Erika – Chapter 1

January 2, 2011 § 8 Comments

Oops.  Something really important I forgot to mention in this video: The discussion we want to create here is based on your active interaction with the text. How does it impact your life, your projects, your desires, your relationships, your health, your creativity?  How does it impact you as a person?  We’re going after a profoundly human experience here (of cosmic and multidimensional proportion, of course, lol).

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§ 8 Responses to Erika – Chapter 1

  • Willi Paul says:

    I am enjoying the book so far, having never read it as I leaped into the field in the first place! Part of my alchemic voyage involves continued spontaneity and experimentation. Not untypical, right?!

    Sound alchemy intrigues me and there are examples on OMS. Digital alchemy is a powerful force, as my interview with Michelle R. Silva reveals:

    http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1645

    Silva instructs us to look at the process not the result. I cannot forget this.

    Another alchemic path is its tie to mythology. A new teacher named Stephen Gerringer from Joseph Campbell Foundation and my interview is a must read in this realm:

    http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1660

    There is a powerful connection between creating new myths and the glue of alchemy.

    It seems that some of Hauck’s “alchemies” are kinda outdated and redundant? Inapplicable personally?

    Where is the alchemy of permaculture?! 😉

    I say make up your own alchemy.

    Warmly,

    Willi – NorCAL

    • Erika Harris says:

      “Part of my alchemic voyage involves continued spontaneity and experimentation.”

      Willi, I’m with you on this. When I’m in these states — both of spontaneity and experimentation — I sense a certain degree of risk and vulnerability required. But those states also give the chance to expand and glow more brightly. Eventually, the expansion eats the risk, and all of life can flow as one spontaneous moment after another after another.

      There. That’s my alchemy of time.

  • Hello Everyone! What a great vessel you have created. I think it will become a useful tool for transformation. Thanks to David and Erika for putting it all together!

    I think clarification might be needed about the different kinds of alchemy. It can be confusing reading the original texts and modern interpretations. Just remember that alchemy, unlike modern scientific disciplines, was never meant to be restricted to one level nor just one way of knowing.

    The alchemists believed that no transformation could be complete unless it took place on all three levels of reality at once: the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. To unite these levels in the Great Work, the alchemists worked with their bodies, minds, and souls at the same time, on the same “substance” to effect a lasting transformation, ie., a true transmutation.

    We do not work like that anymore. In the modern digital era, we have chained our consciousness to bits and bytes of information — whatever we can grasp from an overwhelming flood of data unprecedented in human history. It both enlightens and enslaves us.

    Endless disconnected data bombards us daily. Billions of headlines, text messages, emails, 30-second commercials, and 140-character tweets have created the ADD generation who have a tendancy to produce superficial and convenient truths. Sure we can create our own belief systems, but against what do we test them?

    I think you have to have a tremendous yearning to know what is true to find truth. Consciousness is a force of nature and attitude determines the purity of our individual consciousness.

    Personnaly, I know I have to slow down and allow time for intuition and deeper intimations about the essence of a situation or idea to rise from my unconscious. That is one of the functions of myth, music, and art. Before long, you come to realize that the understanding of the soul eclipses all thought and logic. (I am speaking as a mathematician here – LOL)

    What I am saying is that you have to slow down and digest things in a genuine search for wisdom — not some half-truth spun into a belief for its shock value. Unfortunately, you will find that modern alchemy is full of New Age phonies who have appropriated these teachings to for their own purposes, which just adds more “noise” to the perennial signal of truth coming to us from ancient sources.

    Concentration, contemplation, and meditation are what is required to connect to the underground stream of wisdom flowing to us in myths, dreams, images. That is what is at the heart of real alchemy — not titillating action adventures stories, or games and films made to blow you away, or egocentric fantasies, or bombastic political assaults, or personally empowering belief systems of any kind.

    Quite simply stated: real alchemy arises from the wisdom tradition. It is a “science of soul,” a kind of spiritual technology that is more relevant today than ever before. Look around! We are all missing the point and power of the gift of consciousness.

    Wisdom is our only hope, and the alchemists knew that. They called themselves “philosophers,” in the original sense of the word (“lovers of Sophia, the goddess of wisdom). The love of Sophia alone must motivate us, take us beyond ourselves, or the search for truth becomes a farce, and the alchemists become puffers.

    Sorry for the long post! But thanks so much for the stimulating input!

    • Erika Harris says:

      Thank you, Dennis, for the energizing gift of your presence, and most thoughtful post… which feels, to me, very grounding and centering. Yes, it’s the voice of Sophia I heard in your words.

      “Consciousness is a force of nature and attitude determines the purity of our individual consciousness.”

      This statement reminded me of the following I heard in a Joseph Campbell lecture:

      “The man went to the stream, and drank water.
      The demon went to the stream, and drank mud.
      The god went to the stream, and drank ambrosia.
      What we get is a function of our consciousness.”

    • David says:

      Greetings Dennis,

      Long posts make for good meals; I lament the fact that it’s become a “best practice” in the digital realm to consider snippets more viable than developed thoughts. There’s a place for aphorisms and short poetic reflections, but how many of us are Basho or Cioran?

      This was a nice wake up call for my digitally infused brain. Working in social media I’m constantly bombarded with the fast and furious rush of information you describe. My “to read” list is huge…but how often do I mediate on the pieces themselves?

      Recently I’ve been reading a number of works put out by the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor during the late 19th century and it’s been surprising to see the focus that we’ve lost in such a short period of time. As you mention the “New Age phonies” have populated the discourse with a thin gruel where once there was good solid meat.

      The focus of the H.B. of L. on civic responsibility, and the application of Hermetic and alchemical philosophy in this regard, is something that I don’t see coming out of many of the groups active today (although recently some of the more independent bodies seem to be picking up this thread again). Thank you for calling us back to that focus.

      Recently I had a direct experience with fruits of reflection when, after reading a number of different works across a number of different traditions, I gained a better understanding of the “subtle body”.

      My enthusiasm was struck down when I saw that Mark Stavish had written an entire book outlining in general terms what it’s taken me years to realize. Then, when humility returned, I realized that had I read Mark’s book I wouldn’t have gained a full understanding and it would have been just another “fact” stuck in my mental library.

      Thank you for spurring us on in the Work!

  • Jeremiah says:

    The Strait of Gibraltar is the narrow passage between Europe and Africa where the Mediterranean Sea joins the Atlantic Ocean. According to legend, in ancient times the Latin phrase “ne plus ultra” was inscribed in the rock overlooking this gateway. It meant “not further beyond,” and served as a warning to sailors not to venture out to the wild waters past the strait. Eventually, that cautionary advice became irrelevant, of course. With a sturdy vessel, skilled crew, good preparation, and expert knowledge based on the experience of others, venturing out past the “ne plus ultra” point was no longer as dangerous. My name is Jeremiah Hall, and I too would like to come along for the journey of spontaneity and experimentation is there room for one more philosopher? Thank you Erika and David for providing this opportunity!

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