What is Core Essence?
One of the key Alchemy Techniques concepts is core essence. We believe that the ultimate expression of this is the dissolution of both our ego and what Echart Tolle calls the ‘pain body’.
Until we inhabit this state of being permanently, clinic we can get a taste of it by expressing aspects of our core – either by taking part in activities that encourage it or by applying healing techniques such as the Alchemy Techniques’ Funicular Process.
When we experience core essence without ego it feels like something divine is flowing through us and has a sense both of surrender and expansion. Indeed, pregnancy the journey of self-mastery could be seen as a reversal of energy flow. We start from our conditioned egoic existence pulling energy towards us like an insatiable black hole wanting our desires met but never being fully satisfied. As we progress, esophagitis we begin to embody our core, and we radiate our essence like a sun or ‘white hole’ as one participant put it.
Ultimately we can’t enjoy the expression of core essence; rather, we become the enjoyment. Thus, non-attachment is an important tool – we may experience positive feelings but if we try to hang on to them they are likely to fade and we may become disillusioned. Being non-attached to the feelings allows them to transform into something deeper. Indeed, as we increasingly embody our core essence, we can gain a sense of oneness or wholeness and eventually ‘bliss beyond bliss’ as described in many traditions.
Narratives about the core:
Various spiritual and religious narratives exist that describe the process of accessing or surrendering to core essence. We reproduce some popular ones here. As you read them, see if you can see their relationship to the process of transformation and core essence embodiment.
The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Marianne Williamson Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
This passage illustrates the fear that most people have about expressing their core essence. Actually, the transformational process could be seen as culminating in surrendering to our core essence qualities and it is our fear of this that stops transformation. Practicing Alchemy Techniques’ Reflection Technique on the core and core essence is one way to overcome the problem.
St Francis’s Prayer
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace;
where there is hatred, may I bring love;
where there is wrong, may I bring the spirit of forgiveness;
where there is discord, may I bring harmony;
where there is error, may I bring truth;
where there is doubt, may I bring faith;
where there is despair, may I bring hope;
where there are shadows, may I bring light;
where there is sadness, may I bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
And it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.
Most people will read this poem from the perspective that one should interact with the world as instructed by St. Francis of Assisi’s words. This is one way to look at it.
We see his poem as describing perfectly the process of transformation and healing within ourselves. The hatred within ourselves is healed when we bring love (core essence) to that place, the wrong is healed when we bring forgiveness (core essence) to that place and so on. This is a simple way of instructing his readers in a process of healing and inner transformation. We teach techniques for doing exactly this – techniques which are transcended once the student integrates the pure principle behind them and hence no longer needs techniques to transform.
Embodying the core is not just about trying to live from the divine space described in St Francis’s prayer, it is also about deep authenticity and a creative engagement with life that is not conditioned by stories of who we or other people think we are. Ultimately this can’t be adequately described. It is both a journey and an experience and neither of these at the same time – this paradox is at the crux of the process we undertake on the transformational path.