Alchemy High and Low

Alchemy High and Low

According to the online dictionary, alchemy is the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the “supposed” transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir. Also it is a “seemingly” magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. The italics are mine.

The ancient origin of the word Alchemy comes to English via old French and medieval Latin from Arabic alkīmiyā ‘, from al ‘the’ + kīmiyā ‘ (from Greek khēmia, khēmeia ‘the art of transmuting metals’).

According to Webster’s dictionary alchemy is “a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life.” 2. It is “a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way. 3: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting.

Unfortunately the dictionary goes on to say the following: Today we recognize alchemy as a pseudoscience, and give chemistry its rightful place as a serious scientific field, but the two terms initially overlapped in meaning before separating by the 17th century, just as astrology and astronomy did during the same period. This is like cutting off the head and thinking we are saving the body, totally deluded.

So let us bring some truth into this highly confused and misunderstood word and the truth it attempts to reveal. First let me say that alchemy has been practiced all over the world throughout a great span of time. The Egyptians, Toltecs practiced it as did the Chinese and the Arabs and so on. How could such a speculative and crazy philosophy be so prevalent all over the world for so long if it there was no truth in it whatsoever? Like so many ancient truths the practice of alchemy was a metaphor and highly symbolic. Originally it had nothing to do with precious metals. Transforming base metals into precious metals was used simply as a metaphor for deeper truths about a human’s capacity to move up levels or octaves of consciousness, moving to higher frequencies and experiencing a different reality and perception from before. The practice of alchemy was used as a symbol for transformation of consciousness.

When a person is vibrating at a lower level their tendency to work alchemically manifests as superstition, good luck charms, OCD like behavior to ward off negativity and bring in safety and so on. This is because at the low frequencies it is the false personality that is in charge of experience and it tends to hang out in fearful obsessions. Here we have all the rituals of baseball and other sports where both players and spectators engage in weird behavior wearing their hats upside down and so on in order to score runs or win the game. Here also is the behavior of crossing fingers, not stepping on sidewalk cracks, wearing ritualized clothing, carrying rabbits feet, avoiding black cats, and the like, getting tattooed with special charms and an endless list of magico-religious, hopeful behaviors. This we could call fake or pretend alchemy because while it may appear like real alchemy it is not in any way the real thing. Basically it is engagement with magical thinking, delusions, fearfully hoping to escape from painful consequences of poor choices or hoping to magically create good fortune from a place of fearfulness. Despite modern civilization most people in the world engage in this type of behavior at least part of the time. Because of this, cognitive psychology, psychoanalytical theory, and most psychotherapists tend to regard anything that is not totally rationally based as magical thinking and they consider this to be pathological. While this is an accurate way of seeing most people’s engagement in magical thinking, it is completely erroneous when it comes to a shamanic or mystic’s approach to life. When a person rises up to higher levels and begins to operate from essence, they are capable of engaging in true alchemy. True alchemy is not by any means magical thinking or delusional. It is based on a much deeper understanding of how reality works and how to manage being human in this dense plane called the physical world.

Jesus was a trained alchemist. One of his famous phrases was, “Behold, I make all things new.” That is an alchemist statement of fact. What he meant was, when I rise up to higher octaves (the kingdom of God) I change my perception and voila, everything is new. Of course that is true. Why else would such a brilliant and powerful avatar say this? As usual when he spoke he was not saying, “I am the only one that can do this, you cannot.” When he spoke, as usual he was teaching by example and saying “when I change octaves everything becomes fresh and new, and you can do this too.”

So what he was saying was that as a person moves up in frequency they begin to respond from the auspices of the essence-self and true alchemy becomes possible.  So what is true alchemy and how does it work? True alchemy is actually changing reality by changing our perception of it. That’s it. Is it possible that it is so simple? Well yes and no. Let’s say that I am walking by a garbage dump and I see many homeless people picking through the garbage trying to find something to eat. Normally this would be depressing to see and perhaps I would feel pity for them or perhaps I would change direction and walk away trying not to think about what I saw. Nothing about these responses would be helpful at all. They just reinforce the darkness and pain of the activities. So maybe I try to whistle a merry tune or I play the music in my headphones louder to change my mood. Does this help? No, not at all. That too reinforces the darkness and pain because it is an attempt to change frequencies while coming from a place of resistance. That will not work, ever.

Well maybe I decide to pray for them and I ask spirit to help them find a way out. This is a slightly better solution and at least it does not reinforce the darkness as much. But it is still not the solution because it subtly reinforces the perception that this event is a horrible one and I don’t ever want this to happen to me. I have judged it to be terrible and that in fact makes it so because perception does influence reality by helping it to manifest that way.

This is getting tricky now. How can I experience this event without contributing to the problem, because it seems all avenues just make things worse? There is some truth to this. The way we have been going about perceiving our reality for thousands of years has been pretty disastrous. We live in a world of endless suffering in part because we continue to perceive it that way. Now most people would say “well of course I perceive suffering as terrible.” Perhaps that is one step above enjoying other peoples suffering and helping to deliberately create it. And perhaps it is a step above being so disconnected, disengaged, or calloused that I really don’t care about my fellows. What to do?

Here is where alchemy comes in. I don’t want to resist what I see or experience nor do I want to judge it and condemn it because in my perception I lock it into a negative place that actually translates to the physical world becoming that way. I don’t want to pretend that everything is all right because that is dishonest and a cover job and I don’t want to ignore it either because it is an important event and not an accident that I walked this way and witnessed it.

Ahhh, now that is the key word, “witnessed.” The question is how, how do I witness it and what am I witnessing? Yes it appears that my fellows in the garbage dump are suffering but that is a partial distraction.  There are other more important things going on here. I am witnessing my fellow human beings who are creations of Spirit. We are not separate. Therefore I am in the garbage dump with them and they are out here with me perhaps walking with a full stomach. Because they are parts of me and of Spirit, I love them and at some level they love me. All of this is true, all of this is good. I see them in their beauty. I see them in their perfection. I see them as here with me in this experience of being in a higher frequency.

Consider for a moment that the quantum physics version of all this says that observation or witnessing something determines whether it becomes a particle or remains a wave, determines whether it becomes reality or remains a possibility only. It is through our deliberate and focused witnessing of something that we participate in creation.

Alchemically witnessing someone in their truth changes everything. All this is communicated to each of the garbage pickers instantly. Their world is changed perhaps in subtle ways perhaps in a dramatic way.  I am not smart enough to know who has chosen this experience for their own learning and has more learning to do. Perhaps it is not in my power to take that away. I am not smart enough to know who was waiting for a subtle shift that perhaps results in a choice that liberates them from this way of being in reality. I am not always smart enough to know with whom I have agreements to help in this world. I just do my best by working my alchemy knowing that my perception directly alters and transmutes the physical realm. Perhaps I am led to further actions and make certain donations or perhaps I write my congressperson about meeting these people’s needs in a different way.  Perhaps there is nothing concrete I can think of doing. Perhaps I arrange for a charity to come and feed and house these people and so on. There are many possibilities. What is important is that these possibilities are all filled with light and not my judgments or my own pain added to others.

The true challenge of this kind of alchemy is to release thousands of years of poor perception and shift gears to an entirely different way of perceiving. Remembering to do it is a chief challenge because the old ways tend to persist especially when they are reinforced by the whole culture. I need to wake up in the morning and remember that I can see differently and then I need to remember during the day to practice this. Strangely even though this actually feels way better the temptation to slip back into negativity is very strong because of habit. So I need to devise ways to remember how to see in a new way as often as possible. One of the keys is to look for subtle signs that this new way of seeing actually creates transformations.

Recently I went to some hot springs in Colorado and in the evening after dark I slipped into a pool that was big enough to have some other people soaking as well. I sat down and began to listen to their conversations which were very typical for our times. They were going from one negative topic to another among themselves. I decided to re-perceive them as brother s and sisters of Spirit, perfect in every way. Because it was dark they could not really see me clearly so they ignored me. Yet immediately one of them brought up a physical ailment and the others began to talk about how healing was possible and that they knew of a practitioner who could help them. The entire conversation shifted to something very positive. At that point I got too hot and slipped out of the pool to go to a cooler one marveling at what I had witnessed. Of course I could have decided that it was all in my head but I did not. Something had happened in that pool and I knew it. It was not because of anything my personality did. It was totally Spirit at work. Try your own experiments with this. See what you discover. Your lower self will want to discount whatever you notice as transformative. Be sure to ignore that and consider that just maybe your perception alters reality. That would be good work.

By Jose Stevens

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