Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration

There is a human tendency to read things verbatim or dead letter or face value only. The extent to which one has this tendency depends on personal preference and psychological orientation.  To some extent educational training plays a role too. As an INFJ with dominant introverted intuition, I tend to miss the dead letter interpretation on occasion, this is because I am nearly always looking for deeper meaning and a metaphor can provide for me what might take several paragraphs of descriptive text to explain.

It amuses me slightly to image someone working with 20 pounds of antimony in a furnace in his shed. One of the main criticisms people have of the bible stems from an insistence on a dead letter interpretation. People read “the gospel” in a dead letter way. I have speculated that given when it was written the vast majority were illiterate, it is in fact full of metaphors and other narrative devices. People like to argue the toss and nit-pick about their own personal face value interpretation of text.

The Tibetan describes the first three initiations as Transmutation, Transformation and Transfiguration. This is a very alchemical way of explaining. Alchemy to my eyes is not trying to turn base metal into gold, rather it is about transmuting one’s shortcomings into a more helpful set of behaviours. Mares says that the warrior’s path is a path of the three Ts as above. If you look at the degree of change implicit in the language, it starts small and gets bigger.

The alchemical transmutation changes one’s beingness, the transfiguration transfigures which sounds like a whole order of magnitude more radical. Within the scheme of the Tibetan, the third initiation is considered the first “proper” initiation and is indicative of final liberation. After the third it is only a few more lifetimes before the causal vehicle is “blown out”.

Given that human minds are trained in school to compare and contrast, to use ratioing or so-called rational mind we are trained to pick holes in things, to find fault. Searching for holism is discouraged and my even be seen as wishy-washy. We are trained to justify our answers, this tendency for justification has allowed humanity to participate in some truly heinous acts.  

{Everyone is doing it, I was only following orders, there is a precedent.}

I can read alchemical texts from a basis of a degree level understanding of modern {relatively now} chemistry and the periodic table. I don’t imagine myself ever trying some of the frankly dangerous sounding experiments. If one reads Hermetica, attributed to Hermes Trimegistus there is a whole lot of sense in parts. It can be enjoyable to read things and not want to argue the toss and be “right”. Just let it flow over and enjoy someone else’s train of thought.

One of the first things to transmute is to change closed, dogmatic, I am right mind to a more open enquiring and non-concluding mind. There does not have to be a conclusion. This goes against everything we are taught in school. There must be a summing up and a conclusion.


Explain to me why there must be a conclusion, explain to me why there must be a right answer. Justify your answer.