Nicholas Hagger’s Universalist approach

1. Literary Works

Universalism regards the universe as a unity with one source, the One. It therefore regards humankind as a potentially unified whole, and all the world’s literature as having one theme. In his literary writings Hagger has reflected the Age as it is seen in all cultures and civilisations. He has focused on the quest for the One, the hidden metaphysical Reality known to Wordsworth and Eliot, and on the social vices that hinder such a vision, which together form the fundamental theme of world literature (see below). His Universalist poetry combines the inner aspiration of the Romantics and the social perspective of the classical and Neoclassical poets.

Hagger’s early poetic work drew on Epping Forest and Japanese locations. In ‘The Silence’ (1965–66),4 a long narrative poem in a Modernist sequence of images, he describes Freeman’s alienation from social situations and his search for Reality in Japan. Freeman (a latter-day Everyman) develops from an Angry Young Man into a serene mystic, the only Angry hero to turn away from the outer world and undergo an inner transformation.

In Tokyo Hagger encountered the First-World-War poet Edmund Blunden. He had discussions with his colleague Junzaburō Nishiwaki, then regarded as Japan’s T.S. Eliot, who urged him to look into the Zen experience of satori or illumination which is well-documented on the Mystic Way. Hagger first glimpsed the inner Light in the Zen Engakuji temple in Kita-Kamakura, Japan in July 1965. On 10 September 1971, while living at 13 Egerton Gardens in London, he had a profound experience of illumination that shaped much of his later work.

Hagger underwent a development in late 1979 and early 1980. His poems after this time sought to reconcile his vision with social and historical events, and to unite sense and spirit (a combination found in Baroque art). His work now became more classical. His Selected Poems, A Metaphysical’s Way of Fire came out in 1991.5 The poets David Gascoyne and Kathleen Raine and the historian Asa Briggs spoke at a combined launch for this book and The Fire and the Stones. Hagger’s first Collected Poems followed in 1994. His more classical approach continued in Classical Odes, begun in 1994, which links historical ruins to the One in 317 odes and catches the tension as the United Kingdom emerged from nation-statehood into membership of the regional European Union. Some of his later work satirises social vices, for example ‘Zeus’s Ass’.

His Collected Poems, 1958-2005 (2006) presents nearly 1,500 poems in 30 volumes and a rich variety of forms – sonnets, lyrics in trimeters and tetrameters, elegies, odes in 8-, 10-, or 12-line stanzas, blank verse and stress metre, to which he added epic poetry.

On his way back from Libya he had visited Ezra Pound, poet of The Cantos, in Rapallo (on 16 July 1970), and discussed poetic epic with him. Pound urged him to write epic verse. The gestation process took many years. His two classical poetic epics in blank verse, Overlord (1994–1996) and Armageddon (2008–2009) grew out of this discussion with Pound,6 and are American as well as British epic poems. Overlord (41,000 lines) narrates the fortunes of Dwight Eisenhower, Hagger’s Aeneas, in the Second World War from D-Day to the fall of Berlin and the dropping of the atomic bomb,7 and Armageddon (25,000 lines) narrates U.S. President George W. Bush’s fortunes in the War on Terror from the September-11 attacks in 2001 to the entry of President Barack Obama. Both reconcile the violent conflicts of war to the Oneness of the universe, and both express an underlying longing for a peace-bringing World State. Hagger’s war poetry may be associated with his early experiences of living under German V-1 and V-2 rocket attack, and his encounters with Winston Churchill in 1945 and Montgomery in 1953.

In its depiction of a cosmic struggle between good and evil, Overlord has elements in common with Paradise Lost. The masterful control and narrative vitality of the poem was praised by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.8

He has revived verse drama. His 1994 verse drama The Warlords (two parts) is also about the end of the war. An abridged version was created at the urging of actor and dramatist Ken Campbell, following a day’s play-reading by his group of actors. By 2000 Hagger had written three more verse plays, reviving verse drama. His Collected Verse Plays include The Warlords, Prince Tudor, Ovid Banished and The Rise of Oliver Cromwell.

He has written three poetic masques: The Dream of Europa (2015), a celebration of the EU’s 70 years of peace; King Charles the Wise (2018), a celebration of the UK’s post-Brexit global destiny and the birth of a united world; and The Coronation of King Charles (2021), a celebration of King Charles III’s coronation through three pageant entertainments, the last of which foresees the coming Carolingian Age. These are in the tradition of the court masques of Ben Jonson in the early 17th century, and are the first masques in English literature since Empson’s.

His poetic output in his Collected Poems, Classical Odes, Overlord, Armageddon and Collected Verse Plays exceeds that of both Wordsworth and Tennyson. His Selected Poems: Quest for the One (2015) contains extracts from all these works. His Life Cycle and Other New Poems (2016), contain a further 210 of his poems between 2006 and 2016. Visions of England (2019) presents 102 poems about places in England selected in 1999 by The Earl of Burford, and some of the poems anticipate Brexit. A Baroque Vision (2024) presents 100 poems drawn from 50 poetic volumes showing his Baroque vision (which combines Classicism and Romanticism, sense and spirit) written between 1961 and 2019. Fools’ Paradise (2020) sees the first three years of trying to achieve Brexit in terms of the chaotic voyage of the 1494 Ship of Fools to an illusory Paradise. There is a sequel, Fools’ Gold (2022), which covers the end of Brexit and the pandemic, and Johnson’s undelivered promises.

His Collected Stories bring together five volumes, 1,001 short stories in all: A Spade Fresh with Mud, A Smell of Leaves and Summer, Wheeling Bats and a Harvest Moon, The Warm Glow of the Monastery Courtyard and In the Brilliant Autumn Sunshine. His Selected Stories: Follies and Vices of the Modern Elizabethan Age (2015) presents stories from each volume. His The First Dazzling Chill of Winter (2016) is a sixth volume of another 201 short stories, bringing his tally to more than 1,200 short stories.

Hagger has pioneered a new short story form: the symbolic or miniature story. He wrote a short story in 1966, and during the next 40 years wrote a thousand more. They cover five decades, and recount the quest for the One of Philip Rawley amid the follies and vices of his time.

Part short stories, part eyewitness history, The Building of the Great Pyramid contains three stories by the builder of the Great Pyramid, revealing every stage of the building of Khufu’s pyramid.

Hagger has also written autobiographies. Following his early work, A Mystic Way, he brought out My Double Life 1: This Dark Wood and My Double Life 2: A Rainbow over the Hills  in 2015. He has brought out a first volume of his Diaries, Awakening to the Light, and completed two travelogues: on Iran, The Last Tourist in Iran, and (at the urging of Asa Briggs)9 Libya, The Libyan Revolution, which includes an eyewitness account of Gaddafi’s revolution and an analysis of recent Libyan history. In A View of Epping Forest he connects the history of his native Epping Forest to national themes and places that have inspired some of his poems.

As a man of letters, Hagger has written many letters. Selected Letters (2021) presents letters he has written about 55 of his books. Collected Prefaces (2021) presents his 56 Prefaces and the development of his thinking in his literary and Universalist works.

Literary Universalism sees all literature, like the universe and humankind, as having essential unity. In A New Philosophy of Literature he states the fundamental theme of world literature: a contrapuntal interplay between a quest for the One and condemnation of social vices.

In his literary work Hagger has reconnected poetry to its metaphysical source (the tradition of English poetry which held sway for 1,200 years from the 7th century to Tennyson) and has sought to reflect the Age in poems and stories: its roots in classical ruins and historical places, wars, landscapes, social relationships, national decline and world events and its historical legacy: transition from the values and perspective of the nation-state to the regional values of the emerging European Union. His works are full of English, European and world landscapes, places and people. His long quest has lasted over 50 years and has mirrored reality at physical, social and metaphysical levels, and his journey through past glories, present conflicts and vision of the future encompasses the culture of Europe and of Western civilization.

In the 20th century Winston Churchill, President Truman, Albert Einstein, President Eisenhower, Mahatma Gandhi, Bertrand Russell, President John F. Kennedy and President Gorbachev advocated a democratic World State, and Hagger is the only Western literary author to continue this tradition. In recognition of his lone championing of a partly federal World State that can enforce disarmament, abolish war and bring a universal peace, in 2016 he was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for Literature. In 2019 he was awarded the BRICS silver medal for ‘Vision for Future’.

His literary Universalism interlocks with his historical, philosophical and cultural writings, which grew out of his poetic quest for the One, and his unitive vision of the social world and universe in the same way that Eliot’s Notes towards the Definition of Culture and The Idea of a Christian Society grew out of his literary works.

2. Writings on Mysticism

Mystical Universalism sees the oneness of the mystical tradition in all cultures and civilizations. Hagger sees a Mystic Way of personal growth and transformation that begins with awakening. Inner purgation leads to a centre-shift, illumination (the experience of the Light) and instinctive perception of the universe as a unity.

Hagger’s mysticism can be found in The Fire and the Stones, The Light of Civilization and A Mystic Way; and also in Awakening to the Light, the first volume of his Diaries. In My Double Life 1: This Dark Wood and My Double Life 2: A Rainbow over the Hills he chronicled 93 experiences of the Light, quoting at-the-time entries in his Diaries; and in The Promised Land he lists another 19 experiences, making 112 experiences of the Light in all. His quest for the One can be found in many of his poems and stories, and  in all his literary works.

3. Historical Works

Universalism regards world history as a whole rather than as fragmented bits of national history. In his writings on world history Nicholas Hagger has developed a new Universalist view of history that focuses on all the world’s civilisations. He sees world history in terms of patterns of civilisations and an evolving World State.

His history had its origins in a course on Gibbon, Spengler and Arnold Toynbee he taught to postgraduate students in Japan. During these lectures he saw a fourth way of understanding the rise, decline and fall of civilisations. He sees historical events in terms of 25 civilisations which all have a common inspiration and pass through 61 similar rising and falling stages. All civilisations rise after a mystic has an experience of illumination and founds a religion round it, and they grow round this metaphysical central idea. When they decline and disintegrate they turn secular, the impetus of the original vision having largely vanished, and when they end they pass into another civilisation. All civilisations can be expected to pass eventually into a worldwide civilisation, for a while.

This 61-stage rising-and-falling pattern first appeared in The Fire and the Stones, which was subtitled “A Grand Unified Theory of World History and Religion”.10 It proposed a new law of history: Ted Hughes wrote that Hagger has discovered “a genuine historical pattern and law”.11,12 It has been updated in two volumes: The Light of Civilization13 and The Rise and Fall of Civilizations.

In his five historical investigations Hagger identifies the secretive élites who have attempted to create a worldwide civilisation in our own time by intriguing revolutions to level nation-states. He recounts their historical progress in The Secret History of the West (which also describes the impact of secret societies on all post-1453 revolutions) and in The Syndicate (his name for the network of families and commercial firms that runs the world).14,15

The Fall of the West (2022) is the third in his trilogy on the West. In this work he tells the hidden story behind Covid, the levelling down of the West and the shift of power to the East with the rise of China, and the coming New World Order. The Golden Phoenix carries the story forward into a quartet. Hagger describes his visit to Russia in 2019 and his public lecture calling for world peace two miles from the Kremlin; the war in Ukraine; and the coming multipolar New World Order.

He describes the Syndicate’s link to Freemasonry in American history in The Secret Founding of America (reissued in 2016). He explores a libertarian World State free from élites in The World Government and signals its eventual triumph in The Secret American Dream, both of which are expressions of political Universalism. The Secret American Destiny (2016) presents a reunification of world culture in seven disciplines as a prelude to a coming World State.

Such a partial, supranational World State is likely to be American-controlled. It would replace the United Nations, abolish war, poverty, disease and famine, control the Syndicate and fulfil America’s ambition to export the American dream to all humankind.

In his writings on world history Hagger has defended the West against all who would undermine it both from within (élites in current affairs and secular materialists in philosophy) and from without (Gaddafi and bin Laden in contemporary history). These underminers have had self-interested agendas that would obstruct the birth of an altruistic, universal World State.

4. Writings on Comparative Religion

Universalism regards world religions as a whole with a common essence. Hagger’s writings on comparative religion can be found within his books on historical Universalism: The Fire and the Stones and its updating in the Light of Civilization and The Rise and Fall of Civilizations. In these writings he shows that all civilisations are founded on the vision of the Light (or Fire) seen by mystics, which passes into religions round which civilisations grow. All world religions are therefore based on the Light.

The common essence of all world religions is the Light, on which religious Universalism16 can erect the possibility of a new one-world religion for all humankind. Just as the Roman civilisation had one Roman religion that covered the entire Empire, to which local variations were subordinated, so today there could be one worldwide religion to which local religions could be subordinated.

5. Philosophical Works

Universalism regards the universe as a unity, a manifestation from one source. In his philosophical works Hagger has drawn on the most up-to-date science and focused on the universe’s origin in the infinite One, an Absolute Nothingness which is a Plenitude (a Fullness) rather than an emptiness, an ultimate Reality that contains within itself the potentiality for Being. In his works the universe is fundamentally a unity. Man and Nature belong to an orderly universe that is permeated by a life-giving energy whose source is a manifesting infinite Reality that can be known and experienced inwardly as Light.

After The Universe and the Light and The One and the Many, Hagger has created his own philosophy of Universalism (a system of ideas by which every element of human experience can be interpreted). He restores the universe and Nature to philosophy and views all humankind as a whole (the perspective of his history).

His philosophical Universalism17 is comprehensively set out in The New Philosophy of Universalism, which focuses on the unity of the universe and the universality of humankind.18, 19 He returns to the Presocratic Greek philosophers’ infinite (to apeiron). He demonstrates from the most up-to-date view of all the scientific disciplines that cosmological space-time is surrounded by, and imbued with, the infinite.

He poses a conundrum (in the spirit of Zeno’s paradoxes). A surfer surfing on the crest of the wave of the surging, expanding universe has his feet in space-time, but where is the rest of him? The answer is that though his feet are within space-time the rest of him is outside it, in the “meta-physical” infinite into which the universe is constantly expanding. Hagger restores the metaphysical perspective and proposes a new law of order.

This was followed by The Essentials of Universalism (75 excerpts on Universalism from 25 of his prose works); and also The Promised Land, a reflection on the development of his Universalism during a journey to Jordan and Egypt which included standing on Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land.

In 2023 Hagger’s The Algorithm of Creation was published, the first-ever Theory of Everything. It sets out the origin, development and end of the universe and presents the algorithm of Creation as 0 = +A + –A = 0. A hundred mathematical symbols and three matrices are summed up in this algorithm.

In Japan Hagger had many conversations with the metaphysical philosopher E.W.F. Tomlin, who as British Council Representative was then his boss.20 Hagger visited Colin Wilson, writer on Existentialism, in Cornwall a number of times from 1960 to the early 1990s and led a group of a dozen Universalist philosophers in London in the 1990s.

Hagger’s philosophical work is in the tradition of the 20th-century philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. He questions modern philosophy, which for the last hundred years has focused on language and logic. He approached Universalism in his two earlier philosophical works, The Universe and the Light (1993),21,22,23,24 and The One and the Many,25 which includes a call for a revolution in Western thought and culture. The World Government offers a blueprint for a World State as an expression of political Universalism in the tradition of Plato and Kant.

Hagger is regarded as something of an authority on World States and chaired a conference of international philosophers at the World Philosophical Forum in Athens in October 2015. His World State and World Constitution came out in 2018.

In these works Hagger defines the cosmological context of the Light reported by mystics. He shows that it is behind the unity of the ordered universe, and he thus carries the vision stated in The Fire and the Stones into philosophy and presents Universalism as the heir to Existentialism.

6. Writings on International Political Relations/Statecraft

Universalism sees international political relations as leading from a world of self-interested nation-states to a benevolent world government that will benefit all humankind. Drawing on his historical, religious and philosophical Universalism in his writings on international relations and statecraft, Hagger puts forward a blueprint for a positive form of world government that will benefit all humanity by abolishing war, poverty and disease.

The World Government, a work of political philosophy in the tradition of Plato and Kant,26 grew out of his investigative histories and The New Philosophy of Universalism. This was followed by a more practical work of statecraft, The Secret American Dream. In these two works (particularly in The Secret American Dream, pp.193-197) Hagger proposes a 16-point structure for a new World State that would turn the UN General Assembly into an elected lower house and create a new World Senate that would control the élites of the Syndicate. Both works are dedicated to US President Obama, who is urged to address the UN General Assembly and establish a constitutional convention that would bring the new scheme and structure into existence.

Hagger has taken active steps to bring in a World State. In Peace for our Time (2018) he reflects on war and peace and on how a World State can head off a Third World War. World State (2018) doubles up as an authoritative view of World States and an introduction to the United Federation of the World (UF). World Constitution (2018) is a constitution for the United Federation of the World, and he has taken steps to lay this before the UN General Assembly. His aim is to turn the United Nations into the lower house of a partly-supranational United Federation of the World (UF) that will declare war illegal, implement disarmament and other measures to solve the world’s problems, end refugees and benefit humanity. It will consist of a lower house, a World Parliamentary Assembly with 850 representatives, and an upper house, a World Senate, with 92 senators.

Hagger’s previous experience of statecraft was in a paper he was asked to write in 1983-1984, FREE (Freedom for the Republics of Eastern Europe). It proposed a process for the ending of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and for Eastern Europe’s acceptance into what would become the European Union. Hagger’s paper was passed to advisers to Margaret Thatcher. It anticipated the developments in Europe following 1989, and can be found in  My Double Life 2: A Rainbow over the Hills, Appendix 7.

7. Writings on Culture

Cultural Universalism sees world culture as a unity. It unites the traditional metaphysical approach to the universe and the modern secular approach. In The Fire and the Stones and The Light of Civilization Hagger has sought to restore the metaphysical perspective to world culture and unify the culture of the Age. His 1997 lecture in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, ‘Revolution in Thought and Culture’, which calls for a Metaphysical Revolution, is in The One and the Many The Secret American Destiny (2016) is a reflection on the fragmentation and underlying unity of world culture in the tradition of Eliot’s Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, and foresees a coming World State. This World State is presented in World State and World Constitution.

8. Writings on all the above Seven Universalist Disciplines

Hagger has written Prefaces to 60 books, and 56 of these are collected in Collected Prefaces (2022), which cover his literary and Universalist works in seven disciplines. His Selected Letters (2021) contains letters he has written over nearly 60 years, some to well-known figures, that refer to his 60 literary and Universalist works in seven disciplines.

The Tree of Tradition (2024) sets out all traditions and influences that have been followed by all writers and thinkers, including Hagger’s 60 Universalist works. He lists the 109 traditions and 84 influences on these works as an example of the traditions and influences that, with many variations, apply to all writers and thinkers.

Universalism and Innovations

Hagger’s works thus implement Universalism, which returns the unity of the universe to philosophy, the unity of humankind to history and the experience of the One to literature: the metaphysical unity behind creation which permeates man and Nature, is experienced by mystics and provides the basis of a universal civilisation and global ethic.

Hagger’s new Universalist vision has spurred him to innovate. His works contain 88 innovations, which are fundamental to his approach and to the conveying of his vision. His presentation of Universalism as one outlook within different disciplines is innovatory. He has established an original approach in seven fields. His literary Universalism presents a universal, perennial quest and condemns social vices. His mystical Universalism reflects the One behind the universe. His historical Universalism presents the pattern behind the rise and fall of all civilisations, and focuses on a coming World State. His religious Universalism identifies the common essence of all religions, the Light. His philosophical Universalism focuses on the unity and order behind the universe, and restores metaphysics. His political Universalism creates a social framework of governance that reflects the unity of humankind and promotes its self-governance. His cultural Universalism sets out the underlying unity of fragmented world culture.

Universalism has other applications. It impacts on the environment, which must be regarded within a worldwide context. It has been said27 that Universalism has the potential to be the most important movement in thought and art since Existentialism. Hagger’s Universalist theme can be expected to become more widespread in the coming years as globalism progresses.

Hagger’s literary, historical, philosophical and political works are interconnected through his Universalist approach. They interlock like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which combine to show a picture. Like a jigsaw piece, an individual work can take on added meaning when it is slotted into, and related to, his complete oeuvre. Thus, particular poems, stories and verse plays can be connected to particular chapters in his historical, philosophical and political works, which deepen their background. When it is finally finished, his ambitious oeuvre will present a picture of almost every aspect of the Age, Western civilisation and its roots.

Hagger gave a presentation on his (then) 48 works at the Loughton Festival in May 2017. He gave a presentation on his world view at the Loughton Festival in May 2018.

Some extracts from the poetic works of Nicholas Hagger

From Collected Poems:

“An Eastern Sage tempts:
‘(+A) + (-A) = Nothing.
The Absolute is where there is no difference.’”
‘The Silence’, II. 1245-7

“Decades of contemplation
Show in their white-haired peace
As, trusting to perfect feelings,
They value each equal they greet.”
‘Archangel’, II. 292-5

“Because the creative few
Found an image for the fire
Our civilization grew
With the thrust of a Gothic spire.”
‘Old Man in a Circle’, II. 353-6

“From a sun-wheel cross
White rays stream in arcs
Down the Cathedral ladder
In perfection’s mottled glass;
The ‘I’ falls with a clatter,
The purged self stands free;
Saints’ heads shake like apples
As he climbs up the rose-wheeled tree.”
‘Old Man in a Circle’, II, 441-8

“Apples are green under a fluttering flag,
Green are my daughter’s eyes, green is her breath.
Green are the children among brambles and ferns.”
‘A Green Country’, II. 1-3

“Like a spider exuding thread, I wove a web
And wrapped you in a beautiful silk cocoon,
I rolled you into a ball and held you, till the ebb
Of autumn blew you free, my mayfly. Too soon
You turned bitter, bitter, and headed for the moon.”
‘Journey’s End’, II. 10-13

“Like iron filings on a magnet, many afternoons
Cling round my heart, rose-thorns and sticklefins.
If I ever find my hidden calm, will it leave me
Useless, a small round cushion without pins?”
‘Lost Calm’, II. 9-12

“The sea flows like a bent hawthorn.
Now, up the night, the harvest moon
Floats and sails like a child’s balloon
Over this darkly rippled corn.”
‘Flow: Moon and Sea’, II. 5-8

“This black-hole Void preserves all souls
Like fish in tides of love.
Expanded souls are like a sea
Sucked out from a foxglove.”
‘The Bride of Time’, II. 37-40

Planets surround Him, great saints. The blue that glows
In the petals of that Kingdom of azure light
Is Eternity’s air.”
A Vision Near the Gates of Paradise’, II. 6-9

“Suffering is a wind that shakes the petals down,
Brings on the full leaf, the rosy axiom.”
‘Illusions like Blossom’, II. 13-14

“The river that has dried up
Has undergone a change;
It is carried by the wind
Across the mountain range.”
‘Western Men and Isis’, II. 9-12

“Bees hum in harebells, and men fill
Quiet, tranquil hours in a deep still.”
‘Greenfield’, II. 29-30

“In this Forest, the silver birches writhe,
Gorse flames and crackles as the dry bush burns.
I stand between silver and golden fire
And feel existence lick and curl in turns.”
Words like Ditches’, II. 1-4

“An inverted Tree with roots in the sky
Pours the invisible into what is seen
And ripens symbols of a layered One.”
‘The Tree of Imagination’, II. 55-57

“Oh melt all clouds and reveal four worlds again.”
‘Firethorn’, I. 56

“Beauty, I found you like a desert rose.”
‘High Leigh’, I. 72

“Here I can sink into deep quiet and pray
Where Christendom began in Columban fire,
Go back to the roots in silence of our free
West. Here in Nature’s beauty I feel the hour
A culture put down roots like a growing tree
That feeds our leafy consciousness with still-living power.”
‘Iona: Silence’, II. 19-24

“Here sit and recall the past, how He was here,
The boy Jesus who came by boat to mine
With his uncle Joseph of Arimathaea
And take back Priddy lead for a Roman shrine.”
‘By the Chalice Well, Glastonbury’, II. 51-54

“The sea of Being, which comes in from beyond
Like cosmic radiation, penetrates my skin.
Where shore meets sea, there I am washed, and swoon,
Till the skylark plummets down into a dune.”
‘Skylark and Foam’, II. 11-14

“The leaping of a fire on a frosty night;
Summer evenings; shooting stars like fireflies;
And the glittering sweep across the Milky Way
Sparkling like a trail of ploughed-up ancient coins.”
‘Metaphysical-Physical’, II. 7-10

“We head for an old wreck and eat below
While dawn breaks. The Lizard is in our wake.
We winch up the first net, a dripping glow
Of pollack, cod with pointed beard, and hake.”
‘Out on the Alone’, II. 9-12

“Then a spring opens in me, for an hour bright
Visions wobble up like bubbles; from a great height
A centre of light, a gold-white flower, shining
Like a dahlia, the centre and source of my being.”
‘Visions: Gold Flower, Celestial Curtain’, II 4-7

“Visions poured up: a globe;
A yellow rose; black thorns against a sundial;
A foetal child, and a crowned Eastern god.
Now – o frontal Christ in thorns and a red-brown robe
Gathered with a pin at the chin, help me through this trial!”
‘More Visions: The Judge’, II. 10-14

“The buds are flecks, hawthorn and beech
A great tit see-saws near its nest,
A squirrel listens from a branch,
Like my daughter, too quiet for speech.”
‘February Budding: Half Term’, II. 1-4

“Immediately, white light starts breaking through
Paisley patterns, images of ruby rings,
The flame-like face of God on a rosy shield.
Rose-light, and hints of Christ risen among Kings.”
‘Rapt’, II. 17-20

“The artefacts of the Great Architect
Are not grasped by reason, but by the intellect.”
‘Fire-Void’, II. 23-24

“Leafy lives fill with the sap of all that’s green
And are God’s mind, whose code is in each gene,
And grow centuries of purpose into fruit
And show; soul ripens so new seeds can shoot.”
‘Pear-Ripening House’, II. 45-48

“Silver birch, bracken and folk who seldom sinned
Now feed the silence under this March wind.
Shh! rest in the eternal; hear a snail
Dragging beneath the warbling nightingale.”
‘A Crocus in the Churchyard’, II. 33-36

“To glimpse a Golden Flower is man’s true aim.”
‘A Crocus in the Churchyard’, I. 40

“Oh hear beneath the breeze
The mystery that flows through stars and seas,
Where the autumn bracken waves.”
‘Time and Eternity’, II. 20-22

“In the North Hall the piano tuner
Ping ping pings and trembles through my soul.”
‘A Metaphysical in Marvell’s Garden’, II. 19-20

“To seek Enlightenment through a telescope
What folly of the Age of Analysis! which knows
Cause and effect, not the start of the chain, not Hope,
The First Cause, which all miss – the Mystic Rose!”
‘Cambridge Ode: Against Materialism’, II. 45-48

“The immaterial spirit has survi-
-ved three centuries of darkness in a candleglow
Which incarnates a rose of Light that blows –
The ‘I’ behind all leafy thoughts – in a breeze
That lifts a veil to what’s beyond, and knows
It is not unlike the wind that blows the trees.”
‘Cambridge Ode: Against Materialism’, II. 59-64

But now see what an Einstein’s science gave:
Green fields billow with a subatomic tide
As matter converts to energy or wave,
One force foams all to a goal Darwin denied
And we now live in a sea of consciousness.”
‘Cambridge Ode: Against Materialism’, II. 81-85

“Did young Newton dive with a meteorite shower,
Ascend the rainbow bridge up the black sky, or
Climb the World-Tree in one evening hour,
Fly like a falcon through the sun’s trap-door?”
‘Cambridge Ode: Against Materialism’, II. 109-12

“The Universe is filled with ethereal Light
Which, caught like a sperm, ferments and creates
Spirits as well as minds and bodies from night
Manifests through four worlds into matter’s gates.”
‘Cambridge Ode: Against Materialism’, II. 141-44

“Now my soul is sure my spirit is aeons old,
That it has lived before, will come again
And salvage cargo from an ancient hold.”
‘A Temple Dancer’s Temple-Sleep’, II. 54-56

“The Milky sweep across a wave-dark bay
Inspires a vision of the Mystic Way.”
‘Sea-Fire’, II. 29-30

….“Men live a simple life
Against the weather, the sea, and the wife,
Go to the cemetery and return as gulls
And wheel round roofs that once sheltered their skulls.”
‘Sea-Fire’, II. 51-54

“Men will see our search as a Way of Fire and know
The Tree-hung star-rose souls that light dark death.”
‘Night Visions in Charlestown’, II. 143-4

“The mystery that it is amazes me,
Each creature is unique, in perfect breeds,
Each ‘Amness’ or ‘Isness’ that roams the sea
In mindless tides that give it all it needs.”
‘Out on the Alone’, II. 37-40

“Heracleitus weeps as all believe ‘everything flows’
And no one sees the Fire – which he himself knows,
And so should smile.  Sad Ficino, laugh and inspire:
For all is flux, but underneath – the Fire!”
‘The Laughing Philosopher’, II. 101-4

From Prince Tudor:

Prince Tudor:
“This garden is a miniature landscape,
A Kingdom where organic souls unfold.”               II.1

“True aristocracy is in spirit,
True Kingship is illumined consciousness.”           II.1

“This England is at best a jewelled isle,
Apart from Europe, set in a blue sea
Like a precious diamond set in turquoise
Or the central knot in my herb garden.”                 III.8

“Our sovereignty is our great destiny
And is led by people’s willing service
As four horses draw Plato’s chariot
And are held in place by the charioteer.”                III.8

“To some I am tilting at a windmill,
But I know I am that windmill, towering
Above my people’s small houses, sails driven
Round by an invisible wind, which blows
Spiritual life in energetic gusts.”                              V.2

Minister of World Culture:
“As earth now covers Tudor streets and stones
And all on progress with the Virgin Queen,
History has buried sovereign nationhood.”

From Overlord:

“Tell, Muse, how the four-tiered cosmos became
The universe which is our home, how first
Primordial Nothingness, potential Fire
Was always everywhere, a moving power,
Empyrean of the infinite Whole,
Intelligence self-entangled, aware
As if an ocean were a mind of waves,
And knew ‘I am’, the Kabbalah’s Ayn Sof,
Transcendent darkness, latent beauty, God!”
Book 1, II. 182-90

“As bees nuzzling in a rose, the Angels
Were honey-gold in the Light of Heaven.”

Book 2, II 182-3

“Then, disguised as Lucifer, dazzling with
False light that filled with wonder the dark things
Of Hell, near-blinding them with promise of
The Heavenly destiny they had missed,
Like a sun in the thick darkness of Hell,
Sly Satan, the cunning black shadow, spoke:
‘Angels, shades of darkness, powers that are free!’”
Book 2, II. 710-16

“In vain stargazers peer for cosmic Love.”
Book 2, I. 1282

“This force that makes the universe swell
Like a balloon is Love, the Cosmic Christ,
The Fire that orders things to its purpose,
Which is governed by the Eternal Light.”
Book 2, II. 1304-7

“The stars spread across the night sky like drops
Of rain on a window, and as globes of
Rain snake in wind so shooting stars trailed.”
Book 8, II. 2912-14

“Frowning, suspicious, Michael raised his horn
And blew a blast across the plains of Heaven.”
Book 9, II. 1100-1

“O Marlowe, silver my tongue as I sing
Of the end of the terror of the world.”
Book 10, II. 116-7

“He thought of Hitler trapped in his bunker
Like a fox in a hole by baying hounds.”
Book 10, II. 380-1

“Just as the bright moon hangs in a dawn sky
Like the storm-lamp on a fishing-boat’s mast
Against the horizon which, like a beach,
Gives a hint of gold before a black sea
And glows and spreads as it ebbs above it,
So Christ, face huge like Liberty’s spoked head,
Angels’ glow behind him and spreading up,
Shone out across the wastes of blackness and
Reflected God’s distant Light with his beams.”
Book 10, II. 4253-61

“Through my Cornish window, the sea rolls in,
White wave upon white wave heading to shore.
A full moon shimmers a causeway of light,
And seeing each long wave curl, turn and break
And foam up on the sand, drawn with a fine
Inevitability, a tide in
Me is tugged and I know I will complete
The rolling succession of crests in this
Vast work, I feel a sense of peace, flecks of
Achievement, and I rejoice in the sea
And the moon that governs it, in my works
And the bright moon that draws them out of me.”
Book 12, II. 363-74

….“For through veils,
From the summit of the seventh Heaven
He saw all lower rings of Heaven as
Petals of a great rose filled with spirits,
Their undulating folds like upland hills
As soft as clouds and perfumed with wild flowers,
And, bright in the centre, dazzling, stood Christ
On the stigma of the central pistil,
While on the anther of each stamen round
Him were all his Angels and saints, founders
Of the earth’s religions and their martyrs,
Shimmering and rippling with Light as when
The sun plays on a limpid satin sea
Which turns now blue, now gold, now silver in
The evening cool.”
Book 12, II. 2981-95

“As lights leap on a blue sea in summer,
As if a thousand fish surfaced for air
And blew a bubble or kissed the sunshine,
Or as in evening a sea turns silver
And satin smooth on which a russet sky
Flecks bars of pink and the evening is still,
So, now excited, now calm, the spirits
Of Heaven waited to listen to Christ.”
Book 12, II. 3015-22

“Christ, Paradise is here, in my beamed house!”
Book 12, I. 4995

Nicholas Hagger