Light on the nature of alchemy began to come to me only after I had read the text of the Golden Flower, the book of Chinese alchemy. I was stirred by the desire to become more closely acquainted with the alchemical texts. Occasionally I would look at the pictures, and each time I would think, “Good Lord, what nonsense! This stuff is impossible to understand.” But it persistently intrigued me, and I made up my mind to go into it more thoroughly.
I soon found it provocative and exciting. To be sure, the texts still seemed to me blatant nonsense, but here and there would be passages that seemed significant to me, and occasionally I even found a few sentences which I thought I could understand. Finally I realized that the alchemists were talking in symbols. “Why this is fantastic,” I thought. “I simply must learn to decipher all this.” By now I was completely fascinated, and buried myself in the texts as often as I had the time.”~Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.