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Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
How to See the Sun|
Posted: September 3rd. 2004
Times Viewed: 3,050
This essay is a companion piece to The Moon and Metaphysics.
Just look up, right? And what happens when you do? Your eyelids make a tremendous effort to close, as if there are things the Sun doesn't want you to know, at least not just to satisfy an idle curiosity. But there are things for you to see, and you can perceive them if you make the effort. Here's what I saw:
On the physical plane, the Sun provides all that is necessary for life on Earth: heat, which impels inanimate matter to life; gravity, the force necessary to keep the planet close to the heat source; and light both day and night. It produces a raw energy, which is received here in the earthly neighborhood and transmuted into a life-generating and sustaining force that is diffused through the Earth. It disappears into the primordial material and re-emerges as chlorophyll, an invention to gather up even more energy. It disappears into the flesh and re-appears as vitamins A and D. It disappears into the eyes and transmutes into pictures. On the physical plane alone, these are miracles of the type pondered by occultists and alchemists. Ponder them yourself. Think of other commonplace things in Nature and re-see them as miracles.
On another level, that studied and measured by astrologers, the Sun is the source of some strong personality features. He is expansive, He overflows channels, breaks down barriers, exceeds limits. Imagine the Sun's energy as a golden tidal wave overrunning all things before it. But He also holds things close to Himself; the planets are His family, each receiving His energy according to their degree or intensity and quality. For individuals born on Earth: if positively aspected, He encourages pride (the justifiable kind that means self-respect and pride of accomplishment), self-assurance, independence, a strong will to help or uplift others. If negatively aspected, the person is prone to attitudes of authoritarianism, machismo, self-importance, undue ambition, greed, and so on.
The Sun is also the source of intellectual brightness, that is to say, the capacity to think rationally and sequentially. Logic is a creation of the Solar God and manifests as linear thought (straight as a sunbeam). (Incidentally, some of us may occasionally feel that when it comes to receiving the Divine Solar Light of Intellect, we are somehow in a shadow!) In contrast to this solar directness, I perceive the energy that comes from the Goddess, the lunar energy, as swirling, that is, non-linear, indirect, approaching simultaneously from different directions, and touching upon individuals tangentially, as if they were in a vortex or a car wash. These are all typical characteristics that present as otherworldly, or insane, or as defective thought processes to a logic-driven individual. But in general, we can say that the energies coming from the God and the Goddess are different, and they complement or balance one another in each individual, to produce the individuality.
To explore the concept of individuality a bit further: It may be true that All Life Is One, as the pantheists say; I find it fascinating to study the details. Recently, for example, I read that bananas produce serotonin, which is a potent vasoconstrictor and a neurotransmitter (one of various), that is, a chemical found in the gaps between nerve cells, which expedites the transmission of signals from one nerve cell to the next. Serotonin is constantly absorbed and produced by the nerve cells, and as long as the process is balanced, everything is okay. But if absorption outpaces production, and the quantity of serotonin in the gaps decreases, transmission becomes sluggish. If this happens in the brain, the person becomes depressed, with sluggish thinking. The medical treatment is SSRI's (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors), which allow the serotonin to accumulate to higher levels and restore the balance. With all this in mind, my question is, why on earth does a banana produce serotonin, given that to date the banana has not been found to have a nervous system? Now, my people are Dominicans - natives of the Dominican Republic - and are famous for the great quantities of plantain, another member of the banana family that we eat. Dominicans are also famous for being a congenial, happy-go-lucky people; ask anyone who has ever gone there. Can it be that bananas were created to keep the Dominicans happy?
Just one more example. Permit me to mention the meaning of my chosen name, Anamu. I am named after a plant, Petiveria alliacea, that has many medicinal uses, some of which are being investigated by medical scientists, and which have potential as anti-leukemia, anti-tumor, anti-cancer and anticoagulant medications, or as hypoglycemics (with the potential to control sugar in diabetics; the Cubans have been prescribing this application for many years). It is also active against some bacteria and a stimulator of the immune system. In the Dominican Republic, if you wash the interior of your house with a solution prepared with anamu, it will keep the bad forces and influences out. Again, why should a vegetable produce substances that have such profound relationships to animal conditions?
I think Life Is Almost All One, and that is why there is such a deep interconnectedness in its various manifestations; that word "almost" is critical. It is only logical: if there were no interconnectedness, that is, if every life were qualitatively unique and alien to every other, then every specimen of life, every plant, every animal, even other life forms inconceivable at this moment, would be alien to every other. Nothing we would try to eat could find a place in our bodies, but would either go through undigested, as does cellulose, or it would act as a poison. On the other hand, if All Life Is One, I don't see where the differences in manifestation would come from. From singularity, can multiplicity proceed? There has to be more than just The One Universal Life manifesting as individuals. Di-Versity seems to be saying, two versions. At least two. And two that I advocate are the God and Goddess. I see life as having a double polarity in its very nature and origin.
I just want to touch on one more issue before wrapping up: how does reincarnation fit in the thoughts presented above? The body is the focus of a process of interchange of nutritive elements and waste products that continues for as long as the body lives. Effectively, the body that exists on Monday changes somewhat by Friday, and after some years pretty much all the elements have been replaced, yet the body retains form, except for the effects of aging and other processes. Something similar happens to the soul. Both the body and the soul are constantly undergoing changes of substance: the body, if you will, of solar substance, and the soul of lunar substance. In both processes there is a permanent feature that is retained throughout all the changes, like an image, but more substantial. The John Smith we recognize for having met him two years ago is still the same John Smith, even though most of the elements that were present in his body then have been metabolized, excreted, secreted and replaced by other elements ("elements" in the loose sense that includes molecules and particles).
The soul changes in somewhat the same fashion. The body dies: does, then, the soul die also? I do not think so. I think the ideal body is supposed to be immortal, and until the soul migrates to an immortal body, it will continue to enact the cycle of rebirth. This is what I think reincarnation is all about. And all the traditions I can think of, including Christian (Jehovah's Witnesses, e.g.), generally describe soul death as the ultimate disposition or punishment of evil. But all seem to feel that otherwise the soul continues forever (and for some souls, depending on the tradition, this means eternal punishment). The Mormons, for example, teach eternal progression that brings the soul to the level of god or goddess. On the material level, we are discovering that human cells have built-in countdown timers that limit their duration. We can speculate that this is an unnatural mutation, which thought now opens us to more speculation that somewhere there may be a race of immortals, the original humans, or that the original race went on to become minor deities. Or it may be explainable by progressive evolution, that the human race will evolve until the factors that cause mortality are evolved out of existence. One more possibility: that the souls are a migratory race that arrived here, will stay a while, and then move on. But this goes too far for this essay. Here we have seen who the Sun is, how He relates to our Goddess the Moon, and what the relation implies for us mortals.
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