III  THE LAW OF CONCEALMENT

 

 

Of the eight symbols represented in cosmic law, this is the only one that is out of balance.  Notice how distorted the composition is – the arms pulling Persephone back into the earth are heavy and ominous.  Progress is countered by entropy.  Our flow is opposed by resistance and confinement, holding us back, in bondage and ignorance, in Plato’s cavern.

 

Find the root of the radiant ten-thousand-petal lotus hidden in the dark dank ooze and muck, at the bottom of things.

 

Without concealment there would be no enlightenment, no learning, no process, no evolution.  All would be known, static.  Dead.  It is at the heart of the life force to have a passion for the hidden, the occult, for all of us, children, story tellers and scientists alike.  It is the business of art and science to tease truth from our mother, Nature – progressive revelation.  It is her business to reveal herself gradually, so as not to overwhelm.

 

In its grace and mercy and playful spirit the universe tantalizes us with the game of hide and seek. 

 

“Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand nor eyes to see nor ears to hear” – Deuteronomy 29:1-3. 

 

What is a mystery to me is perfectly clear to my neighbor lady next door.  Our blind spots are perfectly tailored to each one of us – to each his own.

 

“A thing’s real constitution has a tendency to conceal itself”  – Herakleitos #123

 

When you look carefully everything becomes fuzzy.  In physics, Heisenburg indeterminacy, in mathematics, Godel’s incompleteness.  Only in your mind’s eye can you achieve certainty.  Proof never lies in your sensations.  There is always more to learn, more surprises, more accidents ahead.

 

“To conceal a matter, this is the glory of God, to sift it thoroughly, the glory of kings” – Proverbs 25:2 

 

“To become a shaman, one must learn to remove the invisible blindfold that keeps us from seeing these other worlds” – Plotkin

 

Re-examine Plato’s metaphor of the cavern in The Republic, Book VII.  The prisoners in the cavern are bound and fettered, seeing only the flitting flickering shadows on the wall.  When once they see reality they are dazzled by it and turn away.  But then every thing is changed forever.  Why was it so concealed?

 

 

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –

  Success in Circuit lies

  Too bright for our infirm Delight

  The Truth’s superb surprise

  As Lightning to the Children eased

  With explanation kind

  The Truth must dazzle gradually

  Or every man be blind.

 

 – Emily Dickenson

 

Consider – photography is the art of fixing a shadow.  When explaining to your friend, implicit is better.  Let each discover on his own, enjoy the process.  Learning is better than knowing.

 

Especially with our children, it can be arrogant to help them too much.  In some ways they are more advanced than we are.  King David and his crew were carrying the Covenant in its Ark in triumph to the new capital, Jerusalem.  Uzzah was holding up the rear support when they lurched across a stream.  In concern and reverence, he reached out to steady it and was instantly stricken dead by a blast of lightning – I Chronicles 13:10.  Don’t mess with things that are in better hands, beyond our ken.

 

In Eden, we enjoyed the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  At that moment we became like the Gods, the Elohim; we became responsible.  At that moment we were expelled from innocence into the real world where we each can discover (un-cover) everything for himself, process.

 

Don and I were learning to train our brain waves at the Langley Porter laboratory.  He was in the shielded room, we were monitoring outside.  Twenty minutes into the session we heard gales of laughter from Don.  At the end of the session we asked what was so funny.  Don said, “I caught myself turning it off every time I began to make it work!”  Above all, we love to conceal from ourselves!

 

The ancient vedas emphasize the dynamics of the unknowable.  The ultimate wisdom hides herself – “out of sight, for the devas love the cryptic, as it were.” The goddess of wisdom, Idandra, conceals herself as Indra, and ultimately as India – Aitareya Upanishad.  She is sometimes called Uma, goddess of the HimalayasWe find her in Kabbalah as the Shekinah, in the Dionysian mysteries as Sophia.  The Hebrew term temira d’temira means the hidden of the hidden.  Sod is the secret, mystery.

 

Notice that the great secret lies in the spirit of the feminine.  The archetypal quality of the feminine is mystery.  In Blake’s Vala (for ‘veil) we have the Gates of Paradise gracefully concealed in ringlets of pubic hair.  The vagina, the point of entry for everyone into this life, is neatly tucked out of sight, physically as well as psychologically and socially.

 

A hidden treasure has a sense of adventure, of vitality.  We love puzzles and mysteries because they lead to process, not stasis.  The occult is a never-ending source of dynamic interest in literature and drama. From Hamlet and Macbeth to Star Wars the unknown is irresistible.  The concealed generates energy and drive for the evolution/process, curiosity.  ‘Truth’ in Greek is ‘aletha’, un-forgetting.  An ‘apocalypse,’ a ‘revelation’ is ‘a taking off of the lid.’

 

When Job experiences his mystical union with God he is shown “what the eagle knows” and “the riches of the mines of Ophir” hidden forever in our deep subconscious.  The Hebrew word ‘olam,’ meaning ‘universe,’ world system, comes from a root meaning ‘hidden.’

 

Consider the mystery and the romance in Arthur S. Sullivan’s music The Lost Chord.  Picture Jacob wrestling with the angel, poor Jacob who only wanted to know his name!

 

As the Sufi’s say, “the secret keeps itself.”

 

Every moment we are experiencing everything, just as in a hologram a tiny part of the picture contains the whole thing.  But there is graininess.  A bigger section of the hologram would give better resolution.  We always know nothing – half – everything – depending on our purity of attention and state of mind at the moment.

 

Have you ever experienced what I call “the view from Mount Olympus,” where everything appears clear to you, all at once?  And then the fog closes in and everything becomes fuzzy once again.  And even when it is so clear to you, it cannot be communicated to someone else if they don’t already know!

 

Not to worry, “nothing of value is ever lost.” – Blake

 

In our Western tradition, Moses was the greatest law-bringer of all time.  But look again, in breaking the first set of tablets, Moses was the greatest law-breaker of all time – Exodus 32:19.  The Law written on the first set of tablets is concealed to this day!

 

Concealment and revelation are complementary processes necessary for learning.  Ultimately everyone has to discover for himself.  Maria Montessori, in The Formation Man, tells of her hungry dog who is whining at her finger for food while she is trying to help by pointing to the dog’s dish in the corner.

 

Kabbalah says that everything conceals a myriad of layers and contradictions, everything is a miracle with hidden meaning.  In the beginning there was a shattering of the primeval vessels.  We are trying to get it all back together again, to re-member, to re-form the shards.

 

There is always an unbridgeable gap, an irreducible concealment,  between what we mean and what we say.  Words and symbols never quite get it right.  Metaphor tries with the ‘four senses’ that function at four different levels –

 

 

literal meaning 

 

fact or history, things that actually occur

 

moral meaning 

 

the lesson as applied to behavior, what people do

 

allegorical meaning

 

application to people generally, with emphasis on their beliefs as opposed to their actions

 

anagogical meaning

 

spiritual or mystical truth, its universal significance

 

                 

A question is priceless, like a fine pearl.

An answer would dissolve it.

Rather, it should be admired and polished

and given back.


 

 


Cosmic Law Home Page  
How This Book Came to Be III   The Law of Concealment VII  The Law of Dissolution
Introduction IV   The Law of Revelation VIII The Law of Return
I    The Law of Nothingness V    The Law of Emanation Epistemology
II   The Law of the Progression of Contraries VI   The Law of Sustenance Bibliography
     
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