This is the Alchemical Process of Purification of Self. The Alchemical Process of Spirit is the Macro, this is Micro. It is the process within. It has Twelve Operations in a certain order. They are often compared to the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac in more recent times. This work transmutes Lead into Gold. Personality into Immortal Soul.
It is broadly thought that having less emotions, for example, is to not be human. It is different to experience emotions than to indulge in them. Emotions are felt, but to let them control oneself is to attach oneself to them. From an inner perspective, these emotions are external. As one goes through the Great Work, one can discriminate.
Life in this world makes this process seem unnecessary. Many people like to think of successful business, big families, etc. This is only a short-term view, of course. It is just repeating what billions of others have done before. Just on a more technological scale. To keep doing this same cycle of events for millennia is considered as insane.
CALCINATION: This begins as the discovery of the Inner Self. This is most often done by meditating. One must also begin to start questioning the world. Most of what we know has come from what are thought to be trusted sources. One considers what has been taught, but also to question if it is true or just generations of false beliefs.
COAGULATION: This is where one discerns their intuition. Information is not just about communication, but of choosing what “feels right” about it. For this, one must appreciate that the Mind has two parts. The Thinker and the Ethereal. One wants the attention, while the other seeks truth. One now begins to tell which one to trust.
FIXATION: This is where one gets to know the Darker Side. It is the Shadow Self. A part of us most see as the undesirable part and suppress. This actually gives it more life. It is like a real shadow. It is at its strongest where there is light and may hinder one at an unsuitable moment. One must get to know this part as it cannot be removed.
DISSOLUTION: This is the work with the Shadow Self. One learns how to use it as an advantage. The Shadow is part of the Ego and so, will always try to be noticed. One directs Awareness from the external world to what matters in the internal world. The Shadow gives an idea of how to reduce the Ego Self by knowing the effects it will have.
DIGESTION: One now begins to transform from the Material Self into the Spiritual Self. This is like the redirection of energy. Where one looked for external pleasures in the artificially created world, one now looks to avoid these distractions. This allows one to concentrate on the True Self, not some made-up phantom designed to fit in.
DISTILLATION: One enters the Twin Worlds. What the world was before starting the Great Work is now part relevant. It was only someone else’s dream anyway and that dream was a manipulation of the external self. One is still involved in the world, but not as before. One realises that the world’s distractions are to block Awareness.