“The arising and the elimination of illusion are both illusory. Illusion is not something rooted in Reality; it exists because of your dualistic thinking.
If you will only cease to indulge in opposed concepts such as ‘ordinary’ and ‘Enlightened’, illusion will cease of itself. And then if you still want to destroy it wherever it may be, you will find that there is not a hairsbreadth left of anything on which to lay hold.
This is the meaning of: ‘I will let go with both hands, for then I shall certainly discover the Buddha in my mind’.”
‘The nature of the Mind when understood, No human speech can compass or disclose. Enlightenment is naught to be attained, And he that gains it does not say he knows.’
—from The Zen Teaching of Huang Po
I’ve been studying the early sources of zen, which is the Japanese name and Buddhist/Indian sources. I use the lower case there because what is written is not Zen. You can’t really study Zen on anonymous social media sites. But the discussions can be interesting and revealing of our dualitic thinking.
Anyone claiming truth is making a power play.
No word can reveal this, silence enshrines it.
Piercing sensory perception and conceptual thought brings an immediate end to illusion. This is directly seeing and perceiving with the mysterious intuition. This awareness is not exclusive to Zen. Plotinus and Eckart seemed to have come to the same place as the sages.
Hands off, yes, indeed.
I think this is where the best art comes from.
Feeling this fire is one aspect, but walking into it is a whole other experience.
Walking into the fire is an act of self immolation, sacrifice and an overcoming of fear and is maybe the only courageous thing we can do.
No longer bound by talent or skill or lack thereof, but truly transcending these.
I would say walking into the fire is an act of faith as well and opens a portal to nowhere and everywhere.
The raw expression of Jack Kerouac from ‘On the Road’ or the writing of his insane mad friend, Neal Cassady, being western examples.
An enlightened, if sad teacher, Harold Bloom, explored the American Sublime deeply through our literature. I like his thinking on these subjects. He’s a bit too brilliant for me though 😉
Reading Jack Kerouac again and Neal recently and Bloom’s Opus, The Daemon Knows as well as the old zen texts.
Jack and his band of merry fools were maybe Holy Barbarians.
Something in their Barbarian ways speaks deeply to me.
I spent my own wild crazy days on the road.
Now I just enjoy sitting in the garden.
But that fire lifts you up at key times and can consume you.
It is too intense to live in.
The Open Road somehow feels like a quick path to death.
How many artists have been destructively consumed by the fire of their passions?
But our deeper passions can save us.
Compare these artistic shooting stars to the sages who lived to 120.
I can’t say one way is better than the other.
But I’m in no hurry to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Walt Whitman is a mystic poet, one of my favorites. One can be transported in the incredible words of Whitman in “Leaves of Grass” and the poem contained within, “Song of Myself.” One can see he was seeing the totality of life and is filled with a glowing Light and great power, as in Blake. Whitman saw everyone as an expression of the whole. Each a work of art. He tried to remind people how beautiful they were. A leaf among the grass.
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, Nature without check with original energy.”
Whitman and Blake experienced and saw amazing things in being and themselves as part of the whole. They suffered greatly in life and felt the suffering of others deeply. I could read them forever and barely see where they walked. It is as if the Sun filled them with Light, but also the Shadow clearly speaks through them. Each contains Legion voices. They captured I think what it is to be a Human Being captured between worlds. I am moved deeply by them both.
In “Walt Whitman Speaks,” Whitman says about Blake, “Blake began and ended in Blake.” I researched this and it turns out, Whitman was confounded by and then came to appreciate Blake. Harold Bloom, a great literary critic, felt the two were of the same cloth. The falling of America made Bloom miserable. He would despair about today’s world. I recommend a great book by Bloom who loved Whitman, “The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime.” This sublime aspect of Whitman’s time was a presage of our time. Whitman warned us about technology and the age of specialization. Like a hippie version of Ted Kaczynski. Where Ted used real bombs, Whitman used bombs of Love. I love Bloom’s YouTubes. He had a photographic memory and remembered everything he ever read. Amazing to listen to, poetic in his writing and speaking. I highly recommend Bloom.
“Bloom loves Emerson and Whitman but he doesn’t believe them: to him, belatedness is now a permanent condition of man, and there can be no overcoming it—no return, even in America, to an original fullness or freshness or purity of spirit.” —The New Yorker Profile on Bloom – The Prophet of Decline 9/22/02
About Blake, Bloom thought…”The true Romantic, as represented by Shelley and, above all, Blake, looked not to nature—a thing external to the self—to save him but to the world-altering power of his own imagination. Nature was material, and therefore fixed and limiting. Only by struggling to liberate itself from the world entirely—to fill itself with invented mythical forms rather than natural ones—could the imagination be free.” —The New Yorker Profile on Bloom – The Prophet of Decline 9/22/02
The genius of all three of these men drips off their pages and is seen in their art. There is a deep sadness in them all, Bloom the most. Whitman and Blake though saw through the sadness.
Blake invented a form of art combining images with texts, relief etching. The first comics? He had incredible visions. I have a large folio of his work and he strikes me like Jung’s art does in The Red Book. These men have walked through heaven and hell. Whitman wrote, like Blake painted. But Blake’s poetry! My god. Blake was mostly ignored in his time. He said he wrote for his audience in eternity. His visions he felt were real and removed all doubts. Perhaps it was this assurance Whitman didn’t initially like. Blake was a rebel and feared by the establishment. Unlike Swedenborg, Blake spent as much time in the hell of London as the heaven of his soul. For this he has earned my esteem and respect. Whitman felt him dark. But Whitman didn’t like Poe either at first, but in “Walt Whitman Speaks” Whitman comments about writers of his day and confesses he came to like Poe after reading him again and again. He and Blake were so alike, but very different, as Whitman himself wrote.
“Awake! Awake, O sleepers of the land of shadows, wake! expand! I am in you and you in me, mutual in love divine. I am not a God far off, I am a brother and friend; within your own bosoms I reside and you reside in me: Lo! we are one, forgiving all evil, not seeking recompense” (Blake-Jerusalem.,Chp.1,lns.6,18).
Whitman wrote privately after reading Algernon Swinburne’s “William Blake: A Critical Essay”, that while both he and Blake were mystics and “extatics“, the differences between them were vast. I admire Whitman very highly and see in his work a sweet pragmatism that inspires me. How these mystics loved. Whitman took care of civil war wounded and this grew a great compassion in him.
DISCLAIMER: Where there is potential, there is danger. If you call a ghost, you must know how to get rid of it. Beware of unearned wisdom.
I did a recording on YouTube awhile ago, a reading from Carl Jung’s Red Book, recently reposted here. This morning had a very fun interaction with a young man, a butterfly. At least he sounded like a young man. He reminded me of myself, probably more intelligent than I, maybe, 😜
He wanted to share this dialogue from the Red Book with me below. As I had been talking about communing with our Daemon(s)/Daimon(s), your creative will or genius. I think genius is pure will unfettered, powerful and terrible. I’d read this dialogue before. But in a way I felt these invisible creatures of the unconscious were speaking through this interaction to me directly.
We went on for a bit back and forth in the video comments. Reminded me of one of my favorite poems below, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” He was almost as fast 💨 as me. I’d met my match I felt. I was playing a part with him. I was sincere, but I kind of got caught up in the energy of the conversation. It is rare I have found anyone to go toe to toe with my spontaneous style. He was fast. I really enjoyed the flow. I pointed to some practices that had helped me. But I don’t have any answers or questions about the inner Abyss really.
“Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.”
—Robert Frost – “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
The dialogue below is in reference to mythological creatures of the unconscious, the Cabiri. The invisible priests of Zeus divided into Good and Evil groups. Also maybe related or are the machine elves people meet on psychedelics this is a deep ancient hole in our unconscious. This may be Legion in the bible as well.
These are the Gnomes and Dwarves of myth. They were famed metal-workers, dwarfish sons of the god Hephaistos (Hephaestus), who served their father at his Lemnian forge. Like their mother Kabeiro (Cabeiro) the pair were also sea-divinities who came to the aid of sailors in distress. Related to daemons. we don’t know much about them. perhaps related to Atlantean myth.
Perhaps the good Cabiri. A protecting spirit. The belief in such spirits existed both in Greece and at Rome. The Greeks called them δαίμονες (daimones) and appear to have believed in them from the earliest times, though Homer does not mention them. Hesiod speaks of δαίμονες, and says that they were 30,000 in number, and that they dwelled on earth unseen by mortals, as the ministers of Zeus, and as the guardians of men and of justice. He further conceives them to be the souls of the righteous men who lived in the golden age of the world.
In mythology, the current race of Humans is a degraded version, 3rd Age of Humans, 1/4 of what were. Lord of the Rings is based on these myths.
Did Carl reconnect with these beings? The ones people are meeting today? Profound implications if so. I have met these beings inside myself as well.
Carl had a voluntary confrontation with the unconscious through willful engagement of what Jung later termed “mythopoetic imagination”. In his introduction to Liber Novus, Sonu Shamdasani explains:
From December 1913 onward, he carried on in the same procedure: deliberately evoking a fantasy in a waking state, and then entering into it as into a drama. These fantasies may be understood as a type of dramatized thinking in pictorial form…. In retrospect, he recalled that his scientific question was to see what took place when he switched off consciousness. The example of dreams indicated the existence of background activity, and he wanted to give this a possibility of emerging, just as one does when taking mescaline.
Interesting. “The similarities here are undeniable. Jung’s Cabiri work under the earth; while the Machine Elves live underground in a dome-shaped room. The Cabiri are described as mysterious and creative powers, and the Machine Elves can create unbelievable, fractal objects and new autonomous beings, not to mention the similarities in terms of knowledge, wisdom. Those who have visited the DMT realm also often describe encountering jesters, which could also be associated with Jung’s Cabiri as they, according to The Red Book, also lay all sorts of nasty tricks.”
I have seen these fractals myself. I have also met these jesters. What is going on in our unconscious? You had to be initiated in Greece to commune with them. Perhaps the Tarot is an artifact or doorway into the mythopoetic imagination these beings inhabit.
“This could indicate that an ancient pre-Hellenic cult had experimented with altered states of consciousness, either by using psychedelic substances or other meditative and mystical practices that initiated such powerful and moving visions.“
Just old myths, right? Perhaps the DMT realm and our unconscious mind are two faces to the same dimension, which includes infinite vaults of esoteric wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps we ought to frequent this dimension more often, or at least once during our lifetime on this earth, a visit which could unlock deeply-hidden treasures that would help us navigate not only our material lives, but also consciousness itself.
Well, I went and I have to say I feel this realm is more real than real. And the myths say this world Earth/Eden is the best game in town. See the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Make this life count is what they told me. I saw the consequences of all my actions to date, similar to a death review. It woke me right up to how I was wasting my life.
From Carl Jung’s Red Book:
What serviceable forms rise from your body, you thieving abyss! These appear as elemental spirits, dressed in wrinkled garb, Cabiri, with delightful misshapen forms, young and yet old, dwarfish, shriveled, unspectacular bearers of secret arts, possessors of ridiculous wisdom, first formations of the unformed gold, worms that crawl from the liberated egg of the Gods, incipient ones, unborn, still invisible. What should your appearance be to us?
What new arts do you bear up from the inaccessible treasure chamber, the sun yoke from the egg of the Gods. You still have roots in the soil like plants and you are animal faces / of the human body; you are foolishly sweet, uncanny, primordial, and earthly. We cannot grasp your essence, you gnomes, you object souls.
You have your origin in the lowest. Do you want to become giants, you Tom Thumb? Do you belong to the followers of the son of the earth? Are you the earthly feet of the Godhead?
What do you want?
The Cabiri: “We come to greet you as the master of the lower nature.”
I: ”Are you speaking to me? Am I your master?”
The Cabiri: “You were not, but you are now.”
I: “So you declare. And so be it. Yet what should I do with your following?”
The Cabiri: “We carry what is not to be carried from below to above. We are the juices that rise secretly, not by force, but sucked out of inertia and affixed to what is growing. We know the unknown ways and the inexplicable laws of living matter. We carry up what slumbers in the earthly; what is dead and yet enters into the living. We do this slowly and easily; what you do in vain in your human way. We complete what is impossible for you.”
I: “What should I leave to you? Which troubles can I transfer to you? What should I not do, and what do you do better?”
The Cabiri: “You forget the lethargy of matter. You want to pull up with your own force what can only rise slowly; ingesting itself affixed to itself from within. Spare yourself the trouble, or you will disturb our work.”
1: “Should I trust you, you untrustworthy ones, you slaves and slave souls? Get to work. Let it be so.”
“It seems to me that I gave you a long time. Neither did I descend to you nor did I disturb your work. I lived in the light of day and did the work of the day. What did you do?”
The Cabiri: “We hauled things up, we built. We placed stone upon stone. Now you stand on solid ground.”
1: “I feel the ground more solid. I stretch upward.”
The Cabiri: “We forged a flashing / sword for you, with which you can cut the knot that entangles you.”
1: “I take the sword firmly in my hand. I lift it for the blow.”
The Cabiri: “We also place before you the devilish, skillfully twined knot that locks and seals you. Strike, only sharpness will cut through it.”
1: “Let me see it, the great knot, all wound round! Truly a masterpiece of inscrutable nature, a wily natural tangle of roots grown through one another! Only Mother Nature, the blind weaver, could work such a tangle! A great snarled ball and a thousand small knots, all artfully tied, intertwined, truly; a human brain! Am I seeing straight? What did you do? You set my brain before me! Did you give me a sword so that its flashing sharpness slices through my brain? What were you thinking of?”
The Cabiri: “The womb of nature wove the brain, the womb of the earth gave the iron. So the Mother gave you both: entanglement and severing.”
1: “Mysterious! Do you really want to make me the executioner of my own brain?”
The Cabiri: “It befits you as the master of the lower nature. Man is entangled in his brain and the sword is also given to him to cut through the entanglement.”
I: “What is the entanglement you speak of?”
The Cabiri: “The entanglement is your madness, the sword is the overcoming of madness.”
I: “You offsprings of the devil, who told you that I am mad? You earth spirits, you roots of clay and excrement, are you not yourselves the root fibers of my brain? You polyp-snared rubbish, channels for juice knotted together, parasites upon parasites, all sucked up and deceived, secretly climbing up over one another by night, you deserve the flashing sharpness of my sword. You want to persuade me to cut through you? Are you contemplating self-destruction? How come nature gives birth to creatures that she herself wants to destroy?”
The Cabiri: “Do not hesitate. We need destruction since we ourselves are the entanglement. He who wishes to conquer new land / brings down the bridges behind him. Let us not exist anymore. We are the thousand canals in which everything also flows back again into its origin.”
1: “Should I sever my own roots? Kill my own people, whose king I am? Should I make my own tree wither? You really are the sons of the devil.”
The Cabiri: “Strike, we are servants who want to die for their master.”
I: “What will happen if I strike?”
The Cabiri: “Then you will no longer be your brain, but will exist beyond your madness. Do you not see, your madness is your brain, the terrible entanglement and intertwining in the connection of the roots, in the nets of canals, the confusion of fibers. Being engrossed in the brain makes you wild. Strike! He who finds the way rises up over his brain. You are a Tom Thumb in the brain, beyond the brain you gain the form of a giant. We are surely sons of the devil, but did you not forge us out of the hot and dark? So we have something of its nature and of yours. The devil says that everything that exists is also worthy, since it perishes. As sons of the devil we want destruction, but as your creatures we want our own destruction. We want to rise up in you through death. We are roots that suck up from all sides. Now you have everything that you need, therefore chop us up, tear us out.”
1: “Will I m’iss you as servants? As a master I need slaves.”
The Cabiri: “The master serves himself”
1: “You ambiguous sons of the devil, these words are your undoing. May my sword strike you, this blow shall be valid forever.”
The Cabiri “Woe, woe! What we feared, what we desired, has come to pass.”
The Cabiri were the deities celebrated at the mysteries of Samothrace. They were held to be promoters of fertility and protectors of sailors. Friedrich Creuzer and Schelling held them to be the primal deities of Greek mythology, from which all others developed (Symbolik und Mytlwlogie der alten Volker [Leipzig: Leske, 1810-23]; The Deities ofsamothrace , introduced and translated by R. F. Brown [Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1977]). Jung had copies of both of these works. They appear in Goethe’s Faust, part 2, act 2. Jung discussed the Cabiri in Transformations and Symbols of the Libido (1912, CW B §209-II). In 1940 Jung wrote: “The Cabiri are, in fact, the mysterious creative powers, the gnomes who work under l the earth, i.e., below the threshold of consciousness, in order to supply us with lucky ideas. As imps and hobgoblins, however, they also lay all sorts of nasty tricks, keeping back names and dates that were ‘on the tip of the tongue,’ making us say the wrong thing, etc. They give an eye to everything that has not already been anticipated by consciousness and the functions at its disposal … deeper insight will show that the primitive and archaic qualities of the inferior function conceal all sorts of significant relationships and symbolic meanings, and instead of laughing off the Cabiri as ridiculous Tom Thumbs he may begin to suspect that they are a treasure-house of hidden wisdom” (‘~ttempt at a psychological interpretation of the dogma of the trinity,” CW II, §244). Jung commented on the Cabiri scene in Faust in Psychology and Alchemy (1944, CW 12, §203f). The dialogue with the Cabiri that takes place here is not found in Black Book 4, but is in the Handwritten Drift. It may have been written separately; if so it would have been written prior to the summer of 1915.
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