Do you ever wish you could be happy 24/7?
Now, this may not be completely possible but surely, some level of happiness can be found in most situations.
How we respond to any event depends on our perceptions, which, we are now discovering are more variable than previously expected.
Even Shakespear recognized the subjectivity of perception when he stated…
“…for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”Hamlet
Within every failure there is a seed of success — within every success is the seed of failure.
The seed you choose to water is the one that will grow.
The concept of positive thinking is a trending topic in today’s society but philosophers have been talking about this concept for thousands of years.
In fact, an ancient philosophy known as, Hermeticism, clearly states the power of transmuting thoughts in an occult practice called, Mental Alchemy.
What is Mental Alchemy?
Alchemy is an ancient practice of turning base metals into Silver and Gold. The early alchemists were interested in discovering a Universal Solvent underlying all Matter. This later morphed into what is now known as, Chemistry.
Although Alchemy is seen as pseudoscience, the Hermetics expanded its meaning beyond physical phenomena.
Hermetic teachers believe that there is such a thing as, Mental Alchemy, which is the process of transmuting thought energy from one state to another.
However, as we’ll see in a moment, the process of transmutation doesn’t involve changing one state to a completely different state but in simply increasing or decreasing vibrational mental energy.
Polarity, Vibration, and Rhythm
The Hermetic teachings tell us that all phenomena, on all Plane of Existence (Physical, Mental, and Spiritual), are composed of equal and opposite parts (good, bad | left, right | hot, cold | etc.)
However, the only thing differentiating each part is vibrational energy. In fact, there is no such thing as cold and no such thing as hot, each is just a varying degree of heat energy (vibration).
All such things seem to be two parts while also being one infinite spectrum of vibration.
Additionally, all phenomena are constantly oscillating between the two extremes (poles). This fact is clearly shown in the image of a vibrational wave that rapidly oscillates from crest to trough.
Since all matter is composed of vibrational wave energy, objects in the physical world also display patterns of rhythm. These patterns become really apparent in large numbers such as human societies.
As alluded to, these laws function on all levels of the Universe so the concept of Polarity, Vibration, and Rhythm all apply to the Mental Realm as well as the Spiritual.
You may have noticed Rhythm playing a role in your own mental states — how easily can our moods change like the coming and going of seasons?
The Hermetic Philosophy state that it’s possible to neutralize the negative swing in mental polarity by using a technique called, Polarization.
Just like with a magnet, when two opposite mental states (poles) come together, the energies of the two poles are neutralized.
So, the Hermetic teachers state that it is possible to neutralize the negative swing in emotions, thoughts, moods, desires by placing them in close proximity to their positive counterpart.
Positive mental energy can arise internally by force of Will of the individual or from outside influences.
No matter how it’s accomplished though, flooding the mind with the positive pole of thought will neutralize the effects of negative moods.
It’s important to restate that mental alchemy can only be performed on direct opposites. Put another way, Hate can be turned into Love but not into Curiosity. The reason for this is because Hate and Love are essentially the same thing, just varying degrees of vibration, while curiosity falls on a completely different spectrum.
How to Practice Mental Transmutation
There are two steps involved in mental transmutation:
In order to transmute negative mental states into positive states you must first be aware that you’re experiencing a negative state.
This seems like common sense but it’s amazing how often we don’t even realize we’re experiencing certain emotions.
Meditative practices will help you to become more aware of your mind and body which harbor all emotions, thoughts, desires, etc.
Use your awareness to scan your mind and body to understand where the emotion/thought is arising from. What is the root of this emotion? Can you put a name on what it is you’re feeling?
The second step is to polarize your mind to the opposite state. Since you’ve correctly identified the negative, you now should know the positive.
Keep in mind that the positive state can arise from either within you or an outside influence.
Let’s say for instance you are feeling frustrated that a friend is late to an event you were supposed to hang out at. Instead, you can flip the script and look for reasons why you are pleased with the situation.
You still don’t have to be pleased about their tardiness but you could possibly be pleased you have some time to practice meditation. A slight shift can move your mind away from the negative and towards the positive.
Of course, this is easier said than done but this is why an awareness practice is so important for performing mental alchemy as awareness is what will keep your mind focused on the positive polarity.
But, let’s say you just can’t seem to let go of the negative. It’s possible you just haven’t yet built the Will and awareness to negate the negative swing of polarity. This is completely okay!
You can leverage other people, music, and media to externally flood your mind with the right energy.
Throw on some inspirational Youtube talks, read an inspirational book, or hang out with someone who’s always got something big going.
Tuning Your Brain for Success
I know a lot of this seems overly simplistic but the value is not in performing these acts once.
The goal is to habituate your mind towards positive poles and this process will likely take years.
However, training your brain in this fashion is a worthy endeavor.
The Hermetics believe that the Mental world rules the Physical. This means that changes that occur mentally, directly affect physical reality. Put another way, your thoughts create reality.
Practice the art of mental alchemy in small steps every day by transmuting negative thoughts into their positive counterpart. Build this habit over time and, based on Hermetic beliefs, you’ll be able to transcend the physical world and manifest reality at will.