Welcome to the Astrologers’ Folio Post No. 13— a homily on Love.
The language of Love has long been associated with aspirational art and wisdom literature. Secular sounding words like unsummoned and quanta, do they seem out of place? And meaning, are we talking about meaning as Love…as an object of ultimate concern? Are we suggesting quanta might serve as an embodiment of Love—physically, metaphorically, either or both? Does the term unsummoned imply Love is unbounded by history?
We are saying meaning is Love. We are saying Love is unsummoned–(aboriginal). And, like quanta, we are saying Love is a priori to all apparent complexities available to waking and non-waking awareness.
For the Western seeker, Love thus considered signals a new gateway of spiritual instruction previously reserved for the traditions of shaman, rabbi and priest. We are on the verge of “catching” secular love and aspirational Love, in one embrace, sharing the same imaginal dance! And with this imagery, we move closer to unlocking the Love trapped in all suffering. So let it be done!
For our purposes, we respectfully consider Love an improbable mystery, a promise unfulfilled–even as it calls to us, beyond season or tide, always. Suffering in the world of personal awareness and the experience of others, may beg the question of Love and language altogether. And so we begin, anew.
Waking and non-waking states inform all incarnated experience, Love included.
We sense Love to be a force—not necessarily an action. We react to Love, but we do not enact Love. Love acts upon us and through us–like gravity and sunlight. We may be its agent. We may adore it and worship it. On a deep level, we know we are neither its keeper nor creator. To some day rest in peace is to acknowledge Love is a force not a possession. And yet, Love seemingly participates in history–in the concrete lives of people. We also sense Love is something Nature has not made.
However lovable we consider Nature to be, Nature, in mortal terms, is scary. It is not helpful to confuse Nature with Love. Our well earned fear of Nature compels us to farm. If we find Love to be scary must a compulsion to farm Love follow? Religion comes to mind. In an effort to feel safe, we farm.
Marx once described religion as “The sigh of the oppressed creature”. Subsistence farming has been similarly described.
Love as a mystery is an object of metaphysical reflection. Love as a special body of knowledge cannot be weighed nor measured. But objects occupy space–even objects we connect with sacred or mythical space. Love, therefore, must have an address. It cannot “exist” and not be found.
Love, c/o planet Earth— Existential Address:
The human heart!
Is the human heart what the writer of I Corinthians 6:19 was imagining when the body was likened to a temple? “Do you not know your bodies are temples…?”
Temples and tabernacles, in the Western Mystery Tradition, are appreciated as totems to mythic space–as shared experience. A planetarium is such a totem.
As a general rule we do not confuse the planetarium with the stars it portrays. It may serve little or no purpose to confuse our tabernacles (cathedral, temple, minaret or mosque) with the Love that inspires their construction. Temples are built to homage Love as it is encountered beyond the tabernacle itself, like the stars in a planetarium.
Rituals are intended to remind us we are leaving as well as entering. As we enter the temple we leave the realm of our becoming in the world. This is why there are rules, or reminders, for entering the temple–viz., silence, no shoes, men to one area, women to another, kneeling, eyes closed, hands folded, head covered. For much of recorded history in the West, ritualizing our arrival and departure has been the role of Christenings, b’not-mitzvah, weddings and funerals.
While it may be symbolized by the temple, the transformative power of the sacred is something we experience in very personal terms along the Damascus Road of one’s journey; as we feast upon the loaves and fishes with our community; and in our solitude, encounter “the silence between two waves of the sea” as deep listening.
Unsummoned, Love is thereby beyond volition. This is why we visit (re-enter) the temple, to re-connect and to re-member; it has always been so because “we arrive already Loved” [Thank you, Mariah Fenton Gladis].
As seekers, while we may visit the temple, we must not tarry.
The Kaaba, Mecca (left). The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (right).
To enter the temple as symbolic space, is to exit temporarily, the world of becoming.
The temple makes no secret of its masonic purpose: it is wordless and beautiful; a space pointing to forever.The occult historian Mitch Horowitz expresses the power of symbolic space this way: “our symbols silence something within us”.
“In my Father’s house there are many mansions”. In the West, referring to a place of worship can also be called a house of worship. A mansion is a dwelling or house. Houses of worship provide for an altar. An altar is the symbolic address of remembrance. Temples are all about re-connecting. And to worship is to remember.
“In my Father’s temple there are many temples…”
Is Love a first cause?
Does Love serve universe as its first effect?
A question of first causes, the predicate of our source of origins, challenges us all. We “see” but cannot explain the “signs and wonders” of an apparent universe. Sages, for millennia, turn to metaphor and myth to do so. Until recently, first cause(s) have been presumed to reside in imaginal Time–not the laboratory. Enter modern science.
“Science is the study of relgion.” W. Jebef, age 15
“Religion is the study of Love.” R. Webster, age 67
“Science is the study of Love.” Euclid’s Transitive Property of Equality
Something very powerful and unanticipated emerged among mathematicians, philosophers and theoretical physicists as the 20th century entered our awareness.
Thanks to Science–dear science, detached, process-focused science–early 20th century sub-atomic physicists began to wonder if their theoretical findings were validating the “stuff” of myths! Before considering the possibility of a dual nature–sub-atomic objects as quanta defied explantation. The singular quantum appeared to imitate both field behavior (as wave) and particle physics (as photon). The sub-atomic quantum could be observed, interchangeably, as particle or energy field: sunlight or gravity! Previously, only light had exhibited such capability.
By 1921, the mysterious reputation of the quantum went rogue: in additon to presenting both field and particle attributes, science proclaimed the quantum also capable of existing in two separate locations at once! The concept was named “superposition”.
If we were reading this in Ezekiel we could expect the apocalypse to be nearby!
In the West, the book of Revelation joins Ezeikiel as a difficult read. With the benefit of Quantum Theory to stretch one’s sense of what is possible–it is easier to appreciate how these sacred texts inspired Esoteric Christians for centuries and Kabbalists since the Middle Ages.
Einstein’s famous papers on special relativity and mass-energy equivalence (1905) open the 20th century with Nature’s denouement. Nature, once considered a catalog of mechanical objects to deconstruct (think: Newton), turns Creation into something “…not stranger than we think, but stranger than we can think”.
Waking and non-waking collective awareness are challenged like never before. The hologram, avatar and hallucinogen understate the opportunity. Add world wars (Ares), the legal fiction conceptualized as limited liability (Themis bound) and electricity (Zeus unbound)—and in astrological terms—we are re-combining like never before the alchemy of Mars and Pluto, Saturn, Libra and the Ninth House, and a new role for Uranus, as the Age of Pisces is letting go.
Think: phenomenology, post modern, simulacra, neo-post modern.
“It’s not stranger than we think…it is stranger than we can think.”
Attribution for this quote often goes to three remarkable 20th century physicists.
- Arthur Eddington, b. 1885, Aries Rising, Capricorn Sun, Leo Moon
- Niehls Bohr, b.1882, Scorpio rising, Libra Sun and Moon
- Werner Heisenberg, b. 1901, Scorpio rising, Sagittarius Sun, Libra Moon
In the modern era of Western Mystery Tradition literature—Heisenberg, Eddington and Bohr—are rarely mentioned. In the context of 20th century quantum mechanics–these individuals are rock stars!
The hermetic tradition dating back to Ptolemaic Egypt parted company with scientific inquiry only five centuries ago–think: Astrology: Astronomy (and Newton).
- Uranus observed, 17 March 1781. Orbit 84 years. Moons: 27
- Neptune observed 23 September 1846. Orbit 165 years. Moons: 14
- Pluto observed 18 February 1930. Orbit 248 years. Moons: 5
Since 1781, our most recently observed and slower planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—correspond with new thinking about numbers, space-time and physics. Centuries of cosmic design explained as geometric order and cause-effect mechanics–are overturned. Light and mass–the Euclidean equivalent of parallel lines–never to intersect, are declared to be integral one to the other. Unity becomes plural. Does it follow: Monotheism might be plural?
To think of Eddington, Bohr and Heisenberg musically–they are latter day cross-over savants. Their philosophical and mathematical riffs have transformed modern thinking about the nature of our physics and our metaphysics.
“We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about “and”.” Eddington.
“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.” Bohr
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” Heisenberg.
“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” Bohr
“The meaning of life consists in the fact that it makes no sense to say that life has no meaning.” Bohr
Opening question: Can we nominate Love as the “unsummoned quanta of meaning”?
Summon: to call with a sense of urgency. A summons is an emphatic invitation. Something unsummoned is already present. If Love cannot be summoned, it is aboriginal–and thereby, a candidate for First Cause.
Quanta: the quantum is the minimal unit as energy and form required of any interaction. As both energy and form (field and particle) the nature of the quantum is reflexive. As a unity it is also plural. Love, too, is a reflexive unity–viz., “I and Thou”. Love can only be plural, viz., quanta.
“..the greatest of these [faith, hope and love] is Love”. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Meaning: consider its opposite–meaninglessness–the total absence of reference beyond oneself. Complete alienation. No address. Even the lightless blackhole has an address. Meaninglessness, thus, is not the absence of light–it is the absence of Love.
“The meaning of life consists in the fact that it makes no sense to say that life has no meaning.” Niels Bohr
So much talk about science! We must not pause before mentioning the longest suffering student of Love in our midst–the poet. The poet provides a beautiful and figurative way to hold Love as an image, “the still point of the turning world”. Michelangelo’s portrayal of “God Creating Adam” as memorialized in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel comes to mind.
The negative space between the fingers is one way to visualize Love as the poet’s still point. The still point is exquisite real estate, forever defining Adam’s relationship to God. All other points in universe, throughout Time and across all Space, are forever “organized” by this single point of reference, as Love. Adam may leave the Garden. He cannot be separated from Creation. Think: Love covenant.
One dance. Some day even the quanta will be old news.
“Except for…the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” T. S. Eliot
We bid you peace and LOVE,
Should you have time to consider a musical reflection to accompany this post, we refer you to a Fernando Ortega performance, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” —from the BEGINNINGS album (2005).
A Reference of symbols, charts and definitions important to Western Mystery Tradition studies is listed as Post No. 900. Enter “900” in the Search box to be directed to this location.
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