The Sun and Moon
The Machine Will Never Triumph, part forty-nine
When the moon falls on a man’s blood
white and slippery, as on the black water in a port
shaking asunder, and flicking at his ribs—
then the noisy, dirty day-world
exists no more, nor ever truly existed;
this wet white gleam
twitches, and ebbs hitting, washing inwardly, silverily
against his ribs,
on his soul that is dark ocean within him.
And under the flicking of the white whip-lash of the moon
sea-beasts immersed lean sideways and flash bright
in pure brilliance of anger, sea-immersed anger
at the trashy, motor-driven transit of dirty day
that has left scum on the sea, even in the night.1
To have an understanding of and communion with all of the cosmos is important, but our home is earth, so it is most important—vitally important—that we have a relationship with the sun and moon. The stories of werewolves have some truth in that the moon holds mysterious powers. When a man gives himself to the moon, the rationalistic, materialistic world fades away, and he becomes, in the best possible sense of the word, a luna-tic. This “lunatic” would see the moon for what it really is, and would know intuitively, and actually, that the modern world we inhabit is just a veil. The moon gives a man love and peace: things that the Machine takes away. Even upon the loathsome cities of steel that man and Machine have made, the moon shines her life-affirming beams.
We used to know the moon. All peoples in all places, and at all times knew the moon, but a few hundred years ago some philosophers and scientists got it in their heads that the moon is just a ball of rock. Now, most of us are followers of these thinkers, and the moon has become dead, so we too have become deadened. We think of the moon as a lifeless rock, so our hearts become lifeless rocks. Only the very young children who look up at the moon with wonder, deep wonder, and with a religious sense of feeling for the moon, have any sense, today, of what the moon really is. Wonder is the greatest emotion, yet it is an emotion that has been almost completely expunged from modern man, because it is deadly to the Machine. Lawrence laments our loss of wonder in general, particularly our loss of wonder at the cosmos, in the following passage:
The moon, perhaps, has shrunken a little. One has been forced to learn about orbits, eclipses, relative distances, dead worlds, craters of the moon, and so on. The crescent at evening still startles the soul with its delicate flashing. But the mind works automatically, and says: “Ah, she is in her first quarter. She is all there, in spite of the fact that we see only this slim blade. The earth’s shadow is over her.”—And willy-nilly, the intrusion of the mental processes dims the brilliance, the magic of the first apperception.
It is the same with all things. The sheer delight of a child’s apperception is based on wonder: and deny it as we may, knowledge and wonder counteract one another. So that as knowledge increases, wonder decreases. We say again: Familiarity breeds contempt. So that as we grow older, and become more familiar with phenomena, we become more contemptuous of them.—But that is only partly true. It has taken some races of men thousands of years to become contemptuous of the moon, and to the Hindu the cow is still wondrous. It is not familiarity that breeds contempt, it is the assumption of knowledge. Anybody who looks at the moon and says: “I know all about that poor orb,” is, of course, bored by the moon.
Now the great and fatal fruit of our civilisation, which is a civilisation based on knowledge, and hostile to experience, is boredom. All our wonderful education and learning is producing a grand sum-total of boredom. Modern people are inwardly thoroughly bored. Do as they may, they are bored.
They are bored because they experience nothing. And they experience nothing because the wonder has gone out of them. And when the wonder has gone out of a man, he is dead. He is henceforth only an insect.
When all comes to all, the most precious element in life is wonder. Love is a great emotion, and power is power. But both love and power are based on wonder. Love without wonder is a sensational affair, and power without wonder is mere force and compulsion. The one universal element in consciousness which is fundamental to life, is the element of wonder. You cannot help feeling it in a bean as it starts to grow and pulls itself out of its jacket. You cannot help feeling it in the glisten of the nucleus of the amœba. You recognise it, willy nilly, in an ant busily tugging at a straw, in a rook, as it walks the frosty grass. They all have their own obstinate will. But also, they all live with a sense of wonder. Plant consciousness, insect consciousness, fish consciousness, animal consciousness, all are related by one permanent element, which we may call the religious element inherent in all life, even in a flea: the sense of wonder. That is our sixth sense. And it is the natural religious sense.2
Modern man is like a dog pent up in a cage all day: he is thoroughly bored, and it is driving him mad. His cage is the modern world, and his warden is the Machine. All of creation, even the lowliest insects, have wonder. Only modern man, through his idiocy and hubris, has chosen to forgo that which gives him life and joy. Wonder is religion and religion is wonder. If we are to have any hope of escaping the clutches of the Machine, we must find the ability to wonder again, and there is no better place to start than with the moon.
Men should group themselves into a new order
Each one turning his breast straight to the sun of suns
in the centre of all things,
and from his own little inward sun
nodding to the great one.
And receiving from the great one
his strength and his promptings,
and refusing the pettifogging promptings of human weakness.
And walking each in his own sun-glory
with bright legs and uncringing buttocks.3
As we discussed in the chapter on aristocracy, there are people who excel others religiously, and these individuals, when they cultivate that power, may become sun-men. These sun men are spiritual aristocrats upon the face of the earth, and they have a function to perform politically, as we discussed earlier, but even more importantly, they have a religious function to perform: they are the priests of the Lawrencian religion, and can shepherd the world back to a paradisal state. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, a sun-man has a responsibility for his own soul. Just as Jesus took on the sins and suffering of the world, a sun-man bears a burden unthinkable for other men. Lawrence was the sun-man of sun-men, and his life-force radiates towards all who have faith in him. Lawrence suffered much in his life, but after he passed out of his body, he travelled on the Ship of Death and reached the Gods, where his soul culminated in an apotheosis where he became divinized. Lawrence was a prophet and now is a God. Those who follow his example and come into touch with him, may be visited by him—a great gift—and if he so chooses he may bestow sun-glory upon a man. Lawrence left descriptions of a hierarchy of governance by people of high moral and religious character in the following passage:
First and foremost establish a rule over them, a proud, harsh, manly rule. […] Let them be soldiers, but as individuals not machine-units. There are wars in the future, great wars, which not machines will finally decide, but the free, indomitable life spirit. No more wars under the banners of the ideal, and in the spirit of sacrifice. But wars in the strength of individual men. As a matter of fact we should start at once a great league of comrades, all over America. Each ten comrades to have a leader, the leading soul among them, to whom they will give life and death obedience. Each ten decurions to choose their centurion, and each ten centurions their leaders of a thousand. And the league should exist in the name of living freedom, of pledged obedience, and sacred responsibility of command. Each comrade pledged to obey the leader he has chosen in his own soul’s desire. Each leader pledged to lead. And then, pure individualistic military training, and preparation for a whole new way of life, a new society.—Put money into its place, and science and industry. The leaders must stand for life, and they must not ask the simple comrades to point out the direction. When the leaders assume responsibility they relieve the comrades forever of the burden of finding a way. Relieved of this hateful incubus of responsibility for general affairs, the populace can again become free and happy and spontaneous, leaving matters to their superiors. No newspapers—the mass of the people never learning to read. The evolving once more of the great spontaneous gestures of life. Whatever else America does, she should start her league of Comrades tomorrow. Whitman suggested it. But the comrades must pledge themselves to pure obedience to the leader they choose: each ten choosing a leader. That is one way of making a beginning. Because we can’t go on as we are. Poor, nerve-worn creatures, fretting our lives away and hating to die because we have never lived. The secret is, to commit into the hands of the sacred few the responsibility which now lies like torture on the mass. Let the few, the leaders of tens, of hundreds, of thousands, of tens of thousands, of millions—let these be increasingly responsible for the whole. And let the mass be free: free, save for the choice of the leader of ten. Leaders—this is what mankind is craving for. But men must be prepared to obey, body and soul, once they have chosen the leader. And let them choose the leader for life’s sake only. Begin then—There is a beginning.4
Such a league of comrades could start according to Lawrence’s description, founding small communities, small Rananims, and eventually become a movement that spreads throughout the world. The fight against the Machine is a holy war, and Lawrence envisions this league of comrades (or sun-men) as holy warriors under the guidance of holy emperors. Eventually, the sun-men may usher in the apocalypse followed by a global resurrection. It will happen as a great reckoning, followed by a great awakening, and is described symbolically by Lawrence’s friend, and poet Harry Crosby:
I exchange eyes with the Mad Queen.
The mirror crashes against my face and bursts into a thousand suns. All over the city flags crackle and bang. Fog horns scream in the harbor. The wind hurricanes through the window. Tornadoes are unmuzzled as I begin to dance the dance of the Kurd Shepherds.
I stamp upon the floor. I whirl like dervishes. Colors revolve dressing and undressing. I lash them with fury stark white with iron black harsh red with blue marble green with bright orange and only gold remains naked. I roar with joy.
Black-footed ferrets disappear into holes.
The sun tattooed on my back begins to spin faster and faster whirring whirring throwing out a glory of sparks. Sparks shoot off into space sparks into shooting stars. Shooting stars collide with comets. Explosions. Naked colors explode into Red Disaster.
I crash out through a window naked wide-spread upon a Heliosaurus. I uproot an obelisk and plunge it into the ink-pot of the Black Sea. I write the word SUN across the dreary palimpsest of the world. I pour the contents of the Red Sea down my throat. I erect catapults and lay siege to the cities of the world. I scatter violent disorder throughout the kingdoms of the world. I stone the people of the world. I stride over mountains. I pick up oceans like thin cards and spin them into oblivion. I kick down walled cities. I hurl giant firebrands against governments. I thrust torches through the eyes of the law.
I annihilate museums. I demolish libraries. I oblivionize skyscrapers.
I become hard as adamant strong as battle indurated with solid fire rigid with hatred.
I bring back the wizards and sorcerers the necromancers the magicians. I practice witchcraft. I set up idols. With a sharp-edged sword I cut through the crowded streets. Comets follow in my wake. Stars make obeisance to me. The moon uncovers her nakedness to me.
I am the harbinger of a New Sun World. I bring the seed of a New Copulation. I proclaim the Mad Queen.
I stamp out vast empires. I crush palaces in my rigid hands. I harden my heart against churches.
I blot out cemeteries. I feed the people with stinging nettles. I resurrect madness. I thrust my naked sword between the ribs of the world. I murder the world!5
Sun men would usher in the end of religion, yet a new era of God-consciousness. This is because a vital people in touch with all things would see God everywhere. As Malcolm de Chazal writes:
People need religion when their vitality declines. There was no place for religion in the Garden of Eden because life was too full. When we all become supermen every roof will have a steeple, every house will have a chapel of the Supreme Temple of Creation, with the sun as the only priest required for conducting mass on all the altars of life, chanting the unity of everything, with the vast overarching sky as ciborium.6
and our deep instinct
not to go against the sun.7
Conscience is not an evolutionary by-product, nor is it something man-made. Conscience is the recognition of the Gods, and the awareness that one has responsibilities to the Gods and the earth. To be aware of the Gods, is to reject the quackery of modern science and to listen to the life-force within one’s own soul. Life will take us home, whereas science is just the Pied Piper leading us, collectively, off to a death at the hands of the Machine. As Lawrence writes:
I have swallowed such a lot of jargon that I would rather listen now to a […] witch-doctor than to Science. There is nothing in the world that is true except empiric discoveries which work in actual appliances. I know that the sun is hot. But I won’t be told that the sun is a ball of blazing gas which spins round and fizzes. No, thank you.
At length, for my part, I know that life, and life only is the clue to the universe. And that the living individual is the clue to life. And that it always was so, and always will be so.8
It is only immoral
to be dead-alive
and busy putting out the sun
in other people.9
Modern systems have severed us from the Gods and the earth. As Malcolm de Chazal writes “The sun is pure communism everywhere except in cities, where it is private property.”10 Morality and immorality are simple: We are alive, so we must embrace life; we must honor that which gave us life; and we should do everything within our power to encourage life in others. Moderns try to put the sun out in other people, animals, and even the planet; and in extreme cases, such as Bill Gates’ megalomaniacal plans, literally block the sun rays from reaching the earth. When most of the world has gone mad, how can we know our friends from our enemies? We must, simply, look to the fire of life within individuals: if it pulses strongly in the man, he is a friend, and if it is weak or non-existent, then he is an enemy robot. As Lawrence writes:
We have made a fatal mistake. We have got to know so much about things, that we think we know the actuality, and contain it. The sun is as much outside us, and as eternally unknown, as ever it was. And the same with each man’s beloved: like the sun. What do the facts we know about a man amount to? Only two things we can know of him, and this by pure soul-intuition: we can know if he is true to the flame of life and love which is inside his heart, or if he is false to it. If he is true, he is friend. If he is wilfully false, and inimical to the fire of life and love in his own heart, then he is my enemy as well as his own.11
The Hostile Sun
Sometimes the sun turns hostile to men
when the daytime consciousness has got overweening
when thoughts are stiff, like old leaves
and ideas are hard, like acorns ready to fall.
Then the sun turns hostile to us
and bites at our throats and chests
as he bites at the stems of leaves in autumn, to make them fall.
Then we suffer, and though the sun bronzes us
we feel him strangling even more the issues of our soul
for he is hostile to all the old leafy foliage of our thoughts
and the old upward flowing of our sap, the pressure of our upward flow of
is against him.
Then only under the moon, cool and unconcerned
calm with the calm of scimitars and brilliant reaping hooks
sweeping the curve of space and moving the silence
we have peace.12
The sun and moon are not static objects, but can empower us or destroy us. If we, tenderly, come into touch with them, they will empower us, but if we are hostile to their true natures, they will be more hostile in return. Just look to how the sun gently bronzed the Spartans into glorious health, but now gives modern, robotic men skin diseases. We have turned against the sun, so the sun has turned against us. There is an external cosmos and an internal cosmos, namely macrocosm and microcosm. Every man has a sun within his chest, but modern man no longer believes even in this! So, modern man, in his machine may think he is a god, but often acts more like a deranged madman. As Lawrence confirms in the following passage, whom the gods would destroy they first make mad:
[T]he other thing fails us, the strange inward Sun of life; the pellucid monster of the rain never shows us his stripes. To us, heaven switches on daylight, or turns on the shower-bath. We little gods are gods of the machine only. It is our highest. Our cosmos is a great engine. And we die of ennui. A subtle dragon stings us in the midst of plenty. Quos vult perdere Deus, dementat prius.13
In all times past—and still for other creatures—humans had a symbiotic relationship with the sun and moon, but now it has turned to an ugly, parasitic relationship. Humans have become an infection, and just like a disease, the only desire of modern man is to grow and reproduce, and thus wreaking horror for other creatures in the process. As Lawrence writes:
Oh, if we knew, the earth is everything and the sun everything that we have missed knowing. But if we persist in our attitude of parasites on the body of earth and sun, the earth and sun will be mere victims on which we feed our louse-like complacency for a long time yet: we, a myriad myriad little egos, five billion feeding like one.14
Human hostility to the cosmos has resulted in a distancing from the Gods, and the cosmos turning hostile. This hostility started in Medieval Western Christianity, and modernity massively amplified it. Now the cosmos is against us. The Gods and the cosmos will ultimately destroy the Machine, though man may not survive to tell the tale. As Lawrence writes:
The Apocalypse […] shows us the Christian in his relation to the State: which the gospels and epistles avoid doing. It shows us the Christian in relation to the State, to the world, and to the cosmos. It shows him in mad hostility to all of them, having, in the end, to will the destruction of them all.
It is the dark side of Christianity, of individualism, and of democracy, the side the world at large now shows us. And it is, simply, suicide. Suicide individual and en masse. If man could will it, it would be cosmic suicide. But the cosmos is not at man’s mercy, and the sun will not perish to please us.15
There is a band of dull gold in the west, and say what you like
again and again some god of evening leans out of it
and shares being with me, silkily
all of twilight.16
Not all of us can see the Gods, but most of us can see the sun. Even the blind who have open hearts can see the Sun of suns. And the sun and moon are gateways to the Gods. The fire of the sun leads one to the Fire beyond knowing. The sun is the clearest and simplest theophany: “Everything on earth goes through phases of rest and activity except the ever-restless sun—the incarnation of God.”17 If you sometimes feel godlike in nature, when you let go of all knowledge, all socialization, all conceit and pride, and all of your ego, that is because the dark Gods within your breast are filling you full of the cosmic light. Alas, for most people this is a momentary feeling, but if you reject modernity and embrace the sun, it could be an experience that transcends the physical suns and stars themselves. Embrace the sun, modern man! Embrace the sun by sacrificing your lower self to its beautiful, fiery embrace. As Lawrence declares, a great religious awakening can come through sun-sacrifices:
It is so easy to understand that the Aztecs gave hearts of men to the sun. For the sun is not merely hot or scorching, not at all. It is of a brilliant and unchallengeable purity and haughty serenity which would make one sacrifice the heart to it. Ah, yes, in New Mexico the heart is sacrificed to the sun, and the human being is left stark, heartless, but undauntedly religious.18
If you sacrifice your lower self to the sun, give up all allegiance to the Machine, and fight to restore the earth to her primordial beauty, then the reward of the Gods is yours. Much of what people have been taught about religion is largely false. The true religion starts with the beauty of things. Come into touch with nature, and the Gods will follow. As Jeffers writes:
To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things—earth, stone and
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars—
The blood-shot beauty of human nature, its thoughts, frenzies and
And unhuman nature its towering reality—
For man’s half dream; man, you might say, is nature dreaming, but rock
And water and sky are constant—to feel
Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the natural
Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.19
Listen to the band!
There is a band playing in the early night,
but it is only unhappy men making a noise
to drown their inner cacophony: and ours.
A little moon, quite still, leans and sings to herself
through the night
and the music of men is like a mouse gnawing,
gnawing in a wooden trap, trapped in.20
The music of the celestial spheres has never left us: it is still there, ever-present for all those who live with silence and a heart open to the Gods. As with many spiritual truths, this is a great paradox: only through silence may the heavenly music appear. All the animals still hear the heavenly tunes, and the sun and moon sing to themselves, but man alone, of all of creation, drowns out the music of the Gods with infernal racket. When men started to think to the exclusion of feeling and imagination, they were able to create massive structures and systems, but along with this Faustian bargain came the loss of awareness of the Gods, which are nearer than one’s jugular vein, and a blindness to the realities of one’s own soul. When these events took place, the fear of death became the predominant emotion in man’s life. To escape that fear, he started down the wrong path, running towards the Devil / Machine, and decided to drown out his pain with noise, entertainment, drugs, and meaningless sex. Man, you poor, sad creature: the Gods don’t hate you, but they do pity you. Rather than revel in beauty, modern man wallows in ugliness. Rather than sing the songs of the Gods to the accompaniment of a lyre, modern man listens to modern “music,” and “modern music is analytical, critical, and it has discovered the power of ugliness.”21 Part of the process of reawakening will, of necessity, involve reacquiring and enhancing our ability to discern between beauty and ugliness. Rananim will be a place full of silence, but also full of song, beautiful, God-filled song. Klages beautifully describes the difference between modern and traditional music as symbolic of the current descent of man:
Song was not reserved solely for roving and revelry; song accompanied the hoisting of the anchor, the rhythm of the oar-stroke, the shifting of heavy cargo, the towing of the ship, the stowing of the casks, the blacksmith’s hammering, and the rowing of the oarsmen; there was song for the mowing, threshing, and grinding of the corn, and for the picking, braiding, and weaving of the flax. Not only has “progress” made life gray, it has also silenced life’s very voice. But no—we forget that after the primordial melody of the popular ballads comes the operetta and the syrupy idioms of the cabaret; after legendary musical instruments like the Spanish guitar, the Italian mandolin, the Finnish kantela, the gusli of the Southern Slavs, and the Russian balalaika, there comes the piano and the record player. There we have the fruits of “progress”! Like an all-devouring conflagration, “progress” scours the Earth, and the place that has fallen to its flames, will flourish nevermore, so long as man still survives. The animal-and plant-species cannot renew themselves, man’s innate warmth of heart has gone, the inner springs that once nurtured the flourishing songs and sacred festivals are blocked, and there remains only a wretched and cold working day and the hollow show of noisy “entertainment.” There can be no doubt: we are living in the era of the downfall of the soul.
There would still be large personalities under such circumstances! We certainly do not wish to underestimate the ingenuity of the masters of technology, nor the computational talent of our captains of industry. Nevertheless, if one placed such mere talent alongside a true creator’s strength, we must surely come to the conclusion that technology is without the slightest capacity to enrich life. The cleverest machine has meaning only in the service of a purpose, and even the most extensive industrial organization of today will be nothing in a thousand years; whereas the poetry of Homer, the wise words of Heraclitus, and the symphonies of Beethoven belong to the undying treasures of life. But how sad we become, when we think of those who once were justly proclaimed to us as the most illustrious of men, when we look at our poets and thinkers of today! Whom do we still have, since the veterans of the spirit and the deed have departed: Burckhardt, Böcklin, Bachofen, Mommsen, Bismarck, Keller, and even Nietzsche, the last flame from that old fire, all of them gone without a trace, without a successor! It is as empty up on Parnassus, as it is in politics and thought, and we will maintain a discreet silence regarding the putrefying arts. When we come down to the level of everyday life, we can see very clearly the total nihilism behind all the commonplace chatter about “personality” and “culture.”
Most men do not really live, they merely exist: some to be used up as if they were mere machines in the service of some great undertaking, and some to be reduced to the status of money’s slaves, deliriously busying themselves with the value of stocks and bonds; some, finally, attach themselves to the frenzied diversions offered by the big city. Many, likewise, are oppressed by the wretched and ever-increasing tedium of this existence. In no earlier time was unhappiness greater or more poisonous. Groups of men, large or small, whose members are bound each to the other in the furtherance of some special interest, struggle endlessly to destroy their enemies. Such enmity may arise from commercial, political, racial, or religious grounds. At times one may discover such crazed power-struggles even within a single association. Humans the world over always seem to project their own prejudices onto their environment. Thus, man foists his own obsession with status and power onto nature, wherein he swiftly discovers a wild struggle for existence; he convinces himself that he must have been in the right if he alone survived this struggle for existence; and he paints the world in the guise of a great machine, where the pistons only give off the steam that must turn the wheels, in order that “energy”—one does not see to what end—will be transferred, and he accompanies all of this with a bit of idle chatter about the so-called “philosophy of monism,” which utterly falsifies the billion-fold life of nature in order to reduce the universe to the level of the human ego. Where one previously prized love, or renunciation, or a god-intoxicated withdrawal from the world, we find instead a newly hatched success-religion, which is announced, from atop the graves of former ages, to those of little faith, whose coming had been anticipated by Nietzsche, who, with white-hot scorn and a knowing wink, makes his “last man” proclaim: “We have invented happiness!”22
Invocation to the Moon.
You beauty, O you beauty
you glistening garmentless beauty!
great lady, great glorious lady
greatest of ladies
crownless and jewelless and garmentless
because naked you are more wonderful than anything
we can stroke—
Be good to me, lady, great lady of the nearest
heavenly mansion, and last!
Now I am at your gate, you beauty, you lady of all nakedness!
Now I must enter your mansion, and beg your gift
Moon, O Moon, great lady of the heavenly few.
Far and forgotten is the Villa of Venus the glowing
and behind me now in the gulfs of space lies the golden house
of the sun,
and six have given me gifts, and kissed me god-speed
kisses of four great lords, beautiful, as they held me to their
bosom in farewell,
and kiss of the far-off lingering lady who looks over the distant
fence of the twilight,
and one warm kind kiss of the lion with golden paws—
Now, lady of the Moon, now open the gate of your silvery house
and let me come past the silver bells of your flowers and the
into your house, garmentless lady of the last great gift:
who will give me back my lost limbs
and my lost white fearless breast
and set me again on moon-remembering feet
a healed, whole man, O Moon!
Lady, lady of the last house down the long, long street of the stars
be good to me now, as I beg you, as you’ve always been good
who begged of you and gave you homage
and watched for your glistening feet down the garden path!23
The preceding poem by Lawrence was written when he was near death and it is a great prayer-poem. The Goddess of the moon knew Lawrence’s time on earth was not to be much longer, but she healed him enough to allow a stunning final outburst of creativity, including his final poems, and Apocalypse. The Gods and Goddesses work in strange ways, but if we love them, they will be on our side. Upon Lawrence’s death, the moon Goddess guided Lawrence safely to the other side, the hallowed home of the Gods, where he was anointed with ambrosia.
The sun and moon are our ever-present gateways to the Gods: How blind we are to ignore them! How foolish we are to call them balls of flaming gas and dead rock! To come back into touch with the Gods and Goddesses we must rediscover the primordial reality of the sun and moon. In the following passage, Lawrence juxtaposes the true, esoteric vision of the sun and moon with the lifeless concept believed by modern science and philosophy:
So now we want the sun again. Not the spotted ball of gas that browns you like a joint of meat, but the living sun, and the living moon of the old Chaldean days. Think of the moon, think of Artemis and Cybele, think of the white wonder of the skies, so rounded, so velvety, moving so serene; and then think of the pock-marked horror of the scientific photographs of the moon!
But when we have seen the pock-marked face of the moon in scientific photographs, need that be the end of the moon for us? Even rationally? I think not. It is a great blow: but the imagination can recover from it. Even if we have to believe the pock-marked photograph, even if we believe in the cold and snow and utter deadness of the moon—which we don’t quite believe—the moon is not therefore a dead nothing. The moon is a white strange world, great, white, soft-seeming globe in the night sky, and what she actually communicates to me across space I shall never fully know. But the moon that pulls the tides, and the moon that controls the menstrual periods of women, and the moon that touches the lunatics, she is not the mere dead lump of the astronomist. The moon is the great moon still, she gives forth her soft and feline influences, she sways us still, and asks for sympathy back again. In her so-called deadness there is enormous potency still, and power even over our lives. The Moon! Artemis! the great goddess of the splendid past of men! Are you going to tell me she is a dead lump?
She is not dead. But maybe we are dead, half-dead little modern worms stuffing our damp carcasses with thought-forms that have no sensual reality. When we describe the moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness. Do we imagine that we, poor worms with spectacles and telescopes and thought-forms, are really more conscious, more vitally aware of the universe than the men in the past were, who called the moon Artemis, or Cybele, or Astarte? Do we imagine that we really, livingly know the moon better than they knew her? That our knowledge of the moon is more real, more “sound”? Let us disabuse ourselves. We know the moon in terms of our own telescopes and our own deadness. We know everything in terms of our own deadness.
But the moon is Artemis still, and a dangerous goddess she is, as she always was. She throws her cold contempt on you as she passes over the sky, poor, mean little worm of a man who thinks she is nothing but a dead lump. She throws back the cold white vitriol of her angry contempt on to your mean, tense nerves, nervous man, and she is corroding you away. Don’t think you can escape the moon, any more than you can escape breathing. She is on the air you breathe. She is active within the atom. Her sting is part of the activity of the electron.
Do you think you can put the universe apart, a dead lump here, a ball of gas there, a bit of fume somewhere else? How puerile it is, as if the universe were the back yard of some human chemical works! How gibbering man becomes, when he is really clever, and thinks he is giving the ultimate and final description of the universe! Can’t he see that he is merely describing himself, and that the self he is describing is merely one of the more dead and dreary states that man can exist in? When man changes his state of being, he needs an entirely different description of the universe, and so the universe changes its nature to him entirely. Just as the nature of our universe is entirely different from the nature of the Chaldean cosmos. The Chaldeans described the cosmos as they found it: magnificent. We describe the universe as we find it: mostly void, littered with a certain number of dead moons and unborn stars, like the back yard of a chemical works.
Is our description true? Not for a single moment, once you change your state of mind: or your state of soul. It is true for our present deadened state of mind. Our state of mind is becoming unbearable. We shall have to change it. And when we have changed it, we shall change our description of the universe entirely. We shall not call the moon Artemis, but the new name will be nearer to Artemis than to a dead lump or an extinct globe. We shall not get back the Chaldean vision of the living heavens. But the heavens will come to life again for us, and the vision will express also the new men that we are. […]
We can never recover an old vision, once it has been supplanted. But what we can do is to discover a new vision in harmony with the memories of old, far-off, far, far-off experience that lie within us. So long as we are not deadened or drossy, memories of Chaldean experience still live within us, at great depths, and can vivify our impulses in a new direction, once we awaken them.24
We cannot exactly go back again, but we must not proceed forward. Think of it this way: if you are driving from point A to point B, but take a wrong turn somewhere taking you away from your destination, would it not be best to turn back? Of course it would. Turning back is not some idiocy, but is perfectly sound and rational. We are clearly going in the wrong direction. We can never fully recover the past, but what we know of the past was much closer to the right way than anything in recent memory. As such, we must create something new, using the most ancient wisdom as a North Star, guiding us in establishing the communities of Rananim and re-establishing proper relationships with the Gods.
Groan then, groan.
For the sun is dead, and all that is in heaven
is the pyre of blazing gas.
And the moon that went
so queenly, shaking her glistening beams
is dead too, a dead orb wheeled once a month round the park.
And the five others, the travellers
they are all dead!
In the hearse of night you see their tarnished coffins
travelling, travelling still, still travelling
to the end, for they are not yet buried.
Groan then, groan!
Groan then, for even the maiden earth
is dead, we run wheels across her corpse.
groan with mighty groans!
But for all that, and all that
“in the centre of your being, groan not.”
In the centre of your being, groan not, do not groan.
For perhaps the greatest of all illusions
is this illusion of the death of the undying.25
Weep for the vision of the cosmos put forth by modern thinkers. Weep for the abject state of modern man. Weep for the travesties perpetuated by man upon the earth. Weep, weep for your lifestyle has turned us into rapists, raping our dear mother, the earth, with everything we do, everything we eat, and every action we take. Ancient men didn’t destroy, and, in fact, created great beauty. Weep for what we have become and what we have done to the world. But know that the cosmos is more than what it first appears to be. Know that Gods permeate the fabric of the universe. Know you have an immortal soul, which will take its rightful place alongside the Gods, so long as you have not been so dehumanized by our modern mechanized lifestyle as to become a robot. Know that the Machine is Death the destroyer, but death is an illusion, and the Gods, and all that is Real, including the awakened soul, is undying. No one is beyond redemption and resurrection. Rananim is open to all. And, ironically, the most traditional places left on earth are most receptive to the Machine, since they have a desiccated tradition.26 We must fight, and it is likely the majority of the founders of Rananim communities will at first come from more technologically advanced nations. Lawrence, Klages, and Heidegger are examples: they saw the horrors of the Machine, so they fought against it. A good start for us is to listen to our great sages, some of whom have been quoted in this book, and reawaken one’s relationship to Pan. As Lawrence writes:
What are we going to do, with a conquered universe?
The Pan relationship, which the world of man once had with all the world, was better than anything man has now. The savage, today, if you give him the chance, will become more mechanical and unliving than any civilised man. But civilised man, having conquered the universe, may as well leave off bossing it. Because when all is said and done, life itself consists in a live relatedness between man and his universe;—sun, moon, stars, earth, trees, flowers, birds, animals, men, everything—and not in a “conquest” of anything by anything. Even the conquest of the air makes the world smaller, tighter, and more airless.
And whether we are a store-clerk or a bus-conductor, we can still choose between the living universe of Pan, and the mechanical conquered universe of modern humanity. The machine has no windows. But even the most mechanized human being has only got his windows nailed up, or bricked in.27
Chazal, Malcolm de. Sens-Plastique. Translated by Irving Weiss. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Wakefield Press, 2021.
Crosby, Harry. Seeing with Eyes Closed. Edited by Gian Lombardo. Niantic: Quale Press, 2019.
Jeffers, Robinson. The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers. Edited by Tim Hunt. Vol. Three. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1988.
Klages, Ludwig. The Biocentric Worldview. Translated by Joseph D. Pryce. London: Arktos, 2013.
Lawrence, D. H. Apocalypse. Edited by Mara Kalnins. London: Penguin Books, 1995.
———. Kangaroo. Melbourne: The Text Publishing Company, 2018.
———. Late Essays and Articles. Edited by James T. Boulton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
———. Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays. Edited by Virginia Crosswhite Hyde. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
———. Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious. Edited by Bruce Steele. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
———. Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays. Edited by Michael Herbert. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
———. The Poems. Edited by Christopher Pollnitz. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
D. H. Lawrence, The Poems, ed. Christopher Pollnitz, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 393.
D. H. Lawrence, Late Essays and Articles, ed. James T. Boulton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 131–32.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:456.
D. H. Lawrence, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious, ed. Bruce Steele (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 119–20.
Harry Crosby, Seeing with Eyes Closed, ed. Gian Lombardo (Niantic: Quale Press, 2019), 186–87.
Malcolm de Chazal, Sens-Plastique, trans. Irving Weiss (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Wakefield Press, 2021), 348.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:458.
Lawrence, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious, 168.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:458.
de Chazal, Sens-Plastique, 12.
D. H. Lawrence, Kangaroo (Melbourne: The Text Publishing Company, 2018), 151.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:524.
D. H. Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays, ed. Virginia Crosswhite Hyde (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 84.
D. H. Lawrence, Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and Other Essays, ed. Michael Herbert (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 306.
D. H. Lawrence, Apocalypse, ed. Mara Kalnins (London: Penguin Books, 1995), 148.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:566.
de Chazal, Sens-Plastique, 64.
Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays, 177.
Robinson Jeffers, The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, ed. Tim Hunt, vol. Three (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1988), 369.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:566.
Lawrence, Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious and Fantasia of the Unconscious, 103.
Ludwig Klages, The Biocentric Worldview, trans. Joseph D. Pryce (London: Arktos, 2013), 35–37.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:609.
Lawrence, Apocalypse, 52–54.
Lawrence, The Poems, 1:617.
We are thinking here specifically of India, which in a span of decades has gone from land of gurus, to land of tech. We also are thinking of most of Africa, which uncritically accepts modern technology at great material and spiritual costs.
Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico and Other Essays, 164.