Jan 032016
 

0014s_0004_TreeOfLife_BlackNiteSkyOn a day when He and I were alone walking in a field, we were both hungry, and we came to a wild apple tree.

There were only two apples hanging on the bough.

And He held the trunk of the tree with His arm and shook it, and the two apples fell down.

He picked them both up and gave one to me. The other He held in His hand. In my hunger I ate the apple, and I ate it fast.

Then I looked at Him and I saw that He still held the other apple in His hand.

And He gave it to me saying, “Eat this also.” And I took the apple, and in my shameless hunger I ate it.

And as we walked on I looked upon His face.

But how shall I tell you of what I saw?

 

A night where candles burn in space,

A dream beyond our reaching;

A noon where all shepherds are at peace and happy that their flocks are grazing;

An eventide, and a stillness, and a home-coming;

Then a sleep and a dream.

All these things I saw in His face.

He had given me the two apples. And I knew He was hungry even as I was hungry.

But I now know that in giving them to me He had been satisfied. He Himself ate of other fruit from another tree.

I would tell you more of Him, but how shall I?

When love becomes vast love becomes wordless.

And when memory is overladen it seeks the silent deep.

Kahlil Gibran, John at Patmos

Jul 032015
 

eagleAn indeterminate length of time later the witness re-emerged, relieved of magazine and whiskey glass but clutching to heart an exceedingly large, old and important-looking volume. The disappearance of Pros Theon had ended a few short minutes after its guardian entered the large, cluttered bathroom, whereupon it was joyfully rediscovered amidst a towering stack of books.

Unspeakably relieved with seven years of life added back on, the witness placed the priceless treasure on the polished wooden desk with a great sense of ceremony, lit an ancient lamp and turned to the penultimate section:

Μεταμόρφωσις λκυονίδες (Transformatio Dies)*

Translating and interpreting the metamorphosing text was a mission that took every effort of will and imagination, the fruits of the prophetic tome being rare and arcane indeed. At a certain point – in need of divine assistance – the witness looked over the text and out of the window for inspiration, focusing on the swaying tree tops as a breath-taking vision manifested with perfect clarity in the darkening ether.

A great supernatural bird – a huge white-headed eagle – awoke prophetic memory with his clairvoyant eyes then spread his enormous wings and took to flight towards the window. His sights were locked with terrible precision on the fixated witness, who felt a heavenly upsurge of pure joy and ran in the eagle’s direction as if physically lifted from the chair, having reverted back to childhood in a twinkling of the eye.

They reached the window as one and were simultaneously faced with the realisation that a window between worlds was separating them. The knowledge brought both grief and gratitude in equal measure, as the love-struck witness was just able to grasp one of the bird’s magnificent tail feathers and later attach it to the sun-tinted dream catcher. More evocations of Halcyon Days would be captured by this than all the other feathers combined.

 *

 

“What you seek is seeking you”

*

 

* Days of Transformation

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

Jul 312014
 

hebrew-mercy-graceThe Grade of Exempt Adept, associated with Chesed, is perfected when the power of the sphere of Mars, Geburah, has been drawn along the 19th path back to Chesed. In doing this one places oneself in Chesed, for the knowledge of the Great Arcanum, of the Secret of all spiritual activities, is not open to him who has risen no higher than the Grade of Major Adept. That is to say, the 19th Path is not open so long as we are no further along the Way of Return than Geburah, and the power from Geburah must be brought over from the side of Severity on the Tree of Life to the side of Mercy, by a process initiated from the point-of-view afforded by Chesed.

When all the desires of the seeker for light have been unified in the one desire to be a free, unobstructed vehicle for the manifestation of the cyclic activities of the cosmos, he has traversed the first path leading to the Grade of Exempt Adept, the path of the letter Kaph, corresponding to the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot. After this, by a supreme effort of imagination, he sees behind the mechanistic expression of the Life-Power in the cosmic cycles the operation of a Living Will, and through the 19th Path he transmutes the activities of the serpent-power, and this transmutation is pictured in the Tarot by the woman taming the lion.

Tarot Card 11 - La Force (Strength)You will remember that lion (in Hebrew), the name of the zodiacal sign Leo, is the number 216, and that this is the number of Geburah, one of the names of the sphere of Mars. Note, too, that 216 is 9 by reduction, and 9 is the number of Teth, the letter corresponding to the 19th Path. 216 is also the number of [the Hebrew word for] Sight, the function assigned to the 15th path, and of wrath or excitement, which is the function of the 25th path, that of Probation or Trial. The path to which Sight is attributed is that of Aries, ruled by Mars. And the path to which excitement is attributed is that of Sagittarius. It thus becomes evident that all these [Hebrew] words – strength, the lion, Sight, and excitement, are related to the fiery power which we have learned to associate with the Mars-vibration.

This vibration, you will recall, is especially active in self-consciousness, and the feeling of strength which it gives is misinterpreted by people who have not progressed beyond self-consciousness. The misinterpretation arises from the illusion of separateness, which engenders the feeling of ‘myness’, and this feeling is the root of belief in personal will. This is why the Sephirah Geburah is said to represent personal will, which is merely the misunderstanding of the power of undeviating cosmic law in its manifestation through personal centers of expression.

The Major Adept still feels the illusion, although he has overcome the delusion caused by it. But the Exempt Adept, having in his union with  the One Self so identified himself with the cosmic memory that he never forgets his relation to the Sources of All, is almost wholly liberated from even the illusion. Almost, I say, because there are times when even he who perfectly remembers the Self (Chesed is the Sephirah of Memory) must identify himself with the relative states of being in order to serve, in order to perform the actions necessary to his part in the Great Work. And at such times he feels the illusion of separateness as much as anybody else.

Paul Foster Case, Esoteric Secrets of Meditation and Magic

May 112014
 

match_girlI see a great building, one enormous mass. In the front wall is a narrow arch with open doors; behind them, dark mists. In front of the high threshold there is a young girl… a pretty Russian girl.

A breeze comes from the dark and icy mists, a current of freezing air, bringing with it from the depths of the building the sound of a slow and muffled voice.

‘You who aspire to cross this threshold, do you know what awaits you here?’

‘I know,’ answers the young girl.

‘Cold, hunger, hate, mockery, scorn, injustice, prison, illness and even death?’

‘I know it.’

‘Do you expect to be shunned by everyone? Do you expect to be totally alone?’

‘I am ready. I know it. I shall bear all the suffering and all the blows’.

‘Even if they do not come from enemies, but from parents, from friends?’

‘Yes… even from those…’

‘Good. Do you accept the sacrifice?’

‘Yes’.

‘An anonymous sacrifice? You will perish and nobody… but nobody will evenknow whose memory to honour?’

‘I have no use for recognition and pity. I have no use for a name.’

‘Are you ready for crime?’

The young girl bowed her head. ‘Even for crime.’

The voice which was questioning her did not continue right away. At last it started again: ‘Do you know that one day you will believe no more in what you believe in now, and come to think that you have been a dupe and that it was for nothing that you have lost your young life?’

‘That too I know. Well though I know it, I wish to enter.’ The young girl crossed the threshold. A heavy curtain fell. Gritting his teeth, someone uttered behind her:

‘A foolish girl!’

At which, from another place, a voice replied:

‘A Saint!’

I. S. Turgenev, Poems en prose

May 122013
 

sunCertain old initiations were often described as a search for the ancestors; and between the seeker and his ancestors were the waters of the womb out of which he had been born.

Initiation awakened the ancestral memory (latent in all people) by teaching the neophyte to extend his ordinary memory beyond the moment of his own birth; and there came to him dim pictures of earthly history – even the visions of the great geological catastrophes or the deluge.

But in this spiritual consciousness all this was experienced not merely as ‘history’ but as the search for the birth of the soul out of the Divine; and so led to a realisation of immortality. Such experiences have been recorded in legendary form and in many ancient mythologies.

Eleanor C. Merry, The Flaming Door

 

 

Nov 232012
 

To forget is to dismiss the things which do not interest us to the darkness of latent memory; and to recall things is to call anew to active ego consciousness – because t hey interest us – from the same darkness of latent memory. It goes without saying that it is not the images and concepts which come to birth when we recall them, or perish when we forget them; rather, they are present in our mind or are removed from it.

to be endowed with good ‘concentration’, therefore amounts tot he faculty of chasing away swiftly and completely all images and concepts which are not useful for action. It is mastery of the art of forgetting.

To be endowed with ‘good memory’, in contrast, signifies mastery of the mechanism of recall – of that which renders present the images and concepts which one needs. It is mastery of the art of recalling.

There is therefore a continual coming and going between ordinary consciousness of the waking state (or cerebral consciousness) and the domain of memory. Each ‘going’ corresponds to the action of falling asleep or dying. Each ‘coming’ corresponds to awakening or resurrection. Every representation that goes from the field of cerebral consciousness experiences an analogous fate to that stated by the saying: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep…Lazarus is dead.” And every representation that one recalls has a fate analogous to that which took place when Jesus cried with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!

Memory therefore supplies us with a key of analogy which allows intelligence not to remain simply taken aback in the face of the problem of resurrection. It renders it intelligible. Indeed, the analogy between the ‘loud voice’ which called Lazarus to life and the inner effort which evokes a memory reveals, mutatis mutandis, the essence of the magic of Jesus’ ‘loud voice’ and of the ‘sound of the trumpet’ of the Angel of the resurrection – as the following shows.

Experience teaches us that we easily forget, and recall with difficulty, the things to which we attach no value – that we do not love. One forgets what one does not love and one never forgets what one loves. It is love which gives us the power to recall at any desired moment the things that our hearts preserve ‘warm’. Indifference, in contrast, makes one forget everything.

It is the same with the ‘awaking and resurrection of the dead’. Here it is not cosmic indifference (what we call ‘matter’) which will effect anything, but rather it is cosmic love (what we call ‘spirit’)which will accomplish the magical act of resurrection, ie, the reintegration of an inseparable unity – the unity of the spirit, soul and body – not by way of birth (reincarnation) but by way of the magical act of divine memory. What can one say about divine memory?

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XX, The Judgement

 

May 302012
 

The ‘last things’ – or the spiritual horizon of humanity – are not the same for the whole of humanity. For some everything finishes with the death of the individual and with the complete dissipation – maximum entropy – of the warmth of the universe.

For others there is a ‘beyond’, an individual existence after death and an existence of a non-material universe after the end of the world. For still others there is not only spiritual life after death for the individual but also his return to terrestrial life – reincarnation – as well as cosmic reincarnation, ie, an alternation of states of manvantara and pralaya.

Others, again, see for the individual something beyond repeated incarnations, namely the state of supreme peace of union with the eternal universal Being (the state of nirvana). Lastly, there is a part of mankind whose existential horizon goes beyond not only post mortem existence and reincarnation, but also even beyond the peace of union with God – it is resurrection which constitutes their spiritual horizon.

It is in the Iranian and Judaeo-Christian spiritual currents, ie, in Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity – that the idea and ideal of resurrection have taken root.

#

Memory supplies us with a key of analogy which allows intelligence not to remain simply taken aback in the face of the problem of resurrection. it renders it intelligible. Indeed, the analogy between the ‘loud voice’ which called Lazarus to life and the inner effort which evokes a memory reveals, mutatis mutandis, the essence of the magic of Jesus’ ‘loud voice’ and of the ‘sound of the trumpet’ of the Angel of resurrection – as the following shows.

Experience teaches us that we easily forget, and recall with difficulty, the things to which we attach no value – that we do not love. One forgets what one does not love and one never forgets what one loves. It is love which gives us the power to recall at any desired moment the thing that our hearts preserve ‘warm’. Indifference, in contrast, makes one forget everything.

it is the same with the ‘awakening and resurrection’ of the dead’. Here it is not cosmic indifference (that we call ‘matter’) which will effect anything, but rather it is cosmic love (that we call ‘spirit’) which will accomplish the magical act of resurrection, ie, the reintegration of an inseparable unity – the unity of spirit, soul and body – not by way of birth (reincarnation) but by way of the magical act of divine memory.

Nov 122011
 

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

Nov 092011
 

It was clear from the start that the work was more brilliant than any other I had encountered and as the story unfolded I drank it in like nectar, the most sublime poem that had ever been written. I tried to commit the piece to memory but so perfect was the arrangement of words that my mind could barely comprehend their beauty, let alone learn them completely. Only one word would I remember, and this stood out as clearly as the others eluded me:

Rainbow

This is the only thing that I remembered for sure from what I read, that an early or integral part of it was of a rainbow, sign of God’s covenant with the Earth. But if the words were veiled, the meaning of the writing was evident at once.

I held in my hands the most heart-breaking love story that had ever been written by one (a male) for the other, at one and the same time human and divine, natural and supernatural. The character of the author was laid bare by the words but the object of his love seemed to have been absent from his existence for an eternity, or no longer present, except as a memory or product of the imagination. A tale of lost or unrequited love.

In this tale I beheld the power of love, as if tears that sprang from a broken heart had fallen from the eyes of the beholder and transformed themselves directly into words on a page. This was a passion so great that I wonder how I even bore witness to the fruit of its longing, beauty and sorrow combined with infinity and sown as a microcosm of nature.

So deep was this love that from the pain had been born the work of creation, which encompassed the whole of nature and found fragile first expression in the rainbow, wherein may be seen the depth of love as a blend of enlightenment and tears.

As I read on, enthralled and governed by the power of these words, they were seamlessly transformed into a pictorial continuation of the scene being described. I was completely taken up with what I saw, which seemed to satisfy every yearning for understanding within myself, even though the complete meaning was beyond my realm of knowledge.

I found myself in the outer limit of deep space, truly the middle of nowhere, suspended by the unseen force that was author of the magical words I had just been reading. Below me I  saw planets, but mostly was aware of simply the infinitude of space – the infinity he had to cross in order to reach her. Where had she gone and why – was she lost, had she run, did she die – what terrible catastrophe had befallen them to rend asunder the love that created the universe.

The whole of this space was the filled with the hymn of God to his lost love and my gaze was fixed on this impossible expanse of nothing, the overwhelming sorrow that was wholly without end; how I arrived there I shall never know.

When I became conscious of his mission – his determination against all odds to find her – the scene at once changed and I found my self upon the ground, but not within my room. I saw green fields appearing in front of me as if I were standing at the edge of a botanic kingdom. At the centre of this world was the largest and most wonderful tree I had ever seen. Could this have been the tree of life, I wondered, or the tree of knowledge of good and evil, perhaps?