‘This even-handed justice commends th’ingredients of our poisoned chalice to our own lips.’
Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 7
What if Macbeth’s ‘poisoned chalice’ is a veiled reference to the cup of the Last Supper?
What if Shakespeare has encrypted the ancient secrets of the Holy Grail into his verse?
What if knowing this forbidden truth has the power to resurrect the sleeping soul within us? And, what if awakening the soul, will (in Hamlet’s words) end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to?
As you’ll soon realise, this book has two momentous revelations emerging in parallel: a new and profound understanding of Shakespeare’s plots, poetic imagery, and process that illuminate never before realised depths to the Bard himself; and astonishing insight into the ancient, universal, mystical teachings of Jesus the Christ and the line of masters preceding him.
Interestingly, if, like me, you're a bit of a wordie, 'epiphany' means the same as 'revelation'. Thus in this, part 3 of the book, exploring The Tempest, called 'Shakespeare's Revelation' it actually also turns out to be 'Shakespeare's Epiphany'. With the Bard's exquisite brilliance, the Tempest can be seen both as a denouement and foreshadowing of his entire works. As a writer, what body part would you sacrifice in order to craft an opening chapter that could do so much with so little to undermine the tyranny of the status quo and keep it safe and secret for 400 years?
Here's more on Shakespeare's 'masterclass for serious writers' I mentioned yesterday. When you compare the relevant biblical passage from Luke on the Annunciation (when the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds) with Shakespeare's text the great mystery becomes: why has it taken 400 years of high-level intellectual scrutiny to spot biblical allusions that are more like plagiarisms!? Perhaps it helps NOT being a high-level intellectual. It's not the mind that grasps this stuff, it's the heart that already knows. I entreat you to savour these allusions to the saviour.
If you're a serious writer struggling to add gravitas to your work, without 'preaching', Shakespeare is continuously giving a masterclass in how to do this. If the hypothesis that Macbeth is a 'passion play' with Satan as protagonist, and that Hamlet is also a 'passion play' with Jesus as protagonist, then you'd expect Hamlet to also have 'Christmas Allusions' inhabiting the text. When I realised the opening scene was a motif of 'The Annunciation to the Shepherds' I could not have wished for a more merry Christmas.
The notorious Yuletide Slaughter of the Innocents by Herod rarely gets airtime in the kids' nativity play. But does in many a Shakespeare play - heavily cloaked of course. What scripture was being fulfilled by this biblical holocaust, we ask? Redolent of the Passover, perhaps symbolic of the price Satan has to pay for keeping all souls in bondage?
Shakespeare loves his secret Nativity scenes. Since Macbeth is the story of Christ from Satan's perspective, the Bard can gather all his dark materials in a riot of sacrilege. Now, with the iconic witches' cauldron symbolising the Grail chalice he conjures up the baby Jesus arising from the troubling bubbles. This time the twisted prophecies lure Macbeth (Satan) to his doom at the edge of the sword wielded by his nemesis Macduff (Christ).
The 'Virgin Birth' is seminal to the orthodox story of Christ. But why would Shakespeare take such pains to satirise it so often? Maybe because the orthodoxy misunderstands the mystical necessity of this miracle. What walks the earth now as 'humanity' has lost its humanity. According to Shakespeare's secret theology, in the beginning, Satan/the serpent violated the first soul (Adam-Eve) and gave birth to the monstrous hybrid Cain-Abel: in the image of Satan. Jesus had to undo the catastrophic mess made by Satan and rebirth humanity in the image of God. Christmas day 2022 years ago was the new beginning. We've now only got another 13 billion years to complete the Christ action. No great hurry.
Herewith the grand finale of our 12 days of Christmas Allusions. What has the play 12th Night got to do with the Epiphany? Seemingly nothing! But if you contemplate the opening reference to 'the food of love' long enough, it may take you on a journey to the Last Supper: where the body of Christ was placed symbolically in the vessel for food. This action was foreshadowed at the Epiphany when the body of Christ was placed literally in the manger (a vessel for food) and shown to the Shepherds and the Magi. The play itself makes a divine mockery of the orthodox account of the scripture - but once again serves as a vessel for Shakespeare to reveal the secrets of the Grail.
The paradox of success can so often be how the more of it you have the less happy you become. It's rare to give birth to a baby that is not a bundle of joy. But where is that joy in the adult? The very process of learning to talk, finding a sense of identity, fitting in to society, becoming normal, getting approval and validation, etc.,etc...is the very process that strangles the soul. By the time we realise that 'normal' means 'miserable' our job becomes more about un-learning, re-defining, questioning the authorities, challenging the status quo. Ironically, while the Bible, defies logic, reason and science; and supports religious tyranny it also contains the seeds of our personal freedom to experience original joy. What if who we really are is symbolised by 'Adam & Eve'? We were banished from paradise in the beginnings of time. We are banished from paradise in the beginning of life. Shakespeare defies the laws of heresy and shows us how to reclaim our life and our right to know love, joy, and happiness unbridled.
Given the all-pervasive influence of Christianity on the western world, I am intrigued by the answers I get to the question: Why did Jesus have to come? My main fascination with the answers is not at all the possible 'correctness' or not but the diversity of opinion. Everyone seems to have a different answer or unique nuance. In this bubble, based on. my forensic scrutiny of Shakespeare's works, I've come up with four possible suggestions for his mission on earth. But who am I to say? It's your answers I'm interested in. And your questions. Not for me to answer, but for us all to consider. Do let me know what you reckon.
Shakespeare cares. Shakespeare has devoted 37 plays to make the point that when the tree of life was cut off by Lucifer in the beginning it was a catastrophic event for mankind. It's a key element of the Grail secret. The tree of life is like an umbilical cord connecting us all with God. When it was cut off we were banished from knowing, feeling, and hearing the sound of the divine presence. At times, we all feel abandoned, grief-struck, out of control of our lives. We now have the power and the option to reconnect ourselves to the tree of life. However, as in the Grail legend, it is hard to find and protected by great obstacles. Even when we are told how, it is always hard to overcome the addictions and attachments that stand in our way. Thus few people know this pathway and have the readiness to take the first step.
My entire experience of Shakespeare was transformed when I perceived my first 'biblical motif'. This is the term I had to invent to describe how the Bard turns his 'heretical' reinterpretations of scripture into iconic plots and speeches. This wee bubble takes you to the very heart of Shakespeare's Grail secret.
In some way, Shakespeare's plays dramatise the rise and fall of Satan. Heretically, blasphemously, courageously, he is telling us not about the religious, moralistic, concept of the devil, but the shadow archetype within us all. To fully understand ourselves, we must fully understand our inner Satan: what drives us into despair and pain? In the beginning, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth represent the innocence of the soul. Rapidly they fall to the irresistible temptation of vaulting ambition. They murder their own soul. They cut off the tree of life within.
Of all Shakespeare's encryptions, the plethora of 'sound current allusions' scattered throughout his plays are probably the most crucial. To the sincere seeker of truth, the scantly-known-of sound current is probably the ultimate pinnacle of what matters. Symbolised as the tree of life in Genesis, and the Word in the gospels, the sound current is the very vibration of creation itself. It is the essence of who we are. It is the missing link in drinking the Grail and becoming free.
Human suffering and ignorance is fuel that gives power to the status quo. The worship of tradition and history keeps us trapped in the past. The truth may be constant, but our understanding of it is continually evolving. More than anything else, those in power fear truth. Tradition makes truth seem like lies, and lies seem like truth. We can challenge the status quo by making thought experiments that will transform our life. What if Shakespeare knew the absolute truth and encrypted it into all his plays? What if all his plays tell the forbidden story of the rise and fall of 'Satan' as an archetype of our consciousness?
What if the 'tree of life', planted in the beginning, is a symbol for the Word of God, also present in the beginning? Given the Word of God is aka the sound current, the sound of all creation, it means this could be the root of what the tree of life symbolises. It seems the ultimate mission of Jesus Christ was to restore the tree of life and all it symbolises. Could this ancient, coded wisdom also be the ultimate truth of the Holy Grail?
At its most abstract level, the Grail legend is a story about something lost, that is hard to find. Something of priceless value whose loss causes great misery and suffering. What could this be? Where could it be hiding? Sleeping? Waiting? A frog waiting for a kiss, perhaps? Something seemingly distasteful we need to do? A big risk we need to take?
Imagine life in 'the West' without the all-pervasive influence of Christianity. Some of which is wonderful, some of which is of doubtful value. Believing in it, or disbelieving in it are two sides of the same coin. I see the doctrine at the level of 'based on a true story'. I try to accept it as a 'work in progress' - very slow progress at that. I used to rail against it as does Tolstoy in this bubble. Are you interested in transcending the opposing narratives? Considering the deeper, unsullied teaching of the ancient masters?
What if forgiveness is not something we can do, or receive, but something we already are? Thus the way out of the rage and fury of being hurt, betrayed, violated, abused...is not about seeking justice, nor revenge, but the quest for awareness? In the Arthurian quest literature, the knights were asked: whom does the Grail serve? It's a mind-boggling question. Because the mind cannot know the answer. The Grail secret is about absolute absolution - something those in power fear more than anything else.
The ancient narrative would have us believe the 'original sin' was Adam's disobedience. But this cannot be so! Adam was given a choice - not a commandment. In any case, how can God give a commandment that can be disobeyed? Not only that, disobedience is not a sin. The original meaning of 'sin' is to cut off awareness of the God within. Shakespeare dramatises the original sin as a profound mystical violation of the soul by Lucifer that cut the whole of mankind off from the spiritual inner awareness of God. Shakespeare also dramatises the true impact of the Holy Grail in making soul-self-awareness possible again.
One of our most powerful, innate qualities as human beings is the ability to see familiar things in new ways. We can make 'thought experiments' that transform our lives. What if everything we need to know about who we are and why we're here is already known, already available to us? Instead of swallowing ancient, pre-digested dogma, let a master like Shakespeare show you how to find the truth and the blessings that already are right under our nose.
A radically new way of looking at Shakespeare's plays. Understanding the spiritual/mystical meaning of The Tempest will open your eyes to a profound spiritual teaching feared and forbidden by the Church for 2,000 years. His key characters can be seen as the core archetypes of our inner kingdom. The plays combine to tell the story of the evolution of our soul from creation, betrayal, deposing, liberation, and ascension to its rightful place at the centre of our consciousness. Applying the spiritual principles in your life becomes a practical way to know who you really are, why you're here, and how to fulfil your ultimate destiny.
As we read the text we must stay focussed on the underthought. The text is merely the vehicle for the hidden message. It may not be the whole story, but simply elements of something we already know at a deep level. This inner message is stirred by the elements acting as triggers for the unconscious mind and maybe even the soul itself. Trying to make complete sense of the inner story from the outer is an intentional distraction. The outer is intended to hide the inner from those who are not yet ready. It is the elements hidden in one play combined with those in the others that make the hidden, unconscious, whole conscious. Thus the outer Hamlet, say, may not seem to embody all the virtues of the Christ. By killing Claudius and Laertes it seems he does not forgive them in the way (our concept of) Christ might. But internally Claudius plays Serpent to Hamlet’s Christ. Hamlet’s outer slaying of Claudius, resonates inside us as the knowingness of The Christ’s vanquishing of Satan. This knowing dissolves as soon as we demand ‘sense’ from a mind-level. Shakespeare constantly challenges us to experience him from the soul level. By observing the elements without applying too much mind allows the deeper message already within us to float into awareness like a bubble.
Why do Shakespeare's plays seem as relevant and compelling now as they did in the 17th century? Because they hold up a mirror to a forgotten truth that sleeps within us. A truth he is awakening cell-by-cell as we bask in the delight of his verse and his divine love of humanity. King Lear is a fabulous fable telling us what happens when we deny the truth within us, banish our soul, and foolishly identify with our two false selves. Lear banishes his beloved Cordelia and places his trust in the lying, cheating, self-seeking, false selves who, with callous indifference, betray him and strip him of all his worldly goods. Only when he confronts the Truth, the 'tempest', the 'wind from heaven', the Word of God within, does he find his true self, forgiveness, and redemption. As long as we see Shakespeare as about the 'external' world of kings and traitors, we avoid the same truth within us as Lear found the hard way. Shakespeare is making it easier for us to find our true selves without the pain his characters suffered.
There is nothing new in the universe. New things are being discovered, but, like Tutankhamun's tomb, they've always been there under the surface. It's the same with Shakespeare (and the Bible). The story on the surface is simply the allegory (or parable) that is the vehicle and signpost leading to the deeper meaning - inside ourselves. You can entertain yourself with Shakespeare's stories. Or you can illuminate yourself with his hidden treasure. The latter diminishes the former not one jot. You can have both. All it takes is letting go of an assumption that is probably limiting you here - and in all areas of your life.
When I began to recognise the ancient spiritual teaching hidden in his plays I knew Shakespeare - acclaimed and timeless as he is - was desperately underrated. I felt a compulsion to set this to rights.
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