Posts Tagged ‘mystics’

The first part of third book in the series of the Elysium Texts, the Books of the Dead, takes place in the mountains of Persia.  The adventurers meet up with Sufi dervishes in the mountains in their search for followers of Zarathustra and the remnants of the disbanded Assasssins.  In my research I have become fascinated with the dervishes and their hypnotic dance meditation.  Sadly, an authentic audience is unlikely for many reasons.  One can still see the tourist versions in Turkey, however, and I posted a short clip of one of those.

The Persian poet, Rumi, discovered this very zen way of communing with God in the 13th century.  The practice has ebbed and flowed over the years depending on the political situation.  Every culture has a shamanic mysticism preserved somewhere inside.  This one shares attributes with Tai Chi, Labyrinth-walking, chanting and even the modern Rave.  There is a disciplined ritual to the movements, each of which has a significance in the communion with god.  The costume as well.  Rumi’s esctatic poems reflect the insight and enlightenment he achieved by touching god in this manner.  He says,

Just like God you will rip and tear down

and at the same time sew and repair.

You will open and close

Both at the same time.

If you want you can appear and conceal yourself however you like.

You will see everyone everything bare and naked.

Yet no one can see you

In the land of soul

You will be sultan of sultans.

Wonderful things can happen when one goes ’round and ’round.

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Philosophers and poets through the centuries have wondered how we got here, and more importantly, now that we ARE here what we are supposed to be doing.

Blake’s image above, of Newton as architect is a representation of man’s mind as the creator of physical objects.  The “seat” he sits upon, however links his own physical body to the realm of the unknowable.  If Newton creates…who created Newton? Blake rejected the idea that the Universe is knowable through science.  In the poem “The Tyger” Blake wonders what kind of forge the creator of the tyger used to make that glorious animal.  He knew that there was something beyond both religion and science.

Blake found it difficult to give up his Christian Bible, though he rejected organized religion as losing its purpose in a sea of greed and power.  His art and poetry demonstrates a mystical element that transcends his Bible, yet while he hungrily explored the realms of the mind, he clutched the Christian elements that seemed to comfort him.

There was something more, however.  He wrote, “The Treasures of Heaven are not Negations of Passion but Realities of Intellect from which All the Passions Emanate  in their Eternal Glory.”  He knew from his own mystical experiences how matter is created.

It is the combination of passion and intellect that creates the world around us.  Intellect supplies the chart…the architectural drawing, and passion supplies the energy necessary to bring an idea into physical reality.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal
hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
(1794 William Blake from “Songs of Experience”)

With intellect alone, there is nothing but the idea.  A paper Tyger.

With Passion alone there is just the storm of random energies dissipated into the ether:  “Sound and Fury, signifying…nothing”.

Combined we have all the wonders of the world.


And all the horrors.


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