Chapter 14
Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness

"If you abandon
for a little while
your ego and greed
tear down your shield
rise with a quest
to unite with the divine,
what do you think will happen?"

- Rumi

- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Wilderness | pg. 2 - Prince Rupert Awakes | pg. 3 - The Sufis
pg. 4 - And there a Swan is Born | pg. 5 - Reels of Dream Unrolled | pg. 6 - The Peacock's Tale
pg. 7 - The Tibetan Book of the Dead | pg. 8 - Dawn Song | pg. 9 - Night Enfolds Her Cloak of Holes
pg. 10 - The Battle of Glass Tears | pg. 11 - Prince Rupert's Lament

- page index -
Courtship Solely of his Word | Tears of Glass

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"Farewell the temple master's bells
His kiosk and his black worm seed"

The "temple master's bells" represent the call of religion. The "kiosk" is religion as a shelter from the world and its uncomfortable ideas. "Black worm seed" represents the purifying nature and rituals of religion. In order to find what he seeks, Prince Rupert, like Prince Siddhartha and Jesus (the Prince of Peace), must turn his back on established religious beliefs.

"Buddhism's nonattachment is total--everything, remember, including every idea, philosophy, religion, etc... is sunyata and cannot be attached to. This is the meaning behind the Buddhist injunction 'If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.' Not even the Buddha, or the Buddha's words, should be attached to."

- Sunyata and Sex

"Inwardly or outwardly, if you encounter any obstacles kill them right away. If you encounter the Buddha, kill him; if you encounter the Patriarch, kill him; ...kill them all without hesitation, for this is the only way to deliverance. Do not get yourselves entangled with any object, but stand above, pass on, and be free!"

- Lin-chi

"The minute anything - science, feminism, Buddhism, holism, whatever - starts to take on the characteristics of a cosmology, it should be discarded. How things are held in the mind is infinitely more important than what is in the mind, including this statement itself."

- Morris Berman, Holocaust Century Historian

"Beware of confining yourself to a particular belief and denying all else, for much good would elude you - indeed, the knowledge of reality would elude you. Be in yourself a matter for all forms of belief, for God is too vast and tremendous to be restricted to one belief rather than another."

- Ibn Al-Arabi

"Without demolishing religious schools (madrassahs) and minarets and without abandoning the beliefs and ideas of the medieval age, restriction in thoughts and pains in conscience will not end. Without understanding that unbelief is a kind of religion, and that conservative religious belief a kind of disbelief, and without showing tolerance to opposite ideas, one cannot succeed."

- Rumi

"The truly religious man does not embrace a religion; and he who embraces one has no religion."

- Kahlil Gibran

"Fools must pretend to be wise
We've a faith that we use as a heavy disguise"

- John Ford, Heavy Disguise
The Strawbs, Grave New World

"Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are not sure that we are doubly sure. Fundamentalism is, therefore, inevitable in an age which has destroyed so many certainties by which faith once expressed itself and upon which it relied."

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Web of Religion by William Blake
Web of Religion
by William Blake
"To realize that our knowledge is ignorance
This is a noble insight.
To regard our ignorance as knowledge
That is mental sickness."

- Lao Tzu

"Seeking Him I reached the mosque.
But all I found there were vain discussions
on sacraments and ceremonials.

I was advised to go visit the temple.
There I found
only idols being worshipped
and gongs being sounded."

- Nazir

"The thickest veils between man and Allah are the wisdom of the wise, the worship of the religious, and the piety of the pious."

- Bayazid Bistami

"Meister Eckhart, the mystic of the middle ages, says: 'that the ultimate leap you take is the leaving of god, the folk god. Break through that veil of conditioning and you get to the elementary idea."

- Kundalini Yoga

The "temple master's bells" (in the tower of the mind) can also represent the Thinking function (i.e "bats in his belfry", "a bell went off in his head"). The "kiosk" and "black worm seed" being the discerning nature of Thinking as it shelters Rupert from misguided passions and purges from him irrational beliefs. In a meditative state and, having already said goodbye to the world of the senses, he must also turn his back on his intellect.

"...let's say that our starting point
is that we forget what we know, or think we know, and
that we suspend judgment about practically everything,
returning to what we were when we were babies when we had
not yet learned the names or the language."

- Taoism by Alan Watts

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 18:3

"True meditation practice in Zen is zazen, not meditation. As has been said earlier in
this text, zazen is not the same as meditation. Meditation implies concentration on
something. In meditation we "empty our cup." In zazen we not only empty the cup, we
erase the existence of the cup. Zazen is thoughtless thought, concentration without
concentration, emptiness."

- Meditation

"Gradually one realises that one must now give up the life of the intellect - as one
earlier gave up the light of the senses - and learn to live by pure faith.

For one who has a natural intellectual bent, this sacrifice is especially difficult. One seems to cut
off the very purpose for which one exists. Also one is now psychologically left - following the
surrender of both affective and cognitive modes - with nowhere to go - in psychological terms -
than in the direction of pure faith. "

- Transforming Voyage
- A Contemporary Account of Mystical Personality Development
chapter 9, Black Hole
by Peter Collins

And, of course, the "affective mode" is the Feeling function and the "cognitive mode" the Thinking function, precisely the entities neutralized in The Devil's Triangle .

"Balance will be achieved when each consumes the other's substance."

- Jung

"...those "messages from the gods" depend on our ability to turn down or turn off our conscious perceptions based on sensation, and sometimes feeling and thinking. When feeling, thinking, and sensation shift into neutral, we respond with instincts that are supplied by the intuitive function."

- The Genesis Model by Gerry Anne Lenhart

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"Courtship solely of his word
With Eden guaranteed."

Just as the elephants of Cirkus were "force fed" on the "stale chalk" of mere words, the temple master (religion) has "courted" Rupert solely by means of the "word" or scripture. Or, put another way, within the context of most (all?) religions, one's relationship (courtship) with God is based solely on the word of another (the religion's "sacred" text). "Eden guaranteed" also sounds like a sales pitch ("Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!"), implying the legalistic nature of religions offering the perfect system, eternal life insurance - if only one will abide by the contract.

"...there is also a detachment from language and written scriptures
for it cannot serve as a means of explaining philosophical truth.
Dogen instructs that no matter how elegant prose might be,
"they are merely toying with words and cannot gain truth".
Language only obstructs the understanding of Zen Buddhist teaching..."

- Zen

Words produced by the intellect and appealing to the intellect cannot, of themselves, lead anyone to Eden. Via renunciation of the intellect during meditation, once one has said "farewell" to the "temple master's bells" and his "words", "Eden" (Enlightenment) is "guaranteed".

"... It is the mind alone which is referred to variously as buddhi, the cosmos,
egosense, prana, etc. Hence its abandonment alone is total renunciation. Once it
is abandoned, the truth is experienced at once."

- Dying and being reborn (Quotations from Vasishtha)

And here we arrive at one of the meanings of the album cover painting. The fundamental concern of the Crimson King was presented on the cover of the first album: the shadow of (or the "monster" that is) modern man. One of the concerns of Lizard is attachment to dogma, the Word. During the Medieval era, the idea of the word as sacred was expressed by the illuminated manuscript.

"At the pre-Renaissance period, Bibles and other Sacred books were copied by monks in "carols", small cubicles set up in the cloisters of the monasteries and great cathedrals in response to the unprecedented need for copies of books. It is of interest that the monkish copyists traditionally spoke the words aloud as they wrote them. This oral "chewing" of the text was closely associated with the act of prayer, also helping to identify words whose meaning might be otherwise obscure in the original MSS due to misspelling or excessive use of contractions. The reading of the Holy text was also considered a form of meditation in which the scribe savored Divine wisdom directly from his books, which retained the mystical aura of miraculous objects at this period."

- History of Illuminated Manuscripts

"The Book was the final authority on God's intent. Nothing else was ever permitted to supersede it. And since most of the population could not read even their native tongue, let alone the Latin or Greek of the Bible, no one could ever question the selective readings the priests used to convince the masses of one point or another. For those of us today, living surrounded by the printed word, it is almost impossible to imagine the credibility given in earlier days to anything that had been written down, no matter how nonsensical it was. The very fact that someone had taken the tremendous trouble to create a book gave an automatic assumption that what it contained was true and important. Skepticism about the written word was almost nonexistent until Gutenberg and his partners made books an accepted and unremarkable fact of daily life.

For much of the duration of Christianity, to be a monk, a seeker after god, meant to be a preserver and copier of the Word of God. Thousands of monks spent the greater portion of their lives copying pages of the Bible; this was literally one of the holiest works one could perform. Writing and religious vocations were inextricably linked in the public mind. Thus the term "cleric" or "clerk", originally applicable only to priests or monks, came to be a generic term for anyone whose occupation involved writing."

- The New Aeon: A Consideratioon of the Astrological Symbolism


("who says one thing but is secretly thinking another.") the God of language, hence the inspiration of all writers."

- The Magician's Dictionary by E.E. Rhemus

In Phaedrus 14, Plato discusses the invention of writing .

"Thoth (Hermes) was the inventor of many arts, such as arithmetic and calculation and geometry and astronomy and draughts and dice, but his great discovery was the use of letters.
This, said Thoth, will make the Egyptians wiser and give them better memories; it is a specific both for the memory and the wit.
Thamus replied: You who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing, they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."

- The Theuth is Out There

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"For now Prince Rupert's tears of glass"

"Glass tears" are not real and, in the case of actual Rupert's Tears, if even a very slight pressure is applied in the right way, they are easily shattered to dust.

"...if you take a fourteen-pound sledgehammer and try to smash it on a forge.
You cannot.....

For although it is strong enough to withstand the sledgehammer, the tail can
be nipped with a pair of blunt-nosed pliers. It takes a little effort. And once it
is done it is as if you have taken out the keystone, removed the linchpin,
kicked out the foundations. The whole thing explodes. And where, a
moment before, you had unbreakable glass, now you have grains of glass
in every corner of the workshop--in your eyes if you are not careful--and what
is left in your hand you can crumble--it feels like sugar--without danger."

- from the novel Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

- The Prince Rupert Drop as Central Symbol

"Prince Rupert's tears of glass" are a symbol of his ego. "Tears" also represent the pain caused by ego attachments. The ego, like a Rupert's Drop, is practically indestructible unless a particular sort of pressure is applied. It is the task of the divine child, Prince Rupert (whose name means "destroy by means of"), to annihilate his ego.

"Common to shamanism, Vedanta, Buddhism, Taoism, Gnosticism and
Sufism is a state of illumination characterized by descent into archetypal
cosmic consciousness variously described as moksha, enlightenment,
samadhi, gnosis, the void, or the self. Several traditions have been
enriched by the use of natural evolutionary sacraments which induce
visions... Such a state has common elements of ego loss or ego death,
disembodiment and union with the divine source."

- Conceiving Genesis Part 2

"Ego is the "perceptual organ" of the whole body considered by itself,
autonomous, complete, and needing nothing. Here comes the paradox,
crashing in, de-re-mystifying: ego is body-image, not the organ (eye,
ear, skin) that perceives, but the organless imaginary being which moves
thinking through timespace and decides or does not to execute certain
movements efficacious of desired result."

- Fluidentity

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness."

- Jesus

"We are too ego centred.The ego shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow...When the ego shell is broken...

(When the "glass tear" is shattered.)

...and the "other" is taken into its own body, we can say that the ego has denied itself or that the ego has taken its first steps towards the infinite."

- Suzuki

"For beloved cross every pass
Worldly affairs slow their pace
A flowing brook amidst the grass
Flowing tears his face shall trace

His ego is shattered glass..."

- Rumi

Dark Night of the Soul: Wilderness
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Dark Night of the Soul: Wilderness ~ The Sufis

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

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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