2. Eagle-headed Harp: Vision Through Music
This is the constellation Lyra transformed by magnification
of the star, Epsilon Lyrae. When it is magnified, Epsilon Lyrae is,
in fact 2 stars, SAO 67309 and SAO 67315. Going more deeply,
(Remember Hillman’s 4 steps?) SAO 67309 and SAO 67315 are
themselves pairs of stars. What first appears as single, literal,
is four-fold when magnified. (AUM + Silence) This is an elaboration on
Uranima. When you know by direct experience a new light that had been
hidden within the surface of things, the experience explodes the usual
means of expression and poetic, musical, hieroglyphic self-expression
becomes necessary. To the best of my knowledge, music is the form best-suited
for this means of expression and/or metaphor for visionary communications.
Look again at Galileo’s sketches and see the original pattern (archetype)
of the first 2 ur-constellations of Western culture.
HUMAN BEINGS ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE
I described magnification above:
1. to see through the apparent to the depths within, beneath and beyond,
2. to amplify,
3. to understand more deeply,
4. to acknowledge and celebrate what is, was and coming to be
Ur-constellations assume these 4 capacities. By including magnifying, the aspect of wisdom teachings can return to our cultural sky after its long exile. They are to be applied to the entire sky-grid that was formulated by the West in 1930. The clock of your soul is to be set to 13,820,000,000 years. The space-time you are in currently contains 2,000,000,000,000 galaxies. Ur-constellations are not dogmatic, but offer an example for Western souls to play and interact seriously with the starry heavens. Personally, I, Christopher Reynolds, have worked on part of the sky map. Constellations I transformed into ur-constellations are colored in blue:
There is a simultaneous deepening of our cultural Earth maps occurring now due to awareness that water is a collective concern. It’s worth noting the mirroring of the New Heavens and New Earth:
The Message of our New Heavens is expressed in ur-constellations that are the now the moving image of Eternity.
1. To see through the apparent to the depths within, beneath and beyond. Seeing through in this way is known as psychologizing in archetypal psychology. James Hillman noted that psychologizing goes on whenever reflection takes place in terms other than those presented. In another description, he defined psychologizing as moving through the literal to the metaphorical. He described its 4 stages as:
“First, there is the psychological moment, a moment of reflection, wonder, puzzlement, initiated by the soul which intervenes and countervails what we are in the midst of doing, hearing, reading, watching. With slow suspicion or sudden insight, we move through the apparent to the less apparent. We use metaphors of light – a little flicker, a slow dawning, a lightning flash–as things become clarified. When the clarity has itself become transparent, there seems to grow within a new darkness, a new question or doubt requiring a new act of insight penetrating again toward the less apparent. The movement becomes an infinite regress which does not stop at coherent or elegant answers…It is satisfied only by its own movement of seeing through. Moving from outside in, it is a process of interiorizing; moving from the surface of visibilities to the less visible. It is a process of deepening.
Second, psychologizing justifies itself. As we penetrate or try to bring out, expose or show why, we believe that what lies behind or within is truer and more real, powerful, or valuable that what is evident. It is a justification in terms of depths; we justify the activity by appealing to an ultimate hidden value that can never fully come out but must remain concealed in the depths in order to justify the movement. This ultimate hidden value justifying the entire operation can also be called the hidden God (deus absconditus), who appears only in concealment.
Third, the present event, the phenomenon before us, is given a narrative . A tale is told of it in the metaphors of history, or physical causality, or logic. We tell ourselves something in the language of “because.” The immediate is elaborated by fantasy, so that a metamorphosis occurs as the immediate becomes part of an account. It is a process of mythologizing. And all explanations whatsoever may be regarded as fantasies and examined as myths.
Fourth are the tools with which the operation proceeds. Here we return once again to ideas, for ideas are the soul’s tools. Without them we cannot see, let alone see through. Ideas as the eyes of the soul give the psyche its power of insight, its means of prying open, stripping bare, going through. Again, without ideas the soul is a victim of literal appearances and is satisfied with things just as they present themselves. It has no idea of anything further, is without doubt or prompting to see through.”
This June, 2016, NASA and ESA reported that our cosmos is expanding 5-9 percent faster than previously thought. Ur-constellations remind us each night of the importance in these times to never cease in our psychologizing. In fact, with this sudden announcement of an even more rapid expansion, it would seem that the there is a message in the air of urgency about seeing through as a cultural human task necessary for the restoration of balance of humanity with the planet’s myriad lifeforms.
A second understanding of seeing through is in Urrealism. Briefly, I developed Urrealism in response to 911 as a way to wage creativity in the streets with the same intensity as those in the world who would wage destruction. A Rabbi once said, Don’t fight evil, emulate it. Urrealism offers people the ideas and the means to wage creation together.
In Urrealism, seeing through is called, awakening together within the dream. It is described with a parable:
Urrealist Parable of the 2 Sleepers (2001)
Once upon a time, two friends lay down and went to sleep.
They slept the whole night through, but in the morning were
awakened by a conversation that was going on. As each awakened
more, s/he realized that the voices were their own. In fact, they were
waking up in a conversation that began in their sleep. As each
sleep-talker awoke, together they joyfully continued the conversation,
wide awake in the dream.
When 2 persons awaken together to the inspired, dreaming edge of their creative lives (see through), that relationship, in Urrealism, is called, Urreality. (psychologiizing) After years of experience and studying the historical record, the most productive way to respond when presented with the original creation of another is with our own creativity.
There is a famous example of seeing through as awakening within the dream when Kandinsky heard some of Schoenberg’s music in 1911. The painter realized that the musician was saying in music what he was striving to express in painting. Kandinsky saw through his own art into a shared, yet hidden inspiration After the concert, Kandinsky painted a response, called Impression III (Concert):
In the letter that accompanied that painting, he wrote to Schoenberg that:
…what we are striving for and our whole manner of thought and feeling
have so much in common that I feel completely justified in
expressing my empathy. (p. 25)
Schoenberg replied to Kandinsky:
I am sure that our work has much in common — and indeed in the most
important respects: in what you call the “unlogical” and I call
the “elimination of the conscious will in art.” I also agree with
what you write about the constructive element…I think we would have
a lot to say to each other. (p. 25)
Urrealism offers tools for awaking together within the dream with 4 modes of art answering art (conversation) in creativity/receptivity.
1. Reminds me of….
2. _____ occurs to me.
3. Art answers art
When someone offers us their original work, there is a profound desire to be seen and heard. There is little or no desire to be judged. As we receive another’s creativity, the first level of engagement is to remember, to search your life experience and knowledge to offer a response.
Your work reminds me of________.
This opens the world more fully to the creator, making way for creativity to form a path in life.
The second level is to pay attention to your body, your imaginal eye.
_______occurs to me.
You offer back something like, “I felt the warm chills over my face when you shared this”, or “an image came into my mind as you shared, or, “the word,______, occurred to me as you shared.
The 3rd level is to
respond to art with art
Answer like Breton to Miro, like Kandinsky to Schoenberg, like the 2 who were talking in their sleep, but didnt know it until they woke each other up.To your friend’s poetry, write the music, to your friend’s music, create the dance, to your friend’s idea, create the website, etc. Allow what is most original in your life to be called forth and offered back.
The fourth level is to
As in Hillman’s stages of psychologizing, the Urrealist 4 method of seeing through will feature all 4 layers occurring simultaneously and, as with psychologizing, the inspiration to continue awakening together within the dream justifies the practice.
In both methods of seeing through, the embodied result is felt in sensual delight while everything around you synchronistically participates. Seeing through, either as psychologizing or as awakening together within the dream justifies itself because it feels good, true and beautiful. Awake in Creation, all the worlds line up.
In Intercede: The Urrealist Manifesto:
…there are always invisible visitations that enter the manifold space.
Something divine can come to the table. These emerge as as-if presences,
are felt as shifts in time, are perceived when turns of phrase come forth
thick like sandwiches, trailing scintillae, are recognizable where the
cramped and constricted ease with re-newed life. In Urreality, the full
body begins to awaken to the conversation, golden chills wash over the
shoulders, warm the heart, draw attention to depth. There is a sense of
clarity about the face, a clarity of sensing. One is aroused and even
the sensate world unveils herself delighting to be seen and truly
appreciated. The heart flutters.
The same awakened state recurs in Jorge Ferrer’s Revisioning Transpersonal Theory and Chris Bache’s The Living Classroom.
…it became gradually obvious that the revision I was proposing could be more
accurately conveyed not so much in terms of an epistemic turn, from experience
to knowledge, but of a participatory turn, a shift from intrasubjective
experiences to participatory events which can be equally understood in
both experiential and epistemic terms. Human participation in transpersonal
and spiritual phenomenon is a creative, multidimensional event that can
involve every aspect of human nature, from somatic transfiguration to
the awakening of the heart, from erotic communion to visionary co-creation
and from contemplative knowing to moral insight. (p.12)
It’s as if the floor suddenly falls away. The atmosphere in the room becomes
supercharged, and everyone seems to congeal into a unified state. My mind
becomes unusually spacious and clear, and my students’ eyes tell me that
they have moved into a particularly receptive state. Our hearts seem to
merge, and from that open field of compassion comes a slow stream of thoughts
that I, as spokesperson for the group, unfold and work with. In these
transient moments of heightened awareness, I sometimes have the acute
sensation that there is only one mind present in the room. (p.46)
In Jerzy J. and Kathleen L. Maciuszko’s powerful book, Poles Apart: The Tragic Fate of Poles During World War II, Dr. Maciuszko shared this same kind of experience that lifted up the men when they were prisoners of war. He was in an orchestra with his fellow prisoners. They played instruments that were donated to them by the International YMCA. He wrote:
One day, however, something uncanny occurred. During the rehearsal of the second symphony, the whole orchestra, including the conductor, went into a kind of trance. We played and the conductor went on conducting without stopping. We were out of tune and we went on. Somebody’s string broke. He put his instrument on his knees and we went on. We played the whole symphony uninterrupted until the very end. When the finale finally came, we all felt that we had gone through some kind of transcendental experience. The first few days after it happened, no one talked about it. Gradually, we felt we could speak on the event as we wondered what actually took place. Perhaps, for an instant, we had forgotten where we were. We had forgotten about everything and were transported somewhere else. (p.63)
As soon as I read those words, even now as I have been typing them out here, warm chills flowed over my body, especially my arms, heart, belly, top of my head. Tears came to my eyes during the first reading and they are coming now. This is what it is to be awakened together in the dream. What has been with me ever since reading about Jerzy’s days in Poland during the war was the most difficult times of my own life. The 2 can’t properly be compared, but, growing up, the most years when my life was most drained of meaning was from 16-19. During those years, it was our rock band, Hot Rox, that delivered my friends and me into this same kind of space that Jerzy described. Our band, Mike Greenwald, Randy Long, Greg Haney, and I lived by a strict rule that during practice and performance, there was to be no alcohol or drugs. This was the late 70’s, so there were mind-altering substances all around his. However, it was as if we would create together a form of nourishing and safe space inside the thunderous roar of our music. There were many times when we unified into a single wholeness. Maybe more than anything, rock and roll saved our lives during those years.
Awakening together in the dream is itself a bolt out of the blue. It is the experience of souls seeing each other that the Greeks called, The Philosophers’ Mirror. When you are both delivered into the place where the lights are coming on, it’s important to slow down and not rush off from each other.
In the unfolding mythos of Magnification, this particular lens is a way to look again at the interaction between the pregnant Mary with the pregnant Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke. Here’s the original text from KJV:
44For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
The most sacred and original life coming forth in and through Elizabeth stirred with joy on hearing Mary’s voice, she who was also pregnant with the future transforming life coming in and through her. What is most original in one awakens the original in the other. They, too, are awakening together in the dream.
This is not the labor of chosen women in our Age, but the labor of all individual souls – of course, the labor can be for children, but this too needs to be expanded for the children of our souls are our unique creative work for which we were each called into this world. Mary and Elizabeth are the Creative and the Receptive.
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.
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.
Bache, in The Living Classroom, noted that …human beings interpenetrate in a living fabric of consciousness that responds in subtle ways to our choices and intentions to form fields of consciousness within our classrooms.
I know from experience that this same living fabric of consciousness is natural to Earth and Sky when we include in our awareness the season in the cycle of the year and the 13,820,000,000 years wide ever-expanding cosmos.
In my song, Orphan Soul, first released on Unio Mentalis: The Mind of the Land, in 1999, then again on Creation: The Pyramid and the Suns, in 2001, is an instruction guide as to what to do when you meet another who mirrors you.
When you meet the Orphan Soul
may you talk all night, because the time is full
may you know the growing edge of you
the secret questions, what your dreams told you.
Where did you wake up in this world?
These are the meanings, the signs I explored.
Feel your words grow thick, the synchronistic clues
feel the golden chills for the beautiful and true
Minds from All Times
visit our time
Minds from all times
are visiting Our Time
When you meet the Orphan Soul
talk of erotic love, the southern and the northern pole.
As philosophers held out their mirror
again you know yourself.
Together the Mind is clearer.
Once in painted caves, cathedral rooms
Across the wide oceans, along the winding roads.
Know each other by laughter and heart,
by the passion for your work and your Art.
Minds from All Times
visit our time
Minds from all times
are visiting Our Time
When you meet the Orphan Soul
talk of your loved ones from the young
to the invisibles.
Share this ritual, bless the human kind
with an Eternal Heart
Who is in love with Time.
Minds from All Times
visit our time
Minds from all times
are visiting Our Time.
2. Amplification: also called dissolving the substance in its own water in alchemy, is the work of expanding our own cultural awareness and dislodging our own narratives by continually learning the languages, star stories, myths, rituals and teachings of all times and places in the history of consciousness. Each of them gives insight via symbols and ideas that allow for an improved circulation between the surface experiences of our lives and our dreams, visions, birth charts, the deeper unfolding Great Stories within which we find ourselves. Once a number of myths are gathered, it becomes possible to look for the pattern (archetype) that runs through them all. I’ll demonstrate what I mean to say using Galileo’s proto-ur-constellation of Orion.
In Lakota cosmology, this is called the Chief’s Hand, for the Cree, this is the Giant, Nanabush, for the Egyptians, Osiris, for the Aztec, those 3 stars of the belt were the Fire Drill, for the Maya, the 3 stars where the back of the turtle from where the divine sons emerged. Also, the lower part was an image of their hearth-stones. In the Moundville, Alabama sacred site, which was once a prominent center for the Mississippian culture, 800-1600, the Hand and Eye/Rattlesnake symbol is common. Recall the rattlesnake symbolism that stated:
The Hand and Eye are most likely our constellation in question, but thus far, there is no evidence, nor story that survived the genocide of the indigenous in the early days of colonization. It’s worth noting the striking repletion of the theme in the image of the Hand of Fatima, though the general understanding is of protection from the evil eye:
The world over, wherever this constellation can be seen, it has a story, a teaching and messages about where you should be and what you should be doing. There seems to be an archetype of restored wholeness. What was fragmented and lost, what had run its course, reached its end, is renewed. This constellation repeatedly seems to be the Earthly reset button for the cultural mainframe. All the programs are cleaned up, any viruses are removed and life can begin again. There is an important quality to keep in mind, however. With a computer, a reset requires shutting everything down, switching off, and it restarts again as it was before. When you include the archetypal depths, along with this cleansing, the year to come is also conceived in metaphor – a symbolic horizon for the world to come.
For life on Earth where this constellation can be seen, it is a harbinger of winter, the time when everything dies and goes into silence. It is the time when that which endures from season to season can be clearly seen. In the old times, winter was the time to tell the stories to remind the people of who they are, to make the repairs so that when the Spring comes, life can go on with vigor. It is also in this time of darkness that sleeping and dreaming take up more time. It is during the darkest night that the unexpected, yet hoped for new light of future days to come is conceived. It feels proper to suggest here that a profound unconscious desire for a cultural reset and re-birth came forth with this drawing that day in 1610. It feels proper to suggest that maybe now we have done enough preparation to complete the end, rest, and at long last collectively conceive the whole future expressed by this new possibility.
On a more personal note, one hundred years after the the 1914 Christmas Truce, I walked through the night on pilgrimage on the road between Ypres and Messines, Belgium. All through the night, Orion enlightened the landscape, just as it did on Christmas Eve 1914. An actual new possibility, a birth of peace among enemies, came forth. In light of history, maybe it was the birth of the European Union under a celestial aegis of restoration.
The Orion Trapezium, appears as a golden star in the update of Galileo’s sketch below. The image is a remembrance of my pilgrimage between Ypres and Messines, Belgium through the night of Christmas Eve to the dawn of Christmas Day in 2014. I am in the picture as the small figure on the road all the way to the right near the word, Messines. This region of our winter sky is a birthplace of stars. Some of those newborns are surrounded by polyps, rings of material from which solar systems are formed. Each winter for the next billions of years, it will announce the strength of beauty and stamina for new life, birthed, lived, and ended, within solar systems. This is the galactic mode of becoming which is now so common in our films, like Rogue One and Arrival. This is the Creation Story of the Age of Magnification. Ours is a 4.56 billion year old solar system orbiting within a 13.6 billion year old galaxy within a 13.82 billion year old abundant cosmos.
3. Understanding more deeply: in Wilhelm’s I-Ching this capacity is related to the Receptive, symbolized by Earth.
…the dark, yielding, receptive is the primal power of yin. The main attribute
is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of The Creative
the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does not combat the Creative
but completes it . It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast
to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal…
Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the
spiritual world and the world of the senses. But strictly speaking there is no
real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship
between the two principles. In itself of course the Receptive is just as important
as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this
primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and
led by the Creative; then it is productive of good.
Another masculine-toned way to describe this is to feel into. It was his skill as a lens maker that set Galileo apart from his peers, his capacity to shape and polish glass. It’s skill with glass taken as a metaphor that offers us a hinge into what is meant by understanding more deeply. We can continue now with Hillman’s description of seeing through to begin. He wrote in Revisioning Psychology:
…seeing through requires all four so-called steps, and all four may simultaneously proceed. We tell ourselves a justifying story as we penetrate inward by means of ideas. Or an idea may start us off psychologizing, or a fantasy about an event may prompt the moment of reflection and the search for something deeper. In regard to the first step, dreams–which are themselves attempts to gain a vantage point other than the usual daily one–show the relative moment by any of several motifs, Changes of physical position and attitude can be metaphors for seeing through. To psychologize, we need to ‘get closer’ or even to ‘back off” for a different perspective or to look at things from a new angle. Other motifs are: turning lights on or off, entering, descending, climbing up or fleeing to gain distance, translating reading or speaking another tongue, eyes and optical instruments, being in another land or another period of history, becoming insane or sick or drunk–all which are concrete images for shifting one’s attitude to events, scenes and persons. Watching images on a screen or making images with a camera also present modes of psychologizing.
In the introduction, I shared Hillman’s words about glass:
But best of all is glass. 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.
Consider again this first sketch that appeared in Western literature that announced the death of a literal interpretation of Christianity’s Divine Father Above. There are 4 clues presented that are worth examining more closely. The first clue to follow is that this image is in the negative. The celestial light-sources are drawn in dark ink while the darkness of the cosmos is expressed in the light of the page. We are looking at a negative expressed to the individual reader through the privacy of a book. From this page onward, each individual was given an inner authority based on the unique connection each has with the daytime and nighttime mind. For the past 400 years, we have each been stewards for our own inner treasure of the dreaming nighttime mind. We are all called to individuation. The archetypal person who returned through this image where light is dark and dark is light was the Sacred Clown, who speaks in opposites, in contraries, whose roots in the absurdity of infinite depths of meanings bring humor and freedom, cathartic healing. The literal mystery of the cosmos is that it defies all narratives so profound is its mystery. This is absurdity in its healing form – an absurdity of deeper even more mysterious meaning. The cosmos itself forever whacks lazy consciousness with its zen stick.
Though his art appears 350 years later, it’s possible to pry open a renewed understanding by taking inspiration from Magritte’s Surrealist paintings that honored the clownish healing depths of absurdity. His tableau, La Trahison des Images, (The Treachery of Images) featured the image of a pipe juxtaposed with the words, Ceci n’est pas une pipe.
(This is not a pipe), is spoken in paradox, like a Zen kaon.
In that same spirit is the window over the doorway in John and Yoko’s Imagine video that featured the words, This is not here.
Looking again through the lens
Is the message in the negative?
— Akasha am I.
Was it written in absurd Surrealist paradox, 3 centuries before Western culture could take it in?
In Western mythology, the return of the archetypal person of the Sacred Clown, who speaks in opposites, in contraries, whose roots in the absurdity of infinite depths of meanings bring humor and freedom, has been ushering in a cathartic healing of fathers and sons. In our founding myth, there was castration event where Saturn, the son, (Chronos=Time) was given a blade by his mother in order to castrate his father, Ouranos (Eternity). This image in the negative of Orion is the return of Ouranos, yet, in the form of his original wholeness, as a cosmic father- trickster figure. It’s impossible to castrate this joyous primal infinite father because his manhood always grows back, bigger and better than it was before, and more mischievous/healing/restorative.
Over the next centuries, it will be through the ‘nothing’ of the empty space of this sketch through which an expanding transformation of soul will occur. The reason I use the term, father, is because of the way this unseen nothing inseminates and inspires whole realms of our cultural imagination that was previously un-touched. Is the nothing which inspires expanding transformation of life literally true or psychologically true? The answer is, “yes”. Notice here the blending of empirical, sensate fact with psychologically livable experience. Where you find blending like this is where the mythology of our times is alive and well. For men, this healing is complete when they know from direct experience that their sexual manhood is profoundly sacred. (Phallos)
The second clue is the unification of the apparent surface (exteriority) with the previous unseen light and darkness (interiority) of the boundless depths. This was sketch was the first image of what it is to ‘see through’. Whether understood as psychologizing and/or as awakening within the dream, magnifying has been the soul’s primary calling since 1610.
It would be in the 20th century when the concept of Eternity unified with the surface was transposed into the idea of the 4th dimension, a space within which all times exist simultaneously.
Salvador Dali expressed a way to imagine the 4th dimension/eternity by using a 4 dimensional cube called a hypercube. His best-known of these paintings is, The Sacrament of Last Supper:
Marcel Duchamp expressed the 4th dimension by imagining a nude descending a staircase in 3 dimensions from the point of view of a 4-dimensional awareness.
Chagall, in a similar approach showed all parts of a story/myth/dream occurring as a simultaneous single image in his White Crucifixion
Picasso and Braque expressed the 4th dimension by portraying a subject viewed simultaneously from the point of view multiple space-times:
In indigenous art, the union of surface and depth was never lost. This is the way of understanding where a work of art, song, architecture, etc. is living.
In the West, the practice of sacred geometry and how it reflects the harmonic nature
of music, is another way of understanding to pry open this second clue.
With Duchamp, the single 4-dimensional observer is noting the motion through space-time of the subject that appears as simultaneous. In Cubism, the subject is single and the 4-dimensional observers are multiple and simultaneous.
The third clue for understanding more deeply appears as the lack of angels and G-d with Christ at the Father’s Right Hand. As catastrophic as theocide would seem, it’s helpful to remember that the wisdom teachings the world over describe the necessity of being able to make the perceptual shift from a literal understanding to a symbolic/mythic one. It’s also helpful to remember how, the world over, Divinity always dies through some loving self-sacrifice in order to be nourishment for all life and for the new beginning to come.
This is a central theme all through Campbell’s Masks of God. The animal, the grain of corn or wheat, the king or queen, always self-sacrifices to feed the future. The notion that there is a God who sacrifices himself, a Goddess who sacrifices herself in order to become the divine food for the people, endures and recurs from age to age. Since 1610, with the divinities and Eternal within ourselves, the sacrifice is of ego-consciousness upon the altar of the unconscious depths, bringing the mind to rest upon the heart, quite often through the heart’s labor suffered for the Beloved.
Wisdom teachings encourage us to make a subtle, yet crucial shift in emphasis in how we understand Nietzsche’s God is dead to, God is sacrificed. It’s mythologically more common for the Immortals to sacrifice themselves in order to nourish the future.
Eating and digesting the Immortals!
The first time you read of such an act, is too much to take in. However, Jung and Campbell are very good on this. First, there is the not-so-savory human activity of the past of eating another person. It was done in order to get his or her power. If you watched the film, District 9, there is the odd scene where the villain wants to eat the arm of one of the protagonists. He wants to eat his arm because he wants the power of that arm.
In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the soul of the ruler is told that s/he will see divinities rise up before her/him and that those divinities should be eaten.
In mythic thought, To eat and digest is to become.
Perhaps this is why the Eucharist is eaten in the Christian mythology. The message is not to worship the Christ. The message is to become a Christ yourself. The lowly manger, neglected by the many is the human identity. Secreted away within each individual is a new and unforeseen Christ who goes by our own name.
The full awareness of this kind of “I am” requires all 4 layers of consciousness. It’s possible here to see the inherent danger with such a teaching because if the understanding is restricted to the personal identity of daytime awareness alone, the human ego can behave like a willful tyrant who has the potential of consuming the whole world.
However, if the sense of “I” can be harmonized at all levels, human flourishing occurs. (Fideler, 1993) This, second, harmonized “I”, which the Greeks called, The Harmony of the Sun, is very difficult to achieve, but easy to recognize by the impact on the world for such a person is a peace-maker who can see Christ in all others, even the most rejected. The compassionate, illuminated person is an archetype (Olin Hitt, 2011) found in all traditions, where in the depths of the inner, there is a felt relationship with all the life of the planet, even the cosmos. Remember too that the word, harmony, requires 2 or more. The Harmony of the Sun can only occur in relationship
– where 2 or more are gathered.
I’ll offer questions to close this section. Did it require 2 persons to bring forth what the Greeks named Christos? This has been a debate for centuries, but, a gift in this life is that I have learned about the importance of a mutually beneficial balance between masculine and feminine. This lesson has come through praying with the Canupa, the Sacred Pipe, where everything masculine and feminine in the universe is brought together for the blessings of wholeness.
The 2 who brought Christos into the world named Yeshua Christ and Mary Magdelene Christ?
Would such a message resonate better with their (Yeshua and Mary’s) own tradition where Shekinah, the Bride, is in union with her Beloved? Could the body be his and the blood be hers?
By the word, ‘divinity’, in the text above, I mean spirit as an archetypal influence from the collective unconscious or un-dreaming mind, as Campbell invited us to imagine.
– a psychologically experienceable (gnostic) presence,
motion, invisible breath, that carries meaning. Jung
wrote of this: “Spirit, like God, denotes an object
of psychic experience which cannot be proved to
exist in the external world and cannot be understood
rationally. This is its meaning if we use the word
“spirit” in its best sense.”
[“Spirit and Life,” CW 8, par. 626.]
“The psychic manifestations of the spirit indicates
at once that they are of an archetypal nature –
in other words, the phenomenon we call spirit
dépends on the existence of an autonomous primordial
image which is universally present in the pre-conscious
make-up of the human psyche.” (Jacobi, 1970)
“The archetype of spirit in the shape of a man, hobgoblin,
or animal always appears in a situation where insight,
understanding, good advice, determination, planning, etc.,
are needed but cannot be mustered on one’s own resources.
The archetype compensates this state of spiritual deficiency
by contents designed to fill the gap.”
[“The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales,” CW 9i, par. 398.]”.
In it’s simplest form, spirit = meaning. Yes, our empirical cosmology has dismantled the Sky Father with his Son at his Right Hand as literally ‘up there’. The profound gift of Jungian, archetypal, transpersonal, spiritual and ecopsychology has been to protect and nourish the meaning of Sky Father as a psychological reality, an enduring reality in soul.
Thankfully, the metaphorical import of lights that are at a great distance from waking awareness was not lost. — there are deep long enduring points of consciousness (eyes or scintillae) in the depths of the unconscious, surrounding daytime awareness on all sides, that we can know directly as a psychological reality that is also mirrored by empirical reality. Also, while our disenchanted cultural ways have sponged away all meaning from the horizon, in the indigenous practices, this has not occurred. Over the years in participating in Earth-based ritual, it is the persons of the Earth and Spirit worlds that I have re-awakened to. A foundational teaching of the structure of the sweat lodge, as I was taught, is that it is a map of consciousness.
Human beings sit in the middle of the lodge. Human beings sit the middle of all that is.
There are 16 vertical “ribs” of 8 union of opposites which complement each other. There are 4 horizontal layers. Those horizontal layers map the invisible world. The layer closest to Earth is the message-bearing quality synchronistically experienced in the Beauty of the world. I think of my friend John, and suddenly 2 crows come flying into the tree nearby. John’s Spirit Name is 2 Crows. The layer that is just above the first represents the Spirit world where there is still a quality of identity.
Those are Spirits that we know personally. It can be an Ancestor or even an beloved deceased pet. Another friend felt his grandfathers sit next to him in the Lodge, for example. The 3rd layer is the Spirit world where the Beings are collective and anonymous – those Spirits are called angels in our culture, but they too, are animals and plants, stones, rivers, etc.
My first sweat lodge teacher was sick for 10 years after serving in the Marines in Vietnam. After sitting in therapy and taking all the meds at the VA, he found his way to a sweat. During his first sweat, he felt a bear sit down next to him. This experience repeated and healed him over time. An experience like this, of a bear who is invisible, but felt, is of this 3rd layer. At the top of the lodge is the 4th circle, which if you look at it from below, is an 8-pointed star. This is the most comprehensive, yet simplest spiritual experience – Union. It is known by Presence and Silence – Once you have known this experience, the effects are that you recognize that all of Creation is radiant with this very same Presence and Silence.
That human beings sit in the center of all that is means that the lodge is a sphere and half of it is under the ground. The 4 layers that are visible in the above represent the beyond. The 4 unseen layers beneath us are the within. Experiences of that which holds us from beneath are experiences of becoming. It’s possible for human consciousness to shape-shift. If you would film this with a hidden camera in a lodge, it still would like like persons sitting in a circle in the darkness around glowing hot stones. From within, however, it is possible to become Crow, to be Grandfather, to become Bear, to become Presence and Silence. This kind of ecstatic ritual experience has a curative effect.
During a vision lodge I did with my second lodge teacher, Alex, I became a stone. In our culture, this is called, knowledge by identity. It is the secret teaching inside the mathematics of Phi, the Golden Mean. We can become anything that is – this is part of the true freedom of being a human being sitting in the midst of all that is. In this style, the deepest way to know anything is to become it for awhile.
Between me and you, I think there is some of this present in our heroine epidemic – could there be an un-met desire to become a heroine that is being attempted in a culture that is materially rich but spiritually impoverished?
If you get the app SkyView, you can, of course, raise it to the night sky and find the names of stars, yet also galaxies, nebula requiring magnification. (surface-depths) However, it also has the remarkable capacity to see through the planet to the starry heavens on the other side of Earth. In the hands of an increasing public, direct empirical knowledge of being surrounded on all sides by limitless depths full of points of light is also our mythic ground. I think this is what Giordano Bruno dreamed. I know it’s been contested, but Neil deGrasse Tyson’s clip on Cosmos about Bruno’s dream says this.
I think this version is closest to the correct understanding because only a direct connection with spirit, as Bruno described, gives you the kind of endurance he displayed before the terror of the Inquisition.
That the individual human soul would from 1610 on become the power of the Immortals is another way to say that each person has an archetypal unconscious, as Campbell’s Chapter 10: All the Gods Within You. It is also a way to express the apotheosis (becoming a god/goddess) of the human soul, which, believe it or not, became one of the doctrines of the Catholic Church in 1531. (Hillman, 1975)
The fourth clue is the incompleteness of the sketch. Galileo wrote that the stars he saw were innumerable. He couldn’t draw all the stars he saw in his sketches. There is a voluntary silence expressed in this which represents the ‘silence of the adepts’ where those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know, as well as an invitation to look through the telescope yourself to see what else is there.
As I write, my dreams each night respond in ways that allow me another angle, a negative view from “below” my daytime mind. Below, in this sense, means on the other side of the planet as it turns away from the sun, though I still am allowing for the infernal, shadow tone of the words, “negative below”. The influence it has on my is that the inspiration is ‘inside’ my awareness now. At night, my awareness is “inside” that inspiration. After writing about the enduring psychological experience of Sky Father, I dreamed the following night: I am climbing an embankment at sunset. In the growing darkness, I see that there are 2 snakes that have come out for their nocturnal hunt. I am worried that they are Copperheads so I step in a way to avoid them. As I try to balance, I reach my right hand into the air. From above me, I feel a hand grab mine and it lifts me over the embankment. I say, “Thank you.” Just as I begin to walk further, I wonder if the hand is still there? I raise my hand again and again an hand grasps mine from above. It is a familiar hand that feels like Dad’s. The sky hand lifts me off the ground up into the air, but gently so I am not afraid. Carried along by the hand of my father, I sail out over the landscape of what looks like a small New England town. The beauty of the flight is exhilarating. I sense that I should not look up to see if the hand is visible or invisible.
I shared this dream because in it, knowing the right hand of the invisible father is a living experience in soul. The effects of protection, exhilaration, flight and perspective are all present. Even though the Sky Father has not existed as a literal understanding since 1610, the living mythos endures. After dancing my first time as a Sun Dancer in 2015, I had the experience of my father, who died in 1995, coming to me as the wind. I experienced the person of the wind. Since then, for me, The wind is my father.
4. To Celebrate and Acknowledge What Is, Was and Is Coming to Be: To truly dwell within the current cosmology, all humanity is of equal value. All life is sacred.
The photo above is the most recent update of Galileo’s Orion sketch of 1610. This is the Orion Nebula, birthplace of stars. Those who studied this magnification using an infrared telescope are astounded by the sheer number of stars being born. Collectively, we have been invited into a new way of knowing that our own souls are this vast and deep. This is just a small installation of the revelation going on all around us since the beginning, but at a greatly increased (magnified) rate since 1610.
In this new time to be celebrated. A culture of Magnificat – collective Beginner’s Mind in service to the All — If we can manage it, implies immense human flourishing where individuality, nourished by the collective, enters an unexpected, inspired brilliance.
The challenge of de-colonizing is to release into the past any doctrine of being a chosen people or agent of any form of manifest destiny. Religious dogmas, like the 1493 Papal Doctrine of Discovery that encouraged Christian Europeans, later, Americans, to dominate other peoples, also are to be released into the past. To truly de-colonize, we acknowledge the forgotten indigenous stories, songs, spirits, medicines, rituals, the sacredness of the land beneath our sidewalks. It is appropriate to be sensitive and teachable as regards the violence, the genocide committed by of our European ancestors (for those descendants of Europeans, those who have benefitted from the land taken). To atone means to ask for forgiveness in hopes of returning to right relationship. Atone also means to attune, to enter into harmony with together.
Ecopsychology coined the term, ecological unconscious. This is a good description of both the unconscious forgotten history of the land where we live, but also an unconsciousness of the sacredness of all life in the ecosystem. During my own shamanic illness of July, 1992, one of the lessons was for me to return to right relationship with a creek that had been buried in the housing development where we lived. While it seemed that each time it rained, our back yards had problems with flooding, what was actually going on was that the creek that had been buried was rising up. Malidoma Some described a visit to a psych ward where he saw spirits of mountains and rivers attempting to contact those who were suffering. Over the years, I have experienced enough of the sacredness of the Earth to put forth the idea that where we forget the sanctity that was carefully stewarded by the people here for centuries, we suffer a form of psychological restlessness, bad dreams and disturbances in the house. I think this is because we lack the rootedness into the primal powers right where we live.
Look again at the 2 examples of Cleveland and St. Joseph where you find the patriarchal grid imposed on lands that were once held in deep reverence by human beings.
There is another grid that is present in the colonial plattes above. It is just across the river and is a form of organizing structure that is inclusive as opposed to being exclusive. It is life-nourishing as opposed to being life-consuming. It is an invisible structure of wisdom that is also the beauty in plain sight. If you were to cross the Cuyahoga River in 1796, or the Missouri River in 1849 and go there as a student who would like to un-learn the patriarchal approach, you would become a disciple of the ecosystem in the Earth-school. If you read Sebastian Junger’s book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, you would read his stories of settlers who left the patriarchal structure of the colonies and found a more joyful life among the natives. They did not want to go back.
The idea that forms the basic structure of life across the river is beyond containing because it is rooted in the depths, the dreaming mind, the undreaming mind, the Silence, the Great Mystery of the starry heavens. However, it is symbolized this way:
There many variations of the Medicine Wheel, but at the heart of them all is the concept of a life-rhythm, a most ancient pattern that repeats whether it be the pattern of a day, of a year, of a lifetime. This older way of seeing helps us ever return to right relationship and into balance with the person who is Earth.
It is both inner and outer, for a human being is also a person who is Earth. It reminds us to not stop at the boundary of human awareness. Every living being, and in this structure, everything is alive, is a person who is Earth. Living in this mindset allows for a resilience in life, at this point, un-imagined in the history of the patriarchal West.
The collision of the patriarchal grid with the way of the Medicine Wheel is happening at this time at Standing Rock where the people are pushing back against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Go to Google Maps and put in Pine Ridge Reservation, zoom in from above until you can make out the green rectangles. Those are most often cornfields. If you stand there in person and know the older way of life, you can see before you how the way of one crop, a mono-culture, harms the life around it. Surrounding those single crops are ecosystems of more than 1000 sacred plants, each with its own teaching, song, story, relatives, healing capacity. It takes millennia to enter into a relationship
of deep understanding where you know the teachings, songs, stories and healing. The colonial mindset looks at land through a single eye of productivity – a self-righteous idea of what it means to be productive, a producer for consumers.
The way of the Four Directions, Earth, Sky and Centerless Center always restores you to health and life. The historical record shows it. After 500 years of the colonial experiment, it is evident that when people find healing here in America, the teachings always begin by stressing that the way of the Europeans is not healthy and the older, more sober ways, must return. It is the pattern: Pontiac, Handsome Lake, Tecumseh and the Prophet, Black Hawk, Wovoka, Crazy Horse, the 7 Fire Prophecies of the Anishinabe — all of them.
Seen in this light, consider that the 12 Step Recovery Movement is itself the return of the Medicine Wheel through the 12 steps. This is a guiding idea in the Wellbriety Movement that merges 12 Steps with the return of indigenous wisdom and forgiveness for the colonizers.
Now that you are aware of the difference between a colonial grid and the Medicine Wheel, it’s important to know that the Medicine Wheel, like Earth, has an axis that is vertical, it unifies Earth and Sky – Grandfather and Grandmother. The colonial grid was also imposed on the sky. I presented the 88 unit sky grid set down by Delport in 1930. Remember how when he completed his sky grid, he used the same system that was in place the past 18 centuries?
That grid looked like this:
Here, again, I would like to emphasize that we have yet to fully depart from Ptolemy’s cosmology because the way we work with the stars has not changed since 150 CE. This 88 constellation sky grid of 1930 is just as flat and imposed as the colonial grid that binds the Earth. It’s as if we have been living under a soul deadening sky by without knowing it.
This is another reason why the recollection of the Gods and the Sacred Earth is required now in order to heal our chronopathological ways. Hillman is worth repeating now:
The occupation — or is it vocation? — that emerges from our work in these pages is one
of recollecting the Gods in all psychological activity. This is what archetypal
psychology implies at its most fundamental level, and why archetypal psychology is
necessarily nonagnostic and polytheistic. The images to which it turns and which
give faith in psychic reality invoke the powers of religion just as images have
always done. By entering the imagination, we cross into numinous precincts. And
from within this territory all events in the soul require religious reflection.
The Sky, too, is a Sacred Ground – The Urground – aka. Great Mystery, aka. Wakan Tanka, aka, Name Beyond all names, aka. Brahman, and so on. It’s an archetype, which means that it can be activated if we approach in a proper manner. In the same way that we live upon an ecological unconscious, so, too, we have been trying to survive beneath a cosmological unconscious.
In my dad’s lead in A.A., he shared that before he sobered up, he would come home from work and stay up late at night having some drinks. When his inner suffering was most intense, he would sit with our dog, Kelly, out on the front porch under the stars and look at the moon. He said, he would keep wondering why, after achieving all the marks of success he was told to achieve, did he feel so alone?
His observation porch was beneath the flat and soul-dead sky grid. He sat upon land that saw the last of the Wyandottes disappear to the West on their Trail of Tears on the flat and soul-dead Earth grid.
When we care for our Ancestors, we seek to answer their unanswered questions. I think that part of why my dad felt so alone, even with all the marks of success, was that he was sandwiched between the ecological unconscious and the cosmological unconscious with no cultural helping hand as regards the message of magnification:
Dear Dad and All My Relatives,
When all the worlds lined up, you came at the right time into this world.
You are the Beginner’s BodyMind of the Source of all that is.
You are the Sensual, Beautiful, Immanent Presence faithfully with.
You are the embodied life who labors to birth what has never been.
May you delight each day in the awe of being and be grateful to live.
May we live together in a way that future generations will find worthy.
The clocks of our souls are to be set to 13,820,000,000 years.
The space-time we are in currently contains 2,000,000,000,000 galaxies.
Your Gift of Life invites you:
1. to see through the apparent to the depths within and beyond,
2. to amplify,
3. to understand more deeply,
4. to acknowledge and celebrate what is, was and is coming to be
May our Presence bring blessings in the space-time fabric of the cosmos,
and and so too all life that we bring forth.
And whence is this to us, that we would participate with the Mystery?
May we ever hear the Call, may the sacred life in us ever awaken
May our knowledge bring goodness: May there be a beautiful future
brought forth in a way that generations to come shall find worthy.