Follow the clues and connect the dots, with an attitude of being willing to find out what the truth is about everything no matter what it turns out to be; that process is the action which will grow your awareness into a shield. Inside that chrysalis ( which the Alchemists called " the egg " ) the fractured self can fuse back into 1.
Definitely recommend doing it quietly at 1st, maybe even in secret; when you start to deviate from the behavior that The Matrix requires/expects, you will thereby subject yourself to hammering. That is a necessary part of the process, as it is that very hammering which will provide the heat and pressure to make you fuse; however, if you have not grown your awareness into a shield by following the clues and connecting the dots, the hammering would only be more fracturing.
Heating and Cooling
By John Clements, Director of the HACA
Excerpted from his book "Medieval Swordsmanship"
" The quality of steel in Medieval swords could vary from weapon to weapon. It depended a great deal on its heat treatment. Steel first needed careful forging and tempering (quenching and reheating). Steel is iron with a higher carbon content and is much stronger. Steel was made from selected iron ore by repeated heating in a hot charcoal fire. The addition of the carbon molecules improves the alignment of iron molecules. The raw metal was worked by hammer into a bar. A sword might be constructed from several separate pieces of iron and steel, each carefully hammered on. These were then "welded" together by hammering them when yellow hot (one X-ray of a Viking sword revealed it to have been forged from 58 separate pieces). Separate bars were also sometimes then added for edges. Finally, while still hot, the blade was worked into final shape and tempered by quenching (rapid cooling by plunging into a liquid bath). The steel was hardened by heating the shaped blade to a bright red color and then plunging it into a liquid bath (which could be oil, water, wine, honey, urine, or blood). This made the steel hard but also brittle. To temper it, the blade was then reheated to carefully soften it. A fine balance was needed between hardness on the edge for cutting and softness in the body for flex and durability. The tempered blade was then polished (sharpened) by a stone wheel. " [ emphases added. ]
And from http://www.barbariankeep.com/steel.html
" For many, many centuries only a few master smiths knew the secret of how to make a sword of steel. And before that, steel and iron were once thought to be magical substances. There is evidence suggesting that the iron found in early artifacts was not man-made but was taken from the fragments of meteorites. In many primitive or prehistoric cultures, the word “iron” actually means “stone (or hard substance or metal) from heaven”, “star metal”, or some other meaning suggesting an other-worldly origin. Chemical analysis of the earliest iron artifacts show the same percentage of nickel that is found in meteoric iron. During the last century, some “primitive” cultures have even been observed using iron from crashed meteorites to make various useful tools. " [ emphases added. ]
So, the steel is made from combining iron and carbon, heating and cooling, heating and cooling, then hammering to remove the impurities. Note the caution that this process can leave the steel brittle; you make it hard but flexible by reheating, but not as hot as before, and for a little more time.
Those who have ears, let them hear.
( Did you ever notice that Superman is the Man of Steel? )
Stupid people been taking the metaphor literally forever. Time to get serious now.
The 4 Elements
Earth = the physical body
Air = the breath of life
Fire = emotion, esp. the burning desire to accomplish " the Great Work "
Water = spirit
The 5th Element
The 5th element is time ( it combines the other 4 elements within itself; it takes a certain amount of time to accomplish the Great Work ).
The Secret Fire
" This has been transcribed from 'In Pursuit of Gold' by 'Lapidus' ... the preparation of the 'secret fire' (the catalyst or solvent which is used throughout the whole work, without which nothing can be achieved, but which is seldom if ever mentioned in any alchemical treatise) ... The reader will note that the language is allusive and recondite, that several names are used to refer to the same thing and that one name is used to refer to several things. This is, however, an exceptionally clear alchemical text. "
The secret fire is consciousness; but not just any consciousness - a consciousness tuned to Objective Reality, The Truth, and The Good.
There's a real pretty poem called " Hermaphrodite Child of Sun and Moon " at http://www.levity.com/alchemy/hermaph.html. Perhaps you will find it good?
Get a Clue, Dude
Those of you who think that seeking the gold of the Philosophers is a fool's errand might want to look into " iron pyrite ".