“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Find the well by the lake of memory. Guardians protect the cold water. Tell them…
I am standing in the centre of a great rectangular hall with my head held high and my long, bright hair wound into an elaborate arrangement that is held in place by a gleaming diadem. My white linen robe is bound with pure gold and I am still as a statue, with one eye fixed upon the future as the other observes what is past.
The air is cool beneath the temple roof. The only sounds that can be heard are an occasional bleating of goats and the distant murmuring of servants as they make ready for the Spring Council, which is to be held here in three and a half days. I have already swept clean the marble floor and it shines like the full moon of Amalios. Early-morning sunrays flood the hallowed space, infusing every atom. Narrow gaps between the thick, rounded pillars reveal sections of a motionless scene, silent as if time had ceased.
Happy are the men who enter this house and ask of me, “What do you see?” The wisest make the best of the answer they are given but others seek more, seldom to any avail, for there is a way that we do things at this place – here at the navel of the world – where the future is inscribed on lead.
I stand within the fourth Apollonian Temple to have been built here, which has undergone extensive repair works following the War that almost destroyed it.
The first Temple was much smaller than the present building and constructed from branches of Thessaly’s sacred laurel trees; the next was created by bees of wax and feathers, designed to bridge the gap between Earth and the underworld. Bees make the journey to and from Hades as a matter of course and the secrets they retrieve are for the golden ears of Apollo and his twin sister Artemis, keeper of the moon.
The third temple was a great bronze edifice which stood for many years before the heat of the Sun God melted it back into the Earth, and the fourth was built before I took up my office. The fifth shall not be put on its foundations before I have left for the Elysium Fields.
It is on the seventh day of each month that the future lives of men are unveiled and they come from all parts of the Earth to know what the fates have in store for them. This is except for during the winter months, when twice-born Dionysus returns and natural chaos reigns in place of Apollo’s measured reason.
When frost is on the ground and the sheaves of wheat have frozen back into the Earth – when the great white star of Maia appears on the horizon – then it is that nine wild maenads will herald the arrival of Dionysus. His body is buried close to where I am standing and during his season our dedications are made for the following year’s harvest, while we pray that the sun God will return, his golden youth resurrected anew.
When I am satisfied that the purification rituals have been performed correctly and the Temple is perfectly clean I walk towards the entrance of the great hall. It is elaborately decorated with all manner of votives – burnished golden shields, statues, cauldrons, tripods and bows – from all four corners of the Earth. Counted amongst them are the ensigns and symbols of every noble family that is known to this world.
I instinctively look up before leaving Apollo’s house, to above the entrance where a thousand garlands of laurel create fragrant canopies beneath the ceiling and pay host to the songbirds that sing his praises. The sweetest voice I ever heard belongs to the nightingale, who reveals to those with ears to hear the innermost longing of the psyche. A pure, shrill note breaks the silence and escapes into Echo’s lonely realm. When daybreak comes I shall return.
Where is that holy fire, which verse is said
To have? Is that enchanting force decay’d?
Verse that draws nature’s works from nature’s law,
Thee, her best work, to her work cannot draw.
Have my tears quench’d my old poetic fire?
Why quench’d they not as well that of desire?
Thoughts, my mind’s creatures, often are with thee,
But I, their maker, want their liberty.
Only thine image in my heart doth sit,
But that is wax, and fires environ it.
My fires have driven, thine have drawn it hence;
And I am robb’d of picture, heart, and sense.
Dwells with me still mine irksome memory,
Which, both to keep and lose, grieves equally.
That tells me how fair thou art; thou art so fair
As gods, when gods to thee I do compare,
Are graced thereby; and to make blind men see,
What things gods are, I say they’re like to thee.
For if we justly call each silly man
A little world, what shall we call thee then?
Thou art not soft, and clear, and straight, and fair,
As down, as stars, cedars, and lilies are;
But thy right hand, and cheek, and eye, only
Are like thy other hand, and cheek, and eye.
Such was my Phao awhile, but shall be never,
As thou wast, art, and O, mayst thou be ever.
Here lovers swear in their idolatry,
That I am such; but grief discolours me.
And yet I grieve the less, lest grief remove
My beauty, and make me unworthy of thy love.
John Donne, Sappho to Philaenis
The alignment is earlier than forecast by the magicians….
Despite being unable to comprehend that this was anything other than the most significant event conceivable at that moment – even rivaling some key occurrences of the world’s entire history – the witness did not dare to turn on the news or radio.
What if the World Government has also realized what’s happening and decides to send out subliminal brain-washing messages over the network in case everyone goes mad from the emanations?
This was both rational and irrational.
A small gathering of ghostly figures from ancient history stood silently watching alongside the witness. At first the group remained inconspicuously huddled – invisible to all but the naked third eye – and concentrated without effort on the astounding planetary activity. They were astronomical pedants to the thirty-third degree and this was a sight worth crossing oceans of time for.
The witness focused primarily on the blue planet Venus, whose erotic charge was palpable to everyone… South… of.… The witness made a few rapid deductions…..Watford. Yes, probably Watford, maybe Hemel Hempstead, at a push. I wonder who is going to feel the force and take it upon themselves to enact the dramatic script?
* Robert Anton Wilson
The Shepherd, Mind of all masterhood, hath not passed on to me more than hath been written down, for full well did he know that I should of myself be able to learn all, and hear what I should wish, and see all things.
He left to me the making of fair things; wherefore the Powers within me. e’en as they are in all, break into song.
Tat: Father, I wish to hear; I long to know these things.
Hermes: Be still, my son; hear the Praise−giving now that keeps [the soul] in tune, Hymn of Re−birth − a hymn I would not have thought fit so readily to tell, had’st thou not reached the end of all. Wherefore this is not taught, but is kept hid in silence.
Thus then, my son, stand in a place uncovered to the sky, facing the southern wind, about the sinking of the setting sun, and make thy worship; so in like manner too when he doth rise, with face to the east wind.
Now, son, be still!
Follows the Secret Hymnody…..
……Tat: By thy good pleasure have I seen this praise−giving being sung, O father; I have set it in my Cosmos too.
Hermes: Say in the Cosmos that thy mind alone can see, my son
Tat: Yea, father, in the Cosmos that the mind alone can see; for I have been made able by thy Hymn, and by thy Praise−giving my mind hath been illumined. But further I myself as well would from my natural mind send praise−giving to God.
Hermes: But not unheedfully, my son.
Tat: Aye. What I behold in mind, that do I say. To thee, thou Parent of my Bringing into Birth, as unto God I, Tat, send reasonable offerings. o God and Father, thou art the Lord, thou art the Mind. Receive from me oblations reasonable as thou would’st wish; for by thy Will all things have been perfected.
Hermes: Send thou oblation, son, acceptable to God, the Sire of all; but add, my son, too, “through the Word” (Logos).
Tat: I give thee, father, thanks for showing me to sing such hymns.
Hermes: Happy am I, my son, that though hast brought the good fruits forth of Truth, products that cannot die. And now that thou hast learnt this lesson from me, make promise to keep silence on thy virtue, and to no soul, my son, make known the handing on to thee the manner of Rebirth, that we may not be thought to be.
The Secret Sermon on the Mountain
The Led display of the mobile phone revealed that it was almost one. She listened intently to the voice that came into her room via the radio. A drama was set to unfold, of that she could be sure; it seemed as if a kind of magic was taking place.
A gust of wind blew the window open with a bang and she jumped violently, shaken from her reverie by the sudden noise and rush of cool air. As he silently slipped inside she searched in vain the indigo space he left behind him. A magnificent aura had filled the room, sparkling like a billion shimmering flecks of silvery gold dust.
He watched while she turned her head north and south, seeking what – or whomsoever – had disturbed the rose-scented ether.
One golden glance of what should be.
She knew she was no longer alone, for a profound change had occurred in the atmosphere. Lush, electronic sounds swelled like waves and swept through her body and soul, as a deep history of time unfolded in his fathomless mind.
She was wearing gold-coloured sandals – shoes that were a gift from her father – and a midnight blue dress. Around her wrist was a bracelet full of charms and with his bright, ancient eyes, he saw that the necklace at her throat was made from the stuff of magic; a gift from her mystery-loving mother.
He had challenged the doors of time to reach her and the wait had seemed an eternity. 2,611 years had passed since she had been this close to him. On that occasion the moon had been perfectly halved by the shadow of the Earth. Jupiter, then, was at the same point in its orbit as it would be in precisely three and a half hours, that self-same night.
The much-lamented loss of Pros Theon had abruptly ended a few short minutes after its owner entered the bathroom, where it was discovered at the bottom of a towering stack of bathroom-reading material and joyfully rescued by its ecstatic owner.
Tremendously relieved, twelve years of life added back on, the Master placed Pros Theon on the desk in the study with a great sense of ceremony, lit an ancient lamp and turned to the penultimate section:
Transformatio Dies (The Days of Transformation)
Translating and interpreting the elaborate text was a mission that took every effort of will and imagination; the fruits of this fabled tome being rare and exotic indeed.
After 23 meticulously strung-together minutes, the Master – who had a surprisingly short attention span for one inclined to meditation – looked up from the text and out of the window for inspiration, directly onto the swaying treetops. Perchance, there was sitting a bird of extraordinary magnitude and power and in that same instant a piercing set of eyes imparted the truth – a reminder – with almost unfathomable simplicity:
‘Forwards backwards; time is taking
Certain steps through every section.
Herein find the secret waiting:
Future from the past; reflection.
Soaring Eagle spread his massive wings and flew towards the window, sight locked like magnetic iron onto the fixated Master, who felt a heavenly upsurge of pure, unadulterated joy and ran in the eagle’s direction, having reverted back to childhood in a twinkling of the eye. In complete innocence the Master was able to grasp one of the bird’s great tail feathers and later attach it to the sun-tinted dream catcher. More memories of Halcyon Days would be captured by this than by all of the other feathers combined.
Twilight fell like whispers of an echo bade by Eros. Venus – like the bloom –transpired, with stars like smelted teardrops.
Walking with a step that lights the ether,
Paler than the moon with veils of shadow,
Moving on the water stretched beneath her.
Sweet she is as lilies dripping nectar,
Dancing with the sunbeams on the ocean,
Golden is the sphere and it surrounds her,
Silver stars a-light her every motion.
Green the gown that covers her in beauty,
Violet is the robe she wears at midnight,
Rosy-hued the colour of her secret,
Blue as rain the sky within her eyesight.
Silent is the soul that came down gently,
Carried in the arms of love so tender,
Wedded to the Prince of Peace intently,
Gazing at the one so He defends her.
Mercy springs and splendour mark their presence –
Two as one they stand as all united –
Perfect is the love, their only essence,
Faerie queen and son of man be-knighted.
Crystal stones bejem the kingdom’s pathways –
Topaz, onyx, jasper, sapphire, beryl –
Plus a thousand others at their passage –
Amethyst, carnelian and emerald.
In her breast a bird of light is flying,
Spreading open wings of joy now boundless,
Whiter than the swan with grace undying,
Every step she takes the ground is thrice-blessed.
Lady from the high-walled faerie palace,
She who gathers sea shells on the sea shore,
She who saved the spark to give her master,
Now does reap the promise of the rainbow.
Let us consider the domain of forgetting and remembering – the memory.
Memory is magic, in the subjective domain, which effects the evocation of things from the past. It renders past things present. Just as a sorcerer or necromancer evokes the spirits of the dead by making them appear, so does the memory evoke things of the past and make them appear to our inner mental vision.
The present remembrance is the result of the magical operation in the subjective domain, where one has succeeded in evoking from the black void of forgetfulness a living image from the past.
A living image from the past….imprint? symbol? copy? phantom? It is all of these at once. It is an imprint in so far as it makes use f my imagination to represent a reality which goes beyond its imaginary representation; it is a copy in so far as it only aims at reproducing the original from the past; it is a phantom in so far as it is an apparition from the black abyss of forgetfulness and in so far as it recalls to life the past in making it present to my inner vision.
What is the force at work in the subjective magical operation of remembering? There are four types of memory that one experiences: mechanical or automatic memory, logical memory, moral memory and vertical or revelatory memory.
Vertical or revelatory memory is not a memory of the past in the sense of the horizontal line: today, yesterday, the day before, but rather in the sense of the vertical line: here, higher, still higher. 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 that of ordinary consciousness to planes or states of consciousness higher than that of 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 consciousness 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 also this 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 proverbs relate to the benefits of vertical memory form which one benefits in the morning, after the return of consiousness from the plane of “natural ecstasy” or sleep.
Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter XIII, Death
Rich in fruit and laden creeper and in beauteous bush and trep. Flower-bespangled golden Lanka was like gem-bespangled sea!
Rose a palace in the woodlands girt by pillars strong and high. Snowy-white like fair Kailasa cleaving through the azure sky,
And its steps were ocean coral and its pavement yellow gold . White and gay and heaven-aspiring rose the structure high and bold!
By the rich and royal mansion Hanuman his eyes did rest, On a woman sad and sorrowing in her sylvan garments drest,
Like the moon obscured and clouded, dim with shadows deep and dark, Like the smoke-enshrouded red fire, dying with a feeble spark,
Like the tempest-pelted lotus by the wind and torrent shaken, Like the beauteous star Rohini by a graha overtaken!
Fasts and vigils paled her beauty, tears bedimmed her tender grace, Anguish dwelt within her bosom, sorrow darkened on her face,
And she lived by Rakshas guarded, as a faint and timid deer, Severed from her herd and kindred when the prowling wolves are near,
And her raven locks ungathered hung behind in single braid, And her gentle eye was lightless, and her brow was hid in shade!
“This is she! the peerless princess, Rama’s consort loved and lost, This is she! the saintly Sita, by a cruel fortune crost,”
Hanuman thus thought and pondered: “On her graceful form I spy, Gems and gold by sorrowing Rama oft depicted with it sigh,
On her ears the golden pendants and the tiger’s sharpened tooth, On her arms the jewelled bracelets, tokens of unchanging truth,
On her pallid brow and bosom still the radiant jewels shine, Rama with a sweet affection did in early days entwine!
Hermit’s garments clothe her person, braided is her raven hair, Matted bark of trees of forest drape her neck and bosom fair,
And a dower of dazzling beauty still bedecks her peerless face. Though the shadowing tinge of sorrow darkens all her earlier grace!
This is she! the soft-eyed Sita, wept with unavailing tear, This is she! the faithful consort, unto Rama ever dear,
Unforgetting and unchanging, truthful still in deed and word, Sita, in her silent suffering sorrows for her absent lord,
Still for Rama lost but cherished, Sita heaves the choking sigh, Sita lives for righteous Rama, for her Rama she would die!”