‘How do I gain unconditional happiness?’
This is the ultimate question.
Whatever question we pose, we really want an answer to that one.
We think we are looking for a new job, a partner, more money, a hobby, but it’s not true, and we know it.
We are always asking the ultimate question: ‘How do I gain unconditional happiness?’
Buddhist monks say that if we want to reach a state of blessedness, we have to meditate until we achieve Nirvana. The Hindu yogis of Advaita Vedanta say that we are already Brahman – the Absolute – and that pain is an illusion. The Christian Saints affirmed that, in order to be happy, we have to open our Heart, love our enemies, and serve God.
But when our partner leaves us, our ability to handle emotions is the same of a pig that’s being dragged to a slaughterhouse! We look for peace in meditation, but all attempts are useless, because we are emotionally too shaken. We repeat to ourselves that we are Brahman, and that suffering is an illusion, but the pain we experience keeps feeling so damn real. So we try to open our Heart and to talk to God; but when we remember that we won’t share moments with our partner anymore, our Heart tightens, mistrust takes over, and God appears too distant.
All spiritual teachings usually aim to lead disciples to a progressive evolution of their conscience, in which suffering is absent. This condition is known by different names: the realization of the Supreme Self, Nirvana, Illumination, open Heart.
Alchemy – once known as Ars Regia – has the same goal, but it has a unique advantage: it gives us tools we can actually use now to change the way we face our life challenges. It’s up to us to choose the speed of our progress.
Even if he’s on a path that will lead him to the “ultimate freedom”, the average spiritual practitioner is powerless against the little and big sorrows that he’ll encounter along his journey. It’s like having a “Master” telling us, ‘When you achieve Nirvana, you will see the beauty of Creation and will enter a state of unconditional wellbeing. Meanwhile, should you have difficult and painful experiences… just let them pass!’.
What a comfort!
Many traditions – esoteric or religious – passed on a knowledge that can lead us to happiness, but none of them seem to be able to ease our pain here and now, when we let the average life events break us down.
Alchemy offers a tool to work directly on our pain, discomfort, and discontent, so that we can detach and transmute them. Alchemists handed on practical teachings that can start changing our lives today, if we really want to… do we really?
(Excerpt from the book Officina Alkemica)
Article by Salvatore Brizzi