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Friday, 2 April 2010
So that chocolate scoffing time of year has come around again. Breaking open a Cadbury´s Cream Egg even though your stomach´s shouting out “Intoxification!” and your visions begins to blur. Which is probably exactly what the Hindus mean when they say that the Mundane Egg, in which Brahma gestated, broke its shell in spring.
Easter is the first full moon after the equinox (“equal night”). This year it was on March 30th. It is when the masculine and feminine energies are both at their plenitude and create an energy of fertility on earth, depicted by the engraving “The Philosophers Compass”. Larry Boemler in his book "Asherah and Easter" writes “The Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos.” We get the point Larry…
If you´ve a garden, you can´t help but notice how the plants are having their first splurge of growth, of which I´ve proudly attached “fotos” of our first sproutings. If we were all dependant on the growth of wheat rather than opening up Mars Bars, we´d be pretty damned glad to see it begin to grow. And wine lovers will smile with wetted lips as they see what looked dead in the winter, spring into life once more, with little buds bursting on the vines. The full moon gives the plants a complementary light to go for a marathon of energetic growing through all of the night and all the day…it´s quite logical really.
But Easter isn´t just about the nature´s rhythm, but also about the inner life. Gods who die on the cross around this time (Jesus, Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, Orpheus…) represent how we as spiritual beings need to be have “a second birth” into a greater consciousness of ourselves and our world. In order to just to start, it is necessary to dominate our egos, like in the Puranic allegory, when Viswakarman's daughter Sanjana (spiritual consciousness), complained as wives tend to do, about the natural qualities of their husbands. After a while no matter how shiny and great and brill they are, they start to irritate. Her husband was Surya the sun (often linked in astrology to the ego). She went back to her daddy and complained he was getting all the attention, that he was shining too bright. Like any loving father would do, he got his sun-in-law by the neck and being a carpenter of high craftsmanship, crucified the sun on his lathe and cut away an eighth part of his rays – creating around him a dark auroela. A crown of thorns.
Which is basically spiritual initiation: killing all of those fiery passions, and going through hell, facing our demons, before we can rise into new life and be reborn. We become more conscious of ourselves, less reactionary, more responsive. We´ve all been through it in some way, some emotional crisis which has made us understand ourselves better where at the end we firmly wobble, “I´m glad it happened but I wouldn´t like to go through that again!”
In the past initiation was intense, people were put through all sorts of, what my father would call, character building situations, and then left exhausted attached to a “cross” (which I reckon must represent the symbolic centre of ourselves, the centre of creation) They lay there in the dark for three days in which their spirit descended into Hades’ underworld, to be reborn again into a new life once back in the light of day. Initiates were left exhausted in caves and such, to encounter their inner demons, to face fear, and dominate it, to awaken to another perspective of themselves and their world.
Which is not exactly the same as scoffing our faces with Cadbury cream eggs and then getting stabs of stomach ache…
I remember in primary school going into panic staring into the face of my friend who had fiendishly asked “Are you a human being?” because I had no idea what she was on about. We are both, we are a human and we are a being, we are physical and we are spiritual. And as we go to the gym to get perfect bodies, so we are challenged with the evolution of our spirits. Every time we refuse to listen to that spirit, the divine nature within us is “crucified”, but after each crucifixion there has to be a resurrection, else we would end up as a dead physical blob, only to be later recognised by the Ben and Jerry carton stuck on our heads. There has to be a balance, we can´t just be spiritual, and we can´t just be physical, because, after my experience in primary school, I can say quite confidently now that we are all human beings. Psychology, and Life, is the idea of balancing both the “light” and the “dark” within us. Such as in Spring and Autumn equinoxes. And we are back to Star Wars again. Here is the battle plan described by H P Blavatsky:
He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the "sepulchre" of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The "Son of Man" is no child of the bond-woman—flesh, but verily of the free-woman—Spirit, the child of man's own deeds and the fruit of his own spiritual labour. (H.P.B. Series No. 7, pp. 4-5)
But why why does it have to be so painful, so difficult, so bloody scary at times. Why can´t we just all be nice and get on so friendly and just evolve picking out the thorns from our innerds with tweezers, like apes deflea each other? Padma-Sambhava, an Indian sage guru, had to say of it:
Although sesame seed is the source of oil, and milk the source of butter, not until the seed be pressed and the milk churned do the oil and butter appear. Although sentient beings are of the Buddha essence itself, not until they realize this can they attain Nirvana.
To achieve spiritual growth we face a difficult path, in which we have to do things in a specific way. How is something that each of us must search for ourselves…
Easter is a real and symbolic time of growth through death of the old, and resurrection of the new, of our continual becoming. I think the idea is rounded up nicely in a eggshell, by Anais Nin:
And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Happy Easter everyone! Egg smashing galore!