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Archive for the ‘symbolism’ Category

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excerpt from the YouTube post:

A LOVE STORY
In what was called, the belly of the beast, John of the
Cross
wisely more silent than the prophet Jonah,
dealt not with men but with God alone, waiting
patiently for a divine answer that would end the dark
night of his soul.

In the end; The Religion that would Police him could
not disturb the ecstasy of one who had been carried
so far into the light that he was no longer troubled at
the thought of being rejected even by those who
would hold themselves up to the world as being Holy!

No one can become a saint without solving the
problem of suffering. No one who has ever written
anything, outside the pages of Scripture, and no one
has given us such a solution to the problem as St.
John of the Cross.

In the end they consciously did everything they could
to remove St. John of the Cross from a position in
which he would be able to defend what he knew to be
true.

While sanctity alone is perhaps the living solution of
the problem of suffering. Still suffering continues to
be suffering; But it can cease to be an obstacle in our
life, and to our mission or our happiness, in which we
can find refuge positively and concretely in faith, hope
and love.

John of the Cross does not reveal when or how his
answer came, but when John of the Cross made his
miraculous escape during the octave of the
Assumption, in 1578, he carried in his pocket the
manuscript of a poem which critics have declared to
be far superior to any other in the Spanish language,
if not the world. The writings of John of the Cross
during his dark night of the soul.

In total darkness John of the Cross finds only light, in
cold only warmth, in desperation only Hope, in Hope
only Faith, in Faith only Love. Love being greatest of
all. Stronger than Fear. Stronger than Evil. Love – The
ultimate Protector. Love – The ultimate Motivator.
Love – The ultimate Weapon.

*****

John of The Cross

O Living flame of love
That, burning, dost assail
My inmost soul with tenderness untold,
Since thou dost freely move,
Deign to consume the veil
Which sunders this sweet converse that we hold …
And O, ye lamps of fire,
In whose resplendent light
The deepest caverns where the senses meet,
Erst steeped in darkness dire,
Blaze with new glories bright
And to the loved one give both light and heat!

*****
The Christ of St John of The Cross is the first of two extraordinary crucifixions painted by Dali in the early 1950s. In a cosmic dream the secret of Christ is revealed. This later confirmed by a drawing of the crucified Christ by St John of the Cross, the 16th-century Spanish mystic, in which Dali discovers a triangle (Trinity) nested inside of a circle (of life).

*****
Music – Loreena McKenitt
Title – The Dark Night of the Soul
Lyrics – Loreena McKennitt – John of the Cross
Art – Salvidor Dali – “The Christ of Saint John of the
Cross”
Video – Clover Studio

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Salvador Dali, “Christ of St. John of the Cross”, 1951

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The Christ of St John of The Cross is the first of two extraordinary crucifixions painted by Dali in the early 1950s.It depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although a crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. His depiction of the crucified Christ, is later confirmed when Dali discovers a drawing

St. John’s sketch

by St John of the Cross, a 16th-century Spanish mystic, of a triangle (Trinity) nested inside of a circle (of life). Dali’s composition is also based on a triangle and circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the circle is formed by Christ’s head). The triangle, since it has three sides, can be seen as a reference to the Trinity. Dali explained, “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in colour and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus of the atom.’ This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the very unity of the universe,’ the Christ!”

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St. John of the Cross

Of all of the human conditions, it is probably hardest to explain why God would allow suffering. Yet it is often suffering, and not enjoyment, which brings the soul away from the distractions of life, to focus on it’s relationship to God.

Born in Spain in 1542, St. John of the Cross learned the importance of self-sacrificing love from his parents. His father gave up wealth, status, and comfort when he married a weaver’s daughter and was disowned by his noble family. After his father died, his mother kept the destitute family together as they wandered homeless in search of work. These were the examples of sacrifice that John followed with his own great love — God.

When the family finally found work, John still went hungry in the middle of the wealthiest city in Spain. At fourteen, John took a job caring for hospital patients who suffered from incurable diseases and madness. It was out of this poverty and suffering, that John learned to search for beauty and happiness not in the world, but in God.

After John joined the Carmelite order, Saint Teresa of Avila asked him to help her reform movement. John supported her belief that the order should return to its life of prayer. But many Carmelites felt threatened by this reform, and some members of John’s own order kidnapped him. He was locked in a cell six feet by ten feet and beaten three times a week by the monks. There was only one tiny window high up near the ceiling. Yet in that unbearable dark, cold, and desolation, his love and faith were like fireand light. He had nothing left but God — and God brought John his greatest joys in that tiny cell.

After nine months, John escaped by unscrewing the lock on his door and creeping past the guard. Taking only the mystical poetry he had written in his cell, he climbed out a window using a rope made of strips of blankets. With no idea where he was, he followed a dog to civilization. He hid from pursuers in a convent infirmary where he read his poetry to the nuns. From then on his life was devoted to sharing and explaining his experience of God’s love.

His life of poverty and persecution could have produced a bitter cynic. Instead it gave birth to a compassionate mystic, who lived by the beliefs that “Who has ever seen people persuaded to love God by harshness?” and “Where there is no love, put love — and you will find love.” — excerpt

In fact, the importance of the cross in the life of the true Christian disciple became St. John’s maxim: “Do not seek Christ without the cross.” For St. John, innocent and voluntary suffering embraced in the way of the cross becomes an avenue to sublime intimacy with the Risen Lord. Therefore, suffering with the Savior is one key to the lofty heights of contemplation, which opens the door to the loving embrace of the Holy Spirit, transforming pain into unheard-of joy. While such a concept is quite foreign to contemporary society, it is entirely compatible with the Gospel. – excerpt

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St. Eustace and the stag by Pisanello

LEGEND OF SAINT EUSTACE

Saint Eustace, also known as Eustachius or Eustathius, was a legendary Christian martyr who lived in the 2nd century AD. Prior to his conversion to Christianity, Eustace was a Roman general named Placidus, who served the emperor Trajan. While hunting a stag in Tivoli near Rome, Placidus saw a vision of Jesus between the stag’s antlers. He was immediately converted, had himself and his family baptized, and changed his name to Eustace (Greek: Ευστάθιος Eustathios, “well stable”, or Ευστάχιος, Eustachios, “rich crop”).

A series of calamities followed to test his faith: his wealth was stolen; his servants died of a plague; when the family took a sea voyage, the ship’s captain kidnapped Eustace’s wife Theopista; and as Eustace crossed a river with his two sons Agapius and Theopistus, the children were taken away by a wolf and a lion. Like Job, Eustace lamented but did not lose his faith.

He was then quickly restored to his former prestige and reunited with his family; but when he demonstrated his new faith by refusing to make a pagan sacrifice, the emperor, Hadrian, condemned Eustace, his wife, and his sons to be roasted to death inside a bronze statue of a bull or an ox, in the year AD 118.

The saint is honored on the calendar of the Melkite Catholics on December 13, as the “Commemoration of the Holy Martyrs Eustrates, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, Orestes and the Virgin Lucia.” He is also commemorated in the Orthodox Church, on September 20. The d’Afflitto dynasty, one of the oldest princely families in Italy, claims to be the direct descendant of Saint Eustace.

He is one of the patron saints of Madrid, Spain. Scenes from the story, especially Eustace kneeling before the stag, became a popular subject of medieval religious art. Early artistic depictions of the legend include a wall painting at Canterbury Cathedral and stained glass windows at the Cathedral of Chartres. There is a Church of Saint Eustace in Paris. And the island of Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands is named after him.

Probably the saint is currently best known for his cross-and-stag symbol being featured on bottles of Jägermeister. This is related to his status as patron of hunters; jägermeisters were senior foresters and gamekeepers in the German civil service at the time of the drink’s introduction in 1935.

In 1661, Kircher discovered the ruins of a church said to have been constructed by Constantine on the site of Saint Eustace’s vision of Jesus Christ in a stag’s horns. He raised money to pay for the church’s reconstruction as the Santuario della Mentorella, and his heart was buried in the church on his death.

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Turris Babel by Athanasius Kircher 1679


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I love serendipity!

I arrove at this image circuitously. As I had mentioned, in a much previous post, I had been searching to find the “blowing wind face” frequent on antiquated maps of the world. I finally did, and one of those maps I discovered, was drawn by Athanasius Kircher.

Like Leonardo da Vinci, the German scholar Athanasius Kircher (ca. 1601-1680) was a true “Renaissance man.” Interested in both the arts and sciences, he wrote several dozen books on everything from medicine and geology to Egypt, cryptography, Noah’s Ark, and musical harmony. Kircher was especially interested in the history of languages, and just a year before his death, he published Turris Babel, a history of the Tower of Babel.

According to the Bible, the people of Babylon attempted to build a huge tower that would reach all the way to heaven. After learning that they were constructing the tower for their own glory rather than His, however, God punished the Babylonians by making them all speak different languages. No longer able to communicate with each other, they stopped work on the tower, left Babylon, and went their separate ways. The tower not only became a symbol for human pride, but also helped explain the origin of languages.

In Turris Babel, Kircher suggested that rather than creating hundreds of languages at one stroke, God preserved Hebrew, which continued to be spoken by the descendants of Noah’s son Shem, and then created four new languages, which he assigned to the descendants of Noah’s other sons. These languages subsequently split apart even further over time, resulting in all the languages that are spoken today. Kircher singled out a few languages for special attention in the second half of his book. Considered the father of Egyptology, he was especially interested in Egyptian hieroglyphics, and he expands on one of his earlier works on this subject here.
lib.lsu.edu | Tower of Babel

I found the discovery that Kircher had illustrated the Tower of Babel as well, interesting in light of my recent posting also about the X-Seed 4000 Ultima Tower being designed right now, at two miles high, the largest human-built structure the world has ever seen.

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I don’t know why, but I’ve always found visual depictions of language and texts interesting. I loved the illuminated manuscripts of the celts, such as The Book of Kells. It’s not so often the text itself, as the decorations surrounding it which seem to tell a story of its own, in pictures. Taking a closer look at the designs and symbols is almost like decoding a cipher. Making comparisons between the objects depicted, whether carvings in stone, or embossed metalwork, or painted on walls or paper the transmission of culture and ideas between peoples is often documented and codeified. The understanding of a people and a written language might require the discovery of a Rosetta Stone, however. And the deciphering of symbols and diagrams likewise requires a key the viewer may not possess, although the fascination with them persists. Spoken language reveals similarities in words that sound alike although are spelled differently in each culture.

Hapsburg A.E.I.O.U.

Playing the old game, where a message is whispered consecutively from person to person standing in a row, reveals the transformation that occurs as each individual relays the mistakes conveyed by the person who spoke to him until the final person iterates what he heard the message to be, and it is far from the original. This shows how languages could variously be transformed with old tribes confluence with new peoples as they migrated across continents, and symbols likewise be transformed by small variations and adaptations to other peoples’ ideas. For example, in the movie Avatar, the indiginous natives are said to worship the god Ey’wa. Ey’wa is two syllables similar in sound to the term Yahweh, written as four letters without vowels YHWH, and called the Tetragrammaton. Interestingly, Native Americans had a similar word for their god, and also use a term like “Elohim” in their spoken version of The Lord’s Prayer. Although it certainly sounds like the basis for theNa’vi language, it sounds like Chinese to me.
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And further proving that sometimes even {olde} English can be unintelligible in the native tongue, here is the same Lord’s Prayer in Gaelic.

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As an adendum to the story of Gobekli Tepe, and its relationship as the world’s first known antediluvian site, it is interesting to learn that several ancient civilizations have mythology describing the magnetic polar shift which may have preceded the earthquakes which caused the Great Flood.

Excerpt: –Alfred Hamori “The origin of the Sumerians and the great flood”

The pole shift and the freezing of the old homelands, as told in Sumerian, Finn-Ugor and Iranic myths

These are the precursors to the events which eventually lead to the great floods, that affected the whole planet.

The Sumerians left behind legends about the gods and their early settlement as told in the “Barton Tablets”. These according to Christian O’brian “The Genius of the Few”, tell of a land “of the gods” which at one time became frozen and cold, and eventually forced them south. I consider these myths about the Sumerian “gods” to be ancient recollections of very early events remembered for millenniums, that actually happened to the ancestors of the Sumerians, about their old homelands in the frozen land areas like Siberia. They called this place “Karsag”. I believe that this freezing was caused by the shift in the North Pole 13,000 years ago, which plunged Central Siberia from a temperate climate to a polar climate, where the ground a few feet from the surface never thaws out. Scientists have found frozen mammoths in Siberia, whose stomachs were still filled with plants that are known to live only in temperate climates, and not in the arctic regions.

Some groups trapped in this new harsh climate after the pole shift were so decimated by the freezing Siberian weather that they probably reverted to a primitive subsistence, which they could never hope to recover from in their new harsh surroundings. The lucky ones further away were able to move and look for new lands in more favorable climate, such as the great southern lakes like the Black Sea, Caspean Sea, Lake Baikal areas.

Similar stories are also told by the Californian Indians of the Penuitan language group, who are believed by some linguists to be descendant of the Ob-Ugrians of North Western Siberia, who are a branch of the FinnoUgrian language group. The ancestors of these Penuitan Indians crossed the Berring Straights and traveled here from the north. These Indians also believe that their gods come from and live in the polar regions. Their language has many common words with Ugrian and FinnUgor languages to which Finnish, Hungarian, Estonian, Lappish, Samoyedic, and several other minority languages of Russia belong. The language group is scattered from the Pacific to central and northern Europe.

Historic linguists also claim that the ancestors of the early Iranians

Sumerian Samarra bowl

also lived in close proximity to the Ugrians (Hungarians, Vogul and Ostjak languages), based on some common early words. According to ancient Hungarian legends there was an intermarriage with the Iranic Alan people. It is no surprise then that Iranian myths also talk of the freezing north in ancient times. This is an excerp from the Avesta of the ancient Persians: “…At that time Airyana Vaejo had a pleasant climate, with 7 months of summer and only 5 months of winter. The forests were rich with game and the fields with grains. In the valleys many brooks flowed. This land however turned into a cursed land, where for 10 months it was winter and only 2 months was it summer, following the attacks of Ahra-Majnyu (the evil-devil).” This land could not have been Europe, since prior to the pole shift most of Europe was under ice or very cold, and only afterwards did it warm up.

The implications and consequences of a climate change of such magnitude must have had a tremendous effect, causing the decimation of populations in areas plunged into the arctic, due to the dying of plants and animals and the initial loss of food supply. It also caused the subsequent changes in a way of living and the great migrations away from a once hospitable original homeland for those that could still manage to escape. The initial places for this maximum climate change would have been in central Siberia, around 100 degree East longitude but it affected much of the north also. It is believed that the early FinnUgor nations during the Ice Age lived in what today is the Ukraine and as the ice receeded many of them moved north to scandinavia. A branch of them however then started moving east and crossed the northern part of the Ural mountains and spread all around it. Others mingling with the local indegenous people of the north east, such as the Samoyeds and others navigated much of the arctic and crossed into north America. Portions settled in the western states and California and are called the Penuitan language family. Special branches went further south into Yucatan and became the Maya indians. In the early phases these all had sizable ethnic elements which included the original north European caucasian types, not just the later mixed Siberian types.

Extent of the Euxine Lake or Black Sea 5500 BC

The time after the ice age was fairly warm even in the northern areas from 7300 to 5300BC it was hot and dry. Around 5,500BC another kind of catastrophy occurred. The flooding of the Black Sea . This was the “great flood”, as told by Sumerian legend, which was borrowed by later civilizations of early Mesopotamia and was eventually written down in the Bible. Those who were able to escape this flood fled from this once fertile lowlands, into Eastern Europe but the majority headed toward the warm climate of the south, to Mesopotamia. They founded the first recorded civilization of mankind, whose literature actually survived. Then from 5300 to 3000BC, following the Black Sea flood, it was wet and warm and is known as the W�rm period. After this it started to get continuously cold again in the north. Some groups trapped in this new harsh climate were so decimated by the freezing Siberian weather that they probably reverted to a primitive life style, which they could never hope to recover from in their new harsh surroundings.

–Alfred Hamori “The origin of the Sumerians and the great flood”

Other theories of pre-Sumerian peoples, the Natufians, believed to have created Gobekli Tepe, as well as Jericho, Abu Hureya and Neval Cori…

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