The Alchemy of “Pain”

It occurs me that perhaps modern psychology and even some New Age approaches to healing
might have a few things backwards about the nature of “pain” and
suffering” (emotional, that is). Maybe in the ascent of the human
person who is working their spiritual transformation, pain is actually
an unknown and potentially under-appreciated ally, if its true nature
is correctly grasped. So there is no need to ‘let go of’ anything
but rather to realize and transform. So if we are walking the Path is
it really necessary to eliminate pain at all? Perhaps transmutation
is a more appropriate way to look at this, with “pain” as such being
nothing more than a certain subtle, spiritual mode or reality needing
to flower into its bloom whatever the external causality or content of
this pain actually be.

My teacher once said to me, “always trust your feelings, but never your emotions.”
When I first started out on the Ayahuasca Path, one of the first
questions I asked of the Madre was to elaborate for me this teaching,
and so She took me into a journey within the symbolism of Alchemy. She
showed that the faculty of feeling in its latency is Sulphur; unbridled emotion is Salt. The roots of feeling extend specifically into the inner worlds (eso) and that of emotion specifically into the external (exo) one. The refinement and union of the two — which happens through the process of dissolution and coagulation (solve et coagula) that is the operation of the Great Work (magnum opus) — is with the mercurial element, Mercury
being the middle term reconciling the two. She then left me by showing
how this is the secret and facility to the creation of the Stone (lapis) itself, i.e. the Great Elixir (iksir-i-a’zam).

So it has occured to me recently that pain is only pain when the inner
dynamic of its internal loop is in a sort of self-recoiling phase, i.e.
This is so because perhaps pain is guarding the key or treasure-house
to its own precious jewel and secret, i.e. its sacred transmutation,
its hierosgamos (sacred marriage). Yet when it does, this pain actually transmutes into shakti
(power) and even a super-celestial organ of vision, if you would, the
moment the pain allows itself to unfold like a flower into its
transmutating palingenesis (resurrection).
The point is not to wallow in a stagnant modality but to actively
become the instrument of flowering it into its resurrection. Note also how in alchemical symbolism the Phoenix rises from the ashes of its
own self-immolation in fire!

In Sufism the steed to the Valley of Love
(the second of the seven valleys) is in fact pain. While one moves from
one allegorical valley to the next, the steeds of each valley actually
build upon the next like building blocks. Throughout Persian Sufi poetry
pain and longing are noted as both necessary stages of the Path as well
as organs of visionary apperception of the Divine Theophanies (tajalliyat). In the
theosophical Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi we even learn that it is a high
Divine quality, for the passive participle of the word Allah (Godhead) is Maluh (sadness, pathos), and so Divinity = sadness, pathos.
              For the infidel, error—for the faithful, faith;

For Aṭṭár’s heart, an atom of Thy pain.
        Ya NUR

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