BE YOUR LIGHT and by doing so you shall LIGHTEN UP YOUR WORLD ~Blossom Goodchild
Much to his astonishment, C. G. Jung discovered that the ancient art of alchemy was describing, in symbolic language, the journey that all of us must take toward embodying our own intrinsic wholeness, what he called the process of "individuation." As Jung wrote, "I had very soon seen that analytical psychology [the psychology Jung developed] coincided in a most curious way with alchemy. The experiences of the alchemists, were, in a sense, my experiences, and their world was my world. This was, of course, a momentous discovery. I had stumbled upon the historical counterpart of my psychology of the unconscious." The alchemists, over the course of centuries, had generated a wide range of symbolic images which directly corresponded to the anatomy of the unconscious which Jung had been mapping through his painstaking work with thousands of patients. Jung, in illuminating a psychology of the unconscious, can himself be considered a modern-day alchemist. Jung continues that "the entire alchemical procedure....could just as well represent the individuation process of a single individual
The ancient art of alchemy was chiefly concerned with changing something of seemingly little value into something precious, of transforming lead into gold, thereby creating the "philosophers' stone" (the "lapis philosophorum"). The "stone," or "lapis," is not a material substance, however, but is an awakened consciousness, which, though seemingly immaterial, pervades, in-forms and gives rise to all creation. The philosophers' stone doesn't just redeem the individual alchemist, it nonlocally influences the field to such a degree that it was considered to be able to redeem the entire cosmos. The lapis, as Jung emphasizes, is "a psychological symbol expressing something created by man and yet supra-ordinate to him." Alchemy is a timeless, sacred art, as the alchemists' art is to become an instrument for the incarnating deity to make itself real in time and space. "The alchemical operations were real, only this reality was not physical but psychological. Alchemy represents the projection of a drama both cosmic and spiritual in laboratory terms. The opus magnum ["great work"] had two aims: the rescue of the human soul, and the salvation of the cosmos." The alchemists were dreaming big.
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