Hamlet – ‘To be or not to be?’ That is not the question – outing the plot of ‘thinking’
Hamlet – ‘To be or not to be?’ That is not the question – outing the plot of ‘thinking’
Hamlet (circa 1599-1601), is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s most ‘seductive’ plays and it is this very seduction that we, the audience, must stay most acutely aware of – if we wish to fully understand, through the truth of the Ageless Wisdom, the profoundly ground-breaking revelation of the lie being exposed here. It is very easy to fall for the allure of Hamlet’s dilemma and identify with it – as most have done – a very ‘attractive’ dilemma to entertain oneself with, albeit most precarious, paralysing and ultimately devastating.
Yes, it is so easy to identify with the position of the brilliant, articulate, witty, aware, and sensitive young Prince Hamlet who, when his illusions around family and crown are shattered, sees right through the charade of the reductive, created reality we call ‘the world’. He can clearly see that he is surrounded at court by a retinue of ‘yes’ men and puppets, and that the very crown of the kingdom is a lecher and murderer. What he does not realise, however, is that he too is a puppet of the same created reality that has produced the corruption he so abhors – he himself is not free of creation’s tentacles and snares – and thus in the way he is living life he is enabling and feeding the reservoir of lies that this very world he despises breeds and feeds upon.
Hamlet has seen that this world is not one which makes Love the ‘one and only true nature and intelligence of our societies' but is a world bereft of love and true intelligence, a world known to the Ageless Wisdom as ‘The House of Lies’. He clearly sees that the world is an appalling creation whose way of life consists of murder, revenge, betrayal, spying, lying, incest, lust, torment, accusation, energetic enslavement and deceit, as a daily practice . . . but, does he see that creation’s fabric is also made of equally appalling, much more subtle and thus far more insidious lacings of rot? Such as, the infantile ‘intelligence’ (based on the malaise of ‘thinking you think’) which the world applauds as all-supreme, the game of introspection, indecision, mulling, procrastination, delay, withdrawal from life, the lie of individuality, sophistication in all its façades, getting fooled into engaging in the post-cause world, and the travesty of ‘arrangements’ in relationship? All of the latter being the most devious lies and traps creation has to offer the human being’s anguished Etheric spirit, which has willfully separated away from its original magnificent Soul-full state.
Right up until a grand moment of realisation just before his death, Hamlet is as owned by creation as those whom he sees through, loathes, and points the finger at . . . he is owned because of his ignorance of the fact that we are not ’individuals’, we do not ‘think’, and that there are but two sources of energy available on earth for us to align to: we are in truth vehicles of expression of either the ‘what is true’ source of divine energy or the ‘what is not true’ falsely-created source that provides the wherewithal for the existence of a loveless world.
This ignorance keeps Hamlet unaware of the nature of true purpose, true relations and true philosophy, and thus true action. It is this ultimate lack of awareness, deliberately chosen by the arrogant human spirit – the fabricator of a life entirely centred on its own individuality and not the whole – that is the real tragedy of Hamlet and his world. By saying ‘yes’ to this state of ignorance Hamlet allows evil free range. All the pre-staged loveless moves from the ‘created’ source, listed in the paragraph above, play out to yield as their end energetic result and legacy, the destruction of the kingdom – the murders or suicide of the majority of the play’s characters, done by and to themselves – an absurd state of affairs when the truth is that we are all One and come from the One. These key characters who ‘rule’ the country and kill each other at the Danish court are symbolic of the little microcosm of creation’s world with its lies and seductions.
In Hamlet a whole society is torn apart by the way unaware human beings imagine that they are autonomous ‘individuals’ rather than vehicles of expression – all of whom have joined and swear by ‘the cult of individuality’ . . . so allowing the forces of havoc to play with and through them – which forces have the deliberate intent of keeping humanity from the divinity and lived brotherhood which is their true nature.
At the opening of the play the young prince finds himself at a crisis point of great magnitude after the sudden death of his beloved father, the old King Hamlet . . . followed by an agonising twist: Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, has been seduced by her dead husband’s brother, Claudius . . . and has married him in ‘most wicked speed’, within a month of the funeral rites! The hasty nature of this marriage has deeply shocked Hamlet, and he sees it as ‘incestuous’; as exuding ‘the rank sweat of an enseamed bed/ Stewed in corruption’ [3.4.90-1].
In the first soliloquy of the play, the distraught Prince – a dark, grief-stricken and incongruous figure still dressed in his funereal ‘inky-cloak’ at the celebration of the wedding nuptials – reveals to the audience the state of mind that has come upon him. Devastated as he is, he knows he cannot suicide as it is against divine law, but he cannot bear to see what he is seeing:
"O that this too too sallied flesh would melt[1.2. 129 -134]
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter. O God, God
How weary, stale and flat and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t, ah, fie, ’tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed, things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely [absolutely]"
Hamlet’s illusion or idyllic picture of family life has been utterly shattered as he sees the false imaginings and construct exposed for what they are – he has realised that the world is ‘possessed’ by something that is ‘rank and gross in nature’. What actually was this family existence he had imagined to be so glorious – the supremely good life with his devoted royal mother and his kingly father, seen by him as god-like with ‘Hyperion’s [the sun-god’s] curls, the front of Jove himself,/ An eye like Mars to threaten and command/ A station [stance] like the herald Mercury/ New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill’ [3.4. 54-7]?
The Etheric Spirit delights in imagery, and creates such pictures of family life as a cover-up to distract itself from the intensity of its unmitigated mental anguish at having separated from its divine and Soul-full state, desiring above all else to escape the relentless torment of the eternal unrest that results from this separation. This state is what the Ageless Wisdom describes as an ‘immortal disease’ – a disease that has remained largely unacknowledged by the world. Thus the illusion of created imagery and pictures proliferate unhindered in our mental landscapes, and the crowd of images we entertain shadow the direct reflection of universal intelligence available to us, perverting true relationship, and never coming close to ‘healing’ the ‘immortal disease’. It is interesting that Hamlet indeed later recognises that his mental state is diseased. He cannot make a ‘wholesome answer’ to Rosencrantz’s question, replying ‘My wit’s diseased’ [3.2.313-14] – (‘wit’ in the 17th century meaning ‘intelligence’).
Murder most Foul
The already destabilising effect of Hamlet’s mother’s over-hasty marriage then further compounds. At night, a figure, seen walking the battlements of the royal castle at Elsinore by the sentinels and by Horatio (Hamlet’s friend) reveals itself to be the ‘spirit’ or ghost of the former King, old Hamlet. Horatio reads the appearance of the ghost as an omen of political disturbance, as does the sentinel who utters the spot-on and now-famous observation: ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ [1.4.90]. It certainly is. The ghost confronts Hamlet with the message that he has been murdered by the now-King, Claudius, his brother (Hamlet’s uncle). One fateful afternoon, Claudius has poisoned the old King by pouring the ‘juice of cursed hebona’ into the ‘porches of his ears’, as he lies sleeping in his orchard.
Artfully manipulating the bereaved Hamlet by appealing to his love for his lost father, the ghost delivers his appalling message; ‘List [listen], list, O list,/ If thou didst ever thy dear father love – . . . Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder’ [1.5.22-5]. Hamlet is understandably stunned. Not only has he lost his father, but it now turns out that he has been murdered by someone in his very own family – his uncle. What does the word ‘family’ mean anymore?
The illusion of thinking we think
Before even receiving this message, Hamlet has queried the validity of the apparition: ‘Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned/ Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell/ Be thy intents wicked or charitable’[1.4.40-2], but with no answer forthcoming from the ghost, Hamlet ‘decides’ to remain undecided, still questioning: does this visitation come from the promptings of the shadows (like the witches in Macbeth), or is it a communication from ‘heaven’?
The ghost’s message is clearly not one from ‘heaven’. How can it be if it is conveyed to Hamlet by a restless and ‘perturbed spirit’ [1.5.180] who commands that revenge be exacted? By going directly to indecision Hamlet has not responded to the offered flow and instead chosen from a platter of seductive pre-arranged mental selections offered by a set-up or way of ‘thinking’ which will ensure that he will not know the energetic truth of the situation. This way of thinking, in which the human being ‘thinks he thinks’ and makes decisions, even if that is to be indecisive(!), is fed to him by the promptings of the shadows, who promote a bastardised version of true free-will, a version that makes it look like we can and do make choices when in fact all those choices are actually cut from one and the same cloth and will all lead to the same energetic end result, i.e. keeping humanity from knowing the magnificent truth about their origins. In truth, there is no ‘choice’, there is simply our God-given right to align to the divine source – a source which brings us back to our true nature and opens the conduit to universal intelligence whose very purpose encompasses the consideration of the all. The ‘thinking’ set-up is individuality-based, and is offered to us from the ‘what is not true’ source, known to the Ageless Wisdom as the ‘astral plane’ or ‘the Confederate’ – one of the two available sources on this much reduced plane of life.
In reality Hamlet, like us all, is not an ‘individual’ but a vehicle of expression for either one or the other source, and he in fact could have aligned to the source whose quality is truth and used his inborn ability to read and discern the quality of the ghost’s message to know whether it be true or not true.
If he does not align to that which is true he is then a vehicle at the mercy of the ‘thinking’ illusion that offers a veritable carousel of mental choices; he is at the mercy of a design deliberately engineered to interfere with and obliterate any cognisance outside the controlled version of consciousness offered by those forces who wish to keep humanity imprisoned in individuality, and in delay of their natural evolution. Ha! Let’s keep Hamlet caught in indecision! Easy, he’s a ‘thinker’: ‘To be or not to be?/ That is the question’.
It is no accident that Hamlet later communicates to fellow students and courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he has come to the realisation not only that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’, but that Denmark and indeed the whole world is a ‘prison’. He can sense something is awry, he can feel he is energetically trapped, yet is still ignorant of the exact nature and cause of it, unaware that he plays a key part in saying ‘yes’ to the existence of the prison through ignoring energetic truth. Though he does get glimpses: ‘O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space – were it not that I have bad dreams’.
To return to the scene on the battlements of Elsinore castle, it is interesting that the ghost actually does get the facts of Hamlet’s father’s murder correct. However, for Hamlet to understand what is happening he needs to read more deeply, not the ‘facts’ of the message, but the energetic intent that lies behind the message being conveyed to him. As we hear further into the play, Hamlet is certainly aware that a ‘spirit’ has the ability to ‘assume a pleasing shape’ while still behaving ‘abusively’, i.e. a spirit can pretend to be his father, tell the ‘truth’ about the murder, but have the evil agenda of urging Hamlet either to take revenge on his uncle, Claudius [3.1.533-5], and/or get beguiled into toying with indecision and madness... which he does.
It will help here to briefly consider the context of the societal convention of ‘revenge’ in Elizabethan England. Revenge tragedies were popular, and revenge duelling, primarily employed for matters of honour or reputation (offences which civil authority did not deal with), came into vogue around 1600, becoming a serious threat to civil order. There was a societal sense, reinforced by literature, that the citizen had the inalienable right to privately exact retribution for a wrong done. Very conveniently not many questioned this position of the entitlement-based self – the stubborn and deliberate welcoming-in of the force of this anti-evolutionary stance was par for the course, as typified by both Laertes’ and Fortinbras’ approach to revenge in Hamlet. It is interesting to consider words written by Shakespeare’s contemporary Francis Bacon, clearly demolishing the idea that there is any validity, honour or integrity in revenge:
Revenge is a wild kind of justice; which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out . . . Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince’s part to pardon. And Solomon I am sure saith, It is the glory of a man, to pass by an offence. That which is past is gone, and irrevocable; and wise men have enough to do, with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labour in past matters.’
These wise words of Bacon are not simply words, this was a wisdom he lived.
It is on record that Bacon, as Attorney General and then Lord Chancellor to James I, never took revenge over injuries, which he could well have done with impunity because of the opportunity he had to be able to do so, and the protection high office would have afforded him. Such a way of being in public office was rare, and Bacon was a true contemporary role model for all who wished to extract themselves from the prison of creation’s lies and traps.
What Hamlet fails to realise is that if he does not discern the energetic quality of the spirit/ghost’s message, i.e. that it is a set-up, he will be misled into imagining that he should act in the required societal way and take revenge in order to rectify his uncle’s crime. And of course revenge is the required way of the collective confederate thought-source that runs creation. However the act of revenge is against Hamlet’s essential nature and he balks at it, protesting: ‘The time is out of joint. O cursed spite/ That ever I was born to set it right’ [1.5.186-7]. And well into the play Hamlet is acutely aware of his resistance to taking revenge – the fact that the urge to revenge in him is ‘dull’: ‘How all occasions do inform against me/ And spur my dull revenge’ [4.4.31-2] and ‘How stand I then/ That have a father killed, a mother stained,/ Excitements of [motives to incite] my reason and my blood,/ And let all sleep’ [4.4.55-8]. He can’t whip himself into action. The ghost has to re-appear to him in his mother’s closet to urge him on: ‘The visitation/ Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose’ [3.4.107-8].
The shadows deliberately alight on Hamlet when he is at his most vulnerable, to present the spirit-architected, already-scripted role of the ‘revenger’, knowing that he will have great difficulty in performing such a role yet will nevertheless start to imagine that it is a son’s duty to revenge the death of his father. And then, in entertaining this idea fed to him, it places him in the untenable position of being tormented by indecision and procrastination which will of course disable him from true action. The intention of the interference is to throw Hamlet off balance, a deliberate delay to his natural evolutionary unfoldment.
It is a total distraction. The question is, will he remain true to truth, the ‘what is’, or will he be ‘what they want him to be’?
Hamlet is now faced with almost certainly knowing not only that his uncle, who now sleeps in incestuous sheets with his mother, has cold-bloodedly murdered his father, but that this murderer is actually the King and ruler of the realm. The whole kingdom, Hamlet realises, is rotten from the top down. What kind of realm is it that has as its crown a man who has murdered his own brother, seduced his brother’s wife, and usurped the kingdom he has ruled? In reality, the usual kind! However, this is a substantial confrontation for anyone who has been in illusion around the monarchy, the state, and the belief that there is any decency in creation. Hamlet communicates the deflation of his disillusionment about king and crown to Rosencrantz: ‘The king is a thing . . . Of nothing’ [4.2.26-28].
Where can he turn to find any law of integrity that would deal with the crime committed, or indeed where can he turn to find any marker of truth at all?
Horatio, a marker of truth
Interestingly, Hamlet has not been left to face his ordeal alone: Horatio, his wise friend and fellow student, is by his side, a man who is his own man – in the sense that he is not a channel for the forces of the whims of fickle ‘Fortune’ – though not to perfection. However, Horatio is a man whom Hamlet knows has not been taken for a ride, a man who brings precious equanimity and awareness in a world that is out of kilter. With great insight, Hamlet realises that this friend has been chosen for him by his Soul:
"Since my dear Soul was mistress of her choice[3.2.59-70]
And could of men distinguish her election
Sh’ath sealed thee for herself. For thou hast been
As one in suffering all that suffers nothing
A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
Has ta’en with equal thanks. And blest are those
Whose blood and judgement are so well co-meddled
That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave and I will wear him
In my heart’s core – ay in my heart of heart
As I do thee."
Hamlet could have turned to and heeded this beautiful man who resides in his inner-heart’s core. Horatio can see set-ups – he has not only seen the ghost as an omen of an ‘eruption to our state’ [1.1.68], but insightfully warns Hamlet that the ghost ‘might deprive your sovereignty of reason/ And draw you into madness’ [1.4.73-4] . . . which it does. He also foresees that his friend will lose the final fatal duel being set up by the King between Hamlet and Laertes (son of the interfering councillor, Polonius) in order to kill him: Horatio says, if you play this game ‘You will lose, my lord’ and Hamlet again disregards him replying, ‘I do not think so’ [5.2.186-7] – ignoring Horatio. But Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, and Hamlet all end up murdered as a result of this set-up. The cause and effect is obvious to see, and it takes a god-like force to ignore what Hamlet must have known to be true.
Instead of consulting with Horatio, Hamlet insists on relentlessly articulating his bereftness to whoever will listen:
" I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave overhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What piece of work is a man – how noble in reason; how infinite in faculties, in form, and moving; how express and admirable in action; how like an angel in apprehension; how like a god; the beauty of the world; the paragon of animals. And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me – nor women neither . . ."[2.2. 261-275]
And as life unfolds for the young Prince his devastation is augmented when he is rejected by his beloved Ophelia who in her ‘duty and obedience’ to her father, Polonius, follows his advice for her to exchange ‘no words or talk with the Lord Hamlet’ [1.3.133] and to ‘lock herself from his resort [access],/ Admit no messengers, receive no tokens’, giving the reason that ‘Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star [out of the question as a marriage partner]/ This must not be’. [2.2.138-41] . . . a good instance of Polonius in his interfering role – Ophelia in fact could have been Hamlet’s wife, as the audience hears when Queen Gertrude addresses the body of the suicided Ophelia at the grave-side: ‘Farewell./ I hoped that thou shouldst have been my Hamlet’s wife’ [5.1.233-4].
Spies, liars and ‘yes’ men
The nightmare grows as Hamlet realises that he is surrounded at home and at court by a pack of ‘yes’ men, complicit courtiers, spies and informers, as well as ‘friends’ who turn out to be lackeys and liars. Off his own bat, the garrulous Polonius (in Hamlet’s words ‘a most foolish prating knave’, who has the outrageous temerity to utter at court this still-quoted adage; ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ [2.2.90]), suggests that he himself spy on both Gertrude‘s and Hamlet’s moves and conversations for the King: ‘My lord, he’s going to his mother’s closet./ Behind the arras [wall-hanging] I’ll convey myself/ To hear the process’ [3.3.27-9]. Even Hamlet’s own mother says ‘yes’ to Polonius spying on her son. And it is here, when behind the arras spying on Hamlet who confronts his mother with her offence to his dead father, that Polonius leaps out and is killed by Hamlet; ‘How now! A rat! Dead for a ducat, dead!'[3.4.23]
The corrupt court is stacked with ‘yes’ men, utterly owned by the King. Polonius heads the list. Not a genuine response falls from his lips: Hamlet (setting him up): ‘Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in the shape of a camel? Polonius: ‘By th’ mass and ‘tis like a camel indeed’. Hamlet: ‘Methinks it is like a weasel’. Polonius: ‘It is backed like a weasel’. Hamlet: ‘Or like a whale’. Polonius: ‘Very like a whale’ [3.2.366-73]. A similar exchange happens between Hamlet and the young courtier, Osric, whom Hamlet sarcastically refers to as a ‘water-fly’. [5.2.80-9]
Hamlet’s fellow students and so-called friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, let the murderer-King know that they too are obedient to his treacherous, desperate ways: ‘ … we both obey/ And here give up ourselves in the full bent/ To lay our service freely at your feet/ To be commanded’ [2.2. 29-32]. Hamlet is well aware that this pair of fools are the king’s ‘sponge(s) . . . that soak up the King’s countenance, his rewards, his authorities . . . ‘When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you will be dry again’ [4.2.11-19]. And he does not hold back on letting them know that he knows that they have prostituted themselves to the crown. Guildenstern jokes that he and Rosencrantz live in Fortune’s ‘private parts’ and Hamlet replies, ‘In the secret parts of Fortune? O most true – she is a strumpet [prostitute]’ [2.2.229-31]. As new era philosopher Serge Benhayon says of such desperate ‘self-serving’ energy, the same that is consummately embodied in the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: ‘Nonchalant malevolence is mere basic groundwork when individuality is the aligned to desire’.
This pair are sent to spy on Hamlet, pretending they are visiting him as ‘friends’. But Hamlet can smell a rat a mile off and fully addresses it:
‘Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me. Come, come, nay, speak’.
Guildenstern: ‘What should we say, my lord?’
Hamlet: ‘Anything but to th’ purpose. You were sent for, and there is a kind of confession in your looks . . . I know the good King and Queen have sent for you.’
Rosencrantz: ‘To what end, my lord?’
Hamlet: ‘That you must teach me. But let me conjure you by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love . . . be even and direct with me whether you were sent for or no.’
Rosencrantz: ‘What say you?’
Hamlet: ‘Nay then, I have an eye of you. If you love me hold not off.’
Finally they admit that they are spying on him for the king: Guildenstern: ‘My lord, we were sent for’ [2.2, 240-58].
After the dramatic exposure of the truth about the old King’s murder in The Mousetrap Play, (the play within the play) scripted by Hamlet and performed at court, the recorder players, (part of the itinerant players’ troupe) enter as ‘friend’ Guildenstern again applies himself to pry into Hamlet’s business. Hamlet, right onto it, out of left field urges Guildenstern to play the recorder, who repeatedly protests that he cannot, that he knows ‘no touch of it’ with Hamlet finally replying, ‘It’s as easy as lying’. Touché!
He explains how to play it and Guildenstern again refuses: ‘But these cannot I command to any utterance of harmony. I have not the skill’. And Hamlet replies: ‘Why look you how unworthy a thing you make of me: you would play upon me . . . Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you fret me you cannot play upon me’ [3.2. 343-63]. Hamlet may hold back on ‘physical’ revenge, but he certainly wields a sharp sword in a verbal duel.
The Arrangement of Withdrawal
Hamlet has seen the corruption of life all around him and has realised the insanity of the roles played by human beings consenting to be the puppets of the forces running the fictional world, touted by the ‘what is not true’ channel as ‘reality’, the charade of which is described by Hamlet in a brilliant theatrical metaphor in Act 2.
Faced with the enormity of his realisation that creation is a farce and has pretty much failed him, what will Hamlet do now? Will he run away, lose his grip, withdraw into escapism or will he take responsibility to lead as he ought? Will he align to the source of truth or will he fall for the attractive array of offerings laid out for him on the roulette wheel of ‘choices’ in the ‘what is not true’ of Vanity Fair’s casino?
Rather than responding in a true, observational way, reading his situation and remembering his true purpose, Hamlet violently reacts, which cuts him off from access to his multi-dimensional, divinely sourced intelligence, and opens the floodgates to the roulette of ‘choices’ of the ‘not true’. He reacts by withdrawing from life into a convenient ‘madness’ that is, at the same time, both feigned and actual. He plays the wild card – a classic way of behaviour for the unruly, delinquent spirit – choosing to ‘protect’ himself from the horrors of life all around him by withdrawing into this assumed madness, informing the audience that he will put ‘an antic disposition on’ [act wildly, madly] [1.5.170], and he does put on a pretty convincing show: he ‘thinks’ he ‘knows’ he is playing a role and tells his mother, ‘I essentially am not in madness/ But mad in craft’ [by pretence] [3.4.185-6], warning her not to reveal this to King Claudius whom he sees as an enemy. Claudius, sensing the threat Hamlet’s ‘wild-card’ state will be to his own security as the crown, mutters ominously: ‘Madness in great ones must not unwatched go’.
Hamlet also lets his ‘hamming’ up of madness be known to Guildenstern: ‘My uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived . . . I am but mad north north west./ When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw’ [2.2. 313-16]. Queen Gertrude is certainly deceived by his ‘act’: when the King asks, ‘How does Hamlet?’, she replies, ‘Mad as the sea and wind when both contend/ Which is the mightier’ [4.1.7-8]. Of course the irony is that if Hamlet were to say what he saw was happening he would be condemned as insane and put away – for seeing what was outside the allowable range of the circumscribed ‘intelligence’ of the alternate reality the world has created and is obedient to. Yet there is an arrogance in this choice to act in madness – ‘I can see so much but I will not bring my all and truly communicate with any of you’.
Why, one might ask, would the path of ‘withdrawal’ into madness be considered to be a tempting or attractive offering in any way? This is why: the voice of the shadows calls out to the hurt one; ‘Life hurts, come over here into withdrawal and I will care for you and protect you’. Almost irresistible! But it is a monumental distraction. In our madness we imagine that we will be ‘protected’ by withdrawing from life when the opposite is true – what we are in fact doing when we withdraw is contracting away from the power of our own natural divinity that fills us with Love and Universal intelligence, a foundation from which we can truly act. Whereas in contraction we relinquish the Soul and its wisdom and open ourselves up to offer the gap for the destructive forces to invade, to possess, to haunt. Which is why the ghost lands on Hamlet in the first place! It is simple energetic science. The many who are seduced by withdrawal do not realise that this action is coming from exactly the same quality or vibration as that which they are repudiating or reacting against.
There is much entertainment to be had by the audience in Hamlet’s mad sallies and rallies with the despised courtiers. But the tragedy of this ‘choice’ is that the so-called alternative route that Hamlet has opted for is no alternative at all, it is mainstream astral-plane plot, being simply a different tentacle of the same octopus – withdrawal into feigned or actual madness is madness is energetic psychosis (aka ‘elsewhere-conscious-presence’)! And there is a certain romantic seduction attached to this posture taken up by the sensitive young Prince as the ‘victim’ to this disgraceful behaviour of his mother and uncle. But such a posture carries with it the hidden trap that in fact the one who consents to ‘victim-hood’ is ultimately encouraging the perpetrator to commit even more acts of torturing imposition. This is a disgusting role directly commissioned by the astral plane for Hamlet to play – Hamlet, who (like every man) has such potential to be a great ‘prince’, meaning ‘principal one’, the true magnificence of the Co–created Son. In saying ‘yes’ to this role of victimhood he hands over his power to the Confederate puppeteers. This is but one of a multitude of destructive arrangements/reactions commissioned for us to play in our relationships with others, when we could instead align to truly love one another and live in equal Brotherhood.
The world of ours that is still enthralled by the light of creation comes up with endless lies about the nature of such arrangements, see for example that of academic Kiernan Ryan who states that ‘Hamlet’s retreat into the dramatic limbo of his “antic disposition” . . . isn’t a symptom of some mysterious malaise that’s incapacitated him, but the only sane response to an insane predicament in a society that no longer makes sense’.
It should be restated; there is nothing ‘sane’ about withdrawal, it is a sure path to madness.
This role of withdrawal is one that is a far more ‘comfortable’ role for Hamlet to fall into than that of revenge-murderer, though, ironically, the act of withdrawal is no less a revenge than is murder – withdrawal is a very subtle kind of revenge taken upon those who have hurt us: ‘You didn’t take me and my sensitivity into account when you let my uncle seduce you so soon after my father’s death; you don’t understand me, my sensitivity, my light so I withdraw my light from you’ – retaliation!
Herein lies Hamlet’s especial revenge tragedy! If he remains ignorant of the quality of his ‘choice’ to withdraw, Hamlet protects and enables the very Confederate he despises and is a self-made enemy of the truth he professes to want to know.
Hamlet’s ‘pièce de resistance’
Now we come to the most famous of all speeches Shakespearean, Hamlet’s soliloquy, ‘To be or not to be – that is the question’. This line has become a saying in everyday conversation, and almost everyone quotes this line if Shakespeare is mentioned. It is hailed as a great and deep philosophical meditation on the human dilemma and mortality, and it is every Shakespearean actor’s greatest desire to get the opportunity to stand on stage and deliver this landmark speech in our history of drama.
Yep, it does sound like a deep pondering:
To be or not to be – that is the question;
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them; to die: to sleep –
No more, and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished – to die: to sleep –
To sleep perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely [insolence],
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin [commit suicide with dagger].
Who would fardels [burdens] bear
To grunt and sweat under a weary life
But that the dread of something after death
(The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns) puzzles [paralyses] the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others we know not of.
Thus conscience doth make us cowards –
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. [3.1. 55-87]
The listener can easily get sucked in by the rhetoric, the alluring phrases: ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, ‘the thousand natural shocks/ That flesh is heir to’, ‘The whips and scorns of time’ – all that creation has tortured us with – and identify with them, without realising that the variety of options that Hamlet is ‘pondering’ over and trying to ’choose’ between all belong to the same roulette-wheel offering of the Confederate, the Creation that Hamlet supposedly hates. The words of this soliloquy are a concoction of Brahmanic circulation energy that has no true source outside its own constant re-cycling: ‘Should I do nothing and suffer the troubles and hurts? Or should I take armed action against these troubles? And what about death or suicide . . . ooh that is an option ‘devoutly’ to be desired’.
Front page news from The Northern Star of the Heavenly Hierarchy (Feb, 2020): Astral Lie Outed.
Hamlet is actually standing on stage flirting with the idea of suicide! Suicide is in reality the ultimate withdrawal and escape that fatally leads the human being so very far away from all that is truth, love, beauty, wisdom, glory and power. And yet this world of ours, viewing this delivery from Hamlet’s mouth, is hailing it as a profound philosophical meditation! Hamlet is saying, ‘Who would bother with the horrors of creation, when one could easily write off his debt to life by stabbing himself with a bare stiletto (or dagger)’ [‘When he himself might his quietus make/ With a bare bodkin’].
The speech spectacularly demonstrates the etheric spirit’s rapacious desire to escape in order to quell the ceaseless unrest caused by its adopted position of separation from the Soul. And it powerfully demonstrates the spirit’s desire to use its god-like forces to escape what it ultimately cannot escape – the truth about its insane mistake to separate from the Soul. It is key to digest that the only driving force behind the so-called intelligence of the spirit is to achieve unresponsiveness to the call of evolution back to its origins. And it does this in its attempt to maintain its individuality, and to escape the torment of eternal unrest.
The ‘To be or not to be’ speech is but one big excursion, detour and delay into the astral way of ‘thinking’ and ‘thinking we think’. Commentators of the play obsessively dwell on Hamlet’s delay in taking revenge on his uncle, but this is simply a distraction. The real delay lies in Hamlet opting for the illusion that we ‘think’. The whole soliloquy consists of a mulling over of the offerings and apparent options provided by Creation’s reduced intelligence operating in the post-cause world – all of which, whatever chosen, will land Hamlet in exactly the same ignorant position, far from the light of truth. Hamlet’s soliloquy consists of a certain kind of deceitful questioning which has the pretence of being open minded, when there is in fact no open mindedness at all. It is in reality a calculation to create a sequence of words hung in certain relationship that will be endorsed as being a true pondering on the dilemma of human existence by the reduced ‘intelligence’ that the sold-out puppets have fallen for.
This soliloquy is a philosophical sham, and pure indulgence. It most certainly, and literally, is Hamlet’s ‘pièce de resistance’ – his resistance to Heaven – the Etheric Spirit’s resistance at all costs to allowing true truth to be the aligned-to source – and it is Shakespeare’s ultimate, but not only, exposure in the history of theatre of the deliberately planted lie and set-up of ‘thinking we think’!
So much for one of the most famous speeches of all time! We cannot blame Shakespeare for its fame – because ironically, but obviously, it is not Shakespeare but the wily Etheric Spirit that has picked out this speech and made it famous. What commentator on Hamlet ever quotes or remembers Hamlet’s speech about Horatio being chosen for him as a friend by his Soul: ‘Give me that man/ That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him/ In my heart’s core – ay in my heart of heart’? Very few if any. This speech is a rare piece of unadulterated gold to be found spoken in the play but almost no one remembers it. The fame of ‘To be or not to be’ has been chosen for acclaim by exactly the same ‘intelligence’ as that which makes Puck (who is the embodiment of the Etheric Spirit in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) the audience’s favourite and most adored character.
And we have all agreed to it, giving our power away to the ‘authority’ of amassed circulation energy – a real mind virus, passed on over the centuries. Only thirty-seven years after the performance of this play philosopher René Descartes is still insisting, ‘I think, therefore I am’ [Cogito, ergo sum’]. Utter rubbish. The world of culture has repeated and parroted over and over what a deep speech is ’To be or not to be’, worthy of quoting! Now we can say what a deep illusion, worthy of outing. Interestingly this soliloquy (defined as a speech delivered by a key character alone on stage to the audience) is delivered when Hamlet is not alone – Polonius and King Claudius, gatekeepers of the court world’s illusory ‘truths’, are hiding behind an arras spying on Hamlet’s speech. In fact the visual tableau on stage of this pair of bullies (unseen-to-Hamlet) hiding while he delivers his speech could at some level symbolically represent the revelation that the human being, fooled into imagining that they are ‘thinking’, i.e. they are coming up with the thoughts they are speaking – thoughts that do not belong to their Soul – are actually parroting the thoughts from the Confederate reservoir of circulation energy, fed by the invisible, astral ‘spirits’ pulling the strings, standing at our/ the side.
Hamlet is sent away by the King to England accompanied by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who carry a letter to the King of England commanding that Hamlet be assassinated on arrival. Hamlet, however, finds this letter in his chaperones’ cabin and recklessly substitutes the names of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern therein so that they will instead be assassinated on their arrival. On this sea-journey Hamlet is taken prisoner by pirates but delivered back safely to Denmark in time to stumble upon the funeral of Ophelia who has gone mad and suicided.
King Claudius must think of a final solution to immediately deal with the ‘immortal’ Hamlet who keeps popping back up like a jack-in-the box in his life when thought to be killed! He sets Hamlet up for a duel with Laertes. Laertes has returned from abroad to find that his sister Ophelia has committed suicide, supposedly because of Hamlet’s rejection of her (when in fact she rejected him, giving her power away to the commands of her father Polonius); and Laertes discovers that his father too has been slaughtered by Hamlet. It takes little prompting from the King to incite Laertes to a revenge duel against Hamlet, which will be duplicitously presented as a playful sword fight between young men with safe swords: ‘Revenge should have no bounds’ says the King [4.7.125], as Laertes joins him for morning tea and agrees to the plan for him to use a ‘sword unbated’ [i.e. not blunted, not protected by a button, as in playful duels]. Laertes gets the idea (from which source we have no doubt) to further anoint the sword with venom, and, as a back-up plan, the King will offer Hamlet a chalice of poison to drink when he gets thirsty during the game. Hamlet’s days are numbered.
The court gathers, the duel table is prepared, trumpets and drums sound. Officers enter with cushions, foils and daggers. The set-up and play-out begins.
But wait: in having to confront Laertes and face the fact that he has killed Laertes’ father, Polonius, Hamlet realises the depth of mayhem and devastation that has been caused through his mad actions – the death of Polonius, the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the scathing judgment of his mother who will soon die of a poison that has been intended for him, and the part he has unwittingly played in Ophelia’s suicide by reacting to her rejection. Hamlet asks Laertes’ pardon for having wronged him, and lays out before him that he, Hamlet, has come to a point of realisation that he was not the ‘one’ who actually did these acts; he has realised that he is in fact a vehicle of expression and through his ignorance has been used by the forces of madness which have come through him when he has allowed distraction, and said ‘yes’ to the seduction by withdrawal, thus absenting himself from himself:
"Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong,[5.2.204-15]
But pardon’t as you are a gentleman.
This presence [those present at the duel] knows, and you must needs have heard,
How I am punished with a sore distraction.
What I have done
That might your nature, honour and exception
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Was’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.
If Hamlet from himself been ta’en away
And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not; Hamlet denies it.
Who does it then? His madness."
Hamlet explains to Laertes that there was no purposed evil from him – but, though evil was not ‘meant’, it was certainly done and he acknowledges that he did ‘hurt my brother’ [5.2.221]. At some level Hamlet is beginning to see that his absence from himself is contributing to evil, to the reservoir of the astral. Hamlet too reveals to Laertes that his real enemy was not what he imagined it to be but was in fact the madness that came through him.
Laertes responds that he is ‘satisfied’ with what Hamlet has said, and that while he will still proceed with the duel to revenge his ‘honour’ [reputation] to ‘keep my name ungored’, he will nevertheless ‘receive your offered love like love/ And will not wrong it’ [5.2.221-9]. So Laertes is honest with Hamlet about where he stands, but nevertheless begins the duel with the fatal unbated rapier. In the midst of the duel, rapiers get accidentally exchanged and both Laertes and Hamlet are mortally wounded. Events spiral out way beyond the King’s ‘device’ or plan when the Queen mistakenly drinks the poisoned chalice intended for Hamlet – and it is noteworthy that the king will let her die rather than risk exposure of the fact that he has poisoned the chalice for Hamlet!
It is interesting to note the wholesale disaster the King calls upon himself and his court by deliberately ignoring what he knows to be true – he knows that the ’offence’ of ‘A brother’s murder’ ‘smells to heaven’; and he openly states that he knows the difference between the two sources – corrupt creation and Heaven bringing ‘his true nature’:
"In the corrupt currents of this world[3.3.58-64]
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice [thrust aside justice]
And oft ‘tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but ‘tis not so above:
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves compelled
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults
To give in evidence."
The king does know the difference between the two sources – we all know.
The massacre at court completes with the already dying Hamlet mortally wounding the King.
Horatio, left standing at the scene of the carnage, bestows his loving benediction over Hamlet’s body:
'Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight, sweet Prince,/ And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest'.[5.2.343-4]
The young Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, arrives to restore rightful rule to Denmark. His final words about the wholesale massacre on stage are: ‘Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this/ Becomes the field [is appropriate to the battle field] but here [at court] shows much amiss./ Go bid the soldiers shoot’ [5.2.385-8]
Yes, something is profoundly amiss – the court has become the battlefield. The King’s court, that which rules the domain, is no model for true living, it is an astral battlefield which devastates all, a travesty of true living. This is the court that, when ruled by the Etheric Spirit who is in continual battle with daily resisting its evolution and return to Soul, destroys its own body. How can the spirit admit that it, the spirit, is not IT? How can it relinquish the fantasy of individuality without disappearing in a puff of smoke, a state of affairs unbearable to it? When this lie is defeated, and the spirit realises that we are vehicles of expression and that we can align to the Soul, to Heaven, then comes the birth of the glorious Son of God.
What will we align to?
In Hamlet, Shakespeare exposes the plight and illusion of the articulate, sensitive, enabler who clearly sees the vast extent of the corruption, duplicities and lies, yet chooses to remain ignorant in his withdrawal into ‘elsewhere-conscious-presence’ in order to use those very lies to cushion himself against the lie he detests. Of all the commentators, William Hazlitt (1778-1830) probably comes closest to the nitty-gritty of things when he says: ‘it is we who are Hamlet’.
Further, Shakespeare has powerfully exploded the absolute falsehood that we ‘think’. Hamlet’s ‘thinking’ and ‘pondering’ and ‘questioning’ have undeniably led to unmitigated madness, mayhem, murder, and destruction. This illusion is one of the most evil of traps set for the human being for the very reason that; how can anyone realise that they don’t think when what is being fed to them – what they are thinking they think – makes them think they are thinking. This is the madness, the mental disease. The championing of the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy as the most famous of Shakespearian speeches over the past four centuries is outrageous cheek on the part of the astral plane. Hamlet is standing on stage during this soliloquy spouting the ‘story’ archetypically spun by the Etheric Spirit or ‘quintessence of dust’ [2.2. 275] (whom he so abhors in his other famous speech ‘What piece of work is a man’) – yes, he is spinning the story, any story, in order to bring every reason why he cannot move on from his hurts and misfortune!
The astral plane’s co-opting and spotlighting of ‘To be or not to be’ is a deliberate countering of the true alchemy of Hamlet: it is a masterful distraction in an attempt to annihilate the divine-designed heaven-sent message and gift brought by the Ageless Wisdom through the Masters of the Ages to humanity from God that we do not think but are vehicles of expression, for either Heaven or for the astral plane.
What will we align to? That is the question.
End of story.
Based on and Inspired by The Ageless Wisdom as taught by Serge Benhayon