Chapter Sixteen

ISLANDS






- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Islands | pg. 2 - Sagittarius | pg. 3 - Formentera Lady
pg. 4 - A Dragon Fig Tree's Fan | pg. 5 - The Sun | pg. 6 - Tanit
pg. 7 - The Crystal Cabinet | pg. 8 - Sailor's Tale | pg. 9 - Seizing the Ox
pg. 10 - The Letters

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The Sun


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"Lamplight glows on old guitars the travellers strum;"


"Lamplight" as a mystical phrase associated with the experience of being filled with light ...passed into Islam as the 35th verse of the 24th sura of the Koran, becoming over time the focus of many Sufi sects."

- The Path of Ra
by Vincent Bridges


"Originally, Sufis were known as "wayfarers" or "travellers on the mystical path."

- An Interview with Llewelyn Vaughan-Lee

Sufis distinguish between eight types of "travellers".

- Glossary of Sufi Terminology

"Sufis see themselves to be on a spiritual journey toward God."

- Sufism's Many Paths
by Dr. Alan Godlas


"Incense children dance to an Indian drum."

"As a rule in the presence of dervishes a wood fire and incense burn continually."

- The Unity of Religious Ideals
by Hazrat Inayat Khan


"Incense, what does your perfume signify? --My perfume is the evidence of my self-sacrifice. Incense, tell me what mortal is veiled in your nature? --When my heart endures the test of fire, my hidden quality becomes manifest."

- Quotations from The Five Stages
by Hazrat Inayat Kahn


"Spiritual dance, popularly known as 'Sufi' dancing, is the earmark of Sufism."

- Religious Requirements and Practices

"The dancers swirl gracefully around each other, their melody mingling with the guitars, flutes and drums in the center of the circle. This is Sufi Dancing."

- Sufi Dancing
by Mark Seigchrist


"The North Indian drums know as the tabla were said to have been invented in the 13th century by Amir Khusrau, a disciple of the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizemuddin Aluya."

- Tabla Beat Science

"A two-headed barrel-shaped drum known as the pakhawaj may have been the original model for the tabla. Legend has it that the Sufi musician Amir Khusrau cut his pakhawaj in half to make the two-drum set known as tabla."

- An Introduction to Tabla
by Niraj Sharma


The "old guitars" the "Indian drum" and the "children" suggest that he is aware of the archetypal nature of his (our) situation. We are all "travellers" who have lost ourselves at the "caravan hotel".

"Time and again great souls come into the world to remind us of our true Home. They tell us with clarion call that this world is not our natural habitat. We are here just for a brief span as travellers in a caravanserai and must therefore prepare to quit, and sooner we do it, the better it would be."

- Mystery of Death
by Kirpal Singh


"Come, come whoever you are, This caravan is not of despair.
Even though you have broken your vow,
Perhaps ten thousand times. Come!"

~Jelaluddin Rumi~

"One characteristic exemplar of intuition is an immediate, non-rational (and hence intuitive) sense of the mood or the atmosphere of a place, for example the mood or atmosphere of a haunted cemetery in the moonlight"

- The Vision of Jung: The Glorious 8

The "children" also reflect something of the protagonists inner state.

"Like aboriginal peoples, young children perceive differently from older children and adults whose egos have been differentiated: "in the act of perception, they are not detached, as we are, from the representations". What is perceived is of the "same nature" as the perceiver."

(Barfield, Owen. Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry.)

- Eros and Logos in Oscar Wilde's Fairly Tales
by Clifton Snider


Which means our protagonist perceives the guitar players, for example, as (spiritual) "travellers" because he himself is a spiritual traveller.


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Jesse Burns Parke - Sun tarot
The Sun tarot card.

Description

"Two naked children, a boy and a girl, prepubescent fraternal twins, sing and dance arm-in-arm on the grass in a ring of reddish mushrooms within a walled garden, over which a brilliant sun-disk rises.

The children here symbolise consciousness close to the state of Cosmic Consciousness. Specifically, they symbolise the person who has experienced the Divine state of consciousness, samadhi, returned from it, and who is now merely clearing up a few final personal ego matters prior to achieving their final, perfected state."

- Understanding Pisces






Verse

The holy place where dawn is never done,
The garden wherein rebirth is begun,
Is where the children dance the Dance of Life,
With Love and Logic, reconciling strife.
Enjoy the sacred Garden of the Sun!


"...whence we come into the garden of 18.Sun, where we may dance the dance of youth. In this trump, the sun, whose glow tinged the horizon in 17.Moon, has climbed into the sky, to grant its illumination to the children, who greet the dawn after emerging from the oceanic womb. (SB&G 76)

On the Rider-Waite Sun card a single child is shown emerging into the bright sunlight, riding a white horse.

In the sequence of tarot trumps, the Sun triumphs over the Moon...,"

"The rusted chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun."

"...for it is Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun), the power of transcendent consciousness to tame the beasts of the Abyss, the potent and wild forces of the collective unconscious. "

"I'll unwind my old strings while the sun shine down"

"Thus Apollo defeated the Python, and brought its powerful chthonic forces under control, but without destroying them, for the Pythia continued to fulfill her function. Thus blind instinct and primitive fears are not suppressed, but are channeled toward more productive ends. (Cooper s.v. sun; SB&G 77)

The dawn brings the welcome light of the sun, reaffirming our confidence in the cosmic order. But there are two sides to the bright solar consciousness, for the sun may burn as well as comfort;

"Down a sun-baked crumpled stony road."

"Dusty wheels leaning rusting in the sun;"


"...this is especially the case if the heat of the sun is premature and withers the young shoots. The austere, brilliant, rational Apollo was often unsuccessful in love, for even semidivine nymphs found him too intense."

" "Where sweet sage and strange herbs grow."

"The Garden of the Rising Sun contains extraordinary plants."

"Snuff brown wall where Spanish lizards run."

"The wall keeps the mystical experience in bounds, for Apollo's arrows may bring madness as well as illumination. Unlike the tower, which was made of brittle bricks, the garden's wall is made of stone, which represents the human adaptation of nature.

The stones of the wall represent words; in Latin calculus means pebble, but especially a pebble used as a token in some definite information processing task, such as calculating (N.B. calc-), gaming or voting. (Similarly, "isopsephia," the ancient Greek word for gematria, derives from iso + psephos, which means "equal pebbles," that is equal in number.) Thus the wall represents human language as an instrument of definition and limitation to keep the force of the solar illumination in bounds. Nevertheless, the children have their back turned to the wall, which reflects the inability of language to adequately capture the mystical experience. In the Hortus Conclusus two underlying forces cooperate in the regeneration of nature: Logos, the enclosing wall, and Eros, the enclosed efflorescence of life. Both are necessary to accomplish the Work; thus in the Hermetic tradition Logos is called "The Good Gardener of Life,"

"The gardener plants an evergreen"

"...for he ensures that the garden bears fruit. (Case 193-4; Cooper s.v. garden)"

- The Pythagorean Tarot
by John Opsopaus





Islands ~ A Dragon Fig Tree's Fan
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Islands ~ Tanit



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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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