November 08, 2010

The World Theatre XI - The harshness of air

In many sixteenth and seventeenth centuries treatises of alchemy there is a nourished description of the work of nature in the generation of metals. Reading them is very inspiring, full of devout and poetic images. It is a reading that I recommend to those interested in less academic literature of the period, but equally spiritual and deep.


Those treatises, describe how nature cooks in her uterus, in the cavernous depths of the earth, that primal substance, that shapeless mineral from which all metals are born. From that deep darkness minerals emerge gradually, rocked by the wise hand of the mother, which provides the point of temperature, humidity, cooking, and pressure to mutate them in their scale of perfection. For all metals, in their creation, have the ability to be perfect, that is, to turn into gold.

However it happens, by chance or by fate that not all minerals are on track, and growth conditions are not ideal. Then, depending on them they will end up in an intermediate stage of the scale of perfection. We know because of this, metals such as lead, tin, copper, iron and silver, because, in their gestation, cold, dryness, lack of digestion or the crudity of the air slows their progression. So, what is intended to perfection often lies in a middle stage of its evolution. That is the effect of the harshness of the air. So the miracles of nature acted in the eyes of these authors. The Alchemist only completed the work that nature had already begun.

I've always had the belief that man has an almost unlimited capacity. We do not know the extent of our abilities and possibilities. However, in the course of our lives, when we go from possible to reality, we all reach our goal at some intermediate point. It happens that the environment in which we develop and enables our growth is the same that shapes us, limits us. We put all of us, our efforts and our will, but external reality often slows aspects of our development, because life is hard. Emotional scars, education, labor and fatigue, tension and obligations, sterile distractions, traveling companions, lost opportunities or simply opportunities not have arisen. All condition us, making us real people, still far from any ideal. Do not forget that our fate is not living, it is to survive. The air out there is crude and requires a lot or all of our energy.

This should not seem like a justification or an excuse, neither for those who let their lives be led by circumstances nor by those who will never become like gold. Still, when I am sometimes asked why I do not act or behave in a better way, I try to explain myself: it's not me, is the harshness of the air.

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