• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Alternate Perceptions Magazine, October 2021

Telling (Haggadah). Behold!

by: James Edward Carlos

Essay Section Three (of three divisions concerning Ezekiel):

“Behold, in the vision clouds invited me and a mist summoned me, and the course of the stars and lightnings sped and hastened me, and the wind in the vision caused me to fly and lifted me upward, and bore me into heaven. And I went in till I drew nigh to a wall which is built of crystals and surrounded by tongues of fire: and it began to affright me. And I went the tongues of fire and drew nigh to a large house which was built of crystals: and the walls of the house were like tessellated floor (made) of crystals, and its groundwork was of crystal. Its ceiling was like the path of the stars (clear as) water. A flaming fire surrounded the walls, and its portals blazed with fire. ... And I behold a vision, And lo! there was a second house, greater than the former, and the entire portal stood open before and it was built as flames of fire. And in every respect it so excelled in splendor and magnificence and extent that I cannot describe to you its splendor and its extent. And its floor was of fire, and above it were lightnings and the path of the stars and its ceiling also was flaming fire. ... And I looked and saw therein a lofty throne: its appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of cherubim. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire so that I could not look thereon.“ (pp. 24-25. Chapter 14. The Books of Enoch, Complete Edition. Paul C. Schnieders. Translator-R. H. Charles - 2012).

* “Line 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living features; and the fire was right, and out of the fire went forth lightning.” (p. 3. “The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel.” (The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments).

(Plus, from the same source, Ezekiel speaks on several occasions comparing the living hayyot to being cherubim as another such aspect of encountering an additional telling):

“Line 15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar. 16 And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside me. 17 When they stood these stood and when they are lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.” (Ibid. p. 742).

Part Three (of Four Divisions): - Behold! Encounter with Light – The Enigma of Reincarnation and the related Rituals of Liquid and Fire:

Earlier divisions have been published online in “Alternative Perceptions” edited by Brent Raynes.

In grasping the Prophet Ezekiel’s dilemma with his encounter with the light, the merkavah, and hayyot, and comparatively to a degree with Enoch’s transition into the angel, Metatron, we realize that the absolute sensational aspects of their encounters are deliberate maneuvers. Although such encountering is a tremendous variation from one’s regular life we discover that incarnations, from one lifetime to another, are the soul’s journey as patterns enact and re-enact those deliberations. When experiencing these on a personal basis you are given to sensations that are formidable, powerful, supernal, and from awe you utter as of the moment impressed within a trance state, like in the books of the prophets the human is to be awakened. If you are not already in such a trance, like an altered state of consciousness by whatever means, sleep being perhaps the most prominent, the hayyot may place you within a state by means of a “wand” with a light at one end. During demonstrations, i.e., lessons inside the merkavah although often elsewhere, the wand can lengthen or change form as to the hayyot’s capabilities using this tool. By this rod or scepter, certain stars might be depicted during encounter lessons regarding the cosmos. The object, too, of various uses and purposes, may be used to paralyze the encontrant for escorting purposes, e.g., moving to and from the merkavah.

Insinuated throughout The Zohar are constant shiftings of metaphors expressing their symbolic affectations as attributes, a means to expansion of the information to be further garnered and rendered. To exemplify these levels of meaning, attributes of functioning each to the next, I refer the reader to “Chapter Piqqudin” (The ten commandments of the Torah (in The Zohar - Volume 12). Therein is a change of one word for another expressing repetitiously thus two versions, subtle but in conjunction - one expressing observing the commandments; in comparison the second speaks of remembering the commands (Ibid., from a footnote #2 - p. 210): “Remember and Observe... This reference alludes to the Torah’s two versions of the Ten Commandments. The first version reads: (Zakhor), Remember, the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8). The second version reads (Shamor), Observe, the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Deuteronomy 5:12). According to rabbinic tradition, these two verses were spoken by God simultaneously).”

The significance of such metaphoric shifting in respecting the commandments lends significance from noting one to another, one term embracing another while distinguishing meanings. Ultimately, through metaphoric layers of diversity and complexity, a meaningful correlation is attributed affirming love as through male and female engendering – a totality, symbolically affirming the process as spiritual activity. Two as one, implied. (Ibid. p. 225). As prelude to this ultimate pendulum of activities and implications an example is offered of the incorporation of the artistic, representational, portrayals of cherubs depicted as winged infants and gathering their numbers together form the effect of a halo. Implying divinity, they form a surround of the blessed Holy One and other holy beings. Cherubs signify prayers offered from heaven and earth, each as a star implied, i.e., starlights that form a crown composed of lights (the prayers) to further form a halo of holiness that is the crown then placed through the administration of the angel Sandalfon as homage given to the Blessed Holy One, as Ezekiel denotes (Ibid. pp. 224 and 225). The major designation regarding such metaphoric changes is your own discovery and thereof manifesting your awe, the spiritual heightening that is awareness, and mystical by nature.

Angelic appearances are sometimes involved with shape-shifting in terms of countenance, but distance and time may be necessary adjuncts for more circumspection about the happening for affirmation within the current life’s spiritual context. Too, often, an angel may assume another configuration to heighten the physical sense of the affirmation and emotional resonance of the encounter then implying relationship being a connection to the premise. I note that as an assumption the human must experience as an actuality the drama at hand and its resonance/s. Yet while declaiming the processes of multiplicity in terms of imagery, a stress is placed on being past-tense via italics (in The Zohar) in addition to their repeating the word likeness as part of the encountering process which offers a present tense sense of observation and past tense declaration for Ezekiel (I darken symbolic gestures as I view them and thus noting the subtle shifting of expressions, as of Line 5): “...out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. ... 6 And everyone had four faces, and every one had four wings. ... 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. ... 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and the four had their faces and their wings. ... 9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went everyone straight forward. ... 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; the four also had the face of an eagle. ... 11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.” ... 12 And they went everyone straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. ... 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. .... 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. “(p. 734-735. “The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel” - Ezekiel Chapter 10. The Holy Bible containing the Old and New testaments, commonly known as the authorized (King James) Version) - Line 5, Chapter 1. Ibid.). (Note: To provide testament is telling (haggadah).

So many symbolic levels are therein attenuated by Ezekiel as an amalgamation cryptic to interpretations. In myriad readings involving the Kaballah mystical tradition of the merkavah we are faced with a proliferation of ideas and of names drawn from metaphoric semblance in addressing the encountering of the chariots: examples are ophanim (wheels), also referred to as galgalim inferring, in breadth, spheres, whirlwinds, thrones, palaces, kingdom, and the like. Through such utterance, the complexity develops. Because of human acceptance of notions of royalty as if inherited from a heavenly complexion, such words tend to legitimize religious idioms as sovereign. These lend at least temporal value to the hierarchical structure of the cosmos in Ezekiel’s time. The symbolic denotations change or grow or diminish over the centuries exemplified by the earlier ceiling of heaven being circular thereby with stars referencing the angelic seraphim via the fascinating serpentine symbol of the ouroboros as wholeness or holiness. The circular halos attribute light as if to be emanating from central figurations espoused as combined with diverse forms of androgynies (the double nature of images as the divinities are defined in the Egyptian kingdoms). Auras are appropriate to these beings being within the light and sharing the power of the light. Eternal beingness of light exudes power, magic, solemnity, and holiness, all consistently implied divinities.

Additionally, in this third section of my third Ezekiel essay, Telling (Aggadah), I draw reference to two rituals that take place on a merkavah (chariot) that are affirmative of earlier utterances of Ezekiel (born possibly 622 BCE - died c. 570 BCE), by the prophet Enoch (i.e., ALA Metatron) (questionably 3378 – 3013 BCE), and later in history with messianic inspirations as with Abraham Abulafia (1240-to after 1291 CE). Both Ezekiel’s and Enoch’s tellings are descriptive of the rite of fire, rendering fascinating details such as that these angelic beings frequently move as one especially as to their behavior in the supernal fire ritual, in unison as a group and deliberate in intention. This ritual implies a communion, a passionate community of compassionate action but a significant implication is reincarnation viably resurrection. That this hayyot regeneration aboard a merkavah includes humans is stunning. These hayyot, the smaller ones, however, have a job to do, and humans seem to be the focus of their mediation. They concentrate. I have referred to these beings, these forms of hayyot in earlier writings, as functionaries because of the group intentionality and resolution forbearing.

As observed, these smaller beings’ movements suggest swarms of insects and a hive mentality but an angelic coherence often depicted in early religious artworks as infants/cherubs with wings indicate a capability for flight. Consider herein bioluminescent beings in the air and land (e.g., fireflies, luminous click beetles and others) and beneath the water (e.g., deep-sea crystal jellyfish, ctenophora, dinoflagellates, and many others) who demonstrate the manifesting of light as an aspect of their embodiment. The merkavah are intimations of such lighting. The spirit of holiness via Cherubim grouping often is enacted as a metaphoric halo effect around other holy beings which confirms heightening an implication of divinity. When a group of hayyot are going straight forward as Ezekiel indicates and as I have witnessed during many close encounters they especially form as a unit motivated by mutual intent as when moving through a wall or a ceiling. The hayyot capability is steadfastly deliberate in terms of function, as spoken of as moving straight ahead subordinate to their investigatory enlightenment (as in Ezekiel-line 9 and repeated in line 12 (Ezekiel’s Chariot, Volume 12-The Zohar – Pritzker Edition, translated by Nathan Wolski and Joel Hecker).

From specific rituals encountered during one of my four visits to Iona Isle mountain summit (mainly, the western cliffs and shorelines), my first thought afterward was of electromagnetic resonances and interactions with forms of processes of gravity/antigravity and spiral orbiting effects of Creation as an ongoing interwoven process (which I explore more fully in another essay still evolving).

The following three personal events experienced are emblematic, symbolic of what I refer to as the code of existence (akin to a seal of truth as indicated in several instances in The Zohar). The code places emphasis on experience as universally, cosmically, phenomenal and on matters experiential therein accepted and acknowledged as truth – as embodiment at levels of discernment therefore phenomenological which in today’s mores such are scientific as to specific measuring - however, happening it happened. As I state elsewhere, I do not divide human existence or any other form of existence into physicality versus spirituality despite my using the terms with reference to how awareness enacts itself. Consciousness is the reality of such commingling and metaphoric conjoining thereby amplifying meaning.

I became aware of these two rites, one of fire and one of liquid, during three encounters based on Iona Isle during Easter weekend 1990 – the first beginning around Saturday 4 a.m. on a pier in harsh winter rain, and of the two rituals thereafter. I note the premise of this weekend is baptismal with this storm, and as an incarnational succession of having lived on Iona in another lifetime. On Easter Sunday, after attending mass with a concert (quartet of Glasgow musicians) and lunch alone, the liquid ritualistic immersion aboard a merkavah began at the western mountain summit on Sunday 1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m., and shortly thereafter and therein the same craft, the supernal fire ritual began around 5:30 p.m. at the Bay of Seals and extended into Monday until 3:00 a.m. (my estimation of time; during childhood wristwatches stopped when worn, and continued into my adult years). The initial Saturday encounter provided an acute awareness of historical incarnations and their connections through narrative imagery as relived from an earlier time on the site of the Isle of Iona, Scotland’s Inner Hebrides; each of the two additional encounters pertained to defined rituals intended to fully embrace the soul. The first ritual involved my being immersed in liquid akin to modern days’ religious various baptismal rites but more evocatively profound than the present religious more abstract symbolism while the third encounter concentrated on a rite of fire apprising situational concentrations on the idea of passion, sacrifice, and re-countenance all pertaining to matters of faith - the intent of both rites and the forbearing reincarnational actuation. The intention of all of this particular weekend was to instigate a renewal of spirit via this present incarnation, and to regeneration. Both symbolize revitalization as a form of resurrection. The gist of all three encounters was truly humbling.

As the sole human on the merkavah in the two such ritualistic experiences on Iona Isle that Easter Sunday, my initial experiencing was being floated downward from an upper area in the vessel. I was facing upward with body prone and horizontal while being lowered into a really large vat of liquid, that I ascertained as part water and part oil. During the descent I feared that I might drown but I was able to breathe freely and openly throughout and enabled me to speak with deep clear tones later during hypnosis and being recorded. Fully submerged I was bewildered at first about seeing differences in appearance of three species - “heads only” – as if they were all floating in a row. I resisted an easy reckoning. How can heads float as if detached? That’s not rational, nor logical. Pressing further for a clearer vision I realized these three species of beings were observing me through narrow, horizontal, long, windows in at least two places on the side of a large vat. From my vantage I saw only their heads, and soon then their necks, hair on one species, and shoulders.

This immersion is reminiscent of some modern rites of baptism in numerous religious observances. At a few points in the rite, an electrical current moved through the subtle waves toward me; the stinging vibration of these shocks lasted only a few moments with each such when touching my body. Electrical jolts are felt in your body as if to probe and energize the flesh throughout after observing a wave-like movement through this liquid during the immersion into the vat. I felt the entirety was a blessing. Regardless, today with some religions a small amount of room temperature liquid (water and holy oil) is poured onto an initiate’s brow (perhaps thereby more abstractly, symbolically engrained), while with practices of other faiths the body may be fully immerged (a total conversion implied thereby) thus feeling an abrupt change of room temperature as to body temperature.

At this moment in our current scientific discoveries, liquid light is confirmed, a condition I noted for several years after two cataract surgeries that revealed a rare retinal disease. At night ever since I have observed what I have called a “photon ocean,” a movement of all forms within my visage follows the subtle waves and crests in liquid air that comprises the atmosphere. The movement is subtle and three-dimensional that is filling the space of the room. However, if a brighter light (say car lights) momentarily enters the photon ocean, a frenzy occurs of the incoming light as if displacing molecules present while merging with the “ocean” of my description. All is fascinating. The researchers verifying this liquid light state that the light fluid is deemed as having no viscosity compared to a normal fluid. I remain curious about the agitation and subtle changes visually of my observation and wonder if these changes are observable to “the naked eyes” because night temperatures alter the process of perception (including the retinal disease of my personal condition). The researchers state: “The extraordinary observation in our work is that we have demonstrated that superfluidity can also occur at room-temperature, under ambient conditions, using light-matter particles called polaritons. (See the entirety of an article by Ines Urdaneta, November 8, 2018, Science News for detailed information. Daniele Sanvitto is the lead researcher – CNR NANOTEC Institute of Nanotechnology, Italy). Sanvitto conveys that “the superfluidity state can be thought of as a fifth state of matter” which alters the prior situation of states of matter as conceived.

Because the selected introductory quotes in this third essay-section dealt with fire in the succession of events I summarize the Iona Isle, Easter weekend, encounter lessons (1). reliving an incarnation, (2). conversion ritual via liquid, and (3). a renewal by fire as if to be born anew of ashes, akin to dust); my conclusion from hereon will deal with the ritual of fire (although defined more fully in another essay where I compare my own experience somewhat with that of Enoch). Despite the visual similarity between supernal flames and earth fire, the activity is herein distinctly spiritual in that the flames although seemingly consuming one’s physical composition the body does not deteriorate but reenergizes. Although admittedly confusing, the body is both consumed and intact; spirituality and corporality are amalgamated and compounded as part of the multiplicity we are to represent.

The variance is telling in that the flames in this ritual are regenerative, simultaneous in nature for both human and all hayyot aboard the merkavah. I was the sole human once again; I found this exercise akin to a solar-spiral homage as a geographical covenant of movement and meaning in the Creation process that offers the various extremities of light, including lightning. I refer to, hereof, the lines 13 and 14 in Ezekiel’s telling. These extremities of materiality take on symbolic, like/as, overtures, their descriptions falling within the period of time of each person exposed to such likenesses. I comment thereupon the notions that arise based on inferences, i.e., “likeness” inferring that so much is disposed symbolically in these teachings. We are so tasked.

To continue with Ezekiel’s description utilizing a likeness of “fire,” “wings,” too, invariably refer to a means for movement, life as breathing, and flight, inclusive of wings flashing in movement like the flames flashing on some merkavah flights-a symbol repeated various times herein. And in speed, these are lightning-like. Note that in one assertion in line 7 “And one cherub stretched forth his hand from beneath the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen” [i.e., Ezekiel speaking of himself in the third person as in mystical consciousness, relaying their sharing of the ritual] “who took it, and went out” and again in line “8 and there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.” As indicated a human hand is seen beneath one of the wings, suggesting perhaps that the wings might be a part of a mechanism inducing flight, perhaps an additional symbolic indication of how flight occurs. (Think momentarily of the myth of Icarus and his enthusiastic flight, and of the anxiety of the parent, artist, Daedalus and an example of the reality of myth). For my own experiencing, I witnessed hayyot and larger sized angelic seraphim as holy beings who “float” upward without any visible mechanism or equipment for flying, nor have I seen wings on humans or hayyot as spoken of by Ezekiel. That the same, otherwise, happened to me and to others whom I have met such references that are considered as symbolic as a means for grasping countenance and image variances in species’ physical differences and adopted mechanics. The depiction of wings suggests flying and involves various metaphors from different ages past; these are narrative-like versions of telepathic communication thoughts diversified while being elsewhere mythically absorbed.

I was seldom physically touched in terms of moving from one station to another but soared upward as if speed-floating alongside the beings who accompanied me while on these journeys. When moving through walls I was floated upward to be above a union of the cherubim-hayyot. With another human passenger on a merkavah I once observed this floating and the beings being closely knit with moving through exterior walls, too, watching another human once being transported. In this utterance by Ezekiel in his telling, however, he refers to himself, symbolically, in the third person on occasion (as the man in white linen, similar to passages in The Book of Enoch). Grammatical tenses are intertwined in encounter lessons that occur, at least partially because of the memories rising of lives lived prior to the current life, and seeing psychologically two states or more of self-awareness as if simultaneous. In some regard this is a simulation of out-of-body observation of one’s self. And sometimes the “outer” body is different in appearance, while yet mirroring you in your “regular” form. Such occurs by way of attributions echoing characteristics as in recitation of litanies in group-prayer. The list of attributes is as long as ideas, i.e., images as grounding, are appropriate and continue to be reciprocated.

Two words, thus, referencing imagery on several Ezekiel passages are appearance and likeness as indicated in this writing of a quadratic essay. That sense of likeness verifies an as/if kind of formulation on the side of appearance as a likeness of a man as akin to Adam implied by Ezekiel. These, as appearances, are conjoined at least symbolically with the presence of an eagle’s face, a lion’s countenance, and the face of an ox - all acting as a reference to the hayyot as given species delineation, and as former divinities; the encounter-actions deigned thereby to be the angelic presence as implicit nuances of designation – but each seeming likeness forbears a comprehension of what is fundamental, i.e., essential enough to designate a relationship through a unique comprehension and resemblance. Likeness as to the hayyot and other living beings implies both a common ground via similarities noted along with maintaining a concurrent essential difference between the human being and other beings in resemblance. Heaven and Earth resemble each other as through a Sefirot stream of connections between stages of being acknowledging mystical consciousness via apprehension.

Ezekiel’s observation that differences function nonetheless but are as semblance, not really as equivalence. Compiled inferences acknowledge forces observed or a range of abilities interfacing the likeness of a human (Ezekiel, himself in this case) (although hu implies, not man but a Godman* as frequently indicated by anthropomorphism in various religions) with human capabilities attributed to the four faces of the hayyot from which, in a manner of speaking, man derives as a reinforcement of divinity (everywhere). This hints at incarnations prior to the incarnation as a human being. These forces include strength, beauty, and far-seeing being in a theological-philosophical depth with Ezekiel’s reconfiguring – his awareness of angels as forces in his restating the confluence of a cherub to replace the image of a bull. *(Please note the above paraphrasing is from online: “Now let's get rid of the "e" in "hue" and look at the word "hu" which means "God" in Arabic. Let's combine the word "hu" and "man" and we have "human," which would mean "Godman." ... Because God gave humans this power of free will, to basically choose between good and evil. Jan 12, 2015, from: “Things That Make You Go Hmmm: The breakdown of the word “Human.” ... https: //www.andralemarie.com – Writers-Forum-Blog”) (Too, much is written on this subject in The Zohar).

If we look momentarily to the history of shamanism dating to the Mesozoic period of time where animals skulls are manipulated to act as god-masks, to honor the dynamic implications of brethren with their great range of contributions through their separate species capabilities. Encounters’ precursory appearance often highlight their occurrences by the hayyot appearing as animals in the environment.

To exemplify the symbolic animations of such factors, during my initial time when moving to Sewanee Mountain to assume a new position teaching, a white owl met my van as I was parking, landed in front of me while my vehicle lights were still on. The owl was startlingly dramatic in appearing, but although an initial appearance for me I realized that the owl was an omen of impending close encounters. This grasp was from deep in my psyche, but illustrated a method by which the hayyot offer information. Although the difference in time, then being during my first academic year 1969-1970, during the recent Covid-19 and Delta Variant, the owl image returned to me psychically to be part of a series of drawings I refer to as Species Testaments, the last issuance creatively of three other sets of drawings with un-erasable China Markers on 8’x4’ Luan Wood panels all being mythological portraits whether their occurrences herein imply past eras such as for the OLd Testament portraits emphasizing patriarchs of the New Testament portraits emphasizing apostles, but keeping the same mythic semblances are figures from the more recent era (that we are in) Freedom Testaments. However, the portraits continue with animals pertinent to the visual narratives given me in close encounters via other species. I depict below my version of the white owl omen from my younger years. I utilize the wood grain as part of the feathering of the owl’s body torso, head and wings.


Correlatively, I add herein that a film by the astute Tyler Stallings about my encounters and artwork, Stallings realized that my method of correlating the feathers and the grain of wood was of the adjacency of materials one might note when in encounters an individual is moved through walls of ceiling. And, his commentary illustrates on a most practical level for an artist the interiorization methodologically of both encounters and how that insight carries over into adjacent artworks such as these 48 drawings still being accomplished.

Similarly, on Iona Isle, Inner Hebrides, Scotland, a white walrus suddenly appeared to me beside a rock peninsula while I was singing Gregorian funereal chants during a storm, as my way of saying goodbye to the island and the sea. In other situations a coming forth were three stoic deer by the roadside appearing as a unit. This, too, is an omen brought as prior to an encounter that night.

A strange experience of this sort of dynamics occurred during a recent surgery involving my eyes and surrounding skin. I had local anesthesia, but I noted an attentive man stood behind the five women performing the surgical work (doctors and attendant nurses). From my perspective he seemed to have antennas on his head that I erroneously assumed had to do with the anesthesia somehow. Afterward, I realized when he came closer he had antlers rather than antennas; he moved forward to stand immediately to my side, hovered while bending over slightly to examine the surgery and gave me a thumbs up approval. I was so touched that someone was so reassuring moving me past my worry about the surgery and its aftermath. On a checkup in the doctor’s office a week or so after the surgery, I asked the women present who were all involved if one of them might give me his name and contact address because I wished to thank him for his support. They acclaimed no men were present during the surgery. When I described his countenance including the antlers (resembling antelope antlers) and clothing, they laughed, with one saying no such “likeness” or uniform was ever in the entire hospital. Later, on another checkup, another nurse said, “Can’t you just look upon your visitor as an angel, and not a human.” I did note, however, a few months later on a History Channel program of ancient astronauts such art imagery appeared, a human form with antlers – drawn and circled onto a cliff/cave surface, and another artwork as a metal relief. My study since reconciled antlers with virility as with the rutting of stags and vital masculine health as with the Celtic antlered god of the forest, Cernnunos. My curiosity continues.

Perhaps this, as in formation nourishes the human sense of godship as an anthropomorphic sovereignty, being a tendency that has been interjected as to leadership during so many eras in our history. But! Who leads and why? Who follows and why? Although this subject is also discussed in another essay of my own, the Sefirot triad of Keter (Itself, Crown of Light), Hokhmah (Himself, Wisdom), and Binah (Herself, Understanding) allows for examining the terms for ascertaining God utilizing consonants as foundational ((YHVH) (YHWH) (JHVH) – and realizing the definitive vowel as with the names - Jahvey, Jahweh, Jehovah, Wahvey, Yahve, Yahveh, Yahwe, and Yahweh). Such multiplicity ultimately references the continual development and process of Creation as inclusive of all forms of gender, all kinds of names, and with all physicality, all forms and all species everywhere and through all of the cosmos.

With the faces seen at Chebar by Ezekiel, we have again a compilation of beasts manifold to the human, functional as to their being as a co-existent but shifting to an overall appraisal of sovereignty accorded to man and human history. Yet such animal-godships had been indicated as art on cliff and cave walls in times prior to the tales of the Old Testament; the variations on the faces of the cherubim follow the ruling of those creatures indicated suggesting they had been in former times conserved as gods. Man is ordained similarly as functional thereof, as well – given by rule and given in some special cases to ruling. This assumes man’s place in a world in which he maneuvers and changes constantly (along with everything else). The animal-life so designated as pluralities is essential to human living presence, natural enough then to see their relationship in the inner quality of that connection as a sense of both presence as well as grasping the tribal kingship that was sovereign, at least ideationally, and the significant slide into symbolism which offers the aura of both presence and essence, and is emblematic in the sense of metaphoric postures of abstractions as in earlier writings of mine. Man and beast have been linked as androgynies frequently in history such as in early Nile Egyptian cultures, as divinities called neters.

The designation/s of geographic orientations is a description of a covenant between all on the earth, changing in every moment of the creation process within that immense circumstance of Creation as God, but carries an inference of the life lived in the changing moments, for human and other species, while in this case of Ezekiel’s observation sharing in all of the surround. For instance, an event of details in a visual narrative of one of my own close encounters was immensely symbolic in indicating the sun changing course (in this case a merkavah) with zigzagging backwards and downwards to a mountain plateau. The form of the merkavah-as-sun changed into a lion on reaching the plateau who, in that present sovereignty stood up on his hind-legs as if stretching while converting into a muscular man form, with long blond golden hair akin to a lion’s mane. This human-male-god combined semblance persisted as he moved forward toward me on yet another mountain crest was godlike, then definitively as a man-god but retaining a lion inclusion. With each step through large high grasses continually blowing away from him during his path down the mountain; the man-god then climbed upward on a second mountain. In the instance I was depicted in the encounter narrative as a rabbit (?rabbi?, possibly?), as prey for the lion, and throughout my tot age in this lifetime as a regular existence I drew rabbits standing upright over and over as my youthful grasp of the hayyot who visited and played with me. I note that the high long ears serve as antenna, perhaps an allusion to antlers in other mammals but a forerunner of symbolic imagery utilized in the close encounters (such as the Cernnunos appearance in my surgery during my late adult years). This, too, is typical of how symbolism works in close encounters – a symbolic narrative akin to the immediate culture that contributes to an eventual grasping of the levels of meaning involved. Each shift is absorptive at all levels of consciousness while remaining expansive in terms of demarcation at each symbolic level.

Regarding the fire ritual on the merkavah, we have the following from Ezekiel, lines 12, 14, 16 (Ibid.) seemingly referential and thus repeated herein: “12 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. ... 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of flash of lightning.” Herein, too, prior to the concentration in Ezekiel when shifting commences as to the wheels of fire (called ophanim and merkavah both; all circular structures are indicated as wheels), equally fascinating for Ezekiel, as the means of travel inclusive of movement thus and a motivating spirit (via the “spirit of the living creature (who) was in the wheels “described in 16).” ... The eyes, made so prominent in terms of the manifesting of many such hayyot, are the last vestiges when observing the ritual of fire that consumes all in the surround. The eyes staring at you in that last semblance are black like burning coals commensurate with the darting flurry of flames everywhere as the small beings leap and flash (like lightning movements) from their presumed stationary situations on the center crystal altar in the merkavah but at that point having become one with the dancing flames. In my case the eyes ahead of me (and face-to-face with me in that instance) were a brilliant blue color by which, nonetheless, I observed myself as one of the beings aflame, and by that transforming nuance such an encountering was given to me to see that from my present state the experience within the merkavah was an indication that I was to do more than observe the ritual. I was to “remember” this ritual instead of amnesiac forgetting occurring so often in the afterward, the information then carried in the human’s subconscious.

As to the sparks being, propitiously, life forms (as mentioned in the chapter “Ezekiel’s Chariot” in The Zohar, Volume 12) that are continually emanating from a body by exuding massive pulsations in all directions as do every constituent detail in all of our make-ups from our atom-like countenance at conception to becoming at birth one of the immediate community-born. This is an inheritance of the code of existence’s massive energy conduits intermingling at every level from our subatomic culture expansively rendered as to our shared visual forms as human-mammals. Therein as structural and evolutionary transcribing the genesis of the foundation is depicted in The Zohar, with the expression - The Seal of Truth --and the sensuous governance of the symbolically symbolized series of excursions. While retaining wholeness (holiness) as to distinct embodiments, that which is, is already forbearing. These electromagnetic impulses flash to all equally inter-enveloping while developing, each a frequency subject to change, each appropriate to all as with all - from impulse to pulsation affirming life. Such is a complex process of consciousness continuing to its depth in multi-dimensional directions in accordance with those four directions introduced to us via Ezekiel’s observation and acclamation. As with his forbearer Enoch, Ezekiel introduces our daily excursion into the province of the levels of light on our ongoing encountering experiences.

I conclude this essay by offering an example of the subtle maneuvers by which those of us experiencing encounters may amplify the experiences already engendered, including the illumination of characters in a theatrical presentation. The subtlety manifests in our subconscious until a need arises and we often take account of and use the “memories” in creative ways. For example, referring to pages within this essay, I offer an example of imagery based on my experience when director of a drama, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, within which retaining images from our encounter experiences are profound by manner of metaphor and symbolic undertaking. While teaching a Fine Arts course - Aesthetics for the Studio Artist, one of our classroom concentrations was to examine images in our personal lives, to take stock of the patterns if successive images appear frequently, of their possible, probable, origin in our living situations, and of images appearing in dreams or certain events, for instance. We were to examine implications thereof the images discovered in the Fine Arts students’ study as to meaning and how utilized in their own creative undertakings.

Another encounter-image transferred here in conclusion to this essay involves the death and funeral of Ophelia, with the main characters involved as present during the entire scene, especially Hamlet on his return to the Danish empire. Passing the gravesite on his way through the audience who were seated outdoors on two raised tiers, to the stage that held a covered back stone hallway just past an outer patio area. This patio space served as our outdoor stage thereof side stairs leading between the ground in front of the audience and a series of open stone arches separating that hallway from the open patio, all located below a balcony with parapet of the same stone. Above, thereby, was a rampart across the width of the entire Garth located between two wings of the buildings within which the performance took place. I.e., the entire frontal hallway and patio view for the audience was the regular access between buildings becoming the rampart where herein the drama Hamlet first saw the ghost of his deceased (murdered) father, the king in the beginning of the drama. (A related early image in my personal encountering was my being at age 16 viewing my own deceased father in a county morgue, with my sister Bernadette and mother Jo, there with me to identify Dad’s body). (I italicize the encounter imagery as related).

Hamlet, in keeping with a stylized interior lighting, carried with him a lantern. (The lighting for the scene was an eerie supernatural green for the entirety akin to the blue encounter merkavah light appearing in some encounters). Located in each of the arches was a significant character of the drama, each being directed to stage an in-arch slow-motion dance individually actor-created to reference their specific character. Hamlet rushes with his lantern (simulating firefly flashing lighting as of the merkavah when appearing, thus accentuated by some encounter-beings as insect-like and sized accordingly), rushing from arch to arch by which Hamlet enters into each of the slow dances momentarily. The “greenish” light of the lantern flitting frantically about from his movements as he approached each arch and encountered each other personage. The next to last character he encountered was a non-responsive Ophelia whose movements were very, very slow, in accordance with her recent death. From Ophelia, Hamlet enters the arch of her brother, Laertes with whom he had early in the drama engaged in an entanglement (swordplay fighting) on the same Garth patio and porch of Romanesque stone arches; dramatic lighting on this battle created large shadows flitting about the walls and Garth space, accentuating the drama (akin, too, to a trip I made to Fief, Alabama, during one of Fief’s sieges of cattle mutilation, and an encounter that night after driving home and once reaching my Sewanee home. In the encounter imagery the lighting was extremely dramatic as beings in white uniform rushed between the craft and the bright lighting source, causing flashing between darkness and reflective light). In this final funeral scene Hamlet and Laertes fought a mock duel in slow dance motions within Laertes’ archway site next to Ophelia’s. (When accompanied by my wife during an actual encounter Sarah had remained still as if lost in an altered state while I was animated in conversation with one of the larger hayyot; this encounter took place in another state, Kentucky, in the crossroads located between four fields, in the middle of the night after having flat tires).

Meanwhile at the balcony level the silent but formidable ghost of Hamlet, Sr. stood in a Garth side wall’s large arched window inside an adjacent hall quietly lit and not overtly referencing the audience (the ghost and window stationed to their side while seated on raked seating outdoors) but nonetheless the ghost was present (for audience discovery perhaps), an image reconfiguring the orientation of the entire drama from its beginning with the former king’s death. (Every instance of this scene with my directing was based on imagery stemming from the ritual scenes experienced in close encounters of mine, unconsciously at the time until staged, thereby then returning to my conscious awareness). Instead of the actors orally presenting their lines in the funeral scene, a tape recorder resounded in duplicate and sometimes triplicate throughout the Garth in which the action took place. Additional voices thereof were from other cast members unseen entirely who whispered the lines with various tonal ranges, not otherwise spoken, while additionally as musical sounds (of the Dies Irae Gregorian funeral chants, like mist, vaporizing and disappearing as uttered, akin to the Iona Isle experience earlier in my life. Every instance of the final scene of the drama was indicative of the imagery I had carried in my subconscious until the actual realization was brought forth unconsciously as to interpretation of the drama. The levels of metaphors thus depicted were stirrings of hidden memories, coming forth as needed for the drama, advancing the meanings of encounter aspects. Thus images appear and manifest levels of their meaning in our day-to-day lives as aftermath).

In another of my own scripted dramas, Flesh and Blood, about a vampire revolution and takeover of the world. Following the premise in the first four scenes influenced by Bram Stoker’s 1981 novel and 1983 film as to characterization. (I note that author of a biographical book, “Communion,” Whitley Strieber, created a vampire novel, “The Hunger,” influential to Francis Ford Coppula for the 1992 film ”Bram Stoker’s Dracula”). (Other personages in my drama were from another of my close encounters were simulations of “elders” during an early encounter that included Chicago area’s Mary Kerfoot, all of whom stood in a circle around the two of us beneath them on the floor of the merkavah. These beings were vulture-like with wrinkled faces, tall and all were in black robes). This image came forth for my drama with a narrative proposal that for vampires to ever die, they must be cannibalized by other vampires. In actuality, however, my seeing a road-kill deer in a field next to the road the deer carcass was surrounded by vultures eating (thereof reminding me of that early encounter, roadside, in my youth), the levels of influence coming forth in my staging of my own drama, Flesh and Blood. We are haunted by the mythic reality such images symbolize. *

(The major stimulus for this essay, however, is...):

“The creature accompanies his return to ‘the energy light place.
It took me back to where I had come from—before I came into my body,
before I became a body which was light, an energy light place.’
‘The creature itself,’ he (Carlos) said, ‘is only a form of light, emerging from out of the light’.
Although geographic in one sense, the experience of the light was also ‘out of space. It was not space/time.’ I (John Mack) asked him where his consciousness was located in the experience.
‘I was consciousness; the experience was consciousness, a pure soul experience.
Soul is the endlessness of it,’ he said.
‘The essence of the experience is of an energy which is pre-form.’”

(This quote is from the chapter, “Being of Light” in Pulitzer Prize Winner - John E. Mack’s book, Abduction-Human Encounters with Aliens; the chapter title was Mack’s own, as with the title of the book this particular chapter was coauthored with and edited by James Edward Carlos, author of this essay. written in 2020, final editing in 2021. I note that in 2021 a film released by Tyler Stallings available for Art Film Festival showings is similarly titled Carlos – Being of Light.

From a series originally titled - Metaphoric Postures of Abstractions - (Notes from The Margins of The Ancestors) referencing the eventual final title of the manuscript Being In The Light. These separate titles above refer to the history of my writing on the subject of the encounters with light via Ezekiel utilized the eventual series of four chapter entitled via a relationship to “Tellings – Haggadah.”.

Dedicated to our beloved daughter, Malia Elizabeth Carlos, on her birthday, September 8, 2021, and her older brothers, Aaron Edward Carlos and Adam William Carlos, and my wife Sarah’s and my grandchildren – Simon, Miriam, Camila – Sophia, Ava, Sean – Clementine, Campbell.

James Edward Carlos

Sewanee, Tennessee

Saturday, April 20, 2024