Interview With Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D
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Written by Edie Weinstein-Moser   
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Interview With Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D
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Heretofore, it was thought that science just played a role, in a sense; that there are undiscovered laws, that if we discovered, we could become better human beings. These would be cause and effect kind of laws; if somebody does this, then that outcome is bound to occur. The world that we live in doesn’t seem to quite fit that. There’s always been a little bit of slipperiness to the world, that we never quite get things to go the way we want them to go.

 The question is: Why is that? It was first thought that we were inept in some way, and that there was some kind of error built into human beings, and we couldn’t get the grip on things. It seems now that there is maybe a quantum mystery that is being revealed to us. There’s a reason why we can’t get a grip on things, and that’s because things themselves are indeterminate to some degree. There’s a blurry fuzziness around everything that may be so imperceptible, that as far as you’re concerned, it doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, it’s very real, and if you try to explain how things hold together and you leave this fuzziness out, nothing would hold together; it would crumble into pieces. We need that quantum fuzziness to act as a stability agent.

Now, the question is, what’s making the fuzziness?  The best we can come up with is that it appears that mind is what’s making the fuzziness. It’s not that the objects are there in sharp detail and we’re bumping them around. It’s more like, the objects are there in fuzzy detail, and we’re bringing them into sharp detail moment by moment by moment. They may be so rapid that we don’t pay attention to them, or so slow that we can’t pay attention to them. That’s where the human being comes into the equation:  How can I get hold of this fuzzy slippery stuff in my life, and make my life more meaningful and masterful in what I do with it?

Quotation How can I get hold of this fuzzy slippery stuff in my life, and make my life more meaningful and masterful in what I do with it? Quotation

 Edie:  You talk about the term “the new alchemy”.  How would you define it?

 Fred Alan Wolf:  It’s an interesting term that arose primarily because I was interested in expressing these transformative abilities that we humans have, in a language that would be understandable to every day people. Sometimes it’s useful to take several steps backward in history before we go forward. There’s a famous saying by Lenin “One step forward, two steps back,” thinking about the revolution in Russia. It’s more like we take several steps backward to go forward.

In this case, what we’re doing is going back to the main ideas of the ancient alchemists as they tried to perceive and makes sense of their own worlds. They recognized this fuzziness, and were dealing with the transformation of lead into gold, which really was, at it’s heart, the transformation of the basic roughness of the human being into something more spiritually awake. The ideas that I presented in two of my books called “Mind into Matter,” and “Matter into Feeling,” wanted to go with that old idea, and use alchemy in terms of quantum physics. It’s a new kind of leap here. It basically works through four functions that all human beings have that they can bring to bear in whatever situations they find themselves in.

One of the functions is thinking. We presumably can think; and not that many people know how to think very well, but there certainly is a process going on, that is a creation of words. Then we can feel. Feeling is a complimentary aspect of thinking. It’s not something that can even be stated in words, but we all know what a feeling is and they can lead into thoughts or body sensations or intuition. You can ask a person, “What do you think about this?” and the person may respond, “Well, I feel it’s better to do it this way…”  They’re not really thinking. They’re coming up with a feeling, which is a very primal thing, and very hard to define because they are so basic to our nature. Everything alive feels, senses vibration. Not just vibrations of physical-ness, but the inherent fuzziness which I would call the buzz of feeling. The other functions are sensing and intuiting.

You could place each function at a different cardinal point…North, South, East and West; and when you do, you could compare them to the ancient alchemist’s view of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. You can more or less get some idea that there is a correspondence between them. That’s what the new alchemy is all about: the science of transforming the human personality.


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