[NB] John Brown’s Body

A report of Harriet Tubman’s dream:

“She thought she was in a ‘wilderness sort of place, all full of rocks and bushes,’ when she saw a serpent raise its head among the rocks, and as it did so, it became the head of an old man with a long white beard, gazing at her ‘wishful like, just as if he were going to speak to me,’ and then two other heads rose up beside him, younger than he,—and as she stood looking at them, and wondering what they could want with her, a crowd of great men rushed in and struck down the younger heads, and then the head of the old man, still looking at her so ‘wishful.'”

After meeting John Brown in 1958, Tubman knew the dream to be of him, though she appreciated its import only after the failed raid on Harpers Ferry.

On the surface, it is a straightforwardly precognitive dream and as with most such dreams its meaning becomes clear only after the fact. And yet, alongside the precognitive element, there is a sacred and holy door, too. Tubman who flew like a bird through the material and spiritual worlds encountering the rising forces of the earth rising up, wearing the masks of the Browns. It’s a narrow crack, but through it we glimpse a long majestic root passage that descends into the orchestral depths, through which this historical moment becomes entangled with the sacred heart of the earth.

The precognition as such isn’t all that important except as it bears witness to that wondrous entanglement of the saints across time and space, except as it forms part of the (mouldering) body for the gnosis. There is the fruitless precognition a fruitful soil for inspiration, for the self-immolating transformation that carries life beyond the merely lived.

The stars above in heaven are a’looking kindly down…

For those with eyes to see.

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One thought on “[NB] John Brown’s Body

  1. Pingback: Boston Public Library: Pansophism in Image and Architecture – Disrupt & Repair

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