Philosophy, practice & the Philosopher’s Stone
Alchemy is a philosophy and practice that has its origins in ancient Egyptian and Greek times. There is both an inner and outer expression of alchemy. The outer being the scientific, exoteric or objective experience that was associated with the transmutation of natural substances such as turning ordinary base metals like lead into more refined metals like gold. It was also concerned with finding external elixirs to remedy all diseased conditions with the goal of perfect health and immorality. This outer alchemy became the foundation for the now modern field of chemistry. We can see evidence of this in fields like pharmacology that alter the chemical structure of matter in order to change its form and function.
There is also an inner alchemy that is spiritual, esoteric or subjective in nature that is associated with the transmutation of the inner immaterial being or consciousness rather than the outer material form. The idea is the same however in that its goal is the purification and refinement of our essence from an ordinary state of being into an extraordinary state of being. The resultant experience of this process is the knowing of our truer, more distilled, purer, refined self. In modern times this can also be explained as the process of enlightenment or waking up that is spoken about in psychological and spiritual groups.
Within the philosophy of alchemy there is a search for something called the “philosopher’s stone.” The philosopher’s stone was the “substance” that allowed for this transmutation into something more refined or evolved to occur. The core tenant of alchemy is that everything is evolving into a state of greater perfection. This includes metals, plants, animals, humans and consciousness itself. There is question as to whether the philosopher’s stone/substance was an actual stone or a metaphorical stone. Clearly in the modern field of chemistry this substance/“stone” would be chemicals as that is what shifts the composition of the material. When looking for this substance from the inner alchemical perspective the substance would be spiritual power aka life force, love or the soul. The soul being that element or substance which allows for transmutation from ordinary beingness into extraordinary beingness.
Your Inner Alchemist
We all have an inner alchemist. It is called our soul. Some people are more familiar with their inner alchemist than others, in fact some people don’t know or deny the presence of it altogether. Whether you are aware of or deny your inner alchemist or not does not make it any less real or present. In time all gets revealed.
The soul is that immaterial substance that breaths through all forms. Forms being physical bodies, trees, plants, animals, rocks, as well as thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations. Soul is what is actually alive, intelligent and present within all things. Other words for soul are life force, love, God, beauty, breath, energy, awareness, intelligence, consciousness, light, Sun, life. Soul is the agent of life, vitality, movement and change. When we are not aware of soul life seems to be happening to us as we view ourselves as objects that are done onto, we perceive things as random and disorganized, and the seamless connectedness of all of life is absent from our awareness. Life appears as separate pieces and parts and never is the picture seen as whole.
On the other hand when we are aware of soul, interconnectedness is evident and intelligent design is no longer denied. Instead of life happening to us we realize that we are life. This is fundamental to our awakening and the essential ingredient that makes the shift from ordinary being to extraordinary being and from the perspective of separate to one with/as. The intimate knowing of soul bridges the gap, is the alchemical elixir, the inner philosopher’s stone, the transmutational esoteric substance that allows for the knowingness of the divine perfection of all to be revealed.
Soul is a metamorphosing agent. It is pure intelligence. It knows how to perfectly unfold, reveal, and evolve itself. The process of soul being realized is a metamorphosis that all are experiencing in every moment. All consciousness is growing and moving towards the light of soul. Soul is like a ray of sunshine that is constantly guiding, illuminating, informing and growing you, and you are continuing inch by inch, getting closer and closer to it. The unification with it is the realization of it as you. The real you, not the personality-body you. This is the full acceptance of the divine self as you.
Soul then is awake in this body-mind vehicle. The most refined, distilled aspect of light shining through. Free agency having realized itself as abiding in these forms, and all forms. This is the inner alchemical transmutation of consciousness. This intelligent design is the pre-programmed program of all of life. All consciousness will wake up to itself, realize itself as the life principle, as the one creator. This is the end of forgetfulness and beginning of eternal life.
Amanda Hessel, Aligned as Love