What is Inner Alchemy?
When we hear the term inner alchemy, we may have many different opinions about what this actually means. Generally we can say that inner alchemy is a term that refers to the practice of transforming one’s body, mind and spirit through various techniques and methods.
Most people are only familiar with Asian and Chinese inner alchemy, but the tradition of inner alchemy is far older and there are many branches of this mind science that can be explored. In order to begin it is best to outline the most well-known aspects of this science which is covered relatively well by the Chinese method. Understanding some of these methods can in time help with the mastery of far more complex techniques and methodologies.
Inner alchemy in China is also known as neidan, which means “internal elixir” in Chinese. Inner alchemy is based on the idea that there is a vital energy or life force called qi that flows through the human body and the universe. By cultivating and refining this qi, one can achieve health, longevity and spiritual enlightenment.
There are many schools and traditions of inner alchemy, but they generally share some common principles and goals. One of the main principles is the harmonization of the three treasures: jing (essence), qi (energy) and shen (spirit). Jing is the material basis of life, qi is the dynamic force that animates life, and shen is the consciousness or awareness of life. These three treasures correspond to the three realms of existence: earth, heaven, and man. By balancing and integrating these three aspects of oneself, one can transcend the limitations of the physical world and attain a higher state of being.
Another principle of inner alchemy is the circulation of qi through the body’s meridians and energy centers. Meridians are channels that connect different organs and parts of the body, while energy centers are focal points where qi accumulates and transforms. The most important energy center in inner alchemy is the dantian, which means “elixir field” in Chinese. The dantian is located in the lower abdomen, below the navel. It is considered to be the source and reservoir of qi in the body. By breathing, meditating and performing exercises such as qigong and tai chi, one can gather, store and circulate qi in the dantian and throughout the body.
A third principle of inner alchemy is the refinement of qi into higher forms of energy. This process involves using various techniques such as visualization, mantra, alchemical formulas and sexual practices to purify, sublimate and fuse different types of qi. For example, one can transform jing into qi, qi into shen, shen into emptiness, and emptiness into dao. Dao is the ultimate reality or principle that underlies everything in existence. By returning to dao, one can achieve immortality and union with the cosmos.
Chinese inner alchemy is a complex and profound practice that requires dedication, discipline and guidance from a qualified teacher. It is not a quick or easy way to attain enlightenment or supernatural powers. Rather, it is a lifelong journey of self-cultivation and self-transformation that leads to a deeper understanding of oneself and the universe.
But as I have said, inner alchemy is far older than recorded history and has its roots in places that do not currently exist as geographical locations. As such, inner alchemy is not western or eastern but is beyond material geography. For that reason, it is very important to explore other branches of inner alchemy in order to get a better more holistic picture of what this mind science is truly about. It is also the case that in order to delve far deeper into the great depths of the self, we must know and study methodologies that in some ways eclipse what might be termed preliminary energy work.
Western inner alchemy, also known as hermetic alchemy or spiritual alchemy, is a branch of esoteric philosophy and practice that aims to transform the human soul into a divine one. Unlike Chinese alchemy, which focuses on the physical body and longevity, western alchemy is more concerned with the spiritual and psychological aspects of the self.
The essence of western inner alchemy can be summarized by the Latin motto “solve et coagula”, which means “dissolve and coagulate”. This refers to the process of breaking down the old and impure elements of the self and recombining them into a new and purified whole. The ultimate goal of this process is to achieve the “philosopher’s stone”, a symbol of spiritual perfection and enlightenment.
Western inner alchemy draws from various sources of wisdom, such as ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, Jewish mysticism, Christian theology, Islamic alchemy, and Renaissance magic. It uses a rich and complex system of symbols, images, colors, metals, planets, and elements to represent the different stages and aspects of the alchemical work. Some of the most famous symbols are the ouroboros (a snake biting its own tail), the mercurial serpent (a winged dragon), the hermaphrodite (a union of male and female), and the phoenix (a bird that rises from its own ashes).
Western inner alchemy is not a dogmatic or rigid doctrine, but rather a personal and experiential path that requires intuition, imagination, creativity, and dedication. It is not a science or an art, but rather a way of life that seeks to harmonize the opposites within oneself and with the cosmos. It is not a religion or a cult, but rather a quest for self-knowledge and self-transformation that leads to a deeper connection with the divine.
In my attempt to reveal the true nature of inner alchemy, without symbolism, cipher, riddles or any geographical lens, I have at times used terms from many different sources. I need to use these terms in order to present the fundamental truth of what inner alchemy is, at least in accordance with my current, my house.
In accordance with my perspective (my current), inner alchemy is based on three great secrets: the secret of attention, the secret of energy, and the secret of transformation. The secret of attention is the ability to focus one’s mind on a desired outcome or state, and to avoid being distracted by external influences or internal doubts. The secret of energy is the ability to accumulate, store, and direct one’s own vital force, which I sometimes may term “the essence”. The secret of transformation is the ability to use one’s attention and energy to change one’s own reality, both internally and externally.
My current states that inner alchemy is a way of overcoming the negative forces that are trying to consume humanity’s essence and prevent its evolution. These forces have a varied origin but in its apex this force may be termed “the Archon”, which is non-organic entity that feeds on human emotions and thoughts. My current of inner alchemy knows as an energetic fact that the Archon has created a false reality that traps humans in a cycle of fear, ignorance, and suffering. To escape this reality, one must learn how to use inner alchemy to create a new reality that is aligned with one’s true will and purpose.
In my books, in my videos, and on this site, I try to make available the various techniques and practices of my current of inner alchemy, such as meditation, visualization, breathing exercises, dream work, lucid dreaming, astral projection, servitor work, and more. In all of this, I try to emphasize that inner alchemy is not a dogmatic system, but a personal and experimental path that requires constant learning and adaptation.