HER ROBE IS SPREAD
HUMAN BEINGS ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE
This map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the greatest precision yet by the Planck mission. The ancient light, called the cosmic microwave background, was imprinted on the sky when the universe was 370,000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing the seeds of all future structure: the stars and galaxies of today.
Everything I am writing in this essay is contained in the Youtube clip below. It features R. Brent Tully’s rendering of our current stellar map and my song, The Highway Home. We are all invited into a re-newed Spirit of Adventure into the Mystery of Life in a way that requires us to recollect that we have hearts and souls made for a cosmic, trillion year mythic and literal odyssey. Be sure to notice where his images begin, into and through Orion – the same entry-point as Starry Messenger.
The Highway Home
music and lyrics F. Christopher Reynolds, c. 2010
video by R Brent Tully
Follow the path past the trees
Climb the wire fence that leads
Down the hill and through the grass,
A plywood cross in your childhood hands.
See your painted words that tell
Of your best friend in the Otherworld
Watch the colored ribbons fly
In the rush of traffic passing by.
Highway, Highway, O
Highway, Highway Home
Roll on past the exit ramp
And the road signs selling gas.
Ease your foot up from the pace
And go more slowly as you pass.
Two feet back off the berm
As you come out of the turn,
O’er the diamonds of shattered glass
Falls the shadow of Remembrance.
Highway, Highway, O
Highway, Highway Home
The red sunlight is on the bridge,
The sweetness of this evening’s edge,
The fireflies rise in the fields.
These roads are strung with tolling bells.
They ring for Love that was lost.
They ring for Those we treasure most.
They ring for Those we hope to see.
My friend, these Bells toll for thee.
Highway, Highway, O
Highway, Highway Home
The Age of Magnification began on March 13, 1610, in Venice. It was on that day that Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncias – Starry Messenger was published. Attention was paid to the rough lunar surface, and the moons (Medician Stars) of Jupiter, his book also contained drawings of a newly dawned reality that we are still laboring to bring into daylight. The 2 images above show Ptolemy’s constellations of Orion and the Pleiades along with previously unknown stars that had been invisible to the naked eye before the telescope.
The stars that are traced with outlines are the ones you can see without a telescope, the rest are stars that are behind and within the field of vision in and around Orion and the Pleiades. From 1610 onward, the mythology of magnification, including the poetics and metaphors of magnifying, became the burden of Western culture. To magnify means to see through the apparent to the depths within, beneath and beyond, to amplify, to understand more deeply, to celebrate and acknowledge what was, is, and is coming to be. The West now requires a participatory archetypal psychology, cosmology and ecology that invite us to co-create and deepen the foundations of the real.
Archetypal psychology already exists and archetypal cosmology came forth with Richard Tarnas’ book, Cosmos and Psyche, in 2006. Archetypal ecology is coming forth in the work of Rupert Sheldrake in the morphogenic field and in the work of transpersonal psychology, in particular, through Chris Bache, in his work with the collective consciousness of the species mind. All 3 of these archetypal ways of knowing endure and can be found in indigenous wisdom and cultures.
Galileo’s star images are sketches of the revelatory solid transparency that mirrors current psychic reality. By psychic, I mean the world view in the Western tradition, described earlier, where the delight of soul is our reason for being. As expressions of the reality of psyche, since 1610, when we truly take in the awe and beauty of the starry nighttime sky, we are looking at permutations of:
The is that is, that was,
and the never-was-nor-will-be-again, all coming to be.
What I mean by revelatory solid transparency is that we are invited to participate in the revealing.
The essence of the participatory world view is reflected back to us by our image of the night sky. We are reminded about the need for Seeing through by the new models of Orion and Pleiades. We are ever reminded of the heart of the depth psychology, knowledge of archetypal psychology, cosmology and ecology that mature humanity requires. We are looking at a structure that reflects how it could be that- consciousness rests upon a self-sustaining and imagining substrate.
Our nighttime sky has literally been, is, and will be showing us the past/present/future — simultaneously. Our ‘Eternal now’, collective unconscious, Akashic, cosmic ground of Memory, Cosmic Sky, has an evolutionary arc. Galileo’s killing move made it impossible from 1610 onward for Europeans and European colonists to be intellectually honest and assert the Judeo-Christian Mythology as literally true and superior to all others.
After the publication of Starry Messenger, there has been a psychological requirement for the mature human being to be able to see through the most cherished cultural beliefs and stories as particular inflections of the archetypes that all humanity shares. They may at times be theophanic – displays of divinity. However, Western adults are now required to be cognizant of Hillman’s reminder to us of how archetypes have emotional possessive effect and bedazzle consciousness. When we are mindful how consciousness can become blind to its own stance, we are up to the task of accepting our most preciously held cultural narratives are symbolic myths to live by. Like all naked-eye starry constellations of humanity, those of the West are also the forms of all human culture. Cultural equilibrium rests upon endless expansive depth shared by all.
The journey from beneath the 6000 stars of Ptolemy’s non-changing firmament into the participatory cosmos of 2 trillion galaxies has been described in varying ways. Notably, there was no actual vault of fixed stars above which dwelt the Heavenly Hosts and Trinity, no pillars holding up the sky for the angry God to shake. The apostle Paul’s Third Heaven was not up there. There were ‘innumerable stars’. When Galileo published his findings they did not include observations of a Throne, nor angels through his telescope. In a private letter, he wrote (Graney, 2015) of the notion of the firmament:
I do not believe that the stars are spread over a spherical surface at
equal distances from the center; I suppose their distances from us vary
so much that some are 2 or 3 times as remote as others. (p.48)
By direct observation of the material heavens, the West was de-sacralized, disenchanted. By de-sacralized and disenchanted, I mean that for the West, all the meaning, meaningfulness unto divinity was drained out of the universe. It is possible to unfold the theme to its despairing end-point where all that once was sacred is dead and we are futile creatures in a meaningless and mechanical cosmos. In this line of reasoning, the sketches above mark a primal crime scene and the crime of the West is theocide — God-murder.
Of course, there have been and there are many reactionary ways in which the religious view of the West was re-asserted with the insistence that the Big Guy Upstairs is not deceased, Bible verses are facts and science is suspect. However, as I stated in the introduction, it is through soul that we re-link to eternity — seeing through is required since 1610 to insure soul’s priority:
Hillman described the seeing through of our religious literalism into numinous myths as a primary the activity of soul:
“…Gods are believed in and approached with religious methods. In archetypal psychology Gods are imagined. They are approached through psychological methods of personifying, pathologizing, and psychologizing. They are formulated ambiguously, as metaphors for modes of experience and as numinous borderline persons. They are cosmic perspectives in which the soul participates. They are the lords of its realms of being, the patterns for its mimesis. The soul cannot be, except in one of their patterns. All psychic reality is governed by one or another archetypal fantasy, given sanction by a God. I cannot but be in them…Psychologically, the Gods are never dead; and archetypal psychology’s concern is not the revival of religion, but with the survival of soul.”
[Re-Visioning Psychology, pp. 169-170]
It’s crucial to understand what when Hillman wrote that the Gods are imagined in archetypal psychology, he did not mean imagining in the sense of make-believe in something that is not there, not authentically experienced, though playfulness and humor are part of imaginal capacity. Approach through the psychological methods of personifying, pathologizing and psychologizing, mean that what we are approaching is very much being experienced in a cluster or constellation of a host of events from different areas of life…in behavior…images…style of consciousness…psychopathologies (soul suffering) …attitude.
Approaching the mystery of ‘who is behind’ an event can only occur through our hearts, through the thought of the heart. What I called, a felt knowing, knowing by feeling into, direct experience, gnosis, in the Introduction, is how Gods are approached by being imagined through soul – that mode that recognizes all realities as relational, primarily symbolic or metaphorical and in service to the relationships by which the past and present are honored and through which the future is brought forth.
To seek the God in archetypal psychology, gather all the parts that surround your suffering and then can only occur through the intuition of the heart, ask, Who is the person of myth also known for this pattern?
So, after all these years, who was it that I encountered where the themes of union of Eternity and Time, of Earth and Sky, of deep knowing, and sacred sexuality, are all part of the pattern – for me, I see in my experience of the Canupa – the Sacred Pipe – which is the ancient form of the union of all that is in the universe.
What was ‘killed’ was the excuse to remain stuck in shallow dogmatism, either of pretending to know something that you have never experienced, or of purposely not looking more deeply into the most important grace and suffering in our lives. That stuckness is a failure to do our own psychological inner work of dismantling the poisonous effects of the solid unchanging celestial vault – its nihilism. The Ptolemy’s firmament has become a psychic parasite. A flat sky is patriarch’s and nihilist’s lynchpin.
At Standing Rock, Western Clergy offered a copy of the Christian Doctrine of Discovery to a sacred fire, to let it go into the past. At the heart of this is a dawning hope that we can move from a patriarchy bound by senex consciousness into an ever-deepening Earth-based participatory union with the cosmos. We are in a time of a new ‘ruler’.
The ‘ruler’ with which we measure soul is now one that gives priority to deeper union and invites the shallow to be led out from (in Latin educare=educated=led out from) its flatness.
The signature of shallowness is the cosmos interpreted as an inanimate or fallen place of endless threats.
The signature of depth is the cosmos interpreted as an ‘ecological meaningful union’ of mutually beneficial complements.
This is very hard inner work to do. There are no longer ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ chakras with the upper as more refined. Now, all chakras are worthy and to be brought into a balanced union where the work is deep participatory awareness, receptivity and creativity — known throughout our being and the world. It’s hard work to let a religiously sanctioned privilege over others pass into that sacred fire with the Doctrine of Discovery.
To read these words now as a fundamentalist of any stripe, even of science, is to miss out on the adventure of your life – a chronopathological missing the mark. The unacknowledged lynchpin that unifies fundamentalisms is the inability to deliteralize immortality. The celestial vault and its dogma of the immortality of the private soul has hold of the Western patriarchal mind in monotheistic or atheistic fundamentalisms. It expresses itself in the theme of the undead or the machines who suck the blood and brains out of life.
In the cosmos where depth is valued over shallowness, Eternity and space-time are a Beloved Couple — Lovers who move to a deep and ever-deepening rhythm. Without a relationship with space-time, Eternity is an unchanging hell, much like that expressed in the play, Waiting for Godot. Without a relationship with Eternity, space-time is a hell of flat meaninglessness. To release the blinding light of the bait of immortality and open to the quadrillions of years of evolutionary adventure is as simple as remembering that soul is the relationship between Eternity and space-time, whose seat as Novalis wrote:
The seat of the soul is there, where the outer and the inner worlds meet.
and soul, in this case, is the same soul as defined earlier. Here’s the definition again:
First, “soul” refers to the deepening of events into experiences; second, the significance soul makes possible whether in love, in receptivity, in creativity or in religious concern, derives from its special relation with death, with birth and with re-birth. And third, by “soul” I mean the imaginative possibilities in our collective and personal natures, the experiencing through reflective speculation, intuition, dream, image, fantasy, and co-creation (co-poesis) – that mode that recognizes all realities as relational, primarily symbolic or metaphorical and in service to the relationships by which the past and present are honored and through which the future is brought forth.
I shared in the opening about how difficult it is the become free of the possessive effects of the teaching of a literal hell if you are raised inside a patriarchal belief based on the fallen world saved by the High God. In the center of our planet — an immortality of divinely sanctioned torture is just as real as the divinely sanctioned immortal reward Above and Beyond. As I shared, as I de-toxed from the possession of the dogma, I would wake up in the middle of the night with terror in my chest – What if I have been tricked by the Devil!?
This is no small thing to pull the lynchpin of the flat sky the binds what turns out to be literalized nihilism – for if you scratch beneath the surface of the most fervent adherents there is the same faithlessness shared by most scientific atheists. It is due to profoundest soul abandonment – and here, I can only speak for myself and for those whose lives have inspired mine. What I mean is feeling like being dropped as an orphan soul onto a frozen granite block and left on your own to survive as best you can. Many times at gatherings of spirit-loving persons, when it gets quiet, someone sitting near you may whisper – “I want to go home.” What that person means is that s/he finds this life to be hellish and wants to be free of it — dead and in the love of Eternity now. — “I don’t want to be alive here.”
If you sing enough of the old time Christian songs, though they can be uplifting, there is also a nudge that makes you want to be dead and with Jesus.
In the Sweet By and By,
We will meet on that Beautiful Shore
I’m going there to see my mother,
She said she’d greet me when I come.
I’m just going over Jordan.
I’m only going over Home.
Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away.
To that Home where Joy will never end,
I’ll fly away.
I’ll fly away, o Glory! I’ll fly away.
When I die, Halleluia, by and by.
I’ll fly away.
Those songs during a hard time can have you longing to be done with this life!
It’s irresponsible to pull the lynchpin without having the evolutionary hinge to replace it. In simple language, all talk of immortality just needs to be shifted into soul’s perspective and rooted in timelessness. Sky language becomes soul language when cosmology returns to metaphors for participatory co-creation: resilience, endurance, fortitude, and, to reframe an old term, resurrection. This is the language and style of Earth-based wisdom – the Wisdom of the 4 Directions, 4 Seasons.
Are we able now to find the courage to let go of literal Western immortal aspirations, whether as professions of faith or refusal? We are dealing with our own mythology, therefore, with soul. Our own myths, as bedazzling and descriptive of religious experience as they can be, also belong to the ethnosphere – the archetypes of the collective unconscious, cosmic memory field.
To de-literalize our cultural archetype of immortality (whether claimed or rejected) to the enduring collective human wisdom is to remember it belongs to a larger family of metaphors. Language of ‘final rest’ also belongs to the Earth-based poetics. Every year, in those places where there are 4 seasons, winter is the resting place. On the Medicine Wheel winter is the Direction of the North. Final rest occurs all the time. This is the ancient wisdom of Earth and Her ‘texts’ everywhere reflect it.
When the dogma of immortality is allowed to return to the teaching that myth is metaphor, then resilience of soul can be accessed. It is in our reach, then, to dare to participate in the Great Journey of Life and Consciousness for trillions of years, through many galaxies, solar-systems, Earth-like planets. We do well to get inside the mind of the oldest being on Earth, a bristlecone pine named Methuselah. Perhaps our wisest living 4795 years old zen Master has always been sharing the open secret?
That we have lived before becomes a way for us to gain insight into whole regions of psychic experience – why do some places seem so familiar, why do we sometimes find learning is like remembering what we once knew?
In the ancient ways, when we surrender to the rest of the North, the Direction of the East, the Spring, naturally, yet, mysteriously arises from that death. Within the coldest, darkest season, the unexpected ember is conceived. In our own tradition, this same conception is in alchemy. Dennis William Hauck noted that resurrection is woven into the fabric of the universe is carried in the poetics of the element – lead. Another way to imagine this is that the foundational weave of our cosmos ever-unexpectedly conceives and births new life-forms, biological consciousness. All labors for this life together – it is a co-labor-ation.
The resurrection and rebirth from what at first seemed lifeless is sown through the cosmos. It was announced in 2016 that a first chiral molecule was discovered in interstellar space – opening the way that the building blocks of life are native to the space-time’s past, present and future.
In March, 2017, a 3.5 billion year old microbial community was found. It is dawning that life is inherent to the cosmos, more abundant than ever imagined.
Pictured above is a cle (key) created by French Occitan artist, Nico Tournaire. It is one of 5, part of a larger work dedicated to the unification of peoples in peace and wisdom. Nico, in conversation, shared how he was fascinated by the protective qualities of lead against x-rays and other life-destroying radiation. He also shared how he knows that lead represented the starting element of the Great Work in alchemy.
Le plomb était considéré par les alchimistes comme le point de départ du grand œuvre :
ce métal représente donc la base de tout travail spirituel, il est aussi considéré
comme un métal divinatoire. La principale caractéristique du plomb, c’est sa lourdeur,
et donc, d‘une certaine manière, sa «matérialité». Il n’est donc pas étonnant qu’on
le rapproche de la planète Saturne qui est aussi la planète de l’inertie, du temps,
de la cristallisation, de la pesanteur, de l’ordre rigide; de la stabilité, de la
régularité absolue et de la précision. Ce n’est donc pas par hasard que ce matériau
a été utilisé pour la conception de ces clés…
L’objectif pour les rencontres futures est de reformer le cercle, la roue.
(Lead was considered as the beginning of the great work by the alchemists:
Therefore, this metal represents the basis of all spiritual work. It is
also considered a prophetic metal. Lead’s main characteristic is its
heaviness, therefore, in a way of understanding, its “materiality”. Thus,
it’s connected to the planet Saturn, planet of inertia, time, crystallization,
weight, rigid order, stability, regularity and absolute precision.
It was not an accident that this material was used for the creation
of these keys…The objective of future gatherings is to repair the circle, (turn)
I share this now to offer a consciousness of camaraderie. There are many in motion who are moving with a courage and re-newed faith in the care of soul that has always been the hallmark of Earth – the person of Earth, our Mother/Grandmother who values every life, for whom death and re-birth have always been part of the Great Joyous Round of Life. Culturally, it’s time for us to restore reincarnation as native to the soul. Is it that difficult to imagine that, like all Earth, humanity lives 3 seasons and then rests for 1? Is it that difficult to imagine that even though we may go through ego birth, becoming and ego death, our souls have always brought forth re-births out of the deeper story?
It’s important for us to remember how the doctrine of reincarnation was cursed and buried in our own history. The story is openly available all over the internet. Here are quotes from the website, Share International:
The main figure responsible for this change was no churchman but an ambitious, worldly and powerful figure Emperor Justinius. In the year 553, quite independently of the Pope, Justinius had the teachings of the church father Origen (185-253) banned by a synod. Origen had spoken out in unmistakable terms on the question of the repeated incarnations of the soul:
“Each soul enters the world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defects of its past lives. Its place in this world is determined by past virtues and shortcomings.” De Principalis.
“Is it not more in accordance with common sense that every soul for reasons unknown — I speak in accordance with the opinions of Pythagoras, Plato and Empedokles — enters the body influenced by its past deeds? The soul has a body at its disposal for a certain period of time which, due to its changeable condition, eventually is no longer suitable for the soul, whereupon it changes that body for another.” Contra Celsum.”
The work of Dr. Ian Stevenson, Where Re-incanation and Biology Intersect, is another trust-worthy place to look.
To move out of the double-bind of immortality claimed or rejected requires us to face terror and its impact on us – especially the terror of death, annihilation and oblivion. The season of winter informs all the metaphors of the Direction of the North in Earth-based wisdom. Life dies and is stripped away. All is taken down to only that which endures year after year. It is a movement of contraction down to the essential. Making peace with death and life after death can be found in Chapter 11 of Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by C.G. Jung. Before going into his insights on life after death, consider his words about his life:
I myself am a question which is addressed to the world, and I must communicate my answer, for otherwise, I am dependent upon the world’s answer. That is a suprapersonal life task, which I accomplish only by effort and with difficulty…I try to see the line which leads through my life into the world and out of the world again (p. 318, p. 320)
Here is Jung about continuity of soul after death:
A man should be able to say he has done his best to form a conception of life after death, or to create some image of it–even if he must confess his failure. Not to have done so is a vital loss. For the question that is posed to him is the age-old heritage of humanity: an archetype rich in secret life, which seeks to add itself to our own individual life in order to make it whole..Psychic existence, and above all the inner images with which we are here concerned, supply the material for all mythic speculations about life in the hereafter and I imagine that life as a continuance in in the world of images.
The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing that truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities…If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted. In our relationships with other men, too, the crucial question is whether an element of boundlessness is expressed in the relationship. (p. 325)
Underworld, life after death and reincarnation do not require a belief in any doctrine in order to become lived experience. I knew nothing of Cro-magnon initiation, yet had the experience. The case I made above is about open-heartedness to the experience of others. Even without belief, the numinous comes forth – in fact, belief seems to get in the way of the authentic and original divine embrace. None of what I have written requires belief. Without authentic embodied knowing, all is superstition. I am asking for consideration for the possibility that literalisms of faith or science or chronopatholical blending of the two, constrict, cripple and estrange soul from life – like a funeral vault of fixed stars.
In Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake’s 2014 book, The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness beyond the Brain:
It appears that in near-death experiences, in the perception of apparitions and visions, in after-death communication, in medium- and instrumentally transmitted communication, in past-life recollections, as well as in reincarnation-type experiences, “something” is experienced, contacted and communicated with that appears to be a human consciousness. The evidence tells us that this “something” is not a passive record of the experience of the dead person but a dynamic, intelligent entity that communicates, exchanges information, and my exhibit a desire to communicate…We have good reason to maintain that consciousness persists beyond the brain. (p. 109)
They close the book by proposing the evolutionary time we are in as the move out of an Era of Conscious Mortality. Before reading, it’s important to know that Laszlo used the term, immortality, in his definitions. Here, I think he errs in not discerning immortality from the eternal. Why this is important is that I think he weights the invisible over the sensual. In my experience to date, consciousness has much to offer the eternal. The eternal is learning and evolving from the relationship. Laszlo is aware of this. I think using the term, immortality, because of Western history, sets up a prejudice against embodied life.
Still, what he wrote about evolution into a collective awareness of an immortal mind bears honest consideration:
Modern science held that, of all the things that enter into our experience, only those are real that we can see, hear, touch, and taste. This belief vastly reduced the range of our experience. Many elements and aspects of human existence were ignored, suppressed or discarded. They did not fit into the scientific view of the world, according to which the real world only consists only of matter, and of those things constituted of matter. Soul, spirit, mind, and consciousness are an illusion. The body alone is part of the real world, and the body is mortal.Thus we, as all living organisms, are irreversibly and irrevocably mortal: when our body dies, we die. This was the era of conscious mortality, and in many parts of the world, it lasts to this day. (p147)
Laszlo and Peake invite us to consider an Era of Conscious Immortality:
In this era, we would transcend the still dominant belief system of mainstream modern science and realize that consciousness is a basic and enduring element in the cosmos, and that our own consciousness is an intrinsic part of it.
The era of conscious immortality would change our relations to each other and to nature. We would not become saints and angels, but would evolve into beings who know that they possess an immortal mind. We would no longer live in fear of death, in the fear that our days are numbered and lead to nothingness. We would not be prey to the desperate desire to grab all we can while we can, since, ‘we only live once.”
…Realizing that our consciousness is immortal would give us the assurance we need to experience joy in living and tranquility in dying. It would give us the enduring satisfaction of being able to contribute to a world we can experience and enjoy over and over again, in this life and in lives to come. (p. 148)
The Age of Magnification follows Western culture mythologically and says the same thing as Laszlo and Peake. The only difference is that what they called the Era of Conscious Mortality is defined by modern science alone. The Age of Magnification is defined by myth and the tradition of soul, especially through the Christian mythology and the archetypal person of Mary. The reason this is important is that there is immense value in soul for the individual to move out of the old Magnificat and into the Magnification. In this way, the soul goes into labor – can bring forth from within itself the transformation out of the past and into the future, especially, by dreaming, and creativity – direct participation – in generous, courageous, enduring and loving heart intelligence.
Surprisingly, mythologically speaking, de-literalize and imagine how what at first appeared to the West to be God’s death wounds are, in fact, the location where a form of placental, passive human awareness broke open into a birth canal of participatory archetypal species awareness. That all human beings of the planet are of the same species is now a biological fact. Our task is to be gentler with each other and all life as hemispheres, nations, tribes, clans, families, persons — even gentler with ourselves as individuals — what you do to the least of these, you do to me.
Since 1610, Earth has been spinning on an axis mundi with a north and south pole. Our bi-polar Earth is in orbit as well around a bi-polar star. Our bi-polar moon is orbiting our Earth that is participating in not only day and night, but also in the changes of the seasons. The entire universe is surprisingly bi-polar. Before 1610, Earth was an end-product of a long fall and was a passive subject of the cycles of the sun, moon, seasons, and motions of the constellations through the year.
With the new awareness of the axis mundi, there is no longer any power, divine or otherwise, permitted to impose any teaching, art, music, government, law, that disrespects the soul’s sovereignty. Earth’s axis and atmosphere mean that Earth is participating in the rising and setting of the sun and moon. Earth’s orbit means that our planet is active in the Wisdom of the seasons.
It’s the inclusion of axis, atmosphere, and orbit that form the empirical ground of the participatory world view that the Age of Magnification has been birthing. We are no longer subjects to a royal ruling class or all-powerful sovereign. We are participants – all of us – in the world we bring forth together for our children and grandchildren. We participate in all we experience. This has always been the case, yet now, the emphasis is on becoming conscious, yet decently unconscious agents of Life. The age old wisdom for a chosen few belongs to all. For example, Thou art That – meaning that you, ‘Thou’, are also what you perceive, was more exclusive. Yet, now, we have in within our own sphere of influence more access to this wisdom.
Thou art that. – has evolved into a more involved psychologically aware humanity.
Mayest thou more consciously and less unconsciously participate in that which thou art already.
Emerson strove for this more democratic notion of soul in American transcendentalism:
Trust thyself: Every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Just to be clear, ‘self’ in this sentence does not mean ‘ego’. If you read Emerson, you know he is not saying that a person should just do whatever ego-needs arise. Self, for Emerson, is what puts the ‘transcendental’ in the transcendentalism. There is an inner guidance that is deep within and beyond the human being, in inner divinity indigenous to all humanity. That’s the ‘self’ that is the iron string. When that iron string vibrates it can be felt resonating in our hearts. Not only that, but you can recognize the inner vitality of one who is living a life that is authentic to that inner urge.
Whitman’s message in Leaves of Grass.
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
In Christian mythology, the immanent yet transcendent guidance comes from Sophia. An aspect of how She is pictured is the starry heavens. Her all-containing vessel of life is also the all-containing vessel into which our awareness descends when we sleep and when we dream. At night, the dream has us and we are inside it.
One of Jung’s great gifts to Western culture was the recovery of direct experience of God in dreams – if you spend time studying all the images of God that arise through the dreams of Western persons, images that fall into the category of what Jung named, the Self, you will find an immense treasure-house of soul wealth. By that I mean that dogmatic descriptions of God that have been handed down over the centuries, pale in comparison. Consider Meister Eckhart’s words as a description of what now occurs on a regular basis:
We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.
Eckhart’s metaphoric turn of phrase belongs to the realm of Sophia. Announced by Kepler’s Star, from within Galileo’s European Christian culture, the opening our Age of Magnification, was an evolutionary transformation of Catholicism. Copernicus, after all, was a priest. It would be through Jesuit institutions over the globe that Starry Messenger and the telescope would travel.
There was a necessarily Catholic work in the Christian mythology that has been neglected. The way forward is through what Catholics still call, The Magnificat. Luke 1:46-55 is also known as Mary’s Prayer. If we imagine that the European collective soul is Mary, then Her prayer is a cultural one that announced a new imagining of the abundance of life in our universe. This is the same as saying that Sophia is the true Patroness of the evolution of consciousness the West is participating in.
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
We have taken on the challenge of becoming compassionate magnifiers as our way of service to the Earth.
What does that even mean?
Due to our mythology of magnification, our lives are open to deeper insights using the metaphors from this new way of seeing. In the same way that we have benefitted from literal use of the telescope, we can also benefit in soul when we take up the telescopic glass, lenses, tubes, and mirrors – not literally, but as symbolic modes in order to see beneath flat surfaces. To magnify, then, first begins with glass. What set Galileo apart from his peers was his ability with glass. His skill as a lens-maker was un-surpassed and when the public read Starry Messenger, they were frustrated in that the astronomer kept his lens-making secrets to himself. Skill in glass has an esteemed history in archetypal psychology. James Hillman (1973) wrote:
“Glass in dreams, as windows, panes and mirrors presents the paradox of a solid transparency; its very purpose is to permit seeing through. Glass is the metaphor par excellence for psychic reality, out of life and into image.” (emphasis mine)
Taking up the notion that solid transparency is the metaphor par excellence, we now are required, since 1610, to craft our metaphoric glass to a lens.
In the remarkable 2015 book, Galileo’s Telescope, by Bucciantini, Camerota, Giudice and Bolton (trans.), the concept of our solid transparency transformed into a lens transformed our idea of perception ever since. They wrote:
We grasped that there is another world beyond what had appeared to us for 2000 years. (and soon, with the invention of the microscope, we would learn of yet another beyond what we can touch)…The act of seeing was itself being re-defined and no longer coincided with our natural organ of sight – For this new way of seeing transformed into an act of knowing.
In soul’s terms, transforming glass into lens, where seeing is an act of knowing, means that individual consciousness is a simultaneous act of apperceiving the growing edge of knowledge. Every single light of consciousness is in a constant state of realizing something that was not previously known. Participation in a revelatory solid transparency, is seeing as a simultaneous act of knowing = co-creation.
From within the mythology of Galileo’s Catholicism, it could be said that each life in soul is one of God’s fleshly co-creative incarnations of revelatory perception, reception, new realization – we are God’s hearts, lungs, minds, ears, voices, taste-buds, noses, sensations, intuitions, within whose activity of simultaneous perception/knowing our future is co-created — not only human life, but all biological life. The Mind of God, then, since 1610 became a Zen Beginner’s Mind. The Body of God is our ensouled humanity in living interdepence with all ensould biological life that labors together, helping each other, in the birthing of what has never been, nor has ever been imagined.
With reverence to Mary, an update of Her prayer would be:
I am the Beginner’s BodyMind of the Source of all that is,
I am the Sensual, Beautiful, Immanent Presence faithfully with you.
I am the embodied life who labors to birth what has never been.
I delight each day in the awe of being and I am grateful to live.
May I live in a way that future generations will find worthy.
If you let the words be read to you by an inner feminine voice, you will notice something new. Her words go quite well with the words of Isaiah 35:5
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
In this way of understanding, it is through our willing participation that the Source of all that is has gained sight and hearing. The lens, the lens each of us is, goes in both directions – the Eternal sees rightly, speaks rightly, loves and struggles rightly through the essential character of our individual hearts – through all human beings and all cultures of the planetary ethnosphere. This same magnifying direct knowing is also going on naturally through the consciousness in and throughout nature. As human beings, we are a species for whom this act of loving, loving itself, magnifying is an individual choice - the blessing or burden of free will.
Here’s Emerson again, in a similar spirit:
There (in nature) I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite spaces, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.
I think allowing for the possibility that all humanity participates in how the Mysterious Source sees and hears through it was also in Kepler’s Stella Nova. To turn the West inside out is supposed to mean that we treat others as we have been called to treat ‘insiders’. Persons of all walks of life are compassionate magnifiers when seen with the eyes of soul we are called to be.
Ironically, we have made a giant leap forward back to the start. This same idea is in the ancient word: Namaste. We are all a Holy See. From within the Italian mythos, the upper case, “C” of Catholicism shifted to the common good, catholicism, in the sense of universal — for all. With a tip of the hat to my amis in Occitan, there is no longer a single eye senex power gaze from Roma, but the embodied and loving heart-seeing, reconciling, gaze of Amor. (to un-bury a lost word)
Look at Whitman’s words with an eye for Magnification:
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
When we include the Magnificat in the Magnification to quantum physics, the formula E = MC2 may be magnified. Einstein’s formula is how we understand our universe. Since 1905, matter and energy are two faces of the same space-time reality. The matter we sensually know emerges out of an invisible energetic wave of probability. For naked human perception, energy and matter are two ‘turning points’ that emerge together mirror-like, yin-yang style, from the more comprehensive quantum ground. In quantum physics, the way energy materializes from a probability wave of infinite possibility into a single point based on the observer effect, suggests that matter and energy are interdependent partners – both of them participating in — psyche.
I am aware of the risk I make in weaving psyche with matter and energy. It is because of my experiences with synchronicity that I make this assumption. In doing this, I am placing the mythology of magnification within in the soul tradition of the West. It may be centuries before the material/energetic union with psyche is found. We forget that Galileo insisted in 1610 that Earth was a bi-polar planet turning on an axis mundi before it was the scientific proof of Foucault’s pendulum 240 years later. Same with Einstein’s work which he often intuited the future of theoretical physics many years before the notions were proved.
Laszlo and Peake wrote of this:
Penrose suggests that each quantum collapse introduces an element of consciousness into space-time. If this is the case, we would have a physics-based explanation of how consciousness in the deep dimension enters the manifest world. (p 128)
The paths of the journey of consciousness beyond the body appear to diverge, but ultimately, they may converge. Even if there is a cyclic return to earthly existence through reincarnation, for periods of testing and perfecting, when that cycle is complete, human consciousness returns to where it came from: to the Akasha, the deep dimension and integral consciousness of the cosmos. (p. 143)
I think it’s a safe bet to allow there to be a union of psyche and matter/energy.
The Magnification of E=MC2, then, is to include psyche in the foundational ground of our cosmos. (Cosmos = Psyche)
This is possible because, so far as we know, E=MC2 holds true for all that is.
Psyche = MC2
Energy = PsycheC2
Psyche = PsycheC2… and as many permutations as are helpful.
Look at Hillman’s psychologizing of glass again with a quantum eye towards death:
psychic reality, out of life and into image
We are now required to complete the circle with a quantum eye towards birth:
Out of image and into life is psychic reality.
complete the formula too with the variables from archetypal psychology where death/birth = birth/death.
C2 = psychic reality.
The reality of psyche and psychic reality as E=MC2 appears in communities where synchonicity is affirmed as participatory and immanent. Synchronistic awareness is the birth-canal through which psychology, cosmology and ecology find their informing Depth.
In the poetics of Christian mythology, the revelatory quality of sensual life is based has a wise rhythm. Invisible direct knowing of Emmanuel: God is with us coincide, constellates, with Sensual, Beautiful, Immanent Presence.
Anima Mundi, Dark Madonna, is in union with Axis Mundi, Emmanuel.
The meaningful, embodied and sensual delight of being human expanded beyond all that was ever imagined 406 years ago for the West. I have named Galileo’s constellations above, proto-ur-constellations. They announced the West’s evolution into more comprehensive and profound imagining of all life and humanity’s role in it. The drawings were adumbrations of what was to come, to what is coming and what shall continue to arrive. According to dictionary.com; adumbrate. v. “to outline, to sketch,” 1580s, from Latin adumbratus “sketched, shadowed in outline,” past participle of adumbrare “to represent (a thing) in outline.”
Once you’ve had the experience of seeing through our literal and mythological telescope, (or microscope), whether in psychologizing or awakening together within the dream, there is a sensual, meaningful pleasure to see, to feel into all of life, all of Earth and Cosmos. This is what I described in the introduction as my Cro-magnon illumination and the brother’s illumination through correctly setting his soul’s clock. There comes a desire to share, and enjoy together with others, the journey of life for trillions of years. Theologian, Thomas Berry, was fond of reminding us that we are here for Wonder, Joy, Beauty and Intimacy.
C. J. Martes describes in her own Akashic experience:
After that day, my whole world shifted dramatically. I could enjoy life again. I returned to my daily activities almost immediately. I was given a great gift that day, and I wanted to share it with others. I told everyone I could what happened. I suppose some believed me and others didn’t. But that no longer mattered to me. The experience recalled my early days in the cathedral. I had finally come back to the comfort of my childhood. I had finally come home. (p.21)
It has been a bit over 146,000 days, but the West is recollecting a foundational value, that our planet is a paradise when we live in right relationship. The slowly dawning heart awareness that for the past 400 years, the West has been degrading, polluting and destroying paradise is emerging in pockets of change here and there since 1992. There is an indigenous teaching that the Earth and the cosmos are praying/singing/praising all the time and it is the unique gift or curse for the human being to have the choice to join into the great pageant of life or not. Since the the invention of the lens, where seeing became an act of knowing, perhaps the West has offered its own unique perspective to the world, another Holy See for all to experience, another tongue of the praying, singing, glorifying (magnifying), going on all around us. The whole universe is always engaged in revelation and opening its heart to the awe and mystery of being alive. Our problem has been learning how to not impose our single, European eye of the soul upon the many, many Holy Sees, the soul-eyes of the rest of humanity.
The central task in these pages is to prove that our current archetypal psychology, ecology and cosmology mirror our knowledge of the universe. The mirroring of Earth and sky, our solar system, galaxy, galactic neighborhood unto the infinite, bottomless, ever-deepening universe that is and can be lived as deeply meaningful and evolutionary experience.
In our participatory world view, Anima Mundi and Axis Mundi are always present wherever there is life. The second task is that once the first is intellectually and experientially established, to gently lead minds out of the imploding patriarchal and late-modern world view (de-colonize) which is based on a passive Earth and humanity who are subjects of a higher power into the evolutionary and participatory world view (re-indigenize) where Earth, through axis, atmosphere and orbit, actively participates as the homeland for co-creatiing sovereign souls I have just described a Re-birth of the West. From the indigenous way of seeing, the West has confused itself with the Center/Earth/Sky. When the West returns to a participant as one Direction among the other 6, balance returns and Earth recovers.
Mirroring, is the profound value of the literal age of the world. When we get Chronos right all the worlds line up. To take up the theme of the mirror in Magnifying, we look to Plato, in the Timaeus. He described the starry heavens as a moving image of eternity. His idea was a 2-step teaching tool whereby, first, the universe can be used as the mirror to help us understand what eternity is like, and second that understanding can be used to apprehend the inherent dignity of own souls. As above, so below.
Now that we can see through the “dome of the fixed stars”, our old mirror is permanently dissolved in its own starry background. Our old knowledge of 6000 stars has dissolved into our new knowledge of galaxies. Our awareness has become more fluid and less rigid. This new mirror, the current view of the cosmos, can still be a moving image of eternity, but now, it’s expanded beyond even the Western conception of God. Human knowledge of the cosmos now includes a fluid, adaptable expectation that the universe is infinitely deep with discoveries to be made. The moving image of eternity is an image that is always flowing and in motion.
As odd as it sounds, eternity has gotten a heck of a lot bigger. We hardly remember that one of the early reasons for denying the Copernican shift was that if Copernicus had it right, then the stars must be incredibly huge and distant. The idea was too large and seemed too absurd for minds of the times.
Our predecessors, even the brightest minds of the times, were crippled in their capacity to imagine. Their imaginations were not fluid. Christopher M. Graney’s wonderful 2015 book, Setting Aside All Authority, offered the image above to show how Tycho Brahe imagined the size of the celestial bodies.
Brahe and all the leading minds of the times had star problems. Religious and all institutional authorities had their own motives for rejecting the Copernican cosmos. However, the astronomers of the day rejected Copernicus because if he had it right, the stellar bodies were immense and at huge distances.
It’s funny when you look at his illustration below.
Our cultural rigidity is habitual in imagining the stars. It’s good to remember that the same kind of argument happened as recently as 1920 in what was called the “Great Debate” or the Shapley–Curtis Debate. It was not long ago that we assumed that the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe and it was absurd to imagine more.
Stars are implicated in how our culture imagines life in the universe. Earth-like planets need suns for their lives. During my childhood, there were staunch proponents that Earth was the only Earth-like planet in the entire cosmos. It would not be until 1992 that the fist exo-planets would be detected orbiting a pulsar. Then, famously, in 1995, a massive planet was found orbiting a the star 51 Pegasi. In April, 2007, astronomers found the first Earth-like planet that orbited in the habitable, “Goldilocks Zone” (not to hot, not too cold, just right)
That planet was named, Gliese 581 c. Its discoverers
“We have estimated that the mean temperature of this super-Earth lies between
0 and 40 degrees Celsius, and water would thus be liquid…its radius should be
only 1.5 times the Earth’s radius, and models predict that the planet should be
either rocky – like our Earth – or fully covered with oceans,”
In February of 2017, astronomers announced seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1.
We have come a long way since 1610, so much magnification has been brought into the public’s awareness. Star sizes even greater than those originally rejected by our Ancestors are now common and un-remarkable. As I stated in the introduction, an expansion in cosmos is an expansion in consciousness. An expansion in consciousness is an expansion in soul. An expansion in soul is an expansion in heart. The literal, scientific understanding of the age of the universe influences on we imagine the infinite.
Our cosmos and consciousness have been expanded. Our archetypal soul wisdom and our hearts are in labor.
In the poetics of magnification, this is a mirror problem – distortion The wrong mirror distorts how we reflect on all that is. The looking glass, too, has an esteemed history in our own mythology. Though it is not often stated, when Perseus defeated the Medusa, his mirror had to properly reflect what he was facing. Otherwise, it would have been just as simple to fight she-who-turns-life-to-stone with his eyes closed and use an ancient form of Jedi mind skill.
In this interpretation, with a bad mirror, we too will become victims of the death-mother, the senex feminine consciousness, which Hillman described as unpleasant, even maleficent, subject to mad moodiness, with peculiar fascinations with the occult, power and possessions, the ‘way out’ of things of prisons, sewerage and magic. We mis-read an obsessive state of mind that is not anima and not feminine as we prettily conceive those notions, the crone side of the mother archetype who whines and needs helping and who uses her infirmity for power.
I suggested above that to heal our cultural soul-mirror means knowing that the starry heavens are not only in rotation as the moving image of Eternity, they are also in constant fluid expansion in depths of knowings. To live well now with the nighttime sky is to carefully consider each discovery that expands and transforms our knowledge of the material world. Using that knowledge, we are called to making it into metaphors for expansion and transformation in all aspects of culture — the mesocosm.
This is crucial in our inherited sacred texts, in America, this is crucial as regards the Bible, which does not feature a solar system, axis mundi = axis of the world, north or south poles, the diurnal rotation of the planet, the yearly orbit around our star, tides caused by the moon, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, spiral galaxy, nebula, black hole, gravity, speed of light, 200 catalogs of celestial objects, a steadily increasing number of Earths — 3374 Earth-like exo-planets and increasing.
In 2016, it was declared that there are more than 2,000,000,000,000 galaxies with only 10 percent of the known universe accounted for.
The Platonic mirror that is the moving image of eternity appears in Christian mythology as Mary’s garment. The sacred woman adorned with the robe and crown of stars is archetypal, so She appears in many world cultures and times.
The Robe of the Black Madonna is the recurring code for starry heavens – our way of saying Akasha – Cosmic Memory Field. There is a similar oral teaching I learned from the Lakota that the words, Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, is another way of saying the starry heavens. In this magnificat language I’ve been developing, to be whole and healed in soul is to get the time right in this world. We must always use the cosmology of the times as Her sacred garment. Earlier I wrote:
If we get the time right in this world, all the worlds line up.
In the poetics of our own Western culture, this is not only a statement about Chronos. It is also about Mary’s Robe, which may also be imagined as Mary Magdelene’s Robe for which the Roman soldiers cast lots in the Crucifixion scene in the gospels of Luke and John. We can better imagine Her Majesty, the Awe of her Beloved, and the Glory of what They conceive together and who she births -you and me and all that lives – if we get the right dimensions of Her garment.
As it was in the Beginning,
Her Robe is spread.
All She asks for us our best science in order to establish the space-time of our universe. When we create our culture accordingly, Her compassionate depths hold us and we are at Home. Failure to do this results in souls split from the Ground of Being as it is known in our historical moment. When we honor Her, all inner fragmentation finds space, intelligibility, and balance. We tend towards a natural mental and emotional wholeness. Without this care of our collective cultural soul, we suffer a deep-rooted feeling of abandonment and chronic lack of loving relationship. The Comsic Mother becomes a crazy-making material world – schizogenic. It’s as if no matter how hard we try, we can never make it home. Soul Homelessness is felt in the emotion of personal and collective shame. We don’t belong here.
Faced with the choice, may we always choose our best science and most disciplined knowledge of the spread of the cosmic expanse and be at Home. Matthew Fox affirmed this view in chapter 3 of the 2011 book, Thomas Berry: Dreamer of the Earth:
Another connection between Acquinas and Berry…is Acquinas’ observation that “every human person is capax universeri (capable of the universe). That’s who we are as a species. That’s how big we are and neither our souls nor our hearts nor our minds will be satisfied and therefore relieved of temptations to greed and power until they are rest in the context of cosmology and the universe itself.
Ritual care of the Robe of our Cosmic Pregnant Virgin can be taken up again. It’s simple and we do well to return to what is a collective responsibility to the coming generations.
Spread the wholeness of Her Loving Robe.
Her Robe is the 13,820,000,000 light-years wide
cosmic space-time fabric.
You will hear the songs of all worlds.
You will see the worlds lined up with this world.
You will know you are Home.
You will understand the Mystery of your birth.
You will be the Dreaming.
To close, with apologies to the Gospel of Luke:
Blessed be your Presence.
in the space-time fabric of the cosmos,
and blessed is all life that you bring forth.
And whence is this to me, that I would participate with you?
For, lo, as soon as I heard your call, the sacred life in me awakened
And blessed is your knowledge: for there shall be a beautiful future
brought forth in a way that generations to come shall find worthy.
It’s been late in coming, but I understand how the Virgen de Guadelupe was a form of sacred art answering sacred art. She wears the traditional tassel of her people that means she is pregnant. She spoke to Juan Diego not in colonial Spanish, but in his Nuantl language. I think She told the Europeans that She and the Virgin to whom they pray are the same person, a Mother who loves all peoples, every individual human being. I think Her Message has always been and always will be that all cultures share a Cosmic Notre Dame. For you Loving beings who have been waiting for us Westerners to understand – She and our Collecive Unconscious/Cosmic Memory Field are the same Person. We all share the same Beautiful Pregnant Virgin.