“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”
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 commonly understood to be 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.
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.
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 embedded 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, nutritional 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.
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 electromagnetic 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.
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.
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.
Like a miniature Sun, we should seek to radiate this Light energy outwards to those closest to us, like our family and friends, then to our community, then to our folk (brotherhood, sisterhood, tribe, race, etc.), and continuing outwards to the rest of humanity as we continue to grow in spiritual strength as our Light intensifies.
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.
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.