What's In A Name?
Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Ah Yes. I know this question well! Act 2 Scene 2 Romeo & Juliet. "That by which you call a rose, by any other name would be as sweet."
True. Yet words have power. They serve as doorways to cultural understanding. When seen as symbols, they can become portals to deeper awareness. For example, the word rose can be a simple red flower. On another occasion a rose can be an ethereal experience of love beyond the limitations of time. The possibilities between a perceiver and that which is perceived are infinite. Words become a springboard for power--for possibility. And so it is with Universal Alchemy.
On a surface level we know that universal means "applicable everywhere." When we go deeper into the etymology of the word we find "uni" meaning one and "verse" meaning song. The 12th century Latin definition is belonging to all, whole, entire.
Then we have the word alchemy--an Arabic word that translates to "from Egypt." It became associated with those who devoted themselves to learning the art of transforming a base metal into a precious metal such as gold. Over time it also took on a philosophical meaning for the art of transforming the self.
As a springboard for possibility, there is great symbolic power in combining these two words.
Reflecting on "universal" what belongs to us all? Could there be one song of aliveness that connects all, or is all? Could that song BE an "alchemy" that is already inside us? Could "alchemy" be referring to the fact that we are all in constant transformation--our bodies and our thoughts traveling in an endless orbital journey? What happens if we become more "aware" of the transformative power of our being? Can we direct or influence its transformation to create positive outcomes?
In naming my work Universal Alchemy, I am consciously opening the door to these and many other questions. From a big picture perspective, the art of developing questions is an alchemy in itself. After decades in the standardized test centered education system of the United States, both as as student and an educator, I feel this is a lost art.
Universal Alchemy is an opportunity to strengthen our innate wisdom--beginning with the art of asking questions. If questions are seeds, together we will plant many. However, each gardener will be responsible for how many seeds he or she plants and how much water, light, and love each seed receives. Together we explore the best ingredients while honoring the truth in that every garden and every gardener is unique.
So what's in a name? You decide. Perhaps the entire universe ;)