Did, the old treatrises were written for thoses who already knew the keys ? More than probably.
In fact, the Alchemists just shared between themselves their methods and philosophy throughout the world ?
But were they working alone ? I guess, some did, yes. But had contacts and friends (maybe some had a link with R+C, but the rejuvenated one were dispatched all over the world, remember Bacstrom being initated in Mauritius Island !).
Some of us now are also working alone or in groups. And we are all over the world.
What they did with books, we do with blogs and forums now.
Who could really understand what they were saying ? Only an Alchemist can clearly see the traps and methods, symbols, etc, that describe clearly the process explained... and laugh to the Philosophical humour sometime sprinkled in texts and recipies !
Even now, when you have some keys, you need to dig, and dig, and reflect on what they said in order to grasp more and more principles, and I can assure you it's very long, tough, delicate, and hard.
Even with the keyring, I have some difficulties to unlock the messages, for example, sculpted in Notre Dame de Paris. Of course I can decipher a lot of things, but some stay obscure. I simply don't have the codes, culture, used at this time. Maybe I lack greek mythology or biblical culture ...
It's hard to explain, but at a certain moment, you have an "emptyfulness" in your mind when you look at engravings, sculptures, stainted glasses and when reading texts. You know, and you don't, you beleive and you don't, at the same time. Both enrich themselves. And create a special place in your mind.
Your senses, intuition, attention are awaken, and you process in your brain and soul what you see, but, with this very weird feeling : just like if you pushed yourself to not think like you already know. You push yourself to think in a way you never though before. This is going into your "Virginland", a place of unknown understanding.
Go to your "Virginland." Push yourself to think, process, understand, see, taste, feel, beleive in a way you never, never did before.
The Virginland is a place of miracles, of impossible things (for the "knowing you"), a potential place where everything can stand and rise, perish, flourish ... and reflorish after not being validate a first time or perish after flourishing a first time .. nothing stands constant, but everything can stay constant too ! This is a place of creativity. Of a new vision. Out of your limited, personnal, culturally bounded vision.
There you have a chance to push your beleives to the extreme.
You can manipulate paradoxes. Envision two, three, or more opposite explanations and accept, validate them ALL as GOOD/Working !
No it's not a chaotic place. It's a place of Life. A Virgin Ground.
Not everyone can have this ground, one must have touched the Virgin Vision before. But the V.V is not an erasing/reset process. It's entering in the non limited space of yourself.
The Virgin Vision is the moment when you detach yourself of your believes.
The Virginground is the unlimited place left in you after that.
It's a streching of your inner limits.
I guess you ever saw the rainforest (in french litterally "virgin forest"), it's a place of exhuberant life.
It's analogical to a blank page. But it's green.
You can inscribe and develop anything in it. This is a good analogy in my opinion.
So I invite you to understand and grasp this concept and to touch it in your mind, your soul.
It's a way to "think out of the box", to "think crazy". To develop your openess, to evolve.
Think crazy ! Unlimit yourself !