But what do the Akashic's say of him? It was interesting that at first, with the piety in mind, I thought Alison had gone off on the wrong tack, but when you look further, when you look at his relationship with the Church and with women, you begin to realise why he acted as he did as he matured. That's the thing with the Akashics. They build up complex layers on people's personalities, but you have to wait for those layers to develop over time.
There will be much more on Louis in the future, but here's the outset, and includes his first meeting with Eleanor. My questions and comments are in bold, and Alison's are in italic. The ordinary script is the Akashics themselves.
To look at Louis of France in July 1137 when he was arriving in Bordeaux to marry Alienor.
I don’t want to get too deeply into this person. He’s quite broad in the body, sensuous and has a whole mixture of feelings. I feel as if I have got a really big tongue in my mouth and that he likes the good things in life.
That doesn't sound right from what I've read on him.
So might I have got someone else - his father?
You might have done.
Well this one feels as if he has a cruel streak in him.
Try again. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling which is why I thought ‘I’ll come out of this. I am getting this big tongue feeling again. A big, fat, wide tongue. A lover of fine things, but also a cruelty. This is the same thing as before but I am just going in very much more slowly. The cruelty is to these fine things. He loves them but his sensuousness wants to destroy and obliterate them. Fine things are only fine for him and after he has finished with them and they are no longer needed, they are to be destroyed. There’s a clash of feelings here. The things that he loves he also hates. It’s the feeling of eating lots of beautiful but very sweet cakes. Wanting more but it also makes you sick. So what he sees around him he wants. What’s going on inside may not show on the outside because they are such opposites. Because it is so different from what you are expecting, I am thinking maybe the hate side of it is coming out more than the love side of it. Because people won’t know what he’s feeling inside. They won’t know he’s getting a lot of sensual satisfaction from things. He sees the women as the fruitful produce of the land and Alienor as the one that’s put forward as the brightest fruit. He’ll have her but he doesn’t set a lot of importance on her really. He sees it as all part of the pattern and fabric of his possessions and his life. It’s like a tapestry and everything fits in. I can see a cross now that could be a sword, laid across a tapestry, and the cross is made of shining light. It’s quite thin though.
Is it actually a cross or a sword though? It varies one to the other. When it’s a cross, it’s a sword laid for God, so as for having personal feelings towards Alienor, it really doesn’t enter into his mind. Oh, just a minute, he’s got a lurching feeling in his solar plexus. That’s when he thinks of the one to one with her – the non public time.
A pleasant lurching? It didn’t feel very pleasant. He feels he will have to keep her down. He doesn’t want any clambering up onto him. He doesn’t want to have to deal with day to day emotions and events that she might have been through. He doesn’t want any of that stuff. When all that is laid flat, the world is fine. It’s the world according to the Lord. And the lord is him. He wants everything smoothed out around him. Everything has to function as part of a landscape. It reminds me of one of those early landscape pictures where you have the landscape in the background and this huge figure of the lord on top, out of scale with the landscape. That’s how he likes it. He doesn’t like disruption, he doesn’t like having to deal with emotion. It’s distasteful. He doesn’t know how to deal with his own emotions I would say. He thinks everything is quite logical and proper from his point of view. He has the correct attributes to rule. He would consider that he had refinement and taste, that he has vision of how things should be and that he can keep things in order. He believes that those are the finer attributes of kingship. And also he can be firm when he needs to be with his enemies and that’s what the people need. But they in turn have to toe the line and do their part. He doesn’t want anyone stepping out of line and there’s a big gap between him and others. He’s big, and everyone else is smaller at a distance. He doesn’t pretend authority. He embodies authority in himself. He couldn’t do it any other way, that’s how his personality comes out.
So go to the time when he was brought out of the monastery when his brother had died. He was the second son and his older brother was killed when his horse tripped over a ‘diabolical pig.’ Louis was fetched out of his religious education to become heir.
Alison makes an odd face. Have you got the tongue again? (see previous session for this). Yes, I have got the tongue again, and he’s trying to spit something out – something horrible. And then he puts his tongue back in. Then there’s that sensation of the pleasure of moving into something which is very luxurious. He was destined to reject those things and then he had to move in to those things. So there’s a clash between actually enjoying them, and a horror of enjoying them. And an acceptance of the will of God like a column coming down in front of him, something very solid, to take him from that direction, to that direction.
So when he hears the news his brother has died? His initial response was ‘Oh, that’s all right, I didn’t like him anyway. Then there’s a sadness he won’t acknowledge. He wouldn’t tell anyone about that sadness; he wouldn’t trust anyone with it. And then there’s this that he has to reject one life and go into another. It’s like a bad taste. In what way? It’s his beliefs. They are very set. Religeous beliefs? Yes. That all these good things in the world are bad. And he’s got to move into these good things? Yes, so how can he stomach that – it’s bad. It’s like having to get something out of your own mouth. It’s as if something has been ingrained inside you and you’ve got to root it out. It’s a horrible feeling because actually, secretly, he likes them. Gosh, that’s a bit mixed up isn’t it? Yes, he’s a very complex character. He was very settled in his life. The church would have suited him in its more extreme forms. He was known as Louis the Pious. I can imagine that, because he would have gone in for the extreme views about flagellation, about wickedness and duty, which would also involve mortification of the flesh.
To Louis when he’s told he has to marry Alienor.
Uggh, he feels completely sick. It’s rising up from the pit of his stomach. Oh, he is being sick. He’s retching up. But he’s thinking ‘This is a good thing because it’s a penance from God. God knows what makes me retch and he has presented me with this for the purification of my soul and I am well pleased with it. And then he has this innocent smile. And you would think he was the most pleasant person in the world. You would even think he was just mild mannered because he is just sitting there accepting it. You would even think he was stupid because he has a Harry Enfield type of mouth and he can push his lower jaw out and shrug his hands as if ‘Well, you know, this is how it is.’ To him that is the pinnacle of the acceptance of God’s will. He’s doing nothing to resist it. He’s just letting it happen to him, the most horrible, horrible thing, and retaining his calm and demeanour. It’s very creepy. It’s like in horror films when the serial killer is going ‘Oh, my latest victim, what can I do?’ What it is, is enduring suffering and praising God for that suffering. So he’d be going (to Alienor) ‘Oh you are so lovely’ and thinking to himself ‘this is the most exquisite pain.’ So he’s an emotional masochist. The more he can praise that pain or the cause of that pain, the greater the feeling and the more he gets high on it.
Louis’ relationship with Abbot Suger in 1137 prior to his journey to Bordeaux.
I am getting this really strongly. Suger is standing at Louis’ side. He is instructing Louis, pushing him to the extremes of spiritual piety, pushing him further and further to deny himself as human and create himself as spiritual, and instructing him in all the processes to do this. Ceremonies, prayers, thought processes, denials of the body and ways of the body and Louis does it all because he knows it will get him further into the spiritual life. This is a good honest way of developing his spirituality. It’s like a lifeline to him. It’s his main road in fact and if that was taken away from him, he wouldn’t know where to go or who to ask. This man’s got a lot of influence on him.
So what is Suger like? It’s as if he thinks Louis is a bit of a twit. He just has to think of things for Louis to do to fulfil his role and to do his duty. He encourages Louis to do these things because that’s his job when Louis keeps asking for more. It also keeps Louis from under his feet. He thinks Louis’ got a fine future if he can just behave himself.
So let us see what he thinks Louis’ problem is and why he doesn’t behave himself. He’s got a wild nature, and he can be disorientating. I think that when he first came upon Louis, he had to get Louis under control, so perhaps this system has developed from that, but maybe it was just because Louis was a small child and couldn’t concentrate very much. It seems to be working but why fix it?
What does Suger think of this notion of Alienor and Louis being married?
He thinks it’s very good because he can actually then put his tentacles into the south of France. He can make inroads into there territory. He’s very urbane and plays the game of mind controls. He works quite on the surface. He’s got no idea what he’s doing to the internal workings of Louis.
A significant event showing Louis’ relationship with his father Louis the Fat.
He doesn’t like his father very much. It gives him a bad taste in his mouth. Louis seems to work a lot on taste. He thinks his father is gross in the way he deals with people and carries on. Being so smarmy with them. I see him here at court observing his father and seeing how he will bring people round and put his arm around someone and engage in big conversation and to young Louis this is all bullshit. It’s not real. You should just get on with the job, the job being to bring the law and the rule of God into the world. There’s no need to talk about it because there’s only one way of looking at it and there’s nothing to talk about as long as people do their job. All this slimy putting your hand round people, he doesn’t approve of that at all. People should be in church praying. Nice solid walls and pillars. It should be the relationship with God. So what he sees his dad as, is ungodly as well because he’s making relationships with people. If someone disagrees with you, you can either take it or leave it, but God will sort them out, because that’s the rule that will come down sooner or later.
So first to Louis in 1137 when he first sees Alienor.
I can see something that looks like columns in a row so I can see the round edges of these things going into the distance. And now I’m seeing a tunnel of golden light as if I’m looking between two rows of columns. I can feel anxiety that borders on fear and sometimes rises up to the heart and I can feel the face is quite rational-looking. Interested and intelligent. The sort of face of an interested student in a classroom. I feel as if he’s waiting and the sort of building I’m in is a bit like the way a cathedral is set out with a long aisle and columns down either side and a plinth at the end with a couple of steps leading up to it. There are chairs on this plinth and he’s sitting there. He’s quite resplendent. It’s not just one chair. There are other people with him. He’s looking down this vista and he’s very interested in what’s going to happen. When Alienor does appear, she appears from the side at the other end of the aisle. He sighs and he admires her beauty, but there’s something in him that’s a little bit scared as well. She looks directly at him from the other end and then she looks down and she remains looking down all the way up to the dais. He gets up and he helps her up the two little steps. He puts his hand out to take hers. I’m trying to get her eye colour now. Gosh, it’s a beautiful colour. It’s a bluey-green azure colour. It’s a sea colour, but it’s not wishy-washy. It’s a tight, intelligent eye and eye colour. They’re the sort of eyes you know where you are with them, truthful eyes. Louis is pleased to be presented with something so perfect. He wouldn’t expect anything less but it’s very pleasing to see that it’s better than he would have imagined. A wife. It’s like having anything else that a person should have. It’s part of the equipment. I can see them walking together along the dais to the left. I can see a cross. I can see arches. So I can imagine that this may be part of an ecclesiastical building or leading to one. There are arched windows to one side. I am wondering if this is part of a courtyard or a cloister. They are going to a place where they are dining. There are long tables with white cloths on open to the air and a sort of part inside and part outside feeling. It feels as if there is a roof over, but the sides are open.
He is walking along in a regal sort of state. He’s not really directing his conversation at Alienor. He is talking to the person walking next to him. I am just trying to catch what he’s saying. He’s asking what they’ll be doing this afternoon. There will be some games. There was some suggestion of riding out but they think there might not be time. He asks Alienor if she likes to ride and she nods. She’s finding it quite hard to talk; she’s overwhelmed. Just by the whole pomp and ceremony of the thing, or because she’s having a husband foisted on her?
The importance and ceremony of the events. It’s like a huge weight has been put on her. It’s such a sudden and complete life change. It’s not that she’s feeling nervous and naive and shy. It’s more like a feeling of it being too much, and such a lot of new people to weigh up and they all seem so different in their mannerisms. They seem out of control because she is used to the people she’s with and they’re fairly predictable in what they do, but these French people... They are behaving in a way that doesn’t gel with what she’s been used to, so it’s all out of control.
FFW to when he gives her the presents. I can see Louis sitting in a chair with a heap of things around him. A bit like a Christmas tree with presents all around.
He seems to be on his own and his attention is about each individual thing. ‘Is it all right, is there any damage, is it perfect? He wants these things to be perfect in themselves, it’s not the intrinsic value of each thing. And then he’s thinking it’s hard to give all these things away. And then he’s thinking that he’ll have them all back anyway soon because she is going to be his wife. So it’s really only a matter of form. I think he is reluctant to give them to her.
What sort of things are they? One is like a column like a candle stick with different coloured jewels stuck all over it. It’s gold and has little bent over feet and a bit that sticks out round it where the candle is and it’s jewelled as well. In a similar style I saw a thing like a tower, perhaps oxagonal, it had sides all around that were flat sides and a top with a flat bit and another flat bit on top of that and they were jewelled as well and there was a door in the side that opened. Perhaps a reliquary? And then I saw something round, like a ball and it has things sticking out like long points and this thing hangs by a chain and it can go round, so I think it might be a censer, but otherwise I don’t know what it is. Now I am seeing something like a cushion, but could be folded textile. It’s got ribbons round it. It’s in segments of four squares which are different colours – plain, azure, then on the other two a textured, darker colour. There’s something else that has the shape of a flame and it has a long bar going horizontally so it’s not an upright candle. It has another piece coming before the flame shaped thing which is hammer shaped and the handle of the whole thing seems able to move backwards and forwards, so it’s got a grip like tongs, and it’s got a round thing in the middle. A lot of these objects are in boxes or wrapped. I am trying to go forward to when he actually gives them to Alienor. He is saying ‘Is she coming? Is she coming?’
Someone’s telling him to be patient. He’s saying ‘But I need her to be here.’ I feel that where he is, is where we first saw him and he’s looking off in the direction where they went to eat. Eventually she’s coming, but it’s not just her, there’s quite a few other people and the atmosphere is bright and jolly. So there is this noisy atmosphere entering a quiet atmosphere.
And she sees all these things glittering and she is taken aback. You can see it in her eyes, the surprise. And he says ‘For you my dear, to show my pledge of allegiance is strong and real.’ He gets down on one knee and says ‘I give you my heart’s desire. Do you bless me with my heart’s desire of this marriage to you.' And his heart actually turns over inside him. Then he looks around to make sure that nobody is sniggering or laughing. It seems very flamboyant or romantic language.
Alienor is pleased with the declaration and satisfied to see the gifts. It’s starting to feel more real and solid to her now – something that she can interact with. She curtseys and thanks him. I don’t get the feeling that she wants to examine them right there and then. She’s going to take them off to her apartment and look at them later like the queen does. Yes, but they’re in a formal place, and even today, people don’t open their wedding presents there and then do they? They look at them later. You’re right. She’s much more open to the arrangement and to being friendly now. They’re walking off together, again in a very formal way with hands raised and held. I can see some dancing going on and some games – lots of spinning round. Louis is starting to feel rather satisfied with himself as if to say ‘I’ve got her where I want her. Where he was feeling very anxious and things were turning over, now he’s feeling warm and tight in that place and he’s smiling a satisfied, tight-lipped smile and it makes his mouth feel very big. And again that feeling of having something precious and perfect and beautiful that actually moves as well. It’s a very good feeling that he’s got something like this. Alienor feels quite wary still of everyone. She’s playing the courtesy game – making contacts, talking to people, smiling where it’s needed. Just the odd word here and there. It’s her way of getting to know these people. She keeps looking at Petronella to make sure she’s all right. Every so often her eyes will go to her. It’s one of those situations where you might be in a room full of strangers and you know someone, and without speaking to each other, you know what each other’s thinking.
So now go to her when she’s having a look at the gifts later on.
Well, she’s very interested in them. She’s looking at that tower thing particularly to see how it works, so she likes that. There’s a little shelf inside or a divider, and on it, something that looks kind of coffin shaped and is white. It seems to be carved in the shape of a person on a coffin like in ivory.
And is there something inside the coffin? Euwwww! Alison jumps. Yes, I think it’s a finger bone or something. Euwww. I didn’t like that! Laughter. That would be really important back then, a big gift. Well she’s fascinated by it. She likes how the little door works. It’s like a piece of technology. It’d be like getting an I-Pod today or something like that.
There’s something else that I didn’t see before. It looks as if it’s made out of silver and looks like a very fancy cake stand. I’ll never be able to draw that. It’s all different perspectives. The work on it looks like a doilly. It seems to be to put fruit on.
So she’s pleased with these gifts? Up to a point. She doesn’t look at them all. She wants to go off and do something else. She’s going down some long spiral steps. She wants to go outside. She’s gone to see the horses. She’s stroking the horse’s nose. Petronella is with her. She’s stroking the horse all over. She’s saying to the horse she is sorry that she’s been so long away. What colour’s the horse? It’s grey and white. It’s grey along the mane area, spotty grey, and then white further down. I think it’s pregnant. It seems to be very big round the tummy and she’s hugging it. She’s grooming it and combing the mane. She’s really getting very close to the horse. She’s rubbing her face on it and breathing it in. She’s really smelling all the horsey smells and the straw. It’s a relief to do this. She’s saying to the horse, ‘You’re going to be all right. I’ll take you with me, whether you have foaled or not; I won’t leave you behind.’ And now she’s massaging the horse’s flanks.
You said Petronella was with her? Yes, she’s the other side of the horse, leaning on the other side of the stable boards. She’s leaning forward and tapping her toes. She’s relaxed and a bit bored – just going with the flow. Eventually Alienor says ‘Let’s go now.’ Petronella wants to go across the yard, not back up the stairs. Alienor’s all for going back, but Petronella wants to go and see something else. I can see trees in the distance. The trees look dark and pointed. Oh I see. Petronella just wants to stand near this opening. I think it may be a place where they can see over the wall or a gap in the wall. But there’s some kind of opening where they can stand and breathe the fresh air and see right into the distance. But it’s getting dark. I can see mountains as well. It’s not as if what they are seeing is obscured, but the colours are dulled by the changing light. Oh, here’s a conversation coming because Petronella hugs Alienor and says ‘Do you think we’ll be all right?’ Alienor puts her hand on her back and says ‘Of course we will.’ As she says that, her stomach turns over and she feels very anxious and has to close her eyes. Because this is a huge loss. It’s quite unbearable. She’s lost her mother, she’s lost her father. And now she’s going to lose her home, her land, all the things that she has ever held dear or familiar. She’s going to lose it all, for what she doesn’t know. All she knows is she must take care of Petronella and not show that she’s afraid. She must protect Petronella and she’s reassuring her. She’s patting her shoulder, just on the back here at the top of her shoulder and saying ‘We’re going to be all right, I know we are. We’ll be safe. We have Geoffrey and we have somebody else as well. Sounds like Anjou. And we have all your maids and even little - sounds like Cherie or Chelle. This is a person who is a maid but the same age as Petronella and someone she plays with. We will be all right wherever we are. We will have our home together, and no one can gainsay that. And Alienor says ‘Louis seems to be a decent man. In fact she smiles and feels quite satisfied and warm. She is actually quite relieved and pleased that he seems to be kind. She feels a bit more reassured by that. Her head goes down to the left and she nods and bites her bottom lip. She’s quite pleased. It could have been so much worse. It’s not as bad as she thought it was going to be. Bless her.