Chapter 14
Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness

Bolero - The Peacock's Tale

- 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 - Bolero : 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 -
Bolero - The Peacock's Tale

site index

    Alta Vista Translations
  Translate from  

"Ravel's 'Bolero' did, in fact, originate as a Sufi chant to be used for specific and exact purposes."

- On Sufism and Idries Shah's The Commanding Self "

"Ravels Bolero was created by Ravel from Sufi Sources, in Particular the Great Sufi Mystic, Jallaluddhin Rumi whose work still carries on in the Sufi order of Monks of the Whirling Dervishes."

- Sacred Dance and Meditation Courses

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."

- Dervishes

A voice crying in the wilderness.

"Listen to the story told by the reed of
being separated

Since I was cut from the reed bed I have
made this crying sound. Anyone
separated from someone he loves understands what I say:
anyone pulled
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..."

(depicted in 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 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 Great Goddess

"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)."

- The Desert as Reality and Symbol

"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 crossing of
the Red or Reed Sea.

In crossing the sea the Israelites were embarking on a journey that corresponds to the
one the sun makes nightly in its descent from the western sky and as it travels under
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 life/death/rebirth--the
rhythmic heartbeat of ongoing creation.

Wilderness is, in fact, synonymous with alienation. It is the long drawn-out
process by which the ego is emptied of self will. As a rule a person is driven into the Wilderness
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 the
breach between ego and Self occurs and how the connection is restored. Alienation,
he explains, is the hubris brought upon through the ego's identification with the Self.
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 Icarus."

Like Icarus the ego insists on following its own course; becomes exhilarated by its
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 its vulnerability;
and the sea its deflationary fall back into unconsciousness."

- The Meandering Journey

Peter Sinfield's lyrical adaptation of the Icarus story, Birdman , appears on the McDonald and Giles album.

return to page index
site index

mosaic in the city palace - Udaipur, India

"I chase the wind of a prism ship"

"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. Its 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 Being comes."

- What is Tantra?

"To dream and altogether not to dream. This synthesis is the operation of genius, by which both activities are mutually reinforced."

- Novalis

"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
and waking.
Virtually 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."

- Consciousness and Cognition: Human Consciousnes

"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.)

the 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."

- Kundalini Yoga

Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ Reels of Dream Unrolled

return to
chapter & page index

Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ Dawn Song

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
Works Lyrics
Gallery Guestbook
Links Discography E-mail:
Peter Sinfield
Jon Green
Page One

Return to the Song Soup On Sea Homepage

These Pages Created and Maintained using Arachnophilia
Copyright © 1998 - 2001 ~ Jon Green /All rights reserved