Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Bacon reminds me of those lines in Francis Thompson's poem, "No Strange Land":

"Turn but a stone, and start a wing!
'Tis ye, 'tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.'

The 'Shakespeare' writings are endlessly evocative. Everywhere there are meadows of meaning that stretch out to a world beyond our understanding and beyond anything restricted to what we understand of human possibilities.

Look at just one example from one of these miracles of art. The name of the play is "A Midsummer Night's Dream". This tells us that everything that happens is:

1. A Dream
2. That takes place on one midsummer night

There is not only the dream element, there is also a time element. As soon as we begin reading the play this time element is underscored. The first line refers to 'nuptiall houre', the second to 'foure happy daies', the third to the moon which has always been associated with the element of time.

Moreover, the number four has an association with midsummer. Midsummer is the summer solstice, meaning to stand still, i.e., the length of the days stood still for three days and on the fourth they began to get longer again. The sun is also connected with time. Figuratively time stands still for three days and begins to move again on the fourth day as the days begin
to get longer.

There is another element of time connected to this. On the fourth day we do not find the day after the summer solstice, but instead - May 1. Time has been contracted from a summer night to an hour, dilated from a summer night to four days, and even reversed by almost two months, while dilated to almost two months.

What's going on?

This all phenomena associated with dreams, but phenomena which has been discovered since Bacon's time.

Remember the classical work of the French physican Alfred Maury In the 19th century? Maury studied a collection of more than 3,000 dreams, but one is especially famous. This is his 'guillotine' dream. This dream was conspicuous for its time contraction, or conversely, time dilation element. Dreams are notorious for their time distortion element.

Maury's dream was a long convoluted series of episodes about the Reign of Terror during the Revolution. He was thrown in prison for a long period of time. He witnessed some terrible scenes of murder, and finally he himself was summoned before the Tribunal. There he saw Robespierre, Marat, Fouquier-Tinville, and all the sorry heroes of those terrible days; he had to give an account of himself, and after all manner of incidents he was finally sentenced to death. In a cart, accompanied by an enormous crowd, he made the slow procession to the place of execution, where the guillotine awaited. He mounted the scaffold; he was force to knell. His head was fastened into place. The order of was given. The knife of the guillotine fell. He felt his head severed from his trunk, and suddenly awoke, only to find that the head-board of the bed had fallen, and had struck his neck where the knife of the guillotine would have fallen.

The point was that the head-board striking his neck was the external stimuli that caused the dream, but it would have awakened him instantly so that the entire convoluted dream would have had to take place in that one fraction of a second.

So I would have to think that Bacon (who always seems to know everything)intentionaly constructed this element into the play, and there are many, many such examples. What people find in the plays is limited only by their own limitations, never by any limitations in the author.

- from a correspondent

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Believing that I was born for the service of mankind, and regarding the care of the commonwealth as a kind of common property which like the air and the water belongs to everybody, I set myself to consider in what way mankind might be best served, and what service I was myself best fitted by nature to perform.

Now among all the benefits that could be conferred upon mankind, I found none so great as the discovery of new arts, endowments, and commodities for the bettering of man's life. For I saw that among the rude people in the primitive times the authors of rude inventions and discoveries were consecrated and numbered among the Gods. And it was plain that the goodeffects wrought by founders of cities, lawgivers, fathers of the people, extirpers of tyrants, and heroes of that class, extend but over narrow spaces and last but for short times; whereas the work of the Inventor, though a thing of less pomp and shew, is felt everywhere and lasts for ever. But above all, if a man could succeed, not in striking out some particular invention, however useful, but in kindling a light in nature a light which should in its very rising touch and illuminate all the border regions that confine upon the circle of our present knowledge; and so spreading further and further should presently disclose and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the world,that man (I thought) would be the benefactor indeed of the human race,the propagator of man's empire over the universe, the champion of liberty, the conqueror and subduer of necessities.

- from: On the Interpretation of Nature

Saturday, June 05, 2004

"The Celtic peoples were pagans like the Romans worshipping many Gods. Celtic Gods and Roman Gods seemed to coexist together; a Celtic-Romano Temple was excavated south of the Roman Theatre, and the remains of a Triangular Temple lie unseen in Verulamium Park.

Christianity had one God, and it had become a threat to the Roman Empire, because the followers refused to acknowledge the Emperor as divine, the consequence being - it was not tolerated, which only seemed to accelerate its growth! In Britain as elesewhere the faith was spreading, and in about the year AD209 the story and legend of St Alban begins. It is said that Alban was an affluent Roman citizen, possibly an army officer, and that during a period when Christians were being persecuted, he gave shelter to a man who has been called Amphibalus. While he stayed with him, Alban was converted to Christianity. Amphibulas got away and Alban was arrested: after a prolonged trial, during which he refused to give up his faith, he was beheaded - a privilege only allowed to Roman citizens. It is also possible that the execution took place on the hill close to where the Abbey was eventually built."

- from The St Albans Mapguide

The Mapguide goes on to suggest that the trial of St Alban actually took place in the Roman theatre which even to this day stands within the gates of the Gorhambury estate. So Francis Bacon, growing up, would have played in this very theatre, the site of St Alban's trial. Later when Bacon was made a Viscount, he chose the name Viscount St Alban. Note that he did not select the plural version, St Albans, after the town, which would have been consistent with the usual protocol to select a place-name to adorn the title, but after the man, St Alban. Thus Francis explicitly identified himself with the saint.

This becomes even more curious when one reads in the Royal Masonic Cyclopedia that the date of St Alban's martyrdom is given there as 287AD. This date is not historical, but symbolic, as may be discerned by examination of the remarkable book Secret Shakespearean Seals, available on-line at the sidebar link.