Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Imperfection of Perfection

The Imperfection of Perfection

When I am working with my musical students on guitar I teach musical theory which is based on very ancient sources – many thousands of years before Pythagoras, whose name means "He who is as a Python" (the snake that kills by squeezing the breath our of it's victim). The basis of this beginning of musical theorem is the concept of Ratio, which is based on the ancient Greek root word Logos.

The word Logos can mean a symbol, such as copyrighted shapes that designate products and companies; Logos can also mean Word, in the sense of a word being an image phenom that is a symbol for something else. It can also be translated into English as the word Ratio/Symbol/Word, which makes the beginning of the Gospel of John all the more interesting, because an equally efficacious beginning might be as follows:

"In the beginning was Ratio, and Ratio was with God, and Ratio was God". This is as fruitful as "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"

Ratio is defined by the relationships that exist between differing sizes, numbers or shapes. In music, I only need a single string (called a mono chord) to study the ratios of what is known as the Major Scale. Here again we come up against language variants – when I say the major scale I do not mean that there is another scale, because all other scales and chords are developed by means of this one static formula: whole step, whole step, halfstep; whole step, whole step, whole step, halfstep. But this scale interval numbers of 123456 and 7 can start at any pitch so long as they follow the formula WWH, WWWH, WWH, WWWH, WWH, WWWH and so on. On a piano or similar keyboard this is why the black keys come in sets of twos and threes. Now let's return to the word ratio and look at the ratios within the major scale:

1:1 unison, (the tonic) and in perfect agreement with itself – this agreement or agree ability we call consonance, and at the very bottom we have dissonance to the point of what we call noise. The next ratio would be found by stopping the string halfway and allowing only half of the string to sound. This was give us the ratio:

1:2 equivalence, (the octave) and perfectly in agreement with the tonic and sharing its name or designation. Any multiple of two will yield octaves straight up in a vertical line, and always yield even numbers. Then we come upon the next ratio –

2:3 the Dominant (the fifth major scale tone) it is dominant because in a world of unison and equivalence we have no measure, but the dominant is a different tone completely, although it stands in complete agreement with the tonic. Then –

3:4 the Subdominant (the fourth major scale tone). A little bit of arithmetic may help us here; the four is an octave of the two, and one of the threes is above while the other one is below – this is why they are called the Dominant and Subdominant and are also considered perfect in relationship to the tonic.
We have reached the end of the intervals considered perfect, and now I get to ask a rhetorical question: if I state that there is something wrong with "Perfection", what might it be?

The answer is rather simple: Anything that has reached perfection has no reason to change or to move, and is therefore nonexistent. There is nothing in the phenomenological universe we live in that is not subject to change over time as well as in motion relative to all the other factors in the universe. So we need imperfection and asymmetry in order to sustain anything at all. The next ratio is:

4:5 the Mediant (the third major step in the major scale) played along with the tonic it is not perfect. Next we have:

5:6 this is the minor third and contains a good deal of suspicious sorrow when played along with the tonic. We're going to skip the ratios of 6:7 and 7:8 because they are only found within portions of the major scale. The next ratio we find usable is:

8:9 the super tonic (the second major tone in a major scale). It is also what is known as a whole step. Then penultimate, we have the ratio of:

15:16 this is a minor second, or a half-step  As the numbers get higher and the notes get closer together they become less and less affable or consonant and more and more dissonant. In the tempered scale that we use in modern music the only more dissonant and ugly combination of notes is found in something called the Tritone, which is also called the Devils Interval, because in the major scale it rests between the perfects of the Fourth and Fifth and is equally three whole steps from the Tonic and it's Octave.

Now if you have followed this simple progression from unison and perfect consonance down to the utmost dissonance, we find that we can utilize these ratios to create what is known as the Major Scale.
1-2-34-5-6-78-2-34-5-6-78 etc. ad infinitum...

Now we should have a look at the words of Jesus as he tells his disciples to "be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect".

The Greek word in the Gospels is 'teleios', which is used 48 times in the New testament, and has multiple meanings, meaning both Perfect or Mature. Certainly Jesus could not have meant Perfect as I have described the Creation, because as we have noted, nothing in the phenomenological universe can be perfect. Anything that was perfect would automatically disappear or become non-existent and this includes the entire Creation.

Mr. Gurdjieff knew this well, as he differentiates the original condition of Creation by the term "Autoegocrat", which means essentially "I govern by myself" – this is a condition which must exist outside of time or space,, or what Mr. Gurdjieff calls "The Mighty Heropass"; the equivalent of the Hindu God Kali, the wrathful goddess who represents the irrevocable destruction of all things through the inexorable movement of time.

And as we have seen through our creation of the major scale by ratio, that a single octave is asymmetrical, which concurs with modern physics in its examination of the big Bang which describes the creation of a minute ratio differential between matter and antimatter, where for every million particles of antimatter there may be 1,000,001 particles of matter. It is that minuscule differential in favor of matter/energy that allows for our universe to exist

Mr. Gurdjieff calls this change from perfection to a cyclic asymmetry by the term "Trogoautoegocrat", a term that means "I Govern by Eating Myself", this symbol for which is called the Oroboros, the pictured of a snake eating its own tail, which by the way proved to be the solution to what is now known as the benzene ring, which opened the door to organic chemistry, discovered by a fellow named Kukulke. This is also the secret of the third force of which Mr. Gurdjieff asserts that we are blind. He calls us "third force blind".

  • Mr. Gurdjieff asserts that every manifestation requires three equal and opposite forces to come into existence, which he calls the "Active, the "Passive" and the "Reconciling". They are also known as "Affirming", "Denying" and "Reconciling". These correlate exactly to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost as well as the parent of this concept of three attributes of reality that braid together to form the Creation which is the Hindu Philosophy of The Samkya (which translates as "enumeration") and which calls the forces the three Gunas, or tendencies, Rajas or active; Tamas or the resistance of Inertia, and Sattva, which sits between them in the same manner as the backwards S in the double fish Yin Yang symbol of Chinese Alchemy, and is considered balanced and "perfect" in the meaning of reconciling and mature.

Physics also describes these three forces, although our Scientists do not know the esoteric or inner meaning of their schemata by the designation of the three forces as Centrifugal, or Shiva, the God of Creation and Destruction both. The Big Bang falls under the authority of Shiva which blows all things apart; Physics' opposite of Centrifugal is for Centripetal, or inward force that is under the auspices of the God Vishnu, the "preserver", who causes gravity and for things to have stability through time. The third force in Physics is something rarely thought about, although without which, centrifugal and centripetal cancel each other out, is The Revolving force, The God Brahma, who has no devotees in Hinduism, but which creates the process of the Trogoautoegocrat, meaning that everything rotates either around itself, like the Earth, which creates the illusions of day and night (although the Sun, which also revolves, pours out radiant energy in all directions at all times), or revolves around some other center, yielding spirals all the way from the fingertips to the galaxies.

Again we are brought home to the Hermetic formula: "As Above; So Below"

Be then as mature as your chosen deity, understanding that "God" may not be as perfect as the usual reading of Jesus' words would seem to apply. Mr. Gurdjieff said it best when he noted that "Angel can teach only one thing; Devil can teach everything" Become as meek as Doves and as wise as Serpents. Drink with the Devil, but leave him to pay the bill.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Prayer of Jabez

The Prayer of Jabez

Hidden amongst the Chronicles in the Bible is a very strange paragraph which deviates from the line of heritage that Chronicles is mostly concerned with; that is, so and so begat so-and-so begat so and so, and so on (pun intended). Embedded in this 1 Chronicles 4:10 is something called the story of and the prayer of Jabez.

It is a very short piece which goes something like this, paraphrasing in my own language that which is translated slightly differently in various versions of the Bible: "And a woman birthed a child she named Jabez, which is translated as "I delivered him in pain and sorrow ", and Jabez was considered more righteous than his brothers and he prayed:

"Dear Lord, Oh, that Thou would bless me and increase my purview, and let me not lapse into Unconsciousness, whereby I may cause Harm, and our Gracious Father Endlessness Granted This unto Him ":

Also rendered as "And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."

After that detour the Chronicles returns to the lineage of who begat whom begat who, almost endlessly. Torturous to read, but this simple Jewel stands in stark relief. How am I to interpret this short prayer? First, he asks for a blessing – and the blessing among the Jewish people of antiquity was the placing of the dying patriarchs hand upon the head of his firstborn son and imparting to him the spiritual power and blessing that the father has to give. Then, he asks for an increase in purview, which is the area under which one has control – one might also read it as "increase my reach and the power thereof". Finally, in the third section of the prayer he asks for God's continuous presence, so that he may not cause harm or suffer in vain himself.

These are three lofty requests, but it then says that God granted him that which he requested.

For me today the most important part of the prayer is connected with the word purview, the definition of which is: 

1a : the body or enacting part of a statute
b : the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute
2: the range or limit of autha : the body or enacting part of a statute
b : the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute
: the range or limit of authority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention
: range of vision, understanding, or cognizanceority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention
3: range of vision, understanding, or cognizance

I am particularly concerned with definition 2, which describes the scope or boundary of one's authority and responsibility.

The question then falls upon me: what is the scope and boundary of my authority, competence, responsibility, concern or intention?

Certainly, the government of the United States is beyond my purview. I can have a small role in voting, and I can have a horizontal input with my activities, but these are attempts to enlarge my purview, acting outside of my real and authentic powers, perhaps in order to attempt to bend a higher power towards my wishes. But if I recognize my own purview I will come to understand that I am incredibly small – practically nothing. In my room I am large, in my building I am smaller and in my neighborhood I am a tiny speck of life which goes hither and thither.

If I read a newspaper or watch news on the television and take-up a political opinion which I then attempt to foist onto my fellows, I am looking and speaking outside of my actual purview. If I am to be a mature adult, and not simply a grown-up child who asks childishly for things to be different, I thereby become a fool. So I do not gossip, and I do not engage in useless dialogue, "barroom arguments" or anything of that nature. Men do not realize how much of their own energy is wasted by this frivolous imaginary powers that they pretend they might be in possession of. They are NOT.

If I am honest and sincere with myself and allow myself to be disillusioned from these imaginary false and chimera capabilities, and very soon come to the conclusion that my real purview is vertical while radiating out horizontally some short distance from myself. But myself – that self which is beneath the false and the ludicrous, within those bounds is my true purview. I may pray as Jabez did, that my purview or sphere of influence becomes enlarged, but I cannot do it – I have no power in that area. One might say that one's being has a number of limits: my actual physical body, the body of my emotions, the body of my mental facilities and my attention and powers of image making, or constructive imagination – constructive imagination is what I need prior to any real impact in the world of inertia, the world of things, and I cannot influence the being condition of another, unless there is a common aim or search for commonality.

Today this is my prayer. That we may find commonality, because we are all of one species.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Devil

The Devil

Who is the Devil? 

1):  There is a hidden teaching which says that when God created the universe it was perfect, but because of this perfection it had no reason to change. It was perfect in all directions. It therefore threatened to collapse in on itself and disappear.  This would have undone the universe which would have made God sad and bored.  He therefore brought his firstborn principles before him, the Archangels; and asked which of them would be willing to descend into the material creation and to act as a "stop gap"; introducing asymmetry and preventing perfection from threatening creation.  Lucifer was the most beloved of God and stepped forward. He agreed to this task even though it would make him a scapegoat, because he would prevent the perfection of any created thing.  Since all created things have an urge towards perfection in the hope of returning to the bosom of the primordial unity and bliss, they would necessarily resent this action of Lucifer's.

In addition, because Lucifer loved God more than any other and because he was going to be sent to the position farthest away from God in his task, he decided he would perform another service for God that could only be performed from the position of the antipode.  He decided that he would invent allure, and seduce all those who sought to move towards God away from him.  This would have a double action: it would keep God's love for himself, as the first action of jealousy, and second; it would keep all the unworthy out of God's "hair."  In this function, the devil would act as "trier" of purity and intention, with the ideal that none should pass into God's bosom.

Because Satan would be at the antipode of creation but standing between the fulfillment of perfection, and since God in his role of creator stands at the center of the creation, from the position of those things which are created, Satan would seem to have usurped the divine position of the creator.  This has the result that the universe resembles a house of mirrors, and thwarts any efforts towards finding God.  With the introduction of the devil at the antipode of creation, the universe becomes an exitless magic circle. 

The foregoing is from an esoteric musical teaching.

2):  How are we to relate to the Devil?

In the late 1800s there was a group of French poets who reasoned thus:

Since God and the Devil were engaged in a kind of military warfare, one should use military allegory to understand spiritual strategy.  They reasoned that most persons are of very little interest to the Devil because while thinking to themselves that they are headed for heaven, by their own actions they are in fact headed straight for Hell.  It is therefore unnecessary for the Devil to waste any of the energies of his demonic legion on them.  They could be assigned very minor imps and demons who would guide them towards the right berth in Hell.  These souls were also quite skinny -- providing very little fuel for the fires of Hell.  To the demonic reasoning most of the world provided much quantity but very little quality.  This was offset however by certain individuals who led exemplary lives or who performed holy actions known or unknown.  These souls were headed directly towards the gates of heaven, even sometimes without knowing it, and especially without intention (which itself would be a disqualifying "sin").  In order to capture these types of souls, a kind of ambush needed to be set up.  This required rather high-ranking devils to hide in ambush near the gates of heaven.  Then, after the "do-gooder" saw that he was virtually at the gates of heaven he would let down his guard or become Shanghaied and become ripe pickings for the demonic hordes.  These types of souls would provide plenty of fuel and nourishment for the fires of Hell.

Again, the poets reasoned in the following manner: It is extremely difficult to find the gates of Heaven.  It is not so hard to find the Devil.  Since the Devil is likely to be waiting in ambush near the gates of heaven, finding the gates of heaven only requires that one heads straight towards one's own strongest Devil.  Of course there is the difficulty of eluding his clutches when you are headed straight towards him, but the poets reasoned that it would be worth the attempt and that in addition, great art might be spat out during the throes of battle.  If one could weather this centripetal force, then one would be flung through the doors of heaven though a kind of trampolining effect.  In addition, one's art would testify on one's behalf of one's original intent. This lead to the terms "disarrangement of the senses" and "intentional vertigo."

3):   Spiritual cultures around the world have come up with different terms for dualism, for the active and passive forces which operate in the world.  For the Chinese and they are called Yang and Yin.  In the Indian subcontinent there are called Rajas and Tamas.  The Christian culture would use the terms Heaven and Earth.  In each of these sets of opposites the first term would be the light and active force and the second would be the dark and resistant force.  This second force would include the ideas of the Devil.  But not so well known is the fact that in each of these sets of opposites there is postulated a relationship between them which has its own name, and which forms a third and invisible force.  For the Chinese this is called the Tai Ji, or great ultimate limit; in India it is called Sattva, the balanced pure and spiritually even force.  Even in Christianity the third force is known specifically as the holy ghost, which is usually termed the love which exists between the father and son; the son in this instance standing for the passive or resistant force.  Therefore it is not simply a case of choosing between opposites but rather coming into a balanced relationship between two only seemingly antagonistic forces which create the world.  In this instance, the Devil cannot be avoided, resisted or eliminated.  Instead, the Devil and all that he stands for needs to be integrated into a balanced whole.  This is very similar to the ideas in psychology of C. G. Jung of the integration of the shadow self as part of the job of individuation, which is the goal of Jungian psychoanalysis.

4):    Astronauts are known to lose muscle mass in outer space where there is no gravity.  Science realizes that bone density and muscle mass are depended upon weight bearing work against resistance.  Without resistance no work can be accomplished.  In a world without any friction nothing could develop.  Therefore the Devil is necessary for any kind of spiritual development.  If he did not exist we would have no chance to develop our spiritual musculature at all.

5):   Beelzebub is known as Prince of the Devils.  He is also known as Lord of the flies, and flies are connected with the elements space and air.  As Lord of the flies Beelzebub commands these forces.  To human beings, flies are irksome pests who are obstinate and troublesome.  In a way, flies are like our own unwanted habits which seem unamenable to our will and which return to plague us even as we shoo them away.  Interestingly, in Hatha yoga there is a figure who is one of the founders of the yoga called Matsyendra.  Matsyendra is known as Lord of the fishes and king of the yogis.  Why is this so?  One reason is that the energies of the body are likened to shoals of fishes who travel through the body and who are as difficult to control as the direction of fish in the water.  Therefore, he who has mastered control of the subtle energies of the body, or Prana, is called king of the fishes.  Clearly an analogy can be drawn between these two perhaps mythical entities; Matsyendra and Beelzebub both represent a mastery over ordinarily uncontrollable forces.  One could also deeply ponder the connection between the flies and air, and the fish and water; Air and Water being two of the great elements postulated by ancient esoteric teachings worldwide.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Power of Real Wish

the depth of wish

Star light, star bright,
first star I see tonight;
wish I may, wish I might,
have the wish I wish tonight.

As human beings, we are each endowed with the same organic format and limitations,the result of being living, physical creatures who breath and eat and think. We take in food and air and sensations, we excrete behavior and we have an inner life. In this inner life are thoughts and desires; unspoken and even unconscious urges. What is the nature of wish? What is the meaning of this action within us which can be stronger than hope? Where in our inner nature is the platform upon which we can examine the nature and meaning of wish, which seems so fleeting against the mundane world, and what happens in each of us as our ability to wish is tempered by the facts of material existence?

One may speak of dreams, of innermost desires; of the deepest longing of the heart;even when crushed by the weight and gravity of our ordinary existence these longings still have the power to renew us; to surge forgotten energies within us; to cause us once again to fall in love, not with any other person, or even with ourselves, but with an idea, with a hope of the unrealized potential within us. When we wish; when we truly come to recognize that within us as a wish (and not simply a made up desire or objective, but a surge towards a longing which lives an independent existence from us), then for that moment we open to a life which is ordinarily denied us, and we have access to a power that can organize us into wholeness, and which can move mountains on our behalf. Even if only for this reason and no other, we owe a debt to ourselves to go within and search for the meaning of wish.

All myths and fairy stories contain tantalizing remembrances that there is within us the hope of a primordial connection with one's wish and of the realization of one's destiny. Destiny; as opposed to fate; as opposed to conscious intent; destiny as the unfolding of the greatest of possibilities out of the unformed potentialities contained within a given life. This is why the image of the genie, the fairy godmother or the wizard are such profound symbols of how the deepest inner wish in a person can be independent of all of the actualized aspects of a person, for the true wish comes to us from an entirely other level. This also points to the reason why the true wish can never be mistaken with simple desire or objectives which may be self-realizable. The creative force always irrupts into consciousness from a level outside of it. This is whythe wish has power at the same time that it is disregarded in ordinary life, because the wish can only await its actualization, and can never "do." This also means that one cannot influence the wish in any ordinary way. Yet wish is strongly differentiated from hope, which contains within its jurisdiction the element of happenstance, upon which we may rest our hope. Wish, on the other hand, does all, contains within itself all authority for what is to be, and yet "does" nothing.

What is the goal of wish? There are many levels upon which wishing may be said to reside. There is the wish blown upon the birthday candle. The wish sent with a coin into the fountain. There are the teaching wishes granted by the Jinn, where the fallacious nature of desire is revealed by the foolhardy wishes of the recipient and where the last of the granted wishes is almost always a fervent plea to return to the state which existed before the wishes had been granted, but which can bring at the end a hard won maturity. There is a coin of wish, and all know that the spending of this coin can be foolish or wise. There are the unrealizable wishes, verging on fantasy, but which can still be perhaps amongst the wisest of purchases. For those who dare to wish to fly to the moon or to have secret powers of wisdom, perhaps the wish pays its dividends in unearthed energies and ideas leading to invention. At the very least, the fabulous and sweeping wish which is scarcely to be expected brings within it a delicious inner thrill, and it is a sad thing that so many have forgotten its delights.

As to the highest wish in a personthe "true wish" and its goal, this goal is much further and has a much more concrete form. All myths and fairy tales suggest that one can exert no influence whatsoever over the form of this wish (although one may "blunder" into the formation of the actualization of one's wish, when all of the normal avenues for the attainment of one's desires are paused, or disabled, and usually through the innate "goodness" of one's heart or essential nature -- which is the part closest to power in wishing). Power in wishing must be bestowed upon one, and not always by overtly beneficent forces. There is the tradition that bestowed power to wish is almost always a test, which not so much separates good from evil but that separates the innermost essential in one from everything else. Tradition holds that any wish other than one connected to the essential treasure of the heart (and which also moves one in the direction of one's hidden destiny) will be a wish that will bring a dismantling of elements within the self which are false. The false wish, when it comes true, brings decay which is objectively speaking healthy and true, like a pull upon the reins of the wayward horse. Only elements which do not belong to the true and essential self may be ruptured in this way. The Alchemical axiom is: "gold does not fear the fire," but for those upon whom this wish is bestowed, the event is one of a preternatural winnowing fire out of which none but the purest intention can emerge unscathed.

In the archetypal chakra system of Kundalini yoga there exist two minor chakras near the heart which are forbidden as objects of meditation. In English these chakras are named respectively 'the wish granting tree' and ' the seat of unutterable anguish.' These two chakras are considered to be sister and brother, and one may not be opened without opening the other. At the base of the wish granting tree is an altar upon which is placed the deepest wish of the self. This wish is placed upon this altar prior to the birth. Any other wish placed upon this altar is considered a desecration and a rape of the sister by the brother. He then comes to the rescue of the sister and cuts down the tree, and if the chakra is opened duplicitously, the brother in his wrath opens and reveals the sacred conscience. In the hidden and apocryphal legends of Jesus it is said that both of these chakras in him were fully open, which is why he was said to be a man "well acquainted with sorrows." The idea in Buddhism of the bodhisattva or perfected being who remains on the earthly plane in order to support the salvation of others is also connected with these two chakras and their opening. When the chakra of the wish granting tree is opened and the Great Self receives its wish, it also receives the deep and penetrating realization of the plight and inner state of others via the brother. Of these two chakras, it is forbidden to say more.

Now, for those who have come to recognize their wish, the journey towards itsfulfillment is an odyssey of epic proportions. Against this truth every man is the hero,set upon the seven voyages, or demanded to fulfill twelve tasks and to return with a proof not given lightly. Almost always mythical forces are set against this adventure; the dragons of the unconscious guarding the precious treasure. For one who is set out on such a quest, tradition allots years of search for guidance, and a journey of unimaginable distances through dark and dangerous places. One's own resources are never equal to the task, and therefore must come a search for tools with which to perform the tasks which are strewn against the intent, and which almost in every case cause the supplicant to detour, and to undertake Herculean tasks which on the surface seem to have no connection to the goal. Thus, one on such a mission seems to the outside observer perhaps to be headed in wrong direction, and even to seem the dolt or idiot. On top of this is the fact that these tasks are usually formulated to be wellbeyond the ken of the seeker and cut perpendicular to their strengths and abilities and requiring the assistance of magical elements and of a guiding guardianship. But the true seeker after his wish has in all cases magic in his pocket, a compass or lodestone which guides him unerringly towards his goal. All the rest move like lemmings convinced of their direction while the seeker after the true wish of the heart moves in a direction wholly opposite to expectations.

But in our world, legend and myth and fairy story are relegated to childhood , and so with wish. We ask our children to wish, but not ourselves. We remind each other to wish on the birthday candles but have forgotten why. We throw coins in the fountain but we do not mean it, and which of us would dream of wishing on a star in any seriousness? What has happened to us? Not only has our power to wish withered but even our recognition of its power. We relegate wish to the purview of the naive. And yet we hear the words: "lest ye become as little children, ye shall in no wise see the kingdom" and do not take them to heart. Are these words of fiction? While we consider that we live our lives in fact, richly or poorly, it may be that our lives pour out from underneath us. The idea of a study of the meaning of wish should be far from trivial; but we will have to walk backwards, working ourselves out of the disarray and complications we find ourselves in, {and return to simplicity in order to find it. In this place of simplicity we can again pick up the thread of wish and follow it home, to the land of make-believe, where anything is possible and where nothing yet has happened. Perchance we may then again find our forgotten true wish, and begin again.

Some time ago I took a survey asking various acquaintances what their ideas regarding wish had been when they were children and now, as adults. The wishes took many forms. Some came true and some did not. There seemed to be an intuitive inner understanding that a certain coin of wish is given to each of us to spend, and like the child in front of a selection of candy, we ponder our choices, we take aim with our hopes and at last, we let fly with our desire. Once having made our wish we wait, curious but certain of a power having been loosed and certain of a response from the universe. We can still do that. One person told me this: that when he was young he had been careful not to spend his wishes foolishly, but there came in time to him a wish that was simply stated, preposterous. Because the wish was an impossible one, he told me that he knew that he could make this wish without fear of spending his precious wish money. As he told me of his wish, the impossible wish of a child's heart, his face softened and his shoulders relaxed. His eyes began to twinkle and moisten and he began to laugh. As I saw this change come over him what I saw was this: that he became more himself and less the trappings of life. He became younger in fact before my eyes, years peeling away as he remembered, and I knew in my heart what I told him then, that the impossible had worked its magic. That the wish itself held the power he had been looking for, and that his wish had in fact, come true.

The English word wish is derived from the proto-IndoEuropean language root 'wen,' which translates as "to desire, to strive for." Closely related, and from the same root is the modern English word 'win,' to win. In old English the word wynn means pleasure, joy, and the old English word 'wenan' means to expect, imagine, think. The old English word for wish is actually wyscan. The origin and development of human language as a means of expression is deeply shrouded in mystery, and the study of the source and meanings of even a single letter can provide rich nourishment in the search for understanding, often offering multiple lateral avenues for exploration. The fact that sounds uttered by the human voice can convey density of meaning via metaphor, allegory and veiled allusion should rightly return us to a state of awe at the original mystical nature of our very existence. The word wish contains three basic sound components: 'W', 'ie' and 'sh'. Each of these phonemes can be examined individually into search for depths of meaning concealed within the compound sound group which makes up its word.

The 'W,' is a letter derived from 'V,' or 'U,' hence double 'U.' It comes from the Semitic 'vau,' meaning nail. The 'V' contains the idea of identity, of point, and the double 'U' connotes the image of relationship, of I and you, or I and thou. Thus the words 'womb,' 'woman,' 'with.' In the quality of its sound is a wooing. A pulling, an asking, like the sound of a wind instrument, deep and vibratory (as against the 'K' or labial 'L' for instance). Thus the questioning words: 'who,' 'when,' 'why,' 'where,' 'what.' In its representation of the doubling of 'V,' we have the idea of twisting or turning back upon itself; bringing us the words 'weave,' 'whirl,' 'worry' and 'world.' One could continue and exploration of the hidden and primeval meanings of the 'W' sound in words like 'word,' 'wise,' 'wife,' 'warm,' etc.

The second letter in wish is the vowel 'I,' sounding 'ie.' This letter comes from the Semitic 'Yod,' meaning hand. The hand is the human tool for grasping; for making connections and the 'I' as a vowel sound form stands for a connectivity, the binding. It is the center vowel in the vowel series AEIOU. In this central position it embodies the idea of developing and maintaining a connective relationship. Consider the identification we have with the body and with the thinking which is represented by this letter as a personal pronoun. Also, the 'I' can serve as a balance between two ideas as a fulcrum and as a mechanism of joining, as in the suffix 'ing' and as the 'i' in semi circle.

Finally, the last two letters, 'S' and 'H' together make up one phoneme, 'sh.' The 'S' is derived from the Semitic 'shin,' which means tooth. It was originally pictured on its side, which can give the image of the teeth. It is used in this sense of the wave in the words 'snake,' 'shape,' 'smooth.' This consonant is generative, standing for the sexual power. For this reason adding an 's' at the end of a word plurals it, multiplying, as in 'senses,' 'eggs,' 'brains'. The "S' stands for the teeth, the instruments whereby food is taken into oneself, whereby the food is divided and possessed. It is hot and sensual as in 'hiss'. The 'H' is from the Hebrew 'cheth,' which stands for fence. This is like two 'I's connected, but enclosed. If is a frame which prevents the passing of energies. It is close in meaning to the numeral '8' stands for infinity when placed upon its side, because the energies on either side of it are made to circulate rather than dissipate. This 'H,' this fence at the end of 'wish,' helps to secure its power and serves as a kind of hermetic seal upon the word.


The Grimm's Fairy Tales
American Heritage Dictionary
Kundalini For The West
The Serpent Power - Sir John Woodruff
Shat Puri Karana
Life Is Real Only Then, When "I Am" - G. I. Gurdjieff
A Mystical Key To The English Language - Robert M. Hoffstein

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Machines

The Machines

It is said in an ancient teaching that man lives in a large house, but for some reason, spends all of his time and energy in the basement. The house has numerous rooms and each room is filled with furniture and various machines. Each of these machines may run on a different type or grade of fuel. Some on gas, some on kerosene, some on electricity. The house is wired for electricity but the switches are all left off so that man stumbles around in the darkness and stubs his toes. He only uses the machines in the basement. Sometimes, one of the rooms lights up by accident for a moment because the wiring is frayed, and then a man may go there and see the room and the machines which are in it, but they are in disarray. Then the light goes out, and he curses and returns to the basement scratching his head. Occasionally one of the machines may turn on by accident and a man may get messages, but because of the darkness he doesn't know what to do with them, or even if the lights are on for a moment the messages may be in a code, and he cannot read them.

There is a small lamp in the basement but the man doesn't know how to use it and he has never learned how to focus its light, so he can confines himself to the small area of the basement which it lights willy nilly. He is content to let the lamp run on a low grade fuel which trickles into the house on its own. There is a pump nearby which can upgrade the fuel, but the pump is manual and requires work, and the man doesn't want to work. He is content to sit in the half dark and occupy himself with the toys and small games which are stored in the basement. Some of the games which he plays are called "I am grown up," "powerful," "beautiful" and so on.

If one of the machines accidentally turns on, or if one of the rooms lights up by accident, or if he gets bored with the toys and games, or perhaps if he is told of the other rooms, he may get curious. If his curiosity lasts long enough and is strong enough he begins to wander through the house but finds it too dark. If he then cedes to work, he can use the pump to upgrade the fuel which runs the lamp. It is hard work, and he doesn't want to do it, but then the lamp works much better, only not for long. The fuel container is too small. There are larger containers (and even other lamps) in the house but he must find them. But if he works to collect fuel he can head out with the lamp to explore through the house. Whenever he comes to a new room he will see that it is in disarray, and he may see the machines but not be able to get to them because of the clutter, so he starts to clean up. Then the fuel runs out quickly, and he must return to the basement and pump again so that then he can return to the room. For each room he must return again and again tidying the room up in order to reach the switches on the various machines. If he cleans a room sufficiently he may see a light switch on the wall. Depending on circumstances it may be rusted and break or it may be stuck but operable. If he gets the light switch turned on he can return to the room more easily.

Then he can see the furnishings and the machines much better. Some of the machines he may have heard about, and some he doesn't recognize at all. The rooms are handsomely appointed. Some of the machines may be rusty, and some may be broken from when he wandered around in the dark stubbing his toe. He may even have broken some in anger with his cursing. He doesn't know how to operate the machines but some of them have manuals left beside them while others have manuals in the library. The manuals may be written in different languages. If the first room he finds is the library and he gets the light switch on, he may see the manuals, but not the machines. The library also contains fiction, which is easier to read than the technical manuals and more pleasant. If he tidies up the library and gets the light switch on, he might spend all of his time reading fiction. He might read both the fiction and the manuals. He may think that the manuals are a form of fiction, and he may even write his own fiction, or write fanciful manuals.

If he turns a machine on without reading the manual it may do very strange things, frightening him, and he may abandon the room and return to the basement where he has learned to be comfortable. Because he knows nothing about the machines he may leave one on which then drains the house of energy and dims what lights are on, or it might damage the house. A machine which is left on by accident may catch fire from overheating and burn the house down, and because the man hides in the basement he may not know it until it is too late to do anything. The sprinkler system is in disrepair and untested. However, many of the machines have timers or fuses to protect them. But if he blows a fuse on one of the machines he cannot find another because he doesn't know where to look, and he may become frustrated and angry. He may go on a rampage.

If the man is sensible he will proceed slowly. If he is careful and gets a machine to work it may help him, but then he may fall in love with the machine and try to use this one machine for everything. But each machine has a specialty. Each of the rooms in the house have themes, and the machines in it are connected to these themes. There may be a telephone in the house, but it is disconnected so that those who might wish to call him are unable to do so. The man may not know that there are other houses, or he may disbelieve it. If he finds and turns on the radio the broadcast may be very faint because the antenna is elsewhere. In the basement are both kitchen and bathroom but poorly appointed. Upstairs, there may be others, more lavish, and cookbooks and a larder. There may be recycling machines for garbage, air filters; even solar panels. The owner of the house may have been very erudite. The man may find a chemists laboratory, a wine press; even a distillery.

As the man works more on cleaning up the house and straightening out more of the rooms he sees that it is appointed lavishly, and by and by he begins to move his things out of the basement and into one of the other bedrooms. The owner of the house is clearly wealthy. If he reaches the master bedroom he may see an ornate bed. There may be a note upon it. It is from the owner. He is away on business. The man may have full use of the house. The owner asks him to treat everything as if it were his. The note says that if the man should undertake to set the house in order, that there will be a reward upon the owners return. Along with the note there is a diagram of the house and a list of all that is in it. There are instructions regarding the care of the house and the use of the machines. Next to the bed is a night stand, and upon it, a bible.

Adapted from p.44, paragraph 4 of Fragments of an Unknown Teaching by P.D.Ouspensky, quoting G.I.Gurdjieff.

Richard Lloyd's Solasishock: A Short Study Regarding Beelzebub

Richard Lloyd's Solasishock: A Short Study Regarding Beelzebub

A Short Study Regarding Beelzebub

Beelzebub is the penultimate Devil, also known as 

"Lord of the Flies". 

Flies have some interesting characteristics: 

First: They have compound eyes so they SEE almost an entire spherical 360 degrees 

Except where their thin bodies are. Their blind spot is therefore much smaller then 

Ours. They see right through their wings when in flight, and they do not take off 

Like birds, but vertically, like a Harrier Jet. They almost have eyes in the back of 

Their heads. 

Second: They fly, and there is a kind of stickum on their feet so they can land 

Anywhere; upside down, on ceilings, walls, anywhere. 

Third: ALL their hairs act like our ears, sensing changes in air pressure as well or 

better than a human's two ears. 

Fourth: They have giant orgies in flight,; that is to say, they have a crazy mind 

boggling acrobatic sex life. 

Fifth: They can eat almost anything, although they prefer sweets. 

They eat through a proboscis, like a vacuum cleaner. 

Sixth: They are constantly cleaning themselves, and cleansing themselves and their 


Seventh: They have Real Will -- if they want to land on your nose, you can brush 

Them off but they will just fly around and re-land on your nose, if that's where they 

Want to land.  


If "Man" had that kind of Will Power he could do almost anything, and he could but 

He doesn't know it because he is near comatose, glued to "The World".


Eighth: Which starts a new Octave, Flies only have to live for six weeks, Lay eggs 

And die. I venture they die a happy death, because their lives are so vivid.

And they remember themselves 'Always and Everywhere'.