The Modern Alchemist: A Guide to Personal Transformation Paperback – 1 Jul 1994
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The authors' key to interpretation enmeshes Carl Gustav Jung's psychoanalysis and his theory of archetypes. Every chapter is written in a way to instigate one's participation encouraging the reader to decode his/her own mysterious subconscious through identifying the repressed symbols, which are already realized in one's mind and dreams. This process is also presented as a search for the art, where art is viewed as a quest for the highest expression of the self--becoming aware of who we are and what we stand for "γνῶθι σεαυτόν." This art is not only the skill that could be gained by training in the specific art expression, but is rather the "axis mundi," the art which feeds itself from the cosmic consciousness or the whole of the world. My suggestion is to read this book slowly and to take time to contemplate on every chapter as long as one needs before moving any farther in the text.
Whichever way the alchemist or esoteric philosophers interpret the transformation from the matter (prima materia--the subconscious pull of life forces) to the consciousness--traditionally referred to as the soul and spirit--this qualitative change represents the perennial symbol of the inner struggle for preservation of the life-powers that would lead a person to the enlightenment and a self-governed, balanced life. Richard Alan Miller states that traditional, organized religions have failed to offer a deeper spiritual search for the believer by imposing too many restrictions on how to understand or access "the spirit," which always resides in the realm of freedom without any boundaries. This boundless "spirit" is the source of all human genius of imagination, so no one should restrict this access to the source. The boundless spirit is the best presented in Baruch de Spinoza's metaphysics as "natura naturata"--the material and created nature which shines as alive in "natura naturans"--nature that expresses itself as creation in a continuous process. In traditional metaphysics the active mind is always presented as the self-growth into an ecstatic state of conscious where one can sense the whole of reality, where the matter becomes the light and the thought, the mind. The pinnacle point of the self-growth is achieved when a person acts morally, ethically, and reaches the virtuous plane, as Baruch de Spinoza, pointed to--expressing love, compassion, and awe, or as in Eastern spiritual traditions expressed "bowing to the superiority" and surrendering to the boundless source (Tao-te-Ching, Yoga traditions, Buddhist meditation techniques). Miller's focus on the esoteric tradition offers for the spiritual seekers the study and practice that in our time corresponds not only with the spiritual traditions of the Humanities disciplines, philosophy, and arts, but also tunes a person to understand better the discoveries of a New Science, which recognizes the importance of micro and macro worlds inter-connectiveness in Physics and brain studies, empowering psychology unlike psychology as pathology only, and necessity of rich interdisciplinary connections.
The authors' "alchemical" path explains well why it is important for a person to collapse upon his/herself false "cave-like dwellings" and become a phoenix, expressing the urge and necessity to renew one's life depending on the person's psychological needs.
This is the second book I have read written by R. A. Miller, and each time it happens that the read is a step to magic; whilst reading the book, I equally create prospective realities. The majority of academic philosophers today would agree that Metaphysics is only the matter of past--history, but with the awaking of a New Science and the re-interpretation of the symbolic, alchemical texts in terms of new holistic psychology offered by R. A. Miller and authors of the same direction like Nick Begich, Metaphysics again shines a new lite--the only way to understand the world around us as the system and our finite existence is to transform matter into the individual's active mind, which recognizes all levels of reality whilst not losing the uniqueness of our personal life powers aligned with "ethos."
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