This summer’s Institute in Social Artistry, led by Jean Houston, included the metaphor of alchemy, and that included an awakening to the world’s earliest scientists, the alchemists. They were called, with good reason, “Philosophers of Fire.” In the service of honoring nature and at the same time hastening evolution, the alchemists sought three holy things: the Philosopher’s Stone, or deep Wisdom; the Elixir of Life, or the miracle of continual reawakening and rebirth; and the Soul of the World. Which means, I believe, developing the capacity to stand in the fire of experiencing everything that has ever happened on the earth – feeling, seeing, hearing, touching – sensing it all ways, in order to understand, honor, cherish, forgive, grow compassion, and then to take useful, effective, appropriate action in the world. Pursuing these three holy things (the Philosopher’s Stone, the Elixir of Life and the Soul of the World) can help us evolve into the human beings we are intended to be. The pursuit itself is evolutionary. And fiery. But what a quest!