The alchemy of consciousness is a much better way of framing awakening to our Higher God Self than enlightenment or simply waking up. There is a process and it’s not rainbows and butterflies. In fact, it’s not fun or pretty or easy at all. The alchemy of consciousness involves the intense pain and messiness of facing one’s own darkness as well as the darkness of humanity. It means dropping all illusions and seeing life, as it is, in all of its messiness and ugliness as well as its joy and beauty. When we are children, the people around us have rejected their own darkness and therefore they reject ours as well. We learn to do the same.

Ultimately, this rejection of darkness comes back to haunt us, because we simply cannot live or love a full life without our wholeness. To gain this wholeness, we need to face, retrieve and love those rejected parts of ourselves. We spend so much time projecting this darkness onto others and it is only when we realize that we need to face what we despise in others inside of ourselves that we will truly be able to love and to live an authentic life.

Most of us avoid this process because there is not much support in our culture to engage with it and also because it usually involved a great deal of pain. On top of that, we need help from a teacher, guide, therapist or really good witness to help us navigate the rough waters so we don’t drown. We have been taught to avoid or escape from discomfort, to numb or deny our emotional pain so that we can show up and perform our duties to society. This creates all kinds of conflicts for people when they can no longer uphold their masks they create to do their work or be responsible. Some have breakdowns, while others get sick and still others commit suicide because they don’t know how else to create the down time or get the support needed to work through this process of becoming whole.

Our monetary system depends upon people showing up no matter what and performing their tasks, playing their part in the machine of profit. They are encouraged to medicate themselves so that they can continue to show up and in their off time, they’re encouraged to spend time and money on escapist, feel-good activities, rather than time self-reflecting.

Self-employment and self-directed learning are a big threat to this system and the powers that be do everything they can to enforce certain rules to keep people trapped in their system. Those who find ways to step off the merry-go-round have a challenging time when they need anything from the system, but it is well worth it in terms of autonomy, health and well-being and having the time to be creative, self-reflective and of service to others.

It takes a brave person to walk away from the comfort zone they’ve been raised with, but once they learn that they’re imprisoned by that comfort, some feel impelled to find another way. Only the courageous can handle the full ramifications of the alchemy of consciousness.

It has been said that the way out is through and the way I interpret that is that in order to be really free, we must go back through the door we came in. In other words, we have to make peace with our story and face ourselves fully to reunite with our true Self. We need to return to our original child-like state and to do this we need to pick up the pieces of ourselves that we’ve dropped along the way. To return home we need to be clean and whole. To become love, we need to be at peace with the duality of life and recognize the perfection of what is. To be who we really are, we need to remove all that is in the way of that.