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The Philosopher's Stone

Got a note from one of our good and faithful readers over in the Land of Keystones, and she asks a very interesting question that we should ponder:
"What fascinates me more than anything, is what in the hell do they plan on doing with all the gold? Who really cares about gold, it is no longer the standard thanks to Tricky Dick.  Where is the gold and all the paper money that has disappeared. We can live without it if we have to. "

Indeed, what is it about gold?  Why all the fuss over it and what should we care?  Very profound questions, and maybe we can tease out some good answers to go with them.

Gold is one of the eight platinum group metals, or PGMs.  The group includes gold, silver, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, iridium, and palladium.  The elemental symbol for gold is Au, which comes from the Latin name aurum.
"What fascinates me more than anything, is what in the hell do they plan on doing with all the gold? Who really cares about gold, it is no longer the standard thanks to Tricky Dick.  Where is the gold and all the paper money that has disappeared. We can live without it if we have to."
Gold has been used as a medium of exchange (money) for about 6,000 years, in various cultures and at various times.  During the First Depression, the US stopped using the actual metal for money, but kept it as a benchmark for the paper currency.  Under Nixon, the Breton Woods II agreement was instituted, and the dollar was removed from the gold standard and allowed to float against a basket of currencies.  Since that time, gold has been primarily used to store wealth in sovereign funds, though that practice has slowly ebbed, as well.

The question at hand, though, is why is gold valuable?  What makes it so popular as a store of wealth?  A damn good question.  Let's take a stab at it, shall we?

The simple answer involves some of the intrinsic qualities of gold that most people are familiar with.  It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.  I can be hammered to the point that it is little more than a couple of atoms thick, making it fun to work with in art.  It doesn't oxidize and there is little that will corrode it, so gold has been used for millennia to cover things that need preserving.  It is bright and shiny, which attracts our monkey minds, and its softness makes it ideal for use as jewelry.  It can even be powdered and used as makeup, which was very popular with ancient Egyptians.

Gold doesn't react to our bodies, and so has been used to fill teeth, cover sores and ingested for its health effects.  It is considered to be one of the more effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and other joint problems.  Many medical implants use some amount of gold, because it is non-reactive and non-corroding.

In electronics, gold is considered the best material for wiring and nearly loss-less transmission of signals, though the cost is fairly prohibitive.  If anyone has a mind to it, the Moon landing vehicles used a lot of gold in the electronics to ensure against faults and failures.

Monetarily, gold has a number of advantages.  It is debt free, since it generally involves a significant effort to mine and purify it, so there is an intrinsic value to it.  This is enhanced by its relative scarcity.  As any student of economics knows, the more rare something is, the higher the value, in most cases.  Because it doesn't corrode or oxidize, it makes an ideal medium for storing value, as well.  A gold coin buried in the backyard will shine right up even a thousand years later.  It's also damned hard to counterfeit, which we'll discuss further in a moment.  All in all, it makes rather idea money in every way, except that it's rather heavy and awkward to carry around in significant amounts (which is one reason paper money came into existence).

Gold has a long symbolic and esoteric history, as well.  In fact, one could say that it has a lot of magic in it.  Gold has always been equated with the Sun.  In fact, the alchemical symbol for gold is the same as that of the Sun, commonly called the 'circumpunct.'

This small data point would be easy to write off.  We could say that in the old days, the common belief was that the Sun was actually a giant ball of gold, and that the gold found on Earth were literally drops of sunshine.  And that would be true if we only considered the popular (and generally uneducated) mythologies.  But there's a lot more to it.

If you take a human brain and boil away all the cholesterol, which makes up about 95% of the mass, you'd be left with a small amount of platinum group metals, specifically platinum, iridium and gold.  This is what makes the brain work.  The organ is little more than millions of electrical arcs firing off in just the right way to create thoughts.  Having good conductors in it would certainly facilitate that process.

In recent years, there have been amazing strides in treating brain cancers with platinum solutions.  Injected into the tumors, it has a nearly immediate effect.  One of the side effects is enhanced brain function, as well.  Related to that, colloidal gold has been used for centuries as a cure for problems with the nervous system and for overall health.

One other point that we must keep in mind is that the Sun has been a symbol in occult circles for illumination.  By that, I don't mean light to see by, but inner light...wisdom...enlightenment.

So, we have gold and platinum group metals with health effects.  We have the Sun being associated with gold and enlightenment.  We have an ancient occult symbol that means both gold and the Sun.  But wait!  There's more.

When gold is heated to, if I remember correctly, 8,000F, it turns to a whitish powder commonly called monatomic gold.  This substance has another name...the Philosopher's Stone.  It has been used for millennia by occult initiates.  The Egyptians said that it was food for the soul and paved the path to enlightenment and extremely good health and longetivity.

Philosopher's Stone has many other very unusual properties.  For one thing, to make it, you must heat the gold to 8,000F, as I mentioned.  At around 70 seconds, there's an extremely bright flash and the gold suddenly turns to white powder.  What's more interesting, if you weight the powder and the crucible together before and after, the entire thing weighs far less than the weight of the crucible alone.  If you take the powder out of the crucible, it returns to it's normal weight.  In others words, the powder is a super-conductor that repels the Earth's magnetic field and causes it, and anything that contains it, to resist gravity.

The modern re-discovery of this material was in the early 20th century, by an archaeologist named Petrie.  He found a 'factory' for making Philosopher's Stone at the top of Mount Horeb, which is in which country?  Why, Iraq, of course.  He also found a bunch of clay tablets, whose contents I've never been able to find, but which were stolen from the National Museum at the beginning of the Iraq War.  Gosh, go figure...

At any rate, it is said that ingesting Philosopher's Stone puts your brain into hyperdrive.  People report having amazing powers of concentration and insight.  In addition, it is said to impart incredibly good health and long life, though I haven't found any information on how long one might expect to live.  Perhaps those using it are still waiting to die?

There's much, much more to this story, and I highly encourage folks to look it up.  It is quite fascinating.  To put the point on it, though, we can begin to see why gold is considered so valuable, in fact far more so than market prices would imply.  It also gives us insight into why alchemists wanted to turn base metals into gold.  Having a good supply of it would certain facilitate getting smarter, living longer and lifting heavy things, among other benefits.

The Philosopher's Stone
I have to say, though, that Ron Paul's idea of returning to the gold standard is rather naive.  The bankster class has just as much control over the gold supply as they do over paper money and debt.  The gold standard wouldn't remove the problem, it would only exchange the medium by which we are enslaved.  There are far more and better alternatives.

I've never had the chance to try Philosopher's Stone, though I would leap at the opportunity.  The little I know about it I find very intriguing.  There are many properties of gold that are just now being rediscovered after centuries of being lost, at least to the lay folks.  But it is easy to see why it has been so highly prized for all of recorded history...and then some.

If I just had an oven that I could preheat to 8,000 degrees...

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