Chapter Eleven

    ~ 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 Transcendent Function | The Logos

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    Three Lullabies

    After the third verse of In the Court of the Crimson King there is a gentle interlude, a quiet passage reminiscent of The Dream The Illusion .

    This is the third lullaby. The first two lullabies were I Talk to the Wind and Moonchild .

    "Cancer provides the nourishing spiritual waters that protect and nurture the body of the developing child. This is why the sign of Cancer is called the Great Mother. Brahms, the master of lullabies, was definitely able to "hear" the keynote from the Cherubim in the Cancer Hierarchy."

    - Music of the Cherubim

    The third lullaby, coming as it does before the fourth verse, leads to the final epiphany of the Crimson King. What lies beyond the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions is what came before either of them: Dionysian dread and ecstasy, Bion's Transcendent Position or "O".

    "Wilfred Bion, who was to become the awesome explorer of the "deep and formless infinite" of the psyche, first immersed himself in the theories of Freud and Klein and then gradually developed a revolutionary metapsychological metatheory for psychoanalysis. Bion incurred the criticism of his colleagues by daring to investigate faith, spirituality, religion, mysticism, metaphysics, and fetal mental life.

    "O" is perhaps Bion's most far-reaching conception. It designates an ineffable, inscrutable, and constantly evolving domain that intimates an aesthetic completeness and coherence. He refers to it by different terms, "Absolute Truth," "Ultimate Reality," or "reverence and awe." When preternaturally personified, it is called "God." The "Keter-Ayn-Sof" of the Zohar Kabbalah translated it as "Nothing" (Scholem, 1960; Bloom, 1983), a designation Bion (1962, 1963, 1965) focused on as the "no-thing." "O" lies beyond the grasp of the external senses and is only experienced by an inwardly receptive sense organ, intuition, Bion's "seventh servant." Intuition is observation's reversible perspective, the latter requiring the senses. A transformation in "O" is attainable only by the disciplined abandonment of memory, desire, understanding, sense impressions -- and perhaps also the abandonment of ego itself.

    "O" overarches Heaven and Hell ("nameless dread") in its paradoxical sweep. It is what it is and therefore is beyond knowing. One may either experience "O" as ultimate dread or as beatific serenity,
    ...depending on the vertex of emotional maturity and preparedness from which one approaches it. I believe that we are born into "O" (or the "Real," in Lacan's [1966] terminology) and are hopefully rescued under the beneficent canopy of the organizing and mediating "filters" of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions (sequentially, alternately, and in parallel). Randomness (chaos) is, with mother's reverie, transformed into phantasies and then into symbolic meaning in the depressive position. The libidinal and death instincts serve to signify, express, and mediate the infant's distress about its experiences of randomness.

    "O" is inchoate and occurs before the paranoid-schizoid position -- and awaits our transcendence beyond the depressive position so that we may be rejoined -- for a moment -- with it.

    Bion's concept of "O" seems to be circular. It is within us, around us, and beyond us -- as well as before us and after us; we temporally proceed from it, through it, and toward it. T.S. Eliot's (1943) "The end is where we start from..." says it well. "O" as our mystically directed trajectory fulfills Plato's conception, "That which is always becoming" -- but never really attained. It is like Marlowe's description of Tamburlaine's Samarkand, "always on the horizon, ever distant, always receding." Bion introduced us to a cosmic domain that spatially, temporally, philosophically, and existentially existed beyond our sensual capacity to comprehend, although psychotics and mystics have always known of its existence."

    - Bion's Transformation in "O"
    The Concept of the Transcendent Position

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    And "O", or the transcendent position, is equivalent to Jung's transcendent function.

    "There is nothing mysterious or metaphysical about the term "transcendent function." It means a psychological function comparable in its way to a mathematical function of the same name, which is a function of real and imaginary numbers. The psychological "transcendent function" arises from the union of conscious and unconscious contents."

    - C. G. Jung, Collected Works

    As In the Court of the Crimson King "arises out of the union of conscious and unconscious contents" the song itself represents the transcendent function.

    "Jung's ...major conclusion: that the transcendent function was of the utmost importance; the uniting of opposites was achieved by a third, unknown, and irrational factor, which was the symbol that joined the opposites and restored, even if only temporarily, a state of equilibrium."

    - The Genesis Model by G.A. Lenhart

    "The first function of a living mythology is the Transcendent Function. Life has a dimension of mystery. On the one hand, myths always try to tell us the truth--that nature is deadly, terrible, and monstrous. At the same time, they also say that living is opening our hearts and minds to the sheer wonder of existence. Life, therefore, is both terrifying and fascinating. It is full of horror and wonder.
    The first and primary condition any mythology must fulfill, then, is to awaken and sustain awe and gratitude within us. As human beings, our task is not just to use our minds but to perceive and experience the world as new. The Transcendent Function empowers us like nothing else to step back from our identities and social roles and gain a perspective on who we are. That is, it enables us to step outside the boundaries of the social-cultural system into which we are born. We should be able to see clearly into the depths within ourselves and not be frightened. In effect, a truly alive mythology should introduce us to the great mysteries of life."

    - The Hero's Journey

    "The transcendent function does not proceed without aim and purpose, but leads to the revelation of the essential man. It is in the first place a purely natural process, which may in some cases pursue its course without the knowledge or assistance of the individual, and sometimes forcibly accomplish itself in the face of opposition. The meaning and purpose of the process is the realization, in all its aspects, of the personality originally hidden away in the embryonic germ-plasm; the production and unfolding of the original, potential wholeness. ... If we can successfully develop that function which I have called transcendent, the disharmony ceases and then we can enjoy the favorable side of the unconscious. The unconscious then gives us all the encouragement and help that bountiful nature can shower upon man. It holds possibilities which are locked away from the conscious mind, for it has at its disposal all sublimal psychic contents, all those things which have been forgotten or overlooked."

    - C. G. Jung

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    If, as Jung says above, the transcendent function has an "aim and purpose", then the transcendent function has a Logos function.

    "Philo believed that man's final goal and ultimate bliss is in the "knowledge of the true and living God;" "such knowledge is the boundary of happiness and blessedness." Mystic vision allows our soul to see the Divine Logos and achieve a union with God (Deut. 30:19-20). He adheres to the Platonic picture of the souls descending into the material realm and only the souls of philosophers are able to come to the surface and return back to their realm of heaven where they came from.
    Philo interpreted the Logos which is the Divine Mind as the Form of Forms, the Idea of Ideas or the sum total of Forms or Ideas. The Logos is an indestructible Form of wisdom.
    Describing Moses' account of the creation of man, Philo states also: "And the invisible Divine Logos he [Moses] calls the Image of God;" also, "shadow of God is his Logos, which he used as like an instrument when he was making the world."

    - The Logos and its Functions in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria

    The Babylonian Logos was Marduk.

    "In the deep abyss he was conceived, MARDUK was made in the heart of the apsu, MARDUK was created in the heart of the holy apsu.

    Ea begot him and Damkina bore him, father and mother; he sucked the paps of goddesses, from his nurses he was fed on the terribleness that filled him.

    His body was beautiful; when he raised his eyes great lights flared; his stride was majestic; he was the leader from the first.

    When Ea who begot him saw him he exulted, he was radiant, light-hearted, for he saw that he was perfect, and he multiplied his godhead, the one to be first and stand highest.

    His limbs were immaculate, the making a fearful mystery beyond comprehension; with four eyes for limitless sight, and four ears hearing all; when his lips moved a tongue of fire burst out. Titanic limbs, standing so high he overtopped the tallest god; he was strong and he wore the glory of ten, and their lightnings played round him.

    'My son, my son, son of the sun, and heaven's sun!"

    - Enuma Elish, The Babylonian Creation Myth

    The Greek logos was , of course, Prometheus and the Egyptian Logos, as mentioned earlier, was Thoth - better known as Hermes.

    "The world itself came into existence through the utterance of a word by Thoth."

    - E. A. Wallis Budge, Egyptian Magic

    "Thoth or the Egyptian Hermes was the symbol of the Divine Mind; he was incarnated Thought, the Living Word -- the Logos of Plato and the Word of the Christians.
    Thoth is called the "Source of the Word," the one god without parents who precedes all others. He is the "Soul of Becoming" whose creative willpower fashions reality. "What emanates from the opening of his mouth," says an ancient Egyptian text, "that comes to pass; he speaks and it is his command." As the "Reckoner of the Universe," Thoth is the source of all natural law; as the "Shepherd of Men" and "Vehicle of Knowledge," he is the higher mind in man that provides inspiration and inner knowledge."

    - A Hyper-History of the Emerald Tablet

    "In brief, he is the Son, the manifestation in act of the idea of the Father.
    In the traditional card the disguise (of Mercury) is that of a Juggler. He bears a wand with a knob at each end, which was probably connected with the dual polarity of electricity; but it is also the hollow wand of Prometheus that brings down fire from Heaven.
    Being the Word, he is the law of reason or of necessity or chance, which is the secret meaning of the Word, which is the essence of the Word, and the condition of its utterance. This being so, and especially because he is duality, he represents both truth and falsehood, wisdom and folly. Being the unexpected, he unsettles any established idea, and therefore appears tricky. He has no conscience, being creative. If he cannot attain his ends by fair means, he does it by foul. The legends of the youthful Mercury are therefore legends of cunning. He cannot be understood, because he is the Unconscious Will."

    - The Book of Thoth

    It would seem that the transcendent function and the divine Logos are one and the same. The purple piper, the pattern juggler, the yellow jester; they are all Hermes, expressions of the transcendent function, the divine Logos.

    "I am the Logos in the full aspect and the beginning of a new Logos."

    - P. D. Ouspensky, Commentary on the Emperor tarot

    The reborn Crimson King, the divine child/divine Logos, represents a paradoxical union of the Apollonian with the Dionysian, Thinking with Feeling, a divine Eros/Logos.

    "Paradoxically, Thoth embodies the rational powers of the Sun as well as the intuitive, irrational energies of the Moon."

    - A Hyper-History of the Emerald Tablet

    As for the feminine aspect of the divine Logos.

    "Philo explains that men are "nourished by the whole word (Logos) of God, and by every portion of it ... "The Wisdom of God, which is the nurse and foster-mother and educator of those who desire incorruptible food; ... immediately supplies food to those which are brought forth by Her ... but the fountain of divine wisdom is borne along, at one time in a more gentle and moderate stream, and at another with greater rapidity and a more exceeding violence and impetuosity ...." This Wisdom as the Daughter of God is "a true-born and ever virgin daughter".

    - The Logos and its Functions in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria

    "If the anima is stripped of her image ...clinical evidence suggests that the remaining core is function, relating consciousness to the unconscious. Since the Great Goddess has been repressed, as it has been for most men, the anima junction, now experienced as the transcendent function, brings the man to a connection with the Great Goddess."

    - J. C. Smith Reviews

In the Beginning was the Word II ~ The Fool return to
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In the Beginning was the Word II ~ The Magician

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Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
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