LOVE IS REAL, ILLUSIONS ARE NOT

Love Yourself

Love cannot be found in erudition and science, books and pages. Whatever is discussed by people, that is not the way of lovers. Whatever you have said or hear is the shell. The kernel of Love is a mystery that cannot be divulged.

Rumi

 

Why Romantic Love Seems Destined For Failure?

On our day an age we are no wiser that our forefathers were, in fact we seem to fall in to folly easier!

We spoke before about Romantic Love on April 2015 here we go back to it adding unsaid things about Love. For those of you who never read it maybe it will be useful to do it, since I prefer not to repeat saying the same things already treated on another post, but briefly I would say our notions of romantic love, and expectations for most of us in our predominant Western culture are totally out of whack with reality, feed by the media, movies, TV, romantic novels, and crass commercialism, hey it’s not a secret, Love sells! We celebrate it on every occasion, Valentines, super expensive weddings, jewelry, gift cards, flowers, chocolate, cakes, and any other present made in the name of love, from diners, movies, cars, houses, diamonds, serenades, dances, vacations, clothes, makeup, hairdos, you want to look good, and any conceivable expenditure made on the name of love too many to exhaust easily, weddings are also the foundation of a multi-billion dollar industry rife with questionable traditions and irrational expenses.

expensive-wedding

Our youth of course it’s the primary target for buying the idealization of love so when they marry can’t be strangers to the idea of throwing the house through the window, and in fact most parents paid for these weddings which tell you how even if the parents are already divorced themselves, still marrying your daughter or son becomes a matter of prestige, to expend extravagantly on a wedding.

With all these high expectations for happiness out of romantic love no wonder the letdown of failing to fulfill that happiness is anything but brutal.

If you look at the history of weddings only the nobility would celebrate sumptuous weddings, kings and princes would celebrate weddings, the rest of the people would have if lucky a blessing by a priest of their religion, before going back to milk the cow, or cook the daily meal. My point if you notice, is that a lavish wedding celebration now days is trying to mimic a fairy tale dream of kings and princesses, living happy ever after. What sort of model is that for realistic expectations for your average couple struggling to make a living?

Royal-Wedding-Pictures

But being the juicy business it is do not expect a change of values, since it is business who fuel the romantic notions of what love should be, my only advice if you want to be a fool for love, is hold on to your wallet, and get rid of fairy tales expectations about love, it is not real!

Love to begin with it is not infatuation, I will not try to define love, there is many degrees of love, but it’s not illusion, to care dearly for a woman, or a man is fine, to expect things to be a fairy tale, well that is a whole different story.

Fairy tales we tell children, hopefully with a moral story to help them to implant good values on them, but for adults to enact these fantasies, at a great price no doubt, tell us the children in us is well and alive, nothing wrong with it you may think, but it will be unwise not to realize there lays an Archetype dream, and that to try to become that Archetype it is not a good idea, since we always be short in fulfilling dreams.

Fairy tale wedding

Archetypes are innate universal pre-conscious psychic dispositions that form the substrate from which the basic themes of human life emerge. The archetypes are components of the collective unconscious and serve to organize, direct and inform human thought and behavior. Archetypes hold control of the human life cycle.

As we mature the archetypal plan unfolds through a programmed sequence which Jung called the stages of life. Each stage of life is mediated through a new set of archetypal imperatives which seek fulfillment in action. These may include being parented, initiation, courtship, marriage and preparation for death.

Hindsight is 20/20 we like to say, as we live the experience we learn from it, but of course it’s too late to change anything, at least for some if not everybody, old age brings maturity and set illusions to rest, and we can see the folly of our past actions, and too understand our dreams, and expectations were too big, and that romantic love was frail with all sorts of illusions that not correspond to our imperfect world of painful realities.

In India the Sanatana Dharma followers call this Maya; Illusion sometimes  translated as the world to be an illusion, it is more subtle than that, more like not seeing truthfully things as they are.

Maha Maya

“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD

WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL,

AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND”

“YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD

AND HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE”

As a child remember in my Catechism classes the rule that only God you could adore, and worship, humans and other things you could love, but adoring them and worshiping them was tantamount to idolatry. I guess that was my first hint that you have to take romantic love with a grain of salt, and not to make idols with clay feet. Not that it made me any good later, but we will not get in to that, since either yourself went through it, or you will likely find out on your own!

Relationships they are never perfect, more likely something we have to cope with it, a noble enterprise if you wish, marriage is a such a quandary state of living, as a friend of mine liked to quote her mother: “Marriage is the art of reaching a committed agreement, where the force of habit triumphs over hate.”

Not very romantic, but pretty good advice to any sensible, but full of illusion person wishing to get marry. So do not go overboard with romantic illusions, be practical keep your feet on solid ground, realize marriage it’s not a joy ride, more like a tough endurance race, that you bear with, for love.

And no, this is not a final word about love, Love is inexhaustible doesn’t it? So there will be more of it on future posts.

Simple Wedding

Posted in Archetypes, Capitalism, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Cultural Attitudes, Cynicism, Disillusion with Capitalism, Love, Love Illusions, Marriage, Maya, Romance, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , | 64 Comments

MASTERY, AND THE MEANING OF PRACTICE

Sensei's Dojo

If people knew how hard I worked to get my

Mastery it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.

Michelangelo

Practice it is what is needed in order to achieve Mastery, and practice is work, the amount of time you work in your practice it will depend on the seriousness of your intention, and the will you exercise in to it, and that’s  practice.

My Aikido, and Zen teacher, will scratch his head when a student with false expectations would abandon the Dojo after a few lessons, realizing it will be impossible for them to acquire easily the skills necessary to be like the heroes of the many Martial Arts movies that at the time where big hits, but now days are a dime a dozen, and shaking his head my Sensei would say:

“Don’t they understand? It’s only a movie!”

Media it’s so powerful today that is easy to forget most things require a great effort to be achieved, at least those things that have any value, they require long time and much practice, be these working as a chef, fishing for crab in Alaska, become a great musician, or a great artist in the diverse fields of Arts, or simply following a Spiritual path.

The results of most enterprises will depend on the amount of time , effort, and work you put on any task at hand, period. To believe otherwise is to be fooling yourself, and setting yourself for disappointment

Excellence has a price, and you got to be willing to pay the price, otherwise you are wasting your time, another great anecdote from my Sensei come to mind.

Concerning a female friend of his who decided to study ceramic making with a great Sensei living in Japan, she announced to him she was leaving for Japan in order to become an apprentice with such Master.

A couple of years later he run in to her at a bank, my Sensei was very surprised to see her since he expected her to be in Japan at the time studying as he was told by her, after a brief conversations they went for coffee so she could explain to him why she was back, and here is what she told him.

ochawan_tea_ceremony_japan_mar_2015_2013

HER STORY

“I was very naive at the time, I loved the beautiful ceramics and thought I could learn this beautiful craft just going over there and learn it easy, but to begin with as you know my Sensei live in the mountains far from populated areas, one of the reasons is that in order to set the ceramic pieces in the kilns a lot of wood it is necessary for the fires to keep them going day, and night for up to a month of work.

As I arrived in the mountains realized how rural, and simply my Sensei lived, there was no electrical power, no modern conveniences, or appliances  of any kind, even the simplest tasks like cooking with firewood, or washing clothes by the creek in the cold waters of the mountain had to be done by hand, the same way with cleaning the wood floors, or mats, on your knees and with wet rags, also we had to care for a plot of land where we grew vegetables for use in our cooking, we cleaned, cooked, mended clothes, and all kind of chores necessary to run a household, plus taking instruction from Sensei about pottery making.

japan-rural-Takayama-home1

You go to bed after diner basically and it’s necessary to do it early because you got to get up very early every day of the year at 3:00 AM in order to go out and collect firewood, every one is required to bring a pack load of wood more or less the equivalent of your weight, and because you can’t just go and cut a tree you are only able to pick dead branches, and for that it’s necessary to walk for miles, up and down the steep mountains with hardly any tracks for you to walk bringing the wood from miles around, in the summer months it’s not an easy task, but in the winter months with the snow well…you can imagine how hard to find the wood in the snow, and darkness,  dig it out, and to carry such heavy weight through the snow back to the house. Not to talk about how cold it gets out there, your hands and feet are numb all the time, and with chilblains, it’s brutal. 

frozen forest Japan

 

During the summer the Master will put the completed ceramic pieces in the kilns and set the fires burning that required vigilance and attendance 24 x 7 for weeks to feed the fires and make sure the temperatures of the kilns will be correct, and everything would go according to Sensei’s orders, of course that mean we couldn’t go to sleep guarding the fires until the whole thing was done, this was an ongoing thing for a whole month!

Excuse to tell you we hardly slept at all for the period and we where totally exhausted by the end of it.

During that time I did a lot of thinking about my vocation to be a Master ceramist, specially when I found out it will take twenty years of my life to live along Sensei in the conditions described, with no life but the study under Sensei’s rules, but what about my own life, and being a young woman. what about finding a husband, making a family, visiting my own parents in America was troublesome, so with heartbreak, and sorrow come to the conclusion being a Master ceramist wasn’t mean  for me, and here I am…

Japanese kiln in the mountains

In a time when we are so removed from simple living by the use of technology we almost live in a virtual world, wherever you go you see people walking holding their new gadget that allow them to live in cyberspace for hours at a time. Our tastes are now dictated by media like movies, and TV, where actors portray fantasies that are confuse with reality by many. We choose to follow the example of fictitious characters portrait by actors in movies, in my city the joke says every waiter it’s an aspiring actor, rock musician, script writer, plastic artist or at  least a poet, but in fact I had run in to many other occupations who are in pursuit of the fame dream, or rag to riches dream, I use to meet casually at the place I work before the crash of 2008 with a lot of phone stock market brokers, now a not so popular occupation, who dreamed of making scripts, or movies, and at restaurants and cafes all kinds of people are in search of a person who may connect them to the right place in order to pedal their dream wares, there is an industry now who prey on these dreamers and help them put together a script, or a small movie, shot with aspiring actors looking themselves for their big chance, and all kind, of advice, and seminars in how to achieve your dreams. If you haven’t watch Zizek’s “The pervert guide to cinema” you should.

To have a vague fantasy of something you want to do, will no turn to be what in reality it is, confused by the romantic side, or the glamour of certain activities, like acting, or being a rock idol, have a way of confusing people’s minds in to believing something unreal to be real, deluding themselves in to making things work according to their fantasies.

When concerned with life as it is, as oppose as how you imagine things to be, things take a turn for the unexpected and we learn a lesson in humbleness after hardship, and enduring trials, and tribulations when you pursue anything of value. For those who go through such experiences there is something gained, even the knowledge that such thing wasn’t for you, or having grown up, character building, a great inner knowledge, and satisfaction of learning a precious thing about yourself.

And for those that endure to the end and Master whatever they choose to do, there is even a bigger reward of Spiritual worth.

Achieving Mastery

 

Posted in Cultural Attitudes, Direct Spiritual Experience, Dreams, Illusions, Infatuation, Inner Journey, Inspiration, Know Thyself, Mastery, Mysticism, Personal Story, Reality, Self, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

EARTH HISTORY, MOTHER AS AN ARCHETYPE, AND SPIRITUAL REALIZATION.

mother-earth

Great Mystery spoke to our heart

and told us that Earth Would be

the Mother of countless life forms.

Cherokee Nation oral tradition

The age of Earth is approximately one-third of the age of the universe. An immense amount of geological change has occurred in that time span, accompanied by biological change.

Earth formed around 4.54 billion years ago by accretion from the solar nebula.Volcanic out gassing probably created the primordial atmosphere and then the ocean; but the atmosphere contained almost no oxygen and so would have been toxic to most modern life including humans. Much of the Earth was molten because of frequent collisions with other bodies which led to extreme volcanism. A “giant impact” collision with a planet-sized body is thought to have been responsible for forming the Moon.

The water must have been supplied by meteorites from the outer asteroid belt and some large planetary embryos from beyond 2.5 AU. Comets may also have contributed. Though most comets are today in orbits farther away from the Sun than Neptune, computer simulations show they were originally far more common in the inner parts of the solar system.

As the Earth cooled, clouds formed. Rain created the oceans. Recent evidence suggests the oceans may have begun forming as early as 4.4 Ga. By the start of the Archean eon they already covered the Earth.

Earth_formation

Theories for the formation of the Moon must explain its late formation as well as the following facts. First, the Moon has a low density (3.3 times that of water, compared to 5.5 for the earth and a small metallic core. Second, there is virtually no water or other volatile on the moon. Third, the Earth and Moon have the same oxygen isotopic signature (relative abundance of the oxygen isotopes). Of the theories that have been proposed to account for these phenomena, only one is widely accepted: The giant impact hypothesis proposes that the Moon originated after a body the size of Mars (sometimes named Theia) struck the proto-Earth a glancing blow.

The collision released about 100 million times more energy than the more recent Chicxulub impact that is believed to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. It was enough to vaporize some of the Earth’s outer layers and melt both bodies. A portion of the mantle material was ejected into orbit around the Earth. The giant impact hypothesis predicts that the Moon was depleted of metallic material, explaining its abnormal composition. The ejecta in orbit around the Earth could have condensed into a single body within a couple of weeks. Under the influence of its own gravity, the ejected material became a more spherical body: the Moon

Artist's collision for the formation of the MoonThis is of course a very brief synthetic version of the formation of the Earth, my intention its not a thorough scientific exposition of Earth history for those interested on Geological, and biological phenomena you can look elsewhere. My views concern more on looking at our Mother Earth in more than Historical scientific facts, and more towards her Archetype role model, and it’s Spiritual connection with ourselves, her children, since Earth it’s our Mother.

Native American

Native Americans say: One general truth that threads throughout the Native American spiritual beliefs is the belief of the Mother Earth spirituality.  The Native Americans felt that the earth is our mother, the sky our father, and all things were interconnected.  The many Creation myths of the Native American stress the mutuality and interdependence between people and other forms of life.  There is mutual respectfulness required when interacting with trees, birds, and plants and also natural forces such as the wind and the rain. Their creation stories empathize that Creation did not just happen a million years ago and end there, but that the Spirit that first infused the world is still with us now and can be experienced as “immanence”, the spirit which imbues all things.

There were 500 hundred plus nations scattered from “sea to shining sea” north to Alaska and south to Land’s End, on Tierra del Fuego (Patagonia) It is a mistake is to believe that all of the 500-600 tribes were alike in their beliefs.  Like most indigenous peoples, their ceremonies were tied to the land and their way of life.  Each tribe’s rituals were connected to the specific qualities of the land that they called “home”. Because of the particular history of these tribes, their way of life was severely curtailed by the coming of the European settlers, and many spiritual practices and rites have been lost forever.

Although most of Native American societies did not have a written language or holy book, some tribes were very advanced and had written history and very organized spiritual ceremonies and practices. Some tribes were totally destroyed and others moved thousands of miles from the ancestral home. It is only in the last 25 years has the importance of the Native American culture and spiritual beliefs became more popularly known.  By delving into the practices and beliefs and experiencing their essence for ourselves, we can be enriched by them and reach a better understanding of traditions that have been practiced for thousands of years.

Amazon forest native shamanMother as an Archetype

It always strike me as naive, and lack of an interior life by those who miss the connection between the Earth and the Mother archetype, not only when it come to recognize the correspondence between Earth as the mother of every living creature in it, but our own relation with our carnal mothers as a mystery to be solve by our own development as Spiritual beings.

The mother archetype is a particularly good example. All of our ancestors had mothers. We have evolved in an environment that included a mother or mother-substitute. We would never have survived without our connection with a nurturing-one during our times as helpless infants. It stands to reason that we are “built” in a way that reflects that evolutionary environment: We come into this world ready to want mother, to seek her, to recognize her, to deal with her.

So the mother archetype is our built-in ability to recognize a certain relationship, that of “mothering.” Jung says that this is rather abstract, and we are likely to project the archetype out into the world and onto a particular person, usually our own mothers. Even when an archetype doesn’t have a particular real person available, we tend to personify the archetype, that is, turn it into a mythological “story-book” character. This character symbolizes the archetype.

The mother archetype is symbolized by the primordial mother or “earth mother” of mythology, by Eve and Mary in western traditions, and by less personal symbols such as the church, the nation, a forest, or the ocean. According to Jung, someone whose own mother failed to satisfy the demands of the archetype may well be one that spends his or her life seeking comfort in the church, or in identification with “the motherland,” or in meditating upon the figure of Mary, or in a life at sea.

Earth Mother image from an alchemical text

Of course this examples are generalizations, it is to each individual to dive in to his own subjective self (soul) to discover how the Mother archetype affect him and what self discovery it’s necessary for the individual to make the connection that will bring resolution to his anima, and put him in harmony, not only within himself, but bring outward this realizations to make his actions on Earth in accordance with this inner self, and become positive steps for a better relationship not only with the environment, the treatment of women as second class citizens, and abuse, but a total understanding as Thelema quoting Aleister Crowley:

“As the Great Mother, represents MATTER, a word which is derived from the Latin word for Mother. She is the physical mother of each of us, the one who provided us with material flesh to clothe our naked spirits; She is the Archetypal Mother, the Great Yoni, the Womb of all that lives through the flowing of Blood; She is the Great Sea, the Divine Blood itself which cloaks the World and which courses through our veins; and She is Mother Earth, the Womb of All Life that we know.”

Carl Gustav Jung suggested that the archetypal mother was a part of the collective unconscious, a term I always like to substitute by subconscious) of all humans, and various Jungian students, e.g. Erich Neumann and Ernst Whitmont have argued that such mother imagery underpins many mythologies, and precedes the image of the paternal “father”, in such religious systems. Such speculations help explain the universality of such mother goddess imagery around the world.

All ancient civilizations had their Cosmogonies, what we call now creation Myths, and explanation of the birth of the Cosmos, or Earth, and the beginning of life, we will explore those in further posts.

Goddess Durga-Chandrima Dhar

Posted in Alchemy, Ancient Religions, Archetypes, Carl Gustav Jung, Cosmogony, Cosmology, Ecology, Environment, Gaia, Historical Evolution, Indigenous Cultures, Inspiration, Mother Earth, Mother Goddess, Myth, Pachamama, Spirituality And Environment, Uncategorized, Unconscious | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

ON ANGELS AND DEMONS, WHY ANGELS ARE FASHIONABLE AGAIN

Angel

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life

Genesis 3-24

 

WHY ANGELS?

Hardly explainable on an age of skepticism, and Science explanations for all kind of phenomena, Angels are now treated like a sort of New Age fad. They  are something we associate with beautiful Pre-Raphaelite and renaissance paintings, carved statues accompanying Gothic architecture and supernatural beings who intervene in our lives at times of trouble.

An angel is a primarily spiritual being found in various religions. In Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism, angels are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God or Heaven and Earth, or as guardian spirits or a guiding influence. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God’s tasks. The term “angel” has also been diverse to various notions of spirits or figures found in many other religious traditions. The theological study of angels is known as “angelology”.

If we look for the origin of Angels we can track them down to Chaldean Zoroastrian beliefs and further back to Indian Devas.

Deva (Sanskrit: देव, Devá) means “heavenly, divine, anything of excellence”, and is also one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism. Deva is masculine, and the related feminine equivalent is devi.

In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras. The concepts and legends evolve in ancient Indian literature, and by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, and the Asuras the bad. In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are also referred to as Suras and contrasted with their equally powerful, but malevolent half-brothers referred to as the Asuras.

Devas along with Asuras, Yaksha (nature spirits) and Rakshasas (ghosts, ogres) are part of Indian mythology, and Devas feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism.

Devas

JUDAISM

In Judaism an angel (Hebrew: מַלְאָךְmalakh, pluralmalakhim) is a messenger of God, an angelic envoy or an angel in general who appears throughout the Hebrew Bible, Rabbinic literature, and traditional Jewish liturgy. Angels in Judaism are categorized in different hierarchies. The figure of “the angel of Yahveh” (Heb. מלאך יהוה) has been perceived by generations of exegetes and interpreters as theologically troublesome due to its obscure and perplexing identity. Yet, mal’akh Yahvehseems to conceal the answer in regards to the origins of the idea of angels as heavenly commissioners.

Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah describes the angels at length. Angels are described in Kabbalah literature as forces that send information, feelings, between mankind and the God of Israel. They are analogized to atoms, wavelengths or channels that help God in his creation, and it is therefore, reasoned that they should not be worshiped, prayed to, nor invoked. They are not physical in nature but spiritual beings, like spiritual atoms. Therefore, the Kabbalah reasons, when they appear in the Hebrew Bible their description is from the viewpoint of the person that received the vision or prophesy or occurrence, which will be anthropomorphic. However, they are not material beings but are likened to a single emotion, feeling, or material, controlled by God for his purpose of creation.

On returning home from services on Friday night, the eve of Shabbat, or at the dinner-table before dinner Friday night, it is customary in Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism to greet ones guardian angels (Angels of Service or Ministering Angels) with a traditional hymn beginning with:

Peace be unto you, Malachai HaSharet (Angels of Service)
Angels of the Most High
From the King of the kings of kings
The Holy One Blessed Be He

Before going to sleep, many Jews recite a traditional prayer naming four archangels, “To my right Michael and to my left Gabriel, in front of me Uriel and behind me Raphael, and over my head God’s Shekhinah [“the presence of God”].”

On the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, it is customary to call all the boys (in some synagogues, all the children) to the Torah reading and for the whole congregation to recite a verse from Jacob’s blessing to Ephraim and Manasheh (Manassas).

May the angel who redeems me from all evil, bless the children, and let my name be named in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and let them flourish like fish for multitude in the midst of the land (Genesis 48: 16)
Alexandre-Louis-Leloir-Jacob wrestling with the-angel
In Christianity mainly new converts belonging to pagan religions to begin with, had no qualms in accepting Angels, demons and whatever follows along with.

An Angel Appears to Mary

26 During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. 28 The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”

29 But Mary was very startled by what the angel said and wondered what this greeting might mean.

30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has shown you his grace. 31 Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. 33 He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. For this reason the baby will be holy and will be called the Son of God. 36 Now Elizabeth, your relative, is also pregnant with a son though she is very old. Everyone thought she could not have a baby, but she has been pregnant for six months.37 God can do anything!”

38 Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!” Then the angel went away.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hills of Judea. 40 She came to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She cried out in a loud voice, “God has blessed you more than any other woman, and he has blessed the baby to which you will give birth. 43 Why has this good thing happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?44 When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that what the Lord said to you would really happen.”

Mary Praises God

46 Then Mary said,

“My soul praises the Lord;
47 my heart rejoices in God my Savior,
48 because he has shown his concern for his humble servant girl.
From now on, all people will say that I am blessed,
49 because the Powerful One has done great things for me.
    His name is holy.
50 God will show his mercy forever and ever
    to those who worship and serve him.
51 He has done mighty deeds by his power.
    He has scattered the people who are proud
    and think great things about themselves.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    and raised up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with nothing.
54 He has helped his servant, the people of Israel,
    remembering to show them mercy
55 as he promised to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his children forever.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

FRA ANGELICO Annunciation

In Islam Angels Arabic: ملائكةmalāʾikah; singular: ملاك or مَلَكْmalāk are heavenly beings mentioned many times in the Quran and hadith. Unlike humans or jinn, they have no free will and therefore can do only what God orders them to do. Believing in angels is one of the six Articles of Faith in Islam. Just as humans are made of clay, and jinn are made of smokeless fire, angels are made of light

In Islam, the functions that the angels perform vary, one of the most prominent of these functions is their function as messengers. The angel Jibreel (Gabriel) is the most important (prominent) messenger angel, as in Islam, he delivers the message of God (Allah) to the Islamic prophets. Angels cannot be seen as they are heavenly beings but that can take on different forms, including human.
Ibn Arabi discussing why Angels and Jinns can’t be seen said:
God hid them from our view, so we cannot see them except when He wants to unveil them to some of His servants and let them see them. Since they are from the world of insubstantiality and subtlety, they can take on the appearance they wish to adopt among the sensory forms. The original form attributed to them is that of spirit, or to be more precise, this was the first form they received when God created them. Later they took on diverse semblances in accordance with how God wishes them to be. If God were to unveil our ordinary sight so that we could see what form is given by the faculty of image-making which God entrusts with making representations in the imagination of those of us who use imagination, then you would come to see in time the human being (insān) in various forms quite unlike each other.
The Archangel Gabriel carries Mohammed on his shoulders over mountains where angels are shown among golden flames. In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

Angelic hierarchy

The Jewish angelic hierarchy is established in theHebrew Bible, Talmud, Rabbinic literature, and traditional Jewish liturgy. They are categorized in different hierarchies proposed by various theologians. For example, Maimonides, in his Mishneh Torah or Yad ha-Chazakah: Yesodei ha-Torah, counts ten ranks of angels.

The most influential Christian angelic hierarchy was that put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 4th or 5th century in his book De Coelesti Hierarchia (On the Celestial Hierarchy). During the Middle Ages, many schemes were proposed, some drawing on and expanding on Pseudo-Dionysius, others suggesting completely different classifications. According to medieval Christian theologians, the angels are organized into several orders, or “Angelic Choirs”.

Pseudo-Dionysius (On the Celestial Hierarchy) and Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica) drew on passages from the New Testament, specifically Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16, to develop a schema of three Hierarchies, Spheres or Triads of angels, with each Hierarchy containing three Orders or Choirs.

Michele Tosini The Archangels Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel

First Sphere

Seraphim

Cherubim

Thrones

Second Sphere

Dominions

Virtues

Powers

Third Sphere

Principalities

Archangels

Angels

There is no standard hierarchical organization in Islam that parallels the Christian division into different “choirs” or spheres, and the topic is not directly addressed in the Quran. However, it is clear that there is a set order or hierarchy that exists between angels, defined by the assigned jobs and various tasks to which angels are commanded by God. Some scholars suggest that Islamic angels can be grouped into fourteen categories, with some of the higher orders being considered archangels.

There is also an informal Zoroastrian angelic hierarchy, with specific angelic beings called yazatas having key positions in the day-name dedications on the Zoroastrian calendar.

Francesco Botticini The_Assumption of the Virgin

The Skeptical view
Two-thirds of all Americans believe not only that angels and demons exist, but also that they are “active in the world.” Skeptics are dumbfounded by such “archaic nonsense.”
To believe in nonphysical beings—souls or spirits without bodies or brains—in today’s world may seem, well, delusional. But there are serious scholars who take angels and demons seriously. Why?
Certainly, nonphysical beings would challenge the scientific worldview that only the physical is real. Certainly, angels and demons, in one form or another, populate most of the world’s religions. But do angels and demons really exist?
Dean Radin, a leading researcher in extrasensory perception, has special ideas about angels and demons. “I view them as a projection of the unconscious,” he says. “You don’t need to go too far into the ESP world to appreciate why people persist in believing in such things. There is some kind of inter subjective reality, a reality that we create between ourselves and others by sharing thoughts and feelings.”
This is more than personal psychology. “It’s a natural extension of the idea that you’re not locked inside your head,” Radin says. “The moment that you make the leap of faith that our intentions, to some degree, can affect the world around us and what other people think, then you might create a shared mental space which can appear as if it were an angel or demon. It will seem just as real as a hard table would seem real, but it’s different in type.”
Carl Jung asserted that we must embrace the inner darkness. The shadow must be faced to overcome it. It is our awareness of this inner demon’s existence that brings freedom from its control.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung

Cathedral_St_Michaels_Victory
Rilke’s Duino Elegies excerpts
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic

Orders? And even if one were to suddenly

take me to its heart, I would vanish into its

stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but

the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,

and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains

to destroy us. Every Angel is terror.

And so I hold myself back and swallow the cry

of a darkened sobbing. Ah, who then can

we make use of? Not Angels: not men.

Finally they have no more need of us, the early-departed,

weaned gently from earthly things, as one outgrows

the mother’s mild breast. But we, needing

such great secrets, for whom sadness is often

the source of a blessed progress, could we exist without them?

Is it a meaningless story how once, in the grieving for Linos,

first music ventured to penetrate arid rigidity,

so that, in startled space, which an almost godlike youth

suddenly left forever, the emptiness first felt

the quivering that now enraptures us, and comforts, and helps.

Hieronymus Bosch Ascent of the Blessed

Posted in Ancient Religions, Angels, Archetypes, Dreams, Genies, Gospels, Hinduism, History, Ibn Arabi, Imagination, Inspiration, Jinns, Kabbalah, Literature, Mary, Miracles, Mundus Imaginalis, Mysticism, Mythology, Paradise, Religion, Revelation, Spirituality, Subconscious, Symbols, Uncategorized, Unconscious, Western Civilization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

DEMOCRACY A WEAK SYSTEM AGAINST CORRUPTING TYRANNY AND OLIGARCHY, OSTRACISM AS A PREVENTION IN ANCIENT GREECE

E0702 KLENZE 9463

It’s always strike me as a great irony that the name of Marcus Junius Brutus Minor is an infamous name to many in our Republic history, and that most sympathize with Caesar.

Et tu, Brute?“and you, Brutus?” or “you too, Brutus?”, purportedly as the last words of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Brutus at the moment of his assassination. The quotation is widely used in English-speaking world to signify the utmost unexpected betrayal by a person, such as a friend.

The fame of the quotation is entirely due to its occurrence in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, as Caesar utters these words as he is being stabbed to death, having recognized his friend and protege Brutus among the assassins. However, there is no evidence that Caesar actually said these words. Despite Brutus friendship.

Whatever unknown reasons Brutus may had in the killing of Caesar, it is suspected he was his illegitimate child, and he was a favorite of Caesar, still the fact is that he was defending the Republic against tyranny, and together with many senators was doing the killing of Caesar a sort of heroic act, in order to save the Republic from tyranny. Maybe it reflect our subconscious sympathies for our undemocratic love for empire.

Vincenzo Camuccini, "Morte di Cesare", 1798,

Vincenzo Camuccini, “Morte di Cesare”, 1798,

Ostracism (From the Greek ὀστρακισμός, ostrakismos) was a procedure   in which any citizen of ancient Athens could be expelled from the city-state for ten years. While some instances clearly expressed popular anger at the citizen, ostracism was often used preemptively. It was used as a way of neutralizing someone thought to be a threat to the state or potential tyrant. It has been called an “honorable exile”

Ostracism is derived from the ostraka, referring to the potsherds or pieces of broken pottery that were used as voting tokens. Broken pottery, abundant and virtually free, served as a kind of scrap paper, and was used by the citizens of Athens to write down the name of the one they wised to be ostracized. In contrast, papyrus, which was imported from Egypt as a high-quality writing surface, and was thus too costly to be disposable.

Ostrakon_Thémistocles

Ostracismwas a pre-emptive strike to take down any citizen who seemed to be trying to take control of the city. Because it could be done so early in anyone political career, it helped defuse any major confrontations between rival politicians or political groups before it overheated into civil war.

Each year, around January or February, the Athenians were asked in the assembly whether they wished to hold an ostracism. If they voted “yes”, then an ostracism would be held around two months later. In a roped-off area of the agora, citizens scratched the name of a citizen they wished to expel on pot shards, and deposited them in urns. The presiding officials counted the ostraka submitted; if a minimum of six thousand votes were reached, then the ostracism took place: the officials sorted the names into separate piles, and the person receiving the highest number of votes was exiled for ten years.

Crucially, ostracism had no relation to the processes of justice. There was no charge or defense, and the exile was not in fact a penalty; it was simply a command from the Athenian people that one of their number be gone for ten years. The person nominated had ten days to leave the city, if he attempted to return, the penalty was death.

The first rash of people ostracized in the decade after the defeat of the first Persian invasion at Marathon in 490 BC were all related or connected to the tyrant Peisistratos, who had controlled Athens for 36 years up to 527 BC. After his son Hippias was deposed with Spartan help in 510 BC, the family sought refuge with the Persians, and nearly twenty years later Hippias landed with their invasion force at Marathon. Tyranny and Persian aggression were paired threats facing the new democratic regime at Athens, and ostracism was used against both.

Harmodius and Aristogeiton The Tyrant killers

In 443 BC Thucydides son of Milesias (not to be confused with the historian of the same name) was ostracized. He led an aristocratic opposition to Athenian imperialism and in particular to Pericles’ building program on the acropolis, which was funded by taxes created for the wars against Persia. By expelling Thucydides the Athenian people sent a clear message about the direction of Athenian policy. Similar but more controversial claims have been made about the ostracism of Cimon in 461 BC.

In part ostracism lapsed as a procedure at the end of the fifth century because it was replaced by the graphe paranomon, a regular court action under which a much larger number of politicians might be targeted, instead of just one a year as with ostracism, and with greater severity. But it may already have come to seem like an anachronism as factional alliances organised around important men became increasingly less significant in the later period, and power was more specifically located in the interaction of the individual speaker with the power of the assembly and the courts. The threat to the democratic system in the late 5th century came not from tyranny but from oligarchic coups, threats of which became prominent after two brief seizures of power, in 411 by “the Four Hundred” and in 404 BC by “the Thirty”, which were not dependent on single powerful individuals. Ostracism was not an effective defense against the oligarchic threat and it was not so used.

Athèns AcropolIS Caryatides

As we can see ancient Athenians used ostracism as a defense mainly towards powerful, rich citizens, who using their money, and influences were potentially capable of destabilizing the State, by undermining democracy, oligarchs who through diverse ways tried to take over power either to become tyrants, or just to profit from their dealings at expense of the people. It could be alleged that on the long run didn’t work out, but we can’t deny that at least they tried to curb the ambition of the powerful so unlike today were the rich through corporate power basically do whatever they please to our expense, and we are incapable to defend our so much vaunted, but in fact ineffective democracy.

Our oncoming elections a clear example of the abuse of the powerful against the common interest of the many, where our are choices are dictated by the infamous 1% and the inevitable choice between the less of two evils takes effect, rather than what would be ideal for the common good.

tumblr_o1jv86erl11tw4zw8o1_1280

 

Posted in Ancient Civilizations, Caesar and Brutus, Corruption, Crisis of Values, Critical Thinking, Democracy, Disillusion with Capitalism, Freedom, Greed and Impunity, History, Howard Zinn, Oligarchy, Ostracism, Politics, Uncategorized, Western Civilization | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

EDUARDO GALEANO, CAN WE BE LIKE THEM?

Continue reading

Posted in A World in Crisis, Capitalism, Climate Change, Crisis of Values, Cultural Attitudes, Disillusion with Capitalism, Ecological Crisis, Eduardo Galeano, Environment, Globalization, Greed and Impunity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

MONOTHEISM VS POLYTHEISM, WHY? SANATANA DHARMA AND TOLERANCE

 

 

akhenaten

In his famous book, MOSES AND MONOTHEISM, Sigmund Freud concluded that monotheism was not a Jewish but an Egyptian invention, descending from the cult of the Egyptian sun god Aten.  Moreover, upon applying his psychoanalysis to the myths/stories of the Hebrew bible, Freud not only argued that Moses was an Egyptian priest but he was also perplexed by how the whole story of Moses/Exodus, according to the oedipal pattern of analysis, was inverted and didn’t make sense the way it had been told. In other words the Hebrew myths/stories didn’t seem original.

Introduction

First let me say there is a lot of nonsense and misunderstanding related to the why of Monotheism, including Sigismund Freud idea of psychoanalyses of the Hebrew Bible! 

Second let me say the word God it’s a loaded issue in itself!

Why is a loaded word? Because God means a myriad things to a myriad of people, in fact there is no man who may have a similar idea of the word God, and what it encompass. And that it’s why some religious people prefer not to give it a name, unfortunately because the intolerance of many religious groups and individuals through History the word God has become a word of dissension rather than unity.

One thing it’s not disputable is the fact that the word God encompass our private idea about it, which it’s by far not the same idea other individual may have. And if we can’t agree in a definition, or a meaning, how we will be able to sort this issue?

For some the word God it’s just a word, with no real existence, to others it’s not just a word but an experience, a way of life.

Some people rather than use the word God like to say it’s a Mystery, to which I wholeheartedly agree, ultimately any idea, or definition will be lacking…

Sadhus

POLYTHEISM

Polytheism refers to the worship of or belief in multiple deities usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. In most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a  a creator God transcendental principle a monists theologies, which manifests immanently in nature as panetheistic and pantheistic theologies.

Unfortunately some of our Western pagans when trying to defend their views rely more on emotional issues like Patriarchy and it’s nefarious historical ramifications than on rational, and  solid theological grounds.

And this by no means to dismiss their just claims, Patriarchy should be remember it’s a tribal institution adopted by migratory clans, shepherds and the like, who it’s independent of theological argument, unfortunately Monotheism was invested with these social garments in the Abrahamic religions, but I want to remind the reader these social characteristics are of no relevance when it come to the theological argument, of an All inclusive God, Transcendent and Immanent,  I don’t see any problem with a vision of a religion with different social trappings based in equality and justice not only between men and women, but one that include social justice to the environment, Pachamama, our Mother Earth, and any non human creatures. There is a social problem around the world of a male dominated society independently of Religion, that of course reflects in our way of living, consequently some religious groups may still embrace this ossified mentality which it’s deplorable at this day an age.

Raphael Olympians

VIEWS FROM  SANATANA DHARMA =HINDUISM

Ed Viswanathan on : Am I A Hindu says:

“Hindus consider it absurd to state that any other true religion of the world is false.”
“The Bhagavad  Gita (4:11) Krishna (a Hindu word for God) says: ‘Whatever and whichever way men approach Me, even so do I accept them; whatever paths they may chose finally lead to Me’….. From these lines, one can easily understand that Hinduism does not project itself as the only way to God-realization. It claims no monopoly on wisdom. It tolerates all forms of thoughts. A Hindu Yogi will never try to convert a person from another religion to Hinduism. Instead he will try to make a person’s faith steadfast in his/her own religion. The Gita says, ‘In whatever form a devotee seeks to worship Me with faith, I make his faith steadfast in that form alone.'”
“So, in Hinduism, you can worship the Almighty, which is formless and timeless, as Krishna, Jesus, Allah, Moses or as anyone or anything. As long as you have faith in that form of the Almighty, you will be following a true religion and you will ultimately realize the truth, even if you are following a crude form of worship. No one can be lost, according to Hinduism. In whichever way one may seek God, one is always in the path of God.”

“When someone calls ‘It’ Jesus Christ, ‘It’ comes as Jesus Christ; when someone calls ‘It’ Lord Krishna, ‘It’ comes as Lord Krishna. The great Muslim mystics, the Sufis, said, Wheresoever you turn, there is the face of Allah. In all forms of worship, ultimately the worshiper will transcend the name and form of his/her personal god. All of them started with their attachment to a personal god and finally ended up with an almighty which is timeless and formless…. The word Islam means submitter to the will of Allah, and Allah has no proper definition…. No religion has a monopoly on God.”

“All came from that which cannot be defined called Brahman (monism).” “All came from That, so all existence is good and divine (pantheism).”  “There is only one God (monotheism).” “All of us are Gods. This, of course, is just like saying that if you analyze one drop of seawater, then you know everything about the entire sea, or that if you the properties of electricity within the light bulb, then you know all about the electricity in the entire network.”  To search for God is like a pinch of salt finding the depth of the ocean, it becomes part and parcel of the ocean. Similarly, a devotee who seeks God becomes part and parcel of That.”

tumblr_nyznb4nG7M1sqba70o1_1280

THE MYTH OF IMMUTABILITY IN RELIGION

The idea that religions are immutable in character it’s more a wish idea than anything close to reality, religion it’s linked to Man, and men change with time, places, customs, Historical periods, and new ideas, who come to discard old ideas who had lost their contemporary appeal, or reinvigorate them with new leaven, that it’s why it is of no point to stick to the letter in scriptures, literal interpretations encase words in to a straight jacket, when what it’s really important is to embrace the Spirit of it, and Spirit it’s a living thing, not a fossil encased on an old interpretation of a word, just like languages they evolve and change to become richer and useful, or they die and disappear as dead languages. “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.” (John 5:39,40).

This was true on Jesus days, as it is now. The world will be a better place if men will defend Truth, rather than words.

The baptism of the Christ

Posted in Ancient Religions, God, Goddess, Hinduism, Historical Evolution, Monotheism, New Values, Pagans, Polytheism, Spirituality, Theology, Transcendence, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

ONEIROMANCY DREAM INTERPRETATION, THE RAMESSIDE PAPYRUS, ARTEMIDORUS ONEIROKRITICON, SHAMANIC DREAMING, AND IBN SIRIN

Gigamesh_mourns_Enkidu

80. With these last words the dying Enkidu did pray

and say to his beloved companion:

“In dreams last night
the heavens and the earth poured
out great groans while I alone
stood facing devastation. Some fierce
and threatening creature flew down at me
and pushed me with its talons toward
the horror-filled house of death
wherein lrkalla, queen of shades,

90. stands in command.There is darkness which lets no personagain see light of day.

There is a road leading away from
bright and lively life.
There dwell those who eat dry dust
and have no cooling water to quench their awful thirst.
As I stood there I saw all those who’ve died

and even kings among those darkened souls
have none of their remote and former glory.

100. All earthly greatness was forfeitand I entered then into the house of death.Others who have been there longdid rise to welcome me.”

 

EPIC OF GILGAMESH

 

THE SCIENCE OF DREAM INTERPRETATION ONEIROMANCY

Oneiromancy  It is defined as :(from the Greek όνειροϛ oneiros, dream, and μαντεία manteia, prophecy) is a form of divination based upon dreams; it is a system of dream interpretation that uses dreams to predict the future.

I m not in agreement with the definition, specifically with the idea it’s some sort of divination, a bad word that our Jungian friends would be insulted if we would define them as diviners, rather than interpreters, or analyzers of dreams, I agree Intuition may play by no means a small role, however this it’s not to imply a supernatural science, but rather a long time of study, and the acquisition of wisdom by experience and skill, that makes to the eyes of the uninitiated appear like a magic trick or divination.

Dream interpretation it’s not a new science, it was well known to our ancestors the Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, Celt, Maya, Aztec, Inca and all Native Americans Nations in North, Central, and South America on prehispanic times, and today between the Shamans of the Amazon basin and anywhere on America or Africa, or Asia, and Oceania including Australia and New Zealand, where Native Indigenous cultures have survived the onslaught of so call  Western civilization.

Sigismund Freud, and The Swiss psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung they didn’t discovered a new science they made the role of the High Priest, and the Shaman in to a methodological approach named  psychiatry, and developed the field of analytical psychology,  focused this idea and formed theories, experiments, and terminology around Oneiromancy, although if in need of therapy maybe with a few exceptions I would rather entrust myself to a wise Shaman in Amazonia, or elsewhere than to a run of the mill psychotherapist, a product of academy and dependent on pharmaceuticals for treatment.

Shaman and the dream gate

Ancient Egypt

A unique exemplar of a book of dream-interpretation survives from pre-Hellenistic Egypt, the so-called “Ramesside Dream-Book”

The Dream Book

From Deir el-Medina, Egypt19th Dynasty, around 1275 BC

Papyrus giving a list of dreams and their interpretations

The meaning of dreams is a subject that fascinated the ancient Egyptians. This hieratic papyrus, probably dates to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). On each page of the papyrus a vertical column of hieratic signs begins: ‘if a man sees himself in a dream’; each horizontal line describes a dream, followed by the diagnosis ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and then the interpretation. For example, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream looking out of a window, good; it means the hearing of his cry’. Or, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream with his bed catching fire, bad; it means driving away his wife’. The text first lists good dreams, and then bad ones; the word ‘bad’ is written in red, ‘the colour of ill omen’.

The papyrus had several owners before it was, presumably, deposited in the cemetery at Deir el-Medina. It is uncertain who the original owner was, but it passed into the hands of the scribe Qeniherkhepshef; on the other side of the papyrus, the scribe copied a poem about the Battle of Kadesh, which took place in the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). The Dream Book passed to Khaemamen, Qeniherkhepshef’s wife’s second husband, and then to his son Amennakht (both added their name to the papyrus). The Dream Book was part of an archive, including a wide variety of literary, magical and documentary material, which passed down through the family for more than a century.

Dream Papyrus

Artemidorus Daldianus

During the Hellenistic era all across the Mediterranean, the practice took place in temples that were staffed by priest-physicians. In fact, dream temples made up the single most popular spiritual healing institution in the Mediterranean world.

These restful sanctuaries were designed to produce dreams that provided healing wisdom — and also instant cures — if we are to believe the boasts of ancient graffiti. Successful cures were honored with inscriptions on the walls of the sanctuaries, acting as advertisements as well.

The dream healers of ancient Greece were also surgeons and herbalists, teaching their young doctors the art of empirical observation coupled with an environment of safety and spiritual cleansing. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, learned from his dream healing mentors to make empirical observations rather than simply following untested beliefs. Hippocrates is also cited as writing a medical dream dictionary that focused on a number of common dream symbols that indicate bodily ailments, although many scholars attribute the work to his disciples.

Artemidorus (Greek: Ἀρτεμίδωρος ὁ Δαλδιανός) or Ephesius was a professional diviner who lived in the 2nd century. He is known from an extant five-volume Greek work, the Oneirocritica or Oneirokritikon (English: The Interpretation of Dreams)

Artemidorus was surnamed Ephesius, from Ephesus, on the west coast of Asia Minor, but was also called Daldianus, from his mother’s native city, Daldis in Lycia. He lived in the 2nd century AD.

According to Artemidorus, the material for his work was gathered during lengthy travels through Greece, Italy and Asia, from diviners of high and low station. Another major source were the writings of Artemidorus’ predecessors, sixteen of whom he cites by name. It is clear he built on a rich written tradition, now otherwise lost. Artemidorus’ method is, at root, analogical. He writes that dream interpretation is “nothing other than the juxtaposition of similarities” (2.25). But like other types of Greek divination, including Astrology, celestial divination and pallomancy, Greek dream divination (Oneiromancy) became exceedingly complex, a given dream subject to a number of interpretations depending on secondary considerations, such as the age, sex, and status of the dreamer. At other times, subtle distinctions within the dream itself are significant. In a particularly memorable passage, Artemidorus expounds upon the meaning of dreams involving sex with one’s mother:

“The case of one’s mother is both complex and manifold and admits of many different interpretations—a thing not all dream interpreters have realized. The fact is that the mere act of intercourse by itself is not enough to show what is portended. Rather, the manner of the embraces and the various positions of the bodies indicate different outcomes.”

I rather put my allegiance to Artemidorus than to Sigmund Freud when it come to dreaming about the Mother, obviously an Archetype of primordial proportions , and to his practical skills as a priest of the temple of Ephesus where the sick specifically went to find an oracle to cure their sickness or deal with their  problems, let’s just say that Artemidorus  knew some ill patient was about to die when it’s dream was having sex with their mother and she was on top, an obvious allusion to the fact of been covered by mother earth, a returning to the womb we all come from.

The first three books of the Oneirocritica are dedicated to one Cassius Maximus and were intended to serve as a detailed introduction for both diviners and the general public. Books four and five were written for Artemidorus’ son, also Artemidorus, to give him a leg-up on competitors, and Artemidorus cautions him about making copies.

According to the Suda The Suda or Souda (Medieval Greek:Σοῦδα Soũda) is a massive 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, formerly attributed to an author called Suidas. It is an encyclopedic lexicon, written in Greek, with 30,000 entries, many drawing from ancient sources that have since been lost, and often derived from medieval Christian compilers. (Alpha 4025), Artemidorus also penned a Oiônoscopica(Interpretation of Birds) and a Chiroscopica (Palmistry), but neither has survived, and the authorship is discounted. In the Oneirocritica, Artemidorus displays a hostile attitude to palmistry.

Among the authors Artemidorus cites are Antiphon (possibly the same as Antiphon the Sophist), Aristander of Telmessus, Demetrius of Phalerum, Alexander of Myndus in Caria, and Artemon of Miletus.

Artemidorus

Shamanism And The Dream

For thousands of years, many indigenous tribes and cultures have valued dreaming. The Shaman’s journey to other worlds in non-ordinary reality to commune with the spirits, to retrieve lost soul parts, to find healing for their community. Aborigine tribes of Australia believed dreaming was a way to travel to other places. Cultures used dreaming to foretell the future so they could plan for what was coming.

Dreaming is a time when we can turn off our conscious and third dimensional mind chatter and enter into a world of vivid imagination where the subconscious and our creativity connect to the sacred divine. Our dreams are gateways, they tell us a story, and it is up to us to follow the storyline and find the meaning.

There are many ways of dreaming, the Shamans use journeying, and employing all their senses to be able to walk in both worlds. Lucid dreaming and guided meditation are other forms of being able to travel the worlds. I would not like to dwell too much on these practices, since it would be too extensive to cite examples of many cultures around the world, with their own set of beliefs, and rituals, some may include entheogens, some may not, it’s just enough to say wherever there is an indigenous group of people who preserve their culture, despite the encroaching of the prevailing dominant Eurocentric culture, there you will find Shamans who will dream, and interpret dreams as a Spiritual quest, and as healing tools.

South American Shaman

Ibn Sirin

Ibn Sirin, Muhammad was one of the first ascetics of Al-Basra. He became the prime imam in religion and an erudite in the Qur’an. He was described by one of his contemporaries (Abu Ná’eem) as wise, heeding God and perspicacious, sharing food with his brethren and travelers, strongly interceding in favor of the lonely and those who were punished for one reason or another. He was alert, cautious, honest and properly maintaining whatever was entrusted to him. He used to weep at night and smile and rove around all day. And he fasted every other day. No one was as religious or as knowledgeable as him in his art. His family was so generous that they would not hesitate to offer to their visitor the last loaf of bread in their house. He used to savor and recite poetry.

He was particularly renowned for his extraordinary skill in interpreting dreams as attested by the Arabs’ greatest intellectuals, such as Al-Gaheth, Ibn Qutaybah and Ibn Khaldoun, who considered his work as crucial in this field.

The most notable of the books attributed to him is Dreams and Interpretations. Ibn Al-Nadim says that he was the author of Taabirul Ro’oya (What Dreams Express), which is different from or an abridged version of Muntakhabul Kalam Fi Tafsir El Ahlam (A Concise Guide for the Interpretation of Dreams) first printed in Bulaq, Egypt, in 1284 AH, in Lucknow in AD 1874 and in Bombay in 1296 AH. It was subsequently reprinted numerous times in various parts of the Arab World under different titles.

It’s very likely Ibn Sirin never wrote anything, but his fame was so great that later composers of books about dream interpretation used his name in order to add prestige to the books in question, the fact remain this book it’s a great help to interpret dreams.

Dreamworld Gate

 

My personal Views

Dream interpretation it’s as old as the time of the first dream, which set the date of dream interpretation way back to the time the first Man had a dream, and that is why Dream, and Myth are closely link by Archetypes. Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung were pioneers in our current Western culture  for a systematic study approach to it, but by no means were discoverers, the same way Christopher Columbus didn’t discover America, Indigenous people did Thousands of years ago, and populated America, Christopher Columbus just made people in Europe aware of it.

By the very nature of dreams, their fluid state, and the myriad of objects, and situations, books about dream interpretation, can only be of help to recognize a symbolic meaning to objects without been categorically  the last word, the dream interpreter has to analyze the dream taking in to consideration many factors, that may scape the neophyte, a dictionary of dreams it’s ultimately one of the many tools a skillful dream interpreter has resort to when the meaning it’s not clear, but as any tool it’s the skill of it’s use that brings good result to the enterprise, regardless of the tool itself, therefore dream books are just a general guide for interpretation, and the interpreter can’t rely solely on the book period.

Questioning the dreamer about the details of the dream can be useful, the more a person can recall about a dream the clearer the interpretation can be revealing in the details, sensations, feelings, colors, etc. The meaning of the dream, deep knowledge of Symbology, the use of analogy, are key factors, Spiritual awareness brings light, in to many affairs, and Intuition, plus knowledge about the dreamer facilitate the interpretation.

“There are as many paths to God as human souls on earth”. Ibn Arabi

You must only follow your path, path of the heart, learn how to feel and this way see beyond the mask, (ego) because reason, it sees the mask, the outside, the logic, but heart connects to one reality beyond it. Spiritual awareness shouldn’t be discarded either, on the contrary it’s closely linked in to the language of symbols.

Making Dreams the Stuff of Reality

Posted in Artemidorus, Carl. G. Jung, Counsciousness, Dream Interpretation, Dreams, Gilgamesh, Ibn Sirin, Mundus Imaginalis, Myth, Mythology, Oneiromancy, Ranesside Dream Book, Shamanism, Spirituality, Symbology, Symbols, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

THE IMPORTANCE OF SYMBOLS, CARL G. JUNG, SYMBOLISM NOT JUST AN ANCIENT SCIENCE, BUT IT’S RELEVANCE TODAY

Dream symbolism

Dreams are often parables that contain hidden treasure

if you’re willing to search for it. The condition of your heart

directly affects your spiritual insight and understanding.

Are you distracted or captivated by the gift God may

be giving you in your dreams? …It may reflect the condition of your heart.

Jesus only spoke in parables to the unbelieving because

He wanted them to have to apply their heart. He says in Matthew 13:13-15

This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see;

though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14)

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ”

‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;

you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15)

For this people’s heart has become calloused;

they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears,

understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

Images as Symbols

Symbol

I sort of smile, when reading about something were the author goes on with his dissertation ignorant about the many issues surrounding the topic he is talking about specifically one sided explanations, that ignore the deep power of symbols, and the use the ancients had for them way before we come to lost our way around them, this a profound loss for the understanding of an issue, even the explanation of the symbol itself!

According to the dictionary

symbol

/ˈsɪmbəl/

noun

1.

something that represents or stands for something else, usually by convention or association, specifically a material object used to represent something abstract

2.

an object, person, idea, etc, used in a literary work, film, etc, to stand for or suggest something else with which it is associated either explicitly or in some more subtle way

3.

a letter, figure, or sign used in mathematics,science, music, etc to represent a quantity, phenomenon, operation, function, etc

But of course there is more, a lot more than that!

As for example:

Word Origin and History for symbol Expand

n.

early 15c., “creed, summary, religious belief,” from Late Latin symbolum “creed, token, mark,” from Greek symbolon “token, watchword” (applied c.250 by Cyprian of Carthage to the Apostles’ Creed, on the notion of the “mark” that distinguishes Christians from pagans), literally “that which is thrown or cast together,” from syn- “together” (see syn- ) + bole “a throwing, a casting, the stroke of a missile, bolt,beam,” from bol-, nominative stem of ballein “to throw” (see ballistics).

 

The sense evolution in Greek is from “throwing things together” to “contrasting” to “comparing” to “token used in comparisons to determine if something is genuine.” Hence, “outward sign” of something. The meaning “something which stands for something else”first recorded 1590 (in “Faerie Queene”).

Symbology

In considering the effect of a symbol on the psyche, in his seminal essay The Symbol without Meaning Joseph Campbell proposes the following definition: A symbol is an energy evoking, and directing, agent.

Later, expanding on what he means by this definition Campbell says:

“a symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore between the ‘sense’ and the ‘meaning’ of the symbol. It seems to me perfectly clear that all the great and little symbolical systems of the past functioned simultaneously on three levels: the corporeal of waking consciousness, the spiritual of dream, and the ineffable of the absolutely unknowable. The term ‘meaning’ can refer only to the first two but these, today, are in the charge of science – which is the province as we have said, not of symbols but of signs. The ineffable, the absolutely unknowable, can be only sensed. It is the province of art which is not ‘expression’ merely, or even primarily, but a quest for, and formulation of, experience evoking, energy-waking images: yielding what Sir Herbert Read has aptly termed a ‘sensuous apprehension of being’.

Heinrich Zimmer gives a concise overview of the nature, and perennial relevance, of symbols.

“Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored. They are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilization, every age, must bring forth its own.”

In the book Signs and Symbols, it is stated that A symbol … is a visual image or sign representing an idea — a deeper indicator of a universal truth.

Symbols are a means of complex communication that often can have multiple levels of meaning. This separates symbols from signs, as signs have only one meaning.

Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned.

Symbols are the basis of all human understanding and serve as vehicles of conception for all human knowledge. Symbols facilitate understanding of the world in which we live, thus serving as the grounds upon which we make judgments. In this way, people use symbols not only to make sense of the world around them, but also to identify and cooperate in society through constitutive rhetoric.

Methaphors in to wisdom

Carl Gustav Jung and the Collective Unconscious

Carl Gustav Jung ; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies. He was a prolific writer, though many of his works were not published until after his death.

Collective unconscious, a term coined by Carl Jung, refers to structures of the unconscious mind which are shared among beings of the same species. According to Jung, the human collective unconscious is populated by instincts and by archetypes: universal symbols such as the Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Shadow, the Tower, Water, the Tree of Life, and many more.

Jung considered the collective unconscious to underpin and surround the unconscious mind, distinguishing it from the personal unconscious of Freudian psychoanalysis. He argued that the collective unconscious had profound influence on the lives of individuals, who lived out its symbols and clothed them in meaning through their experiences.

In Jung’s 1916 essay, “The Structure of the Unconscious”. This essay distinguishes between the “personal”, Freudian unconscious, filled with sexual fantasies and repressed images, and the “collective” unconscious encompassing the soul of humanity at large.

In “The Significance of Constitution and Heredity in Psychology” (November 1929), Jung wrote:

And the essential thing, psychologically, is that in dreams, fantasies, and other exceptional states of mind the most far-fetched mythological motifs and symbols can appear autochthonously at any time, often, apparently, as the result of particular influences, traditions, and excitations working on the individual, but more often without any sign of them. These “primordial images” or “archetypes,” as I have called them, belong to the basic stock of the unconscious psyche and cannot be explained as personal acquisitions. Together they make up that psychic stratum which has been called the collective unconscious.

 

The existence of the collective unconscious means that individual consciousness is anything but atabula rasa and is not immune to predetermining influences. On the contrary, it is in the highest degree influenced by inherited presuppositions, quite apart from the unavoidable influences exerted upon it by the environment. The collective unconscious comprises in itself the psychic life of our ancestors right back to the earliest beginnings. It is the matrix of all conscious psychic occurrences, and hence it exerts an influence that compromises the freedom of consciousness in the highest degree, since it is continually striving to lead all conscious processes back into the old paths.

On October 19, 1936, Jung delivered a lecture “The Concept of the Collective Unconscious” to the Abernethian Society at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. He said:

My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.

Carl Jung

Jung’s work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfill our deep innate potential. Based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other traditions, Jung believed that this journey of transformation, which he called individuation, is at the mystical heart of all religions. It is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. Unlike Freud’s objectivist worldview, Jung’s pantheism may have led him to believe that spiritual experience was essential to our well-being, as he specifically identifies individual human life with the universe as a whole. Jung’s ideas on religion gave a counterbalance to the Freudian skepticism of religion. Jung’s idea of religion as a practical road to individuation has been quite popular, and is still treated in modern textbooks on the psychology of religion, though his ideas have also been criticized.

It is only through comparative studies in mythology, folk-lore, religion, and language that we can determine these symbols in a scientific way. The evolutionary stages through which the human psyche has passed are more clearly discernible in the dream than in consciousness. The dream speaks in images and gives expression to instincts that are derived from the most primitive levels of nature. Consciousness all too easily departs from the law of nature, but it can be brought again into harmony with the latter by the assimilation of unconscious contents. By fostering this process, [one comes to] the rediscovery of the law of one’s own being

“We have no symbolic life, and we are all badly in need of the symbolic life. Only the symbolic life can express the need of the soul – the daily need of the soul, mind you! And because people have no such thing, they can never step out of this mill – this awful, banal, grinding life in which they are “nothing but.” . . . Everything is banal; everything is “nothing but,” and that is the reason why people are neurotic. They are simply sick of the whole thing, sick of that banal life, and therefore they want sensation. They even want a war; they all want a war; they are all glad when there is a war; they say, “Thank heaven, now something is going to happen – something bigger than ourselves!”

These things go pretty deep, and no wonder people get neurotic. Life is too rational; there is no symbolic existence in which I am something else, in which I am fulfilling my role, my role as one of the actors in the divine drama of life.”

The Divine Drama of Life

My Personal Views

I never liked the word Unconscious, which in my opinion represents more a physical state, like when someone pass out by a blow on the head, or by the effects of anesthesia, rather than representing the substrata of impressions of the individual, the term Subconscious fits more my idea of things, something that it’s present in  the background, but not necessarily, an active and present awareness of it on our immediate consciousness, but nevertheless present, and can be recollected under close examination of memory, or in the substance of our dreams. I believe this slight, but fundamental differentiation on the meaning of the word, would make it more palatable, and acceptable, and would take the hocus pocus aspect of it, that rational, and scientific minds oppose.

There is such a thing as knowledge by inference that doesn’t come to the mind in an obvious and categorical way, at least in the beginning, but on reflection, and meditation subtleties come to mind, like the meaning of a dream by analogy, and relations of symbols, and constitute a revelation to our conscious mind. This may appear out of nowhere, or magical, to many, but it’s rather an Intuitive, but perfectly logical way of cognition, once this symbolic associations are known.

Albert Einstein, now a darling of truism in quotes of many subject matters, not my favorite person to quote, not fault of his own, but for the way he has been abused in this respect by the many, plus the fact he had it’s failures as we all do, but are not dwelled on, as much as his triumphs, Einstein’s dreams and it’s conclusions lead to the discovery of his famous theory of Relativity, now there is so many versions of different dreams he had, that I hesitate to describe one as the dream that give him the key, but nevertheless point out to the usefulness of the symbolic in order to clarify, and reveal the hidden. The following quote attributed to him reveals the value he conceded to the Symbolic.

Einstein-Intuitive

Conclusion

The importance of the study of Symbols as a way to access our subconscious stratus  of our minds, what the ancients use to name as Soul it’s as relevant today as it was in the past, this can’t be done without a personal effort in our part to seek clarification, to our hidden life and motivations, that propel us here, or there, ignoring the why?

Arnold J. Toynbee a historian philosopher argues:

First the Dominant Minority attempts to hold by force – against all right and reason – a position of inherited privilege which it has ceased to merit; and then the Proletariat repays injustice with resentment, fear with hate, and violence with violence when it executes its acts of secession. Yet the whole movement ends in positive acts of creation – and this on the part of all the actors in the tragedy of disintegration. The Dominant Minority creates a universal state, the Internal Proletariat a universal church, and the External Proletariat a bevy of barbarian war-bands.

If you examine the general  state of affairs of the World, where rules, and commands are handled down from a  one percent corporate capitalistic outlook with few regards for the lower workers, the actual majority, and where the State itself is just the tool this minority uses as a machine of control for their own ends, and where a breakdown of values it’s just a constant increase, where the dispossessed, and disfranchised  majority suffers the will of this entrenched minority who do not comprehend their actions will lead to a total breakdown of society as we know it, is not hard to understand that the new creed represents liberation from oppression, and a new  form of social contract would emerge, where the rewards of the new system must satisfy not only the lower material needs of society, but it’s higher Artistic, and Spiritual needs as well, a recovery of Soul it’s specifically need it in order to bring psychic wellbeing to the individual, and therefore to society at large.

Satisfaction to the material needs of society will always be a primordial goal, but ignoring our Spiritual and hidden subjective side, will bring always a backlash of sorts, that would not take a no for an answer, and would demand it’s share, as in Mathew 22:21 “They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

It’s is not hard to see, that with our way of living we are rapidly approaching  a breaking point, when now even the World Ecology of which all living beings depend it’s at risk of collapse, meanwhile our Nations States, pay a lip service, but actually do nothing to alleviate the impending crisis.

Gathering Storm

Posted in Archetypes, Being, Carl. G. Jung, Counsciousness, Dreams, Inductive Knowledge, Inner Journey, Mythology, Subconscious, Symbology, Symbols, Transformation, Uncategorized, Unconscious, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 38 Comments

SCIENTIFIC HUBRIS THE FALLACY OF THE ALTRUISTIC GENE, MAYA THE NATURE OF ILLUSION

E.O.Wilson_sitting,_October_16,_2007

Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the hypothesis

that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain

and examine social behavior within that context. A branch of biology that

deals with social behavior, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,

evolution, zoology, archaeology, population genetics, and other disciplines.

Within the study of human societies, sociobiology is very closely allied

to the fields of Darwinian anthropology, human behavioral ecology and

evolutionary psychology.

 

From a Darwinian viewpoint, the existence of altruism in nature is at first sight puzzling, as Darwin himself realized. Natural selection leads us to expect animals to behave in ways that increase their own chances of survival and reproduction, not those of others. But by behaving altruistically an animal reduces its own fitness, so should be at a selective disadvantage vis-à-vis one which behaves selfishly. To see this, imagine that some members of a group of Vervet monkeys give alarm calls when they see predators, but others do not. Other things being equal, the latter will have an advantage. By selfishly refusing to give an alarm call, a monkey can reduce the chance that it will itself be attacked, while at the same time benefiting from the alarm calls of others. So we should expect natural selection to favor those monkeys that do not give alarm calls over those that do. But this raises an immediate puzzle. How did the alarm-calling behavior evolve in the first place, and why has it not been eliminated by natural selection? How can the existence of altruism be reconciled with basic Darwinian principles?

Charles Darwin

Enter Genetic Altruism!

In the study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, German researchers took a saliva sample from 101 men and women, using the sample to extract DNA from the participants’ cells. The researchers were focusing on the three variations of a gene called the COMT gene, which influences how certain neurotransmitters are activated in the brain. Previous research has linked those particular neurotransmitters, including dopamine, to positive emotions and social behaviors like bonding.

After providing the saliva sample, the participants had to try to memorize a set of numbers and repeat them as accurately as possible; they received five Euros for completing this memory test. After the test, they could try to increase their reward by gambling with it.

Finally, the participants were shown images that were taken from an ad for a charity: a picture of a little girl—named Lina, from Peru—and a bracelet she had knitted. The experimenters left the room and told the participants they could anonymously donate to the charity some or all of the money they’d earned, though the experimenters were actually able to keep track of how much money each person gave. (After the study ended, all money the participants chose to donate was in fact given to the charity.)

The researchers discovered that people with either of two of the variations of the COMT gene (called the Val/Val and Val/Met variations) donated twice as much money to the charity as people with the other variation (called Met/Met), regardless of their gender. In fact, more than 20 percent of the people with the altruistic variations donated all of their money.

In the general population, the number of people with the altruistic variations of the COMT gene varies by ethnicity, says study author Christian Montag, a psychologist at the University of Bonn. Among Caucasians, the ethnicity of all the participants in this particular study, roughly 75 percent carry one of the two altruistic variations: 25 percent carry the val/val, 50 percent carry the val/met, and 25 percent carry the met/met variant.

While researchers have had evidence for years that altruistic behavior is at least partly influenced by genetics, that evidence has come mainly from studies of twins reporting how altruistic they are, which have found that people with identical genetic material show similar patterns of altruism. This is the first study to link altruism to a specific gene.

Psychologist Sebastian Markett, a study co-author also at the University of Bonn, says the results show how a single genetic mutation can have a large effect on our behavior. But he believes science still has much to learn about the genetics of altruism.

“There must be more genes which influence altruistic behavior whose association has not been discovered yet,” he says. “Our future objective will be to identify all of those genes and how they interact with each other to eventually put a pretty complicated puzzle together—with the goal to understand who we are and why we are how we are.”

Genes

However

The “selfish gene” is a catchy anthropomorphic metaphor for a basic evolutionary truth: The goal of every organism is to perpetuate its own DNA. Metaphors may be useful in providing “handles” for understanding complex processes, but they are loaded with booby traps. In the case of “the selfish gene,” the metaphor has morphed into a slogan and the slogan acts as an enemy of thought.

Dawkins’ premise is that the human capacity for sacrifice is the product of a gene for altruism that somehow sneaked past the “survival of the fittest” screen. He bases his premise on studies by W. D. Hamilton, who showed self-sacrificing behavior to be statistically possible,  if the sacrifice was of value sufficient to enable close kin to survive. But Hamilton’s research was based on social insects, in which the reproductive role is limited to a few ants and bees in the hive or nest — these are the units of natural selection. Observations of a social organization in which the rank-and-file do not have sex and do not compete as mammals must do for mates, are hardly applicable to humans.

Scientists in the Human Genome Project have determined that no single gene determines a particular behavior. Instead, many genes are involved in determining behavior, and their effects are often influenced by environmental factors. Even disregarding Dawkins’ anthropomorphism in using the word “selfish,” to focus on a gene is spurious. Social behavior can’t be answered by specific genes, but by learned lessons of subjective nature with little relation to mere chemical interactions.

Chemical interactions

Wilson Flip Flop

In 1965, Wilson, then a young entomologist, was one of the first scientists to grab hold of Hamilton’s equation and used it to explain altruism he observed in ant colonies. Wilson quickly became an evangelist for the idea, championing the theory that altruism had emerged through natural selection as a means to pass on genes to the next generation, not as a selfless act of moral transcendence.

But over the years Wilson saw cracks in the armor of the theory of inclusive fitness. His doubts continued to build around a theory he had helped elevate to the level of near scientific consensus. Eventually the errors piled too high for Wilson to ignore. In 2010, he and his colleagues published a paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature claiming a paucity of real-world evidence supporting the claim that organisms displaying altruistic behavior follow the rule rB>C. The authors went further to say that the factors in the equation, B and C were too difficult to quantify. Wilson, for his part, admitted that the equation was elegant and alluring, but just too simple to work in practice.

Wilson’s “flip-flop” (said with great respect, as changing one’s mind in science is more often a virtue than a vice) has caused an uproar in the scientific community and drawn heavy criticism from some of the most vocal evolutionary biologists, including Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins. Wilson’s critics have said he is using his authority to make assumptions without backing up his claims with real-world data. The critics also point out that a large group of evolutionary biologists (more than 140) have publicly announced their support for the theory of inclusive fitness despite Wilson’s apostasy. Wilson has countered his critics by pointing to a lack of biological examples showing altruistic traits emerging in species that follow Hamilton’s equation. The dust-up makes for the juiciest kind of intellectual debate, one that sends scientists out into the field in search of more evidence.

Wilson flip flop

 

Subjective and individualistic Social Experience; Wisdom

 

Tracker Pixel for EntryFirst let me say it outright, in case the title of my post had not alerted you about my stand on this issue, I am not merely in disagreement on this issue, but I hold in total  contempt the idea that there is a gene for altruism, just because it will be the only rationalistic, and materialistic explanation to such behavior, when in actuality not such a gene has ever being discovered and isolated as proof of such behavior, that without it, humans would behave like beast of prey, a far common behavior, not due to a gene, but to selfishness, born out of ignorance, not of a gene, in my view the lack of a spiritual approach from contemporary science force them in to idiocy!

Moral qualities are not born of a gene but out of the subjective experience, and social interaction of intelligent individuals and passed not on our genes but taught, by men of virtue, many times at the price of their life like a Socrates, or Jesus.

The danger with discarding any other explanation not subjected to a total materialistic view of existence it’s here patent, sending this supposedly well educated, but nevertheless misguided individuals looking for a gene in our DNA, well good luck!

This is what happens when ideology trumps common sense, and everything it’s reduced at chemical neuron interactions which bring the old Vedanta philosophy, of our scientist pursuing  illusions (Maya) :

Just because a rope in the dark can be perceived as a snake and this trigger the chemical reaction of fear, doesn’t mean the danger was real, once light allows to see the rope, there is no more fear, here you have to differentiate the gene producing the chemical reaction to a perceived treat, to the knowledge making us see the reality of it, you may argue the capacity of understanding knowledge to be in our genes, but not that the knowledge it’s itself the product of a gene, but the subjective quality of discrimination, just like Virtue, or altruism subjective experiences, and not genetically engineered, but the product of wisdom, particular to the individual experience, and not subjective to be inherited as such, at least I never heard wisdom to be inherited, but earned through hard work on an individual basis, like earning a degree in college is not an inheritance but hard work, unless your super rich dad, bought you a title, but still this was not a genetic transmission, but a shameless social behavior!

A rope may look like  snake

MAYA

The Upanishads describe the universe, and the human experience, as an interplay of Purusha (the eternal, unchanging principles, consciousness) and Prakṛti (the temporary, changing material world, nature). The former manifests itself as Ātman (Soul, Self), and the latter as Māyā. The Upanishads refer to the knowledge of Atman as “true knowledge” (Vidya), and the knowledge of Maya as “not true knowledge” (Avidya, Nescience, lack of awareness, lack of true knowledge). Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, states Ben-Ami Scharfstein, describes Maya as “the tendency to imagine something where it does not exist, for example, atman with the body”. To the Upanishads, knowledge includes empirical knowledge and spiritual knowledge, complete knowing necessarily includes understanding the hidden principles that work, the realization of the soul of things.

Hendrick Vroom explains, “The term Maya has been translated as ‘illusion,’ but then it does not concern normal illusion. Here ‘illusion’ does not mean that the world is not real and simply a figment of the human imagination. Maya means that the world is not as it seems; the world that one experiences is misleading as far as its true nature is concerned.” Lynn Foulston states, “The world is both real and unreal because it exists but is ‘not what it appears to be’.” According to Wendy Doniger, “to say that the universe is an illusion (māyā) is not to say that it is unreal; it is to say, instead, that it is not what it seems to be, that it is something constantly being made. Māyā not only deceives people about the things they think they know; more basically, it limits their knowledge.”

Maya the power of Ilusion

Māyā pre-exists and co-exists with Brahman – the Ultimate Principle, Consciousness. Maya is perceived reality, one that does not reveal the hidden principles, the true reality. Maya is unconscious, Atman is conscious. Maya is the literal, Brahman is the figurative Upādāna – the principle, the cause. Maya is born, changes, evolves, dies with time, from circumstances, due to invisible principles of nature, state the Upanishads. Atman-Brahman is eternal, unchanging, invisible principle, unaffected absolute and resplendent consciousness. Maya concept in the Upanishads, states Archibald Gough, is “the indifferent aggregate of all the possibilities of emanatory or derived existences, pre-existing with Brahman”, just like the possibility of a future tree pre-exists in the seed of the tree.

The concept of Maya appears in numerous Upanishads. The verses 4.9 to 4.10 of Svetasvatara Upanishad, is the oldest explicit occurrence of the idea that Brahman (Supreme Soul) is the hidden reality, nature is magic, Brahman is the magician, human beings infatuate with the magic and thus creating bondage to illusions and delusions, and for freedom and liberation one must seek true insights and correct knowledge of the principles behind the hidden magic. Gaudapada in his Karika on Mandukya Upanishad explains the interplay of Atman and Maya as follows,

The Soul is imagined first, then the particularity of objects,

External and internal, as one knows so one remembers.
As a rope, not perceived distinctly in dark, is erroneously imagined,

As snake, as a streak of water, so is the Soul (Atman) erroneously imagined.
As when the rope is distinctly perceived, and the erroneous imagination withdrawn,
Only the rope remains, without a second, so when distinctly perceived, the Atman.
When he as Pranas (living beings), as all the diverse objects appears to us,
Then it is all mere Maya, with which the Brahman (Supreme Soul) deceives himself.

—Gaudapada, Māṇḍukya Kārikā 2.16-19

Maya ilusion

Conclusion

If every behavior has to be rule by a gene I muse, in my daily commute to work wonder what gene rules exiting the bus by the front door, despite the automated voice at every stop warning to leave by the two back doors, and the many signs saying so on the bus, instead many people like to jam themselves against the incoming persons who are boarding the bus  paying their fare, inconveniencing many, and delaying the bus in the process, now the whole thing it does not make any sense, if most people would walk away from the bus heading in the direction ahead of the bus, at least I could understand, they want to save 2 or 3 seconds, but my amazement grows when most of the time people after leaving the bus by the front door, head towards the opposite direction,  the one the bus was coming, the back of the bus, they would have been better served by exiting through the back doors, without inconveniencing anybody! How do you explain that?

What about a gene for the ones who despite many empty seats on the bus, like to ride gunshot standing near the driver, in the narrowest place of the bus, inconveniencing incoming people, and the ones who try to jam their way out through the front door, with the added  risk of exiting the bus through the windshield, if the bus has to break suddenly?

Trying to use genes for explaining human behavior is nonsense, hubris, and a waste of time. What about looking for a gene for behavioral Idiocy?

Jaming the front door of the bus

Posted in Altruism, Ancient Religions, Arete, Critical Thinking, E.O. Wilson, Genetics, Hinduism, Inspiration, Know Thyself, Maya, Science, Science and Belief, Scientism, Spirituality, Subjective, Uncategorized, Virtue, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments