Folks today oftentimes think the alchemists of old literally changed lead into gold. However, the alchemists were working on a metaphorical level, and changing lead-heavy consciousness into golden light. The world alchemy, from the Aramaic, means “working within and through the dense darkness inside.” Thus, the truth of what alchemists were actually doing.
The significance of consciousness comes from what it brings to the human mind, and from what it subsequently allows the mind to discover.
Consciousness makes mental experiences possible, from pleasure to pain, along with all that we perceive and memorize, and recall and manipulate as we describe the world around and within us, in the process of observing, thinking, and reasoning.
Qi (pronounced chē) is the energy that fuels living – it’s the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine.
In Chinese philosophy, we are born with Qi, or prenatal energy, which we get from our mothers, and we receive energy from various outside sources such as the food we eat, our environments, and from rest.
Qiis Chinese — similar words and concepts can be found throughout a wide range of culture and history, including:
Prana in Hindu/Sanskrit
Ki in Japanese
Pneuma in ancient Greek
Lung in Tibetan
Mana in Hawaiian
Ruah in Hebrew
Bioelectricity in contemporary scientific language
The Force in the pop cultural language of Star Wars
In the beginning was not the word; that much is clear. Not that the universe of the living was ever simple, quite the contrary. It was complex from its inception, four billion years ago. Life sailed forth without words or thoughts, without feelings or reasons, devoid of minds or consciousness. And yet living organisms sensed others like them and sensed their environments. By sensing I mean the detection of a “presence”—of another whole organism, of a molecule located on the surface of another organism or of a molecule secreted by another organism. Sensing is not perceiving, and it is not constructing a “pattern” based on something else to create a “representation” of that something else and produce an “image” in mind. On the other hand, sensing is the most elementary variety of cognition.