In the previous post, I talked about The Current and Miracle Juice. I mentioned the Current flows across all times and space, popping up in different cultures as different practices and interpretations.
No matter what node you go through, you find yourself in a strange spirit world, compared to the material world of the senses, and it's filled with all kinds of entities. You find spirits of animals and objects, spirits of the land, spirits of Gods and spirits of the dead. This land has its own topology, its own natural laws. There are regions of similitude that visitors from the lands of forgetful flesh would find on the other side, with spirits in harmony with the powers represented there.
The visitors came back and made maps of the spirit realm, calling it the Underworld in regions where caves revealed vistas of beauty and color, and spewed gasses that made you see things, or calling it Heaven in regions where the sky goes on forever and the night's stars are not obscured by humidity. In every culture we see the same kind of thing, a place populated by our dead, and various angels, or demons, or gods and their assistants.
In each culture, there are some living humans called to act as intermediaries to the denizens of this other world. Some of us have an affinity to that place while we're alive, and we talk to and work with tribes of the entities of that place, and we learn to manipulate the stuff of that world and this as a consequence of our travels and study in that world. Shamans and Goets, Magi and Prophets walked with angels and geniuses and deities, fought those spirits who dwelt in dark places and fed on the pain of the living, and passed on messages from the dead.
For over ten thousand years, we've been doing the same things with this stuff, in whatever ways we learned from our cultures or remembered vaguely from previous incarnations. Today we're still doing it the same way the shamans did it. Symbols and forms, chants, plants and trance, animal skins and viscera, minerals, aromas, and orations. We dream dreams and see visions, we sit in Silence and return to our Source, we speak the Word and create the World.
In a recent post, Jack spoke of a hidden tributary into the underworld, the river Mnemosyne, or Memory. Memory is important stuff. Through the lens of neoplatonics, we see that the point of what we call the Great Work is to remember who we are and where we come from. Reclaiming your divine Race and remembering your eternal Value. This is the route we take when we don't want to fall prey to the effects of that other river of the Underworld, the river Lethe, the river of forgetfulness.
You ever have those brilliant epic dreams that run for weeks at a time, or throughout your entire life, but when you wake up all you can remember are vague visions of huge dogs in battle armor, and that still makes sense somehow? And you know how we have to go into a trance to "recover" our past life memories, and even then there's a strong chance most of the memory is made up anyway? There's a veil of forgetfulness that we have to get through, or past, or over in some way to be able to remember what we experienced when we return to the realm of the senses.
I think the River Lethe is the spiritual representation of this forgetfulness. It speaks to the existence of some layer between the spirit realm and the sensate realm that makes us forget who we are and where we come from when we incarnate. You have to cross that barrier carefully to retain what you've recalled. Rituals and trance states are techniques we use to dampen its effects.
But there's another aspect of it that affects us in our Great Work. While we're in the flesh and moving up through the heavens, kickin' ass and takin' names, we go further into the realm, sometimes even to its Source. It's a long journey, and we spend more and more time there, and it gets more of our attention and becomes more real to us in many ways than the physical realm we live in. I think that's ok, to a degree, because the eternal realm is our true home.
But we can forget about the physical realm and all that's going on here if we aren't careful. That river Lethe works both ways. Part of the whole Kingdom thing I've been on about since April has been focusing on taking what we learn Above and applying it here Below. Using the Current to shape our world. The point isn't wealth, that's a consequence. The point isn't control, that's an understanding, a perspective. The point is being wholly whole, at home in both realms, aware on multiple levels of our reason for being here.
In fact, the point isn't even about two levels at all, it's about understanding there's one level, and parts of it seem one way while you're in them, and parts seem another way when you're in them, but it's still all on big thing flowing and twisting and turning and churning. Being whole, letting your actions here below be an expression of your actions up above.
I think in the process of learning, we spend a lot of time in the spiritual realms, studying, achieving, receiving, remembering. And it's probably a good thing too, because it takes a while to learn stuff. But eventually youremember where you're also at, in the physical world, and you take what you know about the nature of the world and use it to shape the things you experience. You join the physical and the spiritual to the chariot and get them to pull you to your destination, whatever that might be.