James on Alchemy and Utilization: Part 2

“The kingdom of heaven will not come as per expectation.

Rather, the father’s kingdom is spread upon the earth; and men do not see it.”

 ~ Jesus (verse 113 The Gospel of Thomas)

We discussed last week several things worth contemplating. I trust that you did. If we can agree with the Christian prophet, “The kingdom of heaven is within” (Luke 17:21), then by the same logic the pit of hell must be in the same place (versus an eternal barbeque with you as the subject).

Click here to learn more about last week's blog and read more about the start of this discussion.

Now I know this probably pushes up against everything you’ve ever been taught and told; and I respect that; and if you think me wrong… maybe I am. But if it’s at least possible, then as true students we must at least consider that we’ve been seeking in the wrong place.

In my experience, one of the primary causes of frustration and failure in the world is the continued propagation, in both personal performance as well as spiritual teachings, that we’re going to “receive some grand reward or protection; or conversely some punishment” either in this lifetime or the next. What a great surprise it might be to come to the end of it all and suddenly realize that that was indeed as heavenly (or as hellacious) as it gets.

When you can find heaven in the midst of hell

 then your heaven is truly found

As you know, we’re exploring the concept of alchemy, utilization and transmutation, which in actuality are all one and the same.

There are two important facets that all truly successful individuals must consider when approaching anything in life. Principles and practices; or philosophy and strategy. I submit to you that for true and lasting success, principles must precede practices.

Now this is contrary to how most approach their life (particularly in the West). So if you’re one of those individuals who wants to rush full forward into the “how-to’s” of alchemy and utilization, you’re going to get the opportunity to practice your patience.  I promise we’ll get to the how-to’s, but a good foundational philosophy will serve you for years to come.

You see, when you have the foundation you are liberated to choose from a multitude of different practices, because understanding the underlying principles gives you great latitude as well as wisdom. Make sense?

I recall doing business consulting with a manufacturing division of AT&T many years ago. Their product quality was in the tank on a particularly important widget they were producing; and they needed help.

We found that at the end of the assembly line the workers were taking shortcuts to doing their job properly. The problem resided in the fact that these workers had no understanding of their how their piece fit into the overall grand scheme—their contribution to the greater whole. We needed to educate them on the purpose of the small part they were responsible for; and how it fit into the bigger picture. In other words, how it contributed to the greater whole. Once the education was given… the behavior was instantly changed. Problem solved.

Principles must precede practices

The human being is an interesting creature, and by his own devices can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell. I submit that the true secret to alchemy is the understanding and application of the principles of the Universe and Life itself.

That last sentence is bold so please make sure you understand it.

We discussed last time that the purpose of the Universe is fuller expression, experience and expansion. Period. God’s Intention is ever committed to this Purpose but little concerned with the method (or we could say the how-to).

First, let’s agree on the principle that nothing can work contrary to its nature.

Therefore, the fundamental nature and principle of Life is Life. In other words, life by its very nature can only express more life. It cannot act contrary to its nature; and anything contrary to more life would be in opposition to its nature. Do you follow?

Now while I know this may initially seem like a limited amount of information, I submit to you that it is extremely vast in its implications and deserving of much deep contemplation.

For this reason I’m going to stop here for this week.

Stay awake and Love Life,


james arthur ray


38 Responses

  1. Nothing ‘CAN’ work contrary to its nature!!!! The usual spinning wheels syndrome is an attempt at otherwise!! … or the time spent is in developing whatever is required for ‘nature to work’ and once it happens … “amazing that it took so long given how effortless it is now!”

    The mind can be stuck in “Yeah, but” forever if you let it. I am grateful for your direction!

  2. Good Day James,

    Loved the article. Now, you have mentioned that frustration and Failures against Beliefs. I couldn’t agree more. How perfect it is. We often get frustrated and feel like we’re failure or thoughts similar to that, which is actually the outcome of your belief system.

    It is also so often the effect of not wanting to get out of the comfort zone that we are used to since our childhood.

    I have seen examples where people just don’t want to take that extra step or are not keeping up with the pace with which things need to be carried out in order to maintain the momentum.

    Frustration often comes when the comfort zone isn’t the comfort zone anymore and we are faced with challenges. These kinds also drive the other person mental and hysterical.

    Ego so often is also a cause of this frustration and anger so to say as any feedback you give these individuals is taken as a negative one.

    These are just some of my observations in the daily life.

    1. Anand, ALL comfort zones are a prison… they at some point could be an expansive prison, but a prison nonetheless. If the Universe is unlimited (which it is) then how can we with a finite mind ever begin to comprehend Infinite. We can’t even explain it much less understand. Might I suggest that we let go of the word Ego for this conversation? It’s popular I know in most circles to consider it (ego) a bad thing. Truth be told it can be bad when in causes us to be limited and stuck… but it’s also absolutely necessary. Ego is nothing more than a Latin word for “I” or “identity” and we all have one; and we can’t function in the world without it. NO ONE is ego free–no one! Ego/Identity is only bad when it turns into calcified beliefs and rigidity; and here we are back again at the prison of the comfort zone ~ JAR

    1. Stuart, the mind will mess you up almost every single time… thanks for being will to practice and stay the course. They say that patience is a virtue you know =) ~ JAR

  3. In gratitude for the wisdom and knowledge you
    share… Peace….

  4. I am not one for posting…but I need to say the Gospel of Thomas is one of my favorites…You have us in the direction of what I call ‘doing forty days in the wilderness’ now. If you can’t see the abundance all around us, you need to do an inner journey. Thank you for this blog topic.

    1. Elaine, I have read and re-read Thomas, amazing while yet somewhat controversial to some. There’s more wisdom there then I could ever grasp… but like it states, “Whoever finds the correct interpretation of these teachings shall never die.” Pretty strong promise so I continue to study. Much love ~ JAR

  5. Hi James,

    Vast implications for sure! Realizing that heaven and hell are experienced here and now, and that we actually have some choice regarding which we experience, has been a huge shift in perception for me. HUGE. You’re so right about the need for a foundational understanding…solid rock versus shifting sand, as it were…gotta love a good metaphor.

    Thank you,

  6. I like it……. the answers are always where we least expect to find them right under our nose,we seem to like making things far more complex than they really are or need to be in fact one time during a personal disruption with my wife I asked her why she threatening to leave the night before and the answer she gave was simply ” I guess I just enjoy the drama”!!! God love her I still do. Thank you James

    1. Liam, we ALL enjoy the drama. Not one of us will go to a movie that doesn’t have some sort of it happening. How boring would that be? Such is life ~ JAR

  7. To everyone that offers a comment … I so appreciate the openness of all that is shared. The shared insights and experiences really add,( and as far as I am concerned), are an integral part of this forum. Thank you! Barbara

  8. I have truly discovered the depth of living hell within, as I discovered that Heaven is also within. I have experienced both very clearly in many occasions and now I am aware of the existence of both realms within me.
    The difference after I became aware of them versus when I was totally obvious of them is that nowi an able to steer myself at will, from one to the other consciously . It is wonderful to be present and awake now while before I would let myself be drifted away by external currents not being able to control my state at all. Thank you James for coinciding. Much love

  9. When we talk about the “nature of things”, being in Alaska, my life is integrally woven with nature and what the nature of things can mean in a very real way. One recent experience that comes to mind is when we and a couple of other farms were on ‘grizzly watch” for almost three weeks. We had a mama grizzly and two cubs show up on the adjoining farm, living under a natural den of fallen trees that were located along the fence line that divided our two farms. If that was not enough, a male grizzly showed up a couple days later. Now, talking about the nature of things, let’s talk. The first day when I went outside I knew that a bear was around because I could smell it. They are rank smelling .. they smell like the decaying floor of a late autumn forest, especially during the salmon run. Sure enough, an hour later the neighbor called after being charged by her (he had unknowingly came close to the den). It is one of the many times that I am glad that the farm is double fenced, with a gate securing the property. (I use the term “secure” very loosely as she could have came through it at any time to get the stock or chickens. It would simply give us a few more seconds to get to safety.) Even though we knew it was useless, we did call Division of Wildlife and they do NOT come and get the bears out unless they are killing stock or have seriously endangered someone. Okay, moving forward … . By noon there were multiple “natures” of people and animals actively at work, some seeming to directly oppose each other and varying degrees in between. One neighbor was ready to shoot and kill on the slightest legal grounds, another neighbor sped off to talk to all the neighbors to please not hurt the bear at any costs, no matter if the bear killed stock or endangered people. The mama bear just wanted to protect her babies from people (and from the male bear when he arrived. ( Males will kill the cubs so the female will come right back into heat so he can breed her), the Div of Wildlife’s intent, and then my own. With my daughter and son in law working, I was in charge of the farm and my three grandsons, so I was concerned about their safety and of course the safety of the dogs and stock, and knew enough to allow the situation to work itself out as it was not our first rodeo, and to protect if needed. I readied myself with loud horns, fire crackers, bear mace and there was a gun in the back closet if it became critical to use it, yet noise usually was a great deterrent and bear mace much more accurate than a scared person with a gun. So right off the bat, there was the simultaneous nature of people and animals intertwining and weaving a tapestry of life drama. We all listened to the roaring fights between the female and male bear as she protected her young for almost three weeks, praying that he would not succeed in getting the cubs. The stock were nervous because they did not want to be dinner. The dogs were restless in their diligence to keep us safe. Whenever any of us walked to the car, to the barn, or gathered eggs, we faithfully blew our horns before venturing off the porch. We stood watching over the farm from the big front porch that overlooked the property. We were all nervous.
    The den was only 100 yards from the house and barn. I watched the neighbors acting out their prioritiess as I did mine. It was a great study of the nature of people and animals. Then, just before the three week mark, it became apparent that the sow and cubs had gone, the fighting had stopped. Within a day, the boar also left. We border BLM property and the tracks showed that they had left gone up the mountain joining the Mountain Sheep. After a week, we had all settled back into our routines. What was interesting was listening as all the neighbors talked later and I realized that everyone one of us, including the sow, had been able to protect what was valuable to them. Even the neighbor waiting for a legal chance to protect his property was, in the end relieved that that had been accomplished without needing to fire a single shot. I guess what I am sharing from this experience is that everyone can have a different nature, a different intent, and yet everyone can get the outcome that is important to them, all from the same experience. This experience taught me that, in the end, the “nature of many things” only weave one beautiful tapestry of life that we all hold in our memories, and the commonality of all involved in that experience helped to bond all us neighbors together. There was one that did not get their way, and that was the boar. God is certainly just.

    1. Barbara, what a beautiful story and illustration. Thanks for taking the time to type it out. I’d like to drive everyone’s attention to the fact that the Life Principle was operating in every animal and human alike. The Momma wanted her and her cubs to live! The humans wanted to live and protect Life. The dogs, even the Male Bear wanted greater life experience =). Each striving for fuller Life and experience. I truly hope everyone here reads this as it emphasizes the point well. Thanks again ~ JAR

    2. Thank you Barbara for sharing this story!
      There are so much to learn in it and I hope many people understand the importance of human-animal balance in nature. We need to learn to live and let live the rest of creation.

      Thank you once more!

  10. Thank you James, I guess every person finds a particular point that resonates with that person.

    What you said about those workers who were not aware of the importance of that small part is what happens to most of us nowadays. We haven’t realised yet that we contribute to the “whole picture” even if we cannot see how we are doing that. We are co-creators of this reality and we think we are too small to make a difference in this world, but in the same way those workers were “educated” about it, we need to educate ourselves to understand our own contribution to the whole project.
    Thank you James I am writing to down these ideas so I can understand them more thoroughly, this new series is getting really exciting, can’t wait to see next article.
    Thank you very much indeed!!!
    Your friend,
    Hector Sampson

    1. Hector, very nicely said my friend. You DO have a special place in the whole, one that I can’t fill for it can ONLY be filled by YOU ~ JAR

  11. Hi James,

    Thank you so much for your response and explanation on ego being integral part of everyone’s life. I agree and see exactly what you mean. I guess that “I” factor is nexessary in every step we do or do not take in life. Absolutely true that everyone has it and without which functionning of human mind is impossible.

  12. In Life therefore there can be no right or wrong it’s a matter of perception? That’s a big statement, I understand for example in my world war is wrong, but to the head of a country that is worried about his country it isn’t?

    1. Amanda, something to consider. The fire that destroys acres of land also is very creative and allows new growth. So much so in fact, that they’re often set on purpose. There is only Life. Something to consider ~ JAR

  13. How interesting-my fiancee and I were just talking about principles last night. The way I see it, there exist 2 levels of principles: personal, and universal. Of course, when our personal principles are aligned with those universal, that is when miraculous alchemy occurs.

    I think it important that we remain flexible in our personal principles, however. As our understanding of the universal expands, so too does our capacity to shift, or strengthen, our personal. I certainly don’t stand on the same heap of principles that I did even a year ago! The warrior adapts, no?

    Anyway, good post…I see many running around, trying to force God’s hand, in absence of solid principles. Study is so invaluable…understanding moreso…experience the motherload!

    1. Alissia, Truth be known, we can never fully understand Universal Principles for our understanding no matter what will always be finite and therefore never able to fully comprehend The Infinite. You’re right, we must always stay flexible. He or she with the most flexibility utilizes the most power and capability ~ JAR

  14. Hi James,
    Thank you for the guidance and direction toward expanding my mind and challenging my belief systems. I AM finally taking off the blinders of what I thought was true and realizing what my truth is.
    Remembering “who I am” is just the beginning, putting that into “action” is where the magic happens.
    Abundant LOVE brother,
    Ps, Thank you for pushing me to SEE.

  15. I loved reading Barbara’s story! I lived in Vancouver, BC and it always surprised me how people who purchased the homes built in the coastal mountain range were surprised…even full of audacity…when bears roamed the streets and scurraged for refuse. Makes me reflect the commentaries on how we manufacture drama in our lives 🙂
    To me, Barbara’s story resounds the need within all of us for safety: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. The need is bone-deep, it seems. I think that is why navigating from a solid base of principles has worked for me, although full of uncertainty during those times. There is safety held in having those fundamentals to build upon, and reading it helped to clarify this for me.
    Another realization I had in reading here is the lingering discomfort I have with language of Christian paradigm since I was raised in an extremely dogmatic and abusive environment throughout my childhood. I value and utilize many faiths at this time, primarily Buddhism, since it seems to be most helpful for me. The point I want to make, however, is my appreciation for this discussion because it is helping me to continue in creation of a new inner recognition about terms like heaven and hell. Thank you. I enjoy everyone’s commentaries.

  16. James, I have been going through a particularly challenging time recently and was sitting in my car yesterday, having an almost full fledged emotional breakdown… complete with a mental primal scream of, WWHHYYYY??? When i had finished, I
    glanced at my phone and saw your post. I had to laugh out-loud when I realized a mirror was being held up for me that I might see my own hand ( or rather, thoughts) in the situation. …That in-spite of all my meditating and learning I was still hanging onto some powerfully negative and limiting beliefs about myself, and when my back was up against the wall, I reverted right back to that “place.” I was really disappointed in myself, but grateful for the lesson and the opportunity to see my negative patterns and perhaps clear them out this time around.

    Thanks so much for your wisdom and teachings. They always move me forward!

    1. Maria, Thanks sweetie and be kind to yourself. My experience is that we will ALWAYS have what you call “negative and limiting” beliefs. Believe me I’ve spent my entire adult life immersed in study and practice and there’s still a lot more that I “know about” than I do. The grand illusion is often that we tend to think the teachers have it all together and are “all there” (whatever the hell that means). There is no there. Please read that again and let it sink in. What you’re describing is part of the human condition and I know quite enlightened Zen masters who are still wrestling with it. If the Universe is Infinite (which it is) how could we ever reach Infinite potential? Be kind to yourself… there will always be melt down days and those day remind us that we are on The Path… if we weren’t we wouldn’t even recognize the meltdown because it’d be a daily thing. Hope this helps. Stay awake and Love Life ~ JAR

      1. Thanks to both you and Maria for reminding us about the human condition and that sometimes a melt-down is part of the deal, yet nothing for which we need to judge ourselves. Learning to view and treat ourselves with the same kindness as we do our loved ones is so important. : )

  17. Thank you everyone for your comments on my story. I hesitated writing it, wondering if I would take up too much space. The lesson that I had left out was what the boar taught me. He was the only one that did not get what he wanted. The lesson, the life his intent sought to serve was only to himself, everyone else’s intent on what they wanted from life included others. The expansion of our intent beyond ourselves greater determines our success.(My personal lesson.) Kerry, I understand what you mean about safety. Last summer I drove almost 3800 miles by myself with six dogs. I drove from the lower 48, through B.C., the Yukon, and through a big portion of Alaska to get home. When I was up in the Yukon, from out of “nowhere” the thought came to me that “I was safe!” (exclamation mark intended), that “here I was driving on the top of the world, had not seen another sign of life for over two hours, humanly all alone, and I was SAFE!”. The notion that I was unsafe had been such a subconscious program running that I was surprised when the realization broke through into my conscious awareness. It was a break through moment from me and I have had much more of a sense of well being and confident peace ever since. Thank you all. I love reading what you say James and what others post. Barbara

  18. Truly amazing, simple concept. Yet we are so often blinded to the fact that nature is ever working for us and not against us.

    Thank you James

  19. Hi James,
    I would like to agree with the 1st Principle that “nothing can work contrary to its nature”, but I have a couple of questions that are holding me back. If our nature is to be love then why can we become critical, self-sabbotaging, etc and as you mentioned make a “hell of heaven or a heaven of hell.” Also the thought of cancer or auto-immune diseases come to mind. Isn’t this also an instance of nature working against itself? Please tell me where I am missing the mark 🙂 Thank you. Really enjoyed Harmonic Wealth and am now listening to the Science of Success 🙂

    1. Kim, Very good questions. I’ll answer your first one with a metaphor that you can ponder. Living on this planet some travel to the West directly… but if you travel East far enough where will you end up?

      Secondly, the cancer question is a little more complicated and to answer it we must realize that Life never ends, just transitions. Physical existence in a particular form ends but Life is eternal. Both things are worth contemplating. Love great questions BTW; and I’m glad you’re enjoying the books ~ JAR

  20. Very good post!

    I like how you interpret the Biblical quote for what it is. So many religious preachers takes a literally and fearful interpretation of it – heaven is something distant place in the sky and you must repent your sins to get there; if you don’t believe in God, you will burn, etc.

    But what is heaven? What is hell? Is it a place or merely a state of mind drawing us closer to objective bliss? It’s all within, in my opinion. What is sin? The correct translation is “missing the mark” and not of a karmic score keeping guilt storage list.

    I recall a phrase by Dr. Maxwell Maltz (Psycho-Cybnetics) that the only thing worse than hell is your own “self-doubt.” You are your own worst enemy and prisoner. Many people who self-sabotage themselves with negative thoughts all want a form of escape. They want to escape their self-constructive prisoners of negative criticisms of themselves. Yet, if only they shift their mindset to something minor positively, they are already one step towards heaven.

    There’s no more worse punishment than self-doubt by yourself.

    I have dwell in Buddhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and philosophies the whole Atheism principles – they are all expressing the same wisdom but from a totally different angle. All ancient wisdom and religions were pass on by wise messengers from the past. And none ever mention of heaven/hell being in another physical place.

    Why do people bicker over politics and religions these days? Is it all driven by “negative” ego? It’s because we all think we know the truth – and that our version of heaven is correct, and others are wrong.

    I agree the ego is part of us and something we preserve to form our unique existence. We bicker if we get personally attach to our own ego and unable to see different sides of things.

    1. Mike, well said. In my experience the “attachment” you speak of is the cause of all of our suffering. Wanting things to be what we think they “should be” versus accepting and embracing what they are. This indeed is the negative thinking you speak of. Resistance. Plain and simple. Resistance to growth and thinking that we know better how things should be than the Universal Intelligence itself. ~ JAR

  21. Hell must be within as well because what is outside is a reflection of inside.
    The dark is here to show us what light is. What Heaven do we want to see? Is it yours or is it mine?

    Transmuting energy for the masses is outdated. Each is accountable for their creation. Our world is still operating on some outdated concepts which promote blaming others and expecting someone to lead the way. At least this is my version of it at this time.

  22. Very thought provoking. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and comments. I am grateful to have joined you, albeit late.

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