Friday, February 18, 2011

Kalibhakta Sutra, Part Five

Verse 5: 
Trace Her waves and clefts; know with Her, in Her, never ceasing to know Her until you are One. 

Vibhanga vibru. 

Kalibhakta's MS shows his first translation of these words as "You can't help trying to make sense of it all and you can't help being wrong when you do." The present editor is grateful to him for his perseverance in creating a finer version. He also experimented with the translation "Chase Her that She may overcome you," which, while more poetic, still lacked precision. (One wonders sometimes at Kalibhakta's free hand, so to speak, with the Sanskrit language.)

Vibhanga means "waves" or "furrows." Again, the Kabbalah is alluded to: successive emanations of divine light, waves of divinity creating space, time, consciousness, matter, and evolving into a self-reflecting intelligence that yearns for union, for oneness with its source. As the Masonic tradition says, "Gather what is scattered" -- just remember that we inhabit a scattering universe, so don't fall in love with your own model of that universe. Vibhanga implies a chaotic emanation, fittingly, since Kali's essential nature is play, which leads to a different model of divine love--not based on separateness (lost purity, sin, and redemption) but on a game, a chase, with deity and devotee pursuing one another towards the eventual oneness that is the object of these sutras and of all spiritual aspiration. 

According to Monier-Williams, vibru means both to "posit" or "argue" (e.g., to advance an interpretation of the universe) but also "to be mistaken" and "to disagree." The verse calls us to interpret the universe at the same time that it remarks upon the need to constantly question and revise our interpretations. In short, the verse is a call for spiritual knowing according to both the scientific method--"scientific illuminism" à la Crowley, "info-psychology" à la Leary-- and the "picking and choosing" so despised by the orthodox. "Make your own Bible," as Emerson wrote. The verse is a call to empiricism, observation, whether through science, Thoreauean natural philosophy, or combining the method of science with the aim of religion. 

Implied therefore is the great advantage of arriving at one's own conclusions, independent, if need be, of all previous (alleged) sages or experts. Indeed, individual modeling of the divine totality is essential, for in Kalibhaktian theology the aspirant's attempts to understand the Divine Mother and Her creation and to act on this understanding constitute the second half of creation. "Creation never ended; chaos never died," goes the aphorism scrawled in Sharpie above the door to Kalibhakta's study-- or so legend says, though the Hakim Bey allusion seems too perfect. 

Note that, in English, the first five verses of the Sutra begin with V; Kalibhakta intended this as an allusion to the downward-pointing triangle of the Kali yantra and to the five downward-pointing triangles of the Sri Yantra--symbols, of course, of the waves of Shakti creating the cosmos in every moment. 

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