I was listening to Wayne Dyer’s Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifestation on the way home this afternoon and arrived at the part where he discusses his interpretation on I AM that I AM. If you aren’t familiar with this segment or haven’t listened to any of Wayne Dyer’s seminars and talks, he is quoting a passage from the Torah (or the Old Testament). Moses asks God what he is to say when he returns to the Israelites informing them that the god of their fathers has sent Moses to them and they ask for God’s name. God replies, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh” (Exodus 3:13). In the translation of the Torah which I own, there are three possible meanings.

Translation 1: “I am that I am.”

Translation 2: “I am who I am.”

Translation 3: “I will be what I will be.”

A fair amount of time is spent discussing this in Wishes Fulfilled and quite frankly, it’s the center piece to the whole book. The concept is that if we are made in God’s image and he is that he is, meaning he is not defining himself by any objective measurement (height, weight, occupation, affiliation), then God and we are energy based beings of spiritual souls. I couldn’t help think about my series The Legends of Amun Ra because it shares such spiritual principles with the aforementioned. In my studies of Egyptian mythology and spirituality with an emphasis on the Hermetica, I’ve noticed parallels to Judaism and Christianity. At times it seems as though all the texts I’ve read scream one universal truth. No matter how we try to divide ourselves, we’re all searching for something ineffable: the mind of the divine. Some people do not prefer the term God given that it’s so ingrained in a religious dogmatic approach to spirituality. Instead they choose words like Light, Divine Essence, Cosmic Consciousness, the Creator, the Divine, the Higher Self, the Divine Purpose, etc. I think you get the idea.

Legends of Amun Ra is a seven book fantasy series inspired and based in the spiritual practice of alchemy. However many are confused by what alchemy is. Some say it has to do with the Philosopher’s Stone (highlighted by J.K. Rowling’s first book in the massively famous Harry Potter series – and for us Americans, known as the Sorcerer’s Stone). Others declare alchemy as being a superstition and an early form of chemistry, where medieval scientists attempted to transmute lead into gold. Finally those who seek an understanding beyond the words, find spirituality behind Hermes Trismegistus’ text.

In my studies I’ve found two plausible etymologies for the word alchemy. The first is the Greek word chemeia, meaning the production of precious metals. The prefix “al” is of Arab origin. Putting the two together, the result is: “of precious metals,” obviously referencing the scientific pursuit of the transmutation of lead into gold.  The second plausible explanation, and one I think far more likely, is that chemeia, as the original Greek word was not necessarily relating to the production of precious metals but a befuddled way the ancient Greeks pronounced the name of ancient Egypt: khem. “Khem” meant black, in ancient Egyptian, and they called their country “The Black Land.” When we add the prefix “al” into this interpretation of alchemy, we have a new possible meaning: “Of Egypt.”

Now that we have an understanding of the origin of the word alchemy, we can dig deeper into the nature of alchemy and what it means for us. I’ll continue with a second part to the What is Spiritual Alchemy series. Please subscribe and keep growing.

About Joshua G. Silverman

As a child, Joshua has always been an amateur historian, focusing on ancient Egypt, Greece, and Roman civilizations.