Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Christ Dance in Dali's "Poetry of America"

In Dali’s Poetry of America the white figure has his arm across his eyes - in the dream folk lore when one sees a vision from the Unconscious they are told to cover their eyes. The "disintegrating Christ" is also seen here as partial and perhaps used up (blood turned to oil and coke, etc.) at journey's end - the vision of the Unconscious is "through a glass darkly" and only partial. I've had that dream with three ancient sculls – told to keep my head down. The Egg appears here as a tiny football with little man and will manifest in Geopoliticus Child . . .

In The Phantom of the Opera, for example, a classic folk opera about the fall of Europe in 1917, Madame Giry, Christine’s caregiver who sees into the Unconscious, tells the hero to cover his eyes when the "phantom" occurs and she leads him to the phantom's den in the underworld (when Christine tears off the Phantom’s mask the house falls and brings the death of Europe, indicated as the Paris Opera House).

Likewise, as Jung pointed out in the UFO dreams - their faces were burned by the confrontation with the Unconscious. As a dream, this picture represents a “vision” of Christ – the blue figure (blue; fro the Unconscious in a dream) by the dreamer in white. Ending the transition over decades of the pictures of the Knight, now a man with a staff. The egg first appears here rising out of the tiny man who rises out of the white dreamer.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reading Dali's "Poetry of America" picture dream

One more point while I am on this on how a representative painting - one that stays beyond its generation or place - can be understood as a dream or a collective dream; a dream relevant to the Collective Unconscious. I've read a lot of comments about the tower in the picture "Poetry in America" and the Africa map hanging beneath it but nothing systematic. The Surrealist group especially DeCirico was preoccupied with towers - white and red towers suggesting the US and the USSR. The long sequence and the ancient qualities would suggest something rising from the Unconscious much as the sacred primal phallus that Jung talked about in Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

Looking at Dali's pictures over several decades they appear to present something rising from the Unconscious over a long period of time and coming into consciousness in the year 1943 in the heat of WW II when he painted Poetry in America and Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man. The technology today gives the opportunity to isolate elements in these pictures to see the procession rising from the Unconscious over time. The Knight "from the Unconscious" changes over time until he becomes a man in 1943. The Tower changes as well and in the same 1943 picture there is a clock - the Knight from the Unconscious has entered "time" - reality as we daily experience it, so we are ready for the "birth" of the "new man." It would work better if I had the dates of these older Knights but I don't have the time to go through them all right now.

These details match the paintings above. In this first, the Knight sees the Tower emerging, but it is still behind a natural veil: I have seen dreams like this with a natural veil of trees dividing magic animals from a group of people eating in a restaurant (dividing the Unconscious from the conscious).

In the next period, years later (as I recall), the Knight is more defined and less ancient. Light is dawning in the picture. The Tower is coming into focus; coming closer to "time."

In 1943, the Knight is now a naked man entered "time." He has arrived in the world. The Tower is completely "real" - come into time. The "old Christ" - dark figure dancing with candle in head will yield to the new "white dancer" and a new "Eggman" will be born.

I would say the tower represents here the journey of consciousness via the Knight of the Unconscious out of the long and ancient journey of ancient evolutionary consciousness, now entering a new phase. Thus the clock, representing the awakening of the new day and the "new man" - the "new Christ" if the wound and the fresh drip from the Egg is indication.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eggman, "Geopoliticus Child," "Poetry in America"

I received several thousand viewers this past few weeks RE a few comments published elsewhere on how Salvador Dali's two paintings, Geopoliticus Child Watchign the Birth of the New Man and Poetry in America, both painted in 1943, are companion pieces and explain each other. They form the vortex of Dali's work and the apex of his mythic journey. They have significance to the collective passage of his times and our; the artist dreams the collective dream of the culture and the dream can be understood archetypally, as an individual dream can. Essay is repeated here: "Eggman" enigma solved at the DMV. Should note that in the last sentences I completely reversed myself and realized that Poetry in America features time reverting back and bringing forth the Egg in Geopoliticus Child.

"Eggman" enigma solved at the DMV

Whenever I have to go the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) I enter a state of trance of some kind or detachment. Questions come up that seem unanswerable and processes unsolvable, creating a koan situation and sending the mind in exile to more pleasant pastures. I was there today (Nov. 4, 2008) with one of my sons to take the test for his driver’s license and while we were waiting in line I solved an enigma for myself that I have been thinking about for about 13 years - it just popped in my head when I was looking at a kid who looked like Kurt Cobain.

The answer is/was incredibly simple. I'd been thinking about John Lennon's tune "I am the eggman" and I had put together that as the song begins with the phrase "I am He" - and continues with "I am the Eggman, I am the Walrus," I understood it to be a reference to the Upanishads and other Eastern texts, which use the phrase "I am he" followed by "I am the Atman. I am the Brahmin." It refers to the individual consciousness as an individual coming to the realization that she or he shares consciousness with others and everyone and everything. So I felt John was cloaking this in comic imagery from Lewis Carroll (Walrus was in Through the Looking Glass if I recall correctly - so was Eggman; Humpty Dumpty in Alice . . .).

I'd also written a lot about links between Lennon and Salvador Dali and Magritte; Lennon can be seen as fulfilling "prophecy" of Magritte and Dali - I proposed that Dali and Lennon went into the same "room" in the Unconscious and some how connected there through the talisman of the white grand piano. But waiting in line I realized that when Lennon said "I am the Eggman" he was likely referring to a painting of Dali's about the "Geopolitical Child" - virtually the global man - the Aquarian - climbing out of an egg and waking in the new world. This is an important painting by Dali and lived and grew in the Unconscious for decades before it went to canvas.

Here are some illustrations.

The white grand piano became the icon of Lennon; it is where he composed his anthem, "Imagine."

Dali painted Grand Pianos for decades, pulling images from the Unconscious:

There are more. Magritte, in 1964, did this, "Son of Man" - from Book of Daniel, signifying the Aquarian would be marked by a green apple - the sign of The Beatles Apple Corp.

This is more significant; it starts with a Knight from the Unconscious:

But what is significant is a long - years long - series Dali did of this Horseman of Death entering consciousness through a Knight and a Tower. There are many but they all go between these two.

If you look at these two pictures above you can see that the Knight with spear has brought something from the Unconscious to the Conscious. And in the Conscious picture (with the dancers - titled Poetry in America), he is no longer a Knight, but a naked man sitting off to the side on the left and the Tower has entered "time" - it has a clock and a deflated "egg" - which is a map of the United States and South American hanging. (Note: No it is probably Africa hanging - the "Egg" in Geopoliticus Child has entered "time" in Poetry of America and is deflated illustrated by the clock and the hanging map. Quite possibly Dali saw the "dual nature" - the two dancers; the wu chi egg entering tai chi as a dance, is a white man and a black man; the "African-American" as the "shadow" in America. By this we mean the unexpressed contents of the psyche. Jung made the point in MDR on his visit to America that the spirit of the African-American and the Native America pervade and inform America. John Hope Franklin, the American historian makes the same point. It is worth noting as well that these paintings are both made in 1943 I believe and are wu chi/tai chi relatives. AS in Tolkien’s Rings story when the quiet quest of Frodo goes on while the world is involved in battle, so this discovery does on beneath the Second World War.)

Here are two of Dali's world/egg pictures, the second, the important Geopolitical Man - Eggman.

This is Baby Map of the World:

It turns into Geopoliticus Child:

This is the Eggman. This is what Lennon referred to when he said, "I am the Eggman" - I am Geopoliticus Child; I am the new man of the world; I am Brahma.

If you go back to look at Poetry of America, the one with the dancers, you can see the content of the Egg. Notice both pictures have a cloth beneath them and something is pouring onto it. It is oil and Coke in Poetry in America. It is blood in Geopoliticus Child. This identifies the pictures as a connected sequence. IN Poetry in America we can see that the dancer on the right has a candle in his head - he is "the Enlightened One" - we can see that Geopoliticus Child is intended to be the Enlightened One. Notice as well that the Enlightened One - dancer on the right - has a hole in his right chest - it is the wound where the Christ was hit with the spear; Geopoliticus Child is the "second Christ" the Aquarian - it is Eggman. Late in live, in pain, Lennon say, "I was the Walrus (Brahma) but now I'm John." Tibetan Buddhists say after Enlightenment, life is a broken glass. He never smiled again for the cameras after India.
Note to Remi on Quaternities - Remi - Of course The Beatles form a quaternity: Paul (Father - brought in to give the "Silver Beatles" structure as it was only a play thing for John and Stu before), John (Son), Ringo (Trickster), George (Psyche - was George who introduced John to the East and Hinduism). Unfortunately my French is not so good and I'm unable to read your site - looks interesting though. Will have my kids translate when they get home. My very oldest ancestors are Parisian I believe (de Coursy) and I feel very at home there.

After India, John actually believed he was "channeling" Jesus; that is why he dressed in white like the Christ after the Transfiguration on the Abbey Road album, their final work together (they walk to right of screen in the picture, "entering the conscious world."). The "Christ" episode is reported by the very reliable journalist Mark Hertsgaard, who writes for The New Yorker and the LA Times in his excellent book, A Day in a Life.

NOTE to Remi RE Quaternity: With Abraham and the Three Visitors and the Christ and the Three Magi, you can see the constellation of Quaternity taking the shape of three + one. IN each case - and this is the same in Taoism with the Three Celestial Ones - the Three represent the agency of the Unconscious while the One is their manifestation in time. (Exactly like Scrooge and the Three Spirits in Dickens' A Christmas Carol - likewise, the Three send Scrooge through a "Transfiguration".) The three humans - like those who channel the gods and the archetypes - are blissfully unaware that they are manifesting life force from the Unconscious. Thus, the "Son" is a manifestation of the Three. 'Twas ever thus.

What I think is the coolest thing about this is that the Third Spirit who visits Scrooge, pictured here, is clearly the Green Man.

Additional Thoughts on Geopoliticus Child and Poetry in America in 1943

The two dancers in Poetry in America represent the “dual nature” of creation; two figures light and dark – like that described in Tao te Ching – the “knights of dark and mysterious consequence” one walks in the Inner world and one walks in the Outer world. “Krishna” means “the dark one” - the one from the Unconscious - and the “Christ” figure here (candle - "enlightened one") is in shadow – thus the “Christ” is the receding figure and the figure of the Unconscious who feeds the conscious dancer, the "New Man". They both appear to be wearing football helmets.

and other secondary images suggest America in 1943 when Poetry in America and Geopoliticus Child were both painted - Eisenhower and Gerald Ford. The "Geopolitics Child" Egg may have cast its skin and morphed into tower clock

when the dream and the naked Knight, now a mortal,

entered “time” – but the Egg - a new unhatched egg - is present again in this picture – with the small figure rising out of the back of the “light” figure.

This is the “new creation” and it is a dance in essence, rising out of an egg.

The football helmets also bring to mind Edinger's thinking about American football in Archetype and the Apocalypse; sports forming a primal outline of a world to come - in effect a pre-civilization matrix. Football is the American matrix forming out of WW II and identifying regions. The U.S. can be seen today as a hole in a donut: the donut is the world around which plays soccer (old aspect of chronos) - 2 billion watched the World Cup. The hole in the center the ones who watch football (new aspect of chronos) - 94 million watched the Super Bowl.

Football program, 1944:

You could look at these two pictures in reverse - Poetry in America coming first, the Tower under the Black Son (the Son in the Unconscious) - the dance of the millennia represented by the passage of the Knights in Dali's pictures over decades, to the moment of the Egg, rising "reborn" out of the Dancers - the Twins which accompany the Awakening. The Geopoliticus Child being the awakening, fully informed by the traditions represented in Poetry in America. I have always thought of this tower as the tower on the campus of U. Michigan, Ann Arbor - the "center of the world" in the "new creation" by the Great Lakes.

IN either case, as an original creative arc, Dali had said that all Dali is one Dali - his work's rise and descent and that of the Surrealist grouping from which it emerged might be seen as rising to this singular moment, 1943. The Knights lead here then they disappear or manifest in the human form holding the staff. It is interesting that this "creation moment" rises from the heat of war and the destruction of Europe.

IN this view, which is probably more likely, the dark "old Christ" would seem worn, used up at the end of journey, yielding to the football player - the "new Christ" in white. Also, things seen in the Unconscious are often only partial as this figure is - and much in all Dali's work is partial. Dreamers, often see Unconscious behind a vein or in highlight, as per the request not to look at God direct or speak his name in all religious traditions and folk lore.