|The Alchemical Process Begins with the Birth of Christ|
The act of acquiring self-knowledge is preliminary work. For the past year, that's what we've been talking about. However, self-knowledge isn't alchemy. It simply sets us up to use alchemy once we're ready.
Alchemy is a verb.
It takes the knowledge we gained during the process of discovering the Prima Materia, our multiplicity, real purpose, and conditioning, and the meaning behind the four Elements of earth, water, air, and fire and teaches us how to actively use those discoveries to purify and enlarge our understanding and love. We do that by making the unconscious in ourselves conscious.
Alchemy also teaches us how to release the jaws of the Urobourous that lives within the mind, the snake that is biting its own tail, so we can straighten out the misconceptions we have and, thereby, enjoy a clearer distinction between the head (Christ) and tail (Satan). As long as the Urobourous remains unconsciously in control, as long as we keep circling around and around through the vicious emotional cycle, our inner state will be in chaos: we'll experience conflict, resistance, and struggle toward illusion instead of creativity, enthusiasm, artistry, and joy.
In a very real sense, alchemy has the power to unlock our hidden potential by dissolving the false sense of mastery that religion and the world have instilled in us. It gives us the tools we need to build our houses on a solid foundation of rock, The Philosopher's Stone, rather than on the shifting sands of multiplicity. Alchemy moves us through an evolutionary process of four distinct stages of consciousness, allowing us to become something greater than we were before.
Therefore, Alchemy begins with the birth of Christ.
But what is the birth of Christ?
What is the Birth of Christ?
One of the complexities of alchemy is that ancient alchemists used different formulas and personalized recipes to achieve their aims, in the same way that Professor Snape created his own spells and fine-tuned potions by experimenting with the basic potion formulas and spells given to him in book form when he was a student at Hogwarts.
We learn about this character trait in book 5, The Half-Blood Prince. The personality that Snape showed to the world-at-large wasn't a conformist, and neither were the ancient alchemists.
Snape did The Work required to achieve the level of consciousness he had and recorded that work in the margins of the textbook he was working with at that time. The only way to do that is to have gone through the process of Christ being born, or awakened, in his heart. But not just awakened.
Doing The Work requires us to Arise as well as wake up.
Just learning that the not-I exist and that they have taken over control of our mental and emotional faculties isn't enough to purify consciousness.
We see that in how the Dursleys respond to Harry being left on their doorstep. Jo tells us that they "woke up" to find Harry on the front step the following morning, but that discovery was short-lived. It had no effect on them. Ten years later, Privet Drive had hardly changed at all. While the Dursleys had become aware of Harry's existence and taken him into their home, that act of self-serving kindness hadn't made any difference in the Dursley's level of consciousness because their motives for doing so were not pure.
Ten years later, they were the same as they had always been.
Only the photos of Harry's cousin Dudley showed the passing of time. There was nothing to suggest that another boy even lived in that house, in the same way that most people have no idea that a spark of divinity lives inside of them, too. In alchemical terms, Christ had not yet been born. Instead, he slept, undisturbed.
Harry was the same as he had been when Dudley grew large enough and strong enough to take over control of the house. Although we aren't privy to that happening, in Harry's case, sleep wasn't his fate. Mom was awake, and through the activities of Harry's Aunt Petunia, Harry was going to be shocked into not only waking up, but arising as well.
Religion's View of the Birth of Christ
|Religion's View of the Birth of Christ is a Literal, Historical Event|
Biblically, the birth of Christ is described in a variety of ways. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each tell the same story, but use different events to tell the story.
Matthew, a tax collector, saw the virgin birth and the three wise men having the courage to approach King Herod to ask about Christ's whereabouts, and their search for Him, as important to the birthing process. Mark took a totally different angle and used the diminishing ministry of John the Baptist compared to the rising ministry of Jesus Christ to symbolize the birth.
Luke, a doctor, zeroed in on the miracles surrounding the birth, where angels announced Christ's birth to shepherds who in turn sought him out, while John took an esoteric viewpoint and talked about Christ's relationship with the One Power before his birth and conscious descension into matter.
All of these accounts of Christ's birth are quite cryptic in language and heavy on symbolism, as these manuscripts were not originally written for the masses. They were written by kabalists and alchemists for kabalists and alchemists. Even the letters of Paul veiled the truth of Christ within verbiage that those he wrote to understood, but the Christian churches of today, who take the scriptures to be the literal word of God, do not.
The esoteric tradition and knowledge we have about waking up and arising has only survived throughout the centuries because of the way it was actually handed down: from lip to ear. Written material is supplemental, which is why it's so easily misunderstood and twisted by those who believe these stories actually happened as recorded. Plus, esoteric Christianity itself is often told in the form of stories, parables, allegories, and word games, rather than in plainness.
Mormonism attempted to bring alchemy to the masses, by presenting their own alchemical allegory, plainer than it was presented in the Bible, but it backfired on them. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, wasn't tied to Christianity. He and his family were heavily involved with the ceremonial magick popular in his day, so he probably didn't understand the degree of addiction that Christians have to their religion, and the violent need to defend that fantasy, until much later when it was too late to change the tide of exoteric Christians flowing into the church.
In fact, at one point, Joseph told people that if he told them the truth, they would kill him on the spot for blasphemy.
Mormon whistle-blowers have said that esoteric Christianity, what Mormonism actually was in the beginning, was forced to go underground as more and more literal-minded Christians joined the church and started preaching their own conditioned perspectives. While Mormon temple worship and other secret groups within the fold attempted to keep esoteric Christianity alive, eventually, the truth was dismantled and completely lost even among those who had been entrusted with that tradition.
That was easy to see when hubby and I spent a few months investigating Mormon Fundamentalism as well as several underground Spiritual Healing groups within the Church. The alchemical roots of Joseph's work have been plucked out. The only truth left is the alchemical manuscript Joseph left behind, known as The Book of Mormon, probably because those who control its printing and distribution have no idea what it is. Like other Christian traditions, Mormons present their sacred book as a literal historical account rather than a guidebook for awakening and arising.
What Does it Mean to Awake?
The Mormon temple ceremony has been butchered over the years, eliminating all parts of the symbolic presentation that offend today's Christians, in order to increase their membership base, but the principles of awakening and arising, the essential activities needed to birth Christ in the heart, are still intact.
What's missing are the consequences you will receive if you decide to develop your awareness, thus enabling your soul to reach its full potential. Something permanent. In plain terms, you sacrifice your guts (your current attraction to the physical world; your me-ism), your heart (which often includes friends and family, but always includes indulging in negative emotions), and especially your current mindset (how you see others and respond to them) in order to exchange them for something new and grander.
In other words, awakening and arising requires you to sacrifice everything you currently are, or believe you are, which then provides the room needed for your soul to grow.
Awakening involves the ability to see our true motivations, that they are driven by the goal we set up as infants that everything in our life should be pain-free and pleasant all the time. It's when you can see clearly what's going on, that you're running around trying to get attention, approval, and a sense of importance because you feel you're entitled to those things just because you're alive. It's running around trying to avoid being ignored, disapproved of, criticized, or victimized when others won't do what you want them to do.
Awakening also involves being able to see the 6 basic decisions we made as infants and toddlers as to how to achieve our ultimate goal of avoiding all forms of pain and non-disturbance:
- whining and complaining
- demanding and sticking up for our rights
- pleasing others to avoid the consequences of not-pleasing them
- believing and obeying our authorities (includes quoting them)
- setting up a false front or starting self-improvement programs
- blaming others; setting up accounts against everyone and everything
Plus, trying to control everyone and everything in our environment in order to get what we think we want. All of this is self-knowledge, self-awakening. However, it's not doing anything about it. It's just recognizing that it is.
What Does it Mean to Arise?
|Create a New Purpose to Serve Life|
Once awake and educated about the self, awareness has to decide what to do with that knowledge. At this point in your journey, you have two choices:
- Accept your multiplicity and learn to live with it, using it wisely.
- Or, disown your multiplicity, separate from not-I, and put your true self back on the throne.
While you can't un-see what you've already seen, and hence will be forever changed by that revelation, the idea that once you've unplugged from The Matrix you can't go back to sleep, isn't true. I see people do this all the time. The Dursleys did it right after taking Harry Potter into the house. Standing up and actively re-evaluating everything you are isn't mandatory. You don't have to consciously report to Spirit clearly everything that's going on. You don't have to stop indulging in your negative emotions or give up striving for the 4 dual basic urges.
You are FREE to go back to sleep if that's what you want to do.
There are no have-to's in alchemy. You are FREE to be whatever you want to be.
For those who do want to stand up and arise to your full potential, alchemy shows you a way to do that, but keep in mind that the alchemical process isn't the only way to achieve a purer state of consciousness. Other methods are just as viable as alchemy is. What matters is what's valuable to you.
Value is the key that opens the door to greater and greater levels of consciousness.
However, alchemy isn't like The Secret, which tries to entice you by telling you that you can have all the material possessions you want, as long as you do things its way. Alchemy isn't about getting. It's about discovering your illusions and letting them go. It's about seeing the uselessness of the purpose and rules you set up for yourself as a child and letting them go. It's re-evaluating everything you believe and experimenting with those beliefs in order to transform them into knowledge. What isn't true for you, toss out.
The bottom line?
Arising is about tossing out the old purpose and creating a brand new purpose to live by every second of every day.
It's turning away from yourself and making a solid contribution to humanity. Your whole focus and purpose in life moves from me-me-me to serving Life instead. How you do that, and the new purpose you create, is up to you. The only requirement is that you do it consciously. In fact, if you still want to seek after the 4 Dual Basic Urges and decide to do that consciously, go ahead. There's no rule that says you can't seek after constant pleasure and excitement.
Odds are, you won't find it though because constant pleasure isn't the nature of this planet. The nature of this planet is challenge. If you want to grow and develop in consciousness, Life will arise to challenge you in some way that will enable that growth and development to occur. Growth doesn't come without challenge.
Some type of resistance is essential. It's like trying to make a tray of ice. You won't get ice, no matter how cold it gets, without a form that resists the free-flowing water. Flowing water doesn't freeze.
Christ is Our Awareness, Our Soul
Different spiritual traditions define awareness, soul, spirit, shadow, ego, and other alchemical aspects in different ways. That's fine. There is no right or wrong when it comes to relating these symbols to your personal journey of liberation. While some interpretations do depend on what it is you want to be liberated from, Christ as our awareness and soul, the astral body we create to house our true self, the Living Spirit, the One Power, is just how I perceive it, based on my personal experience with the alchemical process and what the Spirit has shown me.
For that reason, I don't agree with many others who believe that Harry is the New Soul, our personal Christ, and as such, will do the work of salvation for us if we just get out of his way and allow him to do the work. That doesn't fit with my understanding of the alchemical process. It is the Spirit that does the work of deactivating the not-I, and ultimately, Voldemort, provided the Soul (Hermione and Ron) is able to accurately and objective report to Spirit what is going on at any given moment.
While gaining self-knowledge is an important and essential step that can't be skipped, arising to do the work of observation and reporting accurately and objectively to Spirit is just as important and necessary as understanding what we actually are. Awareness is only an aspect of Spirit. In the end, the unicorn (Soul) and stag (Spirit) will unite together in the alchemical wedding, which takes place within the forest (the physical body) to form a permanent bond.
Spirit doesn't change. Spirit is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The conscious energy used to transmute base metals into pure consciousness is already pure consciousness and love. Finding that true part of ourselves and using it to serve Life will totally transform our lives from selfish greed to unselfish courage and unconditional love.
However, Spirit cannot live in unholy temples. We first have to wake up and actively purify our emotions (Ron) and mental processes (Hermione), as well as develop our awareness and soul by sacrificing everything that isn't real. That requires a pure awareness and active participation in the alchemical process. Anything less, and we are serving ourselves, rather than Life.