Descent to the Merkavah
Brian George, Head with vortices and projecting snake, 2004
"Man's quest for immortality, to ‘live forever,' or to be self-sustaining in one way or another is modeled most economically by the vortex. ‘Looking into the world,' he observed the vortex in fire, wind, and water, and in the weave patterns of the heavens above, etc. When, whether consciously or subconsciously, he recognized that vortexes represent ‘the only manner by which a self-sustaining motion can exist in a given medium' (Arthur M. Young), he would naturally have gravitated to such an idea-specifically, the idea that a vortex appears to be other than the medium which sustains it, but actually it is one with the medium within which it exists." --Martin Farren, "In the Mirror of Creation"
My explorations in Kabbalah and Kundalini yoga had led me in and out and upside down through the convolutions of an arcane curve, and deposited me, at a different turn of the spiral, again exactly in the place where I had started. It was in this position that I had always found myself -- as a stranger with a social slot to fill, as a non-local presence with a local job to perform, as an ancient soul at a perpetual beginning.
As from a height, I had descended to a vehicle, and, from solid earth, into a state of watery flux.
There, the laws of electromagnetism could not be taken at face value. My evolution followed the path recommended to the student of Kabbalah -- the "Path of Descent" -- which was also the path taken by the first imploding hypersphere and its crop of unpronounceable gods, the Elohim -- as they are called, for the sake of convenience, in this system. The name is a generic one, and, in contemporary terms, we could perhaps refer to them as "The Powers That Be." We suspect -- only -- that they are powers now, although, in some respects, they seem close to being programs. When, amid flashing lights, they choose to put in an appearance, at times there does seem to be something of the manikin about them, and it is not clear if they really "act" at all. We do not know what they were before, or how they came to be in charge of the technology that projects us.
If it was they who lifted the first city from the Deluge, to do this they had, paradoxically, to descend. Most stories about this early race have been lost to public view. They have been buried beneath years of scholarship, darkened by paranoia, or warped by moral pontifications. "They are good," say some, "for we choose to misinterpret all of the evil that they do." "They are evil," say others, "for they have shattered the once perfect world, nor do they understand what it feels like to be human."
Our manic/ depressive hopes for total cleansing by an "apocalypse" do not really help to clarify the matter. Our sightlines have been blocked. Our intellects cannot penetrate their radioactive cloud, and, should we look on them directly, it is possible that our hearts would beat themselves to death. No, instead, we must make use of a different set of eyes, for the ones that we have been given are prosthetic. We must remember how to see from all of 360 degrees. We must think with our hearts. We must feel with the group intellect of our alien micromanagers, who, in their arrogance, may sometimes think of us as food.
We must touch the thread that connects us to the first word ever spoken. We must simultaneously speak each syllable in the Ur-Text. Only later should we pick our individual parts, as well as the cultures that correspond to them, and thus give birth to the straight lines that are History. At first, it was All for One. Then later, it was Every Man for Himself. Later yet, we would act as midwives for the rebirth of the Zero. We must listen with the eyes of the Elohim. We must see with the ears of space. We must put our trust in the depth and breadth of our experience, in order to revisit the many places that we have been. We must stop time, and, as if the ocean were a sheet, begin to smooth out all of the wrinkles. As we hover a few inches over it, we may still be able to view and then decipher the almost invisible outlines of our movements. Thus, the motives of this early race are obscure, but can be guessed:
The desire to share their accumulated wealth, which was great.
The desire to see and/ or make things happen.
The desire to remove one's head -- its awful vastness, and thus to escape from the burdens that are associated with omnipotence.
After Aeons of silence, the desire to explode.
The desire to seize Beauty by the hair.
The desire to get drunk, to pick a fight, to have sex, to wake up somewhere strange.
The desire to make a weapon of geometry.
The desire to test one's strength against the ocean, to put one's shoulder to the wheel.
The desire to make a name for oneself.
The desire to bind others to one's cause; to manufacture a consensus.
The desire to express oneself, to which end one must have a particular point of view.
The desire to live life, to learn from suffering, and to outlast death.
The desire to make a mark on the big dream that is History.
The desire to make a complete break with the past.
The desire to be empty, after being pregnant with a world.
The desire to discover the beginning of the circle, its ancient origin; to thus inhabit the lost story one has read.
The desire to be many, after being one, and to be one, after being many.
The desire to give the gift that keeps on giving.
The desire to transmit the knowledge that is the fruit of one's longevity.
The desire to let go, to not be in charge.
The desire to be free, to live in the one moment, to feel joy.
The desire to again throw caution to the wind, to follow where one is led.
The desire of the magician to say farewell to his powers.
The desire to be swept off by a wave.
Yes, the motives of this early race are obscure, as are those of their descendants in the present. Their psyches are not other than our own. As the serpent force revolts against the magic of the microcosm -- from head to heart to genitals to feet and then back again to head -- I can hear the Elohim conjuring the dense Ur-Text of my body. However strange or familiar, their actions follow a predetermined course.
"The Just Man sat upright on his solid hips. A ray of light gilded his shoulder. Sweat came over me: 'Do you want to see the meteors glowing red? And, standing, hear humming the influence of the milky stars, and swarms of asteroids?
"In night farces your brow is spied on, O just man! You must find a roof. Say your prayer, with your mouth in your sheet, after a mild expiation; and if some lost soul knocks against your bones, say: ‘Brother, continue on your way, I am crippled!'
"...And the Just Man remained standing, in the bluish terror of lawns after the sun had died." --"The Just Man," Arthur Rimbaud, tr. Wallace Fowlie
In Kabbalah, if we desire to cross consciously from one world to another, and, as things fall apart, to be actors and not just observers of the electromagnetic shift, the first stage of the process is referred to as "going down to the chariot" or "descent to the Merkavah." A modern phrase similar in structure -- if not in exact meaning-might be "descent to the unconscious," as this was used by Freud and Jung.
If the goal -- as in psychotherapy -- is to heal, it is not to heal ourselves, but rather to repair the rip in the structure of the cosmos, which makes it difficult for us to perform our predetermined role. Some would argue that this rip is virtual, but it is nonetheless problematic. It would be best, perhaps, to view it as the time-lapse movement of a lightning bolt, which had previously shattered the upper vessels of creation, and has just struck the iron tip of a tornado, within which we have built our homes.
Blinding as -- or what -- it illuminates, this flash gives birth to the world that we perceive. What we think we see is the afterimage -- now haunted and mechanically preserved -- of a stage-set that was long ago destroyed. It is possible that each thing has happened a great many times before. For what reason, then, are we experiencing them now? A sense of vertigo takes over. It is enough, almost, to make us faint, and makes us hold on to those objects close at hand.
We must wrestle with a paradox: that the one sphere turns both clockwise and counterclockwise, up as well as down, in as well as out, and the energy that separates is the energy that connects.
Let us say that the world is a habit of projection. It does move, but it seems to do so only in a horizontal circle, which causes us to feel trapped. We are not free, because upon it we have fixed our eyes. Quite strangely, we do not know what our faces actually look like, nor can we, until such time as we have exited from the world. Until then, they are as featureless as the dark side of the sun. We must depart from what we know in order to discover what we are. It is by going down that we gain access to source energy -- atomic, but of a relatively non-destructive sort -- which comes complete with its own built-in interdimensional vehicle. Thus we will go from here, where we are not, to there, where there is nothing to obstruct us.
And so: why are we directed to go down instead of up? Perhaps because ascent implies a strenuous effort at improvement, a clutching at what is out of reach, a desire to become bigger when we should, instead, become smaller. Perhaps it is because the preexistent beings, the Elohim, descended towards the chaos of the primordial waters, to speak the words that began the world and program the march of evolution. Conversely, some might see this as the march of devolution, because all species have descended out of Adam's DNA, which had not yet been unzipped from the DNA of Eve.
Perhaps it is because descent implies disintegration, a requirement for new growth. However turgid were the organs of the Elohim, and whatever their attraction to our bodies, which were, in some ways, far more beautiful than their own, it was not especially pleasurable to be buried in the Earth. It could induce claustrophobia to be tucked inside of its womb, between potsherds and the bones of dinosaurs, between out-of-date toys and kitchen sinks, in the rubble of exploded cities. Perhaps because biogenesis is just a prep-course for cosmogenesis, for a delivery to occur at the end of a great war.
Perhaps because Death is the most attentive nurse, the magician beloved by manikins. Perhaps because we assume that the "Higher Self" Is good. Perhaps because we are terrified of the Shadow that protects us. Perhaps because the end of all descent has been geometrically encoded in its origin. Many aliens look just like you or me. It is hard to tell if the lost race has gone anywhere at all. Perhaps because, appearances to the contrary, our catalytic agents are not actually out to harm us, and are doing no more and no less than instructed. "It is what it is," as the contemporary saying goes. Perhaps because it is important to relax.
When we go down we return as to a vehicle buried, but the whole time present in the ground beneath our feet -- a vehicle faster than the speed of light. If there is no space, it takes no time to move from one end of it to the other. Or perhaps -- as I had earlier hinted -- the Merkavah could be better understood as a tornado, ripping cities from their roots, churning crops and migrant workers and their alien overseers up, setting in motion the dead body of creation, tilting back and forth from the vertical to the almost horizontal, as it funnels the most distant of places through its center.
Time then becomes plastic. Magnetic fields congregate around a properly placed request. Often help arrives, as an accident or intuitive breakthrough, before the person becomes aware of the need for any help. Events run backwards -- returning to the future world. The self, without moving from one spot, finds that little is left undone.
Upon his exit from non-local space, however, few will realize that the traveler has just stood the world on its ear. To the traveler, the world looks altogether different, like a web of luminous glyphs, with which he can interact. It looks like a body, and not a corpse. He notes that all of the clocks' hands have gone missing. At noon it is midnight, and at 10:00 AM it is 4:00, the hour of long shadows. To others, the holographic stage-set does not seem to have blinked. Antigravity has not yet won their hearts, nor do they realize that they are standing upside down.
Thus it was necessary to postpone my transvaluation of all values. The revolution that I had launched did not even seem to exist. Truly, it was arcane in its goals. By the most psychotically complex of geometries, we had hidden our intentions even from ourselves. Our powers were great, but our vehicles were small, and we used them to hug the line on the horizon, as, bit by bit, we descended towards the Zero, then beyond.
Each day, we went to work, where we dragged our feet and pretended to be bored. Each night, we sped off to take part in god knows what. In our hands, a variety of archaic scalar weapons, which made them sting, and which we did not especially want to remember how to use; on our lips, an ecstatic chant, from a planet that the Death Star had exploded. Thus flew beneath the radar of the Lords of Industry and Commerce. My army was made up of straw dogs -- very lazy! -- who did not want to get burnt.
With our capacity to be both everywhere and nowhere, we would reassemble the once perfect world.
We would bridge the dimensions between sleep and waking, which may, in the end, be no more than a construct. We would redraw the maps that our ancient teachers hid. We would split the atom -- but in a good way! -- for at its center they had buried the bones of the First Man. Interplanetary in our scope, we would throw wide the doors to the Akashic Hall of Records. Row upon row, we would wander among the statues that we left, whose anatomy is translucent. But why do their faces look like ours, with their wide eyes that have never ceased to stare? And if, in fact, they actually do breathe, then why is this breathing almost imperceptibly slow?
Would the amnesiac communicate with his other self, long since relegated to the edge of space? He would, but on a schedule that had yet to be determined.
It was clear now that my path led down, not up, and not only down, but outward.
I have heard the roaring and the droning of the Ur-text when the Powers That Be sing simultaneously the syllables of each line. To some ears, it might sound like chaos. From the center to the circumference, and from the future back, in 12 directions, to the present, in order that we have space to act the one sphere must be emptied. For it is in the nature of high energy to descend, as it is in the nature of free energy to flow. From the fog of souls, the tides of all potential versions of events, my own explorations seemed to reenact the descent of the lost race -- who had not, as it turns out, ever really agreed to put aside their magic. Each thing has a certain "tendency to exist." It was my job to coagulate the ocean.