A CLUB OF SUPERNAL INTERESTS Christian Esotericism, Spiritual Science, Esoteric Christianity - All Authored by a Lodge of Christian Teachers (unless otherwise stated.) (All writings copyright) ©

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Imaginative Cognition- 27th January 1992

Life goes on, and round and round,
Inside out, and up and down.

The people climb, they slip and slide,
Upon the ice they skip and glide.

A piece of this, a piece of that,
A piece of happy happenstance.

We move to and fro, around we go,
Out from the world, and into the Know!
Knowing this and knowing that,
One hat, two hat, three hat, Fohat.

The scales do summon, the music plays,
Out from the night and into the day,
We skip and slide, we cross the night,
We jump the cliff and into flight!

(Warming up- it's like tuning an orchestra!)

TO be completely comprehensive, untouched and untampered-with and natural to its own, is the mark of a genuine article. "Genuineness" is a concept which needs be defined to be looked for; and the importance of there being intrinsic value to genuineness rather than second best or derivatives three, four and so on - removed with synthetic overlay. 
When the would-be prince set out to return with a feather from the Phoenix, it should not have sufficed for him to have fetched it merely from a seagull and painted the plumage red, green and blue. It simply would not have completed the story or the task well at all. Many a grail has been recovered and honored, and interestingly enough, they were all crafted in metals! 

There are many who would deceive and many who would eagerly welcome such deception. But do we seek for convenient results or do we seek to find something truly worthy of a wonderful find? We must ask this of ourselves and ask it honestly. 

Men have most powerful imaginations which presently are mostly underused. The imaginative powers are not only conjective, but productive and may of their own creating skills preclude forthcoming eventualities. Man may summon many images and designs before his inner mind, and will one day be so definite and practiced in this, that he may command all physical form in the immediate (within reason- forgive the pun), as he does after death.

Here we come to an interesting philosophical point. For when we go further and discover the motivating cognating elements which comprise the imagination, one can argue that the creativeness is born from fantasy, which is anything but real. It then appears contradictory to suggest that one must perfect the visions and gauge 'genuineness' that we might be more potent in the calling forth of such imagery, and therefore reality. 

But it is certainly within one's power presently to pre-empt an action with an initial thought to do so, before carrying out the then existing motions of actuality. This we can understand, e.g. I may think to myself that I should like to make a cup of tea, and may then go on to carry out the task. The desire prompts the thinking, the thinking inspires the activity to follow. None of the above may be classed as fantasy. It is acceptable to plan. The conditions of success rely on the aspects of knowing how to make a cup of tea, what is required and what the tea should look like, taste like and so forth, that I may work properly and thoroughly to produce it. 

Imagination is no different in man. The essential rudiments are not in any way made of pure fantasy. It is that we are ill-defined for end results, for perfect visions, that we may confuse our confusion with rudimentary ability. Therefore, if it is put forth that one must understand the 'genuineness' before one may work the imagination thoroughly, it is not contradictory to say so.

If one believes that the imagination works from creative conflicts that have no true substance, that are rooted in madness, then the notion appears contradictory. Except to say that if one does believe that the imagination is so undependable and so ridiculous, then one could still go by the theory of perfecting genuine visions, for they should be no more ridiculous than anything else also envisioned. The follow on argument could be that seeking out perfected visions may become restrictive and therefore not imaginative, however one would have to exercise the imagination to come close, and such exercise would imply anything but sclerosis of the powers.

Imaginative cognition requires two elements. Firstly it is brought into play when the man governs the calling forth of thoughts, rather than responding to his immediate environment. Rather than answering and responding to exterial subjections (even mathematical equations), he has divorced himself from necessity and withdrawn into an inner chamber protected from such demands. 

Secondly the man must know that which he seeks out in the higher realms, to which in thought, he withdraws to; and decipher accordingly. There is a bridge laid from which he may travel, from inner reality to outer world. This is a very complicated and busy process. In order to fire the cognitive powers of the imagination he must identify that which he seeks to call forth. The more aligned the initial vision is with cosmic reality, with spiritual base and spiritual certainty, the more he shall recover and return with consciously. 

One might ask at this point - but how does he know what to search for if he does not know in the first place? The point is that he is to be both 'open' to genuineness and choosy for genuineness. To be mindful at first, consciously mindful, is the first key to this practice. 

One cannot arrive logically at a complete soul picture of spiritual teachings. Logic works well, on a single flat-planed grid, and is fine on that plane to which it relates to. Even though the teachings should and do comply with all logic, they also go beyond worldly logic, as must do; and it requires imaginative cognition to begin to comprehend the spiritual natures of spiritual applications.

One cannot therefore, try to convince anyone of anything. It is the same as one trying to educate the computer, who is a master logician, at such teachings. By way of logic we may formulate and speculate, and project more formulae - and this is commendable and exceedingly needy. But logic must necessarily be governed by higher instincts and higher wisdom for the logic itself to become valuable.

Logic rests on certain realities. Logic defines those realities. It says something is what it is. It also speaks of accuracy and predetermining. The logician works on the basis that all formula will remain the same and therefore all outcome will do also. But he cannot account for larger formulas that he may not incorporate, for they are unknown to him. 

Furthermore, Creation works by way of laws - and here is another interesting philosophical point: which came first, the law or Creation? Creation, by nature, is anything but predictable.

It is precisely the balance between the two, the harmony which coincides, which gives license to both; that there are higher determinations predicating the manifestation of lower extensions of such impulses, of both law and Creation.

Therefore it is incorrect to perceive all of that within the world as mere chance offspring or self-enclosing formula - and the visions which reach into higher spheres are necessary to truly begin to examine our reality,

When we begin to work the imagination we do not pluck nonsense from accumulated banks of impressionable knowledge. We endeavor to enter into realms above the immediate by means of a higher door. If we reach into our imagination and seek nonsense, then we shall produce some recollection of such. If we task ourselves to find some genuine reality, which at present we are consciously divorced from but is true and correct, then we begin to establish a relationship between ourselves and the imaginative/cognitive reasoning. 

It is as though a man does swell and become much larger, in that, the field of auric vitality and activity, when he endeavors to strengthen his imaginative comprehension. The peripheries enlarge. The span of consciousness widens, but it is entirely dangerous when artificially induced and rapidly propelled, for there are conditions whereby a man who has not the practice of will, of daily connection, of exercise, may jump headfirst into a headless practice of imagination. If one is to be drugged or 'lit up' like a shopping mall Christmas tree; charged with the vitality from outer sources all at once, one enters into the imaginative realms seeking nothing in particular. The question of 'genuineness' is not even made account of.

After such experience there is a greater shaft between the consciousness of that individual's reality and imagination than ever before - because there is no bridge; because the overwhelming experience has no foundation or relation which translates back into the daily experience. He is not enriched, but bereft. There is no determination of will, for this is forfeit in the acute, overwhelming, indulgent experience. Enhancement in this way, of exaggerated swelling, is dangerous to one's mental stability and dangerous also to that of the psyche. It is as with a stomach quite empty, being loaded with ten times more than it can contain. It cannot be digested. The vitality must expend the vessel; the vessel inflates with such rushes of force, undirected. Therefore, those who seek fast and furious experience of this nature must be wary to the concerns of forfeiting general health and mental capacity.

It is a question of plucking the feather from the Phoenix and returning without being burnt.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Newness- 22nd January 1992

WE carry on, but not with tedious repetition. There are ever-new occurrences in every world and every plane, and activity is always exciting. For the essence of Creation is such creative force, which does not linger, does not stay and stagnate but ever moves on, with or without those who choose to experience the new life swells, the movements deep and inclines steep.

We, all of us within this scheme, are not merely the old, rehashed and reshaped becoming new. Folk tend to perceive life with repetition, and grand that might be - certainly when it comes to one's progressive evolution and expansion therein. But it is not the case of an old tune to an unfamiliar beat. It becomes much more than that. A symphony is so much more than the original tinkle of notes: the notes are the mainstay, the notes are essential and the symphony incorporates and enhances with melodic deviation and much new creation to the original tune.

If we look to the changes which occur within our own physiology, we find that they are related, but also quite different, and clearly not more of the same. An adult form is not directly that which the child appeared to be; and before that - somewhat derivative and some parts altered, and both quite separate in unique ways.
• Child to adult: a relationship in which the child is transformed beyond recognition of ever being a child.
• Bud to bloom: we know that the bloom was a bud, but at what point may we identify the bloom to sprout, bloom to seed?

Comparing the forms, they are exceedingly different - quite so with the future in its entirety. Nature is full of surprises. When seen for the first time, and quite unexpected, so much that may appear unrelated and changed, begins anew; and every living item is new.

Newness is a concept which the 'oldness' within ourselves finds difficult to identify; the 'oldness' being that which has past been incorporated but not strengthened by exercise; concepts upon which we rely in order to perceive the given world, and thus go by. But the 'oldness' may become infirm when not given latitude enough to enable new concepts to become incorporated. 

Our picture ideas become weary and so hardened by expectations of the familiar. The question then is, "How do I begin to perceive the world in its true 'newness' without forsaking my very necessary aspects of conceiving and relying upon the familiar?" And the balance is paramount, for on the one hand one is too defined and is self-enclosed in a time that will not allow for grand change; on the other we have insanity.

Tan the leather that it remain supple and pliant! We cannot disregard or forsake that which we have come to know and cherish. This of course is not in question, for what use is one set of principles and concepts replaced by a completely new set, for the sake of newness? One should never keep up! Rather then, the task is more for steady and progressive, constant incorporation - incorporating ideas, with one end closed and one end open - ever mindful of the surprises; and surprises there will be, without anxiety or confusion or a desperate need to remain as is.

Accepting change within ourselves, within those conditions which impinge outwardly, is not easy. One can see how quickly we may become 'threatened' by the mere prospect of change, and frightened of 'newness', even though in truth every new day brings with it a future which comprises of: new breath, new word, new movement, new interaction, and new opportunities.

There must be comfort in the thought that we have dealt exceedingly well up to this point, with all of the confrontations which newness has brought. We still remain throughout. The winds may blow with turbulence but we are safe within. This we must know and do recognize as truth, even though at times we may feel tired of ever more newness. 

That which feels awkward in the presence of the future, that which feels tired and baulks like a donkey, are only those aspects within us which are tired and reluctant - quite reticent to change. This may sound obvious, but we shall return to that thought. 

One simply cannot hold back the tide of Creation - one cannot try to with great merit - but we do. We seldom welcome the newness that greets us daily. We seek rather to ignore that fact absolutely. Where is the pocket of fear deep within us that clings to the spirit of excited anticipation? The soul craves experience, the soul is social and the soul celebrates all wonders. Why then, even with our necessary bank of familiarity, are we in daily life, often the antithesis?

As we have discussed, there is nothing at present which conforms distinctly to previous ways, and one such nothing is our perception as regards the spiritual worlds. At present we are verily 'far from home' caught in an age of darkness enshrouding the Globe, which does not permit the conscious individual born into this world, to gaze out further, further than his immediate sensory perceptions.

The only roads leading out into the starry Cosmos, are in fact those primarily which are come to by extraordinary means; or more importantly, those which are reached directly by the heart and the perceptions of the heart. By the development of certain virtues, by the development of attaining a true morality, one can receive echoes of the spiritual activity that flows into them and permeates their very life substance. Though impressions may be deep, they are not clearly perceptible. Man is ever in doubt and divorced from much that he cares for. 

The conditions of this time are difficult, and it is this difficulty which provokes uncertainty. It is not so much the 'new spiritual day' which man is apprehensive of, it is rather whether or not that day will come. It is in these times, that hands need be held and much guidance is required. It is this which provokes a man to be so uncertain that he would rather cling to familiarity than welcome the wonder which comes with great change.

In times past, the threshold of death from this world into others was not closed to the worldly-perception. Those whom we love were not so detached and divorced, and realities were intermixed, intermingled as it were. Now we find that we are caught with a feeling almost of 'aloneness'. "Why, Father, has thou forsaken me?" That we are so separated from our heavenly homes, as the dust of a heavy materialism clouds our view and chokes our breath and fills our eyes which burn tearless and sting.

Brother to brother in this adversity, have yet separated off. Rather than come in unity as one great strength against this darkness, they have gone a'wandering in different ways - pilgrims who walk the earth, some the ranges, some the caves, all unsettled, orphaned by the conditions of this time. 

All periods have their corresponding joys, and also that which could perhaps have been otherwise. This particular time is one which is perhaps more frightening than else could be. For when one is denied the view, they surely feel helpless in meeting the future. But as with other episodes, this too will end. In the long and in the short, this blinded comprehension will cease. 

It is not for punishment, that the way it is, is the way it is. It is no great sword that strikes the sin of mankind which provokes a wrath uncharitable and unforgiving. This period shall be short-lived, even though it does span many lives and lifetimes - it shall end. Regained will be that heavenly identity and the consciousness which lives assured that it is definitely a part of, rather than apart from the glorious bonds of the embracing Higher Kingdoms of Divinity.
But for now in this present time, there is much turmoil from those who have difficulty in gauging much at all. Much sympathy is expended to humanity for suffering this separation. Invisible hands hold up the weary, invisible eyes shall see for the wary, and new days will follow on from days past, once new.

We must forgive our brothers if they cannot see glimpses of higher realities. We know how it is that often we work from recall or from intimations from soul, or from a heart enriched with vital fluids of inspiration and piety. If we have these ways then we must be grateful and give sympathy to those who are caught in this ineffable darkness, and so confused that the wondering ceases and gives over to a sleeping consciousness.

Welcome Creation and all her manifestations of newness, for it is by her that we shall come to that day when the bridges of consciousness may become renewed and divinity made plain. We must seek out divinity within our reality, for it is surely there even though so difficult to readily perceive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Measurement without numbers - qualify, not quantify: 22nd January 1992

TRY not to gauge the work, this work, by numbers: numbers of books, numbers of people, numbers of days, for this would be (to the numerist) ever unsatisfying and unrelated. In the worldly scheme folk usually measure success in exactly these terms of relevance, but value is value, e.g. buckets of money are useless if the currency is worthless.

Folk who become of public notice often seek to overcome the world by their presence or their company's presence, and determine that much is gained if they may verily 'outstrip' their 'opponents' by gathering more attention unto themselves. It is an easy mistake, but not warranted by those who should know better.

When a new species of flower breaks ground and is exhumed from the ethers, it has much glory in first popping its head joyfully and courageously into the light of this world's day. This work shall do many things beside that which is readily apparent - one of which, and not the least of which, shall be the bringing forth of another such new species, assisting its formation and creation. And that bloom shall continue as great medicine to the world - prolific or not, it will endure and continue. For it has been introduced into the world and will signify the hopes and strivings, the beginnings of this work. (Small and purple, delicate and four-petaled.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yes & No- 17th January 1992

THE tail of a dog wags back and forth; the finger of the old man cocks and shakes with all-knowing instruction. The head bows, the head lifts, the head shakes backward and forth, up and down: dissent, assent, agreement.

One movement is defined; wavering movements which are not of singular intent, are equally, undecided, as the wavering shows. If one examines the habits of this exploratory shaking they can begin to 'feel out' their partner’s searching, even though they appear to be decisive in interpretation. 

Here and there, from this and that, side to side, backwards up and frontwards down - this explains to us the true makeover of most decisions answered. If we nod in agreement we are tending towards that line of decision, but not overly committed unwaveringly. Equally a nod of disapproval - 'no, no, no' - is a tendency favouring such, but going from this to that in examination. 

It is moreover an informed answer, for the information is causing the constant reflex. Something like this: "No, I reject, but, what if?" "I understand" and so forth. Examination - return to first opinion - drawing conclusions - no; and so on. The head shaking side to side or up and down, the inner gauging, the outer affirmation of decided opinion. 

There are grades of sound which accompany the verbal equivalents, ranging from the most definite and exuberant, to those which are weak and noncommittal. If I should ask you if you would like to be given a treasure, your reply 'yes' should be stated far differently to your being offered a biscuit, a dry biscuit, for example. 

Yet the two words, both yes and no, are the most strongly driven words of any language. The individual who imparts either of these words may choose to do so quite forcefully, quite actively, and throw their whole being behind them and their meaning of the moment.

Of course there needs be both will and desire coupled with a true and proper reference, understanding that which is to be accepted or rejected by the individual. However, 'yes' and 'no' still stand as the most powerful issues, regardless of how quickly we tend to offer both, regardless of considerations.

These two words separate man from beast, as within the use common and decided, they are representative of choice - choice being paramount to man. They are in answer to all consideration. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Masters of Morn- 12th January 1992

THE Masters of Morn are the guardians of future travails; they are as the scout, who with mingled excitement, apprehension and courage, do run a little way into the future and return with what has been seen there. Messengers are sent who carry the word of these future events, who go from one to one into the world. 

One may divine the spiritual world and see who passes by, seeing also forthcoming eventualities, for the physical rendition is but echo to that which is in place. In this one can see the combination of destiny pre-told and an open future which is quite malleable to decision and intent. It is alike to oranges coming down on a conveyer-belt in groups: now one, now two, now none - and we may communicate with those who have seen how many were placed at the start, and we may sort through the quantities as they arrive. Plop, plop, into the packing case! Sorting through the bruised and the rotten: discarding and arranging, arranging and discarding. 

Events are a little like Plato: perfect in essence, but once active, compromising that perfect design. Life is fast indeed. Focus alters, situations breed other situations, focus adjusts accordingly and patterns are thrown and deviate. But the big waves still come crashing in with regular precision, whilst the small ripples flounder and tow. The heave and swell, the rise and peak of increments within the one body of water: these may be foreseen - the tendencies and magnitude, offshore from afar. 

We now go from oranges and tidal waves to specifics: If we were to compare men from the former centuries, streaming back into history known and beyond, we should find that the overall characteristics of each and every century-individual are so markedly different, one might be excused in believing them to be each a differing species. The constitution and metabolic system may appear derivative when in reality is not, and there are contradictions that the scientific world refuses to highlight when examining the 'unexplainable' jumps, deviations and patterns from era to era.

In livestock the interrupting inexplicable genesis characteristics are referred to as 'throwbacks'; whereas this system of explanation is not correct when one speaks of the present or future formations of any biological constitution. However, simple to say that there is truth that there must be seeds of given possibilities within a constitution for one characteristic to predominate and flourish. But we maintain that the preponderance is there all the time before becoming physically apparent and determined presently, and not by chance or ancestral 'throwback'. For the 'pool' theory is as good as it goes, however it rests on shaky doctrine which essentially rests on principles of chance mutations rather than will and design. One can see the devil at work in the thinking of the scientific world when such idiocy reigns and is accepted unquestioningly. 

However, returning to the first statement: that when comparing the century-men there are changes which are unrelated within that totality, within their overall makeup - in that which comprises not only their biological status, but also too their psyche, their comprehension, their perceptions, their powers of intellectual fraternization, their coordination (how they physically relate to the earth, how they stand, how they move, dances they prefer etc.), and so forth. And there are remnants of former centuries still here as representative of such, in physical form etc. But such are short-lived examples of centuries not exceeding two hundred or possibly a little more. In terms of the higher worlds and time, this is very few. Therefore one can immediately say that the century-men contrast greatly in such small periods, and even more so when viewed back four to five hundred centuries and before. It is important to acknowledge this, for from this perspective we can ascertain that the men of the future will be also quite markedly different. It is precisely in what way that concerns the Masters of Morn and their folk.

At the forefront of thinking in this century it appears we have struck upon an age of implants and mechanical function. From this, the 'modern thinkers' tend to work towards more of the same when viewing the future receptacle which will carry the soul of man. This is interesting because it is untrue and vain to believe that we may purely be motivated or 'mutated' into forms which are mechanically reliant, and therefore unresponsive to spiritual or higher dictates. 

The scientists work with modern picks and tongs, of lasers and extractors, delving minutely and dissecting the small worlds; and they fiddle the genes they can find, and they persuade the public that this is respectable intervention. They have forgotten however, that anything which is physically apparent, apparent enough to be at a level where they may intervene or interfere, is already the offspring of a previous design. This is fact. The 'beginnings of life' are not discernible physically. They are, later on, corruptible, as all physical manifestation is, but they are not begun or determined within the physical realm.

So the consequences of meddling at an early stage of preexistent gestation are dangerous and unlawful. Now there must be a certain sense of morality in place here, and one must come to understand a few definite principles before proceeding. When men try to pre-empt nature and presume to know better and interfere with destinies of growth, then they are responsible for the outcome, and yet do not act with full knowledge of such outcome. Let a scientist experiment first upon himself to judge an outcome. This of course they are not apt to do, but are quick to take foetus and dissect, with no such prick of conscience or sickening apprehension.

Men will change and men will alter, and whilst it is true to say that generations look to their forefathers for completing those conditions which make their constitutions conceivable, one can also say specifically that they are not wholly dependent, and can if need be determine much.

For example: there have been many kinds of atrocities as result of human calamity four to five hundred centuries ago - similar to what we might imagine to be the result of the entire planet become nuclear-bound with excessive radiation . . . and from this there were unalterable features and characteristic distortions, weaknesses, and a chain of inhuman (for that time) men. At the end of this period the animal kingdom took on the burden of many of the deformities; some were incorporated, some were absolved and dissolved; some were enhanced, and some were retained for future change (held back as it were). Then in a wave, a completely new generation arose, who basically were not responsible or accountable for the regretted chain of calamities, and who were pure in design - and actually born so - defying what should have been the succession of physical deformities, because they were operating out from the original plans as were laid in the spiritual worlds prior to their incarnating. They were marginally unaffected. However, those who partook in the crisis events which were prior: they were the ones who would suffer the physical implications in forthcoming incarnations. 

So this tells us that as regards the physicality of the constitution and the whole of humanity, certain generations may be at risk if it ever came to chemical or radioactive disturbances. But it would be temporarily interruptive only, and not determine the pattern of incarnating individuals forever and a day.

Having said that, what does precisely determine the constitution of man, of humanity in future generations to come? It is that which we take with us into the spiritual realms, and receive there also, which will be of paramount significance. And so, alike to the generations who still carry the problems which occurred in sudden and destructive transformation and effect today in those corresponding parts of their constitution, we also suffer the defects and trials of our spiritual deficiencies - but more so.

Happily there is more to be gleaned which enhances a man than does destroy him; so this is good for the principle. Man is ever improving as it were, gaining much strength and self-determination. The incarnating ego is brimful of great and marvelous experience. All individuals receive more than they lack. But conditions and opportunities are carved and structured always in the present. The actions, the thoughts and deeds of a man, predetermine his future destiny. One cannot divorce a man from his future. The time lapse may be confusing, but is rather a blessing to most. And fortunately also, we are given respite from inevitable consequences, where we may gather much in order to deal better with those circumstances we have made for ourselves.
The genetic engineer would be better discerning a soul inhabitant from a sea of living cells. If he might find that quite truly it is the responsiveness of the inner qualities of man which determine the future man (body as well), then he should go from the laboratory and out into the streets, and practice applied morality.

What use is it to try and lengthen the days if we are rob ourselves of a much needed sleep? Without the rest, without the slumber, we exhaust ever quicker and shorten our total of days. For the man is of the cosmos and requires the nutrition that only proper rest will bring. It is so with all other areas whereupon the enthusiastic scientist would state temporary preferences which take from the overall plan. 

One might try to cheat death, when the reality is that death is but ever more life, and the very thing that they say they seek, they already have. Men would be better to understand the first reality, rather than deny it and chase secondary notions.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Denial of Life- 1992

FIRST Steersman Pucker drove the buoyant seas like one gigantic slippery-dip. So reckless was he that the scruffy crew of Her Lady Magnifico Splendouralous, happened upon his talents one day, whilst he, on the pier, chewed the hind legs of a Caesar crab. The crab was still alive at the time.

He had traveled far in search of the land of the Bon-Bon tree, but had failed to reach destiny, as his previous charge had unwittingly been swallowed by storm and sea. The crew's captain had retired into a madness which only the ocean-bound did at times, become inflicted. It came, thought they, when drinking seawater, and this rumor was upheld by many. 

Steersman Pucker was qualified, for he held papers in which marvelous testimonies did tell of exotic freights and passages; which none other had heard of. They presumed that he must have already traveled far, for the stories so told were bewildering and fascinating, and bore no known relationship to local waters.

The cargo was hauled and fixed on deck, bound thrice over and attached as thought sufficient - one mammoth statue engraved and worked upon; a most cumbersome figure wrapped and concealed; destined for the garden of a holy man who had set the commission. A few other trifles and truffles, beverages and salt-meats, kegs of sour, kegs of sweet, and the usual animal passengers: a variety, from monkey to rat. 

The waters were alarmingly calm, and the crew - with now, new captain (whom one might imagine as Gregory Peck) - were motivated to resume their voyage. For to the seaman life itself is a continual voyage, with every seaport considered an interruption to their watery land. But also too, every new consignment promised its reward; and eagerly they chortled off with grand expectation of special payments for this one.

On the seventh night, still flouncing on an ever quiet sea, Captain Pucker divorced himself from the main company and sought seclusion down by the ornament, which groaned with the ship's movement, tensing and straining at the bondages wrapped and bound. There was much superstition and a tingling apprehension regards this form lying heavy on the deck. The men had begun to speak jovial remarks when passing, but feigned to touch it; and did joke of what lay so concealed and so wrapped. Until three days later; weird imaginings had seized every man on board, and they stopped their remarks for many had begun to hear replies. Of course, not one did intimate this to another, but the frenzy was plain.

Pucker was amused and made point of resting himself on the head of this form. He was assured of gathering his thoughts uninterrupted, and was not caring or curious about this reliquary of import.

On this night, of the seventh, a snake did happen out from the garments, which though constrained well, did have many a fold in which the serpent might have made home back on land. The Captain notified the shiphands, calling for instant removal; and the glistening whip snake was duly flung over. The men, now caught with ever more suspicion, suggested that the snake was an omen of this illegal cargo.

Three nights later Captain Pucker was disturbed from his nightly contemplations, yet again in similar fashion. Another snake did slither out, and became erect, looking eye to eye, beside the Captain. Somewhat startled and complaining, the Captain did beckon his mates and rebuked them for not attending to the matter when first asked. For he did presume that this was the first snake, and considered not that there were two.

"It's enchanted, that's what it is!" they exclaimed with alarm; and all the while the snake, poised on statue, stared motionless. Pucker threw a net, and so covering the reptile, took a great iron chain, and smashed it over and over, with dramatic movements and curses, well satisfied with his trembling audience. Overzealous he became, and when casting the net over, found to his upset, white crumbles at his feet- one quite large. Shrewdly he shuffled the marble fragments under the tarp, and began to make bold of his achievements of the night. The men returned to sleep, and the Captain was again alone, alone with the now defiled and desecrated artwork.

"Bloody nuisance cargo!" was all that sprang to mind.

The wind had become icy colder, his stomach churned, he had never been partial to snakes, or regret. He comforted himself that perhaps with chisel and brazing-stones, he might make aright the craftsmanship gone wrong. And he so retired for the night, looking forward to the next, when he planned to unrobe the cold marble figure and confront the job ahead.

It was a moonless night as the sky was cloud-filled, and Captain Pucker required a little lamp for assistance with his restoration. The men were subdued and kept to themselves. The opportunity had come for him to strip bare this secret figure discreetly. With ropes untied, and further cords cut, Pucker pulled away one sheath of calico to find another underneath. Seven in all enrobed the marble figure, six he removed away from the head, until he came to the seventh, when he despondently leapt back, dismayed with disgust. For upon stripping back the final cloth, a defiling sticky paste caught his hand; viewed in the light of the flickering lamp . . . it resembled blood!

The Captain was rarely at a loss for immediate action when required, and prided himself so in daring and in confidence. It flashed through his fevered mind that he too might be drinking seawater, come morning. Unnerved and reluctant, he reviewed his good intentions, and with loathsome hand, rewrapped and rebound the solemn figure, deciding it better remain concealed; for he could not bring himself to view the face.

Never before had he encountered a magic unexplained. Many a story is told and received, and of course, he had known practically all the stories passed on. He was brought up on them. He had met with strangers who were curious, lecherous, exotically garbed and heavenly inspired; and disregarded all such individuals as one of the same.

Had the figure been a man so enshrouded, who had met with a common death, he should not fain glance into the face. But he was bewildered with the prospect of confronting that which he did not know- so foreign to experience and expectation.

Captain Pucker could not appease his tiredness with fresh, sweet sleep that night. He lay in blankets, all in an itch. His legs took to a trembling as he wrestled with the demons of imaginings. He tried many a consoling thought, with the promise of morning ahead.

A storm had been brewing however, with veritable force. The night was challenged by cracks and crazes of light, in thunderous episodes. The boat, truly tiny in respect now to the mountainous tumultuous waves, was seized and taunted perilously. After weeks of complaining that the waters were almost too quiet, it often happens that one is given such grace of certain pleas in overwhelming abundance.

"How so?" thought Captain Pucker, as it was not the season for storms.

However, he was glad for distraction and leapt from his bed to attend. It was a sad peculiarity that Pucker was remiss ever slightly, that when he had retied the ropes on his cargo he had hurriedly done so, too loosely to hold. The weight of the figure was shifted this way and that; and the bonds became weaker until finally they snapped.

The men were busy bailing and restraining ropes and rudders; their concentration spent on keeping certain balance. The Captain sung his favourite ballad, which was especial to inhospitable weather. The crew from this, worked well, with one mind, managing the elements, each with his own duty duly performed.

Finally the winds abated, the swirls ceased and a rosy glow streamed over the horizon. The ship creaked slightly as it gently glided into the port. The men were looking forward to their due nourishment and were glad that they might peruse the new town. Captain Pucker had given notice that he should not be making the voyage back, but rather chose to investigate the prospects of a merchandising franchise and apply his talents to market trade.

But before disembarking each man did have to wait. For their main commission had to be claimed and paid accordingly for, as the charge was their much-needed salary. The recompense was to last them three months or more.

But no one came. A full seven days passed, with word sent and waited for. But still no one came for the marble model.

Restless and weary of their charge, the men one by one, would make short daily departures, returning at night. What was unknown to the crew was that the rightful owner of this peculiar cargo had deceased shortly after making the arrangements for the statue to be transited. Having paid one quarter of the fee outstanding, it was small comfort to the men to be left the legacy of the unclaimed reliquary.

The Captain had desisted their attempts to view this marvel, as he feared the repercussions of their finding its demise. But after days had turned to weeks and weeks past the length of the month, the crew had decided it time to cut losses and depart. Having seen all there was to see locally, they became as irritable tourists, homesick.

The funds from the remainder of the cargo were sold, gained and now spent, the decks refilled with menagerie and curio, cloth and spice and luxurious intricacies so called for. But still remaining with position taken on deck was the mighty marble statue awaiting removal.

Carved from a frozen Tear of God, the name of this art-piece had spread throughout the local (and distant) communities of the holy. They had awaited its presence, but had not known the details of which ship to port- as many did come and go. The traffic was by the hundreds.

The search for the commission was extensive. So it took a small company of monks many months before reaching the correct vessel, in good time. They had ventured into that region a matter of days before its arrival, and departed to other parts before returning with perseverance and hope of finding this acquisition.

Pucker, who was still resident upon the ship, eyed the hooded, plain-garbed troop who gathered at the walkway entrance. They had been murmuring to one of the crew, deliberating with restrained excitement of their finding, implying that they had come to collect.

This did satisfy the men to make suitable arrangements, as only that day they had assumed total readiness for departure. There was no argument as to payment. The monks had brought much gold, and did not hesitate when asked to pay twice over the initial price agreed upon.

With hoist and lever, a push and a pull, the clumsy strained efforts of twenty men did heave the marble piece from the side of the ship onto rodded ladders of iron bands, and suitable attachments to hoist such a bulk.

The men, much satisfied, bid goodbyes to Captain Pucker. Their transit was coast-bound, and they left, content to manage without him.

The Captain inquired as to the monk's destination. Perhaps he might follow them, and view the piece naked - as he had spent many months a'wondering and could not bring himself to depart this mystical work. The monks consented to his company and in goodwill Captain Pucker brought many provisions for their travel. His guessing had got the better of him, and he provoked haste with hurried promptings. But one may never hurry a monk, and his efforts were unrewarded.

The passage through to the holy community was lengthy, tedious, and mostly (it seemed) uphill. They would venture forth in two or three hour treks, stopping at intervals for prayer and privileged feasts. At night they would camp, and he did slumber amongst the chants that drove into the darkness to greet the morning. His ways of worldly assertion and mean outlook were educated by the presence of these twelve strangers- not a sigh or a grumble, in the great treasured haul.

Through ranges and down uncut pathways, from town to town and into ever more countryside, they travelled on for the best part of a year; until one fateful day when a mighty illness struck each and every one. Greatly fatigued and depleted of life, the entire company took camp, lay down and had not the strength to rise.

Pucker was delirious and quite helpless, as he watched the monks so quickly weaken. One by one their last prayers, on last breath, were murmured. One by one, they did abandon him, passing on to Heaven.

Had he the strength to laugh at his folly, with this affection for the unseen statue? Might he beseech the Father, to grant him more essence of life? Where could he go to if his legs could but more carry him? Was this figure so wrapped, accursed to him and his for his failings?

He knew not what to do with the twelve bodies that listlessly slumped before him. With respectful prayers, he clasped each hand in farewell and performed rites he felt most suitable. For in the time that he had spent journeying so, he had come to love these twelve.

He then went to the marble form and knelt beside. Throwing himself over the figure, he wept for the injury he had caused it, so long ago. For now he knew that this piece was surely special, if it had been treasured by these monks in a way that offers life itself for beauty.

Dare he behold the form for what it truly was? So many configurements he had speculated and presumed. With knife attending he drew each layer of shroud back from the form, until he came to the seventh and last.

Just then, as with a vision more vivid than life, there came and stood an Angel who beckoned him to come.

"But I must first take away this veil, and then I shall follow you wherever you will."

But the Angel intimated that his time had all been spent and that he must heed now, not later, not even one minute later. Without anxiety, without despair, Pucker did go, as he was asked to.

For the Angel's presence was well known to him, and he did recognize what he had come to love. For he needed not a statue to behold her Holy Face. And this burden of his life was surely redeemed in happy death.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The days deny…..6th January 1992

The days deny, what the nights decry -
Of the velvet substance of dark repose,
Of the glimmers and shadows,
The subtle innuendoes,
Of that which must glow,
To be known.

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