Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the real alchemy...

One more (for now) from James Freeman Clarke.



THE purpose for which we exist is to turn time into life. A regular allowance of time is given to men — the same ration, every day, of twenty-four hours to each of us ; then we are to see what we can make of it. How much can we get of real life out of each day, so that when the day is gone it will leave us so much more alive than we were before. Some men continue to increase in the amount they have of mental, moral, spiritual life and energy, as long as they remain here. While the body is growing old, mind and heart are growing young ; while the outward man perishes, the inward man is being renewed day by day.

This is the real alchemy, the true, philosopher's stone which can turn baser metals into gold. Time has no value in itself ; it is a base metal ; its only value is in our ability to transmute it into something valuable. Time cannot be kept; it slips through our fingers forever ; but while it is passing through them we may be able to change it into something which will last always, that is, immortal or undying life — or what the Scriptures call eternal life. For immortal life, eternal life, simply means that kind of life which does not decay and change; not future existence, but present fullness of being... Our business is to change the bodily existence, measured by time, into spiritual existence, belonging to eternity.

How, then, is this to be done ?...What we need in order to turn time into life is to have faith in the value of things; to believe that there are strange and marvellous mysteries all around us, waiting to be known ; that our life is surrounded by wonder and awe, -ready to be revealed ; that man is capable of immense progress, and has in him depths below depths of capacity ; that God is in the world, and that he is and must be good ; that evil is transient, good permanent; that, notwithstanding all the wickedness around us, there is more good than evil in human nature ; that the good in man is permanent, the evil transient; that it is God's will to save the world from its sin and woe, and that it will be saved. With this sort of faith, all things, all persons become interesting; we love our work, and pursue it with ardor. Life then seems hopeful, and we have not time enough to do all we wish, to see all we wish, to learn all we wish. This it is to do all things to the glory of God..."


1 comment:

Robin Edgar said...

"This is the real alchemy, the true, philosopher's stone which can turn baser metals into gold."

The *real* alchemy always was a spiritual pursuit. In fact some believe that it was/is a disguised version of ancient Egyptian religion, or to have at least had its root in Egyptian Hermeticism. Personally I think that you just might find that this was/is The Philosopher's Stone. Of course it might be a bit *too* hot for some people to handle. . .