Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Symbol of Rebirth

“The sun is our second symbol of rebirth ... When you realize that eternity is right here now, that it is within your possibility to experience the eternity of your own truth and being, then you grasp the following: That which you are was never born and will never die; that is the insight rendered in term of the solar mystery, the solar light.” …………….Joseph Campbell in “Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor”
The very opening of the quote tells of the Sun as the second symbol of rebirth. Before we deliberate on the significance of the second symbol, let us understand the first symbol. Symbols were established in the mythological age to evoke the consciousness of men towards the higher purposes he or she was created. The earliest myths could be traced to the Sumerian myth of the “Epic of Gilgamesh”.
Water is a primordial source of both rejuvenation and destruction in the Epic. It is neither good nor evil, but simply a force and representation of the gods’ will and the cycle of birth and death inherent to all life. The deluge event both in the Sumerian text as well as in the Matsya Purana and in the Old Testament is a symbolism of global level cleansing as the whole of humanity was deviant from the purpose of creation.
Notably in the Hero monomyth there is a stage of Apotheosis or transformation to the state of the Divine, after every important event in the Epic, Gilgamesh (and Enkidu if he is with Gilgamesh) bathes himself. After slaying Humbaba, when Enkidu leaves the wilderness, and after every other crucial action in the epic, there is always a bath. In practical purposes, the bath cleans and rejuvenates the heroes after their adventures, but it also seems to have ritual purpose—a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. Spiritual cleansing through bathing has similarities to the significance of baptism in Christian practice, in which water is a means of absolution and conversion. Each time Gilgamesh and Enkidu bathe, then, we can interpret them as being rejuvenated and as reaffirming their connection to the gods. This is the climax in which the Hero must have his final and most dangerous encounter with death. In the eleventh stage of the Hero’s journey, there is a death and resurrection.
Now we look at the second symbolism of rebirth which is the Sun. Today happens to be the longest day in the northern hemisphere as it is the summer solstice. Solstice is a word with Latin roots – ‘solstitium’, from ‘sol – sun’ – and ‘stitium – to stop.’ Stoppage of the Sun is metaphorically linked to experiencing eternity, a point at which time loses its meaning. When we are engaged in the deeper contemplation in our inward journey of spiritual awareness, we experience eternity.
In the Old Testament, Joshua defeats the five Amorite kings, with the assistance of Yahweh, he stops the Sun for whole day. This is the mythical symbolism of experiencing eternity in the conquest of our darker nature.
“On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”” ………..Joshua 10: 12
As the Sun never sets or rises when a spaceship is on a very high orbit, when our consciousness is elevated to sublime level, we experience eternal light. The hope of rebirth is given to us through our witnessing the rising and setting of the Sun when we stay rooted to material existence on this earth.
“Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine vivifying Sun,                                                                May he enlighten our understandings.” …………….Gayathri mantra

Love to you all

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