A Union of Opposites (4-final) breathing with Pythagoras

(Above: the famous Pythagoras triangle is approached as a breathing experience)

So… how are we going to ‘breathe with Pythagoras’?

We will use the 3-4-5 properties of a right-angled triangle, translated into a breathing pattern. As we saw in the previous post, we know these are harmonic, and represent squares. If you followed the symbolism, you will remember that the sequence point-line-surface represents the emergence of the physical world; which is continued by the cubes – the key to 3D space. For this exercise, we’ll stay with squares.

The first thing to do is to establish a breathing count. Let your breathing settle and take a few easy breaths. Check you are not carrying tension in your midsection by gently easing your diaphragm down as you breath in, allowing your chest to fill, naturally.

Breath out, fully, but without effort, then take in what you feel is your natural, unstressed amount of air to a count of three. Be deeply aware of this and remember its duration. Try to keep this ‘length of breathing’ in your mind and use it as a basis for the rest of the exercise.

Close your eyes and breathe out. As you do so, see the formation of a brightening point of light in your mind (the red circle with white border)

As you continue to breathe out, let this mental picture of the small circle get brighter.

Now, holding the image of the small circle, breathe in for the three count. See the dot becoming a red line whose length is three units, growing from right to left. As you approach the end of your in-breath, see the line running out of length, as in the diagram’s base.

Hold the breath for a count of four as you travel from the same point but vertically upwards, (i.e. at 90 degrees). The two lines have formed a right angle to each other. See the place where the two lines merged becoming a small, solid square, as in the diagram.

Now imagine that you are the top of that line, looking to make a perfect join with the original line of three units; at the point where the small circle began. Breathe out, as gently as you can, for five units, closing the gap and making the figure complete. Then imagine you are the whole of that line, looking back at the small, solid square. Breath in while looking at the square, then return to contemplate the small circle, where you breathe out to begin the cycle, again.

You have come back to the beginning, back to the start of creation.

Repeat this for a maximum of ten breaths. Return to it after a rest if you wish to continue.

If you would like to combine this with the previously described ‘elements’ exercise (Part 2), use these symbolic attributions:

East – the small circle.

South – the line of three units.

West – the line of four units.

North – the line of five units.

And returning to the East-overhead, use a picture of the the circle shrinking to nothing as the final image. You will have symbolically cycled in and out of manifestation, involution and evolution.

(Note: If you suffer from any breathing difficulties or blood pressure, you should consult your doctor before doing any such exercises)

Other posts in this series:

A Union of Opposites (3)

A Union of Opposites (2)

A Union of Opposites (1)

[Recent posts related to intention and attention:

Intention chooses Heaven

Intention chooses Heaven (2)]

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Books of Green and Gold

Captured now in golden light
Day’s writing ending with a blaze
A tale of green turned brown then gold
As fading Sun shapes dark to hold
These chapters in the night
These precious children of the days.

Enduring Queen of night enfolds
Yet only feels, where light reveals
What softer muse will hold till morning
And reaching to awaken this
Delivers from her mouth the bliss
Of summer Sun’s new dawning.

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

Wanton Whimsy: Find me!

He had lost count of the number of years they had been doing this…

The envelope, marked with a promo sticker from a fictitious low-budget garden show, had arrived a month ago. It contained exactly seven clues. And then the words ‘Dress to Kill’.

The rules were simple. Dinner would be served in the most unlikely location, chosen by the person whose turn it was…

The game had started decades before, when both were students at a polytechnic in the Midlands, struggling with funds that would not allow both rent and food. One evening, over a long drawn-out beer, they had vowed that, if they made it through their degrees without starving to death, they would meet annually, on the day of their graduation, to celebrate their survival… and, hopefully, prosperity.

He staggered along the canal towpath. The tuxedo was dripping with sweat; probably the worst thing he could have worn. But those were the rules. The smell of the most delicious food began to reach his senses about a hundred metres before he saw the boat. Spices… was it to be a curry? Or perhaps that was Thai? A fluke of the evening breeze or planned?

She was that meticulous.

Where he threw money at it, she brought ingenuity. As a logistics manager in a brewing company, she knew all about planning. They hadn’t done too bad, for working class kids with nowt.

They had fancied each other, back then. But somehow had never done the deed, though they once woke up in a deep embrace with a matching hangover – fully dressed and wrinkled…

It had to be one of the canal boats; and close now. The oriental smells were becoming all-consuming. It had taken him five hours to get there. Train, bus and foot. Cars were not permitted. Poor students didn’t have cars.

He looked up at the flash of black and silver, just to see her shoulders bend and disappear into the darker interior. He had been walking on auto, counting the drips of sweat dropping of his shirt onto the skin. The boat’s tiny garden astonished him with its neatness. There was a chair with an envelope. He took the latter and ripped it open, collapsing, gratefully, into the hard wood’s curves.

“Dinner is served,” it read. “But you’re overdressed. Look beneath.”

Muttering, he fumbled under the chair’s seat, emerging with a white cloth bag containing an oriental gown. He couldn’t resist a smile, but suppressed the giggle.

The rest of the words were explicit: “There’s a shower at the foot of the steps. Then dinner… Enjoy the champagne…”

He looked up. In the still evening air, he could actually hear the bubbles in the champagne flute. It suggested intense proximity, nearness.. something more, perhaps a final delicious wait?

It appeared that, after all these years, the rules had changed… He sat back down and sipped, in no hurry at all.

(Photo by the author)

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

A Union of Opposites (3) breathing with Pythagorus

As a schoolboy, struggling with mathematics, the name Pythagoras struck terror in me. I remember staring at the hated formula below and thinking I’d never get it…

In non-gobbledegook, the equation reads: (a squared equals b squared plus c squared). I can hear the teacher’s voice now, confident that everyone would find it intuitive!

Outside, the summer was passing, yet there we were in a hot classroom with dry as dust letters that could also be numbers… And not just that – not that the numbers themselves weren’t bad enough – we had to ‘square’ them as well! What sort of torture was that?

The language of mathematics eventually became a friend, but not before I had to talk myself down from the night-terrors of squares and equations. So, as a prelude to creating some unusual and powerful breathing to go with last weeks’ ‘elements’ exercise, let me share some of the insights about the inner work of Pythagoras, one of the greatest scientist/philosophers the world has ever known.

Years after that childhood terror, and as competent with maths as needed for a career in computing, I came across the diagram below, and realised there was a much better way to teach this stuff…especially if you had a philosophical leaning and wanted to understand the inner meaning of all numbers – of the key to the very idea of quantity, itself.

(Above: a different way of understanding ‘squared’ numbers.
image source )

The Greeks were wonderfully literal in their descriptions. They knew that when you multiplied a number by itself, in this case, ‘a squared’, it also described the AREA marked out by two lines of equal length (the boxes above), set against each other at a ‘right angle’; for example, box a, above, times itself, or a-squared. That square would have an internal space – an area – of one line length times the other. In this case, they are both the same number, so the result is that number multiplied by itself – or turned into a SQUARE.

If you contemplate the properties of the above diagram, you can see the clear linking of the square and the right-angled triangle.

Pythagoras was fascinated by triangles, seeing that many things in nature had two different aspects that were resolved by a third connecting them. In this way, the world moved forward, harmoniously. His most famous triangle is below.

(Above: the most famous triangle of Pythagoras)

The elements are as follows:

1. It has three sides, and three angles, hence it is a ‘tri-angle’. Ignore the large numbers in the diagram, for now. Their significance will emerge, later.

2. Two of the sides join in a special angle of 90 degrees. This is the same angle as that within a square, in fact, it is the only angle in a square. A square is a very special figure, as we shall see, later. The little square figure indicates that this triangle’s core angle is 90 degrees, otherwise known as a Right Angle.

3. There are three sides to this triangle. The longest side is always opposite the square figure that indicates the Right Angle. The longest side opposite the Right Angle is called the Hypotenuse, which originally meant ‘that which stretches under”.

4. Something that ‘stretches under’ or ‘runs beneath’, like a root on a plant, is a foundation that supports the rest of the structure. In the case of the right-angled triangle, the Hypotenuse of the triangle – that which unites everything, is reflected from the square sign opposite. Neither can exist without the other. The square sign – the right angle – has no dimensions. It is a fixed ‘understanding’ of squareness that is the basis of a unique relationship between two lines. The square is found throughout the universe. Most of the time it is invisible.

5. The square is also the basis of the dimensions of physics and mathematics. A point has no dimensions, just a theoretical position. The line has one dimension, which is length, this is the first use of numbers and direction. The parts of the line have to maintain a consistent direction or it’s not a straight line. ‘Straightness’ becomes foundational, like our square, in everything that follows. Straightness is an extension of Square as an underlying principle.

6. Beyond the straight line, which could go on forever and get dull, there is a need for creation to become more sophisticated in its unfolding of ‘form’. The combination of a square angle (90 deg) and another straight line defines the next dimension, that of an area, generally known as a ‘surface’. The surface is continuous across two dimensions, it’s no longer just a line, and it has an area, whose dimensions are the multiple of each line. A triangle is a surface, the simplest of surfaces, and in its architecture we can see all the principles of creation, plus one more: the two extensions from the original point, created by the ‘square’ or right-angle are ‘resolved’ or ‘made useful’ by the hypotenuse, that which stretches under, or joins, connects, unites, limits.

The process of the creation of form, on which all else in our material world is based, is therefore seen to contain an ongoing inner process, the reflection from the origin (the original square) to the limit of the extensions, in the form of the link between the original invisible square as right-angle and the largest side of the triangle.

In next week’s post, we will continue this foray into the mind and work of Pythagoras, and the further implications of his work. Before closing, however, it’s interesting to reconsider the most famous of the Pythagorean triangles, below, in the light of the above and the following questions:

Q1: can you locate the origin, the primary square, the first length, the second length and that which ‘stretches beneath’, linking the whole creation back to the origin?

Q2: Can you translate the Pythagorean equation below into its ‘action’ in the world, in line with the ‘creation story’ above?

(As a side note, a triangle, explained in this way, has sometimes been compared to the symbol of the Bow of the Archer…)

In the closing post of this ‘Intention’ series, we will consolidate the answers to the above into a single breathing exercise to add to the journey of the elements in Part 2.

Other posts in this series:

A Union of Opposites (2)

A Union of Opposites (1)

[Recent posts related to intention and attention:

Intention chooses Heaven

Intention chooses Heaven (2)]

©Stephen Tanham 2021

First the loss, then the joy

Unbearable, this song of light
That ends the day before soft night
A gradient of blue to gold
A harmony, exquisite folds
Will live its life in seconds told

Content to live and die, this dome
This perfect bowl of evening’s home
Retains no anguish in the face
Of life as change and death as wrought
By turning Earth in solar thought

So should I rise past ego’s fear
Embracing every moment’s splendour
Content with presence, golden orb
Of Self, embarked on journey’s passing
And to this life let will Surrender

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

Wanton Whimsy: Monster

A monster beyond cool… I muttered the words into the sweet, black liquid which, four times a day, had become my substitute for life, and gazed out of Cafe Giacomo’s window and across one of the city’s busiest side streets.

The bike snaking in and out of Rome’s afternoon traffic was huge…so big that I had to look twice at the slight body of its rider. Despite the tight turns around the stationary, swearing queue of cars, the rider was guiding its mass with ease…

“Fantastically low centre of gravity,” I said, softly, recalling a word of wisdom from some lost source. I whispered it to no-one in particular, though I could feel the cafe-bar owner’s overbearing presence somewhere close.

I moved nearer to the window to get a better view of the intermittent fantasy.

She had left me at this very spot, staring out through the thick glass, post-argument. She had slung her backpack over a shoulder, the cardboard tubes containing the best of her designs… her ticket to fortune.

A poor but exciting English artist and an Italian lady engineer. An unlikely and unsuccessful partnership…though the first year had been one long party of cheesy pasta and Barolo.

Out on the street, she had turned. Gazed back at me before taking a lipstick out of her pocket and drawing a heart on the glass. Then she was gone.

But I knew where on the wall of glass to locate the faint outline of its existence… Proof I had once been alive.

“Coffee is only cheaper at the counter,” Giacomo said to my left ear, hoping to shock. I turned to look at his half snarling, half smiling, always unshaven face. He had a heart, but few had ever encountered it.

But, for the past few years his cafe-bar had been my home, when I wasn’t staring at the old fan set deep into the ceiling, or a dozen half-finished paintings, four rickety floors up in a tiny apartment that smelled of cheap brandy.

“Go froth yourself,” I managed, suppressing a smile.

Giacomo ignored it. He was good at that. “Was nice bike, yes?”

I nodded. “Was…

Giacomo opened the heavy glass door and urged me outside. I gazed straight ahead at where I’d last seen the fantasy motorbike.

He chuckled and turned my head a long way to the right. The white and black leviathan was cruising slowly along the pavement towards the cafe. When it stopped, front wheel an inch from my feet, I heard the sound of the cafe bar’s door grinding closed on its old hinges.

The voice came from behind the helmet’s visor. It was like being interrogated by an alien, until the words untangled from my hammering heartbeat, and understanding returned.

“They liked my designs,” the lady engineer said. “They let me design a little bike, then a bigger one…and then this.”

I shook a shabby head. There were tears in my eyes. The implication was plain: they had believed in her; I hadn’t…or at least, not enough.

The gesture must have been the right one. The visor flipped up. The hazel eyes were calm and purposeful. She reached into a leather pocket and extracted a small red cylinder.

“Climb aboard! There’s only one seat but it will keep us close on the journey back to Bologna.” In the back of my mind something clicked: Ducati motorcycles were built in Bologna… She was taking me home…. new home.

“I haven’t got a helmet,” I said, weakly, throwing my leg over the bike and letting the saddle’s curvature press me into hers.

She laughed, throaty and sweet. “That’s the least of your problems – in a blazer, slacks and sneakers…. You didn’t think I was going to make it easy, did you?”

“And the lipstick?” I had to shout as the engine rumbled back into life.

Everything vibrated. My body smiled… She shouted: “ I want a bright red heart across the back of my helmet…”

I managed a fleeting glimpse back into the cafe. Giacomo was toasting us with a brandy.

(Photo: Ducati motorcycles)

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

A Union of Opposites (2)

(Photo by the author and ©Copyright)

In Part One, we looked at the subtle meaning of the word ‘elements’, and how spiritual paths like Yoga and the Western Mystery Tradition (WMT) view them as essential components of our being.

If these energy states are the foundations of our conscious existence, why do they not arrange themselves in a harmonic way? The answers lie in knowing which part of us has been given control of our daily lives. In terms of Yoga, this ‘decider’ is viewed as a kind of ‘information body’; one that also carries a Karmic burden from our past.

Psychology views it as the personality – an accumulation of responses to the largely survival and emotionally-based challenges by which we learn to protect our ‘selves’ in the world. Both point to the inescapable fact that we need to ‘transcend’ the personality and wrestle with its fears and desires, if we are to make true spiritual progress. Our effort, plus the struggle, creates a third condition, in which we may make real change to our-selves.

This is not to diminish psychology. The ‘ascent of life’ in the form of efficient organic responses, carries forward the potential of more effective and integrative consciousness, by which matter becomes increasingly aware of its environment and itself…

Yoga’s approach is powerful, because it gets to the core of the issue: our everyday selves are based upon accumulated, reactive information. We overlay this with what we believe to be ‘right’. This is not reactive, but is for the good of the greater whole.

As in previous posts, the nature and force of our intention is vital. We hinted, last time, that there is a direct relationship between intention and the elements. This will be explored in the form of a practical exercise, in what follows.

Psychology dedicates itself to the restoration of the stable personality – the ‘self’, allowing those who have been damaged to resume their normal functioning in the world. Generally, psychology is not concerned with the spiritual, though there are notable exceptions, such as the work of Carl Jung, who well understood the elements and their place in the scheme of human consciousness.

Yoga has an intrinsic understanding of the Elements as the key to the foundation of the human. The energy centres that ascend up the spine – much like the WMT’s Middle Pillar on the Tree of Life – include the elements. I’ve appended a diagram of the Chakras to illustrate their positions:

(Table image source link)

Yoga’s temple is the body; with its interpenetrating layers. It is one of the finest conceptions of ‘divinity in matter’. In the West, we are less attuned to these ideas, and seem to respond more readily to a symbolic journey.

The WMT offers the basis of an interesting alternative to the yogic approach. This utilises the directions of space to represent the elements and their ‘signatures’.

We imagine ourselves to be in a cubic glass container (with no ceiling) whose walls are perfectly formed and glowing (within the material of the glass) with the mixed energies of the four elements. As such, they are not arranged in an orderly way, and are less able to serve us.

Designate one of the walls of the glass cube to be the East, the start of our rotation of the elements. Face this direction.

You can choose your own colour or pattern attributions if you wish, or adopt these: Pale yellow for the East; bright gold for the South; dark blue for the West and a rich and fertile earthy-brown for the North.

Extend your hands upwards over your head and and join them so that fingers 2-4 are intertwined and folded. Your first (index) fingers are aligned, raised and pressed together and the thumbs crossed over each other, as in the photo below.

(Above: using the hands to create a living ‘intention’ symbol)

Your hands in this position form a potent symbol of INTENTION. By moving the balanced and locked fingers together, we are actively harmonising of opposites to produce a new, and higher, creation.

Now bring your raised hands down to point to the glass wall in front of you – the East. Look into the chaotic and swirling colours within the glass wall. Within your mind (or out loud if you can) speak your Intention that they resolve and assume their rightful energy. Then see in your living image the restoration of the pale yellow colour, flowing with peace and loving energy, but, above all, intelligence. At the same time feel a link between this cleansing and the energy within your heart chakra. Feel the same colour developing, there.

With the colour and the intelligence of the symbolic East wall of your cube established, let its light energise you and restore a great peace to your body.

We are now going to take this sense of intelligence, order and rightness around the other three directions of the compass and, at the same time, move vertically along the chakras.

To begin this, take a final look at the restored and orderly East face, with your hands still pointed there. Then raise your joined arms and rotate your body one cube face clockwise to face the South. As you make the rotation, be aware of a descent of the intelligence of the heart (and East) to the level of the navel.

Facing the South, take a breath to establish your Intention, then lower your arms and hands to point at the South face, issuing your command to order and rightness and extending the controlling intelligence and discrimination. See the swirling colours resolve to a beautiful gold, then feel the warmth of the overhead sun burning away any negative emotions you may have. Simply be with the sun, and let it feed you with the warmth of its power and rightness.

When this feeling is established, let the energy of the wall be reflected in your navel, slowly, but be conscious of the control coming from the heart centre, directed downwards. Raise your arms again, and, as you turn, visualise the descent of the sun energy, wrapped in the intelligence of the heart, to the level of the West face, linked with the Water element and centred at the root of the genitals. Feel the cleansing and cooling Water element wash away the disorderly colours of the West face. Feel and see the blue water wrapped in the gold of the sun, and, in turn, the pale yellow Intelligence of the heart.

Make the third turn to face the North in the same way. Link the North face with the basal chakra in the muscles of the anus. Apply an internal tension to this part of the body, seeing the colours of the North resolve into the rich and fertile earth colour, taking its place like a seed, embedded in the other colours.

Now make the final turn, but keep the hands raised while moving the accumulated energies up the spine to a place between the heart centre and the throat. Raise your head to ‘look to the heavens’. Gaze on your joined hands with their living symbol of Intention. Then gaze beyond them and offer the energies to the direction of your Higher Self, only. Feel you whole spine tingling with the harmonious joy of your being, with its elemental energies restored and balanced.

In next week’s final post in this series, we will describe one or two powerful refinements to this exercise of the Elements. If you have been able to practice this, you will gain additional focus and energy from these…

Other posts in this series:

A Union of Opposites (1)

[Recent posts related to intention and attention:

Intention chooses Heaven

Intention chooses Heaven (2)]

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

From No-where

From no-thing do you come?
Not did, for did is burned
But do, as in a breath
Drawn in and then returned

From no-where do you come?
Not where, for where
Would fix the place
From which you show
your laughing face

From no-when do you come?
For when would break the flow
Into before and after glow
And birth begin a tale
That only times my watch of you
Not whence, but hence…
The life unfolds


And am I not as you
But eyed?
My skin your petal’s blush
Against the sky
And thus I see we never died
Nor will, nor can
Within this son of Man
Who waits within
The coming of a higher kin

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

Wanton Whimsy: Reunion

(Image: Arlè van der Poel)

I had not expected to see him, again. After all these years, I would have settled for a postcard or a mention in a dusty scrap of newspaper… Hell, after so many decades of best-friend-neglect, I would have settled for an invite to his funeral.

But there he was, like some ghost emerging from the other side of an improbability wormhole. A dusty tableau designed to shock you into immobility.

“Hi, Steve…”

It took me a couple if open-mouthed minutes to clock that he was speaking.

“Phil?” I stuttered.

He took in my dark blue suit, the soft leather shoes, the well-worn leather bag containing all I needed for an overnighter in Santiago.

I gazed at his craggy face; sporting an ancient helmet that looked like it lived up there. But then something familiar about the bike drew my eye – a pre-unit BSA that looked like it had been around the world several times…

“Which it has,” he said, softly.

My head began to spin. “I didn’t expect to see you, again,” I managed; looking deep into eyes, full of kindness and empathy for my state… wait a minute. For my state!

“You wouldn’t have been able to see me, before.” He said it gently. “But now you can.”

He pointed to the bike; the bike he’d had as as one of two poor students. Mine had been the Triumph equivalent. “It’s not much for a reunion of this nature, but I thought it would amuse…”

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

A Union of Opposites

(Photo by the author and ©Copyright)

Anyone having a basic knowledge of the history of philosophical thought will be familiar with the ‘quaint notion’ that the world is made of a mixture of four ‘elements’ – Earth, Air, Fire and Water; with possibly a fifth, the Quintessence.

Given to us by the Greeks, from probably older sources, this idea was seen to be displaced by the advance of science into the composition of matter – specifically the discover of atoms.

From an objective perspective, this is correct; but the ancient minds, lacking our science, built a system to explain the world that relied upon the ‘laboratory of the subjective’ – more specifically the retort of the ‘self’. Sympathetic insight and logic were two of the tools employed.

Modern psychology has given us accurate behavioural maps of the psychological self. Where, then, is the fit between the ‘elements’ and the parts of the ‘me’?

The artful science of Yoga may provide some clues…because, surprisingly, Yoga makes use of the ‘elements’, too.

Yoga means simply union. Yoga’s origins can be traced to northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in ancient sacred texts called the Rig Veda. In the yogic view of reality, the elements are types of energy that blend, in a divine union of the physical and emotional natures of us all. Surprisingly, yoga devotes little time to what we view as the psychological self, viewing it (to paraphrase in my own terms) as like being in a market full of the freshest fruit and vegetables, yet hearing only the competing voices of the owners of the stalls, as they vie for our attention.

The desired state of attention is one where we are only present to the beauty of the produce, in all its natural splendour; yet capable of switching ‘back on’ a stall-holder or two, in the event we find a new vegetable we don’t know how to prepare, or whose cost we have to ascertain.

I’ve referred to this mixture of intention and attention in previous posts.

So how does this level of intention relate to the four elements that make up our ‘energetic being’?

Yoga views everything real within the human vehicle as a body. These ‘bodies’ are like sheaths of increasingly fine experience. The idea of this is mirrored in the ‘temples of the mysteries’ of the Western Mystery Tradition (WMT), which assigns one of four (compass) quarters to the traditional four elements.

Uniting the two reveals some of the keys to this schema of the human. The East, the place of the officiating priest, is allocated to Air (intellect). The West, the place of the priestess, is allocated to Water (Emotions); the North (Physicality) to Earth; and the South to Fire (the Transformative force, the summer sun at noon).

An intrinsic part of yoga’s teaching is that the four energy types that comprise our real self are responsive to our intention. They are there to respond to our will, and can, with a little consistency on our part, transform our lives.

The basic Hatha Yoga teaching that promotes this is called ‘Bhuta Shuddhi’ – the cleansing of the five elements. It is traditionally taught in small classes, but we can glean some if it’s benefits by combining our knowledge of Yoga with the WMT, making a ‘temple’ of the space around us.

The fifth element is Akasha, translated as space. This needs to be explained, separately, and represents a higher perspective on the whole.

In next week’s post, we will describe one method to create this ‘space of the personal temple’, and describe how you can, using your own words and symbols, make interaction with your four energy bodies a more conscious part of your life.

[Recent posts related to intention and attention:

Intention chooses Heaven

Intention chooses Heaven (2)]

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

A Deeper Summer

(Photo by the author)
To a deeper sun I felt I had responded
Soft light behind the eyes
Like crossing tidal lines upon a beach
A scent, a fleeting touch
A feeling words can seldom reach
The light like artist’s silk upon the breeze
I struggle to define this place
Or point a finger at its heart
Save that it was as far again from summer
As summer is from winter


As entered space yields motion
Whose duration gives us time
So this land pulls my seeing self
Yet shows the hand is mine
Three states, four seasons now align
To one all-being view
One secret gate, a smile of fate
That gently draws the splinter
My secret summer’s not so far
As summer is from winter

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

www.thesilenteye.co.uk and www.suningemini.blog


Wanton Whimsy: Twizy

(Image by the author)

They’ve just run past – sweating a little more this time, and down to two; the other two Carabinieri are lying behind that wall in ecstasy. One of the survivors shouted that this smelled fishy as they flashed past in their lovely blue uniforms… If only they knew!

Not fishy, exactly. Picture essence of midsummer cherries, the smell of new-mown grass, your favourite bubble-gum from childhood. All topped off with the sweetness of a red summer rose at dawn. It’s said to redefine intoxication…

That’s what they get, briefly. But it’s just the trigger: my scent, if you like. What they really taste is the sweetest kiss they’ve ever had from the favourite image of their dreams. And then they’re out, lying in writhing heaven beneath some apple tree by the road… or behind a stone wall, where they’ll moan and mumble till it wears off… An hour of two max; by which time I’ll be back through Assisi and on the road to the coast.

I adore Italy. The worship of these would-be lovers is so passionate, so full of voluptuous images that are easy to tease from the consciousness. Pity I have to go, but the probabilities are gathering momentum against me and I can’t risk it. I’m going to miss this little street-baby of a car, too. Insanely quick over the cobbles of narrow, mediaeval streets in these mouth-watering hill towns, like Spello.

Paris, perhaps? I’ll need a faster car. There’s a drop-dead twenty-something finishing off the restoration of a 1960s Ferrari behind the garage in the main square. I don’t need him to drive, the morphed redhead/blonde/brunette or sci-if shaved skull can do that fine in corporeal mode, thank you very much. But the car might need a mechanic. I’m not sure I could cope with his sighing all the way to the border… where I’d put him gently on a pile of hay and kiss him for real… just once, to thank him. I’m nice, really…

Funny how no-one ever reports a cat on a roof…

©Stephen Tanham 2021

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

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