Monday, July 1, 2024

The alchemy of self and other

Usually when we speak about “others” in our lives, we are referring to those on the outside we are in relationship with, that we care about and matter to us.

It’s important to attune to them and how they’re making sense of their experience, what keeps them up at night, brings them alive and touches their hearts.

While we each bring our own unlived life into the in-between space where our subjectivities intersect, there is also a third thing, the field itself. It has its own autonomy and intelligence, and is an equal partner in the relationship.

This is the realm of Hermes, guiding the alchemist in her work, which is one of pure devotion – love of the materials in the vessel, and of the vessel itself.

In addition to the external other, there is also an “other” who is moving inside us, a misplaced piece of soul who has become split off from the totality. Just like external others, these ones also long to be known, held, and loved.

They are shape-shifters and will manifest in an infinite number of forms – as vivid emotions, dream images, somatic tenderness, and an aching for union, as they seek us as a vessel in which they can incarnate and come alive.

Relational alchemy unfolds not only with an external other but simultaneously with the dissociated figures of psyche and soma, who are linked in mysterious ways.

It is to the degree we are able to empathically attune, listen to, feel, and hold the emerging inner Other that we will be able to truly accompany those in our lives.

If we’re unable to attend with devotion to the inner darkness, chaos, and contradiction, we will never be able to practice intimacy with these same qualities as they are inevitably evoked by those we allow to matter to us.

Perhaps this evocation is the true role of the Beloved, to re-introduce us to the vastness, majesty, and the unshakeable wholeness of the tender human heart.

My next live online course will start in September - The Soul Alchemist: Trusting Your Inner Guidance. To receive information about the course, which will be sent out later in the summer, please sign up for my mailing list below.