Chapter 15
Big Top


- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Big Top | pg. 2 - Echoes of Camels and Needles | pg. 3 - The Crimson King
pg. 4 - Beelzebub | pg. 5 - Demon est Deus Inversus
pg. 6 - Prophets Chained for Burning Masks | pg. 7 - Kundalini
pg. 8 - The Dweller on the Threshold | pg. 9 - The Alchemical Wedding
pg. 10 - The Woman Clothed with the Sun | pg. 11 - Circe
pg. 12 - Ouroboros | pg. 13 - And there a Swan is Born
pg. 14 - Spiral

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Visible in the night sky in October and November, along with Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Lacerta, is the constellation Phoenix.

In Big Top the Phoenix takes flight, spiralling into outer space.

"Having fallen into lateral, sequentially perceived time we make our way back to eternity spirally.
In ascending the spiral stairway of life each new level is at right angles to the one below. Each shift in consciousness demands an alternation of perspective and a reorientation towards life. Just as the seed determines the unfolding of the tree, so within each human life a similar blueprint is contained in the double spiraling DNA molecule."

About the double helix Doczi observes that

"it is hard to avoid the conclusion that we are looking at one of nature's most basic pattern-forming processes . . . [and seeing] the hidden and harmonious order built into body and mind, as it is built into every flower and leaf, mirrored by the crafts, and echoed by music . . . ."

- Return to the Whole A Study of the Landscape Symbolism of the Bible
by Ann K Elliot
Jacob's Ladder by William Blake
"It's the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight."

- Peter Gabriel
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

"...the fibonacci spiral of growth is found in the development patterns of pine cones, cabbage, sunflowers, and tree branches. It is a geometry unique to the linkage through which life ties into and uses the energy fields in our surroundings.

Indeed the laws of dynamic flux require that the Golden Mean be set at what is called the "phi ratio" - which has been approximated at 1.6180339 - a number that goes on forever. (The phi ratio is a sort of "golden mean proportion" or Fibonacci spiral formula that underlies all organic structures. It can be found in the relative bone-lengths of animal skeletons; in the design of plants; in the geometry of crystal formations; even entire constellations and galaxies.)"

- Song of the Dragon
by Antares

It might also be what the Taoists call "li", the watercourse way, "those patterns of flow memorialized, as it were, as sculpture in the grain in wood, which is the flow of sap, in marble, in bones, in muscles".
The fibonacci spiral can also be found in Castel del Monte.

"The hidden astronomical characteristics of Castel del Monte…form a rectangle with an aspect ratio of the Golden Number."
A nautilus (a spiral) is sculpted into an interior wall at the castle. On the inner wall of the nautilus are inscribed the Fibonacci Numbers.

- The Castel del Monte
by Joachim Euchner

And on the inner sleeve of the album is found a spiral.

"Calling symbols "the stuff both of feeling and of knowledge," Lawrence Blair characterizes spirals as more than the timeless symbols of eternity which we find scrawled or woven throughout our earliest mythology; . . . Spirals are the actual "shape" of fluid energy evolving order from chaos, and are found even in the anatomy of our own biological inheritance--the spiraling nucleic acids in the DNA molecule."

- Return to the Whole
A Study of the Landscape Symbolism of the Bible
by Ann K Elliott

"The word 'chakra' is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning 'wheel'. If we were able to see the chakras we would observe a wheel of energy continuously revolving or rotating."

- Crystal Knowledge
by Rev. Kellie JO Conn

"This vast universe is a wheel, the wheel of Brahman. Upon it are all creatures that are subject to birth, death, and rebirth. Round and round it turns, and never stops. As long as the individual self thinks it is separate from the Lord, it revolves upon the wheel in bondage to the laws of birth, death, and rebirth....

The Lord supports this universe, which is made up of the perishable and the imperishable, the manifest and the unmanifest. The individual soul, forgetful of the Lord, attaches itself to pleasure and thus is bound."

- Hinduism. Svetasvatara Upanishad 1.6-8

"One has to break down the false screen which is imposed upon objects and creates the illusion of the furniture of the world, with all its tables and chairs, cabbages and kings. Behind all of these are whirling centres of energy revolving in ceaseless motion at tremendous and different rates, and some of them are fundamental particles connected with what is called anti-matter. They are capable of instantaneously affecting fields extending over millions of miles."

- Karma and Transmutation

Peering Through the Cosmic Sphere by Camille Flammarion

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"The fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object, no being which does not revolve. The shared similarity between all created things is the revolution of the electrons, protons, and neutrons within the atoms that constitute their basic structure. From the smallest cell to the planets and the farthest stars, everything takes part in this revolving. Thus, The Semazens, the ones who whirl, participate consciously in the shared revolution of all existence."

- Sema, the Universal Movement
by Dr. Celalettin Celebi

"Mevlana (Rumi) was aware of the movement and sound in all of the planets. The sema, or whirling dance, of the dervishes is an expression of the cosmic joy experienced by the simultaneous effect of annihilation and glorification.

"It is the witnessing of the state of perceiving the mysteries of God through the heavens of divinity.
Sema is to fight with one's self, to flutter, struggle desperately like a half-slaughtered bird,
bloodstained and covered with dust and dirt. It is to be aware of Jacob's grief and know its remedy;
to know the vibration of meeting Joseph and the smell of his shirt. ...Sema is a secret. The Prophet
Muhammad said, 'I have a time with God and during this time neither angel nor prophet can intrude.'
Sema is to attain that place where even an angel cannot go."

- Rumi

It is said that a true dervish is never bored, because he never does anything twice. Man continuously journeys around the circle of himself, repeating past actions and trapping himself in a net of his own creation. From the time the skull of Abel, the first man to die, was placed into the earth, man has buried the maps to his freedom."

- The Whirling Dervishes
by Ira Friedlander

Whirling Dervishs by Jean Leon Gerome
"The spiral journey which begins in Eden moves out from an original state of unity. Its beginning is in the direction of division and separation. But at the crucial point--the crux, the Cross--the direction changes back towards unity and culminates in the New Jerusalem. In spiraling round we will come back to where we began but from a higher vantage point and from which we will know that we are inseparable from the heart of God."

- Return to the Whole
A Study of the Landscape Symbolism of the Bible
by Ann K Elliott

And this "higher vantage point" is exactly the point of Big Top . The narrator is still looking at the Cirkus (the material world of maya) but he can now see it from a different, a much higher, perspective. It is as though he were airborne looking down at the circus tent, the big top.

"If you are inside of something, say an atom, you only see electrons whirling chaotically around you. If you moved outside the atom you would see those electrons moving with a pattern around the atom. If you rise further above you see that atoms are actually the building blocks of larger structures called molecules. And so it goes, on up the scale, ad infinitum. The ever familiar 'forest from the trees' syndrome. It's all a matter of perspective. True creativity is allowing yourself to gain the loftiest perspective you can in relation to the object of your quandary or inquiry."

- Creative Chaos
by J.L. Read

There is one other reason that Peter Sinfield brings us back to the Cirkus.

"Curiously, circus arts also began as ritual effects. In Japan the Saragaku
tradition wove together the presentation of acrobatics, magic, divination,
fire-eating and other circuslike acts. The two-man dancing lion figure,
now seen at kung-fu demonstrations and Chinese New Year parades,
was commonly used in exorcism ceremonies throughout Asia. In Tibet it
was the protective snow lion, in China the temple-guardian Fu dog. The
dancing dragon, commonly seen in Chinese New Year parades, was often
its companion.

The expulsion of the bad luck demons of the old year was accomplished
annually in Tibet at Losar (New Year), a grand and national exorcism
celebration. "Amongst the festivities at Lhasa is the spectacle of 'Flying
Spirits,' by performers who glide down a rope stretched from the summit
of the Potala palace to its base."5 This feat was also performed in
medieval Europe, with rope-dancers stretching incline ropes from the
steeples of cathedrals. It could only be described as an awesome sight.

At one time the European Christians enlisted actors & entertainers to
present passion plays and morality pageants. Later jugglers, magicians,
dancers, mimers and all performers were persecuted by the Church. They
were all considered to be in league with the devil because of their
special "powers" to exhibit fantasy, illusion and impossible feats."

- Shamanism, Arts and Healing

"If the doors of perception were cleansed,
Everything would appear ... as it is, infinite."

- William Blake.

The Vigil

Don't go to sleep one night.

What you most want will come to you then.
Warmed by a sun inside, you'll see wonders.

Tonight, don't put your head down.
Be tough, and strength will come.
That which adoration adores
appears at night. Those asleep
may miss it. One night Moses stayed awake
and asked, and saw a light in a tree.

Then he walked at night for ten years,
until finally he saw the whole tree
illuminated. Muhammad rode his horse
through the nightsky...

- Rumi

"I am neither Christian nor Jew,
nor Magian, nor Muslim.
I am not of the East, nor the West,
not of the land, nor the sea.
I am not from nature's mine,
nor from the circling stars.
I am neither of earth nor water,
neither of wind nor fire.
I am not of the empyrean,
nor of the dust on this carpet.
I am not of the deep, nor from behind.
I am not of India or China,
not of Bulgaria, nor Saqsin;
I am not of the kingdom of Iraqain,
nor of the land of Khorasan.
I am not of this world nor the next,
not of heaven, nor of purgatory.
My place is the placeless,
my trace is the traceless.
It is not the body nor is it the soul,
for I belong to the soul of my love.
I have put duality away
and seen the two worlds as one.
One I seek, One I know.
One I see, One I call.
He is the First, He is the Last.
He is the outward, He is the Inward.
I know of nothing but Hu
, none but him.
Intoxicated with the cup of love,
two worlds slip from my hands.

- Jelaluddin Rumi

"One rides to the ocean on horseback, but after that the wooden horse of mystical silence must carry you. When that boat sinks, you are the fish, neither silent nor speaking, a marvel with no name."

- Jelaluddin Rumi

The Hymn of the Pearl

Sri Yantra

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Big Top ~ And There a Swan is Born Islands

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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
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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