Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Returning - work in progress - Quigley in Exile: Notes from The Land of the Dead - The Thunder Gods Pt. 3, Returning (out of sequence)

" . . . in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength . . ."
- The Book of Common Prayer

"I have looked into the eye of this island and what I saw was beautiful."
- John Locke on Lost

Recently, this past week, one of my smaller children was instructed to think up and create a painting in school and he brought home a lovely picture of a giant eye descending from the sky and falling into the sea. It reflects a change in the world. Dreamers today dream of returning to earth. 50 years ago they dreamed of Eyes flying and rising into the Universe, and that is the psychic core of UFO dreams, visions and apparitions. (Photo courtesy of Carlo Cuman, Giuliano and Michele Edoni and Giampaolo Salvato.)
Here in the age of cyber faith there are on-line astral temples for Elvis worshipers and the Keanic Circle, whose supplicants see Keanu Reeves (Whoa!), the Chosen One of the popular Zen hit The Matrix, basked in “most excellent light.” C.G. Jung made the observation that Eyes in the Sky are characteristic visions of our shift forward in time. This is the one singular difference in the culture of Aquarius, represented in the zodiac by an air sign, and that of the earlier age. It is the shift in the plane of consciousness from the earth and sea, to the air. In Aquarius, we are all sky walkers, not just Luke, Lieutenant Ripley, Captain Kirk and the remarkable hybrid from one of the last Star Trek spin offs, Seven-of-Nine.

This is apparent with the advent of flight, space exploration and TV and radio broadcast in the past century. The first intrepid footsteps into the Age of Aquarius occurred in the 1890s thereabouts. They brought a perception of ourselves as flying in the air and sent us producing devises to fly.
The epochal journey of Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins (“three men in a boat” – see The Three Celestial Ones in this blog, January, 2006) to the moon in a mission named for the sun god Apollo would mark the great change in July, 1969, just as the Beatles were winding down and John Lennon had married Yoko Ono in his white suit at Gibraltar. Norman Mailer described the interior of the VAB [Vehicle Assembly Building] which built the space craft as “the antechamber of a new Creation.” He dubbed himself Aquarius for the telling of the tale of the flight to the moon in his book Of a Fire on the Moon. And in the spirit of the day, the LEM module, which was used as an escape devise and saved the lives of astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert on the troubled flight of Apollo 13, was named Aquarius.

But comfort level with air and space-based consciousness did not come easily and perhaps the heroic achievements of the Apollo astronauts were necessary for it to be realized. The astronauts were travelers not only to the moon but to a new condition of human consciousness. Psychologically it was, as Armstrong said, “. . . one giant step forward for mankind.” Earthrise, seeing the earth rise above the lunar horizon from the moon, would change how we saw ourselves in the universe, wrote mythologist Joseph Campbell, much like Columbus’ journey materially dispelled mediaeval notions that the world was flat. The change would manifest itself in the culture -- the world culture -- at one very precise moment, and history can look back and look forward from that moment.

It was in the mid-1970s, and film critic Stanley Kauffman called it an epiphany, “an event in the history of faith.” It was Stephen Spielberg’s movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

This movie could be considered a psychological companion piece to Star Wars, where one floats freely in space as if in the interior of the mind. It clears the deck of the tenacious Star Trek state of mind, viewing outsiders in outer space with hostility and suspicion like an imperial conqueror going to other planets.

Close Encounters is distinctly different from Sci-fi movies of the 1950s, movies like War of the Worlds, in particular, in which great “eyes” suddenly appear in the cities and blast the cities away. The Fifties response of course was to blast the aliens away before they blasted you, transferring a hostile enemy from Nazi Germany to the U.S.S.R. to an ambiguous alien invasion in ten short years.

C.G. Jung was fascinated by U.F.O. sightings in the 1950s and as early as 1946 he began to collect data on people who had “visitations.” He wrote the monograph Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies in 1958 and it was translated from the German the following year and included in volume 10 of his Collected Works, Civilization in Transition, in 1964. The learned establishments viewed it with as much trepidation as they did little green men from outer space (air-wise projections of the Green Man there, for the Age of Aquarius – Osiris had a green face as well), but as always, the hippies and the art students got into it right away.

Jung wrote in his monograph, to the chagrin of the mainstream of American psychologists and behaviorists of the day (and today):

“As we know from ancient Egyptian history they (UFOs) are manifestations of psychic changes which always appear at the end of one Platonic month and at the beginning of another. Apparently they are changes in the constellation of psychic dominants, of the archetypes, or “gods” as they used to be called which bring about, or accompany, long-lasting transformation of the collective psyche. This transformation started in the historical era and left its traces first in the passing of the aeon of Taurus into that of Aries, and then of Aries into Pieces, whose beginning coincides with the rise of Christianity. We are now nearing that great change which may be expected when the springpoint enters Aquarius.”

The circular space ships are eyes, said Jung. It is the eye of God, the eye of Horus, the sky god, projecting down from the heavens.

Characteristically, when one would see or dream of a UFO, Jung reported, he or she would report a light so bright that it burned the viewer’s face. This represents a confrontation with the unconscious with great impact on a people who have been away from the unconscious for a very long historical period. (First day awake. This is the music of Pink Floyd as well.)

Jung reversed the flow. We shouldn’t fear these things, he said. We should welcome them. And when we do we will begin to engage the new consciousness.

I don’t know if Stephen Spielberg was listening, but I expect he was, as his breathtaking movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, followed just that prescription. Spielberg’s screenplay is based on the book The UFO Experience (1972) by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who portrays alien encounters as optimistic, benevolent and loving. The dreamers in the movie follow their visions and welcome the intruders fro Outer Space rather than blast them away.

This was followed by the Spielberg movie E.T., screenplay by Melissa Mathison - a well-known contributor to Tibetan Buddhist causes. E.T. is the story of the sweet-faced extra-terrestrial and it was accompanied by a famous poster featuring the Hand of God touching the little alien, like Michelangelo’s picture of God touching Adam’s hand in the Creation scene on the Sistine Chapel. (By the end of the century aliens are less than divine and we have become completely acclimated to critters from outer space. In the Spielberg blockbuster a few years back, Men in Black, they pass for ordinary citizens in New York City, although the guardians, the Men in Black, cast a wary eye upon them. The Men in Black in a folk tale of science fiction lore. Three Men in Black are said to accompany an Aquarian messiah, a space alien, much as the three Magi accompanied the Christ – see The Three Celestial Ones, January, 2006))

That would set the course. From then on out, Outer Space would be an element we would feel familiar in. Indeed, from then until the end of the century all epics would take place in the air or in space. The Star Wars sage presented a Taoist and Zen primer and would carry for 30 years. There are specific references throughout the series to Zen, Buddhism and Taoism. A “Quigon-ginn” for example, is a Taoist avatar. John Wayne, the 1950s man on horseback, would be the last of the earth-bound heroes.

No one understood the sci-fi alien encounter genre better than Chris Carter, creator of The X Files, whose agents, Scully and Mulder, are often between worlds, earth-bound and alien, and aliens are sometimes viewed as ourselves on another astral plane or ourselves evolved from DNA from an extra-terrestrial species. The X Files, which took some of its impetus from Harvard psychiatrist John E. Mack’s book, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, progressively moves the genre away from us against them, to a situation where we somehow share something with the aliens: I am he. (Like Santa and the Beatles, The X Files has a shadow production; Chris Carter’s darker Millennium, broadcast during the same period.)

David Duchovny, educated at Yale and Princeton, brought some learned credentials to the show, and in one episode to which he contributed script, there is a retelling of Dostoyevski’s chapter in The Brother’s Karamatsov, “The Grand Inquisitor.” In the X Files version – as in the sci-fi folk lore of the three Men in Black accompanying a new avatar - Christ comes back as an alien and is imprisoned, effectively making the jump to hyper space from the Piscean Age and one of its last, great Christian thinkers and novelists, Dostoyevsky, to the Age of Aquarius.

For the record, in the final episode of The X Files on May 19, 2002, in which Scully and Mulder are reunited, the Cigarette-Smoking Man reveals that the world will end on December 22, 2012. That is, the “alien invasion” -- which suggests the new consciousness taking precedence over the old -- will be completed on that day. In the final scene, Scully and Mulder realize they are seeking the same thing - he as a UFO investigator and she as a Roman Catholic. Mulder takes Scully’s cross in his hand that she has been wearing on her neck throughout the series. It is interesting that it is exactly that worn by John Lennon in his last pictures with the New York City basketball shirt. It is interesting because in the week in which the Age of Aquarius actually began – Dec. 31/Jan. 1, 2001, the X Files featured an episode written by Mulder with a messiah figure who directly suggests John Lennon.

The ultimate Aquarian episode and one of the best is The Blessing Way, in which Mulder is left for dead by the Cigarette Smoking Man, then taken to the Land of the Dead where he meets his father, and is raised again from the dead or near-dead and “born again.” He is guided through the Land of the Dead and brought back by a Native American shaman during the birth of the White Buffalo on a Wisconsin farm, a Native American sign of new Awakening and a harbinger of Aquarius.

The X Files’ final regular series episode with Scully and Mulder together is a virtual Nativity scene with alien visitors, complete with guiding star and the Lone Gunmen presented as the three Magi bearing gifts. The child Scully bears is ultimately given up for adoption to a family that lives under the flag of the White Buffalo.

The child is the Chosen One, the Aquarian, and the White Buffalo is the symbol of Aquarius. (Both Close Encounters and The X-Files have tag lines that suggest religious faith. The movie poster for Close Encounters reads, “We are not alone.” In The X-Files, there is a poster of a flying saucer in Agent Mulder’s office that reads, “I want to believe.”)

By the turn of the millennium, but even the tenacious Star Trek crew has turned the corner. One of the very last chapters, Andromeda, staring the dreamy, New Age Kevin Sorbo as Dylan – no authoritarian Captain Kirk, just Dylan – the ship’s commander, casts its crew as “keepers of the way,” a page right out of Lao Tsu and the Tao te Ching, although the commander still has a tendency to break heads.

The desire to conquer the universe is a phantom. The Star Trek series began coming “back to earth” in the 1986 feature Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home, the self-paroding tale of the Enterprise crew coming back to earth in the 1980s to save the whales, one of the most engaging of the series, directed by Leonard Nimoy. After his retirement from the series William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the long-running series, wrote a book called Get a Life about Trekie cult followers. Trekies later became the subject of the hilarious spoof Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver, who played Captain Kirk’s dark cosmic sister, Lieutenant Ripley, in the Alien series. Trekies aside, Captian Kirk and Lieutenant Ripley are both Master Aquarians working their way through the murky ambiguity unknown of an unknown future. “To boldly go where no man has gone before”; that would be to the new millennium.

A few years back a movie in the original genre of War of the Worlds was made called Independence Day. It was a classic right-of-passage movie in which the whole world united in a manly way to blast an alien ship out of the sky that looked a little like a giant flea about the size of the Empire State Building. Presidential hopeful and World War II era veteran Bob Dole attended the opening with Reagan-era culture czar William Bennett (where was Agent Smith?) to publicly declare it “a great movie.” Which it was. But not the kind of thing you see that much of nowadays.

This year Spielberg has made a remake of War of the Worlds and in my opinion it is his best effort and his best movie ever. The Spielberg remake virtually returns the genre to its beginning, folding time back to 1954. It is shot with some dense-looking color process that looks like the movies Jean-Luc Goddard and Francois Truffaut made in the early Fifties with only the barest-of-bones film making equipment. The Extraverted and heroic engagement of the characters reaching out to the aliens in E.T. and Close Encounters is over. The film has more the anxious tempo of Jaws – crowds milling around and tension and chaos building on the streets. It is a father-and-son movie of generations moving in different directions. The movie confirms my observation that somewhere in the interior of the psyche, everyone in the world is either a Yankee fan or a Red Sox fan (see “The Center of the Earth,” October, last). In this movie the father wears a Yankees cap and the son wears a Red Sox cap. And the movie is a journey movie going from an (Extraverted) New York state of mind, with its fast energy and power principle, to an (Introverted) Boston state of mind – staid, provincial, and conservative. When we leave the action and passion of New York behind, we return to ourselves and first principles and begin to cultivate again our own garden. When father abandons his singular adventures (in the sky, in fact - he drives a derrick high above New York City, much like the aliens’ Tripods), he returns home to family.

We are a land-based species and cannot live in outer space. It should be the most obvious fact of human nature. By the beginning of the new century we have returned to earth (and to its quality of the Unconscious, Middle Earth). Spielberg's A/I (2001) is a high-tech retelling of the Old World Pinochio story (the myth/dream of an old man at a spiritual loss and carving his Savior/Messiah out of a tree, like the Prague Golem story of the 16th century Rabbi Loeb). In Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and The Matrix, there is no longer the belief that the alien is really out there, in space, and that we should go after him, but that space fiction and its inhabitants are representative of an inner condition, as it has been right along in the Star Wars series. And in the magnificent animated feature film, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, (2002) we re-enter the natural world of earth, air, fire and water that we left behind when we said good bye to Abbess Hildegard in the 12th century. Perhaps like Haku, we will remember our name.

As all things looked to the sky in the 1950s, today all paths return to earth. Tolkien’s Rings series enters a state preceding the maedeval period, State of Heaven brings us Christian on Islam war is the 12th century, the best seller The DaVinci Code, contains riddles of a far earlier day and Harry Potter. The Deathless Child of Old England, returns us to where we came.

My experience with dreams and extraordinary dreams in the past few years tells the same story. One woman for example, dreamed of gold coins coming from the Pope while a contemporary suitor offered her only coins of chocolate covered with gold paper. Another had a similar dream with old gold marked by St. George’s Cross, again, in opposition to something new and trendy. And my astonishing dreamer friend – a woman from Australia - dreamed this on August 13, 2005:

 
I am outside the earth’s atmosphere, or in another realm.
I am sitting in a tree that is growing there.
It has leaves made of thin gold foil, and it looks
like a cherry tree. I don’t want to be there, the sun
shines all the time, there is never any night - it
feels surreal and I want to get home, or to earth,
I feel I should not be there. I try to climb down,
but every move I make takes me further up the tree,
not down. I decide that the only way to get down is
to jump - I think that this must be my destiny, and
if this is so, God will not let me die. Next to me
I find a piece of rope that is made of three ropes
twisted together. I pick it up and it is alive, and
purple and pulsating. I jump out of the tree, holding
this live, pulsating rope. I am falling into the
atmosphere and the wind is rushing past me, I am falling
like a skydiver without a parachute, freefalling. I look
up at the sky now and it is a beautiful combination of
pink, blue and purple, like a magnificent sunrise.
I also see that the rope that I am holding is attached
to the sky. I know eventually that it will pull me to
a stop if I keep hold of it. Every thing goes black
suddenly, but I am still aware, I am not dead, I rest
for a while. Then I see a light. It is as if I am
looking through a window into a light room from the
darkness. I see a dresser in the room, and I think
to myself 'this is my grandfathers dresser', I watch
the room for a while. Then suddenly my whole body
feels pressure, and there is pressure on the top
of my head. I am pushed past this pressure and
I suddenly see a baby being born, and I hear a
baby's cry and then I realise that the baby is me
and it is me that is crying and I am the baby -
I sense that I am a boy and my self awareness fades
and I become the baby and I am crying.

The dream here is a vision of Andromeda, Mother in the Sky, who holds the two fish dangling at the end of the rope. She visits us again. This is a cosmic dream of the new Creation – born female last time, this time a boy.

Our space journey did not begin with Flash Gorden or Captain Kirk. It began with Columbus. These are the sentiments of the most American of poets, Walt Whitman: “Lo, soul, seest thou not God’s purpose from the first?/ The earth to be spann’d, connected by network,/ The races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage,/The oceans to be cross’d, the distant brought near,/ The lands to be welded together.” The passage would be to the sun and the moon and all of the stars and to Siruis and Jupiter. Then: “After the seas are all cross’d (as they seem already cross’d)/ After the great captiains and engineers have accoomplish’d their work,/ After the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the geologist, ethnologist,/ Finally shall come the poet worthy of that name;/ The true son of God shall come singing his songs.”

Note: The tv show Survivor and all of its knock offs are "returing to earth" stories as well. These are modern myths, like the UFO phenomena of the 1950s. Tv's epic drama Lost, in the same vein, presents new life on a new place. The place is Earth, but we are unfamiliar with it and its full nature. We are new residents on the Earth (see Quigley, my political blog). If, as C.G. Jung said in his essay, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, that the UFO phenomenon was a harbinger of times ahead, and in hindsight it appears to have been true, then the same is true of these new stories as they occur at the beginning of the millenium. They lead back to Earth. They are Creation Myths for the new millenium.

Monday, November 28, 2005

work in progress - Orange Monk: Salvador Dali's Dream of The Second Coming of Christ - the white grand piano

Since I read C. G. Jung’s essay, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies years ago I became interested in the change in millennia, particularly after my mother died in the mid 1990s and I had a series of extraordinary dreams for a period of about two years. We were, of course, at the same time approaching the end of the millennium and there was a good deal of hysteria (Y2K) and hubris/denial (the Dow Jones averages will go up to 35,000 and Jesus is coming!) – classic symptoms of Fin de Si├Ęcle. Jung wrote in the introduction to his essay that although few people would hear him, it was his duty to prepare those few who would hear for coming events which are in accord with the end of an era. “As we know from ancient Egyptian history,” he wrote, “they are manifestations of psychic changes which always appear at the end of one Platonic month and at the beginning of another. Apparently they are changes in the constellation of psychic dominants. . . . (etc., etc.) This transformation started in the historical era and left its traces first in the passing of the aeon of Taurus into that of Aries, and then of Aries into Pisces, whose beginning coincides with the rise of Christianity. We are now nearing that great change which may be expected when the springpoint enters Aquarius.”

The Platonic months are two-thousand year periods which run in sequence through twelve signs to a complete Sun cycle of approximately 24,000 years. The Age of Pisces, mentioned by Jung above, was marked by the Star over Bethlehem and its Avatar was the Christ. This is the 11th era, the Age of Aquarius. My own speculation is that Platonic months present a conundrum, but it is possible to see and understand these eras by viewing the key figures at the turning points. In each there should be both a representative Introverted Figure and a representative Extraverted Figure. One will ascend and the other will recede depending on the character of the era approaching. sign, the first in a new sequence, starting a new 24,000-year cycle. We just recently entered the Aquarian age at the turn of the millenium.

The Platonic months as I understand it themselves alternate between introvert and extravert, or yin and yang if you prefer, giving the passing eras a sense of alternating chirality (“right-handedness” and “left-handedness”) you might say, and forming a kind of cosmic turbine. Pisces, the receding age, was a yin or introverted age (marked by a water sign and the ascent of the Earth Mother in Europe to Rose Moon in full flower by the 12th century (See Robert Graves, The White Goddess). The definitive mark of Pisces could well be the Rose Glass, like that at Riems and in The Cathedral of Notre Dame on the Ile de La Cite and it could mark the era as the pyramids mark the Egyptian age.

The Ascending Age of Aquarius is a yang or extraverted age, (marked by air and in Jung’s essay, visions of UFOs). At the turning of Pisces, Christ represented the Introverted Force while Caesar represented the Extraverted Force. The Christ/Caesar paradigm will flip in Aquarius and the Caesar figure should ascend (the age is marked by the rise of the Titan – a governor - did somebody say Arnold?), while the Christ/Introverted Avatar will fall into remission and disrepair.

This is in opposition to popular notions of the Age of Aquarius, which come largely from the pop culture of the 1960s in which hippies were compared to the early Christians. Canadian writer Robertson Davies, who cited Jung in much of his writing, pointed out that the Aquarian Age would be an Authoritarian Age (and if the hippie movement resembled the early Christians it was as a waning force – See Davies’ essay “What Will the Age of Aquarius Bring?” in his book, One-Half of Robertson Davies). Technically, in the Greek configuration ofAquarius, the traditional role of water pourer - curing, healing and creative awakening - the feminine experience has been usurped by a male, Ganymede.

I’ve looked at a lot of music, literature and paintings from over the last millennia and most all significant European painting represents a quality of consciousness which rises from the earth to the sky, yin to yang. But the very most significantThe Magic Flute. Ingmar Bergman’s movie version (1973) illustrates the European journey from the Earth Mother in her dark phase – Kali, the Death Mother – to the cosmic masculine principle, and thus went the Western world with Mozart in 1791. I see the nature of the age ahead as one in which East meets West (“One world, many paths,” in the phrase of the Woodstock guru Swami Satchidananda) in the immediate future and the Introvert/Extravert figures emerging as both likely Europeans but both emerging in the New World – the North American continent - and both beginning to reveal themselves perhaps in the near future.

I recently posted some thoughts on a UK art forum about the sad case of the Piano Man in the British mental institution and his penchant for drawing grand pianos. Last Spring a man emerged soaking wet with no identification in England and refused to speak. When he was placed in a British mental hospital he drew only pictures of a grand piano and, according to a local parson, played snippets of John Lennon and some classical music. At the same time I’d been talking to an Australian friend about her dreams and sending her pictures and paintings of Salvador Dali to help explain some of the images and archetypes in her dream. Although I began my adult life as an art critic, I hadn’t noticed before that Salvador Dali’s pictures easily yield to archetypal analysis of dreams devised particularly by C.G. Jung, but abstracted from all or the world’s cultures. I noticed as well that Dali was obsessed by one particular image for 30 years: a white grand piano.

From the horse ascending to the sky from its own corpse in 1930 (“William Tell”) to a Buddhist monk in orange robes descending from a horse in the sky 40 years later (“The Second Coming of Christ”), the pictures easily yield to archetypal dream analysis and tell one story. The horse is important. It is Pegasus, the harbinger of Aquarius. Pegasus takes to the sky and kicks the mountain, freeing the curing and creative waters of a new age. Dali was certainly aware of this symbolism, as there were no social conventions opposing the occult and the zodiac as there are today in the West, and artists and even more conventional architects were knowledgeable about the Inner Life and often incorporated zodiac symbolism in their work. Dali was heavily influenced by Jung and his style of painting, which he called Paranoid Critical Method is clearly an application of Active Imagination, a strategy of dream analysis pioneered by Jung.

Thinking of the Piano Man, I began looking back at some old Dali and Magritte paintings from the 1930s, and saw that the white grand piano was the key to metamorphic transformation in Dali’s work. In a nutshell, this is what I discovered. There were three alchemical periods (in which artists delved into the occult and searched the Unconscious for inner truths) in the last century and they are all interrelated: the first, consisted of William Butler Yeats, Khrishnamurti, Madame Blavatski and the Theosophists as core influences in the late 1800s.

The second, the Surrealists in the 1930s, consisting of artists Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Max Ernst as core members. There was a third fleeting but vastly more influential group; the small grouping of John Lennon and his friend Stu Sutcliffe, the English art students who started The Beatles, and the German avant garde photographer and artist friends, especially the photographer Astrid Kirchherr (who gave them the Beatle hair cuts) and the photographer Klaus Voorman, whom they befriended in Germany before The Beatles became fully formed.

All three of these groups are connected by C.G. Jung. Jung wrote about the Blavatsky/Khrishnamurti grouping as a new “fledgling religion” in the West and Jung and the Irish poet Yeats are linked through alchemy studies – (see Yeats Mythologies for intimate writings on the Alchemical Rose and his doings with the occult). In the middle group Magritte and Dali are symbiotes – the same symbols occur in both their work at the same period.

Dali’s work seems directly influenced by Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, particularly in their study on nuclear explosion and the shattering of mind-matter, as a turning point in world history. Dali’s work in the 1950s and later often pictured things in exploding molecular parts. The nuclear explosion is a turning point in Dali’s work, but what follows is not his best work, and much of it seems to be applied from the Jung/Pauli theory that the first splitting of the atom was a critical juncture in the transformation of human consciousness. Dali’s later work, much of it illustrated with the Alchemical Rose and alchemical animals, seems derived as well from Jung and Yeats’ thinking with some startling exceptions.

With The Beatles, only Sutcliffe and Lennon (and to some extent George Harrison) appeared deeply interested in the artist’s Unconscious and the occult. On the cover of the famed Sgt. Peppers album are Sutcliffe, Aldous Huxley, Aleister Crowley, Sri Yuktewar Gigi, Sri Mahavatara Babajii and a few other gurus. Top row center is C.G. Jung. The final words of The Beatles as a group was, “Here comes the Sun King,” which should at least evoke some curiosity about the shift between passing age and ascending age at what was conceivably the century’s strangest moment.

The Beatles and the portion of the Sixties zeitgeist which relates to these issues is very important as the group’s rise reflects a change in world culture due to what Jung called the ascent of “the American tempo.” It was populism at its peak and perhaps at its possible best. In earlier art and culture movements in the early 1900s and even just before the war, well-bred and educated people like Yeats and Aldous Huxley could influence a gentry which held sway in politics. And in earlier times a folk ditty would float among the peasants for 200 years before it got to Johan Sebastian Bach.

No longer. The post-war period brought primal American folk influences – Little Richard, Hank Williams, Elvis – direct, unadorned and without interpretation to a vast world youth consumer mass-market, creating a global youth culture. Likewise in the Sixties. The influence of this on world culture has been enormous. The context is largely forgotten now if not to say repressed by a countervailing political culture, but at one moment in 1968 as public opinion turned to rage against the war in Vietnam and turmoil and riots racked cities and campuses around the world, John Lennon, in white suit and lengthy beard, penning a peace anthem for demonstrations in Toronto, was perhaps the most important man in the world. The change it brought has been enormous. The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may have been freaky and startling to suburban America in 1967, but today, the Dalai Lama is as popular and uncontroversial a figure as Mother Teresa.

As far as I can see, these three periods belong together, but to date as far as I know, no one has put them together. Interested parties might read William Strauss & Neil Howe’s great book on history and generational identity, The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendevouz with Destiny, to see how historical periods alternate in Introverted and extroverted manner. These three periods fit in the Strauss/Howe pattern of alternating historical cycles in the Introverted arcs.

What I find most interesting is that the Theosophists and the Surrealists in hindsight can be seen as prelude to the atomic bomb, first exploded in July, 1945. The rise of The Beatles (only to the point of Sgt. Peppers and the journey to India) as a post-script to that event. Looking back, the Surrealist paintings are an archaeological gold mine of the psyche of the times, if the pictures and paintings are viewed as images from the Collective Unconscious.

For example:

This picture by Salvador Dali is similar to William Butler Yeats’ Aquarian messiah in the short story “The Gift of the Magi” in the book Mythologies – it tells of the Aquarian as a Unicorn born to a prostitute in a brothel in Paris – a vision of the Cosmic Self. (It is interesting that Yeats’ most famous poet about a negative Aquarian god-king, “The Second Coming,” which features a Rough Beast Slouching Toward Bethlehem, is well known and was universally quoted at the turn of the millennium, but this positivethe three Aquarian figure is virtually unknown.) In Yeats’ story the “Magi” are three old Irish fishermen who lead the protagonist to the Unicorn. The three male avatars – Jesus and Magi, Abraham and the three Visitors – are marked here by three trees (Magritte has the three trees as well). The three trees as well suggest Yggdrasil, The World Tree, and its Three Realms which contain the Nine Worlds of Northern European folklore. Jung showed interest in Yeats and his group (including the prescient actress Maude Gunn, I would think). Yeats was deeply influenced by alchemy and wrote of the Alchemical Rose throughout “Mythologies.”

Dali’s “Meditative Rose” (1958). This image, symbolizing the “rosy cross” was key to Yeats. It appears in much of Dali’s work in the 1950s and later as the symbol of Christ and the Baby Jesus. This clearly seems derived from Yeats.

(photo of Dali’s Temptation of St. Anthony)

Jung and others speak of Pegasus as the harbinger of the ascending Age of Aquarius. The flying horse begins to rise out of Dali’s work in 1930 and it rises out of a grand piano. This is “The Temptation of St. Anthony” (1946). I would think that this is derived as well although it is an interesting painting. This “Temptation” is an Aquarian vision with Pegasus leading Rome (the spirit center of Europe in the waning Age of Pisces) on elephants to the sky and to a new place in a desert which, in the context of his other paintings and interests in this period appears to be Texas (he painted this in the United States). Dali would know from Jung and others that Aquarius is an air age in the zodiac configuration.

But what is most interesting psychologically in Dali and Magritte is their work in the 1930s. It is dense, broody, almost oppressive. The pictures come purely from the unconscious and are full of foreboding. Most interesting, key elements are the grand piano (particularly in Dali) and the alchemical lion.

Here is an old catalog picture of the alchemical lion from earlier centuries – the vegetation spirit of the earth which devours the sun. Look below how this figure enters into the dense work of Dali and Magritte in the 1930s.

This painting by Dali, “The Feeling of Becoming” in 1930 illustrates something rising from the unconscious “beyond the veil” as the shadow of the alchemical lion is approaching.

This one by Dali in the same period (1931) is called “Diurnal Illusion: the Shadow of a Grand Piano Approaching.” It shows the same foreboding – fear of something ahead rising from the Unconscious.

This is an extraordinary picture titled William Tell (1930). The Adam and Eve figures on the bottom suggest Primal Yin and Yang – they appear in a later picture sending the two out of the Garden. The tomb stone thing to the right with water flowing from it suggests new life coming from the unconscious (The Land of the Dead begins to feature prominently in Dali’s work hereafter). The vision rising from the primal Adam and Eve is of a man sitting at a grand piano with dual nature (he has two heads attached to each other, like a Siamese twin); the one a contemporary piano player, the other the alchemical lion. Pegasus rises from a dead horse carcass on top of the grand piano. This is the archetype of Krishna stomping on a dwarf, his old ego, and lifting out a new god to begin “the creative dance or life and death.” (The Beatles likewise, rise out of their old skins for more creative work on Sgt. Peppers and leaving behind wax figures of their former selves.) Here Pegasus, symbol of transformation of the millennial Age of Aquarius, takes first flight.

Life behind the curtain – the unconscious – presents Primal Yin and Yang – and newly manifested Adam and Eve sent to the world under the shadow of Alchemical Lion in a continuation of the last picture, this one named, “The Old Age of William Tell.” (1931).

Another grand piano in 1931 with a door open to the Unconscious and a woman (Anima) figure outside. I understand the six “Lenin” heads to be the equivalence of the “six grandfathers” in Black Elk – the six male figures being the six male signs of the zodiac or the half of the Universe which is Yang. The waning age of Pisces is yin, Aquarius is yang. (See miss3's dream at the beginning of this journal - visionalry dreamers and artists sense approximations: Desquarts/DeCoursy. Lenin/Lennon, perhaps. Consider also that Dali opposed the Marxist influence of Data and may have considered Lenin as a representative of the Dark Side.)

Dali’s “Invisible Man” (1932) (from the Unconscious) – the interior forms in the room (suggests inner life) as the shapes of table and chairs form a grand piano.


Dali’s “The Enigma of William Tell” (1933). What remains of the piano is now white – a white grand piano. The elongated figures in all of Dali’s work can suggest a being in space/time – someone who has dual nature, human/cosmic. Is William Tell a reflection of Jung influence? Is it the same Cosmic Self which Jung experienced as “another Swiss” in his great dream of a fountain in Liverpool?


Critics who take the artist at face value often miss the point. Artists love to freak out the squares and critics are seen as Buffy’s Mother (that would be Joyce) – suburban and mediocre. Critics over time generally denounce Dali for this picture “Necrophilic Fountain Flowing from a Grand Piano” (1933). This is a masterpiece. It brings the grand piano to perfect balance – the Tree of Life grows from it and the curing waters of Aquarius flow from it. The grand piano here has dual nature; one on the earth and a second piano image below made of water (the unconscious).


Dali’s “The Invisible Harp,” (1934) - here is the grand piano clearly in the land of the Unconscious with its dark “Traveler” – he who lives on the dark side of human experience and brings us gifts from the Unconscious – the Cosmic Self. There are other grand piano pictures but they begin to lose their dense unconscious quality in 1934.

Pegasus arrives in the sky in 1944 (Untitled - Dali).

And in the same year (1944) the grand piano makes its way through the curtain in Dali’s “The Red Orchestra,” finding its way out of the unconscious and into every day life.

Here is “Red Orchestra” again in 1957, the same year he painted “Rock and Roll” and actually tried to market a perfume with the name Dali’s Rock and Roll. The piano here is white (and timeless, like ancient ruins) and has emerged from the curtain (the Unconscious) and the curing waters of psyche flow from it as from the tomb in “William Tell” and live in it. The color red suggest the passage from the Unconscious to the world is complete.

The Shadow/Self figure above in “The Invisible Harp” appears with Magritte as well and many of these images appear in both Magritte and Dali, but Magritte’s picture seem to simply state the archetype, while Dali’s dance the Unconscious dance, like Krishna’s dance of “life and death.” Here is Magritte’s alchemic lion on a bridge between millennia with its magnificent Dark Aspect.

This is Rene Magritte’s “Homesickness” – 1941. Magritte makes the journey with Dali, but longs for home all the way. It is the same with Lennon and McCartney – Lennon continually presses the journey Across the Universe, while McCartney well complements his voice and vision and goes along, but throughout, he desires to find the Long and Winding Road that leads back homeward. (C.S. Lewis and C.G. Jung also had visions of the lion which suggest a transmutation of the Christ in this same period. See "The Lion of God . . . December, 2005, above.)

For Dali, the bridge to Aquarius is crossed and here is the Aquarian. This painting is called “The Second Coming of Christ,” painted in 1971. The alchemical feature of the double dragon seems applied (from Jung’s studies), but in the sky Pegasus, the Aquarian harbinger, is pierced and is passed through. He disappears into the clouds. The avatar is a Buddhist monk with hermaphrodite features, suggesting transition from yin age to yang age.

And here is Magritte’s grand piano:

Magritte’s The Happy Hand (1953). Magritte’s piano is ringed in a perfect circle, the sign of psychic wholeness. Yet it has a Shadow, a reflection on the glossy top of the piano suggesting that the circle can be broken.

The white grand piano that became the icon for John Lennon’s last moment in public life and the very last end of The Beatles and Lennon’s public life journey. The white grand piano has become a talisman for the song “Imagine,” Lennon’s swan song. At an impromptu TV memorial for the victims of 9/11 featuring popular artists and musicians such as Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and U2 and Robert DeNiro, the centerpiece event was Neil Young singing Imagine on a white grand piano. The song Imagine takes its theme from Tolstoy’s late work on pacifism and religion. Lennon’s final impression was: Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you can, no hell below us, a brotherhood of man. This is precisely Tolstoy’s religious conviction at the end of his life. He advocated abandoning identity with a particular prophet as one would abandon nationalism. In one of his last writings on the subject Tolstoy clearly states his opinion: “Attributing a prophetic mission peculiar to certain beings such as Moses, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad, Haha’u’llah as well as several others is one of the major causes of division and hatred between men.” Imagine also owes to The Gospel of Thomas (as do other of Lennon’s bits from late Beatles – The White Album). Elaine Pagel’s book Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas states that in Thomas’s account, Jesus challenges those who mistake the kingdom of God for an otherworldly place or a future event: Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, Look, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will get there before you . . .” In other words, Imagine there’s no heaven. (It is interesting that this makes the Christ’s view confluent with the Torah of Moses, Eastern Orthodox (Chronos) and zen.)

This is the so-called Piano Man in the British mental hospital who appeared to the world out of nowhere in April, this year. He spoke not but drew pictures of a grand piano and played snippets of John Lennon and classical music. His drawing (at the top of this essay), like Magritte’s, has a shadow and it is contained in a completed circle. Has anyone studied the content of this man’s images? Perhaps he like Lennon, Dali and Magritte has had visions of the Unconscious and they proved to be too much for him. William Butler Yeats said, “What portion in the world can the artist have/Who has awakened from the common dream/But dissipation and despair?”

After Piano Man had been silent in the mental hospital for several months, a nurse came in and said, “Well, are you going to speak this morning.”

“I think I will,” he answered. He said he was from Switzerland and was sent back to his home. They asked him why he drew the grand pianos.

“It was the first thing to pop into my head,” he said.

Into the Occult – In 1964, not long after a religious conversion, Dali painted a vision of a Cosmic John (Untitled [St. John], 1964). He drew it again, this time from the rear, in 1965, a few years before his painting of the Christ as an Orange Monk. It is worth noting that both Dali’s work then andthe clouds on the famous Imagine album (photo by Yoko Ono). Magritte’s well-known painting Son of Man ( 1964) – an Englishman with an apple for a face – certainly suggests the Savior, as the text from the Book of Daniel is a direct reference to the Chosen One*. But in this case, the Chosen One is identified by a green apple – which became the emblem of The Beatles in their middle period (Apple Records). This appears within the realm of the possible in Dali as well. In Living Still Life, 1956, the major elements of the central composition can be seen (as in the slightly modified illustration at the bottom) as the table, the grail and instead of a Host, which represents the Christ at the Sacrifice of the Mass, a green apple. In this picture, like many of Dali's, I get the feeling that he is sincerely following the dream or vision, then throwing in extra elements to obscure the essential theme. It is like the Magritte’s suggested something perhaps of the occult related to The Beatles, who came into their arc of creativity from 1963 to 1968. Commentators have noticed that Dali’s Man with His Head Full of Clouds (1936) looks like a “negative image painting” (something from the Unconscious, not yet manifest) and it has reminded them of John Lennon with his head in I Spy children's books, and not far from The Beatles with the Sgt. Peppers cover. They said they put in pictures of people they really admired, then a lot of people they didn't like at all. (This grail item works through Dali's work as a "dual nature" devise - suggesting two natures; the one earth-bound, the other cosmic.) Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono knew Dali and met with him in Paris six days after their wedding at Gibraltar. An assistant to Lennon reports that Dali thereafter tried to work with Lennon on different project, but Lennon demurred.

*from the Catholic Encyclopedia: In the great vision of Daniel after the appearance of the four beasts, we read:

"I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like a son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom shall not be destroyed.”

The Lion of God . . . I’ve never particularly cared for the C.S. Lewis stories. Was the prose in which I could not become entangled – felt it was an analytical approach to the alchemy of the human soul with a guided exit (Alchemy for Optimists). You always knew the conclusion ahead of time, like with Christian rock bands. Also I considered that it was his Oxford colleague, Lewis, who Tolkien suggested when he wrote in the preface to his Rings book that he never cared for allegory. And as in Lewis’s disturning attacks on Gandhi, his oppositional side always seemed to overshadow his original points. (In Jung's dream below and in this picture, the snake and the lion, like the snake and the tree in Genesis, represent the primal Mother and the Father of Nature and the Universe or the yin and the yang. And if this was a dream of a still youngish man I heard related about a lion and a witch who lived in a closet and the witch dominated the lion, it would immediately come to mind that this man lived in cronic masculine weakness and was unable to fully find his [King/lion] masculine force and fully manifest it as it was dominated instead by the desicated feminine element [witch] which lived there with it - perhaps this is the story of Shadowlands and of England ground down into the ground and out of Empire at the end of two world wars. Perhaps this movie is so popular today as this archetype calls forth a crippled generalized pattern or manifestation. It brings to the fore older men who love war and the idea of war but found not the courage to serve when they were called as younger men when they were needed in war, but spent their time istead in college, in alchoholism and in drug use. The alchoholic, the mother-dominated boy, the negative masculine spirit is Surprised by Joy and finds it fleetingly. The positive masculine spirit naturally unfolding onto the biological path of manhood is Surprised by Sin [Fish]). But as a movie version of his influential work, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe opens this week, I believe it will have a large effect and will draw light and illustration to turnings in the 1950s, some of vast importance, which have been overlooked by the big splash of later years. I think it will have a major impact at the beginning of the new millenium. It is worth noting that Lewis is one of at least four artists, thinkers and writers who had the dream/vision of a Cosmic Lion: Magritte in 1941, Dali in 1930-31, Lewis in 1950, and C.G. Jung much earlier in the century. Two of these, Lewis and Jung, saw this image of the Lion as a transmutation of the Christ to the new millennium. Jung, in a dream vision in 1913, saw the alchemical figure as Aion, the mythological god-king with a lion’s head submerged in the depths of the Unconscious for millennia and now reemerging. I bring it up because my wife, who enjoyed the Lewis books as a child said she was surprised when she first heard of the controversy about Lewis presenting the Lion as a metaphor for the Christ, as she was always taught to see the Christ as a lamb (Lamb of God). That, I think, is precisely the point. With the view of Lewis and Jung, this is entering Aquarius, and the second vision or incarnation of the god-head.

To note: in Hinduism, the Buddha is an incarnation of Mahavishnu, one of the gods of the Hindu Trinity, identified as a lion man. Worth recalling the words and vision of Padmasambhava, the founder of the oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, written twelve hundred years ago: When the iron bird flies and the iron horse rolls on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth, and the teachings of the Buddha will come to the land of the red-faced people.