“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” — John 1:5
Here is a metaphor of Soul trapped within Body.
Theirs is an unbearable intimacy. Each chokes upon the other.
Essence besieged by Flesh. Body scorched and charred by Soul.
Spiritual quests often begin at such an unhappy divide of Body and Soul. To reconcile Soul and Body is a pilgrim’s formidable task. If the adventure ends well then the traveler returns home to celebrate a triumphant Wedding. Contraries unite in a happy marriage.
Alchemists struggled to understand this mystery through their own metaphor, the Philosopher's Stone, matchmaker for the Chymical Wedding in a laboratory. The Philosopher’s Stone, as a metaphor, has no one form or shape or physical description. It is a numinous device, a catalyst that purifies and ennobles whatever it touches: base metal transmutes into gold and common medicine becomes the elixir of immortality.
An alchemical text, Aurora Consurgens, calls the Stone both
Tradition assigns ambiguity and disorder to the Female. Both the Stone and the Soul are named as Female. From Aurora Consurgens:
Imagine the Philosopher’s Stone as a raw diamond, unrecognized amid rubble and rocks and clods of earth, lying unnoticed by Road, Way, or Path. That which is most precious hidden in plain sight amid that which is most common.
Why clothe Her, valuable and sacred, in material that is mundane and profane? Because in that dress She becomes accessible to all Seekers alike …
… a Treasure free for the asking, a Door open for the knocking, a Virgin eager for the loving.