The Miracle of Alchemy
Alchemy is the chemistry of transforming matter; such as, turning base metals into gold or creating the elixir of life. It is the attempt to alter the current physical manifestation of an object to that of another. It is a science but also so much more. In Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist, this “something beyond science” is referred to as one’s readiness, as is seen when the protagonist Santiago finds himself ready to understand such knowledge at the end of his journey. He hasn’t been a student of chemistry but he has studied himself in relation to the Universe, which offers the magic beyond books and science to bring real alchemy to life. With Santiago’s example, Coelho insinuates to the reader that alchemy is more than just turning lead into gold, which is merely a nice parlor trick, if you will. The real alchemy is reading the signs of the universe to interpret the way of your own journey and learning of the power that lies within your living experience. Alchemy is what is waiting for us as we walk past our fears to the threshold of our Real Existence. Thus, alchemy uses science to get our attention, perhaps by being the shiny door knob on an alluring door, but the real means lies at a much more subtle level, as we open the door of our awareness.
Stillness is our most subtle movement. It is not the absence of motion but rather the ability to wakefully observe and still be as tranquil as a glassy body of water at the break of dawn, where the water is both still and moving. Such can also be seen in the mind, not to be confused with an unthinking mind, as even a still mind still thinks, it is just that it has the ability to dive underneath the waters of awareness to witness the miracles that occur at a cellular level. This is where we find our inner alchemist.
Alchemy isn’t about performing tricks but revealing the truth of the ultimate trick, that you are the magician at the center of the stage with the magic wand. You are that aspect beyond science that is capable of performing miracles, including, but not limited to, turning water into wine, lead into gold, and finding the elixir of eternal life, the breath. You are That which knows of the truth beyond these parlor tricks, which can be easily done by any awakened mind. You know that real alchemy lies in the ability to live from that which is not seen with the human eye. If one continues to look at lead and say, “I can’t see gold in this,” then it will be so, there will be no gold. However, an alchemist makes what is not seen fully seen, because she already sees it herself from a place beyond physical sight. It is the vision of full realization, where the unknown becomes known and where all five sense meld into the completeness of the sixth sense, absolute knowing. Thus, alchemy is not about the purpose of creating riches but rather living in the richness and power of one’s own being.
Alchemy is all around and it is not a lost, ancient art. It is at the base of our breath and at the door of our heart’s awareness. It is not out of our reach but at our very fingertips. It is not what we think it is. It is so much more, as are we. That is the miracle of alchemy.