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.

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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

May 162011
 

The Zohar tells us that the moon “renounced her place of higher rank” – that of equality with the sun – and that “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.”

Here below, therefore, the moon reflects the light of the sun, whilst above – where her name is ELOHIM – “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.”

Now, the moon, in so far as she is the nocturnal luminary above, she shines with her own light, and it is the sun which reflects her. In other words, the moon is ‘solar’ above and ‘lunar here below, whilst the sun is ‘solar’ here below and ‘lunar’ above.

It is in this sense that EL, the radiant part of the moon’s name above, has the “dominion of the day”, ie, it is the visible sun – reflecting the invisible moon during the day. Similarly, the visible moon reflects the sun (become invisible) during the night. The spiritual moon is therefore the sun which shines at midnight. And it is the spiritual moon – or Isis – Sophia – that Apuleius “saw shining at midnight in its briliant radiance.” For the long vigil in the Isis temple resulted in a vision of the cosmic principle of Isis, ie, the spiritual moon or the “sun at midnight.”

All these things, although presented to us in mythological clothing, relate to the profound reality of the relationship of intelligence and wisdom, and their union – intuition. For intelligence corresponds to the moon, wisdom to the sun, and intuition to the restoration of the “intimate union” of the two luminaries.

Here below intelligence reflects wisdom – or, if it is eclipsed (see Letter XVIII, The Moon), it reflects the terrestrial world of external experience. But there is another intelligence above, a trancendental intelligence, whose “light is greater than that which it radiates here below”, and which – united intimately to wisdom – is “inscribed above among the letters of the sacred name (YHVH), which are four in number”, and which shines in the middle of the night “in its briliant radiance.”

This higher intelligence, this “sun at midnight”, which is the conjunction of the spiritual sun and spiritual moon – or, in other words, the intimate union of intelligence and wisdom – is the “star” of Hermeticism, and it is “The Sun” of the nineteenth Arcanum.

“The Sun” of the nineteenth Arcanum is the “sun at midnight”, ie, the sun that Apuleius “saw shining at midnight in its brilliant radiance,” and it is this “sun” which is the “star” of Hermeticism across the ages. It is the principle of intuition, or the intimate union of transcendental intelligence and wisdom.”

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

Apr 232011
 

‘Now a voice so fair, ascending,
Fills the air with love unending,
Rises on the silver moonbeams
Woven from Apollo’s sun streams.

‘”Bold Orion, Starman leaping,
How my heart for you is beating.
I have set you there so thy fame
Lights the path of this, the sky-train!”

‘Next she calls with gentle words
The creatures of her wooded world,
Speaks to them with tender charm
To keep the slightest safe from harm.

‘“Sweet you are as honey, bee.
Bear and Stag, come follow me.
Jump with me across the river.”
Seeks she souls with bow and quiver.

‘Then the Goddess steps up on it –
Disc of night, the lamp of dreamers –
As the steeds with hooves of onyx
Take to flight with sweet Selene.

Apr 232011
 

‘Draws she near to bold Orion
Hoping, thus, to soothe his temper.
Points to one, the oldest Satyr,
He the muses loved to ride on.

‘“Bold Orion, please concede
That Crotus here – who lived and breathed –
Stands there now with arrows poised
To guard your captivated form.

‘“See as well the scales of justice,
Those with which the Lord Anubis
Weighed the souls of those departed,
Measured who should meet Osiris.

“Know thee not the queen of starlight
Calls to time: ‘Stand still, be halted’?
So shall she perform the black rite,
Bring to life the king through deep night?

‘Now Apollo speaks: “Your wisdom
Shines upon a hidden meaning;
You have placed him here with reason
On the font of deeper dreaming!

‘“Might he not recall the last life
When the stars by which you’ve bound him,
Shone upon Egyptian Pharaohs,
Helped them walk the sacred night, free?

“Queen of Egypt’s floodlit delta –
Isis – now returns, defensive.
Sirius picks up the pieces,
‘Fore the dawn can stun his senses –

Feb 272011
 

Apollo, lord of the wide quiver fair

And far-sped arrows, found her on a day

Wrestling unarmed against a lion bold,

And cried to Chiron: “Son of Philyra,

Come from thy sacred cavern and behold

What woman’s soul can dare!

This calm-browed girl essays a wondrous fight,

Her heart no toil can weaken, and her mind

No fear subdue. Born of what mortal kind

Is she, and stolen from what tribe of might,

Who haunts these glades of shadowy mountains wild?

Illimitable strength her actions prove….

Pindar, Ninth Pythian Ode, Apollo sets eyes on Cyrene

Jan 242011
 

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

William Blake, The Angel

Jan 072011
 

Night after night on my bed
I have sought my true love;
I have sought him but not found him.
I have called him but he has not answered.
I said, ‘I will rise and go the rounds of the city,
through the streets and the squares,
seeking my true love.’
I sought him but I did not find him,
I called him but he did not answer.
The watchmen, going the rounds of the city, met me,
and I asked, ‘Have you seen my true love?’

Song of Solomon

Oct 182010
 

Some say that all gods and all living creatures originated in the stream of Oceanus which girdles the world, and that  Tethys was the mother of all his children.

But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros, whom some call Phanes, was hatched from this egg and set the universe in motion.

Eros was double-sexed and golden-winged and, having four heads, sometimes roared like a bull, or lion, sometimes hissed like a serpent or bleated like a ram.

Night, who named him Ericepaius and Phaethon Protogenus, lived in a cave with him, displaying herself in triad: Night, Order and Justice. Before this cave sat the inescapable mother Rhea, playing on a brazen drum, and compelling man’s attention to the oracles of the goddess. Phanes created earth, sky, sun and moon, but the triple-goddess ruled  the universe, until her sceptre passed to Uranus.

The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths, Robert Graves

Jul 212010
 

The posts of Emperor and Pope are realities beyond as well as on this side of the threshold which separates ‘day’ and ‘night’. And the Pope of the fifth card is the guardian of this threshold. He is seated between the two pillars – the pillar of day or prayer and the pillar of night or benediction.

The Emperor of the fourth card is the master of the day and the guardian of the blood or quintessence of the nocturnal reality of the day. The Pope is the guardian of respiration or of the reality of the relationship between day and night. That which he guards is the equilibrium between day and night, between human effort and divine grace. His post is founded on primordial cosmic deeds. Thus the first book of Moses says:

….and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (Genesis i, 4 – 5).

And the act of separation of the intelligible from the mysterious signifies at the same time the establishing of cosmic respiration, which is the analogy of ‘the Spirit of God moving above the face of the waters.’ For the divine breath (ruach ‘elohim) above the profoundness of peace (‘the waters’ –  it is this which is the psychological as well as th e cosmic reality of nirvana) is the divine prototype of respiration.

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