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A Generalized Account of Creation

The Tattvas

Logic, then, requires that we begin at the beginning - or at least as close to it as we can get.

Let us imagine a number line.... the abscissa or X horizontal axis of a grid. In the middle we have a zero or "origin" - to the left of the zero are the negative numbers which we will call the Great Void. We can think of this negative section of the line as the abode of the Creator, or Ground of All Being. This creative One may be called,"Brahman" or "Jehovah" or any other name the individual prefers.

In the system used here this "One" functions as an indivisible pair, feminine Paravach and masculine Paramashiva, that together create the universe. The pair will initiate the process and then will cease directly to interfere. They will have delivered to the Origin all that constitutes our spiritual nature and "the spirit made manifest," i.e., the material universe as it is encountered in our human existence.

This One or Godhead Pair follows the dictates of its own nature: Power (which is feminine) and the Law Power Obeys (which is masculine). In other words, if we have the formula "Force = mass x acceleration," then the formula "F=ma" is is the masculine law; but the accelerating mass or matter is the feminine power. Obviously, we cannot have one without the other.

In the creative act, the first demonstration of divine force is Sound. Paravach (Vach, vox, voc are related words, the English cognates being seen in "voice" "vocabulary" "vocal" etc.) creates the vibrating sound after being apprised of Paramashiva's lawful command.

According to the Vedas (quoted in the later Gospel of John) "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." This, in our model, is read, "In the beginning was Paravach, and Paravach was with Paramashiva, and Paravach was Paramashiva." This is the divine identity. Paravach = Paravach/Paramashiva = Paramashiva.

There is no evil entity with whom divinity competes or shares power. In our ignorance we can consider chaos; but whether we understand something as cosmos or ignorantly see chaos, we cannot characterize any part of the process as evil. What we see as disorder can no more be considered evil than the loose, as yet unmeasured ingredients of a cake can be considered evil.

In Genesis and elsewhere, we find such statements as, "God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light." The Word, being the pronouncement of His Will (or Law), is sufficient cause and effect of that which is. For God (as Paravach and Paramashiva), saying the word actualizes what the word represents. Power obeys laws.

Put another way, there was latent fiat and force. When the lawful command was given, power burst into light. First sound, then light.

Extraordinary experiences of sound and light function as spiritual signals to the those on the Path. A person may awaken through the night hearing a strange sound, as a distant trumpet or train whistle that grows louder and louder until the sound, like an onrushing locomotive or booming thunder, becomes palpable. The room will shake and his ear drums will seem ready to burst. And then there is silence. He looks around and sees that nothing is moving and that no one else around him has heard any unusual sound at all. This event is an annunciation motif, called The Holy Nahd or Shabd. (I do not know a single person who has had mystical experience who has not heard this tremendous, but hallucinatory sound.) Also, in the beginning of the spiritual opus a person may experience an incredibly brilliant, blinding light that engulfs his mind. The light is as dazzling and scintillating as a welder’s arc. Naturally, no one else can see the light; but once a person has seen it, he is fundamentally changed. There are other signs of deepening spiritual experience,- kaleidoscopic designs that fill the visual field when deep in meditation or the astonishingly vivid "archetypal" dreams or night "visions" in which unknown but unforgettable persons appear. Visions, sound, and light are the principal markers of spiritual advancement.

Returning to our number line, to the right of the origin are thirty-six hash-marks. According to the ancient model, the foundational knowledge accessible to human beings is predicated upon thirty-six principles of existence called tattvas.

The first six of these principles (zero up to but not including #6) constitute spiritual world reality (Nirvana). The other thirty constitute material world illusion (Samsara).

When the spiritual world is considered "Nirvanic" it is said to be real and true and is further defined as eternal (outside of time), immutable, universal, and unconditional. The definition for the material world is then "Samsaric" and it is said to be the opposite of real and true, i.e., illusionary and non-real since it occurs in ever-changing time, is in constant motion, and varies, depending upon conditions. The ordinary, non-transcendent human mind, in particular ego-consciousness with all its thoughts and feelings, is part of the illusionary world.

The Samsaric Principles of Existence, then, begin at Tattva #6, Maya, the point at which the spiritual world gives rise to the palpable material world, as in the religious motif of the spirit becoming flesh.

From zero up to but not including Tattva #6, we find the spiritually altered states of consciousness, including intense ego-obliterating concentration, meditation and samadhi, and then the entrance into the Mahayana Trinity and encounters with that universal cast of divine characters that previously we knew only from church or temple artworks: satori - an experience of the Buddha Amitabha; mystical marriage - the mysterium coniunctionis, Union of Opposites, or androgynous Bodhisattva experience; and delivery of the "immortal foetus" who quickly grows into Maitreya or Miroku, the Future Buddha. These beings are known to us in Jungian terms as the Self; the Anima/Animus; and the Child/Hero archetypes. Actualization of them constitutes the act of "Integration." In our collective unconscious, these beings are always present in us; but they become known to us only in transcendent states. We can light incense to them, chant their names, and bow to them in our temples, but these acts of worship are external material-world actions in which our ego-consciousness focuses out upon the world of illusion. We cannot apprehend them in their divine precincts, in internal reality, until we - usually in disgust with the material world - strive to reverse our direction and go from the material world's Maya back into the spiritual domain. Accessing these six transcendental states constitutes the Spiritual Opus.

For simplicity’s sake, these Nirvanic principles, zero through to, but not including. six, will be discussed at the conclusion of the review of the thirty Samsaric principles.

The list of these tattvas, especially considering the state of 8th Century science, is a bit irritating to review; but there is a good reason to become familiar with them. Specifically, one of Yoga’s Eight Limbs is Pratyahara which requires mastery over the senses, both suppressing sensation in order to become oblivious to noises, smells, sights, and so on, and evoking sensory stimuli when they are not in fact present. This sensory control is a vital part of the yoga regimen and it helps to understand how the Tattvas allow for sensory data. There is no need whatsoever to memorize these Tattvas. It is necessary only to become casually familiar with them.

The Material World Principles

Principle #6 (Maya) represents that point at which the Divine Word orders into existence the material universe. The reverberating command remains within the sentient being as a nexus to the divine.

Maya can be seen to represent the equal sign between the command and that which has been commanded; and it can also be regarded as the material world’s matrix, as all material things issue from the "womb of Maya."

Maya immediately differentiates material existence into "knower" (subject) and "known" (object) This convenient separation allows us, as knowing subjects, to consider material existence, including ourselves, as known objects.

Principle #7 (Purusha) is the individual connecting spirit of the "knower." It is through the Purusha that the individual, in a transcendental "reversal" experience, initiates the climb up to Nirvanic reality. As regards the material world, it is the oblivious "Self-forgetting" and individual differentiating power. The Purusha has five principles of subjective limitation:

Principles #8, 9, 10, 11, & 12 (Kanchukas): In order for an object to exist in the material world, it must occupy space and have position or location. Number 8 answers "where" (Niyati).

It must exist at a specific time. Number 9 answers "when" (Kaala).

It must have characteristics that can engage the attention of the knower. Number 10 covers the attributes of interest (Raaga).

The knower must have the awareness necessary to be able to differentiate himself from the objects around him, and to acquire knowledge about himself as separate and distinct from those objects. Number 11 is this knowledge (Avidyaa).

The knower must have the ability to effect change in objects, including change in himself. This change can be an increase or a decrease - as in knowledge, or in foodstuffs; or creation or destruction - as in planting or harvesting, or life and death. Number 12 is the ability of limited creation or destruction, (Kalaa).

Principle #13 (Prakriti) is the qualitative state and emotional potential of the content of the material world, including the knower, himself, that the knower can experience. According to his subjective evaluation, these objects can be pure and undefiled by emotional attachments (sattva); or they can be in a state which excites emotion (rajas); or they can be in a state which depresses emotion (tamas).

Principles #14, 15, 16 Antahkarana (Buddhi, Ahamkara, Manas): These are the complete functions of both the conscious and the unconscious contents of the mind. In order for the knower to know he requires the ability to make judgments (Buddhi); to have a continuing awareness that it is he who is making the judgments (Ahamkara); and to perform the mental functions associated with imagination, memory, thought, association, and so on, necessary for intelligent evaluation (Manas). He must also be able to deal with the instinctive pressures and willfull impulses generated within his own psyche.

Principles #17, 18, 19, 20, 21 (Buddhindriyas or Jnanendriyas) are the capacities to perceive. In order to be able to perceive things in the material world, the knower must be able to acquire information about them through the senses of hearing; touching; seeing; tasting; and smelling. (The Sanskrit terms for these senses are: shravanendriya, sparshendriya, darshanendriya, rasanendriya, ghranendriya, respectively.)

Principles #22, 23, 24, 25, 26 (Tanmatras) In order for a person to be able to perceive things they must have qualities which are perceivable: sound; texture and temperature; light and color; flavor; and odor. (The Sanskrit terms for these qualities are: shabda-tanmatra, sparsha tanmatra, rupa tanmatra, rasa tanmatra, gandha tanmatra, respectively.)

Principles #27, 28, 29, 30, 31 (Karmendriyas): In order for a person to acquire information he must be able to perform certain activities such as communicating; handling; moving about; maintaining normal body functions such as ingestion; digestion, assimilation, and elimination; and to be able to get the sleep and exercise he requires. (The Sanskrit terms for these activities are vach, hasta, pada, payu, upastha, respectively.)

Principles #32, 33, 34, 35, 36 (Bhutas) are the five physical orders. In order for the objects of the material world to exist they must obey laws of force such as govern the vibrating "hairs of Shiva" - whether those laws define the lines of a force field of "ether" (Akasha); or describe a gaseous state (aeriality Vayu); or a transformational state (formativity Agni); or a liquid state (Ap); or a solid state (Prithivi).

The centers of these final five principles are known in Yoga as the vibrating field of Vishuddha; the air of Anahata; the transforming fire - the hearth, forge, or sun of Manipura; the lunar, water state of Svadhisthana; the solid state of earth of Muladhara, all of which comprise the five Chakras or energy wheels.

Jungian psychology describes for us the instinctive behavior that helps us to negotiate these thirty material world tattvas. The instinctive "archetypal" forces (already described as spiritual beings) which we project upon the people, places, and things of the material world will have to be withdrawn and integrated into our psyche as we reverse our direction and penetrate #6, Maya, in order to enter the "other" dimension, the real world, the sacred precincts.

Nirvanic Principles

Principle #5 (Sad Vidya or Shuddha Vidya) is the true meditative state. We may enter this spiritual state by a spontaneous experience; or by being propelled through the barrier by a severely stressful experience; or by any of the meditative methods which assist in this transcendental experience: mantra; yantra; music, dance; postures; prayer; scripture; koan contemplation; breath control; focus on the body’s interior psychic channels - the meridians or nadis; various mental constructs of shapes and forms; sensory qualities; thought obliteration; active imagination techniques, and so on.

This state is not a dreamy, peaceful state. Neither is it a blank state in which thoughts expire and objects fade into a kind of null operative set. Breathing may seem to cease and the body may seem as motionless as a statue, yet the mind is in a vibrant, dynamic tension. Time ceases; and the practitioner subsequently has no awareness of how long he has been in the meditative state. He may be transfixed by a spontaneously generated, repeating geometric design (a ganzfeld or complete field) that fills his visual field.

Usually, if a specific object is being successfully meditated upon, the object is seen in a glorified state, as if it is suspended in space, isolated and glowing. Such an object constitutes a Platonic Ideal Form, one that is "laid up in heaven." The effect upon the meditator is one of stunning euphoria. In any case, the meditator experiences this "other worldly zone of transcendental fixity" - i.e., his consciousness has expanded into a "beyond" state of higher or altered consciousness. The meditator is seized with the certainty that he intimately knows the object in all its facets. There is a specific method for accessing a Platonic form - said to have been used by none other than Isaac Newton - which we will present in a later chapter.

In Sanskrit, Sad Vidya means true knowledge and Shuddha Vidya means pure knowledge.

Principle #4 (Ishvara Tattva) is samadhi, a higher level into which the meditator enters as he pushes through the meditative zone into a state of ecstatic or orgasmic bliss. This is the visionless state of Divine Union, the so-called "thrill divine" of tremulous, prolonged (an hour or more) period of orgasmic rapture.

Ishvara is Lordly, and it does not matter which religion’s Lord is holding the meditator in the divine embrace. A person who has experienced union with the divine no longer prowls for human sexual companionship. Although Tattva #5 should have been sufficient to convert loneliness into solitude, if that transformation has been incomplete, the attainment of Tattva #4 will complete it.

After the experience, a person craves solitude and usually will attend social functions only from a sense of duty.

Principle #3 (Sadakhya or Sadashiva Tattva) is the famous Satori experience in which the ego is extinguished and in its absence the Buddha Self or "interior soul" recognizes itself as being One with God. It is the stunning "I am this" experience of seeing and hearing the world in pristine clarity. Usually, a sound having a repetitive nature, arrests the attention of the person, and then a peculiar sensation of having the brain turn over inside the head is felt as the ego consciousness recedes suddenly to a vanishing point in the horizon. And then for five glorious earth seconds or so, in the complete absence of the ego, the surrounding objects are apprehended by the Buddha Self and there is a sublime certitude that everything in the world is precisely as it should be, an awesome perfection. And then the brain turns back and the ego returns with the sudden intake of breath, the "Ahhh!" of unimaginable joy.

Sometimes the feeling of satori is that ego consciousness is a candle flame that is burning in the "Third Eye" of the forehead; and then suddenly an entity poised in the brain’s "Moon Center" in the back of the head blows out the candle. And, with the ego obstacle to His vision extinguished, the Buddha Self surveys His surroundings and sees that it is all good and perfect. This is an intellectual (non-sexual) experience that can keep a person euphoric for several days or even weeks. Frequently the person jabbers on incessantly, repeating expressions of wonderment. (This is called Zen Disease.)

This loss of self, a surrender or "outpouring of the ego," results in a pure, loving attitude called Kensho, the Japanese way to say Kenosis. It is a radiant state that can continue for months. Kensho can be experienced in lesser states of transcendence; sometimes occurring spontaneously in otherwise mundane settings.

This state is often called Sadakya, Being, meaning the Divine Being. In Jungian terms, the experience is the integration of the Self. It is the initial entry into Trinitarian reality. In Zen we regard the divine triangle as a right triangle and say that we have accessed the 90 degree corner of the Buddha Amitabha (Infinite Light) or, by His other name, the Buddha Amitayus (Infinite Time).

Principles #2 & 1 (Divine Marriage)

Shakti and Shiva Tattva are usually taken together and constitute the spiritual state of transsexual, spiritual androgyny, a visionary state in which, during deep meditation, the male meditator’s ego is subsumed by by his Anima or Shakti Parvati. The female meditator’s ego is subsumed by her Animus or Shiva. This is the Bodhisattva Experience that, in our triangle, would occupy one of the Triangle's angles... a 45 or 60 degree corner.

Iconographically, this androgynous state is variously represented. It can be a pair of sexual opposites: Aphrodite and Hermes; Shiva and his Shakti Parvati; Guan Yin and Avalokitesvara; and so on. In mythology, if this spiritual principle appears as a couple, they usually have no children by each other. Zeus and Hera; Shiva and Parvati; Votan and Fricka; etc. Later embellishments of the myths may, however, describe offspring.

The androgynous pair can also be iconographically represented as a single being such as the two sided representation of Dionysus; or as the Bodhisattva Kwannon who appears entirely maternal except for a small mustache and beard; or it can be the same individual separately represented as Samantabhadra as a male warrior and Samantabhadri as a demure courtesan; or in any of the numerous alchemical representations of the Rebus figure - one body with two heads - one male and one female; or as a sexually ambiguous animal, bird, or plant. For example, the rabbit or hare is seen as a moon creature; and when the sun is regarded as masculine and the earth as feminine, it is the lunar rabbit that signifies the androgynous state. As a bird, the dove appears as a symbol of spiritual androgyny, it being virtually impossible for the untutored eye, at least, to recognize a dove’s gender. As plants, banana trees, growing so often in pairs, offer open thigh-like trunks and penile flowers that can be interpreted as possessing the necessary two-in-one sexuality. In non-tropical areas the columbine and the lily represent this spiritual state.

The visionary heralds of the androgynous experience are celestial beings, angels or the four Directional Guardian kings. Three of the four appear before the experience; and the fourth, an anthracite black figure of exquisite form, appears after the experience.

In the attainment of Tattvas 2 & 1, Shakti and Shiva, the person experiences an effortless glide into visionary meditation called the Krama state. The first few weeks of this experience are virtually nonstop orgasmic ecstasy, a rapture or delirium which has no equal in the samsaric world. Yet, if the phone rings, the meditator immediately regains samsaric awareness and calmly answers the call in an entirely rational manner. The moment he concludes his conversation, however, he will glide back into the blissful state. The passionate intensity of this mind-obliterating state will cause him to burn a considerable number of calories... just sitting there in ecstasy, doing absolutely nothing else.

After several weeks, however, the delirium subsides and a drama unfolds with its own cast of characters. This cast will remain throughout several years of extraordinary delight. During these visionary encounters, he, in the female person of his Anima, interacts with completely unknown aristocratic-type persons. The ancients say that the "meditator puts an ocean between him and his female other" meaning that the visionary action does not occur near to home. (In the drama he encounters no one that he has known in the samsaric world.) To him it is as if he is simultaneously participating in the divine drama "onstage" as a member of the opposite sex while, in his own earthly sexual identity, he passively observes the drama as a member of the audience, witnessing, but, with only one brief exception, not participating in the events being enacted. The moment the meditation ends, he is his own natural gender again. No one in the outside world has the slightest indication that he has this other existence.

In the Orient each monastery has small private cabin-like domiciles reserved for monks or nuns who experience spiritual androgyny. They may remain in complete isolation for up to three years. Their meals are brought to them and their laundry is done for them. An encased shelf that gives covered window access to the outside allows him or her to receive food and fresh garments without having to encounter other "profane" human beings. At night, however, it is sometimes possible to see the occupants come outside to sit under the stars, perhaps even smoking cigarettes and chatting with each other, in their normal gender identities.

Tattva #0 to 1 (The Divine Child)

Several years into the androgynous adventure, an extraordinary vision occurs: for five strange earth seconds, the meditator, in his earthly identity, enters the divine drama; and in a chamber of operating-room sterility, impregnates his own sexually opposite "other." This is the only time that a human being, as such, sets foot in the divine precincts. This, also, accounts for the semi-divine, hero who so often has one mortal parent (the meditator) and one divine parent (the meditator's Anima or Animus). In Zen, this child is called Maitreya, the Future Buddha. But, according to the particular Path being followed, he may have many other names, Skanda, Murugan, Miroku. etc.

Attempts to generate the Divine Child without benefit of Mystical Marriage and the integration of the "other" parent are ridiculous. Ancient texts may seem to indicate that this is possible; but these texts were always amplified by secret sessions with an Abbot or Master who conveyed the vital esoteric knowledge in person. There are people today who are convinced that through a Royal Road or Solar Path they can conjure up a divine child as if he were a spiritual clone. Children who create an imaginary playmate come closer to the mark.

The Dark Night of the Spirit

During the gestation period the meditator experiences an indescribably depraved series of sadomasochistic visions called the Dark Night of the Spirit. (Note that this is not the Dark Night of the Senses - in which a person strives to conform his conduct to that of the religious life. It also is not the Dark Night of the Soul in which the meditator enters an arid zone in which he cannot meditate. For weeks or months he tries to enter the transcendental state, but he tries in vain. He is, as we say, "Selling water by the river." His efforts seem as foolish as they are futile.)

In these Dark Night of the Spirit visions he does in the real nirvanic world a worsening series of sordid, clearly criminal activities which he actually enjoys. No conscience restrains him. In his everyday illusionary world, he may see other human beings doing such things in the televised material world. It is as if he has a vision on Monday of committing a crime; and then, on Tuesday's TV, he sees someone being led away in chains for having committed the same crime. He does not feel that insipid, "There but for the grace of God go I." On the contrary, he knows that in the real world he has done far worse; and his empathy with the criminal rises to poignant compassion. The experience, dreadful as it is, has a purpose. The meditator is completely humbled and can now look with compassion and empathy upon sinners in the material world. Without reservation or judgment he understands the sin and the sinner. This does not, however, inspire him to interfere in the criminal justice system. As D.T. Suzuki put it, "The man of Zen must also live in society."

This terrible "Dark Night" state may last for many weeks or, as Grandmaster Jy Din warned, may hold the meditator so tightly that there is no escape from it. "Many men do not get out," lamented the late abbot of Hsu Yun Temple.

At the conclusion of this wrenching period of visionary depravity, the divine child, heralded by a circling mini-planet identified as Mercury, spiritually emerges "from the cleft in the rock" i.e., from the meditator’s fontanelles. He grows up quickly.

"Egress" methodologies

Although there are texts in which exercises are given to project this spiritual creature into the material world, this possibility is not countenanced in Zen. What does happen is that the meditator soon abandons his Anima identity and meditates instead in the spiritual guise of the hero (divine child) archetype.

Again, no one in the outside world receives the slightest clue that such stupendous events are occurring in the meditator's life. Additionally, it must be noted that the sense of reality experienced in the visionary world far exceeds in clarity, vibrance, and significance events experienced in the ordinary material world.

The Origin and Beyond - The Empty Circle's Portal to The Void

Continuing along the number line, passing through the Origin into a negative zone, we have the state of Ultimate Emptiness, the hyperconscious experience of the Void, Shunyata. In the Mahayana the divinity who governs this experience is the Prajnaparamita. She is the embodiment of Wisdom and Grace. It would not be correct to consider her either a Buddha or a Bodhisattva since She, in a manner of speaking, transcends the transcendental.

Real Spiritual Encounters and the efforts of misguided persons to manufacture gods.

No review of the spiritual tattvas would be complete without a comment about the so-called "Left Hand" methods of generating divine persons. Certain forms of Alchemy, Daoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism credit their sexual partners with an apotheosis as an means to create the "other" parent.

In the case of the Anima, the meditator is given a variety of instructions on how to raise a living human female to the status of a goddess so that he can experience Divine Intercourse. Some schools advice using the most base of woman for this honor; other schools prefer virginal girls. (For the Animus, the school's guru or master is considered sufficiently exalted to stand in for Shiva or Avalokitesvara.)

In the event it is not possible or advisable to use a living human female, the meditator is instructed to imagine a goddess and then to make her obedient to his will.

These practices constitute sacrilege. Anyone is free to call a woman a goddess or to suppose that he is being serviced by an imaginary one. In the everyday world only a fool would make such an effort. No one should be seduced by "scripture," "Guru," or "Master" into believing that it is possible to gain by such means a transcendental encounter.

There is only one way to access the "Maha Mudra" (Great Seal of Divine Marriage) known as the Yin (seal). That acquisition is through Grace achieved by the hard work of integrating the various archetypes. Only this Grace allows for the true androgynous experience. Human egos do not tell gods what to do. That nonsense comes under the heading of Hubris.

True Accounts

There are many works by genuine mystics that describe spiritual experience. Unfortunately, many of these important works have been translated by people who simply did not understand spiritual androgyny. (I once read a beautiful translation of an expression of love by Saint Catherine of Sienna. Regrettably, I did not note the translator. When I next encountered a translation of some of her work, it was done by persons who knew Italian but didn’t know very much about transcendence. They explained that they translated her word "virile" as "truthful" which, seemed to them more appropriate. As if Catherine of Sienna did not know the Italian word for ‘truthful.’)

The great Sufi saint, Jalalal-din Rumi, also wrote exquisite poetry describing this androgynous state. Among his many works is a collection of such love poems: The Divan of Shams of Tabriz. Rumi had been a teacher of Islam’s Shi’a Path. Profoundly spiritual, he attained the Tattva 2 & 1 state of Divine Marriage when he happened to hear a lecture by a Sufi Master, Shams of Tabriz.

One of Rumi’s sons, not understanding spiritual androgyny, supposed that his father’s ecstatic trances were homosexual in nature and that they indicated that he was sexually involved with Shams. He therefore murdered Shams. After years of mourning, Rumi composed the love poems, signing his master’s name to them as author. Britain’s Sir Richard Burton and American poet Coleman Barks are mostly responsible for bringing these Persian poems to light in English.

We’ll close with two poems: Like This, by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks; and the other, Noche Oscura, in Spanish, was written in the 1500s by San Juan de la Cruz of Spain. The saint speaks of his "house being now all stilled" which means he is in the meditative state. In dreams, for example, the state of the psyche is often represented by the condition of the dwelling in which the dreamer finds himself. He also speaks of burning desire, which is, of course, the incredible heat of passion. He will allude to his "disguise" which is his feminine "other" whom no one else can see; and he will refer to the "ladder" which is climbed... a reference to the creeping up the spine of the tremendous, engulfing (Kundalini) passion.

Noche Oscura

En una Noche oscura
Con ansias en amores inflamada
-Oh, dichosa ventura!
Sali sin ser notada,
Estando ya mi casa sosegada.

A oscuras, y segura
Por la secreta escala disfrazada
-Oh dichosa ventura!
A oscuras y en celada,
Estando ya mi casa sosegada.

En la noche dichosa
En secreto, que nadie me veia,
Ni yo miraba cosa,
Sin otra luz y guia
Sino la que en el corazon ardia.

Aquesta me guiaba
Mas cierto que la luz del mediodia,
A donde me esperaba
-Quien yo bien me sabia -
En parte donde nadie parecia.

Oh noche que guiaste!
Oh noche amable mas que el alborada!
Oh noche que juntaste
Amado con amada,
Amada en el Amado transformada.

En mi pecho florido,
Que entero para el solo se guardaba,
Alli quedo dormido,
Y yo le regalaba,
Y el ventalle de cedros aire daba.

El aire de la almena,
Cuando ya sus cabellos esparcia,
Con su mano serena
En mi cuello heria,
Y todos mis sentidos suspendia.

Quedeme y olvideme,
El rostro recline sobre el Amado,
Ceso todo, y dejeme,
Dejando me cuidado
Entre las azucenas olvidado.

Yao Sheng Shakya, a monk in our Order in Argentina, translated San Juan's poem for us. He has captured the work's passionately androgynous essence - as Saint John writes as a woman.

A Dark Night

In the deep of night,
Inflamed with the yearnings of love
(Oh joyous venture!)
I go out, unnoticed,
My house being now asleep.

Safe in the dark,
By the secret ladder, disguised,
(Oh joyous venture!)
Between the shadows, unseen,
My house being now asleep.

In the joyful night,
In secret, neither being seen
Nor letting my eyes be caught by anything,
Without a light or guide
Save the fire that kept my heart in flames.

It guided me,
Steadfast as the midday light
To Him, where He awaited me,
He, the One I knew so well
Whom no one else could see.

¡Oh night!
¡Oh night, kinder than dawn!
¡Oh, night who joined
Two Lovers,
One in the Other transfigured.

On my flowering breasts,
Kept for Him alone,
There He fell asleep;
And I caressed Him
While the distant cedars fanned us.

The wind blew from the merlons;
And when I stroked His ruffled hair,
He, with a gentle hand
Touched my neck, - a wound
that suspended all my senses.

In total quietness, I forgot myself,
Reposing my face on my Beloved.
Everything ceased. My cares left me,
Forgotten among the lilies,
In the blissful oblivion.

Here is Coleman Barks’ exquisite translation of Rumi’s poem, Like This, from the Divan of Shams of Tabriz #1826.

Like This

If anyone asks you how the perfect satisfaction of all our sexual wanting will look, lift your face and say, Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness of the night sky, climb up on the roof and dance and say, Like this?

If anyone wants to know what "spirit" is, or what "God's fragrance" means, lean your head toward him or her. Keep your face there close.
Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image about clouds gradually uncovering the moon, slowly loosen knot by knot the strings of your robe.
Like this?

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead, don't try to explain the miracle. Kiss me on the lips. Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means to "die for love," point here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown and measure with your fingers the space between the creases on your forehead. This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns. When someone doesn't believe that, walk back into my house. Like this.

When lovers moan, they're telling our story. Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live. Stare into this deepening blue, while the breeze says a secret. Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do, light the candle in his hand.
Like this.

How did Joseph's scent come to Jacob? Huuuu. How did Jacob's sight return? Huuuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes. Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz, he'll put just his head around the edge of the door to surprise us.
Like this.

Kwannon Hibbo Kannon by Kano Hogai, color on silk. 19th Century.
Humming Bird