To Be or Not To Be: Hamlet and the Chakras

Muses open doors in unexpected places, without trying, or even being aware.

My most recent muse, codename:FLORIDA, texted me the other night to suggest the problem I am having is that my third chakra isn’t opened. I think she’s right, and told her so; but beyond feeling a strange combination of uncomfortably exposed and grateful for being seen, it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.

Today, though, I was struck by the idea that a closed third chakra is like a dagger pointed into oneself, which brought the image of Hamlet instantly to mind. A closed third chakra is trapped in asking the question: to be or not to be? A closed third chakra faces the complete horror of the world and cannot say yes. A closed third chakra is Arjuna, collapsed in the chariot at the prospects of destruction before him. At least my closed third chakra is.

FLORIDA, on the other hand, looks out on the Apocalypse and finds it perfectly promising. Granted, she is profoundly conflicted in this optimism. Conflicted in such a way that I suspect her likely to join a cult, in search of a resolution. But her third chakra works what we might call crazy good. She is bold.

And obviously, I’d like to borrow some of that boldness, for my own unaccomplished ends.

Hence the singular salience of our initial brush with complete honesty, and her judgment that I should probably just give up on the significant dreams I haven’t yet realized. To which I responded that she was too internally conflicted to really be a good judge of that. Things have softened since then in our exchanges, but I feel that exchange was most real.

It’s no coincidence that it was after that moment that I started to write her songs.

I am struck just now by the central theme in Hamlet, which is taken up (consciously or not) within one of Robert Graves’ lesser-known works, titled KING JESUS.

Sad to say, poor student that I am, I’ve only gotten through the first chapter of KING JESUS, even though Robert Graves is one of my first and most favorite authors. Still, I learned in this chapter something I’ve only now just understood.

Though I’ve long felt certain that Hamlet and Jesus were manifestations of the same archetype, I’ve always been foggy on exactly how. KING JESUS proposes one framework for understanding the link, and the first chapter spells it out, in a way I’ve only just understood.

In this chapter, the High Priest of the Temple of YHVH in Jerusalem either learns or reveals to readers that the true identity of this God is the Egyptian Set. In short, the Devil. I don’t remember how exactly the chapter unfolds, but only that this is what we learn: the Entity worshipped as the Divine King was really the Bestial Devil this King is supposed to have conquered.

And this premise is the same as HAMLET’s. The first chapter of KING JESUS is analogous, in setting the stage, to the first scene in HAMLET, where we see the Ghost, and by this come to know that there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Horatio himself tells us exactly the what the appearance of the Ghost most likely means, by example of what such appearances meant back during the height of Rome – as augurs of the coming death of Julius Caesar.

The death of Caesar is particularly instructive, as he might be viewed as being killed either to protect the government of Rome – which was founded on the expulsion of a king – or else being killed by usurpers of his divinely granted and human achieved authority. The Roman Civil War was fought between these two schools of interpretation.

If we take the government of Rome as a metaphor of the individual psyche (which it traditionally, if esoterically, was), then both the story of Julius Caesar and of Hamlet become metaphors of the way we tend toward the deification of our own selves, and through this, end up in a war with existence in defense of our ideological delusions. Elsinore is the Roman Senate is the human heart/mind.

The problem with confronting ideological delusions is that for whatever these delusions get wrong, however maladaptive they are, they are performing a deeper function of keeping existential anxiety at bay.

In short, all practical ends, all external problems, are secondary to the true purpose of ideology, which is psychological comfort. What’s worse, as all practical approaches must prove ultimately insufficient in the face of an effectively infinite cosmos relative to which we are profoundly mortal, all tend toward becoming ideological.

There is, in other words, always a problem we can’t solve; so the satisfaction we take in those problems we can solve will creep up on us in a narcotic way, encouraging us to imagine we understand what we don’t. Any solution, as it meets its point of failure, will tend to be regarded as a God – even if we banish “God” from our lexicon.

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