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Great Work (Latin: magnum opus) is a term used in Hermeticism and occult traditions descended from it, such as Thelema. Accomplishing the Great Work, symbolized as the creation of the philosopher's stone, represents the culmination of the spiritual path, the attainment of enlightenment, or the rescue of the human soul from the unconscious forces which bind it. The Great Work signifies the spiritual path towards self-transcendence in its entirety. This is the process of bringing unconscious complexes into the conscious awareness, in order to integrate them back into oneself.

The ultimate goal of alchemy is a process known as the great work or the magnum opus in Latin. This involves spiritual transformation, the shedding of impurities, the joining of opposites, and the refinement of materials. Exactly what the end result of this profound transformation is, varies from author to author; it could be, self-realization, communion with divinity, fulfillment of purpose, etc.

Indeed, part of the transformation may involve a better understanding of what the end goal even is. After all, it is accepted that few if any alchemists have ever reached their goal. The pursuit of the goal is every bit as important as the goal itself.

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