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.

 

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PONDERISMS

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PART ONE: I AM.

            Whenever one is asked to the question, “Could you please tell me something about yourself?” the general answer to this question would constitute one’s name, age, work/educational status, relationship status, location, family, and sometimes ethnicity and nationality. Usually, these responses are nothing but a regurgitation of various aspects of one’s conditioning that one has donned on oneself as factual and true (and in a sense these are all true). They constitute one’s ‘story’ and, consequently, on a broader scale, one’s identity.

The very term ‘identity’ comes from two Latin words “idem”, which means “same” or identical”, and “facere”, which means “to make”. So an identity is something that is trying to make or create a semblance of something else (that is original). It is an imitation of the real thing; meaning that an identity is merely a copy, a fake or an illusion of what is real. There is actually nothing wrong with having an identity; it is part and parcel of the three-dimensional plane on which one resides. However, when one becomes trapped in this sense of self that is fake and false, and holds this to be ultimately true, then one becomes misguided and one misses the point. In other words, when one holds on to the illusion as true, then one is bound to suffer in the very ignorance that one finds oneself in. As such, one is bound to ask the very question that Humankind has been asking since its very existence; WHO AM I?

The letter “I” may be the loneliest letter in the English alphabet, but at the same time, it is the only letter that holds the ultimate truth and in the same breath, harbors the only illusion there is. It is no coincidence that the personal pronoun “I” when translated to Latin is “ego”, which is the exact, general term used to describe the world of form; the ego. Usually, many people ascribe all that is negative to this term, but that may not be entirely true. We just stated about that the ego represents all that is in the world of illusion and that includes all the bad and all the good. Yes, the ego also includes all that is good. Let us use some examples to explain this situation.

Would you classify a knife as dangerous or something good? The argumentative response would be that “it depends on what it’s used for” and this is justified. Use a knife to cook some food and feed the hungry, and it you have done something good. Use a knife to commit murder, and you have done something bad. So, is a knife a good thing or a bad thing? The fact is, a knife just is, but it is one’s individual perception or the way one uses a knife that brings about the notion of a knife being a good thing or a bad thing. The medium of the mind then sets in and causes a situation in which a knife is either identified as something good or something bad. I would like to refer the reader to my post entitled The Analogy of Light for further understanding on the subject of how the medium of the mind can cause aberrations of the truth and generate illusions.

We return to the question again of WHO AM I? In the previous two paragraphs, we have focused on the illusionary part of the letter “I”. Now we will focus on the ultimate truth of this letter. Consider the following scenario. If one plants a seed of corn in the ground, it bears corn. The same is true with any other seed. The human body is merely a vessel, albeit a most amazing and complex protoplasmic constituency. Regardless, it is still a vessel, a house, a temple. Various religions and cultures hold this same belief. The Christian Bible even has some verses in them relating to this situation:

          “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Please note that the verse says “your body” and not “you are the temple of the Holy Spirit.” This belief is so profound that the Ancient Egyptians built an entire temple to mimic the human physiognomy at Luxor that has been called The Temple of Man.

So, if our bodies are just temples, then who are we? In the story of creation of the first couple in the Book of Genesis, it is says:

“And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life.” Genesis 2:7.

If Man (formed out of the ground) is symbolic of the ground and the Breath of Life is symbolic of the God-life (for lack of a better term), then who are we? If corn seeds beget corn, bean seeds beget beans, then who does God, The Divine, The All-That-Is, The Nameless-Formless One (and all the myriad of names that have been given to this “entity”) beget? Every time one says, “I am this or that.” one assigns limits to your true nature and being. One is going for papier marche instead of the real deal. One is settling for the lie instead of the truth. The Christian Bible has a very simple (but frightening to most) answer to this question:

“I have said, ‘You are Gods…’” Psalms 82:6

And when Moses asked the Voice in the burning bush what to tell the Israelites when he (Moses) was asked who sent him, the Voice said:

“I Am who I Am,” Exodus 3:14

Since you hail from and are inseparable from this same fabric of divinity and truth, the answer to the question “WHO AM I?” is the same response given to Moses, or in simpler terms: I AM….

GOOD FRIDAY: APRIL 2, 2010.

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As far as I’m concerned, there was nothing good about that day. At 3:05pm, I just left work and was going to the store when the call came in. My world as I knew it changed for good. I have never been the same person and, to be honest, a part of me died that day as well. I got the call from my brother. It was something I never expected; something I never thought it would ever happen. I mean, it may be a natural thing. But when it came to the greatest man who ever lived, it was never supposed to happen. The greatest man who ever lived, my father, had just passed away.

An avalanche of emotions hit me that same moment. Time ceased! I felt shock, grief, anger, confusion, sadness and worst of all pain, in one uncanny, malefic, sledge-hammer, and soul-crushing slam on my reality. This was never supposed to happen. My father cannot die! He’s my father! There was still so much we had to, so much more I had to do for him, he never even got to see his future grand children from me! The last I remember of him when he was alive, was at the airport when he turned around one more time to look at me and call my name right before he went to the terminal! That was the last I saw of him; and exactly twenty-eight days later, he left this world. His life expired.

I could not even cry like I wanted to at the funeral. I had to stay strong and comfort my sisters. They were an emotional train-wreck! I had to step away to wail like a child, because if my sisters saw me, they would break down even further. My brothers tried to stay strong as well, but this was our father and one could only stay strong for so long. In my privacy, I let it all out! The pain never eased up, the heartache never faded! I’d give everything I have, everything that I am to hear him laugh once again, or hear him snore across the house once again. I’d give it all up without batting an eye, without even thinking!

It only gets a little more tolerable over the years, but the pain is still as fresh as spring water from the mountains. I burn a candle for him every now and then. I burn a candle on April 2nd of every year since then and on his birthday and I cry and cry. I have had to stop so many times during this writing to dry my eyes and catch my breath. This has been the hardest piece of writing I have ever done in my life. I have grown a little stronger, but the pain is still there. At this point in time, I feel like nothing else and no one can harm me because I have experienced the worst there is to experience. A part of me may have died that day as well, but as long as my father lives in my heart, the part of me that died gave birth to a new, stronger and improved me.

I miss you, Dad! I really do!

But I love you more and you’ll always be alive in my heart.