Saturday, November 26, 2005

work in progress - Quigley in Exile: Notes from The Land of The Dead

-for my wife

With love and enduring affection to our blithe spirit friend, a Magical Animal with one blue eye and one brown eye, who danced with us for a year and brought exquisite joy to the simple everyday pleasures of life during a difficult passage. Then, just as land was in sight, she disappeared into the night.

Author's Intro Personally, it is a simply a matter of knowledge & experience, sensing the world unfolding at the turn of the millennium, personally unfolding to physical aging as well, and finding the monk walking the same bank of the river as the physicist. Einstein first put it that both were cosmic explorations of similar dimension and that the religion of the future would be based on personal experience. We have nothing else, and as we age and pass through our lives, the world changes as our perception of the world changes. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, ("charming and bothersome," physicist Hisashi Nando, calls her) quiet and alone in her box, we are never sure if it will still be a Cat when we visit it, because when we go to look, we change the nature of the Cat and likewise when we look, we change the nature of the Universe.

Surely, Einstein is the Monkey God in this Universe as it opens to the new Creation. My view is that he was deity for five months in 1905, and thereafter, only an average commoner among the avante garde of Europe and America and with all its most predictable and dated opinions, social visions and prejudices. In later life, he even entered perhaps into what psychiatrists call Persona Madness – a delusion of omniscience and invincibility; a vision of himself as a kind of humanist deity among Sweeneys. As when he solicited Sigmund Freud in a letter to go with him to exploit their fame and form an international “intellectual elite” to influence the flow of human history, and to protect the world as he saw it from government and politics (Freud had the better sense). And again when he solicited Franklin D. Roosevelt to borrow from his cosmic observations and make with them an atom bomb. (“My biggest mistake,” he said later.)

But this is characteristic of Monkey Gods – worlds fall before them and new ones are born. They change the Creation, but have no control over the changes which will occur because of their speculation. Surely Einstein is our own Karma Dorjee, Rimpoche and itinerant ascetic enthroned in mid-air, under whose resting gaze mountains pitched and tossed, buildings shook and cracked, the sun fell like a thunderbolt and another sprang up in its place. Einstein considered himself to be such a disciple, like those from the heights of The Land of Snows.

Our age opened with a mushroom cloud – a phallic projection to the heavens as we’d not seen or
comprehended before, and from there we go forward. This image will mark the turning of our times, just as the waning age continued
onward with a singular vision of a hole in the earth opening up – the vulva of the Earth Mother – and a sacred spirit drawing forth and ascending whole into the world, penetrating for two millennia & rising out into time the journey and the vision of the Christ. The journey of the Christ out of the Cave brought the West into the world. Einstein's vision brings it to the East and into the Universe.

I’m so happy ‘cause today I found my friends their in my head . . . and I’m not scared now my candle’s in a daze ‘cause I found God.
- Kurt Cobain

Patterns of history in and of themselves are neither objective nor subjective, they simply exist like streams and mountains exist, and like the ancient and archaic ancestral streams of an individual’s life, they meet the person in the present. The stream of history carries the individual into the river with it making the autobiography at one with the river. And the generation joins history and the individual as well, an entity in itself, bringing the flow to an occasional torrent.

Those of us who were born at the end of the Second World War have seen a great transition as we were born into a Western nation, and now we live in an American world civilization that is neither East nor West, but part of both. The Dalai Lama is as popular a figure today as television bishop Fulton J. Sheen was in my father’s day. But until recently, higher education taught an approximation of how we see ourselves as exclusively Western. In lesser schools and even the great universities, a world literature course would consider Shakespeare, Moliere, Goethe and Dante. The world consisted of the English, the French, the German and the Italian. And most of the professors were themselves unfamiliar with the Mahabharata, the Upanishads or the Tao Te Ching. Likewise, English and American history would be taught thus; U.S. history, English history, Greek and Roman history. And the driving force that formed our world evolved from Newton’s vision sometimes misunderstood and Calvin’s doctrine of a determined universe. But that has changed rapidly to a more organic view influenced by our journey to the East and the East’s journey to us, as historian Arnold Toynbee said it would. It is a view more confluent with the other discoverer of calculus, Gottfried Leibniz, who saw in his discovery of calculus as similarities to the I Ching.

A hundred years back and even at war’s end, scientists were soldiers of Reason at war with what they saw as the “illogical” world of Christendom and the East. Those soldiers are still in the trenches, but at the highest levels, theoretical physicists, astronomers and chaos theorists compare their work to Tibetan Buddhism and the earliest Christian theologians. Even to the layman, new revelations of black holes and multiple universes bring to mind the dream visions of St. Anthony and the Cosmos vision paintings of Hildegarde von Bingen. These relationships were noticed early on by the greatest of physicists, Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr and Wolfgang Pauli in particular, but until recently, conventional education has proselytized in opposition to them.

The new influences have changed the very fabric of our society. Today only the most provincial would criticize the Harry Potter books as “contemptible” as the social critics greeted J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings when it first appeared in print in 1954. To that crowd, still at the helm at most major universities, the runaway success of the Taoist karate opera, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in Chinese no less, with sub-titles, must have been more shocking than Sputnik.

In the 1950s there was little interest in myth, and in some quarters outright hostility, but since then Star Wars and Pokemon have introduced children to zen and the Tao. It was one thing to denounce these themes as “Orientalist” (a social condemnation) in the 1920s and 1930s and fascist in the 1950s, but something quite different nowadays. The road East can no longer be blocked. There will be a new understanding to a young generation. Perhaps Tolkien will also have a “butterfly effect” all his own and his time is yet waiting to meet him.

Now there is a broader outlook but today ideas are presented as diverse goods, benign and unconnected by theme or mythical relationships - the Tokugawa Period, kokopelli, Jane Austen, Islam - varied fish stalls in the marketplace of ideas. This journal is in opposition to way of learning. That view evolves from seeing (looking, watching) rather than being. It is like going to the mall and shopping for things to put in your head. It makes it impossible to find one’s place in the Creation. Nature does not live in boxes and life transcends academic discipline. Instead it is like a river changing course when least expected.

Six hundred years ago the Europeans sensed God as a Woman of the Earth and emphacized Her in devotion up until the 14th century. Rising to the Renaissance God was projected as a Man in the Sky, and as in this image of a robust Jesus by Michaelangelo's in the Sistene Chapel, the Earth Mother was intentionally cast aside (to better serve his "Warrior Pope" the artist noted in his journals). But history as it is generally taught to children and students fails in linking the present with the past properly and instead conjures an imagined past. We, the English-speaking people, did not emerge from the Romans. We adopted Romanism and adapted to it after conquest, just as the African slave adopted Christianity after two hundred years of submission in America. African-American scholars have become well aware that the history of the European Christian is not the history of the African who was taken to America in slavery, but the white still looks upon the Roman imperial overseer of northern Europe as if he were the natural ancestor. Robert Graves, who wrote a history of pagan England, is avoided and considered an anomaly.

Perhaps historians don’t like to think that their ancestors were once pagans. Certainly the Power Principle finds its ancestor in Augustus Caesar and its adherents prefer the marble statue and bronze breast plate to the quiet hills and falling water of the Earth Mother, but it is a fanciful adaptation of the past to fortify the moment. Caesar and the Christian churches present half of the story of Europe. The Earth Mother is the other half. It is she that is responsible for the 6,000 years of world history that preceded Greek and Roman influence and it is she who gave the primary psychological impetus to the European into the 12th century. And she has been discarded.

This journal considers archetypal trends and public events and phenomena that have a psychological effect on history and that manifest change and cultural transformation as we enter the new century. U.F.O.s are psychological events but so are Elvis and computer games. But so are Nelson’s sea victory over Napoleon and Hemingway’s suicide. Indeed, all human endeavors and history are psychology events. All of these ideas and came to my mind between millennia, practically all at once in the last three months of the past millennia, and they were finished in sketches at 4 am in the lobby of the City Suites Hotel in Chicago, while my wife and kids were upstairs asleep in the first hours of the new millennia, Jan. 1, 2001, technically, the waking hours of the first day of the Age of Aquarius. My thought was that Chicago was the right place to be as well, although it was just by accident that we were there – se just brought the kids to the city for a Christmas break. Just as I finished my notes the clerk came rushing into the lobby in a fluster, pointing to the ceiling. Something had happened on one of the floors above – a sink or toilet blocked or a pipe broke and water came rushing down the walls and ceiling. I thought it appropriate for the opening moments of Aquarius.

The change in a day and the change in millennia are periods which Tibetan Buddhism calls “betweens.” The between is said by Tibetan monks to be a place that resembles death in all but the passing of the body out of history. Robert Thurman, describes the between in his translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The chant “Oum” represents the full life cycle; three united sounds representing the three phases of the life; childhood, adulthood and old age, followed by an absence of sound representing death. Separating each sound is a ‘between,” a space/time gap. The fourth “note”, the absence of sound, representing death, is also a “between.” The life force is generational and betweens are generational as well. The War Babies – people my age - are now ending their second “between.” The Sixties, starting with the death of JFK and finishing with Woodstock, (roughly starting at age 16 and ending at 21 for my group) was the first between, the gap – individual and generational -- or overlapping time between childhood and adulthood.

The gap between millennia is a between as well. As said earlier (The Purpose of This Journal, October last). From this point of view Death is a space/time place – a place like this place but not like this, and the space between living events like Platonic months (they cycles of the zodiac) is a Death and a Birth as well. That date of the ideas, conditions, dreams and thoughts discussed in this journal sparked from a long sequence of dreams and coincidences in the mid-1990s. The Land of the Dead is the between we have just experienced between millenia and it ran in my approximation from roughly 1994 to 2005. In the dream and vision of some Native American shamans from the Lakota region, this Death and Birth was marked by a sign – the birth of a White Buffalo. Miracle, the White Buffalo, was born in the very last days of the Age of Pisces on August 20, 1994 and died in the Age of Aquarius, on September 19, 2004. Miracle was born to a white farmer and lived out his life in Janesville, Wisconsin. Native American shamans see an Awakening in the arrival of the White Buffalo and claim that the living spirit which guides such things sent the animal intentionally to a white farmer.

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