Sunday, 3 May 2009

clouds over babel

The Rosicrucians held that, all things visible and invisible having been produced by the contention of light and darkness, the earth has denseness in its innumerable heavy concomitants downwards, and they contain less and less of the original divine light as they thicken and solidify the grosser and heavier in matter.

They taught, nevertheless, that every object, however stifled or delayed in its operation, and darkened and thickened in the solid blackness at the base, yet contains a certain possible deposit, or jewel, of light - which light, although by natural process it may take ages to evolve, as light will tend at last by its own native, irresistible force upward (when it has opportunity), can be liberated; that dead matter will yield this spirit in a space more or less expeditious by the art of the alchemist.

There are worlds within worlds - we, human organisms, only living in a deceiving, or Bhuddistic, 'dreamlike phase' of the grand panorama. Unseen and unsuspected (because in it lies magic), there is an inner magnetism, or divine aura, or ethereal spirit, or possible eager fire, shut and confined, as in a prison, in the body, or in all sensible solid objects, which have more or less of spiritually sensitive life as they can more successfully free themselves from this ponderable, material obstruction.

From "The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries" (1870) written by Hargrave Jennings (1817-1890). (Googling him now, it seems unclear whether he was a reverend or secretary to Col. Mapleson, the operatic manager, or both. Mutually exclusive? Maybe not, to the Victorians. It has been said that he was also a practicing Rosicrucian and Freemason. And also that he was not. Victorians, eh? Talk about coy.)

The legendary A.E. Waite didn't seem to rate the book. At all. In fact, he wrote "The Real History Of The Rosicrucians" as a 'correction' to it. And it does look like one hell of a read.

However, i find Jenning's efforts (or not - there are people who say it's little more than stream-of conciousness drivel) endearing, for all the reasons Waite slammed it.

It isn't definitive.

It reveals very few (if any) 'secrets'. Right the way through, Jennings practically winks from the ancient ink, insinuating that *maybe* he does know more than he reveals. Or even admits. And this is after flat-out saying he was not an initiate.
(Reminds me of more recent emphatic denials. Can you see where I'm going with this?)

And in other quarters, you can still smell the smoke from the trail this book (shoulda? coulda?) blazed. It is still visionary and inspirational in its forward-marching message regarding gender, sexual equality; the balance and co-importance of the sexes and indeed, the forces they wield and are wielded by. In essence, he meant well, obviously driven (maybe too fast?) in his search for confirmation and coordinates to an ever elusive spiritual zenith.

The World will always scoff at those not thumping their chest from atop their professional mountain. But, I suspect, it is better to be cutting a path through the shadows of the idolized; it is quieter, less pressure and there are always diamonds in the flotsam & wake of the puffed & proclaimed.

But then, that's just me. (Mixed metaphorical mountains and swells and all.)

So, why this picture? why this extract? Why here? Why now?

This is a view I enjoy from outside my new front door. It makes me smile every morning. It reminds me how much i love this city.

It also reminds me how much mankind baffles me. Is money, power - the very ripping, raping and renting of the sky by money - is this what mankind is about in the 21st century?
I had secretly (and even I know with what futility) hoped we'd be able to take a tip from those cultures and religions who say that after a certain age, we should turn our minds and hearts to learning; having made our contributions to the material world.

We have built, we have worked, we have laboured.

Surely now is the time to heal, to learn, to repair, to protect?

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