The sun has but half a meaning without the shadow it casts into the ocean of the world.
Alchemy, the masters teach, is the process of linking the spiritual to the material. The alchemist is the bridge between the worlds. It is a process of working inside a mirror, knowing always that in the end, the part will reflect the whole. As inside, so outside.
From my low perch, I watch the world as it passes by on these dirty side streets. There are no westerners in this corner of the city. Just locals going about their business. Weighing out brightly colored spices, walking back from the fish market, stopping at the paan shop, socializing over tea. Old men in lungis and flip-flops walking hand in hand and dirty-faced children who are all bright smiles and wild eyes. I am comfortable here. Sitting on this board, in this tiny chai stall, hidden away from the recognizable world. For the moment, I have disappeared.
Sometimes I have trouble telling my dreams from reality. The farther I travel from some experience, the more unsure I am that it actually happened. Just like a dream, the closer I am to it, the more sure I am that it's real.
If this is a dream, I hope I remember it.
The rain reminds him that one travels to sacred places in order to awaken that which lies sleeping within. He journeys on this path not to escape the world, but to enter it more deeply. Sometimes that is the only way we can open the doors to our own hearts, to realize that the whole of the earth lives inside the human heart.