In the light and dark of my soul
I wake to a thousand presences
What land is this? Which city?
Who approaches? What calls?
Mundus Imaginalis thou art: ancestral
Abode, first fruit of primordial time
It is you who seek the wakening heart
You who pour forth emissaries to
Whisper, knock, hammer at the portal
Of our dreams: yet; still we sleep
Still the death mist curls, furls
Floats, fastens: till no eye sees
Kevin Moran 5/7/10
Whakapapa: This psalm meditates on the transpersonal (or subtle) presences that can occasionally be encountered in dreams & in the liminal state between sleep and wakefulness. C.G. Jung calls this deeper level of consciousness the collective unconscious. Plato calls it Anima Mundi: The World Soul. Henry Corbin calls it Mundus Imaginalis or the imaginal world. The imaginal world is very, very real. Henry Corbin says, ‘It is a perfectly real world, more evident even and more coherent, in its own reality, than our real empirical world perceived by the senses.’1) Tom Cheetham writes, ‘Corbin calls it Mundus Imaginalis, the imaginal world, to underscore the fact that it is not imaginary or unreal. Through the agency of the active imagination we have access to an intermediate realm of subtle bodies, of real presences, situated between the sensible world and the intelligible. This is the realm of Anima Mundi.’2) Mundus imaginalis then is the world of the Soul: the intermediary world between the world of the senses and the world of Spirit.
One of the great tragedies of our time is that western secularism, rationalism, scientism and materialism blind us to the presence of the world of the Soul. In the poem, I call these forces ’the death mist.’
1) Swedenborg and Esoteric Islam, Henry Corbin Pg. 18.
2) Green Man, Earth Angel, The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World, Tom Cheetham Pg. 3.
The poem is a response to a recent dream (below).
“I was in China in an ancient crowded city. It was a holy city (like Benares). There was a Chinese man beside me (though I couldn’t see his face). The Chinese man was an elder. He reminded me of Desmond Tutu. He said ‘Build a walkway into this city and you will heal its citizens and know its wonder.” 29/6/10