On the Coastal Path – Kabbalah & Travellers’ Treasure

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My journey in 1991 was a major turning point or “seeing”, from which I later on wrote The Field of the Dead, on eclipse and standing stones – to be published here shortly.   Meanwhile, my coastal Sadhana from Strumble Head to Pwllderi youth hostel continues –  a rediscovery of views and friendship …

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Sunset, Cap Frehel from Alet in Brittany, 1987

August 1991:  Sunset

Earlier this summer, in France with my sister and her children, I went walking and devised a way to contemplate the Star of Solomon alchemically:

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Sunset Star and Sulphur Symbol

Quicksilver is the descending triangle.  It is the silver sea, reflecting light … and it is the receptive Mercury or mind whose power expands up the stem, with the thermal fire of concentration.

Gold (or sulphur/fire) is the ascending triangle, the inner or Divine Signature of all things.  It pre-exists the silver sea, but only appears when the silver sea is in a prime state – receptive concentration.   Drawn to a point, receptive concentration becomes “fire” (spark) or flame.

Now see the points – the apex – of both triangles, the one above, and the one below.  The silver point reflects when focused, the point of the gold.  When alchemical mercury (the mind) is one-pointed inward, it transmutes.   It reveals … gold.

“Before time began, I am.”   “No mind, I am the Self.”  “Before Abraham was, I am.”

It rises like the flame symbol:  the primordial radiation.  This is prana, the breath of the sea.  The gold seems to be born in the silver…  but only because the silver reflecting it, gives up into it herself.  This is Self surrender.  Silver is the lunar organ of response to the Sun’s light.

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Now, in Pembrokeshire last week, at Pwllderi youth-hostel on the cliffs near Strumble Head Lighthouse, I watched the sun set:

Silver sea or tide, quiescent and still.

The sun, the Great Sage, cannot be seen.  He descends behind a horizontal bank of cloud which ends a little above the horizon.  But the quiescent silver reflects with a slowly growing intensity, his light behind the cloudy veil.   On the distant water, a golden egg is laid.  A tiny line of dazzling fire gradually fattens to an ellipse – a vesica or lens of fire – upon the silver element.  It becomes too bright to look at.   Then an elliptic shadow of gold begins to form beneath the fire.  It draws light into itself as it embodies slowly a sphere and then a pathway to the seer here.

As the reflected fire disappears into the expanding path, I see at last the Sun’s golden echo on the water.

Now the echo lengthens rapidly, as shadows do.   Subtly, a misty gold pathway awaits the Lord from horizon to the seer.    Then the Star Himself emerges, unbearably fiery, molten radiant gold – shield the eyes!   Everywhere lights up;  the sea is ablaze.   Phoenix!

An unseen bank of mist lingers along the horizon.  Very soon the star of gold disappears into it, the path fades and the sea turns grey.

The use of symbols is rooted in Nature’s object-lessons.  Sunset is not just a photo;  it berths and births right now.   What is seen?

On another evening, the Sun did not appear.  A part of the sea blushed softly gold for a time, in a bridal mist of expectancy, as if embracing something which could not possibly be seen.

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Hey.  With reference to the point, or needles’ eye in meditation’s silver sea, I just came across this, in The Mountain Path (summer 1991) – from Sri Ramana’s letter to Ganapati Muni:

“When the mind having pure sattva (calm and purity) as its characteristic, begins attending to the ‘I … I’ which is the sign of the forthcoming direct experience of the Self, the downward facing Heart becomes upward facing, and remains in the form of That (Self).”

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Ramana Puja

And this, from a conversation with S.S.Cohen:

“Bhagavan,” says Cohen, “you said yesterday that there exists in the human body a hole as small as a pin-point, from which consciousness always bubbles out to the body.  Is it open or shut?”

Ramana replies, “It is always shut, being the knot of ignorance which ties the body to consciousness.  When the mind drops away in the temporary Kevala Nirvikalpa (limited bliss/peace), it opens but shuts again.  In Sahaja (unlimited bliss/peace) it remains always open.”

“How is it during the experience of ‘I … I’ consciousness?”

“This consciousness is the key which opens it permanently.”

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The Self is not a fixture.  The I … i which Ramana speaks includes the fluid dialogue, small-I into the I – the brook and the Sea.  Self is stability, which appears to be fixed, but encompasses everything.  Small i darts in and out of I, like tadpoles.

And David Godman’s comment:  “If the Heart becoming upward facing, is the equivalent of this small consciousness-emitting hole opening, then this is another instance of Bhagavan saying that abidance in the ‘I … I’ – (pulsation of pure being) – “is the way to make the Heart open permanently.  When the Heart is permanently open, the world which was previously assumed to be external, is experienced not as separate names and forms, but as one’s own Self, as the immanent Brahman.”

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Stormy sunset: St Malo 1987

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Lighthouse Scrible:  Kabbalah

One evening, I walked to Strumble Head Lighthouse.   It is about five miles.   I went “up the mountain” first, behind the Youth Hostel.  This landmark can be seen from miles around, and from it you see the whole of the Welsh “Lands End” as if from an island.  Around it flow, like ocean currents, the fields great and small, of vivid agricultures.

Below the summit’s rocky tumuli I found a road towards the lighthouse, over the undulating fields.  When I got there, night had fallen.  The light is a revolving sequence of One, Two, Three, Four dazzling flashes clockwise, over the farmland. During the dark interval, One, Two, Three arms of light sweep the sea beyond.   The fourth seaward beam re-emerges in blinding light, as the first of the four landward flashes.  The fourth of these is the first over the sea;  and so on, in perfect sequence.

In numerical spiral, the four pulses are dovetailed into the Dance of Three:  the primal circuitry.

An electron dances a dual revolution of matter with the dark sea of anti-matter.  Each side – like a seed, or the ventricles of the heart – reflects and gives rise to the other.

TETRAGRAMMATON is the unspoken Name (J,H,V,H) of God.

In the Hermetic art, TETRAGRAMMATON applies to the four fold fertile rhythm throughout Nature and Creation.  Without it, no heart would beat, no substance form.

Father is YOD, Mother is HEH, their Child is VAV, and their Family is YOD, inseminating the next generation and the next.  It is like the blood through veins, the river’s fall through valleys, and gravity’s gentle curve of the infinite.

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Tetragrammaton cycle

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Strumble Light is a squat building, white and very clean.  It sits on a green tufted panther of volcanic rock.  A light metal bridge over a narrow surge of sea connects it to the mainland.

That night, I sat and watched its cyclic light.  The glowing geometries of the multiple lens rotate, strangely hermetic, within its lattice window.  Rhythmic arms of the beam sweep the night.   A scribbled “Scripture” of light flashes along the pitch dark craggy cliffs – the Bible of an instant.

My walk back to Pwllderi youth-hostel and my tent, along this precipitous coastal path in the dark, is an adventure!   It takes about an hour;  it is rugged, and some stretches of it are unknown ground.

The path opens an instinct of itself ahead.  Sometimes it is lit by the flicker of JHVH.  For the rest, my feet must find it.   Attune them to the terrain:  hurry not!   Lean back, and let my feet carry me home … for they seem to know, like wild ponies do.

The script is again, as on my bicycle earlier – “Lean back into Now.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12547928@N07/7430530274/lightbox/

and I just discovered a photo of Strumble Light at night in http://judeness.wordpress.com/2009/01 – (star, light and houses) … a visual feast of a blog!

How often along these paths and cliffs, I thought of St Christopher carrying his sacred burden over the river.  It grew heavier and heavier upon him.  It clung to him like an angry old woman, like the tired body of the Spirit going uphill.  The higher you leap the heavier it gets, O Gravity, you Grave One.  Finally he reached the other bank, and set down none other but the Christ Child.  The act of kindness realized him.

Franz Liszt set this to music:  piano and baritone.

When I get really tired after a long scramble, it helps to become a child being carried home, ride pick-a-back on this body.  “Take me home!”   The trick is to let my hips and lower spine be shock absorbers:  roll ball-socket, loose and yielding:  let Yoga in motion be the auto pilot.   It is about degrees of unstressed awareness.  It takes practice.  It is hard when fatigued in life – difficult not to strain ahead and wish this steep slope were over.

Very subtle is the way my feet, in relation to an alert quietude of mind, seek and find rocks and pebbles for support or stumble … hold gently, firmly the ground, like hands.

… don’t get in the way of the goat, pony or alchemical saint –  Fulcanelli in La Mystere des Cathedrales makes much of St Christopher!  – who trundles homeward over uncharted and untrod terrain.  The starry constellations are received in moments when I rest, downward into the earthy, stony track, like a root.

Small stones glow.

Who am I?  the mobile root of the sky at night, en route.

Revelation flashes a Bible over the cliffs:  a lifetime touches, climbs and finds them.

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Pwllderi is just visible in the background.

Friendship

On the sloping patch of ground behind the Youth-hostel, I made friends with a large, orange and yellow tent surrounded by a chaos of self sufficiency.   Her name is Oni.  She works with British Airways.  When she isn’t flying around in stratospheric cabins and being well groomed, she takes off with her portable cave, well away from the flight paths, turns into a shaggy troubadour and cooks lengthy feasts out of doors at midnight.  Hiking around burial grounds and standing stones with sketchpad and watercolours, Oni converses with unexpected outlines of Providence.   You could hear her cheerful voice from the other side of the field.

 

When she arrived, she pitched next door to me.  Oh no, one of those Talkers!   Will she go on all night?  But then we got acquainted.  “Come and have a bite,” she invited. “I like sharing things.”  And a gale of anecdotes and escapades flowed forth from this scamp:  a kindred spirit.   We quickly found our mutual affinities – to hang out!  Make no plans!  Travel alone and meet everyone!  Follow the weather, that trail of the unexpected which delivers up a musical mosaic so much Larger than Life!

As wind and imminent rain built up for the night, we sat beneath a drunkenly swaying GAZ lamp by the awning – I thought she was an entire family, she has so much stuff everywhere, but no, it’s just herself – and discussed life.  We dined on trout, baked potatoes and bullet peas mixed up with mushrooms which she cooked in foil over some kind of coal in the grass, in the dark.  The coal took forty minutes to become incandescent.   As the wind gusted and buffeted, Oni badgered back and forth;  we sipped airline Drambuies to keep warm.  She found also a half bottle of airline Medoc, and finally dished up supper in tin plates with the aplomb of a grubby eleven year old.

Presently we became aware that we had new neighbours.  Two young Belgian boys, struggling to peg their tent in pitch dark in the gale, appeared in the cluttered entrance to Oni’s cave.   Their hairy white shanks in very short shorts trembled knock-knee in the night like daddy-long-legses. “’Ow can it be,” they gesticulated “that you two sit out here like this, like midi on the Riviera taking ze sun, ‘ow can you be so strong and tough, look, we don’ know ‘ow to make this tent and the wind, cold, dark, and the legs zey won’t stop doing zis …”

Later, after I crawled back under my patched and archaic sway-backed canvas to sleep, I heard Oni calling me.   Jane, there’s a curtain of vertical columns of light!  Over there in the northern sky – I’m sorry but I had to tell you, you’ve got to look.  Isn’t it bizarre? … like aurora borealis without colour, but it must be, you know it IS THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!

I laboriously untied my tent-flaps yet again from the pole, looked out and saw it too.  What else could it be?  The stars were all out with it, very bright. Earlier today, the sea was glassy calm, and the Warden said the sea-birds were upset, the weather’s about to change, there must be something very unusual in the atmosphere …?   – and I went back in and to sleep feeling strangely happy and replete, my body into the hard ground.   It was the only night I slept well – the previous two nights I didn’t sleep AT ALL.   I decided to take a leaf from Oni:  invest in some up to date gear.

My cave is regarded with derision by herself and by a middle aged couple nearby, who are trying out a workmanlike eight-man edifice.  That’s not a tent!  You can’t go camping in that, it won’t last five minutes.  It’s a toy, you do it at school, you put it up in the garden … Ha ha ha!

My greyish-white old canvas and draughty sway-backed faded flysheet, is too genuinely an archetypal tent to be convincing:  and at least 30 years old.  It’s a snail wondering if it is an aeroplane.   However, when it blew really hard, it was Oni and the eight-man couple who got no sleep for the buffeting of synthetic fibre and the struggle to keep their nice modern caves attached to the ground.  They toiled off to Fishguard in the morning for a fresh supply of pegs, while I set out for another long walk along the coastal path to see the big waves.   So they ate their words!  My cave hugged the ground imperturbably as Gibralter with the wind blowing through it.

But on my walk, I began to feel bothered.  Shouldn’t I have stayed to help them?  I wanted to talk with Oni some more.  I felt shy and uncollected.  On my way back from Strumble, along a stretch of path straight as an arrow – a NOW through banks of golden gorse and flowering heather, who should be approaching but herself, rosy face, multi-coloured jersey and rucksack with sketching things, blond hair a-tangle.  We laughed, and wondered what we both look like when we are back home.  Oni was off for another long hike, then back to work in her metal tubes.  We didn’t quite know how to throw a line over into the passing ship, so we left it like that.  I had an idea.  When I got back I wrote my address on some paper and rolled it around her windscreen wiper.   I found her car with no trouble – it was unmistakable.  She had poured her cave straight into it.

A letter arrived this week:

“Dear Jane, I was very amused on returning from my hike to find the ‘Post’ had called! … I really enjoyed my few days camping and hiking in Wales.  Like you, I so enjoy hiking around and meeting similar unusual people, all roughing it for a bit.  I wonder how the rest of your walk went.  The weather has sure turned beautifully hot again – we’ve been frying in our metal tubes – the aircraft!   Yesterday we flew to Madrid – 110 degrees F!!   Glad we were only there for an hour.

“My last day’s walk was weird – total contrast.  A sea mist swirled round the Tors, and you could believe you were wandering around Snowdon.  But even in the mist I came across another of those wonderful brilliant hued rock gardens round the Tor summit.  Strange shapes of hikers flapped through the rocks, like lost souls haunting the wilds! By the time the rain set in, I was on my way home, in the evening, but I was so tired from the previous night’s disturbed sleep and re-pegging – I actually camped again, beyond Bath.  I was falling asleep at the wheel.  All good wishes, Oni.”

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Coastal path 1991 – place of meeting!

After meeting her like that, the day unrolled many treasures.  Wild cloud-bank of mist drove in from the West and over the tor.  I raced to the top to see, greet and be enveloped in the cloud.  Next I journeyed to the end of the great Dinosaur headland, where the sky cleared again, and I began my exploration to the cove of purple sandstone.  (See On the Coastal Path with Krishnamurti and Ramana)

For it was Oni who directed me to those paths, south of the Dinosaur.  On one of her own big treks, she found and investigated a wool mill and a track leading down to a dramatic beach further down.  “You know I love those folded rock formations!  Weird shapes, colours, terrific …” – and she found a rope tied to a metal bolt, which dangled some thirty feet or so to the base of the cliff.   Down the rope she went.  “What a GREAT way to go for a swim.  You know, the swim I had in that beach is one of the best swims I EVER had.”

After I discovered the cove of violet stones, the spiral snake and titanic Hartland families, I too found that place, further down the coast, and swung down the rope to swim in bouncy peaked rollers coming in over the sand.  There was rather a lot of seaweed, and after my swim I found a large jellyfish stranded and collapsed upon the beach.  But the water in the slanting sunlight was a joy;  a smile for Oni’s naughty tousled shape, in that green place above the beach where the path descends;  her friendly grin like a carousing minstrel.   Surprised and slightly alarmed at a depth of affection like a sign-post.

We are connected, a long way back.  Somewhere, we were a pair of mates, mess-mates maybe;  and now the paths swing back together, luring us to Strumble in wild Wales.   I am at peace with whatever comes next, and the feeling fades, being just a signal.   Much there is to share and learn with this funny person.  Much of value.

Here is a drawing she sent me:

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Leo Taurus by Oni

 

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The Warden

Everybody, in the tide of walkers and conversations passing through Pwllderi, was seeing more seals than I.  They arrived back from the cliffs with their tales of spotting whole familes with babies sunning themselves on the rocks.

I LOVE seals.  To see one gives me great kudos, encouragement and hope, during a walk.  But try as I might, I saw only three.  And they were a long way off.  I was so jealous of those gifted walkers.   I was consoled by a few stewards of Neptune who also abound in these parts:  dolphins and porpoises with tall black dorsal fins rose suddenly in a swell of off-shore current, to snort and blow.  One pair was greyish white.

Mostly I saw only jelly-fish, hundreds and hundreds of them.  They quivered like phallic toadstools in the deep water along the “lions’ paw” headlands, and put the damper on carefree swimming.

Neither was I very successful in locating Ancient Monuments indicated on my map.  I got very exhausted floundering around in gorse, and trying to cross the country from one pile of stones to another while avoiding farms and barking dogs.   I am not a gifted tourist of Neolithic wisdom and energy fields.   I seem to dowse it only on the cliffs themselves.  I was extremely annoyed that Oni discovered so many more monuments than I did.   Holidaying on the coastal path, to rough it in the open, gets lonely and tiring.  I’m dragging my feet up some muddy lane.  Then suddenly, along comes a familiar face or pair of people I spoke to earlier;  their legs are scratched, they are trying to find a route through a string of cow-patted farmyards, they offer a drink and some chocolate, we start floundering around in the gorse together, seeking unsuccessfully yet another Gothic Site of Burial on the O.S.map.   The air lifts;  I rejoin my human tribe;  the tiredness is gone.   I am not a hundred-per-cent hermit.

Pwllderi Youth-hostel is perched over the bay between the Dinosaur and the slumbering lions of Strumble.  The Warden comes out into the sunset each evening.  He raises his binoculars to inspect the cliff-path in each direction:  the coming night’s clientele.  “Where are they?  There’s no one coming along yet.  As soon as I sit down to have me supper, blow me there’ll be seven of ‘em here won’t there, wanting to check in all at once.”

Mine host is a dedicated character.  He genially receives the motley tide of travelers through his shelter – a thin old billygoat with bushy old-mans-beard and two merry teeth, like the guinea-pigs he keeps on grass near the tents behind his house.   The terrain of his visitors is unpredictable, like the West Wales climate.   Sometimes a straggle of lone eccentrics … a group of vociferous Germans … efficient girls traveling together with maps and lists … families … hikers and bikers … a party of twittering school kids.   Some nights have a mushrooming of tents under his wing, and other nights none at all.  He collects ancient bottles, skulls, sheep bones and cacti.  These profusely decorate his panoramic verandah, where weary walkers sit, smoke and admire the sunset.  One of the cacti opened during my visit into a huge pink flower of love.  Mine host danced attendance, hospitably.

The Warden of Pwllderi is on excellent terms with the farming community of Strumble Head.  He looks out for their cattle.  They look out for his groceries.  When the weather is rough, the mutual assistance over the battered landscape is close-knit.  The plumber arrived for a long, lilting conversation.  He never gets any work done when he visits Pwllderi, so there are still no showers.   I sat on the drystone wall, bone-tired after a long day, and watched with vague absorbtion, two efficient young men unpack and pitch.   The plumber thought I was feeling sad, and began to scold the Warden.   “Look you, boy-bach, pwy ydy’r merch ifanc’ ma?  why don’t you cheer her up a bit? – you haven’t got that canoe of yours out for a while now, have you.   Take her fishing in it round Penbwchy Head and show her some seals!   Go on.  Don’t be so selfish.”

The Warden runs a little shop inside the Youth-hostel, as there aren’t any others for miles.  In his cubby hole by the TV he keeps a mirror artfully angled over his head, so he can see instantly when SHOP is required;  or the arrival of a new “cave” upon the back of its knock-knee’d snail.  As soon as you stop by the hatch, he appears tetchily and carefully balances his cigarette on a nicotine-rimmed shelf.  If he’s run out of eggs he jumps in his jeep and drives off to fetch some from the nearest farm.

There is a very beautiful and comely young woman in the house, who is referred to as “My Assistant”.  In the evening she puts on a white overall, and puts the suppers (pies from the local bakery plus tinned veg) in the oven – for those who are not self-catering.  He gossips.  She sweeps the floor around him.  Perhaps she is studying to be a Warden.  In the morning there is an invariable strident bellow:  “BREAKFAST!”

Self catering – like Self-enqiury – saves money and is flexible with time.  The kitchen gets crowded along a bank of baby bellings with polite travelers struggling to assemble toast, bacon, cornflakes and tea.  “So where have YOU been then?” snapped the Warden when I tottered in very late at night after cycling from St David’s, and asked sleepily for a tin of Irish stew.  It is oddly relaxing to prepare a meal.  The effort of my ride through many miles of dark lanes, still rings in my ears.  The wind again begins to blow hard.   Will my Rock of Gibralter stand another night of this?  Out again into the dark, with a torch, the busy work to re-peg.

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My mother near Pwllderi, 2002

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Those volcanic cliffs to Strumble – splayed paws of the Great Cat – you know what they also are, so rounded?   Seals.  The seals know their own.  Between each toe of the Great Cat are deep, Gothic caverns and archways.  Put my foot with that landscape, to wander.  Let sole and toes hold flexibly the ground along the trail, like a hand.   When the sole of my foot is sensitive and mobile, the rest of my body flows.   This sense also in my palm and along my fingers, reaches to touch … who knows what it wants, or grasps?

Discover then, my fellow monkey, that forgotten knowledge in your OTHER pair of hands which hold so lightly, yet so close the ground.   Have you a head?   Look, and see!

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Satsang AGM, Ramana Foundation UK, 1994

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DRAWINGS BY ONI:

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 Lift, by Oni

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Crossing the tracks;  by Oni 

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Stream lining – cycles to rebirth:   by Oni

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

With Ramana and Krishnamurti (3) on the Coastal Path

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Returning to an earlier time – August 1991, and my first Pwllderi holiday:  meditations on Ramana and Krishnamurti, their dialogue in my inner life, within the coastal landscape.  This post concludes with my meeting with AJ and what was to become the Ramana Foundation.

I was born with Sun in Capricorn and full-Moon in Cancer into a family of travelers along that spiritual coastal path.   The coastal path is Sadhana.  Capricorn is land and Cancer is the tide where ocean meets the land;  the songs of old age and infancy in humanity.

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Pebbles

20 August 1991

Last week I took my old canvas tent, two old sleeping bags and my bike to the Pembrokeshire coast, to explore a beckoning terrain.  The sun shone, the breeze blew, and one day a great gust of sea-mist rolled in and tumbled everywhere among the rocks.  I pitched base at Pwllderi Youth Hostel on the high cliff of a bay whose arms embrace the setting sun.

There is a way of life to explore, when tired and climbing a steep path, or pushing my heavy bike up the long hill above Fishguard.  What is it?

“Lean back into the present moment, into the Now.”

An exhausting dissipation of energy otherwise, strives ahead.  This instruction made me smile.  I carried quite a lot of luggage – my house – on the bike.  So I could lean back on that quite literally, while riding.  To lean back metaphysically, slows down, even halts time.  When I strive and struggle, I ache, I become blind, I want it to be over – I am immured in the toils of competitive pain.  But when I rest into the NOW, what is there?

The relationship of foot to earth, yielding.  The perfume of stones, peat and flowers.  An alertness to maintain – the value of life;  indulgent smile at my body’s efforts, aches and pains, giving due praise for small successes, encouraging her to the next enticing horizon … a dialogue develops.

You need not try so hard.  A way is found, over and into the steepness of that path, which flows and rests into itself.   Thus, my legs taking the brunt of sudden and continuous strenuous exercise ached, complained and wobbled, but I was hardly ever out of breath.

I met a guy right at the end of the great Dinosaur headland.  He had ventured down onto rocks I considered to be my own domain, and he complimented me on my “daring”.  This appreciative audience inspired me to bound up the cliff like a goat – all systems, all rhythms suddenly connect.  The greatest stimulant is display.

To lean back into the present moment.  Into Now?

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Vesica

Similarly, whenever necessary to bring the bodymind to heel (continually!) from various futile, complaint-filled and absent wanderings of her own – COME BACK, MIND!  Come into “Here”.   Lean into, sink into Here.   It is like being poured into a vessel.   Falling from her normal absent musings, feature articles and defiant or sad political lobbyings into silent perception of the landscape around – a flower begins to open.  Yes:  a silvery light of being from within, dewy and infinite.

A drop of water, a bud to open, a lens – the vesica in the overlap of two circles expands or contracts with the degree of focus.   It is hidden but real.  This path leads through heather and grey stones over a high volcanic tump that rises out of the sea.   Strumble Lighthouse will soon appear from behind another.  The air is bright with the sound of stone-chat birds that dart black and white, from fence post to furze.  The heather here is intense magenta violet;  never have I seen it so bright – shocking pink, sprinkled with the gold-dust perfume of gorse in flower in a dark-green prickly carpet.   What a garden!

Let it “collapse” inward …

Self-enquiry:  who is this dewy, infinite seeing space?  What travels over the rocky place of colour and the wide, blue sky?  A column of light?  Or an I? – what wordless query, collapsing inward to the silver space flowing outward, dwells in the marrow, you bony goat?

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Vesica pisces

My body is a shell, the thin and ruinous walls of the citadel around this elusive essence of …

only one conduit, among a myriad other forms, for Spirit like a source of spring of water in the hillside … loving as a goat does, this rocky path of life, which absorbs an immensity of sky, sea and sunlight.   In the immensity, there sleep – for the sea is mirror calm today – a titanic display of rounded cliffs in pillow-lava, like the paws of a lion.  The tide plays slackly around those furled, slumbering claws.   The air is breathlessly still, mirror-still.  The Spirit which my fragmentary citadel carries more or less gamely, through varying degrees of obscurity and up and down, is a little puzzled.  She hopes for some stormy weather to lift the crests to play with.  She wonders also at the mighty quiescence, the glory of heather with gorse in flower, and smiles in fraternal greeting with other sun-burned toilers on the coastal path.  We travel under our burdens the way a snail transports its shell … in as straight a line as possible.

And here, lying across the path upon a quick descent to investigate an enormous crag of violet sandstone that rose from the sea further south, suddenly – a snake, coiled in a petrified quiver of attention.   It heard the questing thunder of my feet.  What kind of snake?  I stepped to one side and stood.   A viper?  Is that a V on its head?   It is quite large – the colour of bracken, golden and brown.  We wait in silence.   Suddenly the coil of the snake is ended.  It flows into the heather in a most admirable and gleaming ripple of straightness.   Like an arrow.

It is very difficult for me to let it all collapse inward … to a reality which soars, which flows an unworded totality of attention like the eagle;  like the snake;  thought as one uncostumed movement, a ripple into that land.  For I am taken with the beauty of the Scorpionic symbol – the concentrated water of life, its hidden “sting”.   The water in the well is still.   Eagle and snake converged spontaneously!

When I come to where land meets sea, and climb along the penumbra, I meet myself, and it is turbulent.  When the inner weather is really heavy and I can’t find my moorings, I get out Ramana Maharshi’s Forty Verses from my bum-bag, like sips of water along the trail.

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Sacred geometry

**

Before I came here, to my holiday on the coastal path, I was very busy writing a long story about my encounter with Krishnamurti in 1974.   This led me to read, fascinated, Mary Lutyens’ biography of him.  There was so much about him, and thence about my father and my upbringing, that I didn’t know or understand.  I can now see and make peace with it all.

“Truth,” he said, “is a pathless land.”

This statement rings like a trumpet, through the cliffs and sea.

He was dissolving the ropes that tied him to the Theosophist Movement and expectation, which protected his body and the secret, sacred chamber of himself as a messenger, during his formative years.   The groomed Messiah turns into truth.  The ropes holding the boat from the open sea, were being dissolved by that very Sea in which they lay immersed.   They were old rope, old bondage.  The struggle of K’s “speaker” for freedom, was formative for that timbre.

What is K doing?  He is opening the egg from within, each instant.

It goes much deeper than cracking the shell of Mama Besant.  It applies to the evolving consciousness of the age.  Between the world wars, he was doing it.   It is flame and sword, but there is a lot of talking.   It is also protected by an angel or force of direction that has no name.  From the Theosophist Movement, heavy with description and dripping seaweed, it becomes the movement of itself.   The boat travels loose and free in the world.  The eagle sees through every film or mask laid over the unending question.

Movement is in and of the River.  It has no beginning nor end.  It is not for capture.  Truth is a pathless land.  It has no Master(s).

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There is a photo of the young K dissolving the Order of the Star.  He looks as if he is cutting a rope to launch a ship.  It is also umbilical – the pain, the cleansing, the opening.   His “process” afflicted him periodically, through life.   It was a fire in the spine to prepare the ways.  It looks like the clearing of fog from capillaries and nervous ganglia for the increment of a potent “blood” – the cosmic dimension.  K was classically, a “channel”.   He didn’t stop being one;  he had some conflict with it.  It was his nature, his training, and the way he spoke.  His “process” is the dying agony of every moment to be born.   And thus into beauty.

It is interesting that K, when due to have an operation, gave a pint of two of his own blood first, in case he should need a transfusion! I am intensely moved by K’s real story, and his being.   He springs to life from the ambiguous authoritarian iconoclast in my childhood.

I see too, that with K there is so much talking;  and with Ramana there is so much silence.   If I put them on the Tree of Life, K is the warrior and Ramana the merciful of Self-enquiry.

It was essential for K to let go every hand that guided him, and never name the Source that channeled him – knowing simply that it is “sacred … beyond line or shape.   But Ramana remained close to the well of Advaita (non-duality) as to the old and sacred hill Arunachala, within whose caves he is born and flows like a stream.   He had no quarrel with the traditions or with his culture.

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Krishnamurti at Saanen

K traveled over land and sea – a lover of mountains, rivers, flowers and wild creatures all over the world.  In the valleys, he founded schools.  He is a very young child, with the sword of sunrise.   He sits when old, on the floor with children at one of his schools, listening to the school play.  He is very little, empty and touchingly attentive.  His white hair spirals obediently around his crown.

Ramana’s features spread wide, a kindly, craggy land of innocence as the sun sets over a mountain into the cup of the sea. The unfathomable imp of the Self, the I, looks out limpid through the windows, the caves of brown earth in the hills of these two beings – the hard sharp one, and the gentle one.

I wonder what their conversation might have been.

**

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Ramana Maharshi

“Truth,” K said “is a pathless land.”   In the pathless, unconditioned terrain, the snake I saw above the violet rock, travels unerringly straight over all of it, like the curve of water.

K’s seems like a young soul like a lofty summit, born into an empty cup without Earth’s long memory.   Ramana’s is an ancient, rounded hill.   He was born under the sign of the Goat:  Krishnamurti under that of the Bull.   This brings a lot of “sky” into Earth, during a dark age.  The Goat climbs and grazes.  The Bull endures the flies and grazes.   The Goat is passing through the ultimate door.  The Bull tastes beauty and is deeply sensuous, deeply keyed to sacrifice.   They represent all the generations of the Twentieth century and beyond.

**

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Flying over rocks

The morning after I got home from my holiday, a dream came to me, quite early, after sleeping.

“Consider,” it said “a landscape of good rock, mother-naked glorious, to scramble and clamber among.”

Yes, I can see it, I am there.  It is like the cascade of “organ pipes” that falls diagonally over the southern flank of the Dinosaur, but a lot more of it.

“Those innumerable rocky citadels are formed, as your own body is, from the coagulate of a ripple or tendency of thought along the etheric plane.  Every one of those citadels and rock fortresses is a thought, a device that hardened of itself, to conceal and forget the infinite distillate of the dew it arises from.   Remember the snake?   the way its coil, dense and watchful, slips suddenly away into an arrow, like water?

“Love laughs at locksmiths.  It is free.

“Now.  Listen carefully.  The major weapon of the Devil – in the Tarot his intellectual prick, pride, genital mercury … mind, you see! – is Doubt.”

“….?”  I say.

“Thus, the Devil besieges his customer with Certainty!”

Yes, I’ve got that.  (Blearily writing it down in the dark, before the words slip away for ever.  I hate having to prop my body into wakefulness during the night.)  The apparent Certainty of the people, the houses, the ideas around me.

So what then, is Truth?   What is truth, if not a kind of certainty?

This huge landscape of sensitive rock is making me nervous.

The True is … somehow “the Sword of truth is a gleaming, choiceless point of its Self along not just one place but everywhere(like light, like sun sparkling the sea) in every rock.  You have no choice.”

That is the pathless land.  The Reality is everywhere, like the light on the sea.  The shimmering web dances up into the vivid radiance of its own Tree.   I know in that instant, that there is no need to follow any one path of this light, for it is an all-pervading sparkle from crystal to crystal.  It plays from depth unto depth.  It is the lattice of Solomon.

Whence is my crusading belief?  This line of rock is good, in front, but so are those ones here, and to each side and beyond – as good, as diverse and as firm.   The tenor of Reality is good.   No choice or prejudice can form.  “Truth is a pathless, choiceless land.” To see this, safeguards me for ever, from limiting it to the “Certainty” (and fatigue) of any theological system.

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Coil

When my dream spoke of the Devil, I was scared.

Fear. Entrapment, illusion … seductions, horrors, histories and tales of woe.   Then I saw what to do.  The abundance of the vein of vision is its own protection against the seeds of fear … and against all prejudice.   Infinity within as without all manifestation, is the heart of the matter.  To know this inner fact, plainly and impartially, like the face of the rocks, means I can never again be brainwashed.   I shall not be persuaded into the shape of false coverings.  All that is finished.   See things as they are:  it does not matter where I am.   “I” is you, and everybody else, and we but die for short spells within the I… I.  The clarity is received.

The truth is simple and wide.  It needs no psychic adornment; there is no measure to its height, depth and breadth, when an outer garment formed of beliefs and patterns of words begins to cave in.

It collapses inward.  Into its Self,

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Serpent egg 87

There are coves just south of the Dinosaur headland, where the ground falls suddenly away in a cataclysm of folded, broken cliff into a pool of violet pebbles and whispering sea, very far below.  At the rim of one of the coves, a small deserted quarry into the rock becomes furred with lichens and new grass.  Here above the sea, someone laid out in a spiral like a snail’s shell, a graded sequence of small rocks, flint and sandstone.  They begin as a drystone wall, and fade smaller and smaller towards the centre – a few feet across.   Its creator turned into the Quarry … Self enquiry.  I recognized it, knowing already, that to descend into the depth, the violet pebbles and whispering sea is to dive into the Heart.

There is a pathway down.  It is invisible till your feet are on it.  It steeply yet safely descends a sheer precipice of couch-grass along the slanting strata of a grey Vulcan slab.   Near the bottom, a landslide extinguishes it;  but by then you are close enough to the pebble beach, to jump.   And then you look up!

Behold, a vast cirque of the geologic record entangles dark igneous extrusions with glittering sandstone bookshelves alive and golden, in cataclysmic dialogue.  Shattered cascades, dark grey and russet, of parents, children, angels and towns, are sculpted in midfall.  The sacred quarry for titan architects reaches hundreds of feet to the blue sky.   Near the top of the cliffs is another bulging efflorescence of that strange, soft purple rock.  When I biked to St David’s Cathedral a day or two later, I discovered it is built of this purple sandstone, whose changing tints move me deeply.  Nothing in sacred architecture antecedes the carving of the sea, and of the fire within the earth.

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King Canute 87

While writing this, something wishes to clarify within me, the pathless land.  What is its meaning, in the everyday clambering of life?

Face, and enter all that arises, without psychological comment.  Receive the affronts of grief, mental error, external sounds like that buzz-saw trimming and wounding the trees, openly.   Be here: let it be;  do not flinch.

The attempt to run away, categorize or “fix” pain, causes pain to arise.  It is a cyst of nervous alienation.   I am ashamed of my painfulness, my pain-body, but an adventure opens, if I allow it to exist without fear … or description.

K’s teaching is an IMPARTIAL LAND.  “Get out of the field!”  Let every moment step out of the polarized “field” of chosen labels.  Every step the field encloses, is blind.  Every step out of it is Seeing.

“Get out of the field!”  An individual carries like flame – impartially – the world Consciousness.  He or she, stepping out of the field, influences and is the Whole.   He or she, beginning that departure, is no longer an enclosed, imaginary province, but an opening flow into mankind:  a droplet to the sea.  It is not renunciation, death or hermitage.   It is – paradoxically – the unconditional entry:  the core, the living Self of the field.

Then the field is like a boundary or membrane which isolates each member of it until he or she sees and IS the field!

The practice of opening the gate into tendencies of pain, is to enquire of them steadily – “who is – who am I?”  “The realized one,” says Ramana Maharshi “sends out waves of spiritual influence, which draw many people towards him.  Yet he may sit in a cave and maintain complete silence.”   Water diviners let their sensitive rods lead them to the Source.

Who made that spiral of broken stones in the little quarry over the sea?   Thank you!  It  transmits to me like a beacon.  It seems now to glow in a blue dusk on the cliff top.

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Harbour 87

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I actually found this cove a couple of days earlier.  From the base of a promontory near the Dinosaur, I’d clambered gingerly into it along a rotten rock traverse above the tide.  The view overhead unfolded a dramatic collision of geologies, first one appearing and then the other.  They were talking, like the late Quartets of Beethoven.  One of the voices is rock solid – Must it be?  The other is crumbling – “It must be!”  They question and fuse sometimes in counterpoint.  I passed through the remnant of a perfect “Norman” arch.  A giant curve of uplifted flints supported Nature’s masonry.  It seemed, broken off, to continue into the sky, like the open egg shells of Glastonbury Abbey.

Creeping along strange up-ended strata like the bunched leaves of wet books set perpendicular to the sea, I knew I am “home”.  The Hartland coast of North Devon has those same spectacular cliffs of buckled sandstone, and great round boulders along which to run and jump;  the sweat of sun-heat burning, the smell salt and tart of the sea’s music, the flora in tidal pools – I eat it all;  a chamber, a FIELD of the sacred art.

In the ruined labyrinth of the Bishop’s House by St Davids Cathedral next day, I found little spiral stairways up through stone towers.  They are built in an ascending spiral of flints, like the setting of feathers;  like the teachings – the Hard Sharp one and the Soft one – in the natural ampitheatre.

The spiral is a mandala, produced into three dimensions through space and therefore time.

The spiral stairways are wings of a bird set in stone.

I met in the Bishop’s Palace, a sculptor working on the circular movement of the wings of a bird in flight.  He had carved one in soft stone, and was now having a go in harder stone. He would like to leave the form of the bird just semi-released from the block of stone into which he carved.  “That is so suggestive, like resurrection of spirit from material,” I said … or the feeling of climbing a steep hill.

Several artists worked in the Bishop’s Palace.  A woman carved a tree into a seated dryad.  I was invited to sit in her with my arms upon hers gently, for she was a chair, a goddess, and through her flowed dramatically, the grain and great splits in the wood.  She was a spirit of arresting awareness.   She sat, golden and brown with sap in a chamber of stone, open to the sky.  I thought she was glorious.  The sculptress began to carve into and around her back some dryadic leaves, flowers and fruit.  The grounds of the Bishop’s Palace were dun-coloured gravel and green grass.  In medieval times it was very busy with artists and learning, kitchens, spits and dungeons.  After wandering through it, and up and down its towers, I came again to the violet face of the Cathedral, the proportion around its great West door.   I was moved inexplicably to tears, by such beauty.

This Celtic Cathedral – the smallest in Britain – is moored carefully like a great grey boat to a hollow in the land.  The land around here is a green and golden undulant, like the sea.  It is harvest time.  The square tower is shy to show itself above the fields.  I saw somewhere a postcard of it, peeping above a meadow of scarlet poppies.

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Seeking a way out of the cove where Vulcan lava and sandstone combine and dance – for I didn’t want to risk again the ruined traverse – I was blocked by a gigantic purple pillar that stood upright in the sea.  I hoped to embark a daring and attractive route up another contour alongside it, but it was too dangerous;  there is joy no longer, and my cautious creature loses tone and balance.  At last I tackled the grassy precipice direct, flowing three-point feet to hands over its tough tufts.  Nearly halfway I came upon the miraculous hidden diagonal route, and walked up the rest.   Perhaps it was once a wreckers path?

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Life on the cliff path, dipping into shadowed pools of sunlight in the coves, clambering out and over and down into the next, is a life of enquiry and often forgetting, on the wave.  The prana floats, and casts my writers’ moorings.  The deep water is rather overpowering, and frightens me.  I am vaguely seasick.  What should I really be facing?

Alas!  Easy it is to declare – “This is MY cove, my secret place, it belongs to my homeland, my childhood” and capture it into the web of sentiment and woe.  I’m a visitor only to its body and teachings.  There is no place for a patriotic conqueror, planting a flag and planning a speech about the splendid baptismal swim I had there.  You see, I didn’t swim there.   I wish that I did, so as to “have” it more fully!   Fool!

If I possess it, I begin to forget what it is, and to become heavy, lonely and sad.  It is easy to lose the key.  The magic happens when it is new, when it surprises and fills my eye, my hands and feet.

But I brought home some stones from that chamber.  In them I see the Cathedral.  They are dark violet, grey and veiny white.  One little flecked paler purplish one is smooth and looks translucent, like a bird’s egg.  When I picked it up, it was alive and warm with the heat of the sun.

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Ramana light and shade

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23 August 1991             MEET RAMANA FOUNDATION UK

The smile in Ramana’s eyes is the land and the sea.  I have a picture of him now, which I framed and put in my living room.  When I got back from my holiday, I went to make contact with Ramana’s “people”.   I’ve been getting to know his ways intermittently, by myself, for just a year.  The Self in his eyes guides me, often lost, often found.   In Hampstead village, a slim man with big hands was working on the roof of his house.   He came down the ladder, went to put on a shirt, and asked if I would like a glass of orangeade. He made it rather strong, and we sat in a long cottage room, cool and dark like a cave.

He told me it is like coming home.  One climbs a step and here at last one is.  He is gentle, rather droll and very British.  There are meetings for meditation, discussion and friendship once a month, in London.  The Ashram at Arunachala in southern India, is lively and discreet with Self enquiry, and doesn’t try to convert people.  He gave me a spare picture of Ramana, and a copy of their journal The Mountain Path – this summer’s issue.  I am delighted, amused and touched, to find this issue is devoted to discussing the teachings of Krishnamurti and Ramana.  So many seekers, it seems, come to the one through the other.   It is full of pictures that make me laugh, of these two white-heads, the one so very naked, the other so neatly dressed.  Each asks the same question in his own inimitable gesture.

If one goes to Arunachala in winter – he said – it is like summer here, mosquitoes are not a problem.  One can stay as long as one likes.  The food is very good indeed, as Ramana was the chef.  One of Ramana’s very few instructions is that Vegetarian is better, for quieting the mind.  The other is the seat of the “Heart” for meditation, surrender and Self enquiry, on the right side of the chest, two fingers from the centre sternum.

I have been trying this.  It is helpful.  It centres and opens.  The focusing of the Self here (as good as anywhere) pulls the ego or thought into it, to be eventually consumed – like the stick that stirs the fire.

I felt once, for a few minutes, a spillage into a sense of tallness and straight living … an intimation of peace, that way of resting.  “It is worth following Ramana’s very few rules to the letter, because he is not Tom, Dick or Harry.  This is a safe way.  It allows for personal rates of progress, because the Inner Ruler directs it.“

This was very interesting, coming so soon after my dream about all that rock, so sound and good, upon whose threshold I stood.

What a careful little goat I am, really.

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The conversation included some ways of Kabbalah, Hermes Trismegistos, Buddha, an ancient link of Brahman with Ain Sof, and other familiar landscapes.  They all arise from and lead to the cosmic Rome.  My hero Mouni Sadhu is indeed by now dead, having been one of the original great devotees – “did you read ‘In Days of Great Peace’?”  The older generation has passed on, the new one rises – Ramana’s children.  How interesting it is, to meet ourselves.

The shyness.  Slender hesitancy, and no judgement.  He says he struggles with The Wandering Perverted Mind.  And then, over about an hour of meeting, the common language and commitment found, and taking hold:  the delight of this.  I meet the Egregor –  the children of the Master – evolving a life of its own. A big quiet cave of a living room, like an untidy rose, cool in the summer, full of books;  a Star of Solomon in aura colours upon a desk signals Yes to me;  and Ramana’s portrait unobtrusively, here or there.

Chewing gum is offered.  “Oh yes, I gave up smoking too, last year.  Wasn’t it dreadful!”  “I used Nicorette.”  “I did it cold turkey, Allen Carr’s book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.  It was terrible.  But I got through.”  More fruit juice to drink.

**

What might hold us all together?  Love for and with that friendly Ramana, within those eyes,  a mountain.  Love yes, a private, common ground.   The pulse of love ever rises from within the well of the world.  The Self is boundless.  How often do I remember to look for and see the hidden well, whether I move or am still?  A sage whose life is that transcendent well, is quintessential after he is dead.  Love generated from all directions to him there, to that “I” creates his smile like the blink of sky over sea.  I can see pilgrims gathering.  The sage was a shape around the Self.  The Self is ever alive, I to I, as clear, quiet water.

**

Krishnamurti: “Be the disciple of your own understanding…   Good is that of which you are not afraid, evil is that which you fear.  So if you destroy fear, you are spiritually fulfilled.”

Many feel that K closes the door as you come to it, making it very difficult …

Wiped clean of “knowledge”, does he address the “ignorant”?

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Krishnamurti at Rishi Valley School

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

More Portraits of Ramana Maharshi and Devotees (1)

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Archive:  these sketches and portraits were published in the Ramana Maharshi Foundation Journal, Self Enquiry in the years 1993-2003

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Ramana with Squirrel

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Ganapati meets Ramana

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Ramana and a Verse by Muruganar

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The poet Muruganar

The Tamil poet Muruganar listened  and transcribed each day, Ramana’s words to verse.  These beautiful poems and meditations are published in Garland of Guru’s Sayings and  Guru Vachana Malai.  Like Talks and Day by Day with Bhagavan, they are an accurate companion to Ramana’s daily conversations, silence and presence in the Ashram.    

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T.K.Sundaresa Iyer

Another great devotee and scholar:  author of reminiscences “At the Feet of Bhagavan

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Western devotees with Ganesan

Some of the long term residents of Ramanasramam during the 1950s/60s.

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V.Ganesan

Co-editor, with Arthur Osborne, of the Ashram Journal The Mountain Path.   Ganesan has traveled, taught, shared stories and made friendships all over the world, and now lives quietly near Arunachala.

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Arthur Osborne

Arthur Osborne, a poet, and initially a follower of Rene Guenon, came to Ramana in about 1942, following his internment in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.  He made the Ashram his home, and brought up his children there.  During those early and more rural decades at Ramanasramam, many vivid personalities thrived – a pioneering atmosphere, an empire being built, but in a different way.   Osborne founded and published the Ashram Journal The Mountain Path:  a vivid chronicle of Ramana’s teaching and devotees, amid the life and mythology around Arunachala.  It contains beautiful restored photographs from the archives, and enjoys a global circulation.

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Ramana visits Major Chadwick

As chronicled in A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi …

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Douglas Harding: First Person cosmic egg

Douglas’s experiments sprang to life again, during his visits to Tiru.

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Papa Ramdas

Another great devotee and much loved Master in southern India, whose liberation bore fruit in Ramana’s presence.

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Frank Humphreys arrives to lunch

“Everyone comes to him as a book … from him, God radiated terrifically … “  Perhaps Ramana’s first Western visitor:  Frank Humphreys was a policeman serving in India, and a Theosophist.  His reminiscences of his discovery are another early gem.  Ramana suggested that people should do Self-enquiry while practicing their own faith and culture with sincerity:  on his return to the UK,  Humphreys became a Catholic monk.   Behind Ramana, Ganapati Muni enjoyes the perennial Anglo-Indian comedy.

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Ramana Arunachala

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To be Continued …

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Maestro – some Views of Liszt

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The Tzigane

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22 October 2011

Liszt is another gallery and chapter to only touch on here.   His later and lesser known music pierced me to the quick.   He rode all over Europe like an angel, introducing music to itself.   He transcribed volumes of Beethoven, Bach, Schubert and Italian opera to the piano.  They would not otherwise have reached European audiences, and might not even be known today.  So profound was his self-communion through the Magyar dallok, that his transcriptions also, are works of deep integrity, with nothing standing in the way of the composer.

In his youth, Franz Liszt was the first “rock star” – and a human recording-engineer!

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The young Liszt on tour, to support Nelida and his children

Liszt believed no one wanted to hear his later music;  it was written for an audience a century or two ahead of his time.  Nuages Gris, Unstern, Bagatelle without Tonality and the Gondolas are unadorned cosmic statements, questions of the universe and of God, left open.

Only a fraction of his output is played in concert halls today;  yet thanks to the passion of dedicated archivist Leslie Howard and others, Liszt’s real music – the hidden part of the iceberg – is available in abundance on CD:  from sketches on restaurant serviettes, to choral works, psalms, threnodies and the meditations of his old age – it is all recorded;  it is all being heard.   The genius of our times is its ability to catalogue.

Liszt was the first living “recording instrument”, as he travelled tirelessly – a diplomatic prince among the countries, a flamboyant gypsy whose cembalum thrills slowed down and transformed, as he aged, into single phrases; mandala beyond the time.   The bar-lines drop away.  The pulse stands still, like Dante’s white rose.

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In blue for his birthday, 2003

Liszt’s progressive pulse and dissonance is NOW.  It is a concentric wave.   More than a century later, it stands, it lives and finds receptive ears;  he was a prophet. The portrait of him in blue, is because I dreamed I painted him like this, and saw it hanging in a room, in a gold frame.   He is a Master.  When he was embodied, he suffered much misunderstanding, particularly between his religious and mystic natures – they were poles apart, drawing together.    His generosity was beloved, but also mocked, for its largesse spread beyond conventional capacity and embarrassed the narrow minded.   People were puzzled by his worldliness.  His influence on Wagner’s melodic material was self-effacing;  the Tristan phrase with its inward key-changes, was received and written first by Liszt in The Bells of Strasbourg Cathedral.

My meditation with Franz Liszt is beauty and a deep transmutation of grief:  the De Profondis and his psalm of Jerusalem.  He came to me first when I was pregnant:  his oratorio Christus cradled me.   At difficult times in life, his music spoke solace, and for months on end it would fill my soul with his understanding: the Cypresses and Sunt Lacrimae rerum.  I love his humanity and mistakes.   I love the daemon whose great wings he spread, and his stubborn benevolence and peccadilloes.

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Liszt:  Etude 2000

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What does he teach me?  Be true to the generous spirit, even when it breaks the casket

In the 1960s, on the Inner Plane, Liszt led a group of other composers – including Berlioz, Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms – and a few scientists, to demonstrate to our materialistic mindset, that there IS more to things than meets the eye, and to set us a-wondering.  They also  – with vision of the internet to come – had a quantity of new music to download.  It was an experiment, and it made a relatively brief commotion in the BBC at that time.   They worked with a housewife, Rosemary Brown, who had a hard time with her health, and making ends meet;  but Liszt had befriended her since she was a small child.  She was a gifted and honest medium.   Though she had only had a few very basic piano lessons, Liszt taught her to play his music.  (See link, attached below.)

Rosemary wrote a book Unfinished Symphonies, in which she records her conversations and encounters with Liszt, Chopin and others.   With her, he discussed spiritual matters, and said:

“There is a sort of soul-sensing, when one soul close to another recognises it by sensing its presence, and can identify the individual’s atmosphere.  This comes after a very long time.  It can take many years.  So there is no question of suddenly being flung from one state of consciousness to another so totally foreign that the soul would feel ill at ease and out of its element.  You arrive at this advanced state of consciousness when you really wish to, and are then in a state of bliss.  This intangible state is perhaps hard to understand completely, but might compare with Nirvana or Samadhi.  This last stage is a celestial consciousness where the soul is not interested in appearance, but in being.

“Souls there have lost all insistence on personal embodiment.  They feel that an outer form is no longer necessary.  We only require our outer selves on the less subtle and less fine levels of consciousness where definite, visible form is essential.”

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Liszt, 2011

Rosemary thought about this for a long time, and then on another occasion when he came, during an interval between working on music, she asked him how this fitted in with some peoples’ theories of reincarnation.

“Reincarnation as usually understood does not really happen,” he said. “The truth is subtly different from the teachings of a reincarnationist on earth.   What happens is rather like the putting out of a fresh shoot on a tree or a plant.  On earth, you think of yourselves as complete beings.  But actually only part of you has manifested through the physical body and brain.  The rest is still in spirit but is linked and one with you.

“The human being can be compared with an iceberg.  Very often there is only a fraction of the true soul which manages to show through and express itself.  This is one of the things that we who have gone before want to help you to develop and understand, so that people while they live on earth can manifest more fully and express themselves to greater degree.”

He then explained how the same person never returns to this earth twice, and went into enormous detail to explain why it couldn’t be.  For example, if it were she, Rosemary Brown, who was supposed to be reborn, she would have different parents, different ancestry, different brain, body – everything would be different.  But part of her could be ‘inserted’ – perhaps ‘infused’ is a better word – into a new being.  When the physical body ceases to function at what we call death, that essential quality that was infused goes back to the original whole.  So there is reincarnation, but it is not a repetition of the same person.

Perhaps we oversimplify the idea of reincarnation.  There is no common rule.  We do not according to Liszt keep shuffling backwards and forwards between two worlds endlessly as some oriental teachers claim.  We may only come a few times.  Perhaps only once.  There is, Liszt says, an enormous amount of variation and no fixed principle at all.

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Maestro in slippers 2002

“All incarnations are absolutely voluntary.  Nobody is thrust into the world against his will.  No one has to go there.  And this makes for justice.  We come back to earth of our own free will;  perhaps to learn some new lesson.  But once we are here, we have forgotten the reason for our coming.  And only a part has come through – the soul part that has volunteered to come.

“For example if on earth a man had actively disliked women, or suffered from some form of racial prejudice, part of his soul’s reappearance in the world on another occasion could be in the form of whatever or whoever it was he had felt prejudice against, whilst on this earth.  Therefore the racist might return as a coloured person, the misogynist as a woman, the religious bigot as a member of a religious community he had opposed.  And in this way the lesson that all men are equal in the sight of God would be learnt.

“We are not really a unit at all.  Each person is soul with many aspects;  think of an atom.  It is made of protons and neutrons which all go to make up the nucleus surrounded by electrons.  That is what a soul is like.  These separate parts are held together in the nucleus, but the parts can be isolated.  And it is the isolated parts of the nucleus of the soul so to speak, which can manifest as various personalities in your world.

“These are what the reincarnationist calls different incarnations – but they all belong to one soul which can choose which particular part of the soul it wishes to manifest.

“Let me try to put it very simply for you.  Supposing we have a soul that has had a link with Egypt, and then put out another branch as it were to perhaps Greece.  That soul could then appear as an Egyptian or a Greek.  It is like having a wardrobe of clothes and deciding which ones to wear;  or like an actor who plays different parts.  The actor remains the same.  It is only the playing of the role on stage which makes him seem different.  His own private life goes on.”

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In the door, 2012

Peter Dorling asked Rosemary if she thought she could draw Liszt.  She hadn’t drawn for years, but she said she’d try.  They found her a paper and pencil and asked her to see what she could do.  “It will probably be frightful,” she said.  “And it won’t look like him at all.”

Liszt was most amused by all this.  He arranged himself in an armchair – he does appear to sit on our chairs! – draped his arms over the arms of the chair, looked towards the light, turned his head so that she would catch his profile.  He is proud of his beautiful profile, though not in the way he may have been when here.  He says that beauty is something that is given by God and we should be grateful for it, not big-headed.

He proved to be a very good sitter.  He sat there quite still, while Rosemary got to work.  There was a cushion that came almost to the top of the back of the chair, and she noted where his head was in relation to the chair, and that it came above the top of the chair while his chin was nearly on a level with the top of the cushion.  Spirits, she said, are not solid in the way that we are, though on some occasions they are so clear that she could almost mistake them for people here – but this is rather rare.  It may be something to do with concentration of vision, but while she drew Liszt in that chair, he successfully blotted out all that was behind him.   The sketch wasn’t very good, but it was recognisable.  By some fluke, Rosemary had caught his expression.  He was looking rather pleased and happy with a far-away look in his eyes. 

Afterwards, Peter Dorling sat in the same chair, and it occurred to Rosemary that he must be taller than Liszt, because his head was higher above the back of the chair.  She asked him to stand up, and Liszt knowing perfectly well what was in her mind, came and stood beside him.  Then she saw that Peter Dorling was definitely taller than Liszt.

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Abbe Liszt 2002

“Sometimes Liszt will begin to tell me a comic story, egged on by his contemporary Berlioz, until they are both laughing so much that I never do hear the end of the story.  There was one about Berlioz and a pair of riding boots getting mislaid when he was staying at Liszt’s Paris apartment, a disappearance which appeared to be tied up with a lady named Camille.  The joke in the end was too good to share, and I never did solve the mystery of the boots or discover the connection with Camille.  They drew me a mind picture of her, and she was a slightly plump languorous looking lady with heavy eyelids and a great deal of thick, fair hair, which she wore swept back over her right ear.  She had a full mouth and a rather high pitched voice and giggle.  Liszt said she had a very sweet nature.

“If peoples’ ideas are rather fixed, Liszt says they stay in the state they were on earth for a while, and it takes some adjustment and thinking, before they can revert to their younger, healthier selves.

 

Deathbed 2012

“We do talk quite a lot about modern life.  Liszt has a very keen interest in everything that is going on in the world today, and he has often said he wishes the facilities we have now had existed in his time.  TV, radio, tape recorders, stereo radiograms and things like that, would have been a boon to him and other composers, and he is fascinated by the way these inventions have revolutionised communications.  I think this is one reason why he has let himself become so involved in the various TV programmes and radio broadcasts I have been asked to do, since the composers’ music has become known.

 

Liszt in the train, with Princess Carolyne’s books

“Unfortunately Liszt and the others cannot always watch our TV, as it requires an attunement with our dimensions.  In the same way that my density of vision of them varies, so apparently does their vision of us.  They can’t always see material things, though they are aware of them.  Sense them, is perhaps a better way of describing it.  They need a special kind of tuning to move about in our world and see it, just as we need a special kind of attunement to get through to them.

“All their powers seem to vary at different times.  For example there are times when Liszt is dictating to me and I’ll be uncertain what he means, and ask him:  ‘Have I written that correctly?’ He might then say:  ‘Well, what exactly have you written?’  and I realise he can’t see the paper or the notes I’ve put down on it.  Yet on other occasions he’ll suddenly say:  ‘Stop.  You’ve put a sharp there, and it should be a flat.’

From Unfinished Symphonies by Rosemary Brown 1971 

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Here is an audio-link: a conversation of Master and student:  in the left and right hand, two different time-signatures, simultaneously.  Academic tattle on music penmanship, or the “whether” of esoteric mediums, seems rather irrelevant when you hear this:

Rosemary Brown: Grubelei, transmitted by Franz Liszt, 1969

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sLqPFw1rU4&feature=share

Insight is a kind of sound.   The “hit or miss” of mediating a transmission, through Rosemary’s pages, rings true.

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Cornwall 2011

Last week I got on a train to visit a friend who also loves Liszt.

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I thought my collection of the Maestro’s lesser known music was pretty substantial, but his is by now three times as large, and growing!   Adam played to me Liszt’s Three Odes (Hyperion), two of them to the deaths of his children, and profoundly soul searching.   I never knew, either, that Liszt composed a Third Piano Concerto?  I came home with a spare copy.  This morning I heard it, and am overwhelmed by its beauty, and its quotation from “Pensees de Mortes”, and the inward tzigane key changes major-minor, as many as leaves on a tree or birds in the wind.   Academy Sound and Vision recording (1991) with Steven Mayer and with Tamas Vasari conducting.   Includes also the Dies Irae and the Totentanz.  See if you can download it.

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

More of the Star and the Seals

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10 August 2012

Rohit asked me this week to put up the Star on the blog, to progress the Tower energies swirling around;  so yesterday I did, and added to it some of the Seal chapter which follows it in my journal.

The Star is perhaps the most benevolent energy in the Tarot.  She is there when the walls of the Tower have blown away with the dust.   She is there, rebuilding and going deep.   She is there, nude and pouring the water of Life from her everlasting Source of nature onto earth and into the pool.   Onto earth a delta of the senses flows:  a tree’s rings of time ripple across the pool.   Lightly her foot rests on the waters.  The waters are the collective subconscious.  She is a yogic asana, and we can be this way, do it for ourselves, and feel what softens, spreads and opens.

The woman of the Star is truth and contemplation.   She heals the Foundation, and ever renews the root and shoot.   When we stand and are quiet, we find ourselves.

Here she is again, with AJJA’s verses below:

The Star

The Hebrew letter PEH belongs with the Tower.  It means “mouth” and “speech”.  The tower speaks:  the voice of God speaks from a burning bush:  I AM.   However, the power of this hieroglyph elides with the fluency of the Star.  Each Tarot Key makes a seamless Tao with its neighbours.

When we stand and are quiet, we find what we are.   We find what THAT is, which troubles us.  It is I.  Is it I?   Simply, I have no form, and yet I am.

The Tower of the Tarot, with its 22 courses of bricks, is a chimney.   The Tower or chimney, let down into the earth like a root, is a well.   How it transforms.

As above, so below.  The Seal of Solomon’s triads, masculine and feminine, likewise ascend and descend through each other in the temple of peace.

She looks down into the well uprising.  The walls are gone, and the earth delivers.   At the heart and source of every troublous thought, is this deliverance.   As Krishnamurti would say:  the sacred.

As Douglas Harding would say:  just look carefully, and go on looking.

We have to make a deal with our conditioned mental tension, to just lay off for a moment, and let

the attention be.

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Many years ago, a bi-polar friend commissioned from me a painting of Gerald Manly Hopkins’ poem: Mind thou hast mountains, cliffs of fall.   It was meant to depict the darkness and the terror of the bi-polar abyss.  I was in the middle of my Hermetic discovery.  I drew:  and at once the strata of the mountainous rock fell through into an inner land, sun bathed, of the All Seeing.  Hermes Trismegistos the guide, receives the falling soul, like a midwife.

Here’s the sequence:

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Awaken 87

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 sketch: Cliffs of Fall 87

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Dance 87

The oil painting which followed it, gave me another surprise.  A chance configuration of the paint, as I brushed in the sky, revealed a seal’s head soaring into the Upper Worlds.   I loved this seal.  Its song is the heart and thread of the Tree of Life through all the worlds;  this was before I studied Kabbalah.  It is a soul connection of the deep.  Unfortunately the painting got stolen from my friend when he was ill, and this blurred photograph is my only record of it.

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The Seal, Cliffs of Fall

So later on, I reconstructed it for myself, for it has a profound message of hope.  The soul falling through the strata of the subconscious in terror and delight, is the seeker.  The cave of the heart opens.  The little goat on the alp (below) is Capricorn, going about our business.  Hermes to the left presides over the journey, and over the landscape of the Underbeing:  the treasure house of souls.   The composition is a Tree of Life, with Hermes at Hod, and the energy of the quest in Fall at Netzach.   Here is a drawing:

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and the small painting to replace the lost one:

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Cliffs of Fall Version 2

The horizontal and vertical planes cross each other, as in every instrumentation of life:  the horizon with the sky.  In astrology, the Capricorn Cancer solstice polarity is a coastal path where land and sea meet:  the Song of Humanity;  the elders and the children:  death and birth.   Pluto, the orbit of transformation, is now (until 2024)  in Capricorn, where he was 240 years ago – the time of Beethoven and Napoleonic wars.   Whatever else goes on, profound human values are rediscovered.   So deeply does Pluto touch our inmost chords of song, that the astronomers have decided he is not a planet.

Pluto is about the size of our Moon.  Pluto is more – Pluto transcends his binary rotation with his moon Charon.   Pluto is the hundreds of fragments and asteroids of the Kuiper  Belt – whose gravitational drift forms a vast clock, or dial, around the sun …   240 years:  around five billion square miles of space;  one NOW.  The Kuiper Belt IS Pluto, collectively.  In astrology, the planets are expressed as qualities through their orbital pulses:  a few months for Mercury, 2 terrestrial years for Mars, 12 for Jupiter, and so on.   The solar system is a Rose of petals of time, cyclic yet never repeating history … a little like Tom’s torch of time.

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Great Rose

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Here are more impressions now, of the seals and the south westerly coast of Wales.   “The Star” is meditation.  The Seals play in the deep.

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rock family

From Journal, 4 October 2002:  Rope, Coast and Ship

Hearth-fire: To have one little fire in the wilderness by myself, is only the triad of awakening;  to join my smoke with the Elder ones is to warm with a greater fire, into which the Triad of the Spirit dips.  And in this greater fiery circle in the wilderness, with wise ones seated around it, prayer and small intentions for humanity are taken and they work, they join, they go beyond me.  It’s funny how there is this passion and yet the great difficulty to be present at the greater fire:  the tedium and the wrestling.  Most of the time during the day, my thoughts are not prayerful at all, but nasty, fearful depressions about so and so’s weapons, and the blaring bulldogs here.  Such imaginations only contribute to the newsprint of fear.

But … the Companions give me rope.  They give me space to explore my coastal path, the creative process and the I-mystery through Ramana.  They let me do it thoroughly, and then come back to them with my way of unification.  Does not this body of work belong to them?  Will they not look after it, and see that it goes with the right tide?

The rope is something earned in another lifetime.  There seems to have been so much labour in that other lifetime, to obtain this leisure and protection for the Spirit, that an anxiety – (am I making the most of the opportunity?) – continues to stress me. 

I begin to hear the gentle advisors, who say “rest”.  Do just what is given. Where my home is, is a tempering place, for all its crack crime and bulldogs, and survives history like the water the wave travels through.  The mite belongs to the Greater.  My work and creation is a fibre woven into Their Rope.

It is a seamanlike rope, like the one near Pwllderi, which hangs from a stanchion down the rock and into the bay a mile south of the Dinosaur headland.   I went down it again, not to swim this time, but to enter a deep dark cave under the cliff, and take photographs.  The rope is in my mind’s eye, thick rope with curly strands and fibres – holding it in my hand as I go down to the wet wild stones, and again when I come up. 

In the same part of that coast, and nearer the Dinosaur, is the ‘secret cove’.  It had seals and their babies in it, this time, so I didn’t go right down.  I only climbed down into it, because my mother dropped her bag with the car keys in it, down the cliff.  The slope is sheer, with tough couch grass, and the bag had come lightly to rest in thornbushes a hundred feet down or so.   I took it, and then traversed across to the secret diagonal path I discovered last time, to sit a little nearer the seals and watch them.  

Eleven years ago, I first entered it, climbing along the shaly sea’s edge.  It is where the igneous rock of Strumble meets beds of sandstone strata: a petrified eruption.

The cove has titanic devic cliffs around it, and waters within of indigo, green and russet.  It is an immaculate vortice, or oasis.  I am profoundly nourished by this mystic place.  It has rock formations of giant couples, children and owls.

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rock titans

Last week I ascended the diagonal path to the clifftop and looked for the spiral stones where I saw the snake last time, but they had gone, and it is overgrown with gorse. 

In my inner sight, it dips suddenly and beautifully down into the pure sea – the well.  The coastal contour flows around it.  It has every level In it:  a turning point in Truth – a landmark.

This time, the Companions gave me the seals to get close to.  Last time I climbed upon some “organ pipes” which gave me a vision of rocklike infinity:  a certainty of the Good.

How should I name this cove, so vivid in my interior, more so than the Tower, and as alchemical?  It glows with the long shadows of sunset.  In its depth are the violet stones from which they built St David’s Cathedral.  I cannot name it.  Keys from the vehicle were dropped into it and rescued.  On the rocky beach below, seals lay vulnerably and suckled their young, and in the soft dark waves their bulls stood guard.  I see above it the graded spiral of rocky stones, and the fluid snake.

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I dip into my interior treasure, along the coastal path trod by sages and Kabbalah.  It is part and parcel of that Great Path.  It is my self-refreshment and discovery of the great Trust fund of Truth.  It is a jewel threaded on the rope.  It never forgets the rope which is the path.  We were given feet and hands to tread sensually such paths.  Krishnamurti said “Truth is a Pathless Land” – which means every path in it is truth.  That was my revelation, glittering that day and in the night, on the organ pipes of igneous rock over the Dinosaur’s flank;  and I have it again.  The sea is in my face. 

The coast is a place of power.   What do they give me now, to see? 

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Return to ships’ crew –  my central Mast between the fore and aft of the pillars, and my Scamp in the crows nest – Daat:  the way he bothers me and my crew when we are all tired, with his horizons which we cannot see, and with his sooth saying ideas which we translate into uneasy psychological shadows, and his general chatter, and his inaccessibleness when it comes to trying to share his wisdoms through personal vulnerability. 

Come down!  Let’s see you!  Leave your nest and shimmy down the mast with its sheets, ropes and stanchions, swing down the ladders, drop onto the roof amidships, and onto the deck of gleaming timbers.  They seem golden, but are actually weathered grey and scrubbed by sea and salt.  Lend a hand!  Take a brush and some pitch, let’s see how you work with us.

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rock flow

The glory of the image …. crows nest, night-dark ravens and the black choughs with red beaks and legs, the glory of their command of the airs, ravens’ wing.  The raven phase of alchemy, and also the silvery and druidic grey of my Kingdom of Daat:  the music sings wherever I look.  But that is Daat download chattering – Pluto in the Tree;  and seals sing like owls.  Come down, scallywag sailor with your see-it-all, and lend your hand to the wood. 

Emotion is the deep living current of the green-violet sea.  Feelings are the surface break of waves which are then subsumed.  There is something very quiet and still and restful in the open breast of emotion, Kabbalistically.  It is unendingly here in this moment, intensely Daat, focused and free of drama. 

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My meetings with seals were analogous to the meetings and overlappings of the Four Worlds, and of inner and outer planes.  We poke our heads through membranes of the waters and look upon each other.  We receive each other, unheaded.

The sense is of a circle turned.  This last eleven years is a place of meeting.  Last time I couldn’t see the seals, this time I could.  It needs time and some hindsight, and the flow of the river away, to see what I am now seeing.

October 2002

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Old Men of the Sea

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

The Sacred India Tarot Creation of Card 17 – The Star: USHAS, the DAWN

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Rohit’s ref

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Rohit’s Notes

“We are again in pioneering territory here;  insofar as I know, India has never depicted Ushas, Goddess of the Dawn.  Considering her tremendous stature in the Vedas, this is one of the most astonishing oversights in Indian culture.

“She is the Morning Star, not a typical star as the tarot packs have it, but her close association with the Sun, as well as the fact that stars are Suns, and thus solar phenomena, made me decide on her.  The great power, healing and goodness associated with Ushas is typical of the Star Arcanum.

“We have various female figures which may suggest a starting point in drawing her.  What is clear is that she is extremely beautiful, and somewhat translucent in complexion.  The sun who follows her, shines through her;  and it is the light shining through her blood which makes the dawn pink or red.

“Depicting her as a sort of female sun riding in a chariot and watering the heavens, earth and the waters of the earth, with Light poured from jars like water, would satisfy both the traditional tarot requirements, as well as keep to the integrity of what Ushas is.”

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sketch

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Builders of the Adytum

Jane’s Notes:  9 August 2012

In the traditional Star, the wisdom shines down into the nude woman, who is earth, illumining her chakras on their stem, which are interior stars.  She gazes into the pool, which is a little sea.  She sees beyond her reflected face.   The sea is the subconscious.  Meditation is a fish-hook let down into the depths of water as it becomes still.    As I become still and look …

The scarlet ibis in the tree is Thoth, the scribe of the Egyptian gods.

The violent awakening of the Tower falls away like a chrysalis, to reveal the maid, like a butterfly.  At the tail of every dragon she stands, waiting to be rescued;  while the princes gallop gallantly up and down.

We call The Star “Meditation” and also “Hope”, for under its auspices, the totality of an event is revealed, and comes to peace.

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The Star – from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot

Meditation through all our sensory organs, receives sensory essence:  the Tattvas, whether known or not.  For this reason I will include in my process journal, some impressions from my sea-side holiday – found over the page, immediately after I drew the SITA card.   Seals are archetypes of the soul;  they rise curiously to the bait we let down into the deep, and play among the waves.

But firstly:

Jane’s Notes on the Star:   “Meditation, Countenance” – 23 September 2002

The Higher Self cuddles the upset child in its arms and makes her laugh.  When I read about the interfacing Upper and Lower Countenances of the Tree of Life, there was a movement of delight and love for the Tree, which is no different from a devotee’s for their Guru.  The Tree has faces of incomparable beauty, simplicity and splendour, and I receive them humanly.  My Teacher has this geometric warmth of expression. 

I checked a rush of “Feeling” with the deeper “Emotion” which is quieter.  This sobriety is the operation of Tifareth – the heart, beauty, consciousness in the Tree.  I monitor the precision of stepping through the etheric envelope into the sky-lark space of the astral.  Astral are imprints and architectures of deep emotion.  If these are pure, uncluttered by the surge of Feeling, it is TAV, it is good – a refined and aerial texture.   Monitor how the morning’s sludge awakens, when it sees and receives the Countenance.  The passion itself transforms and refines – surrenders – itself to the Unifying Face, and then feels less, because it is subtle:  a distilled tenderness of being.  It is open.  Because it is not separate, the desire to describe or outline it, dies.

Analysis of the opening process, is watching – the intimate detachment into Tifareth – the way a musician hears, to touch and phrase a note.  The raga is tuned minutely to the sway of the sruti.   Where is this movement on the Tree?

The shift from the personal to the Self.   In my case, through the tidal embrace of lunar Cancer into solar Capricorn – a divine stability.  The mountain goat has a fish-tail rudder.  It is a miracle and a wonder.

Distracting thought-trains become visualized in the space, as generators, rather like complex car batteries, generations.   Stepping back from them just sufficiently to perceive these objects, “re-generates” the psyche, hermetically.  Yes!  and SELF-ENQUIRY.

I noticed a vitalized affection for W my tutor.  Since looking at my chart with his, I receive him differently as a Companion of the Light.  Last night he rang up twice, enthusiastically, to tell me about the Kings of England on the box (I was already watching it) and then to see what I thought about it.  The two goats after all these years, are sufficiently well acquainted to stop together and enjoy the same patch of violet tufted thistles.  As it happened, on the programme (about the bloodthirsty Edward I) there was a lovely picture of thistles – the Violet Ray – as well as beautiful photography of the crash and passage of the sea, rocks and Western Isles.   In the flux of our animal nature, the brute history never changes.

Ka is the soul;  the ballast is Capricorn;  ka abba allah combines the mystic roots.  This friendship taking root like an oak, will grow and LAST.  W said, “you are one of the oaks.   You are an old grandma.”   It is funny to be becoming an elder, but feeling unchanged from child, or in my twenties.   When I look in the mirror, that is what I see;  but photos give me a shock!    How can I live in peace with my awful profile?

Well, come on now.  Countenances.  The Tree of Life is a Countenance which embraces and awakens me, in which I am content.  The holy place of meeting happens… the contact with the seven interior stars.   (These in the Tarot Star card, are the chakras.  The science is precise.) 

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Chakras on the Tree of Life

Gurus – dispellers of darkness – present human faces.  In the Western Mysteries, the faces are less focused.  What is behind them?  I’m still reading the Anandamayi book, but getting a bit bored.  Vamadeva Shastri’s article on Agni is pure sushumna Fountain.  I visited his website, (www.vedanet.com) and read a bit of the awe inspiring great work and lineage, he publishes and transmits.

I only last week bought a TV, when W urged me to.  Last night, after watching Edward I and a fascinating documentary about survival in Alaska, I watched some of the video of Neelam in London with RMF, with much interest, as it is full of people I know (including my awful profile.)  The night before, I watched a Poonjaji video and the faces of his lovers – to see the phenomenon if possible, uncritically.   I only criticize erstwhile targets of my own involvement, which reflect on my lower self-person, which is always changing and never true.   The Poonja phenomenon is an obsession with “Awakening” – a love-play through eye contact, body gestures, vocal sounds and silence.   They are doing it through the soul, and by generating astral currents.  But they never say that is what they are doing, and the seekers are shy and awe struck.  It has its quintessential eternity, like a flower in bud and bloom before the petals rust and drop.  Neelam and her stage are compelling to watch, because she is PURE DRAMA from moment to moment.  She has sometimes an extraordinary naked beauty, and at other times a heavy-grained old Dame looks out from there – a disturbingly voyeuristic screen.   Perhaps she will become a fat formidable Polish grandma, still teaching in the States.

Countenances.  In the Hermetic way, everything is by analogy.  The subtle contact with W only reflects, connects and earths what is in the Upper Worlds.

Yesterday I drew Card 17 – The Star – for India Tarot, but was tired, so it is not yet as clear and fresh as I would like.  Countenances.  A lot less Hokhmah (Revelation/Wisdom) is coming down, these days.  I think they are monitoring it more, with me, as the alignment deepens and becomes peaceful. 

I have a rope.  It guides me up the mountain paths to meet them.  In the Cloud of Unknowing (Daat), I hold one end of the polarity – they are my Antipodes.

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The Spiritual Seeker

Countenance.  I have not forgotten, with the repetition of this word, L.Eagle (through DG’s transmission) telling me I shall be bestowed with the gift of the DIVINE COUNTENANCE, having rendered his own;  so this nice word is the flavour of the week.  It frames things well.   It is also seeing the Sea – off to Pembrokeshire coast tomorrow, to watch the seals.

Countenance?  I love you.

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The Star – Ushas the Dawn

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HYMN TO USHAS

1. Heaven born by truth, the Dawn has shone out.  Revealing her majesty, she has come.  She has concealed the unwelcome, hateful darkness.  As the foremost of the flaming Seers, she has set the paths in motion.

2. Be awakened today, for our great and happy journey oh Dawn;  into a great auspiciousness extend us.  Goddess human in mortals, hold in us a wonderful splendour and glorious revelation.

3. The wonderfully clear, immortal radiances of the Dawn, have come for the vision.  Generating the Divine laws, filing the interior realms, they have spread afar.

4. When she is yoked from the beyond, she travels around the five races of men in an instant.  Surveying the ways of knowledge of men, she is the daughter of Heaven, the queen of the world.

5.  Full of power, the maiden of the Sun possessing a wonderful beneficence, she is the ruler of plenitude of splendours. Lauded by the seers, giving maturity, the beneficent Dawn shines, sung by the carrier flames.

6. Wonderfully bright radiant horses appear, conveying the flashing Dawn.  She travels luminous by her chariot of the universal form, as she grants the ecstasy to harmonious mortals.

7. The truth with the truth, great with the great, the Goddess with the Gods, holy with all the holy ones, she broke down the firm limitations and dispensed the radiant mornings, as her rays roared to greet her.

8. Now hold for us an ecstasy made of nourishing rays and heroic force, oh Dawn, the all enjoyment made of swift energy.  May our mere humanity not stain this altar.  Protect us with the powers of well-being forever, oh Gods.

Rig Veda VII.75:  Seer – Maitravaruni Vasishta.  Translated by Vamadeva Shastri (D.Frawley)

 

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Vedic goddess

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Jane’s Notes:

The solar horse is in fact a Unicorn, whose third eye is projected or introjected as a gleaming horn or ray of light from the Star.

The Unicorn is a fabulous faery creature, a vehicle of purity for the inner journey, a subtle creature of the borderlands, particularly at dusk and dawn.

In this card, the rising Sun (beginning to melt the stars) forms a fiery Wheel, depicting the Buddha suit of Pentacles.  The blushing Ushas pours into it her everlasting inner being.  Her hair is the night.

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Seal Notes

2 October 2002 INTERLUDE:   WITH THE SEALS

I liked going along with my mother, and looking after her.  Our great passion was with the seals, it is the season for their lying on pebbly beaches in the sun, with their suckling young in chasms beyond human reach.

The bulls guard them in the deeper water, their noses pointing out.  Sometimes they play in circles, or fight, and powerfully submerge.  Watching their floating, upright stance (Yetzirah) I took yogic lessons from this for my walking, for letting the rocky path flow me.  Let the deep, dark waters of silk lift you up the cliffs and rocks.  When I swam off the deep rocks, I floated and sculled the way they do.  The first of these swims was near a bull seal.  The mutual nervousness of the animal kingdom:  he is big and powerful in this element where I am fragile.  He guards his baby and its mother in the cave beyond, and he might be angry or anxious.  Every time the Wise Old Man of the Sea popped up his great head, whiskers and snorting nostrils, I scurried back to the barnacles, scared he might surge up and bite my bum.   At the same time, to see him and his missus so clearly – she came out too, grey and shining – was an enormous thrill.  I kept saying Hello and smiling to them, and telling them I like swimming too.

As seals are highly intelligent, I am sure my enthusiasm communicates, as well as my ambiguously unwelcome humanity.   When we climbed  back up the cliff – my mother at 78 is still at home on this terrain – the big bull watched us out of sight, with interest.  Down to that swimming-place flow steep slopes of sea-grass and then the good, golden rock, wherever you see.

A seal in his great sea, enjoying the sun on his head, observes a fascinating colour, inaccessible movement, and solidity of crusty land … those who climb about in it, where he cannot go.   We barely pass into one anothers’ surfaces.   He and his dams flip and flounder with heroic effort over shingle, sand and rocks.  We, nursing our knees over footholds and thorny bushes and loving the sun, observe his ancient kindred in the deeps of the cold sea which we cannot see, and dare not travel into.   In the old myths, seals steal human souls down to the deep to become mermaids.

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Mother’s sketch 1

During long periods of a sleepless night, I lay “sealing” into the great wide sea;  letting my unworded, uninformed perception spread, and receive, the language I do not know.  I wonder about seals, that elusive shape of the waters between rippled crescents.  Where do they come from?  How did they begin?  How did they separate from the waters to become these fat, shiny, mottled, melodious beings?  Who is “I’” of the seal, and how did it ever detach from the sound of the waters, and how did it ever come to be?

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Mother’s sketch 2

At night we heard their cries, and the cries of their young, echoing up from hundreds of feet below the Youth-Hostel at Pwlderi, bewildering the blood with the cold tide of the dark.  I lie in my bed, and the little defenseless babies shrimp spreadeagled on the shingle, their fur still white.  Their mothers cannot always find them;  nor are their mothers always maternal.

Everything, on such a dramatic coast, is sealy – the lions-paw rocky cliffs, the silky grass, the caves, the movement of the water, the sun on your head.   Latent memory – my last visit in 1991 – opened out and became heathery ground and deep, clear caves of indigo and golden warmth.

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Coastal path at Pwlderi, near Strumble Head

The magic cannot be photographed.  The magic imprints and empowers the formless movement of the soul, framelessly.  The high, wild places and their vivid colour – the family life of the seals in the deep places, and their owl-like faery hooting, is beyond enclosure.

As well as seals, we watched ravens and choughs sea-eagling among the cliffs with velvet black pinions, and flocks of gleaming dive-bomb gannets out to sea.  The gannets are the coastal albatross.  We watched buzzards and gulls glide aero-dynamically into the teeth of the wind, we watched the seabirds stay absolutely still in the big waves of the airs.

The sea most of the time was a mirror calm.  It is deep, clean and clear, tincturing indigo with turquoise, and with the flickering shades of golden, russet and violet stones.   We saw herds of wild ponies at St David’s Head, and two big stabled billy-goats at the Youth hostel, one of them had a devilish expression.  Awakened in me, was wild-life watching, and I caught sight quickly in the right place and time.  When we got back to my mother’s house to recover, I read a book about otters in Scotland.

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… I love walking in the dark, by the sea.  My night-senses awaken – the vision of things unseen:  an awareness in my feet imparts its rhythm like a cat, for stones and things.  The relaxed attention and soft alertness is most agreeable.  The path gleams by starlight, and in the path are other small, gleaming things which are not glow worms, but which like water, cannot be picked up in my fingers.  There are devic beings at night.  Though I cannot see, I feel their presence, and they surely know my love, and let me walk this way with them.   We look down into an abyss or pit of sighing dark water, where the cliff falls away.

I read Dion Fortune’s Initiation-Training book.  Persons in the work are Initiates or they are Hearth-fires.  In the western tradition, physical strength and quite a dense physical frame are characteristic.  This comes into view on the coastal path, the place of power where sea meets cliff, where elements flow into each other and marry, where climbing and swimming embrace.

In the east, where the climate is quite different, yogis and sages have and seek an ideal of disembodiedness … transparency.   In the west we have to be ANCHORS.   I wonder if I shall ever be received formally into an initiation.  So much of what I read about it, I already am.   Anchor.  Ankh – the staff of Life.

On our way home on Sunday, we drove over the Preselli Hills – the quarry for Stonehenge.  I was disappointed that we missed the turning to Carn Enoch and my ecliptic portal of standing-stones near it – (two of them are gate posts into a field.)  But we did walk up over the wild, sweet nude Preselli contour, away from the road.  It is dotted with little pyramidal points of rock among the sheep.  We saw from this windy space, where ancient Egypt and Stonehenge slumber – a clear view to Carn Enoch and to the tumulus hill behind distant Pwllderi.

My mother drove us home to Somerset with the perennial childlike stamina of the Adams/Edes, and was glad to reach her house with the thrill of the Pwllderi coast inside her.

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In London, there was a Kabbalah Meditation – what kind of ship are you?  The ship is feminine, and so is the sea – the fluidic command of her keel in the watery element through storms.  It is not rigid.  It is not controlling.  It moves with.  Ponder the words:  Free. Will – the wheel.  Ship’s hull is feminine and filled with men, and yet a good captain is totally receptive and responsive, and can feel where the storms are, and instruct the navigator.

While doing Kabbalah notes all day, I listened with deep feeling, to Franciscus Liszt’s three Annees de Pelerinage, and loved this beloved Master and his profound humanity.  Mrs B and I had such fun yesterday over the bull seal and me all pink and white on the barnacles – “Franciscus has got a rival!” said she, shocked indeed – that Liszt’s music has come thundering back into my heart, not to be outclassed by a mere whiskery amphibian.

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Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

“We love the card, with the little touches of the solar horse.  Do you feel you need to improve on colours?  For Ganga and Star, for all goddess figures, we suggest covering the nipple with a band like in Lakshmi, or jewellery like Saraswathi, in order not to offend Indian sensibilities.  For example, Ganga could have her tresses covering her nipple as well.  For the Star, you might perhaps need the band.

“The revised Kali, though perhaps less archetypally powerful, is remarkably serene, as is the Ganga.  Where the first Kali was turbulent, this one is calming.  It’s almost like the Kali looks like the Madonna.  We are very happy with how this is moving ahead.”

 

Correspondence: Jane – 24 September 2002

“I am so glad the last three cards are successful.  Yes I could emphasize the allure of one or two of the devil’s daughters.  As to Ganga’s and the Star’s nipples, these will be treated in the way you suggest – I had forgotten the rules.  Also I was reading a text on Ushas (the Star) in the Vedic Hymns (David Frawley translation) which says she is ‘bare breasted’.”

“I had a wonderful holiday with my mother, thank you, on the Welsh coast in perfect weather, rock climbing and swimming near seals.  It was total soul nourishment.  We arrived back to our houses very exhausted, but refreshed.  I read your vedic astrology project with great interest.  I think it is well presented, and I am sure it will be successful.  Let me know your impressions of David Frawley’s website http://www.vedanet.com …   

“As I’m not sure if this address is working well at present, can you send me a note back to confirm?  Haven’t had any messages from anyone for over a week, but then I haven’t written any!   Regards, Jane”

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Rohit (see http://aryayogi.wordpress.com)

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

Jane

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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Tom’s Torch of Time – an Olympic Relay alchemy

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Children of the World 2007 – a drawing done for the Human Rights Aid Foundation

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Here is the Olympic Flame during the Games.  204 children, one child accompanying each nation’s team, carried a bronze petal towards the  creation of the complete torch flame.   The petals when lit, lay as a great mandala over the ground.  As national diversities emerged into unity –  like stamens of a flower – the mandala rose to form the Olympic torch.

Here is the flame from within it, looking up.

My earlier post, Reflections on the Grand Cross (22nd June) touched on the Cardinal Crossroads (17 July) of Pluto in Capricorn, Moon in Cancer, Mars in Libra, Uranus in Aries:  tensions and responses through the antipodeal frame of solstice and equinox.  Many astrologers and seers speak of a profound tipping point;  the relay-release of the old Mayan Great Circle, or frame of time, into the “new” Aquarian Great Circle.  They see violent interactions, and all kind of things.

Our projection onto 2012, when boiled down to essentials, may amount to the handing over of the Torch of Time, through time and space: through the dream.

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Four seasons electron figure-eight

Intense pressure is suffered in a myriad different ways, collectively and individually, as human conscience passes the midpoint of a cosmic “8” – the figure of infinity;  itself a crossing-point of the unbroken Circle.   The dawn of “something new” has no adequate prediction.   The dawn of “something new” is through the neck of the hourglass.  It reflects the old, yet differently.   A young gangster kid may be inspired to break through into athletic training and fellowship – a local quantum leap.  These things happen.

Few of us have the “dancer’s training” to bend and yield and flow with it.   Yet truth is found when we look within ourselves, rather than outward onto the shifting persuasion.  This inner truth is sometimes surprising.  It is like having a view from above, rather than from inside the street’s canyon – to see all the streets, all the connections, the city and its fields.

And … for instance … a TV camera inside a helicopter records a hand-over of the Olympic torch down there in a London street …  or a village …  or a coastal path or remote, rainy field.  The place is lined with flags and inaudible cheering;  a small white clad figure approaches another in the rain;  there is a pause while the flame is stabilized, then off goes the new white clad figure, her arms uplift with joy, her hair down her back;  she seems to float, she is heavy and yet she flies.  She runs like an early Picasso Grecian dancer;  and the ancient happiness punches up into the sky.

I was moved, by something deep and archetypal.  Till then I was “an Olympic sceptic” – I saw chiefly, an extravagance far beyond the British purse, its one heritage being the “greening” of an industrial desert – a reclamation of toxic soils.

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Torch bearer (1955)

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Every carrier of the flame was stirred, carried into an unexpected dimension, and so were the watchers, along its 8,000 miles.  (Or was it 80,000 …?)

Astrologers view the Grand Cross and London’s exact alignment with it, with traditional pessimism.   Yet I also perceived the coming of all the nations together in an estwhile centre of the Common Wealth:  Greenwich meridian 0.  There is a civil vulnerability;  Isn’t there also the potential for a progressive release;  a different gesture?   Alignment with whatever the stress, converts it to an asset, and flows.   It is an art of life.  The forces which move us are so much deeper than we know.

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Leda & Swan (1957)

The euphoria of the Olympic award in July 2005, was swiftly followed by the bombings.  The wake gathered in Trafalgar Square to say “we shall not be defeated, and nor shall we hate.”  In all our minds is that vigilance with the shadow which accompanies the light.   Yet in the passing of anniversaries, the replay of patterns, history “reverberates” beyond our fears.   In the bigger picture of the cycles, there is so little that we actually see.  What we think we see is feudally enclosed by our conditioning.

All we can be sure of, is that we cross again these points, but with a turn of the spiral, rather than a closed circuit.  Thus is Nature and the growth of trees.   The spiral is tight with our history and apprehension;  yet still it is the Great Spring – a planetary kundalini Yantra.   Watch the world, and turn inward;  see “the point of intersection, time with timeless:  an occupation for the saint.”

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Draw a Yantra

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A Kabbalistic meditation this week:  the PRESENT.  The present.   A Present, like a gift – here in this room with its pictures and things, in this block of flats, the noise of cars and trains going by each side, in this neighbourhood … within the event of the Olympic Games in London.  Mostly, this Present is the busy, tiny, teeming moment’s turmoil.   Sometimes this Present is an entire aeon, or aeon of aeons … the Buddha’s breath … NOW.   Into NOW, the tiny things melt for a moment.

What different clocks!   And we can go anywhere.  We can go to before the big bang, behind where all this began …  nothing.   No thing.   Silence.   Space.   Conscious.   The focus of an emanation which is Light – a point – expands.   Let there be Light, and all that becomes.  The tsim tsum is this beginning of the whirlings, gilgalem, the polarized pulse of atomic gravities, so tiny, which turns – the great wheel of the Milky Way – in one of its spiraling arms voyages our little Solar System.   The Vedic gods I realize, with their many arms, are GALAXIES!

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Cosmic egg and wood grain

Then a trip through history, geologic and human, evolving through NOW, always now, to the re-absorbed aeons of ions into the point:  no thing.   Kalpa, the Great Breath.  And open your eyes into this room.   Thou art God.   TAT TWAM ASI.  AHIH ASHER AHIH.   And make the tea!

Time is multi-directional, and also inward.   Time is a petalling flower – each petal is a local clock, and they grow and fall away, and new ones come;   each petal is an electron circuit, a planetary orbit around the stamens of the Sun.

This brings me to Tom’s Torch … and its hundreds of bronze petals.

Thomas Heatherwick, the architect of the Olympic cauldron, is the grandson of Elisabeth Tomalin, who died aged 99, this year.  Elisabeth carried in her tiny, intense, twig-like frame, a century’s history:

http://www.thecnj.com/review/2009/102909/feature102909_01.html

Herself a Jewish refugee from world war 1, Dresden and the Holocaust, she met Jung in Switzerland and made her home in England when she was young.  She worked as a fabric designer for Marks & Spencer, then trained as an art therapist, and returned to Germany in the 1960s, where she pioneered her work among students whose parents had been Nazis, to heal their soul.  She released their creativity through dream interpretation, using water and sand.  In one of her visions, she inherited the link in an unbroken tradition of doctors, whose root was in Israel – this was a comfort to her.   Her story is extraordinary, as the above link shows.   Here is one of her last embroideries which she gave me.  Her hands could not control a brush, but could still sew.   Embroidery, for Elisabeth, was a tapestry of the soul, the colours of lifetimes, in and out:  the flowering landscape of the inner thread.

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Figure of Eight, by Elisabeth Tomalin

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Elisabeth’s burning quest for connectivity, and the wholeness of the soul, made her a difficult companion, to herself and to all her friends.  In her daughter Stefany, her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, that powerful river of the lineage survives and flows.  Her grandson’s imagination is prolific, since childhood.   He is the architect of the Seed Cathedral in the Shanghai Expo, and of holistic buildings patterned on the flow of wood and water, in Britain and all over the world.   He and she were close.

Tom Heatherwicks Seed Cathedral

The Great Work of Alchemy is stealthy, and many of its hands do not know what they do.  Time’s great petals are brought to form a mandala, each is dipped to combine an Olympic flame.   Young persons and athletes without celebrity, brought Tom’s bronze petal-buds each to each.  It is beautiful to remember how the flame traveled around the land, from the Giants Causeway to Trafalgar … villages, lanes and towns, by horse, by boat, by wheelchair, by abseil and by bike.  It atavistically moved people, one didn’t know why, culminating in the great, converging relay.  It is ancient, as the beacons on hills, the messengers along ley lines who carry fire in nests:  the elder earth energy.   It woke something.   Until I saw it, I had no idea what all the fuss was about.

Tom’s Torch – the Miracle

The mandala of the petals of the flame lay on the ground and glowed.  Then every stamen was raised up, like a carousel on stalks, till the One Torch merged, flowed and burned for the world:   Tom’s torch of Time.

The horizontal yantra rose into the vertical stem.

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Torch bearer (1954)

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A Summer Grand Crossroads brings many, many nations together in a world city, to compete, befriend and celebrate;  to pass through each other, and begin to transcend the little cult of the individual – through stretching individual capacity beyond the barriers.  There are problems, furies and triumphs.  We are villagers.

The weatherman on TV last night, announced with relish:  “The weather is improving.  This weekend, for the closing Ceremony, we may look forward to a Bright Gold Medal in the sky!”

Crossroads are places of meeting.  In their centre may be planted a tree, a seat, a garden, a gossip, a conflict, or even a sacred space.

What is my Crossroads?   What is your Crossroads?

How does the river flow and feel?

Even if we in the British economy, suffer “an Olympic Hangover”, this too, shall pass, and is part of our character. Likewise, we chuckle at Danny Boyle’s opening Ceremony, a radical departure from the tradition of the host country to boast about itself.

It is important to recall the  surprise of the revealed Symbol, signifying yet something other, always.

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Sunflower

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Relay – Centaur, Athene and Child (1987)

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Solomon’s Seal:  Flower of Life

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The fire of our Sun creates the light of the world.  The seed creates the form within the Mother Consciousness.  Here, the children return the Flame to its source.

In the seed and the flame is the essence of our humanity. They light the Tree of Life.

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Snowdrop:  In touch, across the Seas (1988)

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Today with Krishnamurti

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K in 1925

Now Krishnamurti’s Notebook reminds me – with him – of the infinite, drifting yet rooted, abundant and alive Consciousness un-furnished … the Presence everywhere, which takes him, he wakes into, all through the night … Lotus.

This actually subsumes and permeates ANYTHING that curdles itself into a delusion on the surface.   Never is it not HERE and EVERYWHERE.   Always.   Whatever I – or anyone else – am doing.

I am not sleeping well;  so I relax when I can, with this space – the living humanity, without thoughts …  for up to half a minute, a minute, maybe;  then it becomes a thought, goes stale, gives birth to thought and multiplies, and has to be re-discovered.   But I know it is never, cannot possibly be absent.  The Silence holds the alchemy of anything that troubles me.   Learn to watch and be, without engaging.  Let it unfold.  The Holy One knows what s/he is doing.

I AM a bad feeling today.  Relax into its fluid Now, don’t quarrel it:  it flows and alters.   Just like K saying “I AM anger”.   I learned things very profoundly with K.   They take a lifetime to mature.

The cover photo on Krishnamurti’s Notebook – does he, do we leave one or two pairs of footprints in the sand? … as in this story:

 

To “I AM” the bad feeling … takes responsibility for it, whomever it attaches to.   Here it is, in my breath as space, and I centre it.   Its nature changes, and it begins to look like a Sri Chakra yantra.

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It isn’t judged as “bad” any more, it loses tension.   Those attributes lose strength and melt as soon as seen, like the way Consciousness melts back into a tiny I-thought capture.   So truly the Real Life is a river, a flame.

Not only do the single footprints in the sand accommodate the Teacher and my burden:  they suggest taking responsibility – coming home – no projection.   Sometimes they are two pairs of footprints in the sand, then they elide again.   Thus is life … the watery crescents.

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Soul

I watched the tide coming in at Kilve … the brown Bristol channel, with faraway Wales and an enormous sky,  the push and power of small ripples swelling together over stones and rocky channels – the miniature tsunamis, the end-game of the ocean wave, wind and moon, as it rises and fills, rises and fills countless fractal neighbourhoods – the occupying power of mind.   All is mind.   There is no conflict in the abundance and withdrawal of the tide;  the circle of the breath, in and out.

The beach is a capillary.  My body is a capillary.   The cosmos is a capillary to its Self.

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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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Alchemy: the Work

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Girl, 1954

A few days before I went to the Brockwood gathering in 1974, I read and copied out in précis, this chapter about Alchemy in Jacques Pauwels and Louis Bergier’s book The Dawn of Magic.   It influenced me profoundly, in combination with the Krishnamurti awakening.   It describes in essence, a Sadhana, or way of truth in life – whatever form this takes:

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“The Philosophers’ Stone thus represents the first rung on the ladder that helps man to ascend towards the Absolute.  Beyond, the mystery begins.  On this side, there is no mystery, no esotericism, no other shadows than those projected by our desires and, above all, by our pride.

“But just as it is easier to content oneself with ideas and words than to do something with one’s hands in suffering and weariness, in silence and solitude, so is it also more convenient to seek refuge in what is called ‘pure’ thought, than to struggle single handed against the dead weight and darkness of the world of matter.

“Alchemy forbids her disciples to indulge in any escapism of this kind, and leaves them face to face with the great Enigma … She guarantees nothing except that, if we fight to the end to deliver ourselves from ignorance, truth itself will fight for us, and in the end will conquer everything.  This perhaps will be the beginning of true metaphysics.

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Ribbed sands of the sea:  Eigg

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“The alchemist, working over many, many years, maybe a lifetime, and endlessly repeating each stage of his experiments so that it be open to cosmic combinations of rays and magnetism (sacred patience and the slow condensation of the universal spirit) mixes in a mortar three ingredients, an ore, a metal and an acid.  He then heats in a crucible this mixture for ten days or so, slowly, and then dissolves it in an acid under reflected (polarized) light (sun or moon) – then evaporates, then re-calcines the mixture.

“After the first phase, perhaps several years, an oxidizing agent is added, maybe potassium nitrate, and continues the endlessly repeated operation of dissolving and re-heating, waiting for a sign.  Which appears at the moment of melting, and may appear in the form of star shaped crystals on the surface, or in a layer of surface oxide which forms and breaks up, revealing the luminous metal in which can be seen a reflection in miniature of the Milky Way perhaps, or some of the constellations.

 Image

Universe

**

“He removes the mixture from the crucible, allows it to ripen, protected from air and damp until Spring, when he resumes what is now ‘the preparation of darkness’.  He puts it in a receptacle of rock crystal hermetically sealed, and heats, regulating temperature and conditions minutely to bring the mixture of sulphur, carbon and nitrates to a certain degree of incandescence, but without exploding.  The mixture contains enormous energy.

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Sky in October

**

“He continues heating and cooling for many years to procure thereby, an essence, the Raven’s Wing, the darkness.  The liquid is fluorescent.  Then he opens it in the dark, and the liquid solidifies and breaks up, forming new elements. 

“He washes the dregs in the receptacle with triple-distilled water – the water of Life – for several months.  The water of Life, the Elixir, is thought to eliminate ‘heavy water’ in the organism which ages it.

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View of Rhum, from Eigg

**

“He next starts to combine the new unknown elements that have formed, grinding them and melting them at low temperatures with catalysers.  He can thus produce alchemic silver, copper and gold, and at length the philosophers’ Stone, a substance which dropped into melted glass, turns it ruby red, and gives off a mauve or pale violet fluorescence.  This Stone or ‘projection powder’ of itself can bring about transmutations in base metals to precious stones.

 Image

Jewel

**

“The most important aspect of the Alchemist’s pilgrimage is his own transmutation, within his soul.  His endlessly repeated small operations engender what is perhaps partly a state of profound meditation, and partly the imprint upon his psyche of the transmuting matter itself.

“He establishes a new relationship between his own mind which from now on is illuminated, and the universal Mind, eternally deepening its concentration.”

Precis on Alchemy from “The Dawn of Magic” by Pauwels & Bergier.

See also my earlier post in this blog – Alchemy & Self Enquiry.

**

Image 

Flora 1956 – copied from Botticelli’s Primavera

**

**

 

 

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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Watching Krishnamurti (2) – Brockwood 1974 Continued: Part Three

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I attended the Brockwood gatherings of September 1974, the year of a great storm, with my sway-backed childhood tent and a thin groundsheet.  There was so much mud and rain.  The wind shouted in the trees.  The sweet chill of the sodden grass and earth shocked my bare feet.  Fires were made on the ground, and people sat around them to dry out their blankets, and made love in the tents.  In the big marquee, K, pungently perfumed, small and brown, sat on his hands until they fluttered out in front, and talked in his dancing way about our relationships, about the way our awareness is not limited, but draws on the common stock, and about the root of fear.

His teaching at that time, is central to my life’s effort to come close to the ‘fact of my fear’ – to stand under the waterfall.

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Aurobindo and Krishnamurti

**

“It is part of our conditioning to admit division between the observer and the observed.  The thinker and the thought.   The experiencer and the experience.   But when you see that the observer is the observed,  which is the truth,  then that conditioning is broken down.   You understand all this? (pleads).   That instant it is gone.   Therefore the mind has freed itself from this eternal conflict between what is and what should be, which is the duality between good and bad —  this eternal conflict between ‘me’ and ‘you’.    I wonder if you see this?    Therefore from that arising,  can the mind which has been conditioned heavily through education, culture, religious doctrines, immoral attitudes,  and all that —  can all that be INSTANTLY wiped away?

 “We say it can!   It can be done only when the observer realises he is not separate from the observed.   He eliminates conflict altogether,  and therefore he has energy to go beyond..  You got it?

 “So action is not an adjustment to an idea.   Action is not approximating itself to an ideal.  I wonder if you see this?   Therefore action is always in the living present.   Action then is the movement of the fact,  not what you think the fact should be.  

 “Now this is art!   which is sanity.   Art means — doesn’t it also? —  ‘to fit’.   To fit every thing in its right place —  that is art —  not merely painting a picture or writing a poem or doing a sculpture ;   putting every thing in its right place –  not right according to ‘you’,  but right according to the facts.   The fact is always out of time.    One has to deal with the fact all the time –  not with the ideas.   To deal with the fact,  the mind must be free of every form of image that you have built about yourself and others.    From this comes complete action,  in which there is no regret, no sorrow,  no sense of ‘not having done the thing wholly’.

 “You see sir,  there is a problem,  a question here.   We are educated to pursue pleasure,  right?   We are educated to conform morally,  ethically,  religiously,  to the pattern of personal or collective pleasure.   Have you not noticed how our mind pursues this constant desire for pleasure?   You don’t have to admit it –  it is a fact.   The two principles in our life are fear and pleasure.   Again, when one observes,  the pursuit of pleasure ‘tomorrow’ is the root of time.   ‘I have had pleasure yesterday.   I MUST have it tomorrow.   I am working for that pleasure for tomorrow –  sexually, intellectually,  in so many ways.’    So pleasure implies the continuity of time.   

 “Not that there ‘is not pleasure’ –  that’s not the point —  but the demand,  the pursuit of pleasure –  do you follow?   So can the mind – please look at – investigate this with me! –  can the mind finish each day totally and enter next day afresh?   Do you understand my question?  When we see the fallacy of time as a means of change,  every day must end and not psychologically carry over the next day!   

J.Krishnamurti, Brockwood 1974

 **

Through one fear, K said, trace the root of all fear.  When you are THAT, there is no problem, no conflict.  The central fact of fear, he says, is (of) the non-existence of the observer, of ‘me’.  Myself in isolation is a form of resistance, or exclusion.  “The content of your consciousness is that of the world.  Can your consciousness undergo a radical change?  Only when the central fact – that conflict is not separate from you, you are that conflict – is SEEN, does all division and conflict come to an end.”  On the tape, you can hear the rain drumming on the tent roof, louder than his words:  he grimaces and laughs.  “In true meditation, you are not going away from yourself or following a practice.  I wonder if you SEE THIS?”

I never became a Krishnamurti disciple.  There had been enough of that in my childhood.  But many years later when I started to read about him and how he had grown up, I was inspired by two of his remarks:  one was “Be the disciple of your understanding”.   In the other, he said (concerning angers and anxieties) that the tidal movement of the sea, going in and out, has no end, no conflict with itself.  Truth is the tide, it is without beginning or end, it is not for capturing.  The essence of conflict is truth, which is peace.

Truth is a pathless land.  It has no Master.  K’s “process” in his spine is the dying agony of every moment to be born.  The sacred, beyond line or shape, permeates the worn down toothbrush and the Saville Row tailoring of three-dimensioned space.

It is fashionable not to understand him.  “Get out of the field!”   The field of the world is the tide, carrying back and forth the baggage of time and political priorities.  But what he really means is get into the field, un-judging and therefore un-separate from the pathless movement which is truth.

Obviously, those September days of the storm – a great tree blew down at Brockwood – pinpointed my major problem, directed me to seek out an arena where I should find it, and augured a time, for me, of extraordinary focus.

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Down to the sea

**

At the gathering, I made a new friend;  his name was Daniel.  (See part one & part two.) He came up with an umbrella to see what I was drawing.  He was on his way to Israel;  his dark eyes were quiet, still and searching.  He demonstrated for me how grace flows into restraint:  the exquisite restraint invokes grace.  But he was very young, and so was I.   Our encounter those two weekends haunted my dreams at night for many years.   When we parted, he gave me Kazantzakis’ Travels in Greece, which he had marked in many places.  Here are some more of these passages, and then my reflections on returning home:  being cooked over a slow turning point in my life.

**

KAZANTZAKIS

“Can you never cast off from you, your miserable, earthen existence?  Destroy it!  Set someone free within you!”

“A wind, a song, flits through the human reeds…”

 .

“A nun with a trowel was caulking the walls, and two young helpers, bent over and silent, scraped away at the plaster with religious attention, laboring to uncover the hands, the beard, the calm eyes of some saint beneath the whitewash.”

 .

“… she said , Wait,  I too am waiting.  I touched her hand as if wanting to thank her.  Her hand began to quiver in my grasp, to give itself like a body.  I felt the stern faced merciless law descend again between man and woman.  Ancient mysteries, Christian loves, the orgies of Astarte – the entire mystic identity of God and animal leaped up and came to life within my ephemeral palm, as it led on the woman.  How involuntarily, I thought, does Word become flesh in a woman’s breast!  As the spirit touches her, it takes root like a seed.  For a woman, the spirit is not a winged immaterial power, as it can be for a man;  for a woman it is the primal wingless plastic essence which contains all matter.  It does not have wings but roots.

“At that instant the limpid fervid voice of a child sounded behind us, singing with precocious passion, unknowing still of woman – The earth gnaws at my feet, the wind gnaws my hair, and a little dark haired one is nibbling deep inside me!

“We held our breath.  Suddenly the entire pathway seemed to sparkle, as though the rocks themselves had blossomed.  We held our breath, following the voice as it moved away, to vanish among the trees.

“Ah the song, I said softly.  The essence of creation, the voice of God!

“And for me, murmured my companion, pity for that child flooded over me, pity for myself, for all the world.”

 .

“… the heart is a peculiar torrent which flows uphill, contrary to nature.  Nowhere can a proud soul find more abundant nourishment than amid the wreckage of the world … …  I sat amid the ruins and rejoiced to hear such a voice rising from the stones of Monemvasia.  And for a long time I looked straight down, watching three goats with gleaming black hair climbing the red rock, directly above the sea.”

 “Spiritual purity and intellectual dislocation … …  No one understands their ancestors less well than the descendents.”

 .

“Let all we’ve said be salt and water, I said.  Forget it.  Don’t be glum, don’t dig about too deeply, abandon the theories.  Otherwise you’ll risk studying the Problem without experiencing it.  And only he who lives such problems can solve them.  Don’t suffer that which they tell to mock the learned Germans:  If they see two doors, on the one written ‘Paradise’ and on the other ‘Lecture about Paradise’, they’ll all rush for the second door.”

I don’t have anything, if I don’t have silence of mind.

Travels in Greece

 Image

Red horse dream

4 August 2012

These passages touch me strangely, especially the one with the elemental difference between men and women.  How often do we pause with each other, to contemplate this?

Taking youthful experiences from the cupboard, is therapeutic.  It gives me rest, release and a feeling of moving onward, into a garden or field.

I have a beast of a mind.  This I accepted, as my mother and I saw wild flowers by the sea yesterday – a pageant of them this year, along the low shale-y cliffs at Kilve in Somerset.  Only writing quiets my mind – or mind is quiet when writing/receiving.  The curse of artists and poets, now I am older, doesn’t bother me now.  My mind is like the shape of my nose.  She’s there, prone to conflict and distraction, and to worry about the world and other people;  but so is the quiet creative exercise which opens the skies.

At 25, fuelled by the sex drive of youth, she was impossible to master.  I adventured with her, learned to ride, got thrown off many times, and eventually respected her.  Self enquiry and other spiritual exercises are long-term attritions and refinements.  They uncover yet more wealth for mind to prance around with.  Being built empty, open for the sea, explodes the atom into birth.  In everyday life then, accept her grumbling ways as a landscape.  Thus it is, to be human.   But I call her “The Mare”.

**

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Flowers at Kilve

September 1974

Nothing and nobody is mine.  The feeling is of having nothing.  But why have anything?  What of the unfading flower Krishnamurti spoke of?  If I have something, I – meaning the flower – am not.

Is it wise to write?  Do I write so as to possess and preserve an event like fruit in the jar, or to clarify?  Writing is my emotional bolster and raison d’etre.  I do it so as to retain insights and people I cannot otherwise remember.  On the other hand, if I wish to continue writing – and it is a way of dialogue other than the turmoil in my head – let it be straight and to the point.  Let it be the happening as it occurs.  Finish.

**

This is a tough vigil.  And there’s no carrot at the end, though I keep trying to make one.  Having trouble with my superduperego.

When I listened to K., at the end of his talking I experienced an extreme reluctance, which was either for going out into the thing itself naked – a real terror – or sad regret that my mind had been too noisy and too anxious to listen to him.

There is nobody to see or hear or look critically over my shoulder.  On a desert island nothing can be heard, for there is no ear.  Just silence.  Bruised silence.  A nowhere.  Unknown.

“Meditation,” said K “is like going to a well the waters of which are inexhaustible, with a pitcher that is always empty.  The pitcher can never be filled.  What is important is the drinking of the water, not how full the pitcher is.  The pitcher must be broken to drink the water.  The pitcher is the centre which is always seeking.  And so it can never find.”

 **

Image

As long as I carry around with me the concept of time – in the deeper subtle sense, not as surface activity where as a tool it is necessary – I am preoccupied with tomorrow, yesterday, progress and past.  It all tastes of the night before.  And it is all boring and hard work and going nowhere.

But if I am quite still in this place, there is no time and not repetition.

Deep down I am aware of time passing.  I’m aware of impending rescue and termination of this inactivity – when Akiva has finished getting his visa forms checked at the Greek embassy (he’s going to India overland), where I wait for him in a cloud of foreign languages and cigarette smoke.  I am therefore still “safe”.

But in reality there is no safety.

From time to time, up come tears of neglect, frustration, loneliness, whatever.  I see their pretentious ballast and they are gone.  I have to be more selective with music, because a lot of it is cacophony.   The “seeing” of a problem is its perdition.   I create it anew in idleness, and again it is “seen”.  Perhaps thus in stages, the mind is gently coerced from its condition, like a boat from its mooring.

Boat sea

“If one has a problem in relationship —  and most problems are in relationship —  to carry that problem over into the next day,  implies a continuity of the problem which is becoming more and more complex, more and more difficult;   the mind then accepts the problem inevitably,  and lives with the problem,  and the mind becomes more and more dull.   When you understand the nature of time,  as we have tried to explain earlier,  then that problem must be resolved TODAY,  not carried over the next day.    You understand?   Can you,  can the mind resolve the problem of relationship between human beings,  as it arises,  end it?    Can this be done? —  not as a theory,  but as an actuality?   

 “You see, unless we lay the foundation for all this,  meditation and the enquiry into reality,  into whether there is something beyond thought,  becomes utterly meaningless —  unless you have done all this.   You can go to Japan and sit for years meditating in certain Zen monasteries,  or you can go to India —  I don’t know why people go to any of these countries to learn meditation,  you can do it at home.  You don’t have to go abroad.   It’s a waste of money;  but perhaps you like to play the tourist.   Now, unless you lay the foundation for all this,  and the mind be totally free from conflict, and therefore,  from psychological problems,  unless you have done that,  you cannot possibly go beyond.  What you try to achieve then becomes an illusion,  an unreality,  it has no meaning.   So it is very important to understand that every human problem that arises —  and human problems are in relationship between you and another,  between you and your wife, husband, girl, boy,  all the rest of it — unless in that relationship there is no conflict,   whenever any problem arises in that relation,   to end it INSTANTLY is our question.   You have understood my question?

K, Brockwood 1974

**

There are two problems, which involve not Daniel but my concept and use of him.  They are the old ones.  Firstly I imagine he is with me where I go – to see me, preening, false and desirable.  Secondly I wonder what I shall say when I write to him.  The sound of all those rolling phrases echoes around and around my mind all day long, like prisoners at exercise.

The old pattern prepares me for the worst – for total rejection, and with it, infantile longing for something which then has no life.

Well no, that’s not quite it.

But yes, for the longing, the desire, is not for him but for my idea of him which I recognize as groundless and gutless.  It’s the idea of myself.  Wanting him precludes loving.  To love is on the moment, when you are able to be there – on all levels.  There is no permanence:  only renewal.

He is my cloak to shield me from the strangeness of other human beings so that I can write them off as being boring.

There’s no real joy in pleasure, for pleasure is pending, it is a tension.  Pleasure, the kind I seek – not the good sensations the waking day embraces – is a cop out.  This difference between joy and pleasure!  Joy is total, like sunrise.  Pleasure is conditional.  There is no joy to see a man whom I have made into the fixed building of my mind.  There is more “pleasure” in what is “all in the mind”.

**

You are not to be owned, even within the recesses of memory!  nobody owns you.  You own no body.

The spirit may be willing to give up a person, but is reluctant to part with a painting – truly its own work!

To make a painting is to listen to what is already there, and interfere with it as little as possible.

Please, I want to change, learn to change my position in the boat from the back (with all the illusions ahead) to the front (with the real sea to navigate) – to be with you who lead me.  Not to try, which implies failure, but to learn.    “It is easier to accept a ritual than to gain access to knowledge, easier to invent gods than to understand techniques.”  (The Dawn of Magic)

This IS a matter of life and death.

Breathing like waves of the sea.  Comes sometimes a long swell, and sometimes a short one.

 **

I Ching – “Advance slowly with joyfulness.”  Do not, in fighting, sharpen the assets of the imagined enemy.  The lake rises to heaven.

The I Ching is a guide among psychic currents, landscape and forest, to the awakening of my responsibility.

**

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Marina at night

“Fear.  The most absurd fears and the most tragic fears – can the mind be free of all that?  How do you investigate ‘I’m afraid’? … the observer is part of, not different from, that fear.  The observer is the observed;  and my anger or fear is part of me, not something separate.  What am I ‘to do’ with that anger?  I AM anger!”

K went on to propose – “listen carefully!” – that we now expose the whole structure of our fear and anger;  of ‘me’.  These remarks irresistibly challenge my soul’s most reckless element.  My attention sharpens.  There is a passionate longing to be clear, and to live and speak without decoys.

“Each response recognizes a previous anger or fear, which it reinforces.  Can the mind observe anger or fear without this re-cognition?  Deeply, we are violent beings.  The observer himself is part of the violence.  The idea that I must separate or go beyond it, is CONFLICT.  My structure of ‘me’ is violent.  So what takes place?  What actually takes place, with no desire to overcome it or suppress it? – (those are wastage of energy!)  Only energy can take place, can go beyond itself-which-is-violence.  And only fragments can create violence.  The observer is the observed!  No escape, no interpretation – THE THING IS!”

“Can you be aware of your fear,” K went on, “as of the colour of the jersey next to you?  … see that there is only one central fear with many branches, which wither away … and can you look at that root now, can you invite it?   Whatever you fear among the many of them, each one is still the root of all fear.  The observer is the observed.  If the idea is not, if the ME is not, where then is fear?  Please, please, are you following this?”  His voice breaks.

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Pebbles in Devon

I wonder what the sadness is.  Nights asleep I am so busy in many different places, that I wake worn out.  I dream and dream and can’t let go.  Rock climbing last night with my father.  And losing my bag with all its precious contents, including this story.  What a strange thing, to “have”.  How curiously hard to relinquish.

What is the sadness?

Is it Akiva going off on Saturday, three or four days time, to India?  Does this parting go deeper than I knew?  Or is it a distillation of four years we spent together?  There is here, till Saturday, a small chaos of packing.  Perhaps it is I who wish to go to India myself, thus grief?  I tidied places this morning, and threw out years of accumulated rubbish.  Afterwards I’m going to – I want to rearrange things, the furniture here.  I know how it’ll be, I will move the bed back to the end of the room by the gramophone and the books, I’ll put the table where the bed is now, in the alcove, and pull the sofa at a slant along the big bay-window, and focus it all with the big green plant, and then there will be great space, oh SPACE, in the room, all over the grey carpet, to dance and play in, and have people to visit, full of that lovely view of the gardens that comes in with the birdsong.  This is Greencroft Gardens.

Akiva is doing Turkey, Afghanistan, Ceylon, Nepal by overland bus.  I am left here.  But mine is no less of an adventure … to the end of my nose!   We’ve been sharing various gargantuan feasts with all our friends and been to the pictures to see The Last Tango again.  Room filled with light, and soon to be mine alone.

I’m tired out, I don’t feel like eating.  I’m pale, thin, supple with the yoga asanas that Daniel showed me, voice feels a little deeper, can sing as well as dance.  And started a painting of me, it is called ‘Question’.  In it, I wear my long green and blue Indian gown.  And sent off ever such a long letter to Daniel, together with the K drawing I’d promised to give him, and which I rescued more or less from its state of desperate confusion.  I miss Daniel.  I need the feel of him in my mind.

I walk around in a bog of Akiva and my whole trip together.  I want to clean the slate and start a clean drawing.  I want to curl up and sleep somewhere, and not undertake anything.  Daniel’s Kazantzakis book has a lot of him because he gave it to me, and because of where he marked it, so I turn the pages in blind exploration, rather dazzled, not knowing what to expect next in this slow movement forward.

Love has no expectations.  How to be open and naked enough to let there be love?  It is in the here and now.  The frantic running away in the dark to cinemas of the soul, a buzz to be occupied and filled with some nice story of myself … and the realizing, the seeing, the stilling of those urgent and stinging surface waters.  Stay empty … the darkness, the nowhere … until it gives no longer torment, but peace.  Dive then, dive down through the stinging water, immerse.  The torment is self taught.  But peace needs no teaching.

**

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Vera Moore (see also  http://www.myspace.com/lipatti/blog/245826085)

Sleep and dreams again the whole night long … of mens’ delighted embraces, of me arriving in places to paint, but too apathetic to do so, of driving a gigantic combine-harvester to reap ripe standing wheat in rows of a tremulous order, which became a painting of a paddock and trees never to be finished … and of Vera Moore and my closed-up piano (playing).  She was my teacher in Paris when I was fifteen.  She opened up so much music to me, and I haven’t played for years … and of a disorder everywhere, a pile of I Ching stalks, a bacchanalian bedroom feast with others, and losing all my clothes.

So do I run about here and there.  The pool parts reluctantly with its storms.

**

The I Ching gives tongue to the intuition.  It is a contemplation deep and unhurried as the days pass, for within the intuition is sprung from timeless source, the surface turbulence that preoccupies me.  So don’t consult too often.  The lesson must be given time to unfold its flower.

Wisdom is unhurried.  Wisdom is heard not in haste, but in the slow unravelment of the voices of the mind, in the way the waters become calm.  In this stillness lives no longer desire for what is not there.  It is rest.  Do not run to a “contemplative” refuge.  Simply SEE that the suffering cannot be.

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question

Plotinus:  “This universe is a unique animal that contains within itself all other animals … without coming into contact, things occur and are bound to produce an effect at a distance … the world is a unique animal and that is why it must of necessity be in sympathy with itself.  There is no such thing as chance in life, but only a harmony and an order which governs everything … events on the Earth are in sympathetic relationship with celestial things.”

There is an inscrutable harmony behind all the events of life, if I but listen and hear.  In levity I have for years, called it “The Divine Regulator”.  My Divine Regulator is a recognition that all things experienced, no matter how tough or painful, work out for the best in the end, according to some fundamental Law of growth or expediency or tuition – even totally frivolous things, like a missed train, or a disappointment.

Even Krishnamurti dwells in a mobile ivory tower, with his inner ring of devoted old trouts, who organize, protect, clothe and broadcast him.

Brockwood, with its extraordinary clarity, compactness and intensity of light, is like a monastery.  People find there a retreat, where their concern with aspects of being alive can be brought into high relief.  It looks like a hospital.  For some, it extends their game of chess.

As K says, meditation is something for which there is no specified time or place.  It happens as well riding in a bus, as sitting under one of those ancient lofty, singing trees in a park of purity.

 portrait, circa 1974

**

Daniel … I could use your help.  I am silting up a little.

Akiva and I saw The Sting last night at the pictures, at which I greatly enjoyed the movements of Redford & Newman outwitting Shaw.  What a fine ballet.  Before that, we had Akiva’s elderly friend Dr de Silva for supper.  He then took us to the Hampstead Cricket Club for drinks.  Akiva cannot stop singing Dr de Silva’s praises, the brotherhood of man, what a marvelous person and all that.  He is a pleasant and rather lugubrious old gentleman whose loquacious cadences of speech are endlessly predictable.  I knew the Cricket Club would be an ordeal.  In a place of no stimulus, my mind faced with her own BLANK, devises phantom stimuli chatterboxing from the future, and it’s such a battle, and it depresses me so.  I am trying to be Just Here, but I don’t like it Here.  When we came out at last into the smokeless starry night, I thought No more Latin, no more French!  No more polite mediocre places which Akiva appears to enjoy but I DON’T!

There is the doubtful pain of growing, this desire for refuge, to run into the male who’ll protect me and occupy my fantasies.  Trouble is, if he occupies my fantasies, how can he ever occupy me?

No!  This is a time, a valuable time, to be out on the limb of the tree, and stay there.  To stop postponing.

**

My period came as the lovely blood cleansing of a whole period, a loving, a pain, an impulse.  I don’t mean only in the purgative sense.  I mean the way it washes away with inexorable lunar rhythm, the built-up tide or lining of the dark womb, and clears it completely for what comes next.  If there is no period, the consequences remain in you physically, for ever.  The making of love becomes the embryo of a lifetime.

Even in these days on the Pill, where I don’t have to worry about conceiving, the onset of bleeding carries an inner and secret renewal.  Blood is like tears, but these are tears of tenderness.  The womb weeps, aches, with a kind of compassion, joyful, unhurried and liberating, all of it running out from the contracting sponge.  That sponge in the inner dark – how like the two plump sides of a seed it looks;  and then the seed lets itself go.  We could learn from this a thing or two.  I AM this movement of my body, and these movements are not my spectacle but my truth.

**

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Balsa boat (made for my grandmother in 1962)

**

**

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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.