Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Orbiting Genius of the Moon

Another striking feature of Kingsford and Maitland’s scheme is that it posits that: ‘Every human spirit-soul has attached to him a genius or daimon, as with Socrates; a ministering spirit, as with the apostles; or an angel, as with Jesus’; she favours the term genius, though her own genius, who resembled Dante, preferred ‘minister’, but discounted ‘the term angel because it is misinterpreted’. She explains that, ‘The genius is linked to his client by a bond of soul-substance’ (CWTS 58) and ‘is the moon to the planet man, reflecting to him the sun, or God, within him’ (CWTS 61), thereby lighting up ‘the dark places of his planet’ (CWTS 60). His light is trustworthy, since it is reflected from God, but his actual knowledge is limited, since the ‘genius knows well only the things relating to the person to whom he ministers. About other things he has opinions only’ (CWTS 61). On a personal level, the ‘genius of each one knows about another person only so much as that other’s genius chooses to reveal’ which indicates that the genius’s knowledge is available either from its charge or from other genii, but not from the phenomenal world in general (CWTS 61). Such descriptions show clearly that, although angelic in certain senses, Kingsford’s genius is bound more to his human counterpart than any higher realm, and is in his own way as restricted as his human planet. The goal of the human in this system is to unite the divine spirit with the soul, and to recover the soul’s memory, through ‘a three-fold operation,-that of the soul herself, of the moon, and of the sun’, and this is finally achieved in ‘what, mystically, is called the ‘marriage of the hierophant’’, at which stage ‘the office of the genius is ended’

WB Yeats was apparently mixed up in this.

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