Chapter Seventeen

ISLANDS
- side two -







- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Ladies of the Road | pg. 2 - A Flower Lady's Daughter | pg. 3 - Taming the Ox
pg. 4 - Prelude : Song of the Gulls | pg. 5 - Returning Home | pg. 6 - Islands
pg. 7 - Earth, Stream and Tree | pg. 8 - Beneath the Wind Turned Wave | pg. 9 - Dark Harbor Quays
pg. 10 - The Ego and the Self | pg. 11 - Magnum Opus

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Unus Mundus | The Hidden Track


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While there are nebulae with such names as "Pelican" and "Swan", the Trifid can also be seen as a metaphor for alchemical change.

"The Trifid Nebula is a fine example of an object which combines emission and reflection nebulosity. The striking red emission nebula surrounds a small group of very hot stars. Energetic radiation from these stars causes part of the enveloping but otherwise invisible hydrogen cloud to fluoresce and emit its characteristic monochromatic red light."

- Trifid Nebula
by David Malin


The mixture of stars and hydrogen cloud is a union of opposites. As energetic radiation from the stars results in a red emission, the "small group of very hot stars" represent the alchemical sulfur which produces the rubedo (reddening).



"The alchemists called it Rubedo, or 'reddening', and referred it symbolically to the reign of the Mystic King. This King is the supreme authority. He is the manifestation of Gods will in man, for he is no mere autocrat but an Initiated Priest-King. A being that has hold of both Temporal and Spiritual power. A man who has successfully combined the functions of both the head and the heart, thought and feeling, inseparably into one new expression of consciousness."

- The Great Work
by Frater Parush


"Frederick II may be called an Apostle of Enlightenment, or to be more accurate : he helped the cause by raising knowledge to the same plane as magic. For although he began by dissolving magic and myth and miracle, he utilised and realised them too, and even created more ; he did not destroy the miraculous, but he placed the scientific alongside it, and thus called into existence one of those rare and priceless transition moments in which all and everything is valid simultaneously : myth and insight, faith and knowledge, miracle and law, corroborating yet belying each other, co-operating yet conflicting. Such was the atmosphere in which Frederick moved and had his being - astoundingly learned yet childishly naive, clearsighted yet credulous : at once stark and hard and passionate. Such too was the air which Dante breathed." (p. 248)

- Frederick II
by Ernst Kantorowicz

"This new form of consciousness allows its possessor to 'know' the totality of his being. Not just the outer world to which his conscious mind has given him access in the past, but to the inner world also, which in the past he was unconscious of. It is more than this though too. Because now that he understands...the Truth about his own reality, he also understands the greater or macrocosmic reality as well."

- The Great Work
by Frater Parush


"...a mode of life in which man is no longer an embodied paradox of angel and animal, of reason fighting instinct, but a marvelous coincidence in whom Eros and Logos are one"

- Allan Watts
The New Alchemy
an essay from This is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience


"Under this image is concealed the final secret of the mystic life: that ineffable union of finite and infinite--that loving reception of the inflowing vitality of God--from which comes forth the Magnum Opus: deified or spiritual man."

- Mysticism
by Evelyn Underhill


"The dream of reason produces monsters. Imagination deserted by reason creates impossible, useless thoughts. United with reason, imagination is the mother of all art and the source of all its beauty."

- Francisco de Goya


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"Having made his way down through the Inferno and up the mount of Purgatory, Dante entered Paradise. In the Last Canto of the entire "Comedia", Dante spoke of his heavenly vision.
"Here my powers rest from their high fantasy,
but already I could feel my being turned-
instinct and intellect balanced equally
as in a wheel whose motion nothing jars-
by the Love that moves the universe."

- Dante Alighieri, Paradise


Unus Mundus (literally meaning: One World) is the "god-image" dwelling within each one of us....
Unus Mundus is the final stop....
the end of our journey....

Unus Mundus is the final stop on the archetypal journey as told by the mystical cards of the Tarot.... (The World)

The Cave of the Nymphs was the final stop on the journey of the Greek hero, Odysseus.

The Cave of the Nymphs was considered to be a sacred, "set apart" place where heaven [spirit] and earth [matter] meet.

The cave was a place where souls descended from heaven by the northern door. It was here that souls obtained their bodies and were born into the world of time/space existence.

And likewise, souls returned to this cave when it was their time to depart from the southern door. It was here that they shed their bodies in order to head back to their celestial home."

- Unus Mundus

"A treatise on Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs, interprets a passage of Homer's Odyssey, viz. that of the Cave of the Naiads, in the light of Plato's Myth of Er in Republic X. We can also find there the outlines of a general Neoplatonic interpretation of the Odyssey: the nostos of Odysseus represents the homecoming to the spiritual realm of a soul cast about on the sea of materiality (water has always been a favorite representation of matter for them, because of its shapelessness)."

- Methexis Live Journal
Kraft and Water-nymphs.
Posted on 2005.02.04 at 23:50



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King Crimson put a hidden track at the end of Islands . It is the sound of an orchestra preparing to play a piece while the conductor, Robert Fripp, explains "We're going to do it twice more, once with the oboe, once without it." Eventually he begins the count: "1, 2, 3,...2, 2, 3,..." and then silence.

This "hidden" (i.e. occult) track, giving us a glimpse into the process of creation going on behind the scenes, corresponds to the process of re-creation experienced by the human soul after physical death. Just when you think the album is over, this track appears. Just when you think life is over, it begins again.
On the CD version of the album it is clear the track is meant as a lead-in to Formentera Lady , beginning the album, the process, the cycle all over again. The cycle described in Islands is ongoing and eternal.

"The process of individuation is symbolized by the trinity archetype, while the quaternity symbolizes its goal or completed state when, through the transcendent function, integration is complete. Three is the number for egohood; four is the number for wholeness, the self..."

And four is the number of albums in the cycle.

"...But since individuation never truly completes integration, each temporary state of completion or wholeness must be submitted once again to the dialectic of the trinity in order for life to go on."

- Method: Individuation

"Reincarnation is a natural rather than supernatural phenomenon. The proof lies in Nature who teaches us about the life/death/life pattern through her seasonal cycles felt by all creatures. This cyclic nature of the universe is also the feminine, creative energy that flows through all things and is the place where all things are born from and eventually return to.

The sole purpose of the human-animal existence is to know the Divine, or God, so that one will recognize him/her/it/unnamable when they die. For those who have not yet established a relationship with the Divine, rebirth occurs in order to provide another opportunity to forge this all-important bond. One will remain on The Wheel of Life until they are able to gain knowledge- gnosis- of God. The soul is our direct link to the Divine and we are a human medium for the great cosmic mystery. Dr. Jung once said that as we become more conscious, so does God."

- Some Thoughts on Reincarnation
by Paula Trimble


"The spiral image defined for Jung the Gnostic Christian belief of a pleroma which is a void where there is nothing and everything and what exists within it is an eternal process appearing in time as a periodic sequence repeated many times in an irregular pattern (Storr, p. 334). Campbell explained that this eternal process occurring within and without gives rise again to the question of what forces are at work binding us and inspiring the ultimate need of mankind through the ages to point to an omniscient God."

A Glimpse of the Spiral as a Symbol for the Transcendental Mystery of God
by Paula Vaughan


"At the time of creation God revealed himself in Nature; now he wants to be more specific and become man." - Jung
Answer to Job, p. 39

"Creation is still going on,... the creative forces are as great and as active to-day as they have ever been, and... to-morrow's morning will be as heroic as any of the world. Creation is here and now. So near is man to the creative pageant, so much a part is he of the endless and incredible experiment, that any glimpse he may have will be but the revelation of a moment, a solitary note heard in a symphony thundering through debatable existences of time. Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. It is as impossible to live without reverence as it is without joy."

- Henry Beston
The Outermost House


"On the Night of Creation I was awake.
Busy at work while everyone slept.
I was there to see the first wink
and hear the first tale told.
I was the first one caught
in the hair of the Great Imposter.

Whirling around the still-point of ecstasy
I spun like the wheel of heaven.

How can I describe this to you?--
you were born later.

I was a companion of the Ancient Lover;
Like a bowl with a broken rim
I endured his tyranny.
Why shouldn't I be as lustrous as the King's cup?--
I have lived in the room of treasures.
Why shouldn't this bubble become the sea?--
I am the secret that lies at the bottom...

Sh...No more words--
Hear only the voice within.
Remember, the first thing He said was:

We are beyond words."


- Rumi
The Still Point of Ecstacy



Memory by Elihu Vedder

"Happy was I In the pearl's heart to lie
Till, lashed by life's hurricane
Like a tossed wave I ran.
The secret of the sea I uttered thunderously;
Like a spent cloud on the shore I slept,
and stirred no more."


- Rumi


Ever Since the World Ended, Mose Allison







Islands : side two ~ The Ego and the Self
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