Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Archetypes In Symbolism And Mythology


"Mythology is a fictitious tale about 
characters who never existed,
engaged in events that never happened.
But, yet, it is true."
- Joseph Panek

An Archetype is a physical portrayal of either an Event or an
abstract concept. An Archetype is portrayed as male when it is
designed to depict a masculine aspect, or essence, of nature.
An Archetype is portrayed as female when it is designed to
depict a feminine aspect, or essence, of nature.

Ancient Esoteric writings inform us that masculine aspects of
nature are active, bestowing, rational, logical, conscious, and
solar - The Seed; while feminine aspects of nature are passive,
accepting, intuitive, emotional, subconscious, and lunar
- The Womb.

The events depicted by an Archetype can be either terrestrial
( earthly ) or cosmic ( heavenly ). The Epic tales of classic
literature all contain Archetypal heroes, gods, and goddesses
who weave their ways through these ancient sagas and mingle
in the affairs of mankind. Consider the heroic and divine
Archetypes who have mesmerized us in Homer's unforgettable
classic tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

The abstract concepts depicted by Archetypes are limitless.
They include, but are not limited to, dreams, insights, epiphanies,
prophecy, esoteric Wisdom, and Shamanic experiences. These
are the Archetypes portrayed in the many temple paintings and
hieroglyphs which come down to us from ancient Egypt.

Archetypes allow us to visualize, personify and personalize events
and abstract concepts. They are unforgettable physical
constructions which then become an ingrained mental image that
allows us to recall and associate a specific Archetypal character
with a specific event or abstract concept.

An Archetype is a necessary element for the creation of metaphors,
allegories, parables, myths, legends, fables, and stories which
become the unforgettable Lessons which are then passed down
from generation to generation.

The ancient thought process was Archetypal and metaphorical.
The ancients thought, spoke, taught, and wrote through the use
of Archetypes and metaphors. Therefore, in order for us to
understand ancient histories, legends, myths, and sacred writings,
we must first attempt to understand the ancient mind which
evaluated events, ideas, and concepts by way of Archetypal thinking.

For only by understanding this ancient thought process can we
truly understand the histories and Lessons which they have
passed down to us by way of their myths, legends, sacred
writings, puns, and metaphors.

So, how does this process of Archetypal thinking actually work?

First: An event must occur, a hero must be glorified, an
abstract concept must be brought into consciousness, or a
phenomenon of nature must be experienced. These are the original
and fundamental sources from which Archetypes are conceived
and brought into physical reality.

Second: An Archetype is created which Symbolizes this event,
hero, abstract concept, or phenomenon of Nature. Only then, by
way of a physical representation ( a Symbolic Archetype ), can
a myth, legend, story, or metaphor then be created. If the event
or abstract concept is masculine in nature, it is portrayed by a
man. If the event or abstract concept is feminine in nature, it is
portrayed as a woman. The Archetype must exist before the
myth, story, or legend can be created.

Third: The myth, legend, sacred writing, or metaphor is created
by way of using the Archetype, or Archetypes, which have been
created from the initial event or abstract concept. This end result
is the stories and Lessons that have been passed down to us from
our ancient ancestors from the most ancient of Times.

An Archetype is perpetual while those who later assume the role
of that particular Archetype are temporary. THE HERO is an
Archetype for all heroes who follow. AN ECLIPSE is an Archetype
for all eclipses which follow. MOTHERHOOD is an
Archetype for all women who later assume the role of mother.

Furthermore, THE HERO will always exist; regardless of whether
or not there are currently any heroes to assume that role.

This fact is True for ALL Archetypes.

KINGSHIP is the Archetype for all future kings who assume this
role. KINGSHIP ( or RULERSHIP ) will also always exist
regardless of whether or not there is currently any king to assume
this role. The Archetype of KINGSHIP is clearly defined in the
statement, "The king is dead. Long live the king". What this
proclamation is actually saying is, "The old king is dead. Long live
the new king". This proclamation reminds us that the Archetype of
KINGSHIP is perpetual, even though the characters who wander
in and out of the role of 'king" are continuously replaced.


The same goes for "popes", "presidents", "history teachers",
"comedians", "architects", etc. These are all perpetual Archetypal
titles under which others temporarily assume a role as Time and
history ceaselessly march onward.

Let us look at two Archetypal portrayals (one masculine and the
other feminine ) in order to better visualize the concept of Archetypes:

 Horus standing.svg

Horus - image via wikipedia

HORUS: Horus is the ancient Egyptian Archetype, or Neter, which
Symbolizes KINGSHIP or RULERSHIP. Horus is depicted as
having the body of a man and the head of a hawk.

KINGSHIP or RULERSHIP is an invisible abstract concept which
relates to an "active", or "masculine", aspect of Nature. Therefore,
the Archetype the ancient Egyptians called Horus is depicted as
having the body of a man.

Furthermore, Nature also provides us with a visual phenomenon of
RULERSHIP by way of the hawk.

The hawk is a powerful bird that RULES the heavens. And just as
the hawk was seen as the ruler of its domain of the heavens, so
was the KING or PHARAOH seen as the earthly counterpart of the
hawk who was destined, and responsible, for RULING on earth.

This is why Horus, the Archetype of RULERSHIP, was depicted as
having the body of a man with the head of a hawk

All Egyptian pharaohs were understood to be a temporal aspect of
the Archetype Horus and were therefore recognized as HORUS.

 Refer to caption

Hathor - image via wikipedia

HATHOR: Hathor is the ancient Egyptian Archetype, or Neter,  for
MOTHERHOOD. MOTHERHOOD is a feminine aspect of Nature.
Therefore Hathor is portrayed with either a woman's body with a
cow's head, or, simply as a woman's facial features with a cow's
ears. HATHOR can also be portrayed simply as a cow.

The cow is a docile, nurturing animal. It is also the animal which
provides the milk which is necessary to nourish infants. Here we
see the reason why the ancient Egyptians chose the cow as the
Symbol for MOTHERHOOD.

All women who chose the role of motherhood in ancient Egypt
therefore became a physical manifestation, and representation, of
the Archetype called HATHOR.

Furthermore, when a person's earthly incarnation came to its end,
it was HATHOR who welcomed, nourished, and nurtured the Soul
of the newly deceased when it once again returned to the spiritual
realm from whence it had departed in order to experience a
physical existence.

Conclusion: As we become more and more familiar with Archetypes,
we gain a better understanding of the thought processes and
perceptions of our most distant ancestors. And it is by this
process of understanding the ancient mind that we can slowly
unravel the enigmatic and mystical riddles which baffle and amaze us;
enigmas, mysteries, riddles, and abstract concepts conceived and
cast into stone at the most remote beginnings of historical Time.

See Also:  Article about "The Egyptian Neter"

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2019
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Spirit vs. Soul:
The Egyptian Akh and Ba
( Symbolism and Mythology )

               
      Spirit Bird by Xavier Rudd.jpg
                               Image via Wikipedia

Attempting to explain and understand ancient Spiritual Wisdom by
way of modern rational and logical Words is clumsy at best. Words,
in addition to being often clumsy, can be not only misunderstood
but their meanings can be inconsistent from one person to another.

In addition, ancient Spiritual Teachings, which are easily grasped
by the Eastern mind, become very confusing to the Western mind
which has been Indoctrinated with dogma and not Instructed in
ancient Spiritual Thought.

Furthermore, when discussing the the matter of Spirit vs. Soul,
many modern writers use these terms interchangeably; which
not only adds to a reader's confusion but also begs the question
of whether these writers fully understand these concepts
themselves.

These are the dilemmas faced by the Spiritual Seeker and
Independent Thinker here in the West. Yet, we Spiritual Seekers
and Independent Thinkers still "press on" and try to unravel ancient
Spiritual Wisdoms one Thread at a time. And this can only be
accomplished by completely abandoning all dogmatic Indoctrinations
that have been imposed upon us by organized Western religion;
dogma, which the masses are commanded to accept and believe
without question.

With these thoughts in mind, let us now attempt to unravel the very
ancient, mysterious and enigmatic concept of Spirit vs. Soul.

However, before we embark on this Adventure, the definitions of a
few Words is necessary.

Definitions:

THE ALL: The One eternal, all-encompassing and indivisible Source
from which all things, ideas, and concepts - both manifested and
un-manifested - spring forth from. Everything, without exception, is
both born from THE ALL and is an integral part of THE ALL.

Therefore, THE ALL contains, and IS, everything. And, likewise, as
everything is contained within THE ALL, then all things, concepts,
and ideas, contain THE ALL within them. All things, concepts, and
ideas are specific aspects of THE ALL.

Hence the proverb, "I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.";
which can be summed up as: "I am a specific aspect of THE ALL.
Therefore,THE ALL is contained within me". Furthermore, as each
one of us is a specific aspect of THE ALL, THE ALL is naturally
contained within each one of us. It cannot be any other way.
We cannot be separate from THE ALL. If this were so, then THE ALL
could not be THE ALL.

We see this Spiritual Lesson further expressed in psalm 82:6,
"I have said, you are gods, and children of the Most High".

Nothing can be separate from THE ALL; otherwise THE ALL would
not be THE ALL.

In addition, THE ALL is also indivisible (undividable). For if THE ALL
could be divided then it would not be THE ALL.

Ancient Spiritual Teachings, such as these, are all but ignored
by modern organized religion for the sake of dogmatic
indoctrination of the masses.

Spirit: That specific aspect of Divinity which is our un-manifested
Soul. Our Spirit is our individual personality or character which is
eternally basking within THE ALL but not yet experiencing a
physical incarnation in the realm of matter. Spirit is equivalent to
Akh of ancient Egypt.

Soul: Our manifested Spirit. Our individual personality or
character which is experiencing a physical, bodily incarnation
in the realm of matter. Soul is equivalent to Ba of ancient Egypt
and the Atman ( Our God Within ) of India.

Our Soul, our personality, is that aspect of our Spirit which
combines with matter ( our current physical body ) and chooses
how we will behave during our current physical Incarnation.
Our Soul is equivalent to the Ba of ancient Egypt.

                                     
                            Egyptian Ba - image via Wikipedia

Birds, wings and Feathers are all Symbols of Spirit. Our Soul ( Ba )
is the physically incarnated aspect of our Spirit ( Akh ); and our
Spirit, in turn, is an indivisible aspect of The All.

In the picture of the Egyptian Ba, pictured above, we see Spirit
( bird ) combined with matter ( a head of a specific person ) to
depict the physical incarnation of that specific person.

Mind: While not a specific aspect of this article, our mind IS a
specific aspect of our physical being and therefore it should be
addressed. The ancients associated the mind as an inseparable
part of our physical self. In other words, our mind and body are
one-half of our physically incarnated self and our Spiritual Self
is our other half.

It is through the mind that we receive spiritual messages. It is
also through the mind that we receive ideas and premonitions.
However the mind, being egotistical and rational, also blocks
many of the spiritual messages that are continually coming to us.
The mental "chatter" which is continuously active in our mind
is the "roadblock" which prevents Spiritual Messages from getting
through to us.

That is why it is necessary to silence the mind, through techniques
such as meditation, in order to allow spiritual messages to come to
us from the Great Unconscious Source.

Also, this is why answers to "problems" often come to us when we
least expect it; because the mind is then "relaxed" regarding the
"problem" that had so consumed our rational mind, and  our spiritual
channel through the rational mind is open and unrestricted in regards
to the "problem" which is not currently consuming the entirety of our
thoughts.

Also, it is by way of the relaxed mind that "ideas whose time has
come" reach us.

Putting It All Together:

There is only One Source; One Creative Essence which is eternal
and indivisible. Everything that is manifested, and not manifested,
is an integral, indivisible Aspect of this Source. Therefore everything
is a part of this Source and, at the same time, this Source is within
everything that it manifests. This One Source is called THE ALL.

Our Spirit, which is our un-manifested personality, is an indivisible
aspect of THE ALL. This un-manifested personality - which is our
True Eternal Essence - is our Spirit. Our Spirit, our un-manifested
personality, is what the ancient Egyptians referred to as AKH.

When our Spirit ( AKH ) is "at rest" ( un-manifested within matter ),
the Soul ( BA ) aspect of our Spirit is also in a state of suspension.
However, when our Spirit chooses to manifest into matter ( our
physical body ), then a specific aspect of our Spirit becomes
activated; and this activated aspect of our Spirit then expresses
Itself as our Soul. Our Soul remains in our physical body for the
duration of our worldly Incarnation.

When our physical Incarnation comes to a close, our Soul
( which, again, is an aspect of our Spirit ), dissolves, so to speak,
back into our Spirit until once again Spirit chooses to incarnate
within matter.

Picture this as a "family tree". At the top of this "family tree" is
THE ALL. Immediately below THE ALL is our Spirit ( AKH ); which
is an indivisible aspect of THE ALL. Immediately below our Spirit
is our Soul ( BA ), which is an indivisible aspect of our Spirit.

The main difference between our Spirit and our Soul is this:
Our Spirit exists eternally in the Spiritual Realm. Our Soul,
which again in an aspect of our Spirit, becomes "activated" and
is our spiritual "link" to our Spirit for only the duration of our
physical incarnation. This "link" is what allows our mind access 
to the Spiritual Realm. Our Soul is what the teachings of India
refer to as our Atman: Our God Within.

Perhaps an allegory can help us view this process in a more
physical, rational manner.

Let us create a character and call him John Smith. John
Smith, in his entirety, we will call Spirit.

However, John Smith is a doctor. This is one aspect of John
Smith. When John Smith is behaving in the role of doctor, he
is activating a specific aspect  of himself; and this aspect of
John Smith becomes his Soul for as long as John Smith is
behaving ( incarnating ) as a doctor. Once John Smith's
role as a doctor is over, this aspect ( Soul ) of John Smith
goes into a state of rest and John Smith becomes, once
again, simply John Smith (Spirit ).

Additionally, John Smith is also a father. This is another
aspect of John Smith. When John Smith is behaving in the
role of a father, he is activating another specific aspect of
himself; and this aspect of John Smith becomes his Soul
for as long as John Smith is behaving ( incarnating ) as a
father. Once John Smith's role as a father is over, this
aspect ( Soul ) of John Smith goes into a state of rest and
John Smith becomes, once again, simply John Smith (Spirit ).

And this goes on and on for each different aspect that John
Smith chooses to activate of himself.

                          
                      Matryoshka dolls - Image via Wikipedia

Another way to picture this process is by way of the Russian
Matryoshka dolls. These are a number of increasingly smaller
dolls that fit one into the other. The one large doll contains all
the progressively smaller dolls within it. In this state, the one
large doll can be pictured as Spirit. When the smaller dolls
are removed from the larger doll to be played with, they can
be pictured as different aspects ( Souls ) of the one largest
doll. Once these smaller dolls are replaced one-within-the-
other and then reinserted within the largest doll, this can be
viewed as the smaller aspects ( Souls ), their activities being
completed, once again becoming a part of the largest doll
( Spirit ).

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My Email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2019
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