Chapter Eleven


    IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD II
    ~ In the Court of the Crimson King ~




    - chapter 11 index -
    pg. 1 - Moonchild | pg. 2 - The Dream The Illusion
    pg. 3 - The Court of the Crimson King | pg. 4 - The Purple Piper
    pg. 5 - Three Lullabies | pg. 6 - Orpheus
    pg. 7 - The Keeper of the City Keys | pg. 8 - The Pilgrim's Door
    pg. 9 - The Gardener | pg. 10 - The Yellow Jester
    pg. 11 - The Dance of the Puppets | pg. 12 - Dionysus
    pg. 13 - The Fool | pg. 14 - Logos
    pg. 15 - The Magician | pg. 16 - Finis

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    The Dance of the Puppets

    "And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: -- Behold! human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets."

    - Plato, Allegory of the Cave (Republic VII)

    "...the Hindus do not think that the world is created at all. They look upon the world as a drama, not as created, but as acted. And they see God as the supreme actor, or what is called the cosmic self, playing all the parts. In other words, you and the birds and bees and the flowers, the rocks and the stars are all a big act being put on by God, who is pretending in order to amuse himself, through the many eternities, who is pretending that he is all of you."

    - From Time to Eternity
    A Speech By Alan Watts


    Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

    "In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually, but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents."

    - C. G. Jung, "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious", 1936

    "The archetype as an image of instinct is a spiritual goal toward which the whole nature of man strives; it is the sea to which all rivers wend their way, the prize which the hero wrests from the fight with the dragon."

    - C. G. Jung, "On the Nature of the Psyche", 1947

    The "prize" the album's protagonist brings back from his journey to the underworld is the image of the Yellow Jester, the image of an archetype.

    "The Jungian perspective sees the human perception of "reality" as originating in a projection from an internal motivating factor (or archetype) onto our environment. Since we do not perceive the universe of experience directly, but through the filters of our senses, we experience archetypes through sight, touch, taste, smell, and sounds, and the metaphorical equivalent of these senses in our imaginal life.

    They also appear in human typology, and the various functions of feeling, sensation, intuition, and thinking. Because of their nature's we are introverted or extroverted, thinkers or feelers, knowers or doers. They are constantly maneuvering our human lives as if we were puppets. In the ancient past, when these powers of the archetypes over the human will were intensely dramatic, or negative, this phenomenon was termed "possession," and it could be demonic or spiritual in nature."

    - Pantheon: Archetypal Godforms in Daily Life

    "Chances are that both we and our parents are puppets in an archetypal drama, manipulated by giant figures operating above and behind our conscious awareness."

    "As long as this is the case, however much good will, determination, confession, or whatever takes place in a confrontation between the puppets themselves, the result can only be further entanglement in the strings. Obviously the first thing to do is to turn around and face the puppeteers so that we can see what they are up to and, if possible, untie or loosen some of those strings."


    Jung and Tarot, an Archetypal Journey

    by Sallie Nichols

    ...The strings gently pulled by the "yellow jester", Hermes, the unconscious.

    "The dark, rejected forces massing in the shadow of the unconscious ...show how all our history is a progression on two levels: a conscious and unconscious, a manifest and latent level.

    The manifest level provides all the plausible rational justifications and excuses for the wars, revolutions, and disasters inflicted on men in their collective and private lives, but in reality it is on this other latent level where, unrecognised, the real instigators and conspirators against too narrow and rigid a conscious rule above are to be found. There, proud, angry, and undefeated, they move men and women on the manifest level about as puppets in predetermined patterns of their own revengeful seeking, or like a magnet conditioning a field of iron filings on a table above."

    - Jung and the Story of Our Time

    "We [modern man] . . . have repudiated it [the shadow, "the
    night-side of life," "the nocturnal world"] . . . because we strive to
    construct a conscious world that is safe and manageable . . . Yet,
    even in our midst, the poet now and then catches sight of the figures
    that people the night- world--the spirits, demons and gods."

    - Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul


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    As explained in chapter three, the reprise of the main theme ( The Dance of the Puppets ) represents the resurrection of the emperor. This resurrection is the birth of the Divine Child. The Crimson King must die (the introverted thinking function) before a new thought (the Divine Child) can be born. For the narrator of In the Court of the Crimson King , this "new thought" includes the profound realization that he has been controlled by unseen forces within his own previously unacknowledged unconscious.

    "One conclusion was forced upon my mind at that time, and my impression of its truth has ever since remained unshaken. It is that our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably have their field of application and adaptation. No account of the universe in its totality can be final, which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded."

    - William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lectures XVI and XVII, "Mysticism."

    This realization, or new thought, necessitates the death of an old way of thinking and is symbolized by the Divine Child.

    "He leaves the maternal womb (Paradise), where father, mother, and child exist as one. According to the myth, the child is always killing the father to marry the mother. Whenever there is a return to soul consciousness, ego or the father dies.

    Consciousness and unconsciousness are two extremes of one spectrum that converge and at the midpoint where they cross is the energy of superconsciousness, represented in many myths as the Divine Child.

    We are the uroboros that bites its own tail, for we must eat (sacrifice, destroy, kill) the conscious ego and the old image we have created (may love and cling to) before we are given a view of the other images we have also created in the darkness of unknowing. We create both. We are the eater and we are that which is eaten. We are the creator and the destroyer, the subject and the object. The uroboros archetype, therefore describes exactly that--we are the beginning and the end."

    - The Genesis Model by Gerry Anne Lenhart

    Thus the Court of the Crimson King is consciousness itself, the court of consciousness, the supposed pinnacle of human awareness. The unconscious (the moon) is a prison to the extent that we deny its importance and fail to understand it. "The rusted chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun" of a new a conscious understanding of what was previously unconscious.

    "The king is red like Adam because it is by the spilling of blood, the sacrifice of the innocent soul (lamb), that consciousness can be born."

    - The Genesis Model by Gerry Anne Lenhart

    "Thus we have the strange spectacle of a god sacrificed to himself on the ground that he is his own enemy. And as the god is supposed to partake of the victim offered to him, it follows that, when the victim is the god's old self, the god eats of his own flesh. Hence the goat-god Dionysus is represented as eating raw goat's blood; and the bull-god Dionysus is called "eater of bulls." On the analogy of these instances we may conjecture that wherever a god is described as the eater of a particular animal, the animal in question was originally nothing but the god himself."

    - The Golden Bough, Frazer (p. 328)


In the Beginning was the Word II ~ The Yellow Jester return to
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