Social Alchemy: Points of View


Social Alchemy: Analysis Resource Notes and Organizations

This page relates to information on references, places and organizations that were found searching from 2018 relating to social alchemy and other related topics.

A few predate this site and may not be complete articles on the topic, but may references to the concept. Doing a search on will bring up numerous academic papers using the term in their own context.

Included here is material about related topics such as social engineering. perhaps the main difference between social alchemy and social engineering is intent and methods.  Another difference is that social alchemy while related to science in a few ways is NOT a science and predates it. Social engineering is a arguably a product  various science schools of thought and methods. Alchemy and science have rather long history of being at odds and finding a acceptable common ground appear like swimming upstream.

Much of this can be related to the early behavior of the Royal Society.   Unfortunately, when the Royal society was founded, it appears mostly concerned with normalizing the physical elemental aspects of the western or European notions of chemical alchemy. This may have occurred to promote industrial chemistry and institutional controllable standardized knowledge and education.   The behavioral, social and metaphysical knowledge aspects of western and other cultural forms of alchemy were some what considered later by the Royal Society and other historical influential organizations. 

The main problem with divorcing all alchemy, as just the transmutation of gold sort of thing, is that one overlooks how it contributes to the struggle to understanding human knowledge before the so call era of science. So many modern societies have alchemy embedded in their indigenous culturals. While NOT all alchemy is useful knowledge today,  nor is it all based on things offer labeled as superstition.

Much of alchemy is based is adaptation and experience. So depending on prior knowledge, one would call it naturalist thinking, sound familiar?

One of the more useful articles on the depth and true understanding of alchemy comes from the

Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, Eranos 4: Spiritual Disciplines
Edited by Joseph Campbell

Essays by Rudolf Bernoulli, Martin Buber, C. M. von Cammerloher, T. W. Danzel, Friedrich Heiler, C. G. Jung, C. Kerényi, John Layard, Fritz Meier, Max Pulver, Erwin Rousselle, and Heinrich Zimmer. With an introduction by Mircea Eliade


Native American

The native American relationship to the land is good example of  environmentally nurturing social alchemy, as related to maintaining a cultural ecological balance over generations. The fight against Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota showed a current commitment to ancient wise and ideas learned before the time of western science. It is realization that the fate of the land upon which one lives is to be fought for when needed. These native tribes using modern legal tools protect ancient holistic relationships between their society and nature. Their alchemy taught them not the premutation of of gold, but the transformation of human social and personal perception be grasp one connection with the natural world in which one depends.

Many native tribes see the land beyond being hunter gathers. They don’t tend to over use the land in general, they live upon.   Most western societies with their with their narcissistic and hedonist industrial science based societies have failed to grasp that they need to foster mutualistic relations to the biosphere in which their existence depends. Overall, western societies have developed and promoted the industrial cultural notion that their intellect as homo sapiens is more important than developing the harmony with each other or the world in which they breath upon. We all ofter forget the planet does not need humans.

Some social alchemist, scientist, both social and physical, but also political policy makers accept and use the connections of alchemy and modern science to this day. Although, the later group usually would consider that connection heresy, in the context of public education.  Often such connection to the past are considered anecdotal at best, in the context of public information.

The problem is not really that social alchemist were so great or science is so faulted. The western alchemist made many mistakes in the 1500-1600 centuries, particularly in grasping the true value in what the silk road or other periods of trade and what the exchange of material and ideas offered.  They at time saw what suited them or barred knowledge that was not sanction by the a nationalist state or religious authority.

Science when it molded itself, created institutional based structures that are not kind to those who would challenge the them, particular in the physical science. Is seem the only real stewards of science are corporations and some governments.  Alchemist at times had supporters, such as Francis Bacon’s relationship to King James.  The key is when does sponsorship impends vision.

Social Alchemy Organizations related sites and web articles

Article Sources found: Some have links

Alchemy Organizations

  • The Alchemy Guild has interesting publication called the Alchemy Journal. On their website is a link to free back issues of their journal. It seems their key focus is the alchemist concept of transformation. It is perhaps the best user friendly public social alchemy resource on the web. 

[Tried to avoid commercial sites unless related to Social Alchemy as core concept]

Social Engineering Concept

  • Social Engineering : Social alchemy is not social engineering by its nature. There are various meanings for the notion of social engineering. The main two concepts come from: political science and web security.
  • We are talking about social engineering in the context that these are organizations, as related mostly to international political and sociological concerns. They would themselves not say they are social engineers, but perhaps state their interest is in social policy or guidance.

Social Engineering Organizations

  1. Center for Strategic & International Studies think tank
  2. Darpa: defense research and more 
  3. Trilateral Commission: power brokers
  4. Systemic Risk Council 
  5. The Council on Foreign Relations