Fourfold Vision and the Rivers of Eden

Now I fourfold vision see
And a fourfold vision is given to me
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
And three fold in soft Beulahs night
And twofold Always. May God us keep
From Single vision & Newtons sleep — William Blake

Legend has it that the Garden of Eden (which name probably means “well-watered”) was sustained by four mighty rivers — Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. The four sustaining rivers of the original legendary paradise are otherwise referred to as “the Guardians of the Four Directions“, and these directions are not geographical coordinates but spiritual “dimensions”. The same four rivers of Eden are the same four beasts that surround the throne of God in the Book of Revelation. And the same beasts that surround the Throne of God in the Book of Revelation are also the same four Zoas of Blake’s divided “Adam”, and which “reside in the Human Brain”. The “original sin” was the departure from wholeness, called “expulsion from Eden”, at which time there also occurred the falling out of the four Zoas.

The legendary Eden is certainly not a geographical or historical entity or place, although it certainly is a “spiritual” place or, more properly, a state or mode of being. It’s actually quite absurd that some people are poking around in the Middle East trying to locate the exact geographical spot of the Garden of Eden, or the lost rivers of paradise, especially after their own spiritual authority, Jesus, has told them that “the body is the temple of the living God” and that “the kingdom of heaven is within you”. The explusion from Eden was the fall into time and, consequently, into what is called “spiritual materialism”.

This accords with Blake’s own view that “God only Acts & is, in existing beings and Men”. This accords with the Buddhist view of anatman also, or No-Self — that nothing has “self-nature”.

The question naturally arises as to whether the Eden legend isn’t what we would call, today, “psychobiology” (or sociobiology), that the Tree of Knowledge or the Tree of Life corresponds to the spinal column and the brain, while the “serpent in Eden” refers to the serpentine or kundalini energy coiled at the root of the tree, with the four mighty rivers corresponding to the flux of energy represented in and as the nervous system, respiratory system, circulatory system, and metabolic systems of the body in the dynamic equilibrium of homeostasis. Adam and Eve, in those terms, would correspond to the anima and animus energies, or yin and yang principles, reflecting the left-side and right-side attentions.

The butterfly (or moth) is a traditional symbol of the psyche, probably for that reason — the wings of the butterfly themselves forming a kind of strange attractor in their own right. (There is even a genus of moth and a species of butterfly called Psyche). A strange attractor very much resembles the shape of a butterfly — a pattern that might describe the flux of energy between the left- and right-side awareness. (And it may be quite significant that the moth figures quite prominently as a magical creature in Castaneda’s writings).

In China, the Guardians of the Four Directions, who may be said to correspond to the four Zoas (who are “our energies” as Blake puts it) and the four mighty rivers of Eden, are four dragons,

The Four Dragons and the Jade Emperor

The four dragons correspond to the classical elementary forces or archae referred to as Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, corresponding to metabolic system, respiratory system, nervous system, and circulatory system. Over the course of human history, each of these has at one time or another been considered the “seat of the soul” or vital principle, which has resulted in different types of “religion” — animism, vitalism, psychism, mentalism depending on where the “seat of the soul” or vital principle was experienced — in the blood and heart, in the limbs, in the breath or pneuma, or in the head. We locate our identity in the head, which is one reason why we can’t make heads nor tails of the values and cultures of those who don’t (and vice versa), because they don’t place great emphasis on developing the intellect or “mental-rational” functions. In that sense, what we call “mind” is not necessarily always to be found in the head, but may be identified with other functions of the body. Echos of that legacy are still contained in phrases like “I feel it in my bones” or “gut feelings” and so on. These transmigrations of the vital principle or seat of the soul through various functions of the body organism not only give you the religious “styles” of the culture, but also the consciousness structure — Gebser’s archaic, the magical, the mythical, or the mental-rational (which largely correspond to the sensual, the willful, the emotional, and the intellectual).

The Buddha receiving the gifts of the Guardians of the Four Directions

Blake’s “fourfold vision” is the activation of all of these energies, just as Gebser’s “integral consciousness” is the same as Blake’s “fourfold vision”. For Rumi, Blake’s “four Zoas” are called the “four nafs” or “animal spirits”. It is really not coincidence that the “fourfold self” has correspondences with the Eastern “four Yugas” or world ages, or the Four Ages of Man of Greek antiquity — the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages,  (Iron being the element of Blake’s mad Zoa “Urizen”). It follows according to that “pre-existing pattern” that Gebser identified in evolution, and in those terms it is quite true to say, as J. Krishnmurti wrote, “You Are the World“.  But the “World” includes everything that is, was, and will be.

In that sense, Krishnamurti is not saying anything different from Blake: “Heaven in a Wild Flower”, “Eternity in the hour”, or “The World in a Grain of Sand”. Well, your body is that flower, your body is that hour, and your body is that grain of sand.

So, is the Eden legend psychobiology? Yes, but not in the sense used by those who identify as psychobiologists, because the body is today even more mysterious than ever since matter itself has become pretty mysterious stuff. There’s nothing but energy in various stages of manifestation or transformation and metamorphosis. But that was already known to Blake. Although he saw that all energy is of the body (and that energy was “Eternal Delight”) the body itself was only a “cloud” or cloak

 1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age

The physical body, infinitely complex as it is, is only a portion of the “Soul” as it conceives itself within physical conditions. It is like a musical instrument. But everything that Blake wrote about this, and about the relationship of the soul to the body, was amply corroborated in Jill Bolte-Taylor’s testimony about her “stroke of insight” (and in my own “dream of the fish“, which is why my enthusiasm for Bolte-Taylor’s TED talk never wanes).

What Blake is saying is that the body is an epiphenomenon of the soul, whereas conventional psychobiologists invert that, viewing what we call “soul” as an epiphenomenon of the body. But that’s only true of what we call “mind”.



23 responses to “Fourfold Vision and the Rivers of Eden”

  1. mikemackd says :

    Oho! So your bio in your fish story is why you were so interested when I mentioned Wiczek some time ago. I must have first encountered your site after you made that post, as I do not recall having made that connection before.

    From my own biographical perspective, I can recall exactly where I was when I was a small boy, walking down to catch a bus to primary school, when I resolved to get to the bottom of Genesis before I die, and to do so when I did.

    The Star Key emerged from that, and it relates to this post of yours, the six divisions of the circle being the four directions plus up and down, the central spine of nines being the spinal column, the ida and pingala being the 142857 and 857142 spiralling around the central spine (3 1/2 coils at the bottom, 3 1/2 at the top, 142857 being one-seventh, the spirals requiring static 2D becoming dynamic 3D), and so on, and on. And the centre, the resting point on the seventh day, being the heart around which all else revolves.

    Oops. Myside bias again!?!?

  2. davidm58 says :

    Where does the term “Zoas” come from? What does it mean? My online search brought up aquarium invertabrates.

    • Scott Preston says :

      It’s Greek for “beast” (as in zoology). Blake thought of his Zoas as already prefigured in the vision of Ezekial, and the relation of that vision to the “four beasts” who surround the throne of God in Revelation.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Come to think of it, I probably should have brought up Ezekial’s vision in relation to all this as well.

  3. abdulmonem says :

    Soulifying the body as you said is the key to see ourselves in the flower, in the hour or in the grain of the sand. We are in a decorative prison, whose decoration has made us to forget that our body is our soul materialized. Accompanying the real that is the divine consciousness is the only way to raise the level of our consciousness to the highest possible point available to our flight to him to avoid the illusive mirror of the physical that hides behind it the actual actor that puts non-material things in material forms. Nearness from the source opens our visions to feel the real which put all other faculties into operation in order to know ourselves as the prelude to know Him as it is said in the mystical literature that we are created to know him, the divine knowledge which is our guarantee to understand everything. It is really sad that we have accomplished our material abundance on the expense of losing our soul or as Jesus puts it, What good will it be for a human if he/she gains the whole world,yet forfeits his/her soul. This is not self-deprivation but self-discipline, Who do you feel when you realize even that material abundance is secured through dishonest means . Goethe looks at the human scene from a different angle said that the humans see in the world ,what they carry in their heart. What a decisive organ in the spiritual evolution of the humans. At the end I like to say it is not four or six or seven or nine or twelve but the cleansing of the heart that will deliver us from this murky intellectual situation. Bear with me as IW says because I think with my heart not with my head of the body which bodyfied its soul.

    • mikemackd says :

      Abdulmonem, in India there are many paths, and despite some western interpretations making spiritual evolution seem like those fairground games where you hit a lever at the bottom in the hope of getting something to shoot up and hit a bell at the top (which I did), as far as I can see all of them are to ultimately reside in the heart.

      Yoga, for example, has four main paths (jnana, bhakti, karma and raja), and eight limbs. Other schools have other approaches, almost of which a guru would temper to the qualities of the chela.

      A host of geometric, mathematical, gematrias, mudras, mantras, yantras etc. aids are employed in such contexts. Moreover, in my years of travel and study across Asia I found that they were by no means confined to the subcontinent. Coincidentally, I just found that I mentioned that to you in the same string that I had mentioned Wilczek to Scott – 21 February 2016, “The Shape of Consciousness, A Review.”

      So I think you are right; at the end it’s the path back to the heart, but as coevolved wisdom and compassion, not just one or the other. And some people’s paths take them to four or six or seven or nine or twelve.

      Such paths can get very murky indeed. For example, someone might look at the Star Key and say, “Mike!!! The Star key has Seven Heads down the Spine, and Ten Horns across the top: it must be the Red Dragon of the Apocalypse! You Have, literally raised hell, unbound the Antichrist, Satan etc. etc. and so forth!”

      To which I could but reply, “oopsy”.

      But wait! I could retort, “No, that’s the cross upon which Jesus was crucified! If you want to call them “horns”, there are actually 73, not ten, and within the inner hexagon there are 37. In gematria, 37 is the number of Jesus, represents the heart of wisdom, and is geometrically integrated with 73 (”.

      Phew. So maybe I didn’t trigger Armageddon after all.

      That level of thought seems to work for some. Horses for courses, I guess, but big and bad mistakes can and are made along that way. Perhaps the great Chinese Daoist philosopher Chuang Tzu from about 2,500 years ago is more congenial:

      “Whoever uses machines does all his work like a machine. He who does his work like a machine grows a heart like a machine, and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul. Uncertainty in the strivings of the soul is something that does not agree with honest sense. It is not that I do not know of such things; I am ashamed to use them.”

      [As quoted in Marshall McLuhan’s The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, on p. 35].

      • mikemackd says :

        PS. McLuhan warned after his quoting Chuang Tzu: “The sort of “simplicity” envisaged by the sage is a more complex and subtle product than anything that occurs in a society with specialized technology and sense life … All values apart, we must learn today that our electronic technology has consequences for our most ordinary perceptions and habits of action which are quickly recreating in us the mental processes of the most primitive men.”

        McLuhan seems to be have noticed a similar phenomenon to that which Mumford did when he said the Machine was not born alone. Perhaps like an assault – especially upon a child – can shut down a developmental path within the victim, the taking of power not earned via that complex and subtle path can be similarly stunting, regressive, or destructive to one’s soul.

        I need to consider that. I don’t know whether or not there has been any research on it. Maybe it can’t be researched as we – or scientific journals – confine that term.

        • mikemackd says :

          I hadn’t visited that site on 37 / 73 for many years. If you go there, you will find a link to another page called “Debunking Myself” (he doesn’t say where that debunking leaves his graph on 37). That page, and the correspondence that follows, exemplify the dangers in the murk.

          He quotes one such problem as “confirmation bias” – what I called “myside bias”, following that link to Mercier and Sperber I gave a few days ago. He quotes Michael Shermer‘s “Why People Believe Weird Things” as follows:

          “For those of us in the business of debunking bunk and explaining the unexplained, this is what I call the Hard Question: Why do smart people believe weird things? My Easy Answer will seem somewhat paradoxical at first: Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.
          That is to say, most of us most of the time come to our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning (that, presumably, smart people are better at employing). Rather, such variables as genetic predispositions, parental predilections, sibling influences, peer pressures, educational experiences, and life impressions all shape the personality preferences and emotional inclinations that, in conjunction with numerous social and cultural influences, lead us to make certain belief choices. Rarely do any of us sit down before a table of facts, weigh them pro and con, and choose the most logical and rational belief, regardless of what we previously believed. Instead, the facts of the world come to us through the colored filters of the theories, hypotheses, hunches, biases, and prejudices we have accumulated through our lifetime. We then sort through the body of data and select those most confirming what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those that are disconfirming. All of us do this, of course, but smart people are better at it through both talent and training. Some beliefs really are more logical, rational, and supported by the evidence than others, of course, but it is not my purpose here to judge the validity of beliefs; rather, I am interested in the question of how we came to them in the first place, and how we hold on to them in the face of either no evidence or contradictory evidence” (pg. 283).

          “All of us do this.” It’s hardwired, to do with McGilchrist’s left hemisphere and Mumford’s Machine not being born alone and McLuhan’s our becoming primitivized. That is because that machine thinking also demands that we defend all we have internalised as if a challenge to it is a challenge not only to our egos but also to our very lives that must be repulsed, prior to any scrutiny and qualitative valuation of that content. Mainly, it’s a con. In that process, our behaviours are:

          “determined more by social factors than by deliberative individual thought. Behaviour depends on the habits, the routines, and the customs of economic actors … They are matters of law or tradition; and they get passed along by example, by society’s expectations, and by the power of the state. People tend to follow these rules because they see everyone else doing so. People also follow these rules because they provide a simple way to deal with the uncertainty and the complexity of everyday life” (King 2003, ed. 2003. The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, pp. 196-197).

          Interesting how they only mention thought, mental maps, as if it can even happen without prior valuations, and the consequent motivation to make and to read the map in the first place. As Frank Waaldijk pointed out on his math & science & philosophy blog, we live through such maps of mythos, and quotes Pirsig’s observation in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” (McGilchrist’s hemispheres again)’ that to go outside one’s cultural mythos is to go insane. But, from the above, the way the world is, and what Scott has been bringing to our attention, many of our myths themselves are catastrophically insane, especially the myth of the machine.

          John Cage once said, “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones”, and Buckminster Fuller: “you never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

          Whatever that mythos may be, our myside bigotries and biases require firstly awareness, and then wise and compassionate monitoring and evaluation, to allow that complex and subtle path to open us to a sane mythos manifesting from the heart, like snow falling on snow.

  4. abdulmonem says :

    Rumi in one of his revelatory moment declared that, even if you tie a hundred knts, the string remains one. All roads lead to the one as they have started from the one ,that is why he assigned to himself the paradoxical attributes of the first and the last ,the seen and the unseen. The road to him is not a feet-walking road but a heart walking road, that is why a sage told the seeker who is searching for god across the land that he has left him at home. The tragedy started when the secularization of consciousness pushed away the spiritual consciousness replacing the monastery of the soul,the imagination and intuition by the laboratory of the body, the senses and the only measured and observed, Thus the machine we produced turned into our god, so also the commodity, I shop therefore I am ,the same old stories of idols worshiping. Perseverance in search associated with cleansing the stains guarantee the arrival, because god never leaves the honest efforts of the seeker un-attended. It is the same old road of intention and attention either with him or against him and the third archetype the mover between the two parties intending not to lose the returns of both parties. Of course talking about god is not the same as feeling god,that is talking about things is not the same as talking in things.

    • mikemackd says :

      Rumi was a traveller; he travelled from Balkh a refugee. (I wonder if there are Rumis amongst the millions displaced and being refused asylum these days).

      From I have found that my feet walking road has greatly facilitated my heart walking road. I did not leave my heart at home: both have now been to hundreds of cities around the world.

      As I said; horses for courses, and what gives meaning is not the course, but the wise implementation of loving-kindness along the way.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      All roads lead to the one as they have started from the one

      Indeed, they do, as illustrated in this beautiful film, Samadhi, from the maker of Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds.

      • mikemackd says :

        Thanks for the link, IW.

        • InfiniteWarrior says :

          And thank you for the links to the mathematical language.

          We look at the geometrical perfection of mosque and cathedral architecture — the meridians, the lines, the intersections — and seem to have no recollection of their original meanings. Nice to be reminded. Aho.

  5. abdulmonem says :

    yes it is the heart again that mobilizes the feet. We are all Rumi if we want and god will, in this open age of discovery. It is worse than the mythos of the machine. it is rats are our guide for self discovery. It is a paradoxical worlds, those and those and the game requires the formless awareness which Scott experienced in the frame of the fish the fisher, scott who is exercising the fishing that connects the fisher with the fish and the artist who improvises the all and never stop exercising his creative artistry in the all. More and more people are waking up all over and the status quo are in a state of restlessness all over the globe.

    • Steve Lavendusky says :


      At least half the year belongs to Endarkenment. Enlightenment is only a special case of Endarkenment—and it has nights of its own.


      During the day democracy waxes, indiscriminately illuminating all and sundry. But shadowless noon belongs to Pan. And night imposes a “radical aristocracy” in which things shine solely by their own luminescence, or not at all.


      Obfuscatory, reactionary and superstitious, Endarkenment offers jobs for trolls and sylphs, witches and warlocks. Perhaps only superstition can re-enchant Nature. People who fear and desire nymphs and fauns will think twice before polluting streams or clear-cutting forests.


      Electricity banished shadows—but shadows are “shades,” souls, the souls of light itself. Even divine light, when it loses its organic and secret darkness, becomes a form of pollution. In prison cells electric lights are never doused; light becomes oppression and source of disease.


      Superstitions may be untrue but based on deeper truth—that earth is a living being. Science may be true, i.e. effective, while based on a deeper untruth—that matter is dead.


      The peasants attacking Dr. Frankenstein’s tower with their torches and scythes were the shock troops of Endarkenment, our luddite militia. The original historical Luddites smashed mechanical looms, ancestors of the computer.


      “Neolithic conservatism” (Paul Goodman’s definition of anarchism) positions itself outside the ponderous inevitability of separation and sameness. Every caveman a Prince Kropotkin, every cavewoman Mrs. Nietzsche. Our Phalanstery would be lit by candles and our Passions avowed via messenger pigeons and hot-air balloons.


      Imagine what science might be like to day if the State and Kapital had never emerged. Romantic Science proposes an empiricism devoid of disastrous splits between consciousness and Nature; thus it prolongates Neolithic alchemy as if separation and alienation had never occurred: science for life not money, health not war, pleasure not efficiency; Novalis’s “poeticization of science.”


      Of course technology itself is haunted—a ghost for every machine. The myth of Progress stars its own cast of ghouls and efreets. Consciously or unconsciously (what difference would it make?) we all know we live in techno-dystopia, but we accept it with the deterministic fatalism of beaten serfs, as if it were virtual Natural Law.


      Technology mimics and thus belittles the miracles of magic. Rationalism has its own Popes and droning litanies, but the spell they cast is one of disenchantment. Or rather: all magic has migrated into money, all power into a technology of titanic totality, a violence against life that stuns and disheartens.


      Hence the universal fear/desire for the End of the World (or for some world anyway). For the poor Christian Moslem Jewish saps duped by fundamentalist nihilism the Last Day is both horrorshow and Rapture, just as for secular Yuppies global warming is a symbol of terror and meaninglessness and simultaneously a rapturous vision of post-Catastrophe Hobbit-like local-sustainable solar-powered gemutlichkeit. Thus the technopathocracy comes equipped with its own built-in escape-valve fantasy: the Ragnarok of technology itself and the sudden catastrophic restoration of meaning. In fact Capital can capitalize on its own huge unpopularity by commoditizing hope for its End. That’s what the smug shits call a win/win situation.


      Winter Solstice (Chaos Day in Chinese folklore) is one of Endarkenment’s official holidays, along with Samhain or Halloween, Winter’s first day.


      Endarkenment stands socially for the Cro-Magnon or “Atlantaean” complex—anarchist because prior to the State—for horticulture and gathering against agriculture and industry—for the right to hunt as against the usurpation of commons by lord or State. Electricity and internal combustion should be turned off along with all States and corporations and their cult of Mammon and Moloch.


      Despite our ultimate aim we’re willing to step back bit by bit. We might be willing to accept steam power or hydraulics. The last agreeable year for us was 1941, the ideal is about 10,000 BC, but we’re not purists. Endarkenment is a form of impurism, of mixture and shadow.


      Endarkenment envisages a medicine advanced as it might have been if money and the State had never appeared, medicine for earth, animals and humans, based on Nature, not on promethean technology. Endarkenment is not impressed by medicine that prolongs “life span” by adding several years in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and glued to daytime TV, all at the expense of every penny ever saved by the patient (lit. “sufferer”) plus huge debts for children and heirs. We’re not impressed by gene therapy and plastic surgery for obscene superrich post humans. We prefer an empirical extension of “medieval superstitions” of Old Wives and herbalists, a rectified Paracelsan peoples’ medicine as proposed by Ivan Illich in his book on demedicalization of society. (Illich as Catholic anarchist we consider an Endarkenment saint of some sort.) (Endarkenment is somewhat like “Tory anarchism,” a phrase I’ve seen used earliest in Max Beehbohm and most lately by John Mitchell.) (Other saints: William Blake, William Morris, A.K. Coomaraswamy, John Cowper Powys, Marie Laveau, King Farouk…)


      Politically Endarkenment proposes anarcho-monarchism, in effect somewhat like Scandinavian monarcho-socialism but more radical, with highly symbolic but powerless monarchs and lots of good ritual, combined with Proudhonian anarcho-federalism and Mutualism. Georges Sorel (author of Reflections on Violence) had some anarcho-monarchist disciples in the Cercle Proudhon (1910-1914) with whom we feel a certain affinity. Endarkenment favors most separatisms and secessions; many small states are better than a few big ones. We’re especially interested in the break-up of the American Empire.


      Endarkenment also feels some critical admiration for Col. Qadhaffi’s Green Book, and for the Bonnot Gang (Stirnerite Nietzschean bank robbers). In Islamdom it favors “medieval accretions” like sufism and Ismailism against all crypto-modernist hyperorthodoxy and politics of resentment. We also admire the martyred Iranian Shiite/Sufi socialist Ali Shariati, who was praised by Massignon and Foucault.


      Culturally Endarkenment aims at extreme neo-Romanticism and will therefore be accused of fascism by its enemies on the Left. The answer to this is that (1) we’re anarchists and federalists adamantly opposed to all authoritarian centralisms whether Left or Right. (2) We favor all races, we love both difference and solidarity, not sameness and separation. (3) We reject the myth of Progress and technology—all cultural Futurism—all plans no matter their ideological origin—all uniformity—all conformity whether to organized religion or secular rationalism with its market democracy and endless war.


      Endarkenists “believe in magic” and so must wage their guerrilla through magic rather than compete with the State’s monopoly of techno-violence. Giordano Bruno’s Image Magic is our secret weapon. Projective hieroglyphic hermeneutics. Action at a distance through manipulation of symbols carried out dramaturgically via acts of Poetic Terrorism, surrealist sabotage, Bakunin’s “creative destruction”—but also destructive creativity, invention of hermetico-critical objects, heiroglyphic projections of word/image “spells”—by which more is meant (always) than mere “political art”—rather a magical art with actual dire or beneficial results. Our enemies on the Right might call this political pornography and they’d be (as usual) right. Porn has a measurable physiopsychological effect. We’re looking for something like it, definitely, only bigger, and more like Artaud than Brecht—but not to be mistaken for “Absolute Art” or any other platonic purism—rather an empirical strategic “situationist” art, outside all mass media, truly underground, as befits Endarkenment, like a loosely structured “rhizomatic” Tong or freemasonic conspiracy.


      The Dark has its own lights or “photisms” as Henry Corbin called them, literally as entoptic/hypnagogic phosphene-like phenomena, and figuratively (or imaginally) as Paracelsan Nature spirits, or in Blakean terms, inner lights. Enlightenment has its shadows, Endarkenment has its Illuminati; and there are no ideas but in persons (in theologic terms, angels). According to legend the Byzantines were busy discussing “the sex of angels” while the Ottomans were besieging the walls of Constantinople. Was this the height of Endarkenment? We share that obsession.

      This was written by Peter Lamborn Wilson

      • mikemackd says :

        I had not heard of Peter Lamborn Wilson before, so I Googled him.

        Earlier along this string, I mentioned my concern that “an assault – especially upon a child – can shut down a developmental path within the victim.” I meant all forms of assault potentially being destructive of developmental lines if beyond the victim’s abilities to cope. I presented that thought because I understand that research has confirmed that the arrest or fixation of a child’s psychosexual developmental is a likely result of being sexually abused. The search on the net indicates that Peter Lamborn Wilson advocates pederasty.

        If both the above be true, I do not consider that practice to be prima facie the “wise implementation of loving-kindness” I advocated earlier. I could be wrong, but it appears far more likely to be lust-power-hunger-gratifying, and soul stealing.

        Just because Hitler says that one and one make two doesn’t make that wrong, but in this case I suspect a possible psychological association between that stance on pederasty and this manifesto.

        Darkness is one thing; evil quite another.

        His manifesto approves the term “Tory anarchism”. I wonder what he thinks of the accusations against Ted Heath in that regard?

        I could go on. For example, that image magic and word/image spells are secret would come as something of a surprise to the advertising industry. And the grouping of King Farouk with William Blake et al. puzzles me rather, and at first blanch appears a tad addled.

        Steve, perhaps you can see merit where I cannot, and if so I would like to understand that. But for now it seems an attempt to be shocking to gain attention, notoriety to some apparently being as ego-affirming as commendation, and equally as preferable to being ignored.

        So, I won’t go on.

        • mikemackd says :

          Hi again Steve,

          I did a bit more research on Wilson, and see now why you considered his work to be apropos in the context.

          Still find the above quite disturbing about him, though!

          All the Best,


          • Steve Lavendusky says :

            Mike, maybe Wilson is a man of genius whose heart is perverted. I had not known these things about him. I have felt some tenderness for him in the past because from his writings he seems a rebel and and outcast. But it seems that some regard him as a monster. In the past I have admired the spirit in which he has written his books and essays. From now on I will do a little background checking on writers I admire.

            • mikemackd says :

              Thanks, Steve, I understand how easily that could happen; it probably does to us all, because as abdulmonem says we are all a mixture: but there are degrees, and lines to be drawn when it comes to relating to one another.

              I’m glad you posted it though, as it catalysed the discussion abdulmonem and I had below.

              I hope that sometime Scott will devote an essay relating to abdulmonem’s point that “We have always to point to the wrong and know that the condemnation of the wrong doer is not our business”.

              At least for me, a deeper and more expansive exploration / discussion of this point could be rewarding in terms of wise implementation of loving-kindness.

            • mikemackd says :

              In that context, there’s another reason I have for thanking you, Steve. As part of my exploring about Wilson, I found an interview with him at:


              Which had an illustration by Heinrich Jamsthaler, called Viatorum spagyricum which I think, even after allowing for my myside bias, has affinities with the Star Key (another such diagram, by Lazar Zetzner, appears even more so). However, because of myside bias, others can judge that better than I can.

              It has a word “Rebis” on the chest of the central figure, which term Wikipedia describes as “the end product of the alchemical magnum opus or great work. After one has gone through the stages of putrefaction and purification, separating opposing qualities, those qualities are united once more in what is sometimes described as the divine hermaphrodite, a reconciliation of spirit and matter, a being of both male and female qualities as indicated by the male and female head within a single body. The sun and moon correspond to the male and female halves” …

              The (Freemason) source of the Zetzner diagram also refers to the description of the philosophers’ stone: (also see

              Which is explained by Emblem XXI from Michael Maier, ‘Atalanta Fugiens’, Oppenheim, 1618:
              – “Make a circle out of a man and a woman, from which a quadrangular body arises with equal sides. Derive from it a triangle, which is in contact on all sides with a round sphere: Then the Stone will have come into existence. If such a great thing is not immediately clear in your mind Then know, that you will understand everything, if you understand the theory of Geometry.”

              All very ho-hum Enlightenmenty. However, if you link it with the Gospel of Thomas’s Saying 22:

              (22) Jesus saw some infants who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom. They said to him: If we then become children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female, and when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom].

              Can they both not be interpreted as the integration of McGilchrist’s hemisphere’s a la the Star Key as I described above?

              If so, it adds weight to my McGilchrist-ish interpretation of Wilber’s comment of a few days ago. Which would seem to indicate that the powers that be will never find it, and instead will find “only the brutal nightmare hidden in its heart”, because ”by their works ye shall know them”.

              Without judging them, for the simple reason that I don’t even know them from Adam (or Eve, as the case may be), from their works it appears that they have no clue concerning the necessity of the co-evolution of one’s wisdom and compassion HAVING to be in proportion to the power at one’s command to prevent all hell breaking loose.

              If so, as victims of Mumford’s myth of the machine, they would have no clue of what Chuang Tzu spoke of, almost 2,500 years ago.

              In which case, they have some catching up to do.

      • Dwig says :

        “Endarkenment envisages a medicine advanced as it might have been if money and the State had never appeared, medicine for earth, animals and humans, based on Nature, not on promethean technology.”

        I recommend “Honoring the Medicine” by Kenneth Cohen. The medicine he describes appears to fit rather well with Wilson’s description.

  6. abdulmonem says :

    We are all a mixture of negative consciousness and positive consciousness and our task is to understand both consciousnesses and work hard to move toward the positive side and be aware all the time, when falling in the negative hole to move quickly to the positive side without letting the self be transfixed in the negative hole. This is the whole story of self-transformation, self realization to ward spiritual maturity. God knows the weaknesses of his creation. It is for god to judges the transgressors and we should refrain from following othe people mistakes, when they want to leave the ugly hole, forgetting our mistakes. One should be open to the whole and all aspects of the human behavioural demonstrations and do not be caught in one hole. Talking about things does not necessarily means, doing the things. I know some of the good contributions of the man and I read a lot on his Hakim Bey blog and have learned that the man has in his late years has intended to leave the ugly even in its verbal manifestations. Let us accommodate the sensitive soul in its path to the true without letting ourselves be impaled in the story of previous mistakes, a job that does not belong to us but to the sitter of the rules. The tragedy started when the humans started to assign to themselves the business of sitting the rules and thus have thrown the world in this indelible mess. This earth is a temporary life zone only to move in due time to the permanent life zone where everything will be set right and the liars hope that they did not lie. I like to end with some sketches of those rules that say that nothing you are in or do or say, are outside the eyes of our witnesses that register what comes out of you and nothing escapes the attention of your lord small or big in earth or in the heaven without its own book. The book is the word used in the koran fo the operating system that is connected to the source, It is the meaning of the presence that encompasses everything. I think the discovery of the human internet is an introduction to understand the divine internet. Formless awareness again. We have always to point to the wrong and know that the condemnation of the wrong doer is not our business.

    • mikemackd says :

      The radio was on while I first read your post, abdulmonem. It was an investigative report about how toxic electronic waste from the west ends up in a dump in Ghana, where they melt down computers etc. to recycle the valuable materials therein. The process pollutes and destroys the lives of kids working there.

      As I have said here before, Jesus said Judge not lest ye be judged. As you say, “We have always to point to the wrong and know that the condemnation of the wrong doer is not our business.”

      That is a vital distinction, to be able to judge the wrong without judging the wrongdoer. I am not judging the wrongdoer, because I consider that would make me a wrongdoer too. But I do judge the act, because I consider that if I don’t that would make me complicit, and thereby a wrongdoer too. It is our responsibility to act against evil acts, but it is also our responsibility not to inflict evil in response to them.

      In not judging Wilson I am also not judging his life as being worth any more or less than that of any child that he may have abused. I do not judge the lives of those in the spotlight as worth more than the lives of those never in the spotlight. I submit that ignoring the risk of damage to the child in both the above cases makes both actions evil.

      While there are so many evils acts it is impossible for any human to judge them all individually, when they come to one’s attention one should decide and make a stand against them, without fear or favour.

      His sensitive soul is certainly not being judged by me as necessarily any more or less sensitive than that of an abused child, but as you say, “We have always to point to the wrong,” and I am pointing.

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