Godwin, Joscelyn - God the Alchemist
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Let us now expand the alchemical analogy and cast God – that is God the Creator and Demiurge, not God the Absolute, which has no hand in history – in the role of the Alchemist.
The entire human race, body and soul, is then his Prima Materia. In this raw first matter lies hidden the seed of spark of divine light that, if properly cultivated, can come into manifestation as the philosopher's stone or the tincture, able to transmute every metal into gold. Thus the human race might, if the experiment succeeds, become the agent for the transmutation of the whole earth, and even more.
The alchemist is the most patient of men. Day in, day out, he works on the substance which he has gathered with such care; feeding it, cooking it, reducing it to a dry powder and revivifying it with dew and the extracts of green plants. He is always attentive to the configuration of the stars and planets; always he is praying. Sometimes he has to wait a whole year for the right season to arrive for a certain procedure, at other times he must seize the hour and minute or all will be lost
On some days things move faster … the work done on such a day will leave the material forever changed. These are the red letter days, marking the stepwise progress of the Creative Work. One day, when putrefaction occurs, as it must, the whole thing becomes a stinking fetid mess. Yet by diligent washing and gentle cooking, this horrid and depressing sight will change into something glitteringly white, over which the Peacock's tail may flash with its unearthly play of colours, and from which a sweet perfume may arise. Can one not conceive of civilisations and cultural periods – days in the life of mankind – which correspond to all of these stages?