Alchemy is understood as an ancient science that pretended to convert metals of little value such as lead into metals of great value such as gold. At the present moment it is considered pseudoscience, however we can talk about a spiritual alchemy, that is, the conversion of man towards the divine truths and perfections. The purpose of the spiritual life is to adore wisdom and reach the likeness of God in the full sense of the word: to receive his divine essence.
The beginning of alchemy:
Spiritual alchemy begins with a teaching of the Book of Wisdom: "The beginning of the wisdom is the true desire to be instructed", Wisdom 6:17 The Wisdom has two ways: the experience, thence the human wisdom; and the divine inspiration, when wisdom is inspired we speak of the "Word of God". Wisdom is the knowledge of the correct means to live.
The path of alchemy:
Jesus indicates the path of spiritual alchemy with the Parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8, Mark 4:1-9):
"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants where scorched and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:1-9
The seed is the wisdom, the people who achieve the spiritual alchemy are the "good earth", that is, those who acquire wisdom, retain it, that is to say they always keep it in mind, and put it into practice with constancy. Jesus explains the meaning of the Parable in Mark 13: 18-23 and Luke 8: 11-15. Piety as St. Augustine teach to us in his book Confessions is the way to the spiritual enlightenment, it is the gift of the spiritual warrior. Piety is constancy, firmness, devotion, equanimity, stability. That is, the spiritual alchemy needs the desire to be instructed and this is the beginning, then we need to acquire wisdom, retain it and put it into practice with constancy, and this is the path.
The synthesis of the spiritual alchemy:
Wisdom is progressive and bears fruit in the Gnosis, as in the dreams of King Solomon, which receives the spirit of wisdom and it is here where the lead is transformed into gold, the essence of man, that is the reason, becomes the essence of wisdom,the essence of God:
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to King Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you". Solomon answered:...So give your servant a heart that knows how to listen to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him:..I will give you a wise and understanding heart. 1 Kings 3:1-15
The spiritual alchemy gives as fruit three gifts that are mentioned in the wish of King Solomon, Solomon asks for the listening and as a consequence receives from God these gifts: gift of discernment, that is, the ability to distinguish good from evil, the gift of knowledge or superior reason, and the gift of wisdom which is the love for the truth and the virtue. And this is where this alchemy transforms King Solomon into a person similar to God in the full sense of the word, Solomon receives the same essence of God to fulfill his Providence and thus achieve Immortality and Eternal Life.