The exhibition opened on 25 May and is due to run for three years. I have to acknowledge bias, from being involved with it, but it genuinely is very good. See the Links page for further information and resources. There may be some links to pages that are projected but not yet completed, and the site-map gives a picture of the current and projected shape of the site. Any comment is welcome. I have a very desultorily updated blog which explores aspects of A Vision and the Yeatses' System that do not fall within the more scholarly and factual ambit of this website.
It examines elements of the system that interest me, particularly looking at parallels and how the System fits with esoteric and symbolic systems more generally. A recurrent symbol is that of the Rose, in which Ireland, Maud and vision meet along with other elements.
For him symbols were more than a poetic tool, tapping into a vast reservoir of collective experience, which he termed at various stages the Great Memory, Anima Mundi the World Soul , and the Record, none of which is, however, quite the same as the other. Among the many factors involved, three stand out: Through Pound he was brought into contact with what became known as modernism, as well as Oriental art and thought.
Over five or six years the Yeatses engaged in frequent sessions, where WBY would ask questions and, while Georgie was in a trance-like state, her hand would write answers see below. These answers were attributed to a variety of controlling spirits and, as the script built up, it outlined a complex, esoteric system of thought, centred on cycles of change, which WBY spent years turning into a formal exposition, A Vision. Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in , the two collections of poetry which are generally regarded as his finest single volumes, The Tower and The Winding Stair , appeared in and respectively.
According to her recollection they first met in May and he sponsored her joining of the Golden Dawn in ; they talked of marriage in late , in such a way that Georgie regarded it as an engagement, while WBY apparently did not, since he later proposed again to Maud Gonne and then her daughter, Iseult. He proposed properly to Georgie on 26 September and they were married shortly after her twenty-fifth birthday on 20 October She was almost thirty years his junior and the marriage started inauspiciously, particularly since WBY was racked by doubts that he should have married Iseult Gonne.
She suggested that they attempt some automatic writing, which was in fact far from automatic, as she obliquely but very deliberately wrote that WBY had made the right decision. The birth of their children, Anne in and Michael in , gradually helped to reduce the commitment of time, and the system began to reach a form of completion. A Vision On the afternoon of October 24th , four days after my marriage, my wife surprised me by attempting automatic writing. A Vision: An Explanation of Life Founded upon the Writings of Giraldus and upon Certain Doctrines Attributed to Kusta Ben Luka, privately published in An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future.
The company created the vision statement to provide their employees with a clear direction and gave their employees a mission to complete within the next 6. What came in disjointed sentences, in almost illegible writing, was so exciting, sometimes so profound, that I persuaded her to give an hour or two day after day to the unknown writer, and after some half-dozen such hours offered to spend what remained of life explaining and piecing together those scattered sentences.
Yeats started work on the first exposition of the system within a month of the start of the Automatic Writing in and continued working on it until Over ten years were therefore dedicated to this work, although the Communicators had said that the purpose of the Script was to give him metaphors for poetry. Whatever the commitment to working on the System, however, it does not seem to have impeded his poetic and dramatic production. I do not know what my book will be to others — nothing perhaps. This was to be part of a new Edition de Luxe, published by Macmillans, which never came to fruition, and the revised version was finally published independently in in the US.
The revisions are significant and the major differences are outlined on The Two Editions. One preliminary point must be made: Contents A Vision B is divided into two introductions and five sections, with two poems. These stories centre around Michael Robartes , the supposed discoverer of the System, and a group of young people who become his followers. In it, Robartes outlines to Aherne the twenty-eight incarnations represented by the phases of the Moon. It gives some general observations about the cycle entailed, and a series of rules concerning the Faculties , their True and False forms , and a set of tables showing the disposition of the Faculties in each incarnation, as well as certain characteristics and categories, including those of the Four Quarters of the Wheel.
These include two Phases where the incarnation is not physical, the extremes represented by the New Moon and the Full Moon. Unlike the Faculties , the Principles are seen to survive death, and two of them form the core of being which reincarnates. Yeats envisages twelve cycles of twenty-eight incarnations each, typically reaching completion in a Great Year of 26 years. Yeats also introduces the figure of the Thirteenth Cone , which represents the idea of the divine within the System.
The first three stages are involved with recognition of the life lived, exploration of its experiences, emotions and relationships, then transvaluation. In the fourth stage the soul sees the eternal perspective, before preparing for the coming incarnation in the final two stages. It looks specifically at the years before the birth of Christ, and then, in more detail, the years following.
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It contrasts the annunciation to the Virgin Mary, symbolised by the Dove of the Holy Spirit, with the myth of Leda, who was raped by Zeus in the form of a Swan, and sees them as representing the key moments starting the two eras. Summary All things are subject to a cycle of changes, which can be regarded as bi-polar, passing from a state of objectivity to one of subjectivity before returning to objectivity again.
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Hellenism in Ancient India
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