Conquest through debt
Countries that get themselves into financial difficulties have only themselves to blame, don't they? Perhaps not. When a country is targeted by economic hit men (and women) do they really stand a chance?
Those who live in Greece know the ease with which people who have been comprehensively cheated will blame themselves. Although John Perkins, as far as this writer is aware, never gulled Greece, he was involved in the enticing of whole governments into debt they could never hope to repay.
After 9/11 Perkins allowed his conscience to get the better of his him and gave up his lifestyle of glamorous women and huge expenses. Instead he told his story.
For those who do not have the time or inclination to read the original, below is an excellent review by David Korten, an author who knows the world of high finance all too well.
(This review was presented in the excellent site Wanttoknow.info.)
How the Richest of the Rich Steal from the Poorest of the Poor
When Odysseus starts his return to Ithaca, he has been at war with the Trojans for ten years. He is known as wily, a clever man and a trickster. The Trojan Horse is largely his idea.
As they start on their journey home, they come to a Ismarus where the Cicones live. Odysseus and his men plunder the city and take the women. One man rapes a woman inside the temple of Athena. Eventually the Cicones fight back, and drive Odysseus's band away, killing six men from each ship.
Land of the Lotus Eaters
At first, his mind is unwise. This is represented by the rape within the temple of Athena. The band of sailors is beaten back by the Cicones.
Their next trial is to even be bothered. It is easy simply to stay in a state of lethargy. Soul culture, soul growth, training the mind and hear and will, is hard work. Mostly the indolence and lethargy of the untutored soul has to be overcome. One of the major inner battles is against inertia.
Odysseus, being a hero, knows this and thus forces his sailors, less developed aspects of himself, back on the ships and their return journey.
This will bring him against one of the most fearsome of his opponents, a story we will consider in the next post.
- Anger or irascibility
- Sex drive
With those Masters who did not found religions, there are elements too, like the wanderings of Pythagoras or the mysterious powers of the Theosophical Savants.
In this post we will consider the relevance of heroes to our own spiritual journey today.
Orpheus is son to Apollo and the Muse Calliope (but one version of the story gives him a human father).
It is often the case with heroes that one or other parent is divine, and the Gods take a keen interest in their life. We will not look in detail at the story of Orpheus, whose musical abilities could charm animate and inanimate objects, as well as people and Gods.
The full story is given here.
Meaning of the myth
Orpheus, the heroic aspect of the soul, is unable to sustain the divine law (the interdiction to 'not look back') and indicates the soul that is not yet ready fully to 'ascend'. So part of the soul (Euridyce) remains under the rule of Hades and Persephone.
Jason and the Argonauts
Later he travels with other heroes (the Argonauts, who include Orpheus and Herakles. to recover the Golden Fleece from Colchis. If he is successful, he will gain his father's throne.
On the way he has various trials, which he largely succeeds in overcoming. Herakles leaves them along the way (having lost his lover, Hylas). He copes with the Harpies, and like Odysseus, learns how to manage to get past the clashing rocks. When he arrives at Colchis, where the Golden Fleece is to be found, he is seen by Medea, the beautiful daughter of the king, but one who has the powers of a sorceress.
She helps him with the task of dealing with the dragon's teeth that turn to soldiers, and the yoking of two great bulls; Medea guides him in dealing with the dragon that guards the fleece. Her price, in his success, is to escape with Jason, and to marry him. She does this when they reach the land ruled by Alcinous.
Later, when Jason is unfaithful, Medea wreaks destruction on Corinth, where he rules, igniting the city with her fire breathing dragons.
Meaning of the myth
We will consider just a few of the elements.
Jason, cannot carry Hera as he crosses the river (moving from the spiritual reality of the centaur to the ordinary world) and he loses one golden sandal. In other words he has not sustained all his youthful spiritual power and strength, but must now prove himself. To gain his throne by right - from his uncle who has usurped it – he must find the lost wisdom (Golden Fleece). His uncle Pelias who has stolen his throne represents ignorant power,
Jason gathers many talents in his ship the Argo. But in time he loses Herakles, whose lover, Hylas, has been abducted by a river nymph (Hyle = illusion). The loss of Herakles, who represents a Soul who has mastered all twelve challenges of the Zodiac, indicates Jason still has not overcome the illusions of this transient world.
As long as Jason is in right relationship with Medea, he is safe. he marries her when they reach the realm of Scheria and King Alcinous. The name of the King has the suffix 'nous'. The meaning of Nous as Highest Mind has been discussed here. Jason, in reaching Scheria, has attained the power of reason. He marries Medea there, meaning the powers of Nature are under the control of reason, and are safe.
When, later, he is unfaithful to Medea (unreasonable) then she wreaks havoc, using her chariot driven by two (duality) dragons. Like Circe, she is a goddess and cannot be destroyed.
While Jason does not enter the Underworld, unlike some other heroes, he deals with their denizens. When he comes up against the Harpies, he must use the skills of Orpheus to charm them. This Orpheus does with his singing; and Orpheus, as we have seen above, has visited the land of the dead (and so represents that power for Jason).
Relevance of the Hero Myth
Find the hidden tiger.
So in the picture below, find The Hidden Tiger. You will know - for sure - when you have found it. If in doubt ... you haven't.
The simple question - if you have not seen this picture before - is "how old is this lady"?
When you have your answer, show it to a friend and ask them. Eventually you will find someone who estimates the age decades different to your estimate. Go figure.
Seeing is believing - but then what do we see?
Ancient Alexandria was home to one of the greatest minds to walk this planet, namely Plotinus. Although he is considered a 'pagan'*, his writings have been hugely influential on Christian thought. He is considered by certain authorities to be equal in stature to Plato and Aristotle in terms of the power of his thought and ideas.
"that which has its centre everywhere and its circumference nowhere"
The soul is not something the body has, tucked away somewhere. Rather it is the limitless reality that is the source of all that the body can do.
Soul can be seen as midway between Spirit and Body. The body is limited in time and space. Spirit is eternal and without any limitation. Soul is the principle that connects the two.
The Soul is a mystery and will not reveal her secrets quickly or to those who are not prepared to make an effort to seek.
The Delphic Oracle rightly stated "Man Know Thyself", for that is the journey of the self-realisation of the Soul.
The Soul is free, but that freedom may be curtailed by the Soul's own choices. The more she immerses herself in the world, its ways and its multiplicity, the less she will be likely to experience the simple unity of her essential nature. Identifying with the world, dims the awareness of that that is - to use Plotinus's word - Yonder (the Realm of the Divine Life)
The Soul is self-consciousness, or is the quality of self-consciousness. It is the principle that enables awareness of the continuity of self, throughout all the changes in an individual's condition. It provides the sense of 'I am'.
It would be wrong, though, to say that Soul can be defined as 'self-consciousness' as it is more than that.
The Soul is self-motivity. It moves itself, rather than being moved by another force outside itself (remember we are referring to the Soul here, not the body). In an earlier post here we mentioned the book Meditations on the Tarot. In that book, the anonymous author points out that the symbology of the arms and legs (on the Tarot cards), often refers to the will. The legs carry us where we want to go, once we decide to go. The arms and hands enable us to manipulate our environment, by picking up and letting go. When we act consciously, then that action (or movement) derives ultimately from the Soul. It is at the level of Soul that we have free will, rather than the level of the specific body.
The Soul is self-vitality. The Soul is alive and cannot die. It is not Life as such (that is a superior and Divine Principle) but it enables lesser natures to have life. This life is expressed through desires, instincts, appetites and similar. This is true of the individual Soul as well as what is described as World Soul.
The Soul is self-subsistent. The body and its faculties, as well as its characteristics and personality, persist over time. This permanence indicates a quality that 'stands under or sustains'. This is subsistence.
These aspects of the Soul and how they interelate are dealt with a a very fine book, recently republished after a thorough revision, called Plotinus and the Path to Liberation.
The Soul and the Mind
Just as Hermes guides Persephone home, and helps Odysseus in his return to Ithaca, the Higher Mind is companion to the Soul throughout its journey. These gnostic powers range from the senses and instincts shared with the animals, through the speculative powers shared with higher animals, to reason, that is Man's alone. But above the faculty of reason lies Intuition*, where truth is beheld as whole and complete. And above Intuition lies Nous.
The Soul on its path of return, has to master these different powers of gnosis. Each have their part to play. But the City of God (if we may put it that way) will only be revealed to the Intuitive vision. It cannot be simply reasoned about, as its origin lies above human reason. And dwelling in the City of God comes through nous. where the Soul is raised to the its Spiritual Essence.
World Soul, as an idea, is represented by Dionysus and by Osiris, and the myths of these two gods explain much about the relationship of World Soul to the Mundane World analogically 'below'. For more on the Mundane World click here and here.
Murray Morison is a novelist living in Crete
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