Aug 282014
 

341878994_8f7ab4aa31Love is strong as death, ie, death does not destroy it. Death can neither let one forget nor let one cease to hope. Those of us – we human souls of today – who bear within ourselves the flame of the memory of Eden cannot forget it, nor can we cease to hope for it. And if human souls come into the world with the imprint of this memory, and also with the impression of knowing that the meeting with the other will not take place for them in this life here below, they will then live this life as if widowed, in so far as they remember, and as if engaged, in so far as they hope.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI, The Lover

Feb 112012
 

One can no longer deny the fact that, in the psychic domain, nothing dies and that the whole past lives present in the diverse layers of the depths of consciousness – the ‘unconscious’ or subconsciousness – of the soul….

…For this reason nothing perishes and nothing is lost in the domain of the psyche; essential history, ie real joy and suffering, real religions and revelations of the past, continue to live in us, and it is in we ourselves that the key to the essential history of mankind is to be found.

It is in we ourselves that there is to be found the ‘Edenic’ layer, or that of paradise and the Fall,  of which an account is to be found in the book of Genesis of Moses. Do you doubt the essential truth of this account? Descend into the depths of your own soul, descend as far as the roots, to the sources of feeling, will and intelligence – and you will know.

You will know, ie, you will have certainty that the Biblical narrative is true in the most profound and authentic sense of the word – in the sense that you must deny yourself, deny the witness of the inner structure of your own soul, in order to be able to doubt the intrinsic truth of Moses’ account.

The descent into the depths of your own soul in meditating upon the account of paradise in Genesis will render you incapable of doubt. Such is the nature of the certainty that one can have here….

….It expresses in symbolic language the first layer (first in the sense of the root of all that is human in human nature) of human psychic life, or its ‘beginning’. Now, knowledge of the beginning, initium in Latin, is the essence of initiation.

Initiation is the conscious experience of the initial microcosmic state (this is the Hermetic initiation), and of the initial macrocosmic state (this is the Pythagorean initiation). The first is a conscious descent into the depths of the human being, to the initial layer. Its method is enstasy, ie, experience of the depths at the foundation within oneself.

Here one becomes more and more profound until one awaens within oneself the primordial layer – or the image and likeness of God – which is the aim of enstasy. It is above all by means of the sense of spiritual touch that enstasy is effected. one can compare it to a chemical experiment undergone on the psychic and spiritual plane.

The second initiation experience – that we have designated ‘Pythagorean’ from a historial point of view – is based above all on the auditory sense or sense of spiritual hearing. It is essentially musical, just as the first is substantial or alchemical. It is by ecstasy – or rapture, or going out of oneself – that the macrocosmic layers (‘spheres’ or ‘heavens’) reveal themselves to consciousness.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter VI, The Lover

 

Jul 152011
 

The tragic ‘almost’ is a poignant commonplace of epic literature. The Iliad tells how the Trojan War was almost brought to a close by a single combat between Paris and Menelaos. How many lives would have been spared had not Apollo intervened, and for the most petty of reasons!

Paradise Lost shows us Satan seriously considering whether he is making a huge mistake by initiating the temptation in the garden….but, alas, he decides to go ahead with it after all. But nowhere is this motif more forcefully present than in the biblical narrative.

Since the Fall of Adam humanity has come close to ultimate fulfillment and redemption on several occasions. Even now just one small righteous action may be all that separates us from reentering Eden. Noah certainly had his chance to restore humanity. The Flood was like a huge mikveh – a ritual bath for all creation, in which evil was subjected to a series of irresistible hot and cold ‘washing cycles’.

Rabbi Yehuda said that in Gehenom the wicked are punished with water for six months and with fire for six months. Why, during the flood were they punished only by water for twelve months? Six months should have been enough. Rabbi Yosi told him that they were sentenced to both punishments: water and fire. They water that fell upon them from above was cold as snow. And they were also punished by fire because the water that spouted from the deep was scalding.

Thus, they were punished for twelve months, receiving the full sentence of Gehenom. This continued until they were completely removed from the face of the world. During this time, Noah was hidden in the ark. As a result, the Angel of Darkness did not approach him, and the ark roamed upon the waters, as it is written: “And they bore up the ark, and it was lifted above the Earth.” (Genesis 7:17), The Zohar, Vol. 2, pp. 388-390.

But when at last the waters had receded, Noah made a tragic mistake. It was, in fact, the same mistake Adam had made, and it came about in much the same way. Popular belief to the contrary, the forbidden fruit that tempted Adam and Eve was not an apple. it was a grape.

Come and behold: Adam’s wife pressed him grapes and bought death upon him, Israel, and the whole world. When Noah came upon these grapes, he was not well guarded, as it is written: “He drank of the wine, and was drunk; and he was uncovered within his tent.:” (Genesis 9:21)

After the Deluge: Temperance, The Essential Zohar, Rav P S Berg

Jul 042011
 

I lifted up skyward the crown of the faeries,
Tarnished by oceans of sea-crossing time.
Forged in the fire of golden-days dawning,
Lit with a halo of stars in the night.

Who now shall wear it? I wondered in silence
Una is resting with Duessa at play.
Gwenevere wanders in halls of forgetting,
Deep in the summer of dreaming this day.

On her feet sandals of gold, steps the princess,
Floating on air through the green garden grass,
Walking alone by the castle of ether,
Seen but unseen by the world through a glass.

The seal of the nether-world opened up freely;
Through the dark tunnel with reason behind,
Following meekly the one with a mission;
Perfect in will and a reader of signs.

Once past the stream of the guardian lizards,
On through the gate to the bright other place,
Land of reflection and fathomless knowledge,
Home elemental of alchemic race.

Where do we go? I looked left and then eastward,
Somehow forboding the place that I saw.
Life’s university, building of sandstone
Burnished and gleaming, a prison by law.

Silent, but knowing, did reason stand sweetly
Holder of mysteries, the teacher and guide.
Younger and wiser and older all-seeing,
Dressed up in white and demure by my side.

Then came a voice – and as if out of nowhere –
Do you need help, you seem lost in this realm?
There stood a faerie, bewitchingly golden
Silken and spun was her hair from the sun

Stepped forth the reason – seduced by her magic –
Stretched out a hand to her beautiful hair.
Won’t you come with me? The faerie enticed us,
Stop by the hearth of the potter this day...

Brooding I pondered, could faeries be trusted?
Should I be swayed from the pathway assigned?
Yet I had watched how my reason surrendered
So before airs of a beautiful kind….

Loathe to offend such a glorious being,
One who had offered with kindness and grace,
Help just when needed. I bowed to the faerie;
Take now your highness my reason away.

Then the wind changed as a wandering mistral,
Warm as the breeze on a meadow of wheat,
Swift, warm and golden the faerie-bird air-borne
Flew o’er myself that fell under her wing.

Passed by all time as I sailed down the sleep-stream,
Far to the land where the doe and stag graze.
Home to the garden that blooms East of Eden,
Land of the ancestors covered in praise.

Opened my eyes as I reached the cool garden
Wonder-filled, wide, as memories unfolded.
Looked up the stag and the doe from their incline,
Wakened my self from the river of time.

Safe in the knowledge of paradise tended,
Turned I my thought to the reason once lost.
So in a blink of my eye I went searching,
Straight to the hearth of the faerie-bird’s host.

May 012010
 

Celtic StagI walked with my head down looking neither left nor right, once again alone and knowing nothing but my dreams. Once we had all been friends and lain together in the fields before the end, watching time run away and Summer fade to Autumn.  It is true that we had parted company and that I had gone a separate way, but I felt for the first time in a long age the stirring of an unbroken connection with this place and I hastened to meet fate.

I felt a profound sadness as I wondered for how long I had  been a lost soul; was it an eternity?  I did not know if I was on the right path or not, I just knew that I longed to return. I completely lost track of time, where I was going and what I was supposed to be doing, so fully absorbed was I in this longing to return to the place of my memories and dreams.

When my consciousness was woken once again, I stopped and looked around. Immediately I breathed a sigh of relief. Indeed, there I was afforded an abundance of joy in my heart, for although I was not yet at the Elysium fields I had somehow found my way into the garden of my parents, East of Eden.

Behind me was the sacred stream, which ran down from the northern hills ,and before me was the house that they had built, hazy in the sunshine, surrounded by flowers and trees.  The Oracle was over on the left, just out of sight behind the hawthorns and nightshade, while the city, I sensed, was far away in the West; I was completely safe assured. My longing passion subsided and I became one with the surroundings, silent as a hare in the grass.

I had not been there long before I saw a movement amongst the grass and bushes by the side of the house.  I saw two tawny creatures step slowly up the sloping bank, turn, and look my way.  One was a stag, the other a doe, and my joy knew no bounds.  I loved them dearly and wished with all my heart to follow where they led, the path to the Elysium fields.

I willed myself to keep sight and follow them, but was rooted to the spot by my stronger concern that they should not be startled.  Lord, was I enraptured by the presence of these sacred animals whilst in the Eastern land, the very sight of them gave me a sense of peace and rare privilege fortifying my spirit as if I had drunk the elixir of life.

I felt the warm cool wind once again, blowing me towards the Potter’s Hearth.

May 012010
 

continued from The Fairy Guide…..

“We may go for a little while, but do not stray”

The whisper was like a fire in the night seen only by myself and I snapped out of the reverie I had fallen into.  It seemed that consciousness had not gone the same way as my reason and I was glad, then, for the voice of this unseen third behind me.

I had remembered him (or her, it was not clear) at the onset of the journey, for he had surely made himself known in my heart.  Was he, perhaps, a more faithful friend then reason, or at least a more reliable one?  I recognized the wisdom of the alternative to us all going along together and, as I did, the fairy looked with deeper interest at the longing brown-haired girl, and then back at me.  “Perhaps we two should go on ahead and you may follow later, if you wish?”

Although I could easily have gone along with them, this last was revealing itself as the best option.  As anything is possible within reason I judged that it would probably be  best to let her take the lead on this occasion, especially as she had clearly found something for which she had been looking. The fairy would soon lose interest in me if I remained passive and, with consciousness intact, I would not be likely to slip up as long as I remained vigilant.

The fairy smiled at me with those glittering eyes again and I felt a strange sensation. Inexplicably, I wanted to kiss her, and I leant towards her almost despite myself. I was so close that a silken strand of long hair, lifted by the wind, coiled around my neck and touched my bare back and I spoke quickly to cover my confusion.

“Thank you for taking care of my friend, I hope to join you both very shortly, I’m sure I will find my way to the Potter’s hearth, I’m sure it will be easy to find.  Maybe I could ask someone for directions..”

The fairy was spontaneously helpful for no apparent reason. “Have no fear”, she said, “his house is well hidden, but you shall find the way without having to look.  Follow your instincts, but remember to turn right; the way back here is not East of Eden.”

I was very glad of this kindness she had shown me in exchange for the companionship of my enchanted reason, which parted from my self with what I knew would soon become wanton abandon. I wondered if her preference for the elemental being was a form of betrayal or liberation.