Occult Mind, 3-4



Theatre of Hieroglyphs

PP. 48-81

pp. 48, 193 Monas Hieroglyphica

p. 48

"In 1564 ..., the Elizabethan magician ... and sometime prophet John Dee (1527-1608) gave [to the world] ... Monas Hieroglyphica in twelve days of frenzied labor."

p. 193, n. 3:2

"C[onrad] H[ermann] Josten, "A Translation of John Dee's 'Monas Hieroglyphica' (Antwerp 1564) ...," Ambix 12 (1964):112-221".

pp. 49-50, 194 Libri Mysteriorum

p. 49

"what Dee called his Libri Mysteriorum

p. 50

(Books of Mystery), partly published ... in 1659, ... narrated and transcribed his conversations with angels.

p. 194, n. 3:5

"What passed for many Yeers Between DR. JOHN DEE ... and SOME SPIRITS : TENDING ... To a General Alteration of most STATES and KINGDOMES in the World. ... Printed ... . 1659.

... the facsimile edition from Magickal Childe Publishing (New York), 1992."

p. 55 the nature of the hieroglyphic monad

[quoted from Monas Hieroglyphica 7r-v (Josten, pp. 135-7)] "This our hieroglyphic monad possesses, hidden away in its innermost centre, a terrestrial body. It ["sc. the monad"] teaches without words, by what divine force that ["terrestrial body"] should be actuated. When it has been actuated, it ["sc. the terrestrial centre of the monad"] is to be united ... t a generative influence ... . When this ... has ... been concluded ..., the monad can no longer be fed or watered on its native soil, until the ... truly metaphysical, revolution has been completed. When that advance has been made, he who fed ["the monad"] will first himself go away into a metamorphosis and will afterwards very rarely be held by mortal eye. This ... is the true invisibility of the magi ... ."

p. 56 versatility of the hieroglyphic monad

"we find Dee claiming that his metaphysical and private-mystical monad, the foundation of a proposed epistemological revolution in the abstract sciences as well as in orthographic or typographic arts, is simultaneously a powerful instrument of political change."

p. 63 details & typology of No (theatric plays) in Nippon

"The details of each No are laid down in a yokyuku or text, which prescribes ... also rhythmic and chant structures.

The dramas are divided into five major types, based on the central figure (shite) :

God plays, in which the shite is a kami (god ...) who bestows blessings;

Warrior plays ..., often from the Heikei (Heikei monogatari) ...;

Woman ... plays, in which the shite is a woman who examines the relationship between her past ... and her present ...;

Madness plays, in which the shite is a someone who has gone mad and explains ...; and

Demon plays, in which the shite is, or becomes possessed by, a demon ... ."

pp. 63-4 Ba (the two required theatric acts constituting No)

p. 63

" No plays usually have two structuring acts (ba).

In the first, the secondary or side character (waki), most often a traveling priest or monk, encounters the shite ... . As the two converse,

p. 64

the shite hints at or reveals a spiritual nature : the shite is really a ghost ... or a god in disguise, or possessed by a demon. This revelation concludes the first act with the departure of the shite from the stage.

As an entr'acte {interlude}, comic actors perform an ai-kyogen ... during which a local person retells the thus far.

In the second act, the shite returns, now costumed in a fashion appropriate to his or her true nature, and through explication of the situation (usually from the past) is persuaded to come into accord with the true nature of things ... . In the most representative No, the shite is a ghost who has remained trapped in the world ...; over the course of the play the shite comes to terms with this and is enabled to ... move onward ... ."

p. 65 No as rite of possession by deity; spiritual transformation of the s^ite in connection with semi-trance on the part of the audience

"An important dimension of such interpretations of No is its often-claimed connection to ancient ... shamanic possession rituals. In this understanding, the actor is actually possessed by the shite, which ... resides within the mask. This accounts for the elaborate ritual character of the constuming process, which concludes with explicit reverence toward and meditation on the mask ... . ... the ... ancient drama Okina in which, uniquely, the actor dons his mask onstage ... culminates in his ... possession by the kami Okina himself, who then bestows blessings on the assembled multitude.

This special play is ... performed at festivals ... to open a full program of five dramas, one of each type in order (God, Warrior, Woman, Madness, Demon). ...

A full program follows a structure that runs throughout No aesthetics :

jo (beginning ...), ha (development ...), kyu (climax ...). ...

In a full program,

the God play is jo, beginning the event into a stately ... fashion;

the Woman play (ha) expresses ... the mysterious (yugen) power ... coiled up like a spring;

{This would be aequivalent to the mysterious feminine power latent in the coiled serpent-goddess Kun.d.alini.}

and the Demon play (kyu) releases this energy in a burst of excitement.

Just so, the art of the No actor is that of ... must ... induce the viewer's spirit to enter the hollow shell of the puppet, thereby forcing the audience to experience the spiritual trance

p. 198, n. 3:46 Okina et alii & their magical spells

"On Okina, see Ortolani [1995], 67-69. ... It is variously interpreted; some identify Okina, and the two other characters Senzai and Samba, as kami who bestow longevity, fertility, and prosperity ... . ... Ortolani affirms that shushi magicians were certainly involved in Okina from an early period ... . He also remarks that some of the chanted words are apparently ... spells ... .

On ... vocalizations and magical efficacy, ... Yelle ... should provide a foundation ... (... 2003)."

Ortolani 1995 = Benito Ortolani : The Japanese Theatre : From Shamanistic Ritual to Conemporary Pluralism. Rev. edn. Princeton Univ Pr.

Yelle 2003 = Robert A. Yelle : Explaining Mantras : Magic, Rhetoric, and ... a Natural Language. London : Routledge.

pp. 65-6 analogue of No actor (manipulating the audience) with puppeter (manipulating a puppet)

p. 65

[OAND"MHF", pp. 97-8] "our life might be likened to a puppet on a cart ... . ... This constructed puppet, on a cart, ...

{"a puppet has to struggle to live. And in a way that’s a metaphor for life." ("WSD", quoted from ThYL, p. 195)}

p. 66

represents a deed performed by moving strings. ... What supports these [theatrical] illusions ... and gives them life is ... the actor. ... . ... the actor must make his spirit the [metaphoric life-]strings, and ... In that way, true life will reside in his no."

"Just so, the art of the No actor is that of the ultimate puppeteer,

who must not only make his masked and costumed body into a marionette but also

{"Pearl Marill will break out a life-size puppet of herself on stage as a symbol of self-reflection. " ("HDP")}

induce the viewer's spirit to enter the hollow shell of the puppet,

{"Humanity is portrayed in two distinct lights in Ghost in the Shell :  the existence of human beings as “ghosts,” and the existence of the Puppet Master." ("GhShWhO")}

thereby forcing the audience to experience the spiritual transformation of the shite."

OAND"MHF" = "The Mirror Held to the Flower", transl. by Thomas Rimer, in On the Art of the No Drama.

"WSD" = "Willing Suspension of Disbelief". https://thebezine.com/portfolio/willing-suspension-of-disbelief/

ThYL = Robert Barton & Annie McGregor : Theatre in Your Life. Cengage Learning, 2014. https://books.google.com/books?id=3OLNAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA195&lpg=PA195&dq=

"HDP" = "Hybrid Dance Performance To Subvert ‘stuckness’ With Humor, Self-Reflection". https://dailybruin.com/2019/02/20/hybrid-dance-performance-to-subvert-stuckness-with-humor-self-reflection/

"GhShWhO" = "Ghost in the Shell (1995) : Who is the “Other”?" http://www.upstreamis.tv/ghost-in-the-shell-1995/ or else https://my.vanderbilt.edu/robot/2015/11/ghost-in-the-shell-1995-who-is-the-other/

p. 66 variant emphases by critics on history of No

"Toshio [1982], arguing ... Asobi-be outcastes specializing in funeral rites, suggests ... the frequent use of ghosts as shite. ...

Honda Yasuji fosuses on Okina as a link between No and early shushi (exorcistic) and kagura possession.

Goto Hajime ... stresses connections to both kagura and /wazaogi (comic pantomime) ... ."

{In West African deity-possession, one particular possessing-god is noted for his humorous verbal expressions and bodily gestures (cf. "comic pantomime") : Elegbara (Yoruba) / Legba (Fo,n).}

Toshio 1982 = Akima Toshio : "Songs of the Dead : Poetry, Drama, and Ancient Death Rituals in Japan". J OF ASIAN STUDIES 41 (May 1982):485-509.

p. 70 pentadic cycle in The Karma of Words

"In his ... book The Karma of Words, William LaFleur demonstrates a striking concordance between the five-play structure of a full No program and the Mahayana Buddhist cycle of realms of beings (Sanskrit gati, Japanese rokudo)."

p. 79 projected angel's ro^le in "the alchemical transmutation of the adept", according to John Dee

"somehow spiritually hollow, the monad had an actor who stood behind it and who was in a sense constituted graphically by it : an angel ... . This Actor pulled the marionette's strings, forcing the sensitive viewer to inhabit the shell and be projected into the higher spiritual realms of absolute ontological reality. For Dee, the transmutation of the viewer by this process made ... those who encountered him in the proper vein ... themselves be transformed or at least prepared for a deeper encounter with the monad."

pp. 80-1 perennial philosophy, for magical reconstructivism

p. 80

"magicians such as John Dee sought to revitalize the philosophia perennis, ... they projected their certainties and knowledge into graphic forms such as ... the hieroglyphic monad ... . ...

p. 81

Seekers and mystics have ... discerning methods of magical ... reconstruction, of relating ... to ... understand magic itself, ... be certain that we ourselves do ... stand in the shadow of the pyramids."


Cap. 4


PP. 82-131

pp. 89-90 mnemonic atria, with Ariadne's thread for guidingthrough the maze

"Bruno begins to describe setting up atria, special rooms constructed in mind and containing rigidly ordered images linked to letters and notions. Each of the twenty-four atria has its own name and image : Atria, Basilica, Carcer (prison), and so on, such that they spell out the alphabet. They are each filled with a further twenty-four images around the exterior, and these in turn lead to further subjoined openings or rooms. In the course of a number of ... chapters ..., Bruno lays out a vast network of mental spaces

mapped by a consistent scheme and keyed to the arbitrary sequence of twenty-four letters."

{This relative novel Latin alphabet of 24 letters might be intended as somehow aequivalent to a more antique scheme based on the 24 named naks.atra-s.}

p. 90 Ariadne's thread through, and the mirror in, the labyrinth/maze

"First of all, Ariadne's thread appears ..., upon which Bruno discourses at length. ... .

{"Like Ariadne's thread fastened at the labyrinth's entry, he fastens a mirror and the description of one room at the opening paragraph, or the narrative's entrance." ("AT&NJBTB", p. 305)}

... discussing motions among the ... three worlds, Bruno says that "... an ascent is available ... as in a mirror ... .""

{"The walls are lined up with mirrors and there is a circular balcony along its six sides." ("AT&NJBTB", p. 306).}

"AT&NJBTB" = Sophia Psarra : "(Th)reading the Library - Architectural, Topological and Narrative Journeys in Borges' Library of Babel". In :- Architecture and Narrative : The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning. Routledge, Milton Park (Oxon.), 2009. pp. 293-307. https://www.borges.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/sophiapsarra.pdf

p. 95 Foucault's typical method

"Unfortunately, Foucault's analysis ... was ill-informed, poorly researched, and at times factually wrong, a point made brutally clear in

the preface to the second edition of Paolo Rossi's Clavis Universalis. Rossi emphasizes that the analysis was historically inaccurate, which is certainly the case ... ."

[p. 205, n. 4:36 "Stephen Clucas's translation, Logic and the Art of Memory : The Quest for a Universal Language (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2000), in which this preface appears on pages xxi-xxviii."]

p. 96 great art of knowing

"In Kircher, cryptography, perfect language, the origins of language, hieroglyphics, and Chinese characters are not separate issues but part of a grand attempt to develop a perfect system of knowledge -- the ars magna sciendi."

p. 103 "analogy" (viz., classificatory systematizations based on similarities)

p. 103 [quoted from "OFAO", p. 289] "Vickers argues that the scientific "reaction against the occult" constitutes "... the restoration of its true function." ... In short, occult analogy amounts to systematic formulation ... upon artitrary cultural bases."

{The usual derivation of religious/occult/mystical lore is from information concerning divine worlds, obtained by personal experience while visiting those transcendent worlds during dreaming and/or trancing -- the so-called "cultural bases" are simply direct transcriptions of such transcendent personal experiences : there is nothing "arbitrary" about any of said thoroughly-experiential "bases".}

"OFAO" = Brian Vickers : "On the Function of Analogy in the Occult". In :- Ingrid Merkel & Allen G. Debus (edd.) : Hermeticism and the Renaissance. Washington (DC) : Folger Shakespeare Library; London : Associated Univ Presses, 1988. pp. 265-92.

p. 105 What may be a valid quaestion?

"Le'vi-Strauss wrote :

[quoted from Le'vi-Strauss 1966, p. 9] The real question is not whether the touch of a woodpecker's beak does {viz., when applied by a shaman duly authorized by the appropriate deity to perform such a cure} in fact cure toothache, but

{The realistic sorts of quaestions could actually be : In which type of dreamings do shamans meet deities who inform them that (in regard to that type of a dream-world) a woodpecker's pecking can be curative? In what regard, and under what circumstances do such deities promise to the dreaming shaman an ability to call on those deities to perform such healings in the waking world?}

whether once can ... see a woodpecker's beak and a man's tooth as "going together' ... . ...""

{Whether they may "go together" or not, is quite irrelevant. What is relevant is only how, and why, and under what circumstances, the deity promised to perform the cure.}

Le'vi-Strauss 1966 = Claude Le'vi-Strauss : The Savage Mind. Univ of Chicago Pr, 1966.

p. 108 cohaerence of collections

[quoted from Stewart 1993, pp. 151-2] "The collection seeks a form of ... classification, with order beyond the realm of temporality. ... The collection presents a hermetic world : ... an autonomous world -- a world which has ... achieved authority."

Stewart 1993 = Susan Stewart : On Longing : Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham (NC) : Duke Univ Pr.

pp. 108-9 Mous-ourgo-logical Ark

p. 108

"Heninger provides a table from Kircher's Musurgia Universalis (Universal Music-making, 1650), ... that ... lays out a "9-fold correspondence between ten distinct cate-

p. 109

gories of existence : angels, heavenly spheres, metals, stones, plants, trees, water creatures, winged creatures, four-legged animals, and colors" ... ; meanwhile,

[quoted from Heninger 1974, p. 331] when read across, the diagram designates the items which are correspondences of the ten categories. For example,

the cherubim are correspondent to ... the ass and the bear ... .

{The Kruwbiym each have (Yh.ezqe>l 1:6) multiple heads and multiple wings : likewise Tuphon "had countless ... heads" (GM @36.a). As for Tuphon, "His brutish ass-head touched the stars, his vast wings darkened the sun" (Ibid., loc. cit.); and from the musculature of Zeus, Tuphon "had hidden the sinews in a bear-skin" (GM @36.b).}

Kircher sees the whole as a unified, harmonious system which reconciles opposites in musical terms of the diapason."

Heninger 1974 = S. K. Heninger, Jr : Touches of Sweet Harmony : Pythagorean Cosmology and Renaissance Poetics. San Marino (CA) : Huntington Library.

Yh.ezqe>l 1:6 https://biblehub.com/ezekiel/1-6.htm

p. 119 a fallacy of Vickers's account

"Vickers's account of science and magic could be entirelyreversed by a genuinely structural transformation. ...

Conversely, the bricoleur would presumably see scientific systems as failing to distinguish between human and natural; and on this basis remaining utterly ignorant of human questions ...; as unable in the end to achieve

valid human ends

{such as : world-peace, universal goodwill, universal good health}

because of an incapacity to see

that human models have neither stability nor truth."

{Human models are often fashions and fads which are ephemeral and extremely unstable; while the governmental "authorities" (of ploutokrateia) rule by constantly deceiving the commoners and the serfs with all manner of facile mendacities.}

And the history of science affords ample opportunities to demonstrate that these propositions are not without validity."

{There is a vast number of examples of useful human technical inventions being perverted by governments into instruments of public harm.}

pp. 121-2, 209-10 to understand writing via punning and via rebus as superior to simple phonetic spelling

p. 121

"decipherment ... revealed that Egyptian writing is not unlike Chinese in its formal structure, composed of both ideographs and phonetic cues, the latter often constructed as a kind of punning in rebuslike style [Iversen 1962, 11-37]."

"with the Chinese -- ... Intorcetta, Matteo Ricci ["EMPMR"], and the other Jesuit missionaries report ... a basically ideographic system,

p. 122

not unlike the Egyptian ... ."

"the great pride in such texts as the ancient classics and the Ruist (Confucian) and Daoist canons in part resides in the fascination with language, a fascination embedded deeply in the nature of the script. Already ..., it has for millennia been claimed that the Chinese script embeds the person of the author into the text ... . Surely when confronted with these educated, advanced, sophisicated barbarians [viz., modern Roman Catholic (Jesuit missionary) Europeans],

Chinese scholars wished to explain the extraordinary superiority of their native system, as contrasted to the merely phonetic and pragmatic Western alphabets."

{Ideographic writings can be read (pronounced) in whatever phonology (e.g., Korean, Japanese, or whatever) that the reader may be most familiar withal.}

p. 209, n. 4:99

"For ... Chinese grammatology, see Saussy [1997]; Saussy ...

p. 210, n. 4:99

2002 ... . Jonathan Spence ... (... 1985) includes exceptionally accessible discussions ["EMPMR"]."

Iversen 1962 = Erik Iversen : The Myth of Egypt and Its Hieroglyphs. BOLLINGEN SERIES. Princeton Univ Pr. (reprint 1993)

Saussy 1997 = Haun Saussy : "The Prestige of Writing : Letter, Picture, Image, Ideography". SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS 75 (Febr 1997):1-40.

Saussy 2002 = Haun Saussy : Great Walls of Discourse and Other Adventures in Cultural China. Cambridge (MA) : Harvard Univ Pr.

Spence 1985 = Jonathan Spence : The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. London : Penguin, 1985.

"EMPMR" = "Excerpts from The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, The Book of Memory, Rhetorica ad Herennium, and De Oratore." https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/excerpts-from-the-memory-palace-of-matteo-ricci-the-book-of-memory-rhetorica-ad-herennium-and-de-oratore/27838

p. 122 immortal deities themselves have instigated mortals' writing-systems

"Yet ... hieroglyphics meant rather more [symbolically] than they meant [phonetically]. The characters themselves meant something, because the system meant something. These characters were hardly mere practical instruments : the gods themselves instituted them. Might the Greeks [such as, Horapollon] ... have correctly reported what the Egyptian priests considered most important about their superior[-]because[-]divine writing[-]system?"

p. 123 historic bifurcation of modern mouseia

"Findlen's wonderful book [1994], suggests that in the sixteenth century museums and collections focused on totality ... .

In the seventeenth, collecting bifurcated into natural history and science on the one hand and elite dilettante's hobby on the other."

Findlen 1994 = Paula Findlen : Possessing Nature : Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy. Berekley : Univ of CA Pr.

pp. 124-5 Aiguptian Labyrinth, incorporated by Kircher into his Turris Babel

p. 124

"Kircher's muesum too was a labyrinth and a memory palace, but the obvious classical precedent came from Herodotus's awed description of a wonder of AEgypt :

[quoted from H(deS,B):H, pp. 188-9] ... the labyrinth ... has twelve covered courts ... . Inside, the building is of two storeys ..., ... half ... underground ... . ... The walls are covered with carved figures ... . Near the corner where the labyrinth ends is a pyramid ... with great carved figures of animals on it and an underground passage by which it can be entered.

... Kircher ... in his Turris Babel, providing an elaborate ... plan ...

p. 125

: Heliopolites (VII) is just to the right of Hermonticus (VIII), and so on."

H(deS,B):H = Aubrey de Se'lincourt (transl.; rev. by A. R. Burn) : Herodotus : The Histories. Penguin Classics.


Christopher I. Lehrich : The Occult Mind : Magic in Theory and Practice. Cornell Univ Pr, Ithaca (NY), 2007.