And the LORD God planted a garden eastward,
in Eden; and there He put the man
whom He had formed.
Genesis 2, 8.
Plato in the Republic, It is written as a fictional dialogue between Plato’s teacher Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon at the beginning of Book VII lets Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato’s Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
The Allegory is related to Plato’s Theory of Forms or for our purpose Archetypes, the first massive use of the word, Archetype whence it becomes a philosophical term, is with Philo.
This Allegory according to which the Archetypes and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. Only knowledge of the Archetypes constitutes real knowledge.
The eye, Plato says, is unusual among the sense organs in that it needs a medium, namely light, in order to operate. The strongest and best source of light is the sun; with it, objects can be discerned clearly.
“the region revealed through sight”—the ordinary objects we see around us—”to the prison home, and the light of the fire in it to the power of the Sun. And in applying the going up and the seeing of what’s above to the soul’s journey to the intelligible place, you not mistake my expectation, since you desire to hear it. A god doubtless knows if it happens to be true. At all events, this is the way the phenomena look to me: in the region of the knowable the last thing to be seen, and that with considerable effort, is the idea of good; but once seen, it must be concluded that this is indeed the cause for all things of all that is right and beautiful—in the visible realm it gives birth to light and its sovereign; in the intelligible realm, itself sovereign, it provided truth and intelligence—and that the man who is going to act prudently in private or in public must see it”
Thus if we attempt to understand why things are as they are, and what general categories can be used to understand various particulars around us, without reference to any Archetypes, we will fail completely, as if [we] lacked reason. By contrast, “the domain where truth and reality shine resplendent” is none other than Plato’s world of Archetypes illuminated by the highest of the Universals, that of the Good. Since true being resides in the world of the Archetypes, we must direct our intellects there to have knowledge, in Plato’s view; otherwise, we are stuck with mere opinion of what may be likened to passing shadows.
The sun … not only furnishes to those that see the power of visibility but it also provides for their generation and growth and nurture though it is not itself generation. … In like manner, then … the objects of knowledge not only receive from the presence of the good their being known, but their very existence and essence is derived to them from it, though the good itself is not essence but still transcends essence in dignity and surpassing power.
Plato’s Archetypes asserts that non-material abstract forms or Archetypes, and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. When used in this sense, the word Archetype is often capitalized. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters (primarily Socrates) of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Archetypes are the only true objects of study that can provide us with genuine knowledge
Plato often invokes, particularly in the Phaedo, Republic and Phaedrus, poetic language to illustrate the mode in which the Archetypes are said to exist. Near the end of the Phaedo, for example, Plato describes the world of Archetypes as a pristine region of the physical universe located above the surface of the Earth (Phd. 109a-111c). In the Phaedrus the Archetypes are in a “place beyond heaven” (huperouranios topos) (Phdr. 247c ff); and in the Republic the sensible world is contrasted with the intelligible realm (noēton topon) in the famous allegory of the cave.
For those who have been patient to follow me so far I want you to understand that Plato’s Forms or Archetypes are no other than the Divine World, or Heaven of Religions, a Paradise, or Spiritual World that is Reality, and from where our own Earth derives it’s existence…Now I do not want you to conclude that we are talking of a different World, or Dimension but as in the Gospel of Thomas:
“Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”
Or the Holy Qua’ran:
“Those will have gardens of perpetual residence; beneath them rivers will flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches. Excellent is the reward, and good is the resting place.” 18, 31.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve lived in innocence, having tasted of the Tree of Knowledge they lost the eyes who allowed them to see everything with the primeval innocence, and therefore they were cast from the Garden of Eden, and they knew impurity, toil, and suffering. some Christians assume that Earth is the Garden of Eden, and that God would transform Earth in to Eden, but in my opinion it is Man who has to restore his innocence, and purity, in order to be able to see Eden…
Barzakh it is an Arabic word to signal an isthmus, or separation between two things, yet share the attributes of the two things in question, in Western thought that is basically dialectic, we separate the Physical from the Spiritual, with no intermediary realm, however the Soul is the barzakh between. This is also known as the world of Imagination (khayal) or Images (mithal) this is the intermediary realm who shares both the Spiritual, and the Corporeal, but because is between both, the barzakh is more Real than the Corporeal, since is one degree closer to the Spiritual realm the World of Light, this middle or intermediary realm we have access in dreaming, where the Spiritual communicates to our consciousness through an imagery of Symbols, or Archetypes.
When a person dies Muslims believe that the soul lives on in a special stage of time. In barzakh the person is asked questions in the grave and may receive blessings or torments. When Judgment day comes they are led to either heaven, hell or limbo, but while they are waiting for that day to arrive they are in the state of barzakh.
In the barzakh, it is said that the contents of “who you are” are turned inside out and you experience the contents of your soul (Nafs or your own self) as a universe that surrounds you. Just as in a dream fears and anxieties can take concrete form and shape, so in the barzakh you experience as concrete, manifest realities the deeds you did and the substance of your soul. It is sometimes referred to as the “imaginal” (mithal) world – since the realities of the soul will manifest as images and forms, creating an encompassing world of concretized images. But the reality of the barzakh, it being higher than this world in the hierarchy of creation, is that it has a more intense reality than this world and our experience in that world will be correspondingly more intense. The soul will dwell in a universe that is nothing but a representation, a living image of it’s own internal architecture, a reflection, a mirror of its true stature.
So the barzakh can take on the aspect of a garden of paradise or that of a nightmare come to life (or a mix of the two) – depending on the contents and state and ruling characteristics of one’s soul.
Since it is a place where one experiences nothing other than their own reality, their own true self – this is why, at the second resurrection (the judgment ), the Qur’an states that each soul knows its own place – there is no argument because everyone is cognizant of their own reality and of the totality of the effect of all that they have done, since they have experienced it firsthand – “every soul becomes acquainted with what it sent before it….”
The illusory nature of all that people devised and chased after in this life becomes manifest and their inventions fail them and vanish away – “and what they devised shall escape from them” (10:30). They imagined that they were Rabb (Lord) over what they invented, but here it becomes clear to all that only God is Rabb – and all other lordships are only a fading mirage.
“…they know a manifest side of the life of this world, but of the last world they are utterly heedless and ignorant.” (30:6-7)
ANCIENT CULTURES GEOGRAPHICAL ARCHETYPES
When a person had died he was taken to Underworld where his deeds in life were taken to the Court of Osiris for the final judgement. Since this place also was called “The Island of Fire” it’s quite obvious that the Egyptians had knowledge about the burning interior of the Earth though they had no volcanoes in their own country. Before coming there the dead person had to pass a labyrinth of gates and doors and answer questions correctly to pass through. The lion-god Aker let him through the last gate and he was facing the fourteen members of the jury in the Tribunal Hall. There he was allowed to speak about his behavior on Earth. (Shown in the upper left in the picture below).
Then god Anubis took him into the courtroom presenting him the scale where his heart would be put in balance with the feather of the goddess Máat, patroness of truth and harmony. The procedure was recorded by Thoth – the god of writing and wisdom. Sometimes Thot’s animal (a baboon) was sitting on top of the scale ready to adjust the result using a sliding weight.
The deceased enters from the left guided by Anubis. His heart is placed on the scales and the result is recorded by Thoth. Then Horus takes him in front of the judge Osiris for the final verdict. Behind the throne stand Isis and Nephtys.
If the heart of the deceased wasn’t too heavy with sins from his life on Earth, he went through and could continue his voyage to the afterlife and was granted a plot of land in the “Field of the Reeds”. This was the paradise for the ancient Egyptians – to grow crops for eternity in a land that was the very image of the Nile Valley they just had left.
If he failed the test on the other hand – his heart was immediately devoured by the beast Ammut sitting under the scale ready to have a good blow-out. In that case the dead faced the most horrible future imaginable for the Egyptians – he was denied an eternal life in the land in the West and his soul would be restless forever.
The seven steps to Paradise
1. Crossing the celestial river by Nemty to the “Land in the West”.
2. Passing through gates and labyrinths by answering questions.
3. Being let into the great Court of the Underworld by the god Aker.
4. Addressing a jury of 14 judges about the deeds during life on Earth.
5. Taken by Anubis to “Balance of Truth” to weigh his heart for sins.
6. If the heart wasn’t heavy, brought by Horus to Chief Judge Osiris.
7. Entering the “Fields of the Reed” (Paradise) and get eternal life.