Colm Holland’s 40 Days of Alchemy Meditations at home.
DAY 5 - Magnum Opus - (Latin for The Great Work)
Welcome to Meditation 5 in this series and here’s a chance to remind ourselves of how far we have come in only four days: we have committed to memory the first verse of The Emerald Tablet; we have discovered that as an alchemist we are The Philosopher’s Stone; we know all things are connected by Prima Materia and we are living members of The Soul of The World and its nature is Unconditional Love.
Congratulations! That’s more than most people know about the power of alchemy and today we are going to build on that foundation by looking at the prime purpose of all alchemists: The Great Work.
The process of producing The Philosopher’s Stone is The Great Work that all alchemists must engage in if their passion is to find their real treasure and turn their dreams into reality. These concepts are all intertwined with the metaphor of turning lead into gold. What the ancient alchemists discovered, and we looked at briefly in Meditation 2, was this process always involves some manner of transformation. We will look at the nature of personal transformation in greater detail in future meditations.
Today I want to focus on why the alchemists called this process of transformation; The Great Work. Many of us immediately shy away from the notion of ‘work’. It is associated somewhere in our mind with doing something not because you want to, but because we have to. It is not something that we expect to get pleasure from - unless of course you are a workaholic, in which case it’s a convenient escape from things we would rather avoid. What the ancient alchemists and all great thinkers do agree on is you cannot separate work from achievement.
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”
― attributed to the Buddha
I want to help us re-script our attitude to work. If you read the Buddha quote above then this is how the alchemists regarded work. It is driven by a greater motivation: to find our true purpose. If that is our aim then it immediately redefines ‘work’ as something we do out of love and passion, because it emanates from the heart. We engage in transformation - The Great Work - because our passion is to find our purpose.
For today’s mediation I’d like us to spend time today asking ourselves:
- Do I know my purpose?
- Is finding my purpose my main goal in life?
- How committed am I to making this the core focus of my energy?
Our meditation mantra today is:
‘My purpose in life is to find my purpose and give my whole heart and soul to it.’
And remember, to encourage you throughout these exercises I have asked Love to give you everything you need to be the Alchemist in your world.