The Consciousness of Fire
By Dennis Klocek
The image shows the retort of our sleeping consciousness with the birds of thought arising out of the neck in clouds of steam. These birds are our thoughts that are constantly percolating up out of a constant undercurrent of dreaming into our awake states as we go about our daily affairs. They arise out of the unconscious nature of the will that fumes and bubbles beneath all of our impulses in life. To begin to separate out the will impulses in us from the pattern of how we form thoughts is a valuable alchemical practice.
In alchemy the fire element is the great transformative force in the world that stands behind all changes. In the soul the fire element has to do with the nature of the will that moves us into action. When working on uncovering the hidden will impulses in our soul we may be surprised to find that the fire or will in us is linked to very specific expectations. The expectations come from a habitual use of the will to satisfy desires. What starts out as an itch or urge deepens into an excessive drive or desire. At a still deeper level the desire becomes excessive and develops into a passionate will to satisfy the desire. This level of the work is when the fire stage of the mandala of consciousness has yielded passion that leads to some form of destructive activity.
However, all is not lost because in alchemy destruction contains the seeds of new revival. To be in contact with what is new in our lives that can arise out of the ashes of our thwarted expectations it is very useful to learn how to transform our sleeping and dreaming. The portals of going to sleep and waking up in the morning are powerful events that are useful to those who wish to accomplish what the alchemists called the waking dream. To begin to approach the waking dream an effective exercise is to simply make a note of what thought moves us out of bed in the morning. Keep a journal handy to write down the thought. Over time the pattern of these initial will- filled daily thoughts will begin to reveal to us where the threshold is situated between sleeping and dreaming. Once we find the threshold we can begin the work of transformation of desire.
Consciously experiencing the thought that drives us out of bed in the morning is a valuable key to understanding how the forces of desire and expectation are active in our lives.
Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute and a faculty member at Rudolf Steiner College. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. Dennis is also an international lecturer.