Archive | November 2018

The Guard at the Root of the Tree of Life

The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard from Hell.

For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of life; and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed and appear infinite and holy, whereas it now appears finite and corrupt.  — William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

This, one of Blake’s more significant prophecies about “the New Age”, certainly seems to have come to pass. The cherub with his flaming sword guarding the tree of life certainly seems to have abandoned his post in this “Age of Extinction”. Hell, it seems, has a sense of irony.

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Whom The Gods Would Destroy

“Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” — old “heathen proverb”.

It is somewhat sobering to reflect on this old proverb in the context of “post-truth society” and “the collapse of reality”, or in light of those ominous and prophetic words uttered by “Seth” some half-century ago. Whoever first uttered the proverb wasn’t thinking so much of individuals, I suspect, but of whole civilisations and societies or Ages. There are enough examples of this in history — whole Ages gone mad (the Late Middle Ages, for example). And history appears to be repeating itself in Late Modernity. What does it mean for whole Ages to go mad?

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What is an “Enlightened Ego Consciousness?” Part IX: “The Man of Knowledge”

Some of you, I’m sure, are already familiar with Carlos Castaneda and his many books recounting his apprenticeship to the Yaqui brujo he names “don Juan Matus”. Castaneda is a controversial figure. Some believe he hoaxed the whole thing. I don’t concur with that judgement, and for reasons I’ve given in the past.

Today I want to show how Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality” (and related to that, the indigenous “Sacred Hoop”) which we have been slowly introducing over the last few posts, explains many puzzling aspects of Castaneda’s experience.

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What is an “Enlightened Ego Consciousness?” Part VIII: The Emissary

In the previous post, we finally introduced the basic quadrilateral — the cross of reality — and suggested that this corresponds in meaning to the “cistern” of Blake’s Proverb of Hell: “The cistern contains; the fountain overflows”. This proverb also reflects what Iain McGilchrist has described as the “Emissary” and “Master” modes of perception or attention, respectively in his book The Master and His Emissary. And to appreciate Blake’s cistern and fountain metaphor, we can contrast it with another from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: ” ‘The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.’” This is, of course, what McGilchrist refers to as the Emissary’s “usurpation”.

So, the spice must flow. The “fountain” is, as it were, like the sap in the Tree of Life without which the Tree cannot branch and blossom. So, you can re-imagine Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality”, if you like, as akin to the branches on the Tree of Life.

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What is an “Enlightened Ego Consciousness?” Part VII: Fountain and Cistern

The cistern contains; the fountain overflows” — William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell

When I was an ungraduate, I had a professor who was fascinated by cisterns and water. There was something archetypal about that fascination. He insisted that in a properly designed cistern the water would continue to flow and circulate, which was important for him because he considered water to be alive. This is something he shared with the indigenous, for in the province in which I reside — Saskatchewan — this name is taken from the Cree meaning “living water”.

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Dark Money, Dark Power

‘Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.’ — Samuel Huntington

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What is an “Enlightened Ego Consciousness?” Part VI: The Keys of the Kingdom

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” — Matthew 16

Just when I think that it’s time to dive right into the centre of this question — the “cistern” as it were — about what constitutes an “enlightened ego consciousness”, a little voice in my head intercedes and says, “No… you have to address this first.” And today, the little voice interceded again when I was about to begin a description of the meaning of Blake’s “cistern” (as in the proverb “the cistern contains; the fountain overflows”) and the little voice said, “you have to address the meaning of “the power to bind” and “the power to loose” first, which are the keys of the kingdom.”

Well, yes…. it does make perfect sense that I should do so, for they are the keys after all. And, in any case, the power to bind and the power to loose also correspond in meaning to Blake’s cistern and fountain metaphors. So, let’s go for it!

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