Don’t you just love when you’re reading along in your top-‘o-the-stack book and a sentence jumps out at you – a sentence that makes you say “Aha!” or “Yes!” or “Why didn’t I think of that before?” Or you stumble across a sentence so perfectly written it resounds in your heart-strings for days?
Each Saturday I’ll be celebrating those Striking Sentences, the ones that pierce the soul with their wisdom or humor or craft. If you’d like to share a Striking Sentence (or sentences) from your current read, post about them on your blog, tell us why they strike your heart, and leave a link in the comments here so we may come visit.
Alchemists, like our scientists today, were trying to uncover nature’s secrets, her patterns and processes, transmuted into and out of each other under various astrological conditions to make up all forms of matter. They believed that everything, even those things that seemed inert, was actually teeming with spirits and that therefore everything could be raised or provoked into fuller form. They believed that all matter was on the move, moving into and out of everything else, waxing or waning away from fulness so that lead fell short of gold, just as mortal man fell short of immortality. Under a certain pattern of stars and through fire, any matter (like lead) or spirit (like the human soul) might be “healed” or “killed” or “perfected” or “transmuted” into a greater state. A blooming would take place. It had a rare beauty, this secret hybrid art made up of magic, chemistry, philosophy, hermetic thought, sacred geometry, and cosmology, a beauty in that passion to make things bloom into a fuller being. It made me think of transubstantiation – the wine into blood, the burning bush, Lazarus raised from the dead. from Ghostwalk, by Rebecca Stott.
Though I’ve never been much of a scientist, this notion of alchemy entices me, the idea of being able to change from one state to another. It’s appealing on a purely superficial level – after all, the thought of an ugly duckling being transmuted into a swan is mythic. But from a spiritual or emotional standpoint, it’s even more desirable. Who doesn’t want to live their best life, be the best they can possibly be, bloom into the full radiance which seems eternally trapped inside? I rather like the idea of my inner self “teeming with spirits” and possessing the ability to be “provoked into fuller form.”
The key of course, it finding the magic process which sets this blooming in motion. Perhaps, as Stott suggests in the closing striking sentence of the paragraph above, it lies in powers far greater than any found on this earth.