Spiritual Alchemy - Transforming Pain into Evolution

24 April, 2020
Ancient alchemists searched for the "philosopher's stone" because it could transform lead into gold. In spiritual alchemy, this is a symbol for the perspective that allows you to turn difficulties and deficiencies into constructive contributions.
 

People may have inadvertently become prisoners of a dangerous fantasy. Mainly, when you assume you must work towards a life free of problems, contradictions, and painful events. Fantasy is risky because it can lead you to fight for mirages instead of for what’s actually possible. Spiritual alchemy, for instance.

The name spiritual alchemy is simply metaphorical. Keep in mind that alchemists were researchers who long sought a way to turn lead into gold a few centuries ago. You can also see it from a symbolic perspective. It means taking something that has little value and turning it into something valuable.

Ancient alchemists believed that they could achieve this magical transformation through a substance that they called “the philosopher’s stone“. Of course, this is just another fantasy. However, it’s an illustrative image you can apply to the process of spiritual alchemy. It’s a symbolic process, which is possible to carry out because it takes place in your mind.

Spiritual alchemy and “lead”

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, you may sometimes think that something is wrong in your life because it isn’t perfect, even though you may not even be aware of it. You have problems or face internal contradictions and assume that something’s wrong and shouldn’t be. From there, what follows is that, deep down inside, you imagine the existence of a way of life in which there are no difficulties.

A woman thinking.
 

However, this is self-deception. Life in itself is a challenge to overcome but also an opportunity to grow. At birth, and even before, you carry the effect of all the problems that your ancestors couldn’t solve. In addition, you must deal with the difficulties of the society you’re born into.

Then, as you grow up, you encounter your own shortcomings, needs, and paradoxes. It couldn’t be different, though. Even if your life is surrounded by particularly harmonious conditions, sooner or later, you’ll experience loss, physical and emotional pain, illness, and, subsequently, death. This is the “lead”.

The process of spiritual alchemy

You’re taking a great step when you finally understand that a perfect life doesn’t exist and that it isn’t reasonable to expect it to be for that reason. Giving up that fantasy is a very important starting point. Not only to adjust your expectations but to begin the long process of learning about spiritual alchemy. Transform the lead to gold. In other words, transform your problems and find the positive in your pain and difficulties.

What leads you to experience some of the experiences you have, or the situations in which you’re immersed as unbearable, aren’t the realities in themselves. They’re only definitive in your mind. In other words, in the stance that you adopt when you confront them. In the way in which you read said realities.

Even the most beautiful experience can become negative if you decide to look at it that way. This happens when, for example, you “love” in a selfish manner; afraid and yearning to control. Also, when you do things with a negative or lazy attitude. Or perhaps when you decide to highlight everyone else’s faults as a general rule.

 
A lotus flower.

The philosopher’s stone

Everyone needs a philosopher’s stone to transform lead (pain, deprivation, or growing contradictions) into gold. It does exist in your mind and it’s equivalent to the way in which you organize your ideas and perceptions to interpret reality. You can use a rock to hit another, kick it, build a house, or make a sculpture. It all depends on the intention of the person who finds it.

You’ll always be exposed to experiencing pain, rejection, unfulfilled desires, heartbreak, etc. In one way or another, no human being can escape from it. The difference lies in the ability to build each experience constructively. Unfortunately, those who don’t do it properly are bound to repeat painful situations.

Spiritual alchemy is an individual process of inner transformation that only you can carry out within yourself. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t guarantee you a happy life. What it does do is protect you from a miserable life full of pain and despair in which you end up being just a passive object of adversity.

 
  • Melillo, A., & Suárez, N. R. (2001). Descubriendo las propias fortalezas. Paidós. Tramas sociales. Buenos Aires. Argentina.