Excerpt About Red Sulfur

The Dynamism of Red Sulfur is a Metaphor for the Power of the Philosophers’ Stone

We first discover the inherent dynamism of true nature when we see the unity of individual consciousness and true nature. Our individual consciousness is overflowing and dynamic and creative, and it can experience and realize all the qualities of true nature—brilliancy, purity, strength, compassion, peace, light, presence, joy, and so on. When we recognize that individual consciousness and true nature are inseparable, we behold the beginning manifestation of the truth of the philosophers’ stone—the dynamism of true nature. This dynamism is usually referred to in alchemical literature as “red sulfur.” Sulfur is yellow, so what is red sulfur? It doesn’t exist in nature, and the term was used by alchemists to designate the combination of two elements that represent two sides of reality. The union of these two elements, their merging, is what creates red sulfur. In chemical terms, these two elements are sulfur and mercury, and their combination causes a chemical reaction that creates red sulfur. According to the literature, sulfur is fiery, combustive, active, and masculine; and mercury is flowing, receptive, changeable, and feminine. Red sulfur is the marriage of masculine and feminine, active and receptive, which creates an unusual dynamism. The dynamism of red sulfur is a good metaphor for the power of the philosophers’ stone, the combustive, creative dynamism of true nature as it is ignited and activated. True nature is creatively dynamic in the sense that it is creating right in the moment the experience that is happening. The creative dynamism of the individual consciousness and the nondual dimension of creative dynamism are manifestations of this dynamism in the first two turnings of the teaching.

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