Through a Jungian Lens

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Psychological Alchemy – Part 1

with 6 comments

Arabic alchemy

Alchemy is an ancient art that has for its goal the transformation of turning base metals (lead and iron) into noble metals (gold and silver). Alchemy also had the goal of creating the elixir of life which would allow one to retain the appearance and energy of youth rather that the decline into old age and infirmity. Our modern world of chemistry continues the tradition established thousands of years ago, the tradition of transforming aspects of the outer world for the benefit of humans.

But alchemy is much more than about science and chemistry, it is also about the alchemist and the psychology of the human spirit which sees the possibilities going beyond what and who we are. Humans not only want more, they want to be more. We all are unsatisfied with ourselves in some fashion, physically, mentally, psychologically, spiritually, or in our relationships with others. We swallow pills and alcohol, we smoke various substances, we engage in various dietary regimes, undergo surgery or enter into psychoanalysis in hopes of changing ourselves.

Balance of consciousness and the unconscious

I am no different. I meditate, I eat carefully and choose carefully what I eat, I take a few medications to help regulate body systems that have weakened over time. I abandoned practices that kept me subservient to spiritual authority and adopted a spiritual path that felt right. And in the process of doing things differently, I changed, I transformed.

When I bring up the word alchemy here, I will bring with it a psychological rather than a chemical association. I am not interested in test tubes and finding an answer out there. I am interested in finding answers within so that I can better appreciate who I am, and as a result, better appreciate others as individual humans.

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Written by Robert G. Longpré

November 18, 2012 at 11:39 am

6 Responses

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  1. I am very interested in your thoughts on the subject. This is one area of Jungian thought that I have not had the time to research the depth of. Thank you for taking on the subject.

    lorenmarvin

    November 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    • I have worked on this topic in the past on the first version of Sky Clad as well as on my other site. I hope that this time I can do it a bit more justice. The topic is so complex for the most part, that it becomes daunting to discuss. My hope is to simplify it without losing the power of psychological alchemy as intended by Jung. Time will tell. Thanks.

      Sky Clad Therapy

      November 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  2. A very interesting Post and a promising start on Alchemy – I am looking forward to read more about your individual experiences on Alchemy – thank you for sharing my friend.

    Ric

    November 19, 2012 at 2:17 am

    • As am I, Ric. I am following my nose in writing here about alchemy. I have an idea where I am going, but I am trusting to the natural outpouring of ideas rather than overly structuring the posts – an intuitive approach that could only be possible with a background of study on the topic.

      Sky Clad Therapy

      November 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

  3. Addition :

    The picture of the Arabic Alchemy appears to be an Arabic translation of Egyptian Symbols.

    The bird is the messenger – the symbol on the right of the bird and the hand is the key that only the pharaoh was allowed to use.
    Under the hand is a symbol that appears like a butterfly, but the Arabic text says that it is a sort of cufflink.
    A friend and translator will try to translate more in the next future.

    Ric

    November 20, 2012 at 3:57 am

    • I am very interested in what the Arabic has to tell me. Strange that I never thought to ask my own friends who speak, read and write Arabic as a first language. Yes, Arabic alchemy had its roots in Egyptian alchemy. I imagine that if we had been able to keep the full contents of the library of Alexandria, we would be so much richer in wisdom in our time.

      Sky Clad Therapy

      November 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm


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