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Alchemy Guild

Pandemic Message 2020

Subject: A Letter to Members on the Current Pandemic

Date: March 20, 2020

As we go through these disconcerting times, I hope that my brothers and sisters in the Alchemy Guild and their loved ones stay healthy and free of suffering and anxiety from the current pandemic. For most of us, it seems the whole world has been turned upside-down.

When things change this rapidly in the laboratory, it usually means the experiment is entering a new stage of transformation. That is what is happening now throughout the world. Our livelihoods and routines have been overturned. Our long-term goals and steady striving to better ourselves have been supplanted by the immediate need to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Part of the changing perspective is awareness of how interconnected everyone is locally, nationally, and globally. The same life force we all share as human beings now faces the same invisible enemy. The fragility of human life and our social institutions is apparent, not to mention the sudden collapse of our merry-go-round economy. 

In an odd way, that increased awareness – rising out of chaos and fear – can enlighten us. It is now easier to see how our species itself can be threatened and accept that we are citizens of earth not just individual nations. The humbling alchemical calcination we are experiencing in the first few months of 2020 is a lasting transformation that all of us will carry the rest of our lives.

Psychologically, calcination is journey through fire that results in a breakdown of structure and habits, pride and false beliefs. It is an uncomfortable phase marked by fear and anxiety. What can we do to survive the fire?

In alchemy, the fires of calcination are quenched by the waters of dissolution. In personal terms, dissolution is a relaxing of structured living and opening up to natural forces. The ensuing phase of separation isolates the purified essences remaining from calcination and dissolution. Only balance and mindfulness can save us from being overrun by fear and anxiety.

Balance and mindfulness are the tools that will help each of us rise above the world catastrophe we are now facing. Surrendering to anxiety and fear will only lead to anger and violence, which are the seeds of destruction.

Find a way to cultivate your own balance and mindfulness during these challenging times. Maybe you will find it in the works of teachers such as Eckhart Tolle or Thich Nhat Hanh. Maybe it will rise up from the depths of your soul while relaxing, taking a walk, or hiking in nature.

Even if you are not able to move about in your community, find a way to focus on where you are in time and space. You will find that true life is available only in the here and now – not in the past, not in the future.

Adults are not present most of the time. We are caught up in our worries, regrets, fears, and anger and exist in a state of forgetfulness tied to the past or future. We are not here in the present moment living our lives fully. Mindfulness is the energy that exists in the present moment that enables us to recognize the subtle background of happiness already present in our lives.

Because mindfulness is such a powerful technique to get through the current challenges we are facing, I would like to recommend a few useful resources:

Three Steps to Experience Mindulness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjtfyuTTQFY

Children Explain Mindfulness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awo8jUxIm0c

Tai Chi Chih with Carmen Brocklehurst:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONjHjM4puGY

Dr. Jud Psychologist Channel


The following films have mindfulness themes:

  • ·       Being There (1979)
  • ·       Golf in the Kingdom (2010)
  • ·       Harold and Maude (1971)
  • ·       Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds (2012)
  • ·       Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  • ·       Peaceful Warrior (2006)
  • ·       Planetary (2015)
  • ·       Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - and Spring (2003)
  • ·       The Shift (2009)

You might also consider the resources of the Alchemy Guild during this period of isolation and free time:

With love and humility,

Your brother in the Work,

Dennis William Hauck

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