Religion and the Subtle Body, IV : "Subtle Bodies and Modernity".




Sinistre Modernists

John Bramble




On Becoming an Owl

Susan Greenwood




Subtle-Body Models

Ruth Barcan




Subtle Subjects and Ethics

Jay Johnston




Subtle-Body Processes

Geoffrey Samuel





Sinistre Modernists

John Bramble


{N.B. The litteral signification of \sinistre\, Latin \sinistra\ 'the left (scil., side or hand)', is in Hellenic \aristero-\ 'better' -- i.e., 'the better (of the twain sides/hands) -- is, grammatically, proprely the comparative degree corresponding to the superlative degree \aristo-\ 'best'. Although when applied to politics this term "sinistre" (or, aequivalently, "Leftist") is generally employed in reference to the seating of the repraesentatives of the merchant-class on the left side of the Parliament of France; yet nevertheless, in the tantra (category of litterature) of the Kaula religion (whereunto was accorded official status and royal patronage in much of Bharata/India during the last few centuries prior to the Muslim incursion), this term is applied to the employment of samdh[y]a-bhasa (litterally, 'twilight-language') of substituting code-terms for the actual terms, in regard to, e.g., the substances of the 5 makara-s. The effect of this coded substituting is intended as humorous, namely, in the manner of self-deprecating humor, whereby ordained membres of the Pas`u-pata religious order [vide :- ShATh, cap. IX, pp. 226-7, under rubric "Seeking of Dishonor"] of the S`aiva religion (and likewise, whereby ordained membres of the Ajivika religious order [vide :- ShATh, cap. IX, pp. 227-8, under rubric "Gosala and Mahavira"] of the Jaina religion) exposed themselves to ostensible-putative (evidently, ritually acted-out) "ridicule" by the saecular congregations of the faithful (or was that "ridicule", rather, done by clergy theatrically acting-the-part of saecular faithful?). The behavior of S`iva, as described in the Kurma Puran.a, "is mimicked by the Pas`u-pata" (ShATh, cap. IX, pp. 228, under rubric "Sectarian Connections") in order to achieve this sacramentally ritualistic result.}

ShATh = Thomas McEvilley : The Shape of Ancient Thought : Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. Allworth Pr, NY, 2002.

{In like manner to such antique ritual "ridicule", the author (J.B.) hath substituted ostensible evaluations of deprecation in place of straightforward evaluations of laudation : the effect on the occultly sophisticated reader of this chapter is so contortedly grotesque as to be risibly humorous (thus maintaining accordance with his overt citations of authors of the "humorist" type).}

p. 192 occult doctrines of progressive refinement into gnoseological aisthetics

"Eastern cosmologies, of yogic lore and Theosophical doctrines about 'man invisible' with their accompanying fluidic, 'electro-magnetic', photic, energetic and sonic theologies ... converge with their later elite, 'aestheticized' Tantric {Kaula/Vajrayana} tradition.

As defined by White, this ... is characterized this form {i.e., Kaula/Vajrayana} of Tantra is characterized by its 'progressive refinement of


{i.e., ostensibly "antinomian" in its superficial code-terms, but actually hyper-orthodox in actual application : involving a set of mystically-based ethics so compassionately perfected as to be sure to strike alarm in the lazily idle, slovenly, greed-ridden (and therefore brutally insensitive) ploutokrateia if they were ever to become aware of its actual signification -- a covert plan for ridding humankind of all idle slovenliness and of all insensate greed}

practice into a gnoseological system grounded in the aesthetics of vision and audition',

and transformation of 'particles of love'

{loving, kindly sentiments}

into 'particles of speech' (White 2003:242). ...

{into loving, kindly, compassionate speech (and parts-of-speech, such as, "for", "with", etc.)}

Metaphysical Orientalism is

a hall of mirrors, reflecting ... :

{in, e.g., rNin-ma cosmology, every particle of existence being understood to be connected in purpose and in meaning with each-and-every other particle of existence, so that very particle of existence is a quasi-mirror, in effect reflecting the universe}

a no man's land of neither East nor West." {Already in antiquity there were plenteous Hellenistic-and-Roman cultural interchanges with Bharata -- vide :- ShATh, cap. XIV "Diffusion Channels in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods".}

{The lands bridging the region betwixt Bharata (India) the Mediterranean area are : Afghanistan, Iran, and <iraq, all of them so very prominent in antient cultural historiography that is it would a gross travesty to label them "no-man's land"!} {But could J.B. be writing with humorous intent, with allusion to : (Lewis 1914) "7 Our Cause is NO-MAN'S."?}

White 2003 = David Gordon White : Kiss of the Yogini : 'Tantric Sex' in South Asian Contexts. Univ of Chicago Pr.

p. 192 similarity between W. Lewis's "Manifesto" and D. G. White's Tantric trilogy ("triptych")

"To acknowledge ... the Tantrika's cosmocratic capacity

{Any such capacity is always enabled by the practioner's is.t.a-devata's (i.e., guardian-angel's) communications with networks of deities organized to protect intelligent life everywhere.}

to 'bless'

{scil., pragmatically useful production, whether intellectual or otherwise}

or 'blast' --

{scil., undertaken so as to curtail actions of wanton destruction}

key terms in Wyndham Lewis's Vorticist manifesto (1914) --

{Containing much laud of humor ("3 BLESS ... HUMOUR ... BLESS the solitude of LAUGHTER. BLESS the ... GRIN. ... 9 We only want Humour if ... it can ... bring ... a laugh"), it is surely thoroughly humorously intended, a sort of humorously-written "philosophy" of humor.}

David Gordon White's Tantric triptych (1996, 2003, 2009) has ... some ... Modernist {by the term "Modernist", essentially meaning, in this context, proponents of a humorist-based ideology/philosophy} entanglement with

{Although "modernist constructions" (SY, p. 48) have speculatively assigned the cross-legged posture (depicted in Mohenjo-Daro prior to the Aryan arrival) to meditative practice, in actuality antiently "the cross-legged "lotus position" was a mark of royal sovereignty" (SY, p. 56).}

Oriental Gothic as a left-handed

{an allusion to "lat.iyfah" ('quip, witticism')?}

source of power ... for some time."

{TO WIT, source of the potency to generate long-lasting laughter?}

Lewis 1914 = Wyndham Lewis : 'Manifesto". BLAST 1:11-28.

reprint of Lewis 1914, with footnotes identifying persons mentioned therein

White 1996 = David Gordon White : The Alchemical Body : Siddha Traditions in Medieval India. Univ of Chicago Pr.

White 2009 = SY = David Gordon White : Sinister Yogis. Univ of Chicago Pr.

{On Wyndham Lewis's "philosophy" of laughter " "For Lewis, laughter is what being might look like from the point of view of non-being; and antagonism, which puts being at risk, is the primary cause of laughter." ("MMMWL")} {Etymologically, goddess S`ri (SY, p. 50) and god Kernunnos (SY, p. 53) [< *\S`arn-\, as in Vaidik mythic river-name \S`arn.ayavat\], the 2 deities best attested in antient sculpture as seated in cross-legged posture, both seem to have names commencing in *\S`-R-\; and \S`AR\ (Strong's 8269) is the word for 'prince' in <ibriy, as well as being the word for 'king' in Akkadian.

But were the very obscure antient cross-legged "kings" herein referred to (S`aka from Bharhut on p. 50; also from Skuthia on SY, p. 51) all originally contortionist commedians whose popular acclaim elevated them to a theatrical sovereignty? [written 1 Apr 2018]}

"MMMWL" = "A Most Modern Misanthrope : Wyndham Lewis And The Pursuit Of Anti-Pathos".

pp. 192-3 the Mesmeric "body electric" and the Theosophic vehicle-of-the-soul

p. 192

"Whitman's 'body electric' grew out of ... nineteenth-century mesmero-spiritualism's

p. 193

'second self' and 'secondary consciousness' (Crabtree 1998).

The Gothic psychology that accompanied Mesmerism's rise explored extraordinary cognition ..., while Theosophists identified the 'body electric' with the soul's {pran.ik} vehicle, with its apparatus of nad{.}i[-]s and cakra[-]s. Rama Prasad {Rama Prasada}'s Nature's Finer Forces : The Science of Breath (1890) was ... influential with Theosophists and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn."

Crabtree 1998 = A. Crabtree : From Mesmer to Freud : Magnetic Sleep and the Roots of Psychological Healing. New Haven : Yale Univ Pr.

p. 193 authors of erotic occult litterature : Lawrence & Eliade

"'oriental' Lawrence (D. H. not T. E.) packed his metaphysical writings, and later novels, with pranasophical and sexo-yogic lore (Doherty 2001);

in 1931, Mircea Eliade experienced 'tantric sex' in an Indian ashram {as`rama} with Jenny Isaac.

And ... prone to inspire turn-of-the-century art (Tuchman 1986) --

multiplied subtle body on subtle body, correlating them with a hierarchy of pre-material planes. ...

{All these subtle bodies, subsisting in specific immaterial planes-of-existence witnessed in dreaming and/or in trancing, were, of course, already stock subject-matters of, at least, secret lores long historically indigenous to traditionalist Bharatiya religious orders.}

From Gnosticism to {Qabbalah} to Swedenborg and Blake, the West {Western Europe} had its own sexual mysticism (Schuchard 2006). With the help of mid-Victorian ... Richard Burton and Edward Sellon ..., newly arrived [as translations from <arabic, and from Samskr.ta, traditional lores] erotica and Orientalia could be grafted onto {i.e., could be utilized for supplementing} this (Urban 2006)."

Doherty 2001 = G. Doherty : Oriental Lawrence : the Quest for the Secrets of Sex. NY : Peter Lang.

Tuchman 1986 = M. Tuchman (ed.) : The Spiritual in Art : Abstract Painting 1890-1985. NY : Abbeville Pr.

Schuchard 2006 = M. K. Schuchard : Why Mrs Blake Cried : William Blake and the Erotic Imagination. London : Century.

p. 193 esotericists' erotic-&-lustful meta-politics

"a dynamic meta-politics ... is involved in early Modernism's cosmic-erotic constructions of subtle energy lore. Examples might be

{In every case, the subtle energy is activated for the mortal practioner by that practioner's spirit-guides in their obtaining assistance from spirit-helpers (primarily during dreaming, as likewise is the case with shamanry).}

Valentine de Saint-Pointe ... in her 1913 Futurist Manifesto of Lust ...;

Lawrence's yogic 'power-mode' ...; and

the 1925 L' Uomo come Potenza ... {Spanish 'hombre como potestad' : 'human as potency'}, a study of Tantrism by the Sicilian esotericist ... Julius Evola."

Saint-Pointe 1913 = Futurist Manifesto of Lust

{As concerning the signification of the word \lust\, in accordance with its own etymology : as this indicateth, it involveth the loosing (i.e., setting free, scil., from delusions) of the self and of others, in the illustrious lustre of lustral (i.e., cleansingly purifing) Divine Reality. In the divinely-approved beneficiency of soul-perfecting lust must reside the power-mode of potency in all-inclusive wisdom and in universal compassion.}

p. 194 artistry-trends inspired by knowledge of hidden energies in subtle bodies : Roerich et al.

"the new Modernist Art. Futurism, Expressionism, Cubo-Futurism, Dada : all ... 'expanded consciousness', to expertise in subtle reality, in vibrations, synaesthsia and cosmic aequivalences, in the primal energetic forces and building-blocks of cosmogony (Ringbom 1970; Hahl-Koch 1984; ... Gordon 1992; Watkins 1994). They also proffered visions of a future, utopian polity (Timms and Collier 1988) where, like the {Kapalika} in White account ..., the artist-adept would be a bridge-builder between the supernatural and earthly worlds. A cosmocratic role of this kind was literally hawked around the USSR and USA by the Theosophist-painter Nicholai-Roerich ... . By the 1920s the Shambhala Cakravartin's 'Plan' for humanity had become his visiting card (Meyer and Brysac 2001:450 ff.)."

Ringbom 1970 = S. Ringbom : The Sounding Cosmos : a Study in the Spiritualism of Kandinsky and the Genesis of Abstract Painting." Helsingfors : ACTA ACADEMIAE ABOENSIS.

Hahl-Koch 1984 = J. Hahl-Koch : Arnold Schoenberg -- Wassily Kandinsky : Letters, Pictures and Documents. London & Boston : Faber & Faber.

Gordon 1992 = M. Gordon : "Russian Sound Creation". In :- D. Kahn & G. Whitehead (edd.) : Wireless Imagination : Sound, Radio and the Avant-Guarde. Cambridge (MA) : M.I.T. Pr.

Watkins 1994 = G. Watkins : Pyramids at the Louvre : Music, Culture, and Collage from Stravinsky to the Postmodernists. Cambridge (MA) : Harvard Univ Pr.

Timms & Collier 1988 = E. Timms & P. Collier : Visions and Blueprints. Manchester Univ Pr.

Meyer & Brysac 2001 = K. E. Meyer & S. B. Brysac : Tournament of Shadows : the Great Game and the Race ... in Asia. London : Little, Brown, & Co.

pp. 194-5 esoteric polity in Bharata and in Europe : Aurobindo, Vivekananda, et al.

p. 194

"Aurobindo Ghose, bicultural ... guru, helped to reinstate ... the earthly utopia ... dependent on a cosmic man{.}d{.}ala ... known only to the esoteric few. With its S{`}aktist resort to {Kali},

the ... Swadeshi

{\Sva-des`iya\ ('one's-own nation pertaining-to'); "Swadesh" being, in contrast, a Bessarabian (Moldovan) name}

movement of Bengal (1903-08), led by Aurobindo among others, had invoked a version of this principle ... . ...

Thanks to Swami Vivekananda, ... who introduced mystic America to {Raja} Yoga, ... second-generation Theosophists like Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, authors of tracts on the subtle realm, ... found its remedy in the yogic East. Active, ... the ... mind of India (and 'Thibet') was now a support for the West, as it {i.e., Western Europe} shook off its


{'weakness of nerve', viz., failure of courage [to resist the folly of materialist delusions] thitherto}

p. 195

(Lears 1981). Like the 'Yogi books' ... -- and the 'sounding', mystico-aesthetic-cosmic ... of Kandinsky and Schoenberg during the 1910s --

Edward Carpenter's ... Civilization : Its Cause and Cure (1906) belongs to this ... world-renewing shift."

{"He was ordained in 1870 and was appointed as curate to Frederick Denison Maurice, the leader of the Christian Socialist movement ... . ... During this time he became a vegetarian and a teetotaller. ... He also wrote socialist songs and hymns such as England Arise! that were used by the Labour Church movement. In 1883 he published the socialist tract, Modern Money-Lending and the Meaning of Dividends. ... In March 1886 Carpenter established the Sheffield Socialist Society. ... Edward Carpenter was also a member of the Fabian Society and in 1889 it published his Civilization: its Cause and Cure. ... His autobiography, My Days and Dreams, also appeared in 1916." (S-E"EC")}

Lears 1981 = T. J. Lears : No Place of Grace : ... the Transformation of American Culture 1880-1920. NY : Pantheon Bks.

Carpenter 1906 = Edward Carpenter : Civilization : Its Cause and Cure; and Other Essays. London : Swan Sonnenschein. {Said Other Essays consist of :- "The Science of the Future : A Forecast, ...

Defence of Criminals : A Criticism of Morality, . 
Exfoliation : Lamarck versus Darwin".}

S-E"EC" = "Edward Carpenter".

p. 195 cosmic multitudes : Walt Whitman & R. M. Bucke

"With his profession to 'contain multitudes', Walt Whitman ... had set the stage for suchline regenerative utopian schemes. (For a 'tantric key' to Indian Walt, see Allen and Folsom 1995:396; for the 'yogi as cosmos', White 2009:168).

The bestselling 1901 study of 'cosmic consciousness' by Whitman's pupil R. M. Bucke assisted thi soon international 'cosmified' auto-apotheosis; so did William James's 1902 book on religious experience : both literally upward primers for all aspirants for

a post-egoic ... .

{after having abandoned ahamkara ('egotism')}

Whitman duly influenced Carpenter, a theorist of the cakra[-]s, who influenced Lawrence in turn (Delaveny 1971)."

Allen & Folsom 1995 = G. Allen & E. Folsom : Walt Whitman and the World. IA Univ Pr.

Delaveny 1971 = E. Delaveny : D. H. Lawrence and Edward Carpenter. London : Heinemann.

p. 195 cosmic triplicities of aistheticists & art-critics : Kandinsky & Coomaraswamy

"Corresponding to the sequence 'spirit-soul-ostensible self' {the merely-ostensible (but illusory) being Skt \ahamkara\ 'egotism'}, and

{in Hellenic, \pneumat-\, with Skt cognate \pavana\ (Latin \spiritus\) + \psukhe\ (Latin \anima\) + \no[h]os\ (Church-Latin \alma\, from Pannonian/Hungarian, with <arabic cognate \<ilm\)}

akin to the Buddhist {tri-kaya},

{consisting of \nirman.a-kaya\ 'apparitional subtle body', \sambhoga-kaya\ 'enjoymental subtle body', and \dharma-kaya\ 'religious subtle body'}

a tripartite scheme {as if to the triplicity astral--mental--causal} ... is at work here :

{More actually, these are two distinct tripartite schemes, the erst triad referring to one's varieties of spirit-guides (e.g., \no[h]os\ cognate with the Vaidik rescuer-from-shipwreck Nasatya); but the latter triad to a publicly/communally-worshipped external deity's guises (but never to one's own personally distinctive private spirit-guides).}

indeed, even ... Kandinsky arrived at his 'inner sound' { s`abda 'subtle noise'} and vibrational soul-string {heartstring aequated with monochord's string} aesthetic ...,

Traditionalist 'triple cosmos' theory

{such Tri-bhava or Tri-jagat consisting, often, of triple septenaries : Loka + Tala + Naraka}

was known to some Modernists through A. K. Coomaraswamy, ... art-critic and ... member of Sir John Woodruffe's Calcutta circle (Sedgwick 2004 ...)."

Sedgwick 2004 = M. Sedgwick : Against the Modern World : Traditionalists in the Secret History of the Twentieth Century. Oxford Univ Pr.

pp. 195-6 avant-guarde post-materialism : Max Mu:ller & Henri Bergson : vindication of Kandinsky, and assimilation of Nietzsche

p. 195

"In addition to occult revival and the new Orientalism -- the last,

in the spirit of ... the pious ... spirituality of Max Mu:ller (Waghorne 1994) -- vitalist life-philosophy,

{"re-made and controlled by the Spirit, entinctured with Eternal Life" (LS"H&LS")}

especially that proposed by Henri Bergson (developing Schelling) and Nietzsche ('transvaluing' Schopenhauer) was instrumental in this ... focus ... to the vital and subtle, ... to the intermediate realm. Like Mann's

'politics of myth and the the unconscious' {"politics" signifying cajolement of mortals by deities} in

{"The unconscious" could be a term aequivalently valid either to "the subconscious" ("the way of the gods is below", in Hawai>ian parlance), or to "the supraconscious" (where the divine way is above the self).}

the meta-political sphere,

{praeternatural sphaire of influences exerted by metaphysical entities (deities) on mortals' attitudes}

and serving as another augury of universal regeneration in Kandinsky's epoch of 'the great spiritual' non-objective ... was the virtuoso expresson of this cognitive and cosmo-conceptual shift ... .

Both easily identified with Theosophy's 'evolving' cosmos and yogic lore, Bergson's latently animistic-erotic e'lan vital and 'creative evolution' placed subtle meta-substance at the disposal of the avant-guarde (Grogin 1988), who proclaimed that the next, post-materialist stage of world-history would ... re-equip humanity

p. 196

with its originary magical powers (Antliff 2001).

Likewise, for the ... Orientalizing Nietzsche, friend of the Indologist Paul Deussen (Parkes 1991), ... modern man was ... in a sphere 'beyond good and evil' which ... cried out for assimilation to Tantrism once, thanks to Woodruffe's publications (Taylor 2001), its doctrines became better known.

Like Lawrence, who could

equate ... beyond good and evil, sexual antinomianism,

{Alike to being putatively "beyond good and evil", sexual "antinomianism" is actually a status of its producing both its own peculiar ethical standards and its own legal system.}

the new yogic 'power {spiritual, of course} mode' and the Joachimite Third Kingdom of the Holy Ghost ..., Evola excelled at ... assimilations of this kind."

Waghorne 1994 = J. P. Waghorne : The Raja's Magic Clothes : ... Kingship and Divinity in ... India. University Park : State Univ of PA Pr.

LS"H&LS" = Evelyn Underhill : The Life of the Spirit and the Life of To-day. NY : E. P. Dutton, 1922. Cap. II : "History And The Life Of The Spirit".

Grogin 1988 = R. C. Grogin : The Bergsonian Controversy 1900-1914. Calgary Univ Pr.

Antliff 2001 = A. Antliff : Anarchist Modernism, Art, Politics and the First American Avant-Guarde. Univ of Chicago Pr.

Parkes 1991 = G. Parkes (ed.) : Nietzsche and Asian Thought. Univ of Chicago Pr.

Taylor 2001 = K. Taylor : Sir John Woodruffe, Tantra and Bengal. Richmond (Surrey) : Curzon Pr.

p. 196 analogical occultism & sacred erotology at Mu:nich & at Ascona

"German occultist groups like the Munich Cosmic Circle on 'cosmogonic eros';

the Asconan counter-culture on a 'sacred feminism' derived from Nietzsche's mentor J. J. Bachofen (Webb 1981; Green 1986)."

Webb 1981 = J. Webb : The Occult Establishment. Glasgow : Richard Drew.

Green 1986 = M. Green : Mountain of Truth : the Counterculture Begins, Ascona 1900-1920. Hannover (NH) : New England Univ Pr.

p. 196 alliances of occultism

"alliances between occultism, volkisch thought, vitalism, utopian socialism and anarchism (Sonn 1989; Weir 1997) ... brought the Modernist counter-culture to birth (spiritualism apart, ... occult revival). ... Modernism ... would anyway be necessary (or desirable) for representations of the meta-real dimensions -- but looked at from the archaic-oriental spirit ... perspective ... Modernism becomes ... a matter of the 'shock of the old'. Albeit twinned with a forward utopian evolutionism, itself endemic to the meta-politics of subtle energy and vital force ..., this inclination to the oriental and archaic, together with the occult and folkloric, is found across the whole spectrum of the Modernist arts -- drama, music, dance, painting, literature -- a wholesale 'magic socialist' ... restoration of humanity to the 'magic theatre' of its extensible and imaginative, subtle self being the prime, cosmocratic objective of the early avant-guarde."

Sonn 1989 = R. Sonn : Anarchism and Cultural Politics in Fin de Sie`cle France. Lincoln : Univ of NE Pr.

Weir 1997 = D. Weir : Anarchism and Culture : the Aesthetic Politics of Modernism. Amherst : Univ of MA Pr.

pp. 197-8 replacement of philosophical materialism with schemata of subtle energies

p. 197

"Partly in a context of ... preoccupations with ... the imploding modern subject (Crary 1999) -- matter ... was ... to be replaced by (initially spooky) 'energies' and 'unknown forces'. The last, according to art historian Christoph Asendorf (1993), was 'the phantasm of the 1880s'; and subsequent to the 1900 'death of matter' he finds an art world haunted by ... 'streams and radiations' ('scientific' rewritings ... of the ghosts of the older Gothic). Electricity, ... life-force, ... the older fluids of animal magnetism -- all were involved in the formulation of this ... epochal change ... of art world obsession, during the Teens [1910s], with 'non-perceptible forces' (modernized ghosts and spirits ...); and Theosophical speculations about 'non-Euclidean geometry and the four dimension' (Henderson 1983) supplied ... for art world embroilment with what Schoenberg called 'occult puzzles beyond'.

Just as at the turn of the century the cult of Pan {divine player of the pan-pipe, the instrumental ancestor of the cathedral organ} supervened on that of the Christian god {or more accurately stated, very emphatically supplanted the sheepish submissiveness of the Christian "flock" (in craven obedience to tyrannical royalty) with the goatish independent-mindedness (suitable for democratic institutions) of free folk},

{The goat-god's name's usual form \Pan\ is apparently a contraction of \Paon-\ (appearing in an antient inscription) repraesenting an earlier *\Pa>won-\ (containing a laryngeal consonant). Cognate must surely be (S^emitic \s.\ being aequivalent to TL-MRJ/Kemetic \f\, and thus to Germanic \f\ = Hellenic \p\) Strong's 6629, alternatively \s.o>n\ or \s.>own\ "sheep or goats". If so, then IndoIranian (Vaidik and Zend-Avestan) god's name \Pusan\ may contain an infixed \-s-\, if it not be indeed more directly cognate with \pasture\ and \pastor\.}

so reinforcing the new trend towards hypnoid (sub-)liminalty, ... gross matter went out [of vogue] and subtle energy came in[to vogue].

Another aspect of this shift from gross to subtle ... was the ... movement's preoccupation with 'intermediate states' (Pynsent 1989:196 ff.).

On a 'triple view' of the cosmos as consisting of material, subtle energies and spiritual planes,

{The more complete occultist system is quintuple : causal (ethics), mental (logic), astral (instinct), aitheric (mind's control over the material body), and material planes-of-existence.}

such in-between states, often equated with Symbolist reverie (but also crucial for ... trance-mediumship ...), were synonymous with the 'imaginal world' of seership, imagination and soul (Harpur 2002). Amid much erudite syncretism -- Theosophists, for instance, ...

p. 198

conflating their cosmologies and subtle-body lore ... -- a new/old, participatory-polymorphic model of the self and universe emerged from such psycho-cosmosophical schemes. ... . ... regenerationist idiom of the 'Eastern occult' ... consorted freely with life-philosophy : Schopenhauer's S{`}akti-like Will, Bergson's e'lan vital, Nietzsche's Dionysus and Somerset Maugham's Pan ... (Asendorf 1993:153 ff.)."

Crary 1999 = J. Crary : Suspensions of Perception : Attention, Spectacle and Modern Culture. Cambridge (MA) : M.I.T. Pr.

Asendorf 1993 = Christoph Asendorf : Batteries of Life : On the History of Things and Their Perception in Modernity. Berkeley & Los Angeles : Univ of CA.

Henderson 1983 = L. D. Henderson : The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art. Princeton Univ Pr.

Pynsent 1989 = J. Pynsent : Decadence and Innovation. London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Harpur 2002 = P. Harpur : The Philosophers' Secret Fire : a History of the Imagination. London : Penguin.

p. 198 subtle energies in art-work : politics of energy

"amid art-world talk of 'decomposition' ... new ... arcane sexualities were being canvassed (Dixon 2001; Owen 2004); and the 'phantasm' of subtle fluids and energies seemed to hold the key ... to the recent 'pulverization' of matter (so Nicholai Berdyaev of the distressed canvasses of the Symbolist Mikhail Vrubel) and the subsequent etherialization of life. ... .

... the age's high Bohemian neo-aristocrats ... devised a top-down 'magic socialist' politics of energy ... (... Edwards 2000:300 ff.)."

Dixon 2001 = J. Dixon : Divine Feminine : Theosophy and Feminism in England. Baltimore : John Hopkins Univ Pr.

Owen 2004 = A. Owen : The Place of Enchantment : British Occultism and the Modern. Univ of Chicago Pr.

Edwards 2000 = P. Edwards : Wyndham Lewis, Painter and Writer. New Haven : Yale Univ Pr.

p. 199 to arise as siddha through knowledge of occult lore

"many ... Modernists of the 1910s and 1920s knew a surprisingly large amount of yogic and tantric lore. This, as in Symbolist-Modernist Russia, they could fuse with theurgy and collectivist 'god-building' : after the fashion of the Golden Dawn or Neoplatonism ..., to 'arise' as a deity of the siddha-like New Man in a 'second creation' (Rosenthal 1997). They could also bring Theosophy's 'man invisible', channels, cakras and all, into a vibrational soul-string aesthetic -- the aesthetic of Kandinsky's 'sounding cosmos', with its elemental lights, sounds and colours, the aim being to initiate the chela-observer into the cosmic attunements of the virtuoso guru-artist (Ringbom 1970; Behr et al. 1993). As shared by Scriabin and other synaesthetic 'sonic-phonemic-photic' artists of the Russian Teens [1910s] (Gordon 1992) -- the type existed in America too (Tuchman 1986:297 ff.) -- such is best related to the 'new model of the universe', namely the new/old yogic-tantric cosmos ... ."

Rosenthal 1997 = B. G. Rosenthal (ed.) : The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture. Ithaca : Cornell Univ Pr.

Behr et al. 1993= S. Behr, D. Fanning, & D. Jarman : Expressionism Reassessed. Manchester Univ Pr.

Gordon 1992 = M. Gordon : "Russian Sound Creation". In :- D. Kahn & G. Whitehead (edd.) : Wireless Imagination : Sound, Radio and the Avant Guarde. Cambridge (MA) : M.I.T. Pr.

Tuchman 1986 = M. Tuchman (ed.) : The Spiritual in Art : Abstract Painting 1890-1985. NY : Abbeville Pr.

p. 199 vibrational centres in "total artwork" and in the superhuman Cosmos

"Another cosmocratic possibility, adopted by Scriabin in Mysterium and Schoenberg in Jakobsleiter, both unfinished 'eschatological torsos' (Taruskin 1997) of Theosophical inspiration, was 'total artwork' : a multi-media form whose transformational point lay in manipulating what Gurdjieff called the 'centres'. ...

Stockhausen, late Modernist pupil of the synaesthetic syncretist Olivier Messiaen, and reader of Aurobindo like him, ... wrote in 1973 (cited in Godwin 1986) :

[quoted :] We are spirits, and ... connected with the superhuman, with the Cosmos, ...

I can bring each center into vibration. I can set my sexual center into vibration with a certain kind of music, but with another music ... my supra natural center ... . And ... have you gone far enough ... to discover which parts of a type of music, or which pieces of music, set which of your centers in vibration?

{If, while in the hypnopompic state of "sleep paralysis", one can sense a powerful vibration in one's body, this sensation is generally immediately succeeded by projection of one's astral body. Music may be heard in certain dreamings, and if, during this process, one should contemplate sensing vibrations within one's dream-body, then similar results, but more esoteric (e.g., projection of the mental body into some divine realm), might be achieved; indeed, it may the main, if not the only, means of achieving such. [written 13 April 2018]}

As ... from his 'and how I start a body vibrating is extremely mysterious',

{That is to say, he was not at liberty to disclose how he accomplished this. Perhaps some divine dream-entity imparted to him the method, without, however, providing him permission to bestow it on other mortals.}

Stockhausen is a grand magne'tiseur ... -- like the 'Buddhist' Wagner and

the Steinerite Joseph Beuys {"Beuys ... metaphorically presented Rudolf Steiner's model of the three psycho-physiological 'sites' in the human body: the head, seat of the nerve system, which facilitates thought; the chest, which is the seat of sensation and the rhythmic functions crucial to life; and the metabolic system of limbs, which realize the commands of the will." ("HJBWAPh")}

{"Beuys's extraordinarily eclectic body of work. Perhaps it is his eclecticism, though, that makes Beuys such a problematic artist. There is an air of unfinished business about most of the work he created, which some interpret as a lack of rigour. On to that work, too, he loaded all manner of often obscure mystical beliefs, insisting, above all, on the now unfashionable notion that art was a magical, even occult, pursuit." ("JBMM")}

(Godwin 1986:289; Moffitt 1988)."

Taruskin 1997 = R. Taruskin : Defining Russia Musically. Princeton Univ Pr.

"HJBWAPh" = "How Joseph Beuys Went From Artist To Philosopher".

Godwin 1986 = J. Godwin : Music, Mysticism and Magic : a Sourcebook. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Moffitt 1988 = J. F. Moffitt : Occultism in Avant-guarde Art : the Case of Joseph Beuys. Ann Arbor : Univ of MI Research Pr.

"JBMM" = "Joseph Beuys : A Man Of Mystery". THE GUARDIAN -- "Culture" -- "Art & Design", 30 Jan 2005

pp. 200-2 aisthetics of persuasion : the interface between spiritual and material realities

p. 200

"four reasonably distinct historical stages ... mark the career of otherworldly vibrations, subtle reality and occult fluida as governing factors in the arts.

The first of these, distinguished by a mesmeric trance rationale for transmission to and bewitchment of his audience by the heroic ... virtuoso (Winter 1998; Pick 2000:112 ff.) ... . Paganini, Liszt, Wagner, and the 'Swedish nightingale' Jenny Lind ... set the tone for the forthcoming 'vibrational aesthetic' ... . ...

In extension of Mesmerism's ... 'fluidic revelation', the second, proto-cosmocratic phase, 1880-1910, saw increased acquaintance with yogic lore, also tacit agreement that ... wild, yogini-like women (Dijkstra 1986) are the proper, post realist sphere of the arts. ... Equally ... -- and with Swedenborg, Count Zinzendorf, Blake and Rabbi Falk as forerunners -- 'sex magic' was an open secret, thanks to the resurfacing of erotic gnosis in occultists like Paschal Beverly Randolph and Theodor Reuss (Deveney 1997; Urban 2006; Schuchard 2006). ... Fin-de-Sie`cle occult revival and 'anti-modern vitalism' (Lears 1981) certainly set the tenor for the new Orientalism of phase two. ...

p. 201

The third chapter of this occult history ... . During the 'expectant' 1910s ... matters immaterial ... became more scholarly and refined ... Theosophist G. R. S. Mead's writings ... culminating in his 1919 The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in the Western Tradition. ... The most outre' examples of this return to art's primary, sonic, phonemic and photic constituents (Hahl[-]Koch 1984; Watkins 1994) -- a yogic-tantric, theurgical art ... in the interests of initiating the audience into 'higher' planes and vibrations ... -- ... found in Russia and Germany. ... In his ... Petersburg (1916), a shape-shifting phantasmagoria with similarities to Gustav Meyrink's occult fiction, the Russian Symbolist Andrei Bely, pupil of Rudolph Steiner (who had likewise influenced Kandinsky), had written an astral non-objective novel (Carlson 1993:198 ff.). Literary non-objectivity was also found in Russian Cubo-Futurist zaum (Rosenthal 1997:235 ff.),

p. 202

a 'trans-rational' form of phonemic poetry with parallels in sectarian glossolalia, spiritualist automatism, and the ... 'D{.}akini speech' type languages of the occult revival, like Blavatsky's 'Senzar' and St Yves d'Alveydre's 'Vattan'. ... Messiaen, Edgard Vare`se, the American composer Ruth Crawford, the Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro, all dreamt up such 'second-state' meta-languages, their tenor caught by Artaud when he wrote ... that its essence was 'speech anterior to words'. 'Anterior speech' ... is also ... a topic studied by the Gurdjieffian Surrealist Rene['] Daumal (Rosenblatt 1999:113 ff.)."

Winter 1998 = A. Winter : Mesmerized : Powers of Mind in Victorian England. Univ of Chicago Pr.

Pick 2000 = D. Pick : Faces of Degeneration. Cambridge Univ Pr.

Dijkstra 1986 = B. Dijkstra : Idols of Perversity : Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Sie`cle Culture. Oxford Univ Pr.

Deveney 1997 = J. P. Deveney : Paschal Beverly Randolph, ... Spiritualist, Rosicrucian and Sex Magician. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr.

Urban 2006 = H. B. Urban : Magia Sexualis : Sex, Magic and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism.

Lears 1981 = T. J. Lears : No Place of Grace : Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture 1880-1920. NY : Pantheon.

Hahl-Koch 1984 = J. Hahl-Koch : Arnold Schoenberg -- Wassily Kandinsky : Letters, Pictures and Documents. Boston : Faber & Faber.

Watkins 1994 = G. Watkins : Pyramids at the Louvre : Music, Culture, and Collage from Stravinsky to the Postmodernists. Cambridge (MA) : Harvard Univ Pr.

Carlson 1993 = M. Carlson : 'No Religion Higher than Truth' : Theosophy in Russia 1875-1922. Princeton Univ Pr.

Rosenblatt 1999 = K. F. Rosenblatt : Rene['] Daumal. Albany : State Univ of NY Pr.

Kuryluk 1987 = E. Kuryluk : Judas and Salome in the Cave of Sex. Evanston : Northwestern Univ Pr.

pp. 203-4 descriptions (published in Western Europe) of magical works (as practiced in Nusantara and in Bharata) for the undoing of atheistic impiety

p. 203

"But the new age of 'The Hidden Force' (the title of an Indonesian-set 1900 novel about the white {atheistic} man's undoing by native magic and the 'S{`}akti of the land' by the Dutch ... Louis Couperus) also involved the return of ... a 'grotesque anti-world' of their own (Kuryluk 1987). ... By the 1920s, ... an anti-world composed of the oriental, occult and archaic -- as per ... Forster's A Passage to India or ... Conrad's Heart of Darkness -- had taken hold at popular and elite levels alike. ...

Georges Bataille, source for the latter-day 'transgressions' of Michel Foucault, shared Lawrence's -- in origin Frazerian (Vickery 1973) -- interest in ... outre' sexuality.

Yeats ... averred that

'fair and foul are next of kin' (Ravindran 1990:88 f.);

{"Fair is foul and foul is fair : Hover through the fog ..." (Shakespeare : MacBeth, Act 1, Scene 1).}

Brancusi, avid reader of Jacques Bacot's 1925 Life of Milarepa, mixed mysticism and erotology;

Maria de Naglowska, yogini friend of Evola and the Surrealist Camille Bryen, abridged Randolph in her 1931 Magia Sexualis;

Pierre Bernard, founder of the Tantrik Order of America in 1905, translated ... into 'tantric' terms

p. 204

for wealthy New Yorkers;

Alexandra David{-}Neel, Theosophist traveler to Tibet, fed ... appetites for siddhis and prana {pran.a} magic (as Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi did later);

Jung thickened the subtle ... with his ... musings on

Richard Wilhelm's version of The Secret of the Golden Flower, while

{RW:SGF} {A more recent translation is ThC:SGF.}

Evans-Wentz's Tibetan 'translations' ...

{These translations were actually done for him by his interpreter, Dawa Samdup.}

brought Tantra, the after-life bardo {antarabhava} ... into further relief."

Vickery 1973 = J. B. Vickery : The Literary Impact of the Golden Bough. Princeton Univ Pr.

"Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair".

Ravindran 1990 = S. Ravindran : W. B. Yeats and Indian Tradition. Delhi : Konark.

RW:"SGF" = Richard Wilhelm (transl) : The Secret of the Golden Flower.

ThC:"SGF" = Thomas Cleary (transl) : The Secret of the Golden Flower.

pp. 204-6 the "body mystical" in a primordial world

p. 204

"From 1918, [D. H.] Lawrence was obsessed by a secret yogic key to the Book of Revelation devised in 1910 by the Irish-American Theosophist James Pryse. Correlasting the seven seals of the apocalypse with the seven cakras, Pryse influenced Lawrence's own 1931 Apocalypse and supplied him with ... his ... psycho-sexual system. ... There is more to Lawrence's 'doctrine of the body mystical' (Cowan 1990:115 ff.) ... . ...

p. 205

A central feature of the 'power mode' ..., Carter's 'serpent force' evokes Woodroffe's Serpent Power (known to Meyrink, who practiced yoga) and both recall Wilson and Sellon's renderings of S{`}akti as 'power' and 'energy' (Taylor 2001). ... .

... the yogic doctrines relating to the macrocosmic-microcosmic orbits {The "Microcosmic Orbit" is accomplished in "the great central meridians" of head, neck, and torso ("GCCh&MO").} {"The Macrocosmic Orbit (or Great Heavenly Circulation (Da Zhou Tian (in Pinyin))) is basically an extension of the Microcosmic Orbit through the legs and arms." ("MOD")} of kun{.}d{.}alini

{Any terminology of "macrocosmic-microcosmic orbits" is not at all concerned with Kun.d.alini, but instead is purely Taoist (such orbits being commonly called "waterwheels', as in THL&I, cap. 95, and -- each in HYEY : "TMO", cap. 12; "DCT", cap. 30; and "ST3Wh", capp. 1-3)}

(as witness the 'greater {Taoist} sex' hymned in The Plumed Serpent) are ... 'the gods' from the cakras ... (Delaveny 1971) ... . ... .

{Such MesoAmerican plumed-serpent deities are often likened to Taoist dragons (though they could also be likened to the divine six-winged S`rapiym serpents described in Ys^a<yah 6:2).}

... Lawrence's overall tendency is ... to a primordial world ...,

p. 206

whose proximity to the life-force promises salvation -- and whose cosmology coincides with that of the Theosophical Society itself."

Cowan 1990 = J. C. Cowan : D. H. Lawrence and the Trembling Balance. University Park : PA State Univ Pr.

"GCCh&MO" = "The Great Central Channel and the Microcosmic Orbit".

"MOD" = "The MACROCOSMIC ORBIT – with Details".

THL&I = Eva Wong (translatrix) : The Tao of Health, Longevity, and Immortality. Shambhala, Boston, 2000.

HYEY = Eva Wong (translatrix) : Holding Yin, Embracing Yang. Shambhala, Boston, 2005.

"TMO" = "Treatise on the Mysterious Orifice".

"DCT" = "Discussion on the Cavity of the Tao".

"ST3Wh" = "Secret Teachings on the Three Wheels".

Delaveny 1971 = E. Delaveny : D. H. Lawrence and Edward Carpenter. London : Heinemann.

Ys^a<yah 6

Ys^a<yah 6:2

pp. 206-7 a world-beginning anew

p. 206

"the Modernist 'occult cosmocrat' (White's term ... 2003:32), was in a position, particularly with the internationalization of 'the new model of the universe' during the 1910s, to institute a new beginning. Here, new clients ... could shelter ...,

p. 207

benefiting from ... new/old 'batteries of life' and occult sources of power. ... The blessed and 'who's in'of this magical operation ran to ... socialism ... (Edwards 2000)."


ROUTLEDGE STUDIES IN ASIAN RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY, 8 = Geoffrey Samuel & Jay Johnston (edd.) : Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West : Between Mind and Body. Routledge (an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group), Abingdon (Oxon), 2013.