The fifth element was the goal of alchemists in ancient times. It was and still is believed that the ‘fifth element’ (Quintessence) is something wonderfully transformative both figuratively and physically. The great alchemical texts from centuries past tell of an elixir that has restorative and healing properties beyond anything ever discovered on the face of the earth. In fact, it might even rival the power of God, Himself, restoring the dead and dying, the old and infirmed, and the spiritually unclean to perfection… healthy both in mind and spirit as well as body. Of course, the Roman Church did not like the idea of anyone other than themselves having access to such a powerful medicine. Hence the confusing nature of alchemical texts which are couched in obscure language and symbols of most perplexing nature.
The facts concerning the Philosopher’s Stone are virtually impossible to discern. Does it really exist in the physical sense? Does it simply refer to a process by which the soul is cleansed of darkness and made more acceptable in the eyes of God? Most people (outside of modern alchemists) believe it to be the latter rather than the former. Certainly, the alchemical texts seem to infer that it is readily available to any and all who have the desire to own it, thereby supporting the idea that it is something mental or philosophical, hence available to all who have minds and the willingness to search for it.
Strangely enough the allure of the Philosopher’s Stone is still a topic of modern interest. There are any number of books written on the subject and even a modern movie bearing the name Fifth Element. I say, if it’s good enough for Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Luke Perry; it’s good enough for me.
In the fifth book of the Assassin Chronicles (co-incidentally enough), one of the twelve ruling members of the Order of the Red Cross of Gold seems to embody the Quinta Essentia or Quintessence . Simon of Grenoble by his original name is presumably a foundling left on the steps of a Cistercian monastery in the 1300’s. The beautiful child reared by monks became a father confessor to the Council Members of the Order in 1307 when he was almost killed in the French version of the Inquisition launched against the Knights Templar. He is soft-spoken, wise and youthful of appearance, having become a member of the Council at the age of 29 after the death of the Order’s Mystic Healer or Knight of the Serpent. His injuries, suffered in the dungeon, left him with an injury that even the Tree of Life (Immortality) could not correct. Beloved by the Grand Master, he is full of surprises as well as an indispensable member of the Order.