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Dynamic Equilibrium, by Dane Rudhyar, 1946. Image Copyright © 2001  by Leyla Rudhyar Hill.

Dynamic Equilibrium
by Dane Rudhyar, 1946

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Part Two - 13 February 1951, 9:00 PM

Ron was right. He was unusual. How? I don't know, really. There was something around him, in him, that stopped you feeling the way you felt just before. It was I still vaguely recall the sensation, a very strange one as if the whole of me paused for a split second. For a moment it was all quiet, blank. Then, it must have been my imagination, or was it a foreknowing of what came to pass? I could feel a queer pain inside of me, very deep inside; a yearning . . . "Oh, if only it were possible!" How to explain it? But it was real. It is real. I can feel it now. Now, it seems more acute, more poignant. And yet, there is also, yes, a hope. All is not lost . . . Within the pain there is a murmur. Emerald's voice? "Try to believe! Try to feel. Try, please!" I heard no voice then, of course. Emerald was there. I was touching her. She seemed very still. Mr. Ramar helped her with her coat, after Ron had introduced us. He had Old World manners. His body moved like that of a man in easy control of all his muscles. He was obviously strong, well-built, probably in his late forties. Most startling were his eyes. Under arched eyebrows they glowed strangely, gold-brown, luminous. Immensely kind too, I felt.
      I was attracted to him; yet, very uneasy. I glanced at Emerald, as she turned toward a large mirror with the typical feminine gesture, straightening her hair over her high forehead. She did not meet my eyes. She seemed to be feeling for something inside.
      Ron was talking, as we moved from the small entrance hall to a fairly large studio. A fire was burning in a tall fireplace. Over the mantle hung a rather large disc of what seemed like gold, with conventionalized flames of slightly darker metals; several metals, obviously some sun-symbol. It was fascinating. I asked about it, admiringly. Mr. Ramar smiled and said he had found it Peru some twenty years ago while on a mining expedition on the site of an old ruin, Inca presumably.
      What attracted Emerald's attention, however, were two large Tibetan scroll-paintings on either side of the fireplace. One showed, if I remember it right, a group of Buddha-like figures on clouds; the other, some great dragon hovering over a solitary man, in mediation on the rocky ledge of a tortuous mountainside. As she spoke animatedly with our host about the paintings, I kept looking around the studio. The furniture was simple, unobtrusive. A large table and chairs on the side opposite the large studio window, which must have been facing north-east, the way the house was built; an old chest under the window, probably Spanish; and facing the fire, under the lowered ceiling a large alcove with leather chairs and a low table. Over the back of the alcove hung a heavy drapery of some material embroidered with colored metal threads.

Mr. Ramar presently led us to the alcove and offered Emerald a chair. The three of us sat down while he moved to the table, on either side of which I noticed, on small shelves, light brown glasses with gilded edges and a few flasks of cut glass. On the table stood a strange modern sculpture of what seemed to be bronze and ivory. Atop its geometrical masses, held by a spiral coil of gold-like metal, a large crystal sphere shone faintly, gathering light from what I supposed to be a tiny spotlight in the ceiling.
      Mr. Ramar suggested we might like to taste some quite rare wine made from grapes grown in Greece, on the slopes of the famous Mount Olympus. This seemed to appeal greatly to Ron and Emerald.
      "Wine from the gods' vineyard?" she asked in a slightly excited voice. "Made by Dionysian Maenads, I imagine."
      Our host nodded and bent to pour a deep golden liquid in a long-stemmed glass for Emerald. "I trust you will find it free of deleterious effects one usually expects from wine." Turning to me he enquired, "And for you? Do you prefer Scotch, or Cognac, perhaps?"
      "How do you know?" I snapped back. For some reason I felt irritation in my voice.
      Mr. Ramar smiled. "Tastes differ, after all." I couldn't tell if he had read in thoughts my usual dislike for sweet wine. "Scotch would be fine," I said. He reached for another flacon, opened a side panel of the table from which he took a large glass, water and ice.
      "I shall taste the wine." Ron was all eagerness. I could feel him bubbling with expectancy. This was the kind of meeting he had been longing for, ever since his mind had become caught into the glamour of what he called "higher knowledge."
      "It is indeed real nectar." Emerald sounded thrilled. And turning to me, "You don't know what you are missing."
      The Scotch was excellent too. This was a find.
      "And now," said Mr. Ramar, after having briefly raised his wine glass to his lips, "We should come to what seems to be the object of your visit. Space-travel, interplanetary adventures, isn't it? Our young friend told me this morning that you were eager for new angles. I must say I do not know too much about your science fiction magazine, but I have read a few issues, a couple of anthologies. I recall a story by you, Mr. Probeck. It was very interesting. Very "exciting," should I say also? People must have excitement. Especially today when our everyday kind of excitement is so limited, so brutal, coarse even, perhaps."
      "But that's it," interrupted Ron. "We have carried this same kind of atmosphere into so many of our story plots only in a magnified, more colossal form. We zoom through space in rocket- ships just as we would love to be able to speed on our super- highways in our continental sport cars. We have interplanetary wars and earth cataclysms to dwarf all our past wars and our puny earthquakes or tornadoes. It is still so much the same and often more hopeless! Return to barbarism. Total extinction; or a mechanized future, which seems to me devastating. I really feel that people are getting tired of it all. They don't know what else they want, of course. That the editor's problem. What else can we give them? With excitement too, but something different."
      "Ron seems to have implicit faith in your ability to start him on a new track," I added.
      And I remember well how Ramar looked at me searchingly and said, "You have no such faith, I gather?" I was taken aback. I mumbled something about anything being possible; I was always ready for new ideas . . .

Of the conversation which followed I can, of course, remember only what impressed me most. Ramar's voice was strangely convincing and I could feel my companions spellbound by the thoughts expressed. Not all of them were new to me. Ron had read me excerpts from writers, ancient and modern, which accepted the same premises. But as Ramar stated the ideas they certainly seemed peculiarly alive, real. Yet, for some reason which I still do not understand, something in me fought against the whole situation. Perhaps it was resentment; perhaps it was fear. Perhaps the man was indeed weaving a hypnotic spell and I did not want to give in. I certainly thought so afterward.
      But now . . . now, what do I really believe? If only I were sure!
      The main points Ramar made were that our modern civilization has placed far too great an emphasis upon machines and the use of gadgets. Modern man has come to think of "power" as something produced by means external to himself, and depending for its release upon some kind of machine. Yet, he pointed out, these machines, however complex, are not comparable in refinement, adaptability and potentiality for growth to the amazingly varied and subtle structures of the human body.
      Besides, he said, the human organism actually extends into regions of vibrations transcending the crude realm of molecular matter. We have only recently come to understand the biochemistry of the human body, but even in that field what we do know really about endocrine glands and nerve action? We have just begun to detect electric currents in the heart, the brain and all tissues. But we see them as disconnected fragments, and under average conditions. We do not know man as an organization of forces. Are we blind to the fact that this organization is or can become attuned to the infinitely vaster organization of forces playing through the whole solar system, not to mention the entire cosmos.
      Ron broke in, enquiring, "This is the idea of the relation between the little unit, man, and the vast whole, the universe, isn't it? Paracelsus' idea, was it not?"
      "Paracelsus was a great mind and he had a truly 'cosmic' realization of man's whole nature," answered Mr. Ramar, "but the ideas he expressed were not merely his own."
      "Paracelsus?" questioned Emerald.
      "He was a great German thinker, and one of the greatest physicians Europe has known and much more," Ramar went on. "This Western civilization would have been different, indeed, had the men of the seventeenth century accepted his picture of man and the cosmos. But it was not yet the time. Mankind had to concentrate upon the development of its intellectual faculties, and it meant becoming focused altogether upon matter and material energies. It meant analysis, experimentation, a narrow, rigid logic instead of Paracelsus' cosmic sense of actual identity of man and the universe."
      "Microcosm and macrocosm," muttered Ron.
      "All very fine," I retorted, as a philosophical ideal. But . . ."
      "Not practical, I suppose?" Ramar interrupted.
      "I mean, it is a theory which no one can prove. Science proves its facts. It builds machines that work, demonstrating that our knowledge of laws of nature is true."
      "True as far as it goes, assuredly. But how far does it go?" questioned our host.
      "Well, we are getting ready for flights to the Moon. Soon we shall travel to distant planets."
      "Actually? Or in science fiction?" Ramar laughed softly.
      I could not suppress a growing sense of irritation. He seemed so sure. Did he really have an extraordinary knowledge, or was it just talk "occult" talk, as Ron had at times rattled on to me from books he had read?
      "Fiction or no fiction," I replied, "what is wrong with our travelling to planets? The very best scientists of the day say it can be done sooner or later."
      "Don't you think we will travel to Venus?" queried Emerald.
      Ramar looked at her with great fixity for a moment, then softly said, "You are Venus."
      "I am?" she was startled.
      "Unless I am much mistaken, you were born sometime in May, were you not?" he went on.
      "May 10. How did you know?"
      He shrugged his shoulders slightly. "There are several kinds of 'knowing.'" He paused. "And there are various kinds of traveling too including travel to planets!"
      Ron straightened up in his chair. "Other kinds of space- travel? Here is the story you were after, Dick."
      I laughed, but my laughter sounded a little forced. No one else laughed. There was a queer sense of expectancy. A silence.
      "Won't you tell us?" said Emerald softly.

Ramar appeared to hesitate a moment. I was sitting tense, for no particular reason. I happened to look at the crystal toping the modernistic sculpture in front of me. It seemed to shine with a stronger glow, a golden color I had not noticed before.
      Ramar started talking. What I remember of his words is probably incomplete and perhaps incorrect. But I recall well the way he began. "Men are very strange. They try so hard to travel to the planets, when the planets are within man."
      "Within man?" said Emerald in a startled voice.
      For some reason, a sentence of the Gospel ran through my mind. "The kingdom of heaven is within you." A mystic statement obviously, but planets?
      Ramar explained what he meant if it could be called an "explanation!"
      The total organism of man, he said, could be considered a miniature solar system; not literally so, yet "in essence and in power" these were his words, I believe. The solar system, he stated, quoting Paracelsus to support his position, was a kind of cosmic organism, an organized and in a broad sense, a living whole. The planets, as they moved around the sun, defined electro-magnetic zones, each of which had a rhythm of its own, and characteristic energies streamed from these fields directed by the motion of the planets themselves. The human body is also, he claimed, and electro-magnetic field, somewhat centered around the heart. If we could see this field he called it the true "aura" we would notice in it vortices of energies, and streams of forces circulating in a complex, yet basically simple, manner; not only from head to feet, but reaching quite far above and somewhat below the body. These circulating streams of energy were, he claimed, the very substance or foundation of organic life. And they were related to the few basic functions of the body like breathing, blood circulation, muscular activity, digestive metabolism, reproductive functions.
      This, I could more or less accept with a stretch of my imagination. But what stopped me was the statement that these basic circuits of energy in the human body were so closely related to the electro-magnetic zones defined by the orbits of the planets, that it could be said truly Mars or Venus actually were within us. The relation was not only general and symbolic; the planetary zones and their energies were actually and actively expressed in the human body. So much so, Ramar said, that if a person could completely focus his consciousness upon the Mars- type of energy in his body, he would be at once in perfect attunement to the planet Mars. He could experience, if he wished, all there was to experienced on, and in, Mars!

I think the three of us grasped a little as Ramar made, simply and as a matter of fact, this last point. Here was indeed a new way of traveling to the planets! Traveling inside of one's own body! How much simpler; and, of course I am a practical person after all! much cheaper.
      Silence had fallen, rather heavily. I felt Ramar watching us, our reactions.
      I broke the silence. "A most fascinating idea. But . . ."
      "A fact also," Ramar interrupted.
      "But a fact must be proven, or at least provable, if it is a fact," I exclaimed.
      It is provable. . . under certain conditions."
      "What are the conditions?" Ron hastened to say, with obvious excitement.
      "For one thing, your readiness, my friend." Ramar's voice seemed to take on a solemn quality. It was soft, but so direct, so precise, that you felt it went through you a challenge. I stood up and took a few steps. Uneasiness mounted up inside of me. I felt tense, disturbed I couldn't have told why; except . . . yes, that was it. A challenge. The man challenged us to something. But what was involved? One just did not go foolishly into a blank unknown. Was it a joke? We did not know anything about the man, after all.
      Ramar looked at me, and standing up asked, "Some more Scotch?"
      By God, yes; Scotch would feel good. It was excellent Scotch. I drank quickly. Then, an idea suddenly flashed into my head: What if the drinks were doped?
      I looked at my two companions. They were drinking some more of the "wine of the gods," as Emerald had called it. I wished I could have warned her, stopped her. Did Ramar get my thoughts? He came to me, and placing his hand on my shoulder, asked, "Everything all right?" I felt ashamed of my thoughts; yet my irritation kept increasing. His very kindness annoyed me.
      "Well," I said rather rudely, "what proof can you give that your theory is a fact? We have the right to ask that, haven't we?"
      Emerald looked at me with wide open eyes. She seemed to say, "Oh, please! Please!"
      I insisted, almost angrily, "Is there no way you can show us something? What is the price of the trip to Mars?" I tried to laugh, but it did not come out.

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Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill.
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Illustation ("Dynamic Equilibrium" by Dane Rudhyar, 1946)
Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill.
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