The Great Work; Music of the Ancients

~ All this blog sites articles are excellent towards a much deeper understanding who we are, why were here, what our work should be and where we are all going.

The 64th verse of the I-Ching reads:

A tree as wide as a man’s embrace grew from a tiny seed.
A tower nine stories high rose from a small heap of earth.
A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step.

“The Great Work”

  Human civilization along with the Earth that it inhabits, like The Fool in the Tarot, is on a precipice. We are currently facing two possible broad paths of unfoldment. The path which is currently dominant is one that leads to ever increasing pain, environmental toxicity, exploitation, with overall destruction and degradation being its inevitable destiny. This path can be described in many ways, but primarily is the result of underlying assumptions about what is technically possible. It can broadly be defined as the path of “power over others”; it is superstitious, and Utopic in the true definition of the word because its basis is in unreality – dynamic equilibrium and balance can never be achieved in a system based on imbalance. The other potentiality is that of a Golden Age, however cliche or overused of a term it may be. The latter path constitutes a culture that is in alignment with Nature’s hidden principles, reflecting Nature’s emergent and symbiotic laws of operation. It understands the underlying causes of effects. It is realistic. It is interdisciplinary in all fields of exploration and therefore understands how one thing can effect many things. It is “power with” instead of “power over”. Permaculture instead of throw-away culture. The first path is the one currently being embraced by the vast majority of global society. The second is one that many have attempted to describe, few of which have been closer than others. This goal was aptly named “Critical Path” by self-proclaimed Omni-system Considerate Anticipatory Designer, Buckminster Fuller.

The word person is derived from the latin personare which can be broken down to per – meaning through and sonare – meaning sound. This indicates that the word person actually is more of a verb rather than a noun, implying that we aren’t a static conglomerate of pure material density and instead we are more like a musical instrument through which sound, frequency, or electromagnetism is dynamically flowing through. We tend to think that ancient knowledge has no place in what we believe to be a progressive evolutionary model of history. Rarely do we consider that history and time could be more cyclical, following recurring spiralized, Phi-like, multi-dimensional patterns rather than than a linear two dimensional progression. While our science is proficient at plunging into the depths of the material plane of reality, it fails to recognize the coherent geometries and archetypal patterns thus dismissing the profound sense of connection to the universe as expressed in the true theology and mythology of the ancient world. It is widely recognized that our perception is based on a subjective or personalized reality that is influenced by our physical, emotional, and psychological development. The advent of science is a beautiful attempt to quantify this subjective reality by referring to physical or perceivable referents thus seeking a basis by which we can all agree and progress in our understanding of the objective world, which we somewhat blindly stumble through. Science considers qualitative distinctions as subjective and thus not “scientific”. Unfortunately, this science is filtered through the economic system, only that which doesn’t challenge the status quo is widely disseminated.

To heal the schism created by this “objective/subjective” or science vs. religion mentality is the purpose of Alchemy. The importance of this endeavor cannot be overemphasized. Most of us spend our entire life entrapped, snared within an interpretation of reality which we are gradually introduced as we progress in our “success” and proof of “worthiness” in the current system. More often than not, the result is living a life with a large variety of assumptions, opinions, and beliefs that don’t have any basis in reality. In addition to this misunderstanding of reality is the creation of a false self which we are emotionally invested in protecting at all costs.

In different terminology and language it has been suggested by all of the best students throughout the ages that the diversity we see in all that we study is actually rooted in a common origin or source, which many would refer to as God. The theory of the big bang even assumes this truth, as all things expanded from one thing. This is the true meaning of the “Virgin Birth” because for the primordial act of creation, the splitting of the Cosmic Egg, had to have occurred from within – there was nothing outside of it to “seed” it. To “One the All”, as the Ouroboros, we follow the numeric ladder (Jacobs Ladder) of creation back to its first act and thus embody a true Unified Field Theory – in the very act of our perception and actions moment by moment – “palingenesis”.

This is what Buckminster Fuller meant by “Eternally Regenerative Universe”. This expresses the scientific reality of transmutation. The Hermeticists, to whom we are indebted to for keeping the torch of knowledge and wisdom lit, throughout the ages have operated by mottos such as “That which is Above is like that which is Below” and “By the Works we may understand the Worker”. It is interesting to note that by this stance it is said they take up the method of science with the aim of religion. They saw no contradiction. This is what people like Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Leonardo Da Vinci, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, the founding fathers, and many others we look up to as cultural icons were studying – to one degree or another. It has gone by many names such as “The Perennial Philosophy”, “Prisca Theologia”, “The Great Work”, and “Prisca Sapientia”.  Perhaps this vision can offer guidance in a time of increasing cultural confusion.

We know that our entire physical body is built minerals and water, all of which have been present in the creation of the first stars of the universe. We are literally made of star stuff. Much of the paradigms built by modern science collect their knowledge through experimentation that doesn’t account for the causes and effects for things on more subtle levels of perception. The result of the narrow range in which our senses decode reality is that of a science based predominantly on the filters, or senses, of differentiated vibrations. Our innocent ignorance of the hidden patterns or organizing intelligent principles through which Nature is constantly expressing itself is the root cause of our perceptual folly.

Nature operates through elegant simplicity, truth transcends the mind and resonates in the viscerally in the entire body. We have structured an entire culture, a socioeconomic paradigm which is global in its reach and influence, whose core ideology has completely disregarded the direct application and integration of what could be called ever-present Universal principles. The sages words echo throughout the ages “comprehend and copy nature!”. These principles display a reality of the universe that expresses eternal regeneration because energy isn’t created nor destroyed, it merely changes form. Again, this is the Ouroboros – the beginning is in the end and the end is in the beginning. Prima Materia into Materia Prima. The greatest minds that the world has produced primarily advocate the study and alignment of ourselves with Nature. This constitutes the Great Work of the Alchemists, whose operations exceed the depth of understanding of modern chemistry in many ways. This is what it means to climb “Mt.Meru”.


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