Kabbalah Notes – Companions of the Light

Under Piccadilly circus 1965

Under Piccadilly circus 1965

When the author Susan Howatch is writing her novel, she loves all her characters astray and how they develop, light and shadow, bad and good, as they well to life, and she loves them for their problems, their sexual nature, their honest discoveries, their extravagant delusions, and their (some of them) difficult paradoxical-surprise endings. Bishop Jardine lost his inner truth and died a sad man – she loves him for that authenticity. He is loved for that reality.   He is one of her inner voices.

This is an important insight with how we are in God, and how we are in our Teacher or Magid. I am loved as my teacher loves me; as my higher Self loves the vehicle along the path. And this is the way I should love –  in the difficulties I imagine I and others have.

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Tree of Advaita - jnana marga, the path of Wisdom

Tree of Advaita – jnana marga, the path of Wisdom

Kabbalah group notes – 30 October 2014

Who is the Watcher of my life? Go back in time to an early memory – who looked through my eyes? When did I first sense behind me, my Magid, my inner teacher?   Keep this question open, because although we may seem to make a priori statements about “the watchers” or “the magidim” for convenience, the inner dialogue is a unique and open mystery to each one of us … when touching base with it.   Through it is received the connection:  the collective human eagle, seeing far and wide.

The magidim may not present words, they may present a symbol or shape or pattern of events in our life. Gina took a book to bed –  the seductive intellectual language of a popular atheist undermining God; an enormous black bluebottle suddenly flew in and hit the page, startling her.

Our Guardians manifest in small doses of synchrony and are “visibly distressed” when a promising pilgrim gets caught up in lower-case politics. Some spiritual- journal entries by an old Indian friend were found, written in 1978 –  since then, he became immersed in the Indian political game.   The early notes brought tears to the old man’s eyes. Had he lived his life?

Try to perceive when the Voiceless Voice is shaking his/her head behind you or to one side, or withdrawing energy from your impulse. Keep hearing them silently.  They know your destiny. They only intervene when they absolutely have to; and then you get three warnings.

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Circle Line 1965

Circle Line 1965

Each one of us is a fractal kaleidoscope, giving the childlike Holy One much pleasure.

On healing situations: a practitioner asks sometimes, Is anyone there? If there is, she stops what she’s doing, leaves the room, lets them get on with it.

Operating theatres are filled with the Watchers – those who gather at emergency, at birth and at death:  those whose concern is with this human river of destiny.

Sacred India Tarot - Parvati waters trees

Sacred India Tarot – Parvati waters trees

Discriminate the musical essence from the soul who creates it – discriminate the symphony from the conductor. Schumann said Schubert’s music cleanses and banishes evil. We have these two aspects in our Watchers, to discern – the soul’s essence evolving through light and shadow; and the guiding factor/dialogue with our Magid.

W spoke of portrait painting, and how the connection/contact between artist and sitter over real time and space speaks much more profoundly than a photo. This contact is heart to heart  (a way of love).

tree of life spiral

Warnings cross your path – when Tom was in India, a big python glided by, as thick as a football; yet the person with him didn’t see it.  Julia had a dream: should she take a certain path, or stay with Kabbalah? The dream was Chartres with all the seats turned to face the door, the Rose window. There sat a very old man – Melchisedek – and she melted into him.   He said, keep the path Kabbalistically. All are one.

You can tell the quality of good or bad movies: likewise your inner guidance – its quiet calibre and commitment, rather than drama.

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Confession by the fire - 1963

Confession by the fire – 1963

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The language of visions and of dreams comes from the connective link, and when your path forks, note the atmosphere in the fork before you go down it too far.

Sense the Pre-sence of the Guides. Clarity is a breakthrough of Yetzirah into Beriah. In Mozart’s Magic Flute, water flows to the left and fire on the right, with the air we breathe … the flute … in the centre.

Praying for those who died in holocaust or violence, for their rest, we pause – a dark night of soul – a sadness. The inner Teacher helps us to raise the level. They indicate.

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Evening in the Snowdon hut, 1964

Evening in the Snowdon hut, 1964

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Jacobs Ladder painting

A question was asked whether a Watcher or Magid can exist simultaneously incarnate (as an embodied pilgrim) and discarnate (as source of wisdom – like a lighthouse – to distant pilgrims).

The magidim are not angels, they are human – they are involved in the human condition which the angels cannot perceive. The angels have cosmic functions:  the magidim are the clear dew of our human resonance above the clouds.  They are discarnate in Yetzirah (the World of Formation) and they have a way of orchestrating omens. So look for the pattern of the omens, to see your magid.

On the tandem of magid and embodied soul: while we are discarnate, we can do and be the things in life which we cannot do or be in the physical body – where we have to buy a ticket to get from Finchley Road to Cockfosters. The magid doesn’t buy a ticket or travel – the magid unifies the two places, because the magid stands a little beyond space and time.

Astrology characteristics in our chart, build up an individuated picture over the lifetime.

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jacobs ladder

Jacobs Ladder showing the Four Worlds in the interlocking Trees: Aziluth, Emanation (names of God); Beriah, Creation (Archangels and magidim); Yetzirah the Formative World (planets, magidim and the psyche) and Assiyah the Physical World (physical organs, the material universe.)

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I do not see the Watcher as a linear fixture. I guess our Guardians and their quality, proliferate according to the level of third eye in the intelligent perception. Each Guardian is a member of their own School, each Guardian has his or her magid also; and when I lift above the waves, I should see through that face-cloud, receiving the quintessential One behind it – transparency on transparency.   In spiritual lineages the features change but remain constant as the One. Our Guardians blend the bookends of our life together as a distinct and  profound thought form; but we tread the mill.   We walk their scented trail.

My basis for contemplation is the Tree, where these thoughts and ideas come naturally.

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Paths of Awakening

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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/

A Resonance between Two Models – Part Two

Image

A lesson with Owl

In my previous post, I abridged the full transcript of Ramesh Balsekar’s conversation with Leonard Cohen in early 1999, because it was very long.  Here are the missing bits, including Ramesh’s teaching on Satori.  For the dialogue to run smoothly, I have retained some of the exchanges in Part One.

Ramesh namaste

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Ramesh Balsekar:  But you used the word “resonance”.

Leonard Cohen:  Yes Sir.

RB – Can you explain that a little bit, Leonard?

LC – I found that during some of the rigorous retreats that we’re subjected to, I would find myself opening one of your books, specifically The Final Truth;  and I would find that your writing would illuminate the discourses of our Master, and vice versa.  That resonance became very discernible.  It became urgent that I

RB – A similar thing happened to me.

LC -Yes?

RB – You know Wei Wu Wei?  Have you heard of Wei Wu Wei?  – particularly one book which a friend of mine gave me twenty years ago, which I knew was a treasure, but I couldn’t understand it – I kept it aside. So that was what used to be – what my teacher said, and what was said in the book – amazing. Is that the sort of thing you mean?

LC – Yes Sir, it is.

RB – I see.  And in particular, The Final Truth?

LC – Well, that was the book I happened to have with me in my pack.  I would open it at any free moment, and the words would rise up, illuminating the whole day. 

RB – Yes, I see.  Have you read any other books of mine?

LC – Yes, I have just finished “Pointers”.  I have it with me now.  But I read it very, very slowly.  It seems that one section can occupy me for long, long periods.

RB – Yes.  And then, you’ve been here ten days!  But you’ve been so silent!

LC – I’ve been sipping at the nectar.  It’s very delicious to be here.

leonard and ramesh in sindhula

RB – Yes.  So now, what you have heard these ten days, and what you have read in the book, and your original understanding – how do they resonate?  Can you explain that a little bit?

LC – On the intellectual model, your model becomes clearer and clearer to me – your conceptual presentation – and so does my old Teacher’s.  On the experiential level, I feel the weakening of certain proprietorial feelings of doership … …  You know, over the years, especially anybody who hangs around a Zendo meditation hall, is going to get a lot of ‘free samples’, as you put it.  If you sit for long hours every day and are subjected to sleeplessness and protein deficiency, you’re going to start having experiences that are interesting … … A greed for those kinds of experiences develops.  Which is what happens in monasteries.

Bunny hide and seek

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RB – I see.  You see, what happens is – Wayne and I had a very brief talk a couple of days ago; we were both walking on the roof. He made a point that while certain practices bringing about these free samples, inflate the ego, could these practices also not inflate the ego to an extent where it bursts? Which is one way for the annihilation of the ego.

LC – That is a very excellent characterisation of this kind of practice.

Ramesh and Wayne

RB – That is what it is supposed to do. But I told Wayne, the explosion will happen if that is the will of God, and if it is the will of God, that that bodymind organism follow THAT PATH. This reminded me of the story of Lao Tsu and his disciple, which I’m sure you know, but I will repeat it.  A disciple went to Lao Tsu with his face flushed with the vigour of achievement.  And he told him, “Master!  I’ve got it!”  Lao Tsu compassionately placed his hands on the disciple’s shoulders and told him, “Son, you have NOT got it.”  You’ve heard this story?

LC – No, Sir.

RB – Oh really?  Oh well!  He said, “No my son, you haven’t got it.”  So, dejected, the disciple went away.  Some time later he came back again, fell at the Master’s feet and said “Master, it has happened.”

Angel with Rabbit

Lao Tsu looked into his eyes, knew it, and raised him up saying, “Now tell me what happened.”  The disciple explained, “I was so SURE that I had got what I wanted, all the experiences, all the joy, I knew I had got it;  but when you told me that I had NOT got it, I accepted that as the truth.  But it was also the truth as far as I was concerned, that I had done all I could, and yet you said I had achieved nothing.  So the result was: accepting BOTH as the truth.  I went about my way, not wanting anything, not expecting anything;  and suddenly I noticed that the joyous experiences had gone, but a peace had descended.  And it also struck me then, that this was the peace that I was after – not achieving anything!”

So this is the peace that came when the seeking stopped.  You see?  So, it was the destiny of the mindbody organism of that particular disciple, that the ego be bloated to an extent where it burst;  and the pin that burst it was Lao Tsu telling him “No, you haven’t got it!”

centaur, athene & owl 87

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But again, the danger IS – if it is the will of God and the destiny of that bodymind organism – that the ego will bloat, and stay bloated at a level where the bloated ego considers himself a Master, you see?  and wants and does get hundreds and thousands of disciples!  And the bloated ego stays there.  So it may not get pricked.

But, when the ego gets weaker and weaker and weaker, then it has to ultimately die, finding out “Who is doing anything?  Who is seeking anything?  Who is to get anything? You see?  That is why I said, the only Sadhana I recommend, is to find out at the end of the day, how many actions that I remember having happened today, were MY actions, and how many just happened?

mind thief police

And I dare say that an honest analysis will make the ego come to the conclusion that no actions were HIS actions, or HER actions!  And if this happens day after day –  it may start with the end of the day, but it will be found that this analysis happens many times DURING the day! – until towards the end, an action happens and the analysis that it was not my action, happens almost simultaneously;  so that with the firmest possible conviction, with unconditional acceptance that I do nothing, the question arises, not intellectually “Who am I?” but from the very depths of frustration – it can be said, frustration of the ego – “If I have not been doing, if no act is my action, who is this ME I’ve been so concerned about?”

Ramana Maharshi used the words “Who am I” because in English there is a marvellous distinction between ‘I’ and ‘me’, but in the Tamil language and most other languages I am told, this distinction is not there. So when Ramana Maharshi said, “Find out who am I”, he really meant, “Who is this me I’m so concerned about?”

Ramana & Rabbit

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If this process starts, it is the will of God. And if this process reaches a certain depth – every step is God’s will and the destiny of that body-mind organism – the actual arising of this question is there a me, out of DEEPEST FRUSTRATION, is what is perhaps called THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

In the time lag between the arising of the question and the arising of an answer, the deepest frustration is the dark night of the soul. And the dark night of the soul awakens you into the answer: “There never has been a ‘me’. There is thinking, but no thinker. There is doing, but no doer.”   The thinker, the doer, the experiencer, comes later, and becomes proud, or has a feeling of guilt.   Thinking happens. A thought arises and leads to some action. And later on, the individual ego doer comes in and says “I had a brilliant idea which I put into practice, and now I am Bill Gates, making five hundred dollars every second.” That is how thought occurs. But the one who says ‘I thought’ comes later. And it was God’s will and the destiny of the mindbody organism that that should happen. Albert Einstein in his total humility, has gone on record as saying the equation came to him from outside.

LC – I think that’s the experience of every artist and mind worker.

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guitar sketch leonard cohen

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RB – Yes. Nureyev the ballet dancer has said, “Nureyev dances best when Nureyev isn’t there.”   And the same thing is said by I suppose, any artist in whatever field.   So, proceeding this way, even that depends on the will of God and the destiny of the organism.

There’s a tiny book, an abridged edition of the Bhagavad Gita.  Have you read it?

LC – This edition, no.

RB – Bhagavad Gita is seven hundred verses.  Someone told me that Ramana Maharshi had condensed it into forty-three or forty-eight verses.  This friend of mine who used to come regularly, had a copy, so I said, “Would you give me that copy?”  He said “Yes, yes, I’ll bring it next time.”  And four times he came, and four times he forgot.  So I said, “Ramana Maharshi’s answer to me is clear.  Do it on your own!” – (Laughter.)  “Don’t read MY collection!”

And so I started doing it:  so mine came to sixty-six verses.  And one of those verses is this:  “Out of thousands of people there is one seeker. Out of the many seekers, there is ONLY ONE who knows me in principle.”   You see?  So the many seekers who don’t reach this ultimate end, obviously have to be following paths which are not supposed to lead them to the end, during the process of that bodymind organism anyway.

So the misconception “What is the best path?  Which is the best Spiritual path?” – there is no “best spiritual path”.  There is only a particular spiritual path for you, or for this particular bodymind organism, at that moment of its development.  So the Source will send this bodymind organism to that Guru who is appropriate for him or her at the time;  all the bodymind organism can do, is to follow that Guru to whom he has been sent.

But my only point is this:  many Gurus, unfortunately, tie down their disciples, saying “Now you have come to me. You wanted to be initiated. Now our relationship is life-long.” You see? But to me, that is ridiculous. You initiated him, but who sent him to you?   That Source certainly has the right to send that disciple somewhere else!   Who is this Guru, to bind him for life?   Therefore the word “Guru hopping” is used in a sort of derogatory way.

russian dolls

LC – Guru …?

RB – Guru Hopping.  (Laughter).  It’s used in a derogatory way.  To me, it is perfectly logical and acceptable.

LC – In the Zen tradition as you know, monks went from one Master to another, in search of different aspects of the teaching. I don’t feel I am betraying my Teacher by being here.

RB – Yes. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. In fact, Wayne told me, you told your Teacher.

LC – Yes.

RB – And he didn’t ask for …?

LC – Yes. He asked me to cook him one last meal. Because I’m his cook.

cloud colloquy

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RB – I see.  So, Leonard, is he likely to ask you when you go back, what did you learn?

LC – My understanding, he will discern exactly. I think the issue more urgent, is whether I stay there or not.

RB – Yes. But if he does ask you – which is not impossible, is it? – what would you say, Leonard?

LC – Well, we have – I would try to convey to him in the terms that – but he doesn’t speak English … …  I would probably gasho to him. (Bows deeply)  

RB – This is gasho?

LC – Yes, and depending on the truth of the moment, whether I could step aside from the understanding and let the understanding communicate itself …

RB – The answer is, “I don’t know”.   Is that what you meant?

LC – It’s correct.

RB – Then that is absolutely correct: “I don’t know what answer will come out.”

LC – He has, you know, the Japanese rigour.   So he would question, he would listen carefully to my saying “I don’t know”. Because “I don’t know” is the answer to many koans.

RB – No no. What I’m saying is: “I don’t know” is your answer to me.

LC – Ah Yes.  Yes, Sir.

RB – That I DON’T know what will come out of my lips if such a question were asked.  That’s what I meant.   When I said “I don’t know”, what I mean is – that would be your answer to my question about what you should say.

leonard and ramesh 1999_0001

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You see? So some experience happens.  Then people want more experiences.  This greed as you quite rightly said, for the experience.  Wanting – ananda means ‘bliss’.  But the word ‘calm’ or ‘cool’ – deep down, that is how the word has come – cool, or calm.  At one stage Ramana Maharshi uses the word ‘bliss’ because it has come down – not Ramana Maharshi, but in the translation.  One point I came across, which I have triple underlined – he said: “Calm is superior to bliss.”  The word I prefer is “peace”.

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Each unto each other

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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/

 

 

 

A Resonance between Two Models – Leonard Cohen & Ramesh Balsekar

Ramesh 1

During my visit to Ramesh in Mumbai, in early 1999, I witnessed the following conversation with Leonard Cohen, and bought the tape.
After I got home, I made this transcript:

Ramesh – You live in a Zen monastery, I am told?

Leonard – That’s correct, yes.

For how long, three or four years?

I’ve been associated with this institution for about thirty years – and about four and a half years ago, I was ordained as a monk.

I see. I see. Would you say it is a pretty stiff discipline?

It’s – very rigorous.

But you like it?

Not particularly, no.

Well that is honest. So what I would like to ask is this: the understanding before you came here, and what I talk about – how does it compare?

It was the resonance between the two models, yours and my teachers’, that led me to study your books with some diligence. And because of the experiences I received from your books, and because of the advanced stage of my Teacher and yourself, I felt it would be appropriate to come and sit with you.

leonard cohen 1

I see. But you used the word ‘resonance’. Can you explain that a little bit, Leonard?

I found that during some of the rigorous retreats that we’re subjected to, I would find myself opening one of your books, specifically The Final Truth; and I would find that your writing would illuminate the discourses of our Master, and vice versa. It became urgent that I …

A similar thing happened to me. When I was with my – Nisargadatta Maharaj. You know Wei Wu Wei?

Yes, Sir.

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Particularly one book which a friend of mine gave me twenty years ago, which I knew was a treasure, but I couldn’t understand it – I kept it aside. So that was what used to be – what Maharaj said, and what was said in the book – amazing. …   You’ve been here for ten days!

Yes, Sir.

But you’ve been so silent!

Ramesh talks at home

I’ve been sipping at the nectar. It’s very delicious to be here.   On the intellectual level, your model becomes clearer and clear to me – your conceptual presentation – and so does my old Teacher’s. On the experiential level, I feel the weakening of certain proprietorial feelings about doership.

That is a very good word!   Proprietorial – me, mine!   I see. Now, this weakening – how do you mean this weakening, when did it start?   Did it start thirty years ago? Is that what you are saying?

I couldn’t characterize this seeking as spiritual. It was a kind of urgent …

You mean what started thirty years ago was not really spiritual?

No Sir.

I see. I see.

I don’t know if it is today. The description seems to pale in the urgency of the actual search, which is for peace.

Yes. Yes.

And you know, over the years, especially anyone who hangs around a Zendo meditation hall, is going to get a lot of free samples, as you put it. If you sit for long hours every day, and are subjected to sleeplessness and protein deficiency, you’re going to start having experiences that are interesting. It was a hunger for those experiences that kept me around, because I NEEDED those experiences.

YES! The HUNGER for those experiences. Yes! So?

leonard cohen 2

I forget where we were. I’m sorry.

You said, experiences happened, and there was a hunger for those experiences.

There was a hunger to maximize, to continue, a greed to … a greed for those kinds of experiences develops. Which is what happens in monasteries.

I entirely agree, yes. There is a greed for those experiences.

Very much so. And I must say that my old Teacher puts little value on those experiences.

I see. In fact, did he WARN you against them?

Warns you, and BEATS YOU, against them!

With his stick? On your shoulder?

Yes Sir. We are not encouraged to take these hallucinations seriously.

But how effective are those beatings, Leonard?

Not effective at all. I’ve seen them more effective in the case of other monks than they were in this case. So I respect the system; it’s a rigorous system based on a very useable model, but it wortks for some and does not work for others.

Quite right. I see. And what you’ve been hearing for ten days, has it made some difference, do you think?

Sweet!

leonard cohen 3

Some difference in this greed?   Can you explain that a little bit, please Leonard?

Your emphasis on the disidentification with the sense of doership, is crucial to the weakening of – the modification of that greed.   And by the grace of this activity, I have experienced …

You have tried it, during the last ten days?   I see.

Yes. Of course, greed arises. The hunger arises, legitimately, and without my bidding. The greed for peace, for equanimity, for balance, arises spontaneously. But I feel that somehow I don’t have any leverage on the apparatus. Somehow there is a sweetening of the whole experience.

I see. You see, what happens is – Wayne and I had a very brief talk a couple of days ago; we were both walking on the roof. He made a point that while certain practices bringing about these free samples, inflate the ego, could these practices also not inflate the ego to an extent where it bursts? Which is one way for the annihilation of the ego.

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That is a very excellent characterisation of this kind of practice.

I see. That is what it is supposed to do. But I told Wayne, the explosion will happen if that is the will of God, and if it is the will of God, that that bodymind organism follow THAT PATH. … … Ramana Maharshi used the words “Who am I” because in English there is a marvellous distinction between ‘I’ and ‘me’, but in the Tamil language and most other languages I am told, this distinction is not there. So when Ramana Maharshi said, “Find out who am I”, he really meant, “Who is this me I’m so concerned about?”

Ramana Arunachala III

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If this process starts, it is the will of God. And if this process reaches a certain depth – every step is God’s will and the destiny of that body-mind organism – the actual arising of this question is there a me, out of DEEPEST FRUSTRATION, is what is perhaps called THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL   In the time lag between the arising of the question and the arising of an answer, the deepest frustration is the dark night of the soul. And the dark night of the soul awakens you into the answer: “There never has been a ‘me’. There is thinking, but no thinker. There is doing, but no doer.”   The thinker, the doer, the experiencer, comes later, and becomes proud, or has a feeling of guilt.   Thinking happens. A thought arises and leads to some action. And later on, the individual ego doer comes in and says “I had a brilliant idea which I put into practice, and now I am Bill Gates, making five hundred dollars every second.” That is how thought occurs. But the one who says ‘I thought’ comes later. And it was God’s will and the destiny of the mindbody organism that that should happen. Albert Einstein in his total humility, has gone on record as saying the equation came to him from outside.

I think that’s the experience of every artist and mind worker.

Yes. Nureyev the ballet dancer has said, “Nureyev dances best when Nureyev isn’t there.”   And the same thing is said by I suppose, any artist in whatever field … …   Bhagavad Gita says this: “Out of thousands of people there is one seeker. Out of the many seekers, there is ONLY ONE who knows me in principle.” … … Many Gurus, unfortunately, tie down their disciples, saying “Now you have come to me. You wanted to be initiated. Now our relationship is life-long.” You see? But to me, that is ridiculous. You initiated him, but who sent him to you?   That Source certainly has the right to send that disciple somewhere else!   Who is this Guru, to bind him for life?

In the Zen tradition as you know, monks went from one Master to another, in search of different aspects of the teaching. I don’t feel I am betraying my Teacher by being here.

leonard cohen 4

Yes. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. In fact, Wayne told me, you told your Teacher.

Yes. He asked me to cook him one last meal. Because I’m his cook.

And what is his favourite dish?

Uh – salmon teriyaki.

Oh. Well, that’s – that’s my favourite dish too. I mean, the particular dish you mention, I don’t know what it is, but … salmon.

It’s just marinated in soy sauce and saki, ginger, pepper, for a certain period of time, and then battered.

So is cooking one of your talents?

It’s not a talent, it’s a duty. I cook for the old man.

So it is your duty to cook salmon for your Guru.

That is correct.

And it is the Guru’s duty to eat it, whatever way you cook it!

He is very cavalier with his duties.

I see. Yes. YES. So, Leonard, is he likely to ask you when you go back, what did you learn?

My understanding, he will discern exactly. I think the issue more urgent, is whether I stay there or not.

Yes. But if he does ask you – which is not impossible, is it? – what would you say, Leonard?

Well, we have – I would try to convey to him in the terms that – but he doesn’t speak English.

Ramesh Balsekar 14 feb 13_0001

So you speak Japanese?

No. He speaks very very little English. I speak very little Japanese. But we’ve been studying together and drinking together for a long time.

What is his favourite drink?

I tried to introduce him to vintage French wine, which I consider a refined beverage, but he insists on drinking saki.

If you ask me, I’d prefer Scotch or sherry.

I agree with you. He did – he was very discerning about cognac.

Yes.

He liked cognac, and he established masculine and feminine qualities to the different brands. For instance he thought Remy Martin had a feminine expression, while Courvoisier had a masculine expression. None of these designations were taken too seriously after the third or fourth drink.

You see, that is the whole point, Leonard. The whole business is taken far too seriously. That is the ridiculous thing about it. There’s nothing serious about it, because there’s no seeker!   And who is serious about it? – the seeker!   You see? The seeking goes on, on its own course. So, if this question were asked you Leonard, is there a specific point which you learned from Ramesh – which is NOT what you had earlier – what would you say?   I don’t want to suggest an answer …

I would probably gasho to him. (Bows deeply)   And depending on the truth of the moment, whether I could step aside from the understanding and let the understanding communicate itself …

The answer is, “I don’t know”.   Is that what you meant?

It’s correct.

Then that is absolutely correct: “I don’t know what answer will come out.”

ramesh listening

He has, you know, the Japanese rigour.   So he would question, he would listen carefully to my saying “I don’t know”. Because “I don’t know” is the answer to many koans.

No no. What I’m saying is: “I don’t know” is your answer to me. … …   Must be a pretty hard life there?

I’m given many privileges that the younger monks don’t have, because I have a family and obligations, so although I’m not free from the general form, which is very early waking up and long hours in the meditation hall and lots of work, I’m allowed to go down, into the city from time to time, to take care of my affairs and see my children.

Yes. I see. Yes. You have a family?

I have two children.

Two children. I see. And a wife?

I never married.

I see. So the two children are grown up?

They’re in their middle twenties.

Oh I see. But they’re on their own then, yes? – You have to help them?

They’re on their own, but I feel I can be of use to them. It’s difficult raising children in America. It’s a difficult manoevring and navigating through a lot of dangerous waters. So I’ve tried to stay close to them through some very difficult periods. A child growing up in America with money.

They have their own money?

No, I mean, in a comfortable surrounding.

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monkeys 2

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Yes. What is your relationship with your children? What advice do you give them – depending on the circumstances? The point is, how does one raise one’s children with the total acceptance that each child has its own destiny? Each child is programmed in a unique way. And yet you have to do your duty, as a father. What has been your experience, Leonard? Was it interesting?

My experience is to rely on instinct at the moment, and discard principles I myself received from my own parents, which were quite effective in their own way. I find for instance, that that the way I did it, or the way it was revealed to me –

Do they live on their own?

My daughter lives in my apartment, and I live on the mountain, and my son lives around the corner.

And you provide the money for them, or do they work?

They work. They work hard.

And they earn their own living then?

Yes, Sir.   But they grew up in a privileged environment. They didn’t have to work. They didn’t have to struggle.

They didn’t have to earn and learn?

No, they didn’t have to earn and learn, and not only that, but  they were exposed to things very early in their lives, as many American kids are. I had been through that myself. So I was able to react in a way that was unconventional. But having understood something  …

From personal experience?

From personal experience, I established a connection with the child on the basis of that common experience, rather than on a principle of right or wrong.

wei wu wei vi

Quite right. Yes. It worked?

And fortunately, it seemed to work.

Oh? I see. In other words, you talked to your children not like a father to a son or daughter, but as one person who has experience of what they are experiencing.

Yes Sir, that’s correct; not only that, but having taken that course, it’s enabled a real usable friendship to develop.

Yes! Yes! In fact the relationship itself must have taken a beautiful turn.

It has! My daughter says, like “You’re really cool, Dad.”

That is the highest compliment, isn’t it. Cool. And the curious part of it is, this word is really the definition of the traditional word ananda. The traditional word ananda is translated as “bliss”. But my objection to the word “bliss” is, it raises expectations in the seeker.

It’s a tyranny.

Calm. Cool. Well, this is a great compliment from your daughter!

It was, it was.

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Wei wu wei ii

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You are cool, Dad. And what about your son? What do they do?

My daughter runs a store for antique deco furniture. She goes to England and buys furniture and brings it back and sells it. She got a job with an antique dealer two years ago, who apprenticed her. And my son has just put out his first record with a big record company.

Oh well! So he inherited your talent for music?

Well, I don’t have much talent for music, but he has. People who know my work will, er … I have a kind of croaking delivery. But he actually is very musical.

What you are saying is, your son is better than you are – were.

He has strengths that are much more apparent!

And you have told him that?   So he must ALSO have said “Dad, you’re cool.”

He has.

The son being praised by the father. So you have a very good relationship with your children!

Thank God, I do.

wei wu wei v

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Again, God’s grace. You know what I say about God’s grace and God’s will? We use the word God’s grace when something nice happens. When something not so nice happens, and we know we can do nothing about it, we put our head down and say God’s will. So now, if somebody asks you Leonard, “how do you live your life?” – you are about sixtyish?

Getting to be sixty-five.

I see. How do you live your life? Does living your life present a problem? What would be your answer, from personal experience? Is living your life now, with this understanding, a difficult thing?

Well, if it is – and it’s been the experience of this being, that things come with difficulty rather than with ease – so I think the perspective on that programming is changing.

I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that. Things come difficult?

Yes, for instance I’m a song writer by profession …

You still write?

Yes Sir. And I’ve always found that I write one word at a time. With sweat and difficulty.

Like pulling out teeth.

It’s like pulling teeth, and it takes a great effort. I’ve written some decent songs, and people ask me about song writing, you know, they say “How do you write a good song?” And I always say, “If I knew where the good songs came from, I would go there more often.” I don’t know where they come from. I know that I have to sit at my desk or in my café or wherever it is, and sweat over it. Other song writers greater than I – and I’ve had this conversation with them – will give me completely different information. They’ll say, like “I wrote it in the back of the taxi cab” – you know, a great song. So it seems to be my experience, that things are difficult in just the way this programming works.

That is correct.

ramesh for cover

So the understanding now is, that this programming, unless it is the will of God to change the programming, is going to be as it is, but I don’t have to get involved in the programming. I can work at my desk as I’ve always done, but without that additional tyranny of disapproval of the method; because this is the method that …

… is supposed to be for you

… is supposed to be for me.

I tell you how I understand it. What you are saying is this: writing a song comes easy for some people. They can write one in a taxicab. For you it becomes much more difficult. But what you are saying, I think, is, that there is no wish that you could do what that other fellow is doing. Isn’t that right?

No. There is no wish.

Wei wu wei iii

That’s the whole point. You have accepted the way YOU write your songs, and you have accepted the way someone else is able to write the songs.

And deeper than that, Sir, there is – I’ve always had a sense of this – this perception of this bodymind orgasm – organism … !

The American pronunciation!

… has been that there is a background of anguish, of mental anguish, that does not seem to respond to any methods that I impose on it. So as that understanding deepens, I try less to impose any methods; and although the chatter and the activity of the mind continues, it doesn’t seem to have its poisonous sting.

Say that again, please? The chattering of the mind goes on?

The chattering of the mind, and the alleged anguish of the mind continues to operate sometimes in degrees of intensity that make one gasp or cry for help …

YES!

But with this understanding that is dawning, it seems that I am less willing to criticize or impose.

I see. Again, the same thing. You write the songs the way YOU are programmed to write, but there is no wishing that YOU could do what some others can. Doesn’t the same thing apply here? Isn’t that what you are saying?

Yes Sir. (Bows deeply). Yes, Sir.

Exactly the same thing. The chattering of the mind happens, but there is no wish that the chattering of the mind should become less. Isn’t that what you are saying? So whatever happens is accepted. Alright, there IS the chattering of the mind! It is the nature of the mind to chatter. It is the nature of the monkey to moan. So you let the monkey moan – the way he wants to! Therefore, the chattering of the mind may be there, but there’s no anguish. Is that what you are saying – as I think you are?

play monkeys

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It is. But even if there is anguish …

You mean, accept even that anguish is acceptance? Quite correct. Even if the anguish does happen, even if the involvement does happen, acceptance of it means “the cutting off of the involvement, when it is accepted.”

Correct.

So, even the involvement has to be accepted. Involvement happens – oh, alright, so it is happening …   Thank you very much, Leonard. That is exactly what I was hoping I’d get from you. (Obeisance).

First published in Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK Journal
“Self Enquiry”, summer 1999

ravens

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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/

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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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/