WHAT IS TRANSFORMATION? ©
Excerpt from Soul Journey ~ Path to the Soul PlayBook
Transformation fits into a broad range of definitions depending on what we’re referring to. It can relate to many areas including alchemy, healing, mathematics, science, magic, art, nature & politics, to name just a few. It’s also interchangeable with the word transmutation, which I think of as a process of purification rather than a total change of form & reality.
Over the years my definition of transformation has changed from a more single minded viewpoint, where it related specifically to the ability to consciously change ourselves to bring about greater harmony with our True Nature & the world around us. While transformation is still my focus, the specifics have broadened to a more limitless perspective. On a macrocosmic level we’ve forgotten that we are part of the whole uni-verse, the Divine One Song, so it stands to reason that on a microcosmic level we are also one.
Transformation once belonged almost solely to the ream of Alchemy. The ability to change one element or metal, into something else. Something pure & valuable such as gold. The notion of turning lead into gold or silver was no more literal than the mystical search for the Holy Grail, although there are reports of Master Alchemists having transformational powers & being able to indeed transform metals into gold. On one level both forms of transformation represented the quest that one undertook in the search for the Inner Self & Spirit through purification & transformation from the mundane into perfection & the Spiritual realization of something greater. For many of us, although we’re in a human body, with no memory of what came before our birth, we’re tormented by a not so tiny thought & feeling that there must be more to this life than we can see, touch, taste & smell. For some of us there’s a deep knowing that goes with these thoughts & feelings that there must be more & it’s been a driving force, a quest, even an obsession, to discover what that ‘more’ is & a desire to become one with it—to transform ourselves into that greater ‘whatever it might be.’
There are three powerful symbols of transformation. In the Native North American tradition it is the Butterfly. The transformation of the caterpillar entering the chrysalis stage & finally emerging as the beautiful butterfly. Another symbol is the Philosopher’s Stone, which was said to be the catalyst for the alchemical process of turning lead or other metals into gold or silver, & was sometimes likened to the search for the Holy Grail. The symbol I’ve used personally for over two decades, the one I connect with most strongly is that of the Phoenix, which has been used as a symbol of change & transformation for thousands of years.
The Phoenix is the symbol of birth, death & rebirth. Once every five hundred to a thousand years it was told, the Phoenix would build itself a nest & with its last dying breath would burst into flames to be consumed by its own fire. There would be nothing left of the bird but its own ashes out of which an egg would appear. The Phoenix would be reborn anew like a spark from a fire to become even more powerful than its ‘parent.’ The implication was that the Phoenix was immortal & in that sense it represents the quest to reconnect with our Divinity, our immortal Self.
Transformation then is nothing short of miraculous. It’s the movement, the realignment & the healing of all parts of ourselves so that we may live our full potential, claiming what was really ours all along. Once we experienced an awakening to who we truly are it can never be reversed—we can never go back to the old ‘sleeping’ self.
Virtually anything that produces permanent, beneficial change is a transformation. Transformation is also a life long Journey of continuous healing & Spiritual growth. As humans, this Journey begins when we’re born & ends with the death of our mortal flesh. Birth & death are naturally transformative processes, particularly if we believe there’s more to life than merely our physical body. That transformation from Spirit into a physical, human form (birth) & at the end of life transforming once more back into pure Spirit (death). All opposites are part of the dualistic nature of this three-dimensional universe, therefore the process of birth & death is inseparable & you can’t have one without the other. On a macrocosmic level birth into the world of form is a death from the realm of pure energy, just as death from the world of form is a rebirth back into the realm of pure energy. On a microcosmic level every second cells die & a new ones are reborn out of the material of the old ones very much like the birth, death & rebirth process of the Phoenix. And every seven years every cell of our entire body has been completely renewed or transformed. Today, in this very moment, we’re literally not the same person we were seven years ago. On a more macro level, each day we choose the path of regeneration, health—physical, emotional & mental—& the renewal of life, or the destructive degenerative path to dis-ease, illness & ultimately, in either case, death is the final outcome. Transformation is both a building up & a tearing down, & is usually quite unconscious within us.
However, some of us look at our lives & say, “I’m not happy. My life is unfulfilling. I’m sick & tired of being sick & tired. And I’m going to change it!” It may be that a life threatening illness is the catalyst for change, or the trigger may simply be a feeling of dissatisfaction. Either way, a conscious transformational Journey has begun through the act of dynamic participation in our own healing process.
Hence, the transformational Journey we call life is one of continuous death of the old & a rebirth of the new. Our only choice then, is whether we choose to actively & willingly participate in the process, or remain passive & non participatory. In Native cultures, a transformational Journey brought on with intention through ritual was often called a Shaman’s Death, where an aspect of the old ego-self died & a new Spirit-Self was born. In the Mystic traditions the process is known as the Dark Night of the Soul or a Spiritual Emergency (not to be confused with depression).
Transformation is going on all around us in every moment. Winter is a time of death. Trees shed their leaves to become stark & bare. Animals hibernate & wait in pregnant expectation for the coming of spring, new life & birth. Spring arrives to find the world transformed from its wintry bareness to a beautiful fragrant, magical place once more. New life begins everywhere & the cycle continues. Not only does it continue, but it continues without any interference from humans, with total & complete perfection & grace.
Transformation also has a shadow side. The human interference side. Forests cut down transforming our Earth Mother into a bare, barren place that feels like she’s been raped. Rivers & oceans, once teaming with an abundance of life, transformed into polluted, dead rubbish dumps.
Humans are the only creatures living on the planet that have disconnected from the harmonious cycles that exist within ourselves, & between ourselves & Mother Nature.
My intention with this course is to begin to change that. To restore harmony between the little self & our Spirit Self, thus supporting harmony & reunion between humanity & our Earth Mother.
With transformation comes an inner knowing, a connection to our Life Purpose & why we are here. We connect to a level of openness, to the endless possibilities that life has to offer, to inner peace & a state of Pure Unconditional Divine Love. We connect with our True Nature or our True Selves. From this place we start to live our full potential & we experience joy, even bliss.