Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Symbolism of the Twins

Leda and the Swan is a story from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces Leda. According to later Greek mythology, Leda produced four offspring from two eggs: Castor and Clytemnestra and Helen and Polydeuces Therefore, Castor and Clytemnestra were fathered by Tyndareus, whereas Helen and Polydeuces (Pollux) were fathered by Zeus. But the myth says that Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux), the boy twins were from one egg and the girl twins Clytemnestra and Helen from the second egg. The significance of this cross fertilization is explained in the commentary below.

In Vedic texts, the Ashvins can be compared with the Dioscuri (the twins Castor and Pollux) of Greek and Roman mythology, and especially to the divine twins Ašvieniai of the ancient Baltic religion.
In the epic Mahabharata, King Pandu's wife Madri is granted twins by the Ashvina Kumaras and bears the twins Nakula and Sahadeva who, along with the sons of Kunti, are known as the Pandavas.

In Vedic Astrology, Scorpio is the only sign that has twin symbols. The Scorpion who eventually stings itself (Self destroying) and the Phoenix (self reincarnating) who rises from the ashes.

In Mayan mythology the Hero Twins are the ball players.
Summoned to Xibalba by the Lords of the Underworld, the father and uncle were defeated and sacrificed. Two sons were engendered, however, by the seed of the dead father. The pregnant mother fled from Xibalba. The sons - or 'Twins' - grew up to avenge their father, and after many trials, finally defeated the lords of the Underworld in the ballgame. The Popol Vuh narrative features other episodes involving the Twins and the prime role of the twins was that of a redeemer from the forces of the underworld.

The reason for my starting this article with the theme of the twins in mythology is to bring forth the spiritual meaning these myths would evoke in the human psyche when seen through the theatre as drama or heard through reading or poetry from an allegorical perspective.

Man by his nature perceives duality in his objective understanding due to his sense oriented and conditioned concepts. Hence every creation is assigned a quality of being good or evil. It takes a deeper understanding to see every manifestation as two sides of the same coin.
When the myth presents a negative role in a character it also brings out in its narrative a character in a positive role. This balancing is vital to changing our consciousness through an emotional counter flow. This is primarily the role of the twin symbolism.

I need not delve deep into these examples I have given above. But I will elaborate on one narrative so that you can clearly see that the divine child Pollux and the mortal's child Castor emerge from the same egg. This signifies that in creation the physical manifestation and underlying unmodified consciousness is assigned to the mother archetype and the cross pollinated and conditioned consciousness emerges from the father archetype. This assignment should not be extended to the physical parentage in real life.

The characters of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva and their parentage assigned to the twins, Ashvini Kumaras. again portrays the complex consciousness matrix that every creation yields.

This understanding can be demonstrated in the Biblical story of twins, Esau and Jacob. The entire episode when read from a mythological perspective clearly evokes the principles we have been discussing.

The transfer of birthright to Jacob though it rightfully belonged to the elder son Esau and ultimate banishment of Esau to the highlands of Canaan while Jacob is granted an encounter with the messenger of God at Bethel, all point to a spiritual inheritance and final settlement in Egypt till his old days .
In Gnostic scriptures and writings Egypt was assigned a sacred demography while Jerusalem or Canaan were assigned a demography where wisdom was corrupt. This is why Carl Jung, writing under the pseudo name of Basilides of Alexandria (Egypt), in his "Seven sermons to the Dead" states that;

 "The dead came back from Jerusalem, where they found not what they sought."

"This is the reason Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman," ........Genesis 28:6

In the vision of Obadiah we read:

"............ But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau." .....................Obadiah 1: 17-18

The ultimate reconciliation of the twin aspect of Esau and Jacob and the unification of the twin aspects in the house of Jacob is the core meaning in this episode.
Every human being is created with the intention of receiving his or her birthright which is to receive  and nurture Divine consciousness with which he or she is endowed. All dualistic perceptions downgrades the needed level of consciousness to achieve this spiritual imperative.
Only through a process of identifying the twin nature of all manifestations as illusion, we will be able to achieve the insight into our true nature.

Love to you all

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