Portrait Gallery (2) of Ramana & Devotees

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Ramana on a walk

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… and when he was very old

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… and when he was very young

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… and rather frail with the Light that trembled in his lamp

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… and along comes Robert

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… and Catherine Ingram, whose Dharma Dialogues watch the storm in the clear sky.

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This is another sketch of Annamalai Swami. (See my earlier post, Visit to Arunachala 1993)

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… and here, Annamalai and Ramana are at work, building the Ashram.

Annamalai’s book Living by the Words of Bhagavan as told to David Godman, caused quite a stir, in 1994.  It describes, with a bricklayer’s honesty, the atmosphere of ferment around the sage, in those early days.   It brilliantly observes the psychology of Ashram – any Ashram – and contains some very beautiful teaching.

Now, some other builders:

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Skanda and Ganapati – Ramana and Ganapati Muni play their mythological roles as spiritual brothers in Siva’s lap …

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… and then enjoy themselves in the tank.

 Ganapati’s devotees called him “Nayana” – Little Father.  Ganapati Muni could breathe a mantra into a devotee’s whiskery ear, in such a way that it remained, unending, like the sea.  His Sanskrit poetry of Ramana’s teaching and early dialogues with devotees, became the “Ramana Gita”.

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Kapali Shastri – the Muni’s student, a great Tantric scholar and scribe, who lived at Aurobindo’s Ashram, and journeyed to and fro – writes it all down

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And here are the lineage holders – K Natesan and Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley).

The late K Natesan translated and preserved the Muni’s Sanskrit poetry, many of these works still unpublished.  The heritage combines Self-enquiry, Vedic wisdom, Ayurvedic medicine, Jyotish (the astrology of Light), Aurobindo’s teaching, meditation and yoga –  in every branch of life.   The disciplines are interwoven and integral.  It was the Muni’s burning desire to re-awaken India’s Vedic heritage, to cast off the abuses much of it had fallen into.

Vamadeva Shastri studied with Natesan and with M.P.Pandit (whose teacher was Kapali Shastri) and brought it back to New Mexico.  It thrives in his translations of the Vedic Hymns and on http://www.vedanet.com – the American Institute of Vedic Studies.  He published many books on Yoga and the roots of Mantra and the Vedic civilization.   A western acharya – a rarity, as recognized by the wisdom holders in India – he is one of those who help to restore the Sanatana Dharma.  Taking root, the oak in the acorn seed takes its time to grow.    It is interesting how the  pioneering initiative is and has been reflected back, by a Westerner.   Ramana lived in a cave, but became known through the quintessential comedy of east and west, within the well of Self-enquiry.

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Francis Lucille (2)

A French diplomat and musician:  his teacher was Jean Klein.  One day, the Gayatri Mantra opened the door …

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Papaji

Poonja (Papaji) traveled all over India as a yogi and stayed with Ramana.  He loved and played with Krishna also, round the other side of the Hill.  As he grew old, seekers from the west settled to him like bees to the flower.   In Lucknow, he took care of Osho’s children.   He said “Keep quiet” and “Let there be peace to all beings.”   With him, Catherine Ingram (above) released her Buddhist training into the meeting place of the Self.  The teaching is a flow of being, whatever the form.

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Ramana drinks wisdom

And here is Ramana on a hot day.

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

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

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

Maestro – some Views of Liszt

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The Tzigane

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22 October 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In blue for his birthday, 2003

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

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

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Liszt:  Etude 2000

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

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

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

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

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

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Liszt, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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Maestro in slippers 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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In the door, 2012

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

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

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

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

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Abbe Liszt 2002

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

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

 

Deathbed 2012

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

 

Liszt in the train, with Princess Carolyne’s books

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

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

From Unfinished Symphonies by Rosemary Brown 1971 

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

Rosemary Brown: Grubelei, transmitted by Franz Liszt, 1969

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

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

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Cornwall 2011

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

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

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

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

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

More of the Star and the Seals

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10 August 2012

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

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

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

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

The Star

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the attention be.

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

Here’s the sequence:

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Awaken 87

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 sketch: Cliffs of Fall 87

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Dance 87

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

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The Seal, Cliffs of Fall

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

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and the small painting to replace the lost one:

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Cliffs of Fall Version 2

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

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

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Great Rose

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

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rock family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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rock titans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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rock flow

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

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

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

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

October 2002

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Old Men of the Sea

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

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

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

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

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Rohit’s ref

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Rohit’s Notes

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

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

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

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

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sketch

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Builders of the Adytum

Jane’s Notes:  9 August 2012

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

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

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

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

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The Star – from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot

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

But firstly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chakras on the Tree of Life

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

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

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

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

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

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The Spiritual Seeker

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

Countenance?  I love you.

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The Star – Ushas the Dawn

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HYMN TO USHAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Vedic goddess

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Jane’s Notes:

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

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

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

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Seal Notes

2 October 2002 INTERLUDE:   WITH THE SEALS

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

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

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

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

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Mother’s sketch 1

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

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Mother’s sketch 2

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

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

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Coastal path at Pwlderi, near Strumble Head

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

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

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

 

Correspondence: Jane – 24 September 2002

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

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

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

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

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

Jane

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

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

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

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

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“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.

The Sacred India Tarot: Creation of the Devil Card

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THE CREATION OF THE SACRED INDIA TAROT

CARD 15:  The Devil – Mara with his Three Daughters

This is part of the Sacred India Tarot series, which is usually published by aryayogi.wordpress.com.   Due to a tech. problem in India, and because I found a paragraph which needed a small revision, I am publishing it also, here.   These entries – as can be seen in the previous one on Ganga – contain much process work as each concept developed transoceanically.   Additionally, life and dreams at night, fed in their  data.

Later in the deck, 6 of Pentacles depicts the Buddha’s Enlightenment.  The demon Mara makes a reappearance, trying to distract him with his raw power:  the Buddha keeps firm contact with the ground.

This cropped image from 6 of Pentacles card, of Mara and the Buddha, is relevant to the material of card 15:

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Detail from SITA 6 of Pentacles

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Here first, is an image Rohit sent me, heading his Notes; and under it is my first sketch for the ideas in this Arcanum.

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Rohit’s Notes:

A very difficult card, as India does not have any such notion as the Devil.  It was a great struggle to resist using a Horned One equivalent, as the Celtic packs do, or a Pan equivalent.

However, Buddhist Mythology does have an Evil One – Mara.  Since the pack is an Indian mythology pack, and the Buddha is one of the greatest figures in the culture, I felt we can use this.  Mara plays the same role in the enlightenment of the Buddha, as Satan the Adversary does, when Jesus is in the desert, tempting and then trying to frighten him.

The illustration we will send of the blue demon, is a good place to start.  Please keep the skull headgear.  The costumes of the Balinese dancers are also a good way to depict him.  I am tired of the wild skins and hairy features of the standard packs.  “The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.”  I forget who said that, but the suave, dangerous aspect of the Devil is what we need.  This card should not be overdone, as we are going to use this again in the suit of Pentacles.

What we need here, is the Devil holding his three daughters and a couple of men, in the standard manner, with chains around their necks, all the human figures to be nude, as is the typical custom in depicting the chains of the Devil.  He should be given a vicious looking sword to hold too, the other hand having a musical instrument of some sort.  The environment should not be depicted as forbidding and hopeless.  The power of the Devil is precisely his offer of a high standard of living and comfort.

Can you communicate a sort of serpentine fluidity to the man?  His figure should dominate the card, but it should not stand in the typical still and straight divine posture.  The Devil is polymorphous, too easily swayed by circumstances, too eager to seize immediate advantage to appreciate the long-term advantage of standing firm.  An air of instability will convey the essential hollow nature of his power.

The Devil is in Jungian terms, the challenge of the Shadow, and is in that sense an extremely useful and necessary part of the human imagination.

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Jane’s Process Notes – 15 September 2002

These are quite lengthy extracts again from my workbook.  The “Devil” card  is “made for artists” because through  realizing what we project, we strip down the effigies of our bossy Saint.  We meet and are challenged here by the raw subconscious material, and we are as putty!   Through this Arcanum, as we learn to see it, gleams truth.   Rudra enters the picture again:

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Arrived at Caroline’s to meet Sparkie in a happy and curious-about-it frame, after a large and excellent calzone-pizza with A and two glasses of wine;  and left there later, weary and depressed.  It is very tiring to have to sit through this kind of thing in a hot padded room, late in the evening.  My bitchings about Satsang givers are not quite on the mark, so I shall refrain.   I liked Sparkie’s earnest lady helpers and the Teutonic gang with the electronics and the camera – the electronics broke down half way through and nearly started a fire.   That was rather a relief, because the soporific new-age-zen background tinkling, though at first quite pleasant, was getting on my nerves.  Sparkie didn’t attempt any rev-ups with me, though he really pulled poor A out on the mat, for “the Advaita movement in England”, because there wasn’t really anyone else there to work with.  So in the end, I chipped in, to support Alan, and said there was a movement a few years ago, with everyone going to everybody, but now they’ve all found their teachers among themselves and got married. 

Which basically implied – you’re superfluous, mate.

My impression is that Sparkie, a blond and bearded trans-atlantic Englishman whose home is now Germany, is used to talking now in German to Germans, and had a hard job connecting to Londoners … who prefer something a little more tongue in cheek.  In his view, the Western “spiritual tradition” meeting the East, is modern psychology, and he “does not dismiss politics”.  The opinions are his, and himself-centered.  His German ladies adore him – this is natural: devotion on the spiritual path.

I should try to go to things un-comparitively, but for one schooled with the un-person-centered vitality of Kabbalah and the delicious honesty and humour of its teachers, this little gathering was a tomb.   There was a table there, covered with dazzling piles of tapes and books and gleaming photos of Papaji messengers, with among them, poor patient Ramana, and even Anandamayi Ma … presented as icons, swept into this personality cult.

These musings lead me usefully into my rather heavy work for the coming week – India Tarot Devil, Tower and Star, to be guinea-pigged through my subconscious into the light.   For instance, Key 15 the Devil is in the western Mysteries, the artist’s card par excellence.  It covers the whole field of projectile-prakriti into enclosure and includes my recent “Initiation”, drawing portraits of inner plane Masters:  “Ah Netr Ankh”, Hail to the Lord of Life.  The enclosure is a projection of the Infinite into small forms of separateness, definition, solidity.  It puts the illusion into glass and makes it hard to touch.  (What an interesting sentence!)

Serious and be-scattered insomnia last night … I became aware of a whitish, fiery and incomplete figure in my deeps, with none of its limbs defined or ‘finished’ – a kind of fury, but objectively seen.  A rapid visual association brought up my drawing of Wild Rudra – glimpsed yesterday when sorting out my old drawings.

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This drawing has already been used in our Notes on SITA, the Creation of Rudra: The Fool.  Here he is again, now occupying my Shadow.  That’s what it is, inside!  That is the spike of nameless angry heat, which destroys my rest and equilibrium when slipping towards sleep into the fleece of an idea or outlined shape.  It is Rudra the Wild Hunter before the dawn of the Vedas, the one that roars, Rudra the Uncreate who with his bow and arrow shot into Bison Prajapati’s balls just as Prajapati was about to penetrate his own daughter Ushas the Dawn  (India Tarot’s Star).  The seed fell to the ground instead, and became the gap of space and time and separateness within the unity of the Uncreate.  (Stella Kramrisch, The Presence of Siva).  It became cattle, days and nights, destinies and Earth.   Yes!   The Devil – the raw-unconscious – reacts my nameless, sharp, zig zag feeling –  the falsehood of any sort of boundary.

Boundaries there must be, in drawing;  in the Yetzirah/Assiyah relationship (formation and the material world) and in the monitoring of empathies;  but in truth, boundaries there are not, and the outline and the manufacture of boundaries arouses Rudra’s rage against the Devil’s comfort zone, and artist’s bane.   Try to distinguish the level, so that the higher doesn’t get mixed so drainingly into the lower.

Saw too, in this Presence of Rudra, the lightning-flash energy.  I was at ease when limbs, hands and feet were kept open and unfinished, and I was un-eased when they were enclosed and “made”.  Let it break open anew, and smile!  Recalled also (subconscious efficiently delivers) that Rudra in Rohit’s India Tarot is The Fool, the Innocent Before Creation, the wild fury in creation’s trap.   I understand now why they wanted another Rudra-Fool, more terrible and wild;  so I drew the spiky dark lightning colours in the skies around his wild dance, descending through it into earth and mountain through his toe.

The Tarot Fool – eastern & western versions

The Fool in the Adytum (western Mysteries) emanates from Kether, the untrapped potential in the lightning flash before creation:  the flower in the bud.   How wonderful to bridge the traditions, their Light and Shadow as One.  How wonderful to be shown and to know, with my very being.

I held in focus this flickering and undefined presence – practicing a teaching of Francis Lucille’s: to include strange, unvoiced and unlined sensations, let them expand and inform … and at last fell heavily asleep because suddenly it was 7.45 and morning … and had my recurring nightmare of being “on Retreat” with my soul/spiritual group, and being alienated from it like a scapegoat.   I’m afraid my inner Rudra is always spoiling my security routines.  Never mind.  I’m glad to know my Rudra and be shown, like when Kali passed through here.

Yesterday afternoon, something lovely happened.  While tippexing the master copy of SE for the printers, I listened to the first four tapes of Lady Chatterley’s Lover … Lawrence portrays a certain discordant 1920s tedium, as read in Margaret Hilton’s schoolgirlie voice – and then at last Connie gets together with her gamekeeper in the wood on the second side of the fifth tape, and utter beauty against all hope, blossoms:  the full flood of erotic poetry unleashed.

It is a peculiar delight to be free from personal desire, and entranced by the pure beauty and primordial pulse of that erotic description;  to share in the event both male and female, with and as the subtle body.  Because I am free, it is “I AM”, without any buffers, as deep and strong as the sea.   In a pioneering spirit, Lawrence was the supreme and perhaps unique poet of the sexual act in our time:  its all-ecompassing nature and its fleetingness.  I listened and heard and was and smiled.  IT IS THE SAME AS MUSIC.

Fancy going along to Sparkie’s satsang after that!  It’s hardly fair.

 

16 September 2002

Slept much better, after restful day completing SE for the printers, listening to Lady C’s L, and managing to clean the kitchen … and had another Earthquake dream.  (See Notes on SITA: Death II – Kali).  This time, it was a two-storey house out in the west country somewhere.  I woke with the impression fast fading.  Again I wondered how neighbouring buildings had fared.  The ground reeled, and the house perhaps tipped a little, and dropped down at least its own height, into a gulf of silence;  yet no gulf of earth had opened and swallowed it.  The house was as before, with an outside and an inside.  I went to the bathroom downstairs, and there were no cracks in the walls,  and then I woke. 

It seems that oceanic waves pass through my marrow:  the vesica-piscean ripples, as the work of the soul ventures into … higher Yetzirah, or union.  It is also the alchemical Dragon (kundalini).   When I go out from my island into the sea, there are waves surrounding it, like a reef to surmount first.   I used to dream of seeing them.

… I have heard almost all of the 14 tapes of Lady C’s L.  Of course, the power and discovery of that first time, is unrepeatable.  It is the tragic and comic human paradox we have, that sex which touches infinity, creates its own destroyer, transforming to the weary weary linear story of man and woman and brat and do-you-love-me.  One knows – “tha’ knows” – already, and doesn’t want the story.  There is only ever the one time:  kiss it silent.

DHL – an early schoolbook sketch

…  Thinking of DHL, and the great black blight of the collieries, iron and money upon old England, of which he wrote with such passion and anger; and in those days saw and felt the destruction of humanity – this felt so perennial, that I stopped on my bike and made a note:

The interface of humanity with history, has always been that brutalizing agony upon kind Earth.

The difference in our humanity nowadays, is that more of us are involved with history.

That is to say:  seeing history as a blind, mechanical, unsolving force.  And seeing humanity – real humanity – as that which, like within flowers, manages to remain uncrushed.  Would Lawrence nowadays, recognize us as human?  And is not the turning inward and the flourishing of the esoteric wisdom, but a counterpoising accompaniment to ugliness? 

The Catherine-wheel of Cruelty and ugliness was always so, maybe in olden times more intensely so, but in smaller localities.  The tread of the wheel is in these present times wider.  At the same time, a number of specific cruelties become obsolete.  And after WW1 and WW2, no young lad goes lightly to war;  but also there is child pornography, and there is the waste of soviet-regime excrement upon the poisoned lands of eastern Europe, etc.  I think deep down, that I am not involved with ‘history’.   ‘Involved’ is also “caught up in”.  But I see.

 

17 September 2002

I asked for the Spirit Guardian’s help, and was reminded to touch base inwardly – my own heart-swept chamber.  One simply must deal with uninvited pests here.  One can see beyond them into Siva, one can dissolve them in the inner truth, point the ankh at them to sizzle them, laugh at them.  What, you again?

Today I have to draw the devil for India Tarot.  At the “Table Round” (a meditation), I saw clearly how the shadow side of this Key alienates and separates me:  how it becomes cut-out boring thoughts which are not mind, but mischievously say they are, and I feel outcast from sacred gatherings – exactly the dismissal from Eden into anatomy.

At the same time, the Grail shone bright, and practicing the Zodiacal colour spectrum around it, I returned to Capricorn, whose colour indigo, is the devil’s own, and whose sign I am – the creative Key of bind and loose;  creative usurpation, yet manifestation;  surfaces.  I went round to Key 15 and flipped his pentacle and pulled his beard.  His red popish eyes and pompous gesture of authority melted.  The chains fell off Adam and Eve.  Liberation always, is in my heart, and the old Goat is curiously the key to it.  He presents himself perversely, to be seen through.  He has no sense of humour at all.  He is also puritanical – behind my effort to keep all my thoughts pure of irrelevant genitalia or the gutter press, when in my citadel, and spank them if they are not.

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Arcanum 15, from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot deck. 

“Baphomet” is an effigy or persistent thought-form;  but reversal of this word produces TEMOHPAB – Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas: the priest of the temple of peace for all humanity.   Much interior work consists of transforming our negative modes into their opposites – releasing the trapped creative energy as from a coiled up spring.   Through this Arcanum or “Key”, we arrive also at a deeper understanding of our sexuality.  The sum of 15 is 6 – the Tarot Lovers – Adam and Eve – who give each other truth, space and clear seeing.  As the man and woman in 15 become mature, enriching the self-conscious and sub-conscious dialogue in ourselves, the chains slip off them;  the Lovers are no longer bound by false belief.

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Arcanum 6 from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot deck.  The Archangel is Hermetic Rafael, the healing face of God

*

18 September 2002

I began India Tarot’s No.15 – The Devil.  It is going quite well;  it is based on Mara who tempted Buddha, and should therefore suggest a Prince-of-Darkness imitation of the Buddha.  He is glamorous.  His right upper arm, waving the vicious sword, is very powerful;  the left hand playing the veena, is refined.  With the other two hands, he holds like reins, the chains of his three daughters and two men, all in their separate MATTER cocoons. He is skilled in the arts and other business.

He sits in lotus posture, has an enormous dark head and red eyes, and looks thoroughly unreliable.  I remembered he’s the father of lies, and the Alternative Guru – “God, as the ignorant conceive Him to be.”

But also, he is the supreme Key for the artist, and as Rohit describes Jungianly, the indispensable Shadow of real creativity.  His strength is where he cultivates his double nature.  He binds his daughters and their lovers to his theatrical and charismatic ability to stand in front of the light, and whirls his cloak like wings:  operatic passion.  It is best to see the joke in him.

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Sacred India Tarot – card 15: The Devil:  Mara with his Daughters

**

And now here is someone behind that, whom I drew at the same time.  He emerged through the woods in a dream. I call him “Art the Gardener”, or maybe “Hiawatha”.

18 September 2002:   “He issurrounded by young trees and leans on a stick or spade, looking at me;  and the branch-patterns formed a heart around his upper torso and head.  He wears a cloth around his middle, Egyptian worker style … he might have elven ears somewhere.  He is somebody in my “library” or “gallery”, and I am glad I have drawn a picture of him.  There is a lot of roughly hatched deep blue sky showing through the taut autumn-turning birch trees.  I used cruder oil pastel, so as not to get too anal over facial details, and the face is left interestingly suggestive and open.  He is very beautiful and strong, he stands in a relaxed and flowing way.  He’s a bit like Christ among the thorns.

*

*

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Perhaps Hiawatha …

19 – 21 September 2002

Interesting email from Vamadeva Frawley, in response to mine.  Ganapati Muni is up to things again.  I’m very pleased about this new correspondence, and hope it will go on.  Vamadeva has the highly-trained knack of reflecting or boiling down deep ideas into succinct sentences to ponder.  (see http://www.vedanet.com)  He sent me also Chapter One of his new and more poetic work on Agni, all in very short, simple and profound paragraphs… …  and in the post arrived a CD from my friend in Hungary, of an Italian/Mephistopheles opera she’s copied for me – perfect to finish drawing my India Tarot No.15 with … !

… The Grail touches earth.  In Botticelli’s last painting, The Nativity, angels embrace humans right down in the strata of the demons.

**

Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

“Dear Jane, we think the devil is the most handsome devil we have seen to date.  No change in him at all.  Should the bodies of the women be more defined in a voluptuous sense, or are they OK?  This card is looking fantastic.   With regards, Gautam”

**

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“Leaving the Centre Empty” by Francis Lucille

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“One day I wanted to take painting lessons, and I paid a visit to an old engraver in France, who was also a painter.  He showed me his watercolours, and he told me:  ‘I have found out in my life, after having made many attempts, that a painting that works is one in which the light comes from the painting, from the centre of the painting;  in other words, where the true subject matter of the painting is light itself.’   Because light has no shape really, no colour.  It has no texture – like Consciousness.  So if you use light to describe Consciousness, light is the true subject of the painting.  That is one way to do it. 

“Or you can do it the Chinese way.  Because of the medium they used (which was different – ink and paper) – the true subject of their painting is not ‘light’ but space, emptiness;  so the objects in the composition are … Bonnard, the painter Bonnard used to say that a composition that works is one in which the centre of the painting is empty.  So everything revolves around it, and that is so beautiful because of the emptiness, you see?  What is IMPORTANT in the painting should be put at the centre , right? 

“So, if you leave the centre empty, it makes you feel free.

“Jean Klein told me once, he had observed also that it was very important for the painting to have some freedom on the right side, because we are so used to read from left to right;  you know that the left is for the past, and the right side is for the future.  So the eye wants to have the future OPEN towards the infinite.

“And there are Renaissance paintings, in which there is always an open door or an open window somewhere, through which, after you have entered into the painting – that is for figurative painting in Europe – you take a little trip, you know?  you stop here, and THERE, and there, and you discover …  But you need to be able to go out.   You know?  So this exit, this WAY OUT, this window suggests a way out towards the Infinite, towards your true nature.  So there are many ways through which a painter can suggest this …  that which he or she loves the most.  It can be space … it can be an opening … it can be also composition, there are many ways.  There is also the use of colour;  it can be LIGHT.  And it can also be any combination of these various things.

“Don’t make out of what I have told you a technique.  You understand?  But you could go to the National Gallery, or to the Tate Gallery, take a look at the Turners, the Rembrandts, you know, and see them in this light;  and FEEL in a Rembrandt, how love is everywhere in the form of light … and peace;  this meditative quality that is silent.  You can feel the SILENCE in a Rembrandt!    Rembrandt is known as a painter of silence and a painter of light, you see?  Find your own ways.  Always be true to your Self.”

“Instead of resting peacefully at the centre of the wheel and letting the wheel turn freely, we try to stop the wheel.  The centre of the wheel is always at rest, no matter how fast it revolves.  The centre of the wheel is empty.”

FRANCIS LUCILLE, 1998

**

The birth of living things comes unperceived;  the death
comes unperceived;  between them, things perceive.

Bhagavad Gita Ch.2

**

 

 

One day, Francis said something about Death, which stayed with me always.  I felt my life is a little door, or surface. I can go through it, or slip off that plane, and dive like a whale.  Death is the vital All-of-Life embracing my vivid small surface dream which floats so gaily.   My centre of gravity shifted;  my perception took a right-angle turn.   It may have been when he said this:

“You have this pure consciousness.  At that moment, when this thought comes to an end, the thought that tries to catch consciousness,  it leaves you at the end of the thought, in a moment of understanding in which you are consciousness, without an object, in its purity.    That is the first step.   And then the experience is that this consciousness is the underlying reality of everything.   So then when the world appears again, and the body and the mind,  it is clearly understood —  or gradually understood —  that they arise out of consciousness,  exist in consciousness and disappear back into consciousness.   Their true nature,  their substance, is consciousness.  

“We think that things have their origin in time and their end in time, but it is not so.  They have their origin in God, and their end in God.   That is the meaning of the saying, I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA   — the beginning and the end of all things;  I AM CONSCIOUSNESS IS the beginning and the ending of all things.  

“And it is not in time.   It is immortal, timeless, eternal, and knows itself as such.   And it is this very consciousness hearing these words right now, that knows itself as such.  And it is precisely because it knows itself as such, that these words can be efficient, somehow, can resonate, can go through the various armours of the body and of the mind,  pierce all armours and go right to this intimate and sacred place that knows itself,  that knows its eternity.”