I am the silence that is incomprehensible . . .

The Thunder: Perfect Mind




by Tracy Boyd

© 2004

The focus of my present studies has been the AUM of the Heart Chakra as it pertains

to healing.  In the midst of these inquiries into sacred sound, I came upon the image

of Wind over Water by chance, with the toss of three coins.  This kind of serendipitous encounter is a common occurrence when one is engrossed in the reading of sacred texts and commentaries.  It is partially the result of one’s openness to the subject at hand, but always, there are synchronistic forces that come into play which defy explanation.  The path that opens to you of its own accord inevitably leads to another; each road taken unearthing an infinity of connection and discovery.  And yet, there are always more questions.  So the windings and unwindings of the journey meander, with purpose, and yet are purposeless.  Perhaps this is the way the mind plays!  Perhaps this is the Way!

The image of gentle wind “blowing across the face of the waters” (1) is the subject of Hexagram 59 Dispersion (Dissolution) in the I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes:

        Wind blowing over water disperses it, dissolving it into foam and mist. This

        suggests that when a man’s [sic] vital energy is dammed up within him . . . ,

        gentleness serves to break up and dissolve the blockage. . . . Here the subject is

        the dispersing and dissolving of divisive egotism. Dispersion shows the way, so

        to speak, that leads to gathering together. . . .        


        Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men. . . . The

        sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies aroused a strong tide of emotion

        that was shared by all hearts in unison, and that awakened a consciousness of the

        common origin of all creatures. In this way disunity was overcome and rigidity

        dissolved. . . .

        In the autumn and winter, water begins to freeze into ice. When the warm

        breezes of spring come, the rigidity is dissolved, and the elements that have

        been dispersed in ice floes are reunited. It is the same with the minds of the

        people. Through hardness and selfishness the heart grows rigid, and this rig-

        idity leads to separation from all others. Egotism and cupidity isolate men.

        Therefore the hearts of men must be seized by a devout emotion. They must

        be shaken by a religious awe in the face of eternity–stirred with an intuition

        of the One Creator of all living beings, and united through the strong feeling

        of fellowship experienced in the ritual of divine worship. (2)

        This hexagram has a double meaning. The first is suggested by the image of

        wind over water, indicating the breaking up of ice and rigidity. The second

        meaning is penetration . . . indicating dispersion, division. As against this

        process of breaking up, the task of reuniting presents itself; this meaning also

        is contained in the hexagram. (3)

The reading of this hexagram has inadvertently (or maybe not so) allowed me to stumble upon answers to long lingering questions that I have had about the creation of the world by the pneuma, or breath, stirring the Nothingness and Silence.  In meditation, or reverie, I have heard the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remem-brance is frequent; (4) have heard in the silence, the sound of the breath moving upon the face of the waters; seen the silent waters moved out of their absolute stillness by the infinite reverberation of rushing wings; imagined the unimaginable force of Breath in the cosmic exhalation of that Spirit.

      In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

        And the earth was without form, and void;

        and darkness was upon the face of the deep. 

        And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (5)

This cosmic breath is identical in every way to the ancient Chinese concept of Ch’i, “the cosmic life force . . . the ultimate essence of the universe, enveloping it and moving it from within, permeating all entities of which the cosmos is composed, a part of each and sustaining each . . . at one and the same time the ultimate cause and the ultimate effect, entirely self-contained.” (6)  The part of this cosmic force that resides within and around the human body is the “vital energy” to which the hexagram refers.  A gentle approach is recommended to dissolve its blockage: namely, the gentle power of sacred music, which, by arousing a strong tide of emotion shared by all hearts in unison, leads to an awaken-ing of consciousness.

The means by which consciousness is awakened is by Sound generated by Breath.  In the original language of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word Ruach was used to mean ‘Spirit’.  What is meant by ‘Spirit’ is ‘breath’.  That the two are synonymous is made crystal clear in the Greek designation for ‘Spirit’, which is Pneuma, meaning ‘wind’, ‘air’, ‘breath’.  Pneuma is used also for the ‘spiritual Being’ known as the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost: To agion Pneuma. (7)  The appellation ‘Ghost’ is a misnomer, throwing us off the track of the true intent of ‘Spirit’ as Breath.

Citing the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas, C. G. Jung informs us that the early Christian Gnostics referred to the Holy Ghost both as Mother, and as holy dove. (8)  He somewhat reluctantly admits that the “Gnostic interpretation . . . contains a core of truth . . . .”, (9) but then offers the very proof of that truth:

        The psychological justification lies in the fact that thinking, which originally

        had its source in the self-revelations of the unconscious, was felt to be the

        manifestation of a power external to consciousness. . . . Where judgments

        and flashes of insight are transmitted by unconscious activity, they are often

        attributed to an archetypal feminine figure, the anima or mother-beloved. It

        then seems as if the inspiration came from the mother or from the beloved,

        the femme inspiratrice. In view of this, the Holy Ghost would have a tendency

        to exchange his neuter designation (To Pneuma) for a feminine one. (It may be

        noted that the Hebrew word for spirit – ruach – is predominantly feminine.) (10)

Jung further illuminates us as to the true nature of the anima herself by reminding us that “the anima, which as its name shows, is a breath-being (anemos=wind).” (11) 

About the Gnostic attribution of femaleness to the Holy Spirit as Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, Jung has much to say:

        . . . the Holy Ghost[‘s]. . . feminine nature is personified by Sophia, since she

        is the preliminary historical form of the agion Pneuma, who is symbolized by

        the dove, the bird belonging to the love-goddess. (12)

        [In]. . . the Book of Proverbs (4th to 3rd century) . . . the idea of Sophia . . . is

        a coeternal . . . pneuma of feminine nature that existed before the Creation . . . .


        This Sophia, who already shares certain essential qualities with the Johannine

        Logos, is on the one hand closely associated with the Hebrew Chochma

        [Wisdom], but on the other hand goes so far beyond it that one can hardly fail

        to think of the Indian Shakti. (14)

The Kabbalistic Tree of Life designates Wisdom as the second Sephira, the branch diagonally beneath the Crown.

        In symbolic language it is “the breath of breath.”  Translated into Hebrew its

        name, Hhokmah, means consciousness, knowledge, intelligence, wisdom. . . .

        It expresses life emanating from what can be called nondifferentiated energy,

        powerfully prominent in its individual, corporeal existence. (15)

The “breath of breath” is an emanation of the most high, and as such, is interpreted in some texts as the Word itself.

        [In the] Ecclesiasticus, written around 200 B.C.[E.], . . . Wisdom describes    

        herself, in effect, as the Logos, the Word of God (“I came out of the mouth of

        the most High”). As Ruach, the spirit of God, she brooded over the waters of

        the beginning. Like God, she has her throne in heaven. As the cosmogonic

        Pneuma she pervades heaven and earth and all created things. She corresponds

        in almost every feature to the Logos of St. John. (16)

It is in the Johannine Gospel where, in the circular whirlwind of magical Gnostic thinking, we find the creation of the cosmos by the Word:

        In the beginning was the Word,

        and the Word was with God,

        and the Word was God. (17)

Which T. S. Eliot takes way beyond hearing, to the farthest reaches of spiraling infinity:

        If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent

        If the unheard, unspoken

        Word is unspoken, unheard;

        Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,

        The Word without a word, the Word within

        The world and for the world;

        And the light shone in darkness and

        Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled

        About the centre of the silent Word.

                O my people, what have I done unto thee.

        Where shall the word be found, where will the word

        Resound?  Not here, there is not enough silence

        Not on the sea or on the islands, not

        On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,

        For those who walk in darkness

        Both in the day time and in the night time

        The right time and the right place are not here

        No place of grace for those who avoid the face

        No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice. (18)

On occasion, the Word resounded in the absolute silence of the inner sanctum of the Temple at Jerusalem.  Only the High Priest was permitted to enter, and only on one day of the year: the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, (19) which, at one time, marked the beginning of the year. (20)  We have a clue as to what took place in the concealed cham-ber, for we know that “the empty Holy of Holies . . . held nothing but the echo of an annually uttered Word,” (21) a word which the High Priest was permitted to pronounce only “under his breath.” (22)  It’s ability to reverberate for an entire year can be attributed to the fact that

        . . . the true name of God was believed to be so sacred and to contain such

        awesome inherent power, that even to pronounce it out loud was considered

        to be a blasphemous act that might produce disastrous consequences. Accord-

        ing to legend, it was this word that Moses had used to cause the Red Sea to part,

        so using it for any lesser needs was considered unwise. (23)

That whispered Word would have been the ineffable, unpronounceable name of God; the vowelless Tetragrammaton of Yod He Vau He, or YHVH, which “has its origin in Exodus 3:14: ‘I am that I am’.” (24)  This is a doubling of the name ‘I AM’, which God instructs Moses, is the name by which He should be called. (25)  The same doubling is apparent also in the Tetragrammaton itself, which “. . . has four letters, three different, and the fourth a repetition of the second: for the first he is the spouse of the yod; and the second, the spouse of the vau, in a converse and reflex way.” (26)

As Jung has observed, “the Tetragrammaton consists of a double marriage,” that of the masculine yod and vau each coupled with a feminine he. (27)  Yod, ’Destiny’, (28) repre-senting “the hand, [a] euphemism for the phallus,” (29) is united with He, ‘Window’, signifying illumination, or “that which admits light.” (30)  Vau, “the fertilising agent, that which impregnates,” (31) is again coupled with He, but on a higher plane, as illuminated Universal Mind. 

But the Word of YHVH is but a diversion from the Breath of Creation.  He/She, is the Great ‘I AM’, crowned in glory, who appears out of thin air as a pale reflection of the power behind the throne, a power that is veiled in layers and layers of amorphous con-cealment.  As proof that this is so, we must defer to the explicit esoteric language of the Kabbalah, which tells us that on the furthest edge of imagining, beyond existence, there is Ayin (‘No Thing’), Absolute Nothing, the Transcendent God, veiled by Ayin Sof (‘Without End’).  Ayin Sofis the title of God Who is everywhere . . . the totality of what is and is not . . . the Absolute All.” (32)  These are shielded by Ayin Sof Or, “the Endless Light that surrounds the void.” (33)  

The Hebrew letter from which all of these words are formed, the first of the alphabet, is Aleph, which stands for “the unthinkable life-death, abstract principle of all that is and all that is not.  It lives and is timeless, yet all time is in it.  It is beyond measure, beyond understanding, yet all measures and all understanding have their roots in it.” (34)  From all of this, emerges Keter, the Crown, the first and highest Sefirah, or cypher, on the Tree of Life, the place occupied by YHVH.

        The first Sefirah, at the edge of the Void, is called in Hebrew Keter, the Crown.

        This manifestation contains all that was, is and will be; it is the place of first

        emanation and ultimate return. Its nature as a Divine Attribute is expressed by

        the Name of God which is traditionally attached to it: I AM THAT I AM. (35) 

Another such instance of the concealment of that which is beyond ordinary imagining, is found in a stunningly beautiful “I Am” tractate from the Nag Hammadi corpus of texts, The Thunder: Perfect Mind.  The hymn, if we may call it that, is an antithetical (that which simultaneously is and is not) revelatory pronouncement (36) delivered in a thunderously powerful female voice.  In many esoteric religious traditions, there is the phenomenon of a sudden flash of lightning that instantaneously transmits full enlight-enment.  This is imaged in the Kabbalistic “Lightning Flash” whose zigzagging pattern of movement reveals the actual placement of the ten Sefirot on the Tree of Life. (37)  Here, it is the Thunder, the actual voice of lightning, that creates Perfect Mind. 

The deity who thus conveys her wisdom, embodies, if we may use such a word in this context, the “Absolute All” attributes of Ayin SofWe have, in her, this quite perfect “being” in whom the reconciliation of opposites is displayed in every manner of speaking.  “I am the first and the last,” (38) she declares, echoing the New Testament’s “I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (39)  And as if that were not enough for our sufficient understanding, she reveals what some might consider to be inconceivable oppositions and reversals, as “I am the whore and the holy one,” (40)  “I am the bride and the bridegroom,” (41) “I am the members of my mother,” (42) and so forth. 

As the editor of this text has suggested, “the understanding of Perfect Mind appears to owe much to the . . . notion of cosmic Pneuma, the active, intelligent element in all things, . . . [which is] thought of as spanning all worldly divisions and dichotomies and at some level being responsible for everything that occurs.” (43)  And yet, she is not of the highest order, for she, herself, tells us:

        “I was sent forth from the power,

        and I have come to those who reflect upon me,

        and I have been found among those who seek after me.

        Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,

        and you hearers, hear me.(44)

        “I am the silence that is incomprehensible

        and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.

        I am the voice whose sound is manifold

        and the word whose appearance is multiple.

        I am the utterance of my name. (45)

Like YHVH, she was sent forth from an ethereal power so abstract that the mind cannot wrap itself around it; a force whose brilliance is so intense that it can never be seen, or heard, or touched, and which words cannot even begin to describe.  These doubled-deities are the pairs of opposites, the guardians of the gate, or the Way, between whom one must pass to achieve the place of Bliss “At the still point of the turning world” where “the dance is.” (46)

These are the elements at work also in the structuring of the ancient Chinese cosmology, in which, from an originally seamless androgynous Oneness, Yin (female) and Yang (male) energies evolve into pairs of opposites. (47) We are told by John Blofeld, the great sinologist and seeker of the Tao, that in the earliest Chinese translations of St. John’s Gospel, the Word becomes the Way with a simple turn of phrase:

In the beginning was the Tao. (48)

Insofar as the Way can be put to words, we are enlightened by his thoughts on the mysterious Tao:

        As to the word ‘Tao’ itself, it is a term of great antiquity long used by differ-

        ent philosophers in as many senses as the word ‘God’ is employed by differ-

        ent schools of religion. Literally meaning ‘way’ or ‘path’, it was later used

        . . . by the Taoists to mean a combination of the undifferentiated unity from

        which the universe evolved; the supreme creative and sustaining power which

        nourishes the myriad creatures; the way in which nature operates; and the course

        which men should follow in order to rise above worldly life and achieve har-

        mony with the Ultimate. It is what Christian mystics call the Godhead and what

        Buddhist sages mean by Sunyata, that mysterious void in which all things have

        their being. Of this Way, the Tao Te Ching has much to say, as for example:

                There is something evolved from chaos, antecedent to heaven and earth,

                silent and vast, spontaneous and immutable, omnipresent and eternal,

                which can be regarded as the Mother of Heaven and Earth . . .

                The Way gave birth to one, the one to two, the two to three, the three to

                all the myriad objects which, carrying the yin (negative female principle)

                and embracing the yang (positive male principle) owe their harmony to the

                blending of these two . . . (49)

                (Mere) mouthing about the Way makes it seem insipid, tasteless; (for it is

                so subtle that) the eye cannot behold it; hark and you will not hear it; yet

                its functions are inexhaustible . . .    

                Its summit does not dazzle, its base is not obscure. Intangible (in a manner)

                not to be described, it leads back to the state of void. Thus one speaks of a

                shape that is no shape, of an image that has no form; one speaks of what is

                indistinct, shadowy. Stand before it, you will not see its head; follow it, you

                will not see its tail. By holding fast to this primordial Way, the present can

                be governed. Awareness of the primal origin is called (bearing) the imprint

                of the Way. (50)

Chapter 14 of Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching merely hints at the ephemeral nature of the Tao.  It is as though one has been ever so lightly brushed by a feather:

        What we look for beyond seeing

        And call the unseen,

        Listen for beyond hearing

        And call the unheard.

        Grasp for beyond reaching

        And call the withheld,

        Merge beyond understanding

        In a oneness

        Which does not merely rise and give light,

        Does not merely set and leave darkness,

        But forever sends forth a succession of living things as mysterious

        As the unbegotten existence to which they return. (51)

In the ancient Vedic texts of India, the Word is Sound.

        . . . cosmological theory of the primordial nature of sound . . . is in reality

        nothing other than that which is expressed in other traditions when ‘creation

        by the Word’ is spoken of. The primordial sound is the divine Word, through

        which, according to the first chapter of Genesis, all things were made. This is

        why it is said that the Rishis or sages of the first ages ‘heard’ the Vedas. Revel-

        ation, being a work of the Word like creation itself, is actually a hearing for

        those who receive it. (52)

According to Lama Govinda, the sacred texts attribute the creation of the All from the Void to the intonation of “the one profound and all-embracing vibration of the sacred sound OM,” (53) which existed before the beginning.  “In this sense OM is the quin-

tessence, the seed-syllable (bija-mantra) of the universe, the magic word par excel-

lence . . . , the universal force of the all-embracing consciousness.” (54)  And “the secret

of this hidden power of sound or vibration . . . forms the key to the riddles of creation

and of creativeness . . . .” (55)

As a sacred affirmation of OM as the begetter of all sounds, all words, all forms, and of its powers thereby to transform, “the sacred syllable OM opens every solemn utterance, every formula of worship, every meditation.” (56)  And yet, echoing the similarly intangible, invisible, inaudible nature of the ineffable Tao, OM expresses:

        . . . what is beyond words and forms, beyond limitations and classification,

        beyond definition and explanation: the experience of the infinite within us, which

        may be felt as a distant aim, as a mere presentiment, a longing – or which may

        be known as a growing reality, or realized in the breaking down of limitations

        and bondage. (57)

        It cannot be heard by the ears but only by the heart, and it cannot be uttered by

        the mouth but only by the mind. (58)

        Its sound opens the innermost being of man to the vibrations of a higher reality

        – not a reality outside himself, but one which was forever present within him

        and around him – from which he excluded himself, however, by building up

        arbitrary frontiers around his illusory egohood.  OM is the means by which to

        destroy these artificial limitations and to become conscious of the infinity of

        our true nature and of our oneness with all that lives. (59)

        Om is the primordial sound of timeless reality, which vibrates within us from

        the beginningless past and which reverberates in us, if we have developed our

        inner sense of hearing by the perfect pacification of our mind.  It is the tran-       

        scendental sound of the inborn law of all things, the eternal rhythm of all that

        moves, a rhythm, in which law becomes the expression of perfect freedom. (60)

One reaches that perfect freedom through the Chakra of the Heart, whose element, not surprisingly, is Air, and whose sound is, and could only be, OM @136.10 Hertz.  Joseph Campbell has elaborated on the teachings of the mystical aspects of the place from which all words, all sounds, all thoughts are manifested:

        The only sound not . . . made [“by any two things striking together”] is that of

        the creative energy of the universe, the hum, so to speak, of the void, which is

        antecedent to things, and of which things are precipitations. This, they say, is

        heard from within, within oneself and simultaneously within space. It is the

        sound beyond silence, heard as OM . . . . (61)

        . . . written . . . as AUM . . . [it] is called the syllable of four elements; namely,

        A ,U, M, and the SILENCE that is before, after, and around it, out of which it

        rises and back into which it falls – as the universe, out of and back into the void.


        The A is announced with open throat; the U carries the sound-mass forward;

        and the M, then, somewhat nasalized, brings all to a close at the lips. So pro-

        nounced, the utterance will have filled the whole mouth with sound and so

        have contained . . . all the vowels. Moreover, since consonants are regarded

        . . . as interruptions of vowel sounds, the seeds of all words will have been

        contained in this enunciation of AUM, and in these, the seed sounds of all

        things. Thus words . . . are but fragments or particles of AUM, as all forms

        are particles of that one Form of forms that is beheld when the rippling sur-

        face of the mind is stilled in yoga. (63)

        And this then, this inconceivable sphere of undifferentiated consciousness,

        experienced not as extinction but as light unmitigated, is the reference of the

        fourth element of AUM: the Silence that is before, after, within, and around

        the sounding syllable. It is silent because words, which do not reach it, refer

        only to the names, forms, and relationships of objects either of the daylight

        world or of dream. (64)

        Once the great mystery-sound has been heard, the whole desire of the heart

        will be to learn to know it more fully, to hear it, not through things and within

        during certain fortunate moments only, but immediately and forever. (65)

This is the quintessential essence of the inspiration beneath the radiant works of the 12th century Abbess, composer and writer, Hildegard von Bingen.  Her description of the underlying elements that inform her music deliberately alludes to the mysterious and holy Creation by the Word:

        “Underneath all the texts, all the sacred psalms and canticles, the watery varie-

        ties of sounds and silences, terrifying, mysterious, whirling and sometimes

        gestating and gentle, must somehow be felt in the pulse, ebb, and flow of the

        music that sings in me. My new song must float like a feather on the breath of

        God.” (66)

And in a confusion of wind and water imagery, it is the heart itself that sings as it merges with “the vast wave of the world’s breath” in Isolde’s Liebestod, the closing “Mild und leise” aria of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.  We feel every nuance of the “supreme bliss” of the final union and dissolution into the Oneness, the All, down to the last breath.

      How gently and quietly he smiles, how fondly he opens his eyes! 

        Do you see, friends? 

        Do you not see?

        How he shines ever brighter, soaring on high, stars sparkling around him? 

        Do you not see?

        How his heart proudly swells and, brave and full, pulses in his breast?

        How softly and gently from his lips sweet breath flutters – see, friends!

        Do you not feel and see it?

        Do I alone hear this melody which, so wondrous, and tender in its blissful lament,

            all-revealing, gently pardoning, sounding from him, pierces me through,

            rises above, blessedly echoing and ringing around me?

        Resounding yet more clearly, wafting about me, are they waves of refreshing breezes?

        Are they billows of heavenly fragrance?

        As they swell and roar around me, shall I breathe them, shall I listen to them?

        Shall I sip them, plunge beneath them, to expire in sweet perfume?

        In the surging swell, in the ringing sound, in the vast wave of the world’s breath –

            to drown, to sink unconscious – supreme bliss! (67)




1. I Ching: The Book of Change. John Blofeld, Translator/Editor. (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1968), p. 201.

2. The I Ching or Book of Changes. The Richard Wilhelm Translation rendered into English by Cary F. Baynes; Forward by C. G. Jung; Preface to the Third Edition by Hellmut Wilhelm. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XIX, 1950-1969), pp. 227-28.

3. Ibid., p. 690.

4. Text: “The Thunder: Perfect Mind” (VI,2), George W. Mac Rae, Intro., Trans., Douglas M. Parrott, Ed., in The Nag Hammadi Library: In English. Translated and Introduced by Members of the Coptic Gnostic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, California; James M. Robinson, General Editor. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 3rd Completely Revised Edition, 1988.), p. 298.

5. Genesis 1:1-2. King James Version.

6. Michael Page, The Power of Ch’i: An Introduction to Chinese Mysticism and Philosophy. (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: The Aquarian Press, 1988), p. 11.

7. Liddell and Scott, A Lexicon Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), “pneuma”, pp. 566-67.

8. C. G. Jung, “A Psychological Approach to the Trinity”, in Psychology and Religion: West and East. Volume 11 of the Collected Works. R. F. C. Hull, Trans. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XX, 2nd ed., 1969), CW Vol. 11, Para. 236, p. 159 and note 11, trans. James, p. 388.

9. Ibid., CW 11, Para. 240, p. 161.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid., CW 11, Para. 197, p. 131.

12. C. G. Jung, “Answer to Job”, in Psychology and Religion: West and East, op. cit., CW Vol. 11, Para. 646, p. 407.

13. Ibid., CW 11, Para. 609, p. 386; Proverbs 8:22-24, 27, 29-31 AV.

14. Ibid., CW 11, Para. 610, p. 387.

15. Carlo Suares, The Sepher Yetsira: Including the Original Astrology According to the Qabala and Its Zodiac. Micheline & Vincent Stuart, Trans. (Boulder & London: Shambhala, 1976), p. 35.

16. C. G. Jung, “Answer to Job”, op. cit., CW Vol. 11, Para. 610-11, pp. 387-88.

17. The Gospel According to Saint John 1:1. King James Version.

18. T. S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday”, V.

19. Hayyim Schauss, The Jewish Festivals: History & Observance. Samuel Jaffe, Trans. (New York: Schocken Books, 11th ed., 1977), p. 127.

20. Ibid., p. 123.

21. William G. Gray, The Ladder of Lights or Qabalah Renovata. (York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 3rd printing, 1990), p. 223.

22. Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974; 7th Printing of Amended and Enlarged Edition of 1966), p. 286.

23. Nigel Pennick, Magical Alphabets. (York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 2nd printing, 1993), p. 27.

24. Ibid.

25. Exodus 3:14. King James Version.

26. C. G. Jung, “Adam and Eve”, in Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry Into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy, Volume 14 of the Collected Works. R. F. C. Hull, Trans. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XX, 2nd ed., 1970), CW Vol. 14, Para. 619, p. 429, note 220.

27. Ibid., CW 14, Para. 619, p. 430.

28. Nigel Pennick, Magical Alphabets, op. cit., p. 17.

29. Carlo Suares, The Sepher Yetsira: Including the Original Astrology According to the Qabala and Its Zodiac, op. cit., p. 52.

30. Nigel Pennick, Magical Alphabets, op. cit., p. 16.

31. Carlo Suares, The Sepher Yetsira: Including the Original Astrology According to the Qabala and Its Zodiac, op. cit., p. 26.

32. Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge. (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1988), p. 5.

33. Ibid.

34. Carlo Suares, The Sepher Yetsira: Including the Original Astrology According to the Qabala and Its Zodiac, op. cit., p. 25.

35. Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, op. cit., p. 6.

36. George W. Mac Rae, Introduction, “The Thunder: Perfect Mind”, in The Nag Hammadi Library: In English, op. cit., p. 295.

37. Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, op. cit., pp. 6-8.

38. Text: “The Thunder: Perfect Mind”, in The Nag Hammadi Library: In English, op. cit., p. 297.

39. Revelation 22:13. King James Version.

40. Text: “The Thunder: Perfect Mind”, in The Nag Hammadi Library: In English, op. cit., p. 297.

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid.

43. Douglas M. Parrott, Introduction, “The Thunder: Perfect Mind”, in The Nag Hammadi Library: In English, op. cit., p. 296.

44. Text: “The Thunder: Perfect Mind”, in The Nag Hammadi Library: In English, op. cit., p. 297.

45. Ibid., p. 298.

  1. 46.T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets: “Burnt Norton” II.62.

  2. 47.For a detailed discussion of the Chinese cosmology see: Tracy Boyd, “Teiresias, The Androgynous Seer: A Question of Balance” under the heading: “A Question of Creation and the Transcendence of Opposites” at <>

48. John Blofeld, The Secret and Sublime: Taoist Mysteries and Magic. (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1973), p. 23, note 1.

49. Note: Jung has commented that the structure of YHVH “coincides most strangely with the Axiom of Maria . . .”; (C. G. Jung, “Adam and Eve”, in Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry Into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy, op. cit., CW Vol. 14., Para. 619, p. 430.) “. . . one of the central axioms of alchemy, namely the saying of [the revered Jewish alchemist] Maria Prophetissa: ‘One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth’.” (C. G. Jung, “Introduction to the Religious and Psychological Problems of Alchemy”, in Psychology and Alchemy, Volume 12 of the Collected Works. R. F. C. Hull, Trans. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XX, 2nd ed., 1968), CW Vol. 12, Para. 26, p. 23.) We seem to be in the same territory here.

50. John Blofeld, The Secret and Sublime: Taoist Mysteries and Magic, op. cit., pp. 22-23.

51. The Way of Life According to Laotzu, An American Version by Witter Bynner. (New York: The John Day Company, 1944), #14, p. 32.

52. Alain Danielou, Music and the Power of Sound: The Influence of Tuning and Interval on Consciousness. (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, Revised Edition, 1995), p. 3, quot. René Guenon, “Quelques aspects du symbolisme du poisson”, in Etudes traditionnelles no. 104 (Paris, February, 1936), p. 68.

53. Lama Anagarika Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism: According to the Esoteric Teachings of the Great Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. (York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 1969), p. 22.

54. Ibid.

55. Ibid., p. 26.

56. Ibid., p. 46.

57. Ibid., p. 24.

58. Ibid., p. 27.

59. Ibid., p. 47.

60. Ibid.

61. Joseph Campbell, The Mythic Image. Assisted by M. J. Abadie. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series C, 1974), p. 356.

62. Ibid., p. 356, and continued on p. 361.

63. Ibid., p. 361.

64. Ibid., p. 362.

65. Ibid., p. 368.

66. <>

  1. 67.Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde. CD Deutsche Grammophon 419 889-2, Karl Bohm, Conductor. Live recording from the 1966 Bayreuth Festival on which this aria is sung by Birgit Nilsson.  The Translator is not given.