CURRENT 93 – The Cloud of Unknowing / Dormition and Dominion

Both songs are taken from Current 93’s album Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre – The Broken Heart of Man (1993).

The Cloud of Unknowing (Middle English: The Cloude of Unknowyng) is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. The underlying message of this work suggests that the way to know God is to abandon consideration of God’s particular activities and attributes, and be courageous enough to surrender one’s mind and ego to the realm of “unknowing”, at which point one may begin to glimpse the nature of God. (Wikipedia)

And then when then I die
I feel I shall say
I have not understood
I have not understood any of this
My eyes are still coaldark
I have not understood
Around and in my eyes the tiny flecks
Of swirling crippled confused lights
And to my heart I will whisper
Softly quietly
“There is no death there is no death”
(And goodbye to you all)
Under the gorgon grinnd arches
Of London’s great vaults
I have not understood
Under the sunpuckered roofs of Kathmandu
I have not understood
Along the soulstoned streets
Of Lower
And of Higher Germanie
I have not understood
Leipzig: blackeyed pain and loss: she
I have not understood
In Clare near I
The empty lakes are open in the distance
And too close is the faminereatchingroad
All these are ghosts
There I have not understood
(In the Heart of the Wood
Oh there have I understood)
I rested at the temple of Great Black Time – Her
And did not understand
Though animalbled fleshmarbled rivers ran in Her honour
His buckled body in blood
Returns to the prebirth poise
Spreadeagled like starfish –
There in His eyes:
Incomprehension mute pain disbelief what
Blood there meant sorrow trickles there
This I could not understand
I bend the pages of yet another book
And in its lines Great Black Lines
I have not understood
Please gramerey pray for me
And oh goodbye sweetestheart
The wind roars in the nearness
And there in my heart
And all the clouds are spiralling towards us
Descent indeed to the centre of it all
Skipping lightly and lying truly
This we shall understand
I hope…

Wet bent humped trees
The great ones – there
On the lapped shore
Dai Ichi
There also I do not know
This is all unknowable
And as the dust covers
My empty eyes
You shall read in these foolish gapes
Oh that I have not understood
(But if you look for the stag and the cross conjoined
There on my arm look there
There I have understood very well)

Now you are all fading
All fading
As my age creeps on
As This Age stumbles on
Fires in the earth
Fires in the sky
Fires in our hearts
Fires everywhere
The black eyes
Already blacken
And this I have not understood

Not peace
But a sword
This and He
Unfortunately
I have understood
Under the bowered greenwood tree
When first I lay
Bright starre with Thee
Under the velvet branches dear
When sun and moon both came so near
Under the starlit open dome
Under the starsharp pointed lights
Under the starloved greeny earth
When first I wanted to hold You
And all the world halfdead and halflive
Spat into my mouth
Bluesea bitterwater
And I am almost dead
And I have not understood

Under the rain and teeth of gods
Under the pain and sleeping liddy eyes
Under the brokkd wetful heaven
If you are there
If you are there
If you are there
Then I am singing with my eyes
If you are there

In the mind of god
The dead sleeping lie
And the little cogs though unmoving
Hover over the turning wheel
All life’s a farce
The broken bird is draped over the paths
And paths and paths and paths
And those who say this world is not
The bloody gleaming paradise of blood and jewel
Lie
Opal and pearl bloodsocket castings
Ruby jasmine jasper and onyx
Chalcedonthrone and ambergriscrown
Golden green leafwork
Scrolled with the farstars
Pitted with the moonworlds
Mother alldewey
Arrayed with the twinkling lights
The wovengold spungilded blinking godeyes
The spearshafts of heaven
The souldwelling rockhomes
Are…
Dormition and Dominion
Dormition and Dominion
The Mother is dead
The Mother awakens
Dormition
She sleeps
Dominion
He rules
She sleeps and rules
In her starry bodied glory
The Mother sleeps
The Mother loves
Dormition and Dominion
I wait
…Are the holders of the world and its dreams
I say there is no death
No death
We have lived before and shall live again
And again

We have slept before and shall sleep again
We have danced through the shallow pools
And shall rejoice once again
To those who say there is no hope
I say liars
Liars
Liars you are
Over the starry dancing stars
There is a land
Under the sweatribbed brow
There is a land
And this is the globed world of the Pantocrator
Finally I have understood
I have understood
I have understood
Though when I slip sleeping and silently
From this ribbed room of sighs
You shall not find the history of His personal visit
Sewn into my linings perhaps
Nevertheless I have understood
Where the logician watches god hinge all on a die
Nevertheless I have understood!

That all this is the breathbetween moment
Our eyeslids open and close
Between is the land
Between the time I first was accepted
In between Your brightboned body
Between then and there and the time You wept:
“Goodbye my love goodbye to you”
There there was the land
In the pearls of our heart
There is the immaculate heavenly loveland
In the middle of the forest Acton is slain by his own hounds
In the middle of the forestEustace meets the crisscross Stag
There is the land he has reached paradise
There is no death
There is no death
There as the stag turns and smiled loved
There he was takencaught by the prey
All the flowers are blossoming
And all the world calls to you:
“Dormition” – so you sleep
“Dominion” – so you rule
Dormition – oh You sleep, Mother
Dominion – Father, You rule

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