Saturday, 16 June 2007


Paul Devereux has noted on several occasions in various books, such as The Sacred Place, Symbolic Landscapes and Living Ancient Wisdom that in countless ancient cultures on every continent landscape features that have recognisable, intelligble profiles have been, since the earliest times, valued as repositories for the 'imprint of the ancestors'. By morphic resonance, the eye of the mind resonates by similarity of pattern with the minds of those who have walked that same mental path, so to speak, and the result is a richer perception and a feeling of lifting out of linear time into a more trancendental realm, what is called - in connection with the original Australian culture - the Dreamtime.
Devereux himself does not refer directly to the work of Rupert Sheldrake, but it is clear that the two bodies of work are mutualy supporting. Sheldrake himself extends his own experimentally based theory of morphic resonance into the realm of human culture in his book The Presence of the Past, and takes the Australian culture as an example. He talks too about cultures in general and about the way that sacred ceremonies always seem to have an emphasis on repeating certain cultic actions in the same way that they have been done before. He suggests that this is because by walking through these actions the resonance with the ancestors is established.
So I was amazed when, while reading a translation of the Hindu texts known as the Rig Veda, I discovered that not only did the Hindus have a word for "the archetypal patterns of behaviour established druing the fist sacrifice to serve as a model" - dharmas - but I also came across the following description of this same process.
An account is given of the creation from the body of a giant, like the Norse myth of the creation of the world from the body of the giant Ymir. A hymn then describes rituals that date right back to the earliest times and resonate with the act of creation. 'The Man' of the translation is Manu, brother of the twins Yama and Yami, cognate with other twins such as Greek Gemini, Norse Ymir, Persian Yema, etc.
The Man stretches the warp and draws the weft; the Man has spread it out upon the dome of the sky...What was the original model, and what was the copy, and what the connection between them?...What was the metre, what was the invocation, and the chant...?
Having made reference to a model and its copy, just like the Platonic version of the Creation, the hymn then gives an account of the names of the metres and the gods who first uttered them. Then it continues:
That was the model for the human sages, our fathers, when the primal sacrifice was born. With the eye that is mind, in thought I see those who were the first to offer this sacrifice. The ritual repetitions harmonized with the chants and with the metres; the seven divine sages harmonized with the original models. When the wise men looked back along the path of those who went before, they took up the reins like charioteers.
Wow. With the eye that is mind, in thought I see those who were the first... etc. There's a handy little mantra to repeat when you want to tune into the ancestral imprint of something, such as the moutain profile I now wish to discuss.

Sainte-Victoire, Totem of Provence

A magnificent mountain stands strong in Provence, the massif called Montagne Sainte-Victoire. It lies in part of those warmer southern regions of Europe that provided havens for the ancestors of modern native Europeans during the Ice Age, a landscape that escaped the scouring of the glaciers even during the last glacial maximum. This mountain is famous worldwide because painters in more recent times have developed passionate artistic devotions to it. Perhaps the most profuse examples of such passionate painterly pilgrims are Cézanne and Granet, but there have been many others.

The form of the massif is complex and very different shapes are seen when looking from different angles. The one that is of particular interest to us at this point is that which is seen when we are to the West of the mountain, looking East. I brought this to public attention when I published an article on the ‘Aslan Mountain’ in Atlantis Rising magazine.

Shown here above is an image of this view in a photograph taken by myself on a September evening from the spot on the Colline des Lauves where Cézanne liked to set up his easel. I have indicated on the image how this forms the profile of a mighty feline on the Eastern Horizon.

So we have found an unusual, very prominent, intelligible animal shape writ large on the horizon, like the mighty benevolent lion Aslan. Aix is, as we have decoded it, in the Leo sector of the Great Zodiac of France, clearly the best place for this awesome simulacra.

But there are more mysteries surrounding this great mountain. A truly intriguing question hangs over another feature of the Sainte-Victoire simulacra.

Mysteriously, the region corresponding to the lion’s face of Sainte-Victoire in Provence seems to have been artificially enhanced to give it a leonine countenance, as seen in the close-ups below. An archeologist with knowledge of rock working who was also a capable rock climber might be able to shed light on the question of whether this image of a countenance is just an astounding coincidence, or whether, as seems more likely, it is the result of human action. The question of dating would then be a whole other issue.

1 comment:

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