Archive for William Blake

Willie B. spills it

Posted in Christianity, Mysticism, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Ultimate Reality, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Got no time for a real post today/tonight/whenever-I-am. So, instead I thought I’d just do one of those lazy things blog people do where they post quotes from other people who are better writers. But I’m doing it with someone really obscure: William Blake! I bet you don’t know who he is!

You’ll be able to impress all the ladies (or gentlemen too, I guess, but most guys are animals with strong desires, weak wills, and no ability to gauge character so it doesn’t matter what you say to them at social gatherings, ahaha!) with these quotes!

From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Quote #1: Voice of the Devil (Plate 4)

All Bibles or sacred codes, have been the causes of the following Errors.

1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul.
2. That Energy, call’d Evil, is alone from the Body, & that Reason, call’d Good, is alone from the Soul.
3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies.

But the following Contraries to these are True.

1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight.

Quote #2: A Memorable Fancy (6 & 7) — this way this one opens is just too good! Too good I say!

As I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity, I collected some of their Proverbs; thinking that as the sayings used in a nation, mark its character, so the Proverbs of Hell, shew the nature in Infernal wisdom better than any description of buildings or garments,

When I came home: on the abyss of the five senses, where a flat sided steep frowns over the present world, I saw a mighty Devil folded in black clouds, hovering on the sides of the rock, with corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now percieved by the minds of men, & read by them on earth.

How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?

Quote #3: A Memorable Fancy (12 & 13)

The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.

Isaiah answer’d, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in every thing, and as I was then perswaded, & remain confirm’d; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.

Then I asked: does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?

He replied, All poets know that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of any thing.

That’s enough for now. Go get a copy or find it online, kids. Incidentally, you should look up Swedenborg before/after reading this. He was a Swedish theologian mystic (like Blake but minus the crazy wisdom) who was the subject of much of Blake’s criticisms during this work.

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Demons and their Buddha-nature

Posted in Buddhism, Mysticism, Poetry, Ultimate Reality, Uncategorized, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , on May 3, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Buddha nature is a term thrown around a lot, particularly by Zen people and new-agers. But what does it refer to? Buddha nature is supposed to be the inherently primordial, stainless substance that all things have as their original being. Even the worst people and things, the ugliest humans or fungus, are originally stainless and pure of mind. Or something like that.

This builds up to the concept that Ch’an and Zen people throw around (I don’t recall where it originates from) that “you’re already enlightened, you just don’t realize it yet!” which sounds a lot more like new-age blabber than a useful tool for waking up. Realizing buddha-nature means you realize the primordial root of all things. You understand with your entire body and mind (really your mind, since your body is a portion of your mind) that all beings are built upon a base of a primordial crystalline essence.

See, when we say some crap like “even Hitler has Buddha-nature” it doesn’t mean that secretly Hitler was a nice guy and just didn’t know it. It means that Hitler’s causal chain of existence, the potential of his form and being, was superimposed on top of the primordial empty and stainless essence of all phenomena. He could only exist as a result of, and in contrast to, this source. Even nasty or confusing or complicated people are ultimately just complex and knotted manifestations of the fundamental source. When a person can unravel the entanglements that create these manifestations and see it for what it is, they take major steps toward enlightenment or full realization.

The extreme manifestation of this is a demon. A demon is a large manifestation in the mindstream, in the fabric of pure essence that refuses to acknowledge the fundamental source and return to it. A demon creates a stasis, like an iceberg, in the fabric of the mind. A demon is the ultimate manifestation of personal will, desire and potentiality. The reason a demon requires such fervent desire, is because the fabric of existence is always switching between dualities; the gravity of karma is always pulling us apart. But a demon desires to maintain a consistent existence within an extreme duality. Thus it requires immense desire and self-belief, self-love and a horrific threshold for pain.

In classical Greek numerology, 9 is the number furthest from the source of phenomena (the source is represented by 0). 9 is the strongest manifestation in the world of forms and identity. 9 appears in religious connotations as well, for related reasons. 9 symbolizes potent worldly presence and perhaps infinite exponential potential (since 9 is the result of adding together the digits of any multiplied product of 9). So, 9 symbolizes the ultimate in desire and belief.

I don’t know what the popular consensus on the meaning of the term “Buddha nature” is, and I’d wager that my own explanation would make some of the more fundamentalist, dogmatic Buddhists say that I’m going to hell or some such nonsense. But I rarely see this stuff explained very thoroughly. A buddha is the eye of the cosmic mind, the unclouded understanding of all things. A demon is the “hand” or active spring of energy and desire.

Ah, who am I fooling? This post doesn’t get at these ideas nearly as well as Blake did (unsurprisingly) all those years ago:

I heard an Angel Singing
When the day was springing:
“Mercy, pity, and peace,
Are the world’s release.”

So he sang all day
Over the new-mown hay,
Till the sun went down,
And the haycocks looked brown.

I heard a devil curse
Over the heath and the furse:
“Mercy vould be no more
If there were nobody poor,
And pity no more could be
If all were happy as ye:
And mutual fear brings peace,
Misery’s increase
Are mercy, pity, and peace.”

At his curse the sun went down,
And the heavens gave a frown.
–William Blake, The Two Songs

Life’s Mysterious Shade of Jade

Posted in Beauty, Happiness, Mysticism, Reality Bites, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , on April 2, 2008 by wizardsmoke

If you don’t mind I’d like to take a moment and dedicate a post to one of my heroes, the Tabernacle Cat!

*ahem*

So anyway, something is very irksome about human existence. If we don’t keep ourselves busy with work or social engagements, we get lazy and depressed. But the more we work, the more we complain about how miserable our work leaves us! What’s the deal?!

Many of life’s pleasures are taken in by simply relaxing, by laying about, contemplating, looking at things slowly. Yeah, that’s what happens with people who are totally blissed out at least — they see every single thing as a miraculous, beautiful manifestation. Highest level of perception, blah blah. Not that it isn’t the profound reality. It prolly is, but I’m just not there right this moment. *Gasp* But this is the only moment that exists! Wahh!!

Have you ever heard the opinion that all actions of all beings (whether physical, formless, astral, whatever…) are all manifestations of love? I think Jhanananda had to tell some whipper-snapper on his mailing list about it once. He was projecting that even the gross, non-subtle, sad, ugly, desperate astral beings feeding on each other are still just manifestations of love. Sounds a lot like “Buddha-nature”, doesn’t it? Well, when I have time I might write about that but… it’s that idea that all people wish to be realized or happy, but they just can’t see it or are clouded by some ignorance. I mean, it is true, but you could also say that everyone wants to be rich but is just repressing it; and that’s outright poppycock! Haha! *Sigh*

I suppose that ultimately we can at least conclude the following about desires: “Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” Thanks for clearing that one up, Willie B! Somehow, it doesn’t conflict with Nietzsche’s theory of drives…

So anyway, if we try to find this ultimate, pure bliss-out perception of reality, we’ll go crazy! And waste our lives. And not to mention, if we try to have too much fun or pursue the things that interest us, we’ll get depressed and lazy. So we work, work, work — to stave it off! Kinda like that first post I did, remember? I wasn’t lying.

But work sucks! At least, thinking about it does. Seriously, doing work is no problem, but it does seem like such a tragic thing when one can’t bask in the awesome power of things or contemplate beauty because they have to work all the time. That makes me think that the experience of life is actually just running a gauntlet. You know, where a hundred rough-riders line up and slug you while you run past. That’s life, are I not correct?

Of course, we’re always hearing, the reason rich people are patrons of religions is because they’re not content either. Not that I’m some nihilist. But I think reality does all come down to how you create it. Like, if you believe something strongly enough, it becomes a reality. Just how beautiful of a reality can you create? I wouldn’t invest in most people’s realities — I wouldn’t put my money in ’em. Most people have the creative imagination of a vegetable!

Oh man, sorry — I didn’t mean to scare you! I am not some New-Age, Oprah-loving, What the Bleep Do We Know? cult member! Just putting some words out there. My point is, if you really believe in a beautiful world with democracy, you have to put some serious mojo and faith into it.

Everyone is constantly forging their own realities, whether they realize it or not. That’s why, it’s like, so annoying and stupid when people are conspiracy nuts, or punks or hate-mongers, or constant cry-babies, because: anything you are obsessed with grows stronger with your obsession! So all these cynical young metal/punk bands talking about how terrible life is these days — they like the drama! Not that any of this matters, anyway…

In city crowds, in whirls of sound and motion, In remote lands, under far sky,

Though years together, we have been strangers, my soul and I.

Aged walls of apathy close in upon us, The pleasant social smile has ceased to satisfy;

We are alone together, …no longer strangers, My soul and I.

Anne Bremer