“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
All were attentive to the godlike man,
When from his lofty couch he thus began:
Meantime the rapid heav’ns roll’d down the light,
And on the shaded ocean rush’d the night;
But anxious cares already seiz’d the queen:
She fed within her veins a flame unseen;
The hero’s valour, acts, and birth inspire
Her soul with love, and fan the secret fire.
His words, his looks, imprinted in her heart:
“He who had my vows shall ever have;
For, whom I lov’d on earth, I worship in the grave”
“O dearer than the vital air I breathe,
Will you to grief your blooming years bequeath
Think you these tears, this pompous train of woe,
Are known or valued by the ghosts below?”
still the fatal dart sticks in her side, and rankles in her heart.
He tells it o’er and o’er; but still in vain,
For still she begs to hear it once again.
The hearer on the speaker’s mouth depends,
And thus the tragic story never ends.
Himself, meantime, the softest hours would choose,
Before the love-sick lady heard the news;
And move her tender mind, by slow degrees,
To suffer what the sov’reign pow’r decrees:
is the death of a despairing queen
Not worth preventing, tho’ too well foreseen?
“See whom you fly! am I the foe you shun?
Now, by those holy vows, so late begun,
By this right hand, (since I have nothing more
To challenge, but the faith you gave before;)
For you alone I suffer in my fame,
Bereft of honour, and expos’d to shame.
Justice is fled, and Truth is now no more!
I sav’d the shipwreck’d exile on my shore;
With needful food his hungry Trojans fed;
I took the traitor to my throne and bed:
Fool that I was—— ’tis little to repeat
The rest, I stor’d and rigg’d his ruin’d fleet”.
All-pow’rful Love! what changes canst thou cause
In human hearts, subjected to thy laws!
Once more her haughty soul the tyrant bends:
To pray’rs and mean submissions she descends.
No female arts or aids she left untried,
Nor counsels unexplor’d, before she died.
“A short delay is all I ask him now;
A pause of grief, an interval from woe,
Till my soft soul be temper’d to sustain
Accustom’d sorrows, and inur’d to pain”.
Thus Hermes in the dream; then took his flight
Aloft in air unseen, and mix’d with night.
Downward the various goddess took her flight,
And drew a thousand colours from the light;
Then stood above the dying lover’s head,
And said: “I thus devote thee to the dead.
This off’ring to th’ infernal gods I bear.”
Thus while she spoke, she cut the fatal hair:
The struggling soul was loos’d, and life dissolv’d in air.
Virgil, from The Aeneid, Book IV
Father – fire. Son – fire. Spirit – fire.
Three equal. Three indivisible.
Flame and heat – are their heart.
The fire – their eyes.
The whirlwind and the flame – their mouth.
Flame of divinity – fire.
The fire will sear the evil ones.
The flame will stay the evil ones,
Will purify the evil ones.
Bend back the arrows of the demons.
Let the poison of the serpent descend upon the evil ones!
Aglamide, Commander of the Serpent,
Artan, Arion, give ear!
Tiger, eagle, lion of the desert wastes,
Guard from the evil ones!
Curl as serpent; be burned by
Disperse, perish; be burned by
Disperse, perish, O evil!
Flame in chalice!
Nicholas Roerich, Sacred Signs
Here is the story of the beginning,
when there was not one bird,
not one fish,
not one mountain.
Here is the sky, all alone.
Here is the sea, all alone.
There is nothing more
–no sound, no movement.
Only the sky and the sea.
Only Heart-of-Sky, alone.
And these are his names:
Maker and Modeler,
Mayan creation story
The ‘star’ which Hermeticists follow leads them to the manger – to the centre of history, to the centre of the psychic life (individuation), to the centre of universal evolution or the “supreme focus of the personalising personality”, to the Alpha and Omega of revelations, to the Heart which is at the centre of all hearts. For there is a centre of gravitation of hearts, just as there is a centre of gravitation of the planets. Like the latter, it causes the “seasons of the life of the soul”.
Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIX, The Sun
“The lambkin’s not alone, the dovelet has a mate,
And I no playmate have, nor shepherd who will wait.
How long now must my heart in pass’nate longing burn
Till my dear precious Friend myself his own will term?
I know within my heart my love will ne’er grow cold,
Yet premature this pow’r is wont to waxen old.
I ever shall embrace the wisdom of my heart,
Which raises me in it, and remedies my smart.
But still it’s not enough, to comprehend all this.
I want the most beloved, our heav’nly mate to kiss;
And since his look of love within my heart does lie,
Such that he’ll stay my boon, and other loves deny,
And since ’twill surely be: he’ll take me at the last,
So will I choose him now and ever forth hold fast.”
Snow Hill Fraktur
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
At the turning point of time
The cosmic spirit-light stepped
Into earthly evolution;
Had ended its reign;
The bright light of day
Streamed into human souls;
The poor shepherd hearts
The wise kings’ heads.
Sun of Christ,
Our hearts —
So that good results
Our hearts beget,
Forcefully will to do.
Foundation Stone Meditation, Rudolf Steiner
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged. Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self dwells not alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the ax unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;
And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.
And you judges who would be just,
What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?
What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?
And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,
Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?
Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?
Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.
Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.
And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,
And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Orpheus – such was the suffering of separation from the soul of his deceased love that it became magic, magic surpassing the river of sleep, forgetfulness and death which separates the dead from the living.
Orpheus is present always and everywhere where the love of a soul torn away by death is not content with pious and resigned commemoration, but aspires to find and meet the departed one beyond the threshold of death.
Such was Orpheus’ love for Eurydice and such, also, was Gilgamesh’s love for his friend and brother Eabani. And who can say how many human hearts have beaten, beat today, and will beat in the future, in union with that of Orpehus and that of Gilgamesh, the Babylonian hero?
Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXI, The Fool