ALCHEMY. It's such a highfalutin word, isn't it?
Side note: I've never used "highfalutin" in a sentence before but it felt so good and natural. Verrrrry natural :)
In reality though, alchemy is an essential part of the human experience.
TO BE HUMAN IS TO BE A WORK IN PROGRESS.
The progress part, well that speaks to alchemy.
You see, you're already engaged in the process.
As a participant in the game of life you have two options: participate passively (asleep at the wheel) or awaken to the potential and possibility within.
Obviously, my hope is that you'll choose the latter option and opt to grow your level of awareness, understanding, and abilities.
After all, it will serve you (and your soul) well to consciously engage in the art of personal transformation, that is alchemy.
Alchemy is a spiritual art.
The ultimate goal?
- To become a fully realized being (like Jesus or Buddha)
- To ascend and directly experience the sacred
- To know the truth (through direct mystical experiences)
- To return to your limited human self and integrate your knowing
- To embody wisdom, love, and divinity
- To continuously cycle through the transmutation process
Transmutation is a complex process, one of depth and substance.
It happens when you take a shitty experience and find a way to cultivate strength and healing for yourself. It's the equivalent to metaphorically transforming lead into gold.
Transmutation enlists the power of the mind to transform the soul while remaining firmly grounded in being a human being.
NOTE: Transmutation does not happen when we engage in spiritual bypassing. (But that's a deep dive for another day.)
There are no shortcuts.
You cannot speed up the process or rush through it.
Trust me, I've tried. Plus there is something to be said about the natural growth and development process we see over and over again with any living thing. WHY on earth would we expect our own development to be any different?
Alchemy unfolds over the course of a lifetime and also within specific thresholds of growth encountered in life.
The Many PAths TO ALCHEMY
Ever wondered why there are so many different religions and spiritual paths?
It's because each pathway to the sacred interprets the divine differently and therefore speaks a unique language that is attractive and familiar to its followers / people.
THE POWER OF SEMANTICS
You say potato (......"POH-tay-TOE" )
I say potatoe (......"POH-tah-tOOOOOhh)
You say tomato (....."TOH-may-TOE")
I say tomatoe (......"TOH-mah-toe")
If your familiar with my work you'll know I'm a stickler for semantics;
WORDS have the power to make or break connection.
Words are a vehicle for the nuanced and subtle, critical components to effective and therapeutic communication. And yet in knowing this, words are inherently flawed when seeking to describe, capture or teach about the core sacred essence of life (SPIRIT, GOD...).
*sigh. The irony of this is not lost of me. You see as a writer laser focused on spiritual growth, I relish the tension field between words and capturing spirit. Anyways I digress.
THE ART OF SELF TRANSFORMATION LIES AT THE HEART OF ALL SPIRITUAL PATHS.
- The Christian speaks of being born again
- The buddhist seeks enlightenment and awakening
- New-agers identify with ascension and evolution
- Agnostics embrace mystery while focusing on being a good person
The common thread here is that we all share a humanistic drive to better ourselves.
Unless I suppose we are talking about the narcissistic outlier, but even so, I don't see them as being exempt.
Alchemy is both a process and a result.
However, in order to complete the loop and truly transform you must be changed.
How you choose to do this is up to you, to some degree.
Remember the art of alchemy is complex and multidimensional in nature therefore there is no simple, 1 click remedy to fix you. Plus you don't need fixing.
So where do you fit in? Snuggly into a denomination or are you homeless?
Alchemy lives within the full spectrum of spirituality!
FOR THE SPIRITUAL NOT RELIGIOUS
My people identify as "spiritual not religious" and therefore have no official, concrete home to plug in (beyond themselves and nature that is). They carry their homes on their backs, freely traveling from here to there knowing the sacred is both within and all around.
For you folks, here are some helpful guideposts for the journey:
- Hunt down your medicine like a wild animal on a mission
- Follow what peaks your curiosity
- Seek meaning and meaningful experiences
- Stay open to magic and the mystical dimension of everyday life
- Familiarize yourself with energy, it's everything
- Identify a de-brief / processing buddy
- Trust the long-term process
- Find trained, skilled helping professionals along the way
In my book, there a million ways to get to the end zone, some more powerful than others. Most importantly though it is not the avenue itself but the quality of your relationship as its shaped by your level of awareness, engagement, and connection.
FOR THE RELIGIOUS
Religion, is attractive for many reasons but mainly I see it's value for being a neatly tied up package of how-to's, rules and what-not-to-do's to find guidance, grace, and love (and you-fill-in-the-blank).
Someone reading my words might think I don't respect religion. That couldn't be further from the truth. I respect religion, all religions. Religion is steep in tradition, sacred law, conviction and certainty. That's super attractive.
While ones religion and religious practices can serve as a portal to alchemy it does not necessarily ensure it. The critical x factor here is meaning.
Without meaningfulness it's not potent.
Potency ensures effectiveness in the transmutation process.
Every spiritual path contains a two-fold purpose:
- To give humans a way to understand and connect with the divine / sacred
- To teach and lead people to their fullest, most realized potential
The process by which you become a fully self realized being is alchemy and therefore participating in a religion must be meaningful in order for it to be effective.
You are free to engage in the process of alchemy how it suites you!