Chapter 14
Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

- 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 -

site index

    Alta Vista Translations
  Translate from  

A part of the Tantric tradition is The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Written possibly in the 8th century a.d., it was intended as a guidebook for the recently deceased and describes the experience of individuals in the in-between (i.e. 'bardo') state that follows death and precedes rebirth.

"Jung has written a psychological comment to "The Tibetan book of death". He considers the text being a process of initiation" if you read the book from the end to the beginning."

- Kundalini Warning

" is one of the oldest and most universal practices for the initiate to go through the experience of death before he can be spiritually reborn. Symbolically he must die to his past, and to his old ego, before he can take his place in the new spiritual life into which he has been initiated.

Here then is the key to a mystery which has been passed down for over 2,500 years - the consciousness-expansion experience - the pre-mortem death and rebirth rite. The Vedic sages knew the secret; the Eleusinian initiates knew it; the Tantrics knew it. In all their esoteric writings they whisper the message: it is possible to cut beyond ego-consciousness, to tune in on neurological processes which flash by at the speed of light, and to become aware of the enormous treasury of ancient racial knowledge welded into the nucleus of every cell in your body."

- The Psychedelic Experience

The Psychedelic Experience, a westernized version of The Tibetan Book of the Dead was published in 1968.

"Former Harvard psychology
professors Timothy Leary and Richard
Alpert (aka Ram Dass), enthusiasts of
the new counter-culture, took the
Tibetan Book of the Dead and
presented it as a guidebook for the
LSD experience, complete with
descriptions of the psychedelic
psychodrama of ego-death, involving
a 'trip' through a kaleidoscopic limbo
(bardo) and a sobering return (rebirth)
to the everyday world."

- Tibetan Religion and the Western Imagination

"In this session you experience three Bardos, Three states of ego-loss. First there is the Chikai Bardo Clear White Light / Clear Light of Reality.

The White Swan stage of the alchemical process depicted at the end of Prince Rupert Awakes .

Next there are fantastically varied game hallucinations, the Chonyid Bardo.

Which consists of the peaceful and wrathful deities or visions (i.e. Bolero - The Peacock's Tale and The Battle of Glass Tears ).

- The Psychedelic Experience

The Chonyid Bardo.

" This bardo is a place where True Reality is presented to a person through various illusions. It is like an acid trip where one hears colors and sees sounds. The very fabric of the universe is torn apart and reduced to universal elements while one moves through the bardo in a mental bardo body. One experiences this bardo for 14 days.
During the first 7 days one is approached by the Peaceful Deities,"

(The Peacock's Tale)

"...during the next 7 days one is approached by the Wrathful Deities."

(The Battle of Glass Tears)

"...The object is to recognize that these deities emanate from oneself and not to fear. "

- The Tibetan Book of the Dead and Karma

The peaceful visions of the Chonyid Bardo.

"The Retinal Circus"

"O nobly born, listen well:
You are now witnessing the magical dance of forms.
Ecstatic kaleidoscopic patterns explode around you.
All possible shapes come to life before your eyes.
The retinal circus.
The ceaseless play of elements -
Earth, water, air, fire,
In ever-changing forms and manifestations,
Dazzles you with its complexity and variety.
Relax and enjoy the rushing stream.
Do not become attached to any vision or revelation.
Let everything flow through you.
If unpleasant experiences come,
Let them flit by with the rest.
Do not struggle against them.
It all comes from within you.
Later you will reach the stage of Re-Entry
Of regaining an ego."

- The Psychedelic Experience

"Originally in the fantastic but significant legend of the Hebrews, the rainbow is
mentioned as the sign of salvation. The world has been purified by water, and was
ready for the revelation of Wine. God would never again destroy His work, but ultimately
seal its perfection by a baptism of fire.

Now, in this analogue also falls the coat of many colors which was made for Joseph, a
legend which was regarded as so important that it was subsequently borrowed for the
romance of Jesus. The veil of the Temple, too, was of many colors. We find, further
east, that the _Manipura Chakra_--the Lotus of the City of Jewels--which is an
important centre in Hindu anatomy, and apparently identical with the solar plexus, is the
central point of the nervous system of the human body, dividing the sacred from the
profane, or the lower from the higher.

In western Mysticism, once more we learn that the middle grade initiation is called
_Hodos Camelioniis_, the Path of the Chameleon. There is here evidently an allusion to
this same mystery. We also learn that the middle stage in Alchemy is when the liquor
becomes opalescent.

Finally, we note among the visions of the Saints one called the Universal Peacock, in
which the totality is perceived thus royally apparelled."

- Absinthe: The Green Goddess

Mystic Experience—Visions Of Lights

"Psychologically, the Fermentation process starts with the inspiration of spiritual
power from Above that reanimates, energizes, and enlightens the alchemist. Out of the
blackness of his Putrefaction comes the yellow Ferment, which appears like a golden
wax flowing out of the foul matter of the Soul. Its arrival is announced by a brilliant
display of colors and meaningful visions called the "Peacock's Tail." Fermentation can
be achieved through various activities that include intense prayer, desire for mystical
union, breakdown of the personality, transpersonal therapy, psychedelic drugs, and
deep meditation. Fermentation is living inspiration from something totally beyond us.

Physiologically, Fermentation is the rousing of living energy (chi or kundalini) in the
body to heal and vivify. It is expressed as vibratory tones and spoken truths emerging
from the Throat or Mercury Chakra."

- Fermentation: Opening Up to the Divine Presence

return to page index
site index

Kundalini is basically the life force and Lizard is, let's not forget, the Fire album.

"Kundalini is the fire of life and therefore it flows through everything. With an increasing vitality Kundalini flows in the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and the human kingdom, but in special cases it is felt as a mildly stimulating stream of fire, which in a way refreshes the entire body.
But every time there is a definite and determined progress in spiritual growth, there is an intensification of the Kundalini force."

- Kundalini Warning

"The Kundalini, said Jung, is a spiritual energy best documented by (but
by no means exclusive to) the yogis of India. It should not at all be
surprising, should we take an open- minded and closer look at Islam, that
as with the other great religions, we find a deeper, more mystical and
universal message: that of self realisation and the mechanism by which it
occurs–Kundalini awakening. Every culture and religion has had
individuals who have achieved a living, spontaneous, direct experience of
their religion. A dynamic, suprahuman awareness that went beyond
dogma and blind faith. The Gnostics of Christianity, the Yogis of
Hinduism, the Fang- Shi of Tao and the Sufis of Islam all achieved these
states and each have spoken of experiences that, despite differences of
appearance, are strikingly similar in content.

The kundalini is a feminine energy often described as an 'inner goddess' or 'mother
energy'. Her ascent from the sacrum, through the chakras located in the spinal cord,
is the process of self-realisation. When the kundalini arrives in the crown chakra
(sahasrara) the seeker experiences the complete transformation of awareness. One
is taken beyond the limits of the human mind into the mystical states of meditation
described by sufis and yogis alike.

In fact C.G. Jung described the kundalini as the 'divine feminine 'or 'God the mother'.
Notably, Mohammed's vehicle for his own ascent through the heavenly dimensions
was the lady-faced, dazzling buraq. The buraq could well be a feminine, Arabic
synonym for kundalini.

In conclusion Mohammed's ascent through the seven heavens was, in fact, the
ascent of the kundalini, taking his consciousness with it, to divine union with the god

- Yogic insights into Islam

"God, be it proclaimed at last, is no divine "anger," in any human sense of the word, but the universally burning, consuming, transforming, building and destroying energy of Life itself, always anciently characterized as a "fire." And the word seems derivative from "Ur-ath," the original fiery force in matter, as "Ur" is "fire" and "-ath" is the feminine, that is, material classification. It therefore connotes the cosmical transforming energies locked up in the bosom of matter! This is of consummate importance. And all this complex ancient indirection of description is just to carry the idea that the soul must be tied down in its linkage with the deeply hidden energies of matter and body until the fiery potencies burning at that level refine and purify its grosser elements. A Biblical text speaks of its being "thrice refined in the fire," and Egyptian scripts abound with statements of its purification "in the crucible of the great house of flame."

- The Lost Light

Kundalini phenomenon also corresponds to the "wrathful" and "peaceful" visions described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

"Briefly, according to classical literature, the signs of an awakened kundalini can be
grouped into: mental signs, vocal signs and physical signs. Mental signs can include
visions that range from ecstatically blissful to terrifyingly frightful."

- FAQ on Kundalini

"Once the Kundalini is awakened, the
student may have a variety of experiences:
seeing flashes of light or colors..."

- The Path of Kundalini Maha Yoga

"Michael Scott, the utopian thinker and Court Philosopher to Emperor Frederick II of Sicily ...had a public reputation for performing miracles that would put any self respecting wonder working Rabbi to shame, and is also reported to have been adept at inducing visions by a combination of manipulation of light and suggestion; a phenomenon strongly associated with Sufi adepts."

- The Qabalah of 50 Gates

At the beginning of the previous chapter it was pointed out that the album begins at the first chakra.

First Chakra:

"Night her sable dome scattered with diamonds"

"This is the womb or the sex-organ of the mother cosmos, the Divine Mother, Shakti (Kundalini).

We are within her womb. She is the time, space..."

"This is the Mulhadhara Chakra .... Shakti is sleeping in the material world."

- Vibrations

"The Kundali-shakti which sleeps at the base of the spine is the same Kundali-shakti which spins the maya, the drama of multitudinous form spun out across space and time - the dream which we take for reality, or being awake. We are not, though, fully awake; we are still dreaming. Disciplines like Kundalini yoga are pursued in order to awaken fully; it is as simple as that."

- Iridescent Undulations and the Sacred Fire

"Kundalini is closer than the breath in the body for it is the breather and the breath. In its dormant form it is the very essence of all life. Kundalini is also a Goddess of immense power, often called Kundalini Shakti. It is She who is the manifest universe, and when She wakens, She will sweep one up in Her tremendous passion to reunite with Her Lord, Shiva--the unmanifest --in order to dance once again in his arms."

- Kundalini Awakens

During all of side one Kundalini Shakti is "asleep" and the album, dwelling in the lower chakras (the first three), addresses worldly concerns. On side two "Prince Rupert Awakes" or, more precisely, he "awakens" Kundalini. As animals that hibernate, the "bears" that roam Prince Rupert's "lawn" are an apt symbol of this once sleeping but now awakened force of nature.

In Prince Rupert Awakes , the narrator has arrived at, or activated, the fourth chakra.

"The fourth center is at the heart. When the mind learns to dwell there, man experiences his first spiritual awakening. Then he has the vision of light all around. Seeing this divine light, he becomes filled with wonder and says: "Ah, how blissful!" His mind does not then run to the lower centers."

- Kundalini Yoga

At the end of Bolero - The Peacock's Tale , we hear, again, the composition's opening theme, the wilderness wanderings.

"The heart centre awakening often places people in the "pilgrim" category, wandering, cut off or removed from all they knew and loved, all that was familiar and comfortable." (McNamara:48-52)

- St. Origen: western champion of yoga of Jesus

"At the center of the "heart chakra" dwells Brahma, says the old Scripture and He reveals Himself in the light. The aspirant has therefore to become aware of the "point of light within the wheel with twelve [84] spokes" and as that point of light is dwelt upon, it reveals a road which must be travelled should the aspirant seek to arrive at his goal. The first thing which is revealed is darkness. This should be remembered. In terms of occidental mysticism this brings about the "dark night of the soul."

- Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ The Peacock's Tale

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