THE WAKE WORLD
Explicit Capitulum Primum
vel De Collegio Externo.
I was telling you how we started from the Green Palace. There are three passages that lead to the Treasure House of Gold, and all of them are very dreadful. One is called Terror by Night, and another the Arrow by Day, and the third has a name that people are afraid to hear, so I won't say.
But in the first we came to a mighty throne of gray granite, shaped like the sweetest pussy cat you ever saw, and set up on a desolate heath. It was midnight, and the Devil came down and sat in the midst; but my Fairy Prince whispered: "Hush! It is a great secret, but his name is Yeheswah, and he is the Saviour of the World." And that was very funny, because the girl next me thought it was Jesus Christ, till another Fairy Prince (my Prince's brother) whispered as he kissed her: "Hush, tell nobody ever, that is Satan, and he is the Saviour of the World."
We were a very great company, and I can't tell you of all the strange things we did and said, or of the song we sang as we danced face outwards in a great circle ever closing in on the Devil on the throne. But whenever I saw a toad or a bat, or some horrid insect, my Fairy Prince always whispered: "It is the Saviour of the World," and I saw that it was so. We did all the most beautiful wicked things you can imagine, and yet all the time knew they were good and right, and must be done if ever we were to get to the House of Gold. So we enjoyed ourselves very much and ate the most extraordinary supper you can think of. There were babies roasted whole and stuffed with pork sausages and olives; and some of the girls cut off chops and steaks from their own bodies, and gave them to a beautiful white cook at a silver grill, that was lighted with the gas of dead bodies and marshes; and he cooked them splendidly, and we all enjoyed it immensely. Then there was a tame goat with a gold collar, that went about laughing with everyone; and he was all shaved in patches like a poodle. We kissed him and petted him, and it was lovely. You must remember that I never let go of my Fairy Prince for a single instant, or of course I should have been turned into a horrid black toad.
Then there was another passage called the Arrow by Day, and there was a most lovely lady all shining with the sun, and moon, and stars, who was lighting a great bowl of water with one hand, by dropping dew on it out of a cup, and with the other she was putting out a terrible fire with a torch. She had a red lion and a white eagle, that she had always had ever since she was a little girl. She had found them in a nasty pit full of all kinds of nasty filth, and they were very savage; but by always treating them kindly they had grown up faithful and good. This should be a lesson to all of us never to be unkind to our pets.
My Fairy Prince was laughing all the time in the third path. There was nobody there but an old gentleman who had put on his bones outside, and was trying ever so hard to cut down the grass with a scythe. But the faster he cut it the faster it grew. My Fairy Prince said: "Everybody that ever was has come along this path, and yet only one ever got to the end of it." But I saw a lot of people walking straight through as if they knew it quite well; he explained, though, that they were really only one; and if you walked through that proved it. I thought that was silly, but he's much older and wiser than I am; so I said nothing. The truth is that it is a very hard
Palace to talk about, and the further you get in, the harder it is to say what you mean because it all has to be put into dream talk, as of course the language of the wake-world is silence.
So never mind! Let me go on. We came by and by to the Sixth House. I forgot to say that all those three paths were really one, because they all meant that things were different inside to outside, and so people couldn't judge. It was fearfully interesting; but mind you don't go in those passages without the Fairy Prince. And of course there's the Veil. I don't think I'd better tell you about the Veil. I'll only put your mouth to my head, and your hand - there, that'll tell any body who knows that I've really been there, and that it's all true that I'm telling you.
This Sixth House is called the Treasure House of Gold; it's a most mysterious place as ever you were in. First there's a tiny, tiny, tiny doorway, you must crawl through on your hands and knees; and even then I scraped ever such a lot of skin off my back; then you have to be nailed on a red board with four arms, with a great gold circle in the middle, and that hurts you dreadfully. Then they make you swear the most solemn things you ever heard of, how you would be faithful to the Fairy Prince, and live for nothing but to know him better and better. So the nails stopped hurting, because, of course, I saw that I was really being married, and this was part of it, and I was as glad as glad; and at that moment my Fairy Prince put his hand on my head, and I tell you, honour bright, it was more wakeup than ever before, even than when he used to kiss me. After that they said I could go into the Bride-chamber, but it was only the most curious room that ever was with seven sides. There was a dreadful red dragon on the floor, and all the sides were painted every colour you can think of, with curious figures and pictures. The light was not like dream light at all; it was wake light and it came through a beautiful rose in the ceiling. In the middle was a table all covered with beautiful pictures and texts, and there were ever such strange things on it. There was a little crucifix in the middle, all of diamonds and emeralds and rubies, and other precious stones, and there was a dagger with a golden handle, and a cup of the most delicious wine, and there was a curious coin with the strangest writing on it, and a funny little stick that was covered with flames, like a rose tree is with roses. Beside the strange coin was a heavy iron chain, and I took it and put it round my neck because I was bound to my Fairy Prince, and I would never go about like other people till I found him again. And they took the dagger and dipped it in the cup, and stabbed me all over to show that I was not afraid to be hurt, if only I could find my Fairy Prince. Then I took the crucifix and held it up to make more light in case he was somewhere in the dark corners, but no! Yet I knew he was there somewhere, so I thought he must be in the box, for under the table was a great chest; and I was terribly sad because I felt something dreadful was going to happen. And sure enough, when I had the courage, I asked them to open the box, and the same people that made me crawl through that horrid hole, and lost my Fairy Prince, and nailed me to the red board, took away the table and opened the box, and there was my Fairy Prince, quite, quite dead. If you only knew how sorry I felt! But I had with me a walking-stick with wings, and a shining sun at the top that had been his, and I touched him on the breast to try and wake him; but it was no good. Only I seemed to hear his voice saying wonderful things, and it was quite certain he wasn't really dead. So I put the walking-stick on his breast, and another little thing he had which I had forgotten to tell you about. It was a kind of cross with an oval handle that he had been very fond of. But I couldn't go away without something of his, so I took his shepherd's staff, and a little whip with blood on it, and jewels oozing from the blood, if you know what I mean, that they had put in his hands when they buried him. Then I went away, and cried, and cried, and cried. But before I got very far they called me back; and the people who had been so stern were smiling, and I saw they had taken the coffin out of the little room with seven sides. And the coffin was quite, quite empty. Then they began to tell us all about it, and I heard my Fairy Prince within the little room saying holy exalted things, such as the stars trace in the sky as they travel in the car called "Millions of Years." Then they took me into the little room, and there was my Fairy Prince standing in the middle. So I knelt down and we all kissed his beautiful feet, and the myriads of eyes like diamonds that were hidden in his feet laughed joy at us. One couldn't lift one's head, for he was too glorious to behold; but he spoke beautiful words like dying nightingales that have sorrowed for the fading of roses, and pressed themselves to death upon the thorns; and one's whole body became a single eye, so that one saw as if the unborn thought of light brooded over an eternal sea. Then there was light as the lightening flaming out of the east, even unto the west, and it was fashioned as the swiftness of a sword.
By and by one rose up, then one seemed to be quite, quite dead, and buried in the centre of a pyramid of the most brilliant light it is possible to think of. And it was wake-light too; and everybody knows that even wake-darkness is really brighter than the dream-light. So you might just guess what it was like. There was more than that too; I can't possibly tell you. I know too what I.N.R.I. on the ring meant: and I can't tell you that either, because the dream-language has such a lot of important words missing. It's a very silly language, I think.
By and by I came to myself a little, and now I was really and truly married to the Fairy Prince, so I suppose we shall always be near each other now.
There was the way out of the little room with millions of changing colours, ever so beautiful, and it was lined with armed men, waving their swords for joy like flashes of lightening; and all about us glittering serpents danced and sang for joy. There was a winged horse ready for us when we came out on the slopes of the mountain. You see the Sixth House is really in a mountain called Mount Abiegnus, only one doesn't see it because one goes through indoors all the way. There's one House you have to go outdoors to get to, because no passage has ever been made; but I'll tell you about that afterwards; it's the Third House. So we got on the horse and went away for our honeymoon. I shan't tell you a single word about the honeymoon.
De Collegio ad S. S. porta
Collegii Interni.PART III
You mustn't suppose the honeymoon is ever really over, because it just isn't. But he said to me: "Princess, you haven't been all over the Palace yet. Your special House is the Third, you know, because it's so convenient for the Second where I usually live. The King my Father lives in the First; he's never to be seen, you know He's very, very old nowadays; I an practically Regent of course. You must never forget that I am really He; only one generation back is not so far, and I entirely represent his thought. Soon," he whispered ever so softly, "you will be a mother; there will be a Fairy Prince again to run away with another pretty little Sleepy head. Then I saw that when Fairy Princes were really and truly married they became Fairy Kings; and that I was quite wrong ever to be ashamed of being only a little girl and afraid of spoiling his prospects, because really, you see, he could never become King and have a son, a Fairy Prince without me.
But one can only do that by getting to the Third House, and it's a dreadful journey, I do most honestly assure you.
There are two passages, one from the Eighth House and one from the Sixth; the first is all water, and the second is almost worse, because you have to balance yourself so carefully, or you fall and hurt yourself.
To go through the first you must be painted all over with blood up to your waist, and cross your legs, and then put a rope round one angle and swing you off. I had such a pretty white petticoat on, and my Prince said I looked just like a white pyramid with a huge red cross on the top of it, which made me ever so glad, because now I knew I should be the Saviour of the World, which is what one wants to be, isn't it? Only sometimes the world means all the other children in the dream, and sometimes the dream itself, and sometimes the wake-things one sees before one is quite, quite awake. The Prince tells me that really and truly only the First House where his Father lives was really a wake-house, all the others had a little sleep about them, and the further you got the more awake you were, and began to know just how much was dream and how much wake.
Then there was the other passage where there was a narrow ledge of green crystal, which was all you had to walk on, and there was a beautiful blue feather balancing on the edge, and if you disturbed the feather there was a lady with a sword, and she would cut off your head. So I didn't dare hardly to breathe, and all around there were thousands and thousands of beautiful people in green who danced and danced like anything, and at the end there was the terrible door of the Fifth House, which is the Royal armoury. And when we came in the House was full of steel machinery, some red hot and some white hot, and the din was simply fearful. So to get the noise out of my head, I took the whip and whipped myself till all my blood poured down over everything, and I saw the whole House as a cataract of foaming blood rushing headlong from the flaming and scintillating Star of Fire that blazed and blazed in the candescent dome, and everything went red before my eyes, and a great flame like a strong wind blew through the House with a noise louder than any thunder could possibly be, so that I couldn't hold myself hardly, and I took up the sharp knives of the machines and cut myself all over, and the noise got louder and louder, and the flame burnt through me and through me, so that I when my Prince said: "You wouldn't think it, would you, sweetheart? But there are lots of people who stay here all their lives."
There are three ways into the Fourth House from below. The first passage is a very curious place, all full of wheels and ever such strange creatures, like monkeys and sphinxes and jackals climbing about them and trying to get to the top. It was very silly, because there isn't really any top to a wheel at all; the place you want to get to is the centre, if you want to be quiet. Then there was a really lovely passage, like a deep wood in Springtime, the dearest old man came along who had lived there all his life, because he was the guardian of it, and he didn't need to travel because he belonged to the First House really from the very beginning. He wore a vast cloak, and he carried a lamp and a long stick; and he said that the cloak meant you were to be silent and not say anything you saw, and the lamp meant you were to tell everybody and make them glad, and the stick was like a guide to tell you which to do. But I didn't quite believe that, because I am getting a grown-up girl now, and I wasn't to be put off like that. I could see that the stick was really the measuring rod with which the whole Palace was built, and the lamp was the only light they had to build it by, and the cloak was the abyss of darkness that covers it all up. That is why dream people never see beautiful things like I'm telling you about. All their houses are built of common red bricks, and they sit in them all day and play silly games with counters, and oh! Dear me, how they do chat and quarrel. When any one gets a million counters, he is so glad you can't think, and goes away and tries to change some of the counters for things he really wants, and he can't, so you nearly die of laughing, though of course it would be really sad if it were wake-life. But I was telling you about the ways to the Fourth House, and the third way is full of lions, and a person might be afraid; only whenever one comes to bite at you, there is a lovely lady who puts her hands in its mouth and shuts it. So we went through quite safely, and I thought of Daniel in the lions' den.
The Fourth House is the most wonderful of all I had ever seen. It is the most heavenly blue mansion; it is built of beryl and amethyst, and lapis lazuli and turquoise and sapphire. The centre of the floor is a pool of purest aquamarine, and in it is water, only you can see every drop as a separate crystal, and the blue tinge filtering through the light. Above there hangs a calm yet mighty globe of deep sapphirine blue. Round it there were nine mirrors, and there is a noise that means when you understand it, "Joy! Joy! Joy!" There are violet flames darting through the air, each one a little sob of happy love. One began to see what the dream-world was really for at last; every time any one kissed any one for real love, that was a little throb of violet flame in this beautiful House in the Wake-World. And we bathed and swam in the pool, and were so happy you can't think. But they said: "Little girl, you must pay for the entertainment." [I forgot to tell you there was music like fountains make as they rise and fall, only of course much more wonderful than that.] So I asked what I must pay, and they said: "You are now mistress of all these houses from the Fourth to the Ninth. You have managed the Servants' Hall well enough since your marriage; now you must manage the others, because till you do you can never go on to the Third House." So I said: "It seems to me that they are all in perfectly good order." But they took me up in the air, and then I saw that the outsides were horribly disfigured with great advertisements, and every single house had written all over it:
So I was furious, as you may imagine, and had men go and put all the proper numbers on them, and a little sarcastic remark to make them ashamed; so they read:
Fifth House, and mostly dream at that.
Seventh House. External splendour and internal corruption. and so on. And on each one I put "No thoroughfare from here to the First House. The only way is out of doors. By order."
This was frightfully annoying, because in the old days we could walk about inside everywhere, and not get wet if it rained, but nowadays there isn't any way from the Fourth to the Third House. You could go of course by chariot from the Fifth to the Third, or go through the House where the twins live from the Sixth to the Third, but that isn't allowed unless you have been to the Fourth House too, and go from there at the same time.
It was here they told me what T.A.R.O. on the ring meant. First it means gate, and it is the name of my Fairy Prince, when you spell it in full letter by letter.
There are seventy-eight parts to it, which makes a perfect plan of the whole Palace, so you can always find your way, if you remember to say T.A.R.O.. Then you remember I.N.R.I. is short for L.V.X., which means the brilliance of the wide-wake Light, and that too is the name of my Fairy Prince only spelt short.
The Romans said it had sixty-five parts, which is five times thirteen, and seventy-eight is six times thirteen. To get into the Wake World you must know your thirteen times table quite well. So if you take them both together that makes eleven times thirteen, and then you say "Abrahadabra," which is a most mysterious word, because it has eleven letters in it. You remember the Houses are numbered both ways, so that the Third House is called the Eighth House too, and the Fifth the Sixth, and so on. But you can't tell what lovely things that means till you've been through them all, and got to the very end. So when you look at the Ring and see I.N.R.I. and T.A.R.O. on it that means that it is like a policeman keeping on saying "Pass along, please!" I would have liked to stay in the Fourth House all my life, but I began to see it was just a little dream House too; and I couldn't rest, because my own House was the very next one. But it's too awful to tell you how to get there. You want the most fearful lot of courage, and there's nobody to help you, nobody at all, and there's no proper passage. But it's frightfully exciting, and you must wait till next time before I tell you how I started on that horrible journey, and if I ever got there or not.
Explicit Capitulum Tertium
de Collegio Interno
Now I shall tell you about the chariot race in the first passage. The chariot is all carved out of pure, clear amber, so that electric sparks fly about as the furs rub it. The whole cushions and rugs are all beautiful soft ermine fur. There is a canopy of bright blue with stars (like the sky in the dream world), and the chariot is drawn by two sphinxes, one black and one white. The charioteer is a most curious person; he is a great big crab in the most glittering armour, and he can just drive! His name is the mysterious name I told you about with the eleven letters, but we call him Jehu for short, because he's only nineteen years old. It's important to know though because this journey is the most difficult of all, and without the chariot one could never do it, because it is so far - much farther than the heaven is from the dream world.
The passage where the twins live is very difficult too. They are two sisters; and one is very pure and good, and the other is a horrid fast woman. But that shows you how silly the dream language is - really there is another way to put it: you can say there are two sisters, and one is very silly and ignorant, and the other has learnt how to know and enjoy.
Now when one is a Princess it is very important to have good manners, so you have to go into the passage, and take one on each arm, and go through with them singing and dancing; and if you hurt the feelings of either of them the least little bit in the world it would show that you were not really a great lady, only a dress lady, and there is a man with a bow and arrow in the air, and he would soon finish you, and you would never get to the Third House at all.
But the real serious difficulty is the outdoors. You have to leave the House of Love, as they call the Fourth House. You are quite, quite naked: you must take off your husband-clothes, and your baby-clothes, and all your pleasure clothes, and your skin, and your flesh, and your bones, every one of them must come right off. And then you must take off your feeling clothes; and then your idea clothes; and then what we call your tendency clothes which you have always worn, and which make you what you are. After that you take off your consciousness clothes, which you have always thought were your very own self, and you leap out into the cold abyss, and you can't think how lonely it is. There isn't any light, or any path, or anything to catch hold of to help you, and there is no Fairy Prince any more: you can' even hear his voice calling you to come on. There's nothing to tell you which way to go, and you feel the most horrible sensation of falling away from everything that ever was. You've got no nothing at all; you don't know how awful it all is. You would turn back if you could only stop falling; but luckily you can't. So you fall and fall faster and faster; and I can't tell you any more.
The Third House is called the House of Sorrow. They gave me new clothes of the queerest kind, because one never thinks of them as one's own clothes, but only as clothes. It is a House of utmost Darkness. There is a pool of black solemn water in the shining obsidian, and one is like a vast veiled figure of wonderful beauty brooding over the sea; and by and by the Pains come upon one. I can't tell you anything about the Pains. Only they are different from any other pains, because they start from inside you, from a deeper, truer kind of you than you ever knew. By and by you see a tremendous blaze of a new sun in the Sixth House, and you are as glad as glad as glad; and there are millions of trumpets blown, and voices crying: "Hail to the Fairy Prince!" meaning the new one that you have had for your baby; and at that moment you find you are living in the first Three Houses all at once, for you feel the delight of your own dear Prince and his love; and the old King stirs in his Silence in the First House, and thousands of millions of blessings shoot out like rays of light, and everything is all harmony and beauty below, and crowned above with the crown of twelve stars, which is the only way you can put it into dream talk.
Now you see you don't need to struggle to go on any more, because you know already that all the House is one Palace, and you move about in your own wake world, just as is necessary. All the paths up to the Second House are open - the path of the Heirophant with the flaming star and the incense in the vast cathedral, and the path of the Mighty Ruler, who governs everything with his orb and his crown and his sceptre. There is the path of the Queen of Love, which is more beautiful than anything, and along it my own dear lover passes to my bridal chamber. Then there are the three way to the Holy House of the old King, the way by which he is joined with the new Fairy Prince, where dwells a moonlike virgin with an open book, and always, always reads beautiful words therein, smiling mysteriously through her shining veil, woven of sweet thoughts and pure kisses. And there is the way by which I always go to the King, my Father, and that passage is built of thunder and lightening; but there is a holy Magician named Hermes, who takes me through so quickly that I arrive sometimes even at the very moment I start. Last of all is the most mysterious passage of them all, and if any of you saw it you would think there was a foolish man in it being bitten by crocodiles and dogs, and carrying a sack with nothing of any use at all in it. But really it is the man who meant to wake up, and did wake up. So that is his House, he is the old King himself, and so are you. So he wouldn't care what anyone thought he was.
Really all the passages to the first Three Houses are very useful; all the dream-world and the half-dream world, and the Wake-world are governed from those passages.
I began to see now how very unreal even the Wake-world is, because there is just a little dream in it, and the right world is the Wide-Wide-Wide-Wake-World. My lover calls me little Lola Wide-awake, not Lola Daydream any more. But it is always Lola, because I am the Key of Delights. I never told you about the first two houses, and really you wouldn't understand. But the Second House is gray, because the light and dark flash by so quick it's all blended into one; and in it lives my lover, and that's all I care about.
The First House is so brilliant that you can't think; and there, too, is my lover and I when we are one. You wouldn't understand that either. And the last thing I shall say is that one begins to see that there isn't really quite a Wide-Wide-Wide-Wake-World till the Serpent outside has finished eating up his tail, and I don't really and truly understand that myself. But it doesn't matter; what you must all do first is to find the Fairy Prince to come and ride away with you, so don't bother about the Serpent yet. That's all.
Explicit Opusculum in Capitulo Quarto
vel de Collegio Summo.
Back to Contents