The Image Sphere

One of the fallacies of the Modern Era is the belief that the images and ideas that we expose ourselves to do not matter.  In a previous article, I talked about speech and thought.  The ideas addressed in this article relate to the broader subject of our Image Sphere.

fantasia-gardensOur Image Sphere consists of the things we are exposed to.  What we see, what we read, what we hear, what we think, what we dream, what we imagine, all of these become a part of our Image Sphere.

In the West, we are taught that the only things that are “real” are those things that we can experience with our senses, with instruments that enhance our senses, or things that can be logically derived or inferred from sense data through reason.  This belief is an aberration of the post Enlightenment period in the West.  Metaphysically, the world we can experience with our senses is only a small portion of the entire cosmos, or the sublunary sphere.  Above that sphere is the Lunary Sphere.  For a more detailed explanation of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, you can see a previous article I wrote on this subject here.

Our personal Image Spheres are part of the larger Lunary Sphere.  Also in the Lunary Sphere are all of the images that are created everywhere in the world.  When you think about all of the material that is currently on television and the Internet, it is a rather frightening thought.  Ever since the mid-1960’s, starting with the West and spreading Eastward, society has entered into a downward spiral, or a Tamasic Guna.  In some Deanic and Filianic groups, this is known as the Eclipse.  In the Eclipse, the collective Image Sphere we are exposed to has become poisonous.  The three main poisons, atomization, deracination, and deformation are discussed in detail here.  Atomization is the severing from the community and other people, or rampant individualism.  Deracination is severing from tradition, or our roots.  Deformation is the inversion of values, or the creation of deliberately ugly or disturbing images.  The term deracination can also be used to refer to all three poisons collectively.  We are exposed to these poisons on a constant basis all of the time, in the clothing people wear, in what we watch on television, in what we are exposed to on the Internet, and in almost everything we do.

In The Feminine Universe, Miss Alice Lucy Trent writes:

Modern people are generally very careful about what they put into their mouths.  They will not normally pick up any interesting edible thing from the street and swallow it; but no similar caution is exercised over what they put into their minds, and indeed, the concept of mental hygiene is one that takes a considerable adjustment in our whole way of thinking.  Everything in a Tamasic world is strongly against it.  Everything encourages us to think that we can see, hear, and mentally ingest anything without any particular consequences; and that we should, therefore, make a practice of mentally ingesting whatever comes our way.

The reader may think that I am talking about the usual complaints about the media, too much violence, swearing, or s*xual content.  Those are problems to be sure, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.  Just as problematic, if not more so, are the clothing, manners, and general demeanor shown.  We live in a world of 24 hour a day news cycles, with stations like Fox News and MSNBC poisoning us with and fueling the constant political conflict in the United States.  Even those shows that seem wholesome, like children’s media, portray a world that is dangerous, where innocence is punished and where those in authority are not to be trusted.  Indeed, media is criticized if it too nice, lacks conflict, or does not show enough moral ambiguity.   There is a very interesting article on this subject, Guilty Pleasures and Conscience Inversion.

The reader may be thinking that the solution is to do political action to change the media.  Indeed, there are many groups from the Far Right to the Far Left, and every group in between, working to influence the media.  As an aside, the attention paid to the media by these groups belies the idea that what we see does not matter.  If it did not matter, there would not be so much strife and political action surrounding the subject.  The problem with political action though, is that political action is in itself poisonous.  It embroils us in the world of overbalanced conflict and strife.  Nothing in this article or in my philosophy would dispute with those who feel moved or called in the direction of social change; however, this is not necessary to clean up our own Image Spheres, and is likely counter-productive to our goal.

Aunt BeeCleaning our own Image Spheres does make a difference.  Every person is a microcosm of the cosmos, and our own personal Image Spheres impact the larger Lunary Sphere.  A simple way of cleaning our Image Spheres is to carefully consider the media we ingest, what we read, what we watch, and what we link to on the Internet.   In the The Feminine Universe, Miss Trent suggests both avoiding poisonous media and purposefully ingesting positive media.  Miss Trent suggests media from the Rajastic Period immediately preceding the Eclipse, or prior to the mid-1960’s.  Another more recent place to find good, healthy media is from Japan.  One still must be careful, particularly with modern Japanese media, in that there is heavy Tamasic Western infiltration into Japanese media; however, there is still wonderful media to be found, if one is careful.

One of the advantages of recent times is the availability of the Internet, which gives us access to wonderful, good, healthy media if we take the time to find it.  With Netflix and online streaming, one can have relative freedom from the shows that are currently made on television and cable.

Miss Trent warns though, that it is not enough to ingest good media and to avoid bad media to cleanse our Image Spheres.  We must do so with understanding.  For example, one can watch a 1950’s show and think of it as an “old movie,” which has nothing to do with our modern world.  One can watch Anime in the Magic Girls genre and think that it is all just fluff.  In either case, these shows will do little to change our Image Spheres.  It is necessary to watch them with understanding and with an intent to absorb the wonderful examples of femininity, beauty, innocence, and a clear sense of right and wrong.  We can also watch them for the way people dress, behave, and look at the world.

When I was first taking the journey of cleansing my personal Image Sphere, I lamented at giving up favorite television shows.  A wise person suggested not worrying about giving up anything, but to start with ingesting healthier media.  I found as I began ingesting healthier media, my taste for unhealthy media started to fade.  I still occasionally watch a modern cooking show or two with my spouse, but I have found that there is very little in modern media that I can tolerate anymore.

In addition to cleansing our personal Image Spheres, we can also pay attention to what we are putting out in the communal Image Sphere.  With the many available forms of social media, including blogging, the Image Sphere has become democratized to a large extent.  While we may not be able to control what others put on the Internet, we can be careful of what we put on it.  We can avoid foul language and ugly and disturbing images and instead write with polite language and share beautiful and lovely images.

For further mediation on this subject, I will end this article with words from feminine Scripture:

Thoughts of the mind pass not away, nor vanish into air.

For every thought is a builder in the subtle world that lies about you.

Thoughts of beauty and of things of the Spirit refine and purify the soul, making her fair to look upon and graceful in her movements,

Uniting her with the universal music of eternity and gathering about her the servants of the Janyati.

But harsh thoughts harden the soul; coarse thoughts coarsen the soul; thoughts bound only to the tings of clay burden the soul with heavy chains.

My children, I speak not in pictures, for truly these things are; and to be seen by all whose eyes may pierce the veil of illusion.

What maiden, receiving of her mother a fine and well made house of well-wrought oak and stone and furnished by the skilful hand of love, will break the walls and furnishings, pour filthy waters into every place and bring swine to dwell in the most splendid chambers?

Will she not rather bring new things of beauty and precious works of love to add to those that lie already there?

Will she not keep away all dirt and defilement and protect it from all harm?

Pleasant Speech

Many of us have heard the phrase from our mothers and grandmothers, “If you can not say anything nice, do not say anything at all.”  I think that this is a time honored statement of good manners that has been largely forgotten in this day and age.

A couple of months ago, I took a trip to Mexico to visit a dear friend.  There were many things that struck me about Mexico in comparison to the United States.  One of the things that struck me was how little people complained in Mexico.  Of course, it could be that people were really complaining, and I did not catch it because I do not speak Spanish, but I rarely got the impression from people’s facial expressions or tone of voice that they were complaining.  In contrast, when I came back to the States, I was shocked by how much complaining I saw, even on my the first day back.

Another bad habit I have noticed all around me is the habit of swearing.  People nowadays seem to use swear words as if they were ordinary nouns and adjectives.  I will admit that there was a time in which I too had that bad habit, but I think that I have mostly stopped that now.  It is particularly disturbing to see how much swearing there is on the Internet in social media.  It is one thing to shout an expletive in a moment of emotion such as shock, pain, or anger.  It is still not good, but it seems like a more forgivable indiscretion.  Yet, when one posts in the Internet, one has the opportunity for reflection and thoughtful consideration before hitting the “post” or “send” button, and of course, anything we put on the Internet is available to be viewed forever by anyone in the world.  Why would one want to show oneself to be foulmouthed in this context?

As a contrast, I was thinking of a video education series I watched a few years ago, The Story of Human Language.  It seems that many traditional cultures have a High and a Low Language, and some even have a Middle Language.  According to the professor, it is a huge challenge for linguists to capture the Low Language, because the minute traditional people know that they are being recorded for study, they are too embarrassed to use Low Language, and they will switch to speaking in the High Language.

I think that some of the reason for the prevalence of complaining and swearing in the Modern West is part of a larger decline in civilization and because people have forgotten their nature as spiritual beings.  Very few people go to church or are involved in any spiritual community, and even the leaders of spiritual communities do not really understand the power of speech anymore.

In the New Age movement, and in modern psychology, there is the concept of “Positive Thinking,” which is basically using our thoughts to bring to us what we want out of life.  Despite this, there are many who subscribe to these notions, yet are still sloppy with their speech in terms of complaining and swearing.

As a Filianist, I do believe that our speech does matter.  Metaphysically, everything that we say, think, and imagine is real in the Lunary Sphere of existence.  While I think that the notion of “Positive Thinking” is rather oversimplistic, what we do in the Lunary Sphere can and does impact the physical world.  When we swear and complain, we are polluting the Lunary Sphere.  The pollution of the Lunary Sphere is far, far more damaging to our souls than the pollution of the physical air is to our bodies.

This concept is better expressed in the feminine Scriptures, in the Sutra, Thoughts of the Mind,

20.  Forget not the power of words, for a word has all the power of a thought and a thought has power to move the earth and the heavens.

21.  Therefore speak not evil in idleness, nor fall into the custom of ill speaking; but govern your words even as your actions.

22.  Speak words of love and innocence, of mildness and of hope, and you shall weave a raiment of peace about your soul, and a veil of gentle light.

There are those who might read this and think to themselves that this is all well and good, but should not one be honest about negative feelings and thoughts?  Is it not wrong to speak polite words, if one is thinking negative thoughts?  I think the answer to this is that I believe that our thoughts are more complicated than we think they are.  I know, for myself, I often have negative thoughts, but I do not know that these negative thoughts always represent my true thoughts and feelings.

In the Modern West, there is a culture that teaches that the negative parts of ourselves and of others are what is “real,” and that when people are being nice and good, they are hiding something.  My own belief is that this is reversed.  The Real part of us is the part that is good and kind, and the False part of us is the ugly part.  For more discussion of this, you can refer to a previous article, True and False Selves Through the Zodiac.

When I go through a day, many thoughts go through my head, like little birds.  Both negative and positive thoughts about situations and people flit past, sometimes at the same time about the same person or situation.  If I subscribe to the cultural belief that the negative thoughts are my “real feelings,” and the positive ones are “making excuses” or “holding back,” I will hold on to the negative thoughts and feelings and dismiss the positive ones.  Yet, why would my negative thoughts be any more “real” than my positive ones?  If I understand that often my negative thoughts and feelings are that of my False Self, and the positive, loving thoughts and feelings are those of my True Self, I can let the negative thoughts and feelings flit away, and I can hold on to the positive thoughts and feelings.  In doing so, I am being very honest when I speak kind and loving words to others, even as I am ignoring the whispers and complaints from my False Self.

Proud HorseAs I say this, I know that I am far from perfect.  As in the other areas of my life where I am making changes, I have a long way to go.  In another Sutra, The Clew of the Horse, it says:

58. Hard to govern is the mind, like to a proud horse that drinketh of the wind, filled with its own desires. 59. Fain would it draw the rain from thy hand and carry you where it will; fain will it take the body for its mistress. 60.  Like to a bird that doth hop from twig to twig, turning first to one fruit, then to another, without control or constancy.

Even so, I believe that it is a worthwhile endeavor to strive to control our words and our speech, or to follow the time honored quote I mentioned above, “if you can not say anything nice, do not say anything at all.”  If my thoughts are kind and loving, I can move them out into the world with my words.  If my thoughts are not kind and loving, I can let them pass as a flitting bird, without giving them more substance through my words.

 

The Philosophy of Beauty

On a spiritual level, humans are Axial Beings.  This is a large word to state that we have Free Will, and the ability to choose between Light and Dark, between Good and Evil.  I have written several articles that give a more detailed explanation our nature as Axial Beings.  If you are interested, you may refer to these articles as listed below:

Fate, Free Will, the Cross, and Wa

True and False Selves Through the Zodiac

Where We Come From and Why it Matters

I understand that this weblog is written for a different audience than the Apple Seed, so I will give a summary of the important point from these articles for our purposes here.  This point is that we have the power to choose, and we make choices every day, and sometimes every moment, that align us with Light and with Dark.

SparrowsThe choices we make in our material lives are not value neutral.  Everyday choices, such as our clothing, our furniture, our speech, and our manners, are choices between Light and Dark.  As it states in the feminine Scripture:

Truly, the world is a field of conflict between the powers of good and the legions of the Dark One.  In the cycles of civilization is the conflict manifest, and in the soul of every maid.

For the servants of the Dark One fasten upon the false self like to the bindweed upon a growing plan.  And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.

Truly, there is nothing in the world of clay that happens of itself, for the veil of matter is shot through with the light of the Real and the darkness of the false.

And not a sparrow lights upon a twig but it shows forth the conflict between evil and the Good, nor any grain of sand shifts in the desert reflecting not some spiritual truth;

neither does a star fall in the furthest corner of the firmament without an inward meaning.

Beauty of NatureAs our choices are not value neutral, if we want to serve the Light, what do we choose?  I am aware that some of the readers of this weblog are quite conscientious about where they purchase goods and services, paying attention to political, social, and humanitarian practices of the companies they support.  Without minimizing those considerations, I think it is also important to pay attention to beauty and workmaidship of the products themselves.  Beauty is a source of Light.  In choosing to adorn our bodies and our houses with beautiful things, we are choosing to surround ourselves with Light.

There is a popular phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but I do not believe that this is true.  Beauty is an objective quality and is a reflection of the Beauty of the Divine.  The objectivity of beauty is even known by mundane physical scientists and mathematicians.  There is a number known as the Golden Ratio.  The closer anything reflects the proportions of the Golden Ratio, the more beautiful we perceive it to be.  Why would this SAMSUNGbe so?  I think that if material scientists were completely honest with themselves, they would have to admit that this pierces a huge hole in the Evolutionist world view that random chance and “survival of the fittest” are responsible for the world as we recognize it to be.  One must perform a lot of mental gymnastics to find a survival value to our recognition of beauty in the form of the Golden Ratio.

Similarly, what is the survival value to the beauty and multiplicity of flowers?  We are told that the beauty and multiplicity of flowers are to attract insects to spread pollen to propagate the species.  Yet, insects are just as attracted to soda cans as they are to brightly colored flowers.  Consider also the sand dollar.  As you can see, in each sand dollar there is a five petaled flower.  What is the survival value of that?  For those of my readers who are not familiar with astrology or metaphysics, the number five is the symbol for the Filianic Janya (Angel), Sai Sushuri, whose planetary representative on the physical plane is Venus.  Sai Sushuri in her pure form represents Divine Love and is also associated with Creation and Beauty.  It is also quite fascinating that Venus’ orbit over an 8 year span of time also produces a pentacle, or a five pointed star.  See below:

A modern scientist might say that primitive people observed these associations and “made up” the Divine as explanations for what they saw.  Yet, this theory does not explain why these things exist in the first place.  I think that it is far more likely that our foremothers understood things that we have forgotten in this day and age, and that they knew and understood exactly what they were talking about.

I thank my readers for their indulgence in this explanation, but I think it is important to understand that a choice of Beauty really is a choice of Light.  By the same token a choice of ugliness is a choice of Dark.  One may argue that there are practical and financial considerations, but is that really true?  Is it really that much more expensive to make something beautiful than it is to make something ugly?

In the header to this weblog, there is a quote from The Feminine Universe, by Miss Alice Lucy Trent.  Let me now share with my readers the passage from which I have taken this quote:

Much post-Eclipse design uses the excuse of ‘cheapness’ and ‘convenience’ for its hideousness, but this is nothing more than an excuse.  Given the same budgetary limitations, the same technics, and the same raw materials, the inspired designers of the Art-Neo period would have produced very different objects.  Objects that would uplift the soul rather than filling it with a sense of hollowness and worthlessness.  Design is, before all else, a language, expressing a thesis: and the thesis of the post-Eclipse design is the cheapness, ugliness, and worthlessness of life, and ultimately the chaos and the meaninglessness glare and babble of the inferior psychic regions.

Cheapness itself is a symptom.  The very willingness of the deracinated post-Eclipse person to fill her home with slick plastic in order to pay a little less money is symptomatic of a very terrible change.  An Art-Neo wireless set is, before all else, a piece of furniture in polished wood and gleaming metal or bakelite.  It cannot be anything else, because the home before the Eclipse–every home, from the greatest to the humblest–is still vestigally a Temple of Hestia, and its mistress still a Priestess of the Hearth Fire.  The remembrance of this Mysteria Domestica may be extremely remote, yet it is still a living thing that governs human actions at a very deep level.  Only that which is solid and good and worthy of the dignity of the Temple of the Home will be admitted within it.  A radiogram that is to occupy a prominent place within the home must be a noble and beautiful piece of furniture, else it cannot occupy that place.

This is quite a challenging passage for the modern reader, I believe.  Those readers who know me and who have been to my own home in the past will know that I have a long way to go towards the goal I am seeking.  On the other hand, I believe that my small efforts will be met with assistance of heaven, as in the above quoted passage of feminine Scripture, “And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.”

Thank you again for you indulgence with my philosophical discourse, and if by chance this discourse inspires any of readers of this weblog to begin to choose beauty, I wish you well with your own small efforts in that direction.

Mummies and Luminaries

One of the biggest challenges to practitioners of traditional sciences, such as astrology, is that of setting aside the prejudices that have been instilled in us from modern education.  One of the prejudices is a pervasive form of arrogance, which can be summarized by the formula: “Primitive people believed ……., but now we know…….”  When metaphysical principles are taught at all, they are taught from this perspective.

Here is an example of this type of teaching from Grout’s History of Western Music (3rd Edition)

For some Greek thinkers music also had a close connection with astronomy, not only through the identity of mathematical laws that were thought to underlie both the system of musical intervals and the system of the heavenly bodies, but also through a particular correspondence of certain modes and even certain notes with the various planets.  Such magical connotations and extensions of music were common among all Eastern peoples.  The idea was given poetic form by Plato in the beautiful myth of the “music of the spheres”; it is echoed by writers on music throughout the Middle Ages, and appears also in Shakespeare and Milton.  Ptolemy, one of the most important of the ancient writers on music, was also the leading astronomer of antiquity–as, in our own day, many of the best amateurs of music are physical scientists.

Now, at first, one may not think that this statement is too bad, but, as it turned out it was the only reference to the metaphysics of music in one of the more important textbooks for the study of music theory.

MummyAnother such example is the modern interpretation of Egyptian mummification practices.  During the mummification process, the heart was careful preserved intact in the body and the brain was discarded as unimportant.  The modern interpretation of this is that the Egyptians did not understand anatomy, and they did not know what the brain did.  From even a pragmatic standpoint, this condescending interpretation is contrary to the available data.  The fact that mummies thousands of years old are available to us to study should be enough to convince us that this culture had a very sophisticated understanding of the human body.  If we let go of the prejudice that has been instilled in us, we can start to really think about what the Egyptians may have been doing.

Unlike the modern perspective, from a traditionalist perspective, it is axiomatic that our forebears were our superiors, and that they knew more than we do now.  So rather than presuming that the Egyptians did not know what they were doing, the presumption changes to being that they knew and understood something that we have lost.  As it turns out, from a metaphysical standpoint, this practice is quite fascinating, and is instructive to us in re-educating ourselves to understanding traditional science.

The starting point for this analysis is that the Egyptians carefully preserved the heart.  ImageWhile modern Western society associates the heart with love, specifically romantic love, traditionally, the Heart was always Solar.  From a traditionalist perspective, Solar does not refer to the physical Sun, but to the Solar principle (although the physical Sun is the cosmic representation of the Solar principle).  The Solar principle is the Creative Aspect of the Divine, or the Mother principle.  The Solar principle in humans, as microcosms of the cosmos, is that part of us which is always connected to and even One with the Divine.

Traditionalists speak of the Solar Intellect, which is the part inside of us that understands all things.  In this day and age in the West, we have lost our understanding of the Solar Intellect, but the concept is still present in Eastern thought.

Just as the physical Moon reflects the light of the physical Sun, the Lunar principle is a reflection of the Solar principle.  The Lunar principle governs all physicality.  The Lunar principle also represents our individual souls.  The reflection of Solar Intellect is Lunar Reason.  Lunar Reason is how we process information on the material plane.  We also use Lunar Reason to process information we receive from our senses and to intuit matters that lie beyond our senses. We also use Lunar Reason to make inferences and to synthesize information into a usable form.

In modern times, we tend to believe that the information we receive from our senses is the most reliable information; however, this was not the case in the Ancient world.  Although, the brain or head being governed by the Lunar principle is not nearly as universal as the heart being governed by the Solar principle, the anatomical function of the brain almost directly corresponds with the concept of Lunar Reason.   Interestingly enough, there has been research that has shown that recipients of heart transplants take on the characteristics of the heart donor, so it is possible that the heart may have an anatomical function that is congruent with its metaphysical function.

So, if we were to presume that the Egyptians knew exactly what they were doing, this becomes quite instructive to us.  The Egyptians careful preserved the heart, which symbolically represents the Solar Principle.  They discarded the brain, which is the anatomical seat of Lunar Reason.  This would mean that they believed that in the afterlife, we would need our Solar Intellect, but that we would no longer need our Lunar Reason.  From a Traditionalist perspective, this is exactly right.  Lunar Reason is necessary for us in the world of flux and change, but the Solar Intellect is what survives and what is eternal.  Lunar Reason is also necessarily subordinate to Solar Intellect.

This is a huge change in the schema most of us were raised with.  We have been taught that the sense-data plus Lunar Reason are all that exists and that all we can be sure of is what we can process with our senses or derive from our senses.  The Traditionalist perspective is exactly the opposite.  The symbolic and the metaphysical is what we can be sure of.  The information we receive from our senses is transitory, part of the world of flux and change.  In other words, from the perspective of the Eternal, our Hearts are of primary importance, but our brain is only important from the perspective of our physical, material existence.

The Symbolism of Fairy Tales

One of the places where we can find Universal Truth is in fairy tales.

Cinderella BeforeYes, fairy tales…the timeless stories we tell our children, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast.  Fairy tales have been criticized in modern Western culture as being unrealistic or naïve and have been decried by feminists as for their portrayal of women as weak and helpless, needing protection and saving from a man.  These criticisms really show how hard it is for the modern Western mind to get beyond literalistic thinking – reading fairy tales as if they were modern novels about individuals.

This literalism is actually quite an insidious inoculation from being able to really understand the true meaning of fairy tales or to get any real good out of them.  So, the first step in being able to understand fairy tales and derive real metaphysical truth from these tales is to understand that they are not literal stories.  They speak to Truth (with a capital T), not to factual truths.  They are in the category of Mythology and Folklore, not stories of actual human beings.

So, we have just said fairy tales are not literal, factual truths, nor stories of actual human beings.  So, what are fairy tales then?

Fairy tales are timeless stories of the human condition and our separation and reunion with the Divine.  All separation from the Divine and from each other is only a temporary state, and that the only permanent state is that of reunion and Unity.  Fairy tales all have common features.  While fairy tales can be enjoyed and are instructive without an understanding of the meaning of these features, an understanding is helpful to reverse the rationalist conditioning that many of us have been exposed to from earliest childhood.

Children’s Stories

One of the features of fairy tales is that they are told to children and that they appeal to children in a magical way.  The appeal to children is so powerful, that even in our heavily rationalist, materialistic culture, they have survived.  While in response to Western rationalist, feminist thought, Disney has changed its telling of these timeless stories, particularly with respect to the roles and characteristics of the female characters, the older and more traditional movies, such as Cinderella and Snow White, are just as popular as they have ever been.  Little girls are entranced by Disney princesses so much that they are effective marketing tools.

The sad thing is that the appeal to children is seen as a way to compartmentalize these stories as not being serious or relevant to adults or the Modern World.  Yet, to the more traditional Essentialist mind, children are supposed to be told stories of Universal Truth.  In the Sutra of The Way of Simplicity, it is written:

For the truth is such that a child may understand it, yet the sage, if she have not simplicity and love, may struggle with it for all of her life and have nothing.

What is your truth, if it cannot be shared with a child?

For in the eyes of Eternity, how little is the space between and infant and the wisest of the world?

These stories are not to be abandoned by adults.  Yes, one will and should understand these stories differently as one matures, and indeed maturity requires one to be able to see Truth in a deeper way.  On the other hand, as an Essentialist, one places special importance and value on stories that are told to children as those that speak to Universal Truth.

Once Upon A Time

Another feature of a true fairy tale is that the setting is “once upon a time.”  This is the marker that this is a story outside time and space.  This should also be the first clue that these stories are not to be read literally.  These speak to Truth that goes beyond time and space, and therefore beyond our literal human lives.

ImagePrincesses and Prince Charming

Commonly in fairy tales, Princesses and Princes are the main characters.  This is another marker that these stories deal with matters beyond materiality and are not to be taken literally.  These stories speak to ideals and to archetypes, symbolized by royalty.

These stories also speak to the interaction between the metaphysical passive (the Princess) and active (Prince Charming), in eastern terminology, yin and yang.  In Eastern and Traditional thought, the passive state is the highest state, and the active state serves the passive.  So, to an Essentialist, even thinking of these stories as any type of statement on the roles of actual gendered individuals is ridiculously literalistic.  The interaction between the Princess and Prince Charming shows the interplay between the passive and the active states of being, with the passive generally representing the higher state. “Earth moves but Heaven is still”.

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Curses/Witches/Evil Queens

Another common feature of fairy tales is the involvement of evil.  While as an Essentialist, on one level everything in existence is part of the Divine, on another level, inherent in manifestation is the struggle between good and evil.

This is a paradox, but one that is necessary to accept.  Evil is as much of a part of manifestation as good and always seeks to destroy good.  This is seen in that there is usually some form of “curse” that is placed on the protagonist.  Interestingly, the types of curses upon the Princesses and the Princes are quite different.  Princesses are trapped in drudgery and materiality (“Cinderella”) or completely asleep (“Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White”).  Princes are turned into monsters or lower beings (“Beauty and the Beast” and “The Frog and the Princess”).

True Love and Transformation

In fairy tales, the curse is always lifted or the Princess is freed or rescued.  It is love that lifts the curse.  Love is seen to have a magical transforming power.  Indeed, it is only love that can defeat the evil antagonist.   This is the feature that is most criticized by modern society, as setting unrealistic expectations of marriage and being harmful to women.  Yet, to an Essentialist, this is the Ultimate Truth.  Love is transforming and healing.  This transforming love is not romantic human love, it is Divine, Godly Love, which is the only thing that can transform and heal.

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While Divine Love is not romantic human love, the interplay between the Transforming Love manifested by the Princes and that manifested by the Princesses is interesting in and of itself.  The Princes show their love through actions, i.e., fighting the Evil Queen, searching for the girl who fits the slipper.  The Princesses show their love through wisdom and awareness, i.e. seeing the beauty within the beast,  kissing the frog. The Princess is often the divine Spirit who recognizes the lost soul in its earthly disguise.

Happily Ever After

As fairy tales begin with “Once Upon a Time,” they end with the protagonist “living happily ever after.”  In a sense, this is the resolution of the paradox of the curse and Evil Queen.  Good ultimately triumphs over evil.  While evil is inherent in manifestation, the only Truth is the Divine.

We can never be permanently separated from the Divine.  There is only one resolution.  The evil must be overcome, the curse must be lifted, the Prince and Princess must come together, and they must “live happily ever after.”  That is also the only resolution in the separation inherent in manifestation.  We must return to the timeless state of union with the Divine.
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See also:

Mythology and Folklore

What is Tradition?

Often in this blog, there is reference to the term Tradition.  This begs the question, what is meant by the word Tradition?  What tradition are we speaking of?  Are not there many different traditions all over the world?

To answer this, we must differentiate between Tradition and traditions.  There is only one Tradition.  Tradition is what has been passed down to us from the One Source through our foremothers from the beginning of time.  All earthly traditions are imperfect reflections of the One Tradition.  Tradition is where we learn about Universal Truth.  Our modern day religions, folk tradition, fairy tales, and stories we tell our children, like the ones about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, are examples of traditions.  These stories have changed over time and many of the deep meanings have been lost, but one can still learn about Universal Truth from these stories and traditions.

One such a tradition is the Swedish tradition surrounding St. Lucia Day.  On St. Lucia Day, the oldest daughter is supposed to lead her siblings in a parade wearing a white robe with a crimson sash and a wreath of candles on her head.  She serves their parents coffee and pastries.  There is a traditional pastry served on that day called Lussekatter.  Below is a picture of these pastries:

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If one researches this tradition, one will learn of the story of St. Lucia, a Christian martyr, who is stated to have brought prisoners food in the catacombs.  Her sainthood was evidenced by the miracle of food appearing during a famine in Sweden.  Yet, the symbols of this tradition speak to much older stories.  It is celebrated on December 13, which was the date of the Winter Solstice under the older Julian calendar.  The tradition is filled with symbols related to mid-Winter celebrations from long before the Christian or any other current tradition.  The oldest daughter with light on her head coincides with Light from Heaven coming to us from the Northern Gate, bring sustenance, Light and warmth.  As an aside, this is also why Santa Claus comes from the North Pole.  Even the pastries are symbols of Light!

One could ask, well, which tradition is True…the Christian story of St. Lucia or the older symbolism of Light and the Winter Solstice?  While questions like this are common in modern Western thinking, this really represents a false dichotomy.  One can honor the tradition and learn from the tradition whether one sees it as a celebration of the Christian saint or the Winter Solstice.  Both teach us about God’s sustenance and Light being brought to us during the darkest time.  The Christian story of the saint does not supplant the older story; it puts it in a new context.  The story is the same.

Another question one can ask is whether it is worthwhile to continue a tradition if the story is forgotten and all that is left is the form.  Many modern thinkers say that these traditions should be discarded as if they no longer have meaning.  Some will even discard traditions just *because* they are old, and of course, we know better than to have these superstitions in modern times.  To a traditional thinker, this is hubris and arrogance.  Modern minds are less wise and are further from an understanding of Truth than the minds of our ancestresses.  This is axiomatic in Traditional thought throughout the world.  We should assume that the traditions that have been passed to us are good and true.  If we discard the tradition, we lose that which has been passed down to us, and this is sadder and more destructive than the loss of written records from the past.  Even if we do not understand the tradition, the remnants of the tradition can still lead us (or our descendants  to have access to Truth, even in a fragmented form.  If the tradition is gone, there is nothing to learn from.

Does that mean that we should not examine these traditions?  Of course we should examine our traditions.  For one thing, learning the reason for the traditions can teach us much of metaphysical truth.  Are there times that we will find that some of our traditions are based on false teachings or error?  Yes, of course.  On the other hand, we should start with the presumption a tradition is correct, and it is the burden of proof, so to speak, upon the one discarding the tradition rather than on the one arguing to keep the tradition.  Do people sometimes use tradition in ways that are harmful, misguided, or just plain wrong?  Yes, of course, just as they can use science or anything else in such ways.  Does that mean the tradition should be discarded?  Absolutely not.  Erroneous application of tradition does not invalidate a tradition, although the error can and should be corrected, if possible.