My book has been praised as a good meaningful book by some reviewers and by many readers, to judge from the mail I have received during the past thirty years. It is patently an open sesame to one level of interpretation. The Occult Review, now defunct, published a critical review by Archibald Cockren who took me rather severely to task for asserting that alchemical texts should be interpreted solely in terms of psychological and mystical terms. He himself, I subsequently discovered, had written a book Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored. Of course I immediately procured a copy. Since I was peeved by his review, I did not feel that his book had very much to offerso I dismissed both offhand. I was about to write the editor of The Occult Review a scorching letter, but reason intervened so that fortunately it never got written.
The opportunity is rarely given to an author in his lifetime to eat crow and to enjoy it. This lot, it pleases me to say, is mineafter thirty years. Not that I would significantly change much of what I wrote then. I admitted that I had not proceeded to the praxis but I felt then and still do that a mystical and psychological interpretation of some alchemical texts was legitimate. There is unequivocally this aspect of the subject. Certainly Jacob Boehme and Henry Khunrath, for example, cannot be interpreted except in these terms.
The Philosophers Stone with these preliminary comments, should answer a wide-felt need which has called forth this new edition. I hope, being in print once more, it will bring new light and knowledge and values to present-day students who may be still groping in the dark areas of the occult towards alchemy, where a guiding hand needs to be extended.
So, to close this Introduction, I must use the ancient Rosicrucian greeting, and the close of a Golden Dawn ritual:
May what we have partaken here sustain us in our search for the Quintessence the Stone of the Philosophers, True Wisdom and perfect Happiness, the Summum Bonum........Author