WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT: ALCHEMY & THE GREAT WORK

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more”
Revelation 21:1

alchemy

I think it’s probably time I took a step back and actually explained what it is that I’m trying to express here with this blog. For those looking through, it may seem like a hodgepodge of written sermons, spiritual exercises and rants about the state of the world. While I have worked to have some continuity in certain places like the spiritual exercises, as well as some of the recurring points that I make throughout my posts, I think clearer definitions are in order.

This blog is essentially about two things that I have referred to over and over again- Alchemy and the Great Work. That being said, I’m sure many have some predisposed idea of what alchemy is, whether it’s entirely accurate or not is another thing. As far as the Great Work, that might be a bit more foreign to some.

When most people hear the words alchemy and alchemist, they picture a funny, wizard-looking guy in funny clothes and a cape in a tower somewhere, surrounded by a medieval chemistry set, trying to turn lead into gold. The term, ‘turning lead into gold’ is actually coded language- meaning it was a term used to cover up what the alchemist was actually attempting to do. If the alchemist was to state their true intentions at that period in history, it would have at best gotten them burned at the stake.

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What that term actually referred to was the process of taking the physical body and matter, which is dense and heavy like lead, and transmuting and transforming it until it was light and malleable (and somewhat shiny) like gold. On the other side of the world, the Taoist alchemists of China had perfected the practice of literally transforming the physical body and creating an immortal body of Light that they could move at will.

The process of alchemy is a process of purification. The alchemist is one who either works on him or herself, or aids another in their own process of purification. In the latter case, the alchemist merely assists the individual- it is the individual themselves that is doing the true work of purification. Purification is the key word here.

The alchemist seeks to purify the mind and body, bringing them into resonance with the spirit, soul and Higher Self, hence bringing the individual into harmony and balance with the greater Laws of Nature and Creation. This ongoing process allows the alchemist the privilege (and duty) of working with others and partaking in the Great Work, which is essentially the process of individual alchemy done on the larger scale of the collective humanity and the Earth herself.

That’s it in a nutshell. That’s the point of what I’m looking to discuss and teach here. So now I’m going to further ‘set definitions’ here for clarity’s sake by going through the above paragraph piece by piece.

“The alchemist seeks to purify the mind”

Here we are talking about both the conscious “thinking” mind and the sub-conscious or unconscious “receiving” mind. For the thinking mind we seek to purify obsessive or destructive thought patterns; attachment to the things we use to identify ourselves (possessions, career, social status, political affiliation, etc.); and beliefs and systems of belief about ourselves, others and how the world works. We seek to become aware of what we are taking into ourselves through media, print, etc. We seek to stay away from that which does not serve truth and carries a delusional, destructive or degrading method. The alchemist understands that suffering comes from the acceptance of that which is not true and the refusal to accept that which is true.

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For the sub-conscious “receiving” mind, we seek to purify habits and compulsions by getting to the root of our psyche. We let go of past events and trauma that hold us in a place of unconscious repetition. We let go of the belief systems and false dreams and ideals that have been deeply imbedded into our psyche by friends, family, peers, the mass mind, and the mass media. Finally, we recognize and accept those darkest elements of ourselves, releasing that which serves no productive purpose and fully integrating into us that which does.

Moving on, “the alchemist seeks to purify…the body”

The physical body is the vehicle that enables us to have this spiritual experience and grow and evolve here on Earth. It is vitally important and is where “the rubber meets the road”. If the physical body is bogged down by heavy toxins and disease, then our ability to maintain connection with our finer spiritual aspects becomes incredibly difficult and nearly impossible. The Vedic cultures of India and the Taoist cultures of China have long known the correlation of diet to spiritual health. I am not going to preach a particular diet here, as I realize that everyone has different needs as everyone’s body is at different stages and levels of health and development.

What I will do here is give suggestions as to what I know has been beneficial for me (see ‘Rethinking Flu Shot Season Part 2’). These are things like eating clean food and drinking clean water; avoiding synthetic drugs and other chemicals; being aware of the energetic quality of the food you consume (how it was raised, etc.)- be mindful that you are what you eat, literally. Eat, live and move in a way that is aligned with and mindful of nature and the natural processes of the body; there has been so much focus on improving upon or outright conquering nature in the way of modern food and medicine.   That being said, use of ancient elixirs, i.e. natrual supplements, plant medicines and minerals can helpful for this process as well, as many ancient alchemists realized. The basic premise here is that man is meant to act in harmony with nature and is at his greatest potential when he does.

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Aside from maintaining the purity of what we take into our body, it is also critical that we have a healthy relationship to our sexuality and other vital life forces, and avoid misdirected use of these things. The Taoists and the Yogis have a great much to say as far as exercises working with preserving and enhancing the vital energies of the body. We also seek to reconnect with our primal nature; to deepen and maintain our relationship with our Mother Earth and the Life forces that come from her. Doing this we strengthen our roots to her and our lineage through Her and the blood of our ancestors who walked this ancient path before us.

Moving further through our statement, the alchemist seeks to bring mind and body into “resonance with the spirit, the soul and the Higher Self.”

Through the process of purifying the mind and body, we are able to better match the electro-magnetic quality of the spirit body- the electric structure that forms the living blueprint of the physical body that is attached to it. This vibration matching also enables us to better receive the messages from the soul and the Higher Self that lives within it- our true nature. This process can be likened to fixing a broken radio so it can receive more stations with greater clarity.

Doing this, the alchemist brings “him or herself into greater harmony and balance with the greater Laws of Nature and Creation.”

By doing the work of purification and bringing ourselves to a state of harmony and understanding of the higher workings of our being, we are better able to know and understand the deeper Laws and workings of the world around us.

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These Laws range from the universal forces of Light, Life and Love as well as Truth; to the Hermetic Principles like Mentalism (the universe is akin to a mind in its function), Polarity and Cause and Effect; to Natural Law Principles like Free Will, Individual Sovereignty and Liberty; to the movements of the stars and planets and the processes of the Earth, the vital forces behind these movements and how these things affect us and the world around us.

I refer to these things collectively as the Natural Laws of Creation- those things that are inherent in the universe and give order to existence. These are Laws that are forever in effect in some form or fashion regardless of our awareness of them. Successful alchemy ultimately rests with our understanding of and ability to consciously work with these Laws and Principles.

When we are in a purified state: a unified state: we are better able to utilize these Laws effectively. This can be done through things like visualization, prayer, magick, and the accompanying right action (action done according to these moral Laws). The alchemist is also a magician. This understanding allows us to break free of circumstance and shape the reality we live in to meet our needs.

We now move toward the conclusion of our statement: “This ongoing process allows the alchemist the privilege (and duty) of working with others and partaking in the Great Work…”

The work of purifying the mind and body and bringing ourselves into frequency with our spiritual nature is ongoing until we transition through what is commonly known as “death”. It should be noted as an aside that understanding the mysteries of this transition as well as facing and resolving our fear of it is part of the purification process as well.

When we come to understand and effectively utilize the Law and the Truth of the Spiritual Nature of reality, we then have a duty given by the universe to share this wondrous gift with others: our brothers and sisters in humanity. Through purifying ourselves, we are more open to feeling compassion and love towards others and may feel the call to help in some way. Of course, this is where Free Will comes in, as we have the right to choose not to serve others, just as others have the right not to accept our help or our words. However, helping others is helping ourselves and aiding in the spiritual growth of others aids in our own spiritual growth.

The alchemist seeks to be a sovereign being- one who is in a state of self-mastery; one who is in complete control of his thoughts, emotions and actions. The alchemist sees this reality in himself and seeks to spread the message to others that they too are capable of this.

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We conclude that the Great Work is “essentially the process of individual alchemy done in the larger scale of the collective humanity and the Earth herself.”

We work on the collective level of the consciousness of humanity in a similar fashion as to how we work on ourselves- we recognize and bring Light to the disharmonious elements of collective human society: those dark and unpleasant aspects many would prefer to pretend are not real. Then, through understanding and use of the Natural Laws of Creation we are able to purify these elements, little by little; bit by bit. This can only be done when we look honestly and truthfully, not only at our present, but at our collective past.

Humanity collectively partakes in the Great Work when it builds societies and systems (energy, economics, medicine, etc.) that are aligned and in harmony with the Laws of Nature and Creation. When mankind conducts itself and its affairs in a manner that reflects the spiritual nature of the world, which is the true nature of the world.

The Great Work is using all the tools we have at our disposal in a way that is respectful and in harmony with Life and the Free Will right of others. We use our talents and our passions for the manifestation of Truth, Light and Love into the world. The Great Work is bringing the Light of the world of Spirit into the heavy, dense world of matter. If we are acting consciously out of Love and with respect and reverence for Life and the Free Will of others, we are taking part in the Great Work.

However, if we are acting for the misguided satisfactions, pleasures and convictions of our own ego; while we may be gaining lifetime lessons and experience for ourselves and humanity, we ARE NOT partaking in the Great Work, regardless of how “right” we may think we are.

The Great Work is ultimately about the evolution of humanity and the evolution of the Earth. As we move into ways of being, doing and existing that have never been, we must remain awake and conscious- ever vigilant. Indeed the Great Work is the work of “nailing Spirit to the Cross of Matter”- saturating every inch of matter with the pure Love and Light of our every thought, word and deed. The world becomes infused with spirit, little by little; bit by bit; in an entirely new way.

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This process is one that requires Action as well as Courage- Courage to express and hold fast to the Spirit of Truth and Courage to express and hold fast to the Principles of Light, Life and Love in a world that fears these things.

The Great Work is humanity’s role in the creation of what was referred to in the Bible as “the New Heaven and the New Earth”. We are not meant to be spectators as the Earth evolves, we are meant to be active participants- co-creators in the process of evolution. I am not speaking allegorically here. The Earth is changing, and will continue to do so. We are going to change along with Her, but we are meant to be co-pilots here and work with her in this change from dense matter to a finer, more etheric level of existence. I repeat: work with Her, not try to impose our will on Her.

So that is what I am talking about here: this is the message I am seeking to spread to others to the best of my ability- the possibilities of individual and collective alchemy and the reality that completion of the Great Work requires the attention of ALL OF US. This is my “unique” expression through the Great and Nameless One (God). I am simply taking my knowledge and understanding of this process as I have come to know it and understand it and share it with others. This is my service to Truth, Humanity and the Earth: for the Liberation of All Beings through the Light of Christ. Until next time, Namaste and God Bless.

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THE 365-DAY CHALLENGE

Higher-Self

It’s New Years, a time typically set aside for reflection and resolution.  Maybe folks have a list of stereotypical New Year’s resolutions along the lines of going on a diet and/or joining a gym.  Maybe you’ll make it happen, or maybe you’ll go the average three weeks and let “life happen“.  Luckily, I’m not going to be talking about anything like that today.  But as I’m sure you can gather from the title, I do have a challenge for those brave enough to accept, and the best part about my challenge is that you don’t even have to leave your chair (as a matter of fact I would suggest you don’t).

A couple of years before I was ordained, my teacher instructed me to do a specific meditation, not for a week, not for a month, but an ENTIRE YEAR- 365 days!   I am challenging all of you out there to do the same.  The following are detailed instructions and pointers on what I found was the most effective way to get the most from it:

1. Sit in a comfortable chair that allows you to have your spine straight. Sit as though you are being suspended from the ceiling by a string attached to the top of your head. Shoulders back and relaxed and your chin tilted slightly downwards. Gently close your eyes.

2. Touch your tongue gently to the roof of your mouth. Breathe in through your nose and out through a barely opened mouth. Inhale by expanding your belly and breathe completely through the lungs. Upon the exhale, breathe out as though you are wringing out a sponge.

3. Focus on your breath. Exhale and release any tension from your body. Let the worries and concerns of the day become a distant memory. As thoughts come up, observe them in a distant fashion and let them pass. Continue focusing on the breath.

4. Bring your attention to your solar plexus- the area just beneath your heart at the base of your sternum. I’ve found it best to think of it like you are literally looking down into this area with your eyes. At this point, visualize a soft, glowing light originating from this point in your solar plexus.

5. Visualize this light expanding from within. I will often see it as growing brighter when I inhale, and expanding further throughout my body as I exhale. See this light infusing into every cell of your being. Continue to expand the light until it forms what is shaped like an egg around your being that expands at a distance of approximately 3-feet from your skin. Feel this light healing you and driving out all imperfections and character defects from your being.

6. Now, visualize this light shining from you to all of the “light-workers”; our brothers and sisters who are also consciously participating in the Great Work of spiritualizing matter and raising the consciousness of humanity for the liberation of ALL beings. These could be people from your spiritual community; friends, family, or people you have never met- really anyone doing spiritual work with good intent. This is how we build fellowship at a distance and strengthen the work. We cannot do this alone.

7. Extend this light and support to those beings who work at a higher level for the good of humanity and the Earth. Some refer to these beings as “the Host” or “Ascended Masters”. These are humans as well as other beings who have either willingly transcended being in a physical, 3-dimensional body (bodhisattvas), or semi-physical or spiritual beings (star beings, angels, etc.) who actively work with humanity and the Earth. If you have a difficult time with discarnate entities, imagine the forces of Light, Life and Love present within all human beings having a multi-dimensional existence of their own, working within the spirit and psyche of the collective humanity for our collective good.

8. After you feel you have a good handle on this, visualize this light going to all members of the races across the globe. This will work to break our concept of separateness and selfish interest. Feel a sense of kinship good will extending to your brothers and sisters in humanity across the globe. Feel the elevation in consciousness that is taking place at that moment. See humanity in its true state of peace and love.

9. For the last phase of the meditation, visualize the entire planet- our Great Mother Earth- surrounded by this great white light. Like you, this light emanates from her core. See this light cleansing and purifying Her; see this light becoming more and more brilliant until there is nothing except Light, Life and Love.

10. As you hold this thought, breathe in naturally, but consciously. Hold the thought in your mind that the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth and the Great Work is taking place AT THAT MOMENT. Now exhale, and upon the exhale, chant the word, “ Aum” and open your eyes.

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Now, do this daily for 365 days and see what happens.  As far as when you should do it, personally I am more of a fan of nighttime for this exercise in a dark, quiet room.  This better allows you to really see the light inside of you without distraction or confusion from an outside light source.  I will say however, this is the most potent spiritual exercise I have ever done.  It will leave you feeling quite energized and it may take time for your body to adjust to being charged up like this.  This can make sleeping difficult at times, especially at first.  That being said, doing it during the day may work better for you.  Whenever it is that works best, do your best to be as consistent as possible.

As far as how long to do the meditation, I’ve found between 10-20mins is optimal.  You can do it in less, but I feel it to be a bit rushed, and I don’t get the “full effect”.  In the end it is really about how long it takes for your mind to quiet down and how well you can keep it focused on the meditation you are doing.  It is a beautiful synthesis of concentrated focus and letting go.

Make no mistake, this is the Light of Christ that lives inside of us that we are working with here.  While it may seem at first as though you are “just imagining it”, this is in fact a very real thing.  You are just learning how to see it, and your imagination is simply the tool for you to learn how to see that which you could not see before.  So give it a shot.  Even if you don’t make it 365 days, I trust that it will benefit you, the Earth and all of humanity regardless.