Nov 042013
 

haunted-woodThe skies they were ashen and sober;

The leaves they were crisped and sere —

The leaves they were withering and sere;

It was night in the lonesome October

Of my most immemorial year;

It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,

In the misty mid region of Weir —

It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,

Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul —

Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.

These were days when my heart was volcanic

As the scoriac rivers that roll —

As the lavas that restlessly roll

Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek

In the ultimate climes of the pole —

That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek

In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,

But our thoughts they were palsied and sere —

Our memories were treacherous and sere —

For we knew not the month was October,

And we marked not the night of the year —

(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)

We noted not the dim lake of Auber —

(Though once we had journeyed down here) —

Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,

Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent

And star-dials pointed to morn —

As the star-dials hinted of morn —

At the end of our path a liquescent

And nebulous lustre was born,

Out of which a miraculous crescent

Arose with a duplicate horn —

Astarte’s bediamonded crescent

Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said — “She is warmer than Dian:

She rolls through an ether of sighs —

She revels in a region of sighs:

She has seen that the tears are not dry on

These cheeks, where the worm never dies,

And has come past the stars of the Lion

To point us the path to the skies —

To the Lethean peace of the skies —

Come up, in despite of the Lion,

To shine on us with her bright eyes —

Come up through the lair of the Lion,

With love in her luminous eyes.”

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,

Said — “Sadly this star I mistrust —

Her pallor I strangely mistrust: —

Oh, hasten! — oh, let us not linger!

Oh, fly! — let us fly! — for we must.”

In terror she spoke, letting sink her

Wings until they trailed in the dust —

In agony sobbed, letting sink her

Plumes till they trailed in the dust —

Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied — “This is nothing but dreaming

Let us on by this tremulous light!

Let us bathe in this crystalline light!

Its Sybilic splendor is beaming

With Hope and in Beauty to-night: —

See! — it flickers up the sky through the night!

Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,

And be sure it will lead us aright —

We safely may trust to a gleaming

That cannot but guide us aright,

Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,

And tempted her out of her gloom —

And conquered her scruples and gloom;

And we passed to the end of the vista,

But were stopped by the door of a tomb —

By the door of a legended tomb;

And I said — “What is written, sweet sister,

On the door of this legended tomb?”

She replied — “Ulalume — Ulalume —

‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober

As the leaves that were crisped and sere —

As the leaves that were withering and sere,

And I cried — “It was surely October

On this very night of last year

That I journeyed — I journeyed down here —

That I brought a dread burden down here —

On this night of all nights in the year,

Ah, what demon has tempted me here?

Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber —

This misty mid region of Weir —

Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,

This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

Edgar Allen Poe, Ulalume

 

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

 

Sep 202011
 

Peter said to Mary: “Sister, we know that the Teacher loved you differently from other women. Tell us whatever you remember of any words he told you which we have not yet heard.”

Mary said to them: “I will now speak to you of that which has not been given to you to hear. I had a vision of the Teacher, and I said to him: ‘Lord I see you now in this vision.’

And he answered: ‘You are blessed, for the sight of me does not disturb you. There where is the nous, lies the treasure.’

Then I said to him: ‘Lord, when someone meets you in a Moment of vision, is it through the soul [psyche] that they see, or is it through the Spirit [Pneuma]?

The Teacher answered: ‘It is neither through the soul nor the spirit, but the nous between the two which sees the vision, and it is this which […]

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Jean-Yves Leloup

 

Jun 172011
 

Late in life, Jung’s work with the experimental physicist Wolfgang Pauli encouraged him to take a few steps beyond the pale.

Jung and Paul came to believe that, in addition to the purely physical mechanism of atom knocking against atom, there is another network of connections that binds together events not physically connected – non-physical, causal connections brought about by mind.

Jung’s contemporary, the French anthropologist Henri Corbin, was researching the spiritual practices of the Sufis at this time. Corbin came to the conclusion that the Sufi adepts worked in concert and could communicate with one another in a realm of ‘objective imagination’. Jung coined the same phrase independently.

Later in life the materialistic explanations that Freud had been trying to force on to spiritual experiences also sprang back at him, and he became plagued by a sense of what he called the uncanny.  Freud wrote his essay on ‘The Uncanny’ when he was sixty-two. By thinking about what he feared most he was trying to stop it happening.

A few years earlier he had experienced the number sixty-two coming at him insistently – a hat check ticket, a hotel room number, a train seat number. It had seemed to him that the cosmos was trying to tell him something. Perhaps he would die at the age of sixty-two.

In the same essay he described the experience of walking round a maze of streets in an old Italian town and finding himself in the red light district. He took what he thought would be the most direct route out of this district, but soon found himself back in the middle of it. This seemed to happen no matter which direction he took.

The experience can only remind us of Francis Bacon. It was as if a maze were changing shape to keep the wanderer from finding the way out. As a result of these experiences Freud began to suspect that there might be some complicity between his psyche and the cosmos. Or perhaps the cosmos was manufacturing meanings independently of any human agency and, as it were, beaming them at him?

Jonathan Black, The Secret History of the World

Apr 232011
 

‘There’s no answer to his queries,
Dionysus’ brains are weary.
Cares he not for Neptune’s offspring,
Wants he just to hear the girls sing.

‘Watches he the virgins wander –
Through the fire-dance, travel onward,
Filled with wine and honeyed nectar –
Through the magic realms of psyche.

‘There the nymph, sweet Ariadne
Forces him to drown his sorrow,
Charms him nightly with her beauty;
Drinks he like there’s no tomorrow.

‘Groans the wine God: “New man, stop,
And hush the hound, you’ll turn the hops!
Mere immortal, you will end this.
Once for all now, comprehend it:

‘”Here, tonight, the true initiates
Drink new wine. The growing mystery
Share I then, but none could hear it;
Thanks to you, the maids grew teary.

‘As did Phoebus’ wan Priestess,
Voice of heaven, whom truth begets.
Hold your peace now, stand in silence.”
Thus did end the hunter’s license.

Apr 232011
 

‘Then discern the Gods, Goddesses
That the one so named, ‘Orion,’
Calls to mind his ancient history,
Sees the wheels of time that move on.

‘‘Here’s the truth.’ He thinks in silence:
‘Now I comprehend my story.
Memories of the tears of Isis
Come and thus reveal my glory.

‘‘More than all the Gods of Greece
Could muster. Pales the golden fleece;
And yet that rogue – the Lord of tricks –
Has caught me in a spell of Nyx.

‘‘Something must rejoin the fragments
Here in time of Egypt’s ruler.
He’ll release the captured psyche
With a force that’s unifying.’

Apr 232011
 

‘Thus I come to vain Apollo –
He who thinks himself the greatest –
Source of all my kindred’s troubles:
Every evening bow to Isis.

‘‘From the rest you’re put asunder,
‘Cept for Hermes – he may wander
Close – and yet the comely Venus,
She will burn each night for heathens.

‘‘Mars will threaten peace with war cries –
Or just gasp with thirst – in near skies,
Holding over Earth forever
Fears of war and stormy weather.

‘‘Now, fair God, more bitter medicine:
Worshipped, though – it’s true – you shall be,
None shall gaze upon thyself nor
See inside your mind. Yet, moon’s beams,

‘They’ll take shape within the psyche.
Shield of Earth, your sister’s mirror
Hypnotises every Earthling,
So the secret love I’ll give her.

‘‘Henceforth, god, be void of reason –
Let your self be burning passion –
Tempered, just, in winter seasons.
All you long for turns to ashes.

‘‘Filled with fire that’s all-consuming
You shall draw the Earth unto thee,
Just because your will is stronger
Than your mind, which is no longer.’

‘So the great unchained Osiris
Sends Apollo out of Nothing,
Up to where the Ra’s residing.
Rolling wheel of fate deciding.

‘Sevens swans with sorrow singing,
Break Apollo’s heart, like Daphne.
Eros laughs, “your love is kindling
Hope; at least you’ll warm the Earthlings!”

Round galactic spheres, revolving,
Fragments of the mind dissolving
Cosmic will is near resolving;
Prophet of the age evolving.

Apr 232011
 

 

 

‘‘Forwards backwards, time is taking

Cosmic steps through every section.

Herein find the secret waiting:

Future from the past; reflection.’

 

‘Then Osiris, fully risen,

Calls to life, renews gestation,

Metes out Time with fate’s precision,

Orders: ‘Scribe, divine creation.’’

 

So is seen the mythic cycle,

Turning ever on its axis.

Each was placed upon its system,

Fixed was each by one, another.

 

One drew out another’s mystery,

So they grew to greater wisdom.

Set were they on points of psyche’s

Evolution, flowering moments.

 

When to heart and soul one listened,

Heard and wrought it for one’s vision,

Out of that which never dies;

Springs, eternal, the story of the sky.

 

Charlotte Cowell, The Myth

Feb 112011
 

According to Jung, the reality of the unconscious is manifested by action of a numinous character upon consciousness. This is what Jung says concerning the unconscious:

…the unconscious…by definition and in fact, cannot be circumscribed. It must therefore be counted as something boundless: infinite or infintesimal. Whether it may legitimately be called a microcosm depends simply and solely on whether certain portions of the world beyond individual experience can be shown to exist in the unconscious – certain constants which are not individually acquired but are a priori presences.

The theory of instinct and the findings of biology in connection with the symbiotic relationship between plant and insect have long made us familiar with these things…A general proof of the rightness of this expectation lies in the ubiquitous occurrence of parallel mythologems, Bastian’s ‘folk-thoughts’ or primordial ideas; and a special proof is the autochthonous reproduction of such ideas in the psyche of individuals where direct transmission is out of the question…

Mythologems are the aforementioned ‘portions of the world’ which belong to the structural elements of the psyche. They are constants whose expression is everywhere and at all times the same. (C.G. Jung, Medicine and Psychotherapy).

The unconscious – with its numinous action – is therefore not confined to the individual soul; it surpasses it in every direction. Being ‘something boundless’, the unconscious is the world seen under its psychic aspect. Which means to say that it consists not only of innate – ie, prenatal, individual tendencies and inclinations, but that it also includes what we have designated as ‘spheres’ – namely the ‘sphere of the Holy Spirit’ and that of the ‘false Holy Spirit’.

Action of a numinous character from the unconscious, thus conceived, is certainly a criterion sufficient to distinguish the manifestation of the reality of the unconscious from the manifestation of the subjectivity of the individual soul through the latter’s spontaneous fantasy, feeling and intellectuality, but it does not at all suffice to distinguish the truth within this reality, ie, to distinguish the action of the sphere of the Holy Spirit from that of the sphere of mirages. For the sphere of mirages, also, is real – but reality is one thing and truth is another thing. A mirage is certainly real, but it is not true; it is deceiving.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXII, The World

Nov 222010
 

We often experience things that come up in the internal-external dialogue to be divided into opposites such as good and bad, God and the devil, us and them, confusion about moral stance and so forth.

The person may have thought that he or she knew exactly his or her standing in terms of ideologies, morals, the world, and religion. It becomes apparent, during this process, that what we thought we knew has been primarily according to our ego’s stannce. The opposites in dialogue may suddenly pull us into  new territory where we experience tremendous indecision.

The now indecisive and floundering ego may become identified with both sides of the opposites, which creates quiet a confusion. Splitting, which entails some psychological part of dissociating from consciousness, may arise as a defense mechanism.

Beneath the splitting, dissociation and repression that can accompany creative depression is frequently a “core of madness” that must be uncovered. We feel “mad” owing to the degree of chaos and the loss of equilibrium that our ego is experiencing as its “known” perspectives are challenged.

In this dual identification, it is as if the ego decombusts. Everything is being canceled by its opposite in the dialogue, creating an indecisiveness that is one of the primary symptoms of the depressed condition. In this state of ambivalence, in wh ich everything is canceled out, one may feel like one has fallen into an abyss.

In this void or abyss, we feel as if we were dying, accompanied by bursts of intense anxiety around conflicting thoughts and values. We may feel we haev regressed back into the interpersonal field of parents and family. In the “black hole” of the abyssal experience, conflict can often take on a rather paranoid form. The clash of forces can feel as if one is in an ideological, spiritual, or cultural collision, not just with our former personal ideals and values, but with the entire collective consciousness.

Because dissociation may be occurring on a collective, cultural level, certain individuals may be depressed, not only because of developmental traumatic and intrapsychic factors, but also because of the sensitive and uncanny nature of some individuals to have a large psyche and soul that is more attuned than some of the rest of us to the collective unconcsious.

Certain persons have access to a depth of unconscious material and, with discernment, may find that their psychic imagery is running parallel to the dissociation or splitting of their culture. Crucially, there is an important cultural factor here. The healing nature of this phenomenon is an ego re-organised in relationship to the Self.

Any individual who evolves into a healthy ego Self relationship inevitably has the potential to contribute a great deal to culture and society. If our society pathologises such episodes only during which a reordering process is occurring within the individual, we miss the impact of the unconscious material not only upon the individual and his or her growth, but also the potential for this individual’s healing to have a positive ripple effect upon the immediate culture and community.

Karen Wood Madden, Dark Light of the Soul