Joseph Alexander 10/4 /2013
The recent theory espoused by the movie Zeitgeist, that the majority of ancient Gods, such as Christ, Krishna, Attis and Mithras are entirely based upon astrological correspondences to to the Sun is misguided. It misrepresents ancient mythology and religion by reducing it to a materialistic circus of celestial jokers. Only a small selection of world’s mythic narratives are related to the deification of the Sun. The ancient philosophers were more concerned with the human soul and its self-perfection in the exact fashion as today's religious worshipers.
The largest portion of narratives fall into the “Origins Category’’. That is Mythology which recounts the story of creation, either of the first human or of the primal earth and also the deification of natural forces into Gods. But the most important category of Mythology that has been overlooked or ignored is the most obvious, it is an interpretation based upon a personal spiritual awakening and expansion of consciousness. This is the real secret scholars with an atheistic bent of mind cannot acknowledge, as it defines the worlds’ religions and Mythology in terms of a common spiritual experience. This is the most significant psychological discovery in religion, mythology and legend and also the most obvious. Humanity has a deep seeded desire to experience oneness with all that exists, an urge to “Know Thyself ’’ and return to wholeness. The great scriptures are founded on this spiritual impulse which the (Sacred Spiral or Kundalini Paradigm) postulates is biologically imprinted into the human genome.
The ancient Egyptian believed in the immortality of the soul. In fact, they had intricate funeral ceremonies to deal with the afterlife. Herodotus the Greek historian 5th century B.C. wrote Histories 2. 123 (trans. Godley)
"The Egyptians say that Demeter [Isis] and Dionysos [Osiris] are the rulers of the lower world. The Egyptians were the first who maintained the following doctrine, too, that the human soul is immortal, and at the death of the body enters into some other living thing then coming to birth; and after passing through all creatures of land, sea, and air, it enters once more into a human body at birth, a cycle which it completes in three thousand years. There are Greeks who have used this doctrine [the Orphics], some earlier and some later, as if it were their own; I know their names, but do not record them." (1)
Isis (Demeter) and (Osiris) Dionysos were not just vegetation or solar gods, they were also symbolic representations of the Human soul. After one died their Soul/Heart was judged in the underworld of Amenti or Duat by Osiris; Who weighted it against a feather to judge its' Karmic fate. One was later reincarnated through a preordained cycle of bodies until the mind became completely conscious. The Greek philosophers Plato, Pythagoras and the Orphic worshipers believed in Metempsychosis (reincarnation). Alcmaeon, a Greek Pythagorean, taught the soul is immortal and that it resembled the gods (e.g. the sun and moon) because of their constant motion .(1)
From the source: "The judgment, from the papyrus of the scribe Hunefer. 19th Dynasty. Hunefer is conducted to the balance by jackal-headed Anubis. The monster Ammut crouches beneath the balance so as to swallow the heart should a life of wickedness be indicated.
" Anubis conducts the weighing on the scale of Maat, against the feather of truth. The ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, records the result. If his heart is lighter than the feather, Hunefer is allowed to pass into the afterlife. If not, he is eaten by the waiting chimeric devouring creature Ammit, which is composed of the deadly crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus. In the next panel, showing the scene after the weighing, a triumphant Hunefer, having passed the test, is presented by falcon-headed Horus to the shrine of the green-skinned Osiris, god of the underworld and the dead, accompanied by Isis and Nephthys. The 14 gods of Egypt are shown seated above, in the order of judges. .
The Structure of Greek Religion
Countless incarnations develop the soul’s individuality. The personal choices one makes, right and wrong, increase awareness and are the hammer which molds our ultimate destiny into form.
In the structure of Greek religion, the lesser mysteries were symbolic myths dealing with the fertility of nature and astral theology. While the greater mysteries uncovered the secrets of Kundalini and enlightenment which were revealed in intricate ceremonies as an initiate hopefully experienced a moment of Gnosis or spiritual ecstasy. Only in the lesser mysteries was the Sun worshiped. The great initiates thought of the Sun as the central creative being in the solar system and a symbol of one’s soul, which reincarnated through all forms of lower animals and the different signs of the zodiac before becoming enlightened. Thus the soul corresponded with the Sun in the sense that it was filled with light and was the central consciousness and life force in the solar system. This explanation is the reason why Christ is surrounded by twelve apostles and Hercules had twelve labors. It was a metaphor for the soul's journey and growth through the houses of the zodiac which molded ones consciousness experiences into a unique individual being.
Astrology was founded on the premise of a correspondence between humanity and the movement of the heavenly planets and stars; which were deified beings resonating with subtle psychological influences. This belief resulted in religious ceremonies occurring on the winter-summer solstices or equinoxes for the purpose of taking advantage of the energetic effects of planetary positions which enlivened and impregnated the fertility of the earth. The deification of the Sun and Moon became interwoven into the vegetation mythology. Of course worshipers were concerned with abundant crops to ensure their survival. Eventually agricultural cycles became an integral dimension of the human psyche. These same astrological dates were superimposed over and incorporated into the celebration of many other Deities. The life and death of nature became a metaphor applied to the human soul, reflecting its reincarnation cycle through the signs of the zodiac and soul’s judgment in the underworld, its return to earth and final realization, which was of far greater importance than worship of the Sun.
Another major philosophical tenet of mythology is encapsulated by the phrase "As above so Below", which defines the premise that each human was a microcosmic replica of the macrocosm. By reflecting on oneself, one would clearly find all that occurred within was reflected in the matrix of the heavens and in their surroundings. This is the same astral correspondence that the “Heretic” Aratus taught, which proposes a connection between the fertility of the earth and the logos. The Stoics defined the Logos as the generative principle of the Universe, while Canis Major referred to the “ Dog Star’’
“But when the rising of Canis takes place, the living are separated from the dead by Canis: for whatsoever plants have not taken root, really undergo putrefaction. This Canis, therefore, he says, as being a certain divine Logos, has been appointed judge of the quick and dead. And as (the influence of) Canis is observable in the vegetable productions of this world, so in the plants of the celestial world –in Men-is beheld
( the power of the) Logos.’’ (2)
His words clearly state that not only did the stars influence events on earth they also were symbols relative to the Souls evolutionary growth and life (Logos). Religious narratives are a form of poetic allegory built with symbols on a universal archetype reflective of a spiritual awakening. The transformation is predicated and controlled by the logos/consciousness of the higher self which seeks to transform the physical body into a perfect instrument of its' expression. In this sense humanity is not evolving but unfolding its' potential as if it was seeded, maturing into its final form with cosmic consciousness. Analogous to the evolutionary growth all animals, vegetables and minerals which mature from a small seed.
The Mystical Experience and Symbols
Visual communication operates on a totally different level than language, the meaning of each symbol acts as if it were alive, forming sets and subsets of geometric angels that can only be interpreted through one’s own inward experiences. Related symbols such as the Virgin birth or the epithet (twice-born), staffs with pine cones, the Caduceus and world tree, golden treasures, the sacred Bull and the Sun are universal elements found in world religions due to the fact they are a visual form of communication originating from the sequence of events that follow the rising of Kundalini. Below is a list of symbols that whose meanings are derived from and related to a personal spiritual transformation.
The Serpent, Dragon, Snake
The symbol of the serpent is the most common image found in all mythology. For thousands of years, Western Scholars have misinterpreted it as a literal snake and condemned it as Satan. Interpreting the serpent as an image which denotes the ascension of prana up the spine in a curved path allows the core doctrines of religious narratives, scriptures, and Mythology to be compared and analyzed in a logical manner. The biological changes could be physically verified through a research program, finally bridging the obtuse chasm between religion and science.
In a number of ancient religions, sexual activity was frowned upon, to say the least. The ideal situation was to be celibate, whether right or wrong this was a doctrine within early Christianity, Buddhism, Taoist, and certain Yogic traditions. It is hidden within mythology by the phrase “Virgin Born” which are metaphors related to sublimation in order to become “Born Again", "Reborn" or “Twice-born,” meaning a rapid spiritual transformation caused by the ascension of Kundalini.
Thyrus and Pine Cone
|Dionysus with Thyrus in hand|
The Sun and Solar Disk
The “Sun” and “Solar Disk” are more than just symbols of our planetary star. They are both iconic images analogous to mystical illumination, expressing the radiance of one who has entered into the state of Samadhi or Cosmic Consciousness. The Image of the Sun and serpent are inseparable in Egyptian reliefs and ruins. In the case of the Sun God "RA", the golden solar Disk sits atop his head and the white Moon in the case of Isis, which correspond to the energies’ and colors experienced in mediation. White (symbolized by the moon) and Ida channel is seen before the final color Gold represented by the Sun disk. This explains why the Egyptian Gods were depicted with a solar disk on their heads, encircled by serpent as (Serpent Power) is the mechanism responsible for inner illumination. If the solar disk was simply a Sun why would it be encircled by a serpent ?
The Pharaohs wore a crown that contained a snake usually identified as a cobra. This was called a Uraeus, a symbol for the Goddess Wadjet. Wearing this crown was a sign of Divine authority and protection. Wadjet was the guardian and patron God of the Nile Deltas and protector of all Lower Egypt. Symbolically speaking the Uraeus clearly shows an upright serpent projecting out of the forehead of the Pharaoh which would translate into a symbolic representation the Pharaoh had awakened Shakti and opened his third eye. This chakra is known as the doorway into the psychic realm, enabling one to remember past lives and prophesize. It signifies the powers acquired over many lives and that of the Pharaohs authority of royal descent. The classical archaeologists presumption the Egyptians were simply ignorant snake worshipers actually can be reversed, it was the early scholars who are uninformed of the spiritual heights that Egypt had reached.
Below is a short review of the mystery religions of Cybele and Attis and the Indian avatar Krishna from the viewpoint that the main theme running through each is predicated on the experience of a personal spiritual transformation based on an analysis of the symbols.
The Mystery Religion of Cybele
Cybele or ( Magna Mater) was The Anatolian Mother Goddess. Here is the summary of the Cybele narrative directly expounded by Pausanias. Quote;
"The local [Phrygian] legend about him [Attis] being this. Zeus [or rather the Phrygian sky-god], it is said, let fall in his sleep seed upon the ground, which in course of time sent up a Daimon, with two sexual organs, male and female. They call the daimon Agdistis [Kybele, Cybele]. But the gods, fearing Agdistis, cut off the male organ. There grew up from it an almond-tree with its fruit ripe, and a daughter of the River Saggarios (Sangarius), they say, took the fruit and laid it in her bosom, when it at once disappeared, but she was with child. A boy was born, and exposed, but wastened by a he-goat. As he grew up his beauty was more than human, and Agdistis fell in love with him. When he had grown up, Attis was sent by his relatives to Pessinos [city in Phrygia], that he might wed the king's daughter. The marriage-song was being sung, when Agdistis appeared, and Attis went mad and cut off his genitals, as also did he who was giving him his daughter in marriage. But Agdistis repented of what she had done to Attis and persuaded Zeus to grant the body of Attis should neither rot at all nor decay. These are the most popular forms of the legend of Attis." (3)
Castration and Resurrection
Cybele had asked Attis to take a vow of celibacy in order to become a priest (called Galli) in her religion, which he agreed to. But the local King demanded Attis marry his daughter, which would lead to breaking his promise. When Cybele suddenly appears at the wedding ceremony Attis goes mad and castrates himself. From the viewpoint of a personal spiritual transformation all the symbolic elements are clearly brought forth, the castrations are metaphors that emphasis chastity and sublimation followed by metamorphosis into a new being. Many times in Myth when a god or hero is castrated it instigates the birth of a god or goddess, when Attis castrates himself he dies and achieves type of immortality (becoming a God in essence) who will never decay.When Agdistis is ''unmanned'' he turns into a she, i.e Cybele.and when Uranus is castrated by Cronus , Aphrodite is born from the seed of Uranus which fell into the oceans foaming waters.
It is generally hidden in Myth but internal copulation between the inner male and female or anima and animus is an integral process of regeneration which appears as a Sacred Marriage in Alchemical legends and Fairy-Tales particularly. It is found in religious scriptures also i.e. (the bride of Christ). Cybele's' jealousy at the marriage ceremony expresses her wish to merge with Attis who represents her animus or male side. Attis is the perfect male archetype, therefore leading to his depiction as a most beautiful and handsome son/lover whose real purpose is to marry Cybele internally, and creating a new divine being who is balanced and immortal.
Attis resurrection was celebrated at the winter solstice to symbolize the annual renewal of the fruits of the earth, which wilt and die in winter only to rise again in the spring. The timing of ceremonies to these dates is due to a resonance between the earth cycles and the Sun, but it’s not the prime purpose of the narrative. From the viewpoint of spiritual awakening, the motifs that stand out clearly in the narrative are the castrations, sacred marriage, death and resurrection leading to a type of immortally.
Attis never had twelve disciples or was adored by three kings, no star in the east arose at his birth, but most importantly there is no record of Attis worshiped as a Sun God in the sense that the Greek Apollo, Helios or the Egyptian God Ra. The myth of Cybele and Attis can best be interpreted using the knowledge of attained through a spiritual transformation, as an allegory that depicts enlightenment.
The Secret Teachings of Krishna
Lord Krishna is one of the most loved Gods of the Hindu pantheon and was the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. He was the eight child of Devaki and Vasudeva. He was depicted with dark blue skin and flute. His birth was celebrated on the eight day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight of the month of Shrāvaṇa (August–September) which is nowhere near Dec.25.
According to Bhagavata Purana, Krishna was Born without sexual union, by divine mental transmission from the mind of Vasudeva into the womb of Devaki" (3) This is why he is labeled "Virgin Born". He performed many miracles, but was never crucified by the most well-known accounts and died when the hunter Jara mistook his left foot for that of a deer and shot an arrow into his heel which killed him.
Krishna is a clear example of an Avatar whose sole purpose was to teach and inspire humanity with stories that pertained to humanities possibility of attaining mystical consciousness. The beginning of his life story represents what occurs during a Kundalini awakening. Krishna was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva, yet he was described as being virgin born which is a contradiction that must be undressed of any linguistic assumptions. It’s something of an impossibility to have seven children with the last conceived as a virgin. The virgin birth isn't about literal sex leading to a child, but a symbolic metaphor based on sexual sublimation that leads to an internal birth.
Birth in a Cave
Krishna is born in a dungeon which is similar to a cave, just like Christ, Mithra, and so many other Gods. This dungeon-cave is a metaphor that represents the feminine birth cycle, the cool place where all creation takes form. It resembles symbolically the cave of Brahman in the human brain. This is the area where prana penetrates to activate the pineal gland and also depicted by the iconic Eye of Horus. The mundane egg with the serpent twisted around it presents the same energetic concept of vortex energies in creation mythology.
The Ascension of Kundalini through the seven chakras
Krishna’s six brothers who were born before him then murdered (except Balarama who was transferred to the womb of Rohini secretly). This action by the King Kamsa symbolically represents the vilifying of each of the seven chakras and their consequent full development that precedes the opening of the crown center. So one could say in a roundabout way that all of his lower centers of awareness, dealing with the negative traits had to be "killed" or developed to their fullest potential before Krishna could be born, as a deification of the cosmic consciousness. Krishna's epic life repeats the sequence of events that happen to a neophyte during the transformative process.
The Motif of crossing the River
|Vasudeva crossing the river with Krishna|
After Krishna’s "Virgin Birth", he was switched with another child in order to deceive Kamsa’ murderous attempts; Vasudeva with his divine child "Krishna" escaped to a rural village where he could grow up safely. The river Yamuna obstructed their path so Vasudeva placed Krishna in a basket upon his head then crossed the dangerous waters.
The giant serpent Vasuki protected him by opening its hood over Krishna until reaching the other side. This motif of crossing the river after the birth of a divine Child is repeated throughout the world’s religions. From Moses being placed in a reed basket and set afloat on the Nile to St Christopher who held the infant Jesus on his shoulders to safely cross a dangerous river, to Osiris who is placed in a box which floats down the Nile until coming to rest at Byblos where he is resurrected by Isis.
The esoteric interpretation is found by connecting the water element to the unconscious or past. Crossing the a river corresponds to rectifying ones past karma, before proceeding into a constant state of Samadhi. The permanent ascension of the serpent power into the highest crown chakra is the end result of a long process of cleansing of one's karma debts. The dangerous river is a metaphor that reflects the process of rectification of past ignorance that is required before a permanent awakened state is achieved. That is why the Gods and saints such as the Serpent Vasuki or St, Christopher are there to help protect a newly awakened being (Divine Child) across the waters of life. Osiris is murdered and placed in a perfectly fitted box that floats down the Nile to Byblos where he is resurrected by Isis. Though this portion of the Osiris narrative deals with his resurrection it still relates to new birth by crossing the rivers of life which is a psychological truth that precedes every true spiritual transformation. Without forgiveness of the past don't expect any progress.
Religious myths are a form of poetic allegory built with symbols and motifs reflective of a spiritual awakening communicated from inner planes of consciousness which seek to guide humanity on the right path in order to transform the physical matter of the body into a perfect instrument of the soul's expression. In this sense humanity is not evolving but unfolding its' potential as if seeded, blooming into cosmic consciousness just like all life, all animals, vegetables and minerals that grow from a preconceived seed. The seed or mundane egg carries all the information necessary to unwind the light and bliss of destiny. It forms the physical by repeating past actions and is continually updated and adjusted by our right action.
As the human race unfolds its true form, more and more children will appear with outstanding talents, artistic skills and insights into life which the older generation cannot comprehend. At the same time a large sections of civilization who cannot live in harmony with each other and nature will eventually fade-away into the tomb of inequity, leaving absolutely nothing behind of worth, as the Earth will act as the final judge of one’s truthfulness and can destroy any society in minutes if and when it becomes a morally and intellectually incompetent. The basic point is that religion proceeds from our inner awareness and changes at the same rate as our consciousness. There are spiritual laws that govern the mind just as there are laws that keep order in the universe. Could the world function without gravity or Archimedes’ Principle of Buoyancy, Bernoulli's Law of Fluid Dynamics? Acceptance of the fact that laws govern the physical matter implies there are laws that govern the mind and thoughts.
The mind works on the same principles of operation as the material world. We have the freedom to do what’s right or wrong with our free will but will pay a price for each decision. When our culture rebels against its own spiritual nature and strips the nature of its life, and exploits the earth's resources for temporary gains, all of humanity suffers.
Mythology exists to guide humanity to higher consciousness by revealing hidden mental and spiritual laws, that govern our psychological health, that lead to a better understanding of oneself. Our present human condition which is based on a rebellion against “Nature,’’ or God (one might say the intelligence behind the Universe), can only lead to more suffering. Either way, the whole world is paying an illusionary price for their dream built upon the televised mayhem of someone else’s nightmare, especially when happiness lies within.
(1) Herodotus the Greek historian 5th century B.C. wrote Histories 2. 123 (trans. Godley)
(3) Book IV "REFUTATION OF ALL HERESIES '' by Hippolytus
Chapter XLVIII, PG 119 Subtitled Invention of the Lyre –allegorizing the Appearance and Position of the Stars- Origin of the Phoenicians - The Logos identified by Aratus with the constellation Canis-Influence of Canis on fertility and life in General.
The images are from Wikimedia Commons except,
Aten and Amenhotep photos from Google images.
''The Awakening of Kundalini " .. By Gopi Krishna
"The Secrets of Kundalini in Panchastavi '' by Gopi Krishna
''Sri Aurobindo or the Adventures in Consciousness '' by Satprem
''Refutation of all Heresies '' by Hippolytus
''The Serpent Grail " By Phillip Gardner and Gary Osborn
"The Mystery Religions"' by S.Angus
'' The Myth of the Goddess ''evoultion of a image . by Ann Barring and Jules Cashford