The Great and Secret Show, by Clive Barker
HarperCollins, 0006472257, 1989, 1994
“Memory, prophecy and fantasy –
the past, the future and the
dreaming moment between –
are all one country,
living one immortal day.
To know this is Wisdom.
To use it is the Art. “
If you have never read Clive Barker before, prepare to be impressed. His books will be like none you have read before. It is hard to sum up his genre, it crosses from fantasy to horror to metaphysical wonderings. Each book, or series of books is different, yet they all share one thing, and that is Barker’s ability to create not just a new world of characters, but an entire system of beliefs and philosophies that create a story so deep you can almost believe it’s real.
This series (Books of the Art) is my personal favourite out of his books I have read so far. The ideas he puts forward in these novels are as well thought out and tenable as any contained in magickal treatise or religious text.
They concern The Art, while it is never really clarified as to what The Art is, Barker’s creativity and attention to every details convinces you it is real and attainable. These stories provide ideas about our world and race and that of worlds outside our own, of the way that life itself, our every essence of being relate to an overall scheme. Without wishing to ruin aspects of the story, it sets out a clear, and yet not so clear, paradigm of existence, with our world (the cosm) and an almost polar opposite (the meta-cosm) set opposing each other, separated by the dream sea ‘quiddity’ , the place where everything comes from. Our world and that outside our own both seem to be reflections of that which comes from quiddity and it is never perfectly clear what Barker is suggesting about the nature of reality, are we real and the enemy (Iad) in the meta-cosm mere creations of our minds or the other way around?
There are so many levels to this story, as people step up to take their rolls, people searching for The Art, people who know, people who don’t, people finding out, Barker sews together a million little threads seamlessly into one story.
In trying to write this review it became apparent to me how complex these two books are and how hard it is to sum up the plot. It is a series of books that just have to be read by anyone with any interest in different ways of thinking about how everything fits together.
Clive says he will start work on the long awaited book 3 of the art sometime soon, personally, I can’t wait.
The basic starting point for chakra work is just to relax and feel energy flowing through them and considering each in turn and seeing what you can sense from them. If it helps to use the general correspondences to visualize them then that is not a problem or you can ignore those and see what you see.
Here is a simple work through, if you are doing this as part of anything larger or have your own specific system this does not include any banishing or consideration as to the context of the exercise.
- Lie back in a quiet position, in an area where you will be undisturbed. Close your eyes and relax.
- Now imagine energy flowing from the universe to the crown chakra at the top of your head, feel it energizing the chakra, if it helps visualize it as being violet energy and the chakra spinning vibrantly.
- Next re-enforce the previous flow of energy but this time take it down from the crown to the brow chakra and repeat the visualization and feeling of energizing the chakra and if it helps make it indigo and spinning like a whir pool of energy.
- Then you want to do the same again, bringing the energy down into your body, re-enforcing the flow through the previous chakras and then bringing it down to the throat where it is a blue vibrant energy whirl.
- Repeat what you have been doing now you have the idea, re-enforcing the energy and then bringing it down to the next one, heart chakra being green then down to the yellow solar plexus, the orange loin and then the red base.
- As you reach the base chakra and have it energised and spinning with energy you should feel the energy flowing through you, from the universe coming down through your chakra, energising them then flowing to earth, forming an equivalent electric circuit but with energy.
- Take time to feel this flow of energy, get used to it and feel yourself more alive and centred, earthed.
- This meditation/visualization exercise should come to a natural end, there is no time limit and no real goal other than to feel and experience the energy flow through your chakra and gain any insight that may present itself.
- If you like you may reverse the process if you are a fan of closure you can visualize a reverse of the process with each chakra being closed down in turn and the circuit being terminated at the crown. If you have any more formal endings to the exercise that is up to you.
This exercise is simple and enjoyable, you can reverse the process as well, starting the energy coming form the earth and energizing your chakra from the opposite direction, or you can merely concentrate on one chakra if that’s what you like.
There is talk that such exercises open you up and that they illuminate you with energy and thusly you should always close yourself down afterwards to get rid of any unwanted attention. This is a very subjective idea as it depends what beliefs you subscribe to as to what things you think might be attracted and their believed negative value. Some books mention “things” from the astral world being attracted to your brightness and others warn of psychic or magical attack.
Make of these what you will and arrive at your own conclusions, but as far as the chakra go from this point you can customise the experience however you like and progress from here to where you want to go.