to the 

Imaginarium Library of the Tower of Song


 The Memorial-Musekal Library

& Imaginal Museum

 

Let 

Our Dark Lady of the Tower Of Song 

show you around.

As one Poetic Champion of the Tower Of Song has told us, She . . . 

Showed me pictures in the gallery

Showed me novels on the shelf

Put my hands across the table

Gave me knowledge of myself.

 

Showed me visions, showed me nightmares

Gave me dreams that never end

Showed me light out of the tunnel

When there was darkness all around instead...

 

Showed me different shapes and colours

Showed me many different roads

Gave me very clear instructions

When I was in the dark night of the soul...

 

Showed me ways and means and motions

Showed me what it's like to be

Gave me days of deep devotions

Showed me things I cannot see...

(Van Morrison, "Torn Down a la Rimbaud")

"Within my darkness I slowly explore

The hollow half light with hesitant cane,

I who always imagined Paradise

To be a sort of library." –Jorge Luis Borges

"Our minds are doorways into an infinite labyrinth. A kind of Borgesian library of infinite possibilities and we can choose to open these doorways in whatever sequence or fashion we wish." –Terence McKenna

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Our Dark Lady of the Tower of Song Library 

takes you on a guided tour of the Musekal-Memorial Library's interior chambers, which show pictures of the great libraries of old (when they were sacred temples, such as the Egyptian "House of Books," presided over by goddesses and gods), both real and imagined.

{This page is dedicated to all lovers of libraries; lovers of learning.}

Mnemosyne, Muse of Memory

& Mother of the Muses

Seshat, Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, writing, and goddess of libraries.

To see why it's called the "Musekal-Memorial Library," check out the Muses.

“Librarians are tour-guides for all of knowledge.” –Patrick Ness

 

“Nothing is pleasanter than exploring a library.” –Walter Savage Landor

 

“Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information.” —Spider Robinson

Library  of Alexandria, the "Wonder of the World"

and Great Library from Across the Ages

Hypatia (Raphael School of Athens).jpg

Tour Magdala Library  of Rennes le Chateau in Southern France

For information on (a) the ancient origins of our libraries in "sacred libraries"--and thus the archetypal model for the Tower of Song library--, (b) on the Library of Alexandria and the Tour Magdala Library, (c) gods and angels of libraries, (d) and on erotic love and libraries,  

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Imaginal Libraries

in the tradition of the "Mysterious Library" 

“Let me explain. This is a library, a place of refuge. Libraries should be full of dusty old books–and nooks and corners and places to hide away in.” –Edward Ferrars (in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility)

“In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The books we read should be chosen with great care, that they may be, as an Egyptian king wrote over his library, 'The medicines of the soul’.” —Paxton Hood

For Romantic poet, writer, and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the biggest values in life were neither the state finances nor his immense private property, but the books of his personal library. Romantic poet Heinrich Heine regarded the world of books as the most powerful universe mankind ever created. And for Jorge Luis Borges the library simply was his paradise.

 "That perfect Tranquillity of Life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful Friend and a good Library." —Aphra Behn

"My library

Was dukedom large enough."

 

      Prospero, The Tempest by Shakespeare

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"Hypatia" (Mitchell, 1885)

Of Love & Libraries

in the Tower of Song "Musekal-Memorial Library"

                     “The liberation of the Imagination is always an erotic event”—James Hillman

 

Thinking about the beautiful and learned Hypatia (in the painting above), the librarian of the “Universal Library” of Alexandria,  the Gypsy Scholar—as one who found more than just books in a library—ventures to make a connection between erotic love (eros) and libraries. Therefore, the Gypsy Scholar would re-vision the “Memorial-Musekal Library” as both a temple of learning and love, with “Our Dark Lady of the Tower of Song” as erotic librarian, guiding lovers to the secret places between the stacks. That's why everybody knows that “Our Dark Lady of the Tower of Song”—fusing the heights of intellectuality with the depths of sexuality—gives good read!  

 

The Gypsy Scholar believes there's such a thing as the “Romance of Scholarship,” which is essentially the romance of ideas that fulfills both requirements of the psyche —logos plus eros; the head’s demand for understanding and clarity and the heart’s desire for meaning and ecstasy: “a simultaneous knowing and loving by means of imagining.” (James Hillman) Thus, in the Tower of Song “Memorial-Musekal Library,” the scholar eroticizes his creative process and falls in love with “Lady Wisdom.” (The GS's Dantean-like fantasy [“Lady Philosophy”] has been given academic legitimacy. See book Falling in Love with Wisdom: American Philosophers Talk About Their Calling. So much for “dry scholarship” and “pedagogical solitude”!)  

 

The following essay on love and libraries—public libraries—came along after the fact to magnificently capture all the Gypsy Scholar has imagined about romance in the Tower of Song “Memorial-Musekal Library.”

 

“I wonder how many people have fallen in love in a library. The place is a hotbed of romance. The sight of someone pouring over a book, devoted. The beatific inclination of the head. In no other pose does the human body look at once so strong and vulnerable, tense and at ease. Something beautifying happens to a person in the process of reading a book. There's the soft library light and the quiet helps too, but mainly it has to do with the act itself; the words, the ideas, transferring from one mind to another, and the recipient mind glowing like a smitten teenager. The library is a love nest, hot. You'd think they'ed shut the thing down.... Anybody, anywhere, can grace his mind—that is the deep and real romance of a library. Every book, on every shelf, in every stack holds the promise of more.... 

Picture him, picture her, poised over that book, the book that broke into their hearts and gave them life. Think of yourself at the moment of liberty, when the feelings of the book became your feelings, its thoughts your thoughts; its information yours—all in the marriage of true minds. There you were never lovelier.”

—Roger Rosenblatt 

Because of the secret relationship of logos and eros (ideas and love, of intellectuality and sexuality, of knowing and loving), because reading in libraries is (if you know how to do it) sexy (a turn on), because a library is "a hotbed of romance," and because "Our Dark Lady of the Musekal-Memorial Library" is both the original librarian of  the esoteric Magdalene Tower Library (Tour Magdala Library  of Rennes le Chateau) and the legendary "Sacred Prostitute" of the ancient Dianic love cult, everybody knows that she gives good read.

For information on Mary Magdalene as "Sacred Prostitute" of a Dianic love cult and founder of the Grail legend in Southern France, see "Our Dark Lady" subpage.

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The Angelic Presences of the

 

Tower of Song Memorial-Musekal Library

"You see,   you hear these funny voices in the Tower of Song."

"Angel of the Book" and Angelic Host in the 

Musekal-Memorial Library Inner Sanctum

Angels & Libraries

 

"The Library Angel"

 

It wouldn't be too much to say that angels love libraries. This can be seen in what is related about them in the mythology and legend of the Judeo-Christian tradition. For instance,  it is told that there was a “Pre-Adamite” or “Antediluvean Library” written by Jehovah in several volumes, which composed Adam's entire library until the Fall. After the fall, it is reported that Jehovah wrote a revised edition in one volume on stone and placed it in a “house” on a mountain east of the Garden of Eden, where lived the Cherubim.

This was thus the very first “House of Books” and, accordingly, the angels became the first librarians, or “keepers of the stone books.” This is probably why angels were often associated with libraries—and still are to this day. Filmmaker Wim Wenders certainly has picked up on this notion.  Nowhere in the arts will you find a better example of angels hanging out in libraries—haunting libraries—than his poetic masterpiece of a film, Wings of Desire (1987). It's a story of love and libraries , of the Poet as the storyteller of humankind, and of impossible love; that between guardian angel who wants to become human and eventually gives up his wings for the love of a flesh-and-blood woman—he really falls for her in a big way! (And impossible love is the kind of love/amor that's the Gypsy Scholar's favorite subject of library research). The the two main guardian angels wear black overcoats and sport pony-tails, and when the two of them wander into the Berlin library they find a whole host of their fellow guardian angels attending the reading patrons, aiding them in their research. They go into a kind of quiet rapture as they hear a symphony of thoughts and inner desires; it's as if they get off on all that mental energy in the library. But out of all the library patrons, it is the old poet bent over a large book who moves one of the angels most.Wings of Desire is an absolutely mesmerizing film, at least it was for the GS—it was as if Wenders had tapped into his own secret fantasy life about angels and libraries and put it on the big screen! [For this subject of “Impossible Love,” see the subpage of the same name.]  

Homer, the aged poet : [inner voice]  Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman. With time, those who listened to me became my readers. They no longer sit in a circle, bur rather sit apart. And one doesn't know anything about the other. I'm an old man with a broken voice, but the tale still rises from the depths, and the mouth, slightly opened, repeats it as clearly, as powerfully. A liturgy for which no one needs to be initiated to the meaning of words and sentences.... Tell me, muse, of the men, women, and children who will look for meme, their storyteller, their bard, their choirmasterbecause they need me more than anything in the world....The world seems to be sinking into dusk, but I tell my tales, as in the beginning, in my sing-song voice, which sustains me.

 

Yes, tell me muse! The Poet, the Bard, reminds the Gypsy Scholar that he became his reader” when he discovered and entered into the Tower of Song Musekal-Memorial Library—haunted by twenty-seven angels from the great Beyond—and first heard the sing-song voice of the Storyteller's eternal liturgy” in its inner sanctum. 

The Library Angel

 

The celebrated novelist and science writer, Arthur Koestler, in his book The Roots of Coincidence, went so far as to claim his own library angel.  This was his term for all those otherwise inexplicable moments—synchronistic events—in a researcher’s life when a book or book passage appears, as if out of nowhere, to provide the next insight on your subject. This  literary synchronicity has also been recorded by other writers, who tell how a book suddenly catches their eye or even seems to fly out at you from the library shelf; how opening a book at random reveals a significant passage; how necessary articles, quotes, interviews, and poems appear as if by magic. Anyone who has experienced the workings of the library angel  knows how surreal these literary synchronicities can be.

Harahel, Archangel of  the Musekal-Memorial Library

Angel of  the Book in the Musekal-Memorial Library

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The Archetype of the Book

and theTower of Song Memorial-Musekal Library

The Angel of the Book presides over the books in the Tower of Song Musekal-Memorial Library. 

The “Book” itself is an archetype. The “Book” (and its storehouse, the Library or “house of wisdom”) has been, since time immemorial, understood as “sacred” and even, in some mythologies, portrayed as a metaphor/symbol for the “Creation” in the Mind of God. Also, all creation is looked upon as a “vast library,” and thus the stars in the heavens were seen, astrologically, as a book in which can be read the secret destiny of heaven and earth. There is also the ancient notion of the Creation as “The Book of Life,” in possession of librarian angels.

 

The following section is dedicated to the archetypal Book and so also to the “Reader! lover of books! lover of heaven. And of that God from whom all books are given.” (William Blake) 

“And Now Begins a New life, because another covering of Earth is shaken off. I am more famed in Heaven for my works than I could well conceive. In my Brain are studies & Chambers fill'd with books & pictures of old, which I wrote & painted in ages of Eternity before my mortal life; & these works are the delight & Study of Archangels.”  

—William Blake, Letter 9/21/1800

“Librarians are tour-guides for all of knowledge.” –Patrick Ness

Because there's a long religious tradition that associates libraries, books (apocryphal, or "secret books"), and angels—"The Angel of the Book"—, and because these are archetypal in nature, in this wing of the Tower of Song library "Our Dark Lady of the Musekal-Memorial Library" takes you on a guided tour and shows you a gallery of different book artifacts (flying books and magic books) for your edification.  

"A book is not an isolated being; it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships." –Jorge Luis Borges

Continuing the guided tour, "Our Dark Lady of the Musekal-Memorial Library" next shows you the library's picture gallery dedicated to "The Joys of Reading," with images of women in the act of reading.  

“The contents of a library can take you further than your own imagination could begin to imagine. To open a book is to open your mind.” –Amberle Cianne

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Imaginal Libraries: 

 

The Tower of Song “Musekal-Memorial Library” & the “Library of Babel”

as Universal Labyrinthine Libraries

“Scholars have long dreamed of a universal library containing everything that has ever been written.”

—Peter Singer

 

“Libraries are sacred time machines where knowledge flows and magic is eternal.” —Mari Barnes

The Library of Babel

The Library of Babel & The Musekal-Memorial Library

 

The Tower of Song “Musekal-Memorial Library”  is inspired by the first great concept of an imaginal labyrinthine library; that of the “Library of Babel.” 

“The library will endure; it is the universe. As for us, everything has not been written; we are not turning into phantoms. We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and our future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.” 

                                                                                         ― Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel

The notion of an imaginal library of the labyrinthine type is the brainchild of “magical realist” writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986). He was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator—and librarian (His genre is described variously as philosophical literature, fantasy, metafiction, and surrealism.) One of his best-known books, Labyrinths (1962 - 1983) is an award-winning collection of short stories and essays. It includes the story called “The Library of Babel,” in which is conceived a universe in the form of a vast library containing all possible books of a certain format and character set. Many of Borges’ signature motifs are featured in the story, including infinity, reality, cabalistic reasoning, and, most important of all, labyrinths. There are numerous philosophical implications within the idea of the finite library which exhausts all possibilities. (The concept of the library is also overtly analogous to the view of the universe as a sphere having its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere.)

 

The narrator of this surrealistic fairy tale describes how his labyrinthine universe consists of an enormous expanse of adjacent hexagonal rooms, each of which contains the bare necessities for human survival—and four walls of bookshelves. The Library is arranged non-hierarchically; all of the volumes—from the most rudimentary to the most inscrutable—are equally important in this infinite space. Its rooms are hexagons. (He describes a vast architecture of interconnecting hexagons each with four walls of bookshelves and passageways leading to other identical hexagons; an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries.) The library also must contain, somewhere, every coherent book ever written, or that might ever be written, and every possible permutation of every one of those books. The labyrinthine library is ruled by a powerful caste of librarians. Various characters search for the library’s “magical books,” and others believe that since all books exist in the library, somewhere one of the books must be a perfect index of the library’s contents; some even believe that a messianic figure known as the “Man of the Book” has read it, and they travel through the library seeking him.

 

The story repeats the theme of Borges’ 1939 essay “The Total Library” (“La Biblioteca total”), which in turn acknowledges the earlier development of this theme by Kurd Lasswitz in his 1901 story “The Universal Library” ("Die Universalbibliothek”). Borges here indicates that he has no claim to originality. In the introduction to The Garden of Branching Paths, the collection containing the story, he wrote, “Nor am I the first author of the tale ‘The Library of Babel,’” and referred his readers to an earlier essay that traced the total library back to the Ancient Greek atomists. Thus, Borges credits  the German proto-science fiction author Kurd Lasswitz, who could have found it in Lewis Carroll, Cicero, or Aristotle. The fact that many writers have entertained this idea of a total library (in whatever form) indicates that it is an archetypal construct in the mind of man. (The GS will later on  here refer to the Augustinian concept of memoria (storehouse of images) as the predecessor  of the Jungian “collective unconscious.”)

Actually, the idea of a labyrinthine library is a very ancient one. The aforementioned “Alexandrian Library” was modeled on the older Egyptian “sacred library” that was not only a called a “House of Books” but a labyrinthine “Temple of Initiation.” In other words, both these “divine libraries” were labyrinths. (See the GS's essay on the history of the Universal Library of the “Supplemental Info” page, as linked to above.)

What is significant for the GS's concept of “The Musekal-Memorial Library” is that Borges’ narrator describes the limitless potential of the Library of Babel’s texts: “In truth, the Library includes all verbal structures, all variations permitted by the twenty-five orthographical symbols, but not a single example of absolute nonsense.” He makes the claim that for this “divine Library” every random string of characters can be a code for any other, which may in turn be an esoteric allegory for some hidden meaning, or an ironic meaninglessness. Thus, in the world of Borges’ story even the simplest turns of phrase can endlessly reveal new facets of unforeseen thoughts. (A characteristic of the “The Musekal-Memorial Library.” See the “Metaphorical Key to the Tower of Song” page.)

This, then, is the Borgesian concept that inspired the Gypsy Scholar’s Tower of Song “Musekal-Memorial Library,” whose cathedral-type architecture has been described as “frozen music.” (However, as for the GS's own version of this total library—“The Musekal-Memorial Library”—it differs significantly from the nonsensical element that is characteristic Borges' Library of Babel.  It also differs concerning the Borges’ notion of “Man of the Book,” who becomes, for the Gypsy Scholar, the “Woman of the Book” —namely, “Our Dark Lady of the Tower of Song Musekal-Memorial Library.”

In 2013, the GS’s radio fantasy of the “The Musekal-Memorial Library” and its relationship to Borges’ “Library of Babel” took a substantive turn when a professor from Southern Virginia University, Iana Konstantinova, published an article entitled “Borgesian Libraries and Librarians in Television Popular Culture.” The Abstract begins with words that greatly validate the internet presence (since 2004) of the GS’s own imaginal library:

 

“In the works of Jorge Luis Borges, the library appears frequently as a metaphor representative of life and its secrets. It becomes a metaphysical location, posing questions about the nature of time, life, and the universe itself. The librarian becomes a metaphysical figure, leading the search for answers to life’s questions.”  

Of course, the GS immediately recognized his own metaphysical librarian—namely, “Our Dark Lady of the Tower of Song Musekal-Memorial Library.” Thus, as the philosophical and metaphysical part of a radio program, this imaginal library based upon the Borgesian library is definitely a phenomenon of “Popular Culture”).

 

In 1941, blind librarian Jorge Luis Borges has a vision that predicts the Internet: a universal library, comprised of endless books containing all the world’s knowledge. Decades later, Terence McKenna envisioned the Worldwide Web as “the birth of [the] global mind,” a cyberspace reality where we could manifest our dreams to each other—so we could “see what I mean.” Thus, let it be known that the cyberspace presence of the Gypsy Scholar's TOWER OF SONG is such a place!

Recently, Borges’ Infinite Library has been put on the Internet. See Jonathan Basile's libraryofbabel.info.  

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