The Work of alchemical transmutation is a long and demanding one. Alchemists living before the 20th century had to tend the fires of their athanors, their furnaces, constantly over a period of months. If the fire went out, they had to start from the beginning with newly gathered materials.
In the beginning, before the realization of the Lesser Stone part way through the Work, miracles happen infrequently. It is near the end of the journey when everything becomes effortless. Why is this? Because waking up is hard to do. And awakening is what is required of the alchemist who desires to transmute himself or herself as well as the world. This awakening to who we are and what our purpose is begins slowly and requires the accumulation and the conservation of our energy. It can be scary and, worse, seem frivolous.
Today, I kept the fire alive by resuming my morning meditation. The technique I use has been molded over time from many disciplines but made mine. It’s familiar like the knowing glance of a friend or loved one and precious because it immediately lifts me – even for a moment – out of the time and space in which I’m unconsciously embedded. Today, however, I do something new. I call out to my intuition – my Inner Voice – but call out a name for it is a living thing. It’s the child I came into the material world with at birth who has remained with me ever since talking with me constantly even if I do not hear or pay attention, guiding me even if I do not ask, waiting to play with me again as we used to do long ago. The name is Du – a nickname also given me in my childhood and used by my friends and family when we played. However, now Du assumes whatever form I need at the time. This morning he’s a child who takes me on an adventure.
He grabs my hand, pulls me forward running towards a cliff. He is going to jump and even in my meditative state I hesitate momentarily. But my mind tells me he’s been around forever so we leap together falling through a cloud. Du yells out: “Quick! Decide where we’re going to land. Now!” “A beach,” I yell out. “Good,” is his reply. And immediately we are in a warm place with browns, yellows and blues dominating my inner landscape. So, what now I ask myself relaxing in the state and mood most meditations leave me. Suddenly, the bottoms of my feet sense sand. My body tingles with energy which is a sign I’m open to something new. I relax more by becoming aware of my breathing for a moment and slowing it down. “Walk! Walk!” I hear Du yelling. I imagine the muscles in my legs moving without moving them and am surprised when the feeling continues without my having to think about it. The energy focuses on my head and the misty realm of meditation takes on more clarity. A fuzzy image of shallow sea water comes into focus. The vague outlines of rocks and shells come into view. My feet and ankles feel wet. I open my eyes, startled, and hear Du calling out to me: “We’ll come back.”
Scary? No. Frivolous? Perhaps. Awakening?
What do you think?