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FEATURE - June 2019
The True Purpose of Alchemy
Acquiring Conscious Wealth by Creating the Ideal You
By Aneta Baranek
Our Western culture teaches us to seek wealth in our physical manifestations. In fact, the popularity of the Law of Attraction has gained momentum because many have been taught that we have the power to create enough of whatever we desire and therefore address all our physical wants and needs. However, what got lost in translation is the metaphysical secret that we do not attract what we want, but who we are. Consequently, our physical reality always reflects to us the current state of our inner being. This is often very difficult for us to face, it is especially challenging for our egos. There are powerful emotions that come up when we are confronted with realizing that on some level it us that deprive ourselves of sufficient love, money or health. This recognition often leads to us numbing ourselves from the associated pain, it leaves us stuck in denial or awakens old programs of guilt and shame.
Many, if they are not overcome by the denial or numbing, will then start working even harder to achieve whatever goals that they have set out to accomplish, thinking that by wielding more of the physical effort they will be able to fulfill them. A similar misconception was also applied to the concept of alchemy.
For centuries many thought that the ancient process of alchemy was designed to extract physical gold from other base metals. Yet again, our human desire for material wealth overwrote the true essence of the inner process of transformation. Till this day though we can utilize the process of alchemy to transmute our current, modern-day circumstances and to overcome any limitations that we are faced with. What is required is for us to take responsibility for the current state of our affairs in all areas of our life. Instead of reacting or avoiding, we can wield our ability to respond. By asking ourselves deeper questions we can start building conscious inner wealth of security, prosperity and peace which in turn is then reflected in our outer reality as the metaphorical gold–an expression of value.
The two most vital alchemical questions to ask oneself are “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to become?”. When I embarked on my spiritual journey I began to ask myself these questions. Initially I thought I had to pick one individual that I wanted to emulate and since I thought it had to be someone of the same gender I decided to pick Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Yet, I did long to mirror others impactful individuals such as Martin Luther King Junior. His powerful speeches and charisma were so inspiring to me.
Eventually I discovered that I could pick and choose characteristics of many and create my own ideal image of who I wanted to become.
Let me illustrate with an example from my own life. As someone who immigrated from Europe at the age of twenty to the United States, I was very determined to acquire my own version of the “American dream”. I had a very hard work ethic inherited from my Polish culture. Even before graduating with my Computer Science degree, I was offered a job at one of the top Fortune 500 companies. I was thrilled. It really did feel like I made it. I worked very hard and diligently to be the best I could be in my new job. I was “the first one in and the last one out”. This lasted for years. One day I was paired up to work with another engineer. I started noticing that he would come in later and leave quite early. He was very jovial, relaxed and yet he was very much valued by the whole team. His demeanor was in stark contrast to who I was being at that time: stressed, somber and often tired.
One day I asked him: “How do you do it? How do approach your job with such ease?” He responded: “I value myself and my time.” The words did not fully sink in at that time, however their echo reverberated within me for years to come. They sparked immense curiosity in me and I embarked on a quest of understanding and defining that for myself. I started questioning my own value. I noticed that I did perceive external value within my abilities and education, however what became apparent was that internally I did not have a high sense of self appreciation. I was holding onto a belief that because I was an immigrant I had to work much harder, because I was a woman in a male-dominated industry, I had to work extra.
Once these beliefs emerged I could fully accept them. This was not an instantaneous process. It was not easy to face those beliefs. It took a bit of time as I was easing myself into realizing how I was putting extra burden and expectations onto myself. Once I faced those limiting beliefs I defined a new paradigm for myself when it came to my inner value for my professional contributions and I started acting to uphold it. Shortly thereafter I was approached by one of the managers and asked if I would be interested in becoming a manger myself. As I accepted the position I could make more money for the same amount of time invested. As I changed my beliefs about my inner value I could attract more outer value. I gained much freedom and more satisfaction in my professional environment which in turn trickled down to other areas of my life.
I encourage you to ask yourself, with compassion and curiosity, what beliefs that you might have would contribute to creating the circumstances that you are finding yourself in that limit the amount of wealth and prosperity in your life. Bringing those limiting beliefs into light will guide you towards finding the purpose for cultivating new attitudes, for building new character traits within yourself. As you call upon this alchemical process, the inward transformation will be reflected in the outer/physical plane of your existence.
While pursuing her Doctorate of Divinity degree through the School of Metaphysics, Aneta Baranek continues her research and study of self-actualization and self-realization. You can reach Aneta at firstname.lastname@example.org.