Jan 112015
 

JohnSingerSargent-GassedYou spend vast trouble to aid your foes. You cut from a spirit its bodily life. You punish vengefully the erring. You falsely arrogate to yourselves the right law divine to shed human blood. You err, and know not that the spirits you so hurt shall in their turn avenge themselves upon you. You have yet to learn the earliest principles of that Divine tenderness and pity which labours ever through us to rescue the debased spirit, to raise it from the depths of sin and passion, and to elevate it to purity and goodness.

You know  naught of God when you do such deeds. You have framed for yourselves a God whose acts accord with your own instincts. You have fabled that He sits on high, careless of His creatures, and jealous only of His own power and honour. You have fabricated a monster who delights to harm, and kill, and torture: a God who rejoices in inflicting punishment bitter, unending, unmitigable. You have imagined such a God, and have put into His mouth words which He never knew, and laws which His loving heart would disown.

God – our Good Good, Loving, Tender, Pitiful – delighting in punishing with cruel hand His ignorant erring sons! Base fable! Base and foolish fancy, produced of man’s cruel heart, of man’s rude and undeveloped mind. There is no such God! There is none. He has no place with us: none, save in man’s degraded mind.

Great Father! Reveal Thyself to these blind wanderers, and teach them of Thyself. Tell them that they dream bad dreams of Thee, that they know Thee not, nor can know till they unlearn their ignorant conceptions of Thy Nature and Thy Love.

Yes, friend, your jails and your legalised  murder, the whole tenor of your dealings with criminals, are based on error and ignorance.

Your wars and your wholesale murderings are even more fearful. You settle your differences with your neighbours, who should be your friends, by arraying against each other masses of spirits – we see not the body; we care only for the spirit temporarily clothed with those human atoms – and those spirits you excite to full pitch of rage and fury, and so you launch them, rudely severed from their earth-bodies, into spirit life. You inflame their passions, and give them full vent. Vengeful, debased, cruel, earth-bound spirits throng around your earth-sphere, and incite the debased who are still in the body to deeds of cruelty and lust and sin. And this for the satisfying of ambition, for a passion fancy, for an idle princely whim, for lack of something else to occupy a king.

Ah! friend, you have much, very much to learn: and you will learn it by the sad and bitter experience of undoing here – after that which you have now done. You must learn the golden lesson, that Pity and Love are truer wisdom than vengeance and vindictive punishment; that were the Great God to deal with us as you deal with your fellows, and as you have falsely fabled that He will, you would be justly sent to your own imagined hell. You must know of God, and of us, and of yourselves, ere you can progress and do our work instead of our adversaries’……

…..turn to the progressive souls who will receive the teaching of wisdom: speak to them the message of Divine truth that shall regenerate and elevate the world: and for the blind ones, pray that when their eyes are opened, they may not despair at the sight which they shall see.

William Stainton Moses, Spirit Teachings

Dec 022014
 

Portae_LucisLet us turn now to the idea of tsimtsum – the ‘withdrawal of God’ in the Lurianic school of the Cabbala. The doctrine of tsimtsum reveals one of the ‘three mysteries’ in the Cabbala: sod hajichud, the mystery of union; sod hatsimtsum, the mystery of concentration or divine withdrawal; sod hagilgul, the mystery of reincarnation or the ‘revolution of souls’. The two other ‘mysteries’ – the mystery of union and that of the revolution of souls – will be treated later, in other letters. Concerning the ‘mystery of the divine withdrawal (or concentration)’ which interests us here, it is a question of the thesis that the existence of the universe is rendered possible by the act of contraction of God within himself. God made a ‘place’ for the world in abandoning a region interior to himself.

The first act of En-Soph, the Infinite Being, is therefore not a step outside but a step inside, a movemetn of recoil, of falling back upon oneself, of withdrawing into oneself. Instead of emanation we have the opposite, contraction…The first act of all is not an act of revelation but an act of limitation. Only in the second act does God send out a ray of His light and begin His revelation, or rather His unfolding as God the Creator, in the primordial space of His own creation. More than that, every new act of emanation and manifestation is preceded by one of concentration and retraction. (Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism).

In other words, in order to create the world ex nihilo, God had first to bring the void itself into existence. He had to withdraw within in order to create a mystical space, a space without his presence – the void. And it is in thinking this thought that we assist at the birth of freedom.

Freedom is not determined by God; it is part of the nothing out of which God created the world….The void – the mystical space from which God withdrew himself through his act of tsimtsum – is the place of origin of freedom, ie, the place of origin of an ‘existence’ which is absolute potentiality, not in any way determined. And all of the beings of the ten created hierarchies are the children of God and freedom born of divine plenitude and the void. They carry within themselves a ‘drop’ of the void and a ‘spark’ of God. Their existence, their freedom, is the void within them. Their essence, their spark of love, is the divine ‘blood’ within them. They are immortal, because the void is indestructible. Further, these two indestructible elements – the meonic element (ov – void) and the pleromic element (plenitude) – are indissolubly bound to one another. (Nichoas Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man).

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IV, The Emperor

Jun 032013
 

4402The perfecting of our faculties hereafter, requires the sacrifice of all here

When our covering of a day is dissolved, when time is rolled away for us like a scroll, then we shall more fully enjoy the spirit of life, and drink, with the Redeemer, the fresh juice of the eternal vine, which will restore our faculties to their perfect fulness, to be employed as it may please Him to ordain.

But, in vain should we promise ourselves such enjoyment hereafter, if we have not faithfully performed all our sacrifices here below, not only those belonging to our personal renovation, but those which concern the voluntary offer of our whole earthly and mortal being, by a daily care, on our part, to become orderly victims, without spot and blameless. For, in that invisible region which we enter on leaving this world, we shall find no more earth to receive those different kinds of blood, which we must necessarily pour out, to recover our liberty;and, if we carry with us the corruption, which these different kinds of blood may contain, there would remain nothing for us but suffering and anguish, since the time and place for voluntary sacrifices would be past.

Man:  His true nature and ministry, Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin

Nov 302012
 

When Dawn broke my sleep with a light, golden spear,

Out peeled the bell o’er my hypnotised head.

My eyes opened wide as I sat up in silence,

Raising the silver shield up from my bed.

 

The bright, ruby ring I had plucked from the deep stream –

Blood of a rosebud that sparkled in my eyes –

Finely it glimmered, a star pink as sunrise.

 

By the night river of clear running water,

I had watched servants weave garlands of wonder,

Maidens make ready for dancing and feasting,

Faerie-folk tending the flowers of summer.

 

Somewhere were singing the undines…. A page-boy

Whispered of treasure to those who could listen,

Spoke of a ring that endowed one with wisdom

 

All who would go there were seeking this treasure –

Moonlight enraptured the realm of enchantment –

Nowhere directions for those without vision –

Lost beyond time in a place of deep dreaming.

 

Fed by the fountain of memories, like snow-flakes,

They watched without seeing in shadows of knowing,

Drank without thinking a draught of forgetting.

Oct 212011
 

Since the time of Descartes, the brain has been considered the source of thought and feeling, but always some people have refused to accept this view. D H Lawrence expressed this reluctance as follows:

Man is a creature that thinks with his blood: the heart dwelling in a sea of blood that flows through the body always in two inverse tides is where chiefly lies what men call thought.

And to quote Norbert Wiener, one of the originators of cybernetics:

Messages which cause conditional or associative learning are carried by the slow but pervasive influence of the blood stream. The blood carries in it substances which alter nervous action directly or indirectly.

Compare now these ultramodern theories with the view expressed by a Memphite physician over 4,500 years ago.

The seeing of the eyes and the breathing of the nose bring messages to the heart. The seeing of the eyes and the hearing of the ears and the breathing of the nose bring messages to the heart. It is the heart which causes all decisions to be made, but it is the tongue which reports what the heart has thought. Thus is all action, whether simple or complex, carried out. The manipulation of the hands, the movement of the legs and the functioning of every limb. All is in accord with the command which the heart has devised and which has appeared on the tongue. Thus is determined the specific nature of everything.

These few ancient phrases summarise extraordinarily accurately the concept of mind-body relationship and its role in evolution which our contemporary behaviourist biologists are now struggling to formulate.

*

Egypt symbolised [the] vision of life energies driven by a symphonic celestial tuning in its well-known texts concerning the twelve divisions or hours of the day and night and of the Dwat, commonly called the Netherworld, or the world of transformations, in which transformations are depicted occurring everywhere – in food, flesh, energy, mind and spirit.

The Dwat is the inner region of transformation beneath or within appearances….The introductory text of the Book of What is in the Dwat, which is divided into twelve chapters, corresponding to the twelve hours of the night reads:

This is the knowledge of the powers of the Netherworld. This is the knowledge of their effects, knowledge of their sacred rhythms [or ritual]. To Re [the Solar Deity], carrier of the knowledge of the mysterious power [or unconscious drive], knowledge of what is contained in the hours as well as in their Gods…[concluding]…O Flesh, who belongest to Sky, but who liveth on earth, O Flesh, Glory to thee. Come Re in the form of the Living One, breath through me here in the Netherworld of the Hours…Transverse the field [or region], O Protector of the body. He shines, the great Light-giver Re drives away darkness.

Here we encounter a blending of physiology with cosmology, the transformative living field of the body expanded into a vision of cosmic transformation. Rhythms set forth in galactical space, passing through hereditary levels, are transmuted into rhythms of incarnate life and mind.

Robert Lawlor, Ancient Temple Architecture, Rediscovering Sacred Science, edited by Christoper Bamford

Aug 182011
 

Vision augments experience; inspiration augments knowledge just as it does understanding; and intuition is the metamorphosis and growth no longer of what one experiences and understands, but rather of what one is. Through intuition one becomes another, through inspiration one apprehends new ways of thinking, feeling and acting, and through vision one’s domain of experience is enlarged – one has a revelation of new facts in accessible to the senses and to intellectual invention.

In practice it is not so that vision, inspiration and intuition are successive stages following the order – vision, inspiration, intuition. For there are those on the spiritual path who have only the experience of intuition, and still others who are only inspired, without ever having visions. But whatever the kind of mode of spiritual experience may be, at the final count it is always a matter of becoming, ie, intuition.

Thus one can say that in principle vision and inspiration are only means for arriving at intuition. Now, intuition takes place in the blood, inspiration  in tears and vision in sweat. For an authentic vision always entails an increase of effort in order to bear it, in order to remain upright in the face of it. Vision has a weight, sometimes overwhelming, which demands a great effort on the part of the soul in order not to give way under the weight of that vision.

Authentic inspiration always entails an inner upheaval. It pierces the soul like an arrow in wounding it and in making it experience that profound emotion which is a synthesis of sorrow and joy. The symbol of the Rose Cross – a cross from the center of which a rose blossoms out – renders the essence of the experience of inspiration in the best way I know. The Rose Cross expresses the mystery of tears, ie, that of inspiration, with force and clarity. It portrays the joy of sorrow and the sorrow of joy, which together comprise inspiration.

With respect to intuition, it is no longer a matter either of the weight of riches or of the romance of the engagement of the Rose and the Cross, but rather of consummating the marriage of life and death. What lives, thereby dies; and what dies, thereby is reborn. Thereby blood is mingled with the Blood and is transformed alchemically from the ‘fluid of separation’ into the ‘fluid of union’.

There are three ways of ‘seeing’ the Cross: the Crucifix, the Rose Cross, and the Gilded Cross bearing a rose of silver. The Crucifix is the greatest treasure of vision. It is the vision of divine and human love. The black Cross with a rose blossoming from it is the treasure of inspiration. This is divine and human love speaking in the soul. The Gilded Cross bearing a rose of silver is the treasure of intuition. This is love transforming the soul.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIV, Temperance

Jul 052011
 

Put now your ear to the seashell of memory,
Walk through the glistening rainbow of promise,
Sun on the ocean makes ripples of magic,
Star of the sea and pure bride of Adonis.

Then will the sea-priestess, white in the starlight,
Raise up her arms at the moon gliding by,
Sing the enchantment that harnessed the ocean,
Dance in the circles that meted out night.

Sea nymphs are whispering ‘Shayla remember…
Mesmerised mermaids and undines glide
Deep in the moonlight of hypnotised sailors;
Drawn by the current that governs all tides.

Whispering ‘Shayla, return to your kingdom,
Sister and daughter, rejoice with your kind…’
Shimmering crystal, the doors of the palace
lay on the seabed, beguiling still waters.

She who sells sea shells upon the sea shore,
Walked through the turquoise and paused at the entrance
Looked through the shimmering aqua at kinsmen,
Heard that the voices were soft but relentless.

Soft as the breeze on the salt of the ocean,
Gentle as rustles the wind through the trees,
Whispering over and over her secret,
Meaning; she hailed from the palace of dreams

Stopped at the threshold the fairytale maiden,
Thought of a promise once made in the spring,
Called to remembrance the angel who loved her,
Said: I relinquish the realm of the sea.

Go, little mermaid, they turned away weeping,
As she, the self, was set free and made mortal.
As you lie dreaming of rainbows in summer,
Seeking the memory, then think of this portal.

Sister, oh sister, how sorry we are now
So went the whispers, the shadows of light.
From the unconsciousness reason found mercy;
Words without doubt put magicians to flight.

Three that give birth from the fiery water
Seven the spheres and reflective of heaven,
Twelve that encircle and bring to completion,
Doubles in number of holy eleven.

Queen of the silver beam, king of all, golden,
Red the blood flowing through milky-white rivers
Bring generation to life in your nature,
Die by the heat but in hope be uprisen.

Light came aurora and pinker than sapphire,
Orange as anything orange is yellow,
Redder than berries of green in the meadow,
Bluer than dawn is, an indigo fire.

Promises, promises, rainbows and birdsong,
Speak of the vow that just cannot be broken
Time has no meaning and space is illusion,
Born is Creation, by God’s word is spoken.

Feb 032011
 

What is essential in order that spiritual truth is not forgotten, and that it lives? Hope, true creativity and tradition are the essential factors. The corroborating testimony of the three ever-present witnesses – spirit, blood and water – is necessary.

True testimony through the spirit, through blood, and through water will never fall into forgetfulness. One can kill spiritual truth, but it will resurrect.

Now, the unity of hope, creativity and tradition is the agent of growth. It is the concerted action of spirit, blood and water. It is therefore indestructible; its action is irreversible; and its movement is irresistible. And it is the agent of growth which is, in the last analysis, the subject of the Emerald Table of Hermes Trismegistus.

And all things were made by meditation of the One, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation,” says the Emerald Tablet (Tabula Smaragdina, 3). Which amounts to saying: as the One is the creator of the essence of all things, thus there is a unique agent which adapts the existence of all things to their essence – the principle of adaptation of that which is born to its created prototype.

This is the agent of growth or the principle of evolution. It is engendered by the spontaneous light of hope (the sun) reflected in the movement of the lower waters (the moon), which produces the general impulse or ‘push’ (the wind), which bears primordial hope towards its realisation in the material domain (the earth), which donates it with its constructive elements (ie, nourishes or ‘nurses’ it). Thus, the Emerald Table continues:

The father thereof is the sun, the mother the moon; the wind carried it in its womb; the earth is the nurse thereof. (Tabula Smaragdina, 4)

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XVII, The Star

Sep 232010
 

abyss air apollo artemis

beauty blood dawn divine

earth fire future god

gold golden heart heaven

human light love magic

magical

meditations

tarot mind moon mystery

nature power prayer reason

sea secret silver sky

soul spirit spiritual star

sun time truth vision

water wind wisdom world

Sep 212010
 

The Card, “The Pope” puts us in the presence of the act of benediction. It is essential to have this in mind when one undertakes the interpretation not only of the structure of the whole Card but also of each of its particular elements.

One should therefore never lose from sight that in the first place it is a matter of benediction and everything associated with it – no matter who the Pope may be or who the acolytes kneeling before him are, and no matter what the two columns behind the Pope signify, and no matter what his tiara and the triple cross he is holding symbolise.

What is benediction? What is its source and its effect? Who has the authority to bestow benediction? What role does it play in the spiritual life of humanity?

Now, benediction is more than a simple good wish made for others; it is also more than a magical impress of personal thought and will upon others. It is the putting into action of divine power transcending the individual thought and will of the one who is blessed as well as the one who is pronouncing the blessing. In other words, it is a sacerdotal act.

The two sides of the Cabbala – the “right” side and the “left” side – and the two columns of the Sephiroth Tree, the pillar of Mercy and that of Severity, and similarly the two pillars of the Temple of Solomon, Jachin and Boaz, correspond exactly the the two columns of prayer and benediction on this Card. Because it is Severity which stimulates prayer and it is Mercy which blesses.

the venous “blue blood” of Boaz ascends and the arterial “red blood” of Jachin descends. The “red blood” bears the vivifying benediction of oxygen; the “blue blood” rids the organism of the “severity” of carbonic acid. It is the same in the spiritual life. Spiritual asphyxia menaces he who does not practise some form of prayer; he who practises it receives vivifying benediction in some form. The two columns therefore have an essentially practical significance – as practically spiritually as rerspiration is for the life of the organism.

Thus, the first practical teaching of the fifth Arcanum – for the Major Arcana of the Tarot are spiritual exercises – relates to spiritual respiration.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter V, The Pope