Lady of the Dancing Water

- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Lizard
pg. 2 - Cirkus | pg. 3 - Megaphonium Fanfare
pg. 4 - 'Worship!' Cried the Clown | pg. 5 - Entry of the Chameleons
pg. 6 - Indoor Games | pg. 7 - Happy Family
pg. 8 - Lady of the Dancing Water

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The Empress

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"What is the universe?" asked the Buddha,
his reply...

"The eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and smells, the tongue and tastes, the body, and tactile objects, the mind and mental objects".

- Tibetan Book of the Dead

"This whole objective universe
of matter and energy, atoms and stars,
is a construction of the conscience,
an edifice of conventional modes,
shaped by the senses of man."

Bertrand Russell

Recall that it was Hermes/Mercurius, the Ringmaster, who told the narrator to "join the parade", the outer world of appearances. The lady of the dancing water represents the world of the senses. The lady of the dancing water is Maya.

"In Hindu thought, the male energy is essentially passive, while the female is the force of action. Maya is one of those active powers: the constant movement of the universe, pervasive to the atomic level. There is no life -- no existence, even -- without Maya, but she is so powerful that we cannot see the essence of things and mistake her movement for reality. For this reason, Maya is often called "the veil of illusion," the dance of multiplicity that distracts us so that we cannot see all matter as essentially identical. Illusion, however, as the sages have stressed, is not the same as falsehood. Maya is not a negative force, but can be a mesh through which we perceive the ultimate reality of existence -- if we are not distracted by her magnificent creativeness and complexity."

- The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines
by Patricia Monaghan

"Maya is the illusory power of God. She is the creatrix of this universe. She projects this world for His Lila (sport). Mind, intellect, body, and senses are her forms. She is the energy or mother-aspect of the Lord.

Just as heat is inseparable from fire, coldness from ice, Maya is inseparable from Brahman (God). It is dependent on Brahman.

Maya has countless potencies. Solidity of stone is a power of Maya. Fluidity of water is another power of Maya. Fire is a third burning power. Air is the moving power of Maya. Ether is the void or space power of Maya.

Maya is neither true nor false. It is truly false and falsely true. It is neither real nor unreal. It is not real like Brahman, because it disappears when one gets Knowledge.

This Maya is a sort of jugglery. You are astonished so long as the juggler is not seen. As soon as the juggler is known, the results are known to be unreal; the wonder ceases at once. When you realize Brahman, the wonder of Maya's working vanishes."

- FAQ on Spirituality
The Divine Life Society
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"The Empress is recognized as the combination of the Magician (consciousness)...

(the first album, In the Court of the Crimson King)

and the Higher Priestess (the unconscious)

(the second album, In the Wake of Poseidon)

implying the union of opposites gives way to totality. The planet Venus is assigned to this card as Venus stands for love, beauty, desire, attraction, and the arts. She is the Goddess of Love, the symbol of universal fecundity. As the High Priestess is Isis veiled, the Empress is Isis unveiled. The High Priestess symbolizes the virgin state of the unconscious, and the Empress typifies the productive, generative activities within it after it has been infused by ideas from the conscious. The Empress can be thus seen as the multiplicator of images."

The cards of both the Empress and the High Priestess refer to the same archetypal feminine, the One Principle which, as Pure Idea, is reflected in many faceted ways. As High Priestess, she is the Virgin and represents the unconscious. As the Empress she is the fertile mother and represents conscious imagination."

- The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Tarot Trumps as They Relate to the Tree of Life
by Soror I. D. D.

"Grass in your hair stretched like a lion in the sun"

"In alchemy the lion, the "royal" beast, is a synonym for Mercurius, or, to be more accurate, for a stage in his transformation."

- Lions of Medieval Alchemy
by Mark Swanson
The Antlion Pit

"Restlessly turned moistened your mouth with your tongue.
Pouring my wine your eyes caged mine.... ...glowing"

"Maya causes false glittering and entraps the deluded Jivas (individual souls). She does a little electroplating work. Man is entrapped. He is caught in the wheel of birth and death."

- FAQ on Spirituality
The Divine Life Society

Maya pours the narrator's wine (intoxicates him) and "cages" his eyes. In Cirkus there is a "painted cage" and elephants "ate the floors of their cages".

"Touching your face my fingers strayed.... ...knowing.
I called you lady of the dancing water."

What is it that the narrator knows? That it is all a delusion.

"You know you will die, and yet you think you will live forever. This is Maya. You know that the world is full of miseries, and yet you take delight in the perishable objects and will not leave them. This is Maya. You know that the human body is made up of all sorts of impurities, flesh, bone, urine and faecal matter, and yet you rejoice in embracing it under the sway of lust. This is Maya."

- FAQ on Spirituality
The Divine Life Society

"Blown autumn leaves shed to the fire where you laid me
Burn slow to ash just as my days now seem to be"

"Symbolically, ash represents a redeeming death, or rather a state of death that is a prelude to life. In Sai Baba's discourses, the concept often recurs that from the death of the ego, from its being reduced to ashes, man rises to the state of imperishable divinity. By "ego" is meant the complex of passions such as anger, envy, jealousy, lust and ambitions that constitute it, which are the real death of the inner life of people."

- A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba
by Don Mario Mazzoleni

"Semele was burnt to ashes, her flesh melting away at the sight of the god before her in all his glory. From the dust which had been her body, arose their son, Dionysius the twice-born, "god of the savagery and rapturous glory given by the vine" (Baan, 1998, p. 38).

The birth of Dionysius occurs when Semele sees the true nature of her lover -- a luminosity which disintegrates her "self." Here is a myth, then, which describes what occurs when one is truly present to the other. To truly be present to the other, in a sense, one's separate identity is rendered to ash -- we must die to our fantasies of "identity" which wraps us in a web of delusion. And from the ashes, rises the god of ecstasy and intoxication, Dionysius.

As Nietzsche described, Apollo, in distinction from Dionysius, is "man caught in the veil of Maya". This veil is lifted with the onset of "Dionysiac rapture."

- Madness and Liberation
A Journey To Cader Idris
by Brent Dean Robbins, Duquesne University

"I feel you still always your eyes.... ...glowing
Remembered hours salt, earth and flowers.... ...flowing"

"Salt is associated with Tamas, representing stability, inertia and ignorance, which might be identified with Jung's Sensation."

- The Pythagorean Tarot by John Opsopous

And Tamas is the lowest of the three "gunas" or aspects of Maya. In fact, "salt, earth and flowers" all refer to Tamas.

"Correspondences -


Tamas - earth, the realm of gravity and inertia

Kingdoms of Nature:

Tamas - mineral, plant and animal kingdoms"

- Three Modes of Material Nature (Tregun Maya)
Reflections on Gurbani

" ...flowing"

In Taoist thought, everything in the physical world is said to conform to a basic pattern of flow.

"In the Chinese language this is called li, and the character for li means the markings in jade. It also means the grain in wood and the fiber in muscle. We could say, too, that clouds have li, marble has li, the human body has li. We all recognize it, and the artist copies it whether he is a landscape painter, a portrait painter, an abstract painter, or a non-objective painter. They all are trying to express the essence of li. The interesting thing is, that although we all know what it is, there is no way of defining it. Because tao is the course, we can also call li the watercourse, and the patterns of li are also the patterns of flowing water. We see those patterns of flow memorialized, as it were, as sculpture in the grain in wood, which is the flow of sap, in marble, in bones, in muscles. All these things are patterned according to the basic principles of flow. In the patterns of flowing water you will find all kinds of motifs from Chinese art immediately recognizable, including the S-curve in the circle of yang-yin.

So li means then the order of flow, the wonderful dancing pattern of liquid."

- Taoism by Alan Watts

The swirling marble pattern on the album's inner sleeve is an example of li,

the..."patterns of flow memorialized, as it were, marble..."

"Salt, earth and flowers" refer to the senses of taste, touch and smell. But these things are only "remembered". In Lady of the Dancing Water the narrator is leaving the physical world, dying to the world of the senses.

"As for the five desires, this refers to worldly forms, sounds, smells, tastes and touchables. They are ever able to deceive and delude all ordinary people causing them to develop fond attachment. If one is able to become deeply aware of the negative consequences of desires, one will not become involved with them. This is what is meant by renouncing desire."

- Renunciation of Desire
The Dharma Essentials (Syou-syi Jr-gwan Dzwo-chan Fa-yao)
By the Swei Dynasty Chih-i of T'ien-t'ai Mountain's Dhyana Cultivation Monastery

"All bodhisattvas, lesser and great, should develop a pure, lucid mind, not depending upon sound, flavor, touch, odor, or any quality. A bodhisattva should develop a mind which alights upon no thing whatsoever; and so should he establish it."

- Buddhism. Diamond Sutra 10
World Scripture: Detachment from the Senses

"Farewell my lady of the dancing water."

"You will behold My Maya, and having developed insight into it, you will renounce it in order to attain Self-realization."

-Lord Vishnu in Yoga Vasista, Upashama Prakarana,44, Gadhi

Two Majesties by Jean-Leon Gerome

Dark Night of the Soul : Cirkus ~ Happy Family
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Dark Night of the Soul : Wilderness

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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