Evoked in the first minutes of
Bolero - The Peacock's Tale
(Rumi's tale) is a sense of the wilderness wanderings of a people driven from
their ancestral homeland.
"Rumi's father, Bahalu'u-Din Veled foresaw the tragedy of the great city of
Balkh. Assembling a large caravan, and with his family, friends, and students,
he left Balkh to begin the long journey of sixteen summers.
Baha'u-Din Veled arrived in Baghdad and before leaving, news arrived of the
slaughter of Balkh by the forces of Gengis Khan.
Fourteen thousand copies of the Koran were burned; fifteen thousand students
and professors were slain; two
hundred thousand adult males were fatally pierced by the arrows of the Grand
Khan's army. The intelligence and
future of Balkh was erased. The birthplace of Jalalu'ddin Rumi was razed.
The journey continued as the travelers came to Mecca and performed the great
pilgrimage. In Nishpur, Iran, they
met with the Sufi Farid al-Din'Attar who gave young Jalal his blessings and a
copy of his book of Mysteries. He
told Baha'u-Din, "The day will come when this child will kindle the fire of
divine enthusiasm throughout the world."
The caravan passed through Damascus, where it is said Baha'u-Din Veled and Ibn
'Arabi once met, and then
remained for four years near Arzanjan in Armenia (Erzincan in present day
Turkey.) The caravan then traveled to
Karaman (Laranda) ...before permanently settling in Konya."
"Listen to the story told by the reed of
Since I was cut from the reed bed I have
made this crying sound. Anyone
separated from someone he loves understands what I say:
from a source
longs to go back.
At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and the grieving, a friend to each.
But few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes.
The reed is a friend to all who want the fabric torn and drawn away.
The reed is hurt and salve combining.
Intimacy and longing for intimacy, one song.
A disastrous surrender and a fine love together."
- Rumi, The Song of the Reed
If the heroic battle with the monster..."
The Devil's Triangle
"...suggests one necessary stage in the developing consciousness of the
individual, the "symbolic means by which the emerging ego overcomes the inertia
of the unconscious mind",
the ordeal of Gilgamesh suggests the second stage, the archetype of initiation.
Anthropologists have long
studied the rituals of passage, of which the festivals of Dionysus are an
ancient example. In these death and
rebirth rites, the ego is lost; "identity is temporarily dismembered or
dissolved in the collective unconscious."
Orpheus, Dionysus, Christ-all have been taken by their followers to have
experienced the ordeal of death and
rebirth. The lonely pilgrimage is a widespread symbol of this in literature,
and we think it the main reason for the
extraordinary impact of the second half of Gilgamesh.
"There is one striking difference between the hero myth and the initiation
rite. The typical hero figures exhaust
their efforts in achieving the goal of their ambitions; in short, they become
successful even if immediately
afterward they are punished or killed for their hybris.
(just as the "king" was immediately killed or engulfed following his victory in
The Devil's Triangle
In contrast to this, the novice for initiation is called upon to
give up willful ambition and all desire and to submit to the ordeal. He must be
willing to experience this trial
without hope of success. In fact, he must be prepared to die; ...the purpose
remains always the same; to create the symbolic
mood of death from which may spring the symbolic mood of rebirth."
- Joseph L. Henderson,"Ancient Myths and Modern Man",
"The desert experience was one of the formative experiences in Israel's history
as it was
later theologically reflected upon. Both Moses and Elijah conjure up images of
the desert, and
greater prophets than this there could not be. Christian origins, too, cannot
avoid the role of the
Judean wilderness for John, the baptizer, and also for Jesus. Even Paul speaks
of traveling into
Arabia after his conversion (Gal. 1:17)."
"Because the Wilderness symbolizes the vast unclaimed, untamed territory of the
unconscious, the account given in Exodus is descriptive of a prolonged encounter
with the unconscious. Its overall symbolism is suggested in its beginning
the Red or Reed Sea.
In crossing the sea the Israelites were embarking on a journey that corresponds
one the sun makes nightly in its descent from the western sky and as it travels
the sea and through the realm of darkness, moving eastward and unseen until it
re-emerges with the light of a new day. The symbolism is that of
rhythmic heartbeat of ongoing creation.
Wilderness is, in fact, synonymous with alienation. It is the long drawn-out
which the ego is emptied of self will. As a rule a person is driven into the
by some inner or outer compelling circumstance: as when Adam was "driven" from
the garden; or Cain "banished" to the Wilderness as a fugitive.
In Ego and Archetype Edinger spells out the "cycle of alienation": how and why
breach between ego and Self occurs and how the connection is restored.
he explains, is the hubris brought upon through the ego's identification with
This is the sin of pride, of presumption. When the ego identifies with the Self,
presuming to be God, it becomes inflated and brings upon itself "the fate of
Like Icarus the ego insists on following its own course; becomes exhilarated by
ability "to fly;" flies too close to the sun; its wax wings melt; and Icarus
falls into the
sea. The flight is its inflation; the sun its self-exaltation; the wax wings
and the sea its deflationary fall back into unconsciousness."
"Deity is like colourless light, which can be endlessly refractured through
different prisms to create different colours."
- Caitlín Matthews
Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom
The Aquarian Press, 1992, p. 5-9
"Light broken open by a prism displays the colors that are always its nature.
essence is clear light and its nature is to manifest as the colors of the
rainbow. Pure awareness is
completely transparent like a sheet of glass. But when broken open, it displays
the rainbow of colors
or flavors that are the substance of manifestation. Pure awareness and the
colors of Being are not in
opposition or even in any way two. They are aspects of singleness.
With Tantra you are not 'getting' somewhere; you are just waking up to the true
nature of things as
they are. The colors inherent in clear light are not other than the light. The
display whereby Being
presents its limitless mystery is none other than the birthless and deathless
pure mystery from which
"To dream and altogether not to dream. This synthesis is the operation of
which both activities are mutually reinforced."
"In ancient Tantric traditions, the half-sleep state, the
link between sleeping and waking, is designated as the
Fourth State, the other three being sleeping, dreaming
everyone experiences hypnagogia, but many people
are not willing to admit it for fear of revealing some
pathology or abnormality in themselves. The longer
one stays away from actual light, the brighter the field
of vision becomes. In fact, when we close our eyes or
stare into darkness, we actually see not total black but
a range of visual phenomena that can include pure
colors and dancing color spots, to name just a few
effects. (15) Many people who linger on these visions
will become aware of a kaleidoscopic change of
patterns and forms, perhaps even faces of people
known or unknown.
Detail is usually sharp, colors are beautiful, lighting is
both diffuse and intense. The phenomenon
typically has many other striking features as well, such
as a pleasant, even humorous quality and cartoon-like
or surreal images.
Hypnagogic visions are not generated in the eyes.
Sources cited by Mavromatis suggest that subcortical
structures (the term "subcortical structures" are
understood to stand for all brain structures below the
cortical level, and is synonymous with oldbrain) are
implicated in hypnagogic vision. In lower animals such
as birds and reptiles..."
..."vision appears to be achieved by
the more powerful subcortical structures, he says.
Such animals possess in its strongest form the
evolutionally older synesthetic stage, a stage which is
mediated by the old brain."
"Various kinds of lights manifest during meditation owing to
deep concentration. In the beginning a bright, white light,
(the alchemical White Swan and the end of
Prince Rupert Awakes.)
size of a pin's point will appear in the forehead at the space
between the two eyebrows which corresponds tentatively to
the Ajna Chakra. You will notice, when the eyes are closed,
different coloured lights, white, yellow, red, smoky, blue,
green, mixed lights, flashes like lightning, fire, moon, sun,
stars and sparks. These are Tanmatric lights. ...The
appearance of the lights denotes that you are transcending the
physical consciousness. You are in a semiconscious state when
the light appears. You are between the two places."