Nilakantha and the Golden Constellation

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Sacred India Tarot - Ramana as Skanda son of Siva

Sacred India Tarot – Ramana as Skanda son of Siva

Tensions are imagination trapped in illusory codes. The tension appears to have the power to materialise, but it has no substance after the thought.   Whenever I get through a bit of rotten concrete I turn and see how weak it is. The human lower mind is powered mostly by negative apprehensions. This is why it became embedded in our psyche and expectation, that we have no power to see above the hedges or to change direction – no power of Magic.

There is a huge gulf between general human bedtime, and the real human nature to draw together the stars and move with them consciously, joyfully.   The power and the dawn and the history of Magic is simply … this! to take up my bed and walk.

The tapestry is the stars and the Great Heaven:  quantum unity. This theme of the tapestry is mirrored back to me from persons I move with, this week: things they say. My tiny thread-loop in the tapestry stands in the lane at night and looks up at the sky.

murmuration by jchip84

Starling murmuration by jchip84

Back in history, some priests got hold of Magic and began to manipulate aspects of it with a tendency which grew and grew.   For a while they had power and the passwords to re-shape people and environment beguilingly.   It concealed from them, the Power.   They lost sight and lived inside dark glasses to write history. Tension bred and grew, which obscures and fragments the Power.   The political world is ruled by Tension, which manifests nowadays all our yesterdays.   But I see the Power and I see the monster in the waves.   The Power is hauling it up and out to be seen.   Tension appears eternal (so does hell) but in due course it breaks and self destroys. It dismantles.  It is rotten concrete whose reinforcing wires get rusted and snap.

The Tension which obscures the Power is separative.   By “separative” I do not mean the sword-tip which parts the elements to live with and enhance each other, like brush strokes of colour.   “Separative” is the dreary default dream-like notion that I am an isolated object, and therefore powerless, a frightened wage slave, reading only the headlines.

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Robert and seek

The Power which dissolves the Tension, is “all there is”.   There is as Robert used to say – the power that knows the way.   I need only turn toward it voluntarily, and see.   This is metanoia: a word meaning ‘repent’, in the sense of ‘turn around to face the light’.   Whenever and wherever this happens in the world, those stars come out and form a constellation linking oceans: a golden net.

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I just came across this, in Katie Spero’s blog Let Yourself Learn: – together with a golden mountain and what happens when the subtle thread to your friend strengthens over the ocean:

“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer
in his absence as the mountain to the climber
is clearer from the plain.”

Kahlil Gibran

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Siva - Rudra the Wild Hunter

Siva – Rudra the Wild Hunter

A Story – adapted from Alan Jacobs’ “Myths of Siva: Siva Nilakantha”

“Once upon a time the Gods in heaven and Demons in Hell formed a parliament. To create ambrosia, they planned to churn the Milky Way as if to make butter.  They tore great Mount Mandarva from its roots, for a churning stick; Vasuki, snake of the world became the rope.  

“As they whirled and stirred the celestial ocean, to their horror there rose to the surface, a hideous black oil-slick – Kalakuntha, the world’s poison:  Time itself.  The Gods and Devils in terror like smart young ladies seeing a mouse, appealed to Lord Siva. 

“Siva dipped his hands in the sea. Drinking the poison to the last drop, he held it in his lily  throat which – as if kissed by a serpent – turned a sinister peacock blue.   Now named Nilakantha, Blue-throated One, he retired to his cave in Mount Kailas.  All the sages and rishis made their pilgrimage.

kailas and manasarovar

kailas and manasarovar

 

“Ramana on Siva’s hill Arunachala says, ‘When the selfish thought returns to the Self, Self-awareness shines, distilled and pure:  the elixir of health and wholeness, ever enduring.’

ramana sketch

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“Mixing too much with the world, I swallowed poisons  churned up by confusing my activities, good and bad.   With a deep exhalation, I cleanse my body.   Drawing in fresh prana, I use that attention to dive within and find in my heart’s cave, Siva Nilakantha … ever illumining those who, from dreaded Kalakuntha, call upon His transmutation.”

Alan Jacobs 1993

 

“Within a cavern of  man’s trackless spirit
is thrown an image so intensely fair
that the adventurous thoughts that wander near it
worship, and as they kneel, tremble and wear
the splendour of its presence, and the light
penetrates their dreamlike frame
’till they become charged with the strength of flame.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Siva - Rudra Immerses

Siva – Rudra Immerses

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Gene Keys Golden Path Program

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Human Landscape – Refugee Children

What can a war artist do?

Yazidi 1

A photo is quickly taken, sold to a news agency, reacted to in passing by millions, and passed over.  A drawing takes far longer in time and space, to contemplate the condition. I did this one and two others, yesterday.  Some more were done last week, and the rest are from a few years ago. .

Our children are the same for us the world over.  This woman works hard on the land and in her household.  She holds it all together, and carries the weight of water from the well.  She gave birth to her babies in pain and crying out and relief; they are her life, each one.  Her husband may or may not be a strong, caring father. .

Now their homestead and village is shattered:  they wait homeless on the waterless mountain.  She is vulnerable.  In a war zone, you do not know who is friend or rapist – like an earthquake.  Her children are hungry and there is no roof.  There is the tearing pain inside her belly, of anxiety and shock:  the soft smell of her baby:  the bewildered bravery of her daughter as a journalist’s lens draws near.  They are rounded up like goats, by unknown herders. .

She is my sister.  I live in a safe house with interesting things to do, and plenty to eat.  I can only reach out by drawing her, to touch, that she may feel somehow, somewhere that someone knows.  Send her strength …  Even now … wherever she is. .

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Yazidi 2

He’s a father, and they lost their mother.  The children want to help him, and don’t know how.  On their terrifying journey to survival, it is the artist’s way to support them.  Loaded on a donkey they ride off into uncertain night, the first desolate steps through quicksand, of an astounding courage. .

It is humiliating to have your home torn away and to ride with all you can carry on the donkey to God knows where?

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Yazidi child 2

The newspaper said:  She has a badly needed drink.   While I was drawing her – and it took me nearly all day –  I wondered a lot about what blinds a man or boy, to kill or hurt a beautiful child like this in the name of fundamentalism.

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Gaza children 1

I singled these children out from a crowd in Gaza –  two brothers and a sister. They watch perhaps the bombing of their street – evacuated.  A rope to hold back the crowd, threads together each child’s parentless abyss…   the grownups’ broken world

Gaza 2

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refugee children 2

This was a design for a Christmas card some years ago – a refugee camp anywhere and the Star.

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Valerie Brooks

The late Valerie Brooks gave 17 years of her life to support children in distress.  Through her cleaner, (a doctor from West Ukraine who could earn more for her family by cleaning houses in London, than by practicing medicine in her home town) assistance was given also to a poverty-stricken Ukrainian community, through the Maria Relief Fund  http://mariarelieffund.org.uk/ .   A network of friends and sponsors helps to support each family there, and to establish an English class and educational opportunities for their children. .  It is an extended family.

Many large charities lose their definition in administrative overheads.  Smaller charities operate in a grass-roots way through human contact and serendipity.  The Maria Relief Fund is a small registered charity, assisting displaced children around the world.  I am associated with it and also with the Phoenix Aid Centre .  PAC provides accessible therapy and counselling for refugees, victims of abuse and for all who might rise from their ashes and fly. .

A man or woman who brought their family from danger into safety – through the final hurdle of UK border control and language barrier – drew on reserves of superhuman values, to make their quantum leap, and integrate with a new culture.  Such persons have that gift to contribute – when these qualities within them are recognised.  So we should find it within ourselves, to recognise. .

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village child, ukraine

This is a village child in Ukraine.

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refugee children 1

More refugees on displaced borderlands – the children take care of each other.  They are our future – the unbreakable jewel within us.   The Age of Aquarius breaks down old walls.

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Kristina is a talented girl in the Ukraine, whom I help to sponsor.  She lives with her granny and grandad, who worry what will happen to her when they die.

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dancing children, ukraine

Dancers at a village festival in West Ukraine.

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

 

Sacred India Tarot Archive – the Suit of Staves – Ace

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The Sacred India Tarot bridges Indian yoga and mythology with western esoteric schools.

Tarot key 1 - the Magus - belongs here, to open a new Suit - the Suit of Wands.  His is the Intelligence of Transparency.  With the Wand in his right, he conducts the divine current.  His left hand indicates the garden.  In front of him are the tools for the Work.

Tarot key 1 – the Magus – belongs here, to open a new Suit – the Suit of Wands. His is the Intelligence of Transparency. With the Wand in his right, he conducts the divine current. His left hand indicates the garden. In front of him are the tools for the Work.

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SITA Sacred India Tarot 8 staves

Jane’s Notes – More than a decade has passed since Rohit and I worked on this suit.  Reviewing it, I see the essence of the Wands – the Staves in Indian mythology – as a warrior’s dance.  The action is martial but it moves with grace – for instance the wonderful episode which carries Rama and Sita across the sea to freedom and the homeland:  an End-of Karma card, as with the Eights in the other three Suits.

There is also the gesture of the multi-dimensional Ashwin Twins, children of the Sun – as they reach a long hand to the struggling mariner in the high seas.   We created a rare depiction of this stupendous and health giving deity.

SITA Sacred India Tarot Ashwins page of Staves -

We began to touch upon the martial art as a dance form, towards the end of the Suit of Arrows in this Archive (See Archive of all Posts, or use the Search button).  Returning through the Wands/Staves, the form and its focus matures, giving Rama the power to pierce the formidable Ravannah King of Demons.

There is an old Buddhist teaching:  the well placed stone.  Not how many stones you throw – but which one, and where it lands – in conversation and in dance, as well as in battle:  the Art of Life, the great middle way.

In the Indian sense, these pebbles are lingum, the Sign.

lingum

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Rohit’s Notes (2003)

“I have selected for this Suit of Wands, the Yuddha Kanda – the section of the Ramayana dealing with the battle to recover Sita from captivity in Lanka and its aftermath from the Ramayana.  We cannot deliver the whole epic in one Suit, but we can distil some essence from this archetypal chapter.  A Gnostic book I read says that, as well as their more traditional meaning as the Fire Suit, the Wands represent the air and the intellect, just as we suppose the Swords to do.  So we get multiple layers of meaning here.

“The Ramayana and Mahabharatha are not just India’s epics;  they are the national epics also of Java, Bali, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand.  I would like to show by hinting at those costume styles, that Indian mythology like the Tarot, transcends local contexts and has universal relevance.  The Balinese look is spectacular, as this illustration shows.

“I like the tunic clad bearded Ravana;  it shows a sense of virile power instead of being grossly ugly and repulsive as most representations of Ravana are.  Perhaps the demons should be shown in this style all through?”

sundarakanda-chapter10

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Rohit’s Notes (2003): The story goes:  Rama in alliance with Sugriva king of the monkeys, and with Hanuman’s assistance, attacks Lanka where his wife Sita is held captive by the King of the Demons, Ravana.  Rama slays Ravana and rescues Sita who then undergoes an ordeal of fire in order to clear herself of the suspicion of infidelity.  At a later stage, Rama becomes imperilled by doubt, loses his trust in the feminine and banishes her to the forest where she meets the sage Valmiki.  Valmiki is the traditional author of the Ramayana and its seer.  In the forest, Sita gives birth to Rama’s two sons, but after having to again protest her innocence, asks to be received by the earth, which swallows her up.

Sita and the Earth

“Like Krishna in the Suit of Arrows, Rama is an avatar of Vishnu the Sustainer.  The poem is immensely popular in India, setting prototypes of a harmonious and just kingdom, conjugal love, filial and fraternal love.  Everything is designed for harmony which after being disrupted is at last regained.”

Jane’s Notes:
Significantly, this story is a multi-level parable.  For instance, Rama attains the ideal of wise government and conjugal happiness, but “loses” the plot when he drops to a lower level of the mind and its advisors.  The prototypes are self-sustaining, eternally.  They bide their time while the human reascends to their timeless horizon.  The woman, received into the earth, is the earth’s wisdom which births us.  All ideas which battle to the contrary, are time drawn out in fantasy.  This suit of Staves depicts some of the psychological uplifts and downdraughts between the Worlds.

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Rohit’s Notes – “Ace of Staves – Building the Stone Bridge over the Sea to Lanka – representing creative endeavour”

“We need to have a scene of frantic activity with a bridge of stone receding into the horizon over the sea, monkeys clambering about helping in the construction, and so on.  Rama, Laxmana and Hanuman can be shown supervising the operation.  This is not very popular as a scene in art, so we have only this vague reference to offer.  Please feel free to use your imagination.

SITA staves visual reference stone bridge

“The scene of Sagara the ocean offering to help Rama may also be used as a reference.  The Single wand could be a fiery flaming arrow that Rama holds and threatens to release into the ocean to dry it up, so that the building of the bridge is not hampered.  Perhaps it would be best to combine Sagara before Rama and bridge-building as one composite scene.  The bow held in Rama’s hand in the sculpture panel does look remarkably like a wand anyway!”

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Jane’s Notes – An observation:  The immense labour in building up a causeway of stones in the sea, to access the higher dharma dimension.  This is our human way, committed to our real relationships as well to sadhana and all creative endeavours – the sweat of our brow, the fruit of our lives.   Interestingly when Rama returns with Sita, they are borne effortlessly by the dimension attained through Ravana’s defeat !  (See 8 of Staves, pictured above.)

The initial work itself reminds me of this painting:

Rubicon 63 - Building a Jetty 1986:  the beginning of the process, with all its friends and backers and a salutary shipwreck nearby!

Rubicon 63 – Building a Jetty 1986: the beginning of the process, with all its friends and backers and a salutary shipwreck nearby.  This was about relationships, the ache and hunger of the soul for connection.  The island the jetty is being built from looks like a mushroom cloud, but was based on the Alet headland near St Malo in Brittany.

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Rohit’s Notes – from the Book with the Deck
“The impossible is suddenly prosaic reality:  a bridge has been built upon the ocean.  The demon king Ravana was secure in his island fortress of Lanka – the city of gold bounded by the impassable sea.  Ravana who has kept the kidnapped Sita wife of Rama prisoner in Lanka, is shockingly confronted with the unbelievable news and unthinkable consequences.

“… The Ace of Staves sears away the illusions and delusions dear to the heart;  it forces a creative and ultimately more integral response to the challenge of life.  If one persists in the old ways, the consequences are swift and harsh as one of Rama’s weapons.  This colossal feat was accomplished with the help of his great brother Laxmana and his simian-like Vanara allies – magical creatures of equal, if not greater accomplishment than humans … Such unorthodox brilliance in the swift use of resources, the sheer chutzpah of conception and execution, is typical of the Staves energy…   The Staves are only apparently disruptive, and integrate the churned situation at a higher level of consciousness. 

“In a reading:  Situations unfold at bewildering speed.  Vision and visionaries:  energy, fiery and swift;  resiliance and enduring courage, stimulating thinkers.   Shadow:  low creative energy, or misapplication – frustration and delays, over-commitment at all levels, sexual imbroglios.  There is no need to take on the world.  Are you running away with yourself and your enthusiasm?  Conversely, what is the strangest, weirdest thing you could do to get this done?

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Here is the finished card:

Sacred India Tarot - the Ace of Staves

Sacred India Tarot – the Ace of Staves

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Correspondence – Rohit to Jane
“Ace of Wands – There is nothing significant I would like to change in this card as it has a very unusual other worldly element to it.  Supernatural events are manifestly taking place as we look.  The monkey in the picture can be safely regarded as Sugriva or any one of the innumerable simian hordes who supported Rama.  When portraying Hanuman he should be white in colour as he was an albino monkey, very handsome and muscular with warrior’s helm and holding a mace or even hammer. (See Sacred India Tarot, Knight of Arrows in this series.) The hammer might be a strange choice but I have actually seen pictures of him holding one, and it would be a refreshing change to the normal depiction of Hanuman.

“A very small point that did not occur to me until I saw it.  Rama is shown with Vaishantha forehead markings, in acknowledgement of his being an avatar Vishnu, but he was personally a devotee of Siva, having in fact just established the famous Rameshwaram Siva temple by the Ocean before the events of this card.  It would make a good point about tolerance and the peculiar Hindu genius to meld and assimilate, if Rama was shown with Shaiva markings on the forehead.  I never thought about this point as I did not anticipate any such depiction, but now that it has emerged, it will significantly deepen the spiritual and cultural aspects of the suit.  In all other respects, the card is perfect.”

Shaivite Tilak Hindu Shiva Devotee

Unfortunately I do not seem to have taken this on board for the finished card;  all the better to mention the detail here.

Shaivite-M

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For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search,
or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya
Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga.
Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in http://aryayogi.wordpress.com The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

Jane Adams
My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.
This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books).

All original art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012 – 2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Tales of the Watershed – Chinese Torch Prints

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fish by Steven Szegedy Szuts

fish by Steven Szegedy Szuts

Dreams No.89   May 1975

IF YOU were Chinese …

If who was Chinese?   Me, you or history?

The dream is a scribe of “his” story.   The dream tells me with some authority, that if I was Chinese and wise like a mandarin, I would know very well that I make my own bed to sleep on. The floor on which I lie for the night to imprint “his” story in my fibre, should be roughened.   Otherwise it will have no “key”.   My pillow would then slip, and no message come to my hearing.

This seems to be an ancient Oriental tradition.   As you make your bed, so you live.   A page too smooth cannot take the ink from heaven and the underworld. The fibre holds the script.   The rationale for this insight comes to me with all the force of Chinese respect for ancestry, and with the revelation of a brush scribing pictures.

So far so good.

Am I a printing press?   And from which civilisation did Renaissance Europe take the idea?

They say to me in this dream, roughen a plank on the wooden floor with a flaming torch to char the grain.   Lay paper on the burnt patch, and your pillow on the paper.   And lo! when you raise your head from sleep the paper will be printed with the mark of your life.

old tao sage

This principle seems unfathomably relevant to living, creating and suffering. A wisdom within it glows – something to do with fire which heats, burns out old wood and hollows a primitive boat for voyaging.   In the spirit of fire are interwoven myriad patterns of incarnation.   I gaze into the embers of flame, red, yellow, blue, violet, sometimes even lucid green. In fragile castles of carbon, whole histories fall to ash.   A dreamer is a traveller on the spot with his or her ear to the ground.

Certain prints of life are stroked out into the crinkle of slow flame; they glow.   It is breaking my heart!   how some people can play with fire and create these without having to make beds to lie in, or go to sleep at all.   These people – like my sister – have wonderful ideas.   They conjure filigree landscape from random traceries of the wood’s charred grain, to the delight of all who behold.

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B gave me some sheets of thick paper to experiment with.   And look, my sister and her friend Jemima at school are here in the room with me;   in their play, they made five or six colour pictures by holding the burning torch to the thick paper.   The sharp, incisive lines of their pictures have the glory of a Byzantine woodcut.   The flame crinkled or split lines or curves along the papery grain, along which they drew. I held those pictures in my hands.   I gazed at them envious, and humble, before such mastery.   B said my sister was an ordinary girl – so I never saw the power and clarity of her imagination, till now.   How does she do it?   Won’t she show me?   Then I could make a card like this, for his birthday next week.   I want him to value something from me, some taste and texture to delight in, like new brown bread, or an earthen pot with lapis lazuli glaze.   Then he couldn’t possibly tell me I’m a “spiritual desert”.

I was in his room later.   He went to get loo-paper for me to blow my nose.   We agreed to see each other less often for a while.   At least, our dialogue is not a wound.   Can we shake out the feathers, allow our own colours to grow, be less mutually invaded when we meet?   Hope broke shyly through into space.   The mood changed, and became sensitive to one another.   It could smile and laugh with our trouble.

I showed him three of those prints my clever sister made – the tension of her inner eye and the delicacy of her touch.   “Look!”   I said.   “My sister made those. What an artist she is.” Here’s a black and white one of a labyrinth, an immense industrial landscape somewhere in the North Country. To the left, a group of business magnates in top-hats and frock-coats, barter nineteenth-century expansion.   They haven’t refined the technology yet.   Smoke billows from chimneys, stove-pipes and flues, and to the right a black city opens to the foot, an intricate tangle of streets and sooty towers – a pool of life that is still a furnace.

So she too knew Liverpool!   And here’s a green one, the deft caricature of an earthy old man bent like a gnome.   The third one shows a field of long summer grass deep enough to wade in, rich with clover and wild garlic, active with the multi-level hierarchy of small creatures.   All her Tragic Stories are here, to walk with – the stories she tells to herself with chewed stems of grass for girls’ hair and bits of bent wire for boys’ legs. She is a sturdy, short-sighted child. She mumbles her song through field and farmyard, utterly absorbed in the drama at play in her hands.   I follow sometimes, and listen.

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I am burning to do it too.   I want to release that vision heat-held in wood and paper.   I thirst for the water of life, that slow dew of remembering …

What is really happening is that a baby is sitting here in this room with the burnt patch on the floor, a baby with dark eyes.   And the drawing that he, she, I, am doing so carefully along the advice of the ageless sages collapsed, and broke into a wild infant scrawl.

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child caught tasting pebbles - Art-Not-Doing 1987

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My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

Gene Keys Golden Path Program
This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

A Picture-Book – Pierrot and the White Wolf

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Pierrot in the fields

Pierrot in the fields

This story for our children, and for the world’s ageless children in ourselves, was written in French by Catherine Harding during the 1990s; she asked me to illustrate it. In due course it was published privately in France, with a few of my illustrations, as “Les Explorateurs du Vrai Monde”Explorers of the Real World.   Here is the complete set of drawings and paintings I did for Catherine, plus a few extras at the end.

Pierrot’s story is a celebration of the late Douglas Harding’s life and work. Douglas was born in Lowestoft, and trained as an architect. After he discovered his real Home, he travelled all over the world for sixty years to share it. His unique series of experiments tap our resources of infinity, and demonstrate the treasure lying at the heart of the great traditional faiths.   The experiments can be done at any time and place, right now.

Douglas and Catherine met and married in about 1991; their loving and down-to-earth teamwork – built open for each other – enchanted all who attended their workshops. Douglas passed away in 2007, age 98.

Douglas & Catherine Harding at Nacton

Douglas & Catherine Harding at Sholland, Nacton

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For more information about Catherine and the Headless Way, contact The Sholland Trust, 87B Cazenove Road, London NW16 6BB, or visit www.headless.org.   Douglas’s many books include On Having No Head, The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth, The Trial of the Man who said he was God, Look for Yourself, The Spectre in the Lake, To Be And Not to Be, Head off Stress, and The Little Book of Life and Death.

Douglas's 90th Birthday

Douglas’s 90th Birthday

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Now, here are the pictures which tell the story. To view, click on any image.

Chapters One and Two – A White Wolf Arrives in the Village

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Chapters Three, Four, Five, Six – Experiments in Seeing

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Pierrot showed them all his secrets

Pierrot showed them all his secrets

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Chapter Seven – Sharing the Seeing

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Chapters Eight-Thirteen – The Attack

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Chapters Fourteen-Seventeen – A French Village Awakens

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Artists’ Epilogue

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It is time for the artist to ask herself some questions.   As I draw my self-portrait, what do I see? What enters my extended hand and heart? What fills the un-named movement along my arm, what welcoming focus – shape to space?   What ancient world, before historians wrote a word?

Who draws through me? the taut flow through finger and thumb to a dancer’s point ?   What smile in space for lines of life to happen?   What urgency gives birth?   And the tight hours – as often as not – groping towards the magic “touch” with tippex, eraser, and elimination?

How many faces do I see? Do I have one here?   Or is it yours? Plainly, my daily life and relationships require the same careful attention to precisely what is there.   Not what I’m told, or think I should believe: but receiving the curve – “I am you are. Thou art I am.” Keep practicing. Look, I am built open. I may trade faces with Pierrot’s white wolf, or with my foot on the floor, a still-life on the window sill, a sketch-pad on the kitchen table, the sense of dotting an I. I may trade faces with you or with the sky whose clouds keep changing curtains.   Where I look in the room, looks back, and I, un-named and changelessly, change all the time.   Look, if I cross my eyes a bit, there’s a nasal blur and spectacle frames – as I thought. But when I put them on … The One Eye has these details like a mountain spring.

As I put life’s tunnel on my nose, who comes to meet me but my Friend?

47 spectacles

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and now a surprise Present to unwrap at the End of …

48 douglas in paper bag

“Wait,” said Douglas (on our first meeting in Nacton), “How many faces in this bag?  Scientifically – how many faces do you see?”

I looked for some time silently.  The sides of the paper bag removed Douglas’s face from the context of everyday resistances.  Bit by bit I freed myself to gaze and to receive the information as if I never saw such a thing before.  It was rather warm in the paper tube, and from time to time we had to come out like divers, for air.  At first the intimacy made me feel selfconscious.  Presently as I overrode my small fret, I found myself contemplating with compassion, a living landscape.  I received the searchlight of that sensitive terrain into my emptiness.  I saw how the pupils and lids of the eyes narrowed or dilated, as they roved and scanned mountains and valleys.  They examined features in detail – eyes, nose, the lines in forehead, the contour of the cheek, the growth of hair, the twitch and lilt of expression.  I saw the baby unborn and everlasting, the bed of the river, the vulnerable soul in those dark eyes which, like wells, never age or end; the youthful profundity of that searching glance.

I received and beheld an inescapable mysterium, a humanity.

“Just the one face,” I replied.

“Yes,” rumbled Douglas, “You’re starting to see the point.”

Put on your space

Put on your space

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**

Gene Keys Golden Path Program
My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Plato’s Cave

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Sages by the holy hill - Ramana, Poonja and devotee

Sages by the holy hill – Ramana, Poonja and devotee

I am conditioned by a spiritual teaching: to keep quiet in personal matters – why? Because – the noise and pain is on the surface, and cannot transform anything inside its own scarring.   To keep quiet and open with a situation as it changes, is trans-formative.   Instinctively, intuitively, I know this, and its potential awakening.   But  I want to tell, and it is in me a stuck clamour, when the personified fragments which come out, are untrue to my truth.   Conscious with and as these painful personified fragments till they fade … — they fade and flutter like Siva’s grey ash turning white. .

Jung said in The Red Book, “Then turn to the dead, listen to their lament and accept them with love. Be not their blind spokesman.”  He adds this to the Christian law of love and redemption. .

“… Have reverence for what has become. … If you know what the dead demand, temptation will become the wellspring of your best work, indeed of the work of salvation. When Christ ascended after completing his work, he led those up with him who had died prematurely and incomplete under the law of hardship and alienation and raw violence. The lamentations of the dead filled the air at the time, and their misery became so loud that even the living were saddened, and became tired and sick of life and yearned to die to this world already in their living bodies. And thus you too lead the dead to their completion with your work of salvation.” .

Jung's mandala to the flowering dead

Jung’s mandala to the flowering dead.  They are the souls also of our previous lives and formation.  On the compass points, the two vertical gates contain “animus” – he describes them as an elder sage and a magical or cthonic one     The horizontal gates contain  “anima” – the dark and the light womb or Mother.

Recent unbearable impressions: a ten year old boy in Gaza going crazy because all his family are killed by another bomb from Israel.  Small girls in chains, being dragged to unknown husbands as cattle.  The great Tree Spirits of the rain forest being slaughtered, torn, and replaced by tidy rows of dark-green palm slaves.  Cattle jammed in desert corrals somewhere in America, like ants, with giant trucks driving through them with “feed” – concentration camp, this is what humans eat.  Fish being vacuumed out of the sea.  The human wound and greed spills poison into nature and the oceans.

It seems to me now, that humans in the retro trap of aggressive wealth, cannot change their nature.  But souls who are incarnating into the human race at present, can and do.   A time approaches, when the above scenes of inhumanity are inconceivable.  Something emerges through the dead end: the truth of living and dying; and living and dying.

Earth, water, air

Earth, water, air

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In my mind, I am, you are, a human child – a culture, a civilization, with countless humans (thoughts) passing through, living and dying, many are of the same herd type, they bleat like distressed sheep.   In Plato’s cave are Shadows! The parade is endless. They are all mine, since the fire glowing behind me throws “mine” onto the cave wall, which attracts the collective dark parade from nowhere to no place.

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The ascent to the sunlight is under the road-bridge.  Along the roadbridge come the procession of shadows and lives which the firelight projects onto the cave wall in front of the bound souls.

The ascent to the sunlight is under the road-bridge. Along the road-bridge come the procession of shadows and lives which the firelight projects onto the cave wall in front of the bound souls.

I remain fascinated by the primal fire of life which projects these shadows – the fire is behind me, the Karmic furnace – yet there is an opening to my right, and the choice is to turn and venture up that passage into the open, into the direct, warm light of the Sun itself.

I know all the shadows are still there flickering with their fire in the cave, an essence of my identity, my root in the ground.

I know when I am outside, by looking back at the cave entrance, and seeing it in its place.   I cannot avoid the stress of my being, and I often get engulfed by it.

 

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9 hermit - Version 3But the Hermit with the greater lamp, dawns within the dark, and indicates the Way Through to the sun, the beauty of the orchard outside the cave; where solar fruit drops from the boughs.

And relax, letting go the stress in living and dying …  let my solar plexus loosen, let breath be drawn unobstructed, all the way down into my root chakra, through the dantien.   It rounds itself, like an earthenware vessel which carries cool water from the well.   In the water are reflected and born again, the distant stars and Suns.

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This is Alchemy.

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Adam & Eve - garden of eden

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**

Sage in cave SITA 9

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright(c) janeadamsart 2012-2014.  May not be used for commercial purposes.  May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com

 

The Pool of Life

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Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral

This post is a partner to yesterday’s Liverpool sketchbooks (for my archive) – Jung’s dream in 1927 of Liverpool.

His pioneering journey into the unconscious was extraordinary and illumined the way for generations to come.  As I and many others travel on his shoulders, the places he visited keep joining up with mine, and feel startlingly familiar.  I had similar dreams of a dark city, mountainous in scale,  with a glowing centre and even a pool or inlet from the sea.  It was  the city of the mind – a many towered labyrinth.   In one of these dreams I was a fish in the pool, and someone threw a line, hooked my nose and flipped me onto dry land.  Ouch!

Here are extracts from the chapter Confrontation with the Unconscious in Jung’s  “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”.  The chapter first describes the creation of the Red Book. Then:

“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self.  There is no linear evolution;  there is only a circumambulation of the self.  Uniform development exists at most, only at the beginning;  later everything points towards the centre .  This insight gave me stability, and gradually my inner peace returned.  I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self, I had attained what was for me the ultimate.  Perhaps someone else knows more, but not I.

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Window on Eternity by C G Jung - Red Book

Window on Eternity by C G Jung – Red Book

“In 1927 I obtained confirmation of my ideas about the centre and the self by way of a dream.  I represented its essence in a picture which I called ‘Window on Eternity’.  The picture is reproduced in ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’.  A year later I painted a second mandala, with a golden castle in the centre.  When it was finished, I asked myself, ‘Why is this so Chinese?’

The Golden Castle by C G Jung - Red Book

The Golden Castle by C G Jung – Red Book

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“… Shortly afterwards I received a letter from Richard Wilhelm enclosing the manuscript of a Taoist-alchemical treatise entitled ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower‘, with a request that I write a commentary on it.  I devoured the manuscript at once, for the text gave me an undreamed of confirmation of my ideas about the mandala and the circumambulation of the centre.  That was the first event which broke through my isolation.  I became aware of an affinity;  I could establish ties with someone and someone.

“In remembrance of this coincidence, this synchronicity, I wrote underneath the picture which had made so Chinese an impression on me:  ‘In 1928, when I was painting this picture showing the golden, well fortified castle, Richard Wilhelm in Frankfurt sent me the thousand year old Chinese text on the yellow castle, the germ of the immortal body.’

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Rocky 86.JPG - detail, train in city

“This is the dream I mentioned earlier.  I found myself in a dirty, sooty city.  It was night, and winter, and dark, and raining.  I was in Liverpool.  

With a number of Swiss – say, half a dozen – I walked through the dark streets.  I had the feeling that there we were coming from the harbour, and that the real city was actually up above, on the cliffs.  We climbed up there.  

It reminded me of Basel, where the market is down below and then you go up through the Alley of the Dead, which leads to a plateau above, and so to the Petersplatze and Peterskirche.  

“When we reached the plateau, we found a broad square dimly illumined by street lights, into which many streets converged.  The various quarters of the city were arranged radially around the square.  In the centre was a round pool, and in the middle of it a small island.  

While everything round about was obscured by rain, fog, smoke and dimly lit darkness, the little island blazed with sunlight.  On it stood a single tree, a magnolia, in a shower of reddish blossoms.  It was as though the tree stood in the sunlight and was at the same time the source of light. 

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“My companions commented on the abominable weather, and obviously did not see the tree.  They spoke of another Swiss who was living in Liverpool, and expressed surprise that he should have settled here.  I was carried away by the beauty of the flowering tree and the sunlit island, and thought, ‘I know very well why he has settled here.’  Then I awoke.

Swan Hebrew letter Beit

Swan Hebrew letter Beit

“On one detail of the dream I must add a supplementary comment:  the individual quarters of the city were themselves arranged radially around a central point.  This point formed a small open square illuminated by a larger street lamp, and constituted a small replica of the island.  I knew that the ‘other Swiss’ lived in the vicinity of one of these secondary centres.

“This dream represented my situation at the time.  I can still see the greyish-yellow raincoats, glistening with the wetness of the rain.  Everything was extremely unpleasant, black and opaque – just as I felt then.  But I had had a vision of unearthly beauty, and that is why I was able to live at all.   Liverpool is the ‘pool of life’.  The ‘liver’ according to an old view, is the seat of life – that which ‘makes to live’.” 

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(The Liver of Life!   His Window of Eternity mandala shows – like a grid – the city districts as holograms.  Each is as the whole, with its illumining centre and radii:  our human connectivity, beyond the box of space and time:  macrocosm of the microcosm.  When we awake we discover our imagined isolation was a fantasy.)

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“This dream brought with it a sense of finality.  I saw that here the goal had been revealed. One could not go beyond the centre.  The centre is the goal, and everything is directed towards that centre.  Through this dream I understood that the self is the principle and archetype of orientation and meaning.  Therein lies its healing function … Out of it emerged a first inkling of my personal myth. 

“After this dream I gave up painting mandalas …” 

Jung age 85

Jung age 85

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The Liverpool dream looks to me like a four-dimensional snapshot of Jung’s whole working life.   The lamp which the Red Book kept alight during World War One, glowed very deep, hidden inside the dark, but it passed from soul to soul.

During the following decades, Jung worked with clients – high achievers – who were deeply depressed and searching for a reason to live at all.  European society, collectively shattered by the carnage in the trenches, and with Nazism on the rise, endured dense clouds of scepticism and banality – the mind’s dark glamour.

He discovered that if he encouraged his patients to paint what they felt and saw, something in them took charge of the process and led them to an unexpected interior contact.  As the healing awoke, it took charge of the patient who began to open doors.  

Dr Jung found it had little to do with himself as therapist.  His job was to lead his patients to the underground stream, on which they floated paper boats.   Art therapy was born.   It is for ourselves, each one, to contact the unique inner mystery which unites us.

Wandering Fool with DNA and paper boats

Wandering Fool with DNA and paper boats – 1988

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Jung himself had pioneered the way, through the Red Book;  he told very few people about it, (though he showed some of his paintings to those whom he trusted) – but it rekindled by morphic resonance, as in “Window of Eternity”.

In his book Modern Man in Search of a Soul, he describes the new discoveries with his clients.

Jung and his house at Bollingen

Jung and his house at Bollingen

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**

Gene Keys Golden Path Program

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address http://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/