|(A Study in Oils)|
..........Below me lie the dark waters of Galilee, deep and brooding. Overhead an umbrella of silent, stormy-looking, grey clouds stretches to the horizon. I drift to the west to where the waters lap gently against a beach. And there stands the Cross. It stands at the boundary of darkness and light, inner and outer, spiritual and material, real and unreal..........and death and life. Here on the shores of Galilee we, the Cross and I, stand at the boundary between the unconscious Foundation of my being and the Kingdom of my consciousness. The Cross also stands at the boundary of what is and what is only perceived to be, an infinite universe approaching the threshold of interpretation by the personal, finite mind.
The Cross stands erect, its foot floating deep in the Earth's core beyond my consciousness; seemingly on fire but remaining unconsumed. Far above me beyond the clouds of unknowing, the Cross reaches upwards into the heavens towards the lighted Crown of creation. The Cross..........yes of course..........it stands over the boundary between one state and another. Truly, it stands at the Crossover point.
Where the vertical crosses the horizontal, at the coexistence of all opposites, the point of paradox, hangs a Rose. At its very heart is darkness, dark matter, dark energy, a vortex of darkness. And I sense an uneasiness, as if trying to face the awful possibility that the observed universe is nothing more than a projection of my mind, an image that hides another reality that I can never know. How can I know what is, by gnosis? A dangerous, exciting idea. A way of knowing that requires the deepest awareness of doubt and uncertainty, as well as humility.
But the nature of the Cross is changing. No longer is it a Rose Cross, but a Calvary Cross. At the point of paradox hangs an ancient skeleton, long dead and partly obscured in a mist of uncertainty. Yet one living Eye remains in its socket and watches me as I move and survey the watcher. What is it that I see? I see that it is only that it is. Yet that also is what I am!..........Sacrifice?..........A sacrifice, or a continuous sacrificial act that reaches back to the very dawn of creation?
The Dark is closing in once more, and I must leave..........
(Images from my meditations on the Rose Cross)
The explanation of this meditation is proving to be rather more difficult than I had first imagined. To begin with it appears to be a combination of two meditations with the Cross appearing in two different guises. The meditation began as an inner investigation of the Rose Cross, and therefore it is natural and expected that an equal-armed Cross should appear. The fact that a change takes place, and a Calvary Cross replaces the Rosicrucian image, is significant. That is one of the unexpected events which must be investigated. The other is the appearance at the centre of the Rose of a black vortex.
This apparent combination of meditations can also be seen as an 'interference' or a 'contamination', both descriptions to be seen as being non-pejorative. But how and why would such contamination occur? Whilst not knowing how, I see three possible answers as to the why of it. The first reason could be an invitation to psychological denial. I will discount that on this occasion because the sublety that usually accompanies that invitation is missing. The second reason could be that the higher realm of the self has something important it wishes to communicate. On balance I suspect this is the case here. The third reason may simply be that further meditations and thought have clouded, or clarified, the existing recall of the primary meditation. In effect this reason changes little, if anything, about the investigation.
It will be recalled that in a previous post, "L'Abbaye de Boquen" (posted 27.4.2013), I was told that I had not even scratched the surface of Christianity. Although I do not interpret that message as an invitation to pick up a religious thread in my life that I discarded decades ago, there is implicit in that earlier statement a call to uncover something that I have missed, something that is worth researching. There appear to be three interlinked strands in this meditation. The first strand, which I do not intend to develop, is the allusion to the mystical Qabalah through the terms Kingdom, Foundation and Crown. It is the two remaining strands which are of prime interest, the Rose Cross and its contained vortex, and the Calvary Cross and its skeletal image.
One final point must be made before an analysis of this meditation is attempted. In my experience, when my unconscious mind seeks to communicate with my consciousness or ego, it does so with images that have some meaning for me. That is to say, the images carry certain meanings and also consequences. This is why Christian symbolism as well as images relating to physics and astronomy play such a large part in my meditational life. On occasions, even ideas from favourite books and films/movies have a role to play. It's all language after all, and language is about symbols.
The Rose Cross.
In a previous post, "Into the Abyss" (posted 22.6.2013), I described a journey into an inner, black hole vortex. It is this that lies at the centre, at the heart, of the Rose. In the material universe, according to current thinking, nothing can escape the pull of a black hole once the event horizon has been crossed. Even stars cannot evade their fate inside that presence. Nothing can come back to tell us what lies beyond the event horizon, any more than can anyone return from beyond the death event to tell what lies beyond. As the ego cries out in terror,
"Fly! Do not jump! It is too dangerous, and I will be lost! I will surely die!"
Yet it is a journey that must be taken by each one of us, at some point in our lives. To experience that journey in virtual reality may be one of the greatest gifts the unconscious mind can bestow, particularly if in the end, we do in fact fall into the safety of no-where, of no-when. It is a state which the ego will never reach, any more than Moses was ever allowed to reach the promised land. One can only look beyond, and hope to get a glimpse of the far country.
The Calvary Cross.
This particular image of the Calvary Cross has given me much uncertainty as to its possible meaning. In fact it wasn't until I dreamed a dream very recently that I finally understood. Here is a very brief extract from that dream:-
..........She walked towards me, her arms outstretched. "May I remove your face, Dad? Do you look bizarre behind it?" I backed away terrified. "No you may not!" But I knew what lay behind my face, an inability to hide or influence with appropriate use of facial muscles what I truly thought and felt. She grinned. "Okay Dad."..........
Thus, finally, I realised that the Eye, the inner "I", is what this is all about. Beyond the flesh, the face, the mask of the persona, lies the True Self. It is that Self which is the beneficiary of the act of sacrifice of the domination of the ego. Yet at a much deeper level I suspect that there is something about the concept of sacrifice, perhaps relating to the Higher realm of the Self, that I have yet to understand. And I fear to probe lest I lose that intuitive experience amongst a collection of words. For words can kill just as easily as they can draw forth understanding.
Yet one thing more is apparent. If I have not yet scratched the surface of Christianity, then I must strip away any preconceived religious notions I have have been taught about Jesus the Christ; rid myself of any Jesus-personae images I have collected from the Church. I must go further than the scriptures or art, particularly Victorian art, and begin again to try to see the historical Jesus as he really was. An impossible task? Perhaps, but to dump all preconceptions about that man is better than having wrong perceptions. A correct 'not this, not that' is better than an incorrect 'he was this, and that'.
I would be surprised indeed, if I discover at some point in the future that I have plumbed the full depths of this composite meditation. All I can do is wait and watch, and have faith in the process. Whatever answers there are to be had lie deep inside me. I need to exercise patience. It is the Calvary concepts with which I need to deal, because they are more personal than the Rosicrucian material.