Chartres Academy on Geometrica

The course offered by our New Chartres Academy on Geometrica July 1-8 in Chartres, France drew nearly 90 students, faculty and staff, our largest Learning Journey of the year. For seven days, the group met together to study the intricacies of geometry and the 5 Platonic solids, the basic building blocks of the universe. Contemplating the reality that at its heart, all matter is comprised of numbers and geometric forms, out of which all that is emerges, filled us with awe and wonder.

We were also inspired by a dramatization of a work by Ahmet Hilmi, a late 19th centuryTurkish poet and mystic who wrote a seminal book called Awakened Dreams. In this book, the main character Raji has a series of dreams during which he is led to ever deepening awareness of truth. In one of the dreams, he is brought to the Field of Justice and Examination where the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness are arrayed against each other in a final cosmic battle of good and evil. Raji’s startling discovery is that he plays a crucial role in the battle, conquering the warrior Wrath who dominates the field for most of the 40 day battle before Raji himself is conquered and taken prisoner to the kitchens of Ahriman, the dark Lord, to peel onions.

Just when all seems lost, a speck of light begins to shine in the darkest part of the Darkness. Love emerges and brings the forces of Light and Dark together. Then Love itself bows down and pays homage to the splendor of Beauty which draws all Being toward herself in an every refining and deepening cosmic song of adoration.

The profundity of this enacted drama between good and evil takes on profound significance when you realize that our external world situation is now dominated by the forces of Darkness and evil personified so powerfully by Trump and Putin, two dark lords intent on wrecking the international institutions holding the global order together in a fragile and precarious balance. To use an image from Lord of the Rings, Trump and Putin are like Sauron and Sauroman, working together to plot the destruction of the world. Only those of us of good will and strong heart can stand against them, although, like in Lord of the Rings, we seem to be mere hobbits without power or stature or influence. But somehow we are called upon to make a stand.

In Lord of the Rings, the first thing the forces of light do after Sauron and Sauroman joined forces is to fall back to the Keep, a massive cave fortress dug deep into a mountain. In the face of overwhelming Darkness, the forces of Light retreated back to Mother Earth. From this place, they meet the forces of Darkness and begin the great battle that is to take them eventually to Mount Morder, the seat of Sauroman, for the final battle.

In Chartres, we contemplated this challenge before all of us today. We asked ourselves: how do we embody and manifest Love in this time of Darkness in such a way that we make a difference?