When Beauty Attacks! (or, The Birds & Beatitudes)
Obviously, anything that is powerful -- from religion to government to electricity to sex -- can be dangerous and destructive. In Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Friend discusses the dangers of beauty. I would say that on the whole, men are more aware of this danger than women, being that women are the primary danger.
But the danger to women lies in unconsciously becoming the object of beauty in order to feel the rush of primordial power over men (for whom they will secretly feel contempt). For the most powerful man in the world -- say, Bill Clinton -- can be reduced to a mere pawn if he isn't master of his own domain.
A man could hypothetically rule the world, but if he himself is ruled by his zozo, what does this mean? Well, for starters, it will mean that the world is ruled by the seductive "spirit of Eve" that pulls Adam from the center to the periphery, so that the serpent is actually in charge by proxy.
Can Truth, Love, and Beauty have a "dark side?" Of course. It mainly happens when one of them gets separated from the other two -- like when a sock falls out of your drier and tries to go it alone. To paraphrase Professor Seinfeld, the lone sock doesn't get very far, does it? Oh sure, it's thrilling at first to feel the static electricity coursing along your heel, as you cling to another item of clothing in order to make your great escape. But then what? You fall off into the street, somewhere between the laundromat and car -- maybe even the gutter. That's when you find out the truth about maverick socks. And it isn't pretty.
Here's how UF explains it: the good severed from the beautiful "hardens into principles and laws -- it becomes pure duty." This goes to what I mentioned a couple of posts ago, that virtue ultimately results from consciousness of a plane of reality, not just from a kind of repressive, top-down moralism. An exclusive reliance on latter approach will not just alienate people, but often be the source of rebelliousness. I know it was for me. For example, as Oldbob might have thought to himself, whatever that hypocritical gasbag Jerry Falwell is, I will be the opposite. I will Falbadly.
Likewise, "the beautiful which is detached from the good... becomes softened into pure enjoyment -- stripped of obligation and responsibility." This is the "art for art's sake" of an aesthetic hedonism that soon becomes luciferic at best. But it also speaks to anyone who is foolish enough to imagine that sexuality and morality can be detached from one another without vacating oneself from humanness as such. In other words, one must become an animal (but really, not even an animal, but an infra-human).
UF continues: "The hardening of the good into a moral code and the softening of the beautiful to pure pleasure is the result of the separation of the good and beautiful -- be it morally, in religion, or in art. It is thus that a legalistic moralism and a pure aestheticism of little depth have come into existence."
On the one hand, you can have the narrow and clenched religious type without joy or art (or, conversely, with a joy and art that are equally kitsch). This type co-arises with its shadow, the increasingly antisocial artiste who is more or less detached from objective truth and virtue (or, conversely, becomes a tedious purveyor of political correctness as a substitute for truth and decency).
Soon enough beauty falls down the cosmic wayslide, so that art no longer even justifies its own existence. For man has no cosmic right to produce false and ugly art. Nevertheless, for the postmodern hack, "transgression" exists for its own sake, thus transgressing against the very purpose of, and justification for, art, i.e., truth and beauty.
You will notice that when the Creator was finished with his own artistic creation, he said to himsoph, it is good. Which is why this creation is infused with so much inexhaustible -- and beautiful -- truth. Which is none other then the Divine Light in all its metaphysical transparency.
So, the arcanum of The World is here to offer a gentle but firm warning to those who would mess with the Creator's woman, because Sophia is your sister (Proverbs 7), not your wife, got that? For it is written, the moment you become "wise in your own eyes," you become either a wise guy or a wise ass.
Now, just as there are true illuminations from the Holy Spirit, "so there are intoxications from the spirit of mirage," which UF calls the "false Holy Spirit." Here we are dealing not just with Maya, but the dark side of Maya, or her evil twin sister. On the one hand, Maya is the power of "cosmic illusion," but on the other, the Creator's divine consort, or Shakti, which means conscious force (forgive the Hinduisms, but it just so happens that they have a very precise language to describe these maters and paters, whereas Christianity often speaks of them in more metaphorical language that must be decoded, e.g., the polarities of Mary-Eve or Sophia-Word).
UF outlines the criteria for distinguishing between the two: if you seek only "the joy of artistic creation, spiritual illumination and mystical experience," it is ineveateapple that you will "more and more approach the sphere of the spirit of mirage" and become increasingly seduced and hypnotized by it. Remember, the satanic is the spirit of seduction and hypnosis, not compulsion and force. Been there, done that.
BUT, if you first seek for truth in the above referenced activties, "you will approach the sphere of the Holy Spirit" and open more and more to its influence, which brings with it an entirely different mode of joy and coonsolation, for it is in no way "egoic." Rather, it tends to reverse the hostile forces that result in either hardening or dispersion of the ego. Call it a "soft and supple center," which is none other than the divine slack and d'light immaculate that abides in "Raccoon Central," or "Toots' Tavern" -- where it is always "happy hour."
UF discusses the nature of mirages, which are not the same as hallucinations, as they are rooted in something that is "really there" -- like when the desert asphalt up ahead on the way to Vegas looks "wet," or when you think you can beat the house once you arrive there. But the mirage is a sort of "floating reflection of reality," which is nonetheless one step removed from it. And this is indeed the problem with what most people call "truth," including the truth of our scientistic jester, which floats atop the Real like a missing sock that I'd like to stuff in his mouth, to put it poetically.
I remember back in my college days, you'd occasionally hear a guy say that he wanted to meet a girl who didn't play games. Well, that's what Maya does, all day long. Her "lila" goes on unceasingly, which is why we need to get "beneath her veils," if I may put it so indelicately. This is because on the one hand, she "reveals God by manifesting him," but on the other hand "hides him by covering him."
Correction. It's not so much that we remove the veils, but appreciate what they are hiding, which is pretty obvious if you've ever seen the annual Victoria's Secret show -- which I've only heard about through Dupree. The point is, the veils -- we're speaking of reality now, not the supermodels.... no, I suppose we're talking about both -- simultaneously reveal and conceal, depending upon the spirit with which you look. As part of our standard equipment, we are all given a pair of X-ray Specs with which to see through the veils to the "ground." Sadly, they don't work on the supermodels.