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The Elixir of Life

Updated: Jan 18

What is the “Elixir of Life”

I recently completed the Azlanz Way support and education class, where one of the highlights was delving into the concept of the Hero’s Journey. Throughout the course, my exploration extended to various sources, including books and YouTube videos, covering the Hero’s Journey, Heroine’s Journey, the Monomyth, and connections to films like Star Wars and the Matrix (alongside many others).

While immersed in these YouTube super cuts, a realization emerged—everything seemed to operate in cycles. Breathing, a fundamental cycle, mirrored the fluidity with which I began interpreting reality. This shift in insight, akin to a Joseph Campbell quote, felt like a portal to another world.

At this juncture, it's essential to acknowledge that cycles are pervasive—they are EVERYWHERE. Whether drawing circles on paper instead of lines, exploring diagrams such as the stages of grief or the stages of change, or contemplating natural cycles like water/hydrogen/nitrogen cycles, photosynthesis, breathing, sleep, and harvest cycles, the rhythm of life surrounds us constantly.

Despite the ease of succumbing to a linear perspective within the realm of good and bad duality, breaking free into the realm of cycles isn't as challenging as it might seem. Consider the word "insight," broken into "in see," implying a deeper understanding as "to see in." Let's transcend duality by delving into cycles.

The Yin & Yang symbol, resembling two snakes consuming each other's tails, symbolizes inseparable and contradictory opposite forces in the universe. This image encapsulates perfect balance, harmony, and movement—a model reflecting the interplay of "dual" forces complementing one another.

Examining these forces within the confines of a two-dimensional Yin & Yang drawing reveals their cyclical nature. Concepts such as Inner world & External reality, Eastern medicine & Western health systems, Chaos & Order, Habit & Novelty, and more, can be represented on a circle, symbolizing change. Envision or draw these concepts within the Yin & Yang symbol.

Observe how these pairs aren't stable or fixed on a linear model. Instead, the depiction of snakes switching, turning, generating, filling, releasing, emptying, and moving illustrates the dynamic nature of these forces. The answer becomes evident when one is willing to see beyond the black-and-white dual nature of things.

With this perspective in mind, let's revisit the hero’s journey diagram, focusing on the elixir of life that follows the stage of transformation. In Western thinking, this mysterious prize or gift is a magic potion to heal the world. Conversely, Eastern medicine identifies the "elixir of life" as the seat of life force within the body.

Consider the intriguing dichotomy—one explanation views the elixir as something gained through a heroic experience, while the other regards it as an innate energy within. These perfect complementary opposites, represented as two snakes entitled inner world and outer world, can be integrated into your diagram. Are we beginning to see in cycles?

An additional perspective on the elixir comes from Israel, considered the center of the world geographically. From the Jewish wisdom book Sirach 6:16, we find the “Elixir of Life”: "A faithful friend is an elixir of life; and those who fear the Lord will find him." This reinforces the idea that the elixir originates from both the inner and outer worlds, East and West, peer to peer, meeting us in the middle. It's no wonder relationships unfold the way they do…in cycles.


Next opportunity I want to discuss the “Elixir of Hope”: Jesus, in John 4:14, says, "But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." It seems that God's word transcends dualistic knowledge.

After that, is the Bible a myth?

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