Category Archives: Vision

The Little Disk Goddess Dream

June 6, 2017

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I had an amazing dream experience last night that woke me up at 3:03 AM. The most unusual aspect of it is how clearly I remember so many of its details.

Venice

As for setting, I was in my typical dreamscape that involves my traveling (usually at night) through some town or city that I am supposed to be familiar with but within which I find it impossible to orient myself in the dream. As so often is the case, I ended up on some school campus—I think it was a college rather than a high school—as I was wandering around in the hallways and stairways of some institutional building. Usually I am searching for a way out of the building, but this time I was looking for the office of an old teacher of mine (not anyone in reality that I am aware of at the moment) in order to pick up an old paper I wrote or to pick up a paper for one of my children or simply to talk. I’m not exactly sure what I was in search of.

officeWhen I arrived at the teacher’s office (who kept shifting from female to male and back), he/she was already meeting with someone, so I was waiting outside. The office had glass walls allowing people to see inside from the halls. As I was waiting, another student came by and seemed in a rush to speak with the professor, so I let her go first, which lengthened my waiting time to an hour, allowing me time to meditate.

Once my turn came up, I sat down in a chair across from the professor’s desk. His/her office had moved without my being conscious of it (I only am now in retrospect) from its original spot completely internal to the building to one adjacent to it, now with a window to the outside. I underwent some kind of massive psychic experience, somewhat traumatizing and liberating simultaneously, and I slowly came back to consciousness with no memory of what I had just experienced other than that my skull seemed to be closing back into its normal configuration after having been opened like a cardboard box to whatever beings or forces had been rearranging the insides of my skull.

lionThe first thing I was conscious of was staring down into my open right palm and seeing that I was holding a little 1 cm-diameter disk, which clearly had been excavated from inside my head. I somehow knew that it had been lodged in my pineal gland and had been serving as a block to my visionary gateway. The disk looked like a small ceramic ancient coin with the impress of some ancient goddess’s head. Her head kept shifting from human to lion form as I stared at it. I somehow knew that the disk was Sumerian in origin but was since then associated with the Oracle at Delphi, and that the woman’s head was that of the Oracle, Astarte, Sekhmet, and Medusa all simultaneously.

sekhmetI knew that the disk had been blocking my visionary capacities and somehow was disorienting my Astral energies, causing emotional complexes of all kinds throughout my life. I now stood the chance of gaining some insight and stability in my emotional and visionary capacities.

Upon recognizing the face of the goddess on the disk in my palm, I said, “Well, THAT explains it.” The professor asked, “Explains what?” and I answered, “That’s the same face that I see in a vision three or four times a day.” The professor seemed moved or surprised by this and sat up, saying, “Well, then, our conversation is not ending but only just now beginning!”

Realizing that we would be entering into a deep therapeutic discussion and analysis, I texted my wife Anna that I would be a few hours later than expected and then readied myself for the healing conversation.

• • •

Awaking from the dream, I went downstairs, arranged my meditation cushions on the mat, and entered into a long conversation with Gabriel. Most of what I learned came by way of internal self-recognition, glimpses of deep self-truths that Gabriel only guided by little interjections and questions. The bulk of the understanding came from deep within my psyche as a process of recognition.

Throughout this meditative conversation with Gabriel I was still highly aware of the little Medusa Disk in my palm, even though I was now fully awake. (I can feel it there even at this moment as I type these words.) I slowly realized that the disk was not made of porcelain or marble as I had assumed but was, rather, a small disk of bone remaining from my son Dylan’s cremated ashes. As morbid as this might sound, I found (and still find) great comfort in sensing the liberating potential of my son’s bone disks, liberated in my palm just as I had seen them when I released his ashes into Massachusetts Bay just off the northern coast of Provincetown. Here was and is my own bit of sacred scrimshaw from a source that could not be more personal unless it were from my own skeleton.

I initially thought that the blocking function of the disk, having been lodged in my pineal gland, had been serving some malicious function. I knew that the goddess associated with it had been regulating my consciousness and my emotional state for much of my life. But Gabriel assured me that her role was more as a guiding and protective source of moderation rather than some malicious blocking of awareness. Now I hear that the disk’s function was more like training-wheels on a bicycle than like a chain on the wheels themselves. It served as a capacitor of sorts, helping to channel the intensity of the electro-magnetic discharges from my inner visionary chamber.

In a nice moment of synchronicity, when I went to the university library later this morning to see what book had come in for me through inter-library loan, I was pleased to see that it was Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols. I opened the book randomly to page 81, a page right in the middle of the chapter devoted to exploring the archetypal significance of the Popess or High Priestess card. “There she sat as she had done for centuries, immobile and serene, knowing whatever she knew and apparently secure in that wisdom.” On the previous page I then read, “The creative act of memory is the special province of the feminine principle. It is always colored by emotion.” The visionary aspect of the Third Eye blended with the serene control of the Astral energies.

I understand this (I FEEL this) as a moment of liberation from my own self-boundaries (to be followed by others, I’m sure) into an expanded mode of consciousness and psychic capability. Interestingly, this awareness does not produce some gleeful ecstatic state but rather a sense of calm self-control. It all feels so “normal” and so much like the real me—my actual goddess state—that I am calmly self-assured and stable for probably the first time in this life. Now I recognize that this Delphic Oracle and I have much freer access to one another—at last.

delphi

Gabriel and the Angelic Intelligences

Jibrail[Introductory note: What follows is a segment from the transcript of a telephone conference I participated in on February 6, 2017 between the Learning for Life Center in Topeka, Kansas and the multidimensional collective entity known as Monitor (channeled by Harvey Grady in Sedona, Arizona). I should mention here that I have been reluctant up to this point to pursue the significance of my acquisition of the name of Gabriel in the Fall of 2011. My troubled upbringing within what would today be called a Christian fundamentalist home had led me to be suspicious in adulthood of anything apparently related to that tradition. So I was quite surprised and even disturbed to have been presented with the name of Gabriel by the Spiritual Hierarchy at that time, although I did accept this (at the friendly urgings of a group of Crop Circle explorers in Avebury, England in early December 2011) and quickly grew into this new awareness of Self. The conversation that follows is one of my first attempts to gain some objective understanding of this presentation of a Higher layer of my Being. While in addition I am generally uneasy in devoting time to writing about myself, I believe that my experiences offer other Seekers confirmation of their own experiences in a culture that works against such understandings. I have been even more reluctant to claim some direct inspiration from the Angel Gabriel, not wanting to pose myself as seeking attention to myself, but I now feel it is time that I do so in as open, responsible, and detached a way as possible.]

MONITOR ON MY CONNECTIONS WITH THE ANGEL GABRIEL

GABRIEL:      Thank you, Monitor.  It is my turn now.  I was going to ask a question about recent ET interactions.  But I feel moved to ask about Gabriel and angelic intelligences, unless you think otherwise.  So I will go on the Gabriel question.  In a New Year’s divination exercise, I was presented with the following line from Henry Corbin’s book, The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism.  “We have learned that this red Sun and these reddening orbs announced the presence of the angel, Logos, or of one of the angelic intelligences.”  This message resonates deeply with me and is consonant with many of the prods that suggest that I have a destiny of some sort now with the angelic intelligences, not only with my High Self, but also with Gabriel.

In my work with Sufi gnosticism, I keep finding myself meditating over the role Gabriel plays in various theosophical circles, but even more specifically in my own life, not the least of which involves my receiving the name Gabriel in 2011.  For the highest good, is there a direct connection between my High Self, Samuel, and Gabriel?

How should I envision the nature of my Soul relationship and mission with Gabriel?  And how coincidental is it that these urgings most recently have come from within a Sufi context, one that – when withdrawn from its Islamic context – feels the most applicable to my own experiences so far?  Thank you.

man_of_lightMONITOR:    We note that you have been associated with the Spiritual Hierarchy and angelic kingdom in past lives, one of which involved a lifetime in a Sufi enclave situated in the mountains in northern Iran.

GABRIEL:      Yes.

damavandMONITOR:    Your personality’s relationship with angels represents a personal ability within the personality structure to accept angelic presence.  The Mental Judge Self component of the subconscious mind typically is fearful of angels and other high spiritual beings.  The Mental Judge Self typically creates a crisis to prevent or distract the Outer Self from angelic communication or contact.

In your personality, that encounter took place initially in the Sufi enclave.  The challenge was resolved when, through repeated fasting and prayer activity, your Mental Judge Self was assisted by your High Self to assume a more neutral role after having experienced an almost uncontrollable outburst of fear.  With your Mental Judge Self in a more inactive state, it was able to observe the activities of angels associated with that group and lose some of its fear of that form of superluminal contact.

In this lifetime, your High Self gave you opportunities, even in childhood, to sense the presence of other beings, benevolent beings, and that included the presence of angels.  You have had several angelic encounters to save your personality from harm in this lifetime, and so you have sensed that angelic connection.

Your Female Self has considerable angelic qualities.  And your Male Self has been able to accept those and respect the clarity and strength that the Female Self presents.

Your personality’s relationship with Gabriel denotes a relationship as a worker who at times assists in the accomplishment of certain tasks that Gabriel performs for the planet.  One of those major tasks involves communication among different Life forms and species.  Your life pattern has given you considerable curiosity so that you are able to explore different cultures, different times, and different beings beyond the physical realm.

Angel_GabrielYour connection with Gabriel involves your participation in communicating those experiences of greater insight and awareness of your “neighbors” to the public, to those prepared to accept what you share.  Not all are willing to consider what you share.  Yet by the act of sharing in writing and presentations, you are able to confirm the awareness of many others that benevolent beings exist that positively affect humanity and the planet.

Your role in communicating such experiences is still in its initial stages, yet shall develop into a much more informative sharing so that others who also share to some degree your innate awareness of neighboring species will be able to open their awareness productively and with security.

Henry Corbin, Shaikhism, and the Spiritual Light Body

From Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth Chapter Two, Part 4

  1. Hūrqalyā, Earth of Resurrection

hurqalya[90]

The specific nature of the doctrine is already indicated in the terminology that leads Shaikh Aḥmad to make a strict distinction between two terms currently used to designate body: there [91] is the body considered as organic, animated body (jasad), and there is the body considered as corporeal mass or volume (jism).54 In our Shaikh’s anthropology it is established that the human being possesses two jasad and two jism; they represent a twofold accidental body and a twofold essential body, according to the following schema:

(1) There is the first jasad, which we shall call jasad A, and which is understood as being the element body, material and perishable. It is the apparent body of each one of us, the one that we can see, touch, weigh, recognize. It is an accidental and perishable formation, a com und of sublunar physical elements.

(2) There is a second jasad, which we shall call jasad B; it is hidden and occult from our sight in jasad A; it also is an elemental formation, but differs from the first in that it is not composed of perishable terrestrial elements—those, that is, of our material Earth—but of archetypal elements, the subtle elements of the “Earth of Hūrqalyā.” This second jasad is, there­ fore, a formation belonging to the intermediate world, the world of the barzakh; consequently, it has dimensions, but, unlike the first jasad, it is not an accidental body but an essential and imperishable body; it is the subtle elemental body, the body of “spiritual flesh,” caro spiritual.

(3) There is the first jism; let us call it jism A. Unlike the two jasad, it is not an elemental body; it belongs neither to the terrestrial Elements nor to the subtle Elements. It resembles jasad A for, like it, it is accidental, not everlasting. It resembles jasad B in the sense of being, like it, a formation of the intermediate world. However, it does not arise from the subtle elements of the Earth of Hūrqalyā (from the region, that is to say, which corresponds there to the terrestrial climate of the cosmic Occident); it originates from the celestial matter and Heavens of Hūrqalyā (from the region, that is, corresponding to the Spheres, to the celestial climate of the cosmic Occident). It is the subtle celestial body, the astral body, destined to be reabsorbed.

(4) There is the second jism, which we shall call jism B, and this is the essential subtle body, archetypal, eternal and imper-[92]ishable (jism aṣlī aqīqī); the spirit is never separated from it, for it is what constitutes the eternal individuality. One can say of it that it is the corpus supracoeleste in man.55

At first sight, this schema strikingly resembles what we find in the writings of the Neoplatonist, Proclus. The idea of these different bodies, in which the soul is clothed, and which correspond to different levels of being, reproduces the concept of the oxaTa (okhēmata) or “vehicles of the soul” which the Neoplatonists were so prone to meditate.56 The doctrine of the astral body (soma astropoiedes) or okhmata-pneuma is so fundamental in the spiritual family to which Neoplatonism belongs that it immediately calls for many other references, notably the “perfect body” (soma telion) of the Mithraic liturgy, the “immortal body” (soma athanaton) of the Hermetic Corpus,57 and finally, for this is what it suggests, this is its aim and object of aspiration, the idios daimon or oikeos daimon,58 the personal divinity or guardian Angel to whom the adept is entrusted on initiation, and which makes the terrestrial human being the counterpart of a celestial being with whom it forms a whole. This, in terms of Mazdean theosophy, is Fravarti, Daēnā, the transcendent “I,” the celestial alter ego.

We know the terms of the question in the case of a Proclus: a compromise had to be found not only between Plato and Aristotle, but also between the Peripatetic tendency of Neoplatonism and the Stoic psychology of the pneuma.59 Besides, two traditions concerning the “astral body” had to be reconciled, both alive in Neoplatonism. Of these traditions, one represents the astral body as attached permanently to the soul, the other represents it as acquired or assumed by the soul during the soul’s descent from the upper regions, and as having to be abandoned by the soul in the course of its reascent.60 Proclus succeeds here in achieving a synthesis, the homologue of which is found in the Shaikhite doctrine; for him it consists in accepting the existence of two ox a okhema (okhēma). These are:

(1) the higher okhēma which is original, congenital (sumphnes), the one that is called augoides (luminous, auroral) or astropoiedes (astral). It is the proton soma (original body) in [93] which the demiurge has placed the soul. It is immaterial, impassible, imperishable. What corresponds exactly to it in Shayikh Aḥmad Aḥsā’ī’s terminology and concepts, is the jism B, which is called the archetype original, essential (jism aṣlī ḥaqīqī): it is the real or essential human being, man in the true sense (insān ḥaqīqī).61

(2) The okhēma pneumatikon, or lower “pneumatic” vehicle, which is a temporary adjunct, composed of four elements: it is the subtle body or vehicle of the irrational soul; like the latter it survives the death of the body, but is destined to disappear or be reabsorbed. What corresponds to it is jism A, an accidental formation issued from the Heavens of the barzakhī or hūrqalyī intermediate world.

light bodyThis question of the subtle body, of the vehicle of the soul, (Macrobius’ luminosi corporis amictus, Boethius’ levis currus)82 has persisted and will persist, will always be meditated, so it seems, as long as Neoplatonic thought survives. It reappears among the Byzantine Neoplatonists (Michael Psellos, Nicephoros Gregoras) , the Cambridge Neoplatonists (Ralph Cudworth, seventeenth century) and, let us now add, among our Neoplatonists of Persia.

But in Shaikhism, the themes of meditation grow more complicated. While Proclus was able to reconcile the two traditions—of an original and imperishable okhēma and of an okhēma which will end by being reabsorbed or detached from the soul—it can roughly be said that Shaikh Aḥmad Aḥsā’ī proceeds simultaneously to affirm the existence of a twofold imperishable okhēma (jism B and jasad B), and of an okhēma pneumatikon (jism A), a nonpermanent subtle astral body. The complication of this schema can, it seems, be attributed to the need to safe­ guard the exegesis of Qur’ānic data concerning eschatology in general.

These data taken literally, as they were understood by the literalist “orthodox” of Islam, presuppose that the body of terrestrial flesh, jasad A, is resurrected, or “returns” just as it was. For philosophical meditation, this material identity has always represented an insurmountable contradiction, all the more fruitless in that it stems from an insufficient understanding of the [94] problem. For the physical impossibility to be proven, the question demands that one rise above the realm of empirical sensory evidence and the corresponding mode of perception. At that very point, the work to be done is to transmute the latter into its spiritual truth; it is not to find a way of escape into allegory and its abstract residuum, but to establish a “hūrqalyī physics.” This is the very thing that makes possible the schema of the fourfold body we have just outlined. In effect, though jism A, the accidental astral body, is finally to disappear (like the okhēma pneumatikon of the Neoplatonists)—for, while being a hūrqalyī jism, it is nevertheless accidental—it will be replaced by another “vehicle,” subtle and permanent, which is a body at the same time elemental and essential, a body of “spiritual flesh,” constituted by the subtle archetype—elements of the celestial Earth of Hūrqalyā. In this way, the state of wholeness, homo totus, always comprises, as in Proclus’ system, a twofold okhēma. This concept is properly that of the Iranian Neoplatonists and in a way reinforces that of the Greek Neoplatonists.

khidrHere then, very briefly, is the Shaikhite conception of the eschatological process: everything which is accidental body (jasad A and jism A) will eventually disappear. Everything which is essential body (jasad B, and jism B) is assured of survival. Jasad A is the coarse elemental body in which the descending soul clothed itself on reaching the terrestrial world. It is not essential, merely an accidental coating. It perishes and is decomposed, each element returning to its source and blending with it—a fact of ordinary observation. Now, what leaves this perishable body at the moment when the Angel of Death comes to gather up the soul is a twofold thing: the essential original body (jism B, okhēma symphyes), which is the permanent basis of the eternal soul (ḥāmil li’l-nafs), but at this point enwrapped in that accidental subtle body (jism A, okhēma pneumatikon) in which the soul had clothed itself in the course of its descent towards the terrestrial Earth, on passing through the intermediate world of the barzakh. This also is a formation of the intermediate world; however, as we have already said, it is constituted not from the subtle matter of the elements of the [95] Earth of Hūrqalyā, but from the subtle matter of the Heavens of Hūrqalyā. It likewise is an accidental formation. These two jism (A and B) survive, together forming the state of eternal human individuality and experiencing in the interworld either the joy and sweetness of the “Occidental Paradise” (the flavor of this expression unexpectedly recalls the “Pure Earth” of Buddhism) or, on the contrary, the despair of a Hell immanent in itself. This applies to individual eschatology as such. But what enters at this point is an extremely complex interpretation of general eschatology, that is, of the events closing our Aeon and preluding a new cosmic cycle.

A verse in the Qur’ān (39:68) tells of the two “blasts of the trumpet” which are to be sounded by the Angel Seraphiel. This verse gave full scope to the speculative impulse of the Shaikhī theosophists. The Angel’s “trumpet” is, of course, a cosmic instrument. Each of its orifices represents the “treasure,” the original matrix from which each being has come forth, in this case the jism aṣlī, the subtle, essential, congenital body (jism B), the archetype of human individuality. The first sounding of the trumpet heralds the total reabsorption of the cosmos; each being reenters its source and sleeps there during an interval whose length is expressed as four centuries of our terrestrial duration (this of course does not refer to chronology or quantitative time). The second sounding of Seraphiel’s trumpet proclaims the Renewal of Creation (tajdīd al-khalq), a new cosmic cycle that assumes the character of an apokotastisis, a restoration of all things in their absolute, paradisic purity.63
In what then does the Event of this Resurrection consist? How can it be that the Earth of Hūrqalyā is at the same time the instrument and the scene no longer of the individual eschatology alone (the entrance of subtle bodies into the “Occidental Paradise”), but of the general eschatology? What they tell us is this: when the trumpet sounds for the Resurrection, the essential, original body, which is the support of the eternal individuality (jism aṣlī, jism B), reappears in its unchangeable wholeness (verus homo, insān ḥaqīqī). As for jism A, okhēma pneumatikon, which had merely lent a degree of opacity to the perfect [96] subtleness of the jism B, it does not reappear, or rather, it is completely reabsorbed into the all-luminous subtlety of jism B. As we have seen, these two jism departed together, at the moment of death, from the perishable, terrestrial, elemental body, jasad A. But what of the imperishable subtle elemental body, the body of “spiritual flesh” made of the elements of the Earth of Hūrqalyā, jasad B or jasad hūrqalyī?

alex greyHere Shaikhism introduces a highly original concept. This body, likewise essential, is made up of the subtle matter of the archetype-elements of the Earth of Hūrqalyā and is also a receptacle of the influences of the Heavens of Hūrqalyā; this means that it possesses organs of perception that are seventy times more noble and more subtle than those of the body of elemental flesh in which it is hidden and invisible. It has shape, extent, and dimension, and is nevertheless imperishable. Whereas the terrestrial elemental body, jasad A, perishes in the grave, jasad B, or jasad hūrqalyī does not depart from it at the moment of death in company with the essential man (insān ḥaqīqī), who is made up of the original subtle body enveloped in his other, provisional, subtle body. The jasad hūrqalyī survives, they tell us—survives “in the grave.” But at this point we should refer to a striking feature of one of Maeterlinck’s dialogues expressing the esoteric meaning of death, when the Shadow, a few moments before becoming the Angel of him whose death it is, declares: “They look for me only in the graveyards, where I never go. I do not like corpses.”64 The “grave,” that is, the place where the jasad B continues to be, is not the “graveyard,” but exactly the mystical Earth of Hūrqalyā to which it belongs, being constituted of its subtle elements; it survives there, invisible to the senses, visible only to the visionary Imagination.

Vision of this mystical subsistence is, therefore, itself a pre­eminent example of a psycho-spiritual event “taking place” in the Earth of Hūrqalyā. Here the difference between the schools of thought becomes apparent. Proclus held that the inhabitants of the high places of the Earth in Plato’s myth, the Phaedo were souls still clothed in their lower okhēma and awaiting their [97] complete apokotastisises. In a way peculiarly his, Shaikh Aḥmad also rises above the dilemma which would leave no choice except between the idea of completely disembodied souls (in contradiction with the idea of soul) and the idea of complete immortality of the irrational soul (Jamblichus). But when we come to Shaikhism, the doctrine of apokotastisis is amplified. It is affirmed, not only that the lower okhēma is stripped, but further affirms the reassumption of this other essential body, which is also a subtle vehicle, an imperishable, paradisic body, sleeping in Hūrqalyā, the Earth of Light whence it came. That is where the Angel took it in order to “hide” it in the terrestrial body of flesh, at the moment of conception.

Therefore, at the second sounding of the trumpet, this jasad B or hūrqalyī body, the body of “spiritual flesh,” is the body which the eternal, individual soul, conveyed by its original, essential, or archetypal body (jism B), again puts on its transfigured terrestrial raiment of glory. Now, this reunion and transfiguration take place in and through the Earth of Hūrqalyā. This celestial Earth, this “eighth climate,” is, indeed, what preserves the future “Resurrection Body,” since this Earth is its source; and for that reason also it plays the same role in the general eschatology, namely, that of “Earth of Resurrection.” It goes without saying that “orthodox” Islam has never been able to find its way in this theosophical physics; the Shaikhīs had to face difficult situations, a mass of objections, on the feebleness of which we need not dwell, since the premises remained on the very mental level which the Shaikhīs’ meditation aimed to surpass.66

Let us enter still more deeply into this Shaikhī meditation, which transmutes things into the substance of Hūrqalyā by contemplating them in that “Earth” and thus evolves a physics and physiology of Resurrection. We notice, then, that in this process meditation on the alchemical Work plays a capital part, and that the spiritual practice of alchemy continues in a discreet fashion even to our day in Iranian Shaikhism. The work of its founder reveals the need he exemplifies to interiorize the true practice in order to obtain from it the psychic reactions which are resolved in a mystical psychology of the Resurrection body.

[98]

The basic idea of alchemy for the Shaikhīs67 is that it alone makes it possible to conceive the resurrection of bodies as a consequence or corollary of the survival of Spirits. It makes it possible to pass from the one to the other and gather them into a single concept. To make this transition is to make at the same time a transposition (an “anaphora”) and a transmutation, which invalidate the rationalist philosophical arguments against resurrection, because these arguments are carried on on a level lower than the level on which the question in fact arises, just as, and for the same reason, the “literalist” concepts of orthodox theologians concerning the resurrection of bodies are equally weak.

From the beginning, let us remember Shaikh Sarkār Āghā’s beautiful and forceful maxim: one’s first concern is to become a Hūrqalyāvi oneself; one must be able and one must have been initiated to see things and beings, processes and events, “in Hūrqalyā.” The organ of sight is the active Imagination, which alone enters into the intermediate realm, makes the invisible within the visible visible to itself. It is thus the quinta essentia of all living, corporeal, and psychic energies. We hear Shaikh Aḥmad insisting strongly in his turn on the essential function of the meditant, active Imagination; as he says very definitely: the Imagination is essential to the soul and consubstantial (jawharānī) with it; it is an instrument of the soul, just as the hand is an instrument of the physical body. Even sensory things are known only by means of this organ, for it is to the soul what the Soul of the Heaven of Venus is to the Soul of the Heaven of the Zodiac.”68 One can therefore also say here in Paracelsist terms that the Imagination is the “astrum in homine,” “coeleste sive supracoeleste corpus.”69 And one can add likewise that the alchemical Work, because of the psychic effects it produces in him who meditates and interiorizes it, is essentially carried out “in the Earth of Hūrqalyā.” So in that sense, it can be said of alchemy that it works with the elements of the Earth of Hūrqalyā and “transmutes” the terrestrial elements into these subtle elements.

But for this to be true, the alchemical Operation must be really perceived and mentally actualized in Hūrqalyā, and it is [99] for this purpose that the appropriate organ of perception is necessary. This is why the alchemical Operation (‘amal al-ṣinā‘a al-maktūm), literally, that is, the operatio secreta Artis, is called the “Wise Men’s Mirror” (mir’āt al-ḥukamā’). “Of the Operation of the Elixir (‘amal al-iksīr),” writes Shaikh Aḥmad, “the Wise have made a Mirror in which they contemplate all the things of this world, whether it be a concrete reality (‘ayn) or a mental reality (ma‘nā). In this mirror, the resurrection of bodies is seen to be homologous to the resurrection of spirits.”70 The postulate is that one and the same spiritual Energy of light is just as much the constituent of the essence of what is qualified as material as it is of the essence of what is qualified as spiritual.71 Briefly, how it should be expressed is by saying that “Spirits are being-light in the solidified state (nūr wujadi dhā’ib) whereas bodies are being-light but in the solidified state (nūr wujadi jāmid). The difference between the two is like the difference between water and snow. Proof confirming the resurrection of the one is valid in respect of the resurrection of the other.” Now, the final result of the alchemical Operation is exactly this coincidentia oppositorum: once a body has been treated and perfected by this Operation, it is in the state of “solid (or ‘congealed,’ ‘frozen,’ miyāh jāmida) liquid.”72

Here, then, are some themes for meditation which, amongst others, are suggested to us with a view to interiorizing the alchemical Work. Let us, for example, take silica and potash, opaque, dense substances corresponding to the state of the terrestrial, elemental body (jasad A). In the first place, having been boiled and liquefied, these two substances lose their opacity and become glass (potassium silicate), which is transparent; in this state the outer allows the inner to be seen through it; the hidden spontaneously shows through the apparent. Certainly it is still the lithoid substance, and yet it is no longer that. This state should be meditated as corresponding to the jasad B, which is the subtle, diaphanous body composed of the elements of Hūrqalyā. In refusion with the addition of a certain chemical, glass becomes crystal; crystal with the addition of the white Elixir turns into the “crystal which sets on fire” (a “lens”). At [100] this stage it corresponds to jism A (okhēma pneumatikon), that is, to the astral body which envelopes the essential original body (jism aṣlī, jism B), or eternal individual, and which, together with the latter, enters the “celestial Earth” at the moment when death separates them from the perishable elemental body (i.e., from jasad A). When the crystal is fused a second time with white Elixir, it becomes diamond. This is the same crystal, the same silicate in which the crystal was hidden, the same compound of mercury and sulphur, and yet it is no longer any of these. “And diamond, freed from crystal, freed from glass, freed from stone, corresponds to the believer’s bodies in this absolute Paradise.”78

This operation is confirmed by others. That, for instance, which is performed on pewter. Pewter treated with white Elixir turns into pure silver, the stage of jasad B. Treated with red Elixir, the silver becomes pure gold, the stage of jism A, which enters the earthly Paradise or celestial Earth. Treated again with red Elixir, the pewter-become-gold itself becomes Elixir, the stage of jism B, which, reunited with jasad B (the hūrqalyī body) and having assimilated the latter to its own subtlety, enters into the absolute Paradise.74

bodiesBriefly, the meditation that interiorizes the transmutations accomplished in the course of the real operation engenders the spiritual body, which also is a coincidentia oppositorum. It enters into the intermediate realm, into the psychic realm of subtle bodies through the active meditant Imagination, which, by transmuting sensory processes or events into symbols, itself activates psychic energies which radically transmute the relationship between soul and body. There is then a state, says Shaikh Aḥmad, in which “bodies perceive through their very essence (bi-dhātihā) the thoughts which are thought in the celestial world, as well as angelic Forms. Reciprocally, the Spirits dependent on these bodies perceive bodies and corporeal realities through their own essence, since their bodies, when they wish it, become spirit and their spirit, when they wish it, becomes body.”71 Therefore, meditation on the alchemical operation or meditation operating alchemically reach the result the formula of which is precisely [101] the definition we have heard, given by Moḥsen Fayẓ, of the world of the barzakh as “a world through which bodies are spiritualized, and spirits embodied.” And this is the perfect definition of the Earth of Hūrqalyā, as well as of the Events which are accomplished there and to which this mystical Earth lends its very substance.

But, of course, this “substantiation” occurs only through the presence of the adept to this mystical Earth where spiritual bodies alone can be present. That is why the constant principle here again is: solve et coagula. The Wise, writes Shaikh Aḥmad, dissolve and coagulate the Stone with a part of its spirit and re peat the operation several times. When they have treated it three times with the white Elixir and nine times with the red Elixir, the Stone becomes a living spiritual Mineral (or metal) (ma‘dan ḥayawānī ruḥānī), which exactly translates our Latin alchemists’ idea of the living Stone (lapis vivus)76. It is a body, but its operation is spiritual: it gives life to those “metals” which are dead. Meditate and understand this Sign, says the Shaikh, for such a body is precisely the Sign of the dwellers in Paradise, “for they have bodies in which exist all the attributes, laws, and actions of bodies, but such bodies enact the actions of Spirits and pure Intelligences; they perceive what the celestial Souls and angelic Intelligences perceive, just as the latter perceive through their own essence what Souls and bodies perceive.”77 Bodies such as these are made from the original clay (al-ṭina al-aṣlīya) of the emerald cities Jābalqā and Jābarsā, and they receive the influx, no longer of the Heavens of the physical cosmos, but of the Heavens of Hūrqalyā.18
Shaikh Aḥmad Aḥsā’ī’s own words have, we believe, conveyed what is essential in the doctrine. At some future date, we shall publish a study of the amplification by his successors of the theme of the spiritual body which is the body of resurrection. In so doing, we shall discover the constants in what might called the “metaphysics of ecstasy” common to all the Spirituals, and which bears witness to the permanence and identity of this interworld on which their similar experiences converge. The Shaikhs emphasize the idea of an essential archetype body (jism [102] aṣlī ḥaqīqī) which simultaneously possesses dimension, shape, form, and color like bodies in general, but which differs from them in one radical respect, namely that the appearance of the essential body depends on actions fulfilled and the inner states manifested by these actions.79 In our terrestrial world, our inner states are invisible and the aspect of what we do is limited to the outer, observable appearance, but in the celestial earth the same actions assume another form and inner states project visible forms. Some take the form of palaces, others the form of houris, or of owers, plants, trees, animals, gardens, streams of running water,80 and so on. All these forms and figures are seen and are real “outside,” but they are at the same time attributes and modes of being of man. Their transfiguration is the transfiguration of man, and they form his surroundings, his celestial Earth. Hence it can be said that the action is its own reward and the reward is the action “itself.”81

The ontological status of this celestial Earth is thus defined in terms comparable, to take but one example, to the fundamental doctrine of Swedenborg, who constantly reminds us, in formulations which vary very little, that “things outside the Angels assume an appearance corresponding to those which are within them.”82 All things that come into the Angels’ field of vision correspond to their “interior” and represent it; “they vary in accordance with these inner states, and this is why they are called ‘Apparitions’ (apparentiae), but because they issue from this source they are perceived so much more vividly and distinctly than the way in which men perceive terrestrial data, that they must rather be called ‘real Apparitions’ (apparentiae reales) since they really exist.”88 And the following formulation is perhaps the essential one: “the body of each Spirit and each Angel is the form of its love.”84 A Shaikhī saying echoes this fundamental thesis: “The paradise of the faithful gnostic is his very body and the hell of the man without faith or knowledge is likewise his body itself.”85 Or again, this saying which condenses the fruit of Shaikh Aḥmad Aḥsā’ī’s meditations on the “diamond body”: “Every individual rises again in the very form [103] which his Work (in the alchemical sense) has fixed in the secret (esoteric) depth of himself.”86

One can also understand how the idea of the celestial body or resurrection body expresses the idea of the human being in his totality, homus integer. By representing the human person in its transfigured state, it is henceforward far more than the physical organ of personal subjectivity in opposition to the world, since it is “its” world, its “true world,” that is, not a foreign, opaque reality, but a transparency, the immediate presence of itself to itself. From that point also we can understand how the representation of the original, spiritual body, the okhēma aymphyea of Neoplatonism, came to be connected with the idea of personal divinity (idios daimon) , the guardian Angel or archetypal “I” from which the terrestrial “me” originates. This again recalls an odd detail: Shaikh Aḥmad, when asked about the origin of the name Hūrqalyā, which has as strange and foreign a sound in Persian as in Arabic, answered that it was a word which came from the Syriac language (sūryānī) in use amongst the Sabeans of Baṣra, or more exactly, the Mandeans.87 Now the Earth of Hūrqalyā, the intermediate world of exemplary Real Images, is the homologue, both in Suhrawardī’s “Oriental theosophy” and in Shaikhism, of the Paradise of the archetypes of Yima, and it so happens that the close resemblance between the Var of Yima and the “second world,” or world of archetypes, of Mandeism (Mshunia Kushta) has more than once been pointed out.

And in all cases it refers to that same world in which the liberated soul, whether in momentary ecstasy or through the supreme ecstasy of death, meets its archetypal “I,” its alter ego or celestial Image, and rejoices in the felicity of that encounter. This reunion is celebrated in a Mandean text as follows: “I go to meet my Image and my Image comes to meet me, embraces me and holds me close when I come out of captivity.”88 Recently also, our attention was drawn to the a nity between the central hero of Mandean gnosis, Hibil Ziwa, and the young Parthian prince, the hero of the “Song of the Pearl” in the Acts of [104] Thomas.89 In this ancient gnostic book we find again the rapture of a similar encounter, when the young Prince, on returning to the East, his fatherland, discovers the luminous raiment he had left behind: “The garment suddenly appeared when I saw it before me like unto a mirror of myself. I saw it altogether in me and I was altogether in it, for we were two, separate one from the other and yet but one of like form.”90 And the Gospel According to Thomas declares: “When you see your likeness, you rejoice, but when you see your Images which came into existence before you, which neither die nor are manifested, how much will you bear!”91

Now we must return to that which is the archetype of the individual eschatology, and which was clearly described to us in the last part of the preceding chapter. The figure of the Angel Daēnā, the celestial “I,” as the daughter of Spenta Armaiti, the feminine Archangel of the Earth and of earthly existence, led us to make a connection that has seldom been pondered. It became clear to us that the filiation of the celestial “I” is verified as and when man assumes Spendarmatīkīh, the very nature of Spenta Armaiti, who is Wisdom-Sophia. Hence the relationship of man with the Earth, defining his present existence, was seen by us to be a Sophianic relationship, the full actualization of which is destined to come about in a meeting of the Earth with the “Abode of Hymns” (Garōtmān, the Iranian name of the celestial Paradise). Going on from there, not in the “historical direction,” but according to the “polar dimension,” we heard in a higher octave of the harmony of the worlds, the theme of the supracelestial Earth in the person of Fāṭima the Resplendent, Fāṭima-Sophia, who is the Earth of the pleroma of the deity because she is its Soul. We have since learned at the flowering of the spiritual body, which is the awakening and birth to the celestial “I,” takes place in the form of a meditation that transfigures the Earth into a celestial Earth, because, reciprocally, it is said that “the clay of every faithful gnostic was taken from the Earth of his Paradise.” Perhaps then we can begin to see no longer only what is the celestial Earth, but who is the celestial Earth.

What does all this mean for us today? Nothing more nor less [105] than that very thing toward which we are going, which we shape, each one of us, in the image of our own substance. We have heard it expressed in languages both remote and nearer to us, in very ancient and also in modern contexts (we went from Mazdaism to Shaikhism). Very likely, the experiences of the Iranian Spirituals evoke in each of us comparisons with certain spiritual facts known from other sources. I would like to remind you here of the words uttered in the very last moments of his life by the great musician Richard Strauss: “Fifty years ago,” he managed to say, “I wrote Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung).” Then, after a pause: “I was not mistaken. It is indeed that.”93

At the boundary where the boundary ceases to be a boundary and becomes a passage, there comes the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence: realization does indeed correspond to the faith professed in the innermost part of the soul. One has only to remember the last bars of this symphonic poem, and one will understand the import of that realization in the present at the moment when the end becomes a beginning: all that was fore­glimpsed, all the struggle and secret hope borne as one faces a challenge—it is indeed that. The triumphal solemnity of the closing chorale of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony: “O my heart, believe! nothing art thou losing. What is yours remains, yes, remains forever, all that was thy waiting, thy love, thy struggle.” One thing alone matters in the night in which our human lives are wrapped: that the faint gleam, the fiery light, may grow which makes us able to recognize the “Promised Land,” the Earth of Hūrqalyā and its emerald cities.

mazdaism

Everyday Portals

December 11, 2016

deck

Our View from the Kitchen

It is a beautiful overcast early Winter morning and the view from our kitchen out over the hills surrounding Athens is so comforting. I love the feeling of being nested into this community and this energetic space of river, hills, and sky facing the rising sun (hidden behind the gray cloud cover). As Anna and I were pouring our first cups of coffee at the breakfast table I felt tempted to open my laptop and see if we had the winning numbers for last night’s Powerball drawing. (I learned a bit later that we did not.) But at the same time I didn’t want to open the laptop. Anna asked why not and I said, “Because opening the laptop opens up a portal that tears a hole into the fabric of your existence.”

Once I said it this way, I realized how true this is. What I was most enjoying at this point in our morning together was the sense of unity in space and place. The atmosphere created by our windows and the hidden morning sun and the breakfast table in the window and the view out over the deck was one of completeness, of comfort, of home. I knew that once I opened the laptop, the screen would suddenly dominate the entire scene, drawing all of our contiguous homey space into its own spatial dimension out into the virtual environs beyond the screen itself. The screen light would fill this corner of the kitchen and then cause our own space and atmosphere to flow discreetly yet surely into the world stretching out into the screen world. And I was quite happy in this world right-here-right-now.

kitchen

The Laptop Portal and the Window

The same is even more true of televisions in that once they are hooked up to television cables (tele-vision, vision teleported elsewhere), you are then drawn into a world mediated by someone or something else, some corporate entity whose only purpose of being is to draw you in in such a way as to make you surrender your own boundaries of place and self as you enter the videated universe of television programming and commercial advertisements. The sounds completely take over your atmosphere and, by extension, your body. The curious thing about what Joni Mitchell called the “blue TV screen light” back in the black and white days of videated experience up to the present moment in “full color experience” (my mother couldn’t wait to get a color TV in 1970 so that she could see the true color of Johnny Carson’s ties) is that while the initial experience of the emanating TV glow and sound is that of an intrusion into your familiar space, a reverse circuit of flow is actually established by means of which our world, our environment—having been initially penetrated, then captured—is now drawn in reverse motion into the world of the screen. Our entire fabric of experience passes through this miniature everyday portal into the beyond of our local atmosphere.

My point is not that this morning I could not appreciate the portal draw of the screen and the alternate universe lying on the other side of the glass, but that I did not yet want to let go of my hold on experience on this side of the screen—not yet. Instead I wanted to spend more time enjoying the view outside our kitchen morning windows beneath the comforting early winter clouds out over Bong Hill and Witches Hill and beyond to the mountains of West Virginia, out there where the sun rises and starts each day for us.

And then I had a realization: the sky itself is our original portal. The sky is our original laptop screen that during the day encloses us in the variety of cloudy and sunny skies from morning to night, only then to open out onto a universe of stars and planets in the night sky. Those sky orbs had been there all day too, of course, but it is only on clear nights that we see the sky open out onto the galaxies beyond and allow for a diurnal rhythm of daytime enclosure and nighttime expanse. Thus the sky serves as our original portal, our experience of passage from one world of experience into another.

Henry Corbin explores this inside-outside phenomenon in his exploration of a tale by the Sufi saint Suhrawardi: “As is suggested, at the end of Sohravardī’s tale, by the symbol of the drop of balm exposed in the hollow of the hand to the sun, it is a matter of entering, passing into the interior and, in passing into the interior, of finding oneself, paradoxically, outside, or, in the language of our authors, ‘on the convex surface’ of the Ninth Sphere—in other words, ‘beyond the mountain of Qāf’” (Swedenborg 6).

Pool Portal—Strouds Run State Park

Pools of water obviously also played this role in the days before computer screens. They continue to offer this experience of being situated between varying universes. At one moment the surface of the water reflects the sky and clouds and sun and trees and projects them inward as though into a subaqueous world on the other side of the water’s surface. Then with a shift of light and perspective we see below the surface to the stones and fish and water weeds “actually” existing below the water’s surface. And when we slip down under with a diving mask, we then see another layer of existence below the surface and, looking upward from down under, see the water’s surface now above us as the boundary between this watery world and our usual world up there on land. It is not so difficult to see how people in the olden days caught on to this portal phenomenon provided by water and began the practices of scrying and other divinatory explorations of alternate realities.

After a while, humans experimented with these above-and-below and inside-outside positionings and eventually created windows. (Bill Gates came along later.) And now we inhabit enclosures that stage this dynamic of alternate spaces in our very habitations. Cut a new window into a wall or a skylight into a ceiling and a new universe is made possible at once. We then see how “ceiling” contains the heavens that name it and reminds us of the world beyond our denser enclosures.

So in the end, what I have chosen this morning is to sit here in the comforting enclosure and expanse that my little kitchen corner affords me of this inside-outside, here-and-beyond portal experience (“portal” also refers to ordinary doors, after all) before opening up the laptop and watching as its screen goes from an unlit opaque object within this space to a luminescent portal onto other spaces.

The larger point dawning on me in this morning light is that the experience of portals, of transporting our awareness from one space and time to another, is not so occult as we might imagine. The sky is the original portal, as are pools of water and cave entrances and rivers flowing out of sight. Just imagine what other universes these experiences are preparing us for.

Corbin on Ibn ‘Arabī’s Theophanic Imagination

[The following is an excerpt from Henry Corbin’s amazing book Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sūfism of Ibn ‘Arabī, Princeton: Princeton UP, 1969.]

1 . The Creative Imagination as Theophany or the “God from Whom All Being Is Created”

aloneIt will first be necessary to recall the acts of the eternal cosmogony as conceived by the genius of Ibn ‘Arabī. To begin with: a Divine Being alone in His unconditioned essence, of which we know only one thing: precisely the sadness of the primordial solitude that makes Him yea to be revealed in beings who manifest Him to Himself insofar as He manifests Himself to them. That is the Revelation we apprehend. We must meditate upon it in order to know who we are. The leitmotiv is not the bursting into being of an autarchic Omnipotence, but a fundamental sadness: “I was a hidden Treasure, I yearned to be known. That is why I produced creatures, in order to be known in them.” This phase is represented as the sadness of the divine Names suffering anguish in nonknowledge because no one names them, and it is this sadness that descended in the divine Breath (tanaffus) which is Compassion (Raḥma) and existentiation (ījād), and which in the world of the Mystery is the Compassion of the Divine Being with and for Himself, that is, for His own Names. Or, in other terms, the origin, the beginning is determined by love, which implies a movement of ardent desire (ḥarakat shawqīya) on the part of him who is in love. This ardent desire is appeased by the divine Sigh.

By an analysis in which he discovers the mystery of being in [184] the experience of his own being, the theosophist avoids from the outset the theological opposition between Ens increatum and an ens creatum drawn from nothingness, an opposition which makes it doubtful whether the relationship between the Summum Ens and the nothingness from which He causes creatures to arise has ever been truly defined. Sadness is not the “privilege” of the creature; it is in the Creator Himself, it is indeed the motif which, anticipating all our deductions, makes the primordial Being a creative Being; it is the secret of His creativity. And His creation springs, not from nothingness, from something other than Himself, from a not-Him, but from His fundamental being, from the potencies and virtualities latent in His own unrevealed being. Accordingly, the word tan u s also connotes “to shine,” “to appear” after the manner of the dawn. The Creation is essentially the revelation of the Divine Being, first to himself, a luminescence occurring within Him; it is a theophany (tajallī ilāhī). Here there is no notion of a creatio ex nihilo opening up a gulf which no rational thought will ever be able to bridge because it is this profoundly divisive idea itself which creates opposition and distance; here there is not so much as a fissure capable of growing into an area of uncertainty that no arguments or proofs can ever traverse. The Divine Breathing exhales what our shaikh designates as Nafas al-Raḥmān or Nafas Raḥmanī, the Sigh of existentiating Compassion; this Sigh gives rise to the entire “subtile” mass of a primordial existentiation termed Cloud (‘amā). Which explains the following ḥadīth: “Someone asked the Prophet: Where was your Lord before creating His (visible) Creation?—He was in a Cloud; there was no space either above or below.”

angelThis Cloud, which the Divine Being exhaled and in which He originally was, receives all forms and at the same time gives beings their forms; it is active and passive, receptive and existentiating (muḥaqqiq); through it is effected the differentiation within the primordial reality of the being (ḥaqīqat al-wujūd) that is the Divine Being as such (Ḥaqq fī dhātihi). As such, it [186] is the absolute unconditioned Imagination (kayāl muṭlaq) . The initial theophanic operation by which the Divine Being reveals Himself, “shows Himself” to Himself, by differentiating Himself in his hidden being, that is, by manifesting to Himself the virtualities of His Names with their correlata, the eternal hexeities of beings, their prototypes latent in His essence (a ‘yān thābita) this operation is conceived as being the creative Active Imagination, the theophanic Imagination. Primordial Cloud, absolute or theophanic Imagination, existentiating Compassion are equivalent notions, expressing the same original reality: the Divine Being from whom all things are created (al-Ḥaqq al-makhlūq bihi kull shay’)—which amounts to saying the “Creator-Creature.” For the Cloud is the Creator, since it is the Sigh He exhales and since it is hidden in Him; as such the Cloud is the invisible, the “esoteric” (bāṭin). And it is the manifested creature (āhir). Creator-Creature (khāliq-makh­lūq): this means that the Divine Being is the Hidden and the Revealed, or also that He is the First (al-Awwal) and the Last (al- Akhir).

Thus in this Cloud are manifested all the forms of being from the highest Archangels, the “Spirits ecstatic with love” (al­muhayyamūn), to the minerals of inorganic nature; everything that is differentiated from the pure essence of the Divine Being as such (dhāt al-Ḥaqq), genera, species and individuals, all this is created in the Cloud. “Created,” but not produced ex nihilo, since the only conceivable nonbeing is the latent state of beings, and since even in their state of pure potentiality, hidden within the unrevealed essence, beings have had a positive status (thubūt) from pre-eternity. And indeed, “creation” has a negative aspect, since it puts an end to the privation of being which holds things in their occultation; this double negativity, the nonbeing of a nonbeing, constitutes the positive act. In this sense it is permissible to say that the universe originates at once in being and in nonbeing.1

Thus Creation is Epiphany (tajallī), that is, a passage from [187] the state of occultation or potency to the luminous, manifest, revealed state; as such, it is an act of the divine, primordial Imagination. Correlatively, if there were not within us that same power of Imagination, which is not imagination in the profane sense of “fantasy, “ but the Active Imagination (quwwat al-khayāl) or Imaginatrix, none of what we show ourselves would be manifest. Here we encounter the link between a recurrent creation, renewed from instant to instant, and an unceasing theophanic Imagination, in other words, the idea of a succession of theophanies (tajalliyāt) which brings about the continuous succession of beings. This Imagination is subject to two possibilities, since it can reveal the Hidden only by continuing to veil it. It is a veil; this veil can become so opaque as to imprison us and catch us in the trap of idolatry. But it can also become increasingly transparent, for its sole purpose is to enable the mystic to gain knowledge of being as it is, that is to say, the knowledge that delivers, because it is the gnosis of salvation. This occurs when the gnostic understands that the plemulti successive forms, their movements and their actions, appear to be separate from the One only when they are veiled by a veil without transparency. Once transparency is achieved, he knows what they are and why they are; why there is union and discrimination between the Hidden and the Manifest; why there is the Lord and his vassal, the Worshiper and the Worshiped, the Beloved and the Lover; why any unilateral affirmation of a unity that confounds them, or of a discrimination that opposes their two existences as though they were not of the same essence, is a betrayal of the divine intention and hence of the Sadness which in each being yearns for appeasement in the manifestation of His secret.
The Creature-Creator, the Creator who does not produce His creation outside Him, but in a manner of speaking clothes Himself in it as the Appearance (and transparency) beneath which He manifests and reveals Himself first of all to Himself, is referred to by several other names, such as the “imagined [188] God,” that is, the God “manifested” by the theophanic Imagination (al-Ḥaqq al-mutakhayyal), the “God created in the faiths” (al-Ḥaqq al-makhluq fi’l-i‘tiqādāt). To the initial act of the Creator imagining the world corresponds the creature imagining his world, imagining the worlds, his God, his symbols. Or rather, these are the phases, the recurrences of one and the same eternal process: Imagination effected in an Imagination (takhayyul fī takhayyul), an Imagination which is recurrent just as—and because—the Creation itself is recurrent. The same theophanic Imagination of the Creator who has revealed the worlds, renews the Creation from moment to moment in the human being whom He has revealed as His perfect image and who, in the mirror that this Image is, shows himself Him whose image he is. That is why man’s Active Imagination cannot be a vain fiction, since it is this same theophanic Imagination which, in and by the human being, continues to reveal what it showed itself by first imagining it.

This imagination can be termed “illusory” only when it becomes opaque and loses its transparency. But when it is true to the divine reality it reveals, it liberates, provided that we recognize the function with which Ibn ‘Arabī  endowed it and which it alone can perform; namely, the function of effecting a coincidentia oppositorum (jam‘ bayna’ l-naqīḍayn) . This term is an allusion to the words of Abū Sa‘īd al-Kharrāz, a celebrated Ṣūfī master. “Whereby do you know God?” he was asked. And he replied: “By the fact that He is the coincidentia oppositorum.” For the entire universe of worlds is at once He and not-He (huwa lā huwa). The God manifested in forms is at once Himself and other than Himself, for since He is manifested, He is the limited which has no limit, the visible which cannot be seen. This manifestation is neither perceptible nor verifiable by the sensory faculties; discursive reason rejects it. It is perceptible only by the Active Imagination (Ḥaḍrat al-Khayāl, the imaginative “Presence” or “Dignity,” the Imaginatrix) at times when it dominates man’s sense perceptions, in dreams or better still [189] in the waking state (in the state characteristic of the gnostic when he departs from the consciousness of sensuous things). In short, a mystic perception (dhawq) is required. To perceive all forms as epiphanic forms (maẓāhir), that is, to perceive through the figures which they manifest and which are the eternal hexeities, that they are other than the Creator and never­ theless that they are He, is precisely to effect the encounter, the coincidence, between God’s descent toward the creature and the creature’s ascent toward the Creator. The “place” of this encounter is not outside the Creator-Creature totality, but is the area within it which corresponds specifically to the Active Imagination, in the manner of a bridge joining the two banks of a river. The crossing itself is essentially a hermeneutics of symbols (ta’wīl, ta‘bīr), a method of understanding which transmutes sensory data and rational concepts into symbols (maẓāhir) by making them effect this crossing.

An intermediary, a mediatrix: such is the essential function of the Active Imagination. We shall have more to say of it further on. The intellect (‘aql) cannot replace it. The First Intelligence (‘Aql awwal) is the first determination (ta‘ayyun awwal) that opens within the Cloud, which is itself the absolute theophanic Imagination. The intermedia between the world of Mystery (ālam al-ghayb) and the world of visibility (ālam al­shahādat) can only be the Imagination, since the plane of being and the plane of consciousness which it designates is that in which the Incorporeal Beings of the world of Mystery “take body” (which does not yet signify a material, physical body), and in which, reciprocally, natural, sensuous things are spiritualized or “immaterialized.” We shall cite examples to illustrate this doctrine. The Imagination is the “place of apparition” of spiritual beings, Angels and Spirits, who in it assume the figures and forms of their “apparitional forms” ; and because in it the pure concepts (ma‘ānī) and sensory data (maḥsūsāt) meet and flower into personal figures prepared for the events of spiritual dramas, it is also the place where all “divine history” is accomplished, the stories of the prophets, for example, which have meaning because they are theophanies; whereas on the plane of sensory evidence on which is enacted what we call History, the meaning, that is, the true nature of those stories, which are essentially “symbolic stories,” cannot be apprehended.

Seth on World Views—Cézanne

[The following is an excerpt from The World View of Paul Cézanne by Jane Roberts. — Gabriel Hartley]

(This Introduction was dictated along with other material by Seth in sessions 780, 781, 784, and 790, for June 22 and 28, July 19, 1976, and January 3, 1977.)

Roberts-CézanneAnyone will tell you that Cézanne is dead, that his paintings were executed on canvas, and so his art escaped the dissolution of his flesh. Almost anyone will tell you that Paul Cézanne’s thoughts died with his body, that his brilliant mind was dependent upon the mechanics of his brain, and that with the brain’s crumbling, Paul Cézanne’s thoughts and dreams disintegrated. Almost anyone will tell you that nothing remains of Paul Cézanne except those paintings, flung from the great creative genius of a once-living man.

An artist does paint himself into his paintings, yet he is the source out of which those paintings emerge, even as Paul Cézanne himself, the living man, was a creation formed by an inner, say, multidimensional artist. The artist can never express all of himself in a painting, and a psychological entity can never express its full reality in one life.

Almost anyone will tell you that you can see Paul Cézanne’s ideas about the world by viewing those paintings that are still realities in the physical universe, though Paul Cézanne himself is not.

[XII]

The thoughts of each person, however, are impressed upon a medium far more permanent than canvas—indestructible, a medium that will not age or warp, more dependable than the finest linen. In that greater gallery of psychic attainment each person is given a place to exhibit his or her “picture of the world.” There are no entry fees or judges. Symbolically, however, in that infinite gallery there exists a unique, individual view of the world as seen through the eyes of each person ever graced to follow the paths of physical experience.

Each picture is on display and available to anyone who understands how to enter this inner gallery of the mind. If there were a sign outside it would read, “The Gallery of the World’s Mind.” It contains therein the private opinions of the world as it was, or is, or will be encountered by each one of the human beings who experience its reality.

Here there are inner galleries upon galleries—soldier, priest, seamstress, butler, poet, harlot, kings, queens—all of these are given equal berth, and each individual view of the world is presented as the actual living account of one person’s encounter with physical reality.

Each thought in the mind of a man or a woman is like a living brushstroke, made on a multidimensional canvas.

In usual terms, a life consists of conscious events which ride upon numberless unconscious thoughts and activities. If it were possible for a gifted artist to paint a life portrait of any given individual, then in usual terms, this would consist of some gigantic painting depicting all. of the physical events in which that person was involved. There would be scenes of birthdays, weddings, Saturday afternoons, Tuesday mornings, innumerable still lifes with breakfast tables long forgotten. The subject would be shown surrounded by friends in youth and old age, and by numerous anonymous faces of persons perceived but unknown.

[XIII]

If this rather bizarre and certainly considerable endeavor was accomplished, however, the life portrait would hardly be complete, for the artist—however gifted in usual terms—would not be able to see the subject’s thoughts. Nor would he be familiar with the exact shape of the dreams, aspirations, plans, and unexecuted accomplishments with which the subject would also have been intimately involved.

For that matter, the subject might have forgotten many dreams or plans that were once important, and certainly he or she could not keep track of the unconscious activity that goes on in the mind all of the time.

In our “Gallery” of world views, however, we have the entire picture, so to speak. Following our analogy, comparing each thought to a living brushstroke, then each person is in the process of forming a vibrant creation, giving shape and form to the unique impression of the world as he or she experiences it. Each thought, or each brushstroke, however, is also endowed with creativity. It interacts with all the other elements of this multidimensional structure.

Cézanne PaintingsThe painting itself is indestructible. It is not static, however, as an ordinary painting is. Now obviously in objective terms there is no place, in space or out of it, in which such an unofficial living art gallery can be found. In the most important of ways, however, our analogy is true, for each person creates an indelible, individual, and masterful multidimensional picture of the world, seen from one viewpoint and no other.

Also, thoughts are volatile, indestructible. They do interact with other thoughts, form patterns. In a way, they are like electromagnetic species, only alive at other ranges of activity. As each person lives his or her own life, aware, say, of only the painting’s foreground, each thought and feeling is projected out and onto this greater multidimensional canvas of the psyche. This painting or world view, again, is itself alive, though its terms of reality are different than yours.

Each world view is so extensive that no one can see [XIV] its entirety at a glance, and no one can perceive it with out being changed also. In this case, the painting knows it is being viewed and it reacts, as physical paintings in your terms generally do not. Going back to our analogy, this gallery is open all of the time. You could conceivably stroll through it, however, surrounded by masterpieces but seeing nothing. These paintings, then, or world views, spring “into visibility” only under certain conditions. They are perceptive, these “paintings,” alert. They recognize in our passersby those who are of like mind or intent. They are aware of dreams or thoughts that complement their own existence.

Again, anyone will tell you that Paul Cézanne is dead, and that his thoughts about his art and about the world vanished with him, except for those he physically executed. Paul Cézanne’s world view, composed of his thoughts and feelings, still exists, however. He saw the world through his art. In a manner of speaking, that world view has been impressed upon Jane Roberts’ mind. This does not involve a passive reception, but a lively interaction at levels most difficult to describe.

graveCertain elements of Cézanne’s world view were attracted to the “canvas” of the Roberts mind because of elements it found there. In the same way, certain purposes, abilities, and intents of the Roberts mind searched out particular kinds of information from the Cézanne world view and ignored other data. The Cézanne world view, then, could quite legitimately be put together in millions of ways; according to the different kinds of classifications and organizations sought or requested.

You live surrounded by a physical environment. The past seems built into it, so that you read your planet’s history through the ages of its rock layers, say. You also live, however, in an inner psychological environment that you do not perceive so readily.

Speaking now in terms of time, your planet’s psychological history can also be “read,” but through [XV] techniques that are mental or psychic rather than physical. Thoughts are far more vital and active than, say, fossils, for while fossils change with time, thoughts do not. The physical landscape, in the terms in which we are speaking for your convenience, exists by merit of the many layers of “past” physical activity beneath. When you try to examine fossils that may be embedded in rock, however, you can examine them only in your own physical time—hence organisms once alive have turned into the dead fossils of your perception.

The planet’s psychic or psychological environment is not layered in that same fashion. Time does not affect it. Thoughts do not tum into psychological fossils, then, for “uncovered” from what seems to be the past, they are as alive as ever.

They retain their responsiveness as well. Thoughts, then, in your terms, are electromagnetic properties. While you think thoughts, you do not own them. They do not stay like tamed animals within the cage of your skull, for example. They are automatically released, and have their own vitality. This forms the planetary psychological environment, which is open to all and provides a bank of psychic nutriment from which each may draw, even as each of you benefits from the physical environment.

You have learned how to mine the earth. You have learned how to farm it, wedding your conscious knowledge to nature’s design, but you have not learned how to harvest thoughts, nor even begun to understand the nature of the psychological environment in which you also have your being.

In certain terms it is true to say that the universe not only thrives upon information, but is composed of self informing entities of whatever nature. Your sense equipment and your methods of using it are responsible for the kinds and amount of information that you perceive. You cannot possibly hold all the information flowing through the universe. For one thing, there are infi[XVI]nite ways to organize such information, and each way forms about it a universal reality of its own. You are equipped, however, to receive and understand far more information than you do.

The woman through whom I speak is learning to harvest thoughts in a kind of agriculture of the mind. To do this, you must learn to change to some extent, and only momentarily, the organizational stance that is your own characteristic one. To this extent you reach out, searching for and attracting other information than that which you would normally, yourself, perceive.

Usually you organize your perceptions in what can be said to be a highly limited fashion, searching from experience only that information with which you are yourself primarily concerned. Your thoughts attract others like themselves, and you gradually have a picture of reality that mirrors your own interests and purposes quite faithfully. As you become more interested in others, perhaps you broaden your experience, and have a more comprehensive picture of reality. You might travel, for example, but you broaden your personal scope.

To broaden your psychological scope, however, is something else, and this involves a kind of psychic or psychological travel, so that you can move from your own picture of reality at least to some degree, and visit a psychological picture of the world that is not your own.

The World View of Paul Cézanne is the result of such a psychic and psychological mobility. Cézanne’s thoughts are as alive as ever, in your terms; his psychological picture of the world as brilliant and vivid as ever. It exists as surely in the psychological environment as his pictures do in physical reality.

If you wanted to view an original painting or sketch by Cézanne, you might have to travel to another state or country to see one. You would accept this as quite natural. You would look at such paintings with your own eyes, whether you had good vision or poor, and [XVII] interpret them with your own mind. The person standing next to you, viewing the same painting, might quite as legitimately have different opinions of it than yours, even though the same picture was involved.

In the case of this manuscript, The World View of Paul Cézanne, the Roberts mind momentarily and purposefully gave up its own characteristic view of reality and traveled psychologically into the realm of Paul Cézanne’s.

There is no time barrier at such levels. In your terms, it is as if the Roberts mind simply switched to an elevated superhighway that is not visible usually from a lower one. Such a venture can in certain terms be called psychological archaeology, but only if you understand that present, past and future exist at once in these other areas of psychic and psychological activity.

Now it is not possible to completely divest yourself of your own world view, and to do so would not serve any purposes. When an archaeologist picks up a fossil in his hand it does not wiggle. When Roberts uses her mind like a net there is, however, an interaction for the Cézanne thoughts, still active, “wiggle,” and fall into the top of our figurative net, slipping and sliding, some falling down to mingle with Roberts’ own thoughts, which have momentarily been put to sleep at the bottom of the net.

I simply want to emphasize the fact that thoughts are living, not passive. They are not collected, like rocks. They are more like butterflies. Roberts momentarily then left the framework of her own psychological reality, and used Cézanne rather than Roberts as the organizing impetus, so that the contents of the mind were rearranged and Cézanne’s picture of the world was transposed over Roberts’ own.

Again, thoughts are electromagnetic. The Roberts’ view of reality and the Cézanne view to some extent merged through thoughts’ attracting properties. The Cézanne view was momentarily imprinted, or stamped, [XVIII] or stained, or cast upon the Roberts mind, but in an active interplay, so that, for example, the Cézanne world view was also altered.

The world view of Paul Cézanne was altered only, however, in the same way that you might say a painting is changed by a perceiver’s interpretation of it. In this case the Roberts mind was not relying upon physical visualization, but upon a larger range of inner sense, upon which the Cézanne world view was allowed to play. At no point in his lifetime did Paul Cézanne become aware of his own world view, see it clearly and concisely, for it did not exist in its entirety in ways that he could consciously comprehend.

It was composed of his thoughts and emotions, but it also existed by virtue of the larger overall attitudes and conceptions upon which his conscious life rested. It is not that the conscious mind is unaware of such unconscious activity out of some native blindness. It is simply that any individual uses precise consciousness to “paint in” events in the foreground of reality, concentrating upon detail, while the background is taken for granted.

Paul Cézanne’s reality continues. In a manner of speaking, you can say that he outgrew the canvas of his own earthly experience. Portions of his world view exist in his paintings, physically manifest, expressed in terms of the art to which he devoted his life. The living of a life is in itself, however, an art form of far greater proportion. This manuscript should enhance that multidimensional but uniquely earthly existence, the art of earth living, in which each of the readers of this book is involved.

cézanne

Talking With Coatlicue on the Way to Quetzalcoatl

March 19, 2016

coatlicue

Coatlicue

The other morning as I awoke, I felt the urging of my High Self, Samuel, to enter into conversation. He suggested that I do my usual yoga and pranayama exercises in order to warm up and clear my systems, which I did. Then as I entered into my post-pranayama meditation and communication stream, Samuel told me that if I wished to, he would arrange for me to speak with Coatlicue. And, of course, I said, “Yes!”

Some of what we discussed remains a bit blurry at this point, but the gist of her message was that if I chose to do so, I could continue Gloria Anzaldúa’s project beyond the point where she unfortunately left off at the time of her death in 2004. I’ve been getting a similar message from various spirit sources for some time now, but up to this point I was clueless concerning what exactly this might mean. Beyond that, I feel a bit daunted at the prospect of putting myself in her shoes and continuing her journey in this way. I can’t imagine such a process going unchallenged, yet I do feel that the calling is legitimate and important.

What I learned from Coatlicue was that Gloria had gone quite far in overcoming the Shadow-Beast stage of her initial confrontation with Coatlicue when she began work on the project of “putting Coyolxauqui together again.” What this means, in short, is that at a certain point in her liberation project Gloria had begun to identify with Coyolxauqui, the daughter of Coatlicue. As the story goes, while Coatlicue was pregnant with Huitzilopochtli—the Aztec Sun-God of War—Coyolxauqui recognized that her brother-in-utero was destined to bring about the end of the feminine world order up to that point. Huitzilopochtli would bring around a patriarchal military order that would lead to untold death and destruction. And such certainly seems to be the result of Huitzilopochtli’s reign, which is just now at a critical crossroads.

coyolxauhqui

Coyolxauhqui

Upon recognizing Coyolxauhqui’s fratricidal (and consequently matricidal) intentions to murder her brother in utero to prevent such a drastic outcome and overthrow of the world order, Huitzilopochtli caused his own premature birth, leaping from the womb of Coatlicue and dismembering and beheading his sister Coyolxauqui, tossing her head into the heavens where it now reigns as our moon. From this tale of cosmic sibling rivalry Anzaldúa put together a restorative project of putting Coyolxauhqui together again and bringing about a new, reborn feminine source of power (the rebirth of the feminine that many see as the primary quality of the shift from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius).

 

So far, so good. But what Coatlicue then suggested to me was that this restoration or remembering of Coyolxauqui was a very important but ultimately transitional process of social healing. The “Rebirth of the Feminine” that one might imagine as the consequence of “putting Coyolxauhqui back together” is a restorative moment paving the way for the unification of the masculine and the feminine. This bisexual unification should be the ultimate goal for today’s spiritual activists. And the figure best prepared to stand in as the representative of such a project is not Coyolxauhqui but Quetzalcoatl.

 

Hitzilopochtli

Hitzilopochtli

My job, then, is to present Gloria’s Coatlicue-Huitzilopochtli-Coyolxauhqui in as much detail as possible, highlighting the cosmic logic behind this family drama, and then to develop in as much detail and clarity as possible what the new reign of Quetzalcoatl might look like. Quetzalcoatl is the best figure for such a cosmic-social transformation because He/She represents the manifestation of the cosmic unification of the masculine and the feminine as well as all other logics of social polarity. Being the dragon figure, the winged serpent whose home is both the Heavens and the Earth, Quetzalcoatl represents the next stage of healing cosmic consciousness, the Yin-Yang fusion of all oppositional factions into a movement of planetary liberation.

So this is what I plan to do as I move forward in this development of Anzaldúa’s project of healing the cosmic Self. This is the next moment on the path of cosmic bridging that Gloria sought throughout the last decade of her life.

Quetzalcoatl

Quetzalcoatl

Spring Equinox with Quetzalcoatl

March 20, 2016 — By Gabriel Hartley

I woke up around 4:30 this morning and was immediately bathing in the rush of excitement from my recent revelations concerning the role of Quetzalcoatl in this Age of Transition. After tossing and turning for about a half hour, I finally got up and did my yoga and pranayama exercises in order to be primed for the communication session I knew was about to unfold. And as I had intuited, as I dropped deeper and deeper into the other-worldly swoon of my pranayama sequence, I was contacted by Quetzalcoatl.

Quetzalcoatl_1

This communicative event began with very intense and releasing energy rushes that surged throughout my body. My entire being was being flushed and primed for this influx of new energy, and every cell in my body was scintillating. Then, after simple welcoming (warming up) words, Quetzalcoatl began speaking in a more directed manner as He-She led me through this introduction.

He-She first drew my attention to the rising sun (which still at this point at 6:51 A.M. has not really begun to light up the Eastern horizon—although it is very cloudy here in Southeastern Ohio this morning). I mentioned that I was facing westward, and He-She told me that I could draw my attention to that which lies behind me just as well as anything lying before me. In fact, He-She continued, this reversed direction of attention was perfect for the message I was receiving. And that message concerns the New Dawn of Quetzalcoatl.

Dawn

For over a century now we have known that we are in a New Age of transition and growth. We are passing from one major period of planetary development—the Age of Pisces—into the New Age of Aquarius. And the herald of this New Dawn is Quetzalcoatl, the figure who embodies opposites. Quetzalcoatl, after all, is the feathered serpent. As feathered, He-She embodies the energy of the Bird Kingdom, the Bird Tribes as they soar through the heavens. As serpent, He-She embodies our chthonic relationship to Coatlicue, the serpent woman, our Earth Mother who is also the Mother of our deep awakening as we pass through the confrontation with our Shadow Self in the Underworld. In this way He-She embodies the dragon aspect of our being. Quetzalcoatl embodies all primary opposition: Light-Dark, Male-Female, Heavens-Earth, Black-White, Night-Day, and so—significantly—the Dawn of the New Day.

This New Day is the day of alignment, balance, reconciliation, and unity. The various systems of opposition that have kept us prisoners in a battle of differences are breaking down as the Planetary Soul learns to synthesize these oppositions into unities. This alchemical unity of opposites provides us with a new energy that can drive us into the future and take us out of our Illusion of Separation as we enter into this consciousness of cosmic unity. This is the New Dawn of Quetzalcoatl.

dragonhead

He-She then reminded me that today is the Spring Equinox, the day of Balance in the annual transition from Winter to Summer. This is the season of rebirth, of Easter, of renewal and hope. How appropriate, He-She exclaimed, that you make my acquaintance on such a propitious day just at the moment when the new day is dawning!

So I welcome this new year of growth and higher consciousness in this new relationship I have been welcomed into with Quetzalcoatl.

Jacob-Becoming-Israel and the Divine Syzygy: An Inner Manifestation

March 2, 2016

wrestling

One of the most profound spiritual experiences I have had took place on Monday, February 29, 2016 as I drove from Athens, Ohio to Topeka, Kansas to see my daughter Tori. As I was driving on I-70 in eastern Indiana I was moved to speak with Samuel, my High Self. Samuel instructed me to begin a conversation with Jacob, my Male Self, so I did.

I don’t remember much now from the early parts of this communication, but at a crucial moment my Female Self, Esther, began speaking. The surprising thing was that she was speaking in English, which she almost never does. She usually uses her ancient language that I speak so frequently now. Esther began addressing Jacob by announcing that the time had come for him to accept his true inner nature, which meant accepting his transformation from Jacob to Israel. She then began chanting in a wonderful sing-song way, “You are Israel—accept your true nature! You are Israel—accept your true nature!”

syzygy

Initially Jacob was both flattered and a little disturbed to be called on for such a transformation. He has known for some time now that his moment was coming soon, but he had never imagined that it would take this form of accepting a new identity, and especially not the identity of Israel. Given his strong condemnation of the colonizing behaviors of the state of Israel and the earlier American manifestations of such Biblical imperialism, not to mention the brutal relations between the early nation and its neighbors in the Bible,  Jacob was not predisposed to take on such an identity.

But the remarkable thing was how beautiful the new identity felt, not just to Jacob but to all of my inner selves and to me as a total personality. Jacob, in utter ecstasy, began chanting, “I am Israel! I am a child of God! O am Israel! I am a child of God!” This ecstatic acceptance of this newly-revealed identity filled my entire being with warm light. I believe that I was actually glowing as I soared across the highway of Indiana, deeper into the magical plains of the Mississippi Valley.

Esther and Israel joined together in a new ecstatic union, which increased the ecstatic glowing and the musical round of heavenly song. I could hear angels singing all around me as I was filled with pure joy.

32HermaphroditeMercury

In response to my lingering questions about the brutal nature of the nation of Israel in ancient and in modern days, I was told that the true meaning of the Biblical Israel’s transformation from Jacob had been the marriage between humanity and the Planetary Being. The “Land of Israel” did not refer simply to the place commonly referred to as the Holy Land but to the planet as a whole. Israel was being instructed in his role as avatar for humanity in this newfound sense of being at home, this new atonement between humankind and the Earth. This was never meant as a covenant between a single tribe on a single plot of land but as a unification of the human with Gaia. My recognition of this human-planetary unity filled me with even more ecstatic energy.

star-sun

I was then urged to remember the moment in the movie version of The Da Vinci Code when the main character revealed the meaning behind the two triangles that make up the Star of David, the downward-pointing triangle representing the female womb and the upward-pointing one representing the male phallus, with the unity of the two signifying the divine unity of the Female and Male Principles. My new experience of the unity of Esther and Israel represents just such a cosmic unity of male and female within myself, a unity that promises great changes in my social being. In fact, this newfound unity within myself as symbolized by the united triangles of the Star of David revealed yet another transformative element for me: the “Star of David,” a universal symbol that pre-existed its association with the Jews of Israel for thousands of years, was originally known as the Star of Gabriel as well as many other names. This, then, is my star, my sacred image that is to guide my mediations for some time to come.

The oddest part of all of this is how much sense it all makes and how healed and transformed I feel as a result. I am truly blessed to receive this new understanding and to be grounded in this unity of humanity and Gaia as a divine syzygy.

Venus Transmission

October 21, 2015

Venus

As I went to bed last night I was thinking about my conversations with beings from Jupiter last winter. Then out of nowhere Jupiter told me to expect a visit from another planetary force soon. Well, “soon” turned out to be within just a few hours as I opened my eyes at 4 a.m. this morning and saw a light come into focus through the branches of the trees on the hills east of our house. I immediately knew this was Venus come to pay me a visit.

Jupiter (as a collective planetary voice) said, “Relax, lie there focusing on this beautiful light of Venus manifesting before your eyes. See and, more importantly, feel the energy of this alignment of stars and planets, of Leo’s beautiful frame, of Regulus.”

alignment

So I watched as Venus slowly rose higher into the eastern sky, light waves flashing as she passed behind the tree branches, expanding in her brilliant illumination.

And then Venus herself began speaking. “It is not at all accidental that you found yourself making several reference to me in your classes yesterday and in your readings. This is all part of an important, consciously orchestrated series of synchronicities on your planet at this time. You and many others have been profoundly, if not always consciously, affected by this particular alignment of planets and stars from your Earthly perspective. This is a critical time of transition for your planet, and as you can see and feel, I play a key role in this alliance of waves and rays and energies.”

Venus’s reference to my teaching involved my growing awareness of an unexpected “coincidence” of references to Venus in both of my classes yesterday at Ohio University. In my first class, Multicultural Critical Theory, we were studying a chapter by Patricia Hill Collins on Black Female Sexuality. In her overview of various modes of oppression, Collins spent some time discussing the Hottentot Venus phenomenon as a primary moment in the development of racialized sexual domination in the West. Her primary thesis is that the domination of Back women’s bodies serves as the Matrix of Domination in Western culture, the crucible out of which other forms of domination—racial, class, gender—grow or are articulated. What struck me most in the chapter, however, was Collins’s claim that “[A]ll systems of oppression rely on harnessing the power of the erotic.”

The erotic, of course, is one area under the purview of Venus. And while in this chapter Collins explores the negative side of this work of the erotic, she closes the chapter with the suggestion that while “harnessing the power of the erotic is important for domination, reclaiming and self-defining that same eroticism may constitute one path toward Black women’s empowerment.”

So this got me to thinking about the role of the erotic when harnessed in such systems of domination and liberation. The Rebel Flag of the Confederacy, for instance, gains much of its power precisely from harnessing the power of the erotic. This symbol of racial domination serves to stimulate and organize the flows of erotic drive into a relatively coherent yet often only dimly conscious expression of racialized sexual domination, a power struggle over who’s on top—a power play especially appealing to poor White men who are often dominated in other various ways in our collective Matrix of Domination.

And all of this led me to wonder how we might more productively harness these erotic drives for a platform of liberation. How might the energies we draw from Venus lead us to a higher social constellation than we can currently imagine?

In my later class, a Senior Seminar organized around the theme “Exraterrestrials, Angels, and Elves,” we were finishing up our discussion of the American poet H.D.’s book-length poem Trilogy. While there is much to say about this stunning book, I will here only point to the central role of Venus as one aspect of the liberating powers of imagination that H.D. stages in her coordination of various goddess figures of the erotic: Isis, Astarte, Aphrodite, Venus, and—through a wonderful transfiguration brought about in the poem—Mary Magdalene. Through this particular constellation of goddesses of the erotic, H.D. offers us a glimpse of what a liberating reclamation of the powers of Imagination might offer.

So I was quite stunned and yet not at all surprised to hear Venus mention these moments as part of a larger process of Venus-Earth realization.

When I asked her what I might do at this point, she suggested that I do more research on this moment of planetary alignments spanning Leo and Virgo during this Fall of 2015. But more importantly, I and others should tune into the energies emanating from this eastern portal each early morning during this season. We can do so in our meditations and communicative journeys. She suggested further that these powers will influence us in one way or another, so it is our best interests right now to tune in very consciously as we experience these transformative powers. The VENUS-JUPITER-MARS conjunction energy following the transition from Leo into Virgo is intense! (I’m referring, of course, to the planetary alignments with the constellations, not the Zodiacal time of year.) This is a powerful time for personal and global transformations, but we need to focus our intentions or be swept away on the tide. In other words, the shift is partly under our control—just learn to surf this wave!

planets

Venus engaged me in an extended discussion concerning my own life as lover and father. I was overcome by the beauty and warmth she expressed in her assurance that we can tune into these higher energies right now and allow ourselves greater comprehension and control over our extended erotic faculties, which include our roles not simply as lovers but as parents, children family members, friends, and members of the planetary family at large (which is not at all limited to the planet’s human inhabitants).

Moreover, she suggested that I do some research on certain esoteric expressions of our relationship to Venus in order to gain greater clarity concerning what all this means on personal and collective levels. I have only begin in this work, but I already found a most stimulating passage that could serve as a postscript for this entry:

“Perhaps some idea may be gained if we remember that, in an occult sense, Venus is to the Earth what the higher Self is to man.” Alice Bailey and Djwal Khul, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire