The Moon and The Yew Tree by Sylvia Plath from The Collected Works1
is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
1From the Collected Works of Sylvia Plath
"The blood is a sunset. I admire it.
-Sylvia Plath," The Surgeon at 2am"1
"As to the substance of his teachings and his life, I cannot see him otherwise than as a key figure -- perhaps on the human level, the key figure -- in the painful transition of humanity from what I have ventured to call original participation to final participation. The crucial phase in that transition was, and indeed is, modern man's inveterate habit of experiencing matter devoid of spirit, and consequently of conceiving spirit as less real, and finally as altogether unreal."
"Who knows what a sublime symbol is blood? Precisely the repulsive aspect of its organic components allows us to conclude that thereis something very sublime in them. We shudder at them as we do at ghosts, and in this strange mixture we sense with childlike terror a mysterious world that might be an old acquaintance"--Novalis(from Novalis's Teplitz Fragment found in Philosophical Writings. Translated and edited by Margaret Mahoney Stoljar.1977. State University Press of New York. Page 103.)
"The word or logos becomes embodied by traveling through the"birth canal" of speech production. The "I" or "Ich" cannot penetrate to the open air. The "I" under the influence of German atavism ("Ich") is snared in the larynx and feverishly tries to emerge. The ego's birth struggle recalls the claustrophobia and suffocation of the physical birth trauma(perinatal trauma). Perinatal consciousness is a source of both transcendental creative experience and extreme pain. A person's individual conscious seems to unite with the collective consciousness of humanity when recalling the perinatal trauma. The individual may experience a universal pain that far exceeds one's normal allotment. This pain may be converted to a deep death-rebirth experience having a similar transformative effect as spiritual initiation."-Ken DiBenedette on "Daddy"
"The world being thus put under the mind for verb and noun, the poet is he who can articulate it. For, though life is great, and fascinates, and absorbs, -- and though all men are intelligent of the symbols through which it is named, -- yet they cannot originally use them. We are symbols, and inhabit symbols; workman, work, and tools, words and things, birth and death, all are emblems; but we sympathize with the symbols, and, being infatuated with the economical uses of things, we do not know that they are thoughts. The poet, by an ulterior intellectual perception, gives them a power which makes their old use forgotten, and puts eyes, and a tongue, into every dumb and inanimate object. He perceives the independence of the thought on the symbol, the stability of the thought, the accidency and fugacity of the symbol."-Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "The Poet"
"Here the incarnation of the ego is like the painful cinder in the eye. The onset of ego consciousness recapulates the Fall, but instead of an innocent, unconscious fall, the "I" now witnesses and participates in the destruction of Eden. The poet knows that a single day or a single life may recapulate all of evolution and one event may contain many larger scale events within it. Each portion of time, like a hologram, contains all of eternity within it."-comments on "The Eyemote"
From out that web of unreality which you in error's darkness name world, the mystic has conducted you to us. From being and nothing the world was made which for you wove itself into a semblance. Semblance is good when we behold it grounded in reality, but you did dream it in the life of semblance; and semblance known by semblance fades away. Oh semblance of a semblance, learn now to know thyself."- from Rudolf Steiner's fourth mystery drama, The Soul's Awakening.
easy enough to do it in a cell.
by Sylvia Plath1
"To the contemporary, rational mind "Meeting one's muse" is a reference to inspiration- the ability of the poet to unlock interior secrets and bring that experience into writing. The modern thinker equates inspiration with fortuitous creative waves of brain activity that result from years of study and practice.The spiritual or "occult" tradition views "study and practice" as an invocation of actual spiritual beings which in some way unites with the psyche of the poet. Ideas and thought forms are not merely the result of physical brain activity but are energy filled beings that give birth to and always precede physical reality."--Ken DiBenedette from "Death and Rebirth of the Muses"
"One may picture this great sacrifice, the highest expression of will in divine nature, by imagining oneself before a mirror in which one's image is reflected. This image is, of course, an illusion, a semblance. Now carry over this image to the point of imagining yourself dying, sacrificing your existence, your feeling and thought, your very being, to inject life into that image. Spiritual science in all ages has called this phenomenon the outpouring, the emanation. If you could really make this sacrifice, it would be clear that you would no longer be here because you would have given up your whole being to this reflected image to imbue it with life and consciousness. "
When the will has become capable of making the great sacrifice, it actually creates a universe, great or small, whose mission is bestowed upon it by its creator. Such is the creative will in the Divine Being. "--Rudolf Steiner
-"She(Nature) makes a man; and having brought him to ripe age, she will no longer run therisk of losing this wonder at a blow, but she detaches from him a new self, that the kind may be safe from accidents to which the individual is exposed. So when the soul of the poet has come to ripeness of thought, she detaches and sends away from it its poems or songs, -- a fearless, sleepless, deathless progeny, which is not exposed to the accidents of the weary kingdom of time: a fearless, vivacious offspring, clad with wings (such was the virtue of the soul out of which they came), which carry them fast and far, and infix them irrecoverably into the hearts of men." -from Emerson's Essay "The Poet"
How Concrete Conceptual Domains Act as Doors to Higher Perceptions
"Metaphor is not only a figure of speech which compares two seemingly unrelated subjects but also a form of higher cognition. Metaphor juxtaposes familiar concepts to reveal higher, archetypal concepts. These higher concepts cannot be literally stated in familiar language. The higher concepts are "unnamed", no single definable word attaches to these "thought beings" nor are they accessible to abstract, logical reasoning. They are poetical intuitions that incarnate into thought and language through the skilled manipulation of familiar concepts.
In "Sheep in Fog", as in other poems, part of Plath's psycho-spiritual makeup is the "subject" which receives attributes from the images. Part of her "I" or ego is the subject or "tenor" and the entire poem is the "vehicle" which incarnates the supersensible mystery of Plath's being. Part of her "I" stands at the doorway between the familiar concepts of earthly experience and the higher archetypes that weave into existence. She stands at the doorway of a world and merges with the process of creation. A higher spiritual part of her being incarnates into her word structures. "-Ken DiBenedette on Plath's "Sheep in Fog"
1From the Collected Works of Sylvia Plath
And where in this delirious thinking is there room for the human ego?"-postscript to Antonin Artaud's Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society (see Artaud Anthology edited by Jack Hirschman. City Light Books San Francisco.1965. Page 139.)(translated by Mary Beach and Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
"Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and the flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them--
Thoughts gone dim. " -"I Am Vertical" by Sylvia Plath
The "double":"This feeling of separation from the physical body is an experience that will arise in human beings more and more frequently in the future, without being understood. A time will come when a great many people will find themselves asking: Why is it that I feel as if my being were divided, as if a second being were standing by my side?