As with most terms in alchemy Gold has several meanings applied to different levels. It is the ultimate objective and final goal of every True Alchemist, but it has nothing to do with the physical metal revered by the masses and considered dross by the wise. Reasons for physical gold being so valuable in our temporal world are that, for one, it doesn’t interact with other elements. And, it doesn’t rust, it doesn’t tarnish, it doesn’t disintegrate. It doesn’t corrode in any way. It is the perfect metaphor for the alchemists’ gold. However, all references in the genuine alchemical writings to gold, golden, sun and solar, if we keep the “use of the Qabalists” in mind, are allusions to the sixth and central sphere on the Tree of Life, Tiphareth.
The sphere of Beauty is the seat of the One-Ego, the Grand Ego of humanity, erroneously conceived and felt personal and separate from every other human being. This gross misconception (and cause of the Fall) is still the root of all woes humanity suffers. The Great Work, partly, is the slow, steady process of breaking down this and other misconceptions. To ones who succeed, the pure, Golden Brilliance of the one Sun and the One-Son, the Christ Consciousness, shines through unobstructed. He, the Christ, is the Doer of all doings. The interest we think we may have in alchemy is really His interest in each of us. Whatever the initial motives for picking up this study, if our intent was/is pure, the motives will be refined and purified, calcined and distilled, with the final realization that it is indeed the One-Ego Who is the Principal Doer through the whole process.
What we surrender is this false delusion that we are separate from Him and anything else in creation. We lose our pseudo sense of self importance. The degree of pain we suffer through this process is directly proportional to the size of our errant ideas and false sense of the lower, separative ego. It really is that simple. These lower behemoths and dragons, lions and serpents are the specters of our base egos, desires, wills and intellectual servitude all insisting to the contrary. All these base attributes must die along with the ‘Old Man’ who holds them. The Great Work is the deliberate self-conscious direction of a process that eliminates anything within the lower self preventing the Light of the One, True Ego from shinning through.
In the physical body our metal Gold is equated with the Sun Center, the Anahata Chakra, a point in the spinal column above and behind the heart. This influences the cardiac ganglion that controls the flow of vital health, and produces the effect of electro-magnetism we equate with personality. Astrologers ascribe 'individuality' to the Sun Center. When the energy flowing through here is young and immature, it enhances the illusionary effect of separateness. Yogis of the East and Qabalists of the Western Tradition know the Heart Center as the seat of the One, True Ego, the King, and Adam Quodman in the Biblical allegory of the Fall. Since Adam Quodmon plunged into the substance of physical manifestation, his (our) evolution is the history of this planet earth. This is a history of a million, million particularizations of the One-Life on the return road from seemingly separate entities, toward reunification with That One. It is compared by Qabalists to a single line of high voltage electricity illuminating trillions of varied bulbs, lights and lamps, through thousands and thousands of years across time. Reunion with this eternal current is the immortal life spoken of by sages of all times and places. Spiritual Alchemy is one method of this attainment in the Western Traditions.
One attribution to the sixth sphere, Tiphareth, is imagination. Imagination is our true heritage since we are in the image of the One, True Creator. We are It incarnate. The highest function of this Divine Gift is imaging our way of return to the Father. While countless numbers of schools and 'institutes' use methods of imagination to dupe their followers out of thousands of dollars in fees, their methods are far from any truth. Most aspirants find themselves still lacking, and in sorrow for the taking. They are taught to imagine THINGS. They are told to see themselves in places, influencing things and other people, enmeshed with physical comforts, the opposite gender, and luxury. All these exercises feed the lower dragons of possessiveness greed, lust, and separation for the purpose of acquiring things and/or power over others. The secret is seeing oneself BEING, not having. The highest state of Being is consciously reunited to the One-Self. Keep the inner eye constant on the Great Work and all the particular circumstances on this path will be fulfilled toward this purpose. If we work, keep working. If we have family, keep raising them. If we study, keep studying. The future changing circumstances will be adjusted harmoniously toward that glorious day when Universal Gold will rain down in and around us forever-lasting. This is true because the Golden Christ within us wishes it so. Imagine the Three-fold Flame in the heart growing with intensity. We are not imagining something from nothing, like a new car full of money, women, and gold for ourselves. We are expanding on something already there. The fire in our hearts is an actual, though invisible, fire existing from time immemorial. If it were not there, we would not be conscious in this physical plane. All we do is feed this Flame Eternal to grow into Alchemical Gold.