“We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.”
“Meditation is like a chocolate soldier slowly submerged in a river of hot chocolate; or a mercury cop in Terminator crossing a river of molten mercury.”
The goal of the alchemist is to turn base metal, typically lead, into pure metal – gold. An early form of quantitative easing … if it ever came off. Many have tried – including Sir Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle – without success as far as we know – unless you count the Bank of England’s £375bn money printing festival.
The Philosopher’s Stone – the legendary alchemical substance capable of transforming base metal into gold was also seen as the ‘elixir of life’ with healing and rejuvenation properties – like Nigella’s chocolate. It is the central symbol of the mystical terminology of alchemy, symbolizing perfection at its finest, purity, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss.
Central to the Hermetic tradition – the body of alchemical knowledge – is the idea also prevalent in Indian mystical cosmology – that the ‘microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm’. Newton states it like this in his translation of the Emeral Tablet:
“That which is Below is like that which is Above and that which is Above is like that which is Below to do the miracles of the Only Thing. And as all things have been and arose from One by the mediation of One, so all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation. The Sun is its father; the Moon its mother; the Wind hath carried it in its belly; the Earth is its nurse.”
This may sound very strange coming from England’s leading scientist and committed Biblical Christian. He saw his experiments with light as an experiment in difracting the very Word of God.
We can see our own journey as one of alchemical transformation – from the base idea that we are nothing more than an accidental concatenation of atoms – a body – to the refined idea that we are nothing less than the recepticle of the One essence.
Re-scripting our lives in this sense we are all on the journey of The Alchemist.
“If there hadn’t been a sixth day, man would not exist; copper would always be copper; and lead just lead. It’s true that everything has its Personal Legend, but one day that Personal Legend will be realized. So each thing has to transform itself into something better, and to acquire a new Personal Legend, until, someday, the Soul of the World becomes one thing only.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist