A Picture-Book – Pierrot and the White Wolf

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Pierrot in the fields

Pierrot in the fields

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

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

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

Douglas & Catherine Harding at Nacton

Douglas & Catherine Harding at Sholland, Nacton

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

Douglas's 90th Birthday

Douglas’s 90th Birthday

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

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

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

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Pierrot showed them all his secrets

Pierrot showed them all his secrets

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Chapter Seven – Sharing the Seeing

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Chapters Eight-Thirteen – The Attack

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Chapters Fourteen-Seventeen – A French Village Awakens

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Artists’ Epilogue

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

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

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

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

47 spectacles

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

48 douglas in paper bag

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

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

I received and beheld an inescapable mysterium, a humanity.

“Just the one face,” I replied.

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

Put on your space

Put on your space

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

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

aquariel link

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

Grand Easter Cross, Part 4 – Problems

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Angel with rabbit, 1988

Angel with rabbit, 1988

There is a small green book by the astrologer Roy Gillett called Economy, Ecology and Kindness.  It reviews the major astrological events during the present two decades of Pluto in Capricorn, and its thesis is of turning-point:  it is crucial for “kindness” to begin to pervade governmental and financial institutions progressively, as in our kindred, our relationships and with Nature, at all levels.   Well worth a read.   And kindness begins at home.

I am having quite a hard time just now – unkind to myself –  and serendipitous insights from fellow bloggers give me a real pick-me-up in the morning!   Charlie wrote:  “At what point did kindness fall down, leaving the mind in charge of the rest of an entire life? … At the very bottom of the well there is you and your heart … a sacred temple for one … it matters how you vibrate and hold space.”

And this one, following Katie’s post on our mind as autopilot (see the comments also) – the challenge to discriminate this and to develop conscious creative thought:   “Mind gets on an unhelpful track and runs with it … (It is so helpful to share and realise this) … Every day is another chance to try it out.”

ANY UNHELPFUL TRACK, yes!   I am trying, as all my life, to disconnect from those unhelpful tracks, and reach the kindness in the bottom of the well.   It is hard. There is no success. It doesn’t get better or easier.   Each time the same bleak misery, then identify, name it, and disengage – and glimpse space and truth through the fog – the same struggle. Poor Easter bunny!

Seeking enlightenment

Seeking enlightenment

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Actually I spent the whole of Easter Sunday – after finishing and posting “Magdalene” – in bed (my burrow) reading Joanna Trollope and having short sleeps (by evening I was unhappy again).

Anyway, this is the poor old human condition, and we are in a mess, because we valiantly espouse our UNHELPFUL TRACKS and fervently believe in them.   The problem is my belief in myself being bad. The scolding mother has an embedded authority, and asserts this belief as top news item, come on, don’t tell lies, own up.

On the other hand, the weekend’s Tarot oracles show the lovers, the fool, and strength, they show me pujas and rose gardens, it beams to me the solace and articulate wisdom of fellow bloggers, THIS is real, this is the real condition, not my mental-assertive concrete bits.  Caught between the two, and with pain and grief in my stomach, I yet see my mind’s “unhelpful track” for what it is, ephemeral.  This helps me “lose” its command station, its power over my mood, its way of shutting me down.

But by yesterday evening, I was without community again.   That is what it does.

I am in community again now, thanks to writing, and I note my weakness; the idea I should do or be something bold and strong for Easter Grand Cross Bunny, and Pluto on my Jupiter – I feel actually overwhelmed and disabled by it all.   As a volunteer, I standunder the human condition –  where it lives, where we live in and out of community.   This is a useful definition.

The well - November 2013

The well – November 2013

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I live alone, and am vulnerable to battle and monitor these states.   That is to say: to endure them, and keep remembering – just enough – to awake from within them; to be kind?   to feel what is true. Kindness and … (visually) broken concrete slabs and landfill – the hard, dead, crumbling rubbish that gets thrown into the well – this and kindness –  kindness is the deep dark water which breathes.   Focus on kindness as “real love”.   Focus the open and never ending story.   Make this thought-form “Accurate, profound, courageous, positive” as Paul Foster Case wrote of Tarot Key 8 Soul Strength.

Change the pattern, and you change the result.

And if I go under and have to keep starting over, this is not failure.   It is work in progress.   It always even if for a brief time each day, awakes.   This is ongoing.

Good meditators and advaitins spurn the mind.   Some people have an ability to set themselves apart from the unhelpful tracks.   I haven’t.   And perhaps it is my nature and my job to suffer them (usually from ‘something I did wrong to someone else’), because dissolving their delusion each time, develops the muscle of what is true.   Like now, I see through the delusion into the kingdom of kindness – the unhelpful track is IRRELEVANT!

There is no fantasy in kindness:  just do and be it.

There is a big insight into why therapy can be for long intervals stuck and unproductive.   It is because the client is churning around and along the unhelpful track … the Great Story Fantasy of Done and Done-to.

The infertile Done and Done-to story fades.   It bears no relation to the light of today, to the river, and to kindness.   The Done and Done-to ethic is contagious through the lower mind in a novel, or something someone says … a collective opinion rules the unhappy roost for a time, until I slowly ignore it and climb out from the slurry.

cockerel

cockerel

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What is interesting, is how compelling it is.   It fastens on every operating wheel and lever of my mind and mood.   Of course, it is depression.   Depression is when I am cut off from community, from family … in the unhelpful track of me.   Depressives suffer from seemingly massive insights and motor feebleness.   Depression is the magnified self-script and scolding mother – a child too small and exhausted to tidy the house or cheer up or do anything interesting.   See?

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Neptune in Pisces;  Tarot Keys 12 and 18.  This will be the Ascendent here in London when the Grand Cross is in full focus (23 April 4.15 gmt).   On the Tree of Life, this represents Malkuth, the sphere of action, embodiment, materiality, type of birth.

Neptune in Pisces; Tarot Keys 12 and 18. This will be the Ascendent here in London when the Grand Cross is in full focus (23 April 4.15 gmt). On the Tree of Life, the Ascendent represents Malkuth, the physical sphere of action, embodiment, materiality, type of birth.   Neptune represents the Godhead, cosmic source.   They combine as the divine thread or KAV, through the Tree of Life:  as above, so below.

Neptune in Pisces! –  sounds mystical, but is actually the Hanging Man’s (reversals and turning-points) Self-surrender within the Moon-child’s journey of embodiment. There is the Self, head down in the well, being born and breaking invisible rocks:  a paragon of high and noble spirituality.

And there are my small-dog personal selves, sent to the bottom of the class to begin their journey again, through the Piscean Path’s snakes and ladders.

But the Self in the well – is where it bottoms out.   All is well.

The Piscean path of the Moon in Key 18 evolves from earliest life forms clambering from the sea – or the desert – to humanity and consciousness.  The sign Pisces rules the feet. The record is kept in that tiny part of our brain, the medulla oblongata, just where the spinal cord reaches the head.   It holds our lizard memory.  The distant mountain is Key 9, the Hermit’s illumination.   And what do the digits of 18 add up to?

Arcana 6 Lovers - detail

In the Lovers Key Six, there is the mystery of that same pointed peak between them: they do not touch.

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Tarot Arcana 4 & 5:  the Emperor (Aries) and the Hierophant (Taurus)

Taurus begins, today and tomorrow.   This thought opens my fire and earth landscape between Aries and Taurus, where I have the North node … the liberating Beauty, its fullness with life and humanity.   Be brave.   Be bold.   Be kind.   The Moon today works through Capricorn.

With these images, the Inner Lover is back, quite physically, through the wood and the well.   The discarnate One is closer than my breath:   I receive. I become still, with the subtle Kingdom in my pulse.   Touch and be touched with the root of the well which is kindness;   move onward with this, keep walking, the Hermit is not on a far distant mountain, his staff is in my hand, and so is his lamp with the Seal of Solomon.

Arcanum 9 hermit

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When the foot prints along the sand seem to be one person lonely … it is when he or she, my inner teacher and strength, is carrying me.   Life picks you up.   Don’t fight with life.   The sea breathes in and out.

footprints - Version 2

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So on with the Red Book.

Jung writes:  “The small grains of sand have rolled in fabulous primordial oceans, over them swam primordial monsters with forms never beheld before. Where were you man, in those days? On this warm sand lay your childish primordial animal ancestors, like children snuggling up to their mother.   O mother stone, I love you.   I lie snuggled up against your warm body, your late child. Blessed be you, ancient mother. Yours is my heart and all glory and power. Amen.

“What am I saying …?   — Here the stones form states. … Is it the sun or is it these living stones, or is it the desert that makes my head buzz?”

In the desert there is nothing but prayer, the posture of prayer.

jung's painting in the Red Book of the tree of life (centre), the desert, the serpents and scarab

jung’s painting in the Red Book of the tree of life (centre), the desert, the serpents and scarab

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He returns to the Anchorite, to the Hermit. He tells him, “Why, all the things that you must experience in the desert, you wonderful man!   Even the stones are bound to speak to you …   although the thirsty desert surrounds us, an invisible stream of living water flows here.” Jung

He tells the Hermit that he is a stranger to the teaching – more foreign than one from Britain’s furthest shore – and has much to learn. The Anchorite tells him he “found inexpressible words to greet the break of day: let the heathen prayer to Helios suffice; be astonished at nothing, and in no sense condemn or regret it.   Let us go to work.”

The Anchorite (who is Ammonius Sacca) goes on to tell how he himself was freed from the awful predicament of spinning words – the days when he was a famous university lecturer in Alexandria.

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scarab

scarab

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The Scarab is a classical rebirth symbol. In my own light: the desire is to honour a Mystery effectively, to worship it well in its moving parts.   When I fail in any part of this, I suffer until the imprint fades. I suffer as an artist, getting the painting wrong.

The Greater Mystery of Life does not oblige me to be happy or sad. Those are adjuncts and adjectival only. The Greater Mystery does not mind how long my route turns around it, for it is timeless.   My Grand Easter Cross produces the scarab, and symbols of birth and death and second-birth, and planting flowers in the garden, and the word “COMMITMENT”.

In my desert I discover a greater commitment perhaps, and realise my faith is to my interior, and it doesn’t matter if it cannot or should not be told.   In the same instant of in-turning to source, is the outward flowing NOW, the connective fibre with the human family, as given.   The situation is so simple.

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Daffodils in Douglas Harding

Daffodils in Douglas Harding

Thus, for me, the Grand Cross resets my commitment, the same way as a home-hub modem is reset, by turning it off, then on again; or a piano is re-tuned.   The resetting recurs again and again in life, but is likely to be profound during a major astrological event.   And in the resetting is the soul’s dark night, a little death: paralysis for a while.   A fixed patter dies.  

Dies Irae – from the deep we cry to thee.

Arcanum 6, the lovers - an early version

Arcanum 6, the lovers – an early version

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

aquariel link

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

More Sketches of Ramana & Advaitins

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From the mountain which is a humanity, rivers flow, sculpting ridges, valleys and relationships.  The young Ramana scampered all over the mountain like a goat.  As he grew old, he became its teacher.

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Mani and Sundaram greet visitors at Ramanasramam

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3 Sunyata - a Danish devotee

Sunyata, (Emanuel Sorensen) a Danish sadhu, with his Tibetan dog Sri Cho Chu Wuj.  He wrote:

“In this life play I have not been in quest of Guru, God, Truth, Grace, Salvation, nirvana, or power lust.  I had no ambition to be different from what I am.

“Blessedly, I had escaped headucation, and was free of any imposed knowledge. I had no property.

“I did not marry. I did not belong to any cliques or creed. I was not attracted to their magnetism.

“I felt all is within our Self.  I had nothing to assert or resent.  Nor had I anything to boast about or regret.

I was fully contented.
I had joy in that which is.”

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Catherine Ingram on her first teaching visit to London.  Poonjaji of Lucknow liberated her strong Buddhist practice to “dialogue the dharma” around the world, watching storms in the clear sky.   We don’t run from the pain and breaking heart of life.   We witness and keep quiet with it, hearing it speak, seeking the true, as it begins to flow and the cloud dissolves.   “Let our words” said she, like a Taoist – “be well placed stones.”

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Isaac Shapiro, another of Poonjaji’s earlier Western messengers:  Satsang, company of the wise and merry in the Self.

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Papaji:  Peace

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Harilal Poonja

This is how I imagine him as a young man.  I didn’t meet Papaji, but knew some of his messengers.   The three volumes of “Nothing Ever Happened” which he dictated to David Godman, narrate his long and adventurous life as a yogi, siddha and modern master.  In his travels he helped countless people to become aware of ‘the impersonal reality that underlies the world and all phenomenal experiences”.  Often he was a “mystery man”, appearing on the mountain, on a train or in the jungle.  Young westerners adored him, and he as a bhakta couldn’t help falling in love with their Self.  His diaries explore the guru disciple relationship.

Ramana with Poonjaji and a devotee

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It is amazing how much the Advaita people like to talk.

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Mouni Sadhu from the western occult tradition, visits Ramana “In Days of Great Peace”.

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Spreading the good news – V.Ganesan, founder-editor (with Arthur Osborne) of Ramanasramam Journal The Mountain Path

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This is Ranjit Maharaj of Mumbai;  he and Nisargadatta Maharaj (Ramesh’s teacher) were initiates from another old Advaita lineage, which flowed fruitfully alongside Ramana and the Hill.  I have many drawings of Ranjit, because once I was commissioned by some of his devotees in America, to do a portrait of him … and none of my efforts to draw their beloved guru were successful in their eyes.

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Ramesh Talks

Sketches from life of Ramesh Balekar – these appeared in an earlier post, I think;  certainly the one on the right.   But they speak well enough, here.

 Out of a pile of newsletters fell Ramesh’s devotee Wayne, the other day …

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and here are Douglas and Catherine Harding built open for each other, exchanging billets-doux of the Obvious.

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From Papaji’s “stable” – Bernardo (Satyananda) enjoying a good meal at Osho Leela in Dorset, and …

Neelam, who gave him a name to sign his letters with.

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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.

On the Coastal Path – Kabbalah & Travellers’ Treasure

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

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Sunset, Cap Frehel from Alet in Brittany, 1987

August 1991:  Sunset

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

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Sunset Star and Sulphur Symbol

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silver sea or tide, quiescent and still.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ramana Puja

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stormy sunset: St Malo 1987

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Lighthouse Scrible:  Kabbalah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tetragrammaton cycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Franz Liszt set this to music:  piano and baritone.

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

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

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

Small stones glow.

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

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

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Pwllderi is just visible in the background.

Friendship

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A letter arrived this week:

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

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

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Coastal path 1991 – place of meeting!

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

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

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

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

Here is a drawing she sent me:

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Leo Taurus by Oni

 

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The Warden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My mother near Pwllderi, 2002

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

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

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Satsang AGM, Ramana Foundation UK, 1994

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DRAWINGS BY ONI:

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 Lift, by Oni

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Crossing the tracks;  by Oni 

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Stream lining – cycles to rebirth:   by Oni

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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

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

More Portraits of Ramana Maharshi and Devotees (1)

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

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Ramana with Squirrel

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Ganapati meets Ramana

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Ramana and a Verse by Muruganar

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The poet Muruganar

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

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T.K.Sundaresa Iyer

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

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Western devotees with Ganesan

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

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V.Ganesan

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

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Arthur Osborne

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

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Ramana visits Major Chadwick

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

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Douglas Harding: First Person cosmic egg

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

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Papa Ramdas

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

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Frank Humphreys arrives to lunch

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

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Ramana Arunachala

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To be Continued …

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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

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

More of the Star and the Seals

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10 August 2012

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

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

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

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

The Star

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the attention be.

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

Here’s the sequence:

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Awaken 87

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 sketch: Cliffs of Fall 87

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Dance 87

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

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The Seal, Cliffs of Fall

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

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and the small painting to replace the lost one:

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Cliffs of Fall Version 2

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

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

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Great Rose

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

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rock family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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rock titans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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rock flow

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

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

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

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

October 2002

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Old Men of the Sea

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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

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

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

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Rohit’s ref

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Rohit’s Notes

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

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

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

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

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sketch

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Builders of the Adytum

Jane’s Notes:  9 August 2012

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

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

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

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

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The Star – from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot

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

But firstly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chakras on the Tree of Life

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

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

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

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

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

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The Spiritual Seeker

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

Countenance?  I love you.

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The Star – Ushas the Dawn

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HYMN TO USHAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Vedic goddess

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Jane’s Notes:

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

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

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

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Seal Notes

2 October 2002 INTERLUDE:   WITH THE SEALS

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

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

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

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

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Mother’s sketch 1

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

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Mother’s sketch 2

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

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

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Coastal path at Pwlderi, near Strumble Head

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

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

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

 

Correspondence: Jane – 24 September 2002

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

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

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

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

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

Jane

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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

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

Tom’s Torch of Time – an Olympic Relay alchemy

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

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

Here is the flame from within it, looking up.

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

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

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Four seasons electron figure-eight

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

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

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

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

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Torch bearer (1955)

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

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

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Leda & Swan (1957)

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

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

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Draw a Yantra

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

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

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Cosmic egg and wood grain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Figure of Eight, by Elisabeth Tomalin

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

Tom Heatherwicks Seed Cathedral

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

Tom’s Torch – the Miracle

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

The horizontal yantra rose into the vertical stem.

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Torch bearer (1954)

**

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

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

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

What is my Crossroads?   What is your Crossroads?

How does the river flow and feel?

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

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

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Sunflower

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Relay – Centaur, Athene and Child (1987)

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Solomon’s Seal:  Flower of Life

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

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

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Snowdrop:  In touch, across the Seas (1988)

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

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

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

Alchemy: the Work

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Girl, 1954

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

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

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

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

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Ribbed sands of the sea:  Eigg

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

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

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Universe

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

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Sky in October

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

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

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View of Rhum, from Eigg

**

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

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Jewel

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

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

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

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

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Flora 1956 – copied from Botticelli’s Primavera

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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.

Watching Krishnamurti (2): Brockwood ’74 Continued – Part Two

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Perhaps few of us would tackle spiritual Reality, were it not for its underside – the pain when we are unable to be in relationship now:  with what is.  The passion of “the speaker” illumined for an instant, the blindingly obvious.   Then we must find it for ourselves, chipping away beyond thought.  Only life can do that:  life and the chisel of decades from within.   For a young person with insight, this is peculiarly painful.  We are a work that is incomplete.

I find it valuable here, to honour the pain.  We all know it.   It is as crucial to spiritual growth as “the understanding” and “the creativity” when the sun comes out.  Some of us wail into our notebooks;  wisdom may come to this focus, as to any;  here is a little of my workshop of the wailing.   What follows is, in essence, a fairly typical “ashram” or guru-bhakti story:

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Krishnamurti portrait, 2nd version

“Can the mind remain with sorrow,  AS SORROW,  not rationalise or run away from it?   Can it remain motionless with this feeling we call sorrow?   I hope you are doing this as the speaker is talking about it;  otherwise it is no fun at all.

 “Is there an action which is not based on an action?   Action based on an idea is time.   There is an inadequacy,  a lack of complete identification,  and therefore a conflict between the idea and the action.   What is seeing?   The act of looking brings its own order.   Looking at the fact of sorrow.   Look at that feeling,  without a single image about yourself,  or interpretation.   This requires tremendous attention, concern,  discipline.   This seeing then,  is the acting in which there is no time.   The moment there is time,  there is conflict.

 “If I act according to an idea or ideal,  I am insane!   Of course I am!   Real action at any level of our life is not the future according to an idea,  but seeing,  without the image of oneself.   That is instant action.   If you listen,  that very act of listening itself,  is an entire action.

 “Our entire moral structure is based on our pleasure and fear,  which is immoral …

J.Krisnamurti, Brockwood gathering, September 1974

**

September 1974

Today is the back slipping of my heart.  Don’t know what to do with it, this body.  All cells a-dancing in a question mark of wanting.   (But started a painting of Krish. which is very like him, and re-drew the portraits of two lads from Yorkshire.  Hungry, and now listening to Liszt …

Tomorrow, to Brockwood again for a second weekend.  Shall I see Daniel again there?  “Shall we meet in London this week?” he asked.  “No,” I said, “I’ve got things to do.”  Truth was that, and also how to manage seeing him with regards Akiva;  and in any case there was that “there’s all the time in the world” feeling, even though he’s off to Israel in ten days.  I feel at such times, almost bewildered, contained, basking in and trying to digest the present, no plans to be made.   But oh, on Tuesday night, I cried.  And still it rains, with an endless wet whisper.

A gust of wind rocks all the people on the platform back like a wave.  In South London the train rides among the chimneys.  I love the way he cleaves me with that deep tender thrust of his, and fills me up, sweet pain.

Doing my best to steer away, with the company of other people, thoughts of this human being, whom I don’t want to load with my ludicrous heart-storm.  Heart-storm destroys the ability to relate to him, or be friends.   What a lot of insane energy is spent, trying to materialize things in the mind.

I don’t want to be addicted to his comings and goings.  I want to enjoy the full tapestry, all the people, all my self.  When there is no thinking, there’s no problem, like when you wake from sleep.

And desperately anxious about hypothetical exchanges with Asher, re my going away again this weekend – we are still living together, right up till the time he goes off to India – what if he wants to come too?

As I keep trying to grasp, there is no problem until the problem is invented.  There is in truth, no problem anywhere – just situations.

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Tree conference, Brittany 1987

**

It is Friday morning, and the sun is out.  Night of dreams.  Phone rang and it was Daniel.  We arrange to meet at the Theosophical bookshop … but we don’t know at what time, because the pips ran out and he had to catch a train!

Today or tomorrow?  Both are aspects of eternity.  There is a terrific discipline with Daniel, like clear waters.  Dreamed last night about Yorkshire and my father, and curious drifting creeks of land and sea.  And dreamed I was kissing Daniel who was in his sleeping bag, and he was very vague as to if or when we would ever meet again, and I was trying to keep my cool.

**

So strange a thought pierces sometimes the clouds.  It is about Krishnamurti giving talks at Brockwood, and sleeping in the house.  Around him coasts a profusion of individual dramas – pain and personal turning points – of which my own is but one flighty little cell of anguish, among it all.  Rather macabre!  Why does K attract all that, like a magnet?   What happens around him stings.  “The observer is the observed.”  How far does that go?  That phrase reverberates from my childhood, from the searching of my father’s path.

WHAT, through the dim opening in my clouds … observes?  “Whom” does it observe?   Krishnamurti is the hub of a wheel turning around him.

I only grasped for a moment, that I suffer a fragment of what preoccupies all and everyone on a revolution of that wheel.  There was some comfort seeing this.  But such comfort was immediately removed from my hand and I “see” it no more.

Every individual at Brockwood is the messenger of his or her absorbent and urgent tapestry of life;  each alone, and insoluble.   Poor K – sitting in the middle of all those bees – would-be’s – that buzz around him!   “If only one could just concentrate on Krish…”  – on the entirety of the garden, the open walks in the wet windy woods.  What a feast is lost through fear and anxiety and the complicated management of this.

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Buoyant boats, Brittany 1987

**

“What is the problem in relationship?    (Thunder outside – tent rattles)   Attachment?  detachment?  and so on.   Attachment to WHAT?   Do, please go with me!   Attachment to what?   I’m attached to YOU –  my wife, my father, my mother, my sister, my – wife,  my girlfriend -whatever it is.   God, I’m glad I haven’t got any of those.    Thank God!   (laughter)   Sorry!    Don’t impose them on me please!   Heh!

 “Attached to what?   Dominating what?   Jealous of what?    Attached to what?

“Attached to the image that I have built about her and she has built about me,  out of her loneliness,  out of –  whatever it is.   You follow all this?   Please,  watch it!   because we are going to –  we are showing that a problem that arises in human relations can be dissolved INSTANTLY.   Not carried over.   The carrying over is the INSANITY.

 “What is the mind attached to,  when it says “I am attached to my wife”?   “my house” – whatever –  attached?   (Thunder)   Attached to the image I have built about her?   Am I attached to HER –  please listen! –  or to HIM?   or to the IMAGE I have built about her or him?    Obviously,  to the image!   I can’t be attached to the person,  because the person is living!   moving!   has its own desires,  its own ambitions,  its own problems,  its own – pettiness,  its own –  shallowness,  its own –  emptiness.   But I am attached to the image that I have built about her.   And that image becomes MUCH more important than her.  (Croaks)

 “Can my mind be free from building images?   You understand?  (Pleads)   because then I’ve ended the problem.   Are you moving with me?    Can the mind empty its images about her?   She’s hurt me,  by word, by gesture,  by some – act.   The hurt is to the image I have about myself.   And I am attached to that image and to the hurt.   And that is non-relationship –  which is insanity!   I am living according to an image I have built about her,  about myself.   An IMAGE –  you understand? –  which is an idea ;   and therefore has nothing whatever to do with relationship.  

 “So can the mind never build an image?   Which means —  be aware at the moment of hurt.  

“If you have no image,  you won’t be hurt.   It’s only when I have an image about myself that I can do something about it,  kick it around.   But if I have no image about myself,  you can’t kick it around.   So can the mind be free of image building –  which is the ideation?   which is the same thing in other words –  so that everything that the man or the woman does is instantly perceived and dissolved,  so that there is no image at all,  which means every incident is over for the next moment, and the mind is young,  fresh  and innocent.”

K, Brockwood 1974

**

Brockwood.  Hearing Krishnamurti speak again, I dived into my little capsule of pain, and have only just climbed out.  Capsule is all it is.  It exists, but it isn’t ALL, unless you choose to have it so.

DON’T RUN AWAY TO I-DON’T-KNOW!

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Squall approaches, Brittany 1986

**

It is a bit of a cult around here.  Daniel and his friends bubble around the hot pot of Krishnamurti talk and Krishnamurti tapes (so do I at times, just to keep with it) like a gang of schoolboys.  I’ll go home tomorrow.  As to Daniel – I haven’t said an honest word to him all day.  End of affair.  Too much romanticism and starry nights on my part.  All bullshit.  He’s more than a fraction “precious”.  I mistrust every word I say.  Must learn not to invest emotions, or imagine what our kids could look like.   Leave him be.

There is no fact in suffering.  The fact is a circumstance that causes suffering, but the suffering itself is phantom!  a mind storm!   To cling to what happened, and declare it responsible for what I am feeling now, is to live in unreality.  So what do I bloody well do about what I’m feeling now?  If there is just the fact, there is no pain.  Pain’s a waste of time – to rub sand into a wound, just to exist.

The quality of open attention which is living, is fouled up by the intrusion of my injured self, its smallness, the way it picks away at all the idiotic, tense and embarrassing things I have said and been, and at every nuance of rejection.   That little injured self … is all I know;  that is what is meant by having to die to oneself!   I’m not afraid of my body dying.  I’m afraid of the death of my state of consciousness which in all its labyrinth is so essential to me, but so meaningless when applied to being with others;  to the world, in short.

Recognise no authority.  No person.  Become aware of the moment, the total pulse, and put the other thing away, the thing which through its hurt, recognizes my existence … and what is that false flat existence but a dream?  There are only the facts – as I heard over and over again as a child.  They are plain enough to see.  But I do not find it interesting enough just to see them, I cling to this Hollywood drama about them.   One has to be so tuned in, to recognize and strip bare without comment or commentary all those fleeting escape runs back to fantasy and what-if – within the quick of their instant.

Don’t-run-away-to-i-don’t-know!

And it isn’t a goal to seek to achieve.  If it is, it sends me right back into the falsehood.  It has to be the right action by WHAT IS.  To act as NOW, shrivels the monstrous shadows my memory prompts from the stage wings.

Keep the door open!  (Daniel said.)   “Keep the door open!”

There is in fact, no door.

The reality I want is health.  I want an active, not a passive condition.

See it, when the phantom comes billowing like a huge wave, a monster of importance with black patches all over it, just let it come, and SEE it.  It cannot withstand those Medusa eyes of truth.  It is no longer there.  And the future isn’t even here yet!

And there’s no value either in glorifying the insight which helped me to see.

The cross is no longer with us.  There is but one Way.

**

“Now,  without stress or strain,  can you be aware of yourself?   Can you watch yourself?   Can you watch the content of your own mind —  the beliefs, the national feeling,  the pettiness,  the shallowness,  the desires,  the anxieties,  fears —  all that is a part of your consciousness —  identification with a country,  with a name,  with a property, and so on,  so on.   And the hurts which one has received from childhood.   Now.   Are you aware of all this content?   And content makes up consciousness.   Without the content there is no so called consciousness!   Right?    Let me put it briefly.   Meditation is the emptying of the mind of its content,  as its consciousness,  and going beyond.   We will discuss and talk about meditation some other time.”

K, Brockwood 1974

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A Meadow in West Hampstead

**

I have so strong an urge to keep him with me, by whatever means.  The state of “in-love” is a self engendered state of fear.  At the beginning it is not there.  There is encounter, the ebb and flow.  It develops through absence and threat of ‘losing’.  I make of him an emotional possession though nobody owns him.  From that point on, the relationship is false.

He, seeing this, will not be drawn into even a compassionate involvement.  Owning and being owned by no one, he is clear.  Friend to not just one, but everyone, he has no frontiers.  It is worthless to give time, company, body, talk, into a vacuum.  There is no filling, ever, of my vacuum “from outside”.

I went through many gates of anger, bitterness.  Every time I saw Daniel around the grounds of the house, it was agony.  He has time, space for everybody.  He is deeply and humanely involved in the Krishnamurti set-up and all its relationships, questions and internecine events.  Why shut himself away with one sorrow, from the tapestry?   Ah … but what I am seeing, and this breaks my heart, is what I wanted to be, when I first came here.  I wanted to be a free agent, a celebrant at the feast.

Then I am robbed of my self.  I stand outside the window, I am lost.  It is no longer my garden.  I spent the day alone, and very hurt.   Krishnamurti talked about suffering, this morning.

I went off afterwards and cried at the senseless conundrum of it all.  Towards the end of the day, I understood it was my craving and dishonesty which made relationship with Daniel impossible.  So I sought him no more.  No more did I clamber around fields and through woodlands and strain my eyes through knots of people.  Finis.

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Cloud fortress

**

I spent the evening sitting in the crowd around the bright fire near the kitchen tent.  Out in the wind, which still blew great gusts, sparks flew in the intense darkness, and the flames lit up our faces as we tried to warm ourselves for the night.  I knew an extraordinary articulacy and fluidity with the people of that moment – a superficial skating, a temporary reprieve from the blow.  Perhaps my dreams of flying are pain relief?

I know this. When I suffer, but have decided to bed the pain into the embers, the words flow.  Always.  Talking.  Writing.  Manic perceptions and comedy.  Like blood.

Why is The Speaker such a talker?  Why is there this tremendous sound and activity around him?  Why, he is fire, fire, fire.

Something burns him.

I come face to face with the deep, unutterable shame of my personal being.  I become alien:  the Outside, looking in.  It lacerates whatever form it takes – right up through the core.  It is because Daniel is joy and I am not.  We are camped among scruffy trees and bushes.

I did not know whether or not to expect him in my tent that night.  When I went in, I found his sleeping bag there, with mine.  Earlier I decided to sever all connection, but then this seemed just a pose, and I decided to accept whatever happened.  At about 11.30 he arrived, I was in bed and still feeling cold.  We talked unsuccessfully, and had sex even more unsuccessfully, from the communication point of view.  At last there was no more pretence or theatre.   I took the lid off and let him see what went on, not just its noise, but my actual unspeakable problem.  He gave to this an attention which was total and uncompromisingly loving, his arms around me, listening.

Since then, when we talked – moments snatched from the river in which he flowed – he reiterated this attention, the urgency of “now” – to “stay with this thing no more!  Keep the door open and always go through it – do not close it round yourself.  When you feel it shutting, even just a bit, put your foot in it, your hand in it, push it, push on and through, that same door is habit when it closes, and truth when it opens, but you must work at it, every moment.   This is emergency!   NOTHING is more important than to open the egg.  Nothing to defend!  Keep watch.  Listen.  What is it?

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Sky, Brittany

Daniel is very young, younger even than me.  Various entanglements of wine, woman and song, which I needn’t talk about here, advised him to steer his course clear of the romantic monogamous envelope, and from the pollution of possessing.  His wing is down also.  He is very young, with the ruthlessness of a growing tree.

You smile with the no-nonsense joy that is verily your own.  When I am with you, I am self-critical.  But I don’t want to be.  At moments, a terrific pulse connected us, and other moments disconnected it;  and other moments still – like now – we lay together talking.  There’s a light in your eyes, in the night’s damp pallor;  and you held me to you with much warmth in the morning, and there was no need for me to try to flop about and try to kiss you, try to be a seductive siren.

But I wanted to stay in his arms – fact or figuratively – all day. Only on the face of it, could I accept he must come and go.  As soon as we left the tent, the old grief flooded back, winding its envelope around me – the senseless, paralytic jealousy whenever I saw him with someone else.  Do you know why?  It’s because he looks like an insider;  and I want to be one of “them”.

I want to be seen by everyone he knows, being cherished and claimed.  This is the pathos of my snobbery to this imaginary prince.

Knowing there is no other way.

To go around with Daniel all day, would be having him.  And what is the having of that gentle beauty and hard truth for my own, to separate from the rest of the garden?   Illusion!  Illusion and therefore rot.   He has the clarity to stay out of the scenario, even when, as he said, there were times during the day when I looked so lost and empty he wanted to go up and hug and comfort me, and almost did.  We had agreed on something.

And once when I’d been walking everywhere looking for him, I came back from somewhere and found him, he’d been looking for me too, because someone was going to take a photograph of us all together, the inner circle of this camp, and he couldn’t find me, so I wasn’t in it, and I could have been.  Perhaps … when the next Krishnamurti bulletin comes out, it’ll have the photo in it, and I shall be able to see Daniel in it, among the people?

Something to hold.

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Two boats, seascape

I never knew what to say to his eyes.  My mouth was nervous.  And in a dark place, a barn perhaps, sheltering from the rain with some others, I looked at him and thought, “you’re not so handsome really.  Your arms are under developed.  You’re not really manly …” and other nit picking things.   He was off to France that evening, and then to Israel.  Were it to continue, there could be no truth.  Michelle – the woman with whom he shares the tent and some travelling – and I, we spoke sometimes in a brittle way, and I watched her closely.  I sensed in her a feeling which was worn out, but maybe that was me.  She’s his travelling companion.  My jealousy, what’s it like for her?  She has a son, Louis, in his early teens.  She has shaggy hair, and she lives in the warmth of Daniel’s world.  I went up to London on the train with her, Louis, Daniel and several other people from the field.   Daniel and I shared more insights.  He was committed to bathe our encounter in as healing a light as he could summon up – which stripped me further of my hopes and left me humble and lame.    The lameness and exhaustion brought back in its turn more of that false hope in him as my comforter.  He told me I am too sexually self-conscious.  “It’s the way you put your eyes on me and dwell on it, just like that.  You know, you’re just FULL of feminine wiles and devices, you are!   What am I to do?”

He stood for a long time as I found my way through the ticket machines, seeing me off with love, or whatever it is that shines steadily in his eyes.  He gave me a book he carried with him for a long time – Kazantzakis’ Travels in Greece.  He said it could be a portrait of himself – he has a way of being a hero – and he chuckles disparagingly with his own weaknesses, flinging them often away as the ruthless young sapling does, to grow, to wander and be alive.  “Write to me,” he said “the address in Israel, it’ll find me.  Write me lots of letters!”

That is the way he comforts, and it is genuine, it is Consciousness to Life.  Life is devastated by the increment of Consciousness.

Does Michelle look weary?  Has she been through all this – was she still …? Yes … so he told me earlier, how much she too wants to hold him with her, some ligaments of their own hold them close, he cannot leave her, but nor is he “with” her only.  “With her, you see,” he had told me “it is a little different.  She has a son of her own.  She needs a kind of protecting, Louis needs it, I need it, I suppose.”

For that night, for him, Michelle and Louis, the boat, the crossing, the luggage, the trains, the clash and confusion of conveyences.  For me … home to face Asher as if nothing had happened.

In the Kazantzakis book are many passages he marked.  I turn the pages, a little dazed. Here are a few:

**

“Whoever has a field, says Buddha, thinks of the field, dreams of the field, becomes the field.  Only he who has nothing can be free.”

“The sternest emotion, the most daring fantasy in order to live – or better still, in order to be born –requires a body.  The creator discovers the body only by looking about him, how the light plays, how the mountains stand immobile … The quality and resistance of matter – marble or granite or mud – determine not only his methods but his heart as well.  There is no closed impassable barrier between artist and landscape.  The landscape penetrates the artist’s body through its five portals and fashions his senses;  and as it fashions them, a likeness is formed in their image.”

 .

“Only through struggle and selection would some few bodies achieve the lofty victory of the flower.”

“We have no more than a single instant at our disposal;  let us make eternity of that instant – there is no other immortality.”

 .

“The timeless Greek landscape, cut to the measure of men, flooded with light.  At each instant, it is slightly altered, even while remaining the same;  it shimmers, flourishing its beauty, regenerates itself, and so does not tire you.”

 .

“Auntie Lenio, he said, died day before yesterday.  Our hearts constricted.  We sensed that a word had perished;  perished, and now no one could place it in a verse and render it immortal.”

“Socrates would never go fishing for the soul in today’s gymnasiums.”

 “Quickly I left, mocking my heart, which was ready once more to break.”

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Image

Harbour ‘86

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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.