Before we can do any transformative work in the alchemical process, we need to build a vessel which can hold all the material to be transformed.  Just like a potter needs a kiln, a chemist needs a flask, a chef needs a pot, and a family needs a home, an alchemist needs a vessel to transform their experience of reality.

This process of transformation can happen within our bodies in our physical forms, our sensations, our emotions, our thoughts, and our wisdom.  Each of these experience is a separate vessel.  Combined, these five vessels hold the Great Work of your total manifestation into the world.

The Great work, or ‘Magnum Opus’ of the alchemists is the work to unlock your deepest potential into this world.  This manifestation is simple, yet profound: It is the healthy operation of the entire structure of our beings, opening a door to a living communion with all that is.  This opening is indeed a great task, but thankfully sages and alchemists throughout the ages have left keys to unlocking this potential within ourselves, in every level of our experience.

Part of my function is a key collector, and I’m offering my collection of keys to you to experiment with.  Let us start with the myriad doors of the human vessel.  This post will give you the basic information on what this vessel is, on all its basic levels.  It will also give you information about basic tools to get started in building your container.  

Before we begin, how many bodies would you say you have?  Most people would probably say, ‘one’.  Yet what if I told you that you have five bodies, each one feeding and affecting the material of the next?  What if these bodies affected the reality that we have the capability of perceiving?  What if these bodies were properly functioning and integrated with one another, what if they could grant access to the limitless bliss that is the substratum of the universe itself?  Come with me on a journey to see the world in a new way.  Like ‘love’ or ‘god,’ your own body will expand itself relative to the definition and awareness you give it.

In this process of alchemy, there are five interlinking bodies of experience.  These are, in order, the:  

  •    physical body
  •    energy body
  •    emotional body
  •    mental body
  •    wisdom body

These five bodies combine to form the individual vessel.  This vessel is a transistor which can carry energy upwards or downwards in frequency.  The strength of this transistor grants the alchemist access to the energy of the bliss body, or divine love.

In this process of alchemy, the five ‘lower bodies’ present in the individual must be aligned in order to allow sustained access to the bliss body, which is a reunion to a paradise in earthly form, of living love.  Attaining this reunion and sharing it with others is the ultimate goal of spiritual aspirants of any practice.  Alchemy is the path of transforming and aligning these five individual bodies in order to allow a continual stream of bliss to permeate the individual on their path in the world.  This process both heals the practitioner and all others on their path and allows entry into the heaven of infinite love incarnate on the material plane.

But how do these bodies interact to form this link to ‘heaven on Earth?’  Each of these bodies feeds each other, with the product of the first body producing fuel for the next subtle layer of experience.  The quality of the food from each layer affects the functioning of the next layer.  These bodies are connected as follows:

We eat food and exercise, which the physical body converts into energy.

Energy is harnessed in the energy body via the central nervous system and is registered as sensation.

Sensations travel to the mid-brain, creating emotions in the emotional body.

Emotions are classified by the conscious mind, which produces thoughts.

Thoughts are ordered in the neocortex, resulting in a body of wisdom.

If our wisdom matches with the nature of existence, it opens the doorway to the bliss underlying our reality.

The implications of this connection on our daily reality are enormous.  If the mental body is affected by emotions, which are fed by sensations, which are fed by the food we eat, then your breakfast shapes the choices you make in real time, and hence, your access to bliss while you digest it.  Everything we do on one level affects the functioning of all other layers of your being.  Once we can see this, we begin to act in accordance with ourselves as one blended, interconnected whole.  When this whole is properly configured, we gain access to union with the greater whole of all creation.

In beginning this process, let’s move through the six bodies one by one, to understand what they are, how to access and cultivate them, and how the bodies themselves interact with one another to join in union.

 

The Physical Body

The physical body is the outermost of the six bodies.  It is hewn of our flesh and blood – its fuel is the food we eat and it is built and maintained through action in the world.  The physical body is maintained by six major elements and over 20 trace elements. These are harvested through food and our exposure to the sun.  It is maintained by muscle and bone, which strengthen when exposed to appropriate exercise.  

There are two basic necessities for cultivating your physical containers: our intakes of elements and the actions we take to strengthen and craft our existing materials.  

Regarding intake, we derive nutrition from the food we eat and, in the case of Vitamin D, our exposure to sunlight.  It’s important that we eat a balanced diet, with regular meals at regular times to best serve digestion and absorption of nutrients.  It is important for the food we eat to be appropriate for our body-type.  Different types of bodies do better with different inputs of nutrition, as well as types of exercise and even types of emotional stimulation.  

Ayurveda is the best system of which I am familiar to identify body-types and tailor a lifestyle that can serve your specific needs.  Ayurveda works like a game of cosmic rock-paper-scissors. It splits people into the grounded, slow-and-steady Kapha, the fiery, determined Pitta, and the thoughtful, airy Vata, or a combination of the three.  In this system, people can use the opposite food or experiences to rebalance their natural type.  Hot foods tend to overheat firey types, who benefit from cooling and soothing foods and emotional experiences, while stimulation may be totally appropriate for the inertia of the grounded Kapha type. Grounding foods, emotions, and routines are great for the Vata type, whose head can otherwise be too far in the clouds to accomplish their ambitious goals.  

A basic overview of Ayurveda can be found here, and a self-diagnostic test for your body type can be found here.

Exercise is also vital for the proper functioning and development of your physical body.  It takes a strong frame and muscular system to bear the strain of transforming the nature of your vessel into a more refined form.  Whenever you build the physical body, you are also affecting the ability of your body to conduct nerve impulses, which alters your access to emotions.  The endorphins harvested from physical exercise greatly enhance your mood, and build momentum and capacity to undertake ever-larger endeavors.

Exercise takes many forms.  Weight training can build a strong foundation, while yoga allows you to be flexible while building the resilience of the energy and emotional bodies.  It’s great to have a system of practices which enable development in many parallel lines at once, to maximize the effectiveness of your personal practice as well as developing links between your bodies.  It is through the cultivation and maintenance of these links that the transmutation of energies can take place.

I suggest you exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times weekly.  Try weightlifting on your own, resistance training, or take up a martial art with a trained instructor you can trust.  Hatha yoga practices are especially beneficial, due to their work on the energy and emotional bodies – though a great teacher is a must in order to maximize the benefits.

I suggest you try various practices in building your physical body.  Through active experimentation, you can discover which one works best for you over the full spectrum of your being.  While you can base your search on your access to great local teachers and resources, so much is currently available online that knowledge and access to instruction is no longer a barrier.  A few great places to start in building your physical body are:

  • Martial arts build strength, energetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, and control.
  • Yoga builds toning and flexibility, greatly enhances energetic sensitivity, and with the right teachers can work towards emotional awareness and control.
  • Strength training greatly enhances strength, yet requires stretching and proper instruction to ensure flexibility and continued energetic sensitivity and development.
  • Cardiovascular exercises enhance leg, heart, and lung strength, and if used as meditation, can enhance energetic sensitivity and emotional control.
  • If you can afford it, massage work and physical therapy can help us release old blockages and open new pathways of sensation.  If you can’t, find a friend or a massage school which is willing to do work on you for free.  Any loving physical contact is healthy for your physical body, relaxes the higher bodies, and multiplies the benefits of other practices.

In any modality, it is very important to start by working with a teacher who you can trust, who does not make claims beyond their level of expertise or seeks to use the practice to control your higher bodies.  Find a teacher you can trust, and then you can use their practices as tools to harvest and harness energies in your body and in your world.

The Energy Body

The energy body runs parallel with the physical body through the central nervous system.  The energy body is the sum total of every nerve impulse, conscious or unconscious, and gives you direct access to sensation before it accumulates into emotions.

The energy body is fed by sensations that the body encounters, which are transmitted via the cellular fuel Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is harvested from the nutrients we take in and combined with oxygen, is circulated through the body to fuel our nerve responses.

While the energy body is initially a reactive system in most people, relaying the grossest sensations from the body to the brain, it can be honed to be a highly sensitized, constantly functioning system.  As we develop the ability to maintain awareness of our entire central nervous systems, our perception of stimuli goes from a spastic, sometimes-firing nerve circuit to a fully developed, interactive body of electrical synapses.  While it takes more energy to maintain continual access to this body and refine its perceptive capacities, the successful creation, sustenance, and refining of the energy body gives practitioners insight, information, and capacity for subtle action beyond that of the mind alone.

There are two main states of our central nervous systems: agitated and relaxed.  Transformation happens when we are relaxed in the midst of excitement.  Agitation and relaxation are governed by our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  The sympathetic nervous system triggers our reactive, reflexive, fight or fight consciousness, while the parasympathetic nervous system aids our capacity to relax and digest our food, our emotions, and our reality at large.  Whether we are accessing life through the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system guides the action our energy bodies, and determine the emotions we feel and the thoughts we think.

If we detect a threat in our environment or perceive stimuli which might be dangerous, our sympathetic nervous system activates, triggering increased tension in our bodies and minds.  This is the ‘fight or flight’ sympathetic nervous system of nervous tension which starts in nerve fibers.  This causes tension in muscles, enhanced focus on details, premature ejaculation in males, and diminished ability to orgasm in females.  In life-or-death situations, the sympathetic nervous system brings us a clear advantage.  For almost everything else in the modern world, acting from an agitated state diminishes our ability to function.  Our agitation needs to achieve balance with relaxation to open fully to reality.

If we are relaxed and calm, our parasympathetic nervous systems bloom into full flower.  The parasympathetic nervous system is a segment of the energy body which facilitates the functioning of the internal organs, actuating our ‘rest and digest’ consciousness.  It is through this state of consciousness that you can ‘digest reality’ and turn your experiences into usable fuel.  Most people are never relaxed enough for this system to reliably fire.  It is through this system that yogis can regulate their body temperature, heart rate, and other conditions that in most humans remain automatic.  The parasympathetic nervous system and its conduit, the vagus nerve, are the key to digesting your reality and converting it into usable fuel.  Much of alchemy, especially in its initial stages, is the process of relaxing in the face of stress.  This is the conversion of our energy bodies from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system.

Mastery of the energy body yields the ability to switch between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system at will, spending most time in the receptive, ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic consciousness, which yields greater insight, clarity, and non-reactive consciousness, while deliberately triggering sympathetic nervous system consciousness for bursts of enhanced activity.  Since most people in the world already spend most of their time in the sympathetic nervous system, mastery of action-in-relaxation via the parasympathetic nervous system is key to activating the energy body.

The solution here is to spend more time in your relaxed, ‘rest and digest’ consciousness, which is guided by the parasympathetic nervous system.

Relaxing is incredibly important, especially in our overscheduled, down-to-the-minute culture.  The alchemical union between sun and moon, active and receptive, male and female consciousness, mercury and silver, is the uniting of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in every center of being.  When receptivity is rendered active, and activity is rendered receptive, this makes space for the energy of consciousness to descend into this reality.

The energy body, like the physical, is fed by diet and exercise.  Our diet of energy consists of our openness to sensations and the types of sensations which occur in our bodies.  If we are not listening to our bodies and pushing through stressful situations, the sensations we feed on will largely be agitating, and this has strong consequences for the rest of our bodies.  If our bodies are relaxed and calm, our sensations will likely be the same.

If you can afford therapy, I suggest many ways of unblocking your sensations and stuck emotions before working directly with the mind:

  •    Massage can relax the central nervous system and blockages on the energy body.
  •    Cranio-Sacral Therapy can release the residue of repeating traumas in the mind, opening blockages on the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system while relaxing the adrenal glands and sympathetic nervous system.
  • Reiki healing, or any direct energy transmission process with a trusted professional, can be very healing for those who have developed sensitivity in their energy bodies.
  • Breathwork is very effective at energetic rebalancing and the reduction of stress states and muscle tension.

The healthy energy body can also be exercised.  When we ‘relax into our bodies,’ we build awareness, and we can circulate awareness through our body to strengthen our energy bodies and their flow.  The most common of these is the  microcosmic orbit, but there are far more ways of moving energy through your energy body and cultivating a depth of energetic sensitivity and a breadth of energy reserves.

The energy body can be nourished via the breath, pulling energy into your system and circulating it via pranayama.  There are various pranayama techniques for various energetic development purposes including ujjayi breath to pull energy, fire-breath to break up stuck energies, and 1-4-2 breathing to enhance energetic capacity and blend stuck energies together.

The energy body can also be nourished via exercise, which has the function of unlocking endorphins which stimulate the production of energy and enhance the capacity for energetic capacity in the cells.  Certain types of sexual intercourse also stimulate an enhanced energetic capacity, yet such endorphins can also be addictive, resulting in reduced agency in the world.

There are certain energetic practices which can nourish the energy body on its own terms:

  • Meditation soothes reactivity in the energy body, allowing deeper and deeper segments of the energy body to flower into conscious awareness.
  • Tai Chi blends the physicality of martial arts with energy harnessing and capacity.
  • Qi Gong is the energetic arm of tai chi.  It blends energy between opposites and teaches the dynamic tension between active and receptive poles that allows a practitioner to directly harvest energy from the universe and create energetic fields.
  • Reiki involves the interactive transfer between two or more energy bodies, without physical techniques of harnessing or harvesting energy.

All of these practices involve the cultivation of energy from the environment, its circulation within the body, and eventually its interaction with other energy bodies.  

In advanced practice, the energy body can be fed directly from energies in the environment or from other energy bodies.  Through these techniques, it is possible to directly intake energy from people or the natural environment of any frequency and transfer it to others or into objects in the vicinity. So long as you are drinking in the freely given emanation of others, you can expand your energy body just by being open and present with the beings in your environment, and offer them the same!

 

The Emotional Body

The emotional body is located in the lower two centers of the brain, the reptilian and mammalian brain, where deep-seeded unconscious and subconscious reactions to stimuli are stored for easy recall.  The emotional brain reacts to nerve sensations in the body by calling up a set, pre-coded system of emotional reactions to sense stimuli, which then guide the conscious mind.  These reactions happen much faster than a person can consciously think, and our conscious thoughts are based on the foundation of these base-of-brain reactions.

Again, our emotional bodies can be developed through diet and exercise.  The quality of the sensations we take in feed and nourish our emotions: the more agitating and unpredictable our sensations, the more agitated and erratic our emotions will seem.  Similarly, we exercise our emotional bodies by expressing our emotions in the world.  

Our emotions are fed through two sources: vertically, through stimulation from our energy body, and horizontally, through our interactions with others in the world.  (All bodies are fed both vertically and horizontally, a concept we will explore later in our discussion of basic Rosicrucian Alchemy and the Rosy Cross.)  [SK, perhaps save this for later?]

Emotions are first triggered in the brain through our sense-stimuli, provided through the functioning of the energy body and the central nervous system.   The more sensitive our nervous system and awareness, the more we can process sensations before they form subconscious emotional reactions.

The second way that emotions transfer and through our interactions with others.  When we encounter others, we feel their emotions through mirror neurons: our capacity to take in others’ emotions and feel them as our own.  We can process others’ emotions by feeling their emotions fully without triggering an energy body reaction to tense up and guard against the emotional transference.  In advanced states, we can then choose to transmit a more beneficial emotional frequency that can replace the old emotional reaction.  I will detail how to get there as this blog unfolds, but for now, know that your work with the emotional body can be of great service to other beings as well as to yourself

I recommend that everybody develop a practice of inner stillness to calm the emotional body.  In addition to this, I recommend that everyone find at least one method of creative output that they can build on a daily basis, and share with others at least once a week.  Radical honesty among your closest friends (who have also signed up for this practice!) helps to express the emotional body, as does wild, uninhibited (mutually consensual sexuality).  Honesty and sexuality go great together in order to burst through inhibitions and allow your emotions to come to full flower.

Both inner stillness and outer expression are necessary to tone the emotional body and bring into blossom.

Meditation is a great way to still and balance the emotional body.  Meditation allows for heightened emotional sensitivity and the ability to experience emotions without reaction.  It also works to still and balance the energy body, but advanced practice can work directly with the emotions themselves.  There are as many types of meditation as there are people, and it is important to pick one that resonates with you.  There are sitting meditation, walking meditations, breathing meditations.  Certain forms of martial arts can also be used to trigger meditative states, as can listening to or playing types of music.  I will detail various types of meditation in a future post, but I will never be able to list them all.
One thing to remember: if your goal is to become a fully expressed being, meditation is never enough on its own.Too much stilling of the emotional body can deny access to the deep emotional, animal, and energetic fullness of the unedited self. In addition to reducing your reactivity to sense stimuli, it is also important to actively express emotions in order to allow access to your total being.

Artistic creation is an excellent way to actively open the emotional body and can remove blockages of emotions from the emotional and energy bodies.  Artistic expression is also a great way to link the emotional body with the mental body, uniting emotions with thoughts, right brain with left brain.  When our emotions are revealed to our conscious minds, we can process and convert them into fuel.

Go do some automatic writing, freestyle rapping, and improvised dancing.  Paint a picture about your emotional state, write a poem, make up a song on the piano.  Anything creative will help you here.  Creative action is great fuel to bring the emotional self to the surface for it to be seen and acknowledged.  When we create, we form most direct links between emotions, thought, and action.  When that creation is spontaneous and improvised, that leaves more space for the emotional body to directly express itself, and less time for the mind to spill out pre-packaged content.

You should also try telling the truth whenever sustainable for your life mission, especially in the face of fear.  Radical emotional honesty also opens stuck thought patterns to get to a basic level of emotional honesty.  The best artwork is the most deeply emotionally honest, and by cultivating a practice of integrity while speaking your emotions, it is possible to interact directly with others on the emotional level.  This emotional honesty is our deep integrity, as it provides us unbroken access to our emotions, which in turn tunes us with our sensations and the energy of the world around us.  In order to tap into this energy and utilize it as a fuel, it is necessary for our conscious minds to be able to access our emotions freely.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: go have some great SEX with a partner who you love with each of your bodies!  So long as you and your partner have the capacity to connect on every level, inspired sexuality can bridge the gaps between body, sensation, emotion, and mind even as it bridges the space between self and other.  My friend Layla Martin wrote the ebook on inspired, sacred sexuality that’s worth a read.

 

The Mental Body

The mental body comprises all of our thoughts.  Most thoughts are either an ordering and classification of our surroundings or responses to our emotions.  Our emotional state directly determines whether we classify the world around us as either harmful or helpful, and this determines the endorphins which are triggered in our body and our reactivity to the world around us.

The first step in managing the mental body is to have a calm, balanced energy body and emotional body, as these provide the inputs for the mental body to function.  Everybody affects the functioning of the next highest body, but the mental body requires three successive bodies to achieve its proper functioning.

Everybody above the physical gets its nourishment from both below, a less-refined order of creation, and from the horizontal – from other beings which operate on their level.  In humans, this is most commonly the case in the mental and emotional bodies.  For humans that have developed awareness of their energy bodies, this also applies there, and extends to the physical body when we touch one another, or stand in each others’ presence.  In the mental body, we can share thoughts with others through speech, through writing and entertainment, and through our shared cultural symbol-language.  Yet our shared language also determines the types of thoughts we have access to thinking.

Our culture determines what myths we have access to, and what self-definitions we can become and sustain amongst others.  If our visions of reality conflict with others, even if we never express these visions, it will take more energy to hold these thoughts in our heads, let alone live them out in society.  If our thoughts are in alignment with those of society, they may be automatic.  Most people derive nourishment for their mental bodies from the set of acceptable thoughts shared by others.  Very few people create and craft their thoughts – most thoughts are borrowed.  This is why most spiritual traditions suggest building a center in your heart or solar plexus – this promotes alignment with a unique part of the individual energy body, rather than a pre-constructed cultural artifact.

Through opening to these deep energies within ourselves, we can expand ourselves to naturally, sustainably, and beneficially project our power into the world.  Eventually, with enough cultivation of internal energy, we can extend our core to all we touch rather than shielding our cores from the world. This extroversion helps us to guide and direct the larger forces in our reality – corporations, governments, media narratives – in alignment with our true natures.  When we understand this wisdom and allow it to guide our thoughts, our mental body will seek out thoughts which are in alignment with our empowerment and help us to learn the tools to enable self-mastery, and beyond into worlds of power, enjoyment, and deepening love.

The function of the mental body is to classify and discern objects, sensations, and emotions in order to fulfill desires and prevent harm.  The mental body can only compare existing objects to one another.  The mental body’s expression of creativity is analogy – the comparison between seemingly different artifacts to find one unified whole.  The mind takes the inputs its sensations and emotions give it, couples that with mental feedback from others in its environment, and creates an explanation about life from the data it receives.  Change the data, and you change the explanation of reality.  

The mind alone is incapable of creating the sensation or emotion of meaning, yet constructs elegant pathways to meaning.  The mental body is thus relied upon as a tool to help order and understand the sensations and emotions, and choose the optimal path to fulfilling one’s inner goals.  Yet it is the function of the higher ‘wisdom body’ to actually set those goals.  If the mind is left without a goal, it will be dominated by the sensations and emotions of its immediate environment. Talk therapy can untangle the emotional and mental bodies, but so can honest conversation with friends or family.  If the mental body is left alone or given strange inputs, it produces strange results.

At its worst, the mind is at the mercy of sensations and is conditioned to fear obstacles everywhere it turns.  This triggers ‘fight-or-flight’ consciousness from the sympathetic nervous system, leading to a hyperfocus, a spasm of endorphins, and an inability to perceive the breadth and depth of reality.  Extended time in fight or flight consciousness depletes the nervous system, leading to sexual and energetic impotence.  Unfortunately, most people do not even realize their energetic systems are depleted to the point of impotence.

Like everybody, the two best ways to build your mental body are through proper diet and exercise.

Feed your mental body nutritious food.  Spend time with great people, and share in bright conversation.  Attend seminars and classes which stretch your brain, and keep reading information which builds your capacity to think and learn.  Learn a new game, a new instrument, a new expression of your creative intellect.  Learn how to stay positive, and limit needlessly negative thinking (so long as that does not block access to your real emotions).  All of these will feed your mind, and this will build a foundation for healthy wisdom.

Exercise your mental body with new, exciting activities, a stimulating work life, creative expression, and genuinely stimulating games and new activities with good friends.  A challenging, stimulating job in a field of your mission is a great boon here, but so is a regular writing practice that you desire to share with the world.  With enough consistency, passion, and savvy, your passion can become your profession, and the daily work of toning your mind can create mastery in any field you are called to. Learn a new language.  Learn to cook, feeding your physical body as well as your mental body.  Learn to tango, feeding your emotions.  Learn anything new, and you exercise your mental body with new concepts, new situations, new adventures to incorporate into yourself.  Pull a James Altucher and write down ten creative ideas at the start of every day.  The act of creating flexes your mental muscles, making you ever more fit to think and build your own enduring wisdom in the world.

While there is good food and exercise for your mind, any food is unhealthy in excess.  Many mental substances can diminish brain functioning over time: movies, music, TV, and video games are all mental foods, and create patterns in the brain.  I recommend using these pointedly, and sparingly. Your knowledge sources, be they newspapers or porn sites, are all food for your mental body, and they will create what you know about the world.  Use these carefully, as they can be used to further cognitive development or retard its unfolding.

Just like too much physical exercise can harm the body, it can also harm the brain.  The recommendation ‘don’t overthink things’ is necessary in our culture: overthinking can cause mental stress fractures, breakdowns, and burnouts which can take a lot of time to recover, and this process is only amplified when running energy from the energy and emotional bodies without blockages. This is also true for substances which affect the functioning of the mental body.  While hallucinogens can be useful to remove stuck mental patterns, I do not recommend more than one dose every six weeks, to allow the mind to return to baseline.  Every substance is best used with a set intention for its use, to ensure that subconscious and superconscious brain structures are aligned with your desired mission.

 

The Wisdom Body

The wisdom body is built of the mental patterns that determine what we know about the world. These are the truths that we hold to for guidance and direction, that inform us what to desire and what to fear, and how to attain our desires and how to avoid troubles.  These associations are formed via natural selection from our thoughts.  Thought patterns which fulfill our desires and lead us away from harm tend to survive and propagate in a reality, while thought patterns which bring discomfort and diminishment are gradually weeded out of the mental system.  Our wisdom body comprises the sum of our beliefs about reality.

Wisdom is typically inherited from elders and traditions.  Many live lives almost entirely bound by the wisdom of others, and few people extensively test their own living wisdom against the direct feedback of reality.  There is also a force called ‘conventional wisdom’ which, as in the shared thoughts of the mental body, limits the field of experience for most people.  Until 150 years ago in America, it was acceptable to have black people as slaves.  Women have been able to vote for less than 100 years. In Saudi Arabia, women still cannot drive cars and are forced by law to veil themselves in public.  Conversely, Bhutan is the happiest country on Earth because happiness is their metric of social and national standing, creating an environment where happiness is the highest wisdom.  

I suggest you write or journal in order to assess your own wisdom and gauge your beliefs.  When you write down your thoughts over time you can detect patterns that emerge.  Just like dream journaling makes your memories of dreams more vivid, writing your beliefs and theories about reality signals to your mind that this is important, and primes you to devote more bandwidth to building your own wisdom.

Test your wisdom by interacting with others – the more we interact with others from a full, open place, the more opportunities we have to understand where our reality can be expanded through interacting with a wise being, or where we can expand others’ reality by offering them a wider aperture to life.  We are, in a sense, Veen diagrams of experience, and that extends to our wisdom bodies.  When we drink in others’ wisdom, we are priming our own brains to have the same vessel for understanding and experience.  This is the process of downloading others’ realities, and it is the quickest way to accumulate insight and knowledge so long as your core reality remains strong enough to process another’s way of thinking.  Your alchemical body has to be vulnerable enough to open, powerful enough to break down others’ realities into fuel, intelligent enough to see where it can grow, and flexible enough to incorporate new reality matter into your wisdom body, which determines which actions are opportunities and which are scary risks.  

Wisdom can also be gained through reading wisdom texts or opening up to leaders and teachers.  It can be far more efficient to receive wisdom from others than developing all streams of wisdom on your own, but this is only true if the teachings add value to your life, and you can digest the ‘food’ that is on offer.

In taking wisdom from an external source, be vigilant that you are not being manipulated or fed on in a way that is not made explicitly clear in your meeting.  If an event costs $20 and you pay the fee, that is an equivalent exchange of energy.  If an event is labeled free but sustained by ‘voluntary’ free labor which is compulsory to advance in the teacher’s group, that may not be a clear energy exchange.  We would all do well to be vigilant towards the shadow side of the individuals or institutions that are claiming and dispensing wisdom.  Many individuals receive value in some ways from exploitative organizations and learn pass on value in one body while exploiting another.  This creates enduring structures of value transmission and exploitation which, in their largest form, are seen as particular governments, specific religions, and certain corporations.  Most culture is a mixture of value add to attract adherents, and exploitation to feed the culture itself.  

Cultures can also make war on one another, both in thought, but also using their believers as front-line troops.  Look at the Middle East today, Europe during the Reformation or the Crusades, the whole history of time.  The most enduring wars in history have been fought not between people, but between cultures, using people to fight for rival cultural values.  Most people fall in this trap, though they resort to mental, not physical violence in order to defend their belief structures and access to internal resources that these structures grant.  To avoid this fate yourself, it is necessary to make wisdom your own, and ultimately to trust not in belief, but in lived, personal experience.  Like the best science, the best wisdom guides us to make our discoveries on our own.

A major result of a successful alchemical practice is that it renders exploitative external relationships obsolete.  We alchemists no longer need to adhere to a parasitical belief structure to validate their self-worth and grant them access to endorphins, a group identity, and a position as an alpha within a tribal structure.  By interacting with these complexes on the direct, energy level, alchemists and mages do not need to depend on a group superstructure to enact power and create value in the world.  This is why, from the birth of the monotheistic church-state in 300AD onwards, those tapping into their core energies to create value in the world were murdered in various creatively gruesome ways, as a threat to others to remain within the group superstructure.  Fortunately, this coercion by violence has abated in many parts of the world, and we have access to the wisdom of the ancients at our fingertips.  We can choose to create our own wisdom, and bring our own energy, potency, and power up from the hells of entrenched belief structures, and literally become the lights of the world.

You have come to this site to build your own light.  In taking wisdom from this source, realize that I too am on a journey of development and discovery, a journey which I believe never ends.  I have as much to receive as I do to give, and you doubtless have much to teach me on your topics of hard earned strength.  If my knowledge of any topic on this vast tree appears to be incomplete or incoherent with your learned view on a topic, send me a message and help inform me about your vision.  While anything I put on this site I believe to be sound, I am here to learn as much as to give.  This is your site as well as mine.

The most important thing about any wisdom, including the stream I am presenting, is that you can ‘judge a tree by its fruits.’  For all of this, try it and see if it works for you.  Whenever possible, test out your wisdom by open-heartedly dialoguing with others and giving and receiving feedback from a humble, curious place.  The broader you can be in receiving wisdom, the broader your reality will be, and the more plastic your brain will become.  With such a mind, you can hold more of reality within your experience of life, and you can expand to transfer that reality to others.

That’s right, at advanced levels, you can learn to transfer your reality to others.  Amongst others who have developed the same bodies and sensitivities you have, you can attain direct communication beyond the physical and mental levels: emotional, energetic, and wisdom communication are possible.  And with people who have yet to develop your sensitivities, you can quickly and accurately feel where another person is blocked or disembodies, and aid in their full becoming, either directly, or passively by sending them the frequency which they are not exhibiting.

These subtle frequencies of reality can be broadcasted directly into the world, but in the introductory phases of this practice, they can be honed in each body through actions appropriate to each body.  We can tone these bodies by engaging in activities which tone individual bodies, and which blend different bodies together to form a cohesive unit.  Here is a very basic chart showing various practices and the bodies they develop, and remember, this is a drop in the ocean of riches that you can employ in your daily life:

Practice             Physical Body    Energy Body    Emotional Body    Mental Body    Wisdom Body

Proper Diet                X                

Exercise                      X                          X            

Yoga                            X                          X                             X        

Breathwork                                             X                             X        

Eye Gazing                                              X                             X        

Lovemaking               X                          X                             X                          X    

Meditation                                              X                             X                          X    

Gaming                                                                                    X                          X    

Psychotherapy                                                                        X                          X                        X

Wisdom Texts                                                                                                      X                        X

 

Remember, every action we take in the world feeds or exercises one or more of our five limited bodies, and the nourishment and toning of these bodies, in turn, determines our access to the bliss body and capacity to channel its incalculably vast energies through the human vessel.  

 

The Bliss Body

The bliss body is limitless pleasure, energy, and undifferentiated reality.  In various traditions, it is the unity that underlies all existence.

The bliss body goes by many names. In various traditions, it is known as the source, the absolute, God, Pure Love, the Holy Spirit, Allah, the Ain Soph, The Great Spirit, the Divine Mother, the Prima Materia, the Ether, quicksilver, and too many names to mention here.  The important thing to remember is that in all these traditions, this bliss is the living substance that comprises our reality and that it can be contacted directly by an aspirant who has undergone the proper preparation and desires to undergo the initiations of union.

It is impossible to understand the experience of such bliss in the mind alone.  Our entire beings must experience this bliss at the same time in order for it to become an underlying framework of our reality.  Bliss is a verb which can only be experienced.  This bliss is love – the action of union, of the divine lovemaking between subject and object, between self and other.  Such bliss transcends the normal functioning of the human brain, which separates the world into a subject that perceives and an object that is perceived. The bliss body only functions fully when subject, object, and verb are united as the Holy Verb of love.  

 

Bliss Body: Bridging Our Separation from Survival to Sacred Union

Anyone who has lived on their own in the world knows that life can be a challenge.  We must learn to meet our own needs, to avoid danger, to ensure our survival.  Union between self and other is great, but it is impractical if you are about to be devoured by a tiger.  In the presence of fear, envy, and pathological desire, the sacred union of love is not fully possible.  As a blissful, active union with all things is at the root of all human desire, our protective emotions like fear, anger, envy, and others spur us to fulfill our limited needs, coaxing us towards competition for mates and for survival, yet obscure our loftiest need – that of self-realization as love.  We can adopt the progression of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from survival up to self-realization by understanding the nature of the human brain – that if our basic needs are not met, we will not be able to properly achieve our highest need for union.  This structure is mirrored in the self-sustaining nature of the five individual bodies – if the physical body is not functioning properly, the path to bliss will be altered.  And to get there, we must understand the inter-related functions of the human body and brain.

Our ‘lower bodies’ are geared towards ensuring survival and reproduction, towards ‘getting’ something outside ourselves that is necessary for our continued survival. Most people invest a lot of activity to ‘get’ something that the limited self doesn’t currently possess.  Ironically, sex is the biggest ‘get,’ as the endorphins released in orgasm and union with another desirable being mirror those released through union with the bliss body.  This conditioning ‘to get’ something outside of the self can take a lot of time to disengage, and if a practitioner lacks willpower or a great teacher, they may end up dissociating from reality or building subtle identities through over-developing, say, the energy body, the mental body, or others, out of balance with their internal harmony or the world around them.  In my experience, all bodies must be functioning in relaxed harmony to sustain connection with the bliss body in the world, without dissociating.

Great meditators and sages have historically labored for decades to sustain presence in the bliss body, yet most have had to come back down from their highs to eat and conduct their business in the world.  Initially, the overwhelming, overflowing abundance that is the bliss body seems to contradict the struggles of earthly existence.  The way that the alchemists learned was by transmuting desire itself into energy and thus connection with the bliss body could be sustained while going about one’s business on earth.  The consciousness of such a person enables others greater contact with the bliss body as well.  Such a work, however it manifests in the world, can truly be called the Great Work, because it transforms the shared fabric of reality itself, making it easier to share love for everyone such an individual touches.

Such blissful individuals are rare.  Most either use the powers they have harvested from their practice to build cults of personality around themselves or rightly fearing the devolution of such a fate, seclude themselves from the consciousness of the majority on a rural cabin or mountaintop.  It takes great effort to be open and empathic, performing alchemy while working as a teacher or doctor, in finance or as a politician, as a movie star or a street sweeper.  Yet working and relating in the world makes it easier for all to reach a blissful state in their everyday lives.  I encourage everyone to follow their bliss, to be their bliss, not as an escape from life, but as a life practice.  Through sharing the nuances of my path, I encourage you to find a way that works for you, hewn out of the fabric of your daily lives.

 


Read the next section in the Alchemy Series: Step Two: Cleaning Your Vessel