Friday, July 31, 2009

John Dee & Edward Kelley & the Spirit World: Pt 13

Remember also that each "seeing" is colored by our own perceptions. Also keep in mind that no matter how powerful an experience may be, it is never a good idea to believe in it totally. These "seeings" are only a representation of the truth. They are very likely to be culturally conditioned. Just one example is that Dee's archangels all had the conventional Christian names and they spoke remarkably correct English! Was Dee totally deluded during his association with Kelley? The mass of public opinion then and now claim he was. However, no one interested in the esoteric and the occult is likely to say that there is not great value in his work. John Dee did make several serious mistakes. The most outstanding and amazing mistake he made was in asking the angels and the spirits all kinds of mundane and even stupid questions. He did this even though he claimed to be on a great quest for esoteric truth and knowledge! These questions he could not seem to resist asking were often about money, politics, and personal business. One almost wonders that an angel wouldn't be offended by some of these! Here are some examples: "Is the Queen of England alive or dead?" "[Does her majesty...cause my rents to be received...?" "As concerning Adrian Gilbert, what pleaseth you to say of him, and his intended voyage...I beseech you, how shall his provision of money from home serve his turn...?"

"You ask childish questions," replies Madimi peevishly. Of a journey: "Whom shall I have in my company beside John Pontoys?" Then there is this one, "As concerning the bereaving me of my own goods, I would gladly understand who hath my silver double gilt bell-salt, and other things here of late conveyed from me." We have to hope Kelley wasn't joking when he asked: "Will you Madimi: lend me a hundred pounds for a fortnight?" Dee appears to have confused the goals and aims of scrying with those of divination. Divination seeks to gain information with various methods and within certain limits. Scrying is an attempt-again using various methods to achieve access to different worlds or inner planes. Scrying makes no attempt, however, to limit what is found in these explorations-it is much less bounded than Divination. Kelley does seem to have had genuine clairvoyance and very accurately reported what would shortly happen. From a spirit communication: "As for thy books, thou mayst go look at them at leisure. It may be, that thy house may be burnt for a remembrance of thee too." This took place before any news of the buring of Dee's house at Mortlake occurred. However, there are examples of false prophecy and simply examples of exotic imagination. Here is a fascinating prophecy of a turn in history that Britain definitely did not take:

"After the death of our dear Queen, one of the house of Austria made mighty by the King of Spain his death, should invade and conquer the land...He said, one (now abroad) should at Milford Haven enter, and by the help of the Britons subdue the said conqueror. And that one Morgan a Briton should be made King of the Britons, and next him, one Rowland etc." I think much of what has been said here about Dee and his workings with Kelley could also go into the Trickster phenomena more-perhaps a subject for a future article. And with the example just stated about history I think a few things (maybe a future article also) could be said about parallel timelines and the like. For now I will just wonder-and this only as a question-NOT a theory-was Kelley in the British history that didn't happen seeing a turn of history in an alternate universe?-or maybe a mixture of hisories even? Perhaps this one was even an example of the Cosmic Joker showing up with false information? Here is an example of lurid imagination in an unpleasant fantasy about Jane Dee: They take up your wife, her head waggleth this way and that way...Your wife is dead, all her face is battered. The right side of her face, her teeth and all is battered.

Perhaps the most dangerous of Dee's habits was to believe everything that the "good" angels told him. The ultimate outcome of this led to the infamous "wife-swapping" event, where Kelley said that he and Dee were commanded by the angel Uriel to use their wives in common. Symbolically, one could see that this episode resonated with alchemy. The four elements (represented by the four people involved) are to be brought together in order to fertilize and inspire the Great Work. In 'real-life', however, this made Jane Dee and Kelley's wife very depressed. John Dee himself, had a great deal of anguish about this also: Hereupon we were in great amazement and grief of mind, that so hard unpure a doctrine was propounded and enjoined unto us of them, when I always...did judge and esteem undoubtedly, to be good angels: And unto E.K. offered my soul as a pawn. Like Abraham, though, Dee appears to have convinced himself to be ready to obey the Lord's command: I said...'Jane, I see that there is no other remedy, but as hath been said of our cross-matching, so it must needs be done.' Thereupon she fell a weeping and trembling for a quarter of an hour. Jane was much younger than Dee, only 32 at the time, and could easily have fallen prey to Kelley's lust if he had made up the whole affair.

The final twist in this episode was an "edict" from "God" that if any of them spoke out about the matter they would be instantly struck dead! Other questionable events and practices include Dee's compliance in using his young son Arthur as a medium and his willingness to burn his precious writings in a furnace, from whence they would be magically restored to him. Here, unless you believe a miracle to have occurred, it is hard to escape the suspicion that with these events and the wife-swapping Kelley was perpetrating deceit and fraud upon a gullible Dee. It is also quite possible that Kelley himself couldn't tell reality from fantasy any longer and that he could deliberately cause such episodes (others included miraculous appearances of magical paraphernalia) while still believing in their reality himself. Dee had pushed Kelley so hard in his quest for angel magic that it is more than possible a great deal of blame for the further disintegration of Kelley's personality lies with Dee himself. Finally, Dee made the mistake of ignoring the many warnings he was given many times by the angels and spirits. This was very strange, because in warning after warning, they warned Dee that he was falling into a trap and waas prey to illusion. Interestingly, we can wonder: if Kelley was a disreputable, raving con-man and lunatic as so many suggest, then where were these very sensible and timely warnings coming from? Likewise if all the seeings and visions were true, then why did the angels need to warn Dee?

We are getting close to the end here. I don't know for sure-but maybe just one more article. It should be here early in August I hope. I am going to do a poem for tomorrow's post and then look up any other information for Dee I might need. I will probably be offline Sunday but maybe can have final article on Dee here Monday or Tuesday. I have a lot of different things I am working on now as time allows that I hope people will enjoy. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate your kind, thoughtful and intelligent comments! The information for the last four articles, including this one, is 99 percent information from an article Cherry Gilchrist did for Gnosis magazine for the summer 1995 issue called Dr. Dee and the Spirits. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by! The images-I forgot! The first one is a painting of Dr. John Dee-I will try to find out the artist. The next is a composite of pics of Danny Nunez from stevo at HMAS (sorry stevo-I stole again!) and the third is Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys who I think is cute. I hope I don't find out he is a jerk haha:)


X. Dell said...

The burning of his writings, the lack of control in suggesting wife swapping etc. strengthens my suspicion that Kelley wasn't completely well.

Nevertheless, that's not to say Dee himself suffered any mental illness, even if he bought into (at least to some extent) Kelley's madness.

Of course, one thing that puts a damper on my psychopathology theory is that I don't seem to find any writings that consider the possibility of poor mental health in relation to Kelley's actions.

Alex Robinson said...

Hi Devin
Thanks again for all your hard work!
I guess when you're on the outside looking in, it seems obvious that Dee 'should' have asked better questions & been more cautious, but then he was in a seemingly amazing position & he didn't have any precedents to work from, plus I guess it would be very difficult not to try & improve his life from apparent superknowing beings. Yet the info they gave reminds me that humans don't appear to have ever received information that 'worked'. I must admit I don't trust outside info anymore, give me the questions & ideas of a passionate human any day.

I hope you have have a fab day my friend followed by a night of drowsy neighbours :)

Devin said...

Excellent thoughts as always Xdell!! I also agree with your analysis about Kelley in anothr comment I hope to get to soon-thanks again so much for dropping by-I am so glad that the people who have shown interest in this series have stuck around through it-best to you as always!!

Alex I so appreciate your observations here also!! It does seem that Dee should have been much much more cautious in his dealings-especially with Kelley concerned -I do think that the precedents he had to work from were quite limited-he was in completely new land -"Terra Incognita" I guess:) thanks so much for your interest during this series -and sorry if I sound a bit down-something happened to a friend in blogland that I am upset over -although the person it happened to sounded all right I guess -I am sorry this matter happened to them! Not trying to be mysterious-just dont want to say exactly what it was on my blog as I don't have my friends ok to do so-and probably wouldnt anyway-unless the person involved wanted me to say something-best to you as always my friend and hope both you and Xdell are having a wonderful weekend!! Please send rain -haha i am about to do a Navajo rain dance-and believe me no one wants to see that-maybe if i threaten to do it in my underwear the skies will open:)