One Word For Two Things

What does Sagittarius or Venus mean? Words like these meant completely different things millenia ago than what they do now. For one to increase, the other had to dwindle and fade.

Icker threaded his way down through the rocks and thickets to the usual spot, a grassy clearing directly waterside. Here, just in this place, the vivid wildness of the falling mountain stream calmed itself briefly, and one could see the island on the far bank, where too a flat space presented out of the forested confusion. And though the natural noise all about was overpowering, just here a strange tunnel of quietness connected the two sides, nestled and secluded in the wild. And he sat down and waited, in the customary manner, expectant but not impatient, opening himself, and passing his attentiveness to the far shore. Taking care not to look with eye, but to sense with force of being.

Soon it was about the fourth hour, and the airs spiralled in deliberation and fury. The light probed downwards in splendor, gold as untameable October. Leaves of numberless colors clung with fierce percussion to their stems, or some released their lives into the swirling chaos of the demanding purposeful winds. A subtle presence began arriving at the locus of Icker’s attention, and he projected to Her a greeting swaddled in devotion and gratitude. He then formulated the pictures of what had been concerning him, to lay a conversational context, and awaited. Awaited. Her silent speaking. Until…

“What confuses thou?” Wonderful clear stillness of thought.

Icker shaped his thinking into word-things. “Tell me of Venus and Mercury, O Benefactor, and of brilliant Jupiter what now jewels the northeast soon after each sunset.” Pausing a moment and then specifying. “Long have I digested what the astronomers all tell. I learned the diameters and the distances, the masses and motions, the names of the many moons, the periodicities of their transits, what light spectrums reveal of their compositions, their reconstructed origins and projected destinies. I watched their shifting against the wide starry background over the year. Then too, have I equally given ear to the astrologers. They who speak eloquent of qualities instead of quantities. Of personalities and tendencies, and moreover of their mysterious exerted causes and effects across the yawning gulfs of timespace, streaming like magnetics or electricity into the very psyches of we humans below. Explicate for me, O Benfactor, how to reconcile the mysteries of the cosmic stars, as probed by these conflicting schools.”

And soon came the soundless spoken reply, as soft breeze. “What men cognize, can perceive, and speak of, is dependent always upon the conditions of the earthly abode for that era in which they dwell. When the ancients of Mesopotamia, the Chaldeans, the learned ones in Egypt, the earliest Hebrews, the inhabitants of your Indian subcontinent — even down, among some, unto the earliest days of the classical civilization of Greece, and certainly in far misty China, — when they uttered the word Mars or Sun or Libra they meant and referred to something completely different than is signified in the coarse manner of the present day.”

“Those humans of 3000, 4000 years before, who in fact were but previous earthly lives of your very selves, looked up into the starry heavens with not just eyes but all their being, and were possessed of perceptual capacities which would seem fantastic to you today. They apprehended the reality of spirit, and not just abstractly, but in terms of vast communities of the most varied qualities of non-physical beings. They knew and experienced what emanated from those celestial colonies as surely as you now experience the sounds of birds chirping in the trees. The spiritual beings of the cosmos were not theoretical to them, or supposed.”

“Thus, to them, your predecessors, the word Mercury indicated a thriving colony of spiritual beings of a particular sort of nature, whose intentions and proclivities and strivings yielded a constant stream of force down upon their earthly existence, which carried definite tendencies, assistances, and limitations. They saw the light, reflected of Sun, revealing the physical orb just as you can now, but within this light infinitely more was illuminated. An unavoidable reverence accompanied their perceptions as such.”

“But you must grasp that their knowing, their reception of these true perceptions from the cosmos, were much less of an individualized nature than today. All intake was tribal in character. True, highly initiated persons existed among them who could probe and question the cosmos with a special expertise, to better gather the intentions of the gods. But the ordinary member of these cultures all shared awareness in a kind of cloudy indistinct tribal group perception. One region saw differently than another, in slight degrees.”

“How then did things change with the passage of time? Why have we people of the present lost so much?”

“It is not a losing… but a metamorphosis. You must know that the common man of those cultural epochs had no independent capacity to individually research what emanated from the stars. All knowledge, all truths, were communal. What one knew, all others in the tribe knew, and perceived. The further one goes back in time, the more things were like this.”

“If thou wills it, please elaborate.”

“Those conditions fostered a natural authority and hierarchy. People occupied their position unquestioningly, for they saw the truth of it, and accepted. If a word or pronouncement came down from the few in authority it was complied with immediately, for the leaders were as representatives of the gods upon earth — the ones who could peer into the celestial mysteries and interpret. Earth and humanity has evolved. Across the epochs it was determined to confer greater and greater individual freedom within earthly lives, gradually, to allow perceiving and thinking and reflections to become independent, individualized, sharper and more precise, and the birthright of all who incarnate. Provided they will and value this and engage in the necessary development. But even without efforts of an independent kind, the thinking ability is greatly increased now as compared to then.”

“You can say something has been lost, but in consequence something has been gained, and is still in the process of doing so. It is a metamorphosis, an evolution. It was necessary that the gods withdraw, that their streaming activity from the heavens towards earthly man become more and more concealed and clouded to human perception so that individual freedom and thinking could arise. You can say also that thinking has shrouded what was understood in the past in obscurity and mystery and confusion. It wears now the garment of legend and myth. In truth human perception has altered.”

“Are the contemporary astronomers correct then? Do they speak the truth as the new authority?” Icker posed this question with some trepidation.

“For something to increase, something else had to decrease. That is a cosmic law.”

“The scientists speak authoritatively, but it is a false authority, and much they proclaim is false or even damaging. The descending of the cosmic intelligence into the individual humans, so they could formulate their own thinking independently, was a blessing by design. But it had a price. The physicality of the world and life was entered into more deeply and fully. This reduced drastically the perceiving of the extra-physical, in other words, what you can call the spiritual. Forces still emanate from the planetary beings, the starry quarters of the zodiac. But human grasping of these are weak and error-prone. Instead they have excelled at apprehending the physical aspects of reality, both upon earth and in wide space. Thus all knowledge of heavenly things are now exquisitely and exclusively physical. But it is an arrogant delusion for either individual or scientist to believe that the physical component of things constitutes the entirety of its reality.”

“But there is a way, there must be, to reconstruct the starry knowledge of the ancients regarding the spiritual beings?”

“What you yearn after here is not a viable or advisable path. Both the methods and the subject matter has changed considerably; the spirit is constantly changing. If you tried to rebuild the old knowledge, it would assume the form of a dogmatism. Because much has changed in 4000 years and it is changing still. What the gods intended then, and how they communicated it, is no longer the case. It is the same with religious tradition. Even if some original revelation was rightly apprehended, its propagation over centuries or even millenia as unchallengeable orthodoxy and truth need not any longer correspond to present cosmic reality. The only hope is for the individual to spiritually perceive the current truth directly.”

Icker let this settle within him, soberly. A part of him cowered at the enormity of it. A part ignited with a quiet enthusiasm. Sensing this, the Benefactor amplified her remarks from a different vantage point.

“There are methods. Also, there is willing assistance. But there also exists opposition. To gain entry via direct conscious individual perception to the spiritual realms it is essential to thoroughly prepare oneself. There are safeguards at the borders, powerful Guardians who will seem terrifying to the unprepared, but kind and supportive to the diligent, compassionate, and virtuous.”

“Virtuous… I do not comprehend.”

“The scientist discards all data and sensations which can be received, when investigating his field of inquiry, which have anything to do with feelings or inner impressions or moral implications. These things are treated as irrelevant, and in fact he actually loses sensitivity to such things — such modes of knowing — over the course of time involved with his practice. Only logic, reason, and physical measurement and observation is valued or permitted. This cuts off certain areas of knowledge, an enormous swath of it. This blinds unbiased inquiry into things. Why else do you suppose that the fruits of a century or more of unbridled technology advancement has given rise to novel and baffling and widespread social problems? It is because a blind spot has been cultivated within the very vaunted methodologies which are inculcated everywhere within academia. But this has long spilled over into the general culture too.”

“Reason, logic, and measurement are only some tools. They are the corpses of true intuition. Humility is just as important a tool. Humility deepens cognition. Things have gotten so askew that it now appears a total unrealistic fantasy to most that cultivation of inner virtues — especially those qualities which are individually challenging to one — can have anything whatsoever to do with obtaining deeper insights. Overcoming egotism, for example, is in itself a powerful and piercing organ of perception. Many things can never be seen or known without this organ. This is what lies behind the legend of purgatory. And this egotism is perhaps the most prevalent yet difficult to recognize shortcoming within one’s own being — so the seal is tight! A true revolution in human sensitivity and perception is what is necessary at present. That is the call of the hour.”

For a long while… a shattered silence pervaded the scene. Icker had no more words. At last, the Benefactor concluded with a gentler and receding tone…

“I can say no more now. You must reflect that spiritual progress is not knowledge — that is the least important aspect of it. Now you have much transmitted truth to digest. You are constipated with knowledge. You must convert it into being. You must make intuition into a liver for it, and love into intestines. Go for some months or years and live with these matters. Confront your destiny with it and metamorphose it along with yourself. Do so with community, do not sequester yourself excessively.”

Slowly rousing to a condition of normalcy, Icker knew the Benefactor was no longer present. Gazing about, he saw that the blazing reds and oranges of the leaves had darkened towards less distinct browns. Light was failing, and the blue sky was revealing itself as blacker, preparing to showcase the stars.


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    1. Thank You, David. Yes, the Africans have many good ones, and some which are peculiar as I recall. Last week I came across a Navajo one: You cannot wake someone up who is pretending to sleep. 🙂


    2. PS, thought about the African proverb more and realized it is very close to an old Jimi Hendrix quote… maybe you know it: “Knowledge speaks, Wisdom listens.”


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