most of the people of the city behave as most people do. They
evolved by natural
selection and they are largely slaves to their genetic programs.
They strive to sequester
resources, they reproduce, and they die. They place their own
selfish gene lineage before
others. They may believe themselves to be creatures of reason, but
much if not most of their
behaviour can be explained by evolution. Even the city lords who
make the laws and help
shape the customs and culture, which in turn shape them, are
prisoners to this evolutionary
trap. They evolved to function as social beings, which, alas,
allows the city leaders to
manipulate and control them by shaping social 'norms' through the
Media. Who leads this city?
It's true leaders are hidden from the people.
But some individuals are different. Perhaps because their genetic
programs are defective, or
perhaps because formative experiences make them develop
differently. There are no genetic
blueprints, only genetic recipes, but bread is nothing without the
kneading of the dough and
the oven that bakes it. These individuals are largely outcasts,
evolutionary failures in many
cases, who often sequester little wealth and leave no descendants,
ending their genetic lines
and losing the game of survival. However, we have no regrets, for
our defects enable us to see
the truth more clearly, in all its beauty. We are the mystics. We
prefer our path in preference to
life in the city, under the shadow of the Beast. We have little
choice, for we are that we are.
The people of the city despise us and whenever we enter the city
we move by stealth.
mystics cling to the vestiges of religion, but what temple crafted
by human hands can
match the majesty of a wild forest? The wilderness is my
cathedral. What use is a candle to
those who can see the Sun? Others say that in the end the mystic
abandons the concept of
God. I have walked the Valley of Pylons, with a statue of every
conceivable deity upon each
plinth. Chiefest of these is the pylon at the summit of the hill,
but it is an empty throne, for what
can be greater than truth itself and how can such truth be
embodied? Thus, many mystics say,
'God is truth'. Others say that the Spirit in matter is all that
can be known; still others talk of the
nameless, Mother Nature, the Water of Life, the Dragon, the Azoth,
the Alpha to Omega, the
Philosopher's Stone, the Logos or the Dao. Whatever you call the
powers that may be is of
little consequence to me. It is that it is.
Consider Prometheus, hero to many who seek the Truth, for he
brought science and the arts
to humankind. He stole the sacred flame of intellect and gave it
to humankind. He was a Titan,
one of the fallen gods, who himself some say had fashioned the
first man from clay. The Titans
were dethroned by Zeus and Prometheus punished for his 'crime' but
still he would not yield or
beg forgiveness. He saw in Zeus a stubborn tyrant, hard of heart.
Humankind would be
punished too by Zeus, but Prometheus had given the human race one
great gift: hope. For as
foresight he knew that the thrones of gods are short and he knew
Zeus would be dethroned
without the advantage of Prometheus' foresight to safeguard Zeus'
reign. The Father, King of
Gods, would need Prometheus yet, or without his foresight be
dethroned by his own demigod
son. For a thousand ages Prometheus suffered the agony of being
chained to a sun-blasted
rock, his ever-regenerating liver being ripped from his body each
day by a great vulture.
Nightfall would bring transient relief, until the bitter cold
would make him crave the dawn and
another cycle of relentless agony would begin. Still, Prometheus
would not yield.
Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
A troubled stream from a pure source;
And Man in portions can foresee
His own funereal destiny;
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence:
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself --- and equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can decry
Its own concenter'd recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.
(From Prometheus, by Lord Byron, 1816)
highest mysticism transcends religion. I care little for the ways
of the priesthood of the city,
its mortal standards and lies by which the clerics cling to power
in self-deceit. Fear goads them
and their lack of compassion for others is often all too evident.
They can keep their tyrant gods
and warrior prophets. Harsh words perhaps, for there is good in
all things and not all of them
are equally to blame, but only the truth can set you free. See how
their religion binds them to
war and to false philosophies. Even now, different religious
factions plot the fall of one-another
and are prepared to sweep thousands of innocents to destruction in
achieving their purpose.
They use religion to hijack the souls of others, like malware
planted in the brain, a Trojan horse
their teachings become.
Some are born to battle, some are born to labour in the fields,
some to lead whilst following
those before them, some to work metal or wood. Like the cells in
your body, labour is divided
amongst them: some feed the body, some give it strength and some
are born to think and to
see. Like an ecosystem, some produce, whilst others parasitise and
predate. I will not mock
those who are content with their lot, and if what the city
provides, its laws, its religion, its
workshops, if these make you content then may you live long and
let me tell you of part of the path I have trodden.
The Unicorn stood with me a while,
then it took flight and I could see it no more. As I followed
its path, the light began to fade. The spring trees now wore their
autumn gowns, and the Sun,
oh the Sun! Still bright and beautiful to behold, began to set. I
felt its warm rays grow cooler.
Soon, dark and bare winter trees surrounded me. I could see no
path before me and no path
behind me, but wandered toward sundown through the thickening
It was dark. I was cold, tired and alone, so totally alone. In the
darkness I stumbled and fell,
and as I lay there, cold and empty, the cold winds tore at my
heart. The light within me grew
pale. The darkness tried to extinguish the last glowing ember, but
it would not die. As I lay
there, all alone, cold, exhausted and empty: would you have poured
water onto my fire that
had dwindled to but an ember? After a time, that generative power
many call grace came upon
me and the last ember rekindled. The hand of the Spirit shielded
my fragile, flickering flame
from the cold winds. I know not why this happened, but they say a
flickering flame is never
As the glow within me brightened, I could see the path again. Rays
of light, pale light, beamed
across the sky and through the barren trees. I felt warmth shine
upon me. I turned, and there
stood the Unicorn, dark as night, and yet all aglow. It stood for
a while, looking within me, then
it disappeared again through the trees. I followed it. This time
it had not left me, but stood
there waiting in the clearing ahead. As I approached, the sky
above me glowed bright as the
dawn opened. My heart felt the Sun's rays reaching out to my
pale light, helping it, nourishing
it and guiding it. The trees burst into leaf, and the Unicorn
shone brighter and whiter than
You may ponder where the path leads, to which I say:
"The whales do not sing because they have an answer, they sing
because they have a song"
(Ashes and Snow, Gregory Colbert).
In other words, the journey itself is what matters. Is it not
enough to tread a wondrous path?
What end do you expect? If you are too afraid of where
the path may lead, or too afraid to free
your mind and think the unthinkable, then the city belongs to you.
If, however, you not afraid
to question and seek the truth, then the wilderness is your home.
choice is yours: venture into the city
if you will, or come walk with me.
the Eternal prophet was divided
Before the death image of Urizen;
For in changeable clouds and darkness,
In a winterly night breath,
The Abyss of Los stretch'd immense,
And now seen, now obscur'd, to the eyes
Of Eternals the visions remote
Of the dark separation appear'd.
As glasses discover Worlds
In the endless Abyss of space,
So the expanding eyes of Immortals
Beheld the dark visions of los
And the globe of life blood trembling."
William Blake, The Book of Urizen.
of the mystic is a lonely path, but some must tread it. Walk the
path I walk if you are
compelled to do so, but know that I do not offer 'salvation' or
eternal life or blessings, for all I
offer is a glimpse of the truth. The truth can not be seen in its
entirety, for it would burn the
mind, blinding it and destroying it. I do not make proud boasts,
for the truth is that it is, and I
had no part in creating it. Whatever hand, animate or inanimate,
natural or supernatural, that
brought the Cosmos into being I know not. I shall not make false
claims, for I know only what I
know, and what I don't know is unknown to me. I ask not for faith,
nor do I take credit, but I have
glimpsed certain hidden truths and now I offer you a chance to
glimpse them also. Many have
eyes yet cannot see, those that can see may perceive a little
light, but too much light will dazzle
and blind and avail the beholder nothing.
the shrunken eyes, clouded over,
Discern'd not the woven hipocrisy,
But the streaky slime in their heavens,
Brought together by narrowing perceptions,
Appear'd transparent air; for their eyes
Grew small like the eyes of a man,
And in reptile forms shrinking together,
Of seven feet stature they remain'd.
Six days they shrunk up from existence
And on the seventh day they rested,
And they bless'd the seventh day, in sick hope,
And forgot their eternal life."
William Blake, The Book of Urizen.