"... in the twinkling of an eye, all things were opened to me, and I see a Vision limitless, all things
turned into Light,—sweet, joyous [Light]. And I became transported as I gazed.
But in a little while Darkness came settling down on part [of it], awesome and gloomy, coiling in
sinuous folds, so that methought it like unto a snake.
And then the Darkness changed into some sort of a Moist Nature, tossed about beyond all power of
words, belching out smoke as from a fire, and groaning forth a wailing sound that beggars all
[Corpus Hermeticum: Poemandres, The Shepherd of Men.]
|Restless turn'd the immortal inchain'd,
Heaving dolorous! Anguish'd unbearable,
Till a roof, shaggy wild, inclos'd
In an orb his fountain of thought.
In a horrible dreamful slumber,
Like the linked infernal chain
A vast Spine writh'd in torment
Upon the winds, shooting pain'd
Ribs, like a bending cavern;
And bones of solidness froze
Over all his nerves of joy.
And a first Age passed over,
And a state of dismal woe.
From the caverns of his jointed Spine
Down sunk with fright a red
Round globe, hot burning, deep
Deep down into the Abyss,
Panting, Conglobing, Trembling,
Shooting out ten thousand branches
Around his solid bones.
And a second Age passed over,
And a state of dismal woe.
[William Blake, the Book of Urizen.]
|Look over yonder, into the still calm pool in the midst of night. What do you see?
I see The Beast of many heads rising up with his hordes in battle array,
Proud and hissing with venomous rage.
I see the Sun burning black in a desolate sky.
I see a cloud of cold gloom, a nebula of dense darkness, tears from the Sun,
Sinking upon the Earth,
And shrouding it as if in a funeral wraith.
I see the noble few, defenders of the truth, with darkness all about their little light;
Their hearts full of sadness and dread, yet their souls emboldened as if they were noble kings.
The trees are all dead.
The only rain a stinking, sulphurous acid.
The rivers turned to poison, and noxious vapours rising from the earth.
Yet still the noble few stand, tall and ready to fight and die,
For die they will.
Noble, they have chosen their side and will not betray.
Mighty, they have chosen their just cause and will not fly.
Kings of Men, though long since dispossessed, for no kingdom have they ever ruled.
Soon they will all lie broken, by the hordes of The Beast,
Yet still in death none are more noble than these,
The courageous few.
For war is coming, war in the heavens and on Earth, but be sure to understand the prophecy.
Many are those who ally with The Beast. Proud and self-righteous their chiefs are, so sure of what
they do not know. On righteous crusades they destroy the very life they claim to protect. They claim
to fight the Beast and in so doing they do its bidding. If one fights with monsters for too long, then,
as the wise say, one may become a monster. Oh! How they know not what they do! For they do not
know that it is they themselves against which they battle, they themselves they stab, slash and hack
... for all is one.
"At this sight, Merlin, you grieved and poured out sad complaints throughout the army, and cried out
in these words, 'Could injurious fate be so harmful as to take from me so many and such great
companions, whom recently so many kings and so many remote kingdoms feared? O dubious lot of
mankind! O death ever near, which has them always in its power, and strikes with its hidden goad
and drives out the wretched life from the body! O glorious youths, who now will stand by my side in
arms, and with me will repell the chieftans coming to harm me, and the hosts rushing upon me?' "
[Vita Merlini, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Merlin's battle lament.]
Proud the city chieftains stand, victorious in misleading and beguiling the masses to fight for
darkness, a darkness disguised as light. The Kings of Men they have defeated, and in so doing
raised themselves above all others. Do you recall the dreams of Merlin's sister?
The First Dream
'My true brother and friend, of a night in my sleep I thought for certain within myself that I was
standing on a great wide field which I saw full of stone cairns small in size and a few big cairns
amongst the small ones. And I could see great numbers of peoples gathering the stones from the
small cairns and casting them into the big ones without a pause. And yet in spite of this I could not
see either the small cairns becoming smaller, however much I could see the peoples gathering from
them, or the big cairns becoming bigger, however great the assiduity with which I could see the
peoples collecting the stones from the small cairns and casting them into the big cairns. And with the
marvel of the dream I awoke; but verily I cannot let the marvel of the dream out of my memory.'
How Myrddin interpreted the dream to his sister
'Gwenddydd and my dearest sister, do not marvel too much at thy vision, for no harm will come to
thee from it. And be it known to thee that the field thou sawest represents this island. And the small
cairns represent the husbandmen of the kingdom and its labourers of each and every grade who
live lawfully and win their livelihood by the labour of their bodies, and who place their trust in God
alone. And the big cairns represent the chiefs of the kingdom of each and every grade. And the
peoples whom thou sawest gathering the stones from the small cairns and casting them into the big
ones, represent the servants of the noblemen who are and always will be ready to keep their
servants to take the wealth of the labourers and the husbandmen without ceasing for ever,
sometimes under pretence or semblance of the offices of the law, sometimes by force, sometimes by
stealth. And in as much as thou sawest not the big cairns increasing however much the load thou
sawest the peoples carrying from the small cairns to the big ones, that shows God's wrath and
displeasure, for God does not allow the wealth that is wrongfully amassed to multiply with the
gatherers and their descendants. And in as much thou sawest not the small cairns smaller however
much thou sawest the people taking away from them, that represents the grace of God, for it is
certain that the noblemen of each and every grade oppress the common husbanding people for
their worldly goods. And yet in spite of this, however much goods the noblemen and their peoples
take from the husbandmen by oppression, the latter will not be the worse or the poorer; for as much
as they may lose the one way God will send them twice as much another way, especially if they will
take such oppression forbearingly with patience and restraint and by entrusting the punishment and
vengeance to the Father of heaven to Whom it is meet and rightful to punish all iniquity; for He
ordained the weak and the strong. And verily, however much an innocent man may lose in this
world, God will not allow him to want any worldly thing in this world, and an abundance of all
goodness in the world that is to come. And verily this is what they dream represents.'
[Chronicle of Elis Gruffudd, 16th century.]
What do you make of this dream? Whom does it serve? The people whose worldly goods are stolen
from them by those who govern, how is it they are no poorer? I do not believe the Cosmos to be so
moral, for society defines morals, but there is a certain truth in this vision. Can you see it?
Nevertheless, the People rise up, one by one, because their pain necessitates it. The nobles in the
dream who feed like parasites upon the many, may not be those you call nobles, for many hide in
the shadows. In any case, woe is them, for like fields of wheat, tall and proud, they will soon be cut
down and another crop will take their place. It is a ceaseless cycle.
|Now sit with me, on this fallen log, and look again into the gathering mists of dawn, and tell me, what
do you see?
I see a sea of gold and green.
A sea of living gold, waving on the breeze.
Shimmering in the golden halo of a gentle Sun.
Rolling waves of fertile land.
Green foam upon the crests of the waves.
Gently it shimmers with the gentle breath of life,
Shimmering amongst the leaves of the trees.
Warm light cradles the Earth in swaddling embrace.
A splinter of what once was, a fleeting vision of what could be.
You see those noble souls must stand alone against the night so that the World may know the
strength of virtue. They must fight so that the World will know courage, and they must die so that
the souls of the empty may be filled. They will have lived, so that the dream may live when they are
gone. How else should the song be sung? You can not change this any more than you can save
the city. Even the last of them will not betray their cause.
Why then have I brought you here? The light was given to you. You wanted to bring the light back
for humankind, and in doing so you were worthy. You wanted to help even those who persecuted
you, even those lords of darkness - you longed for them to see the light. For love dares us to care
for those on the edge of the light and for those lost in darkness. There will always be hatred, for
there will be pain that breeds it, but where there is love, then there reason will be found. This is the
acid test of the Royal Water, this is how the angel of darkness, disguised as an angel of the light,
reveals its true self, for its compassion is void and its laws are harsh. So it condemns and does not
heal, for the former is easy and the latter difficult. The city offers me luxuries and riches but the
mystic seeks no other profit, for the light is its own reward. The Light is not jealous. They ask me for
the word of the Divine, but I offer them only the fundamental truth.
They ask me for immortality, so I show them the vision of the light sinking into many wells, and I
show them the raindrops, over yonder, falling into the sea. They ask me who they are, and from
whence have they come, and I tell them they have forgotten.
Some would call me a mystic, but to others I am but a ghost. Some may see my little light but to many
I am but a dark shadow, an Occult Shadow. It is I who have guided you on this journey through the
Wild Woods, through the wilderness to the Lands of Twilight in the west. There I showed you a
source of light and warmth and now you have returned many centuries later with a piece of light to
share with this dark world. A day in the Isles of the Fallen is a century in this time, so it is that much
has changed since you left. You came from a world of questing knights, castles and mysterious
woods, to this desert in which lies a City of Glass amid the dead trees. The interminable winter laid
the land to waste in your absence. Whilst you were gone, the Beast grew in strength and might,
though most do not see him, and claimed this his kingdom. Even if you took your little light to the
dark city, then like Socrates you would find they would shun you and the light you carry; for it is too
bright for their dark-accustomed eyes.
The people of the city ask for religion and for prophets, so that they know who to love and who to
fear, despise and chastise. They stone the prophets then claim to honour their tombs. They say, 'If
you are not with us then you are against us', but I say, 'Whosoever is not against me is with me'. I
offer no religion and fight no holy wars, for war can not be holy. Some say, 'But a mystic must have a
religion', but I say mysticism transcends religion. They ask what am I and I say, 'I am that which I am'.
They ask for laws, but I say, 'One man's law is another man's crime'. They seek divine revelations,
when such are all about them. They ask me for miracles, but if I showed them a miracle they would
not see it. They take the words of mortals and call them the Word of God, without knowing what the
Word is. They study weighty tomes containing a multitude of laws they claim to be God's law, and yet
there is only one Law and I have not come to change it. Laws are made whenever the truth is
forgotten. They ask me to damn their enemies, but I offer only reconciliation. They ask me to praise
their armies but I tell them it is harder to create than it is to destroy. They ask me for a creation myth,
so I offer them this:
They ask me to forge a kingdom, but I do not seek worldly glory. They ask me for riches, but the
riches I have they regard as poverty.
|The dark interminable waters wept forth from the eye
A ray of Light Divine shone upon this Ocean of Darkness
The reflections danced upon the turbulence
Of the Waters of Chaos
A myriad splinters in dazzling array
Flickering and fading
Refracting and focusing
Dancing flames trapped in labyrinthine darkness
Of a bottomless Abyss
Do not despise the inhabitants of the city for all these things. They can not help their ways for they
do only what nature has programmed them to do. They are not programmed to find the truth,
rather they are programmed to survive. This is inevitable. I know of a better place.