our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a


cant redux and how it started, redux

cant n.

  1. Angular deviation from a vertical or horizontal plane or surface; an inclination or slope.
  2. A slanted or oblique surface.
  3. A thrust or motion that tilts something.
  4. The tilt caused by such a thrust or motion.
  5. An outer corner, as of a building.
— n

  1. insincere talk, esp concerning religion or morals; pious platitudes
  2. stock phrases that have become meaningless throughrepetition
  3. specialized vocabulary of a particular group, such asthieves, journalists, or lawyers; jargon
  4. singsong whining speech, as used by beggars
  5. — vb.( intr ) to speak in or use cant
 [C16: probably via Norman French canter  to sing, fromLatin cantāre;  used disparagingly, from the 12th century,of chanting in religious services]

Look under the toe of your boot. There's a quarter there.

I find 4 leaf clovers, sometimes 5 leaf clovers... But my eye is trained to find them. It honed itself hunting shark teeth in the cliffs of the Chesapeake. You get attuned, is all.

Not that things aren't connected.

I heard a terrific explanation of quaternity someone gave ala marie von franz (who was a dear friend of alice's):

Axiom of Maria. A precept in alchemy: "One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth."
alice puts it:
Hidden in the Fourth is the One. Find it by uniting the Two in the Third.
Which is cant (jargon-leaning version) for:
masculine+feminine (expressed as metal, charge, planet, lovers, etc.) -- transcending to--> divine nature/incarnation /big L love. Yin Yang stuff. Tao. It's the cornerstone of alchemy. The power to transform.

Carl Jung (and these, like all things religious, are psychological statements: Jung is always speaking of the human psychological experience) used the axiom of Maria as a metaphor for the whole process of individuation. From Sharp's Lexicon: One is the original state of unconscious wholeness; two signifies the conflict between opposites; three points to a potential resolution; the third is the transcendent function; and the one as the fourth is a transformed state of consciousness, relatively whole and at peace.

(Jung smokes his pipe and grins. "I was only in it for the transference.")

The oddest things can take on the transcendent function...

At our old house, there was a swing my kids made by throwing a rope over a tree half-way up our front yard. It set the stage above our little stone amphitheater here to tell this tale.

My youngest son left a chair up there by the swing. Odd old chairs left around the property. They add charm. And I'm not sure who they belong to, who sits in them. Like the old tribes in the desert, the chair is dragged from place to place that it might be a portable holy of holies. (Such was the arc of the covenant, oddly enough.) But -- this new chair sits there happily, covered with shade, the entire hill covered with great trees all the way to the split rail fence, looking very Cold Mountain --which it is. The sun comes up here at an angle through the tall trees at the edge of the ridge. It has to slant in here, Helios, Ra, Apollo, Sun Sun Sun. He's magnificent in his coming, sending out spears and rays and solid golden ladders. Morning is a wondrous happy thing. But I noticed as I got in the car that He also found my son's chair up there in the darkness. He shines on it, sits there like a beautiful prince.

So that's who sits in that chair.

But the tale... I stopped at a park one day to pick up my son from soccer practice. All around the huge field is (surprise, surprise) beauty. More Ra and his rays, mountain framed, rocks that climb the hills in tiffany and yager cut layers. I talked with another woman waiting there. She's a Richmond native, I find, and she mentions that her child goes to the local Christian School. We talk about the history around us, the war, the Reservists who have all been called up and will be gone for so long, and she says, after a pause, -- "My mom was saying the other day that she just wished that the Rapture would come and be over with!" And so I looked at her, and said what honestly came to me.

It was that scripture about the doubting Thomas, Jesus asking him if he must put his hands in his wounds to Gnow (though I think I said 'believe'). "Why can't people listen to that?" I asked her. "It's so simple. Is it the blood and wounds that are important or is the message that lives in the heart? Where do you believe? With hands and blood and eyes, or the heart? Because that's the incarnation. That's the "Rapture" fulfilled, and everyone can have it right now by letting the Christ (Ra, Apollo, Buddha consciousness, higher love, universal moral principles ... your theory here) live in the heart, without middlemen or magic books or politics. You just look into someone's eyes and see (don't you know me?) the Christ there. And you incarnate, Christ in you."

She seems to like this.

I guess she'll go ask her pastor about it. He'll tell her I'm the devil.

Anyway, Temple is everywhere. You just have to recognized it. 

As for my Eros cant, I'll caution you. Priapus is now often confused with Eros, but Priapus was an object of pity, a walking parable of a huge insatiable throbbing and utterly painful wang always obscuring His way. But even Priapus has a place, a time. He carries the child over into the horrors of manhood, where the waters rage and seethe and ache -- until Eros is found within all.