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W hat sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron
W hat sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron

W hat sacred games shall we have to invent?

A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron

W hat sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron
W hat sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron
W hat sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron
W hat sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones Game by Charles Cameron
Introduction The great German engraver Albrecht Dürer’s illustrations of the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) differ
Introduction The great German engraver Albrecht Dürer’s illustrations of the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) differ

Introduction

The great German engraver Albrecht Dürer’s illustrations of the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) differ from contemporary televised images of warfare not only in terms of the armor and weaponry used, but also and more importantly by recording two worlds, the visible and the invisible, where the television camera records only the visible. The sky in television reports of war contains missiles and warplanes, and if anything “invisible” is depicted, it is invisible only by virtue of being viewed in the infra-red portion of the spectrum via night scope. Dürer’s sky is not merely “sky” but also “heaven”, and thus depicts that “war in heaven” alluded to in Revelations 12: 7, with its angels and demons and dragon, its Lady clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and crowned with the stars

A crucial shift in the way in which we envision “reality” has occurred between

Albrecht Dürer’s time and our own, and that shift has indeed largely deprived us of a

real sense of the existence of an “invisible world” — whether it be the invisible world

of faerie or sacrament, of poetic vision or apocalypse. That great modern prophet

William Blake both predicted and lamented this loss, and his entire corpus of poetry and paintings can be viewed as a singular attempt to replace in our culture that visionary quality that our increasing scientism so easily deprives us of.

singular attempt to replace in our culture that visionary quality that our increasing scientism so easily
This shift in our understanding becomes exceedingly important when we come to consider the awesome

This shift in our understanding becomes exceedingly important when we come to consider the awesome potential of weapons now in the human arsenal: and nuclear weapons in particular. For while the “rational” conscious mind is considering Hermann Kahn’s Ladder of Escalation and other more recent “scenarios” and “game plans” in the “theater of war” with characteristic dispassion, the imagination by

necessity views the imaginal

those same ancient forces that John of Patmos perceived in his visions, and which Albrecht Dürer depicted in the imagery of his own time. As a culture, we are now largely “unconscious” of the war in heaven — but it has not ceased to influence our lives.

and our dreams, our hopes and fears are filled with

James Mills, who was President Pro Tem of the California State Senate while Ronald Reagan was Governor, reports that Reagan told him at a state dinner in 1971:

Everything is falling into place. It can’t be too long now. Ezekiel says that fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies of God’s people. That must mean that they’ll be destroyed by nuclear weapons. They exist now, and they never did in the past. Ezekiel tells us that Gog, the nation that will lead all the other powers of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? None. But it didn’t seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now it does, now that Russia has become communistic and atheistic, now that Russia has set itself against God. Now it fits the description of Gog perfectly.

Part of the interest of this particular quotation, of course, lies in the fact that Russia has had another revolution since it was made, and presumably no longer fits the “Evil Empire” image that Ronald Reagan still carried with him when he was President — and thus Commander in Chief of US armed forces that deployed vast numbers of nuclear warheads in an array against the Russians

Commander in Chief of US armed forces that deployed vast numbers of nuclear warheads in an

Commander in Chief of US armed forces that deployed vast numbers of nuclear warheads in an

What sacred games shall we have to invent?

What sacred games shall we have to invent? Nietzsche poses this question in his 1882 book,

Nietzsche poses this question in his 1882 book, The Gay Science, during the course of that same notorious “madman’s speech” in which he introduces the aphorism, “God is dead.” Something has gone horribly wrong, Nietzsche suggests, at the imaginal level: we have been cut loose, have in fact cut ourselves loose, from our spiritual bearings. And the imagery with which he evokes this sense of spiritual dislocation is eerily predictive of the physical realities of man as spacefarer — the image of ourselves with which we are confronted by contemporary science — as well as of the “moral relativism” that is its inward counterpart:

What did we do when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up and down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space?

We are rootless, uncentered, directionless, rudderless, adrift in imaginal as well as in astronomical space.

We have, Nietzsche’s madman argues, brought this state of affairs down on our own heads: and the question about sacred games is only one of a series of questions which the madman poses in his effort to understand what can be done to atone for, reverse, or triumph over our new situation.

What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?

The game that follows is a meditation on apocalyptic nuclear imagery, offered in a spirit which suggests that we can trust neither a literal minded scientism (excluding all thought of “apocalypse” from its considerations on the grounds that such thinking is superstitious nonsense) nor a literal minded apocalypticism (taking for granted that “we” and “our God” shall be the “winners” of apocalypse)

If I read it rightly, the act of taking communion at Mass — itself the central ritual act of our western Tradition — involves the digestion in a metaphorical sense of godhead and manhood, which is to say of unperturbed radiance and untold suffering. The host raised heavenwards by the priest is a solar disc — all the warmth of summer infusing the grain that becomes bread which is flesh of the man who is himself God — and this radiant self-nature of the divine we must ingest and digest. And the cup similarly raised is passion — the blood of the man who is himself God shed at his

must ingest and digest. And the cup similarly raised is passion — the blood of the
passion in compassion for all passions suffered by all creatures ever and everywhere The pain

passion in compassion for all passions suffered by all creatures ever and everywhere The pain of the world is our drink, the radiant love that gives rise to creation is our food

In some way that parallels this awesome ritual simplicity, this juxtaposition of all passions with the love that is impassible, we must, I believe, juxtapose the horrible radiance of the weapons at our disposal and the divine radiance that they have all but driven from our memories, if we are to begin to understand the predicament in which we find ourselves. It may seem at first glance as though these two forms of radiance are so different, so totally opposed to one another not only physically but metaphysically as to belong to incompatible universes

so totally opposed to one another not only physically but metaphysically as to belong to incompatible
so totally opposed to one another not only physically but metaphysically as to belong to incompatible
The Game Krishna: Arjuna, I tell you with absolute conviction, you won’t have a choice
The Game Krishna: Arjuna, I tell you with absolute conviction, you won’t have a choice

The Game

Krishna:

Arjuna, I tell you with absolute conviction, you won’t have a choice between peace and war.

Arjuna:

What will be my choice?

Krishna:

Between a war and another war.

Arjuna:

The other war — where will it take place? On a battlefield or in my heart?

Krishna:

I don’t see a real difference

a battlefield or in my heart? Krishna: I don’t see a real difference Jean Claude Carriere,

Jean Claude Carriere, “The Mahabharata”

a battlefield or in my heart? Krishna: I don’t see a real difference Jean Claude Carriere,
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❑♣✐♦☎❊♣♦♦❢✲☎■♣♠③☎❚♣♦♦❢✉ ☎❨❏❲❀☎❯ ❥♦❥✉③

I open the Game with John Donne’s poem “Trinity”, from his Holy Sonnets, xiv:

Batter my heart, three person’d God; for, you As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend; That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new. I, like an usurpt towne, to’another due, Labour to’admit you, but Oh, to no end, Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend, But is captiv’d, and proves weake or untrue. Yet dearely’I love you,’and would be loved faine, But am betroth’d unto your enemie:

Divorce mee,’untie, or breake that knot againe, Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I Except you’enthrall mee, never shall be free, Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.

♥♣✇❢☎✷ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✷
♥♣✇❢☎✷
❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✷

It was in honor of this poem that Robert Oppenheimer chose the code name “Trinity” for the first test explosion of a nuclear device, which took place at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945, at 5. 29: 45 Mountain War Time.

of a nuclear device, which took place at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945, at

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According to later reports, Oppenheimer was clinging to one of the uprights in the control room when the device exploded, and two passages from the Bhagavad Gita flashed through his mind. The first of these was Bhagavad Gita 11: 12:

If in the sky the light of a thousand suns were to rise all at once, it would be the likeness of the light of that great-spirited One.

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The Bhagavad Gita is part of a greater work, the Indian epic known as the Mahabharata, which describes a great war that took place between the Kurus and Pandavas. The Gita itself describes the yogic teachings that Krishna, an incarnation of the supreme Godhead, gave to the warrior Arjuna during the lull immediately before battle on the field of Kurukshetra.

At a certain point in this transmission, Krishna goes beyond words and reveals his “divine form” to Arjuna. “It was God himself, infinite and universal, containing all miracles,” the text says, and “in that body of the God of Gods the Pandava saw the entire universe centered, in its infinite differentiations.”

It is to this celestial radiance of Krishna in the Gita that Oppenheimer’s mind turned that day at Alamogordo

It is to this celestial radiance of Krishna in the Gita that Oppenheimer’s mind turned that
It is to this celestial radiance of Krishna in the Gita that Oppenheimer’s mind turned that
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✹ ✹ ✹ ✹ ✹

❈✐❜❤❜✇❜❡☎❍❥✉❜☎✷✶❀☎✹✺❀☎❏☎❜♥☎❝❢❞♣♥❢☎❊❢❜✉✐

but also to a verse with a very different import from the same text:

I am become Death, the shatterer of worlds.

I have quoted this text here in the form in which Oppenheimer perhaps cited it to friends, and in which it was in turn cited in Robert Junck’s book, Brighter than a Thousand Suns, p. 201.

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❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✹

This text (Oppenheimer is very likely to have known it in the original Sanskrit)

occurs in the middle of a long list of Krishna’s “divine ubiquities”, which begins “I am the self that dwells in all beings”, and continues to say that among the heavenly lights he is the sun, among mountains he is Meru, among waters he is the ocean,

among weapons the thunderbolt, among wild animals the lion, and so forth better rendered thus by JAB van Buitenen:

and is

so forth better rendered thus by JAB van Buitenen: and is I am all-snatching Death, and

I am all-snatching Death, and the Source of things yet to be.

Factual links between these first three plays, obviously enough, arise from the fact that all

Factual links between these first three plays, obviously enough, arise from the fact that all three are spiritual texts which in one way or another contributed to J. Robert Oppenheimer’s understanding of the meaning of the Manhattan Project, of which he was scientific director, and of the awesome explosion that day at Alamogordo.

Links for meditation would contrast the sense of radiant fullness implicit in BG

11: 12 with the darker cast of BG 10: 34 as cited by Oppenheimer, and both with the Donne poem — read first in the way in which Donne intended it, as a devotional poem, then again with the mind of Oppie, knowing the enormity of the physical power that he would unleash in the test that he would call “Trinity”

of Oppie, knowing the enormity of the physical power that he would unleash in the test
of Oppie, knowing the enormity of the physical power that he would unleash in the test

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In the fourth position, I place the Brahmaastra, letting it represent the various “daivata” or divine weapons described in the Mahabharata.

Charles Berlitz, who is not perhaps the most scholarly of authors, in his book Doomsday 1999 cites Oppenheimer as answering an inquiry from a student at Rochester University thus:

Student:

Dr. Oppenheimer:

Was the bomb exploded at Alamogordo during the Manhattan Project the first one to be detonated?

Well — yes. In modern times, of course.

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Berlitz goes on to quote a number of passages from the Mahabharata that describe the impact of a weapon that I suspect must be the brahmaastra, although he neither names the weapon nor cites those sections of the text from which his quotations are drawn, while listing Protap Chandra Roy’s translation of 1889 in his bibliography:

a single projectile

Charged with all the power of the Universe.

An incandescent column of smoke and flame As bright as ten thousand Suns Rose in all its splendor

it was an unknown weapon,

An iron thunderbolt, A gigantic messenger of death, Which reduced to ashes The Entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.

the corpses were so burned

As to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out; Pottery broke without apparent cause, And the birds turned white.

After a few hours All foodstuffs were infected

To escape from this fire

The soldiers threw themselves in streams

To wash themselves and their equipment

The brahmaastra had a destructive capability comparable to that of a nuclear weapon, but unlike the latter could be targeted either very generally or very

capability comparable to that of a nuclear weapon, but unlike the latter could be targeted either
specifically. Knowledge of its methods of delivery and retrieval — and of defenses against it

specifically. Knowledge of its methods of delivery and retrieval — and of defenses against it — formed part of the “dhanur veda” or military science, involving a sophisticated use of mantric sound vibration to render the weapons potent.

It seems that the brahmaastra was a weapon in a class of its own: but many other

highly potent weapons are mentioned in the Mahabharata.

These include the “Pasupata” weapon which Shiva presented to the archer Arjuna when the latter won his admiration, and other weapons which Arjuna then obtained from Indra, Varuna, and others. Shiva, presenting Arjuna with the Pasupata, spoke thus:

I shall give you the great Pasupata weapon, which is my favorite However, Partha, you must never let it loose at any man in wanton violence, for if it hits a person of insufficient power, it might burn down the entire world. There is no one in all three worlds with their moving and standing creatures who is invulnerable to it, and it can be launched with a thought, a glance, a word, or a bow.

Then there was the weapon that Asvatthaman received from his father, which he was

at first reluctant to use — because he feared Arjuna would use his pasupata if he did

When in the end Asvatthaman did fire his weapon, Krishna instructed Arjuna and the Pandava forces to drop their weapons and lie down as its force passed over them,

not even struggling against it in thought:

The weapon of Narayana! Everybody, tell them not to run, on the Earth, quickly! No weapons! Do not think of war. If you even fight against this in your mind, you will die

In Peter Brook’s extended theatrical presentation of the Mahabharata, there was one moment that struck me with extraordinary poetic force. This was when Arjuna fired an arrow, and his charioteer Krishna (the incarnation of God) personally carried it to its destination.

A scholar who kindly assisted me with many of the details contained in this move

wrote me:

The passage you cited in which Krishna personally carries Arjuna’s arrow is illustrative of how the weapons underwent a consecration by mantra, invoking a demigod, or in this case, the Supreme Lord Himself. Technically this process was called “upamantritva”.

invoking a demigod, or in this case, the Supreme Lord Himself. Technically this process was called
invoking a demigod, or in this case, the Supreme Lord Himself. Technically this process was called
I was fascinated by this explanation, which is clearly grounded in the specifics of that

I was fascinated by this explanation, which is clearly grounded in the specifics of that episode and of the weapon itself. My own point of view as a poet, however, would naturally lean to a more metaphorical reading of the passage. Without in any way denying the interpretation given above, I would suggest that this action had in addition the symbolic import that it is not the human agent who deals death in war, it is the hand of God. “If we could just slow time down and see far enough into the invisible,” Krishna’s gesture seems to say, “we would recognize that each and every bullet, each and every arrow is in reality carried to its destination by that divine hand.” And indeed this interpretation is to some extent confirmed by another passage in the Gita, in which Krishna bids Arjuna to kill Drona, Bhisma, Karna and other “fine warriors” since he, Krishna, has already “doomed them ages ago” — with these words:

Be merely my hand in this, Left-handed Archer!

The obvious link for meditation suggested by this move would be between the

description of the brahmaastra (“As bright as ten thousand Suns”) and the description of Krishna’s self-revelation to Arjuna in BG 11: 12 at position 2, (“the light of a thousand suns”). Compare BG 15: 12:

Know that it is my light that in the sun illumines the entire universe, the light that is in sun and moon.

[Note that this move in particular is still in draft form: research is needed to verify and correlate the various passages from the Mahabharata, etc.]

is still in draft form: research is needed to verify and correlate the various passages from
is still in draft form: research is needed to verify and correlate the various passages from
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✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ✻ ❇♠❞✐❢♥③❀☎❜☎✉✐ ❥✇❥♦❤☎❞♣♥♥♣♦

❇♠❞✐❢♥③❀☎❜☎✉✐ ❥✇❥♦❤☎❞♣♥♥♣♦ ♠❜❞❢☎❝✈ ❥♦❢

In the fifth position, I place “Alchemy”, the mother of modern physical science, because it so nicely represents the fusion of physical and spiritual realms.

The fundamental goal of the alchemists could be described as “the transmutation of the elements” — by means of which, for instance, lead could be transformed into gold. The advent of modern science was accompanied by a marked distaste for those disciplines that had preceded it, and for centuries chemists disdained the alchemists, regarding transmutation as the ridiculous conceit of untutored minds. And yet transmutation was indeed possible, once the secrets of the atom were known. It was in this sense that Burris Cunningham, who worked with Glenn Seaborg on the first

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Burris Cunningham, who worked with Glenn Seaborg on the first ♥♣✇❢☎✻ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✻
weighing of a “new” element — named plutonium after the planet Pluto — could say:

weighing of a “new” element — named plutonium after the planet Pluto — could say:

Now, after all these years, it is difficult to recall the psychological impact of these events. Today alchemy is a thriving commonplace business. But at that time we, who had been brought up in an older tradition, saw it as a miracle and just a little bit difficult to believe in.

But there was always more to alchemy than a purely physical transmutation of the elements, as was signalled in the fact that the word “laboratory” also contained the word “oratory” — a conjunction that would have been clear to anyone brought up from childhood on St Augustine’s classic phrase, Laborare est Orare: To Work is to Pray.

Alchemy was thus a kind of sacrament, in which “the outward and visible sign” that

caught the attention of kings and was frequently attempted by fraudulent “puffers” was the transmutation of a quantity of lead into gold, while the corresponding “inward and spiritual grace” experienced by the true alchemists alone would be the qualitative transmutation of their own base natures into the refined gold of a

perfected or divinized humanity

a psychospiritual transformation.

A meditative link could be made here between “putrefaction” as part of the

alchemical process and death (BG 10.34 at 3) as the shatterer and source of worlds

“putrefaction” as part of the alchemical process and death (BG 10.34 at 3) as the shatterer
“putrefaction” as part of the alchemical process and death (BG 10.34 at 3) as the shatterer

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In the sixth place, I set the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6th, 1945. It was on this day at 8.16 am that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

What is interesting here is the ironic parallelism between the specific nature of the sacred festival scheduled for that day, and the horrific nature of what actually took place (Northrop Frye would call it a “demonic inversion” of the celebration).

♥♣✇❢☎✼ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✼
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The Feast of the Transfiguration (in the Christian liturgical calendar) memorializes the occasion on which Christ took three of his disciples up a mountain with him, and “was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Mt 17: 2). Put simply, it was the moment when the divine radiance (the “Godhead” of the Christ) outshone its material form (the body of the rabbi Jesus).

By the same token, the Hiroshima bomb was the scientific and military demonstration of radiant (intratomic) energy outshining its material (atomic) form As Jim Garrison notes in his book, The Darkness of God: Theology after Hiroshima (p.␣ 69):

The Hiroshima experience, as well as that of Nagasaki three days later, was a transfiguration as well, shining “brighter than a thousand suns,” but its transfiguration was the opposite of the healing and redemptive light of Christ.

It is interesting to note that the pre-Vatican II introit for this feast was “Illuxerunt coruscationes”:

The lightning shone upon the ground; the earth was moved and shook withal.

The most interesting meditative link here would appear to be between the

Transfiguration of Christ and Krishna’s revelation of his divine form in BG 11: 12 at position 2, both of which can be viewed as moments when divine radiance outshone

the material form of an avatar.

12 at position 2, both of which can be viewed as moments when divine radiance outshone
12 at position 2, both of which can be viewed as moments when divine radiance outshone

■♣♠♣❞❜✈ ✉❀☎❇✈ ❞✐①❥✉④☎❜♦❡☎✉✐❢☎●❥♦❜♠☎❚♣♠✈✉❥♣♦

In the seventh position, I set Auschwitz, the first of three moves which carry the title “Holocaust”.

The word Holocaust itself means “whole burnt offering” and has connotations of sacrifice. I place it here in reference to Auschwitz because it has come to refer specifically and in some sense definitively to the Nazi’s “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem” in the extermination camps of World War II. The term for “whole burnt offering” has come to mean “wholesale destruction”.

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Irving Greenberg, mindful of Exodus 13: 21, characterized Auschwitz as a “cloud of smoke and a pillar of fire”.

Donald Fasching, The Ethical Challenge of Auschwitz and Hiroshima, p. 29:

Having enemies is a luxury no community on the face of the earth can any longer afford. If there is a next time, it will not matter who is right and who is wrong, we shall all perish in the flames. Auschwitz and Hiroshima suggest that the millennium which brought us the utopian age of progress threatens to bring itself to an abrupt apocalyptic conclusion. The age of the bomb seems to have shattered and restructured the millennial myth

Elie Wiesel, One Generation After, p. 220, cited in Fasching, p. 347 n. 34:

Without Auschwitz there would be no Hiroshima.

Wiesel, One Generation After , p. 220, cited in Fasching, p. 347 n. 34: Without Auschwitz
Wiesel, One Generation After , p. 220, cited in Fasching, p. 347 n. 34: Without Auschwitz

■♣♠♣❞❜✈ ✉❀☎ ❜✉✉❢ ♦☎❝♣♥❝❥♦❤☎♣❣☎❊ ❡❢♦

In the eighth place I set the Allied pattern bombing of Dresden, which turned that city into a furnace in which more people burned to death than perished at Hiroshima

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in which more people burned to death than perished at Hiroshima ♥♣✇❢☎✾ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✾
in which more people burned to death than perished at Hiroshima ♥♣✇❢☎✾ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✾
✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ■♣♠♣❞❜✈ ✉❀☎❋✈❞✐❜ ❥ ✉☎❜ ☎ ✈
✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ■♣♠♣❞❜✈ ✉❀☎❋✈❞✐❜ ❥ ✉☎❜ ☎ ✈

■♣♠♣❞❜✈ ✉❀☎❋✈❞✐❜ ✉☎❜ ❥❣③❥♦❤☎❣❥

In the ninth position, I set the Eucharist as Holocaust.

This move would never have occurred to me, had I not stumbled across the following passage in the Foreword to Kadloubovsky & Palmer’s Writings from the Philokalia:

♥♣✇❢☎✿ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✿
♥♣✇❢☎✿
❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✿

Inaccessible to human conception is the inexpressible glorious Majesty of the most holy, sublime Sacraments and Revelations on earth of the Divine Incarnation and supreme Holocaust of Love of our celestial Saviour and God Jesus Christ. They open for us the way to possibilities that are not of this earth, forming, purifying and developing the unseen parts of our being, helping us towards Salvation.

are not of this earth, forming, purifying and developing the unseen parts of our being, helping
are not of this earth, forming, purifying and developing the unseen parts of our being, helping
The language of this paragraph is fervent in its faith in a way that is

The language of this paragraph is fervent in its faith in a way that is seldom found in the ironic late twentieth century: but I was particularly struck by the use of the word “holocaust” to refer to Love — particularly considering that the passage was written in 1951.

I understand from Deacon John Suhayda that Orthodox theology uses two related Greek words to describe the Eucharist: “pyr” (fire) and “anthrax” (live coal):

Both are used to convey the idea that the eucharist can either destroy or purify. It “destroys the unworthy”, yet “purifies the soul”. The image of the purifying live coal is taken directly from Isaiah before the throne of God, when the angel touches the live coal to his lips.

What interested me about Kadloubovsky & Palmer’s phrase “supreme Holocaust of Love of our celestial Saviour” is that same sense of fire at its heart — as radiant light is at the heart of the Transfiguration.

The imagery of holocaust, therefore, is central to Orthodox eucharistic doctrine, which understands the eucharist as the offering of the whole world into the purifying fire of love.

This understanding was memorably expressed recently by Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, in “A Theology of Creation” — originally published in “Service Orthodoxe de Presse” 137 (April 1989) pp. 10 ff, then republished in “Sourozh”, issue 38, November 1989:

“Man is an animal called to become God,” said one of the Fathers of the Church. And that is why the Word became flesh: to open to us, through the holy flesh of the earth transformed into a eucharist, the path to

It is the Church as eucharistic mystery which gives us knowledge of a

universe which was created to become a

(i.e. give thanks) in all things,” as Paul says. (I Th. 5:18)

“Make eucharist

Man should listen to the cosmic words that God is speaking to him, and return them to him as an offering, after having marked things with his creative power. And when I say man, I mean of course man in communion, I mean humanity in its vocation as a “collective, cosmic Messiah”.

Thus man, for the universe, is the hope of receiving grace and sanctification. But he brings with him the risk of failure and downfall as well, for, when he turned away from God, we only see the appearances of things, the “shadow which passes”, as Paul says Blocking partially the radiance of the divine light, we condemn the world to death and let chaos overcome

as Paul says Blocking partially the radiance of the divine light, we condemn the world to
as Paul says Blocking partially the radiance of the divine light, we condemn the world to
Christ, through his Incarnation, his Resurrection, his Ascension and his sending of the Holy Spirit,

Christ, through his Incarnation, his Resurrection, his Ascension and his sending of the Holy Spirit, has brought about the potential transfiguration of the

The Lord as a divine Person

the universe at one particular point in space and time, but by realizing at last the vocation of the person, he contains the universe hidden in himself. He does not want, like us, to take possession of the world; he assumes it and offers it up in an attitude which is constantly eucharistic; he makes of it a body of unity, the language and flesh of communion.

not only lets himself be contained by

flesh of communion. not only lets himself be contained by In him fallen matter no longer

In him fallen matter no longer imposes its limitations and determinisms; in him the world, frozen by our downfall, melts in the fire of the Spirit and rediscovers its vocation of transparency.

The meditation here might dwell on the expansion of the Transfiguration (at 6),

via Orthodox Eucharistic theology, to encompass the “vocation of transparency” of the whole world.

(at 6), via Orthodox Eucharistic theology, to encompass the “vocation of transparency” of the whole world.
(at 6), via Orthodox Eucharistic theology, to encompass the “vocation of transparency” of the whole world.

❳❜♠♠❜❞❢☎❈♠❜❞❧☎❋♠❧❀☎✉❢❜ ❥♦❤☎❜♦☎❜✉♣♥☎❝♣♥❝

To close this Game on a somewhat lighter note, and to balance the threads of discourse from the scholarship of the Mahabharata and from Orthodox Christian theology with a third and very different tradition, I offer in the tenth place the following remark made quite casually to me in conversation by the Lakota (Sioux) shaman Wallace Black Elk:

♥♣✇❢☎✷✶ ❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✷✶
♥♣✇❢☎✷✶
❥♦☎ ♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✷✶

When you tease an atomic bomb, you are teasing fire, you are teasing Grandpa Great Spirit.

♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✷✶ When you tease an atomic bomb, you are teasing fire, you are teasing Grandpa
♣ ❥✉❥♣♦☎✷✶ When you tease an atomic bomb, you are teasing fire, you are teasing Grandpa
What sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones by Charles Cameron Copyright ©
What sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones by Charles Cameron Copyright ©

What sacred games shall we have to invent? A TenStones by Charles Cameron Copyright © Charles Cameron 1995 <hipbone@earthlink.net> Design by David Hughes <davehuge@idt.net> All illustrations by Albrecht Dürer

<hipbone@earthlink.net> Design by David Hughes <davehuge@idt.net> All illustrations by Albrecht Dürer
<hipbone@earthlink.net> Design by David Hughes <davehuge@idt.net> All illustrations by Albrecht Dürer
I would like to express my warmest thanks to David Hughes, to whom this Game
I would like to express my warmest thanks to David Hughes, to whom this Game
I would like to express my warmest thanks to David Hughes, to whom this Game

I would like to express my warmest thanks to David Hughes, to whom this Game is dedicated, and also to Gregory Singleton, David A White, Stephen O’Leary, Geoffrey Chew, Marshall Massey, Deacon John Suhayda, and Chandra Das for their various scholarly contributions to the ideation of this Game

Massey, Deacon John Suhayda, and Chandra Das for their various scholarly contributions to the ideation of
Massey, Deacon John Suhayda, and Chandra Das for their various scholarly contributions to the ideation of