What is the Great Work?

I’m familiar with the term used in magical and occult circles know as “The Great Work.” and I want people’s opinions on what this term means exactly. I think I’ve heard everything from alchemy to making the philosophers stone (and what the heck is that?) so for the sake argument, I am opening this up as a topic of conversation, because I think it often leads to confusion and practices that lead nowhere.

The term is used interchangeably in reference to achieving enlightenment or one’s life purpose. To take the alchemy example, creating the philosopher’s stone is not really about the stone itself. The true “treasure” is the internal change of the alchemist caused through the task in itself. The stone is a metaphor for the end result of that internal process.

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Reading again now the term “Great Work” I’m wondering if it may be referred to an higher achievement as opposed to a lower one (for example one would first realize the mysteries of Isis and theoretically move on to those of Osiris) but perhaps it is generic.
The spiritual achievement is sometimes put in relation to afterlife, for example creating an immortal soul which actually wasn’t automatically there, or stopping reincarnation; naturally there are also other contexts considered.

The Philosophers’ Stone is also real and can be created.

Al.

In Magick, the Great Work is about achieving divinity. For the rhp, that’s becoming a drop in the ocean of God and for us it should be achieving individual divinity. Fifteen years ago, sometime this year, I worked my greatest Magick via an email message. Since then nothing and no one has stopped me or the Magick I performed and nothing and no one will - not even death will stop My Work. When events come to fruition I will have directly altered the lives of between sixty to seventy millions and that’s just the start. I figure that to do something like that - by myself - through Magick means I’m a living God.

Al.
P.s. I should pay my due to Lord Charlie Falconer, back when he was Lord Chancellor. Very helpful man who didn’t know who his information would reach or how it would be used. And Jack Straw for his dirty work.

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