Grand rising, dear Alchemist:

Why is it that we can have two conflicting desires at once? For example, we can both simultaneously want to improve our appearance and eat ice cream.

​​​It may sound like a minor schism within our psyche that allows for this sort of confusion, but if we look more closely, it reveals a more significant dilemma present in the human condition.

​​We are capable of seeing the future and of harnessing the power of the present. Therefore, all humans are keenly aware of how their present actions can affect their future. At every turn, we must make choices that result in sacrifice for one thing we want over another. Some even believe that sacrificing the present for the future is the innate nature of human beings. It can also be why many ancient cultures would offer animals in their religious ceremonies; to encapsulate the importance of the situation.

​​Alchemist, by now, you might be wondering what sacrifice has to do with freedom. Well, to explain it, let's return to the example of wanting to eat ice cream. Ask yourself this: what part of me wants to eat ice cream? Is it me, my stomach, my neurochemistry? You may find that the answer is quite elusive. The truth is that the only place and time you can find your true self is within the moments you undergo any sacrifice.

​​Most of our wants and needs stem from biological urges that enslave us. Sure, you can choose to forgo your future self and eat the ice cream, but there is very little of yourself within that choice. Therefore, to be free is to see our desires for what they are and not identify with them. Just as your hand is a part of you, and losing it wouldn't mean losing your true self, neither would you stop being yourself if you did not adhere to the whims of your every want and need.

​​This disciplined philosophy does not need to be the cornerstone of one's life. It should merely bring a simple truth to your awareness.

​​You can want one thing and still be free to choose another.

With love and sincerity,
The Alchemy by LA Council
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