The Alchemy of Relationship
In traditional alchemy, the process by which lead becomes gold requires three elements:
Something to transform
A container, or Athanor, which holds the heat necessary for alchemical digestion
A source of energy or heat
Becoming human is a transformational process in which the heat of our challenges, the fire of suffering, brings forth the gold in our being. To realize our potential as human beings, the unconscious and disowned energies or elements of our psyche (lead) must be transformed into spiritual and psychological illumination (gold). This occurs through the process of experiencing and accepting all that gets uncovered within us in response to what is, in the here and now. After thirty plus years of spiritual enquiry and practice, I have found no undertaking to be as effective a vehicle for transformation and healing as the process of raising children, being in a committed intimate relationship, and honestly facing and embracing all that is within me. These are the endeavors in my life that have provided both the strongest container and the greatest heat in my own alchemical process of becoming human.