Chartres Cathedral maze – Wikipedia
Nicholas Flamel was an Alchemist, he lived in Paris from 1340 to 1418. He traveled to Spain and back, which in those days was tantamount to outer space travel today, and spent 40 years making the Philosopher’s Stone, which he achieved. He used the Stone to make hospitals and hospices and orphanages. His name, Nicholas, means “Victory of the People” and Flamel means “One who Burns”.
The Alchemists used the idea of making gold as a lure for the Work. The ultimate aim for the Work is unification with God. The zensters say: “Whatever gets you on the cushion”, meaning if you do meditation as a tool to relieve your anxiety or anger, that’s good because the point is that you should build a meditation practice. The end justifies the means.
The Work is called the Work because it’s work. If you are struggling with yearning and not achieving success, you are doing the Work. This is glorious work. Mother Theresa suffered from depression for the last 4 decades of her life; that’s working. I frequently lay my head on Mary’s lap, just to rest.