Hermetic/alchemical meditation

11. The processes of Nature - growth

Continuing the direction initiated in Hermetic Meditation No 10, we will work with a meditation on processes - in the natural world, and be concerned here with exploring growth.
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The processes of Nature - growth

The meditative technique used here is the same as with number 10, that is, the meditation is divided into two phases, a period when one focusses one's attention outwardly upon some phenomenon, letting one's consciousness fully immerse itself in the phenomenon through the senses, then this is followed by a period, when closing the eyes and withdrawing inward, one bears the essence of the outer experience into the inner world as a subject for meditation. The period of inner digestion through meditation on the outer experience should be followed by a further out-turning of the consciousness into the outer world, and this cycle should be repeated a number of times.

Around us in the summer are many examples of growth and readers should explore those which particularly interest them, but we might just draw attention, as one example, say, to the opening of tree buds. It is not too difficult to find buds at various stages of development in close proximity on the same tree and thus one can explore the cycle of unfolding of the bud. During the inner phase of the meditation, try to grasp in inner picturing the form through which the bud grows, the space into which the substance flows. In some cases this will not be very difficult and after a few cyclings of the exercise, this form will inwardly arise in one's consciousness. As one works with this exercise in this way, eventually one will find that during the outer phase of experiencing the buds, a perception will ultimately arise of the archetypal bud form of the particular species, which will be perceived in consciousness as surrounding the actual physically perceptible bud. This is the beginning of the experience of the etheric form of the bud.

The growth processes we choose for these exercises should be intense with inner growth, budding, germinating seeds, flower forms opening (rather tnan established leaves or slow growing subjects, we seek the intense presence of etheric force). We should try in the meditative phase to picture the space into which the physical substance of the plant grows, the archetypal form of the flower, or leaf, or bud. It is excellent if one can inwardly experience this as a dynamic process in movement, rather than as static frozen stages of the growth process.

In order to perform this exercise properly, as little time as possible should separate the phases (though in time with practice one will be able to allow some time between the outer perception and the inner absorption). It may not be possible in all circumstances to undertake both the outer phase and the inner phase comfortably in the same position, and it might be best to experience the outer process and then quickly find close by a place to relax and undertake the inner phase. It is, however, essential to this exercise that both phases are experienced. There is no point is just working theoretically, one must unite the outer and the inner, and not work purely in the psyche.