Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Sacred Aieioiuoa, part I

Readers of Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson have no doubt puzzled over the provenance of many of the “invented” words in the book; yet Aieioiuoa seems to be among the most obscure, consisting as it does of a series of nearly unpronounceable vowels.

I’ve explained in earlier posts that these vowels actually constitute a set of sacred syllables, which combine in a chant which is to be intoned upon receipt of sacred energies that encourage a certain kind of inward suffering. 

The chant is a facilitator, but in itself can’t be artificially invoked—so understanding has to be received, rather than imparted; yet it may be helpful to aspiring adepts to understand the technical nature of the word, lest a precise understanding of its esoteric meaning be lost.

In this context, what may be interesting is an understanding of why this word exists in the form we encounter it in at all; and in order to explain that, one needs to turn to Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell, where one finds the following passage in section 241:

Angels who live in the Lord’s heavenly kingdom talk much the same way as angels who are citizens of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. However, heavenly angels talk from a deeper level of thought than spiritual angels do. Further, since heavenly angels are attuned to the good of love for the Lord, they talk from wisdom, while spiritual angels—being attuned to the good of thoughtfulness toward their neighbor (which in its essence is truth)—talk from intelligence. For wisdom comes from what is good and intelligence from what is true.

The speech of heavenly angels is like a gentle stream, soft and virtually unbroken, while the speech of spiritual angels is a little more resonant and crisp. Then too, the vowels U and O tend to predominate in the speech of heavenly angels, while in the speech of spiritual angels it is the vowels E and I. The vowels stand for the sound and in the sound there is the affection; for as already noted, the sound of angels’ speech is responsive to their affection, and the articulations of the sound, or the words, correspond to the individual ideas that stem from their affection. 

The word, then, is in the syllabic language of the angels, as is appropriate for a second-order (that is, very fundamental) law. 

In order to understand the word a little better it’s helpful to note that the second and third syllables, built around the letters E and I, are lower-order syllables belonging predominantly to spiritual angels, whose being is of a lower nature than heavenly angels. The fourth and fifth syllables are those of heavenly angels, and the entire set is framed by the letter “A”. 

The word itself, then, captures the essence of angelic language, rather than embodying individual words; and this essence is imparted by the dominant tonalities of the vowels in question. So the word can be understood as the primordial utterance of the two angelic hosts, the root vibration of their means of communication. Intoning it will impart an experience of that under the right circumstances, that is, if and as the appropriate energy is received. 

Don't try to do this in order to invoke the energy! It must come of itself first.

The intonation represents a progression from Truth, a lower order, towards the good, a higher order: and that progression must take place through the process of remorse, which enables the participant to initiate a distinction between truth and falsehood through a process of purification. 


Part II publishes March 11.

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