Homage to All Teachers - A Lecture

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Prologue

Kurt came back to the Oakville ranch one dusty afternoon and tossed me a 5 1/4-inch tape box with the remark “This is it, Wally, it’s all there.”  The reel inside was a recording of his class that day, the proceedings consisting solely of a long monolog that rambled from topic to topic, delivered in half a dozen styles, from straight lecture to that of the late Lord Buckley.
          The box bore a florid dedication to Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, the Tibetan lama then making his first appearances in the San Francisco Bay Area. I played the tape immediately; later I transcribed it, and later still transcribed it again when the first version became machine-unreadable due to a faded ribbon on the old Olympia, a titan of the days before word processing.
          Below is that second transcription. The tape itself has disappeared over the years, though I suspect that it still lurks somewhere in Marijane Anthony’s Davis house. In meantime we have this second transcription, created with the help of a magnifying glass from the first’s 29 double-spaced but faded uppercase pages, and unedited here so as to preserve its occasional coherence.
          For Kurt’s bumpy voyage through medieval, Renaissance and contemporary art, and their Buddhist parallels, manages to show us a good deal about the unity they share, and everything about his way of teaching. He called it standup comedy. Kurt taught everywhere he went, sometimes to the dismay of the teachees. However his classes at Sacramento State were popular, and his students were frequent guests at the ranch.

Readers who pick their way through the text below and clamber through its syntactical blind alleys may therein learn something of art history, with side dishes of Cain and Abel and Moby-Dick. Enjoy!

Cliff Barney,
May, 2018

Note: Tibetan references and difficult spellings throughout corrected by Joe Duane. Homage to editors, as well.


All is one. I am no thing. Lauda, laudate, pueri, Domine, laudate.

There are three invocations, Sanskrit, Latin, and Arabic, to the One God, to the one of existence, to the one of being, to the whole. All is one, I am no thing, nothing is zero. Zero is whole like the galaxy, or whichever way you like.

The point, in the center of the labyrinth. In the stone before the high altar at Chartres cathedral. Oh, there are so many ways you can have it, see. All the packages, a little bit of the brogue of Irish priests from time to time, or something of the clarity of the Scots intellect, or whatever way you want to have it, like the story of Jonah and the whale. I want to tell you about Jonah, the little cat sittin’  down there on the beach, groovin’ in the sunshine and partaking of some of the bounty of the great, glorious Mother Earth, lookin’ up into the fumes of the spirit. Spirit of the Lord come across Jonah and laid a rap on the cat and said "Jonah!” He said, “Yeess? What is it Lord? This here Jonah, just sittin’ in the sand, just pickin’ up on it, anything, yes sir, Lord and Master.”

Illustration in R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis, chapter 14

Illustration in R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis, chapter 14

And of course we know the history of Jonah, who, while traveling with some of his brothers, over the storm-tossed sea, is looked upon as a marked man, a-bearing the Mark upon him, the O-Mark, the O-scar, the scar, the circular mark of the Cyclops, the round Mark, the Mark of the King, the Mark of Cain, the Mark say “Do not touch this man, because he is a man of the Lord, he is a priest even after the order of Melchesadic. [1] 

After Cain, whose sacrifice to the Lord was accepted, and Abel, his brother, whose [Hebrew] name adds up to 44, which means a pool of blood--the pool of blood. The labyrinth, you see, is a whirlpool, and it’s created by the tails of the flukes. The twin tails like, Fu-Shi, the Chinese emperor, the legendary creator of civilization. Oh Chinese Fu-Shi, creator with double tale. "Famous whale swim around create whirlpool, go two different directions, depend on what side of equator. A golden path, a yellow brick road, ah follow me to Oz prease, Gung Fu ha-ha."

Suppose you took it like fantasy. Suppose you really wanted to have a little bit of French pastry medieval art history. Suppose you did it with a little bit of frosting and some of the sparklies that you know, that you can really eat. Suppose you accepted it from the standpoint of--Ah, let us project with all our intellects and history and science and analysis and understanding about--we know how the cosmos is, right? We’ve traveled through time. Let’s go back down the spiral of the world, let’s go back down to that pavement, at Chartres, when the mason is bending there below, what is going to be the high altar, what already is the high altar, you see, he’s doing the labyrinth, you know what that labyrinth is, that’s the pool down through time. Oh, hah!, and up through time. So at that point you can look forward into the future and backwards into the past. You’re in a state which physicists know as transformation states. A really interesting name studied now. They’re liquid crystals. The seventeen transformations of liquid crystals. There are twelve rotation transformations and five mirror ones. Or is it twelve mirror and five rotations--one or the other. And on the other side, you’ve got crystals and they’re dead and they don’t move, and that’s like the past in time, and you can analyse it, and you can see what happened, and you can relate cause and effect. And there the ghost of David Hume is laid. And in the future, it’s liquid, and it’s chaos, it’s the waters of the ocean, and nobody knows what’s going to happen five minutes from now or one minute from now or five seconds from now. The bells may start ringing at any moment, ladies and gentlemen. And no man--as the great poets, be they Tibet’s greatest poet, mystic, and saint living and dying, the highest man in the world on the slopes of Mount Everest, the name we call Mount Everest, Milarepa, Jetsün, Milarepa, as recorded in the medieval Tibetan classic of Jetsün Gur-bum, in Tibet, the life and times of the saint, one of the greatest saints in one of the greatest traditions that no longer exists now--how do you deal with that one, backwards in time? Jetsün says, listen, no man can tell the hour of his death. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

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And since we can’t tell from one moment to the next when our death may come, or how it may come, we might as well prepare ourselves by accepting it all, whole, swallowing it whole, swallowing it whole, taking it, sacrificing it into your body. Whatever you eat. You are what you eat. You know what Tiny Tim says, America’s answer to Milarepa, one of them, one of them, one of the choirs of the angels, you are what you eat. Ah yes. And Abel offered meat, lamb, a piece of lamb, sacrificial lamb. Cain offered grain, Ca-in, Ca-in, corn, seed, grain, vegetable kingdom. Animal kingdom, vegetable kingdom, see? Got it? Animal, vegetable, mineral: trinity, what stuff is, except that’s not the whole story, and if you want the whole story you go to the text and you go to the situation, you take the story, you take an incarnation, not a lecture, see? So how ‘bout an incarnation. All right.

The labyrinth in the cathedral at Chartres

The labyrinth in the cathedral at Chartres

Where are we? We’re in a whirlpool in time and we’re swimming backwards through time into Chartres cathedral. Here we are at the crossing. The great spiral and the cross is above us and the great altar’s up there to the east, oh yeah, to the east, and on the left, facing the altar, we’re putting a stone in on the labyrinth. This great whirlpool. And the secret texts are invoked and it’s the first book of Kings. I read it from the sacred scriptures, it’s the end of, commonly called, second book of Kings, because it’s the second part of the first book of Kings. There are 22 chapters, 22 as in the Tarot keys 22 for 1, not the whole. The zero, place value, notation, numbers. And it’s the story of Ahab.

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Now you all know Ahab because that’s our great American Sufi novel, which talks about the White Whale--was master of sound, the sperm whale--whose Latin taxonomic name is physeter, which means, whirlpool. [2] The white whale, Moby Dick. You know Mocha Dick was the name of the whale. He was off the Mocha Islands in the Indian Ocean. He actually existed. Melville went around and picked up these tales. Hey, what do you think St. Francis came back with from the Holy Land? He comes back in 1200. All right, it’s 1200, and the work is nearing completion on this sculpture of the annunciation of the virgin of St. Anne on the north transept of Chartres cathedral. The masters, the great pieces. The annunciation of the Messiah, the prophet. One of the prophets…and on the south are the prophets themselves, on the south transept, the south porch. That’s what the sculptures are. You can see them. There’s the Virgin, the St. Anne, and the angels appearing and saying “Ha ha, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy,” or is it the shepherds later on who pick up on that line? Isaiah ah, the vision of Isaiah. Oh you know, Ezekiel, you go into any of the old text of the Old Testament, the wheels in the air. There are only four chapters there. It starts out with the wheels, within wheels, within wheels, within wheels, like Ixion that gets spun up by Zeus, in a fiery wheel, or St. Catherine who lands up like a mushroom on top of the double peak, the double horn Mountain of Sinai [and Jebomasa and Jebycaterma on Sinai].  Oh yes. Chapter 22 is about Ahab, and here’s the scene….

I’ll lay it down to you children the way it is for a little background.  You see Ahab’s been kicking up dust, he’s from Samaria, so the pool is the well of the Samaritan, it’s the water that is used for anointment. Because Christ’s  name in Greek in the New Testament, the Christos, means “He who is anointed,” you see – and he gets anointed by John the Baptist, his twin, his counterpart. It’s like Set and Osiris, the light half and the dark half of the year. It’s about a temple, whole, it’s about Time. You see? It’s about Time, among other things, it’s about all of these. It teaches something about Time. And they have the parallels, you see wherever. But John the Baptist, who baptizes Christ, somebody else has to do the trip for you. If you’re the one getting baptized, or anointed, with water, with dew, stuff of life. That’s what’s in the vas pelicanum [Arcanum?] of alchemy. Oh the alchemists, mixing up glass recipes for all the stained glass going in. What should happen, but in the north transept, in these lancet windows, there’s the glass, I showed you the slide last week, we saw it, you know, or two weeks ago, when was it, Easter time? We’re getting ready for it. We see the King, man, the kings of Israel and Judah and they’ve got the crowns, and they’ve got the pearls set in the crowns, and hey, through one of the white lights of the pearls, a light beam comes and it’s like the birth of Monkey. And my god you know what that was.  Monkey was born out of egg, he was the one that took the sacred trip to the West to the sacred land of Amitabha.

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Amita…Amitabha…Amanita. Amitabha goes to the Western land to meet a Buddha, Amitabha, who sits on a red lotus. And he is the prince of the realm of boundless light. Which is where the sun is going to die in the West--the western mountains. If you’re in China at the center of the universe, to the west are the mountains up to Tibet, and the Western islands are now islands in the sea of water, like the ocean, they’re islands in a sea of clouds. And at the white diamond peaks that stick up out of the clouds. Oh, yes.

And that’s where the names come from. Into China, for the names of the throw of dice. For oracular divination, that’s bone magic, tortoise shell; the oldest records of the history of writing of Chinese characters are on tortoise shells. They are used for divination with fire. Those names come presumably from Khams. That is the northern kingdom in Tibet. Karma land, the black land of the north. So Milarepa takes the form of a vulture, and there’s this beautiful poem, this beautiful dream that Milarepa tells to his teacher Marpa. He says, “I had this dream, and I dreamed of the four mountains, and the mountain of color in the East, and there was yellow color in the South, and there was red color in the West. And in the North was the mountain Milarepa." The Black mountain of the great vulture, the carrion eater, the scavenger, the Black Magician, Don Juan, the Crow, Apollo, whose bird is the Crow, Coronis, an aspect of Cronos Coronis, chronometer Chronis, Time, wheels, spirals, through Time. 

Black Father Time, the ninth Tarot key. The old man hermit, Milarepa, side of Mount Everest, the Scythe, Time. All he drank was nettle tea and the gifts he gave away at the end of his life, Milarepa has the piece of magic brown sugar, and there’s nothing about this in the rest of the book you know, but he’s talking about the brown sugar. Ah, I’ve got a little piece of magic brown sugar here. It’s a famous piece of brown sugar and I’m going to will that to, ah, the faithful disciple, you know, because he knows how to take care of it, and you’ll see with this little piece of brown sugar, the more I scrape off and put into my nettle tea, magically it grows back, so there’s always brown sugar around. What would we do without brown sugar? I have no idea but the magic little piece of brown sugar keeps coming back. I scrape it off and it comes back!  Hoo-Hoo-Hoo!

Milarepa’s a saint, he’s a great poet, he can take this. So can the book. Ahab, you know Ahab, Gregory Peck? Right? On the Pequod. The great Moby Dick, see? He’s the captain of the Pequod, a-hunting whales out of Nantucket goin’ after the big White One. You know that, that big White One is the house built of ivory, big Moby Dick. You know the purpled ones in rock and roll at Sacramento.

They’re having a battle so they get together with Jehosaphat, and they’re goin’ over there and they’re going to wail on the King of Syria, who’s takin’ over some asses. And the King’s serious about taking over. They’ve got some land there. And Jezebel’s the dude’s wife you know, ahh, Jezebel. The devil’s a woman, blue dress on, Mo Mo Baby Jane, right on. And Jezebel, that was Frankie Laine way back in the Forties I think, picked up on Jezebel, it’s there man, the truths are in the tunes. They always are. It’s in the music. Listen to the music. So here’s the stonemason, and what’s happening is that the light from this star, like Monkey. Monkey’s fantastic, man. Herman Hesse, you know, who wrote the story, like excerpts from the Kabbala with commentaries, you know, whereas the real tales, the real stories, the ones that get you, like Siddhartha. It’s the story of Buddha. You take it from Hesse translated into English from German, and translated into German from Hesse’s experiences, which are interesting, but I wonder how much residual baraka there is in the writings. Like why not go to the story. Why not find out what happened to Gautama the Buddha? You know, there are good versions available that do not go through that other channel, but any way you get there, it’s O.K. Your labyrinth is short or long; but there is a pattern and the pattern is understood by the Hopis. So if you’re a Hopi, of course, you don’t look at Mt. Kailas in the Himalayas as being the center of the cosmos. You go to Oraibi, which is the oldest and most continuously inhabited village or city on this continent, or at least on the northern part of the continent, they say the whole continent.

The Hopi village of Oraibi, Arizona

The Hopi village of Oraibi, Arizona

And you go there and they’ll point to a spot and say, here’s where it is, this is the center. Or if you go into a kiva you can find it, you can find the hole. Now point to this hole. It’s down there, it’s bottom, it's where we all came from. The Reed Clan took it from the first world. Preserved it. The spirit, the fire, in up through the floods.

Tu-wana-sabe, tu-wana-sabe, tu-wana-sabe, center of the cosmos, is within. Which is where the pool of blood is, see, the red liquid is within, that’s why it’s sacred. And Cain and Abel is about birth, and Cain is the first-born, he’s the live baby. Abel is the pool of blood. He’s the after-birth. You see it’s just simply a story about the way things really are. But the way things really are, are mapped upon that experience from our point of view as human beings having the point of view that we have, containing within us, the cosmos and the maps and the capacties by erecting maps for the other real infinitely complex cosmos that we have, we know that inside is blood. Because you can see it. And what you see if you stick around and you watch babies coming in, is that they’re all born in blood. Now that’s the red heart or the red eye, the third eye – it’s the eye that opens for all of us, and we came out, some of us ass end first, some of us head top, oh, into the pool of blood. It’s O.K., the afterbirth isn’t the baby. You didn’t lose your brother. It’s a myth to explain things that have troubled people. Who’ve had real experiences which we are protected from to the degree that we cannot see babies coming into the world. Oh, stay away. The black magicians have this one under control. You wouldn’t want to get too close to your baby because you might infect it. Little staphylococcus here of course, but that’s a special trip. We’ve got that one under control, or soon will have.

Hey, so O.K. here’s Ahab and he’s going after Moby Dick and it’s black and white, and it’s good and evil, and it’s Puritanism and the Cavaliers, or whichever way you want to look at it. The old twist of the Wheel of Fortune, Agatha Tyche, the roll of dice around and round she goes and where she stops nobody knows, but the Lord. And Ahab spoke to his Lord and he followed in the way of his fathers and he slept in the house of his fathers, and we might well arsk, as John Lennon says, just exactly what was that house made out of that Ahab slept in? Well, we know in Melville’s version, it was a house made of wood. Ah, as if from Tarshish, wood. For the building of ships. Oh, Oh, Oh.

1 Kings 10:22-48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to  go to Olphir for gold. But they went not for the ships were broken at Ezion Gimber. But Ol’ Ahab set out on his ship the Pequod and he had on board Ishmael, from whom the Muslims trace their descent, parallel to the Semites, who trace their descent of course from Isaac, who is the second-born son, not the first-born son of Abraham. But since the first-born son Ishmael is not around, since he’s the prodigal son, the one who went  wandering, well then, you can’t sacrifice him  to the Lord, so you go up into the mountain and you say "Well, Lord, I’ve done my best, and here I am in all my righteousness, and I have here one of my own sons I’m going to sacrifice to you for I have my spiritual pride." And the Lord’s sittin’ up there and he say "What is going on down there. What is all that racket, man? What is Abraham kickin’ up again, crazy ol’; crazy, well, what you goin’ to do this time Abe? Take it easy there."

"I’m going to sacrifice my son!" And go to back into Greek mythology and you find it’s in the Pelops. The Pelops is the story of the sacrifice of a son and the serving of the banquet for the gods. All of the gods are tricked except Demeter, who was looking for a goddess which she’s concerned, she’s hysterical, which is what the word means for uterus. Like women get hysterical, you know the red goddess, you know that "time." The moon, that sort of thing. She’s hysterical, she’s in her black and red funk. She sits down. Here’s a piece. Wa-hoo, what’s this? What it was, was human flesh. So the myth is about, among other topoi, cannibalism. You see what happens when you eat yourself. You don’t eat yourself, because it is taboo. I mean, we can’t get into that because otherwise we wouldn‘t have any time at all, we’d have to be looking over our shoulders all the time to see who is after us! Going to crack our skulls open and eat our brains, you know. Like they used to do. Sinanthropos Pekinensis, 500,000 B.C. upper cave at Chukutien, outskirts of Peking, celestial kingdom, fortieth parallel Chu Gaku…the Central Kingdom where the astronomical observatory is within stone’s throw, as it were.

Reconstructed skull of  Sinanthropos Pekinensis

Reconstructed skull of Sinanthropos Pekinensis

So it is about that. It says you don’t kill, you don’t eat your babies, ladies and gentlemen. Not even the gods want to eat your babies. Say Abraham gets the knife. You know you can look at it in Brunelleschi’s relief in the 1401 competition. Panels that he did for the doors of the baptistery. St. John’s Baptistery, a separate building right out in front, you noticed that? The baptistery of the round buildings, the whole buildings, the whole story, or octagonal, central plan church, you see? The baptistery out in front. Florence, you go to Florence. You eat some of the best ice cream in the world. There’s this great cathedral, that’s for Jesus, the other one is for John. The baptistery, see? Baptize. John has to have his special place to do his special gig. Waters, the River Jordan, waters, river, you know? Snake, serpent, Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Indus. Fertile river valleys, civilization sites. So here are these kings and Ahab is going into battle. Now he goes away when Jehosephat gets disguised and they’re going to do an entire number.

And it came to pass that the captain in the chariot perceived that it was not the King of Israel. Old Jehoshaphat. They were after their man, and Jehoshaphat who was the King of Judah and they were after Ahab’s ass.

Set, the mythical Egyptian god

Set, the mythical Egyptian god

Ass, the wild ass. Set is the wild ass, so Set the wild ass is the god of the desert. You see, he’s out there where there aren’t any fences. Whereas Horus is in the valley and settled the city. So Horus is the falcon, and like the sun and moon, he’s the counterpart to Set. Set isn’t a bad guy. That’s the rap you get if you take a biased point of view. They’s just two halves of the year, that’s all. Actually, Jesus is Set. It turns out that if you figure out the calendar and look at Robert Graves in The White Goddess and see what happened and where it happened in the Bronze Age. How we get our tradition through the Belgic invasions in Britain and from Greece in Bronze Age trade patterns, and from Egypt. Egyptian faience beads that are found all throughout Ireland. It turns out that John the Baptist is the Oak King and his half of the year begins at the winter solstice and ends at the summer solstice. And Jesus is Set. He’s the dark half of the year, so he’s like the anointed. He’s with water, water and fire. See the Yule log is the oak log, that get’s burnt on Midsummer’s Eve. That’s why Shakespeare writes a magic play.  Which is a code with teachings, that interlace; it’s a network of teachings.

All culture is whole, it’s all one. It gets fucked up and misunderstood, but you can usually spot that because you have a paradigm. You can see how it relates. It’s about number, it’s about color. It’s about directions, it’s about physiology, it’s about celestial astronomy, it’s about Time, it’s about seeds, planting, it’s about the things that you really have to know in order to survive. To make life something like what it can be, which is eminently livable. Still is. It’s a good teaching, because it does not depend on anyone’s ego.  I am nothing. Baraka, a channel, a flow. A flow because it’s the rhythm of the way things are. It’s obvious. There is nothing to learn. There’s a great deal to unlearn perhaps to get back to that point at which education can begin, but education is walking hand in hand going down the road, taking the trip. Nothing to do with indoctrination that we still get programmed  for, because it’s not bad. It can be worked with. Any negative program or energy can be worked with.

Ahh, but suppose you get into dramaturgy, suppose you’ve got the wide-angled screen, suppose you got, not slides, but the more powerful, beyond the imagination for your imagery, and you see Ahab, now as one of the Kings, and he’s on his chariot into battle, because he wants to conquer territory. And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariot saw Jehoshaphat, that they said surely it is the King of Israel, not the man we’re looking for.  And they turned aside to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out and it came to pass that the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the King of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. They were only after one man. And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the King of Israel between the joints of his harness. In the Pelops. It’s the clavicle, the shoulder blade. That ‘s what Demeter gets served at the banquet. That’s the ivory that the Paladium of Athens is made out of. It comes from a whale, a White Whale, the narwhal, the dolphin. The walrus, the bull, whatever you can call a bull, properly speaking, which is a sperm whale. Or orcine orcus, a dolphin, or an elephant, or a walrus, or a narwhal. Wherever you get ivory from. The other bull, the bull of genus ox, os, bos. You know the bull, Ferdinand the bull? Flower-sniffers? Minotaur, set in the middle of the labyrinth. The labyrinth, Chartres Cathedral, stonemasons, pattern, dance. You find it  in the New Hebrides, on Malkula Island, the labyrinth, you‘ll find the Cumaean Sibyl, who guards the cave of Odysseus, when he’s at the end of his journey, his wanderings, and he comes to the Sibyl, which is by the sea, because it has to do with dolphins and ivory originally. The labyrinth is the map to cross the great waters, life and death, it‘s how you’re born and how you die.

Death comes from the air. Like the sword of Abraham. And God’s sittin’ over there and he says, "Wait a minute, puts down his hands, Stop, Abraham!!" You know, Ghiberti did the other panel  that entered the finals in the competition, 1401. These are illustrated, Richard and Trude Krautheimers’ monograph on Ghiberti, beautiful book, big plates of Brunelleschi’s and Ghiberti’s competition pallets. Who was going to get the commission to do the bronze door. Ghiberti got the commission, because he had a better technological mode. These were sage merchants who were commissioning the door to be cast in bronze. Ghiberti came up with a technique, even though Brunelleschi’s is to most opinions a superior conception as a work of art. But he is old mode. Casting the bronze figures solidly and bolting them separately onto the door used a lot of bronze. Ghiberti developed a technique where he could cast the entire panels of a door in a single casting. And his artistic vision is what enabled him to get the illusion of depth in three dimensionality in very shallow relief. Used less bronze. Make ‘em cheaper. The bill was being paid not by the church; that’s why it’s the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.

The bill was being paid by the wool guild for merchants who are importing wool. From where? From the sheep on the sides of Mt. Gilead. Wool, wool, wool, A-suf, A-suf. Suf is the Arabic name for wool. Suf-Sufi-wool, weaving. Spin out. Spin out a yarn. Lord Buckley. The Hip Gan. The chicks come in in the white pom-poms. A-wailiing and singing, the flute heads, the rip heads, the loot heads, the reed heads, the drum heads, the bongo heads that are wailing up such a great and glorious gassen sound for the gang, they is jiving up a great cloud of colored dust up and down and hoppin’ away and yes sir, send out some of the snake guards say, I’m sorry fellas no dancin’ in the night air. We’re just hippen’ up a little gig for the gang, that’s all. And the chicks, the most grooviest, says, what is the instrument in all this? I mean I like to bust my wig getting this here number together for you. I’d like to know now why you take the loot heads, the flute heads, the reed heads, now tell me which of all of these fantastical musical instruments do you dig the most?

Well I tell you now. That’s right. I like it all, it’s all music. Yes sir. But the music of which I dig the most is the music of Mother India, that is played on her wheel. Ta tiicki ticki ta tah. Spinning wheel baby. Spinning wheel spins around. Takes the wool from the sheep and spins it into yarn. I’ll give you a clew. You want a clew to solve the labyrinth you follow the thread. The thread is the yarn, it gets get invented sometime around ten, twelve thousand B.C., wherein we discover presumably the invention of the art, craft, and technology of weaving. So we can make clothes and not wear animal skins. And to the West, following the sun, the path of Monkey, who was born out of an egg, go the Sufis with their bulls and flocks, the tribes of Israel and Judah. And to the East, Milarepa, whose name means the cotton-clad one, who makes his clothes out of cotton, plant, vegetable: animal, vegetable, Cain, Abel. And when Monkey gets born, he looks up there and he’s got three eyes, he’s one of those famous three-eyed beings,  like out of Gurdjieff, Tales of Beelzebub. And the gods are up there in heaven and they’re lookin' down there and this angel spots it, you know he sees this flash down there in the planet Earth. He says "Chief!"  "Yes?" He says "Chief, uh, I was lookin’ down there at Earth. Saw this flash down there. Something’s happening down there. Looks big." He say, "Um-hum, let it be." "But Chief! There is a lot of power down there. Something‘s happening!"

Monkey’s been born, see. Monkey’s born out of an egg. He takes the journey West. The Buddha took the journey East. You follow the Siddartha path, you follow the journey to East, source, sunrise. Journey West, flow of the Tao to the sunset. Don’t matter. Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus. It all comes back. Because you see it just depends. When you’re standing at Kilimanjaro, in 12,500 B.C., whither do you go? South or North? Because if you go south and you look into the toilet bowl you will notice that the water spins around in one direction, and if you go north of our own equator, you will notice if you look into the toilet bowl the water spins tother way. Which if you think about it, reveals something about the cosmos, and where you are and how things move, and the difference between the right hand and the left hand. If the Lord God should appear to you this very day and command you to sit on his right hand – because there’s the story. The Buddha is sitting there and all the famous artisans are coming there they’e got the doctor the painter the lawyer, the Indian chief. They’re all sittin’ there. They say, Oh Buddha baby can I sit here on your right hand? I want to be your number one boy. Yes sir. I want to serve you, in body, spirit, mind, that’s all. That’s all." He says, "Let me sit down right here upon your right hand." The Buddha says, "Cool, cool. That’s seat’s been taken." He says, "What do you mean? I’’m a doctor, man. I was happy to help you --"

You know the Buddha actually went to see the doctor, but he didn‘t have to. He chose to. It’s O.K. for even the Buddha to see a doctor. You know you get sick. Your time hasn’t come. You’ve still got work to do.  O.K. Zap. You know they say even Kennedy used to see his doctor from time to time. As a matter of fact, I suppose, if our current leader [3] ever feels the need, probably – the doctor’s the one who penetrates the interior of our leader’s body, ladies and gentlemen. Who know what he puts in there. Think about it: black magicians, doctors, inside the body. Black magicians, doctors, inside the body. Black. Invisible. See, black is red. Rouge et Noir, Stendahl. Chessboard. [4] Eight by eight matrix. 26, Red, black and white. The pieces are black and white. The matrix: black and red. Black, white red, first three colors. [5]

And man, they say "Come on, God, there’s so much action down there, man, there’s got to be trouble man, let’s snuff him right away." And God says, "No. let it be. It’s a form that came into being through temporal existence. It will pass out that way. So don’t hassle about it."

So Monkey is born, and he is bad. He is really bad. First thing he does, is sneaks up to Paradise of the Gods and steals their immortal peaches – in China they’re peaches, in the Taoist version. He eats some peaches of immortality. Not one--8, 9, 10 of them. Before anyone catches him. So they can’t do anything about it. He can’t die. So Monkey’s hoppin’ around, he says, "Well, what do I have to do; I think I’ll go after the empire of boundless light. I’ll follow the path of the West. Get a trip on."

But that’s all. Only when the gods finally get together, it’s about time to enlighten the poor souls about the trip. And so they’ve got to have someone from China to go, send him to get the sacred scriptures, to get the book back, and give them the teaching, to tell them what it’s all about. So who are they going to send on the dangerous journey. They say, I got it; we’ll send Monkey. So they commissioned Monkey to be the cat who goes to the West to get these sacred scriptures from India or Afghanistan, to bring them back to China. That’s what Padmasambhava, who introduced Buddhism into Tibet, historically some say in a Boeing 747. He came from Swat, or Afghanistan. Sufi country. So they sent him on his journey. That’s qujte a trip, If you’re interested in medieval China. Which I know is not mentioned at all in some histories – but alas, hats off to one-fourth of the world’s population, if all is one. The fact is that medieval China existed too, and there’s really a lot of action that goes on there. It’s really far out. Read the book, Monkey. Good translation is by Arthur Waley. It’s available in a paperback. That’s a story about the journey West.

Well, you see, Ahab’s on the journey. He’s going after the White Whale. Here’s what happens. He’s going out to some of this land. A certain man drew a bow, he shot him in the pelops, in the clavicle. Wherefore, he said unto the driver of the chariot, "Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host, for I am wounded." And the battle increased that day, and the King was staid up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at Even. And the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot, and there went a proclamation throughout the host, about the going down of the sun, saying every man to his city and every man to his own country. So the King died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the King in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood. And they washed his armor according to the word of the Lord, which he spake. That was his burial ritual as was appropriate. And now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? So Ahab slept with his fathers. And Haziam his son reigned in his stead.

Now what happens in the gospel according to Melville is that the Pequod goes down. It goes down in the whirlpool which is the circumpolar constellation in the Northern Hemisphere, see, where our spiral of water goes one way and not the other. And only Queequeg’s coffin, the great shaman’s coffin, that he made, that he made not for himself but as a buoy, serves to keep afloat the writer, or the teller presumably of the story, of Mocha Dick or Moby Dick. And his name is mentioned, the very first line of the novel. Three words, Call me Ishmael. In other words, the story’s about the Wanderer. About the Wanderer, the Wandering Jew. Ishmael, who is not usually recognized as a Jew for just that reason, you see. The Lost Tribe of Israel. The people of Ishmael. The first-born, the most holy. It’s the first-born that are sacrificed to God. Abraham’s sacrifice is not an appropriate sacrifice. The wrong one. He misunderstands it. That’s what the teaching is. That’s what it means within Judaism too. They know what the teaching means, of course.

So you see, when the King died at sunset, at Even, and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the Chariot. That’s the seventh Tarot key. The King in armor in his chariot and the whirlpool is the labyrinth of the blood, his spirit of life that’s going out of him and spiraling around in the midst of the chariot. Now that becomes transformed into the pool of the water of Samaria. That’s the lustral ablution, which of course on Crete at the palace is the lustral basis of the queens of Knossos, which is a matriarchy. So they’re high priestesses, queens. Pasiphäe, the sun went down in the West. Pillar of Hercules. There’s a lustral basin, that’s for ablution, after menstruating. To wash the blood of the armor. To purify. And through that act in harmony with the seasons and time to purify the consciousness of the whole country, and of the whole earth.

The lustral basin at Knossos

The lustral basin at Knossos

It’s the act of Demeter. She has to purify herself at the beginning of King Henry the IV. And how much longer shall this our Mother Earth quench her thirst with her own children’s blood? They’re just assembling to ride off into battle. Shakespeare, he knew. Of course, that’s what all the plays are about. So that’s the whirlpool. That’s the maelstrom. That’s the labyrinth. The labyrinth can be drawn as a mandala from the double axe, the labrys, That’s what the word means. It’s a Lydian word, not even a Greek word. Labrys is a double axe, you can draw a place to put your stones by making a diagram of a double axe. That is a six-pointed star: a central axis and the two-point tips of the blade. You can turn one over and see the double axe on it if it were in a special place. There are thousands of examples of the double axe, the labrys, everybody knows that’s their sacred symbol. But that’s a blind. You use that as a constructional device for drawing the mandala of the labyrinth.

Labrys.jpg

Now the labyrinth is just the labyrinth that the Hopi Indians use. They have three versions actually, the Hopis. Where do you think they got it from? Their language derives from Maya. Mayan hieroglyphs; like Linear A, which nobody has uncoded yet. There aren’t that many examples of the script. They’ve uncoded Linear B on Crete, I presume from Egypt.

The labyrinth, a very special design. A design of Time. So we’re traveling in Time, and we want to get out of the white and black of Time. White and black. The black sea of cosmic chaos of future time, the blackness which only oracles can perceive, and then by looking in the reflection in the rear view mirror of the crystalline white past. Whereas across the here and now is the red point, the red eye, the bullseye, the here and now, that’s what it’s about. But let’s cut through, into color.

Rose_Window.jpg

So here’s the scene: it’s 1200. St. Francis of Assisi is doing some number and just at that moment the great star shines, and emits its beam, its ray of light that comes down through the rose window on the north transept of Chartres cathedral. In the northern hemisphere, where the sun don’t usually shine from, and the great beam comes down through the center of the rose window of the stained glass.   And it appears as though there is the void, in the middle of that stained glass window. And that beam comes down and it lands and strikes right on the center of the labyrinth. The stones that the mason’s working on. And what he has is a house of cards. And what he sees is that it is the sixteenth Tarot key.

swastikas.jpg

The Gypsies were through last month. They read my fortune. They saw it. It’s the Tower of Babel. House of God, Maison Dieu, struck by lightning. The artificial structure. Because that is a swastika. That’s what it is, that’s a sun sign. And it can rotate in two directions, depending upon how the legs of your swastika are bent. And it depends on whether you’re on the top or bottom side of the blanket, when it’s woven and that blanket of whether it looks like it’s spinning counter-clockwise or clockwise. And if you have a swastika woven on the center of a blanket, you do not need a lecture or an explanation about it. You can see it. You sleep under it, you put the blanket on your body. You say this side of the blanket touches my body. I’m going to keep it cleaner. So you fold it that way. To fold the inside of the blanket to keep it clean. You can shake the dust off of the outside; and the outside’s marked, because you can see it. The swastka goes in the other direction. And it don’t matter which you pick. But it will be respected if you live with people who understand such things, just simple signs. So they can respect each other’s individuality. You have conventions, conventional symbols. Well, in our tribe, if we draw the swastika that way, we’ll understand it as a knee, like a leg that’s bent. Like that, see. And if you look on the Tarot key, you’ll see that the star, you’ll figure the star is in such a position. Like, there are seventeen squares in a swastika; so the number for the swastika is seventeen. And what it means is sixteen; four for each of the four directions, and one in the center and that’s the seventeenth. And that’s the star. And the star’s our sun. so it has to do with apparent and real right or left and motions of the sun, which of course are reversed it you happen to be an Inca priest. Machu Pichu. And you stand and look at the sun go down in winter and come up in summer and you see the sun rises on my right hand. Sede ad dextris meis.

And the Buddha said,"Well, all you cats, all you doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs, you sit on my left hand, or you sit number two or number three. But on my right hand sits the blacksmith." They say, "Why, that dirty ol’ blacksmith he got scuzz on his shoes, Budh. You going to let the dirty man sit next to you? He’ll set his elbows on the table because his manners is crude." And the Buddha says, "That’s right. It’s cool. What you babes don’t realize, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, is that the blacksmith, he makes all your tools babe. He makes all your tools." Therefore the blacksmith sits on the right hand of the Buddha. First among followers. And in fact they say the Buddha’s uncle was a blacksmith, and the way Buddha died when he was eighty years old as he goes into his uncle’s house, he says, "You know my time has come, what are we having for dinner?" He says, "For dinner we’re serving what would you like?" He says "Well, something I don’t naturally eat, because naturally, this is a special time, I’ve got to make a big trip across the great water." So you know it’s a blacksmith like here on the ironmonger. Like from outer Siberia, you know, in 6000 B.C. He’s a master of iron. Iron. It comes from the skies.  The meteorite. Iron. From out of this world like a beam that comes through your cathedral from the north. You’re in the northern hemisphere; how can it come from the North? Van Eyck did a painting that’s in the Staats gallery, used to be in the East. You know the Staatsgalerie is in the Museum d’Alemdorf in Berlin? I have it right in there. I could if we had a carouseI or some other electronic device. I have here in my hand a slide ladies and gentlemen. I don’t have it in my hand as you can plainly see. It must be in my magic box.

If you want to keep your blanket clean, keep the inside of it clean so that you know how to fold it up. You don’t fold it across the weave, because it will break it. You fold it with the weave. In the teachings of Gurdjieff, Raffael La Forte goes to one of the teachers, he’s a Sufi and he doesn’t know. He’s just sitting in the café, and the dude comes around and says, "I am trying to decide whether to buy this rug here. Do you think it would be a good one for me?" And La Forte sitting there and says, "Oh, huh? Oh yeah, sure….Do you think this would be appropriate for my meditations?" He’s this Persian dude. I think it was Gurdjieff’s teacher of calligraphy. Calligraphy, beautiful writing. So, I’ll put on my Persian shoes and do the whole number for you. "Do you think this rug would be appropriate for my meditations?" La Forte sitting there like Carlos Castanoodles says "Yeah, sure, sure, it’s a good blanket." He says: "You are a fool. You didn‘t even look at it. How could you possibly know if it’s good for my meditation?" Why, the lines in the design run counter to the flow of energy. And he realizes immediately that he’s in the presence of a master, who’s maybe laying a trip on him to see if he’s actually worthy of the dharma. Because why should he tell him anything? He knows he’s looking for him. Wants to check the dude out, find out where he’s at, so he gives him the straight lesson right there. He sends him on to another master that can help him make his trip. It’s real beautiful.

What is commonly called the Fourth Book of Kings, I guess, what we had before was the third then, huh? In this Bible it’s called the Second Book of Kings. In Chapter 1, it begins right after Ahab. And it says then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. Remember Moab, Ruth and Moab? That's the roots of the cosmic tree that in this tradition, or the tree that is shown on the right-hand lancet panel of the stained glass at Chartres, that survived the fire of 1194, and that’s the tree of Jessie. So, you find that split after Ahab and that’s the point that’s picked up by Melville in Moby Dick, because Ishmael’s the Wanderer. So it’s what the Wanderer’s doing. Meanwhile the Jews are up to the whole trip that goes on record in the Torah here. And this is what Ishmaelites were doing in their wandering. They were wandering around the labyrinth. The whirlpool. And of course they get reborn. Laudate nomine Domini.

Hail to the Divine Names. To the names of God. To all the names of God. All is one. The Divine Names is the title of a mystical tract, written by an author, whose real name modern scholarship has not been able to ascertain, but who was referred to as Dionysius the Areopagite. There is a translation and an introduction to the text, which I’ve not yet held in my hand, but I’ve had recommended to me by one of my teachers, that is by [C.E.] Rolt. And the Divine Names is what I introduce briefly in that map of circles about Being and Seeing Being, that have five crossings that have to do with the fact that we can solve equations of the fourth degree in mathematics, but that when we attempt to solve equations of the fifth degree, what we find is that the procedures that have served us before do not work the same way. What they do is generate so-called solutions that in fact give you equations of much higher degrees and not lower degrees. And that is the realm precisely where Dionysius the Areopagite, who is course is talking about angels, he’s not talking about numbers, and metaphysical speculations. But if you know the cipher and the language and simply follow the equivalence, you see that what he is doing step by step is exactly the same thing. The inverse is in the Gospel according to St. Thomas, which recently has been studied by Bibical scholars.  And this is one of the other gospels that is not found in the New Testament, in the King James version of 1604 anyway. You might have a look at that because it gives precise instructions, in injunctive language. It’s not a description of a so-called mystical experience or story or fantasy. But it’s a mathematical prescription for how to get into the state of consciousness that is likened to the center of the labyrinth, which is where one’s bestial and human aspects become unified, which is why the figure of Minotaur is shown as being both animal and human. It is within and without the venue of civilization.

minotaur.jpg

And the beast looks within, who after all is the god within, too. From the right and the center of the rose window in the transept in the right wing of the great Chartres cathedral comes another beam. And they both hit at the center of the labyrinth, which in the map of the swastika is the sun. Because the four arms correspond to the earth, air, water, and fire. So you have one of the alchemist symbols for each of the four elements, at the ends of the arms of the swastikas. And then the three astrological signs that correspond to the being, the cardinal, the medial; and the fixed signs. And if you draw a swastika and compose it with squares, you can take toy blocks and outline them if you’re not good at drawing squares – you can set it out there and you’ll see that the sun is in the center, and fire and water balance and earth and air balance. And you can adopt any convention you like but if you pay attention  and look around, you can see the conventions that have been adopted. Then you’ll discover it in a Navajo sand painting  or theology, or planet names or in Hopi kachinas, or in  Sanscrit texts; and they differ, the colors differ, among the Dogon in west Africa whose weavings with wool are actually precise star maps that can be read. They relate to times past when stars were in certain positions. Weaving. Hopis taught the Navajos how to weave.

The light from one side is celestial and the light from the other side is terrestrial. And so we have the issue of black or white. The divine light, being or nothingness. On the other side, the rainbow. All the colors of the rainbow. That is within the form and in the marked state. In the form there is mineral. There is no life. There is mystery here. The trinity is a trinity of life. The mineral is the matter, the stuff, that with a higher program of organization, manifests life; that is, it reverses temporality, as God said of Monkey, temporality, one of Time, it reverses the entropic arrow. It’s a system that feeds, that eats, like Tiny Tim. And therefore it does not run down, it metabolizes energy. Therefore it can move about or grow like a plant to the sun, because a plant is the highest form of energy of life in that it metabolizes, directly, solar radiation of infrared wavelengths that burn us. That’s what the chlorophyll does. Chloros. Yellow green. Yellow bile, St. Mark. The lion. Green Lion of Roger Bacon, the Franciscan in England in the 1200’s. At the same time these dudes are building Chartres cathedral, at the same time the Francis of Assisi – Assissi, the rising sun - is passing on the Sufi teachings.

The Green Lion devouring the sun

The Green Lion devouring the sun

To Italy, in the wool merchants’ guild. The Sufis in Florence  and Pisa are getting their shit together. Spread out like flocks of Gilead  - that was Micah’s prophesy of what would happen if Ahab went to war. He sees the vision. He says, "You want the truth. How often do I enjoin you to tell me the truth of your prophesy, speak the truth."  All of those prophets say: "Oh yes Ahab, you goin’ to war, yes sir man, you gonna be the greatest king ,man, You’re goin’ to wail and stomp and kick ass. You goin’ to be something else. You’re going over there to war and take it out of the hands of those Syrians. They’re on your land, man, You know what land they’re in? They’re in the vineyard, that’s what land they’re in. They’re in the northern quarter." They’re in the vineyard that belongs to Dionysius, the great grape god. The ecstatic god. The god who stands outside himself. Ecstasis. You see…which is why at Delphi, the calendar is broken down into one quarter and three quarters. Dionysius rules there for one quarter of the year. Three months. Apollo rules there for three quarters of the year. They’re aspects of the same god, you see. While Dionysius is ruling there, which is in the winter, when it rains--water, life, fluid. The universal solvent, water life, dew, the drop of dew, drop of sperm, which fertilizes the seed, the egg, the ovum, the earth, water and earth, two so called yin elements. Well, black water is the water of the sky. And it swings around like a great clock, and if you watch the band of the Milky Way, you’ll see it spin, spin, spin. The graffiti artist in New York, spin, spin. Bak cicho ka cha ka cha rum tiki tiki….

Kurt von Meier
Circa 1973

 1. The King of Salem in Genesis:14;  also see Jesus as his priest in Hebrews:14.
2. Actually, blowhole.
3. Richard M. Nixon
4. Checkerboard, rather.
5. Berlin, Brent, and Kay, Paul, Basic Color Terms, 1969.