Sunday, January 31, 2010

Opus Contra Natura


The Work Against Nature is a phrase powerful enough to drive anyone away from something. But in alchemy the work against nature--Opus Contra Natura-- is merely a turning inward, a searching within which yields development and awakening.

It is a "work against Nature" because "nature" means physical nature. The opus contra natura draws our attention toward spiritual nature, the deeper truth of things.

In working with individuals who are just starting to write "again" the opus contra natura is a riot in the heart. The words just start flowing and, in some, they bring with them deep sorrow and joy which must be moved through.

I have been, of late, made aware (through being dumped by one such person and realizing my life is full of them) of personality disorders and their onset at either age 7 or in the adult years. Such disorders--borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and the like--occur because a child is not given the safety and expression children require. So, that child ceases developing past a certain point psychologically while the body continues its journey into maturation. The result: an incredible number of very tall 5 year olds, men and women, walking around and often running various shows.

I think of the opus contra natura and how it can be used to retrieve those inner 5 year olds, tend them, move them back into the forefront and listening to them. Doing the hard work necessary to become whole.

Is it possible that the sacred texts and their writers were writing about people who have left themselves entirely behind? And the fluidity of Life comes when we have gone back and dislodged those parts of us once frozen in time. . .

(picture courtesy of Adam McLean's website www.levity.com : Geber's Works woodcuts, c. 1678.)

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