The process of separation in spiritual alchemy is represented by the element of air. The element of air here represents the observation of the intellect and the extraction and separation of the hidden aspects of the ego thought system from the Self where it is embedded. Just as the Heavens are separated from the Earth by a curved line, so to are the finite and the particular divided off from the infinite and the Universal by a membrane. Unless the characteristics defining these two qualities (the personal and Universal) are differentiated by cleaving them apart from each other, the lesser is mistaken for the greater and neither are wholly themselves. The lesser value is then imbued a perception of ultimate value and the power of life flows to it making it seem to live on its own, while that which has precious and Eternal value and is joined to the All, seems a useless and unintelligible thing.
During this operation of spiritual alchemy our unconscious patterns of thought and emotion arise into the view of our conscious awareness. We become aware of the true nature of our feelings and actions toward others and ourselves, placing their merits and deficits in the proper categories. Unconscious motivations, inherited beliefs and desires, judgments and the dreamscapes they have cultivated by their impressions within us, now reveal their essential qualities. The miner and the smith learn to recognize pyrite from gold by their subtle properties and at a glance they know them. So also does a spiritual alchemist learn to differentiate the direct light from the thing that reflects it, and makes no mistake about its Source.
The separation stage is a crucial step in the process of transformation as we extract the pure essence from the rest of the mixture. Distributed throughout our mixture is potash, salt and the calx of our calcined body, intermixed with precious silver and its hidden gold.
In mitosis, cells divide off from one another reproducing themselves and regenerating the organism. The information each cell contains must be copied correctly and communicated to the new cell, yet some of that information had been communicated incorrectly due to mutation errors resulting from the conditioning of the biological entity’s evolutionary inheritance. The part contains the whole and the whole is embedded in the part, as its been said, and so the errors transmitted in the identity’s conceptualization of the whole had been carried down the generations into and through the cellular parts. In other words, the cell contains both information related to the entire organism and information regarding its specific job in the specialized organ to which it belongs, and any mistakes passed down the line of the generations are given the opportunity for correction here.
This is the turning point in the transformational potency of the Art – when we succeed – since what does not come from above will no longer be included in what is expressed below. Like the palimpsest which has been erased in preparation for reuse, here the code inlaid on the biological papyrus is washed clean and the blank slate is prepared to receive an unadulterated impression of truth.
That information regarding the nature of the whole is now able to be properly conducted into the parts so that the biology can encode the true suppositions of the psyche and carry them out in the corporeal form of the body. This is what we mean by the term “healing”. The false is discarded and the true is inculcated more comprehensively. But before our senses verify the new reality we must first understand or at the very least “believe”, because the thought always comes before the manifest proof.
Just as nature shows us that flowers come before the fruits, meaning the glory and beauty are first and the nourishment is second, just as the flowering of understanding comes before the ripening of its demonstrations. This is to say that the comprehension of the whole comes first from the above to the below making its impressions there. Then, the impressions received from your luminous understanding are reflected upward again and the whole of Earth and Heaven are witnesses. You know you are healed and then the proof is seen by all.
Since we can, “separate the subtle from the gross carefully and with great ingenuity”, transcription errors and information decay is reduced and each new generation makes improvements on the one before, since the information gathered is more comprehensive. Therefore, after seven to ten years, all the cells are replaced and re-encoded according to the vault of the stars, rather than the dust of the Earth.
This stage of the alchemical process in other words, involves a sorting out of qualities and conditions with the discriminating eye of the Soul. At the level of the psyche we can see this discernment manifest in our cutting away the false from the true in our notions of identity and reality. We see ever more clearly that we are not our thoughts, and not our emotions. Whatever we can see as an object of our awareness, is not the Self. The Self is that which observes all objects. Even the body, it’s gender and the biography of personality are objects set apart from the I AM which is the true location of the Self. Those qualities that have their root in subjectivity, the unique and the particular are understood to be inferior in scope and degree on the spectrum of value, reality and identity.
Here we separate out the parts from the whole that we did not notice previously. The distinction between the ego mind can be veiled by its constant chatter which can hide the natural presence of the true self. We differentiate and gain objectivity over our inner states our mental and emotional processes by observing ourselves from a witnessing awareness. We become increasingly sensitive to the subtle effects of negativity, obligation, and motivational investments that arise from the felt sense of a lack of wholeness.
We observe the routine of mental patterns, emotional reactions and behaviors that come from the conditioned self. Its as if we are watching ourselves from another person’s point of view. We become objectively aware of ourselves, seeing the personality as an expression of the past conditioning of the culture, the education system our family and environment. Because we have learned greater self love and compassion and collected greater conscious awareness to ourselves, our powers of attention are aimed at detached self observation.
We start to notice with greater acuity the differences between our authentic self and our conditioned self. The part that moves through life based on lack and fear verses that which moves based on inspiration and wisdom. Many of the beliefs and mental ideas governing our lives have been seen to one degree or another as a construction of the mind. We notice that they either repeat the old errors of lack and fear from the belief in separation, or they extend peace and resonate a deeper truth of eternal beingness.
Our moments of transcendental consciousness and alignment with the higher mind have revealed the powerful presence of our spiritual potential. We have glimpsed the profound freedom of our deeper nature when we stop repeating the mental patterns of need, anxiety and the myriad forms of egoic thought.
We know that the world can not be easily parsed out into good and evil, right and wrong, pain and pleasure, but here in our own mind we see the stark contrast of freedom and bondage in our every thought. The contrast between reality and illusions in our own inner most experience becomes clear. We see that in every moment we are serving one of two forces within us. One type of force fosters ease and grace and leads to abundance, connection and clarity of thought and feeling, while the other creates tension, a subtle sense of fear and lack.
Going on autopilot in the past had meant that the unconscious mind was choosing the conflicted mind, directing the self to enacting the conditioned self rather than choosing conscious freedom. But now self-awareness has grown to such a powerful degree that a new habit is being formed, a habit of vigilance toward choosing again.
We quickly identify the real source of each stream of thought and emotion. And it becomes clear which ones stem from the conditioned mind, leading to struggle, and which ones come from Spirit and lead to peace. Our new objective awareness enables us to recognize how our biases and assumptions influence our perspectives and decisions and we are no longer attached to them. Those streams of thought and action which stem from vanity or fear no longer hold sway as they once did. Our sense of inner wholeness and our connection to the Source of inner wisdom exposes unhelpful attitudes for what they are.
Suddenly we find the temptation to follow false paths dries up. We seem to intuit at the beginning of a stream of thought where it comes from and where it leads before it even gets going. The moment we find ourselves being taken down the trail of an out moded pattern, again we step off.
We have choses at the deepest level of our being that we prefer peace, joy and contentment over struggling for security and illusory rewards. Our sensitivity to making qualitative distinctions has reached a whole new level. We easily observe the core essence of motivations and perspectives within us and within the things around us. We pull away and become disinterested in false-hoods, negative emotional triggers and superficial rewards that the world and the ego mind tries to use to keep us on a leash.
Everything that does not produce deep value and soulful inspiration no longer cons or seduces us into chasing after it. No sense of false obligation or hallow threat can cudgel us into following a useless pattern. Our inner wisdom has revealed a deeper truth that we can no longer ignore. Fear does not inspire us to act in alignment with our deeper selves. Our true security and freedom comes from a sense of possibility, detachment and curiosity.
The appearance of danger and superficial value is seen through as the illusion that it is. We no longer believe that the conditioned mind’s reactions and reflexes of control lead to good outcomes. We have seen in powerful ways that the mystery of being and the spontaneous expression of Spirit in us is far more capable of leading the way. When we are aligned with our authentic selves, we feel at peace. When we are moving toward our hearts true desires and goals our sense of purpose is enlivened. In a state of inner alignment, the feeling of ease and peace is palpable. The moment we pick up an old pattern of egoic thought, tension is there.
In alignment a ray of sun shines on our soul, and in the moment we loose that connection we feel the rain clouds gathering. Those desires which seek to protect our ego or fill the false self with shallow rewards feels uncomfortable. The choice point being offered from the veil of the mind reveals the meaninglessness of those ideas before they fully take hold of us. The moment a reaction to a perceived threat arises, we watch in objective self-acceptance as the temptation to believe an illusion falls away. By practicing mindfulness and compassionate curiosity we quickly recover from the temptation to follow false paths of thinking and emotion.
We have seen how the mind becomes ensnared by illusions through emotional investment. Quick to conclude right and wrong good and bad just and unjust. Yet we have also observed that deeper meaning and purpose underlies everything and if we are contracted in emotional reactions we fail to understand some of the most essential portions of every situation. We see that there is no need to change anything, or fix anything on our own, and never from a place of struggle and emotional intensity. By simply looking and feeling without attaching ourselves to our experience we move more quickly through challenging experiences. Then without conflict or unnecessary struggle, solutions emerge effortlessly and often in ways our rational mind’s never would have expected. Here we begin to see that there are two distinct ways of being.
The ways of the world, and the ways of spirit.
The ways of the world are limited, strategic, based on transactional rewards and incentives, motivated by fear and types of control. The ways of the world are conditional, mechanistic in there causes and effects. All our institutions and social agreements default on this mode of being. We are all expected to understand and obey the thought system inherent in this implicit system of rules, beliefs and patterns of behavior.
Yet we can also see that this mode of living puts us at the mercy of the ego’s thought system. by aligning with it we are conscripted into patterns of thinking, feeling and doing that are inherently conflicted, and competitive leading us into a world of suffering and confusion. The world is divided up in to friends and enemies, threats and rewards, things to be desired and things to be feared. One has to justify their value and orient themselves in this landscape from this dualistic backdrop, reenforcing us to the old conditioning of accepting or rejecting everything – likes and dislikes, desire and satisfaction, good and evil.
In this thought system we are driven by the stick and the carrot, moving toward some things and away from other things sorting out the whole world into parts. This had fragmented us deep within, splitting us to the core. It had become such a pervasive and all encompassing context for our being that we could not be our true selves and the pain of that covered over by the distractions of the world. But now we see the ways of spirit are also here if we choose it. We can move through the world by grace, and inspiration, seeking to be a blessing to others, to learn the ways of spirit and its divine laws. We see that cause and effect are not limited to linear time, miracles can happen.
Healing and transformation is the new currency of our authentic selves. As we turn over control to the higher intelligence of Spirit the unexpected and inspired brings greater ease and delight to our lives and the lives of those around us. We realize the multidimensional nature of consciousness and the divine laws of nature and seek to understand and collaborate with them and find more joy and awe in our lives because of it. Problems that seemed insurmountable before, suddenly dissolve as if they never existed in ways we never thought possible.
The real world begins to disclose itself to us, a field of infinite potential governed by divine laws of love. This world is unlimited by the notions of what can or should be the case. The aughts and heavy facts of reality the world teaches us are shown to not be fixed, and only if we agree to them do they seem real to us.
Ours is a golden world of magic and miracles waiting for us the moment we surrender our expectations for things to be hard heavy and painful. Instead of transactional incentives the world becomes a place of sharing blessings, giving without requirements for reward and compensation. Fear and threats fall away as we begin to trust more and more that there is a divine order to our lives. An enchanted world governed by the intelligent laws of love seeking to heal and evolve us takes the place of all other contracts.
The true desire for healing and transformation, spiritual knowledge and liberation clears away the obstacles in our lives, turning them in to teaching tools for the Holy Spirit. We begin to expect miracles and dramatic blessings to come to our lives because we known that the function of the world is to heal us and free us from our egoic illusions.
This collaborative co-creation with a higher intelligence turns our ordinary struggles into delightful teaching and learning opportunities with spirit, and more and more we learn to follow the inspiration of the authentic mind, the higher self which is in harmony with the underlying intelligence of nature.
Now day by day we come to enjoy giving, being a blessing to others and apprenticing ourselves to our inner teacher who loves us unconditionally. Lifetimes of hurt and karma drain off our soul and we become increasingly empowered to fulfill our spiritual function. Our sacred purpose that nourishes our sense of aliveness more than anything else in this world.
Everything in our lives begins to take on deeper meaning and purposefulness, leading us into the golden world. We begin to realize that our problems and challenges are not things to be gotten rid of. They are not punishments, but teaching tools of the divine within. Each aspect of our life circumstances provides a meaningful and necessary ingredient for our healing and transformation. Not something to be eradicated and overcome but embraced and understood, because within it is a key piece of wisdom for our spiritual growth.
When we discover the true meaning and evolutionary value in our life experiences we expand our wisdom and knowledge, transforming a key component of our psyche. We don’t solve our problems then or manifest our desires like giving a shopping list to the holy spirit. Instead we learn to see our struggle as a gift of learning that we have yet to open. It is a treasure that will provide us a new understanding, greater wisdom, humility and spiritual alignment.
When we suspect the benevolent intention behind all things in our lives we begin to feel grateful for everything, even the challenges in our lives. We start to understand that they are our teachers, teaching us how to be free from the ego’s thought system. From this humble, gentle and joyful position we reclaim our innocence and seek higher wisdom and understanding in all the circumstances of our lives.
We realize more and more the whole purpose of life is to learn and heal and grow. Not merely to work and struggle but make progress toward the destiny of our embodied soul and to make progress toward the whole plan of evolution. With every breakthrough the inner teacher’s unlimited love and power is revealed to us, and rather than trusting our mind’s thoughts and the worlds demands, we put ourselves into its loving care. Every time we do, we learn to trust it more and more. The magic of the golden world is revealed to us and the chains of fear and lack are removed one by one.
We also see that we have so much more to learn, but learning and spiritual growth is more fun than anything else the ego mind thinks has value. Gradually we are lead into a process of spiritual purification, and transformation that completely reshapes our-lives. As we gain greater mastery over our self awareness and compassion, we become more enlivened, creative and peaceful and watch in awe as many of the most intractable difficulties in our lives become renewed.
By separating out our subjective awareness from the ego mind, becoming objective to ourselves the split in the world, the dualistic thought system at the center of everything begins to unify. We watch in detached curiosity as paradoxes and dualisms go by the sky of the mind like clouds, without attaching to them or condemning them. We simply watch and observe, embracing everything as it is without trying to control or avoid it.
As this pattern of objective self observation – the witnessing awareness becomes more fully rooted in us as an unconscious habit, a deeper level of conscious connection to the inner teacher can begin to take form.
We can see that there are many layers of healing and transformation to take place, but begin to trust that the wisdom needed for such a profound process is just there, right at the next level of our stillness and relaxation. We then begin to relax at a deeper level. practicing stillness, quite and trust, not because we need to or because we want something for ourselves, but because we hear a gentle music, we feel its love and the sweet inner fragrance of peace that comes to us from the next level of our surrender.
In the next phase we will expand and catalyze potency of this revelation, inculcating more fully the transcendent principles of livingness into our journey.