Historical figures related to our Work

Symbols and allegories.
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Historical figures related to our Work

Post by Heith »

I've been for a while now finding it useful to study some parts of history and sometimes certain persons seem to have certain qualities of the aspect which I currently (and hopefully, fruitfully & for a long time still), guide. We can certainly learn from history. There are both good and bad things in times past, and I am constantly fascinated by old eras, particularly at this moment renaissance (and, moving onto baroque).

My fascination with Tudor era England began when I was in elementary school and learning English. We had a nice book, with lots of colour pictures. In this book was, of course, reproduced the painting of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger; this painting that everyone knows. I recall that this was surrounded by head portraits of her wives which seemed to float on air. We then of course learned what was the faith of his wives, and such a thing was so odd that I had a difficulty understanding it at that age -how could such a thing happen? A seed of sorts was planted in my mind, and Tudor era began to fascinate me. This has been re-ignited as of late, and I'm learning a lot more things.

Henry VIII certainly was the embodiment of the Red aspect. He began a king liked by all; gentle and courteous, a true Renaissance man. He was gifted in many things (music, jousting, composing, poetry), liked sports, could ride well, spoke many languages and was a physically attractive man. Undoubtedly, he was also a very proud man. Of course some of you may think that all of Henry's writings and works were mere propaganda, but even members not of his own court praised him high; ambassadors of other countries wrote to their masters of the king's many qualities. So some of it must be true. He was taught by Erasmus, and for a time it seemed that nothing could be better; that the country was truly liberated from the previous tyranny of the king Henry VII.

But then something went terribly wrong. Henry's personality changed. He became moody, frightening, cruel, obsessing over things; he wanted to command and rule everything, even love. The fault is never in himself, but always in others. There's quite a few theories which suggest as to why his entire personality seemed to change from a gentle, even soft king to the complete opposite. And as for someone who has such a power over the material world, the consequences are truly hideous. And this enigma here is what fascinates me, and what I think is actually a important lesson for us working with occultism; on how important it is to focus one's energies always. Because I believe that with esoteric work, the world is slowly and surely shaped. And dutifully, one must make these steps.

Henry VIII began as someone who clearly had a, shall we say, ideal "Red temperament", but that got twisted into the worst possible corrupted version of said temperament.

Though some saith that youth ruleth me,
I trust in age to tarry.
God and my right and my duty,
From them I shall never vary,
Though some say that youth ruleth me.

I pray you all that aged be,
How well did ye your youth carry?
I think some worse, of each degree:
Therein a wager lay dare I,
Though some saith that youth ruleth me.

Pastimes of youth sometime among,
None can say but necessary.
I hurt no man, I do no wrong,
I love true where I did marry,
Though some saith that youth ruleth me.

Then soon discuss that hence we must.
Pray we to God and Saint Mary
That all amend, and here an end,
Thus saith the king, the eighth Harry,
Though some saith that youth ruleth me.
-Henry VIII

Are there examples historical (you can also say of figures which are not certain if they existed or not) which you find important to your work, as either uplifting, or a warning example?
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Re: Historical figures related to our Work

Post by obnoxion »

If I consider the Black Aspect to be about the (atmic) Will and the World (as Shakti). Buddhism, as the religion of the wood eater monks, and of the high methsphysics of the choping wood and bringing the water before and after enlightenment, is perhaps the most succesful combination of will, power and the spiritual in the mundane. It is also highly kama-manasic. But from Buddhist phenomenona, one of the best historic example for this aspect must be the Mahasiddhas of the Medieval India.

Mahasiddha is a living paradox. They are Buddhist sorcerer-saints. They are demigods, but many times their lives are defined by such all-too-human poroblems as over-eating, alcoholism or regret for commiting a murder. They are laughable, disgusting, fearsome, ordinary, royal, poetic, unbeliviable, multi-talented, rude, compassionate, worldly...

They are antinomian but fiercely traditional. They transcend nominations, yet they can be motivated by sectarian rage. They can put a disciple through 12 years of hell, and then, suddenly, provide a complete initiation by merely hiting the disciple on the head with a sandal. They can ride a bull naked with ochre-dyed beards, iron vajra-scepters in hand, sporting human bone jewelery, roaring sanskrit mantras from afar. Or they can be the King of Oddiyah. Sometimes they are just like characters from Aki Kaurismäki films, but who ride with flying tygers to a land of flesh eating, yet benevolent faeries.

The historic perspective to mahasiddhas is best described in Roland M. Davidson's "Indian Esoteric Buddhism, a social history of the Tantric Movement". It is a highly informative and very readable book (for an academic publication written in english). There are also books by Keith Dowman where one can read the traditional life stories of the "84 Mahasiddhas" (The Number 84 for indicates more an archetypal concept than an actual quantity). For Finnish speakers there is my translation of the lives of Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa, taken from Alexandra David-Neels "Magic and Mystery in Tibet". It is freely available from our Finnish homepage.

P.S. Sor Heith: I did not know King Henry was such an able poet. Thank you for sharing the poem!
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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