Thursday, January 31, 2008

NOTES on The Power of Myth, Episode 4


These notes start with Chief Seattle's letter to President Johnson... In a previous post.


We have sacred places all over the earth, but for the early societies, the entire earth was a sacred place. The sky, the air, the water were all holy.

What doe sit mean to have a sacred place? You must have a room or a certain hour or day where you do not know who your friends are, what you owe, what the newspaper says that day, but a place where you can simply bring forth and experience what you are and what you might be. A place of creative incubation. At first you may not know what’s happening there. But if you have a sacred place, and you make use of it, something will happen.

Most of our action is economically or socially determined, but does not come out of our LIFE…

WHERE IS YOUR BLISS? Try to find it. There you get the THOU feeling of life. These people had it for the whole world in which they lived.

The effect of the spreading plain… vs. the effect of the life in the jungle…

“The man killed the bird, and with the bird he killed the song, and with the song he killed himself.”

AS we turned from the killing of animals to the planting of seed, what changed?

When you kill an animal, the animal is dead. But when you cut down a plant, new roots come out… pruning. In the forest, out of rot, comes life… (Note - FECUNDITY in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard) death as not death, death is required for new life. And the individual is not alone, he is a member of the plant. Jesus –I am the vine you are the branches.

Plant mythology – the idea of the plant you eat being already a part of a dead body… death, planting resurrection. The major theme of mythology in planting societies.

The death and resurrection of the moon… Polynesian legend of Hena… bathing in the pool, with the serpent who turns into a young man. Leaves and comes back, leaves and come back… eventually says next time I come to visit you must kill me and plant my head… she does, and the coconut tree grows… with eyes and a nose…

In all of these stories you have a hero dying and being resurrected to give food and life.

New Guinea – acting out the myth of death and resurrection and cannibalism… rituals are boring. They wear you out and you break through to something else. The maturation ritual of the boys, they go through the ritual, then they bring the girl in, and one at a time the boys have their first sexual experience with her. While the last boy is still with her, they pull out the supports and the roof collapses on them, killing them both. Then they are taken out, roasted and eaten by the tribe that night. That’s the sacrifice of the mass… the Eucharist

The nature of life itself to be realized in the acts of life. When in hunting cultures a sacrifice is made, It’s essentially a bribe – an appeasement to the God. But when in a planting culture a figure is sacrificed, that figure is the god. The person who died was buried and became the food is Christ crucified from who’s body the fruit of the spirit comes.

Jesus is on the tree. He is the tree. The first tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… the place of non-duality, you eat the fruit of duality and you’re on the way out… The tree of coming back to the garden is the tree of eternal life, where you know that I and the father are one. And this is the tree under which the Buddha sits. And the Buddha under his tree and Christ on his tree are the same image. The one who has died to the flesh and been born to the spirit. You identify yourself with a consciousness of which your body is just the vehicle.

The function of art in a way is to reveal the radiance of what exists behind and beyond this existence… that death is life and life is death – being/becoming. There’s balance between them.

The old idea of sacrifice and being sacrificed Is not what we thing of at all… the Mayan ballgame. The captain of the winning team is sacrificed on the field by the captain of the losing team… going to the sacrifice, as the winning stroke of your life is the essence of the early sacrificial idea.

The Jesuit story… young Iroquois boy captured by the Huron to be tortured to death… the boy is brought to it as though to his wedding, and he plays the game with them as though he knows where he’s going. This was not brutish, they were the priests, and this was the sacrifice of the altar. And that by is Jesus by association.

In the acts of John, Jesus dances and celebrates before going to his crucifixion. Joyous as a King as a God.

When you go to your death that way as a God, you go to your eternal life

The God of Death is the lord of life and the lord of sex

- Ghede the death god of Haitian voodoo is the sex god
- Votan (Mayan) one eye covered and one open
- Osiris, lord of death and of the generation of life
that which dies is born – you must have death to have life.

This is the origin of the headhunt. A sacred act. Unless there is death there cannot be birth. A young man must kill before he can be a father. Every generation must die to give birth to the new generation.

The deep psychological association between begetting and dying.

Schopenhauer – The Foundation of Morality – How is it that a person can so participate in the pain of another that without thought he sacrifices himself for the other?

This is the breakthrough of a metaphysical realization that you and the other are ONE and the separateness is only an effect of the temporal forms of time and space. IT is a metaphysical TRUTH that is realized because it’s the truth of your life. The hero is one who has given his life in some way to realization of that truth. Not a concept, but a realization…. not theory, but practice. And in small ways you can see this every day in every time.

“This puts us in touch with the experience of being alive. Life is pain and suffering and horror, but by God your alive, and it’s spectacular!”

Motherhood is a sacrifice. Marriage is sacrifice. When you give in marriage you’re not sacrificing to the other, but to the relationship. The Yin/Yang symbol is this image.. . you’re no longer this – you’re the relationship

Marriage is not a love affair, it’s an ordeal. The ordeal is sacrifice of ego to the relationship of two-ness, which is now the one. Not only biologically, but PRIMARILY spiritually. The procreative aspect is just the biological, but the uniting is the spiritual is the truth of the relationship. Utterly incompatible with the idea of doing one’s own thing. There’s no such thing as one’s own thing. You’re one together. Purely mythological image of the sacrifice of the visible entity for a transcendent unit. By finding the right person we reconstruct the image of the reincarnate God.

DEATH – If one can identify with the consciousness of which the body is a vehicle, one can let the body go… you know it’s coming, so you expect it. It’s losing its energy… the identification with the plant, which survives pruning, cutting and even eating….

You as you know yourself are not the final term of your being. And you must die to that, one way or another. Giving yourself to something or being annihilated. Life is always on the edge of death. Always. And one should lack fear and have the courage of life, that’s the principal initiation of all the heroic stories.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. – the realization of your true bliss comes when you put aside what might be called the passing moment with its terror and its temptations and its statement of requirements of life, that you “should live this way”

Nietzsche – prologue to Thus Spake Zarathustra
The Camel and the Lion and the Dragon the name of the Dragon is “Thou Shalt”

When the dragon is killed, the lion is transformed into an innocent child living out of its own dynamic. A wheel rolling out of its own center.

Learning to use the rules instead of being used by them. Follow your bliss.

Sinclair Lewis ”Babbitt” – “I’ve never done a thing I wanted to in all my life.” The man who never followed his bliss. What good is it?

What happens when you follow your bliss?

The Wheel of Fortune…. the hub and the rim. If you are attached to the rim (fortune) you will either be up or down or going or coming, but if you’re in the hub, you’ll be in the same place all the time. The marriage vow… I take you in richer or poorer, etc. But the point is “I take YOU” not the richer or the poorer.

In Sanskrit – there are three terms that take you to the brink the jumping off place to the ocean
Sat – Being
Chit – Full Consciousness
Ananda – Rapture

I don’t know whether my Being is in a full state, I don’t know whether I have full consciousness, but I do know where my rapture is…. so if I follow my rapture, it will being me Being and Full Consciousness.

We all have the capacity that’s waiting to be awakened to this other place… regardless of what our immediate concerns are. To follow our bliss. How to tap that spring – that fountain of bliss. Learn to recognize it. When you see it, grab it. The sense of, when you are following your bliss, of being helped by “hidden hands” or putting yourself on a kind of track that has been waiting for you all the time. When you can see it you begin to deal with people who are in the field of your bliss. Doors will open and you won’t know where they’ll be.

The waters are life are RIGHT THERE – IF you’re following your bliss.

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