Sometimes I think about words. Actually, I think about them a lot. All the time, really. I think about their origins, their meanings, their uses, their nuances, etc. It’s what a writer does, and a writer in Maine can often find many quiet places to sit and think. Those quiet places are where I see the Great Alchemist at work. They’re how I learned of the Philosopher's Stone. My words are my interpretations of the world around me. They become my reality.
I “realize” them, and that’s what got me thinking today. The dictionary tells us that the primary meaning of the word “realize” is to become aware of a fact or to understand something clearly. This suggests something outside of us that we may only just have paid attention to, but it suggests something outside of our control. He realized she was never coming back. She realized she had missed her chance. They realized the crop had failed. Do you realize the risk you’re taking?
A secondary definition of “realize” is to cause something to happen. This suggests something outside of us that we acquire with several variables that may be beyond our control. The money helped him to realize his dreams. With hard work and effort, she finally realized her goal. They realized quite a profit from their investment. Can you realize any benefit from all these years of hard work?
|A cardinal realizes her breakfast.|
But as I looked at the snow and the ice and the frozen world, I wondered if we had gotten that word all wrong. I started calling it this: Real-ize, almost as if it were two words, with a slight hesitation between the syllables. When I started saying it that way, it started to change things in my mind. It started to become a word of creation, a word that meant I could take something from the unmanifest and make it manifest. Like the Great Alchemist does. I wondered if maybe there were a lot more things we could all have in our lives if only we realized that we could real-ize them.
It’s the power of words. If I don’t real-ize my fear, then I don’t have to be afraid. If you don’t real-ize your loneliness, then you don’t have to be lonely. If they don’t real-ize their anger, then they don’t have to be angry. And so on. It’s that we can choose what will be real for us and what will be not, simply by accepting or rejecting it. Once rejected, it cannot be real. It cannot be real-ized.
Where we get caught up is trying to apply this to what has already occurred (especially in the physical world) instead of the endless potentiality that lies immediately before us and further ahead. For example, if I were to go out without a coat or gloves into the arctic conditions we’re experiencing here in Maine and then say I refuse to real-ize this cold, it will soon become pretty darn real to me anyhow.
To real-ize means that we are co-creators with the Great Alchemist, and we become co-creators by making conscious choices about everything, constantly. For example, if you were to lose your job today, you could easily slip into paralyzing fear. You could real-ize it really fast. Your mind could jump ahead to imaginary unpaid bills, empty cupboards, clothes with holes, a mortgage unpaid, etc., and you could real-ize fear instantaneously. From that fear, you could easily be paralyzed and do nothing, and the very things you feared could easily become a reality . . . because you real-ized them.
OR, you could lose your job today and refuse to real-ize fear. You could refuse to jump into unpleasant thoughts that have not happened yet, and so you could remain mobile and not paralyzed. From your mobile state, you could make phone calls to creditors to buy some time on payments. You could sell a few items around your house that you’re not using and get a little cash, which could help fill those cupboards. Being fed and warm, you could then use the extra time during your day when you would have been at work to find another job. It could happen right away or it could take some time, but if you went after it, you would get it. You might have to find an interim job at first before finding the one you really wanted, but you would do it. You could real-ize a whole new income and possibly a whole new life.
The choices are always there. I can’t change the weather or my age, my height or my skin color. But I can change a good 95% of the things in my life by being a co-creator and real-izing them.
That’s what I learned in alchemy today. The Great Alchemist real-izes the world around us on a daily basis. We real-ize the world within us on a daily basis as well. If we stop and pay attention to how she accomplishes her tasks on the outside, we are given a clue as to how we might accomplish our own on the inside. If we follow her rhythms on the outside and pay attention to her carefully but simply made plans, we can find our rhythms on the inside and create our lives just as carefully yet simply. Can you real-ize the implications?