Literature and Theater > The
Mummery Book > Orphic Magic
Magic in The Mummery Book
LH has been a devotee of Adi Da for many years.
This article was written just before a performance of The
Mummery Book at the
Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in January, 2011.
describe the image-art (and the literary art) I make and do not only as "Transcendental
Realism" but as "Orphic Magic" — or the artistic (or aesthetic) process of egoless
(or ecstatic) participation in the human domain of perception.
Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental
This weekend, the First Room Theater Guild
will perform The Mummery Book, the first and principal part of The Orpheum
Trilogy. The performance will be accompanied by around two thousand images
from the Image-Art Suites by Adi Da Samraj, thereby creating the largest combination
to date of Adi Da's literary and artistic works. This performance, with its extended
scope of Adi Da’s Image-Art, has required substantial artistry to prepare and
will require equal or more artistry to perform. This combining of His Sacred Theater
and His Divine Image-Art accords well with the larger spiritual and artistic vision
of Orpheus that Adi Da Samraj would have us see.
The performance, by the
breadth of its visual and theatrical artistry, represents an additional dimension
to the Orpheus myth. Quite apart from the sorrow-filled myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
(seen in The Mummery Book's love story of Raymond and Quandra), there is
another more ancient aspect of Orpheus. The first trace of him appears in legend
at the end of the Bronze Age, in the 7th century BCE, the beginning of recorded
(or orally remembered) mythology. In the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Orpheus
descends to earth for love of Eurydice. But in the "Sacred Artist" version
of the myth of Orpheus, he descends to earth, bringing the arts from the Treasury
of Sacred Fires, in a sacrificial love for humankind. Prometheus, in the dark
cold time, brought fire to humankind, but Orpheus illumined the human heart with
the Sacred Fires of Divine Artistry.
ancient aspect of Orpheus resides the primal character of Orpheus in Greek mythology:
the Sacred Artist. Among the earliest metaphors of mythology, Orpheus appears
as the First Poet, the ancient narrator of the primal mysteries. The Narrator
is, therefore, the first and primary revelation of Orpheus in The Mummery Book.
first subject of the arts — literary, artistic and musical — has always been mythology
and, via mythology, the Sacred. In the Greek Pantheon (the interrelated family
of the Greek gods), Orpheus is the Sacred Child, the radiant son of Apollo (the
god of Sun and Prophecy) and the Muse Calliope (who lives midway between heaven
and earth, as the Inspiration of Song and Poetry).[2
By their perfect genealogy, Orpheus becomes the Divine Musical Artist who will
sing the world into order. When Orpheus sings, the sacred heart of beauty opens,
and the world around him grows enchanted, so that even the rocks and trees can
hear him and respond. It is this sense of art as magical creation that communicates
the Truth of "Reality Itself", and that is called “Orphic”. This Orphic concept
of art stands as the artist’s supreme paradigm.
vase painting: Orpheus playing music for the Thracians
5th century BCE - Altes
Museum - Berlin
the "Orpheum" theater
For more than twenty-five centuries, Orpheus has captured the
attention of artists like no other mythical Greek hero. Artists
see themselves in him. His image is the oldest, most enduring
icon of "the artist" in the West. For over twenty-five
centuries, he has gathered and joined all the arts under his name
and image as the "Patron Saint" of artists everywhere.
Theaters are named for Orpheus; his image is above their doors.
Poets honor him as the First Poet; they tell his myths to every
generation. Sculptors and painters have never ceased making images
of Orpheus. Opera , cinema and theater
, and ballet 
have extended him — heart-broken for love — into modern times.
is of immense significance that Adi Da Samraj turned to the theme of Orpheus and
Eurydice — first in 1969, when He wrote The Mummery Book, and then in 2007-2008,
when He created the Orpheus and Eurydice Suites.
Eurydice One: The Illusory Fall of the Bicycle
into The Sub-Atomic Parallel Worlds of Primary Color and Point of View Part Three:
The Abstract Narrative in Geome and Linnead (Second Stage) - L 4 (from Linnead
2007, 2009 - Lacquer on aluminum, 96 x 198 x 5 inches
Da creating the Image of Orpheus
Participation in this
combined performance of Bhagavan’s Mummery Book and Image-Art is "Orphic
Magic" — the ecstatic participation in the human domain of perception.
Orpheus be Emperor of all of art and culture's Lighted Happen in your briefest
time on here. Narcissus is the forever dead you should not want or imitate alive.
Behold the Right and Perfect Emperor of all true art and life — the Orphic Icon
that is heart itself — that makes the free and ancient culturing of virtue's humankind
in mortal time of Realest Light.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental