My recent essay Holy Grail: Beyond the Brain is my latest attempt to find a literary method for expressing the simultaneity of the depths of interiority and modern or empirical, material life. I had written a recent companion piece to this essay, Dead Man: an Autobiography.
I wrote in my Holy Grail essay about the importance of
seeking other individuals who could corroborate my secret with their own. And indeed I found some and I wrote about their experiences while keeping my own more in the background. My efforts in finding corroboration were indispensable for my feeling somewhat connected with the community…
Recently I found corroboration (See Appointment with the Wise Old Dog ) of an eloquent order that broke open my heart. I could only say, “YES”! David Blum had found a way to say the simultaneity of what I call the wilderness and quotidian life (see my essay above, “Dead Man”):
It’s an amazing fact that at a time of dire crisis, people often unexpectedly find themselves supported by a power that makes it possible for them to cope.” David Blum was an internationally renowned orchestra conductor and author. Blum gently leads the viewer into his drawings reflection spiritual guides, including his beloved deceased dachshund; radiant landscapes; and the music of Mozart and Beethoven. Shortly before his death, Blum felt compelled to share his inner journey, in the hope that his personal experience could help others realize their own inner gifts.
There are many gems in this video autobiography, as Blum tells us of his encounters with Mairi (the Beloved) and Alphonto (the Wise Old Dog) but two stand out for me re: the simultaneity of the depths of interiority (the wilderness) and the quotidian, as I mentioned above. In fact the richness of soul life on display through speech and language and music here can lead one to overlook these particular gems, which have a huge message for us all, as Yo Yo Ma says in his Introduction.
Blum’s Wise Old Dog and Mairi together initiate Blum (teaching plus experience) in the manner that Virgil and Beatrice did for Dante. And the outcome is nothing less that an individual solution to the West’s cultural wound, as expressed so eloquently in the Grail legend, i.e the split between spirit and nature, love and sex. This split is registered psychologically as a split between anima and real woman in a man’s life.
Blum tells us:
Mairi came to me and we pledged ourselves in marriage. I asked Alphonto “How can my love of Mairi who will soon take me into her arms be also a love for Sarah (his wife) and will protect her when I am gone? He (Alphonto) replied, “Mairi is greater than David. Her love penetrates him and becomes his love for Sarah. Thus David and Sarah will always be together.
Can you hear the music in this statement? Alphonto is instructing David that if David opens himself fully to his love for Mairi, and allows her to penetrate him, that love will transform into his love for Sarah. Blum asks Alphonto how this is possible:
David: Just how can She enter my life? She is transparent and I am concrete.
Alphonto: When she reveals herself to you, you will become more transparent and she will become more concrete. You will share each other’s world.
This extraordinary spiritual teaching is speaking to the possibility of simultaneity, ending the spirit/matter split in our culture, at least in the life of one individual. The human being becomes mouthpiece for an individualised love pouring into the world, by opening up to penetration by the divine feminine, expressed through and as, the anima.
This is a message of great cultural significance for all of us!
I have had quite a few dreams that brought concreteness/transparency into question. the earliest I remember is this one in 1986:
I am sitting at a table. A huge wind begins to buffet me. I start shaking as it gets stronger. I reach out and grab our mani stone and begin to chant ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ as the wind reaches a crescendo. I hear in the background a group of Tibetan monks supporting me, chanting too. The wind abates. I have survived. It pervaded my body and left me with the ambiguity of whether my body had become more subtle or the wind more concrete. That is, the wind and I were interpenetrating, and I was becoming more transparent in the process, or maybe the wind was becoming more concrete, or both. The question of concreteness/transparency had become more ambigious, subtle.