The question is: is there a conflict between science and alchemy?
According to late prominent philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper, Newton's skepticism and mysticism came directly from his scientific founding.
One of Newton's most important scientific theory is the law of gravity. And what puzzled Newton most was his finding of the force of attraction at a distance. Newton's reasoning ran like this: Since matter is scattered around the Universe and matter exerts a gravitational force at a distance to every other matter, there must be some thing presence at the Universe that makes this happen. In order words, Newton went beyond science to postulate a non-physical being that has always been present in our Universe to make it all happen. The concept of God or Universal mind fits in well with Newton's speculation.
If one goes deeper into one's inner self, according to Carl Jung, one finds a deep layer called Collective Unconscious that was the same for everybody, and, "magically", it built upon itself through experience of generations of humanity. A further speculation will be a collective world mind that each of us originates and each of will join after our physical depth.
Clearly, the fact that Newton being a scientist would not give either credibility or refutation to his mysticism or alchemical pursuits. That's why different groups of Jungians do different interpretations and follow quite different paths after Jung' death. Science and mysticism run different ways.
|Newton's alchemical manuscript|