The Tree is a Fountain: The Man in the Ravine

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This post, and the next few – though probably not consecutively – will include a story from my Watershed collection.   In the mid 1970s I went through a very difficult time, which flowered at night – or under earth – into hundreds of vivid dreams, many of them visionary.

I wrote them all down, and years later, began to de-code and compose some of them into stories.  They became my experiential laboratory; the archetypes arose. 

I call it the Watershed, because it is like a mountain ridge.  The “waters” from it, irrigate the channels of my whole life and landscape around it, far into the past and future.  Because of the Watershed, I don’t perceive a life-time as a linear progress, but as a solar orbital system:  a sphere.  A pulse.

My spacetime diagram is of a leaf dropped on water: the concentric ripple.  The same are soundwaves, light cones, and the Watershed: from which the events of a lifetime descend and flow to manifest in all directions …the way a tree grows.   We are not normally sensitive enough or “programmed” to detect the wavelengths of warning and encouragement which come from “future” wisdom.  But they are there!  and hindsight always reveals them.

A peak of intensity in any lifetime irradiates the past and future equally.  It is that life’s gravitational centre and purpose to be.  It is like the circling beam of a lighthouse.

Thus we are seen from “Above” – like ourselves looking down at rain-circles on the lake.

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Comprehending this, is in the way we breathe consciously.  What is the fountain breath?

The fountain breath is this, in whatever shape or teaching it takes, up and down, root and shoot.

Invoking the very best in life:  peace to all beings:  a prayer for a friend in pain, or those in the storm:  a drawing together of the Great Work … light the candle, focus the third eye, and stretch open armed  a Tree, a Chalice, an Albion witch, moving a little with the dancing Ch’i.

The Tree’s branches receive the sun.  The sun bedews and sparkles in them.  The sunlight trickles down them into the trunk.  The trunk with all its oaky bark flowing upward is a fountain, resplendent from the ground.   This is “meditation”.

tree diva

Think of the trees everywhere now, whose leaves turn gold and fall, preparing for the winter nude, the cold deep dark waters of polar tide – the tide beneath the waves;  receive back into essence the wet, wild kingdom, Mother Ceres of the tiny seeds that grow – Persephone in Hades – in the ground.

Ceres & John 

Drenched I am with the rain, the frost and sea salt, dark and drenched and wet my wood:  and vibrant is my capillary in the sky, its leafy burden shed.  Vibrant are my fingers in the silver sky – the throbbing of the festival.

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Here is one of my Stories of Life – 

“The Man in the Ravine” …  Dreams No.189  27 September 1975

Events led me down the valley into this very deep ravine.

It is like the tale of the Water of Life.   Three princes set out to find the Water of Life for their sick father.  The first two were walled up in a ravine along the way because of their churlish behaviour.   Others, I know, have been here before me,  and come to grief.   Perhaps I’ve come here to find out what happened to them.

The ravine had sheer high cliffs that walled it around three sides.   It was a cul de sac.  So deep down was it enclosed that in here it was always night or a very murky twilight.  If you looked far up, right up the mountain walls, you could see daylight or the sinking sun.   But the base of the ravine was not much larger than the floor of a large room or hall.   To reach its depths you went down a natural stairway of rock, a kind of ramp.   Over the floor of the ravine you had to pick your way over the mud and over the puddles of water murkily shining.   It had a warm and velvety miasma.   I explored it carefully.   I had to cover the whole of it or reach the enclosing wall over on the far side, what was I looking for?   Because assuredly I was seeking out something.   What happened to those poor fools right down in this darkness from whence if you looked up the walls you could see, like a great rose, the day above?   The place was repugnant.

Suddenly I stepped in some soft mud and was sinking.   I had waded into one of those bogs that suck you down and down into the morass to drown.   I fell full length on the mud and struggled to get my right foot free of the all-enveloping ooze, and I succeeded.   I pulled myself out.   Then I went over to the right side of the ravine where there were some big stagnant puddles, and began to wash my feet and sandals which were covered with sticky smelly mud.   From there I watched the bog where I had almost sunk.   It was displaying a curious activity.   A sort of waterspout or turbulence of liquid mud began to jet out of it like a fountain.   Out of that unrest came a small solidity, a box or a square tin;  it fell and lay upon the quivering mud.   Then out of that mud came a man!

A man lived here, within the mud, within the bottomless floor of the ravine.   He emerged, a stocky sort of man.   The place had been disturbed by a question, and out he came.   It was extraordinary that he should live and breathe down under the mud.   He had a malign power.

We had a conversation, him by his bog-hole and me by the puddles where I’d been cleaning my feet.  He is a sorceror.   He causes in me very strange physical changes.  A certain look from his eye immobilizes all my nerve.   I can see him a little.   Stocky, squat, with dark curling hair.   The lines of his face flow downward.

“What is in the box?”   I ventured to wonder.

“I am,”  he said.

That makes perfect sense.   The box is discarded.   It contains me.   The mud erupting flies apart into disjointed brown crescents of time.  Between them are swirls of chaos.   The newborn cannot read the signs.   Lots of animals live down here.   My right arm has gone.   But now I have three heads,  and I see and believe in a different world from each one of them.   I am terrified.   But I have been told to open to my fear.   Now I am an animal, a creature I do not know.   Now I have branches like lopped limbs from a tree.   This branch waves from one of the rock walls of the ravine.  But this one too is deep in the silty floor.   Yet another strains in the sky in a great bolt of wind.   All over the ravine is scattered the (w)hole not I.   It is the darkness.   It is the vivid strength of the man in the mud, his trident, his trident touches and jerks me into three-plane being.

I am the Great Cat.   I am the life that runs in cold metallic vein through the fish.  I run like a rat, the colour of the ground.   I am the bull and the goat and the twins.   We are having a kind of conversation, him by his bog-hole and me …  ah yes, that is it,  he has stopped the time.   The quintessence of each animal spirit broods in this place where no beginning ends.   “You are too mercurial …”  but my shoulder has burst.   I cannot describe it.   I fall yet I stand.   I have no control over any of these changes that succeed one another rapidly as air.   They are all in his alien hand, whatever he draws or gestures,  that I form,  and then form un-begun suddenly an owl.   The bird is shrieking.   The form like soft clay silent is putty and quicksilver in his alien hand, my penance.   This is not me.   It is according to his powers.   I accept this, for I trust him.   I have no choice but to trust him.   There is no other way save submission to these curious disturbances and transformations.   Some of them are painful like fire and blood.   Some are nauseating, and some are cataracts of water:   it is a tempest buried in earth.   This is where I am.   I am here with this man of the bog and his powers, and that is that.

That is clay on the potter’s wheel.   That is the bed of the river.

“Water,”  I said to him  “the Water of Life.”   (I think the others were devoured by the bog).

“You are their successor,”  he replies  “but you didn’t succumb you know, to what drowned them”  “What was that?”   “It was the walls you know.   Walls they rode themselves into, grew up around them.  These people were interested only in their own ends.   You must pay the price.   But we can speak.   Here we may speak.   There never was any prince with whom I could hold conversation.  This is unique you know.   You must stay.   You are the first of them returned.   So I must hold you here.”   And thrice with his wand he struck me.  Water gushed from this rock, this matter.   Life.   Cried out.

I am the prisoner of the man of the bog who till now killed everyone,  the wrestler without a friend.   The angel is all of the night.   A curious friendship seems to be developing between us.  In this dim grey light we became close.   He came over to the puddles where I am and I stroked his arm a little, to teach myself to like him.   He didn’t bite.   He didn’t stomach-sickeningly change me into anything else.   He emerged, a stocky sort of man, so darkly invincible that my strange commitment to him must be total, else I die in darkness, unseen.   I surrendered.  There is no escape from the ravine.

Once he told me, gesturing skyward, that in the east with dawn, there rises the lotus of a thousand petals white and pure.   It floats over the azure sky, the tip of every petal blushes with gold, but earth dark,  deep and dank holds her underwater root.   He said that in the west this flower sets.   It furls into a great rose, rosy red song of the heart, the scent of the Spirit.   I have to learn to love and obey the one who reveals to me such things.   He is stronger than me.   Many of me that came down here before, have come to grief, and are prisoners.   My bond with him may release them.   “You are their ransom,” he said “if you survive.   There are more to come, Proserpine.”

Whether or not I wanted to escape from the ravine, I cannot now remember, nor what I did in captivity.   I know only what the hostage knows.   He was stronger than me.

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This post combines a Pluto initiation with the fountaining tree of life.  The pictures and images for this, proceed in waves, an alternating current.

Tree lovers, Quantock hills

Dark Hades and Persephone the day.

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Trees love, by a creek in Arizona

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Descend:  look down from the cliff top through trees to Sea – (Alet, St Malo, Brittany 1988)

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Stone slab and secret hieroglyph (language) 1987

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Hermes and Persephone 1987.

This drawing has many Hadean elements:  three ears of wheat, the Goddess under earth, the ferrying of souls.  The curving spinal column is a “shorthand” reminder of my ancient lizard nature, containing all those souls and deaths of life and consciousness to come – in horizontal mode.  The ears of wheat are seasonal appearances.  Hermes Trismegistos, top left, oversees.

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Pluto and Persephone ’87

Persephone meets her subterranean dark lover.  Alchemical engravings often feature a Saturnine gentleman with an injured leg.  I used to see this in my dreams also.  It is a place or a someone where some healing or completing or time is needed.  And time and the way it unfolds and manifests, is Karma !

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Plutonic Mysteries (1) 

This was the first time I twigged the graphic relation of the Venus and Mars glyphs.

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Plutonic Mysteries ’87(2)

Looking down through spinal chord into a Yab-Yum of sorts.  I didn’t know the terminology when I did the drawings, and had not heard of Kundalini.  The language arose spontaneously.  It was explosively satisfying to create and combine the light and darkness.  I drew quite slowly and thoughtfully in the surfacing storm.

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Elephant trees: Alet, near St Malo, Brittany ’87

Studying Castaneda’s books at the time, these drawings explore and outline the space between the branches and the leaves – my defining lesson as a visual artist.

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Conference in the  Wind:  Alet, near St Malo, Brittany ’87

Another outdoor study.  Tipp-ex is a marvellous enhancer, depending what you are drawing.

Tree space atoms ’87

Living upside down and inside out like this, was scary and exhilerating – every atom of the air alive.  Space and the feeling of interior and outer space, is the key.  That same awareness implanted the dimensions of the Cube of Space and the Tree of Life, yet to come.  It acts subconsciously nowadays, but informs my life and work, generally.

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4our Trees

They form a four-towered “tower of alchemy” – the vessel, our body, the Tree of Life all in one.  For a lucid and detailed guide to this practice, combining Kabbalah, the Grail, Yoga, breath work and Tibetan Buddhism, see The Tower of Alchemy by David Goddard, Weiser books 1999.

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Caduceus Tower Tree 2002

Here is everything combined – the caduceus or healing polarity, the Kabbalah Tree, the levels of the Tower, an oyster idea, and a stimulating problem for the right and left brain:  try to draw the solar and lunar spirals, both hands simultaneously, crossing over, without stopping or leaving the paper.

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Grail Trees 2002

Sanctus sanctorum:  rose cross:  the trees’ rings:  oyster shell:  pyramid:  pearl

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Fountain linga 

A much more recent drawing, done earlier this year.  I copied it from a photo of a carved Shinto shrine in The Cosmic Embrace by John Stevens.  Apart from reminding me of the Fountain symbolism in trees and human beings, it makes an unusual door-knocker.

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Tree Spirit ’88

This image combining bud, yoni and encircling growth of time, is in my mind’s eye this week.  It is like a baby’s hand in utero.

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The Chakras on the Tree of Life (1992)

There are seven surrounding sheaths, probably for the planets.  The sheaths of a tree become its bark.  They fountain through the crown, and encircle again the root.

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Roots in the Quantock hills

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Tree seed Siva Shakti Yantra

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31 October, this morning’s thought before posting:  regarding cosmic synchrony, with life’s small details.  This is more apparent to some of us, than to others.  The visibility depends rather on the type of astrology pattern we are born into – and whether we can honour or whether we resist what we are given.

If it is hard to see synchrony as a whole, if daily life is frustration, fog and violence – focus on any one event, relationship or understanding, that has harmony.  Cultivate it like a rose in a garden.  Be creative with it.  The principle invites its own, and gradually expands and links to its own – the osmosis of oasis.  It is like a pattern of fields slowly becoming visible as fog or impediment clears:

“the silvery light that gleams around the clouds 
breath taking, undulates 
a floating, patchwork cloth of fields 
whose margin into faery fades …” 

But we have to keep practicing.  That part of life which is magical or wise – it is not just an island.  Keep giving it attention.  The unfaltering principle is Self created.  If I put my money on connectivity, sooner or later the connections appear for real, and are sustained.  It is a dialogue, Self reflecting:  but left to right, always changing.

1988

This self portrait was done without a mirror, with left and right hand simultaneously;  building the bridge through the brain’s sides, subconscious and self conscious, crossing over.  Here’s looking at you!   The power of my left hand, which falters in life, is where the Teachers are.

Profiles welcome across atlantic;  1987

My heart goes out to all whose homes and lives are devastated in the big East Coast storm, and have to rebuild, recover and be prepared.

At election time:  a wake up call.  It makes the campaigning circus look somewhat irrelevant.  Who looks best able to respond? Who has the gravitas and the troops?  Who is truthful and trust worthy in emergency?  Open question.

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Elephant sky 1998

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BY THE WAY …

The Man in the Ravine” echoes and invoked a certain spine tingling sound – for me – in Liszt’s late piano piece Sunt Lacrimae Rerum.  It is in the Third Annees de Pelerinage.  The music plummets to a fracturing, jarring depth and height: then into the abyss enters a Hungarian lullaby, far away and ancient like an angel, tender as a child – a strangely integrating  alchemy.  My favourite recording of this, if you can find it, is by Zoltan Kocsis; but this Youtube of Nyiregyazi playing it, has an antique curiousity value;  and Liszt’s manuscript is displayed with it.  The link in caps will find it on google, and other interpretations.  Or the weblink, pasted onto your address bar, opens the video:

LISZT’S MANUSCRIPT – “SUNT LACRYMAE RERUM” (NYIREGYHÁZI) – YOUTUBE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzuO1B1p2PE

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On the Liszt topic – (see my 11 August post Maestro – Some Views of Liszt) – there is  more material on his and other composers’ work with Rosemary Brown – including recordings and sheet music – on Elene’s interesting blog,  Elene Explores.  (http://elenedom.wordpress.com)

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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.

Hades, the Hierophant, and Hallowe’en

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This post, based on seasonal insights with Hades, covers a lot of ground.  About ten days ago it came to mind: last year’s images of Hades and of Hallowe’en from my book about Tarot Arcanum Five, including Ida Craddock’s teaching on sexuality.  Today I added more pictures, and the section on the Hierophant.  It is in three parts, linking Hadean symbolism with the inner Teacher, sexual alchemy, the witchy feminine, and more past-life reflection.   A certain “blue tint” is spreading … a lapis lazuli aroma into the air.

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Tarot Arcanum Five: the Hierophant (JA 1991)

4 October 2011 – (1) HADES, Soul maker, Artist

Some time ago, I chose a book from Elisabeth Tomalin’s library:  James Hillman’s The Dream and the Underworld.   It is reminding me of the real meaning of death, which is “completeness”.

Hades, archetype of the Underworld, underlies each psychic and mundane event of life, where the face beneath the mask touches it;  all roads return here. There is the invitation again, to go deep;  without which, everything tends to turn brittle.  Be tuned towards the depth.  Our dreams at night, no matter how apparently prosaic, are alien to life’s oracle.  They arise from the ontology of Hades, outside our enclosures of time.  “Hades’ realm is contiguous with life, touching it at all points, just below it, its shadow brother giving to life its depth and its psyche.” 

This has a strange and consoling thrill.  It reminds me of my childhood odyssey, in touch with the Greeks … and this drawing of Hades – his Grecian beauty – abducting Persephone.   His other name Pluto, is not a Romanisation.  It is from Attica, like Plato, and it means WEALTH.

Hades, 1957

There are other words:  TELOS, like the Telesma.  “When we let it go to Hades, when it dies out of life, (‘what has this to do with my death?’) then essence stands out.”   Hades is the Soul Maker.   From fields of asphodel, the more I turn my flower to Hades, the more it opens to discover. “The call to Hades …   the one absolutely certain event of the human condition, Hades is the unseen one and yet absolutely present.”

I’m aware of this, through one of Francis Lucille’s talks in Shropshire long ago, and also through reading Ann Widdecombe’s delectable novel, about people’s tragic resistance to death and dying, which chains them to tight rooms.   The resistance is instinctive and biological, but it is more than that isn’t it – it is conditioned?  Didn’t wisdom begin with embracing death?   Doesn’t our consciousness stretch across the loom and through the narrow threads of grief and suffering?  Death has no end, death moves, transforms;  it begins here.  I am, you are, eternally alive as essence;  for the cosmos is the thought, the bright glow of an oriental carpet …  and everything I see and smell on a sun-filled Quantock walk along the sky-hills and into the combe-creases, is stuff of thought …  and most things in the human world are fantasy.

Some old men came along in their boots and looked at the view, a fragrant chequer of fields in the Brendon valley. The secret steam train to Minehead crosses it, with intermittent puffs and a long childhood whistle.  But the old men were very sad.  Like the Three Grey Sisters in the story of Perseus, who are blind, they passed the eye around:   “It’ll all be wiped off the map and destroyed, just you see.  Europeans and gypsies, building rubbish everywhere.  The government.  Nobody cares.

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They heard this on TV, at home:  so they come, they look, to see what they are told;  plaintive testosterone passes the ball.  And now, on the bus going home, another pair of comrades in the seat behind me, jog up and down the pitch with the gloomy glory of the teams, and whom they lost to.  The skin is thin, stretched on the bones of Reality, it dis-eases and they fall.  It is a pendulum;   a pit for an existential while.

In the creases of the Quantock hills, brown brooks trickle down to Holford Combe, dappled with the sharp gold sun through curly oaks on shining stones. Elder brother, are You with me where my Hades opens and my shades dissolve?   Is that so?  The place of meeting is where life begins.  In the Lovership of Eros and Thanatos, the seed of death is the babe.  Each instant, each freckle of the sky is in the potency so.  The star pierces our screen through the black hole of eternity.

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My screen saver came on and I watched it for a while – pictures from my Green Book of Alchemy form conduits of connection one to another, they flow randomly over a series;  the interior Master elicits a subconscious connectivity in the images and their oracular promptings.

Too seldom am I given over to this.   Meetings with my mother sometimes prompt it, not surprisingly, because she encouraged me to draw and to walk long distances, and talked to me about the stars when I was tiny.  She told me, “it has no end, but did it ever begin?”   I am helping her with a small flat laptop, brand new, to store and look at her photographs.  She calls him Thomas.  He will be her picture-box;  but learning him is a frustrating confinement – like words and spelling when we were very young.

Mary on the Quantock hills

It was a clear night, and she set up her telescope, and I saw Jupiter and three of his moons.  No, four!   like Galileo.  Two were very close together.   The furthest are a very long way out from the golden disk;  his gravity.

There is a subconscious flow of pictures.  They are points of Hades through the skin of life stretched over it to tan and dry.   Wherever there is a point, an echo or connection, the soul quivers.   So also are the oaks and fields going past the motorway.   I am in the elder Attica, which discovery blossomed upon me again when I was seven, as soon as I could read fluently enough, and write.  For at the same time, my mother explained to me the constellations.   Ancient Greece is then my early education since time (relatively) immemorial;  a stepping stone from Neolithic lifetimes.  Watch the wood on water, then make something which floats;  and travel upon it.  It is a privilege and an unending adventure, to be human.  When we grew up from childhood and learned to spell, we lost the timeless;   but an artist recaptures and is the timeless.

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A person who is dying, who wishes to die, must lose all interest in drinking from the cup;  must inward dive to the essence.  This time comes sooner or later, willy nilly.  It is not to do with the surface will.  Its time cannot be fought, brought forward, nor delayed.  It is the deepest place of meeting, and the most neglected, the most unprepared, in the blind general rule.  All spiritual work encounters death first, to befriend.   It isn’t true to say “There is no death” (as some new-agers and advaitins do);  for death is everywhere!  But it depends how we see it, and if there is a freedom of movement, or if there is tension.  The emotional tension traps muscles, blood and psychology – a window box fantasy.   Emotional tension creates pain.   Mostly we get locked in painful situations of every kind, because the sensation is familiar and in general agreement:  to complain.

Quantock galactic waters

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October 2011 – (2) HIEROPHANT:  Interior Perception

Firstly:  the four leading to five.  My vision of Brahma is Siva’s aspect, with four out-facing faces and one in his lotus crown, looking up.

Siva ace of Lotuses, Sacred India Tarot copyright Yogi Impressions books 2011

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This means there’s one at the throat hidden, looking down into the interior earth too.   My head Sivaically, is a Cube of Space, a window for the world to happen in:  a window without a frame.

Brahma as  Emperor, Sacred India Tarot copyright Yogi Impressions books 2011

The Power of the Master – the mental plane – gets things to happen.   It is beyond my decisions and resistances, but they are its working tapestry. It is a privilege to feel the LAW OF ATTRACTION in its actual gravitational operation, the green veins of Venus.   The green Colorado river flows through the red Grand Canyon:   Empress through the Emperor, who sits and stands still, erect, all seeing.

Travelling today through my pictures, I close my eyes to immerse.   On the Tarot Cube of Space, the Emperor’s currency as Arcanum Four, flows downthe north east corner edge, as interior sight opens and adjusts.

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I seek my inner guide or affirmation, who rises to meet me, as by reflection.   The Emperor (who sets in order) descends to “Hades”, the interior waveband.   The Hierophant’s currency as Arcanum Five, flows up the Cube’s south east corner edge, from the subconscious lower face – The Priestess.   The movement is like the Lovers in the Sri Chakra Yantra:  the male, questing intuition, dives, descends and becomes feminine.   The female moving into expression, rises through a masculine channel – the High Priest or Hierophant.

The male and female triangles – the siva and shakti – arise and fall through each other.   In western metaphysics, this is the Seal of Solomon, or Star of David.

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The picture sequence is intuitive, bringing me … this contact, face to face  – by answering activity or response.

Sacred India Tarot Hierophant – Laws of Manu

It is authentic – an unexpected gift from the subconscious.   The Tantric scholar-poet, Ganapati Muni, was Ramana Maharshi’s spiritual brother.  The Muni’s lineage meets me by the waters of Siva’s mountain, Arunachala.   I write:   he is writing.    Like artists, we sketch each other.   You can see by his open face inside the mountain, that he is an artist, a seer, a prophet.   We come to meet, where waters meet;  wherein “the sound is seamless”.    Namaste!

I was originally commissioned to draw the sage Manu, the ancient codifier of Indian laws and spirituality.   He still is.  The Muni’s features flowed as one with Manu;  they have no difference.  The discarnate Masters are radiant through one another;  their faces seem individual to us, but their essence is universal.  They pierce the moving cloth of clouds, as rays from the one Sun.

Manu in the olden days, was a scribe;  a Guardian of the Mysteries.   The Muni, in the twentieth century, was a Sanskrit poet and alchemist;  he unlocked the mantras of the Rig Veda.  He breathed them into his disciples’ hairy ears and they went on ringing.   He wrote epic love poems to the Mother of the worlds. The Hierophant is an intermediary, heaven to earth.   The Muni wears a cloak of peacock hues, resonant also with Siva’s son Skanda, and with the fire god Agni.    The peacock’s cry is an Ashramic sound;  the vessels hold the sacred fire.   The feathers are eyes.  There is a story, that when the Vedic gods and goddesses rashly, using Mount Meru as a stick, stirred up the poison of the world, Siva swallowed it.   It stayed and was transmuted in his throat, turning it brilliant peacock blue.

The Vedic scribe transmits revelation:  the Law.  He keeps the Creator Brahma (see Arcanum 4) under control through strict Sanskrit meter.   The tiger skin is marked rather like a wheel or vortex.   He is like a lily bowed, or a snowdrop.   The five black goats behind him are Sanskrit letters:  the river of wisdom.   Down that peaceful valley flows a brook, and the thin little goats come to drink.    Their horns and hooves connect Pan with Earth:   Pan is “Everything”.   This Hierophant is a poet.  He loves the Goddess, and guards her mysterious Trees.   He is a kundalini adept;  a seed of the Sun.

The river stones at his feet are jewels – indigo, russet, olive and citrine – the colours of earth, the colours in Kabbalah of Malkuth on the Tree.  The uncut precious stones have ruby tinctures.   The ruby is the Stone of the Wise.  The blue periwinkle with five petals, is the Priestess.   The scrolls are Her akashic records, into which he writes and rhymes anew.    Lord … thou art God. The Hierophant is a maker of weddings and weldings, man and woman:  nature, sea and cloud.  Through him they join:  from him the teachings flow like children.

Siva as Rudra dives, to fertilize the deep of the aeons

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31 October 2011 – (3) HALLOWE’EN

Now what!   The clock change is hibernatory.  In the night, sharp jags jolt my mind with pictures that invade and fracture my solace.   They are samskaras, touches from past lives;  or they are a rats-tail someone else is thinking, they fly in through the window.  They sting and flush. The nation shifts into winter mode.  The early birds twitter and trains run along their rails.

Sketch of Ida 

I read on into Ida Craddock. She was a Victorian revolutionary, and the book Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic, edited by Vere Chappell, collects together her story and her writings.

Many witches consorting with the devil had in fact heavenly bridegrooms, but, befogged in superstition, projected onto them their bitter old age and persecutions.   The heavenly bridegrooms  patiently attended the deeply buried young soul – the maiden in the tower –  whatever devilish mud was thrown at them.   Astral contacts are notoriously difficult to assess, through the medium’s obscurity and the shadows – pointed hat, broomstick:  she grasps at straws.   The witch situation in womanity has deep scars which were slashed and burned for centuries.   (Perhaps Mr P’s women are sitting with their elder sisters and lighting candles.)

In Ida’s thesis, there are no evil astral entities, even among the incubi and succubi.  Perversions are in the distorted human imagination and its priests.   There are no evil astral entities, because they do their job, like the angels, along the laws of nature.  This is largely a matter of what one asks to “be thou my good.”  The subconscious is amenable to suggestion, and will develop any field the way she is planted.

In Ida’s thesis, for the bridegroom touch of God to manifest in all its glory, a strict social and sexual rectitude is sine qua non.   There are three grades:  “alpha”, “Diana” and the third, which is the intercourse being three way with God.  The first two, comprising procreation-only and ojas retention – i.e. self control – clear the way for the third.  Her point is that penile and vaginal fluids touch and invigorate each other in the Spirit, and flow around body and soul when consciously child making or love making:  and that orgasm sustained peacefully in Binah (sicTree of Life) backs up into the physique and is ecstatic:  the mode of life.  She will flower like the queen in the hive, and receive the whales.  Adapt this subtle private knowledge to the circumstance;  put the seed in the garden, grow the rose. It is the oil of the alchemist for all the working parts!

soul fertilizing 1987

Victorian husbands raped subservient petticoats and despoiled their sensitivity.  They bred generations of blundering libertines and hard pussy;  this has not changed much today, but certain attitudes about it are questioned.  Go on questioning!  When the fire is lit there is a sweet severity and constancy, the passing through the path which has no end.

I think Ida’s conditioning as a Victorian miss is powerful here.   On the one hand she writes about sex with such bold courage and erudition, that they locked her in the loony bin.   On the other hand, her explicit occult principle requires demure conduct.  Conscious orgasm – the self control which is heaven – drives the elixir through breath and pranic blood stream, in child making and love making. The demure conduct in her day was the ruling feminine–subconscious principle in society.   It was shockingly abused, but it prevailed.  It bustled the Empire’s power.  The demureness was, when sexually opened, ecstatic.  When misunderstood, it became hysteric in both men and women.

Today’s women are not demure.   It is in our genes, but the opposite of demureness moves today’s dispensation, and has perhaps desensitized us.    I talk of the depth social currents.   When my cher ami saw the book cover Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic, out popped the male platitude about burning bras and feminism.   I said Ida was not a feminist, but her unlacing of the corset is behind the feminist movement and the getting of the vote and the breaking out of jail.

Ida is an occult flower, of the kind that breaks the hard ground.  Her petals are lotus soft.  Churchmen were sickened by her impudence.  They crushed with all their might and main.   When she was still a young woman she eluded them, she lit the gas oven – and slipped back home through the astral gate.  She left her essays and her scent in circulation.

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Goodness!  Today is Hallowe’en, and I am talking of witches:  what we were, and why we are deep down still swirling our black cloaks and howling to the moon.    Why our daughters and ourselves went through the labyrinth;  why some of us are so bereft, why our lovers would not meet us;  why we crossed the valley unfucked, unlit.   Why we are asphodel, seeking the Sun.   Why we must embrace Time and our own witch’s room, to cross the abyss and meet the groom.

Cauldron & black cat

My old r&b friend recorded his new song of Little Bo Peep.   It is about a woman chained to the kitchen sink – (chained to gas ovens in Ida’s day;  their only way out, to put their head in and through) – and so he liberates her, he sends her into her sky, like a butterfly.

This morning’s thought raises Sarah and her guardian, Aunt Zofira – my last life, Cancer 1848 – Capricorn 1895.  An antipodean seer “read it” for me.  The dates and the ongoing theme are verified with a “mathematic” precision, in my present Capricorn-Cancer birth map. For the moment, rest with these two women, the young one and the elder;  give them my silence.

Zofira was a witch.   She had been an Elizabethan witch and she practiced “sexual magick.”  I – Sarah – returned to England from the Caribbean in disgrace.  I became her ward in Chiswick, and then her apprentice.    She taught me drawing and music;  she was an accomplished pianist.   The story goes that a young lad called Didier arrived half dead from Paris where all his family had been slaughtered.  Zofira thrust us together into the cooking pot, knowing I was not destined to live long, and that my and Didier’s passion would burn up many Karmas, plus generating a few.   In some of my dreams there is an old fire of glowing embers, behind a house;  in others, I am shaping a phallic flame-like entity from an underground cauldron.

The tale was tantalizingly left there, back in 2010, when the antipodean seer abruptly and without explanation ended our correspondence.

Be still as Sarah;   let her flower.  It may happen with Mother Demeter in the spring, that my memory awakes and  joins fully with hers, joyfully.

These vivid lifetimes are brief seasons, blown like rainbow bubbles from clay pipe, when I was a woman seer in very ancient Egypt, living between the stars and grains of sand.  I was then the essence and saw all that was and is to come;  at moments I have this whole feeling again, and I call it the Delta, as I befriend human history.   I reconnect that glowing night among the dunes, which are waves whispered by the African wind.   I am the hallows.

This pre-Egyptian perception helped to heal at Hallowe’en, some years ago, a past-life theme in the Peruvian forest border.  My “travel agent” Paul took me around the globe on an inner tour, and I alighted on the emotional force of this South American impression:  a Mayan or Aztec High Priest, who cut out living hearts for the blood of the Tree of Life.   I was pulled into it.  I was this religious monster cutting the trees – like they do now for cocaine and rubber –  and I was also one of his victims, a young girl captured from my forest family;  a child was torn from my womb.    He is my dark force.

My Sarah-life is in the laboratory of Dr Lebecq, a well travelled pseudonym of the Light.  He knew and corresponded with Leibniz mathematicus, so he looks rather like him.  The discussion about all this, just begins.  The equations in my inner life, are images.

The tantra principle is embedded in my life style.   On the physical plane, I crossed the abyss and in due time found the cher ami, who is emotionally very like myself.  (Was he young Didier? … ) But the writing is my love life, with God joining in.  The code is spelled out just sufficiently.   I am not a disciplined meditator.   It is the agreeable muddle which real life is:   it works.   It works because of resting with God – by which I mean, the cosmic laws and their delight.

My Elder Bro – by your wit, LB, and by your leave with frilly sleeve – Greensleeves –  I had a question for you about romance, so as to hear your dry voice;   but life as usual inundated my question (writ in sand) with the answer.   It is the tide.  J Krishnamurti once said there is no conflict with the tide going in and out over the wet sands:   the opposites.   There is no conflict in the flowing nature of the tide:  the living breath.

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moontide

 

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And now to draw the Hadean threads together:

Early last week, before the Buddha’s blue flower surfaced into my blog (previous post), my father rang up, from his care home cottage, on a Devon hilltop.  In January he will be 90. “When I opened the door into my garden just now, there was a sparkle in the air.  It is so clear and blue, I’m on holiday by the sea.  I don’t have to go anywhere else but here!”

A day or two later, Mr P rang up:  he dreamed he dived into the sea to a turquoise room.  As soon as I started to blog the Buddha piece, the colour of blue periwinkle – the Pure Land – floated in and rested me.  It seems to travel in the air just now;  I feel less tired.   I wonder how universal it is?   The play of the currencies and tones changes week to week. Who else caught sight of and bathes in this colour … or something like it?

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It re-invoked the light, recalling the following story – to draw the Hadean threads together:

The Sunflowers –  A dream from the Watershed, in June 1976 

I went into a house in this valley, belonging to an old woman.  Here in her house I have taken off all my clothes, and am lying on a bed.  She and I talk together, she is a maternal sort of person.  In the room we look at two huge white sunflowers on long stems.  Their enormous white blooms, dipping and swaying, devour the heads of dead sunflowers, brown and dry around them, petal by petal – with their own petals.

I am fascinated, spellbound by this miracle, the purposefulness with which the two white flowers eat the dead ones. The beldame seems to live in a place where tourists drop in, perhaps to drink a cup of tea and inspect the marvel of her sunflowers.  She doesn’t run a café or anything like that, but she doesn’t refuse travellers and wayfarers.  She lives in the crease or fold, of this valley.

The sunflowers almost fill the whole room.  I admire them so much that she asks me “would you like to take them home with you?”  They are like an animal in the house.  Perhaps they are a burden to her.

“No,” I said “thank you, but I don’t want to take them from you.  I couldn’t keep them properly fed, it is too great a responsibility for me, it’s very difficult to find suitable food in London for them.  They are so beautiful!  Don’t they need lots of light?  And you know, my place in London faces north.  I don’t think it would be good for them.”

“Ah yes, they do take to the light,” she remarked.  A flickering blue light is flowing into the room all the time, quite intense;  it plays around the great white sunflowers, and they seem to thrive.  But I think I am rather afraid of them … shirking ownership, I’d rather be a spectator.

Something was happening in that other-worldly blue light that does not lend itself to talk or to explanation.  That colour itself has a radiance through which all can be seen, and which is yet impenetrable.  I see the living which bends to take sustenance from the dead.  And there are always the dying.  I can tell only of a magic sunflower, white not yellow, which behaves like an animal, is beautiful, and scares me.

Back in my parents’ car the radio is playing Faure’s Requiem.  Never can I forget such beauty, a multiple acoustic flower, the purity of the boy singing, the hooded waters of the chorus.  The dead in the ground support with a strange tenderness the living generations.  Or is it the other way round?  for they bend, they give each unto the other …  The stereo, being in some way connected to the car’s engine, is making some very strange noises.

My parents think I imagined the sunflowers, or made it all up, because I so longed to see sunflowers like these:  like when I told them I saw swallowtail butterflies down the meadowsweet lane in Cornwall.

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Hades and Persephone and Nymphs 1957

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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.

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Rohit Arya’s Essay on the Buddha



Buddha mudra behind a Hebrew Tree of Life

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(In the Sacred India Tarot Archive series, we completed last month 
our posts on creating the 22 Major Arcana.  We now continue 
along these lines, with the four suits (56 cards) of the Minor 
Arcana. In this deck, the traditional Pentacles, Wands, Swords 
and Cups are respectively, Disks, Staves, Arrows and Lotuses. 
The suit of Pentacles is "Earth", and tells the story of Buddha's 
life and supremely practical teaching.  The other suits are tales
from the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, and the wedding of 
Siva and Parvati.

Here is Rohit's introductory life-story of the Buddha.  The next 
post in the S.I.T.A. series will detail the remaining Grace card 
of the deck - Blessings of Babaji.  (The other Grace card is 
Ganesh, see Major Arcana.)  We shall then proceed through the 
suit of Disks, about one a week.

Seeking images to accompany Rohit's writing of the Buddha, a sky 
blue colour filled my mind, as of old.  For me, the TATHAGATHA - 
a beautiful name for the Buddha - has this radiance of the Endless
One:  jewel in the lotus.  "Tathagatha means one who has attained 
reality...  Tathagatha is further explained as True Nature, that 
which is immutable, immovable, and beyond all concepts and 
distinctions."  Buddha, a Taurean, earthed that light in nature, 
in rocks, flowing water and humanity, and does so to this day.)

J.A. 25.10.12

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Buddha nature

“The Life of Buddha – the Most Popular Story in the World” by Rohit Arya

The sheer volume of numbers who are aware of the Buddha, make the title of this essay a foregone conclusion.  For Buddhism was the dominant faith of Asia for a clear millennium, and it still holds a significant position there.  It is not normally realized that a great many countries which are Islamic now, were once strongholds of the Buddhist faith, especially Afghanistan and Iraq: the former famous for the now vanished Bamiyam monoliths, the latter for the finest monasteries the world has ever known, till medieval Europe.

Between the first century BC and the fifth century AD, Buddhism was unchallenged over Asia, with only pockets of the Confucian, Hindu and Zoroastrian beliefs holding out.  That makes the Buddha life story the most well known to all humanity, and in sheer numbers who religiously repeat it, it remains the most popular story told even today.

Before we begin recounting this tale however, one fact needs to be brought out.  The Buddha was not a prince.  That was romancing by later biographers, who could not conceive of anybody other than royalty doing such marvelous things.

Also, there was a caste agenda in place by then.  Buddhism was a Kshatriya response to a Brahmin hegemony financed by Vaisya support, and they needed a prince to be the mythical spokesman for the new faith.

The Buddha’s father was the head of a Janapada, a republican state, kingdoms merely having begun to emerge, and no real empire in place in society.  He was undoubtedly a privileged young man, but not a prince.  Since this narrative will deal with the mythic aspects of the life as popularly understood, we will go along with the prince fiction, but the historical Buddha is not the Buddha of invented memory.

Stream, sunlight, teaching

He was born according to tradition as well as history, in the year 563 BC, son of Suddhodana, belonging to the Kshatriya tribe of the Sakyas, in Kapilavastu near the border of modern Nepal.  His name was Siddhartha Gautama, the latter being his family name.  His birth was attended by the usual portents that seem to grace the descent of a great Master, notably some dreams that his mother had, that the child she was carrying would be unthinkably exceptional.

The baby was supposed to have been born while his mother laboured standing up, so that his feet touched the ground;  and the Buddha is supposed to have been the only human infant who could walk immediately upon birth, as befitted a future world saviour.  The astrologers gathered around, predicted that the boy would become an emperor if he could be persuaded to reigh.  It was more likely however, that he would renounce the world as soon as he was aware of the reality of suffering.

The mother died seven days after the birth of the super child.  A human frame cannot endure the incredible strain of bringing forth a Saviour for very long.  Suddhodana married his wife’s sister Mahaprajapati, and for once we are spared the evil stepmother routine in myth, as the lady dearly loved the young child.  The doting father was not going to have his son turn to renunciation, so he began a celebrated social-control experiment.  He shut his son up in a great palace, surrounded by high walls that kept the unpleasant reality of the world out of sight, and hopefully out of mind. The young man was immersed in wine, women and song; and that his constitution as well as his mind survived such paternal solicitude, is one of the greater miracles known to humanity.

Dharma stone

Siddhartha became the finest young warrior in the land, as well as a formidable scholar and in true epic fashion he wins the hand of his cousin Yashodara after a contest of skill in which he wipes the field of all comers at all contests, except curiously, sword play!  The ancient and enduring Indian disdain for close quarters fighting, which would be its eventual downfall, is here clearly reflected.  The hero could not do something so uncouth and dreadfully sweaty as fight well with a sword, even if he was the greatest warrior who ever lived.  The marriage was blissfully happy, and the king thought he had covered all the bases.  Siddhartha would become a world conqueror.

Then disaster struck, for the young man suddenly had an unwonted curiosity to see the world outside his magnificent prison.  The legend goes, that the gods despairing of him achieving his incarnate mission, promoted his mind with such strange whim.  In collusion with a famous confidante and charioteer, Chana, the young man slipped out and encountered the Four Sights, doddering Old Age, Sickness, a Dead man and finally an Ascetic who somehow seemed to have arisen above these inevitable and implacable miseries.  Later versions claim that in each case it was the god Indra who had assumed these forms to rouse him from his pleasure blinded ignorance.

Wood portal

A little digression would not be amiss here.  Many miracles would be attributed to the man later, but his appalled reaction to the sight of suffering has never got its due as the most important of all the miracles.  For we all know Sakya princes who live gilded cage existences, and it is a bitter psychological truth, that they are not particularly distressed when confronted by other people’s suffering.  They do not have either the experience or the mental concepts to make sense of suffering, looking upon it as something strange and quite unnecessary. “Why don’t they eat cake?” is not a cruel question, but a devastating confession of ignorance, of genuine puzzlement.  Siddhartha’s great leap of self transcendence was the realization that this sick person was like him, not “one of them”.  Somehow he preserved his sense of humanness against all the luxury that was stifling him.

The Four Sights could have been viewed as a freak show, the royal equivalent of slumming, a novel curiosity that amused, but did not touch in any way.  His feeling of despair at the general hopelessness of the human condition, is what should have been most exclaimed over.  In spite of genetics, environment and the prevailing zeitgeist, his spirit flared up when confronted with a moral challenge.

Back home, he became prone to brooding over the generally depressing nature of human existence – decay and pain and death, with an occasional narcotic experience of “pleasure” or “success” to numb the mind from the awful truth.

At this juncture, he was told his wife had given birth to a son, usually a matter of great joy to an Indian father.  It was the last straw.  “Yet another fetter has been born,” he moaned, inadvertently naming the son Rahula, a chain or fetter.   That night, he abandoned his new born son and wife, determined to seek out the secret to overcoming human suffering and sorrow.  It is an act known as the Great Renunciation.  He was 29 years old.

He took to the road, in an India that was an incredible intellectual adventure at the time.  Freethinking and speculation was at a peak never before achieved, or equaled after.  Mahavira the great Jain Master was his contemporary, though the two never met, in what is one of Destiny’s greatest oversights.  Originality of thought was matched by pugnacious championing of belief, and the young man soaked it all up.  However, while he was willing to learn from all, he was usually only too evidently the intellectual superior.  He used to learn, and then move on.  Tradition ascribes to him the discipleship of Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, both Brahmin sannyasis.  He seems to have accepted the need for a belief system, good conduct and the practice of meditation, though he was not convinced they had the answer.

Austerities

In no time, he had accumulated five disciples himself, and they underwent severe austerities in the forest of Urevala.  Siddhartha tried to gain the knowledge of salvation through terrible fasting and overextended meditation.  The result was he became a living skeleton, and his mind began to lose its sharpness too.  So severely had he subjected his body to austerity, that when he stroked his skin his body hair would fall off, having no flesh in which to root themselves!  He even experimented with eating his own excretions, but he soon realized that this was no way forward.  Always intellectually courageous and integrated, he abandoned the path of self torture as well as the gigantic reputation for holiness it had given him.  His disciples left him, huffing with disgust at such backsliding.

Once his health had recovered, he recalled a mystical experience he had in his youth, and determined to pursue that line.  In the famous spot of Gaya, he sat under a Peepal tree, determined not to budge until he had cracked the secret of overcoming suffering and death.  His formidable will kept him there for forty days and nights, when Mara the Evil One, realizing his days of unchallenged dominance over Life was over, assaulted him with terrors and temptations.  The latter always meant impossibly voluptuous beautiful girls, and was regarded culturally as the greater threat to saintliness.

“Blue Lotus”

Siddhartha was unmoved by either fear or pleasure, as his Realisation was now complete.  The desperate Mara than accused him of the subtlest sin of all – egoism – the true feeling of having triumphed over fear and temptation.  Siddhartha merely touched the earth with two fingers and asked it to bear withness if a “person” was present there.  The earth announced that she did not bear on herself any human, there was only the Tathagatha, the Realised One, and ergo no human attributes.  This was the final victory, and the moment he entered into Nirvana, as well as the state known as the Buddha.  (“Buddha” is actually a way of being, a condition, not a title.)

Law of Life

The Buddha stayed in his seat for another forty days, unsure if his subtle and refined doctrine of transcending pain and suffering should be communicated to an uncomprehending world.  Finally, he resolved to risk the inevitable errors of the many for the sake of the few who would understand and profit from the new learning.  He went to Sarnath, a famous deer park, where his disgruntled disciples were living.  They saw him approaching, and resolved to ignore the apostle in their ascetic pride, but his transformed personality compelled them to offer him respect against their wills.  To them he preached his first sermon in the great event known as “Setting into Motion the Wheel of the Law”.  The Buddha was forty years old, and he had another forty two years of preaching ahead of him.

Law of Life, with Dharma wheel

Having been somewhat of an extremist himself in his striving, he named his new doctrine the Middle Path, or Arya Marga, the Noble Way.  His first sermon contains all the key elements of the Megatharian structure that would become Buddhist theology.  They are the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Truths are devastatingly simple.

Existence is unhappiness.

Unhappiness is caused by desire/craving.

Desire can be overcome.

It is overcome by following the Noble Eight-fold Path

… … which are

Right Understanding, Right Purpose/aspiration, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Vocation, Right Effort, Right Awareness/Alertness, and Right Concentration.

The need for chastity, truthfulness and nonviolence were core components of this.

Like a snowdrop

Buddha rapidly became one of the most influential figures in the country.  Even his skeptical family fell under his influence, and the whole country saw a mass movement of renunciation.  He used to wander the land attended by his nephew and favourite Ananda, a petulant weak-willed sort, and therefore under his special care.  Ananda’s recollections of his conversations with the Tathagatha made him an invaluable biographical source once the Buddha was dead, and he was much referred to in the settling of theological disputes. 

The Buddha did not care, much to the disappointment of more than a few of the faithful, for miracles and magic, but only in finding the shortest way to end suffering and attain Nirvana.  In a land where spirituality was automatically equated with the ability to work miracles, He stood out as a beacon for rationality and reason.

This may seem strange in a country which produced the Upanishads, but they were a rearguard action against a country that demanded magic, or a reasonable facsimile of it, from holy men.

The Buddha therefore is not only India’s foremost religious figure, he is also first in demanding a grounded view of life, which may yet be his major contribution.

We all know the famous story of Gautami, who had come to him with her dead child, and the usual hopes of resurrecting miracles.  Was he not the Tathagatha, the Ford-Crosser and the most famous holy man of the age?  Ergo miracles were expected.  He did perform one, by assuring her the child could indeed be bought back to life, if she got him some mustard seeds from a house in which death had not occurred.  The many wanderings within the city brought the distraught mother to her senses, as she realized that spiritual giants can offer another sort of immortal life, not the impossible one she was asking for.  He had no greater miracle to offer than the realization of the inevitable truth – suffering exists and can only be transcended, not avoided.

Snowdrop (JA 1969)

At another time he was told of a great feat of levitation that a holy man had performed, sending his begging bowl sliding up a flag post till it reached the top.  The reporters were evidently expecting a greater feat of supernatural prowess to be exhibited as an answer to their silent reproach – it was embarrassing to be the disciples of a guru who was not doing magic!  The Buddha merely said, in an elegant, celebrated squelch, “Such is not conducive to the cessation of desires and the attainment of Nirvana.”

His most famous conversion was that of the bandit and killer Angulimala, “Finger Garland”, an interesting type who used to keep count of his victims by cutting off a finger and adding it to his grisly garland.  Kings were his disciples too, most famously the king of Magadha, Bimbisara.  His son Ajatashatru slew him when the restraining presence of the Buddha was not there, but he repented and publicly confessed his crime to the Buddha the next time he visited. (Ajatashatru was too great a king for anyone to work up much indignation at his parricide, and in any case succession was usually decided by displays of such vigour.  It was, in a sense, expected behaviour.)  Royal patronage all over the country made the Buddhist stock rise very high indeed.

Sanatana Dharma

The Mahaparinirvana, the great and final Nirvana of the Buddha’s long life finally came when he was over eighty.  Never in his mission had he ever asked people to be anything other than sensible and intelligent in their spiritual approach.  “As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing on the touchstone, so are you to accept my words after examining them, not out of regard for me.”

He held fast to this doctrine, even on his deathbed.  His final sickness, incidentally, was brought on by his eating badly cooked pork at the house of a poor disciple he did not have the heart to refuse when invited.  The Buddha ate what was available, vegetarianism was a preference not an absolute fetish.  Three times he was ready to let the body go, but each time he was interrupted by somebody desiring instruction, and he held his Nirvana back, “lying on his side like a lion and instructing.”

Then he spoke to the disciples, “What need for the Tathagatha?  Become lamps unto yourselves.  The Buddha is a state, not a person.  Enter therein.  Decay is inherent in all component things.  Therefore work out your salvation with diligence.”

He died then, but the history of mankind had been for ever altered.

 flower sermon

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Ah, so!  Rohit’s writing of the Buddha, has stirred up voices and feelings in me, about the Buddha’s presence and footways in those ancient times, and his teaching.  It smooths my brow, restoring afresh the wonderful blue flower … Vishnu Krishna prototype!  Enjoy walking with this through the SITA suit of pentacles … the peace.

His brilliant 350 page book The Sacred India Tarot, which accompanies the deck, is unique and covers the full terrain, including mythology, yoga and interpretation – available from bookstores, ebooks, and on Amazon.  Visit the Sacred India Tarot website (published by Yogi Impressions) or on facebook.

The deck took us about nine years to create by correspondence.  The first 14 cards’ process work, plus Ganesh and Kali, are on Rohit’s blog http://aryayogi.wordpress.com which contains his other illumining essays on the subject.

Due to technical problems in India during the summer, I took over the archive, and The Major Arcana 15-21 process work was put up on both blogs.

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Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga

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Jane Adams

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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote 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.

 

Dancing with Pan (1)

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Goat god and shepherd

From Dion Fortune’s ‘The Goat Foot God’:  “… Then it seemed to her that the Shepherd of Goats rose up gigantic in the darkness, towering above her small boat, his slanting agate eyes gleaming and kindly.  He was the keeper of all wild and hunted souls for which no place could be found in a man-made world, and she and Hugh were running in under the shadow of his crook.  They were coming down onto the fundamental realities of life which cannot be shaken, to which all things must come in the end.  She began to feel safe and secure.  Keeping her eyes fixed on the fundamental reality, let it be what it might, she felt certain that she would steer the right course.  This was the real invocation of Pan – the surrender to bed-rock natural fact, the return to Nature, the sinking back into the cosmic life, after all the struggle to rise above it into an unnatural humanity.  Animal is our beginning, and animal our end, and all our sophistications are carried on the back of the beast and we do ill to forget our humble brother.  Uncared for, collar-galled and filthy, he takes his revenge in the spread of disease.  St Francis spoke contemptuously of Brother Ass, but man is a centaur who is related to Pegasus on one side of the family.  The wise Cheiron who taught Asculapius healing, was carried swiftly on his four strong hooves.  Perhaps there is a lesson in that for us. 

“Mona awoke from her dream of goats and centaurs and breaking seas, to find the sun had gone in and the wind of spring was cold.  All the same, she knew she had received the Blessing of Pan on her enterprise, because she had given her undeviating loyalty to things natural – because she had said ‘What is truth?’ and set to work to pursue it.”

— Published by Society of Inner Light 1989

Pan Capricornus ’87

A couple of years before that book came out, I was dancing with my Pan – the primordial Capricorn archetype, did I but know.  My invocation was to draw;  the awareness along the line came to life.  I believe I drew on very early lifetimes as a cave artist. Light and shadow along the rock tingles, as the hunt’s magical power ripples to life.

This series in my blog called “Dancing with Pan” is sprinkled with my Greek myth drawings at age  seven.  It is the same awakening.   Nuances of emotion, desire, pain and healing play along the primordial pulse;  following it, gave me a hands-on feel of the cosmic principle behind esoteric teachings, which I read about, later.

Nymph, 1956.

A detail within a bigger page.  She draws the veil back…

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Mermaids 1956

Capricorn is a goat with a fish’s tail:  land’s geology and the depth of the sea.  These symbols came intuitively.

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Melusina 1989

… reminding me of this one:  Melusina is the alchemists’ water nymph – and I remember also how ambiguously frightening the Master can appear – like Pan.  These two drawings  slipped into today’s planned sequence, as extras.  I was reading Jung on Zosimus at the time I did them.

Mercurius:  the bottle-imp 1989

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Little girl 1956

She conjures, she plays, she dances with the furies and the joyous spirits.

The piano keys are grapes 1987

There is a fury in the baccanalian rite of Pan, as it begins to circuit and swirl.  Libra is the rising or setting sun.  At the time I was training my whole body to play a very difficult piece on the piano:  a yoga of touch and controlled abandon.  These two drawings are also in my 4 September post Para Olympus – Inspiring a Generation?   The general idea is:  to form a vessel for the pipes of Pan, we need to mean it:  to stretch to our whole capacity and beyond.  The whole of nature stretches, to grow and die and be born anew.  Lust stretches:  the seed stretches, to part the earth.   And so it is with ritual of any kind.  To be effective, the words are meant and filled with life now, to the fingertips and toes.

Faun, struggle and egg 1987

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Ding dong bell 1987

The nursery rhyme – pussy’s in the well, who pushed her in?  Little Tommy Flynne.   Who pulled her out? – little Tommy Stout!

But rather than rely on the menfolk as fabulous creatures, and fall on our noses, why not …

Earth serpent goddess 1987

… feel and find our wise way along the Earth, and as the Earth embrace?  Spine, breast and stellar space are the hills and valleys in the night.

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Horse throws hero 1957

An ancient greek hero – he is getting what he deserves, with those spurs and whip.

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Theseus Slays  1957

Theseus slays one of the villains of the Ishthmus, having earned his father’s sword and sandals from under the Stone.  The Minotaur and Ariadne appear to be on playful terms.

Thus far, a few mythic preambles.  Who and what is my Pan?

I have sequences of Pan drawings around a “Fall Event” in 1987.  In brief:  I fell through into a kind of joy below strata of grief.  It was a love affair of course.  I don’t want to go into the detail, but to share the essence of what I learned:  the energy, the paradox and the song of life which is Pan.

At the same time, I was doing a Buddhist practice and discovering Hermes Trismegistos and the ancient world.  I am by nature an animist and pantheist, and sang and chanted in my drawings before I learned to do so on “the piano keys” (symbolic – the black and white of life.)

Like music, a sacred ritual, to be effective, must be empowered with the full voice and feeling “NOW”;  this comes about, through living with the stops out – embodying inner catastrophe and upset, as well as to be surprised by joy.  I never had much choice.  There was and is no way, but through.

In The Goat Foot God, Dion Fortune explains:

“You’ve got to handle it along its own lines, T.J.  That’s the mistake people make – expecting miracles.  Thinking if they say the word of power, things will happen.  But they won’t unless you’ve worked up the power of the word first of all.  Old Ignatius was right, if it was him who said it – Live the life and you’ll develop the faith.  I want to invoke Pan, so I’ve got to live Panishly – hence these gooseberry shanks that I saw you gazing at so reproachfully from the depths of your Inverness.”

The old bookseller said, “If you call at Billings Street in a dappled faun-skin, you’ll draw a crowd, and probably catch a cold into the bargain!” 

“You choose to misunderstand me, T.J.  I’m not going in for any play acting … it’s the spirit of the thing, not the outward trappings, that counts.”

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Capricornus 1987

My invocation is at first through field and flower.  Later on it becomes more visceral:  the writing is all inside out.

From my  Passengers to Penelope (1987):   “There are places around my father’s house in Devon, where I sit in the grass on a closed umbrella (it’s wet) and hear the wind.  The wind’s slow tune rises and falls through a wet dell of nettles, thistles, bull-rushes and waving white parsey like waves of the sea.  In the singing forest grow clusters of my old friends whose names I no longer know, with wild dandelions, yellow daisies and vetch.  A crimson fox glove stands sentinel to the marshy place.  They do not invite, for I am there.  I am not in them, but nor am I outside them.  In the mysterious world of rabbits and owls I play and disappear, if I know how, into lean-to tunnels of long grass.  To play is to paint.  Were I to paint those colourful worlds, their kings and queens, it is not flowers with names I want to draw, but my mysteries and their delight.  It is enough to know: they have no names.  The wild child, the one who grew up on a hillside, is at home.  The wind whispered into his ears since he was born.  I call him Malo.  When thinking slows down from erstwhile hectic and unwritten cities, it follows the tune, the tune the wild child knows, and so do the shy beasts who go about their business. 

“Whatever happens up top, on lips, forehead and the wrinklings of ideas, my Underbeing begins to know itself as a slow river, picking up things it doesn’t yet know.  The river changed its course.  It flows quiet in a wide channel.  Everything I see is of interest.  I cannot distinguish the wind’s different voices – only the ebbing and swelling musical line, and everything which moves and dances to the song of Pan … at the corners of my I or eye.  For the wind opens spaces within me.  The soft grass is shimmery pale green like velvet and wet with rain. 

“I am beginning to listen to the wind, because I gave the ear to my mind for many weeks.  The wind can pick this up and take it right away with its own Sound, for long moments.  Thought loses its belongings once it has said them, and been heard.   It turns into the currency of being:  the world of grasses and wild flowers.”

The Land under the Leprechaun – With Pan at dawn 1987

From Passengers to Penelope 1987:   “Of more interest than erotic daydreams is the landscape emerging beneath them.  As sleep came I was in a heathery sunny place – a clearing or a valley somewhere:  or a small plateau.  Plato? … is handed to me on a platter.  The grass is tufty and blond at the tips, with rabbit trails.  Baby oak, hazel and hawthorn grow to either side, small scrub on common ground.   Silverbirch shines in mossy enclaves, wild faces peep from the grass; the quiet voices of violet, cowslip and cuckoo-pint.  A stream flows through the sylvan place where “glaucous beings” (what are they?) couple and dance;  where fauns and leprechauns play pagan pipes of Pan behind high stems.

“For this vale is on top of the world somewhere, or the underworld.  It might directly underlie the world I think I know.  There is a fleeting joy – to lie in blond silky grasses among the fairytale buzzings, to wander twilit rabbit paths, to meet perhaps those fabled glaucous beings.  These have upturned heads, their droopy flesh is grey and pink, mottled tortoise-shell.  They have wide fish mouths and bright clever eyes.  They look like Mr Jeremy Fisher’s amphibious friends.  I only saw the tips of these people emerge from the deep grass.  I don’t know if I saw them at all.  I know they are there, and they a-wooing would go;  they dance and make love in triplings, three or four of them.  They are pretty like Pan, and alien to me in their intelligence and in their laws.  For Pan is a terrible and ancient god.  He changes everything with just one breath on his pipes…

Dancing with Pan 1   

“These floating lands are frivolous, because my inner eye unravelling, sees only what it can. What could this land become?  What is it really?  To see is one thing, to know is another.  I was here for a moment – therefore I am.

“It smiles back to me my ignorance.  Perhaps it is the leprechaun’s smile which lights his sad anxious face with youth and dances from ear to ear.  This land’s contour grouped itself under his face, as I floated away from this (in love and desire) into that (love’s scenic plateau of association, hoping we might meet in this land).  I’m not going to dwell on the ins and outs of love, desire and plumbing, because these are always basically the same, whoever “he” is, and whatever the discovery of holding and being held, and to touch the back of his head.  There is no point in writing about things which are not happening.  They are phantom’s blind alley.

“But the land under it … ah, there is something saucy here.  It is seemingly unrelated, and yet allied;  because here I was.

Dancing with Pan 2

“Is it a corner of the map, or is it new?  It seemed new.  The present fragrance is new.  Into those tracts of newness I go, leaving fantasy behind.  The journey reveals rocky contours under the facial plane.  How odd those features are here, under sleep, under a writing table, under chats, coffee, and errands in the rain – here underfoot – my mind’s tentative journey.

“I left something behind, or am leaving it behind forever – or it left me – and its trace elements flit among the newness, making me a nervous, vulnerable cave dweller of my own-ness.  It is difficult to settle in a new place.  We’re not going to the sea today, because it is raining.  It is actually all the same to me, whether I go to the sea or not.

“The land under the leprechaun is really the land I travel as my mind tiring of toying with the man and my desire, lets go, disconnects and floats free.  It makes its decision.  This is where the fish swim when they have nibbled enough from the surface.

Dancing with Pan 3 – 1987

“Are there poppies in the gold grasses, scarlet flecks of summer?  Is it evening or dawn?  What underlies this place?  Who is here at present?  A delicacy widens the blaze of a path:  the presence.”

Dancing with Pan 4:  Resignation

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Early November 1987 – there was a man, an Irishman:  I was let down, and I fell.  I fell right through the feeling into the light.   It was like a quarry blast.  This was Pan.  Here is the general gist of “Fall Event” from my diaries:

“He’s not coming.  O mind, the mind has mountains, cliffs of fall, he should have let me know, I am angry shattered and grieved and can’t just say yes yes … oh you shit, is there never going to be anyone real for me?  Joy is not eggs in one basket, it is to have multiple sources, so I could gnash my teeth but am not internally damaged or betrayed I think, though splitting apart, for joy in life as well as pain, & will take it by the throat because this mandream is an awful thing to have gone on happening all these years, sod you mustn’t be a rainbow, I’ll damn well manage without.  Things are real when they happen, & false when they don’t, the true life-joy is to ride this thing and see it, fierce, that is self assertion, one of the crowd after all, though how I would dearly love to come down off my hilltop and muck in and love someone for real and know what it’s really about.

“Managed not to cry when I went upstairs to see Tara, but to joke more or less.  Tara thinks I do not assert myself sufficiently in these matters, and that perhaps I have to seize a few frogs as well as princes.”

Yet …

“The land under the sweet monster is better than the one which buzzes around him.  Deep down, I am not hurt.  Thank God for that.  I have got somewhere.  Ride it, ride it.  It’s just another wave.  Feel it for real, and keep on top where you can look at what is around, this lovely world undetermined by the position of humans, ‘fight for it love, be in it like a lion, you will learn you will learn, for I showed you the Astral Light and you won’t forget it.’

 “So thank Karma and sweet monster-men for catalyzing this land for me.  My soul is in a better place.  Values! … are the glory – not the all-too-brief happy landings.  Land right HERE.  Not there.  Land is where my soul is, not where “he” is.  I am alive!   Now I could cry, from a sense of wonder.  Wrestle the angel, I love its muscle, I am new.

“This is not an evil, these are values.  I see black and white; my fingers fill with life and move faster on the keys.”   

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Dancing with Pan 5

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“Slept with light on and dreamed about trees, woods and streets of them outside my windows.  They were being trimmed, their branches cut off, many of them cut down, there were still many trees and much foliage, but I could now see fields of landscape I couldn’t see before.  I walked through a wood at the back of my house – like the sealed and opened store-room in my dreams;  trimmed it was, but still bushy and green with glades. At the end of it was a railway line, and a steam train came chuff chuff from the right and disappeared into a tunnel to the left.

“Do not activate the pain button or pull apart any more.  I can lie and travel in its layers without reacting;  change habits – for life-joy too there is.  Cut trees occult symbol, let the new wood grow.  I wish there was someone to catch me when I fall, wide-open I can’t help being, but this state catches me just about (oh, lonely) so … choose not hell but education, keep the antennae out.  Have no choice in that, because no protection – antennae may pick up good currents.  If there’s a shell, it holds but pain, depression and turmoil I suppose.  Anyway I haven’t got one, I am incapable of not rushing to meet hoped love with my arms wide open, and finding it’s gone off in a different direction and will not be there to hold and answer and cherish me too.”

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Dreaming with Pan 1987

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“So pain-hurt in my stomach there is, and broken heart; but don’t need to lean on it or choose that inflamed course, but meet joy head-on, and whatever it brings.  Let the impact of disillusion itself heal and change, not sock in the guts.  For I am not empty, I go on, through where and what, God knows.  I practice the keys with a kind of fanaticism, something is dislodged in my underbeing and coming up, not his or anyone’s, but mine.”

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Centaur, Athene and Child 1987

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“Dreamed later that my daughter and I were looking down into vast chasms or quarries filled with light and creatures and lands, perhaps we were at the zoo, there were monkeys.  Enormous depths and clarity.  She was at home above them.  I was on a bike, and wobbly.  We seemed to be on branches of rock like over the sea;  these were fine but vertiginous spaces to look down into.  My body has these huge sudden spaces within it filled with life and things unknown.

“The lands I travel are not what can be shared, though they do produce on the surface a slightly more sensitive and less harried interaction with people, but oh God I am still to all intents and purposes on Odyssey in the breakdown chamber, as there is no one who can give me any hold or alternative.  So part of me which tried to declare itself, begins to acknowledge a “seperateness”, which yet leads to realistic unity in relationships;  and what can be shared and what can not.

“I practice the Buddhist meditation and the piano with eager speed … they teach my brain to let go of reservations and function more fluently with the inner connection, the “Malo” from under.  The Underbeing after all, will not desert me.” 

No, worst there is none.  Pitched past pitch of grief.
O the mind, mind has mountains, cliffs of fall 
frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.  Hold them cheap 
may who ne'er hung there.  Nor does long our small 
durance deal with that steep or deep.  Here! creep 
wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind:  all 
Life death does end, and each day dies with sleep."

G.M.Hopkins

“The beheaded trees – final one pollarded today – are a pain-monster which I already made friends with and transformed, as if I rather rejoice now in their nude skyward knuckles, this new sculpture in the street – can it be that leaves were armour?   These tree trunks lift my soul to see.

“Vertigo I am sick:  thus I see the new painting to do for Blue Feather:  I see the whole thing.  This tumble will hold me now, not the other.  Catastrophe shows light, not dark;  so there’ll be a dark band of cliff and autumn fall and light the eye below.  Thou makest thine own bed, thus shalt thou live and fall, O Cause and Effect. 

“The end of day is not death and oblivion, but new life.  So my soul has light.  Naked come I.  So I shall re-write Hopkins for Blue Feather – (my bipolar friend who commissioned the painting, another Buddhist) – despair never….  so, sod you, I’ll just go down further into the light.”

“Got it fixed in the moment of my fall.  Into it went Hermes Trismegistos with his hands out stretched and ready, and the abyss is a vast Eye with its mountainous landscape of the sun.  Was wondering yesterday if I might discover a bit about my past Karma, other lives which led to this.  Drawings are crucibles for the openings below strata.  My Hermes incorporates the Hermetic system, Trismegistos, his followers and imitators, the Alexandrian and the ancient Egyptian and the Greek god, messenger between Hades and Olympus, divine arbitrator and enlightener.  He is the sum of them all, of pagan wisdom and pre-Christendom.

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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.

 

A Walk in the Dark Night

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My recent post The Miasms, Karma and Homeopathic Healing touches on “walk-ins” or demonic possession.  I had a strange experience of this, about thirteen years ago.  This post contains that story, as I told it to John de Ruiter.  Around it I found other writings and pictures.   Existentially, we come to grips with our shadow, as we walk.

Sea 1

8 November 1998 –  The Dark Night of the Soul

The truth is impersonal.  It isn’t “me”.  It is intercepted by colourful individual hue-and-cry localities.  They do what they want or are designed to do – the shape of a flower, fish or hedgehog – but it never stops being truth.  If in the morning it flows strongly, I think “Ah, I can see the truth!”   But that’s because it will open any mind that’s willing.  It is not something to be proud of.  Sages – those who are established in truth – go about their business and most people wouldn’t recognise them.  Why?  The truth doesn’t belong or stick to anyone.  It is all there is.  The obstacle is in considering it as an object I must reach.  The obstacle is the seeker after truth, for she puts it ahead of her, like a mirage.

sea 2

Tripura Rahasya says (p.12) – “The beneficent work of the self-inhering divine Grace is finished when the inward turning of one’s mind increases day by day.”

notebook page

…   is the realisation there is nothing I can do, and thus the extinguishing of hope.  Life burns a lamp of hope revealing rock walls, and believes it is the agent of illumination.  But when there is no lamp indicating progress, the darkness is its own source.  When the light is gone and there is only the infinite, soft and impenetrable darkness, this for some is death, the loss of heaven-god, and so it is called the soul’s dark night.  But you know, and I know, since we are One, that this is the cave of the Uncreate.  The darkness of the void is but another perception of the light.  Wait.  For the Word has not happened yet.  There is no Word here.

sea 3

Yesod What is the dark night of the soul?

Tifareth It happens before the ability to see from beyond the pairs of opposites dawns.  Some souls, when in the power of darkness, experience futility.  Gifted adolescents turn playmate to the demons, which are half formed currents of Creation in the astral body.  They feel trapped in vast, fecund fields, for the vital energy is vampirized.   That is why they stay in bed. They are exhausted.  The fields of the night glitter with POETRY – “the gorgeous black sticky stuff“.   Every soul, every branch of the Tree, must experience Hades – whether past, or yet to come – in the relative cupboard of Time.  It is the loam of below the Earth.  The wraiths of Nature  prey on and suck substance from one another, as within the physical ground: the play of spores, nitrates, seeds and rotting fibres.  It is the mud without which no lotus grows.  All must find the magic land.  Some, having passed through it, forget it.  But you and I recall it, to draw the references.  We recognise the stems, which are still rich with it.   Your drawings in 1964  are the Asphodel, the Hadean flower.  But you are not trapped.  You were when it was seductive, sensuously compulsive as the Soul’s Dark Night.

Jukebox and Beehive, Carlisle 1964

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Tifareth — The dark night of St John of the Cross – Mine eyes have seen a great Light, but now they don’t –  laboured in sorrow to bring forth, and to reconstruct the ladder.

The dark releases you.  Nothing else can.  When you go inward first, it is dark, not the custom light of the world.  You cannot see the unknown.  This is truth.

The substance of all this is that the Dark Night occurs when God disconnects you from seeing Him as a safe, Heavenly Mountain to climb up and reach, and pushes you back to drown in your swamp.  The Dark Night occurs during the i-lamp’s destruction, the miner’s lamp to …   you feel?

Yesod It is when the lamp no longer lights my cave walls with shadows, and so there is just the unbottomed. But what is the dark night of the soul REALLY?

Tifareth The dark is the passage of waiting.  It is the night through which you cannot sleep.  It is the longing for sleep, and the sterile agitation of the mind, and the slumberless corners of the body.  It is whatever episode in the life span endures grief, pain, bewilderment, inner destruction, the letting go of baggage, detachment learned the hard way.  There is no other way.  Without the dark night, who would bother to look away from the grazing-ground?  It isn’t cause and effect.  It is just that in the painful or sludge-y darkness, there burns a naked longing for the wise.

Yesod Integral to the dark night perhaps, is to know “I have no control.”

Tifareth – Whatsoever.

Yesod This in broad daylight looks very fine, but when trapped, it is the essence of suffering.

Tifareth – And the essence of surrender.  Surrender is’t just a pretty face.

Sea and rock, the feet

The dark night is the curling coal of the fathomless wave, the curve or swelling, and the willingness not to panic or wail with loneliness, but to “chill out” with it, rest on its breath, as in its feet.  There is a longing to be un-costumed, and to give up all resistance.  It is the Miner of the dark hard Night.  I learn from the companions.  When resistance is less, “I” diminish, therefore what suffered, becomes the easy movement of the breath.  The cells know this, for they sink.  This quiet state has the union and pivot of the world;  and in here the existential hell gets shot through with stabs of silence, open-ness, NOW, irrelevance, like shafts of Vedic Ushas, the Dawn.

Ushas

And then the swan of silence floats.  There is still “I”.   Only God may remove what God put there.  Think about that!  Only God can remove “I”.  I can’t.  Only God can remove God’s eye one seeingness is. But can he? …  There is no escape, nor is there death.  Tentatively, cast adrift, leave prIde and other eyes behind (they are mental attachments, seeing, applauding, approving … ) unclothe and see what happens … alone …

A verse I wrote when my daughter was young and wild and off the grid in San Francisco

You see my Lord  
never mind that I'm her mother,  
but I am (?) put in the place where it is my feeling  
to have her come safe to harbour over the heaving waters - 
soul come safe to harbour, come what may, 
be loved, her own (unknown)  
and so the spells attuning in the fields of Asphodel 
with the healing silence, 
in the dry nude mountain are in-placed. 

What a cinematic world this is. 
All is well, so I am told deep down.  
All, all manner of things is well 
and strong, and blossoming.

hallowe’en

And … even during the really difficult years, now past, she could laugh at Mum being such an old bat, and we could reach each other in this way:

… her threat to abandon her A Levels and become a Beautician in deepest Essex

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Here is Ramesh Balsekar with Gabriel Hafron.  They had honest conversations about suffering and  suicide.  Gabriel walked his dark night and – as far as I know – eats lotuses.  I love Ramesh’s pragmatic and passionate fondness for talking.

Gabriel and Ramesh

I recall the barely concealed jealous tension around the relaxed alert old man: the sniggers and impatience we could barely contain while Gabriel worked out his stuff.  The sheer mind-stuff in one’s teens and youth hurts.  It is a torment.  It tangles the web and hammers the knot.  Philosophers suffer atrociously from mercurial parasites and mental arguments – Gabriel was a philosopher with sharp streetwise chutzpah – a “nice” Jewish lad.  The public sage receives seekers who are ignorant of psychology and their own emotions and the basics and are desperate for a path.   For meeting after meeting, Gabriel begged Ramesh for relief;  and Ramesh explained to him with all the time in the world, and with intense compassion, no, he cannot help him.  He must walk himself.

I continue to feel fond of that little old man and his bright ways and blackbird gestures.  He was a retired Bank of India manager.  As I have been in his room, and dedicated my time there, I savour the background Mumbai street noises;  wailing barrow boys and baroque car horns; the wheezing crows and twittering sparrows;  and I think of him alone and snoozing in his chair after lunch with his dignified wife.  I see him walking to and fro on his roof in inquisitive harmony.  Living on the top floor – you can see the sea from there – he took his daily constitutional in the apartment.  I cherish the gentle grace of his greeting, white shirt, silken skin and impish smile.

Ramesh said to a German visitor, that when the ego wants to be enlightened, the ego wants to be God, and of course it cannot be, and thus the depression and “losing it”.

What a dodgy business to install the understanding in an unripe hyacinth!   Many a spring it takes, to flower and shrink back into the bulb underground;  for subconscious programming to accept an accelerated revelation.

Hyacinth – A Sivaic Poem

When the blue, proud Hyacinth dies, he falls 
slowly inward; flower fading crinkles 
first, and then his tips of tall green spears  
turning gold, begin to burn.



.
The bulb of his Self Light 
that hides, until a Spring to come 
in dark soil, is drinking him, 
all of him up, O Lord of Caves! 

Let his sapphire die back to earth   
and then, consumed
in your fire, spring forth! 
O Lord of the River, and of Caves.

1993

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November 1999 – Talking of a Walk-in

Here is John de Ruiter, whose early appearances in London were homeopathic and alchemical.   He seemed to be in love with wandering very slowly around in peoples’ black holes.  He puts his YOD – the attention – on the littlest bit, and just lets it, and waits.    He may have  touched the deep before speech,  releasing me from having to listen to any more sages.

John de Ruiter and his game

The people who spoke to John were little microphones.  Sometimes they were little mirrors.  The one on the right goes pop with enlightenment. The lightbulb on the left is  endarkenment.

In one of his meetings, I had a conversation with John, about a “walk-in” I’d experienced recently.

I said:  “John, I’d like to talk to you about being nobody who has nothing, and about tension.   Tension seems to build up whenever it limits or defines itself –  limitation is put around it – in any way.

“But something happened last month.  It was a dream.  There were footsteps coming.  There was no person in them, just the essence and the sound and the place of them on the gravelly ground.  They came from behind, walked right through me and pulled me towards a farm, a place of violent anger, revenge and fear, and I was terrified.  It was an electric current, a magnet.  I tried to stand still while it was going through me, but it had enormous strength.  At that point all of a moment, I thought of you.  I tried from side to side, to open, soften, let it pass through me like a wave through water – but it was too strong.  Then a Christian prayer came very powerfully, the Prayer of the Heart.  I woke from the magnetic field, shouting out loud, with that prayer.

“But there was still my enormous tension of resisting, wasn’t there.  It’s a razor edge thing of being, and yet being also the resistance.  Subsequently, I felt this current had moved away and left me.  But I had had to make myself HARD with all my might, to resist it.

John replied eventually: “It’ll be back. 

“As soon as you resisted it, for that energy, its response was, “That’s good enough.”  That’s what it wanted.  So next time it builds on what took place, and then the next time it builds on that, inside of you.

“The only way is to let yourself completely dissolve in the midst of that. There is then no threat which is taken to heart.  Nothing to protect. Then it’s not only you who is dissolving, but that energy that’s moving through you.  And that energy dissolves too.”

I said: “There is an energy used, “to not resist” – to “try not to resist.”

John: “This is the belief that you ought not to resist.  Such a belief you don’t need. Tender absence can live.  Your belief is something you’re doing.

“You would even be better off to resist and to be OK with resisting, than to try to “not resist” because you believe that you shouldn’t.  The second one makes more of a mess than the first.”

co dependent borderlines

Long pause

co-dependent fishes.  

[NB – Some other paintings in this series are in “For Z”, posted 25 August  –  see the Archive of all Posts].

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Jane: “I don’t know what sort of mess it made … because it left a feeling of openness …”

John: “To resist and be OK with it?  That’s the first one.  Even to put effort and trying into ‘not to resist’, because you believe you should put effort into not resisting – there can be an open-ness in that. The open-ness is wonderful. The effort creates the mess.

“Two things can be happening at the same time, and then there is a mixture of tightness and open-ness. The mixture is OK.  Stay with the part you’re in love with.  You don’t have to work with the other part.”  (24 November 1999)

This retrieval rings extraordinarily true for me.  It leads me to the way – in principle – Christ may have dealt with the dibbuks.

First:  while copying it out, I saw and felt John de Ruiter’s predisposition to bathe in these situations and their darkness, and be their elixir – the awareness.   He loved unconditionally the darkness, to be its slow unfolding light, from the deep depression which had rebirthed himself.   He held the tantra touch, the YOD.   He was indifferent to the huge meetings, the organization, the groupies, it all went on around him. He went to bed with some of it, and people were scandalized.  He was a forest man from the north;  a lumberjack.

(She closed her eyes and asked John to, also)

Secondly, the entity in my dream was “Mr V” whom I had met again, after many years.  Our rendez vous was the terrace outside Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath.  His approaching footsteps made the crunchy sound in the gravel; and we had a rather intense afternoon scrambling in and out of the woods and over fences.  Then they walked straight into my dream at night.  They tugged me towards an emotion – a farm nearby which was red with rage and gore .   I know now that if I had gone with them, my soul could have held a permissive bitterness, and I might be stuck and sick, seeking revenge.

I first knew Mr V when I was 20, and can only say about him now, that he was a gifted soul, but he was going into a downward spiral.  My long co-dependency with his dark side accelerated my awakening.  It re-opened my ancient doors he now shunned.  He was a catalyst in every way.  I saw the raw Karmic force, the way it whirls like a tornado.

I did this small painting (below), soon after my dream.  I amalgamated it with a 1970s dream from The Watershed, about a wounded, orphaned foal (also below).  I didn’t draw Mr V’s crunching footsteps through my space  – but I sketched the blood-red farm impression, the psychic “rage, revenge and fear” which I tried to resist by standing still and letting it go through me.

Foal farm holocaust

This is the story from “The Watershed” – The Foal.

Dreams No.124  June 1975

THE FOAL is crying,  we wish to discover how the larger animal died,  so we are leading the helpless foal through the broken out-houses, that it may sense and tell us.  The foal screamed and held back, native terror of its dead kin.   But we were too strong for it.   I carried it in my arms.   It lay numb and resigned with terror.   There was a splash of red on the floor,  blood going sticky.   I pleaded the foal’s case with the others,  I said Let’s spare the foal, it’s not right to force him into this fear.   We’ve seen the blood, we can find the rest for ourselves.   Please, we mustn’t do this to the little animal, the baby,  we will scar him for life.   So I took the baby back into the yard to wash and clean him again,  he was covered in thick mud again,  thick wet mud like a baby found in a bombsite,  and I was cleaning it off with water.   He was a human baby.   I was to clean him at a sort of trough.

The yard was derelict and full of rubbish,  thrown-out relics of demolished houses,  plaster and refuse.

The creature who had died, who had taken its own life, left imprints of itself,  its face,  in silver foil which was lying around.   It had been playing before it died,  it was non-terrestrial,  it came from some other place in the universe.  It left big graceful sculptures on the ground in thick wire and scrap iron tubing.   They would not live long because they were an alien implantation and they could not survive here,  they could not be seen.

They were ungainly structures standing on two or three legs with a kind of conscious expression above, like a child’s drawing.   They were very simply made and ephemeral because …  heaven knows what would happen to them,  they might get thrown away in ignorance with the rest of the rubbish.

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My job here is to touch on essences, not the pressure of autobiography in the tyre.  The Karmic narrative condensed within that dream, took many years yet to walk through itself, and realise the  “water under the bridge”.  I can look back on it now, and recognise the essences.  They release me deeply, acknowledging past-life hints and flavours:  apprenticeship to a medical magus in Elizabethan London, whose boundless curiosity raised and angered the dead.  In those days, cadavers were useful not only to Renaissance painters.  The esoteric Renaissance was rooted in compost – the fertile nitrates of medieval plague.  The penalty is the pain I took on, in this lifetime, together with an abortion at age 17 in my Victorian life.   These issues working through consciousness, are in the domain of “the Divine Regulator”.

My dark night revisits the pit, the walk-in or mood, to share with you my way through.   The daughters of Solomon are dark but comely.  Beauty walks with the beast.   I am astonished how, in the walk-in story, when I called on Christ with the Jesus prayer, I was released.  After twenty centuries of abuse, Jesus’s Name still has power to overturn the tables.  In any healing circumstance, His is the homeopathic power –  his Father’s, with Mother Earth.

In that episode and others, I suffered first the NEGATIVE force/fate, for it highlights the power of That which overcomes it.  They are one and the same wave crest.

The principle applies to everything we suffer, individually and collectively.  The Overcomer isn’t as dramatic and colourful as the negative fate, which is hard like gristle.  The Overcomer only pervades it, unnoticed like gravity, and brings me through to let it go.  The negative fate has its entire worldview, prediction and science.  All that is cast away – a heap of old clothes by the road.  (Even now, a symbolic Samaritan paradox:  the parables are multi-dimensioned.)   The sun came out.  Sometimes when the Sun comes out it is blinding brilliant like the road to Damascus.  But usually it just makes me take off that coat.

In my previous post, Listening with the Oracle, the Egyptian priestess in “Self Preservation” gazes at the whirling winds, the tornado before the sun comes out.  My efforts are considerable, but imaginary.   Who Ray!

Life is a landscape, a veil on the rock: the rock is the Face, the underlying geology.  It changes like clouds, because we are human and have lived a long time.  It rings the changes and comes around like the stars.

sun path

What is my Guru?  Guru means dispeller of darkness.  Let all obscurity fly from thee.  The Guru may be a person, but is really an interior climate.  When I think Guru and look inward, I find the seed of love in all its forms.  Love has the face of my beloved, and of others; but they are all incidental. They are boats on the wave.  With love comes patience.  The Guru is essentially, relationship – the give and take which is patience.

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 The Guru of Everything in Life

A footnote:  Gareth Knight describes in his superb biography of Dion Fortune, her first great astral battle with the college headmistress, who bashed her for four long hours with:  “You are incompetent and you know it.  You have no self confidence, and you’ve got to admit it.”

This mantra is the exact inverse of the strong occult leader she was to be.  The disabling hypnosis flagged up the opposite, like a colour complementary in the dark.  The girl broke down for months, but would rise to the initiatory test.   Competence and self confidence are the achilles heel and hallmark of creative artists, great mediums, and leaders alike.

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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.

Listening with the Oracle

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Some of my journal from a week ago has been sitting in the pipeline.  Upon these images and impressions were “floated” my recent posts on Karma, Kundalini Shakti and the Tree.

Woman by the Sea 1987 –  drawn with my eyes closed

What is Oracle?

The oracle is a quirky thing.  It is a way – an ear to the ground for footsteps or the pulse of things.  The same root becomes orator and orifice.  “Ora” means “now”, in Italian, and also Or is gold, and the ore of metals:  the aura of the dawn:  the oral tradition.

An amphitheatre is shaped like an ear in the ground.  The oracle speaks at Delphi – where a peculiar configuration of the rock and waterflow condenses human receptivity.  The oracle is also a coracle – a little Celtic boat shaped like a nutshell.

Firstly we learn to perceive the omens – affirmations and resonances which pattern human affairs.

It takes a long practice to become reliably “oracular”.   It is clouded by anticipation, hope, fear and superstitious tension.  To some extent we need to undo our education.   It is clarified by human whole response, moving with nature.  The Australian aborigines’ “Dream Time” perspective and way of life is a seamless oracle with the landscape.

For the oracle we use formally, Tarot cards, I Ching, astrology, scrying and countless other devices.   We use whatever forms for us, an adequate lens.  Leaves on the ground would serve, if we give them that meditative focus.  The key to the oracle is a moment’s concentration:  peace.  To that concentration, the universe mysteriously responds, with picture language, the language of the subconscious;  and things are revealed which only ourselves can privately know.   It is the psychic law of gravity.

You-night:  from Owl-Fox shaman series 1986

The little fox comes through the long grass, near magic mushrooms;  and a distant owl is in the tree.  This is an oracular painting, because I let it lead me.  I had a dream that the owl, my familiar, came and stood on my shoulder.   Our profile is along the borderlands.

I use the oracle as and when moved:  usually for a reflection on what is going on.   As the waters become still for a moment, I look.   It is like the trees by a pond, as ripples which broke up the surface, fade.   Actually the oracle never ends.   If I ask it specific questions, it may give me answers to others.  I use the Tarot and the I Ching, as and when moved.    My daily writing is my invocation and my divining rod.  It leads me where I didn’t know I should go.  It digs the earth, finds the well, and raises the spirit level.

Mischief can easily enter the oracle.  Alliance with a tried and trusted teaching, such as the Tree of Life helps to guard the truth.  Above all, we develop our ability to discriminate the Maggid (inner plane teacher) from the Flatterer or Tyrant.  The hallmark is:  the “inner plane” does not opinionate or give orders.  It shows cosmic and ethical principles, and in the light of these, our own decision ripens.

Ebony shakti, siva, elephants

Journal 12 October 2012 – After Acu-pins

It is truly very marvellous to know human beings:  the individual treasury to savour.

I’ve been dipping in Nothing Ever Happened – and do you know?   Wonderful as that view is, and Poonja’s great stature and humanity, and him with Mira … it is to me, quite flimsy.  Now you’ve got it, now you haven’t, listen to the teacher and keep quiet, there is no thing, be happy …  it is very Indian, but cancelling out the Vedas and all their intuition of Nature.   It is OK for a time of rest.   Poonja had power of presence and siddhis and laughter.   People wanted relief from their Stuff.

Wood lamp

The teachers’ personality and presence is fascinating at all levels.

But my devotion doesn’t go there!  All that enlightenment is a carnival.  It is not reliable, without a sound working grasp of the way the mind and the imagination work.   Voluntary de-nutrition is not the way either.   All the paths come to the same Thing, unthinged as the sea, whatever the texture and weave.   How deep does it go? Self realization in the cave of the heart, assists the whole humanity in a way transcending any teaching or banners.  At one time I tried to give up diary keeping, so as to toe the advaita line.   No way!   Ramesh Balsekar put me right.  He said enjoy and honour what you are.

 Light crossing the brook at Buckland Filleigh

I am guided by the Shakti, an elder feminine discarnate, and at this moment, the current is running in tune to her sharpness, my projection onto her.   The woman births what the man built up over the years.   The flavour of attunement has soft needles, for I went and had acupuncture yesterday.  It prickles and yet it is a white flowing cloud, a magnetic fluid.   It is the reality of my Sun mandala.

The sharpness is the way the Maggidim perceive.  It is within and under their eyelids, like the core of the rose.  The rose is a profoundly female organ, flag of desire, invitation.   The pattern under her is both disbanding and integrative – (see dakini oracle pictures, below).  She is a spider, yet she does not devour, she takes the dark staff and heals;  that is her DNA.

What may I call you?  Rosa? Maria Rosa?

Jupiter and Rosa

My history of Rosa is that she – I – was a moon of Jupiter Zeus, and he sent great charges of gravitational shift through my orbit, like lightning bolts.  Thus were my initiations, and the acupuncture reminds me of them.  I had a series of Watershed dreams during the 1970s;  the initiations discharged their shock during them.   I did a crash course of catching up.

sun wood yantra

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 I use the Secret Dakini Oracle (by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger) for reflection.  These 64 cards are a collage of Tantric and Tibetan deities – wrathful and joyous – with modern western archetypes.  

When I ask it a question, it gives me picture-poems like Lyra’s alethiometer in His Dark Materials.  Usually I lay out just the top cards of three piles, the present moment, centre, with its past and its future.  This time, I also laid them out as “JHVH” – with the three cards which underlie each one.

Present moment:  “Rose Garden“, with “Cutting Loose“, “Ganesh (in spider web, Lord of obstacles)” and “Mercury/Caduceus“.

and past …

…  and future



The past is “Recall“.  With it are “Last Laugh“, “Fuschia/As Above so Below” and “The Wish fulfilling Gem“, which corresponds to the Lovers.  (You can see these better if you click on them.)

The future is “Self preservation“.  With it are “Centering the Present“, “Solar Return” and “Joker” (Fool).

In “Recall“, big sea shells in the sky hear the sea and sands.  “The Rose garden” has pure perfume shells like kisses.   The Egyptian was an ancient priestess in the winds of time.  I feel with her, the stars, anterior to swirling sands … and how they become dutiful bubbles  and subconscious blots – the dreams and forgettings, the lifetimes of being human through millennia to come.

The cards under her are symbols of the Sun Mandala, dark and light.  “Sri Chakra” is the ultimate Yantra.  In the Secret Dakini Oracle, it is called “Centering – the Present“.  “Solar Return  is a new moon sun-eclipse:  poems of eclipse and confrontation;  enquiry into roots;  dark night of the soul:  astrology.   The “Joker/Fool wears a solar swastika mandala, rosebud in paper hat, little world – doesn’t god play dice?

Are they dancers?  or pillars?  Wood like stone and elephants

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The oracle – the underbeing:  the tempo slows down and comes in with the tide

“We say you have your threads together now, and so you spin them out, concentrically.  Speaking to you in this element while you are here, and hear, we instruct.  Mandala, chakra, web, the fuscia and the gem;  cut loose, lay down the axe and smile.”

Woman entering the sea ’87

“Recognise that this strata has nothing to do with life-form thoughts and troubles.  It transcends and antecedes them.  It has its own tempo.” 

“Each oracle lets go baggage – 49, 64 and 0.   Let out the reservoir.  The reservoir was a meridian behind a closed door.  The door is open.  The reservoir flows out in a controlled way.  We are its handlers where she goes.”  

“There is no more to dictate from this level;  it is all stored.  Lean back into here, rest and be silent.   Trust me.   I rain and I shine.   I AM my way of writing you.”   

“As the reservoir flows out, the acupuncture pings:  your dolmens and dancing dragons.”

wood lamp pings

“There is a conversation between practitioner and client, which doesn’t need speech.  He can see and she can feel the dolmens.   So it is with us.”

brook by Henlys Corner:  snake water stone

“Your silence is my speech.  I am the goddess of your being;  the daughter of the Himalaya and of the stars.  I am Parvati and Isis and Annapurna.  I make you a dancer, a temple dancer slender, curvy and supple.   I recommend you dance, to clear your weight off the front.  I am your commonsense.  I am the knowledge of your body and her renewal.  I am X X criss cross.   I am the crossing over of the rivers of Time.   I am ALL WAYS the centre of the Flower.  I flow the centre of the flower.   Follow.  Following.”

“Transmission is absolutely continuous to and in itself; register the blips and pin points.”

Young tree of life upon the old

 Midwinter dancing with Pan ’87/88

I am that I am.

I put on Dead can Dance, and danced with and as the She.  So now the nadis sing in the back of my head.  The Ancient World is a worship like the storm in a tree.

Recall those nadis, amrita, sushumna, and shankini.   They are dancers.

3 nadis dancing with Pan 1989

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She dancing with Pan ’89

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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 Seven Year Cycles on the Tree of Life

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Extracts from “Manishya – on Being Human”  by Jane Adams and Paul Taylor, published in 2010 privately.  This includes some thoughts on Kundalini Shakti.

Yoga in the Eastern traditions, and Kabbalah in our Western traditions, help us to realise our human potential to unite our physical and spiritual being.  Yoga means in Sanskrit “to join, to bridge” or Union.  Kabbalah in Aramaic is “to receive“.  Through Kabbalah – the Tree of Life – we learn about the creation of our soul and its descent through the Four Worlds towards our parents making love.  This gives us an understanding of why we incarnate to those parents;  and the unfolding of the father’s seed in the womb of the mother, on the line of the spine.  The way this happens colours all our life and responses.  So we discover the nature of the mind and our creative destiny;  the pattern of our ancestral genetic conditioning.  We intuit the primal force behind our sexuality, the human relationship to the elementals and life on earth.

Having made this descent through the pathways of the Tree, we discover the return  journey to our Source, through the body, personality and soul. We learn through the seven-year-cycles.

In our first seven years (under Aries – birth and initiation) – we are energetically attached to mother.  In the second, (7 – 14)  identifying more with father and the external world, we go out to learn and to imitate.  We begin to establish our ego base (Taurus), relating to our own peer group.

The third cycle (age 14 – 21) awakens puberty and discovery of our sexual urges.  We twin, as in Gemini – I love you, do you love me?  Through adolescent initiation, the mood swings dark and light –  the labyrinth, as we encounter our extremes.   And we upset the applecart and leave home.

During the fourth and Cancerian cycle (age 21 – 28) through rebellion and personality growth, we seek a home of our own.  We try to navigate the split between our conditioned self (Yesod) and our true Self (Tifareth):  the “I” and the “Am”.

At the end of this cycle, with the Saturn return at 28 years, our unconscious patterns come to a head.  There is some constructive movement and evaluation towards being who we really are.  This tends to be a decisive time;  and many of us settle into a marriage, a profession, or some formative crisis.

The fifth seven year cycle (28 – 35, Leo) develops our qualifications, adult authority and responsibility – the learning curve of authority with, not over others.  This matures us from the co-dependent lion-cub towards interdependent adult relationships.

The sixth cycle (age 35 – 42, Virgo) is about our life’s operation.  What am I really meant to be doing here?  Am I to be pushed around by fate, or to discover my destiny?  This period covers our Uranus Opposition.  Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the Sun, and as we near 40, he is half way round.  Our creative and physical powers blossom.  At their peak, we seize or lose our vocation.  For some of us, these very powerful feelings generate another 7 year itch.   The boat rocks – we learn to navigate our own Atlantic.

Age 42 -49 (Libra), we seek a greater sense of balance and awareness of Karma – life’s cause and effect.  By age 49 – the midlife crisis – we are vulnerable again.  Women start to develop more testosterone, the male hormone, and men more oestrogen, the female hormone.  Each cycle brings up what we still need to know about life.  Like it or not, we all go through this sexually challenging process:  being human.

49 – 56 (Scorpio) is as powerful as puberty.  A parent may die and we start to become aware of mortality:  sex, death and transformation.  Some unavoidable and crucial issue, may tip us into the deep end, as this period covers the Cheiron Return in our life cycle – Cheiron the wounded healer.   Many hard working persons face redundancy.   Growth is inward.

56 – 63 (Sagittarius) At 56, our second Saturn Return begins to take shape.  Wisdom and understanding expand into awareness of our physical limitations.  We have a human priority to conserve our energy – to simplify and unburden.  In this ninth cycle governed by Sagittarius, we need to perceive our life holistically.  We gather the threads together,  examine our physical security and prepare for old age.  The doors open for some souls to travel forth, as the family have grown up or left home.  If we are awake, we put into practice our philosophy of life.

63 – 70 (Capricorn) is like a new birth.  We re-evaluate and sum up our life’s experiences.  With some of our edges eroded by the Sculptor, we become better managers.   Perhaps we are grandparents and rediscovering youth.

70 – 77 (Aquarius)  – As physical vitality begins to decline,  a need for human fellowship expands: to further our wisdom and understanding.

77 – 84 (Pisces) – where will I put my head down to die?   How do I complete my journey of return?

Continuing through these cycles, illness may make our learning curve more problematic, if we resist it;  or we may roll with it and gain brownie points.  In some cultures, 84 years old when the twelfth cycle culminates, is seen as a “complete life”.  Additional years are “icing on the ‘ache”.

Jacobs Ladder – Four Worlds in nature

Kabbalah teaches that we are a reflection of the Universe; a form and structure for our lives which resonates through background, culture, creed or gender.  We have a choice:  to remain outside our humanity, as a conditioned shell alienated by past religious persecutions and repressions;  or to embrace our innate potential as we develop our odyssey in consciousness, truth and love.

The living Kabbalah is not theory, and only pointers are to be found in books.  It walks forth in practice and by word of mouth:  keep practicing.

So we continue to: “Part the waves … Kiss the lips … Turn the wheel … Place fingers on the numbers of the clock … Enter the cave … Find the jewel … Climb the mountain … Through the rainbow.  Be happy, do service and die consciously.”  

The Tifareth eight-fold path

The bridging of Yoga and Kabbalah traditions is a work of unification.  It integrates a structured spiritual journey.  To enquire into essence, follow the conscious breath.  We are children of the Holy One, and the caste is Manishya – being human.

May the Star of David, the Cross of Christ and the Crescent of Islam combine and merge in peace, the One Great Circle:  the point, the primordial Sound.

"And the children in the apple tree   
not known, because not looked for   
but heard, half heard, in the stillness   
between two waves of the sea. 
Quick now: here, now, always -   
a condition of complete simplicity    
(costing not less than everything) 
and all shall be well and   
all manner of things shall be well   
when the tongues of flame are in-folded   
into the crowned knot of fire   
and the Rose and the Fire are one."

T.S.Eliot

apple pentacle

A wild rose has five petals – nature’s five point Star.  An apple has 10 pips, five in each half.  The rose … apple … desire Eve … symbolise the quintessence of human desire in the Tree.  Our feet, hands and head are the five points of a Vitruvian Star:  Yeshua – JAH LIBERATES:  the five fold sensory field – sound, touch, sight, smell, taste.  The cosmic Law liberates when it is embodied.  The lightning flash must reach earth.

The rose is cultivated by humankind to grow multiples of five on five, furled, opening and perfumed – the flower of Venus.  This diagram from Keith Critchlow’s new book The Hidden Geometry of Flowers shows “the continuous linear diagram of the relationship between earth and the planet Venus.  How could one not see a flower in this time diagram?”

On the geo-physical plane, the planet Venus appears to our measurement, unbearably hot and dense. Her high frequency is one which our biosphere spectrum cannot tolerate.  However, on the plane of archetypes, Venus is something quite other; the magnetic correspondence of our emotional life.

Consider eros, rose, the rosy cross of everything which happens in life:  the crux.  Like is treating like!  The rose is the heart of human desire and personal love.  Locate the rose where we feel the thorns!  Within every energy level, touch the rose, smell and know it well.  From this we grow our Tree.

A Rosy Cross to Bear 

Meeting life is a rose. 
Do not, in pleasure or pain, close the door.  
Enter the petal'd vortex of 
each motive, every tear 
through rosy scent to liberate. 

The canvas stretched upon my frame 
with each event recalls 
my rose to meet: 
so walk into this world of mine 
right through the mind. 

If I some doors close, and others open, 
I drift, I err in the bas-relief 
that separates day and night - the habit  
of pain, of time and of 
avoidance.   

If I entering each event, 
smell its rose, 
the voyage into vibrant void is space. 
My widening concentric ripple floats.  

Every sound, each atom of the house   
is garlanded.  
My fury is the key to enter a rose:  
visitor invited in. 

Petals bloom and die: my eye  
in the field opens, 
and deep in flower ere  
the flower began, I 
the bride in lotus space undress.  

Thou shalt separate  
from the sensual, the radiant,   
gently and with wisdom.  

Thou shalt let its essence soar  
into heaven's heart   
then re-enter the earthy art.   

Then thou shalt have the power 
above as below   
in root potency of things.

A poem from my book The Masters’ Eye 1992-2010

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A Madonna from my early childhood …

… after Botticelli, 1956

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A Note on Alchemy and Kundalini shakti

Alchemy is western Yoga:  the crucible is the breath.  Yoga is “Union”.

Alchemy applies steady warmth and air, like a pan on a low heat, or a hen’s breast brooding her eggs.  When the ocean tide – the breath –  is clear and quiet, we see and dive for gold:  khumbaka.

Water sinks into the earth; a flame combusts with air and rises.  The prana Fire triangle rising through the apana Water triangle receives – like a lens – the Lotus (Kether, crown) into Tifareth, the heart.

The OM figure in this drawing has a small eye, under the uraeus serpent head.  The eye is in the shape of a D for Daat.  Daat in the Tree of Life is the Sefira of “unknown cognition”.  This factor is our Union with all life.   The little arrows indicate a conscious breath to link third-eye and heart (Tifareth), in Paul Taylor’s practice.

See also “Parvati Waters Trees“, below – her posture.

The Kundalini Shakti coiled in the earth rises up through the personal reservoir, picking up vital energy, but she doesn’t draw water from it.  If we used only the reservoir which is collected in our Yesod sphere, it would put out the secret fire and be depleted.  The serpent glides up through the Water of Life, to awaken as fire through the alchemists’ bellows, the breath.   In the solar plexus furnace, she separates from the water and penetrates the heart, alchemical fire with air.  The Great Work in essence sustains the Divine thread.

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An Afterthought

Last week I woke from a dream, that I was trying to resolve a subtle equation of Venus and Mars.  It surfaced visually with this picture in the Sacred India Tarot Minor Arcana, of Parvati saluting Siva’s Messenger  …

Together with a poem “to the Veena”, it all made sense, and rapidly faded. Mars bowing to Venus, needed her to do the same, to balance the scales.  It was quite witty.

It fits well enough into today’s post.  Siva’s countenance in the background encircles eternally the action.  Siva is auspiciously formless:  only the forms are worshipped.

Kundalini Shakti awakes to  Purusha the Moveless One, and rises.  To these rare moments of recognition, outflow the offerings of our life.   Some enter a vocation:  others  hear their destiny in a private way.   Throughout nature, the roles of mars and venus are relative.   Whatever the gift bestowed, the receiver is  “feminine” to the giver, Yin to the prevailing Yang, like water to reflect the Sun.  This applies in principle, to the lightning-flash up and down the Tree of Life.  “Above” is feminine to the ascending power of the “Below”, and vice versa.  The opposites in full expression, are interdependent.

As our endochrynes grow older, we  comprehend a little more, our opposites.    The Daughter of the Mountain watering trees as she waits for Siva, is in her “posture of prayer.”   Ignatius Loyola said “Put yourself in the posture of prayer, and you will soon feel like praying.”   The same applies to imaging what we desire our life to be.

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Parvati waters Trees:  from The Sacred India Tarot, suit of Lotuses.  This and the 2 of Lotuses above, are copyright 2011 Sacred India Tarot by Rohit Arya & Jane Adams, Yogi Impressions Books, Mumbai 

How can I resist at this point  – my little daughter in the garden?

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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 Miasms, Karma & Homeopathic Healing

The Fool in the flower

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In my view, homeopathy is a philosophy, inseparable from a working knowledge of Karma:  the Law of cyclic action and return.   This Law works through the seasons, the centuries and our daily selves.

To understand homeopathy, we need to think outside the box of tick tock time and into Kairos, depth.  The homeopathic principle is a mandala, All-Present.

In the “sixth sense” of his healing ministry, Jesus struck at the root of the miasms in his day.  Homeopathic practitioners recognize these as conditions we inherit and build up by subconscious resonance.  The law of action and rebound prevails through generations and through incarnations, and often baffles modern medics.  A symptom may reflect in a polar-opposite way, a hidden previous life in the collective memory, which cannot be accounted for in the present one.  Equally, an unexplained self-healing may occur from that source;  or even from a green fig’s future ripeness.

The Principles and Art of Cure by Homeopathy” by Herbert A Roberts, lists at least six principle miasms in our society:

psora – desire to live. Conditions such as psoriasis, overheated blood, adrenal rush and imbalance. This includes the opposite: inertia, depression, fatigue.

syphilitic – self destruct, around love, and destroying the capacity to love oneself. Addiction, boils, eruptions, eczema, bone degeneration.

psychosis/gonorrheal – split between head and heart, or I-ness and Am-ness: loggerheads, manias, mood swings.

tubercular – mother cow, milk, respiratory problems. Sacred cows and superstition.  The relationship to our own mothers, the maternal principle and earth.

carcinoma – Alienation from the natural environment, and from parts of ourselves. Vulnerable to ancestral and system imbalances and their bankruptcy. In allopathic cancer treatment, one virus is set to combat the other virus: a mere exchange of hostilities.

immune deficiency – AIDS, ME.  The planet ecology is compromised, which afflicts ourselves. Alienation from the natural order weakens the strain, and so does “genetic engineering” in the plant and animal kingdom.

Deliverance:   JHShVH – “Jah Liberates”

When a schizophrenic splits apart, the aura opens for another energy to enter it.

When Jesus was at work in Galilee, the schizophrenia miasm was all over the place; but he as the Son of Man was more so. When he said “offer the other cheek” he taught a spiritual judo or martial art –  let the miasm cast itself out by destabilizing it, as you – the personal ego – step aside.  The power of the Logos “throws” an opponent over your shoulder through space and into perdition.  The Name vibrated enough authority for his disciples to do the same.   Extreme psychoses of the schizophrenia miasm – possessions, walk-ins, dibbuks and hysterias –  were rampant in those times, as in ours – our fascination with sociopathic horror and the supernatural. Down the centuries, the Church as it gained power and wealth, did all it could to burn out and suppress them; the same dibbuks re-surface to this day, in more materialistic forms.  Repression and cruelty fed them.

The homeopathic principle abides. We cannot “medicate” an invading force in any way reliably. But with the greater power which is Consciousness, we can turn to face its nature as it afflicts ourselves.  It is like turning to face the wind.  In the same manner, Jesus allowed the dibbuk to blow straight through him and out.  The confrontation – in any difficult and painful detail of life – is aware.  It changes the particles.  The healer stands near, to hear.  When we are by ourselves, and need inner strength, it is like standingunder the waterfall.

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It is my observation – as I am not a practitioner – that the broad homeopathic principle runs through other forms of healing – Tao, ayurveda, acupuncture, dream-work, black box telepathy, counselling, ad infinitum.

Homeopathic healing comes under Solomon’s six petalled lily.  “Similia similibus curantur” – by establishing an astral contact between the sufferer and the remedy, homeopathy treats a symptom with a dose of “what it is like“;  for as above so below, the ascending and descending triangles reflect each other.

Our life’s molecular chemistry forms binaries and compounds – the notion of separateness. Atomic particles on the other hand, are “of the One”. They develop individual character when they clump by number into molecules. On the extended Tree of Life in Kabbalah practice, the atoms are Beriah (Creation) and the molecules are Yetzirah, entering forms. 

For more information on the Four Worlds of Jacobs Ladder, see Halevi, Kabbalahsociety.

Homeopathy dilutes a poison until it is more “atomic” than “molecular”.  From subatomic Oneness, the same poison becomes a remedy, whose pure potency drives out its own symptom in the physical world.  Homeopathy addresses “the invisibles`’ and treats beyond the surface … the Face before we were born.

As in all forms of healing – including allopathic – the process is two-way.  It works through a bond of trust between practitioner and patient, established subconsciously, and calling on the cosmic Will-to-good.  All healers pick up the voltage of the Father or the Mother – a higher “divine” frequency.  Jesus’s ministry amplified and earthed it:   “Not I but my Father speaks through me.  Go in peace, your faith has healed you.”

These words when I stop with them, are extraordinarily beautiful.  They ring out here and now, as they did 2,000 years ago.  A healer/therapist worth her salt, learns to discard the delusion that he or she is the doer.

polarity staff

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The miasms are living installations in our general landscape.  Holistic and conventional medicine each have strengths and limitations.  They work best together by mutual referral, according to the case.  Naturopathy and holistic medicine cannot perform surgery or cure a toothache, but it goes to the root, and can take a long time.  Allopathic medicine and psychotherapy can successfully alleviate symptoms and establish a more hygienic life style, but do not reach the underlying causes for un-named grief and fear in the human race.

This drawing is titled “Baruch & Balthamos” after the angels in “His Dark Materials”, but is a copy from Botticelli’s painting of Christ being taken down from the Cross.

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We each hold humanity’s entire history in our DNA, and may be susceptible to one or more of these collective conditions.  The miasm underlies a host of symptoms and states – physical and psychological – of fatigue, unease and deprivation.

The contemporary AIDS miasm is immune deficiency.   Not only ourselves individually, but the planet as a whole suffers a current decline of the immune shield.  The holes that open in our “firewall” emphasize an increased vulnerability to anxieties and cancers of all kinds, and to illnesses relating to addiction.  Cancers seem to thrive on a “voltage overload” between our subtle and  physical sheaths – an input/output imbalance. Where neural transmission is poorly regulated through the energy field, an over-compensation or excess may build up:  a culture for toxic dictatorship, as in the political sphere.  It is no different from the economy and the banks.  In the biosphere, our interaction with environment is under affliction;  a collective anxiety and lack of strength.  Each nation as a body suffers its own disability to regulate the  economy concertedly.

At the same time, the condition is generational, part of an evolutionary curve.  As seed to the ground, and chrysalis to butterfly, It is inevitable that for new growth to occur, older systems and their worldview break down.  The new cannot be predicated from within the old ways of thinking.  The homeopathic quantum is minute, being of the other dimension.  As Consciousness, the tiniest portion is equal to the sum of the mass.

Madre de dios ’03

Reflecting on:  “What am I here to heal, in myself?   What have I taken on?”   throws light on afflictions, emotional and physical, which otherwise make no sense, and helps to clear them.   The miasms – the Karmas coming forth, collectively or individually – have one agenda:  to become conscious, and find release.   All the demons in the Yoga Vasishta ultimately become Divine.  As Ramana Maharshi used to say:  “It is its nature to come up.”  So long as a condition or dis-ease remains unconscious, its pressure will recycle through the generations.

Karma means “action” – and action upon reaction.  Each one of us has the capacity to act – to become more conscious and to hear ourselves, as we would a troubled friend.  It is helpful to identify “where it hurts” close to home.  Otherwise, we are magnetized to events “out there” which we have no power to alter, which deplete us; and avoid relationship.

Avoiding relationship?” is a question Baba Free John used to ask himself, and it is a good one.

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The following extracts are from my essay – “What is Karma?”.  Broad principles pictured, can alter the mindset of a problem:  the idea of gaining altitude.   Our subconscious is stubborn against the wordy faith, but responds to images.

 

 Child mother ’03

What is Karma?  Why do we have acute pains of life?

The literal translation of Karma is “action”.  Karma, the law of cause and effect, seeks equilibrium.  We observe it throughout nature, in the weathers and elements, as well as experientially.  To gain some insight, we need altitude.  From inside the corner grocer shop, or The Vic in East Enders, I cannot see the city.  As I rise higher, the street plan, the river, the Dome and a host of interconnected neighbourhoods come into perspective.  Perceiving my life’s thread within that overview, I receive and hear likewise a brother or sister’s enigma, even a nation.  Compassion encompasses our myrad lifetimes.  It does not react from, attach to, or try to “fix it” until it has received sufficient information.

This takes time, as a fruit will ripen in due season.  It takes time and space to truly love ourselves.  To love another, gives space to allow them to be who they are.  To love unconditionally is to receive his or her humanity fully – but with clarity, not as a doormat.  “Keep practicing”.  “Let go, let God.”  Let the wheel turn unobstructedly.

Karma is the eco-system of the human psyche.  It interlaces our soul Laws and social structure, like the web of root systems and nitrates throughout the biosphere.  Collective racial Karmas have a distinct character, like a rock, a vineyard, or a wood of tall beech stems and connecting fibres.  Tribal, ancestral and creative Karmas arise, settle, change and decay:  as do Karmas of the workplace, of families working out patterns of abuse, and of towns.  From an airplane we see the pattern of fields and cities move slowly past, and apprehend the actual stress of landing into life.

Mother & Child 1985

Karma is a force seeking consciousness.  It has an urgency to transform – it is blind and tries to see.  It repeats until a tendency is recognized, regenerated and freed.  That means not acting from it, but  “taking responsibility” for the way it feels – especially in our given relationships.  The force of Karma moves through human rivers as the current, eroding the banks and creating whirlpools, rapids and still waters.  The Tree of Life is just one of various working tools to reclaim the unconscious swamp, and heal the root miasms.  It is for us, a universal challenge to inherit human awareness – “I am receiving the full dose of being abandoned or rejected or hurt, which I gave” – and to grow up:  to forgive, and be forgiven.

Though we do not reincarnate as the same individual, the soul Law propels the recycling of a memory into renewed forms of expression.

The Theosophists’ theory of the human root races is based on the same general principle.  A new “root race” is established in the decaying of the old.  We can observe the evolutionary process anywhere in nature.   The tree each spring puts out the same leaf, but different ones.

Yeshua ben Miriam

Collective and personal Karmas are a multidimensional web of cross-currents.  Karma is an unbounded watery surface moved by the wind;  the warp and weft from every direction.  Some actions generate lifetimes of harmony;  other wave-trains recreate havoc.  The chaos seems eternal – thus the punitive old doctrines of Hell – but is temporal, a matter of voluntary adjustment from within.  The key to Karma is transformation;  for no act of cruelty can stand, if understood.

The woman mourning ’03

As we are pulled through aeons of fire, rock and ice, the divine atoms of our human birth awaken in the plane of Middle-Earth.  Our evolution is in the marrow of our bones, and easily eludes analysis.  There is a word for our entirety:  ruach – the Divine breath, breathing us, en sof, without end.

From Manishya – on Being Human (2010) by J.Adams and P.Taylor

The Sun through water and fire:  Photos of fish and volcanic landscape from pinknpurplelizard.com, article.wn.com & pocketburgers.com

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Ibn Gabirol of Malaga – 11th century Kabbalist sage and poet

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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.

Self enquiry and Shadows

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The Fool & the Lamb write a book

I am trying to … investigate life, the lines, the tales, the untold, the features, the honesty … without emotional investment or subterfuge  … as I guess a good novelist would.

Recollection is impossible in the sun-umbrella of another person’s flavour, or a strong surge of my own.   At such a moment, my mind truly cannot hold more than one impression.  What am I being shown?

Ramana’s raised eyebrow at the root of it, is way beyond and anterior to the modern advaita rattle.  Honesty flows with Ramana and his strange life.  The Teaching is a prattle.

Why do I like my cher ami (who doesn’t do “spiritual stuff”, and doesn’t read my blog – not one word!) – why the vitality there? Because he is an HONEST MAN, irritating as that can be.  He sees through everything.  He gets carried away by his own silly plans – but faces and endures the consequence, and that is the honesty.  I love him because he is honest.   Wow.   That is a gem.  This feeling when I’m out beyond the waves and swimming the deep sea – exhilarates.  Thought stops.  Reality shines.

Active “Spirituality” is the attempt to see through my own dishonesty.  For a long while, the noble effort pushes up a bow wave of exactly what I am trying to row through.  Ha ha!

fuzz tries to catch shadow.  Ramana used to tell this story.

Krishnamurti also urged, to just remove the jacket.  He never could escape from being Indian: his culture.  Once upon a time, the wind and the sun competed furiously, to take away a man’s jacket.  The wind blew and blew and blew, and the man wrapped his jacket ever more tightly round him until the wind ran out of puff.  Then the sun came out and shone and shone, and the man took it off.

Arrive then, at an updated form of Self-enquiry?  The vichara transcends any doctrine, and is applicable to all.  Recognising that I hold mentally/emotionally at any one moment, my full flavour or another person’s … pause, to get a hold on the rich imaging and components. Each is a door to perception.  It is even paper thin!  Hermetic clarity … how Sod sees Yod-yesod.

The who-am-I mantra is not much use, if used as a tin rattle.  But unspeeched perception, engaging my attention and sensory field, begins to “part the waves” as the Lovers’ Sword does.  It un-muddies the waters to what is clod and what is fluent.   I begin to see the drifting continents, unsouped, unsewaged.  Tempo changes.  Discriminate the subtle from the gross.  Self-enquiry is a way of viewing plankton, the floating piscean populations.  Keep confidence, that I learn to truly see, and am less hoodwinked by my handicaps.   In the thick of life, how can there not be handicaps?  Who plays golf without one?  Charismatic persons play God because they cannot see their handicap, the sun is too bright.

..taking off shadows?

The wisdom of the NOW is beleaguered and betrayed by what I ought to do or say later.  The NOW is an edge of the garment that I lift, like a bridal train.   Now I feel quite attractive and erotically game;  but this cannot be stamped onto an imagined “later” with my cher ami.   Then will be a different Now – another garment;  accept how it is.   This week’s acceptance has an October clarity and turn of leaf:  an informed sparkle.  Gamble only on Now, to win the other nows;  to be a “sun shine see through”:  rain wet windy cold.

The robe is vichara, the journey is life, the Realisation is all around it.  When I am dead I will see and be for real, all around, what I dimly and enticingly perceive:  the lifting of the veil.

The absurdity of the Eastern patent, as misinterpreted, is the notion of getting rid of the i-thought before it is Self conscious … it just pushes more and more dung into the Unconscious, to continue disturbing the universe for aeons to come, while the meditator momentarily basks and gives Satsang.

The strength and sobriety of the Western rose, is its determination to make the Unconscious conscious.  Then and only then, does the problem mature, become little, and dissolve.  It only takes all the time in the world to be in a hurry.

Essentially this is what Ramana did and said, all his life, but few would grasp it.  Few would grasp the nettle.   The consequences – peoples’ worship, immobilizing him on his sofa, with indigestible food offerings – aged and infirmed his body – that and his own youthful self-neglect.    The culture, the old, old tradition.

ramana & mother

But … here is a fresh angle on what is actually multi-dimensioned – how essentially different is the teenage Ramana taking no food and allowing the vermin to crawl all over him, from the bingeing and self-harming western way?   What shared root, on entering adult dolt-hood?  Basically, Ramana refused to go to school any more.

I was impressed and disturbed in JKRowling’s new novel The Casual Vacancy, by the agony of the girl trapped and cutting herself for relief, the criss cross razoring.  I wanted to at times.  The most recent time was a few years ago.  In unbearable pain from something concerning my daughter, I ran to the living room window, scratching and clawing my arms till it drew blood.  THAT PRESSURE.  I was shocked. THE PRESSURE is behind the drinking, addictions, street oblivion and violent self abuse.

Reflect on Ramana 107 years ago, himself under THE PRESSURE even if sublimated, abusing his young body in a hot hell-hole, obliviously.  OK, he had transcended his death and was with his Father Arunachala in Self ecstasy.  But Ecstasy is also a drug.

Down to earth smack!

So:  Buddha’s compassion with the obnoxious raucous young, coming of age, and confronted with the horror and barrier of the adult dolt, like a virus in the system.   In more intuitive times, a tough forest Initiation was provided – or war alas, or hard work.   As England has lost or given up its industry, there is hardly any real employment, nothing to engage with.   Rage.  Rage against … the dying of the … ight.  

Therapy … the rap…

To jump the hurdle into a-dult is really dreadful, because one hates that encroachment, the boring tyrant slamming into oneself.

Understood!

My reaction to my teenage parental noose was rudeness, the dark Labyrinth, travel and hitch hiking.  The Reckless Fruit.   Poems investigating amorality.

a “taunton black” drawing: Wild Thing 1965

There is a deep JKRowling insight here, into the quest for authenticity – that battle-call –  and its distortions.   The lad called Fats goes so far into his own parentally-dislocated authenticity, that it turns him round and he grows up.  Hey!   Her book which everyone is cross about, is excellent.  She has the knack of compassion – of making her characters as a whole, the youngsters AND their stressed out parents and community, so believable, you empathise them and see from different places.  I see my feelings and my troubles when young, and when parenting, and what they are now.

drawing my self without shading 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.

Elisabeth

dandelionseed, by nextbigfuture.com

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Water and sand: Elisabeth Tomalin, 4 November 1912 – 8 March 2012:  her pioneering therapies.

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

What are you up to now, Elisabeth?  Do you enjoy my sand castles?  Oh yes, we heard you in the kitchen, that day in July, as tough and dainty as a tiny turning leaf, and clapping with one hand –  the Olympics, and Tom Heatherwick’s torch of Time.

I meant to sketch you, ever since you died.  Now we are in Scorpio, with Saturn and Mercury across the threshold;  a very good time to find and be with you.  I feel your creative presence, your voice now hale, whole and free from the dragging pain of age and failing skin and nerve-ends:  you give me elemental colours – clear peat-brown water, wet rocks and emerald bogmoss –  for the Yin winter, the seed descending deep under the frost.

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I sat straight down, got out the photo, and drew Elisabeth first from upside down …

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then with my left hand …

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… then with the right …

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… and then as a portrait.   This took a while.

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I felt her strongly.  At moments, it was my Self portrait looking out, and back at me.  She would have loved me to draw her when she was alive.  When she was dying in the care home, I was not kind, I didn’t visit her regularly.  I resented the long bus route and felt dead tired.  Her physical and emotional agony, bedridden and “useless” at nearly 100 years old, was heavy going.  Her busy mind craved words, oracles and philosophy;  she was deaf.  She longed interminably to die, and it kept her waiting.   Companionship could be silence, which she did not want.

I am tired of my “good-likeness” portraits.  How to draw an honest line?  Doing it upside down, or with my left, I have no choice but to really look, and not assume that I know better.

Then, like playing something on the piano, remember to loosen and let my arm as a whole move the charcoal, from the spine;  not just the habitual hand.  My hand with the whole arm movement, is sensitive, more humble.   Be conscious how the human is:  stop,  wait, follow.  Be delicate; watchful;  bold.  Keep looking.   Hear her.

There comes a magical power of connection – the living human contour of my friend.  I see and feel her lifetimes, the young Princess Soaja, the sharp and ageless pilgrim, her bandy legs, Scorpio birth,  a Jewish woman of history, the art therapist giving me, right now, an intense sand-and-water session on my dreams.

I see her in her white wicker basket with her sharp nose in the air and all the lines in her face erased:  the utter stillness and relief.  She got there at last.

Then summer came.  Look at her managing the Olympic Games with glee through her “phenomenally gifted” grandson.  Remove all frames of time – ignite the essence!

When Thomas visited his grandmother he sometimes brought his latest architectural plans to show her.   She made suggestions.  She lay in her sore bed the weary hours, visualising and pondering the buildings and designs.   Granny Soaja needed to control things, and she was very difficult.   Yet she submitted to some of her frustrations with a gentle dignity.

Who knows what dandelion seeds caught hold?  Tom’s Olympic cauldron is a child of his Shanghai Seed Cathedral.  In the nation-wide convergence and goodwill of the beacon  bearers, real people came forward with the flame, the seed of light;  the cult of celebrity began to die.

Elisabeth is active beyond her body.  Her irrepressible child dances through the astral plane “across our time”.  She had a passion for the creative lineage through her family, and its survival.  The tugging worry of all that, is now away under the bridge.  She loves her people, her strong daughter Stefany, and her family, and to tell them what to do.

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Honesty to the life line is a soft and crumbling charcoal tip … slowly along acceptance.   To watch the breath as the Buddhists say, is like drawing someone.   Watch it in that way;  like plain water beginning to taste nice.

To so-called watch the breath as a meditation felt meaningless.  I didn’t know how.  The attention jumped off, like a needle from a dusty record.  But the drawing lesson with Elisabeth showed the way for me.  It comes alive, and is not by the book.

Coda

This my poem
a seeding dandelion clock 
is a globe upon a stalk 

and every where 
I blow, the once 
upon a time it tells.

photo by daviddarling.info

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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.