The Clew of the Horse

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Title 4, Chapter 1 THE CLEW OF THE HORSE

1. Earth moves, but heaven is still. The rim revolves, but the centre remains without motion. 2. Yet from the still point all movement comes; and earth is the shadow of heaven. 3. Space extends without limit, neither is there any boundary to the worlds, but the point is without extension; yet from the point alone all space proceeds. 4. All manifest things are bound to the three times: of that which is, which was, which is to come. But the moment is without time. It neither is, nor was, nor ever will be. 5. Yet the moment is seed and germ of time; the timeless spring wherein time’s mighty river has its rise. 6. The point, the moment and the timeless centre; these three are one and the one is the Spirit.

7. Each manifest thing has a cause, and each cause has a cause before it, but the first cause has no cause before Her, and She is the Spirit. 8. She that does not act is the cause of all action. She that is not is the cause of all being. She that is still is the centre and source of all movement. 9. At the rim is the movement greatest; close to the centre is it least. 10. Where there is no movement there is purity.

11. The spirit in maid loves purity, yet her mind distracts her. The mind craves peace, yet it is made mad by the poisons. 12. The poisons are three, and the first of the three is named folly. 13. Folly is that forgetfulness that stands between maid and the truth, like to a hoodwink that darkens her eyes. 14. And even when her mind seizes the truth, her stomach is beglamoured by the veil of illusion. 15. Desire and hatred are the other two: that which pursues and grasps the way of pleasure; and that which avoids and shuns the way of pain. 16. These two must keep the wheel forever turning; the two blind oxen that drive it ever round.

17. Yet what can come of this but pain and sorrow? Whatever moves can never come to rest. 18. All things, once gained, must pass into the darkness; all things, once built, must crumble into dust. 19. Sickness, old age and death must come to all maids; what thing within this life should you pursue? 20. Their fairest hopes undone bring desolation, or else, fulfilled, shall vanish in a day.

21. Life is a passing dream of all its treasures, there is nothing among them that shall endure. 22. Restrain your soul from chasing bright illusions. Let her return to purity again. 23. Thus shall she come once more to the still centre, thus shall she stay upon her Mother’s breast. 24. Chasten your soul with shame and make her humble; thus shall she come to peace and sweet repose.

25. When she has ceased from all movement, then she and the centre are one. 26. In the lucid darkness, in the indrawn breath, from whence all comes, whereto all must return, there lie two, the one and the many. 27. The first is called by the name of wisdom, the second by the name of folly. 28. And still beyond these two is She who governs them both, like to a maid that breathes both in and out. 29. She rules both the rivers and the wellsprings, the wellsprings and the mighty sea. 30. When the word was spoken and the worlds were born, She did observe in silence. 31. Her webs She wove out, both longwise and crosswise, She spread them to cover every corner of the field. 32. These She will draw together when their time is come.

33. All the holy teachers are Her servants; the craftmaids are created by Her craft. She governs all, and all She will ingather when the worlds are rolled up like a parchment scroll. 34. And even as the splendid sun, singing aloud in her brightness, shines unto the heights and to the depths and all the four directions, so She governs all that have come to birth. 35. She that unfolds all things like to a rose from the seed of Her being; She that nurtures each thing that has fullness in it to its fullness; She who scatters the colours, it is She who governs the world. 36. But she who takes the colours upon her, who works the soil and also eats the grain. She partakes of the fruits of her working. 37. She assumes all shapes, in every form and likeness; for She is of three strains commingled. 38. Three paths She follows, and Her road winds according to Her works. 39. Like to the size of a maiden’s thumb She is, and radiant as the sun, when thought and will have harbour in Her bosom. 40. But when knowing and being are all of Her workings, then She is like to another, no greater than the point of a needle.

41. Think that She is but a part of the hundredth part of hair’s tip, divided one hundred times. Yet She is like to all the manifest world. 42. She has no form, no colour, no scent nor any savour; yet all things that She enters, She becomes. 43. According to the acts that She performs, and the choices wherewith they are directed; 44. by these She takes on unnumbered shapes, and numberless conditions She enters. 45. She who has no beginning or any end; She who stood in the heart of chaos and made all things harmonious, She who bears the worlds within Her hand; a maid who knows Her is truly free. 46. She that is the maker of being and of unbeing; She that is all that is and all that is not; a maid who knows Her in truth has left all worlds; in truth, she has left the body and the mind.

47. You are not your body, nor is your body any portion of you. 48. It is an estate which you hold for a time, and after a time it shall pass from you. 49. Therefore, have governance of your body. Do not let it be your ruler in any way. 50. Keep it in purity as a temple built of earth and a place of devotion.

51. You are not your mind, nor is your mind any portion of you. 52. It is an estate which you hold for a time, and after a time it shall pass from you. 53. For longer than the body you shall hold it; and when the body passes into dust, still it shall be with you. 54. Yet in its turn it shall pass away, in its appointed season. 55. But you shall never pass away; when all the worlds are dust you shall endure. 56. Therefore, have governance of your mind. Do not let it be your ruler in any way. 57. Keep it in purity as a temple built of air and a place of devotion.

58. Hard to govern is the mind, like to a proud horse that drinks the wind, filled with its own desires. 59. Gladly it would draw the rein from your hand and carry you where it will; gladly it would take the body for its mistress, 60. like a bird that hops from twig to twig, turning first to one fruit, then to another, without control or constancy. 61. Yet calm the mind and bring it to the garden of your Lady; to the peaceful garden to rest by gentle streams. 62. By long training it is brought to contemplation; it is bridled that it may tread the heavens. 63. Let it be in harmony in all things. In the smallest actions, let its steps be measured. 64. Let the body obey her in her harmony, that all works show forth control, respect and courtesy. 65. As in a dance, the two shall act together, as in a dance where each knows her part. 66. If your horse runs loose on the highway, how shall you learn to ride among the stars?