I am proposing to add a new word to the English language…
The new word is ‘Tesseracting’; and I want to use it to replace a beautiful word that, in my opinion, has been degraded to a point where its use is compromised – that older word is ‘Ritual’.
My interest in the tesseract began as a result of the work of Stuart France (one of the three directors of the Silent Eye, along with Sue Vincent and myself). Stuart had been working on the spiritual implications of a particular geometric figure, known as the tesseract. The period of his study was one where he had been ill and that had produced a vivid dream in which this geometric figure revealed its relationship to the enneagram – the primary teaching figure we use in the School.
Stuart’s insight, some of which was published on his blog, showed that there was a solid relationship between the properties of the tesseract and those of the enneagram.
Working into the wee small hours last night, I was one of the first to read Sue’s blog “Simple Space”, about the different dimensions of creativity required to bring into existence a weekend workshop which has at its heart a five-act series of ritual dramas whose job is to transform the consciousness of everyone taking part. Sue’s blog goes on to describe the ‘divergent’ thinking that you have to do to get the emotional energy of the initial creation and envisioning. She then talks about the realities of narrowing down the engineering so that the same result will be delivered within a ‘simple space’ – as she points out, anything more complex and it just wouldn’t get delivered.
The three of us have learned this – sometimes painfully, as wonderful scenarios have failed to translate into what can be done within a simple room turned temple. Fortunately, such periods of learning usually precede the April Workshops, as Sue’s article shows, giving us a period of grace in which to get things right.
And that’s the essence of good ‘ritual’ – it uses the geometric properties of space, treated with reverence, to produce a shared consciousness that is quite unlike anything else you will experience. Cast off the ‘sensational’ images of Hammer Horror gothic rites… Real ritual owes nothing to the latter, except the degradation of its name.
Good ritual is simply a relationship with that ‘simple space’, embellished only to the degree that it will touch the hearts and minds of the participants, not glorify the guiding officers.
This morning, I took Tess (our collie dog) out for a much needed walk in what I can only describe as some of the worst weather I’ve ever experienced. Driven by a ferocious gale, the rain was coming at me horizontally, and even my long boots (an essential feature of dog-walking in Cumbria) were full of water. In the soggy mud of what used to be Sedgwick, we are having a tough winter. This is not because of extreme cold, but, rather, because it seems to have been raining, with very few breaks, since November. I’ll not ramble on, because the destructive effects on our landscape have been well documented by TV news teams over the past two months…
I was thinking about Sue’s piece as I sloshed through the mud, looking, miserably, at Tess and thinking how much washing she would need when I got her home…when suddenly, a gleeful look in her eye reminded me of how much dogs live in the ‘now’, being fed from it without judgement and with total involvement, regardless of the dreadful weather that often surrounds them. It struck me that her eagerness perfectly reflected how we all should be in our temples of whatever size, and how, we who build such workshops, having done our best to engineer that experience for all attending, owe it to our participants to relax into our little cube of space… and trust…
…and that’s when it hit me… how the tesseract, a four-dimensional figure that is to the cube as the cube it to the square, perfectly describes how a temple of the Mysteries feels to be in.
We enter the cube of the temple in reverence, determined to ‘raise its vibrations’; to put it in tune with a much greater dimension of objective reality that is always there, but that we seldom see because of the power of the lenses we create in the constant reaction of personality to experience. The combination of the space made sacred – in perfect geometrical harmony with what we are reaching for – plus an open-hearted appeal for the higher principles to fill our cube with the intelligent energy of the transformational, exactly maps onto the tesseract as a symbol.
So, in some humility, I offer ‘Tesseracting”: to act (as in ‘play a part’), with geometric movements, thoughts and words, within a cube of space made sacred by our actions, and in recognition that our small cube is a tiny but representational microcosm within an undivided, intelligent cosmos – but no less important for that…
There are still a few places left for the Silent Eye’s April 2016 workshop, “Leaf and Flame”, open to all, beginner or those more experienced. Special care will be taken of those who have never encountered Tesseraction before… we’re good at that, you’ve nothing to fear. Why not give it a go?
(Underlying Tesseract image from Wiki used with permission and created by Robert Webb, using his Stella Software, linked to here: http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php )