And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
He looked over his shoulder at the gigantic sphere, which turned through the fragile cosmos with an intricately complex, haunting melody. The light danced like fireflies in his eyes as the diamond of her soul was melted into quicksilver.
One shaft of light that showed the way
She gave up a prayer with feeling, hands raised up in her outspread hair.
This flame that burns inside of me is here in secret harmonies
She had had dreams and he could see every colour of every scene.
One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal
With a silent whisper he reminded her of the truth:
No mortal man can win this day.
He drew the flickering image into the endless space between them and exhaled into her parted lips.
There can be only one….
Bring glorious, ardent, lovely, fam’d desire, and warm my bosom with your sacred fire
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.
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!”
If one has been inwardly active at the stage of preparation and purification for a sufficient length of time, sooner or later there approaches the trial of encountering the “Guardian of the Threshold”, which is also called the trial by fire. Consisting of shame, this fire is an inward expression of the awakened conscience. A person on the path must go through this fire.
It is a matter of recognising one’s own lower nature standing before oneself in undisguised form. This is the “double” that one has generated and expelled. To look in this way upon one’s own human double, undisguised, is a trial of courage. To pass through it one must find the strength not to despair over oneself. One must find the courage not to despair over one’s karma.
Such strength does not arise from the view of what has stood there, confronting oneself. This strength can only be drawn from the power of the humnan I itself. No inspiration can be of help, nor can one derive help from thoughts and memories. One must find one’s own power of courage….this courage is the power that gives rise to imagination. It is needed in order to “paint in spiritual space”. That is the reason one must develop courage for imaginative consciousness. The content of the trial – facing one’s own inner nature – makes it possible to distinguish imagination from illusion. One is then aware of the sources of illusions, and can exclude them.
Having passed the test of courage, the soul then enters into a stage of no longer having firm ground upon which to stand. The situation is such that the human soul is surrounded by endless possibilities of movement – in all directions, simultaneously. Immersed in the realms of myriad influences and evocations directed towards it, the soul can surrender itself, engage itself with a thousand things.
A power must therefore be created that keeps the soul steadfast and gives it a sense of direction. The soul must develop out of itself the ability to renounce the abundance of spiritual influences. It must become able to restrict itself to one option among this abundance of possibilities. This is at once the trial of self control and the experience of it. And self-control is necessary for inspirational knowledge.
If one goes through this trial by water – if one develops self-control – then one’s soul enters into a region of destiny where one not only has no ground beneath one’s feet and must find one’s own direciton by a kind of “swimming”; the soul also enters a place devoid of air. One enters into an utter loneliness and wilderness of soul life.
The impulses of thinking, feeling and willing cease. One’s soul is like a sailing ship standing with sagging sails in windless weather. It enters into a condition in which all experiences cease. There is no basis upon which to sense, to feel, or to will. The soul is in complete loneliness. Now the soul must find the presence of the spirit out of its own power.
Without surrendering to passivity, it must find the strength for an impulse-to-action within itself. The soul’s awakening at the moment of falling asleep – awakening itself through the strength of its own inner being, through the power of the I itself, without any motive for staying awake – is presence of spirit (presence of mind). The soul is spiritually present when it is silent.
These first three trials – these first three experiences – represent the human ascent into the spiritual world.
Valentin Tomberg, Inner Development, The Occult Trials
As the centre of his offspring
Glows – outraged to so be lectured –
So much wisdom of the ages
Flows from father-ocean’s lectern:
‘“Take some good advice, Orion:
Watch and learn the way of heaven;
Time just moves around in circles,
From the fish becomes a turtle.”
“Onward then in time, a deluge
Caused a boar to swim the ocean;
Then the lion, Narasimha
Came before the dwarf Vamana.
“Then to life a noble hero
Sprang and rid the world of tyrants.
This made way for Rama’s charm,
Which came before the Bhagavad Gita.
“In this way the prince of paupers
Broke the wheel of earthly suffering;
Maybe, son, you’ll hear him teaching
In the realm of endless loving…”
‘“Thanks for nothing! Shouts Orion,
Show to me my loving mother.
She, at least, would save her scion.”
No; alas: She’s with his brother.’
‘Peering through the velvet darkness,
Seeks the Starman souls like-minded.
Souls who cry for freedom – ‘partners’ -
Ones to rend his endless bindings.
You will understand the role played by the mantle enveloping the Hermit, when he employs his lamp for seeing clearly in particular problems, and when he employs his staff for probing his terrain. The ‘mantle’ is the presence at a deeper level of consciousness of the whole truth, and it is this which envelops and inspires all intellectual work relating to particular problems that is carried out by the conscious self with its lamp and staff.
It is this which gives the conscious self direction and style, and sees to it that each solution to each particular problem is in harmony with the whole. The whole truth lives at this deeper level, and is present there as the certainty of absolute faith, as the certainty of the imprint of truth from above.
The initiate is someone who knows everything. He is a person who bears the truth within a deeper level of his consciousness, not as an intellectual system, but rather as a level in his being, as a ‘mantle’ which envelops him. This truth-imprint manifests itself as unshakable certainty, ie, as faith in the sense of the voice of the presence of truth.
Truth attained through synthesis is present at a deeper level of consciousness than that of the consciousness of self. It is found in darkness. It is from this darkness that the rays of light of particular branches of knowledge are emitted, as a result of efforts aspiring to the “neutralisation of binaries” or the “solution of antinomies”.
These efforts are nothing other than excursions into the region of this deeper level of consciousness; they are contacts established with the inner darkness, which is full of revelations of truth.
The knowledge and power drawn from this dark and silent region of luminous certainty can be well described as the “gift of Perfect Night”, mentioned in Kore Kosmou, the sacred book of Hermes Trismegistus. The ‘Gift of Perfect Night’ manifests itself in consequence of such spiritual endeavours as are implied by the ‘neutralisation of binaries’ or the ‘solution of antinomies’. It is, one can say, the very essence of Hermeticism and constitutes at one and teh same time the method which is proper to it and the faculty of knowledge to the exercise of which its very existence is due.
Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IX, The Hermit
To-day of past regrets and future fears:
To-morrow! – Why, to-morrow I may be
Myself – with yesterday’s sev’n thousand years.
For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his vintage rolling time hath prest,
Have drunk their cup a round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.
And we, that now make merry in the room
They left, and summer dresses in new bloom
Ourselves must we beneath the couch of Earth
Descend – ourselves to make a couch – for whom?
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the dust descend;
Dust into dust, and under dust to lie
Sans wine, sans song, sans singer, and – sans End!
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam