The Duality of Man: Alchemy in Action

September 14th, 2022

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

There are numerous archetypal forks in the road we will all face in life. There might be any number of personal choices along our life paths composed of individual circumstances which at the same time often signify archetypal choices we all must make in some form or another.

Often these choices we face are seemingly simple dichotomies with certain spectrum of forces involved surely, but with two apparent directions. There may be numerous articulations and subtleties to how we proceed, but there is an apparent simplified choice where we decide to either remain or proceed, to stop or go.

A few of life’s archetypal dichotomies among many are below, some of which we might face repeatedly – especially when we make the wrong choice prior it would appear. Sometimes the correct choice though might vary. The correct answer is situational not certain.

We all are faced with the choice to advance or to halt.

To obey or disobey.

To mature or to stagnate.

To learn or to ignore.

To fight or to cower.

To speak out or to sit down in silence.

To do right or to do wrong.

To stand upon truth or upon lies.

To be considerate or selfish.

To be moral or immoral.

To be productive or destructive.

To be mindful or to be mindless.

There are so many dualistic choices we all must make in numerous variations. Perhaps the most outstanding of the dichotomies of life arrives constantly nearly ever present and shapes our relationships and life direction. The duality of man here is formative of character, but results from our character as well.

Answer the duality of man and you may be better understood than with any other simple information. And there is an important duality that results from it actually making it more accurately the duality of polarity of man.

At practically every step on the path we must choose to operate from the position of the materialist or of the spiritualist. The secondary duality within these two worlds and two worldviews is of the exoteric or esoteric.

This personal and archetypal duality of polarity in intersection is a paramount consideration for refinement and transformation as well as understanding. You can conceptualize the construct by imagining a cross reference of the esoteric and exoteric choice intersected with the spiritual and material choice. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this idea is through consideration of the subject of Alchemy.

Alchemy was the first chemistry. And it was primarily in the beginning a materialistic practice. The exoteric practitioners refined and manifest certain chemical agents for largely artisan projects. The esoteric practitioners of alchemy refined and created certain chemical agents toward life-extension and most famously studied the transform of elements most notably transformation of lead into gold, base metals into refined metals.


And it is important to note that in the materialist teachings of alchemy there was always the lesson that if you are not pure of heart and mind all the correct external calculations will not manifest the desired results.

Perhaps the above notion of internal change in order to manifest external change led to the shift in Alchemy. Alchemy was pure chemistry and it has transformed into a subject predominantly focused on individual transformation rather than chemical.

Alchemy now is predominantly spiritual related to the philosophy of self-development and it is often used to convey ideas pertinent to psychological rather than the chemical. The spiritual Alchemy is internal understanding and healing. The esoteric art of it is the transformation of basic or mundane mind state into golden like enlightenment.

Another pertinent function of Alchemy Philosophy is known as The Marriage of Opposites. Understanding the contrasting and complimentary nature of opposites and what the ideas that one is marrying are as opposites is an initial step to this process.

For more check out The Matrix of Four:

The Matrix of Four

The Matrix of Four - Ethan Indigo SmithMatrix of Four: the Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity is an exploration of our consciousness, and presents a formula to develop our consciousness and surpass the limitations of traditional political and social constructs. In this work, Ethan relates and explains correlations between the four seasons, Om and a myriad of esoteric and exoteric ideas on consciousness to inspire creative thinking and being. He also explores mathematical and philosophical concepts to engage a higher thinking and being, verified using universality and human traditions beginning with the four operations of arithmetic, referencing the four archetypal characters in Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave, and much more.

Matrix of Four: the Philosophy of the Duality of Polarity is available here on Amazon.

Recommended articles by Ethan Indigo Smith:

About the author:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:

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