SYMBOLISM: PART TWO

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THE ALCHEMY OF LIFE

            Alchemy is a notion extending into history, even as far back as ancient and mythological times, with beliefs which are very akin to both “rational” scientific theories as well as irrational sciences (mysticism included). Basically, alchemy has to do with transformation base metals like iron or copper into noble metals like gold and silver. There are fables in alchemy that include the Philosopher’s Stone, which is a piece of stone said to possess alchemical properties and magical powers that even alluded to this stone being an elixir of life, a fountain of youth or bringer of immortality. Unfortunately, like many other stories or accounts, the true meaning of alchemy has been lost in literacy.

In ancient times, people used the notion of alchemy not in literal terms, but in spiritual terms. Of course, the powers-that-were actually believed that their magicians could convert base metals to noble metals because they wanted to amass wealth as such. However, if one focuses on the symbolism behind the notion of alchemy, one realizes that alchemy has to do with the transformation and transcendence of human consciousness, from the base form of ignorance or dominance of the ego, to the golden form of enlightenment, supreme consciousness or divinity. Just as the Philosopher’s Stone symbolizes perfection at its finest, a transcended consciousness is one that is basically enlightened; it is consciousness that completely, unconditionally aware of its true identity, which is boundless, formless, timeless, pure and one. Alchemy, therefore, represents the transformation of human consciousness from the lie of an ego-based existence to the truth about who one really is.

Jesus, the Christ, said the following at one time:

“If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free,” John 8:31-32

What he meant actually meant by “continue in my word” was that we all should be alchemist, striving to transform our consciousness by our lives to a more deific form. Remember, diamond is just charcoal that has handled stress very well. In the end, it is our birth right and perhaps our ultimate purpose for existing. When we, as alchemists, have put worked on our spiritual evolution to the point that our consciousness has attained a golden form, we will become the truth and, indeed, this truth will definitely set us free.

 

SYMBOLISMS

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PART I: YOGA.

            In the western civilizations, yoga has become a part of a fitness program, with its original eastern teachings and meanings being lost in the misconstrued mindset of the west. However, a compendium on yoga would be physical, mental and spiritual practices that are meant to still the mind, or bring the mind to permanent peace. It is the stilling of the ever-changing states of the mind and hence bringing it to union with the divine (with stillness itself). It is interesting to read that in the Christian Bible, being still has a direct connection to knowing God.

            ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ Psalm 46.10.

            If one takes a look at a spinning wheel, one notices that as the wheel spins, every single point of the wheel that spins in one direction has an opposite and equal spin in the other direction. For every bit of sorrow, there is a little joy. For every bit of happiness, there is a little sadness; and it goes on and on. Isaac Newton sums this up in his Third Law of Motion:

            ‘For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.’

These are the various states of the mind and when one becomes trapped or identified in this situation of feeling subject to the ever-changing states of mind, one then becomes trapped in the melodrama of world of the ego, or the world of illusion.

            But even though the wheel is spinning, the very center of the wheel does not. It is the immovable center and is not subject to the ever-changing state of the spinning wheel. The purpose of yoga is to bring one to the state of the immovable mind, stillness or union with the divine (or what some folks have termed as ‘God’). So it is recommended that whenever one is practicing yoga, one could appreciate the fact that there is more to yoga than just the physical aspect of it. True peace is peace that one experiences when one is free from the constructs of the ever-changing states of the mind. It is one that is obtained only through stillness of the mind (the immovable center), which is the same as union with the divine. Yoga could help one get to that state of mind and being.