Symbols - What does heaven look like
Cities are symbolically systems. But they are not the ‘human being system’ which is symbolically represented by Castles. Nor are they the systems of the universe as invented by the Intelligences – thus the systems that are part of the Intelligence hierarchy and in the Aether level. These are symbolically represented as Palaces.
Cities are symbolically the systems we as human beings have invented. Thus we may see symbolic cities representing the tax system, banking systems, credit card systems, systems of law and order, systems related to shopping or gardening and agriculture. If we have invented function then we might see it symbolically as a city.
There are no cities to be found in the Aether level or Fire level of the Levels and Layers. All Cities are ‘stored’ [to be found] in the Egg within the other four Levels and Layers – air,water, earth [and lower] .
We may wonder why they are to be found at all in the Egg. After all why should they exist in the spirit world when they already exist in the physical world? The answer is that The Objective of the Great Work, is to increase function and if that function happens to be our invented function it hardly matters – all function is function.
Anyone ‘seeing a city’ often finds the symbolism to be extraordinarily strange and intriguing. People have ‘seen’ [for example in drug induced states ] symbolic representations of political systems such as communism , socialism, fascism, dictatorship, kingdoms, conservatism, liberalism and so on; they have ‘seen’ judicial systems; even rather hilariously business systems such as payroll, accounting or manufacturing; traffic and transport systems such those for trains or automobiles or airplanes; health systems, even – bizarre as it may sound religious systems – such as catholicism and islam, which are in effect political systems.
A small extract to demonstrate…………….
Daniel Pinchbeck – Breaking Open the head
Suddenly I was rocketed through …. cities, multidimensional, jewel faceted, hard and immaterial palaces where geometric and tentacular constructions were being taken apart and reconstructed at such lightning speed that I cannot recall more than a tiny and trivial fraction…… This realm was in a state of continual transformation ….. Everything I saw guttered with an artificial sparkle .. ….As I recall the beings in the DMT [a psychedelic drug] were saying ‘This is it. Now you know. This is it. Now you know’.
Many organisational systems we have invented do not symbolically appear to be that pleasant. In contrast to the Palaces one encounters, cities can appear terrifying, ugly and artificial – we are not terribly good ‘co-creators’ it seems.
If one is unfortunate enough to drop down below the physical Earth level into the levels below the physical [the so called under world], the cities there are truly terrifying. Thus in ‘hell’, for example, we may find systems of torture, systems of extortion, systems of abuse, the Revenue systems [only joking], systems of mutilation, systems of war and so on. All represented as cities and symbolically presented to us visually by our composer. Thus whatever we as human beings have created as a system is capable of being visited by the spiritual traveller… except that those who created them, or had a hand in creating them or using them, tend to be the ones who see them.
Dante – The Divine Comedy INFERNO I - CANTO VIII
Then the good master said 'And now, my son
We approach the city which takes its name from Dis
With its grave citizens and huge armies
And he said to me 'It is the eternal fire
Which lights them up inside and makes them glow
As you see, in the deeper part of hell
Cities of the systems for inventive arts
But, not all cities are ugly. Cities may also represent the inventive arts. So we may find systems of music, systems of painting [abstract, cubist, pointillism, realism, surrealist, impressionist, and so on], systems of prose and poetry.
Towers are created to hold the ideas of man – things – forms, inventions, songs and music, poetry, plays, music, paintings and so on. Invented form whether image, sound, taste, touch or smell is stored in towers.
These man made towers may be found in the cities that created them. Thus, if there is a music system that helped to create the songs in the towers, the system 'music system' accompanies the tower, in fact you may find a complex inter-related set of towers and buildings, all of which are the interrelated parts of the entire system.
Thus you may find 'opera' creation systems, 'musical' creation systems, classical music creation systems, jazz creation systems, easy listening creation systems and so on. If we are able to name the type of music then there must be a system in place to create that type – a set of rules which somehow determines something is jazz, or easy listening or classical. But all are music, so they are probably all seen as parts to an overall very very large system.
All symbolic, but seen as buildings connected together as a city.
Cities of culture and belief system
So far I have mentioned only systems which are systems of organisation, but there are more subtle systems too – those of ‘culture’. Thus if you see Rome in a dream, you are seeing symbolically the system of the Roman Empire, similarly if you 'see' Babylon you are looking at the culture and system that created the Mesopotamian empire. See London in Victorian times and you are witnessing the system that created the British Empire. Thus a city is not to be taken literally in a dream or vision, however 'real' or recognisable it may appear. The question should always be asked – what culture- what system – what belief system does this represent?
In effect, a culture, or civilisation is in some ways made immortal – enshrined - in the spirit world as a sort of historical record and capable of being ‘seen’ by those able to ‘see’ as a city. Belief systems too can be ‘seen’ in all their glory [or hideousness].
We are apt when we have dreams or apocalyptic visions to think that the destruction we are witnessing is a replay of real destruction. The bombing of cities, a nuclear war, a catastrophe like that which befell Pompei, but the majority of visions which destroy visionary cities have nothing to do with physical destruction , they are predicting or symbolising the destruction of systems – hence for example, the fall of communism, or the fall of rampant capitalism, the collapse of the banking system because of the sub-prime mortgage scandal. The collapse and destruction of a system which simply did not work.
Just as with castles every aspect of the city layout is a symbolic indicator of the characteristics of the system being portrayed.
The colour – gold being perceived as effective and valuable, grey being perhaps unimaginative and lacking in imagination – can be used to indicate something of the city's worth to the spiritual world, although no universal symbolism appears to be in place here apart from the use of gold.
The layout is also an indicator, its 'levels', its 'orientation' – north-south or east west for example.
This painting by Rene Magritte shows the political chaos that preceded the second world war in Europe, although the colours are not without hope being pastels.
It is a mess.
The painting is entitled ‘Breast’ – the normal Magritte naming to obscure and confuse the meaning – although the shape is certainly breast like.
As we have seen with castles, with which they share many similarities for very obvious reasons, the level is an indicator of the type of city and its functions. In myths and allegories, cities can appear in hell, in the underworld, at earth level and below water level. They can also be seen in the sky.
The link with sacred geography
Many cities have been built using sacred geography on the basis of the symbolism of the city in visions - see the link.
I have provided quite a number of examples of mythological but symbolic cities in the observations, but some other examples of mythological places are:
- Agartha - A legendary city that supposedly resides in the Earth's core.
- Camelot - Supposedly the city from which King Arthur reigned.
- City of the Caesars - A city between a mountain of gold and another of diamonds supposed to be situated in Patagonia.
- El Dorado - Rumored city of gold in South America.
- Quivira and Cíbola - Two of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold supposed by Spanish conquistadors to have existed in the Americas.
- Kingdom of Saguenay - Supposedly an Algonquin Indian story of a rich city of blonde men.
In the 14th century, the Persian geographer Mostawfi wrote that Abaskun was an island which was submerged due to the rise of the Caspian Sea caused by a temporary change in the course of the Oxus, which briefly flowed into the Caspian instead of the Aral Sea. But the story was probably a myth, a legend based on Atlantis. Emily Dickinson thought so too…..
Emily Dickinson – the Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Least Rivers – docile to some sea
My Caspian - thee
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