investment in concepts of absolute truth in the eastern school perhaps.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.