I got to wondering the other day about how time factors into alchemy, not in the sense of timing various workings, but in the much more general, long term sense. Why is it that so many alchemists and students of alchemy cling so tightly to the past and reject present-day attempts to approach the subject from a different perspective?
In a tradition which involves a long history of changes, new ways of thinking, and new interpretations of age-old ideas, why do we consider modern alchemists uniquely restricted from contributing?
But of course, alchemical principles tell us that everything is made up of the three essences, and I realize that time must be made up of its own essences as well. The current moment is the only part of time we can physically experience, our individually distorted memories and understanding of the past becomes its soul, and the interaction between the two is the spirit of time. It’s all in how we take what we know, what we understand, and use it to impact and drive the present.
So if we refuse to do anything but soak up the past and try to fit ourselves into it, copying it and trying to bring it back to life, we’re not really acting in a spiritual way. We’re focusing so hard on the soul that all else is neglected.
Which, actually, has become too common a way to interact with the world in general, given mainstream spiritual understanding. Nothing good comes of ignoring the physical reality or restricting the spirit and only worrying about the state of the soul.