Friday, December 11, 2009

The Hermetic Romance of the Philosopher's Stone

In Prediction 10/13 I wrote about a dream that held a prophetic message. In the dream I was told that a '9/11 style' event would take place on October 13th 2009, and I deduced from the imagery in the dream that Large Hadron Collider at Cern would be the most likely target of the attack. As we know this attack failed; but not for want of trying. A renowned French physicists, and employee of Cern, was arrested just days in advance of the predicted attack, and charged with conspiracy to blow up a number of nuclear facilities in either France or Britain. The scientist was in contact with a Morrocan militant group, alinged to Al Qaeda, in the Islamic Maghreb. The conspirators intentions remain unclear and it is not known whether they planned to blow up the facility or merely raid it for materials that could be weaponized at a later date.
The subconscious (right brain) transmits verbal information to the dreamer through a vocabulary of imagery. This vocabulary is informed by the type of visual stimulus the conscious mind is subjected to throughout his/her waking life. Cinema is by far the most potent and prolific teacher of the right brained methodology. Therefore it is not surprising that the unconscious mind makes use of the language of cinema in order to communicate its knowledge. In this dream the LHC was encoded visually in a variety of cinematic quotations. Some of these were; the Incredible Hulk (HLK/HLC = LHC) / Gammasphere connection and the Nothing from The Neverending Story. The Nothing, a low entropy vortex that sucks everything in, is a good description of a blackhole. Opponents of the LHC fear that the unprecedented energy output of the project could lead to the creation of a blackhole, destroying the Universe.

Throughout the course of previous posts, on this subject, I omitted certain dream elements for reasons I will try to address here. In the dream, myself and my brother were chased into a smugglers' cave filled with pirate treasure. I could not reconcile the message about the LHC with this one about the pirates and decided to forgo the inclusion of this particular dream sequence. Next I saw a scene from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (AWE). The scene was of a swirling Maelstrom  navigated by two  great galleons pitted against one another in an all out dogfight. A maelstrom is yet another low entropic vortex and as such is equivalent to the blackhole and Nothing meme. I concluded that this visual repetition served only to reinforce the central message of the dream; and was therefore expendable. On October 13th 2009, however, I re-searched the pirate message on Google and discovered that Norah Jones had released a song entitled Chasing Pirates that very day. Not only that, the song was from her forthcoming album called The Fall. The Fall of Man was a descriptive mechanism of great importance to the Prediction 10/13 post. Here is what I wrote;
In the dream, this graph was presented to me by two men. One of the men described 9/11 as The First Fall of Man, then he indicated to the part of the graph labeled 10/13 and called this The Second Fall of Man.
It was only when I watched the video for Norah Jones' Chasing Pirates that I noticed the trail of connections now leading to unintended regions. What had begun with an investigation into future events had twisted back on itself and would reveal things about my own past, long forgotten, as well as dredge upon sour memories from America's bloodied history. All of a sudden I was heading in a new direction, just as Norah was doing musically with her song. At first look the video appears to be entirely influenced by Monty Python "The Crimson Permanent Assurance". It was while reading the comments for the video that I came across this alternative viewpoint from a You Tube commenter;
I keep connecting her new song and the video to "Romancing The Stone" primarily because the song's composition is similar to Alan Silvestri's work as well as the ending, which if you haven't seen, involves a large ship on a New York City street.
Romancing the Stone was one of the first big Hollywood movies that I watched growing up. The early scenes in the jungles of South America, and in particular the scene where they slide down a mountain sluice and land in a mud pool, had a great effect on my imagination. Apart from making me want to trek  the jungles of the Amazon, the film also made me want to understand the deeper meaning behind the scenes I was watching. Anyone could tell you it doesn't have a deeper meaning and its just a movie. But  I could not believe that they created these scenes for no reason other than just pure distraction. For many years I pondered upon the possible meanings behind the scenes I had watched and the title of the movie. But, in the end, these thoughts faded from my mind. So it is surprising to ponder once again the mysteries of Romancing the Stone, after all these years. I never expected it.

orah Jones' video and Romancing the Stone (RtS) share a number of plot elements. At the beginning of Romancing the Stone, Joan Wilder, a famous writer living in New York City, is seen having just finished her latest novel. The next day she receives a package from her dead brother-in-law Eduardo, who has just recently been murdered. She then gets a phone call from her sister saying she has been kidnapped and that Joan must deliver the package to a man named Zolo in Cartagena.

In the video for Chasing Pirates, Norah Jones is seen answering the door to her apartment. No one is there, but there is a bottle on the floor with a rolled up piece of parchment in it. The parchment is a map with X marking a location. She soon learns that the location is in Chinatown, at a place called Seward Park. Seward Park was named for William H. Seward, a United States Senator, who was Govenor of New York and served as Lincoln's Secretary of State. Shortly after Lincoln was murdered by John Wilkes Booth, an associate of Wilkes' forced his way into Seward's home in New York and attacked him with a knife. These targeted displays of aggression were in response to Lincoln's slave reform policies.

Prior to all of this, in 1830, Seward was elected to the state senate as an Anti-Masonic Candidate. The Anti-Masonic Party was set up to counteract Masonic influence within state-run institutions. It was sparked off by the disappearance of Captain William Morgan, a freemason who broke ranks by coming clean about the inner workings of Masonry. On September 11th 1826 Morgan was arrested for an outstanding debt of $2.68 and driven by cart to Fort Niagra, where it is assumed he was drowned by his abductors. Norah Jones is 'chasing pirates' and therefore must likely head in the direction of the sea: Seward Park is a pun on the word seaward. In her haste to locate the park on the map, the finger of her left hand points to a different location; that of Ground Zero. Could it be she is trying to tell us that the Morgan affair and 9/11 were perpetrated by the same Hermetic organization, and that the fabled date of Sept. 11th is the clue to their involvement?

Norah Jones' song Chasing Pirates is supposedly based on her infatuation with Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp. The original video was meant to show Norah following Captain Jack Sparrow through the streets of New York. Jack and (Norah) Jones echoes the names of Jack and Joan from RtS. But asides from this what connection does this movie have with pirates? Although there is no overt reference to pirates in RtS, the history of the city of Cartagena is bound up with them. In 1572 Sir Francis Drake ransacked the city and set fire to much of it. Nearly a hundred years later, in 1668, the infamous pirate Henry Morgan made to follow in Drake's footsteps, but was forced to abort after his flagship exploded under mysterious circumstances. Incidentally, some people, who suspected Captain William Morgan's disappearance was a publicity stunt orchestrated to increase book sales, speculated that he had moved to the Caymen Islands, where he was subsequently hung as a pirate.

Cartagena derives its name from the Roman City of Carthage. 'Carta' is the Spanish for letter. But as we find out the package Joan carries is not a letter, but a map; evoking the English word 'cartography' - meaning mapmaking. Jack and Joan discover that the map leads to a priceless emerald gemstone called el Corazon (the heart). Emeralds are attributed to the ancient alchemical discipline via the fabled Emerald Tablet text. The goal of alchemists has long been to produce the Elixir of Life, also known as the Philosophers Stone, believed to bestow everlasting life on its beneficiary. The Chymical Wedding or The Hermetic Romance is a story, published in 1616, that was popular among alchemists. The story is allegorical and was divided into Seven Days, or Seven Journeys, like Genesis. Romancing the Stone, then, could be thought of as The Hermitic Romance of the Philosopher's Stone. Which begs the question, just who alike is the first book of the Bible and RtS?

 It could be argued that the task of the alchemist exists only in relation to the events that took place in the Garden of Eden. The Bible tells us that before the Fall of Man there was no sickness and no death in the world. The search for the Elixir of Life is, therefore, a consequence of the Fall. Romancing the Stone is a modern day retelling of Adam and Eve's trial in the Garden and their search for eternal happiness. The jungle serves its purpose, both as a backdrop for the story, and as a replacement for the Garden of Eden. Jack, played by Michael Douglas, slaughters a snake in a downed aeroplane, a symbol of the Fall. Now, instead of eating the apple, they feast on the serpent. A true alchemical reversal. But their quest is not without  temptation either. Joan Wilder is forced to choose between the safe return of her sister and the acquisition of the gemstone. The stone is the emblematic of the apple from the Tree of Knowledge. Even after they acquire the stone, as you might expect, all does not run smoothly.

Just like in Genesis, Jack and Joan grow tired of each other and part ways. But this separation is not set to last long, as singularly they are incomplete, and both morally culpable in the fate of Joan's sister. The names Jack and Joan strike a resonant chord with the child protagonists Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill's task is to fetch a pale of water from the well or spring that is the  Fountain of Youth/Knowledge. In their haste to acquire it they falter, and Jack is dispossessed of his pride of place in God's favour. This is the true meaning of the line; Jack fell down and broke his crown. Therefore, Jack and Jill is a retelling of Genesis. Notice that in the nursery rhyme Jill follows Jack, who is the first to Fall. This sequence, I believe, is more correct with regard to the true nature of the sexes; where Adam would be seen to rebel against their father figure, Yahweh, and Eve conforms to events happening around her. As if to add further confirmation to these connections, the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie is due out next year and will be entitled The Fountain of Youth.

If everything goes according to schedule, the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie will be on general release as of July 7th 2010. This marks the anniversary of Michael Jackson's memorial ceremony in the Los angeles Staples Centre. Michael Jackson's protracted childhood earned him the nickname of Peter Pan, the eternally youthful boy from Neverland. Peter Pan's nemesis Captain Hook is conditioned to fear the ticking sound that accompanies the appearance of the Crocodile. The sound comes from a clock the beast swallowed and reminds Hook that time is his only real enemy. The climax to Romancing the Stone takes place on the ramparts of the fortified city of Cartagena. In the ensuing battle the villainous Zolo loses his hand to a vicious crocodile that lives in the walled fortified structure. The crocodile swallows the priceless gemstone, along with Zolo's hand, and attempts to make a quick getaway. This makes the gemstone equitable to the ticking clock. How is this possible? Remember that el Corazon means the heart: Doctors often use watches when checking a patients pulse, indicating that the rhythmic beating of the heart is  entwined with the ticking clock of time. Jack leaves Joan, and her sister, to go in search of the crocodile and, ultimately, the stone.

The distinct stages of alchemical processes are referred to by a variety of animal symbols. The initial process of Gestation, which can either be 'wet' or 'dry', is symbolized by the toad or the dragon. Our dragon is represented by the Crocodile - a water dwelling creature - therefore the process is 'the wet way' of Putrefaction. Putrefaction is described as a slow rotting or digestion of material in a liquid solution. By swallowing el Corazon the crocodile becomes the alchemist's crucible. Other animal symbols are the White Eagle and the winged dragon, associated with the end product of alchemy. At the end of the RtS film Jack is seen waiting for Joan on a white sail boat on the streets of Manhattan. Jack calls the boat Angelina, after a character in one of Joan's books. The white sails of the boat, and the reference to angels, represent the White Eagle of alchemical symbolism. Jack purchased the boat from the proceeds of El Corazon, and so succeeds in spiritualising an earthly substance. The symbol of the dragon, that invariably reappears at the end of the alchemical process, does so here in the form of Jack's crocodile boots. Jack remarks that the crocodile suffered 'a fatal case of indigestion', another reference to the alchemical process of Gestation.

The screenplay for RtS was written by a waitress named Diane Thomas. Hardly the type you would expect to include alchemical symbolism in their work. But then again, it was CG Jung's research of animal symbols in alchemy that lead to his theory of the collective unconscious in the first place. So maybe Diane did not have to be consciously aware of these connections in order for them to emerge in her writing.

1 comment:

  1. I've got to see for more updates in the future. Anyway, thanks for the info.Oscar