Praise of Folly Anno 2020: ‘keep your mouth shut’

  • Allegory of Folly:

In the early sixteenth century when Quentin Matsys painted his Allegory of Folly, likely around 1510, fools were still commonly found at court or carnivals, performing in morality plays. Sometimes a fool would be mentally handicapped, to be mocked for the amusement of the general public. Matsys has chosen to represent his fool with a wen, a lump on the forehead, which was believed to contain a “stone of folly” responsible for stupidity or mental handicap. In other instances, however, the fool would be a clever and astute observer of human nature, a comedian who used the fool’s robes as a pretext for satire and ridicule. Matsys’s fool was nearly an exact contemporary of Erasmus’ Praise of Folly, in which the character of Folly is in fact a wise and astute commentator on folly in others. Fools were a popular subject in both the art and literature of this era and Erasmus’ work was particularly important to the sixteenth-century Humanist circles in Antwerp.

The traditional costume of the fool includes a hooded cape with the head of a cock and the ears of an ass, as well as bells, here attached to a red belt. The fool holds a staff known as a marotte, or bauble, topped with a small carved figure of another fool – himself wearing the identifying cap. This staff would have been used as a puppet for satirical skits or plays, and the figure’s obscene gesture of dropping his trousers, symbolic of the insults associated with fools, was once overpainted by a previous owner who found it overly shocking.

The gesture of silence, with the fool holding a finger to his lips, refers to the Greek god of silence, Harpocrates, who was generally depicted in this manner. Silence was considered a virtue associated with wise men such as philosophers, scholars, or monks. Here, however, Matsys turns the gesture into a parody by juxtaposing it with the inscription ‘Mondeken toe’, meaning ‘keep your mouth shut’, beneath the crowing cock’s head. Matsys is drawing our attention to the Fool’s indiscretion. A later hand has added the word ‘Mot’ above, likely a later sixteenth or seventeenth century reference to a prostitute – this may have been an attempt to turn the present allegory into the figure of a procuress.

Matsys’ fool is made even more grotesque by his hideous deformities – an exaggerated, beaked nose and hunched back – and thin-lipped, toothless smirk. Grotesque figures were a favourite theme of the artist, making regular appearances in his paintings as tormenters of Christ or in allegories of Unequal Lovers. This reflects an awareness of the grotesque head studies of Leonardo da Vinci, whose drawings had made their way northward from Italy. Indeed, of all Matsys’s other works, the fool in the present painting is perhaps closest in type to the tormenter directly behind and to the right of Christ in the Saint John Altarpiece – which is, itself, a direct quotation from Leonardo’s own drawing of Five Grotesque Heads.

Quinten Matsys’ early training is a matter of speculation, with scholars suggesting variously that he may have been apprenticed in Antwerp to Dieric Bouts; trained as a miniaturist in his mother’s native town of Grobbendonk; or possibly worked for Hans Memling’s studio in Bruges. We do know for certain that in 1494, Matsys was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke as a master painter, and by the end of the century he was operating his own studio with several apprentices, among them his sons Cornelis and Jan. Matsys is known for both religious and secular works, and his style became increasingly Italianate in his later career; in turn he is recognized as an influence on such painters as Joos van Cleve, Joachim Patinir and Lucas Cranach the Elder.

  • Folly ’s ‘keep your mouth shut’, Anno 2020

Based on economic growth, financial hegemony of the “happy few”” and abuse or rape of cheapest labor workers in Low-cost country or homeland, the democracy of Modern man shall never succeed  to recover his soul with fake “sincere political change” or  with fake “concern”.

Folly ’s ‘keep your mouth shut’ about all the abuses of the systems and is silent about Ethics, Virtues and uprightness… Silence about spiritual grow, honesty and respect of differents communities…

Prophets of doom now abound and “green parties” have mushroomed everywhere. The moving force for those movements remains, however, by and large purely external. For a humanity turned towards outwardness by the very processes of modernization, it is not so easy to see that the blight wrought upon the environment is in reality an externalization of the destitution of the inner state of the soul of that humanity whose actions are responsible for the ecological crisis.

Many claim, for example, that if we could only change our means of transportation and diminish the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy, the problem would be solved or at least ameliorated. Few ask, however, why it is that modern man feels the need to travel so much?

The wisdom of the 21th  century or the Foffy of our times say: ‘keep your mouth shut’,

But can we ask Why?

                                                          Ship of Fools

-Why is the domicile of much of humanity so ugly and life so boring that the type of man most responsible for the environmental crisis has to escape the areas he has helped to vilify and take his pollution with him to the few still well-preserved areas of the earth in order to continue to function?

-Why must modern man consume so much and satiate his so-called needs only outwardly?

-Why is he unable to draw from any inward sustenance?

We are, needless to say, not opposed to better care of the planet through the use of wiser means of production, transportation, etc. than those which exist today. Alternative forms of technology are to be welcomed . But such feats of science and engineering alone will not solve the problem.

There is no choice but to answer these and similar questions and to bring to the fore the spiritual dimension and the historical roots of the ecological crisis which many refuse to take into consideration to this day.

Democracy:

Oligarchy then degenerates into a democracy where freedom is the supreme good but freedom is also slavery. In democracy, the lower class grows bigger and bigger. The poor become the winners. People are free to do what they want and live how they want. People can even break the law if they so choose. This appears to be very similar to anarchy.

Plato uses the “democratic man” to represent democracy. The democratic man is the son of the oligarchic man. Unlike his father, the democratic man is consumed with unnecessary desires. Plato describes necessary desires as desires that we have out of instinct or desires that we have to survive. Unnecessary desires are desires we can teach ourselves to resist such as the desire for riches. The democratic man takes great interest in all the things he can buy with his money. Plato believes that the democratic man is more concerned with his money over how he can help the people. He does whatever he wants when ever he wants to do it. His life has no order or priority. So can a happy few ( 1% of the world population) try to dictate the rest of the human and using them as robotic slaves and wanting them to live without a soul.

Vandana Shiva On the Real Cause of World Hunger

Oneness vs. The 1%: #VandanaShiva at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

  • Technocracy: Amazon, Google, and Apple have moved past monopoly status to competing directly with governments… and winning

Amazon’s cloud servers host the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and other US agencies, for example..US Senator Josh Hawley is demanding a criminal antitrust probe of Amazon as the e-commerce behemoth’s powers grow to rival the government’s own. Google and Apple, too, are now ordering governments around.

Data centers can be thought of as the “brains” of the internet. Their role is to process, store, and communicate the data behind the myriad information services we rely upon every day, whether it be streaming video, email, social media, online collaboration, or scientific computing.

Data centers utilize different information technology (IT) devices to provide these services, all of which are powered by electricity. Servers provide computations and logic in response to information requests, while storage drives house the files and data needed to meet those requests. Network devices connect the data center to the internet, enabling incoming and outgoing data flows. The electricity used by these IT devices is ultimately converted into heat, which must be removed from the data center by cooling equipment that also runs on electricity.

On average, servers and cooling systems account for the greatest shares of direct electricity use in data centers, followed by storage drives and network devices (Figure 1). Some of the world’s largest data centers can each contain many tens of thousands of IT devices and require more than 100 megawatts (MW) of power capacity—enough to power around 80,000 U.S. households (U.S. DOE 2020).

As the number of global internet users has grown, so too has demand for data center services, giving rise to concerns about growing data center energy use. Between 2010 and 2018, global IP traffic—the quantity of data traversing the internet—increased more than ten-fold, while global data center storage capacity increased by a factor of 25 in parallel (Masanet et al. 2020). Over the same time period, the number of compute instances running on the world’s servers—a measure of total applications hosted—increased more than six-fold (see Figure 3) (Masanet et al. 2020).

These strong growth trends are expected to continue as the world consumes more and more data. And new forms of information services such as artificial intelligence (AI), which are particularly computationally-intensive, may accelerate demand growth further. Therefore, the ability to quantify and project data center energy use is a key energy and climate policy priority.

  • The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times

The Reign of Quantity gives a concise but comprehensive view of the present state of affairs in the world, as it appears from the point of view of the ‘ancient wisdom’, formerly common both to the East and to the West, but now almost entirely lost sight of. The author indicates with his fabled clarity and directness the precise nature of the modern deviation, and devotes special attention to the development of modern philosophy and science, and to the part played by them, with their accompanying notions of progress and evolution, in the formation of the industrial and democratic society which we now regard as ‘normal’. Read more here

  • In Praise of Folly by Erasmus

In Praise of Folly, also translated as The Praise of Folly (Latin: Stultitiae Laus or Moriae Encomium; Greek title: Μωρίας ἐγκώμιον (Morias enkomion); Dutch title: Lof der Zotheid), is an essay written in Latin in 1509 by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam and first printed in June 1511. Inspired by previous works of the Italian humanist Faustino Perisauli [it] De Triumpho Stultitiae, it is a satirical attack on superstitions and other traditions of European society as well as on the Western Church.

Erasmus revised and extended his work, which was originally written in the space of a week while sojourning with Sir Thomas More at More’s house in Bucklersbury in the City of London.[1] The title Moriae Encomium had a punning second meaning as In Praise of More.

Read more here

The Choice of our Times

  • The Choice for Spiritual Ethics,Virtues and Uprightness in our times

The bivium of Pythagoras, this sign which leaves us free to choose the path of good or the path of evil.

“The letter” Y “represents the symbol of moral life. The question of good and evil arises before the free will of man: two roads open before him: the left, the thick branch of the “Y”, is wide and easy to access, but leads to the chasm from shame, that of the right, the thin branch, is a steep and painful path, but at the summit of which one finds repose in honor and glory. “

The letter “Y”, in antiquity, has often represented a “bivium” (a fork in the road); a point in life where we have to make a vital decision. According to Pythagoras, it represents the paths of virtue and vice.

The letter Y is also symbolic of looking within, Inner contemplation, Meditation and inner wisdom.

Text of TERRA PACIS and commentary relating to ideas of the Perennial Philosophy and to paintings by Peter Bruegel and Joachim Patinir .

N.B. The writer has kept the 17th century spelling.

  • The Spiritual Land of Peace of the “Holy Refugees”

It also considers the tradition of religious mysticism in Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders throughout the late Middle Ages that led up to the Reformation and points out that this movement is also an expression of the Perennial Philosophy, citing the works of Meister Eckhart, the Rhineland mystics and the schools that came out of the Devotio Moderna.

The work considers the esoteric, ‘heretical’ school called the Family of Love that claimed among its adherents a number of highly illustrious artists, thinkers and politicians. Such men as Christoffe Plantin, Abraham Ortelius and Justus Lipsius spurned the religious turmoil of the period and rejected Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists alike in favour of an inner mystical state they called the ‘invisible church’. They were close to Bruegel, bought his paintings and, it cannot be doubted, shared his thought.

It brings us to immediate and direct influences on Bruegel. These were free thinking humanists and mystics who occupied the no-man‟s-land between Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists; men like Sebastian Franck, Dirck Volckertz Coornhert and Abraham Ortelius were adherents of the „invisible church‟ where God was understood as „an event in the soul‟ which could be independent of external forms, rites and doctrines.  Many of them, such as Ortelius, Christophe Plantin and perhaps Justus Lipsius belonged to the sect known as the Family of Love whose leader, Hendrik Niclaes, was the author of the mystical allegory Terra Pacis that recounts the journey from the „Land of Ignorance‟ to the „Land of Spiritual Peace‟. Bruegel was closely associated with, if not a full member, of this group.

See : PETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER AND ESOTERIC TRADITION

The Spiritual Land of Peace:

  • Look and behold: there is in the world a very unpeaceable Land and it is the wildernessed land wherein the most part of all uncircumcised, impenitent and ignorant people do dwell and in which is, the first of all needful for the man; to the end that he may come to the Land of Peace and the City of Life and Rest.

The same unpeaceable land hath also a City, the name of which they that dwell therein do not know, but only those who are come out of it, and it is named Ignorance.

The people that dwell therein know not their original or first beginning; also they keep not any Genealogy or Pedigree; neither do they know from whence, or how, they came into the same. And moreover then, that they are altogether blinde, and blinde-born.

The forementioned city, named Ignorance, hath two Gates. The one standeth in the North, or Midnight, through the which men go into the city of darkness or ignorance.

This gate now, that standeth to the North, is very large and great, and hath also a great door, because there is much passage through the same; and it hath likewise his name, according to the nature of the same city.Foreasmuch as that men do come into Ignorance through the same gate, therefore it is named Men Do Not Know How to Do. And the great door, wherethrough the multitude do run is named Unknown Error; and there is else no coming into the City named Ignorance.

The other gate standeth on the one side of the City, towards the East or Spring of the Day, and the same is the Narrow Gate, through the which, men travel out of the city and do enter into the Straight Way which leadeth to Righteousness.

Now when one travelleth out through the same Gate, then doth he immediately espie some Light, and that same reacheth to the Rising of the Sun.

Here the symbolism, taking up the theme of the ‘bread of life’, i.e. spiritual nourishment, employs the images of ‘corn’ and ‘seed’ whose esoteric meaning was discussed earlier and which will be met again in the paintings by Bruegel of the Harvest and the   Ploughman (Fall of Icarus).

The importance of spiritual nourishment – or rather the lack of it – is discussed in the section dealing with the Peasant Wedding Feast (Marriage at Cana) where the lack of wine is shown to correspond, by rhetorical imitation, with famine imagery in the Old Testament where the sense is that of ‘famine for the word of God’.

  • In this land of Ignorance, for the food of men, there groweth neither corn nor grass. The people of this land live in confusion or disorder and are very diligent in their unprofitable work and labor. And although their work be vain or unprofitable yet hath everyone notwithstanding a delightful liking to the same.
  • Forasmuch as they all have such a delight to such unprofitable work, so forget they to prepare the Ground for Corn and Seed to live thereby. And so they live not on the manly food but by their own dung, for they have no other food to live by, for their stomach and nature is accustomed and naturally inclined thereto.
  • They make there diverse sorts of Puppet works for Babies for to bring up the children to vanity. There are made likewise many kinds of Balls, Tut-staves, or Kricket-staves, Rackets and Dice; for the foolish people should waste or spend their time therewith in foolishness.

  • There be made also Playing Tables, Draft-boards, Chess-boards, Cards and Mummery or Masks, for to delight the idle people with such foolish vanity. There are made likewise many Rings, Chains, and Gold and Silver Tablets and etc … all unprofitable and unneedful merchandise.
  • They build there likewise divers houses for common assembly, which they call Gods houses; and there use many manner of foolishness of taken on Services which they call religious or godservices whereby to wave or hold forth something in shew before the ignorant people.
  • In this manner are the vain people bewitched with these things, wherethrough they think or perswade themselves that their godservices, and knowledges, which they themselves do make, or take on in their hypocrisie, that must needs be some holy or singular thing, and so honor the works of their own hands.
  • They make there also many Swords, Halberds, Spears, Bows and Arrows, Ordinance or Guns, Pellets, Gunpouder, Armor or Harness, and Gorgets and etc., for that the tyrannical oppressors, and those that have a pleasure in destroying, should use war and battel, therewithal, one against the other.

The people of this strange land have strange names, according to their nature. As their nature is such are their names written upon them. Whosoever can read the writing let him consider thereon. They are gross letters; whoso hath but a little sight and understanding, he may read them, whose names are there. Highmindedness, Lust of the Eyes, Stoutness, Pride, Covetousness, Lust or Desire to Contrariness, Vanity or Unprofitableness, Unnaturalness, Undecentness, Masterfulness, Mocking, Scorning, Dallying, Adultery or Fornication, Contemning, Lying, Deceiving, Variance, Strife and Contention, Vexing, Self-seeking, Oppression, Indiscreetness, etc.

  • Their dealings or manner of life is also variable; for now they take on something, then they leave somewhat else; now they be thus led, then they be so driven; now they praise this, then they dispraise that. So, to be short, they are always inconstant.
  • Their Religions or godservice is called the Pleasure of Men. Their doctrine and ministration is called Good Thinking. Their King is called the Scum of Ignorance.
  • Whosoever findeth himself in this dark land full of ignorance and desireth to go out of it, and forsake the same, and hath a good liking towards the good land of Rest and Peace; he must go through the other gate that lieth towards the East, that is named Fear of God.
  • But in travelling forward upon the Way for to come to the good land of Peace, so do the perils first make manifest themselves. Therefore must the Traveller keep a diligent watch in the said grace of the Lord; otherwise he becometh hindered and deceived upon the Way. So we will mark out both the perils of seduction, and also the means unto preservation for that no man should err upon the Way, nor be seduced or deceived by any false ends.
  • not very amiable or pleasant (according to the minds of the flesh) to behold, nor yet his sayings and counsels to be obeyed, because that he is contrary to all minds and knowledge of the flesh (notwithstanding, if the traveller have no regard for him, neither daily receive any counsel of him unto obedience, nor yet follow his counsel, then shall he not come to the Rest). And he is named the Law or Ordinance of the Lord.
  • The other wise one cometh before him out of the thoughts of mans good thinking, to draw him away from the Way that directeth to the Land of the Living. And his form is sweet and friendly (according to the minds flesh) to behold, and his sayings and counsels delightful. And he is named the Wisdom of the Flesh.
  • These two wise ones do give the traveller several counsels.
  • The traveller who abjures the Wisdom of the Flesh and who accepts the discipline of the Law or Ordinance of the Lord receives ‘two instruments’: a compass called the Forsaking of Himself for the Good Lifes Sake. The other instrument overcomes temptation and hindrance and it is called Patience or Suffrance.
  • the death and burial of all the lusts and desires of the sinful flesh and all the flesh’s wisdom or good thinking.

Again, this should not be understood literally but seen as the transition from the material to the spiritual, the soul’s liberation from its entanglement in the world.

Now the ‘traveller’, following the counsel of the Law of the Lord, finds himself

  • in an unpathed land where many manner of temptations and deceits do meet with him, and coming into the same there appeareth unto him immediately a star out of the East, named Belief and Hope. This great unpathed land is named Many manner of Wanderings. And there is not one plain paved way.

The names of the Travellers are:

Stricken in Heart, Cumbered in Minde, Wofulness, Sorrowfulness, Anguish, Fear, Dismaidness, Perplexitie, Uncomfortablness, Undelightfulness, Heavy-mindedness, Many Manner of Thoughts, Dead Courage.

This is reminiscent of the group consisting of Jesus’ mother and her entourage in the foreground of Bruegel’s Road to Calvary (1566) in Vienna. There we see the expressing just these emotions while the vast crowd constituting the main descriptive parts of the picture are oblivious and display all the characteristics, described by H. N., of those who live in the Land of Ignorance or, as he says elsewhere, the ‘Land of Abomination and Desolation’. But also the Flight or Refuge to Egypth:

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  • St. Augustine: The Two Cities The City of God, XIV, 1

St. Augustine is remembered for bringing into philosophy from the Judeo-Christian tradition a sense of history and novelty which the Greeks and their philosophers had never had. This comes out particularly as he reflects on the fall of Rome all around him. His philosophical/theological doctrine is couched in terms of the “two cities:” Rome (or the new Babylon), which symbolizes all that is worldly, and Jerusalem (the city of heaven), which symbolizes the Christian community. Our world was created in the beginning, fell away from God, and then was redeemed by Christ; thus Augustine sees the world in which he lives as a mixture of the two cities. But the temporal city of this world will eventually perish, giving way to the eternal city. As he introduces this idea, he draws on Paul’s notion of “original sin” derived from the rebellion of Adam and Eve to explain how the lesser, flawed “city” came into being.

What does he say God’s purpose was in creating all of humanity out of one single original being? Greed (and perhaps price), envy, and power characterize the “second city” (or the second way of life). What are their positive counterparts in the “first city”?


Two loves make two cities

Literal Commentary on Genesis, XI, 15,20

These are the two loves: the first is holy, the second foul; the first is social, the second selfish; the first consults the common welfare for the sake of a celestial society, the second grasps at a selfish control of social affairs for the sake of arrogant domination; the first is submissive to God, the second tries to rival God; the first is quiet, the second restless; the first is peaceful, the second trouble-making; the first prefers truth to the praises of those who are in error, the second is greedy for praise, however it may be obtained; the first is friendly, the second envious; the first desires for its neighbor what it wishes for itself, the second desires to subjugate its neighbor; the first rules its neighbor for the good of its neighbor, the second for its own advantage; and these two loves produce a distinction among the angels: the first love belongs to the good angels, the second to the bad angels; and they also separate the two cities founded among the race of men, under the wonderful and ineffable Providence of God, administering and ordering all things that have been created: the first city is that of the just, the second is that of the wicked. Although they are now, during the course of time, intermingled, they shall be divided at the last judgment; the first, being joined by the good angels under its King, shall attain eternal life; the second, in union with the bad angels under its king, shall be sent into eternal fire. Perhaps, we shall treat, God willing, of these two cities more fully in another place.

Translated by Marcus Dod (1876)


How the Two Cities Differ

We have already stated in the preceding books that God, desiring not only that the human race might be able by their similarity of nature to associate with one another, but also that they might be bound together in harmony and peace by the ties of relationship, was pleased to derive all men from one individual, and created man with such a nature that the members of the race should not have died, had not the two first (of whom the one was created out of nothing, and the other out of him) merited this by their disobedience; for by them so great a sin was committed that by it human nature was altered for the worse, and was transmitted also to their posterity, liable to sin and subject to death. And the kingdom of death so reigned over men, that the deserved penalty of sin would have hurled all headlong even into the second death, of which there is no end, had not the undeserved grace of God saved some therefrom. And thus it has come to pass that, though there are very many and great nations all over the earth, whose rites and customs, speech, arms, and dress, are distinguished by marked differences, yet there are no more than two kinds of human society, which we may justly call two cities, according to the language of our Scriptures. The one consists of those who wish to live after the flesh, the other of those who wish to live after the spirit; and when they severally achieve what they wish, they live in peace, each after its kind.

Translated by Marcus Dods (1876)

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Chap. III.—Of the Ways, and of Vices and Virtues; And of the Rewards of Heaven and the Punishments of Hell.

There are two ways,[1] O Emperor Constantine, by which human life must proceed—the one which leads to heaven, the other which sinks to hell; and these ways poets have introduced in their poems, and philosophers in their disputations. And indeed philosophers have represented the one as belonging to virtues, the other to vices; and they have represented that which belongs to virtues as steep and rugged at the first entrance, in which if any one, having overcome the difficulty, has climbed to the summit, they say that he afterwards has a level path, a bright and pleasant plain, and that he enjoys abundant and delightful fruits of his labours; but that those whom the difficulty of the first approach has deterred, glide and turn aside into the way of vices, which at its first entrance appears to be pleasant and much more beaten, but afterwards, when they have advanced in it a little further, that the appearance of its pleasantness is withdrawn, and that there arises a steep way, now rough with stones, now overspread with thorns, now interrupted by deep waters or violent with torrents, so that they must be in difficulty, hesitate, slip about, and fall. And all these things are brought forward that it may appear that there are very great labours in undertaking virtues, but that when they are gained there are the greatest advantages, and firm and incorruptible pleasures; but that vices ensnare the minds of men with certain natural blandishments, and lead them captivated by the appearance of empty pleasures to bitter griefs and miseries,—an altogether wise discussion, if they knew the forms and limits of the virtues themselves. For they had not learned either what they are, or what reward awaits them from God: but this we will show in these two books.

But these men, because they were ignorant or in doubt that the souls of men are immortal, estimated both virtues and vices by earthly honours or punishments. Therefore all this discussion respecting the two ways[2] has reference to frugality and luxury. For they say that the course of human life resembles the letter Y, because every one of men, when he has reached the threshold of early youth, and has arrived at the place “where the way divides itself into two parts,”[3] is in doubt, and hesitates, and does not know to which side he should rather turn himself. If he shall meet with a guide who may direct him wavering to better things—that is, if he shall learn philosophy or eloquence, or some honourable arts by which he may turn to good conduct,[4] which cannot take place without great labour—they say that he will lead a life of honour and abundance; but if he shall not meet with a teacher of temperance,[5] that he falls into the way on the left hand, which assumes the appearance of the better,—that is, he gives himself up to idleness, sloth, and luxury, which seem pleasant for a time to one who is ignorant of true goods, but that afterwards, having lost all his dignity and property, he will live in all wretchedness and ignominy. Therefore they referred the end of those ways[6] to the body, and to this life which we lead on earth. The poets perhaps did better, who would have it that this twofold way was in the lower regions; but they are deceived in this, that they proposed these ways to the dead. Both therefore spoke with truth, but yet both incorrectly; for the ways themselves ought to have been referred to life, their ends to death. We therefore speak better and more truly, who say that the two ways[7] belong to heaven and hell, because immortality is promised to the righteous, and everlasting punishment is threatened to the unrighteous.

But I will explain how these ways either exalt to heaven or thrust down to hell, and I will set forth what these virtues are of which the philosophers were ignorant; then I will show what are their rewards, and also what are vices, and what their punishments. For perhaps some one may expect that I shall speak separately of vices and virtues; whereas, when we discuss the subject of good or evil, that which is contrary may also be understood. For, whether you introduce virtues, vices will spontaneously depart; or if you take away vices, virtues will of their own accord succeed. The nature of good and evil things is so fixed, that they always oppose and drive out one another: and thus it comes to pass that vices cannot be removed without virtues, nor can virtues be introduced without the removal of vices. Therefore we bring forward these ways in a very different manner from that in which the philosophers are accustomed to present them: first of all, because we say that a guide is proposed to each, and in each case an immortal: but that the one is honoured who presides over virtues and good qualities, the other condemned who presides over vices and evils. But they place a guide only on the right side, and that not one only, nor a lasting one; inasmuch as they introduce any teacher of a good art, who may recall men from sloth, and teach them to be temperate. But they do not represent any as entering upon that way except boys and young men; for this reason, that the arts are learned at these ages. We, on the other hand, lead those of each sex, every age and race, into this heavenly path, because God, who is the guide of that way, denies immortality to no human being.[8] The shape also of the ways themselves is not as they supposed. For what need is there of the letter Y in matters which are different and opposed to one another? But the one which is better is turned towards the rising of the sun, the other which is worse towards its setting: since he who follows truth and righteousness, having received the reward of immortality, will enjoy perpetual light; but he who, enticed by that evil guide, shall prefer vices to virtues, falsehood to truth, must be borne to the setting of the sun, and to darkness.[9] I will therefore describe each, and will point out their properties and habits.

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 Paradise : Eternity (out of time)                              Hell: infinite stasis (time frozen)

                Purgatory: Here and Now, in time and space, a dynamic time, dedicated to change and transformation

When Joachim Patinir (d. 1524) painted his vast cosmic panorama Charon , he
situated the decisive moment of choice in a sailing vessel on a great river (the classical Styx) but poised it midway between the realms of Heaven and Hell. The small figure in the boat, dwarfed by the giant ferryman, is a solitary human soul, who already glances nervously over toward the mouthlike dark gateway of Hades, guarded by the triple-headed dog, Cerberus. Even the boat itself inclines slightly in the same direction, the unfavorable sinisterside of the viewer’s right, long familiar from medieval Last Judgment scenes (and more recently in Judgment scenes by Rogier van der Weyden and Dieric Bouts in the south Netherlands) as the side of Hell and damnation.


Of course, that anxious inclination toward the dark means that the soul figure fails to turn to the dexter side, that of Heaven, opposite, where angels are visible below the trees
and unearthly crystalline structures tower above at the horizon level. Closer inspection of the entire painting shows that the very skies echo this antithetical structure: reading from
left to right, the cloudless blue sky gradually gives way to dark storm clouds above the fire and brimstone of Hell.

For we see divine retribution revealed from heaven and falling upon all the godless wickedness of men. In their wickedness they are stifling the truth. For all that may be known of God by men lies plain before their eyes; indeed God himself has disclosed it to
them. His invisible attributes, that is to say his everlasting power and deity, have been visible, ever since the world began, to the eye of reason, in the things he has made. There is therefore no possible defense for their conduct…. For this reason God has
given them up to the vileness of their own desires, and the consequent degradation of their bodies, because they have bartered away the true God for a false one…. Thus, because they have not seen fit to acknowledge God, he has given them up to
their own depraved reason. This leads them to break all rules of conduct.

-Romans 1:18-28

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.

-I Corinthians 13:12

“in Hell there is no time, there is only infinite stasis; in Paradise there is no time, but rather the dynamic over-abundance of eternity; only in Purgatory is there time,because only here is there the possibility of change and growth”.

  • At the the cross road  of Y , Migration is a form of Purgatory

Paul A. Camacho in his paper ” Educating Desire: Conversion and Ascent in Dante’s Purgatorioasks our attention “Why the Purgatorio? As first-time readers discover with surprise in the closing cantos of Dante’s Inferno, Hell is defined primarily by stasis. Where there is motion in Hell, it is only the tormented self-circling of a will that cannot love anything beyond itself. Hell is the place that Dante scholar Peter Hawkins has memorably described as “repetition-compulsion, an endless replay of the sinner’s ‘song of myself.’” It is certainly true, as Dante saw, that conversion requires an underworld itinerary: we can no overcome the drive to get what we mistakenly think will bring us happiness through intellectual understanding or sheerwill-power alone. But to journey throug hHell as Dante would have us do,one must experience one’s sin and failure without getting trapped in it; and this means one must face all the darkness in oneself without becoming entombed by fear, despair, or gawking fascination. This is a heavy task for anyone, let alone for the average undergraduate. By contrast, Purgatory is, in Hawkins’ words, “dynamic, dedicated to change and transformation. It concerns the rebirth of a  self free at last to be interested in other souls and other things .” It is fruitful to dwell in Purgatorio with students because it is in Purgatory that we now reside. I mean this: in Hell there is no time, there is only infinite stasis; in Paradise there is no time, but rather the dynamic over-abundance of eternity; only in Purgatory is there time,because only here is there the possibility of change and growth. If we read the Commedia to learn how to love better here and now, in this world, it is the Purgatorio that will provide the blueprint.”
In Cantos 17 and 18 of the Purgatorio, Dante’s Virgil lays out a theory of sin, freedom, and moral motivation based on a philosophical anthropology of loving-desire. As the commentary tradition has long recognized, because Dante placed Virgil’s discourse on love at the heart of the Commedia, the poet invites his readers to use love as a hermeneutic key to the text as a whole. When we contextualize Virgil’s discourse within the broader intention of the poem—to move its readers from disordered love to an ordered love of ultimate things—then we find in these central cantos not just a key to the structure and movement of the poem ,but also a key to understanding Dante’s pedagogical aim. With his Commedia, Dante invites us to perform the interior transformation which the poem dramatizes in verse and symbol. He does so by awakening in his readers not only a desire for the beauty of his poetic creation, but also a desire for the beauty of the love described therein. In this way, the poem presents a pedagogy of love, in which the reader participates in the very experience of desire and delight enacted in the text. In this article, I offer an analysis of Virgil’s discourse on love in the Purgatorio, arguing for an explicit and necessary connection between loving-desire and true education. I demonstrate that what informs Dante’s pedagogy of love is the notion of love as ascent, a notion we find articulated especially in the Christian Platonism of Augustine. Finally, I conclude by offering a number of figures, passages, and themes from across the Commedia that provide fruitful material for teachers engaged in the task of educating desire. Read more here

  • With the help of Al Khidr, St George, St Christopher and the Holy Refugees

Al Khidr : The Spiritual “greenness”:

Khidr is not an abstract mystical figure, but an archetype of something essential within us.The Green One’ images a natural aspect of our divinity, something so ordinary that we overlook it. To follow the way of Khidr is to awaken to our own natural state of being with God and with life. In this natural state of being we know how to respond to the real need of the moment. Read more

 

 

 

St George and Al kidhr;

At first sight there seems to be little connection between Elijah, George and Khidr, apart from the fact that in the Middle East they are frequently associated with the same place by different religious traditions. Is it then a simple case of overlapping traditions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, all of whom focus on the Holy Land as part of their own heritage and take Abraham as their forefather?

Certainly there is a view which suggests that Khidr is to Muslims what Elijah is to Jews, in respect of them both acting as initiator to the true believer, and which in itself is testimony to attempts to find common ground between the three traditions. Read more here

Prayer of Intercession to Saint George:

Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit.

Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.

 

St Christopher:

With the help of St Christopher we make the Migration, Crossing from the Land of Ignorance to the Spirittual Land of Peace

St. Christopher prayer:

O Glorious St. Christopher you have inherited a beautiful name, Christ-bearer, as a result of the wonderful legend that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus. Teach us to be true Christ-bearers to those who do not know Him. Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always. Amen.

Read more here about the great martyr St Christopher

  • The Refuge: Pilgrimage

To Become a “Refugee” means to make a migration to Sincerity or to the“uprightness” of Love.

 

Brueghel used the personnage of “Dulle Griet’ to express this kind of stubbornness . It shows the intellectual rebellion of our Ego. Progress came with a price. The new world had not yet made a Faustian pact with the Devil to gain its brilliant advances in science, exploration and industry but it had swept away some of the traditional cures for the depression that those achievements brought in tow.

Modern Man with all his “economical grow- energy” knowledge and scientifical research based on rebellion against his Soul, wants to find (without his soul) the solutions to all the problems he created and  is landed in an apocalyptic “theater” prophesying the complete destruction of the world.

 

To take refuge asThe Holy Refugees: “Rest on the Flight into Egypt” by Joachim Patinir: to make the Pelgrimage to become The Twice Born Man

Man as stubbornness of the intellectual rebellion of our Ego  / The Twice Born Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Refuge: Pilgrimage to Reconciliation with his Soul

The Choice:

Man as  Man as stubbornness of the intellectual rebellion of our Ego                                                                                                        The  Twice Born Man

The Refuge: Pilgrimage

The Freedom of  choice of the “Refugee”:

Read more on: Landscape of the soul, as an Image of the Pilgrimage of Life

We are not the first generation to know that we are destroying the world, many communities and civilisations collapsed before us.  But  we could be the last that can do anything about it, not with the vanity of  earthly knowledge and so called democratic solidarity and wisdom here on earth  as this commercial of WWF wants to convince us, but with asking humbly the help of Divine Wisdom so realising in us the image of the man who painfully transcends his material ego: The birth of his soul. It is a test. It’s time to decide! 

  • The Soul That Does not Live in God is not Alive

Spring makes red and white flowers appear on the trees,

But the spring that is the origin of colors is colorless.

Understand what I have said, and give up all talk;

Run to the Origin without color and unite yourself to it.

Annihilate yourself before the One Existence

So that thousands of worlds leap out of you

And your pure existence flames out of itself

And goes on and on birthing different forms.

Of course, none of these forms will last.

Happy is the one who knows this mystery!

Happy is he who gives his life to know this!

He leaves this house for another far more radiant.

You cannot understand this mystery through reason;

The Way to Knowledge winds through suffering and torment.

If you do not feel pain, you do not look for healing.

The soul that does not live in God is not alive.

She seems like a soul, but does not deserve the name:

She has not been made alive by the Beloved.

The soul is given life by the four-elements

Like a lamp that burns through the night:

The light is from oil and wick, it is not eternal.

While the oil exists, the lamp burns, but then goes out.

The one made alive by God will never die.

He lives through God and not through gold or bread.

God is the Light, the Eternal Source of Lights.

The Light is causeless, as is His fiery radiance.

Like gold, God’s value comes from His pure, perfect essence.

Sultan Valad

Migration to the Spiritual Land of Peace

Migration to the Spiritual Land of Peace

Part I: Introduction

  • The Coronation

For years, normality has been stretched nearly to its breaking point, a rope pulled tighter and tighter, waiting for a nip of the black swan’s beak to snap it in two. Now that the rope has snapped, do we tie its ends back together, or shall we undo its dangling braids still further, to see what we might weave from them?…

Covid-19 is like a rehab intervention that breaks the addictive hold of normality. To interrupt a habit is to make it visible; it is to turn it from a compulsion to a choice. The phenomenon follows the template of initiation: separation from normality, followed by a dilemma, breakdown, or ordeal, followed (if it is to be complete) by reintegration and celebration. Now the question arises: Initiation into what? What is the specific nature and purpose of this initiation? The popular name for the pandemic offers a clue: coronavirus. A corona is a crown. “Novel coronavirus pandemic” means “a new coronation for all.”

Already we can feel the power of who we might become. A true sovereign does not run in fear from life or from death. A true sovereign does not dominate and conquer (that is a shadow archetype, the Tyrant). The true sovereign serves the people, serves life, and respects the sovereignty of all people. The coronation marks the emergence of the unconscious into consciousness, the crystallization of chaos into order, the transcendence of compulsion into choice. We become the rulers of that which had ruled us. The New World Order that the conspiracy theorists fear is a shadow of the glorious possibility available to sovereign beings. No longer the vassals of fear, we can bring order to the kingdom and build an intentional society on the love already shining through the cracks of the world of separation. Read more: The Coronation with Charles Eisenstein

  • Modern man is ignorant about his own ignorance

see also:“I can’t Breathe” is the expression of the Crisis of the modern world.

  • The Migration to the Spiritual Land of Peace  is an universal theme to find Wisdom.

In all religious of the world we find the quest to Sincerty and Uprightness and is part of the Unanimous tradition. the search for the now apparently forgotten meaning of Tradition and the significance of the perennial philosophy needs to be  pursued with an ever—increasing sense of urgency in the highly materialistic West. see The Unanimous Tradition: Essays on the essential unity of all religions Tribute to Ananda Coomaraswamy

At Sacred Web Conference 2006 on Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times,. HRH The Prince of Wales said:

 

This wisdom was told not only in all the spiritual Traditions of the world, but surely by all the Prophets from the birth of Adam ( see the Tales of the Prophets) till the Last prophet Mohammed(a.s.)( see MUHAMMAD THE MESSENGER OF ISLAM His Life & Prophecy)

This wisdom is still told and used every day with the stories the Lifes of the saints in the Christian tradition-( see  the Golden Legend) and the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints , or the Lives of the Saints in the Orthodox Church. For the lives of the Sufi Saints  in the Islamic Tradion look also The Tadhkiratu ‘l-awliya – the” Memoirs of the saints” by Attar, Farid al-Din, d. ca. 1230  .Or look to The Naqshbandi Sufi Way: History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain.

  • “Rebel in the Soul”

But to start our Migration to the Spiritual Land of Peace – Exercise, we look  at an old text  known as papyrus 3024 from the Berlin Museum, known  as “Man arguing with his Soul” or the “Rebel in the Soul” we can perhaps study one of the earliest accounts of the confrontation with the ego.

 – Rebel in the Soul: An ancient Egyptian dialogue Between a Man and his Soul

This controversial text, that was meant for initiates at the threshold of the Ancient Egyptian Inner Temple, speaks to us with intriguing relevance to the problems of today. Taking the form of a dialogue between a man and his soul, this sacred text explores the inner discourse between doubt and mystical knowledge and deals with the rebellion and despair of the intellect at a crucial stage of spiritual development.
The first complete and consistent translation of the Berlin Papyrus 3024, which is thought to be nearly 4,000 years old:

“The man’s soul tells him that men of greater value than he have suffered from the world, and advises him to gain an insight from his attitude and search to overcome his despair.

It is An Egyptian temple text, related with the God IAI, an aspect of the Solar God, the stubborn donkey. It shows the intellectual rebellion of our Ego.

 

 

 

 

 

“The stubborn, passionate, long-suffering ass is the perfect natural symbol of our rational personality. It bears, like the ass, the weight of all our suffering, and carries us through life. It is stubborn, selfish and refuses to go where we think we best…

Carrot and stick:


….Yet paradoxically, it is the same stubborn ass, and only the ass, that can carry the Rebel to salvation; mounted upon the ass, man is mounted upon his own rebellion. The ass is the father of all rebels, but also the carrier of redemption.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Ancient Egypt, Iai, the Great Ass, is the aspect of the Sun God with Ass’s ears.  This is Osiris in his listening state; listening equalled wisdom to the Ancient Egyptians. The Book of the Gates depicts the progression of the sun through the night. The Twelve Hours of Night are depicted as regions of the Underworld. Each region is an Hour, and each Hour has its gate through which to pass. To pass, we must know the name of the gatekeeper, or guardian.

This is the same as identifying the layers of egos we each have within – an ego is what others might call one of the deadly sins, Pride, Envy, Greed…all those different aspects of the personality that can prevent us from progressing through the gates or stages of spiritual development.  When we look inwardly at the aspects of our personality that rule or affect our lives, we need to recognise what is affecting our spiritual progress; if we learn to use it wisely and become its master, instead of it being master over us, we then recognise the Guardian of that Gate – can name the Guardian, and can “pass through the Gate”. Consciousness moves from Gate to Gate.

In the argument with his Soul, the man is bargaining for the right to die because he can no longer face the suffering of living in this world without his mentor. In Ancient Egypt, it was believed that a man and his Soul would be judged together in the afterlife; the Soul can make appeals on his behalf.  So the man is arguing with his Soul to persuade it that killing himself is the correct thing to do, as he wants it to accept his reasons, and agree with him so that it will stay with him after death and make favourable appeals. However, his Soul has other ideas..

“I spoke to my soul that I might answer what it said:

To whom shall I speak today?

Brothers and sisters are evil and friends today are not worth loving.

Hearts are great with greed and everyone seizes his or her neigh­bor’s goods.

Kindness has passed away and violence is imposed on everyone.

To whom shall I speak today?

People willingly accept evil and goodness is cast to the ground everywhere.

Those who should enrage people by their wrongdoing

make them laugh at their evil deeds.

People plunder and everyone seizes _his or her neighbour’s goods.

To whom shall I speak today?

The one doing wrong is an intimate friend and the brother with whom one used to deal is an enemy.

No one remembers the past and none return the good deed that is done.

Brothers and sisters are evil

and people turn to strangers for righteousness or affection.

To whom shall I speak today?

Faces are empty and all turn their faces from their brothers and sisters.

Hearts are great with greed

and there is no heart of a man or woman upon which one might lean.

None are just or righteous and the land is left to the doers of evil.

To whom shall I speak today?

There are no intimate friends

and the people turn to strangers to tell their troubles.

None are content and those with whom one used to walk no longer exist.

I am burdened with grief and have no one to comfort me.

There is no end to the wrong which roams the earth.

When we consider the age of this text, from  XII Dynasty  Egypt (approx 1991-1783 BC), we can see that the nature of the woes and troubles of humankind have changed very little.

The man’s soul tells him that men of greater value than he have suffered from the world, and advises him to gain an insight from his attitude and search to overcome his despair.  It tells him some allegorical stories – the first being the “mythical field of transformations”; both the field AND the plough are to be found within man. The field is the ground; the earth, where the soul of the man dwells, and is to be cultivated by the ploughman – the man must “cultivate” himself.

The harvest is what is then offered back to the soul. The “harvest”, what is left of the man after his life, is in dangerous hands if left uncultivated. It is exposed to a “storm from the North” said to indicate the Head (Reason); the storm is consciousness threatened by intellectual rebellion.
The man at this point in the story, when his Rebel/ego is arguing for survival, is not yet ready to let the wisdom of his heart rule his intellect, and this is symbolised by the crocodile. The man’s heirs, in the story he is told by his soul, are eaten by a crocodile whilst still in the egg, before they are fully formed, before they have lived, and will never realise their potential.  Read more here

“I can’t Breathe”: Crisis of the modern world

    • “I can’t Breathe” is the expression of the Crisis of the modern world.

I can’t breathe is  sure the slogan associated with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. The phrase is derived from the words of Eric Garner and George Floyd, two African-American men who died of asphyxiation during their arrests in 2014 and 2020, respectively, as a result of excessive force by primarily white police officers. The phrase is used in protest against police brutality in the United States.

But this protest, this Cry show us the real problem of the Modern man:

Modern man is a human without Soul, without the “Living Breath”.

The protest is the expression of  his deep spiritual Crisis in the times of deep ignorance..

Modern man suffocates and cries:  “i can’t breathe” , because  a human without “the living Breath” is always dying. It is his only certainty in life, man shall once die and all traditions in the world teach us to take care of our Soul, our “Living Breath”, always in our daily life, but sure at the moment when we are dying. Modern man is the only one of all the traditions of the world who dares to think that he is right to live without his soul and without his “Living Breath”. What an arrogance and Vanity! But remember Vanity is the quality of being vain, something that is vain, it is always empty, or valueless.

  • The Art of Dying Well according to Erasmus of Rotterdam and Teresa of Ávila

Contemporary conversations about death and dying are lost and unsatisfying on many levels. This phenomenon subsists not only in fields like bioethics, but also in religion and spirituality. Modern culture is preoccupied with seeking ways to live a longer, youthful life, ignoring the inevitable forthcoming of death. One period during which the topic of death and dying was reflected upon by the common Christian was between the fifteenth and the seventeenth centuries, during which a specific genre of literature was formed: ars moriendi. This genre attempted to provide intellectual, cultural and religious answers as to how death should be understood and ritualized. Two spiritual writers who contributed to the understanding of ars moriendi are Desiderius Erasmus and Teresa of Ávila. What unites these figures of the Catholic tradition is their attempt to show that preparation for death is a lifelong process of cultivating appropriate virtues.  Read hereThe Art of Dying Well according to Erasmus of Rotterdam and Teresa of Avila

As the Corona virus is taking a toll on all of us and  is attacking our lungs, giving us serious problems of breathing, especially those least able to retreat into their homes until the worst is over.

But, beyond the health and humanitarian measures urgently needed for those affected, it also offers a chance to right historical wrongs – the abuse of our earthly home and of marginalised societies, the very people who will suffer most from this pandemic. This viral outbreak is a sign that by going too far in exploiting the rest of nature, the dominant globalising culture has undone the planet’s capacity to sustain life and livelihoods. The unleashing of micro-organisms from their animal hosts means that they must latch on to other bodies for their own survival. Humans are a part of nature – and everything is connected to everything else.

      • Ego rules the world: Anti-“God”, Anti-“Humanity”, Anti-“Nature

The story of the Tower of Babel (like that in The Suicide of Saul, Bruegel’s only other painting with an Old Testament subject) was interpreted as an example of pride punished, and that is no doubt what Bruegel intended his painting to illustrate. Moreover, the hectic activity of the engineers, masons and workmen points to a second moral: the futility of much human endeavour. Nimrod’s doomed building was used to illustrate this meaning in Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools. Pieter Bruegel’s Tower of Babel , originally displayed in the suburban villa of Antwerp entrepreneur Niclaes Jonghelinck as an image that fostered learned dinner conversation (convivium) about the well-being of the city. Looking at various sources, the author analyzes how the theme of the painting, a story of miscommunication and disorder, resonated with the challenges faced by the metropolis. Antwerp’s rapid growth resulted in the creation of a society characterized by extraordinary pluralism but with weakened social bonds. Convivium was one of the strategies developed to overcome differences among the citizens and avoid dystrophy of the community. Read more Here

Charles Eisenstein explores the history and potential future of civilization, tracing the converging crises of our age to the illusion of the separate self. In this limited hardcover edition of Eisenstein’s landmark book, he argues that our disconnection from one another and the natural world has mislaid the foundations of science, religion, money, technology, economics, medicine, and education as we know them. It has fired our near-pathological pursuit of technological Utopias even as we push ourselves and our planet to the brink of collapse.

Fortunately, an Age of Reunion is emerging out of the birth pangs of an earth in crisis. Our journey of separation hasn’t been a terrible mistake but an evolutionary process and an adventure in self-discovery. Even in our darkest hour, Eisenstein sees the possibility of a more beautiful world–not through the extension of millennia-old methods of management and control but by fundamentally reimagining ourselves and our systems. We must shift away from our Babelian efforts to build ever-higher towers to heaven and instead turn out attention to creating a new kind of civilization–one designed for beauty rather than height. Breathtaking in its scope and intelligence, The Ascent of Humanity is a landmark book showing what it truly means to be human. Read here online

Our civilization is in decay. Because we have blown-up our ego. Cosmic Balance has been disturbed. The painting “Dulle Griet”of the great painter Bruegel express very clearly the Crisis of Modern man: Modern Man with all his “economical grow- energy” and scientifical research based on his rebellion against his Soul, is landed in an apocalyptic “theather” prophesying the complete destruction of the world.

Dulle Griet is the model of modern man’s  Rebellion  against his soul and  Anger against it. How can Dulle Griet find  a way to calm her anger?

She can looks in  the mirror and see herself,making more “selfies”, so  seeing more anger as the portait of vanity of Hans Memling shows us. The lady see only more vanity  The message of Memling is in his Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation  focuses on the idea of “Memento mori,” a Latin phrase that translates to “Remember your mortality.” Memling’s triptych shockingly contrasts the beauty, luxury and vanity of the mortal earth with images of death and hell. In the time of Breughel and in our times  the message is  that  Vanity is not the solution. see: Nothing Good without Pain: Hans Memling”s earthly Vanity and  Divine Salation

The Whore of Babylon in the The Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers

All Is Vanity by Charles Allan Gilbert (September 3, 1873 – April 20, 1929)

The phrase “All is vanity” comes from Ecclesiastes 1:2 (Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

 

 

 

 

Don’t change the world in hopes of changing yourself,

change yourself so the world changes because of you.

For more info see:  The Spiritual Land of Peace of the “Holy Refugees”

      • Life out of Balance: the Qatsi trilogy

In his Qatsy trilogy film director Reggio, use the world qatsi from the Hopi language, in which the word qatsi translates to “life.”  see Life out of Balance: the Qatsi trilogy

POWAQQATSI’s overall focus is on natives of the Third World — the emerging, land-based cultures of Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and South America — and how they express themselves through work and traditions. What it has to say about these cultures is an eyeful and then some, sculpted to allow for varied interpretations.The title POWAQQATSI is a Hopi Indian conjunctive — the word Powaqa, I ( Ego),which refers to a negative sorcerer who lives at the expense of others, and Qatsi –i.e., life.

where KOYAANISQATSI dealt with the imbalance between nature and modern society, POWAQQATSI is a celebration of the human-scale endeavor the craftsmanship, spiritual worship, labor and creativity that defines a particular culture. It’s also a celebration of rareness — the delicate beauty in the eyes of an Indian child, the richness of a tapestry woven in Kathmandu — and yet an observation of how these societies move to a universal drumbeat.

2.Powwaqatsi (1988) from Stephen Galleher on Vimeo.

  • Seek Wisdom in this time of deep Ignorance:

Plato’s words are as relevant now as they were during his time. He is still one of the world’s greatest teachers.

Philosopher Plato discusses five types of regimes (Republic, Book VIII). They are Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny. Plato also assigns a man to each of these regimes to illustrate what they stand for. The tyrannical man would represent Tyranny, for example. These five regimes progressively degenerate starting with Aristocracy at the top and Tyranny at the bottom

Democracy:

Oligarchy then degenerates into a democracy where freedom is the supreme good but freedom is also slavery. In democracy, the lower class grows bigger and bigger. The poor become the winners. People are free to do what they want and live how they want. People can even break the law if they so choose. This appears to be very similar to anarchy.

Plato uses the “democratic man” to represent democracy. The democratic man is the son of the oligarchic man. Unlike his father, the democratic man is consumed with unnecessary desires. Plato describes necessary desires as desires that we have out of instinct or desires that we have to survive. Unnecessary desires are desires we can teach ourselves to resist such as the desire for riches. The democratic man takes great interest in all the things he can buy with his money. Plato believes that the democratic man is more concerned with his money over how he can help the people. He does whatever he wants when ever he wants to do it. His life has no order or priority. So can a happy few ( 1% of the world population) try to dictate the rest of the human and using them as robotic slaves and wanting them to live without a soul.

Vandana Shiva On the Real Cause of World Hunger

Oneness vs. The 1%: #VandanaShiva at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

  • Based on economic growth, financial hegemony of the “happy few”” and abuse or rape of cheapest labor workers in Low-cost country or homeland, the democracy of Modern man shall never succeed  to recover his soul with fake “sincere political change” or  with fake “concern”.

Ashanti kingdom

It is and always shall be a dead End…

  • The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times

The Reign of Quantity gives a concise but comprehensive view of the present state of affairs in the world, as it appears from the point of view of the ‘ancient wisdom’, formerly common both to the East and to the West, but now almost entirely lost sight of. The author indicates with his fabled clarity and directness the precise nature of the modern deviation, and devotes special attention to the development of modern philosophy and science, and to the part played by them, with their accompanying notions of progress and evolution, in the formation of the industrial and democratic society which we now regard as ‘normal’. Read more here

see Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times.

  • Democracy can only survive when it is based on Spiritual values and Virtues

Spiritual Rescue is to be find in the African Tradition as Ubuntu: Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù])[1] is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is often translated as “I am because we are,” or “humanity towards others,” or in Xhosa, “umntu ngumntu ngabantu” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.

Traditional education system, still in use in our time by the Xhosa, where Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo can help to revover our humanity as the  Rites of passage used fort he youth

In his remarkable book, Clyde Ford restores to us the lost treasure of African mythology, bringing to life the ancient tales and showing why they matter so much to us today.

African myths convey the perennial wisdom of humanity: the creation of the world, the hero’s journey, our relationship with nature, death, and resurrection.  From the Ashanti comes the moving account of the grief-stricken Kwasi Benefo’s journey to the underworld to seek his beloved wives.  From Uganda we learn of the legendary Kintu, who won the love of a goddess and created a nation from a handful of isolated clans.  The Congo’s epic hero Mwindo is the sacred warrior who shows us the path each person must travel to discover his true destiny.These and other important African myths show us the history of African Americans in a new light–as a hero’s journey, a courageous passage to a hard-won victory.  The Hero with an African Face enriches us all by restoring this vital tradition to the world. Here free downoad.

  • Hell Is for White People A painting from 1515 turns a mirror on its viewers

Artist unknown (Cristovão de Figueiredo?), Hell, Museu da Arte Antiga, Lisbon, ca. 1515. Oil on oak, 119 x 217.5 cm.

In his post  Alexander Nagel explains:Our painting of hell is big, much bigger than you might expect from looking at a photo. It doesn’t fit clearly into any category of picture known at the time. It is an independent panel, not a scene in a fresco cycle that gains meaning from the larger program. It’s not an altarpiece, nor is it a typical private devotional image, which would have been smaller. Its oblong shape suggests it was not part of a larger structure, as in triptychs by Bosch and others, where hell occupies one compartment, one part of a larger statement about human life and the world. This is a big stand-alone painting of a subject that normally didn’t stand alone. The painting lowers you right down to the sub-basement of hell and lets you look. The looking begins as voyeuristic fascination and then sinks into self-reflection. Hell Is for White People

  • Wolfgang Smith | We Are Born for Wisdom

What emerges from the considerations of Physics and Vertical Causation  is an incomparably enlarged worldview: a cosmos vast enough to encompass not only all of modern science — from the distant stars to subatomic particles — but also the quintessential patrimony of antiquity, with its higher spheres inhabited by allegedly “mythical” beings. The discovery of vertical causality has reopened the door to the wisdom of ancient cosmologies, which, far from being “prescientific superstitions,” refer to truths higher than those discoverable by way of physics. Wolfgang Smith has shown that a radical expansion of our Weltanschauung  is not only scientifically admissible, but is in fact absolutely necessary for a proper understanding of physics. see The-Wisdom-of-Ancient-Cosmology-Contemporary-Science-in-Light-of-Tradition

  • Long before face masks, Islamic healers tried to ward off disease with their version of PPE (“personal protective equipment”)

Just as many now don face masks and do breathing exercises to protect against COVID-19 – despite debate around the science behind such practices – so too did the Islamic world turn to protective devices and rituals in premodern times of trouble. From the 11th century until around the 19th century, Muslim cultures witnessed the use of magic bowls, healing necklaces and other objects in hopes of warding off drought, famine, floods and even epidemic diseases. Read more here

A metal magico-medicinal bowl, left, and a ceramic ablutions basic inscribed with the word ‘taharat,’ meaning purity.

Taweez of Naqshandi Tariqat

 

  • SACRED ECONOMICS with Charles Eisenstein

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

This book is about how the money system will have to change—and is already changing—to embody this transition. A broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with “right livelihood” and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen. Read online here

  • The Coronation

For years, normality has been stretched nearly to its breaking point, a rope pulled tighter and tighter, waiting for a nip of the black swan’s beak to snap it in two. Now that the rope has snapped, do we tie its ends back together, or shall we undo its dangling braids still further, to see what we might weave from them?

Covid-19 is showing us that when humanity is united in common cause, phenomenally rapid change is possible. None of the world’s problems are technically difficult to solve; they originate in human disagreement. In coherency, humanity’s creative powers are boundless. A few months ago, a proposal to halt commercial air travel would have seemed preposterous. Likewise for the radical changes we are making in our social behavior, economy, and the role of government in our lives. Covid demonstrates the power of our collective will when we agree on what is important. What else might we achieve, in coherency? What do we want to achieve, and what world shall we create? That is always the next question when anyone awakens to their power.

Covid-19 is like a rehab intervention that breaks the addictive hold of normality. To interrupt a habit is to make it visible; it is to turn it from a compulsion to a choice. Read also The Coronation with Charles Eisenstein

  •  The spiritual potential of quarantine

Being alone in quarantine, devoid of friends, family, co-workers and community, a person is truly lonely. Talking on the phone, messaging and even video chatting is no substitute for being in the physical presence of others. There is no replacement for the hug, kiss or even the handshake. Just having others around gives a person a sense of security and comfort. Quarantine forces a painful loneliness.

Yet the loneliness of companionship can also create an opportunity. The loneliness of others creates the solitude of the person with God. All alone, a person is able to commune with God as never before. God is eternally listening to our voices, and God awaits our prayers.

The silence of prayer/meditation provides a person the opportunity to connect to God on the deepest of levels. Without the pressures of work, a schedule or family chores, a person can turn to God, pour their heart out and deepen their relationship with the Creator. The gaping hole of spirituality left by the absence of ritual can be filled with a more unique connection to God.

Quarantine is a challenge previously unthought of by our Sages. It is lonely and depressing. Those feelings are natural and valid. All of us in quarantine are feeling them. But taken in the right way, it can provide time and opportunity to connect with God, rethink values and recommit to the priorities that are important to us. It means to become a “Refugee”, to recover our soul and to take refuge in the “Living Breath”  and take care of it.

Don’t change the world in hopes of changing yourself,

change yourself so the world changes because of you.

The Soul That Does not Live in God is not Alive

Spring makes red and white flowers appear on the trees,

But the spring that is the origin of colors is colorless.

Understand what I have said, and give up all talk;

Run to the Origin without color and unite yourself to it.

Annihilate yourself before the One Existence

So that thousands of worlds leap out of you

And your pure existence flames out of itself

And goes on and on birthing different forms.

Of course, none of these forms will last.

Happy is the one who knows this mystery!

Happy is he who gives his life to know this!

He leaves this house for another far more radiant.

You cannot understand this mystery through reason;

The Way to Knowledge winds through suffering and torment.

If you do not feel pain, you do not look for healing.

The soul that does not live in God is not alive.

She seems like a soul, but does not deserve the name:

She has not been made alive by the Beloved.

The soul is given life by the four-elements

Like a lamp that burns through the night:

The light is from oil and wick, it is not eternal.

While the oil exists, the lamp burns, but then goes out.

The one made alive by God will never die.

He lives through God and not through gold or bread.

God is the Light, the Eternal Source of Lights.

The Light is causeless, as is His fiery radiance.

Like gold, God’s value comes from His pure, perfect essence.

Sultan Valad

  • Mutiny of the Soul

Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new.

When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and we get a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hypothyroid or low serotonin, we typically feel relief and alarm. Alarm: something is wrong with me. Relief: at least I know I’m not imagining things; now that I have a diagnosis, I can be cured, and life can go back to normal. But of course, a cure for these conditions is elusive.

The notion of a cure starts with the question, “What has gone wrong?” But there is another, radically different way of seeing fatigue and depression that starts by asking, “What is the body, in its perfect wisdom, responding to?” When would it be the wisest choice for someone to be unable to summon the energy to fully participate in life?

The answer is staring us in the face. When our soul-body is saying No to life, through fatigue or depression, the first thing to ask is, “Is life as I am living it the right life for me right now?” When the soul-body is saying No to participation in the world, the first thing to ask is, “Does the world as it is presented me merit my full participation?” Read More Here

  • To Become a “Refugee” means to make a migration to Sincerity or to the“uprightness” of Love.

 

What the Emigration to Sincerity demands of us? see To Become a “Refugee”: Emigration to Sincerity or “uprightness” of Love

see also Source materials for the “Refugee” of our Times

and  Migration to the Spiritual Land of Peace -Exercise.

Presenting the Sufi path to the Maypole of Wisdom

The Choice  – Y :

The Corona virus is taking a toll on all of us, especially those least able to retreat into their homes until the worst is over.

But, beyond the health and humanitarian measures urgently needed for those affected, it also offers a chance to right historical wrongs – the abuse of our earthly home and of marginalised societies, the very people who will suffer most from this pandemic. This viral outbreak is a sign that by going too far in exploiting the rest of nature, the dominant globalising culture has undone the planet’s capacity to sustain life and livelihoods. The unleashing of micro-organisms from their animal hosts means that they must latch on to other bodies for their own survival. Humans are a part of nature – and everything is connected to everything else.

The spiritual potential of quarantine

Being alone in quarantine, devoid of friends, family, co-workers and community, a person is truly lonely. Talking on the phone, messaging and even video chatting is no substitute for being in the physical presence of others. There is no replacement for the hug, kiss or even the handshake. Just having others around gives a person a sense of security and comfort. Quarantine forces a painful loneliness.

Yet the loneliness of companionship can also create an opportunity. The loneliness of others creates the solitude of the person with God. All alone, a person is able to commune with God as never before. God is eternally listening to our voices, and God awaits our prayers.

The silence of prayer/meditation provides a person the opportunity to connect to God on the deepest of levels. Without the pressures of work, a schedule or family chores, a person can turn to God, pour their heart out and deepen their relationship with the Creator. The gaping hole of spirituality left by the absence of ritual can be filled with a more unique connection to God.

Quarantine is a challenge previously unthought of by our Sages. It is lonely and depressing. Those feelings are natural and valid. All of us in quarantine are feeling them. But taken in the right way, it can provide time and opportunity to connect with God, rethink values and recommit to the priorities that are important to us.

The bivium of Pythagoras, this sign which leaves us free to choose the path of good or the path of evil.

“The letter” Y “represents the symbol of moral life. The question of good and evil arises before the free will of man: two roads open before him: the left, the thick branch of the “Y”, is wide and easy to access, but leads to the chasm from shame, that of the right, the thin branch, is a steep and painful path, but at the summit of which one finds repose in honor and glory. “

The Choice Y

Presenting the Website  Sufi Path to the Maypole of Wisdom:

  • Crisis of the modern world

Ego rules the world: Anti-“God”, Anti-“Humanity”, Anti-“Nature

Our civilization is in decay. Because we have blown-up our ego. Cosmic Balance has been disturbed. The Origin – Cosmic Womb/Vacuum – “doesn’t tolerate” this. With the help of Her two Cosmic Forces of “Death and Rebirth” (“Stirb und Werde” – “Die and Become”-J.W. von Goethe) She breaks down our ego-accumulations, thus restoring the Original Balance. Read More

  • Life out of Balance: the Qatsi trilogy

The Qatsi trilogy:

The Qatsi trilogy is the informal name given to a series of non-narrative films produced by Godfrey Reggio and scored by Philip Glass:

 

The titles of all three motion pictures are words from the Hopi language, in which the word qatsi translates to “life.” The series was produced by the Institute For Regional Education, who also created the Fund For Change

Qatsi Director Godfrey Reggio: We Are in the Cyborg State!

Naqoyqatsi is a Hopi word (more correctly written naqö̀yqatsi) meaning “life as war”. In the film’s closing credits, Naqoyqatsi is also translated as “civilized violence” and “a life of killing each other”.[4] While Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi examine modern life in industrial countries and the conflict between encroaching industrialization and traditional ways of life, using slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and natural landscapes, about eighty percent of Naqoyqatsi uses archive footage and stock images manipulated and processed digitally on non-linear editing (non-sequential) workstations and intercut with specially-produced computer-generated imagery to demonstrate society’s transition from a natural environment to a technology-based one. Reggio described the process as “virtual cinema”.

Thirty years after “Koyaanisqatsi,” Godfrey Reggio—with the support of Philip Glass and Jon Kane—once again leapfrogs over earthbound filmmakers and creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh in stunning black and white 4K digital projection, “Visitors” reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, “Visitors” takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves.

More info  here

  • Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times

The conference was introduced by HRH the Prince of Wales who, in a specially videotaped message recorded earlier at St. James’ Palace, spoke of the Sacred as the essential dimension of truth and therefore of understanding, and of the “crisis of perception” in the modern world:

We have lost our way because we can no longer see clearly. And so we have forgotten. A world of parts has replaced a world of wholeness. A world of separation has replaced a world of connectedness and entanglement. The secular has pushed aside the Sacred.” Read more here

  • Because Dante is Right

The incomparable greatness of the Divine Comedy shows itself not least in the fact that, in spite of the exceptionally wide range and variety of its influence—it even shaped the language of a nationits full meaning has seldom been understood.

At the time of the Renaissance, however, people did at least still debate as to whether Dante had actually seen Heaven and hell or not. At a later date, concern with the Divine Comedy dropped to the level of a purely scientific interest that busied itself with historical connections, or of an esthetic appreciation that no longer bothered about the spiritual sense of the work at all.

Thus, people fundamentally misunderstood the source upon which the poet drew for his work of creation, since the multiplicity of meaning in it is not the result of a preconceived mental construction grafted onto the actual poem; it arises directly and spontaneously out of a supra mental inspiration, which at one and the same time penetrates and shines through every level of the soul—the reason, as well as the imagination and the inward ear.

It is not “in spite of his philosophy” that Dante is a great poet; he is so thanks to his spiritual vision, and because through his art, however caught up in time it may be as regards its details, there shines forth a timeless truth, at once blissful and terrifying—in short, it is because Dante is right. Read more

  • Goethe , the “refugee”

Zelige Sehnsucht Blessed Longing, Goethe

In the begin of “Modernity”, Goethe warns us in his poem Zelige Sehnsucht Blessed Longing

 

 

 

 

Tell no one else, only the wise
For the crowd will sneer at one
I wish to praise what is fully alive,
What longs to flame toward death.

When the calm enfolds the love-nights
That created you, where you have created
A feeling from the Unknown steals over you
While the tranquil candle burns.

You remain no longer caught
In the peneumbral gloom
You are stirred and new, you desire
To soar to higher creativity.

No distance makes you ambivalent.
You come on wings, enchanted
In such hunger for light, you
Become the butterfly burnt to nothing.

So long as you have not lived this:
To die is to become new,
You remain a gloomy guest
On the dark earth.

It is the story of moth and the candle, found first in the Kitáb at-tawasin of the martyr mystic al-HalIáj (d. 922) and then taken over by the poets of Iran and Turkey, that forms the bridge between the poezie worlds of Iran and Germany. Goethe found it in a translation of Persian verses and transformed it into one of the most profound poerns in the German language, Zelige Sehnsucht (Blessed Longing). “Stirb und werde,,‘ “Die and become,” is Goethe’s advice to the reader in this poem, and this idea of dying and being reborn on ever rising levels of existence permeates large parts of classical Persian poetry. It is the song of the never-ending quest, the fulfillment of Love through suffering and deathi expressed in images of the journey through rnountains and deserts to end only in paradise, as Goethe says at the end of the Book of Paradise in the West-Ostlicher Divan:

Bis im Anschaun ew’ger Liebe

wir verschweben, wsr verschwinden . .

Contemplating Love eternal

we float higher and dissolve .

This poem is an example of the “helplessness that sometimes accompanies love.” He offers it as an example of the way passion causes us to surrender our “common sense, rationality and normal serious reserve;” to awaken to the creative energies, the desires and longing emmanating from the heart.

This awakening is the threshold of “salvation.” To make the realization that you are part of something so vast and lovely, it transcends form and time is like falling in love. It IS falling in love…it is seeing “sameness,” recognizing yourself in the other – realizing that you are One with the Other, falling into the universal mystery that is the Love of God! Love is the nature of this cosmic Spirit-relationship. Love is all there is. Love is who you are, where you came from, how you are to live, and that to which you will return. Read More here

  • Maypole

The maypole is a symbol of the Tree of Life and by extension the Tree.  It is cut and used in celebrations in early Spring when plant life is just starting to become abundant again, in effect when life is regenerating. The custom is to be found from Scotland and Sweden to the Pyrenees and Slav countries.

The time when the maypole is brought in depends on the place because, being symbolic of new life, it is cut when life is at its most regenerative.  Spring occurs in different months in different parts of the world, so in the UK and Saxony, for example, it is generally cut on the  1st May; in the Vosges it is the first Sunday of May;  in Sweden it is the Summer solstice. Read more here

  • Traditionalism and Folklore

By “folklore” we mean that whole and consistent body of culture which has been handed down, not in books but by word of mouth and in practice, from time beyond the reach of historical research, in the form of legends, fairy tales, ballads, games, toys,crafts, medicine, agriculture, and other rites, and forms of organization, especially those we call tribal.

This is a cultural complex independent of national and even racial boundaries, and of remarkable similarity throughout the world. . . . The content of folklore is metaphysical.

Our failure to recognize this is primarily due to our own abysmal ignorance of metaphysics and of doctrines are received by the people and transmitted by them.

 In its popular form, a given doctrine may not always have been understood, but so long as the formula is faithfully transmitted it remains understandable;

“superstitions,” for the most part, are no mere delusions, but formulae of which the meaning has been forgotten. . . . We are dealing with the relics of an ancient folk metaphysics its technical terms. . . . Folklore ideas are the form in which metaphysical wisdom, as valid now as it ever was. . . . We shall only be able to understand the astounding uniformity of the folklore motifs all over the world, and the devoted care that has everywhere been taken to ensure their correct transmission, if we approach these mysteries (for they are nothing less) in the spirit in which they have been transmitted (“from the Stone Age until now”) with the confidence of little children, indeed, but not the childish self-confidence of those who hold that wisdom was born with themselves. Read more here

  • A lifelong pilgrimage: The Mirror of Jheronimus bosch

Bosch makes art personal, on different levels, and thatmakes him modern. He was one of the first artists in the Low Countries to sign his paintings: ‘Jheronimus bosch’. It was plainly important to him that the works he left behind should be traceable to him. The Haywain (cat. 5) too was signed with his standard signature, affixed like a stamp to the bottom right of the central panel. Bosch also made his art personal, however, for those who look at it. The Haywain is so famous nowadays that it is hard to imagine that when he created it no other painting existed with this subject matter or anything remotely resembling it. We do not know of a single visual precursor for either the Haywain or the Wayfarer. Bosch created an image here that is entirely contemporary – hypermodern art from around 1510–15. Despite their moralizing content, the Haywain and the Wayfarer are not dogmatic paintings; they hold up a mirror to their viewers, to teach them to see themselves better. It was important to Bosch to make his viewers aware of how they bumble their way through life, longing for earthly things. He offered them a personal, exploratory way to realize that if they were to avoid hell and damnation they needed to turn to the good. It is also an important shift in emphasis in the approach to the question of what it means to be a good Christian. Bosch’s work is closely related in this respect to the message of the Devotio Moderna. Read more here

  • Viriditas: the greening power of the Divine – Hildegard of Bingen

Let your eye live and grow in God,
and your soul will never shrivel.
You can count on it to keep you alive . . . awake . . . tender.
—Hildegard, Letter to Archbishop Arnold of Mainz

Humanity, take a good look at yourself.
Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation.
You’re a world—everything is hidden in you.
—Hildegard, Causes and Cures

 

When a person does something wrong and the soul realizes this, the
deed is like poison in the soul. Conversely, a good deed is as sweet
to the soul as delicious food is to the body. The soul circulates
through the body like sap through a tree, maturing a person the
way sap helps a tree turn green and grow flowers and fruit.
—Hildegard, Scivias

Don’t let yourself forget that God’s grace rewards not only those
who never slip, but also those who bend and fall. So sing! The
song of rejoicing softens hard hearts. It makes tears of godly sorrow
flow from them. Singing summons the Holy Spirit. Happy praises
offered in simplicity and love lead the faithful to complete harmony,
without discord. Don’t stop singing.
—Hildegard, Scivias

Read more about Viriditas: the greening power of the Divine – Hildegard of Bingen

  • The Noble Colloquy between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil

This article aims to explore a profound ethical challenge confronting heterogeneous, multi-denominational, and ethnically variegated societies as they confront modernity, seek bonding capital, and come to terms with their own diversity. It does so by deconstructing the dialogue between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil in 1219. That striking colloquy provides intriguing insights on a wide range of issues, including celebrating transculturalism in the spirit of convivencia, advocating for mutual respect, and emboldening humanitarianism. Even more remarkably, this exchange occurred when the crusades were raging – at the apex of intense hostility between Muslim and Christian communities. At that time, Pope Honorius III demanded that crusaders, from far and wide, eradicate “evil” Muslims and liberate Jerusalem. Yet, despite that, St. Francis was eager to go among the Muslims, and eventually, met with Sultan al-Kāmil. The sultan, as Fareed Munir writes, was peace-loving, sagacious and a “man of honor,” indeed, no less magnanimous and courageous than Francis. The hospitality he showed to Francis, by hosting and attentively listening to him for nearly three weeks, is profound. Ultimately, that experience changed both men, and presumably others present. See: St Francis and the Sufi,

also Sultan Malik al Kamil and St Francis

and Umar Ibn al-Farid the Great Poet

  • Discerning Wisdom from Folly with Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues is   needed in our times. And the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder can help us to find an answer. Read more

 

 

  • PETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER AND ESOTERIC TRADITION

By Sir Richard Temple at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

The late paintings of Peter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 – 1569) are full of symbolism and allegory whose meaning has been widely and differently interpreted. Some see Bruegel as a gifted, humorous peasant, others as a satirist and political commentator and yet others as a Renaissance humanist and mystic. There is no consensus on the significance of the paintings and hardly any documents to help the historian.

This thesis considers Neoplatonic humanist ideas at the heart of the Renaissance in Italy and in Flanders in the 16th century, relating them to the historical continuum known as the Perennial Philosophy. This concept is little understood today and this work traces its history and demonstrates that it was widely, if not universally, accepted in the Hellenistic era and in the Renaissance.

It also considers the tradition of religious mysticism in Germany, the Netherlands and Flanders throughout the late Middle Ages that led up to the Reformation and points out that this movement is also an expression of the Perennial Philosophy, citing the works of Meister Eckhart, the Rhineland mystics and the schools that came out of the Devotio Moderna.

The work considers the esoteric, ‘heretical’ school called the Family of Love that claimed among its adherents a number of highly illustrious artists, thinkers and politicians. Such men as Christoffe Plantin, Abraham Ortelius and Justus Lipsius spurned the religious turmoil of the period and rejected Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists alike in favour of an inner mystical state they called the ‘invisible church’. They were close to Bruegel, bought his paintings and, it cannot be doubted, shared his thought.

While there are no surviving documents to prove Bruegel’s personal connection with the Familists, the weight of circumstantial evidence, especially when seen in the context of the Perennial Philosophy, is compelling. However, it is the paintings themselves that open comprehensively and convincingly to an esoteric interpretation – once one has the key that unlocks their meaning. This thesis provides that key and leads the reader through an analysis of seven of Bruegel’s last paintings.

The Introduction consists of two sections; the first summarises the discoveries and
opinions of scholars and art historians during the last seventy years and their differing
and often incompatible views as to Bruegel‟s religious and social status and the
significance of his art. The second section analyses in some detail his painting The
Numbering at Bethlehem along the line of esoteric ideas and symbolism that will be
developed throughout the whole work .

The form of the ideas of this thesis could be illustrated by a picture of three concentric circles of which the outer would be the Perennial Philosophy – what Renaissance thinkers regarded as the body of truth drawn by the ancients from their knowledge of the cosmos  and which, like the universe, has no external boundary. In writing about the Perennial  Philosophy I have cited Plato and Hellenistic and Renaissance Neoplatonists as well as writers of the 20th-century, among whom are Ananda Coomaraswamy and René Guénon  and writers associated with their ideas; I have also quoted the theosophist W. Thackara.
Within this is the second circle containing aspects of the Perennial Philosophy that found expression in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods and which culminated in Antwerp in the 16th-century. What may at first appear to be diverse influences are drawn from Renaissance „paganism‟, the mysticism of Meister Eckhart and his followers as well as „gnostic‟ or „heretical‟ schools such as the Adamites with whom Hieronymus Bosch was associated. At the centre of all this – in the innermost circle – is Bruegel or, rather,  his paintings, for the man himself is more or less silent and invisible. Yet the testimony of the later paintings is like a kernel containing the wisdom of the Perennial Philosophy.
The paintings are there for all to see and yet their colours, forms and narratives are a veil
– albeit a veil of great beauty – that covers a high order of knowledge. They are,
therefore, esoteric.

In fact the form of the ideas set out here is necessarily linear but we can remind ourselves that the right to speak of the ultimate truths of Man and the universe was regarded in the 16th-century as traditionally belonging to the realm of prophets, poets, mystics and artists.
Such men spoke in multi-layered symbols and their vision is not limited to mens and
ratio only. Read more Here

 

  • To See Yourself within It: Bruegel’s Festival of Fools by Todd Marlin Richardson

Bruegel’s Festival of Fools

The topics of blindness and self-awareness I discussed in relation to the
Peasant and Nest Robber bring me to the focus of my fourth and final chapter,
Bruegel’s Festival of Fools . In addition, the practices of making and viewing
works of art I have described for all of Bruegel’s later peasant paintings are also
helpful in thinking about this particular design. Nadine Orenstein argues for a late
dating of the print, after the now lost drawing by Bruegel, based on the words Aux
quatre Vents inscribed at the bottom center. This is the form of the publisher’s address
used by the widow of the print’s publisher, Hieronymus Cock, following his death in
1570. Orenstein speculates the drawing was completed in the last years of Bruegel’s
life, during the same time he painted the peasant panels, and the print produced after
his death.

Although fairly subtle, the composition of the Festival of Fools stages a
procession similar to a wagon play. (Wagon plays were processional dramas that took place during Ommegangen (devotional processions) in the 1550s and 1560s. Rhetoricians conceived of wagon plays as didactic episodes that could morally
edify and educate their audience. The plays utilized overt metaphors and personifications to create allegorical productions that focused on collective civic identity.

The crowd of lively characters enters from the left, beneath the trellised pergolas, and processes to the right, before dancing hand-in-hand and meandering their way into the background where the musicians provide music. The right side of the building through which they process is a gallery for viewing. On the far left side, two men support a makeshift carriage, made just visible by the handle they carry, which bears a bald-headed fool above their shoulders holding a ball before his gaze.

At first sight, the collection of figures seems to be rather chaotically constructed; they engage in acrobatic manoeuvres, heads swivelled awkwardly on bodies and bodies piled on top of one another. In the foreground, multiple fools play a bowling game, while in the background people on a platform strum or bang various instruments. The figures are in full costume with hood and bells; they dance, exhibit bawdy gestures and participate in proverbial activities, examples of which I will discuss shortly. All of this is mentioned in the accompanying text below the image.

The text reads, in translation, “You sottebollen (numbskulls), who are
plagued with foolishness, / Come to the green if you want to go bowling, / Although one has lost his honor and another his money, / The world values the greatest sottebollen. // Sottebollen are found in all nations, / Even if they do not wear a fool’s cap on their heads. / They have such grace in dancing that their foolish heads spin like tops. // The filthiest sottebollen shit everything away, / Then there are those who take others by the nose. / Some sell trumpets and the others spectacles / With which they deceive many nitwits. // Yet there are sottebollen who behave themselves wisely, / And taste the true sense of ‘tSottebollen (numbskulling) / Because they [who] enjoy folly in
themselves / Shall best hit the pin with their sottebollen.Read more

  •  Green Man, May Day and May Pole

Mythology of May Day

First we talk  about the Goddess who lies behind May Day; second will be about the bonfires of May Day Eve and third  the mythology and rituals behind the Maypole.

Since May 1 lies about halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, it was considered a good time to mark the transition into summer. Indeed, in most of medieval northern Europe (meaning the Celtic calendar), May 1 was the beginning of summer. By then the seeds for crops had just been sown (so farmers and their laborers could take a short break), and it was time to drive cattle and sheep out to their summer pastures. Both the sprouting crops and the soon-to-be pastured cattle needed divine protection from the dangers of the natural and supernatural worlds, which is why May Day developed as a holiday and took on the associated rituals and mythology that it did. And a goddess was a good figure to deal with such human concerns. Read more here

  • Proclaiming St George’Day ( 23rd of April): A Day of “uprightness”, and a day of remembering, sharing and of coming together, organizing “Convivium” or Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”

Asking St George his Intercession, protection and patronage for the project:

The saint was then beheaded on April 23, 303. And his feast day is still celebrated all over the world! 1717 years later, in the Year 2020 we ask you to pray :

The Prayer to Saint George directly refers to the courage it took for the saint to confess his Belief before opposing authority:

 

 

 

Prayers of Intercession to Saint George:

Faithful servant of God and invincible martyr, Saint George; favored by God with the gift of faith, and inflamed with an ardent love of Christ, thou didst fight valiantly against the dragon of pride, falsehood, and deceit.

Neither pain nor torture, sword nor death could part thee from the love of Christ. I fervently implore thee for the sake of this love to help me by thy intercession to overcome the temptations that surround me, and to bear bravely the trials that oppress me, so that I may patiently carry the cross which is placed upon me; and let neither distress nor difficulties separate me from the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Valiant champion of the Faith, assist me in the combat against evil, that I may win the crown promised to them that persevere unto the end.

O God! You are the Bestower of favours. No one has favour over You. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility, You are the One Who constantly bestows His bounties. There is no deity other thanYou. You are the One who grants safety and refuge to those that seek it and to those in fear.  We ask You to remove all tribulations, those that we know and those that we do not know and those about which You know more, for truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Generous. ( From the Prayer on  Bara’a Night )

Read more here: Forum for Ethics, Virtues and Uprightness

look here Celebrations of St George’s Say all over the world  

 

and the Patronages of Saint George all over the world

 

  • St George and Al kidhr

At first sight there seems to be little connection between Elijah, George and Khidr, apart from the fact that in the Middle East they are frequently associated with the same place by different religious traditions. Is it then a simple case of overlapping traditions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, all of whom focus on the Holy Land as part of their own heritage and take Abraham as their forefather?

Certainly there is a view which suggests that Khidr is to Muslims what Elijah is to Jews, in respect of them both acting as initiator to the true believer, and which in itself is testimony to attempts to find common ground between the three traditions.

Then there is the ancient theme of the spiritual side of man being dominant over the material, as suggested in the stories by the holy rider on a chariot or horse (or in the case of Khidr, a fish).

This is a clear picture of the divinised human, who comes to deliver mankind:

Elijah is zealous for God and the destroyer of false prophets, while St George is the conqueror of animality in the form of the dragon; Khidr’s role is rather less vividly martial – he brings real self-knowledge, delivering the individual from the false and base nature of the soul.

In all three cases one can remark the polarity of the monotheist or true believer and the pagan or ignorant: Elijah and the prophets of Baal, St George and the emperor Diocletian, for example  and perhaps most strikingly in this respect, Khidr who points out the interior meaning of this opposition and is thus the educator of Moses.

However, we should note significant differences in their status, which in part reflect the religious context in which they appear: Elijah is a prophet, in a long line of prophecy; St George is a saint, martyred for his faith in the tradition of Christianity; Khidr, however, is almost a nobody – he is neither saint nor prophet, but an ordinary person graced with immortality and initiatic significance. While the first two are usually portrayed as mounted, Khidr has his feet upon the ground (or just above it in some stories) or walks on water; as we shall see, he has a most particular role to play in mystical teaching. Read more here

  • The Allegory of Good and Bad Government

The “Allegory of Good and Bad Government” is a series of fresco paintings executed by Ambrogio Lorenzetti which are located in the Salon of Nine (or Council Room) in the Town Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) of the city of Siena. This famous cycle of pre-Renaissance painting is made up of six different scenes: Allegory of Good Government; Allegory of Bad Government; Effects of Bad Government in the City; Effects of Good Government in the City; Effects of Bad Government in the Country; and Effects of Good Government in the Country. Commissioned by the Council of Nine (the city council) and designed as a sort of political warning, aimed at members of the Council (drawn from Siena’s ruling families), to reduce corruption and misrule, these mural paintings offer a pictorial contrast between the peace and prosperity of honest rule, versus the decay and ruin caused by tyranny. Read more here

  • Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”

Looking to the Spiritual vertical way, as the Maypole do, gives us an opportunity of discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues,  needed in our times.

We need to be sincere with our selves , to be “upright” strictly honourable and  honest, as the symbol of the Maypole is. Together we can initiate and erect a maypole as various European folk festivals do, in respect of the safely coming of Spring. But as many Folklores in Europe did, to keep it more permantly,  we can plant a Lime Tree in the center of the village of on squares in the city, to keep the remenbering of  “uprightness”,of sincerity in our mind, in our heart and in our everyday lives.

See  planting  The Dance Lime Tree project 

In this way,as  in many folklores of Europe, they recognize their dependance to Nature and their submission to something Higher than themselves. And happy they danced under the Lime Tree on important opportunities.  Man has always be in need of a symbol, but certainly a symbol for communality and fraternity.

The Lime Tree  can become again a beautiful symbol of Fraternity, and also draw strength together to face the future and a place of remembering, sharing and of coming together.  Than Maybe, this message from the Past can help us  to be able  to rediscover  the meaning of  the Eternal Spring. Or as Hildegard of Bingen call it The Greenness ( Viriditas) of our soul

The Forum for Ethics, Honesty and “Uprightness”  will realize a meeting place for everybody, and for all the cultures, traditions and religions. Inviting everybody to share their knowlegde and wisdom. It will be functioning as a bridge between cultures, spiritual knowledge, folklores, art and wisdom from our interconnected world. But the project is also the intention to plan the Lime Tree of Wisdom in our heart using pollarding and pruning to make our tree stronger,  with pofound roots of “uprightness”, sincerity, love and wisdom . See more about Forum for Ethics, Virtues  and Uprightness

There is still more to come….

Maypole of Wisdom  is a project of  website Sufi Path of Love

Thank You

COVID-19 is taking a toll on all of us, especially those least able to retreat into their homes until the worst is over.

But, beyond the health and humanitarian measures urgently needed for those affected, it also offers a chance to right historical wrongs – the abuse of our earthly home and of marginalised societies, the very people who will suffer most from this pandemic. This viral outbreak is a sign that by going too far in exploiting the rest of nature, the dominant globalising culture has undone the planet’s capacity to sustain life and livelihoods. The unleashing of micro-organisms from their animal hosts means that they must latch on to other bodies for their own survival. Humans are a part of nature – and everything is connected to everything else.

The Nature is Speaking:

More on Nature is speaking here

…”.I would like to tell you a few things about this virus and the lessons it should teach us, all the things we should be learning. I would like to add my voice to the crowd and be heard above it.

I would like to say: fish have returned to the Venetian canals now that humans have stopped polluting them.

I would like to say: the clouds of air pollution over Italy and China have dissipated since people were prevented from causing them with their cars, planes, factories.

I would like to say: up to 80,000 premature deaths which would have been caused this way have probably been prevented in China by the shutdown of the economy.

I would like to say: carbon monoxide levels in the air above New York have collapsed by 50 percent in a single week.

I would like to say: Nature recovers swiftly when we stop our plundering of Her bounty.

I would like to say: lift your gaze, humans.

I would like to say: we can learn from this, we can change.

I am squatting in the sun on this day of the spring equinox, it is a cold sun, I am down by the pond with my children, we are watching the tadpoles squirm free of their jelly under the leafing poplars. The world is turning.”

Paul Kingsnorth is a writer living in rural Ireland.

The current pandemic is just one aspect of the human-made planetary crisis known as the Anthropocene; runaway climate change and biodiversity loss are others – and all are connected. COVID-19 confronts us with a civilizational crisis so immediate and so severe, that the only real strategy will be one that can reach into and heal the web of life.

This crisis strips away all delusional confidence in modern world notions of history, progress, humanity, knowledge, time, secularism, and our tendency to take life itself for granted. It should also caution us against responses that strip away democratic and human rights, as is happening in the name of controlling the virus in many countries, for such responses only further reduce the ability of citizens to deal with such crises.

The corona crisis signifies a civilization that is dying, but also, it shows a pluriverse of ‘other worlds’ rising up. Every crisis is an opportunity. The key question is how to remake our economy and polity in a way that respects ecological limits and works for all humanity. The answer must go beyond superficial managerial and technological fixes to deep systemic transformations that can shake up structural injustices, unsustainability, and de-futuring. We need a dramatic shift towards genuine democracy;one that places confidence in the time-tested genius of local communities and collectives.

We challenge the old eurocentric mode of existence based on separation of humans from other natural entities – us versus them, mind versus body, secular versus spiritual. By denying the essential interdependence of everything on Earth, this dualist way of thinking and being simply served to entrench the domination of masculine power over life-affirming feminine care. It paved the way for the most objectifying and harmful economy humanity has ever seen, today enshrined in a heavily militarised global neoliberal capitalist (dis)order.

The pandemic is bringing home new lessons. Economic globalization has not brought universal prosperity but ecological devastation, social disruption and inequality.

The spiritual potential of quarantine

Being alone in quarantine, devoid of friends, family, co-workers and community, a person is truly lonely. Talking on the phone, messaging and even video chatting is no substitute for being in the physical presence of others. There is no replacement for the hug, kiss or even the handshake. Just having others around gives a person a sense of security and comfort. Quarantine forces a painful loneliness.

Yet the loneliness of companionship can also create an opportunity. The loneliness of others creates the solitude of the person with God. All alone, a person is able to commune with God as never before. God is eternally listening to our voices, and God awaits our prayers.

The silence of prayer/meditation provides a person the opportunity to connect to God on the deepest of levels. Without the pressures of work, a schedule or family chores, a person can turn to God, pour their heart out and deepen their relationship with the Creator. The gaping hole of spirituality left by the absence of ritual can be filled with a more unique connection to God.

Quarantine is a challenge previously unthought of by our Sages. It is lonely and depressing. Those feelings are natural and valid. All of us in quarantine are feeling them. But taken in the right way, it can provide time and opportunity to connect with God, rethink values and recommit to the priorities that are important to us.

  • The past is the mirror of the future

Looking the horizontal way and learning from the past, as Breughel and Bosch did but also Erasmus and Goethe as many others, learning from the “Black Death” and  taking also a vertical distance to understand better the message from Eternity, wil the website Maypole of Wisdom deliver a message for our times at the intersection or cross point of the present.

Looking to the Spiritual vertical way, as the Maypole do, gives us an opportunity of discerning an understanding between Non-Virtues and Virtues,  needed in our times.

We need to be sincere with our selves , to be “upright” strictly honourable and  honest, as the symbol of the Maypole is. Together we can initiate and erect a maypole as various European folk festivals do, in respect of the safely coming of Spring. But as many Folklores in Europe did, to keep it more permantly,  we can plant a Lime Tree in the center of the village of on squares in the city, to keep the remenbering of  “uprightness”,of sincerity in our mind, in our heart and in our allday lives. In this way,as  in many folklores of Europe, they recognize their dependance to Nature and their submission to something Higher than themselves. And happy they danced under the Lime Tree on important opportunities.  Man has always be in need of a symbol, but certainly a symbol for communality and fraternity.

As the Spring Rejuvenation ritual of the  Carnaval of Binche in Belgium, the Gilles of Binche becomes for one day  the hero and symbol of Fraternity.

The Lime Tree of Wisdom  can become again a beautiful symbol of Fraternity, and also draw strength together to face the future and a place of remembering, sharing and of coming together.  Than Maybe, this message from the Past can help us  to be able  to rediscover  the meaning of  the Eternal Spring. Or as Hildegard of Bingen call it The Greenness ( Viriditas) of our soul.