FATHER ADAM’S LAST WORD 485
NARRATOR’S FINAL SAY 498
LETTER TO A BISHOP, PART III Chapter 4: 503
Mixed Media 6′ x 4′ 1983
…Needless to say, there is more to it. Or, should I say the path to such radiant simplicity is not as simple as it sounds, thus this tale of Fr. Adam’s Adventures:
FATHER ADAM’S LAST WORD,
Steam of Consciousness Streams to the Sea,
From Priesthood to Sorcery,
Color has its own existence, you know. Before light and energy to carry it. Before matter to bounce off… All that is subsequent to color. One must be able to draw out this spirit or essence of color. It’s what one does with it that matters– this emanation of God, like all creation. For want of better language… But it’s best not to speak of such things at all. Even that word ‘God’ is crude blasphemy compared to an experience of it, to the thing itself.
Color has its own existence. I discovered that when I went to the Achekale in eastern Turkey on the Russian border. That worn out brown landscape– violet circle of flowers around the red-yellow-white flame of the sacred fire released its color from that ritual for the dragon of that place. Six weeks of hitchhiking across the U.S. from California to N.Y. England and Europe then the transportation systems of oriental Turkey to the Soviet Russian Border, East of Kars.
Color was released and we still dance to its whipping undulations. ‘He’ called me a white wizard. How different it all is than white and black–the magics. How much more a delight its variations, its colors, its terrors…
Dance with me for a bit as I recount my spell. Our spell– that will save or destroy the world. Walk with me along this forest path
so this knowledge may pass
for the comfort of mystics
and a warning to the world
The dignity of our age is to improve the world–to try to perfect it. But there have been other eras also with dignity and character. Hunter-gatherers ran with the Gods. ‘Civilized’ groups participated in rites of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘mysteries’ to help maintain creation, then the Modern Age, the rule of right and reason.
Now we begin something else…
Now we have the power to destroy everything
Color has its own existence.
This is how I conjured its sympathy:
For me, from San Francisquito Canyon, [CA-before-School] and Metaphor with and without reference–Then Monastery and Sacrament–Where the real human adventure in states of perception, is recognized and pursued along certain channels.
Enormous rain drops fall– seem an inch across, splatter across the dusty cement of our hilltop patio near our small pond–we could see for miles from that hill–The night sky crystalline black–and the smell of rain day or night in our desert that runs gulch and gullies deep.
Arizona summer monsoons reach across California and Nevada in big rain years.
Curious what was instilled in me then in those hills, canyons, sage, chaparral with its Ticks and Deer, Coyotes and Bobcats,
Quail Dove and passing Geese. Sacred. Sycamore and Oaks, wild Oats green and golden blond, flowers that swim to the clatter of cottonwood leaves,
whispering of leaves and grass…
I first encountered the psyche of nature there, gen loci-the spirit of the place, whispers of the world’s divine energies. Our psyche is conjured of the same stuff.
Out there, I was hungry for culture and fascinated by art. I think I largely ignored school, got by, nothing wrong with education. As a matter of fact, I’m all for it. But so much energy goes into socialization–and socializing. So much time, just socializing. But in spite of the passage of times, that character of where I was raised, out away from the suburbs and … away from much human passage at all. Though, Wells Fargo used to run their stage-coaches past our place and through its clear air and remarkable natural herbal fragrance.
In autumn ’73, I was there to admire the jet trails across the clouds and blue refractions… (See First Series in the art catalog, After Bolivia.)
…was grounded early in the earth charkas. Exposed to its mysteries. Psychic energies that are the ambience and means of passage through… but those are stories of early exploration of the physics of my body and the body of creation. One’s own inner vastness and powers… That comes from the furthest dark matter of deep, deepest outer space…
But its too early to talk of such things– this experience that I sometimes call “the spell’ builds in intensity, along with sublimation of desires and focus of intention. Yoga, or in the monastic West, Asceticism, modifies normal aspect of life such as eating, or sexuality or bodily postures, or breathing in such a way as to accommodate alterations in perception, in awareness and energy (Chi, Prana, Tsa…) flows of these are the type of energies that create or destroy the world, at least one’s perception. Some that can be used for magic are really meant for enlightenment and the salvation of the world. Woe betide the foolish seeker who forgets… Some of these encounters are the point of passage, the space of exchange between this world and the spirit world.
Proportion is the metaphysical exercise. It does not matter how much yoga or asceticism, except it be enough, perfectly enough for some purpose, for one’s personal chemistry so to speak…
My intention is the intention of high religion: To save the world. From what, or for what, is not always perfectly clear, except that there are certain problems that threaten the biosphere–no not just that–there a real problems that threaten Godhead itself! In the worlds, as in you
and each part the whole…
God makes the world out of himself. …though not just existence- consciousness. Can it be that the divine spirit i.e. what we experience as pure consciousness can be threatened? Would existence still be, if consciousness were finally eradicated–the contemporary technocratic system has reduced human experience to a much narrower and pragmatic materialism.
We are now in the forth age. The most dangerous…
Freedom, freedom from gangsters would be nice, especially from those who are always waving the Flag or shaking the Cross.
You know the problems, environmental problems, issues of justice. Nature has rights as well as people. Dear God there are so many people…
In any case, I stray from our story. Huge raindrops drink up the dryness in miniscule cavities in the cement and red brick patio– summer monsoon. Seasonal rain in this desiccated country. That is the ‘the way,’ that is the relationship. That’s my youth. Things like that. That’s the value that I learned…
Then I went to school/university. I was very impressed with writing, classical music and art. And biology, of course.
Then the monastery: Different values there– I remember Bro. Dominique hugely sweeping down in full monastic garb of black cape over black Benedictine robes of obedience and stability that cold Advent night to greet my parents and I with my suitcase.
I thought there was a love of art there. But the love of art there was more tolerance, a romantic fervor in some cases. More than that really, but always second to the lifestyle. The value there was their lifestyle. The Hours, silence, rhythms of waiting, cycles of prayer, work and spiritual reading, relationships of a quality- a system of authority that allows for personal growth along a particular channel to the sea… Return to the Origin …splendor–doesn’t usually feel splendid. But there are moments of vaulting splendor and unqualified spiritual intimacy.
This dissertation marches along a timeline, but some of the moments along the way engorge to meanings that make life bearable, even enthused– (Little bits of that tied to a myth and/or sacred scripture and tradition (and the offer to help raise your children) and the promise of salvation –from guilt, failure, passion, is the backbone of modern pop religion. Real Salvation is always at hand every moment. Nobody owns it. Access is the issue. Most don’t have a clue, all have the capacity for it. ‘The Kingdom really is at hand.’ We live in the presence of God. Every moment is the end time. –and begins with unspeakable sentience. But few want it that much right away… until each realizes one’s need for it. It is as much a part of oneself, the character of self, as is the heart or brain any other organ or appendage.
But the monasteries are fragile places–can’t handle much variation from their norms in a hostile culture. But at least they maintain a strong core of singular beauty with all its facets to catch the light.
Variation seems to be the nature of life. Expansion and maintenance. The monastic vision is to maintain and conserve–that one may know… and know deeply the source of life.
[Editorial: ‘They’ are ruled now by sex! Not that they are particularly unchaste, they are not. But the hysteria-bathed-market and media-amplified-clergy-sex scandals are an excuse for authoritarian careerists to clamp down, to take command. No redemption there. …for the Right Wing to take control. (So does the Left when they occasionally have power.) … If there is no crisis, they create one. Clever really. But it has nothing to do with science or religion, truth or mysticism. Conservatism does not justify authoritarian control–right or left. Scientific materialism and secular rationalism may have their shortcomings, but Christian fundamentalism has little to offer. Just another escape. Another opiate. ‘Wolves in Shepard’s clothing!’ More and more, especially in Protestant circles, its heterosexual couples, that odd social disease of the nuclear family, a cancerous phenomenon that might be useful for a capitalist, technocratic or consumer worldview, but its hell for old people and it contributes little to human meaning or satisfaction. Rather its members get paid off with material securities for spending their life energies maintaining a world economy. …under the guise of progress… Growl the appetites.]
Well, that’s the extent of my concern for the current expression of our human project. Now pre-imminent drives and personal gen loci demand my attention:
From a critical perspective the issues above contribute to a ‘fragmentation of knowledge’ since one’s education no longer includes all categories of perception as did the theory of the old liberal education–certainly not an older schema that included metaphysical training. Rather preference is given to applied technologies, especially if they turn a profit.
Union of knowledge? Metaphysics as well as physics are relegated to a few specialists of those popular devotions easily manipulated by televangelists and political masters like Karl Rove and his clients; the Bushes and the other ‘Butchers of Baghdad.’ They toy with powers that would terrify them to their core if they realized… Self delusion, even corporate delusion is a gift of the Prince of lies who, by the way, must also be redeemed if God’s Love is to reign. There can be no permanent Hell. What sane person would choose torture and misery forever. The insane have no free will. But such images as the fire and brimstone of Hell is helpful to control the brutally boneheaded and the intricately selfish.
Enough of that! That was from thirty years ago. Cut these knotted thoughts. Must get free of the intrigues of thinking… and the flesh.
Our experiment, a response to these horrors has produced some remarkable occasions, horrors of their own. Co-incidents if you like, that alter the world’s course. But so far seem to have affected the cancer of human existence very little. There is still some hope from the little ones. Categories of little things like virus and bacteria. Or such self-destructions as cancer–A firm mystery that there’s still hope in tragedy.
On to something else: If one can believe the Neo-cons that the American Way is the only way–brutally crushing any other way, good or bad… gentle systems as well as brutal… out of ignorance? Or overly successful, but still selfish greed? If only those Protestant/merchant ‘Reformers’ 500 years ago could have known.
Excuse me! I digress again. Let me instead review our experiment and its intentions: Turkey, Yemen, Mexico, Sex Magic, Tantra and the Holy Spirit. All turned to the service of the world; the Great Basin and the disciple (be wary of disciples…) Freedom (The fiction of freedom?) Freedom to channel all one’s personal energies into service. Freedom to do what’s right with the experience and hope for the Holy Spirit to channel those energies in its will–It has been my helping spirit after all, my familiar, most powerful magic after all…
Am I responsible for the disasters? My bishop and my father dead from massive heart attacks, our family’s house up in flames, the hotel in Mazatlan gutted, the studio in Venice, California, leveled to the ground, the Navaho boy–dead as he is, and the near sex of it– Then, the Circle K across the street from our hideout in Huachuca: All inexplicably destroyed when touched by the poisonous drink of this spell. Well, no, of course they are just co-incidents after all…
Let’s back up a bit. As a successful, smart, Hollywood movie producer once remarked, “…your book has some brilliant things in it, but it rambles, it roams, it circles, it meanders, and it really goes nowhere…” However, a famous, world class scholar remarked about this work: ‘it is just this labyrinthine fantasy, this tortuously circuitous, often obscure expression and re-expression of an inner experience, turning again and again in on itself, that is the success of the pilgrimage, art and stories. It is exactly in real symbols of the inner processes of this erring way that the art has its meaning.’
I say that there is material of interest here for both a critical, i.e. analytical, as well as popular sensibility. Part of the genesis for this project is an artist’s resentment of the domination by rationalist/intellectual forces in the western Christian spiritual formation and in western culture generally. But, the real motivating force behind this project is much more positive. This motivation is to explore through the use of my own artistic intuitions, intellections; psychic, subtle and physiological sensitivities what is the fullest human response to reality, to the spiritual, the Holy; how we perceive “what is” and how we awaken to absolute reality. By doing that, I hope to aid in the resistance to an overly cerebral, material culture’s drunken stumbling towards nuclear or technological self-destruction, and its viciously aggressive, political and economic systems.
The magic and sorcery is just spin off from an essential processes of enlightenment, of Kundalini yoga, from the earth chakras seeking union with of the celestial, sky chakras. So it is with science, compared to the core mysticism of the human quest–for ‘a light that casts no shadow’–the ground and foundation of all things…
Some of these explorations stray into formats of popular fiction as well as the more elite realms of art and critical theory to discover among other issues, how both popular and critical compassion is defeated by other less altruistic forces.
…Of concern is the wholesale destruction of the world’s natural resources and the sacred, wild places so important to human life both physically and spiritually. Witness the destruction of the rainforests worldwide at the rate of 5000 acres per day. What will be left of our world in 100 years, or even 50 years, if such technological power is not restricted? Bush’s good science. The prognosis is diabolic.
…If religion has failed to convert the hearts of humankind as a species, science has succeeded in placing at the disposal of unconverted hearts power sufficient to destroy or corrupt our very gift of being. Nuclear holocaust might end up as preferable to biologically engineered warfare or capitalist/socialist exploitation.
The intention of this project is to address these issues and to aid in their resolution. I believe that these are the proper territories of care for the catholic priesthood since the Holy fire of divine concern for all creation, for the sacredness of being itself, most profoundly describes this priesthood.
A worldview without a sense of the sacred is really an excuse for the world’s exploitation. Slavery was once thus justified. (A slave is somehow less than a person, therefore its value is only in its utility. Nature is devoid of sacred character, i.e. the spiritual (godly) quality of personhood, therefore use it as you will.) The animistic, or immanence of the divine in nature must once again be realized.
Another way to explain this project is by explaining its title. NEPSIS, sobriety or spiritual clarity, is a New Testament Greek term compared to the five Gospel virgins replete of oil for their lamps and the five without. (Matt. 25:1-3) Allegorically the first five were spiritually prepared for the coming of the Lord. The others who were not so prepared were left out in the cold when the party started. The first group represents an important condition: For these, there had been a process of preparation for direct spiritual experience. This preparation or way, this yoga, associated with becoming spiritually awakened is significant in religious studies because it is a bridge for conversation about spiritual experience with other religions, especially Buddhism, and indicates a likeness of experience.
The process of preparation indicates a decision for spiritual experience and a spiritual wisdom or way that can be understood or practiced, to catalyze spiritual experience and salvation. Orthodox Bishop Timothy Kallistos Ware made such a comparison at a workshop given in June 1976 at Immaculate Heart Hermitage in Big Sur. This occasion introduced me to the word nepsis, which caught and catalyzed my imagination. For me now, it refers to this whole experience of spiritual awakening and practice still applicable at this millennial turn.
In NEPSIS, the practice and study of these ways of spiritual awakening form a dialogue about spiritual conversion, initiation, and practice between Christianity, Buddhism, Shamanism and my own experience of essential categories. To clarify later development, I will state here that any autobiographical material has been included to discuss/enhance the discussion of these topics that is at once intensely personal and intensely universal. I have used the always-available field of “self” for the research.
There is a quest in this work that involves personal spiritual growth. That’s safe enough. But there is a problem as well inextricably linked to the quest. The only way that I can express the problem and its potential for resolution is in analogous relationship to a problem in my own life. That is severe and frequent migraines and other, perhaps related, dysfunctions. These had recently reached a severity that was…
…I suggest, for example, that this psychosomatic problem of migraines is more than the result of neurosis or genetic defect, but is a response in empathy to the world’s evolution and victim of the current radical imbalance of the earth. There is potential resolution to both these personal and universal levels of tension.
That resolution results from the shamanic/priestly/artistic gift in the world–when such was not separated from science. This inherent “gift”, I have come to believe, is a dimension of being. When this capacity is needed to balance, to heal, to save, it is, or can be, raised up….
…The body and soul of a shaman is sensitive and responsive to these conditions (of the world) and its responsibility is to participate creatively in the creative gesture of the Spirit(s’) salvific intentions.
The development of the problem might be better understood from a mythic or archetypal perspective: Greek philosophy, i.e., rational critique/logic/scientific method, and Christian institutions, backed by the converted Roman Empire, defeated the Greek Gods. (Not only the Greek Gods…) And Greek philosophy, in the form of technology and materialistic rationalism, has nearly defeated Christianity, i.e., as in materialistic Marxism or technological Capitalism. This is especially the case, as media generated appetites breed mass states of consciousness unable to access the in-depth justifications of ancient worldviews such as pre-reformation Christianity and the rest. But from a mythic perspective, the Gods are having their revenge. The fiery python at Delphi might yet have her oblation—in atomic proportions. The Gods will not be ignored. This may seem preposterous to a modern mind. But if we define the Gods psychologically as intelligent projections of human and universal psychic structures, or even elemental powers, then we may be able to understand the violent results of our drastically out of balance Western way of being–the East, as well, is in increasing disarray culturally and spiritually. We might yet, however, discover in the chaos, salvific dimensions sufficient to…. To what? Solve the problem? Transcend ‘problem and solution’ format itself? Get lost…
The intuition of this project is that the quiet, personal quest mentioned earlier will lead to a spiritual awakening that also will address what I sense as an essential issue of our time. That is, the real sacredness of the world is ignored in favor of technological commerce. The human soul is besieged and festering from being ignored. The very dragons of being turn and kick in angry discord at such play of the diabolic. The soul of creation is denied. Thus, we are torn apart and religion is defeated. Science as well…
…The point is to strike the sacred fire of the Divine and to startle ourselves awake with our own divine presence. I intend that the shock of such ignition will appease the gods and set at rest the dragons set to devour us with our own unbalanced wit.
The means that initiated this intention were pilgrimage, studies and service. The studies involve an exploration of Shamanism, Buddhism, especially Tantric Buddhism, and the Byzantine Christian Hesychasm–as well as contemporary Roman Catholicism, Christianity in general. Though I have had strong opinions about the differences and similarities of various religious tracts, finally I must leave that discussion in order to effect the salvific and shamanistic act of this project. I seek the way to ignite the Sacred Fire, the Love of God, Nirvanic Bliss, the Heart Sutra, and to sing the silent hymn of the Holy that heals, nourishes, creates, and satisfies. (And administration of some ecclesial pastoral programs, as well as spontaneous giving and receiving Charity as needed along the way.)
All of this will leave us, hopefully, watchful and active in the solemn game of God’s delight .
But that was long ago. So much has happened since. Troubling. Very troubling.
No more time. No more time for it. Must be on with the thing itself.
*Georgia: She faced nothingness alone, without the cloisters or corporations. She blessed me with the beginnings of my life and the conclusions to her own. Fights the battle–
*Siwa and the aquifers of Egypt. See “Egypt Paintings” from 2004.
*What is noticed in one’s travels. How does one enlarge one’s awareness… control of passage, comfort, hotels or hitchhiking. Asceticism.
*Point of impropriety– leave something normal or essential out: speech, society, food, ego, etc… Create focus by turning the powers of convention around. See what happens.
*Right wing fundamentalists claim that 10% of general population is too high- That the real number of homosexuals is more like 2%. Of course, they have demonstrated the willingness to bend scientific statistics (as well as sacred scriptures) to their PR or economic agenda. None-the-less, there might be something to the 2%: as in fiction one can create an effective and evocative scenario that might be more true than history. I’d say the 2% is perhaps the precious gift of the divine androgen, the guide between worlds–sometimes the diabolic hermaphrodite as needed. This figure is a real part of creation as God created it, not the sanitized, right/left, PC, made up, artificial social norms—usually by certain breeding couples– reacting against or dependant upon the memories of a primordial example.
*What happened to the 300 billion dollars in Fr. Adam’s account? What of the access codes?
*The two exiled spirits…? Golem and Savage beautiful young man are in the world and actively about the issues of the Spell.
*A short passage to describe the place of Tantra in the world’s religions?
*Crystal cave above the perineum, between the Caribbean and the Yucatan.
*Art, paintings generally, but also sculptures, poems, etc., are episodic moments of ecstasy.
I’d had enough sexual experience, both mental and physical, when I was young to know its delights, drives and heartbreak. No wonder most opt for the confinements of marriage. (Benefits…)
But then, we wanted to know something else. I wanted to know about the mysteries of chastity, its secret delights, abstinence and the speculations of a Tantric worldview and magic… and the shaman’s way. All of my partners when I was adult, were adults, most were assertive successful seekers at a point in their lives when they were most open to alternative explorations. They were houses with windows open for a time. Nothing illegal, or manipulative– on my side at least. Rather, brushes with the abyss sufficient to know its relationship with the mountains of our lives.
…sufficient, it appears, to have evoked dark deities– and to distract the diabolic intention just long enough to use its powers for the salvation of all. Like a space ship might use the gravity of larger bodies, planets or stars, to change direction and sling our lives in the direction of our better intentions. Most people live lives of fiction, even modern people. Fiction that is more evasive than the characters of these books, the Bible, Myths or even serious history–whichever best interprets all levels of perception in a cultural or personal, and environmental format.
Whichever gets to the truth of the matter is what we seek. In any case, some traumatic experiences and 5 years of austerity has opened a new chaste blossom on this old tree…
The Head Geshe of that important Tibetan Archive told me as I was instructed in the efficacious use of initiatory Mandalas that the monk, nun (or celibate priest) must create these scenarios sufficiently in their minds to effect the necessary perceptive resolution. What is true of the microcosm applies as well to the macrocosm.
Of course, the counter culture revolution of the 60’s failed with all that flower power hype about free sex and drugs. But then, that’s the image, the bill of goods, sold by the enemies of reform. The real reform was meant to prevent the soul killing war machine that’s taken our culture, line, hook and sinker.
Gandhi failed. Panikkar failed. The murderous Reagans and Bushes have won, etc, etc, etc… Viet Nam, Iraq -whose next? ‘They’ revel in blood to their necks. Glory in crushing the poor. But the losers in these great battles often win in the end. The Romans defeated the Greeks, but Greek culture ruled the empire for centuries and in some ways still does…
Still, we give away billions of tax dollars to developing countries, but with the caveat that they use the money to buy our weapons. And George is Born Again! Alleluia! Better to have died a drunk.
Clinton was no better… Both Gore and Kerry are pro military, but not so radically, (profitably) gung ho about it. I’m no better… willing to engineer the death of billions of people to relieve the 6th extinction. What’s the alternative? No final solution. Progress creates problems increasingly proportionate to the progress.
Fallacy of strength and dominance: 1. Quadriplegics can be as spiritual as the most supple yogi or martial artist. 2. Ego Strength. 3. Overly successful business interests…
A subsistence economy is one answer based on sustainability rather than progress at all costs. A dignified, seriously joyful life with basic human values… it could be way that would satisfy most. Not very exciting, but it might be ultimately more satisfying, fulfilling. Seamless garment of life, physical and spiritual… Might be.
I find it harder and harder to resist editorials but let’s try to focus just a while longer on ‘The Spell,’ my spell, and all its allegories to the salvation/destruction of the world and, uh… mysticism!
But who’s going to give up on ‘progress.’ Complete propaganda control. Mostly money making schemes. How is it that so many Pro-lifers ironically are also so Pro-war.
One is tempted to cynicism…
But it doesn’t matter what I think. The spell now is constructed and sent. Does not require mental consent or even attention. The unconscious is operative here. Makes itself known after. Intuition tells one what must be done… the forms have been learned, inculcated and forgotten.
The pilgrimage to Siwa is its denouement: The great experiment started with the Achekale in eastern Turkey, then Yemen.
THE GREAT OLD MAN IS WITH ME NOW. THE ‘GREAT MONK.’ DARK– DARK– POWERFULLY DARK,
but approaching the light that has no shadow!
BISHOP, I warned you about the coming scandals and that an inadequate response by the Church would bankrupt us spiritually and fiscally.
…finally, I see stillness- Great Spells take years to construct and require the full attention of our core relationships… Don’t know what more to say, except to say that what has been said has been heard and once heard, the Seraphim who sing the Glory of God in Creation will bring a response–
Rectification, Judgment– of Jihad!
[The characters mentioned above and below are from the Nepsis Narratives, or Nepsis Fiction. Curious that this author/editor should make the major male speaker in these fictions, (the Narrator- a businessman), such a negative model. Maybe it will all make sense before the end.]
Fr Adam? University? Art and Poetry– Religion of rigorous study and truth. Spirit of Place(s), energies, plants animals rocks…?
Ag/Cat Stephanie: Caves beneath the sea. Cashes of crystals. Dragon hordes. Life, psyche of the planet. Patterns and rituals over-come the fragmentation of knowledge. But that’s another story…?
Integrates pop fiction with archetypal figures; elite scholarship/mythic cycles with lyric fiction and free flow random intention?
Non-fiction to short fiction to novels to Cyclic, mytho-poetic clusters of stories, studies, art and metaphysical exercise…
A literary puzzle for the erudite?
An internet oracle for the intuitive and the seeker?
Who owns the church? Everyone senses their ‘need’ or ‘realization’ of the sacred. Few know much. Very confused with all the history… Thus the need for churches. But they aren’t really necessary, except …?
Harder and harder for Adam to stay in this world. I.e. on this merely, rational plane, down to earth, pragmatic, common sense. Well, as he has often said “Common sense is for the common.” The ‘other’ dimensions, states, sensations are a better experience, anyway. I’ve come to agree with him about that–he prefers a different combination, or composition as he would say. But I can’t change my habits. Too long, too addicted.
Kabloona is a story about a real paradise in this world… Paradise of ice gardens and simple splendor. ‘Kabloona’ is the Eskimo word for the European or Canadian, American or Russian arrivals- and commerce at the gates of their ice world. Pure experience of the hunters of the north revealed the rule of survival, good humor, fortitude, humility, consciousness as vast and varied as snow. Not competition, not greed; rather satisfaction. Kabloona is also the title of a book that describes how this format was discovered and who was there to be satisfied. Read it for yourself.
The Golem, the Twins? Chris and Simon? Xibalba is the underworld of dark archetypes that are conquered by the Twins. It’s a realm through which everyone must pass TO LIBERATION.
Currently religion is modified to the standards of an international corporation.
This ‘SCHOOL’, Adam’s model of learning, assumes a ‘liberal education, as well as mastery of metaphysical techniques. Christian, Buddhist, etc… i.e. pedagogy, an ordering of perception, then on a more refined level, of Love. Wisdom and compassion– People must go through the first school, i.e. master the content of one’s dreams.
The second school is an increasingly refined mastery of compassionate relationships. Then, the Bodisattva vows… and inspired method.
The third school is union with God and commitment to service, i.e. that all sentient beings, in fact all of creation animate with the divine presence, i.e., that all creation may know the perfect union of matter and spirit, i.e. the Christ (Might be called other names, Prajnapati, Brahma, the Tao, etc. and experienced in the identity described by the such saints as Anthony of the Desert and the Advaitic sadhus of the east.
(Beautiful, but savage young man? An archetype. What is he so mad about? From high school, his ambition is unmet by accomplishment or recognition. His is a longer pedagogy… His is the spirit of the migraine– finally finds his peace as an old man. His drive was to discover the ‘pearls beyond price,’ a dragon’s horde.)…
Well, we don’t need a Lord anymore in any case–Dread or otherwise! We are sufficient onto ourselves. We no longer need the Dark Lord any more than Evangelical Christians need God. Can you imagine it! The Gospel and brutal massacres in the Middle East in this day and age. To bring back Christ for a second coming. When we want, not when he chooses. A forced Coming of it. Christ without the Beatitudes, an excuse. The Sermon on the Mount abrogated along with all those pesky environmental regulations! Rich, too, too rich. As if He would have anything to do with schemes like that. What would we do without such people. Look what we did with Japan- 19 million Chinese killed in our occupation of China and Manchuria. 300,000 in Nanking alone, in six weeks! Now that’s a good time. Thank you Admiral Perry. We’ve started again with the ‘neo-cons’ of America. It’s amazing how easy it is. Think of the profits. Think of the munitions and reconstruction contracts. Trillions of happy little greenbacks, devalued and deflowered dollars. Washington, Jackson, Franklin… Beautiful, just beautiful. And our hero can hardly admit how successful he’s been- The Twin Towers and another war in Mesopotamia. Little does he suspect…
Of course, there is another way to look at this. There is another figure even older, more primordial than St. Anthony who might provide some perspective about Adam’s choices. This one is described in Rg Veda X, 136:
1 Within him is fire, within him is drink,
within him both earth and heaven.
He is the Sun which views the whole world,
he is indeed Light itself–
The long-haired ascetic.
2. Girded with the wind, they have donned ochre mud
for a garment. So soon as the gods
have entered within them, they follow the wings
of the wind, these silent ascetics.
3. Intoxicated, they say, by our austerities,
we have taken the winds for our steeds.
You ordinary mortals here below
see nothing except our bodies.
4. He flies through mid-air, the silent ascetic,
beholding the forms of all things.
To every god he has made himself
a friend and collaborator.
5. Ridden by the wind, companion of its blowing,
Pushed along by the gods,
He is at home in both seas, the east
and the west–the silent ascetic
6. He follows the track of all the spirits,
of nymphs and the deer of the forest.
Understanding their thoughts, bubbling with ecstasies,
their appealing friend is he–
the long-haired ascetic.
7. The wind has prepared and mixed him a drink;
it is pressed by Kunamnama.
Together with Rudra he has drunk from the cup
of poison–the long-haired ascetic.
- Long-haired ascetic: Kesin, the wearer of loose long hair. Fire: visa, poison, poisonous drink, or as here, intoxicating liquor which burns inside like a fire (as confirmed in v. 7). He “carries” earth and heaven, like Prajapati, to whom he approximates by divinization.
- Silent ascetics: munis.
- This stanza is put into he mouths of the munis themselves.
- Beholding the forms of all things: there is here a double meaning, a spatial one, due to the association with the sun (seeing all things from above) and a more spiritual one (from a higher perspective).
- The wind: vata. Companion of its blowing: vayu, the divinity of the wind.
- the spirits, nymphs: Gandharvas and Apsaras.
- Wind: vayu. Kunamnama: possibly a female spirit connected with vayu. Cup of poison: visasya patra. Cf. The later myth of Shiva drinking the poison.
NARRATOR: And We might yet still be regulated. Perhaps, there is a new form, a new integration that will satisfy us all. Or an old … and thus save the world! It is not hard to move what is already teetering on the edge! But which way will it fall? And how hard?
In this pursuit, this quest for Fr. Adam and access to his extraordinary accounts, I’ve heard of something call Advaita– non-dualism. That is, simply put, we are both spirit and matter at once in some ineffable way. The whole world is. The end times and judgment are always upon us. But so is the other option–salvation and paradise! Enlightenment! A tendency we share though, is to believe rather in practical, material, obvious things. It’s not rational. Certainly not scientific. We ignore, or put off, or dismiss entirely the spiritual, ineffable, non-temporal aspect of perceptive experience…
Hell, I’m getting to sound like Father Adam, or Agnes. Can’t have that… Bad for business. What would we do with ourselves…
LETTER TO A BISHOP
PART III (THE LAST)
“…During one of the rituals mentioned previously, all of my spirit animals gathered: The eagle; the Black Widow was there as principal spirit guide; the great old man and the dragons. My parent animals also were there. All are gathered in the “land”, the inner landscape of perception, to observe something. We waited and watched for several days. Then, ‘it’ appears. It was awful. A terrible thing. A vast thing. Something out of a primordial place, black with fecund decay. It emerges. It wakes. Vast. My pantheon seems rather paltry in comparison. But then, after several days of dismay, I remind myself that the spider is a feminine aspect of God himself, and the Great Old Man is the Christ. But still, this new beast is horrible. It is like a great black snake. I waited for several days as it continues to rise. I have to go into it. Awful. I do. I must enter into the (feminine?), earth, fecundity, must identify with it. Sex, death, life; a swamp. I fit into a moist slit in its body. We begin to travel. Travel at a speed unimaginable even in these days of imaginable light speed. Then we arrive somewhere. I won’t describe that. What I am sure about is the rising and the travel of the beast, it is “neg-entropy.”
…The black ‘worm’ is a beast of vast power, raised to effect what is necessary for a broader vision of God’s intention in creation than what urbanized, humanistic and religious motives usually allow.
Finally, the black snake entered my central nervous system—macrocosm into microcosm—through the perineum. It stayed stretched through my spinal column, tail to crown. In fact, psychically, it is that bone and nerve structure even now and will become a white and gold being that is the skeletal, nerve structure of the world.
Shri Chacra Mandala
 Though a theist perspective can have great positive value in culture and psychology along the way. But that is another question for another place.
 Cistercian Studies, “Christian Monks and Asian Religions” Proceedings of the Second Asian Monastic Congress, Bangalore, October 14 to 22, 1973.
See also: NEPSIS FOUNDATION’S LETTER TO A BISHOP, PART III, Chapters 1 – 3
-There are the Last stories
-Miracles and Mandalas
-Kundalini Ascent (return?)
One last story: In Sarnath, I developed a bad migraine. My friends brought in a lama who burned something, had me inhale the smoke and said some prayers over me. The migraine went away and I fell asleep. I had been having a bad run of migraines for several months. I haven’t had any since. What the lama burned was a piece of fabric from the clothing of a Tibetan holy man who was still living! Remarkable.
Ten years ago, I went to India to study Tibetan Buddhism with the Abbot of a Nyingma monastery. Among the stages of initiation that he told me about were mandala offerings. Since then, I have made thousands of such offerings, though not in the exact pattern…
Then last summer, 1989, I attended the ten day, Kalachakra Initiation given by H. H. the Dalai Lama, in Santa Monica, California. I was seated less than twenty feet from His Holiness much of the time, so I was able to observe the construction of a large powder (sand) mandala during the rituals. Watching ‘the behind the scenes’ activities of the ritual assistants was as valuable to my understanding of such rituals as what was going on up front. (See nepsis.com INTERSTATES essays’ Appendices on Buddhism and the Mandala.)
Bishop, let me recap what happened in these ‘closing’ moments. Because something happened there that brought me back from the venomous destruction of the ritual’s climax to complete this image of the spiritual warrior.
The Kalachakra was among several events, some quite traumatic, that lead to my being remarkably energized (in a vision by my Spirit guide animal, my ‘familiar’), nearly twenty-four hours of disconcertingly high energy. Then, I was drawn into a visionary experience, into the interior spiritual realm. I was present there to observe the rising of a vast, horrific, black snakelike beast and its subsequent galactic travel; then its entrance through my perineum (or earth chakra) up my spine to become my skeletal and psychic nervous system. At first this was a terrifying experience. Over a period of days it took on a very attractive quality of white glimmering light.
These psychic events precipitated/facilitated(?) last fall’s travel to India somehow, because it was immediately following that experience when travel to India became not only possible but a bit of a “coup” against all the odds of what was happening in my life at that time.
To better explain the sequential development of the rest of this experience and what has happened spiritually, I compare it–though not exactly, within the structure of my recent journey, to a classic Kundalini awakening. I believe this to be a comparative depiction for a Christian realization. Following the sequence in the Shrichakra mandala described by Tucci’s book on the mandala (Tucci Appendix, Plate III),
1. The earth chakra, Muladhara, at the perineum and Svadhisthana at the base of the genital organs is represented by my experience with the chthonic creatures, the black widow and the vast black snake, just before my departure for India last summer.
2. The experience in Hawaii, according to my journal, concluded with, among other things, an uncomfortably, brightly active, but also pleasing energy flowing around the Manipura (naval) chakra. Also in Hawaii, while reading a novel in bed, a communication came into my consciousness, “We will be with you there.” (I assumed that came from the floral pungent, moist and water spirit of those sometimes desert islands.) I also assumed that meant support for the upcoming ‘challenge’ in India(?)
3. The experience in Agra that was so disturbing was an unrequited affair of the heart; the Anahata chakra in the heart. Personally earthshaking.
4. News about the coincidence of the great earthquake (Loma Prieta/San Francisco) and my own disturbance in Agra came to me from the ‘throat’ chakra, the voice of a holy woman, the Visuddha.
5. The violent headaches in Dharamsala (the top of my head felt like it was coming off as I was taken to the hospital…) indicate the activity in the Sahasrara Chakra, at the top of the head. (The Yamataka (remover of obstacles) Initiation was being given in the Dalai Lama’s Monastery at this time.)
6. The vision of the “dragon-man” and the staff through his forehead, is the opening of the Ajna chakra, or the opening of the “third eye”.
7. The energy flow from the earth through the marrow of my skeleton preceding the terrible headaches and the concluding sense of the connection with the skeletal structure of the earth makes the microcosmic/macrocosmic leap. Thus the purpose of the Shrichakra mandala is to some degree effected with the resulting sense of somehow having come of age, of elevated integration, peace and normalcy, of having died, of giving up my powers, to be empowered in preparation for…
This seems to be a fairly clear “Kundalini”/mandala experience spread over several months and thousands of miles. (Even if it were not actual fact, I believe it displays a subjective understanding of the “powers” of the mandala as cosmoplan of at least human perception if not a cosmoplan of the actual world.)
As my tantric studies have concluded in India, my shamanistic studies–also an element of my Ph.D. comprehensives, conclude with a stay at the American Indian reservation pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico. In Zuni, it was the dances and some of the masks in the context of the larger Indian religion that take one to that “other” place of ‘nothingness that is everything.’ The old, sacred masks (the cultural environment is such that, that which is old has a greater chance of being revered as sacred) when worn confer on the wearer divinity itself. The impersonator becomes the impersonated. In one case, the God is sacrificed for the good of all. The dances, in which the masks are worn, are danced to effect all that is good. (Rain becomes the widely hailed metaphor for what is beneficent.) These art forms help create a relationship with nature especially, there in that special “place”, that I feel to be of great power. That is why I went there. There is an old Church there, a 16th century Catholic mission, in which murals of the Kachinas are being painted. That ancient building is the integration and amplification of ancient spiritual power from two great traditions. I celebrated mass there several times, talked to the artist, and visited that side of the pueblo often.
Visions at Zuni:
The Shrichacra mandala pattern of Kundalini realization identified as the pattern of the Indian mandala pilgrimage!!! (Described above.)
Sky mating earth ritual–sense of sinking into the local water-table: connubial bliss with the water goddess. Rains follow.
Battle with Steel Staff from Yemen. Weather Working: Water, Earth, Air Working Elementals. The Yemen staff is retired. ???
Yesterday the ritual of creating a battle mandala continued at grotto where the Dragon-man from India was cured. But then the Steel staff, in a spontaneous arising vision, heated to melting point and the lower half fell away through the earth to the sky below!!
Now all is open sky above, sky below. Puncture through earth plane. I am still holding. Holding. I still have the very sharp sword. If worse comes to worse there are still the direct energies. I must disappear to survive.
Staff is replaced by large earth-red shield. I am now solely warrior. I am naked, clothed in lightness and darkness behind shield with large, sharp steel sword in my right hand surrounded by auras of protective mandalas.
THE FIGURE OF THE WARRIOR IS NOW COMPLETE,
and soon to launch the salvific ‘first strike’…
What I am about as a Catholic priest and artist should be clearer to you now so that you may judge more accurately my ‘fitness’ to continue publicly as a priest.
Bishop, the human body and the body of creation engage to produce the mandala’s intention. Completion. (inadequate term…) of personality, of world, God…) The aesthetic experience of that is fairly elitist, since few would go to the trouble to conjure it. So, in evaluating art objects, as related to this story, perhaps we could look at the painted, 3-D, or sand mandalas as psychedelic substances, from the art world rather than the plant world, meant to: aid one’s journey of transformed consciousness; to catalyze growth and holiness as “fetish” power objects; to provide, in a ritual context, for the divine encounter with “self”; to be a “personality” to engage us in the “Grand Affair.”
This story, Nepsis, is meant to function like that. Conceptually, the Mandala, like the Crucifix or the Sacraments for pre-Reformation Christians, represents the distilled codification of a vast “wisdom” gleaned from eons of cultural and esoteric reduction, to produce substances (art objects), and processes (rituals, religions), symbols if you like, that engage the divine to the greatest degree possible. Why? For Love. For the union of all things open and luminous. For complete realization, resolution of the divine mundane conflict.
In my own conflict that has produced this story, and the world’s conflict, the battle seems necessary, as this play of dualities that produces the world is necessary. The Fall, the “necessary Sin of Adam”: Necessary as the Aryans invading northern India to produce the Vedas and thus Buddhism and subsequently Hinduism. Necessary as the Conflict between Christ and Jewish/Greek/Roman culture, culture in general, that produced the Mediating Church. Necessary as the conflict between the natural world and technological aptitude to perhaps realize the destiny of divinely mundane Christos; That Omega point to which no-thingness and matter evolve, or should I say resolve…
Well at this point no one can say what that is. Exactly. No one knows what the Glorified Body is, or the Mystery of Union with God, or Nirvana for that matter. But the “way” is clear…
The battle (of Self) still rages. And I am ready now. A warrior of the soul (Self), and the body (Self), dependent on the world (Self) and the Holy (Self) to fashion the battle. Personal and corporate suicide is a possibility. Hell is an option. But, so is Heaven.
Thus begins the Turn of Being, Bishop. This is not the end, this is the beginning. Nepsis, awake. Bishop. Thus I have dreamed dreams of Power.
Thus, I have turned in my sleep.
Hope to hear from you.
P.S. # I.
-I circum-drove the Trinity Nuclear Test site near White Sands, New Mexico where the first atomic bomb was detonated. (Nuclear power is for me one central symbol for the great technological leap forward characteristic of our generation and our “problem”.)
-My friend, Fr. Chris, is back in jail on technical molestation charges. He was arrested when I first arrived in New Mexico for the Zuni research.
-I travel around New Mexico with a friend who had come to drive me home to California. We visit El Santuario del Chimayo. A holy place. Then, we visit Los Alamos which is run by the University of California, Berkeley. Very uncomfortable place. Evil? Then, we make an unplanned return to Chimayo. Very holy. Nurturing place. Healing place. Then, we go to Crown Point where I am to celebrate the Sunday Masses. Go through Los Alamos again to get there by the shortest route. Get lost in Los Alamos. It’s night. Drive around and around, trying to find the right road through Los Alamos to Crown Point. Psychically I am spinning a web. A trap is set? Some sort of psychic/spiritual device to control this “power” represented/enacted by Los Alamos? Then we find the road out.
Celebrate beautiful liturgies in Crown Point… Wonderful people there.
Finally we are ready to leave New Mexico. All the people who had helped me get to and from Zuni faced many unusual obstacles. My friend’s transmission and starter blew out on his car two weeks before he came, his driver’s license was suddenly in danger of suspension, so he had to delay coming for three days, he sprained his ankle, developed a terrible cough, infected sinus, and was troubled with high blood pressure while in New Mexico. Needless to say, I felt relieved as we finally headed for home.
But I also felt under assault psychically. I drove the first ten hours until we were out of the danger zone. The final interior images were as follows:
I am the warrior. I am crouching, sheathed in skin-like armor of silver light, behind the great mandala shield which is on my left arm. It is being blasted with a constant assault of tremendous energy from the left. On the right, I am repulsing small shots of energy with the lower blade of my sword. As we travel across Arizona, I feel increasingly challenged. Rather than be overcome, I curl into a ball, lay on my side in a shallow hole in the earth and cover the hole with the earth shield. I’m just “not there” when the light filled angel of death passes over. (T.C. application, ‘just, don’t be there when the strike of the assailant arrives’…Sifu Crandall, UC Berkeley, Martial Arts Program.)
I find out later that, my friend in Southern California, Chris, a Martial Arts adept who along with his wife drove me to Zuni three months previous, is doing a ritual for our safety as we return home. I feel that his ritual blew dust and cover over the protecting shield and helped us make the trip back to California.
As we neared the western edge of the desert, the weather changed from hot and calm to high winds and cold. As we arrived at Chris’ house, it started to rain heavily, a deep blessing.
NEPSIS IS COMPLETE
P.S. # II.
But, Fr. Chris. is back in jail. A child molester technically. (But not a pedaphile, not pre-pubescent children. Not children. A corrupter of youths? Hemlock, anyone…? Sexual initiation was common among men and boys in ancient Greece. (God, how the media loves this stuff.) As a result, someone recently congratulated me on being right about how badly his case was handled by institutions and Culture. I suppose I was right. The usual institutional way of handling this sort of case not only has nothing of the Redemption in it, but it’s not even practical. Though at the time, I didn’t have any alternative that might seem obvious now.
Why pay those people off who brought the charges? You must know how sick they are. Will they be healed by that money? No! Was Fr. Chris healed? No! Now, he is in jail. Will that heal him?
As I said earlier, I sympathize with those of you who must deal with these issues directly. They won’t go away.
Thank you for re-considering my situation. There is still much to discuss in that regard.
P.S. # III.
Stephen is at the same location in the same Southwest desert as before, with the crystal skull reliquary at his side
Stephen with great steel glass-sharp sword across the altar, the “mesa” in front.
Stephen with medicine shield, the ‘battle shield mandala’ of 8 directions. Baqua, Axis Mundi.
(I am in the center of the great mandala shield, now three dimensional and all around me, a galaxy, a universe.)
The great staff from Yemen rests at his side.
Dances the dance of swords
sends the webs of
(Having spun the web of sacred cottonwoods (Los Alamos)
I now play the webs of the Spell.) And
…binds the insane Destruction
And binds the Criminal, injects the venom
Dances the Dance of Swords and entreats the God of War.
Is the God of War.
spins the webs of healing.
tends the fire of sentience;
the 5 creatures and 12 directions,
dragons of water and fire, earth, air and ether,
tends the weapons, the warrior
guards the People
Sends the Spell of Being
Artificer watches for dawn, Warrior
152 [18.] No One’s Funeral For There Is No One To Bury [T.S.Eliot, Four Quartets]
(The Battle of Self is the Battle for the World)
Oil on Canvas 40″ x 30″ 1991
(T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets) See captions #1 and #6 below from the NEPSIS Master list of Paintings.
1. This caption about my first cycle of formally successful paintings (#s1-5) takes its inspiration from the formal set of Tai Chi wherein the martial artist begins in the “void”, Wu Chi, moves through a prescribed sequence of precise movements, then returns to the “void” at the end. Each position and movement engages an ‘energy,’ Chi, generated from “nothingness” or Spirit, Shin. This first series of paintings represents a cycle of artistic abstraction, a distillation or coalescence of elements; a model, if you like, that breaks through to new realizations or a new form of being. These paintings suggest ‘young, curious, activity gazing at its destiny on the distant empty horizon’ and begin a cycle of thematic considerations that ‘circles back’ many years later in a series of paintings stylistically reminiscent of these earlier works. These paintings lead to other works of mandalic consequence. The material covered in-between remarks upon a relationship with Surrealist Abstract Expressionism, Christian Icon, Shamanistic Fetish, Tibetan Buddhist Mandalas and the practical worldviews associated with these. These begin the cycle continued by paintings #s 6, 7, 14-22, 84-88, 93-96 from the NEPSIS Master list of Paintings.
TRIP TO JERUSALEM
My Jewish friend took me to the ‘Wailing Wall’, inside to pray. I never wanted to go to
the Holy Land. I’m a supporter of the good aspirations of the Arab peoples. Political and
military control of Palestine by Zionists is not justified. Though, there is nothing written
in stone that says they shouldn’t live there. Zion was a holy place before David took the
city. It still is. None-the-less, I love my friend, so we stood before the Wall and prayed.
In my mind’s eye I saw blue lightening arising from the stone foundation of the mount.
And green… Enormous psychic power. Later, I visited the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher. A Christian monk (Coptic I believe) was selling religious knick-knacks out of
a closet behind the crowded shrine. The candle stands around the shrine were filthy. I
wandered down to lower levels and found a place of naked stone foundations. There was
only one person there- An Ethiopian man in street clothes but wrapped in a shawl of
white gauze. He chanted quietly and prayed for a long time. His quiet prayer moved me,
so I joined him there touching the bare stone. I felt that I ‘saw’ peace. Absolute peace.
On another day we bathed in a chilly cave pool near another cave once occupied by John
the Baptist, not far from Jerusalem. My Jewish friend also took me on a tour of the
Golan Heights and surrounding areas. We hiked the hills and fields and swam in the
river that feeds the Sea of Galilee. An Arab Christian friend showed me Caesarea by the
Sea and other places on the way back to Jerusalem. (The very places, when I was with
my Jewish and Christian friends, now under bombardment from the north as IDF
armaments pound the hills of Lebanon.)
DREAMS: I had many dreams in the Holy Land. All but one were wonderful, verdant,
lovely, dark and green. There was one of terrible aspect. A genius locus? Horrible,
still, boring tan, brown, hot antipathy. Me, or the place? Can’t say, but is suggests much
about that place and my perceptions.
My time in Jerusalem was like standing on the frontier of the ‘other world.’ One feels the
timeless in the presence of time. This would be so with or without all those buildings and
peoples, I’m sure.
I suppose a significance of my experience in Jerusalem was that the sensibilities
developed there are particular to the place–the genius loci of that place. Which might be
why so much of Christianity always seems alien to other places. Though one must still
consider such passages as the “Sermon on the Mount” as more universal, but still
consistent with the spirits of that locale.
Religious people in America should seek out the spirit that dwells here rather than
imposing Middle Eastern or European ideas about spirits. One can do this as well as
acknowledge the significance of the Christ, the Buddha, and so much more the gift of
what Christians call the Holy Spirit provides… ‘The spirits also need love and
One other event of this journey was a thoroughly happy trip to Petra in Jordan. I stayed
in a ‘native’ hotel in Petra. There was a gay person on the staff of this small hotel on a
hillside above town. It was more a guesthouse than a hotel, with lots of students and
other economically challenged world travelers. As I was checking-out on the morning of
my departure, this androgen was in charge, indeed was the only staff person present. At
one point, he seemed to gaze to the right up towards the ceiling and said to me “you have
a white heart” and as he went on seemed very positive and favorable in his estimation.
The ‘divine androgen’—the Berdashe– is a figure of nearly universal importance in
religious and cultural history of the world for tens of thousands of years. This is a figure
cruelly repressed in the Modern Era and especially among Old and New Testament
peoples for the last 4000 years. Though, there is nothing negative about this persona in
the Gospels… Usually, they mediate between the worlds of Spirit and Matter and
Psyche. The importance of this figure cannot be over estimated. Human culture will
never be whole without this role. None-the-less, for me when I was a young pilgrim on
the roads of the world, in the early stages of this conversion, to have a ‘clean heart’ was a
value of highest esteem. I think that’s the translation from the Arabic of my friend’s
thinking in Petra. A ‘clean heart’ is an expression of accomplishment beyond compare in
the spiritual live. I’ll end my story with that aspiration. For my sake and the world’s, I
hope we’re right.
154  “Rorate Caeli II “
Oil on Canvas 40″ x 30″ 1991
“Rain down your blessings, O, ye heavens.” Gregorian Hymn. See painting captions 1 through 7 above.
Gregorian Hymn, “Rain down your blessing, o ye heavens.” Actually, the Latin is more beautifully poetic than my ‘loose translation,’ but this is what I remembered when I painted and titled this painting. Here’s a translation from the 1924 Daily Missal (Benedictine Abbey of Saint Andre Press) for this the principal hymn used in Vespers for Advent that goes back to the Sixth Century and is sung in the fourth tone.
‘Rorate Caeli’ is a response verse to the hymn. Following the hymn, the Versicle is:
Rorate Coeli de super, et nubes pluant justum- “Ye heavens, drop down dew from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One.”
And the responsorial is:
Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorum– “Let the earth open and bud forth the Savior.”
This sensibility that allows nature to play such a productive role becomes an important touchstone for much of the Nepsis Foundation’s conversation…