Friday, 10 February 2012
Explaining "The Alchemist"
Normally, I don’t explain my poems but The Alchemist, being such an important part of the ethos of The Enlightenment Project, needs to be made a little more transparent in meaning so below are some notes on the poem.
Line 1: “the path to transformation” – I see that the process I am going through personally is one of a spiritual journey seeking to transform myself, being a better person. This process is then taken to the next level by transforming society as a whole.
Lines 2 & 3: like most people, a vast majority of my hopes and dreams have been destroyed by the corrosive external factors that govern our lives. The weight of these shattered remnants can only hold an individual back unless they are discarded.
Line 5: “all that is diseased” – it is not just shattered hopes and dreams that burdens one’s soul but also the negative emotions, the dark impulses and animal passions. These things are a sickness, a disease that must be purged for one to progress.
Line 6: “the madness” – here, I am not referring to a diagnosable clinical psychopathy but rather the fanciful ideas and beliefs that have no reality in fact, the hopes and dreams that could never find a place in the real world.
Line 7: “spiritually cleansed” – for me, this is not a religious experience; for others, it may well have a religious aspect. I believe that a spiritual experience does not need a reliance on a religion and, as such, I have always believed myself to be a spiritual man on a journey of spiritual awakening.
Line 8: I believe that, having gone through the process described in the first seven lines, the emergent individual will be one who has been reborn, aware of their own self and their attendant baggage, whilst unburdened by the greater part of their negative self. No process, however good, can completely purge oneself of all negativity.
Line 9: I do not see myself as a leader but merely a facilitator. Anyone who wishes may, however, join me if they too seek a transformative experience for themselves and society, and seek it with an open mind.
Line 11: the only true way to change society is to change all aspects of it – political, economic, social, creative, scientific, theological – and opening new ways to view the totality of experiential reality.
Line 12: “the Rangers” – I am a massive fan of the science-fiction series Babylon 5 in which a group of humans and MInbari was formed to act as warriors and peacekeepers with a focus on honour and duty. I believe that the name of “Rangers” is perfect for those who make it their aim to transform society for the betterment of all.
Line 14: “humanity’s edifice” – society/civilisation
Line 15: mankind has a corrupting influence on its surroundings that can only be purged by the process of transformation led by open-minded individuals who are willing to put aside their preconceptions and prejudices for the greater good.