Commentary on Jene La Rue's
"The Meanings of Mythology"
Which, alas I had to swipe from the table of the Guru, S. Michael. We use this as a text in GREEK ART, a class being conducted (psychopompously) at the twice weekly meetings in Room 145 of the Fine Arts Complex (!) on the tree-shaded campus of the State University of California (or is it California State University? little matter as we know to associate the state with that endured by thee gallant Don Quixote de la Mancha whilst he dreamt to the glory of Cortez, Balboa and Coronado of the White Goddess, and called her name "California," (THE "impossible dream") at Sacramento (the heart of the state, the sacrament of the Hridya, the cit Bodhisattvas occupy when their/our vision embraces the paradox of Absolute Annihilation and the Void of projected phenomenality as noumenon), the capital of the richest state in the union, and the most populous, the Golden State, the land of Western paradise, Amorica's veritable "K'un Lun" mountains and what the land of the Crystal Crags were for the Chinese. See how we start Greek and finish Chinese, facing East at the foot of the cosmic tree, awaiting Maitreya the rising star of the morning, our Sun, to which principle Saint Francis of Assisi dedicated the first great poem in the language of the Italian people, and whose name according to the etymology offered by Dante, derives most importantly from the ARISING of the Sun. Clearly, a rRose Selavy, n'est pas? Omage to Marcel Duchamp, marchand du cel.
I like the Chaos of your first page.
When (sic!) you write: "With the establishment of Cosmos comes TIME as part of the ordering principle," it does not follow immediately that we find ourselves in clock time, whether in the sky or on our wrist, or as programmed by out human biocomputer. There must be, of course, three orders of time before we can plot time. The first order of time is without duration, as the first space entered upon finding or imagining that we have left the void at the center of all Being, without dimension.
In fact, there are precisely four orders of space in addition to the "unnameable Tao," and with the fifth crossing we pass out of Eternity and into time. The states and the crossings are precisely indicated by Dante in the Paradise, save that we understand he maps the journey inward, in which the seventh veil is in turn counted as the first "veil of seeing" in which we imagine crossing from the phenomenal, material world of Samsara into the "subtle" realm, and this first crossing from the outer to the inner is what Dante omits--although we may very well regard the "space/time" of the work of art, the poem, (which becomes the FORM) to represent this crossing manifestly. This and more is set forth in footnote number one (not the "first") to the text of Only 2 Can Play This Game, by James Keys, a.k.a. G. Spencer Brown, Julian Press.
It is trivial, to be sure. A three-way trifle in time. Glyph of the asterism Cancer, which rose behind the sun at the Vernal Equinox sometime around B.C. 7000. The dimmest of zodiacal, constellations, unidentified by the average layman, in the form of a triangle at whose apex is the Galaxy M 44, Asellus Australis, the Hive of Bees, recalling the thesauroi or bee-hive "tombs" of Atreus (called that in spite of a terminus ante quem--or is it a terminus post quem? And see how this cloud of "bees" is transformed into one of flies, as in the story of Avalokitesvara and the skull, or in the tales of Beelzebub, Lord Fly. Bees for Coyotl (in Radin's Trickster) and for Sampson (Judges))."And out of the Strong came forth sweetness"- Lyle's Golden Syrup. The syncretic fourth point (cf. Ouspensky) of the asterism maps a tetrahedron and with this we have enough complexity to represent, for example, the formal relationships which comprise the arithmetical foundations for Boolean algebras, all electrical systems, or switching systems of any sort, binary logics, computer languages, Taoist and Buddhist representations , etc. and topological spaces of zero genera, the simplest: state, no holes.
In the flood of the neolithic, when stones and seeds were ground into gems, lenses, flour, and the principles of animal husbandry and agriculture were expressions of the same fundamental vision also spun out as sufi yarn, and turned as often as Odysseus in the weaving, and the same oven used for baking the bread from the flour fired the potted vessels, crucibles, T'ing, the Cauldron. Fifty. As with the Argive priestesses. Number, mi amigo, is translingual; and in a sense outside out ordinary perception of time. Remember, "By the numbers..!" Gary Snyder at Berzerkley. Tapes. Spinning: takka-da-tikkata-ta-dum-ta-tikkita-tikkia-ta-dum-tikki-tikki-takki-ta-da the spinnin' wheel, baby, the spinnin' wheel. That was the music of Mutha Indjia the Hip Ghan dug the most. (The Late, Great Lord Buckley).
One current, promising example of the ways in which this paradigm is applied to a particular discipline, that of neurolinguistic information processing, is developed in a paper for the Brain Information Service Conference on Brain Function (September 27, 1974) by Christopher Wells (address: Institute for Information Systems, Room 1882, Muir A, University of California at San Diego). In Section 3.0 of the abstract for this paper, four formal languages are introduced; in Section 5.1 their relationship as a categories of pyramidal process architecture is described diagrammatically represented as a tetrahedral prism (as carbon atoms in a diamond). Process architecturally, the four grammars may be mapped:
META GRAMMARS - Frontal Cortex (apex of tetrahedron)
TREE GRAMMARS - Left Hemisphere Cortex
WEB GRAMMARS - Right Hemisphere Cortex
ARRAY GRAMMARS - Posterior Sensory/Motor Cortex
We or familiar also with the poetic isomorph of the Gold Sun and the triple aspect of the Moon (White, Red, Black).
A thorough exposition of the structure of space/time as characterized by esp. (from you) Greek creation myths detailing step-by-step, calling the names properly would be a signal contribution. There must be stories and anecdotes illustrating all of the principle transformations. We see parallels in several Oriental Cosmologies. Now, for the first item in the Proclamation of the Dharma bag o' tricks, we have the sutra, the thread, clew, text: Laws of Form, which shows why it is that things seem to be as they are (or do). Seldom enough do we encounter a REQUEST for the mathematics of first states; however, we may now provide just that, should there be any vestigial remnants of the esoteric traditions still capable of resonance with the Western Way (The Fiery Sword of Manjusri, Sword of Gnosis, Science, sciere, scary!, Crazy Wisdom of Padma Sambhava, Discriminating Awareness). In 747, remember, P.S. flew in from the West (self-born as a Lotus up von Meier, Mire, as it were). This is the time of the Third Purifier, according to my Hopi "Spiritual Friend," David Monongye, formerly the active head of the Eagle Clan, and over whose bed (in which I slept one occasion some years ago in Hotevilla) hangs the Blue Star Kachina mask, to be worn in the plaza when the Masked Gods stand revealed; when the personnages of Eternity are opened to the clear light of Od Sal.
Hamlet's Mill must be superseded by a book of even greater "brilliance," La Rue, before the cloud of Avidya is to be dispelled. He is an imbecile, and his research assistant, to whom probably much of the work may be accredited, if that is the transitive, kryptohysterical. Oh yes, he has the idea. But the whole point of it is the cultural expression of what mathematically formalized we now recognize as an "imaginary" value, following Etienne Galois and Fermat (with which, presumably he found a proof for his famous Last Theorem). That is, the legitimization or the paradox (ususally unorthodox, & forced underground when the Great Reptiles rule); its necessity.
On "7" see Warren Sturgis McCulloch, Embodiments of Mind, esp. "What is a Number that a Man May Know It and a Man That He May Know a Number?" where the nature of 6 as a 'perceptible' and 7 as a 'countable' number suggests profound implications for the mapping functions & algorithms of neuroarchitecture, process architecture, paradigms. The die of Hermes, with the syncretic seventh point as in the center of a cube (the "Cube of Space" of Case's Tarot, of Z D. Sung, The Symbols of the Yi King, of anything, in fact that can be mapped to the first perfect number (6), which is the snow flake as well as the atomic number of CARBON. Periodic table is KEY. There is something more than the illustrations of things seven. There is as well the set of mathematical properties inhering in the number, among which we find that with, say seven colors we may map any configuration on the surface of a space of genera one, i.e., a torus: a space with one hole. This occurred experientially, perhaps when the first Kundalini rush blew the mind of the first shaman, and the spherical prison on the exterior skin of the body is imagined as a torus, providing a direct map to electrical flow in a magnetic field. Bramachari open and good Gurdjieffian shitting. We are naturally, toroidal conformations anyway, as soon as the poop oozes out of the erstwhile fetus upon the emergence of the cul de sac at the end of the placental connection of the umbilicus, and our mouths open and we suck air, then milk.
On the last page of text you use the Saunders version of the poem at the end of the Diamond Sutra. This pleasant translation however, obscures the numerical function. Earlier in the Sutra we read that "if a good man or good woman studies this Discourse only so far as to receive and retain four lines, and teaches and explains them to others..." (meritorious deed). Translation Price &Wong, Shambala, p. 39. It doesn't say ANY four lines. The four lines of poetry, as in Section XXVI might do.
However, perhaps a special case may be made for the four lines in Section XXXII (32 as in the Qabala, 32 Arabic letters, vertebrae, so chakras in Hatha yoga, teeth, the 3 yang and 2 yin of the I Ch'ing) 'The Delusion of Appearances' where again the text sez "even only four lines" and details how the explanation may proceed. These lines you quote. But they are so important iconically, you know: there must be nine elements represented, as in the mural on the North Face of the original Diamond Sutra Restaurant, and theses elements are in the form of three rows of three elements each, the fourth is a syncretic line conveying the sense of the injunction "Thus may the whole be imagined" (or description, for the non/Bodhisattva). The Sanskrit reads:
Maya Avasyaya Budbudam
Supinam Vidyud Abhram Ca
Evam Drastavyam Samskrtam
These lines may be rendered,
Stars Cataract Lamp
Hallucination Dew Bubble
Dream Lightning Cloud
Thus may it be imagined
(the Sutra's message, vision the whole of IT, whatever it is that is distinguished when the first distinction is made with the Supreme Wisdom that Cuts like a bolt of lightning, Diamond).
Each of these nine elements are familiar as the "buttons" on the Mescalito mandala of N. Richardson, artiste, and aw well, the nine aspects of the Sufic-Arica teaching, J. Lennon #9.
By way of supplementing your bibliography, a few notes:
Allen - Other works on stars shd. augment this delightful source of lore; Astronomy, Menzel, Random House is general intro, but University mebbe deserves fuller treatment.
Arberry - We can do better for Sufism. You do note some I. Shah titles. there are beaucoup.
Campbell - His new book now out. The last of the Bollingen Series, Number 100! Money all gone. J.C. here at Sacto last month. Pleasant fellow, quite well tailored.
Eliade - Partially blind in re dope, what it's really about. Some items now in English, e.g. Chinese Alchemy in Forge & Crucible points toward Secret of the Golden Flower, the literature cited in E. Rouselle's article in Eranos Yearbook, Spiritual : Disciplines volume. See J. Needham for China bibl. Science and Civilisation in China. Recent pubs from People's Republic.
Harrison - What about her Prolegomena, which Campbell thinks establishes the "missing" early formative role of women in Greek culture. What else for women? Mutterrecht? Engels essay "The Family, Private Property and the State" is cardinal.
Jung - Recent volume of letters to Freud; we see there was almost no support or understanding of Jung's great vision. Pity.
Kerenyi -Add his Eleusis volume, also Asklepios. Stimulating How can he miss the mushroom with all those pictures in E.?
Levi-Strauss - also in English now. Tristes Tropiques.
Nilsson - Ancient Time Reckoning, also on ancient measures see Peter Tompkins Secrets of the Great Pyramid, with appendix by none other than Livto Catulio Stecchini. Had we but known what Stecchini was doing all that time down in the stacks of Narquand Library!
C. E. Rolh, Introduction, Divine Names of Pseudo-Dionysus. Loeb.
Kurt von Meier