Saturday, 6 December 2008

At the Gates

In our last article on the Mumbai shootings (see here) we took a sideways look at the events at Nariman House, having previously applied a similar method to the Oberoi Hilton attack. The third incident to draw heavy coverage was centred on the Taj Majal Palace and Tower, commonly known as the Taj Mahal Hotel; also based in the city's Colaba district. Our comrade from Athens, Georgia, Todd Campbell noted (click here) that this luxury domicile has hosted a deluge of notables since its grand opening in 1903, including Elvis and the Beatles; and is named after the iconic mausoleum (and UNESCO World Heritage site) on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra. One of the most evocative buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal was commissioned by the then-Emperor of the Mughal Empire, Shah Jahan I, in 1631, essentially as a tomb to house the sarcophagi of his beloved mistress, Mumtaz Mahal. Although designed by a Muslim, the famous dome is crowned with a golden finial, itself surmouted by a skywards-pointing crescent moon; the net effect of which is highly suggestive of a trident, a symbol of Shiva, the Lord of Misrule: the Dark Man. And as we might expect from this temple to destruction, there are many unsubstantiated legends of deaths, dismemberments and mutilations inflicted by Shah Jahan on the architects associated with it...

Until very recently, no such violence had accrued to its Colaba namesake, the Taj Mahal Hotel; but we should not, perhaps, be surprised that it has. Blood rituals of this sort betray a demented affinity with symbolic monuments- a clear and present signal of the Secret Commonwealth; and sited in direct alignment with the hotel, mute witness to the grisly events, is the Gateway of India: an imposing basalt arch erected by the British in the resonant year of 1911. Intended to define the city in the minds of its sea-faring visitors, the arch was the first glimpse of the Bombay skyline afforded to Western travellers from the time of its construction through to the coming of the aeroplane several decades later.

As an expression of pure geometry, the arch has exerted a Pythagorean fascination upon generation after generation of kings and rulers, and the esoteric organisations who serve them. A feature of Babylonian and Egyptian architecture, to name but two, the Romans were the first civilisation to fully exploit its spatial and aesthetic advantages. But the apotheosis of the art was reached in the thirteenth century by the Normans, under the aegis of Templarism. As Laurence Gardner writes in Bloodline of the Holy Grail:

'City skylines began to change as the great Notre Dame cathedrals, with their majestic Gothic arches, rose from the earth. The architecture was phenomenal- impossible, some said. The pointed ogives reached incredible heights, spanning hitherto insurmountable space, with flying buttresses and thinly ribbed vaulting. Everything pulled upwards and, despite the thousands of tons of richly decorated stone, the overall impression was one of magical weightlessness.'

Magic is exactly right; for, according to Gardner, the word Gothic as applied to architectural design was not a tribute to the marauding Goths, 'but derives instead from the Greek goetik- 'magical [action]' (which is possibly cognate with the old Celtic word goatic, 'plant lore.') Several of these goetik sanctuaries, like the great Notre Dame cathedrals of France, were constructed on sites associated with the bloody rites of the Druids, the priestly caste of Celtic Europe... a symbiosis which continues to this day. The secrets of the Templars were absorbed into Freemasonry; and, in Masonic America we find St Louis, 'Gateway City', the site of a gigantic, symbolic archway.

As Michael Hoffman writes:

'No doubt it is just a 'coincidence' that the exact spot where the Western arch was sited also happens to be the place where, according to Fortean scholar William N Grimstad, someone once built '... conical, ridgetop and platform mounds... precisely where the Gateway Arch now stands.' The pre-Columbian mounds upon which the ceremonial Arch to the American West rests are an extention of the east St Louis Cahokia mounds, which, at fourteen acres are the largest earthworks in America.' According to Grimstad, Cahokia was used by 'certain Southern tribes to display the heads and severed limbs of their battle captives.'

Where Watling Street leaves London, becoming the modern A5, stands the iconic Marble Arch: as the former home of the Tyburn Tree, a place of public execution for two hundred years. The opening of the new Wembley Stadium- whose enormous arch dominates the skyline for miles around- was blooded in similar (if truncated) fashion: its first FA Cup final was preceded by a solemn video tribute to Madeleine McCann, with an accompanying soundtrack by Simple Minds (see here.) The proximity of the Taj Mahal Hotel to the Gateway to India persuades me that the shootings that occurred there were an expression of this ancient relationship: as a tribute to- or engineered by- the Archons venerated by ruling elites; for whom no monument is fully 'activated' without the symbolic discharge of blood.



More to follow...

2 comments:

Anadæ said...

Creepily enough, Mr Hoffman & I were correspondents in the eighties, but our contact ended due to my ideosyncratic ephemeralism. But, it was he who introduced me to one of Mr Grimstad's tomes, published under the psuedonym Jim Brandon, "The Rebirth of Pan", a favourite of many a Fortean the world over, which cites the same kind of morphogenetic resonance that Dr Rupert Sheldrake has, which is at the root of your many highly observant elucidations here, especially in this piece. Thank you, Ben, for helping to piece together the greater puzzle picture, borne aloft by the Secret Commonwealth or (k)NOT(work!

Your colleague in Ol' Virginnie ~ Anadæ ( :-)}

Jaspal said...

The Taj Mahal is actually the Temple of Shiva, it existed way before Shah Jahan came along (the crescent Moon is a symbol of Shiva). All he did was desecrate it, in the same fashion that Muslims tend to do to old Churches or other religious landmarks of other faiths.

It also has the number 22 all over it, 22 lakh (10,000 in Indian) people died during Shah Jahans "remodelling" work, and it took 22 years to complete.