“The fabrication of a cup of glass which was brought by an exile to Rome in the reign of Tiberius – a cup “which he dashed upon the marvel pavement, and it was not crushed nor broken by the fall”, and which, as it got “dented some” was easily brought into shape again with a hammer, is a historic fact.
If it is doubted now it is merely because the moderns cannot do the same. And yet, in Samarkand and some monasteries of Thibet such cups and glassware may be found to this day; nay, there are persons who claim that they can make the same by virtue of their knowledge of the much-ridiculed and ever-doubted alkahest – the universal solvent.
This agent that Paracelsus and Van Helmont maintain to be a certain fluid in nature, “capable of reducing all sublunary bodies, as well as homogeneous as mixed, into their ens primum, or the original matter of which they are composed; or into an uniform, equable, and potable liquor, that will unite with water, and the juices of all bodies, and yet retain its own radical virtues; and, if again mixed with itself will thereby be converted into pure elementary water”: what impossibilities prevent our crediting the statement? Why should it not exist and why the idea be considered Utopian?
Is it again because our modern chemists are unable to produce it? But surely it may be conceived without any great effort of imagination that all bodies must have originally come from some first matter, and that this matter, according to the lessons of astronomy, geology and physics, must have been a fluid.
Why should not gold – of whose genesis our scientists know so little – have been originally a primitive or basic matter of gold, a ponderous fluid which, as says Van Helmont, “from its own nature, or a strong cohesion between its particles, acquired afterward a solid form?””
H. P. Blavatsky