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.

Apr 232011
 

‘“Down he went, to play for Hades –
God who had the lady hidden –
Eurydice, the lovely maiden,
She, who by the snake was bitten.

‘“Hearing as he strummed so gently,
Sang a Dithyramb, song of heartache,
Hades’ wife wept tears for twenty,
Whilst the God himself shed plenty.

‘“Weeping like a bride, old Hades –
He that might undo the death-spell –
Said to him: “Oh Prince of Poets,
Sweeter is your song than nectar.

‘“Henceforth shall our guide be Eros,
God of love. Your song convinced us
That we should release the lady,
On but one condition, only.

‘“You must not set eyes upon her
‘Til she’s reached the land above us.
Did you, Prince, take care to listen
“Well? Else fail in this, your mission.

Feb 212011
 

If it were sufficient to love, things would be too easy. The more one loves the stronger the absurd grows. It is not through lack of love that Don Juan goes from woman to woman to woman. It is ridiculous to represent him as a mystic in quest of total love. But it is indeed because he loves them with the same passion and each time with his whole self that he must repeat his gift and his profound quest.

Whence each woman hopes to give him what no one has ever given him. Each time they are utterly wrong and merely manage to make him feel the need of that repetition. ‘At last’, exclaims one of them, ‘ I have given you love’. Can we be surprised that Don Juan laughs at this? ‘At last?’ ‘No’, he says’, ‘but once more.’ Why should it be essential to love rarely in order to love much?

Is Don Juan melancholy? This is not likely. I shall barely have recourse to the legend. That laugh, the conquering insolence, that playfulness and love of the theatre are all clear and joyous. Every healthy creature tends to multiply himself. So it is with Don Juan. But furthermore melancholy people have two reasons for being so: they don’t know or they hope. Dont Juan knows and does not hope.

He reminds one of those artists who know their limits, never go beyond them, and in that precarious interval in which they take their spiritual stand enjoy all the wonderful ease of masters. And that is, indeed, genius: the intelligence that knows its frontiers. Up to the frontier of physical death Don Juan is ignorant of melancholy. The moment he knows, his laugh bursts forth and makes one forgive everything. He was melancholy at the time when he hoped.

Today, on the mouth of that woman he recognises the bitter and comforting taste of the only knowledge. Bitter? Barely: that necessary imperfection that makes happiness perceptible! It is quite false to try to see in Don Juan a man brought up on Ecclesiastes. For nothing is vanity to him except the hope of another life. He proves this because he gambles that other life against heaven itself. Longing for desire killed by satisfaction, that commonplace of the impotent man does not belong to him.

Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Feb 112011
 

I could not wait for You, but You made me wait. My death was too far away for me and I could not see.

I hoped against hope that You would appear while I was living, and surely it took the enlightenment of Your presence for me to realise the truth.

In a sense I was not alive before that time, although I had dreamed that it would come. My dreams, in a way, are like memories, because I believe that what is to come is safe.

This is foresight.

Before and after: The beginning and the end. One and the same, yet different.

When you reached that time which came after, did you not see that it could only be

The Beginning?

I think I did.

Then do not fear things coming to an end, because you are here, in my eternal life.

The light of the world.

One of the first things you gave me was light. Everything became light. Truly I believe, that You gave me the moon and the stars, knowing how afraid of the dark I had always been. I believe us to be one and the same, in the most evolutionary way.

There is an honest, loving connection between us that does not fade.

Based upon natural selection?

I would not expand upon this principle, except to remind you of the element of Chance!

Now you perceive the problem with that theory – even chances are divinely designed signs.

I want my memories to last forever and ever.

Were they not your dreams coming true?

In search of Heaven in your Soul, you will find all the lifetime.

What about everybody else?

Do not panic! they are still resting.

Jan 292011
 

Beyond the three types of memory – mechanical, logical and moral – there is still the kind of memory that we have designated as “vertical or revelatory memory.”

It is not a memory of the past in the sense of the horizontal line: today, yesterday, the day before, etc, but rather in the sense of the vertical line: here, higher, still higher, etc. It is a “memory” which does not link the present to the past on the plane of physical, psychic and intellectual life, but which links the plane of ordinary consciousness to planes or states of consciousness higher than ordinary consciousness.

It is the faculty of the “lower self” to reproduce the experience and knowledge of the “higher self” or, if you like, the faculty of the “higher self” to imprint its experience and knowledge upon the consciousenss of the “lower self”. It is the link between the “higher eye” and the “lower eye”, which renders us authentically religious and wise, and immune to the assaults of sceptism, materialism and determinism.

It is this also which is the source of certainty not only of God and the spiritual world with its hierarchical entities but also of the immortality of our being and reincarnation, wherever it is a matter of reincarnation. “Dawn is the friend of the muses” and similar popular proverbs, such as “the morning hour has gold in its mouth” or “morning is wiser than the evening”, relate to the benefits of vertical memory from which one benefits in the morning, after the return of consciousness from the plane of “natural ecstasy” or sleep.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIII, Death

Jan 062011
 

It was neither the straw of the crib, nor the animals that were present, which guided and enabled the mages from the East to find the Child, but rather the “star” in heaven. Similarly, in Hermeticism one will find only straw and animals if one is not guided by its “star”, which exists only for intuition. Now, it is the nineteenth Arcanum of the Tarot, which invites us to occupy  ourselves quite especially with the “star” of Hermeticism in the heaven of intuition. What is this “star?” The Zohar says:

“And God made the two great lights….originally, when the moon and sun were in intimate union, they shone with equal luminosity. The names JEHOVAH and ELOHIM were then associated as equals…and the two lights were dignified with the same name: MAZPAZ MAZPAZ….The two lights rose simultaneously and were of the same dignity. But….the moon humbled herself by diminishing her light, and renounced her place of higher rank. From that time she has had no light of her own, but derives her light from the sun.

Nevertheless, her real light is greater than that which she radiates here below; for a woman enjoys no honour save in conjunction with her husband. The great light (the sun) has the name JEHOVAH and the lesser light (the moon) has the name ELOHIM, which is the last of the degrees and the close of thought. Originally she was inscribed above among the letters of the sacred name (YHVH), which are four in number; it was only after diminishing herself that she took the name ELOHIM.

But her power is manifest in all directions….EL being “the dominion of the day,” IM” being the “dominion of the night,” and HE in the middle being the remainder of the forces (“the stars”), participating in both dominions.

It is left to us only to cite another passage from an ancient source – from the eleventh book of Apuleius’ Transformations – in order to have all the elements necessary to grapple, sufficiently equipped, with the problem of the “star” of Hermeticism and “The Sun” of the nineteenth Arcanum of the Tarot. Apuleius summarised his great vigil at the temple of Isis – the “arcana of the sacred night” (noctis sacratae arcana) in the following way:

I approached the very gates of death and set one foot on Prosperine’s threshold,  yet was permitted to return, rapt through all the elements. At midnight I saw the sun shining in its brilliant radiance; I entered the presence of the gods of the under-world and the gods of the upper-world,  stood near and worshipped them.

Let us now seek for reality, having in view the above-cited passage from the Zohar and the statement made by Apuleius.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIX, The Sun

Oct 132010
 

He saw raised up majestically the sign

That brings hope and comfort to all human souls,

The sign to which many thousand hearts ardently confess –

The sign that overcame the power of bitter death

Fluttering in so many victorious flags:

A refreshing stream filled his heavy limbs

He saw the Cross and dropped his eyes.

He felt again the salvation that sprang from thence,

He felt the faith of half the earth;

But, as he saw the image before his eye,

He felt himself inspired by new, unknown meaning –

The Cross stood densely hung about with roses!

Who added  the roses to the Cross?

The garland of roses swelled, spread on all sides

To surround the hard wood with softness.

Light, silvery clouds soared,

Rose upward with Cross and roses,

And from the centre sprang holy life –

A threefold ray from a single point.

But not a word surrounded the image

To give the mystery sense and clarity.

In the gathering dusk growing grey and greyer,

The pilgrim stood, pondered, and felt himself raised up.

Goethe, The Mysteries

Aug 122010
 

O heart of me, much-enduring heart, O right arm, now indeed must you show what son was born to Zeus by Alcmena, the Tirynthian, daughter of Electryon! For I must save this dead woman, and bring back Alcestis to this house as a grace to Admetus.

I shall watch for Death, the black-robed Lord of the Dead, and I know I shall find him near the tomb, drinking the blood of the sacrifices. If can leap upon him from an ambush, seize him, grasp him in my arms, no power in the world shall tear his bruised sides from me until he has yielded up this woman.

If I miss my prey, if he does not come near the bleeding sacrifice, I will go down to Kore and her lord in their sunless dwelling, and I will make my entreaty to them, and I know they will give me Alcestis to bring back to the hands of the host who welcomed me, who did not repulse me from his house, though he was smitten with heavy woe which most nobly he hid from me! Where would be a warmer welcome in Thessaly or in all the dwellings of Hellas?

Alcestis, Euripides

Jul 172010
 

What soul isn’t in default?

Can you afford not to make the magical study which happiness is?

Do you hear the cock when he crows?

Do you  know the charge, that you shall have no envy, that your life has its orders, that the seasons seize you too, that no body and soul are one if they are not wrought in this retort?

That otherwise efforts are efforts?

And that the hour of your flight will be the hour of your death

Charles Olson, from Variations done for Gerald van de Wiele