A Magical Mystery Tour of the Interior Cosmos (10.05.11)
MY first impression upon rerereading MOTT is that the man could have used an editor. But who could have accomplished such a task? This presupposes an ability to master this infinite and eternal body of knowledge -- to wrap one's arms around it, so to speak, both in time and space -- and then to assimilate and organize it within oneself. In Bionion terms, it means that one would have to be capable of containing what UF contained; one would have to have an interior cosmos that exceeded his, and I doubt if too many people meet those qualifications.
Besides, once something is fully contained, it is functionally dead; it is no longer capable of evolution. Bion used the symbol ♀ for the container, and ♂ for the contained. The relationship between ♀ and ♂ is that between an explosive force and a limiting boundary. Words, for example, are ♀. Although words contain meaning, the meaning constantly escapes the words, which is the only reason why words are capable of saying what cannot be said and evolving meaning. One must be very aware of this function of words when discussing mystical theology; one must never forget the uncontainable ♂ within the ♀.
Bob attempted to discuss this issue in OCUG, which is why he used symbols instead of words for certain key ideas. For example, the word God is a container, an ♀. But how can any word possibly contain the ultimate ♂? It's okay to use the word, so long as you never forget that, especially in the case of God, ♂ vastly exceeds any ♀ you could come up with.
Now, the first arcana is that of the Magician. Before getting into its specific meaning, bear in mind that, even more than a word, this is a symbol, or ♀, which is full of explosive ♂. UF even explains this at the outset, noting that these archetypal symbols of the Tarot have "the virtue of awakening the deeper layers of the soul," i.e., ♂. In other words, you cannot think without symbols. But you must not confuse the symbols with the thoughts they provoke, or reduce thought to symbol.
Here again, Bob touched on this in OCUG, noting that one must develop a new relationship to language, so that you actually speak it, rather than vice versa. When we hear about "speaking in tongues" and the like, I believe this is likely a popular misrepresentation of a deeper principle. This is why we call it "speaking in Tongan," in order to avoid the confusion. You can be sure that the scientific materialist only believes what he does because he is spoken by a particular kind of dry and desiccated language, and has become contained -- and therefore imprisoned -- by it. This is why no real poet could ever be a materialist. The poet knows as well as anyone that ♂ always breaks free of ♀, and that this is a divine mercy.
UF goes on to say that these archetypal symbols have the capacity to awaken "new notions, ideas, sentiments, and aspirations, which means that they require an activity more profound than that of study and intellectual explanation." Rather, one must dive deeply into them, which is to simultaneously dive deeply into the mystery of oneself. For "it is the deep and intimate layers of the soul which become active and bear fruit" in these contemplative exercises. And that is the whole point: to become deep, since God is the ultimate depth.
Here again, UF highlights the ♂ ♀ dialectic of the symbols -- and this goes for any archetypal symbols, including the totality of the Bible -- in that they "conceal and reveal their sense at one and the same time according to the depth of meditation." In Petey's term, they reveil, the veil (♀) being necessary to clothe the (♂) so that it may be thought about in a deepening spiral.
Again, this is a true complementarity, which is why one cannot simply strip away the veil to disclose the underlying reality. This is the approach of those barbarous atheists who imagine they can seize reality with their greedy and grasping meat hooks; but we see how far they get with that, which is to say, nowhere. They merely grasp their nether parts with this nOnanistic activity, which is why they are spiritually barren. They are filled with millions of Unborns who will never see the light of deity because they were never conceived in d'light immaculate.
Now, the magician is the master archetype for our journey into the rest of the symbols. Why is that? Because he is the symbol of what we must become if we are to have a fruitful journey through the rest of them. We must become this magician. And what does this magician represent?
Well, among other things, he embodies the principle of Slack, in that we must leave the field of profane time behind, and enter a different reality that has its own rhythm and sensibility. Here is how UF formulates it:
Learn at first concentration without effort; transform work into play; make every yoke that that you have accepted easy and every burden that you carry light!
The first of these prescriptions has to do with what Petey calls the principle of Higher Non-doodling, which in turn is similar to the wu wei of Taoism. It also coonverges on what Sri Aurobindo calls the attainment of the "silent mind," which is well explained in chapter 4 of The Adventure of Consciousness.
In fact, we see a perfect convergence of these approaches, as Satprem writes that "the major task that opens the door to many realizations is to silence the mind.... Clearly, if we want to discover a new country within us, we must leave the old one behind -- everything depends on our determination to take this first step." (In OCUG, Bob uses the symbol (---) for this step.)
Part of this is in order to escape the (♀) in order to get at the (♂), so to unspeak. In other words, our surface ego, or local self (•) is so hemmed in and contained, that we need to get beyond or behind it, and the best way is to get it to shut the hell up. This is because, as Sri Aurobindo writes, "In a certain sense, we are nothing but a complex mass of mental, nervous and physical habits held together (♀) by a few ruling ideas, desires and associations -- an amalgam of many small, self-repeating forces with a few major vibrations." This outward and external (♀) becomes thicker and more dense, until we are "confined in a construction." No more (♂). Your fortress against reality is complete.
This is why you might say that the first half of life involves learning, while the second half involves unlearning. Or, "be as little children," who are so full of (♂). This requires a leap into faith (o), which Aurobindo describes as "an intuition not only waiting for experience to justify it, but leading toward experience."
Here again, UF agrees that we must achieve calm and silence "at the expense of the automatism of thought and imagination" (the bad kind -- more on which later). Only in so doing will we be capable of truly "speaking" of these matters, instead of merely being on auto-pilot. A Raccoon must never speak of spiritual matters in in this mechanical way. I suppose that doing so has its place, but it is ultimately "by the dead and for the tenured," not for us.
One reason why silence is so critical is that it is only in silence that we become "one." And as UF writes, we must first become one in ourselves if we are to become one with the spiritual world. It's just common sense. Without unity, there can be no knowledge of any kind. For example, the only reason why we may possess scientific knowledge is because a primordial unity subtends the division of subject and object.
However, that is the world of horizontal quantities, whereas the spiritual world is one of vertical qualities. Thus, the next step, according to UF, is to understand the Law of Analogy that governs the qualitative world of the vertical. This, of course, is why Jesus spoke in parables that are full of richly resonant symbolism with which we must "play" as little children.
Well, we're out of time.