I absolutely adore when I read a book that proves true the wisdom I am discovering on my own journey.
As we each walk our paths, every moment can be a teacher if we allow it to be.
I believe that’s the true essence of what it means to walk a “spiritual path.” To be where we are at any given moment, and to remain fully present there in order to learn what we are meant to learn from that experience.
This has been my belief for some time, so naturally, when I picked up The Last Alchemist by C. Jon Sawyer, I was quite pleased to find a validation for my conclusions within the pages of this book. It was beautiful.
And the most amazing part: my husband is the author of this book. Because I didn’t read it until it was in print and in my hands I knew nothing of the magic and wisdom contained within its pages. What really blew me away was the moment of awe I had for my husband as I sat and devoured his creation of words.
Recently, I discovered the writings and teachings of Hermetic Alchemy, which have offered me a broader and deeper understanding of the journey I have been on these past 37 years. In the past, when the words “alchemy” or “alchemist” were mentioned, I, like many of you, conjured up images of old bearded men who were trying to discover how to turn lead to gold in dusty laboratories back in the 1400s.
The Last Alchemist offers a brilliantly simple exploration into the principles and stages of this ancient art that is so much more than what we think.
Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom from this book:
“Although it is very important to be mindful of your thoughts, it is even more important to be mindful of how you feel about your thoughts. Every single thought, emotion, and mental state has its own degree of vibration, which will either keep you up or bring you down.”
Most of our thoughts turn into spoken words or internal chatter. Our words, both thought and spoken, define our actions—and actions, when repeated, again and again, form our habits. Our habits define us; they make us who we are on any given day, and they play a massive role in our emotions. Think about your habits and inner narratives for a moment. How does each make you feel?
“Because of the Principle of Correspondence and the axiom, ‘As Above, so below; as below, So Above,’ you came to understand that whatever is possible on one level is possible on all levels. If something on the physical level, such as thermal dynamics, encompassing both hot and cold as the one thing separated by degree of temperature only, then the same is true of emotions. Love and hate are the same thing, separated only by the degree of vibration they exhibit.”
So simple, yet so profound. In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle talks about how for one thing to exist so must its opposite. We cannot have something without nothing. Without dark, there would be no light, without hate what would love be but “as it is.” Yes, it’s a bit of a mind f*ck, but stay with me. Put aside the intellectual analyzation and just absorb the simplicity of it. Without cold how could there be hot?
“We see reflected within this person’s actions the darkness we carry within ourselves, the charred remains of our own impurities that we have buried deep within and we scream that punishment is the answer; if we were to acknowledge that they were truly in need of a compassionate and understanding hand, then we are also admitting that there is work to be done within ourselves.”
This one gets me right in the heart center. It is a known fact that we most harshly judge the elements in others that we suppress in ourselves.
We display little to no compassion for our own imperfections and flaws. So, naturally, we condemn those that are prisoners to their own darkness because to find compassion and tolerance for them means that we would accept our own flaws as well. And this means we have work to do.
“You are correct. Every step of the way there has been a choice…there always will be. The reason this Principle is so important to us is because it shows us that we have the power to change what we feel in any given moment by changing the vibration of our thoughts and emotions. We have the ability to shift a thought from anger to calm, and the ability to shift an emotion from hate to love as readily as we can turn hot water into ice. Imagine exhibiting a level of self-control so empowered, that when you are knocked down by an aspect of life, you get to choose what happens within you, within your mental state, and within your emotional responses. Imagine being able to do it as easily as the flow of day to night. The true power of Alchemical Transmutation was in turning Hate into Love, not lead into gold.”
On so many levels, yes! This is what meditation has done for me.
It has guided me on my own alchemical journey to this place where my responses are a choice. I can shift my thoughts and emotions from anger to calm with some deep breathing, where before I was a prisoner to my anger.
I do not always do this perfectly as I am sure once that occurs I’ll be ready to ascend this dimension, but the fact is that I know it can be done. I have turned hate into love and darkness into light within myself many times now, and that’s what I want to give to the world.
“What he came to understand in sharing space with the stars was that the intelligence of the entire Universe was also being carried on the sound he was hearing. As it flowed all around and through him, he knew for the first time in his life that the face he was gazing into, the very face of God, was also his own face.”
I will leave you with that, beautiful reader, as it needs no limited human words added on.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Sara Kärpänen