Alchemy and the Process of Initiation – Transformation and Growth through Challenges and Ordeals

The ancient art known as “Alchemy” dealt with the idea of soul purification and self-creation through masterful use of the will. It works through Universal Laws that govern all of the material world as a primary form of mind-over-matter, or the mind’s ability to willfully direct the behaviors of the body (subconscious) and determine what type of energies as states of consciousness we take on, become one with, and bring into expression as a way of creating ourselves by way of them. It works through the same laws that govern the chemistry of the body, where, when two or more substances are combined, they form a chemical reaction as biological processes of transformation. All change and transmutation comes from new combinations of some kind that form new relationships as a unique variable that alters it from its original state.

The alchemical process acts first to “purify” the substance (soul) to be transformed through various forms of changing the solution by filtering and separation, that identify and remove all impurities acquired through previous combinations and amalgamations, returning it to its virgin state. This process takes repeated steps of breaking down existing conditions and established patterns as active qualities, refining them through a process of distillation, and removing all corrupt aspects as weaknesses, vices, and vulnerabilities. Once returned to its original state, the true aspects of its character can then fully express and be developed into strengths as the means of true self-creation that comes from self-awareness, self-knowledge, and intentional actions and deeds. We can then act “on ourselves” to develop ourselves in very distinct ways by choosing what qualities we want to intentionally embody, become one with, and bring into expression as a way of apprehending those qualities and developing our character to include them.

       The Law of the Tetragrammaton or Tetrad (4), demonstrates this process and method of “becoming” through the Dyad (Vesica Pisces) as the blending together of two energy fields, joined at the center, where outside energies serve to stimulate and awaken those same energies in us, and together in the overlapping area, form an interference pattern as the reconfiguration of that pattern in both to form a new variation. This new variation of the same quality and idea, births the Triad as its offspring as an inner or imagined idea that provides the subconscious pattern for producing its outer equivalent as a projection or reflection, birthing its correspondence as an outer expression or experience of reality, represented by the Tetrad.

This same principle is demonstrated in the most primary law of all, the Law of Vibration, which states that whenever we vibrate in harmony with something else, we act to magnetically draw it into us through sympathetic induction, blending with it, and both of our complementary, yet variable vibrations influence each other and begin vibrating in-sync, forming coherence as a new vibratory rate that together forms a new pattern. This law forms the very foundation as a guided process for not only realizing “how” we’re being shaped all the time by whatever we associate and interact with energetically, but for how to engage in and use that same process intentionally as a means of developing ourselves.

The same process of returning a solid substance to a fluid state, purifying it by breaking down and dissolving all impurities and corruption, then reforming it through new combinations, occurs naturally in life anytime we’re faced with challenges, ordeals, major life crisis, and extreme forms of hardship and loss, where we’re forced to reevaluate our life and values, and embrace our identity with a full sense of awareness. It’s easy to see that the only time we change or grow in some way, is when we have to in order to overcome or negotiate a new situation that presents a problem or unfamiliar territory. It’s only when we’re taken out of our comfort zone, our ordinary conditions, circumstances, and situations that we’ve become accustomed to, and thrown into brand new, unexpected situations that we’re forced to respond by acting in a new and deliberate way. Where we go through the process in our mind of not knowing what to do, no previous experience or memory to draw off of or repeat, and we go through a decision process that requires us to willfully act it out, usually going against our own natural and habitual tendencies. Only in these moments are we truly self-creating in a fully aware manner. We’re initiating and producing our own reality that brings us into a new feeling and sense of ourselves. We embody qualities that we’ve never really expressed or developed before, and they transform us as a result. While in these moments, we’re back into a position, often for the first time as an adult, of having to make conscious decisions in every instance of what we’re going to do, how we’re going to be, and what we’re going to act intentionally to create.

        The process of initiation in the ancient mysteries, prepared the initiate by putting them in extremely challenging situations that were designed to invoke extreme fear and a deep sense of insecurity, which revealed their will to either give-up or give-in, or to persevere and push through difficulties, developing great mental fortitude through the process. The object was to not only become fearless, but to also be able to remain calm, highly focused, clear minded, and confident in extreme situations of all kinds. This came through the ability to not allow the energy challenging you to enter into your sphere of consciousness and alter your state of mind to match and be “like it”. This is what you might call a form of reverse engineering of the initial process of alteration through “combining and coupling” represented by the Dyad. In this process you deflect the energy, keeping it outside of you, refrain from reacting to it in any manner while staying centered and grounded internally, and in doing so, you neutralize the energy and act instead to influence and direct it through your mental projections and actions.

All of life evolves out of various combinations as the relationships of complementary opposites that act on each other to transform each other to be more alike. Every person or being that we meet or interact with, is acting naturally just through the nature of the interaction to make us like them, and we act to make them like us. This is what all relationships are, a natural method of transformation through adaptation and modification that (re)forms a new whole as a variation. This process is always going on between us and everything around us all the time at the subconscious, unaware level of the mind. We are constantly absorbing, integrating, assimilating, and becoming “like” the energy around us as a basic form of evolution that keeps us in the same state and condition as the environment we exist in, function as a part of, and have to survive in. Once we fully understand this law and fact, we have the tools necessary to work by way of that same law to consciously direct and influence the operation.

All energy is a form of consciousness that exists as “qualities” and feelings that naturally produce certain types of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The spiritual-energetic world exists in a parallel dimension to the physical as a hierarchical structure. Whatever exists on a “lower plane” is fully contained within the higher plane as its foundation. The higher plane, which contains the entire lower plane, is what acts to govern and sustain that plane. The invisible plane of energy, which is consciousness, is what shapes matter as essence into form through imagined thoughts. An idea introduced into the mind as a frequency or feeling, stimulates and initiates a thought process that forms it into an image of some kind as a reality in the mind’s eye (3rd eye), that’s further developed and evolved through a narration as internal dialogue. The entire physical, manifest world is produced and animated by consciousness as thought, intention, and imagination. And it’s through this same process, by working with the laws of the higher plane governing the lower plane that we direct and work with the energies of the lower plane.

       Once we return to a virgin state through the process of being broke down through constant challenges and crisis, where all illusions that prevented us from seeing ourselves and life as it really is dissolve, revealing only what’s real and eternal and unchangeable, we’re in the position to not only take over control of our own development, but can develop the necessary capacities of the mind that prevent us from being influenced, altered, and corrupted by others. All energy as states that produce emotional realities can be directed and brought into a submissive state by the will. We can control and regulate all energy within our own mental sphere (immediate surroundings) by exercising our will to direct it. This is not the same thing as “imposing our will on others” in an attempt to control and influence them to think, feel, and behave in a certain way, but rather to exercise full dominion over ourselves and our own mind and soul. Alchemy doesn’t concern itself with the idea or need to somehow change others, but only with the mastery necessary to become fully self-determined and self-controlled. The best way we have of influencing others is by controlling our own state and behaviors in how we interact with them, which influences them to “match us”.

Once we realize that our mind exists as a spherical field of energy that not only permeates and surrounds our body, encapsulating it, but also extends out into the environment around us quite some distance, and is always mingling with and taking on the energy of everything else, we can begin acting deliberately to regulate our energy field by using our will and imagination to determine what we allow in to become a part of us, and what we keep out or deflect, so it doesn’t affect or alter us. If we learn how to tune into the energy in any situation and become aware of how it interacts with us to transform us through resonance, we can learn how to “sense it” by feeling it while imagining its quality, motives, and behavior, while keeping it “outside of us”. We can then realize that people who are willfully projecting through some form of intensity, and those who live out of and are always expressing and projecting strong emotions of some sort, can only “enter into us” and infect us, becoming a part of our mind, if we choose to let them.

Energetic interactions take place naturally at the subconscious level, where, even though we realize how strongly we’re affected by them, we don’t realize what’s actually going on in the objective sense. We don’t realize that by becoming aware of what operates at the unconscious level, we can learn how to work with it consciously (with awareness). We can imagine an invisible barrier around us as the outer edge of our mental sphere where ideas and emotions being projected at us by others are allowed to reflect and “spread out” so we can see them as if “looking through a transparent image”, where we can “read them accurately” while preventing them from entering our mind and altering our state accordingly. By practicing this, we can remain calm, centered, and unaffected while in the midst of extremes and intensity of any kind. By remaining neutral in the presence of projected emotions we act to neutralize and diffuse them. But most importantly, we exercise the ability to regulate our own mind and body. This is a key ability of vital importance in terms of intentional self-creation.

        In this same manner we can consciously choose energy that we do want to blend with and become one with as a means of intentionally acquiring the same qualities. While we tend to use terms like “acquire”, “apprehend”, or” get”, to describe the energy and consciousness we embody as a means of developing qualities in ourselves, the fact is we don’t ever “get energy” as qualities “from” something else outside of us, but they act instead, through resonance, to “awaken” and bring into an active state those same qualities that are already “in” us. We then develop them through repetitive expression to become a prominent part of our character. Anything that we consistently develop through expression and interaction of some sort becomes a habit as second nature, which means we begin doing it naturally in an automatic fashion without direct awareness, having to think about it, or exerting intentional effort.

This same process of union as combining and coupling with someone or something else as the natural means of transforming and growing, is represented in what’s called the “chemical marriage” of Alchemy, as the relationship between the active and passive forces of the same mind and soul, and the conscious minds ability to direct, guide, and create by way of the subconscious mind as a unified and harmonious act. It’s learning how to make an adjustment through an understanding of sympathy and antipathy, attraction and repulsion, magnetizing and projecting. By learning how to use our own personal will to seed and work to create through our subconscious, we create both ourselves and our reality in an intentional and purposeful manner.

       Likewise, the burning away of impurities as character flaws, unconscious complexes and tendencies, incorrect evaluations and calculations, or bad habits we developed as unconscious conditioning, we can resolve our bad (self-destructive) karma and create a more positive and beneficial form of karma. Redemption comes by first bringing what’s operating in our life unconsciously into conscious awareness where we can not only see what we’re doing and why, but we can also begin working with it consciously to resolve it. All manifestations produced by actions can be cancelled out and brought back into a balanced state through equilibration of opposites. It’s only by realizing and owning our own part in things that we see clearly what we’re doing in any situation that acting to co-create it, whether passively or actively, that we can willfully change our own perceptions and behaviors. It’s by counteracting an idea that we transform it by reformulating it, bringing what’s out of balance (emphasized) and being done unconsciously back into balance through awareness that brings realization. The realization alone is what acts to dissolve and transform the illusion. To redeem ourselves from an attitude and the actions that result from it, is to form and embody the opposite attitude and action, and repeat it consistently until it becomes automatic and something that we do without thinking about it. We can only be transformed and evolved by what becomes a habit as an essential part of our nature (through reprogramming our subconscious).

Those of us who came into this life with many difficulties, challenges, and ordeals to overcome, are naturally walked through a process of initiation as soul purification, often without realizing it. Others intentionally choose a hard life because there’s a desire in them to meet and overcome difficulties. Still others refuse to compromise their dignity in a world that teaches conformity at the cost of morality, and in doing so, welcome the consequences of integrity, which can often seem brutal. All growth and development, in the sense of being the soul’s only true goal and purpose in life, is considered an act of love from a higher, spiritual perspective. It’s only when we’re challenged and overwhelmed and we reign as victor, that we’re exalted. The greater our fall, the more exalted our rising. It’s only when we push through tremendous odds, and when faced with devastation and wrought with unimaginable grief, in those darkest moments when we’re forced to reach down into our unknown depths of our self to find our true source of light and power that we ascend to the higher rungs by virtue of our own volition.

Dr. Linda Gadbois

Spiritual Life Coach and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine Mentor

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