Here's the Alchemist's POV:
"There is so much death. We, as humans, are weak and succumb to our mortal illnesses. We are kept in the dark that is our ignorance, but we need to make our path towards enlightenment. Until we reach albedo and ultimately rubedo, we shall be kept in that dark. If we don’t triumph over our ignorance, we shall stay there forever. If panacea and prima materia are not unveiled by discovery, we will never find our way out of this abyss.
So, now I begin my work. Many of us are unknowledgeable to the facts of life and the development of spiritual objects that will lead to the revolution of Gnostic Anthropos, the perfect being. I, however, have educated myself. I know of what needs to be done. Though it is the process that worries me. The paths that I take, the recipes I create and the decisions I make can ultimately impact mankind. I will not only improve life, but I will also rid the world of the fear of death, by illness and old age."
(Note: Albedo and Rubedo are basically the sunrise.)
Blackness: symbolizes the initial state of chaos; prima materia.
Prima Materia: Prime matter; the Philosopher's Stone (lapis philosophorum). Everything is believed to come from prima materia.
Theory of Conjunction: the union of things, such as opposites.
Gnostic Anthropos: the divine man; considered to be Adam.
Water: everything is just water and everything is contained in water. Philosophical water is different from ordinary water, but real water can be philosophical water.
Fire: believed to play the same role as water. Resides in the Hermetic Vessel, which must be round, yet egg-shaped. The roundness is to symbolize the cosmos, so that the stars would influence a successful operation.
Prima materia or the philosopher's stone is considered a "hermaphrodite" because it can contain both philosophical gold and golden glass or malleable glass. It was also thought that prima materia contained one or two parts water and fire (theory of conjunction). These are antagonists, but many believe they are one in the same, that they were definitely in the stone and that they were needed to bring about transformation.
The following drawing is my representation of the vessel for philosophical fire.