Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Towards Democracy - Edward Carpenter





In the appendices of the original first two editions of Mysteria Magica, published by Llewellyn, Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips include some beautiful excerpts from Edward Carpenter’s epic poem, “Towards Democracy”. They say of the poem:

“That great and noble poem shows forth the phases of psychosophical development, and the functions and faculties of the psyche, in profound clarity; at the same time it is not a general treatise, and the subject-matter is seen and felt through the idiom of Carpenter’s personality and no other. The student to whom this work appeals is urged not to limit his knowledge of it to the passages given here: he should acquire a copy of the complete work, in which much of vision and power will supplement his study of Volume IV of this series (The Triumph of Light).

The given passages, illustrative of the Adept’s quest and attainment, were for many years employed by the Aurum Solis as the basis of one of its recommended mediation sequences.”

This great epic is stuffed to the gills with allegory and vision, much of which truly repays contemplation and meditation. Even dipping into Towards Democracy for a few moments surprises me to this day some twenty five years after discovering the piece. I hope you too will find inspiration and meaning within this treasure trove. A brief sample of some of the gems to be uncovered is included below.


The Lake of Beauty


Let your mind be quiet, realising the beauty of the world, and the immense, the boundless treasures that it holds in store.

All that you have within you, all that your heart desires, all that your Nature so specially

fits you for - that or the counterpart of it waits embedded in the great Whole, for you. It will surely come to you.

Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time will it come. All your crying and fever and reaching out of hands will make no difference.Therefore do not begin that game at all.


Do not recklessly spin the waters of your mind in this direction and in that, lest you

become like a spring lost and dissipated in the desert.


But draw them together into a little compass, and hold them still, so still;

And let them become clear, so clear - so limpid, so mirror-like;

At last the mountains and the sky shall glass themselves in peaceful beauty,

And the antelope shall descend to drink, and to gaze at his reflected image, and the lion to quench his thirst,

And Love himself shall come and bend over, and catch his own likeness in you.

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