Category Archives: The Silent Eye

Eyes for an Eye…

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“You know of what I speak, Gandalf.

A great eye, lidless, wreathed in flame.”

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I recall struggling to formulate this image when first reading Tolkien’s masterpiece.

Even with the help of the cover illustrations it seemed to me then an incredibly ‘difficult’ adversary to picture.

Subsequent artists and filmakers have done a pretty decent job of making the image real and sufficiently menacing.

But what of the symbolism?

What can it mean that Sauron only ever appears as an eye?

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“I see you.

You cannot escape.”

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From a psychological perspective the Eye of Sauron can be regarded as signifying the Super Ego.

The Super Ego is a manifestation of all those ideals and authority figures that the Ego seeks to impress in order to justify its existence, and look and feel good about itself, but is ever doomed to fail to impress because those ideals are as empty and groundless as the Ego itself, being ultimately, themselves, projections of that Ego.

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“What news from Mordor, my Lord?

What does the Eye command?”

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The over-bearing demands of the Super Ego and the futile attempts of the Ego to satisfy those demands recall the sweet maid in the rhyme, ‘Soldier Soldier…’

What the Ego needs to do, instead of trying to obey the Super Ego, is to listen to, and act upon, the promptings of the Id.

The Id is the inner child of wisdom which the Ego initially develops to protect.

Once fully developed the Ego conveniently forgets the reason for its development.

Perhaps that is also why Tolkien chose Hobbits as his heroes?

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“They would only be small.

Like children to your eyes.”

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The Eyes of Horus are not the Eye of Sauron.

They recognise only the Id-entity…

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The Ticket Inspector…

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I am late.

I am expected in Leicester and now my only option is to catch the last train.

The last train to Leicester is a slow train and also appears to be experiencing difficulties.

Stopping where there are no stations.

That sort of thing.

It becomes clear that many of my fellow passengers are not going to get to their destinations and as the ticket inspector makes his round they discuss alternatives together.

As this is an unfamiliar route I assume that Leicester too is now out of the question.

A strange thing about the ticket inspector, although this is a new route and I have never met him before, he knows my name…

“Yes, Stu…”

…and uses its familiar form.

“You’ll be in Leicester in twenty minutes time.”

Not only does the ticket inspector know my name and use its familiar form, he is also incredibly accurate.

My alarm clock is due to go off in precisely twenty minutes time.

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Seeking a light…

The Silent Eye

Rites of Passage: Seeing beyond Fear

A weekend with the Silent Eye

Derbyshire, UK

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th September 2019

Beyond the serene beauty of the Derbyshire Dales, old stories cast shadows across the landscape. From the veiled rites of prehistory to folklore, from legend to history, we listen with a shiver to tales of another time and place… and yet, the fears faced within these stories still echo our own.

Fear gets a bad press. It is almost always portrayed as a negative emotion, an uncontrolled reaction to the events and circumstances of our lives. When we allow fear to rule us, that can be an accurate description. It can be paralysing, preventing us from following our dreams and embracing the possibilities life offers. And yet, fear helps keep us safe and alive; without fear, we would not step away from danger or take our hand away from…

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Egg of the Id…

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When Fionn was a boy he was fostered on the hermit, Finaghast, who was to be his instructor.
The old hermit had been living by the river Boyne with the aim of catching the Salmon of Knowledge.
Tradition had it that the first person to taste the flesh of that salmon would receive
the gift of past and future sight and would become the wisest man in all Erin.
Finaghast had spent many years fishing in the river, hoping that
one day the Salmon of Knowledge would swim by.
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One day, as Finaghast was pitching Fionn his, Auraicept, by the river, there were unusual stirrings in the water of the Boyne.
Old man and boy peered into the river and saw a beautiful, speckled salmon swimming swiftly towards them.
“The Salmon of Knowledge!” cried Finaghast running for his fish-net.
As he returned to the river-bank with the fish-net to hand, the Salmon of Knowledge leapt out of the water and gazed into his eyes.
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Finaghast-the-Hermit, immediately collapsed to the ground in a deep sleep, for it was an ability of the Salmon that whosoever its gaze first fell upon when breaching the water course would always be put into such a condition.
Fionn ran to Finaghast and attempted to shake him awake, but to no avail.
With his instructor lost to the world it was left to the pupil to land the fish, which Fionn did, eventually, after an almighty tussle.
Still unable to wake his instructor, Fionn, set about cooking the salmon in the hope that the aroma of the broiling fish would bring old Finaghast round.
It nearly worked too, but just as the fish was softening nicely, and Finaghast began to stir, a drop from the boiling pot fizzed out and caught Fionn plumb on his thumb, so scalding him.
Fionn instinctively stuck his thumb into his mouth to cool it.
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When Finaghast woke from his sleep he noticed a great change in his young pupil.
There was a light behind his eyes, like that of a flame, and his cheeks were glowing brightly.
“Fionn, did you eat of the salmon?” asked Finaghast.
“I did not eat of the salmon,” said Fionn.
“Fionn did you taste any of the salmon at all?” asked Finaghast.
Fionn then explained all that had happened and the old hermit realised that the grace of wisdom had been granted, not to him, but to his foster son…
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‘Aye’ of the Unicorn…

Image result for Alchemical unicorn

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With almost prescient clarity

we commenced our summer workshop in a graveyard!

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Except, not quite, for before we entered the graveyard,

we stood by the swiftly flowing waters of the river Spey

and entered into a guided meditation.

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The Unicorn of Spirit

sailed down the Spey

disembarked from its boat,

and invited us all astride its back

for a tour of the elements…

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Somewhat unsurprisingly then,

our first pentagram was that of Spirit,

which could be called the ‘parent’ of the elements.

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Have the bodies buried in the earth,

hereabouts, had their constituent parts

returned to spirit?

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One might well hope so!

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In Macbeth, the Bard uses the three witches

to represent the spiritual realm.

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As with a lot of things he wrote

this is simultaneously;

a joke,

a reflection of characterised psychology,

and can also allude to something far deeper…

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We all enjoyed ‘hamming up’ the witches as we are meant to.

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Does the feminine aspect of the spirit appear

‘bearded’ to those with purely political ambition?

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Whatever our perceptions,

this realm moves and motivates all…

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