Chapter 14
Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness



The Battle of Glass Tears
Dawn Song





- 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 -
Dawn Song | The Hermit


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"After many lives, we tire of the show. The dancing Light which is Maya fails to amuse.

Isle of the Dead by Arnold Boecklin

Penetrating the heart of many human beings is a Great Nostalgia, an unending longing for something that this world and its pleasures cannot satisfy. Such is the intensity of this yearning that anyone who surrenders to it fully is forever transformed. Indeed, the Great Nostalgia is the evolutionary call within man for that which ultimately transcends him. Rare, though, is the individual who truly listens to this plaintive call. Those who resist it are called "ordinary," "normal," "worldly." Those who hear its message are termed "sages," "saints," or "yogis."

"...mystics...consciously submitted themselves to the unquenchable flame that burns in the soul of innumerable human beings. Theirs were heroic journeys which entailed tremendous perseverance, concentration and steadfast devotion. They endured a process that defies description, transcending "the cloud of unknowing," "the dark night of the soul," "the hanging on the gallows," to achieve the summit of evolution itself: Self Realization."

- The Enchanted Land

". . . so much is said about wasted lives--but only that man's life is wasted
who lived on, so deceived by the joys of life or by its sorrow that he never
became eternally and decisively conscious of himself as spirit . . . which
gain of infinity is never attained except through despair."

- Kierkegaard


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Dawn Song


"There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night."

- Camus



"Now entertain conjecture of a time
When creeping murmur and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
From camp to camp through the foul womb of night
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fixed sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch:
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other's umber'd face;
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the tents
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation:
The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And the third hour of drowsy morning name.
Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently and inly ruminate
The morning's danger,"

- King Henry V
Prologue to Act IV

" I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow,
to the land of deepest night, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is like darkness"

- Job 10:21-22

"What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
And in the withered field where the farmer ploughs for bread in vain."

- William Blake, Vala or the Four Zoas

"In the Indian tradition all has been perfectly arranged from all eternity. There can be
nothing new, nothing to be learned but what the sages taught from of yore. And, finally,
when the boredom of this nursery horizon of "I want" against "thou shalt" has become
insufferable, the fourth and final aim is all that is offered -- of an extinction of the
infantile ego altogether: disengagement or release (moksa) from both "I" and "thou".

- Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology. p.22)


Dante Astray in the Dusty Wood by Gustave Dore
"Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost."

- Dante
Inferno, Canto I


"Each knight entered the wood where it was darkest and no path lay,
for to follow another's path would have been a disgrace."

- Parzival

Theodor Baierl - Knight and Death


"If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on,
he must close his eyes and walk in the dark."

- St. John of the Cross


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"He is the Buddha swearing to remain under the Bo tree,
he is Jesus going into the wilderness.
The Hermit must descend into darkness
in order for the light to be born within him.
When that light is born he can then return to the world
and see it with new eyes, because the world is now illuminated,
not by a physical light, but a spiritual light radiating from within him.
By going within, the whole universe is revealed."

- Hermit

"The spiritual description of death and rebirth as a "dark
night" comes from the writings of the great mystic St. John
of the Cross. In an eloquent way, he describes the dark night
as a long period of unknowing, loss, and despair that must
be traversed by spiritual seekers in order to empty and
humble themselves enough to receive divine inspiration. He
put it this way: "The soul that is attached to anything,
however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the
liberty of the divine."

- The Dark Night


"...underlying all life is the ground of doubt and self-questioning which sooner or later must bring us face to face with the ultimate meaning of our life. This self-questioning can never be without a certain existential "dread"-- a sense of insecurity, of "lostness," of exile, of sin. A sense that one has somehow been untrue not so much to abstract moral or social norms but to one's own inmost truth. "Dread" in this sense is not simply a childish fear of retribution, or a nave guilt, a fear of violating taboos. It is the profound awareness that one is capable of ultimate bad faith with himself and with others: that one is living a lie.

The peculiar monastic dimension of this struggle lies in the fact that society itself, institutional life, organization, the "approved way," may in fact be encouraging us in falsity and illusion. The deep root of monastic "dread" is the inner conflict which makes us guess that in order to be true to God and to ourselves we must break with the familiar, established and secure norms and go off into the unknown."

- Thomas Merton, The Spiritual Exile

And here we see another of the meanings behind the album cover. Illuminated manuscripts were created by cloistered monks and nuns who, in their isolation from the outside world, had, in effect, "ran for the door" of the Cirkus. The cover painting, in this context, is meant to express Prince Rupert's ascetic withdrawal from the phenomenal world of Maya.

And so, once again, the cover painting follows directly from the the end of the previous album. The last thing revealed to us in In the Wake of Poseidon is the first thing we see about Lizard

"Searching for you
You look everywhere,
But not inside you."




"Generally celibate and universally ascetic, the monastic individual separates himself or herself from general society either by living as a hermit or anchorite (religious recluse) or by joining a society of others who profess similar intentions."

- Monasticism (Brittanica.com)

"Early Christian monasticism, of which the later Medieval monasticism would be based upon, came out of the desert. Although there were other desert ascetics before him, one of the most influential of these desert eremites was St. Anthony. His story, written down by St. Athanasius in the fourth century A.D. (or C.E.), described a highly virtuous man who lived in poverty and constantly rebuked the devil himself. The type of asceticism St. Anthony embodied was the eremitical, or hermetical kind. That meant he lived in a cell or cave or wherever he pleased, but away from others, secluded to dwell only on spiritual matters."

- Monasticism



Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ The Tibetan Book of the Dead

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Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness ~ Night Enfolds Her Cloak of Holes



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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