I wanted a mystery that couldn’t be solved
I wanted a puzzle with pieces missing
I wanted a story that couldn’t be told
The Myth of Er is an analogy that appears at the end of Plato’s Republic. It introduces the concept that moral people should be rewarded, and immoral people punished, after death. These rewards and punishments result directly from the individual’s conduct, rather than being administered by an external deity. It is not, however, a straightforward description of heaven and hell, but more of a story of the journey between one life and the next, the intermission between death and rebirth. This section of the Republic is one of the first extant texts to deal with the issue of responsibility and choice in personal action, which has become a central questions of Western ethics.
The story begins as a man named Er dies in battle. Ten days after his death, when the bodies are collected, Er’s remains unaffected by normal ”putrification”. Ready on the pyre for his funeral, twelve days after his death, Er reawakens and tells his peers of his journey in the other world.
After his death, Er started upon a journey, with many other souls as his companions. First they came across an awesome place, where there were four openings grouped in pairs, two in the sky and two in the earth. Judges sat between these openings and ordered the souls to follow the path into the opening to which they belonged. The moral characters were guided into the path in the sky, wearing tokens describing the deeds for which they were to be rewarded for. Similarly, the immoral souls were directed to the path in the ground, tokens of their bad deeds emblazoned on their backs, ready for their punishment for such deeds.
Er approached the judges, ready for his path but was told that he was to remain in this place, listening and observing the goings-on in order to report back to humankind with his experience.
As Er observed his surroundings he realised that the other two openings, one from the sky and the other in the earth were also being used. From the opening in the sky, clean souls floated down, and upon recounting their experience would describe beautiful sights and wondrous feelings. Those returning from the earth would appear dirty, haggard and tired, crying in despair when recounting their awful experience.
Those who had been immoral had been punished for every bad deed they had committed ten times over, the punishment lasting 1000 years. Each deed committed that had caused someone pain would be accounted for, causing pain ten times that than was afflicted on Earth. Similarly, those who were rewarded for good deeds experienced pleasure, beauty and wonder like no experience possible on Earth.
There were some, however, that could not be released from the underground. Those who had committed such bad deeds that they could not ever be adequately punished for would be doomed to remain by the exit of the underground, unable to escape. Within this grouped of damned individuals was dictator and murderer Ardiaeus the Great, and other dictators, murderers and non-political criminals.
After seven days of remaining in the meadow, the souls and Er were required to travel elsewhere. After four days of travel, they reached a place where they could see a rainbow shaft of light, brighter and clearer than any light or rainbow they had seen before. They reached the light after another days travel, and upon arrival realised that the shaft of light was the spindle of Necessity.
Several women, including Lady Necessity, her daughters and the sirens were present at the spindle. The souls were then organised into rows, and from the lap of Lady Lachesis, Lady Necessity’s daughter, were each given a lottery token, apart from Er, who was not allowed one. Then, in order of their lottery tokens, they were required to come forward and choose their next life.
Er recalled how the first to choose a new soul was a man who had not known of the terrors of the underground, but had been rewarded in the sky. His greed and stupidity led him to choose the most powerful dictatorship possible, without considering his choice wisely. Upon further inspection he realised he had chosen a terrible fate of eating his own children and other terrible crimes. Er observed that this was often the case of those who had been through the path in the sky, whereas those who had been punished often chose a better life.
Animals chose human lives, and humans often chose the apparently easier lives of animals. Many humans preferred a life different to their previous experience, such as Odysseus who after his previous life of hardship and suffering chose the life of a quiet individual.
After this was complete the souls embarked upon the penultimate part of their journey. Each soul was assigned a deity to help them through their life, the deity led them first to Clotho, then to Lady Necessity whose throne they passed under. Once this was complete they traveled to the Plain of Oblivion, where the River of Neglect flows.
Finally, each soul was required to drink some of the water, in varying quantities, apart from Er. As they drank, each soul forgot everything. As they lay down at night to sleep there was an earthquake and each of the souls were lifted from where they lay into the night and sped off in various directions for rebirth, completing their journey.
Er had not been allowed to drink the water, but remembered nothing of the journey back to his body. He opened his eyes to find himself lying on the funeral pyre, early in the morning and able to recall his journey through the afterlife.
Whereas the Absolute of India [Hindu/Buddhism] transforms conflict into blissful peace, the God of revelation is Himself a paradoxical tension of opposites. He is blissful peace, but He is also saevus deus, the savage God of terrible might. (…)
Allah, the God of revelation, manifests Himself as frightenly ambivalent. He is both the source of healing light (nur) and wielder of wrathful fire (nar); He is the God of Compassion and Mercy (Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim); but at the same time He is the Subduer (al-Qahhar), the Tyrant (al-Jabbar) who avenges wrong with staggering ferocity. Indeed, He does not refrain from decietful ruses; in fact He is the champion over all of those who would vie with Him in wiliness: ”And they schemed, and Allah schemed: and Allah is the best of schemers.” (Q 3:54)
(…) The role of Satan is that of a divine instrument who obediently carries out commands, responsibility for which rests with God. And since the actions of the satanic instrument produce pain and destruction – what men call evil – and since responsibility for these deeds resides ultimately with God, then God is clearly involved in causing man’s suffering and affliction. But why did God not restrain Satan and prevent his dissemination of evil in the world?
Because it would appear there is evil in the very heart of God… You cannot put the blame on man or even on Satan; you have to blame, if blame you must, Him who is alone responsible, God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth… (…)
This paradoxical reality of an ambivalent God is given more credence in the Islamic tradition (than, for example, in the Christian) where makr, wiliness or deceit, is ascribed to Him. Using His makr, God leads men and women astray when He so desires. Christianity, on the other hand, shies away from associating such a characteristic too closely to God; the power of deception, therefore, must be relegated to Satan alone.
Since in Islam the polarities in God are accepted into the fabric of mainstream religious life, Sufi teaching warnes the novice that his relationship with the transcendent God is never secure, but must be characterized by the bi-polar experience of hope (raja’) and fear (khawf). Hope rests only in the conviction that God’s compasion and mercy will predominate in His dealings with His creatures, despite his makr. (…)
The closer the association between God and the now victorious, ”damned lover” Iblis, the more Iblis takes on the role of divine attribute rather than that of antithetic force of evil. In order for God to be God, He needs Iblis in his role as intimate of the Divine Presence; and in this dynamic interaction God reveals the paradox, the coincidentia oppositorum, at the core of His being: He is both love and destruction, salvation and damnation; He is Ar-Rahman and saevus deus.
The relationship between Iblis and God, mediated by God’s curse, is one of complete openness and self-donation. In response to every act of destructive power, Iblis offers himself as sacrifice; when God torments, he accepts; when God oppresses, he increases his love. (…)
The experience of separation and its opposite, the experience of union with God, become for Ain al-Qudat the principal elements in his exposition of the import of the curse on the spiritual life of Iblis. And in typical fashion, Ain al-Qudat molds these elements into a paradox, a juxtaposition of opposites that turns the accepted views of spiritual guides topsy-turvy. Separation, not union, he insists, is the hallmark of intimacy with God.
Firstly, the separation of Iblis is a blessing, not so much because of the actual experience of separation, but because any gesture bestowed by God on His creature is far superior to being forgotten and ignored by Him. The nature of the gesture is unimportant, only the fact of the relationship matters. (…)
Ahmad al-Ghazali, revered master of Ain al-Qudat, too, proclaims separation a higher degree of mystical fulfillment than union, in addition it its being the final test of love. Why is it superior to the unitive state? Unless one has previously experienced union, one cannot know separation; union is, therefore, only a preparation for the more exalted state of separation. Not only is separation on a loftier plane, but it possesses the unique quality of dynamic tension which is completely absend from the static state of peaceful union. The mystic Fakhr Ad-Din Iraqi likens the power of separation to a fire scourge that drives the soul unceasingly towards God. Because of its inherent dynamism, separation, he claims, cannot but be more fruitful than the state of union: and it is the Beloved’s knowledge of the paradoxical truth that makes separation and distance His most precious gift, reserved for the elect alone. (…)
He (Iblis) said, ”For so many thousands of years I was a dilligent worsipper in the alley of the Beloved. When He finally accepted me, rejection became my portion from Him… When He bestowed His mercy upon me, He cursed me: ”For upon you is My curse, until the Day of Judgement.”
Ahmad al-Ghazali relates that, in recognition of this extraordinary achievement which was won only after ages of strenous ascetical training, Iblis was granted the title of Lord of the Separated Ones. This title attests to all creatures that Iblis has been especially chosen by the Beloved to be the recipient of His choicest gift, His curse, which Iblis will cherish for all eternity.
— Satan’s Tragedy, p. 143-145
He is the first, and the last;
the manifest, and the hidden:
And He knoweth all things.
Melek Taus, ”The Peacock Angel” (in Arabic script ملك طاووس), is the Yazidis’ name for the central figure of their faith.
The Yazidis consider Melek Taus to be a benevolent angel who has redeemed himself from his fall, and has become a demiurge who created the cosmos from the Cosmic Egg. After he repented, he cried for 7,000 years, his tears filling seven jars, which then quenched the fires of hell. [Wiki]
* * *
Lucifer plays a different role in Yezidism, where he is considered the chief Archangel, and the creator of the material world. In Yezidi belief, Lucifer is not a fallen angel, nor Satan, nor the enemy of God. In Yezidi cosmology, the Universal Spirit (the Supreme, unknowable deity) created a pearl, which became shattered after a period of forty thousand years. Melek, or Lucifer, used the remains of the pearl to create the material world. After this creation, the Spirit created the remaining Angels. Yezidi theology claims that Lucifer was forgiven for his transgressions, and those who revere him are the spiritual elect of humanity. They are forbidden from referring to him as Satan.
The Yezidi believe that time is divided into six Epochs, and each Epoch has an Avatar, or Archangel. During the first Epoch, the material world and humankind were created. The Yezidi story of the creation of man follows the Judeo-Christian Adam and Eve, except that Malek is portrayed as a wise teacher rather than a temptor. [alt.religion]
* * *
The Yezidis maintain that Tawsi Melek is manifest in all religions, although not always in the form of a peacock. It is because of this that the various manifestations of Tawsi Melek are not grouped together as being his various masks. The following are just a few of the various manifestations of Tawsi Melek in religions worldwide:
- Murugan/Skanda/Sanat Kumara of the Hindus
- Al-Khadir, the “Green Man,” of the Moslems
- King Melchizedek of the Jews
- St. George of the Knights Templar
- Enki of the Sumerians
- Dionysus of the Greeks
- Osiris of the Egyptians
- Quetzlcoatl of the Mexicans
- Masaw of the Hopi Indians
- The Planetary Logos of Theosophy
O noble fellow, this is wisdom, that whatever is, was, and may be, may not and could not be otherwise. Whiteness could never exist without blackness; the heavens without earth would not be right; substance could not be conceived without accident; Muhammad could never exist without Iblis. Obedience could not exist without disobedience, nor unbelief without faith. And in the same way with all opposites: ‘Things manifest themselves through their opposites.’
Unbelief and faith are two veils beyond the throne between God and the servant, because man must be neither unbeliever nor Muslim.
– Ain al-Qudat, cit. s. 140-141
Ain al-Qudat pinpoints the tension of cosmic opposites within the Muslim profession of faith itself, the la ilah illa ‘llah (There is no god but God!) The realm of la ilah (There is no god) is the realm of falsehood and negation, the realm of all that seduces the soul of the mystic away from God. Truth and security are discovered only within the circle of illa ‘llah (but God!), after la ilah has been traversed and left behind once and for all.
La is the circle of negation. One must place his first step within this circle, but he should not stop here nor dwell here. For if the traveller halts at this station or finds tranquility here, he becomes an associationist, a wearer of the zunnar. O what a tale there is about la ilah! You find that ever hundred thousand travelling seekers of illa ‘llah have set foot in the circle of the la of negation, in their ardent desire for the jewel of illa ‘llah. But if they take as their goal the inferior desert of God, the guardian of the Divine Presence of illa ‘llah confounds and perplexes them.
Who is this guardian and chamberlain of the Divine Presence of illa ‘llah? None other than Iblis. He has earned this position of honor because of his unfailing obedience to God and his jealous protection of the experience of intimacy with the Beloved. In addition, he is, as Ain al-Qudat describes, the best qualified and most adept at testing mankind in order to separate those truly worthy of access to the Divine Presence from those whose dedication and fidelity are but superficial and easily snatched away. These latter souls find themselves trapped within the circle of la where they continue to worship their nafs and carnal desires rather than God.
Without Iblis’ permission, therefore, no one can attain to God. Moreover God has definite need for Iblis in this role of doorkeeper, for, if the king has no chamberlain, everyone, indiscriminately, would have access to the royal presence regardless of individual merit… By distinguishing between the pretenders and the sincere, Iblis is performing the essential function of preserving the Divine Presence from desecrection while at the same time acting as a principal agent in the unfolding of God’s plan for mankind.
Whereas the light of Muhammad is the blinding brightness of the sun of Truth and the pure light of gnosis which springs from the eternal East, Iblis is the black light of the moon which springs from the eternal West. The image of black light is also closely entwined with Iblis role as chamberlain of the Divine Presence; The Divine Presence is the actual source of Divine Light, and it can only be attained by passing through its opposite, the black light of Iblis.
– Satan’s Tragedy, s. 134-136
”[B]oth on earth and in the heavens, I am the expert of experts, teacher of teachers, a miracle of the power of God, witness in the presence of Wisdom. Who in the Divine Presence is closer than I? Who in reputation is more famous than I? I am honored that He remembered me, even if He cursed me. I am proud that He looked on me, even if He drove me away. In my gnosis He disavowed me; in my bewilderment about Him, He confused me more. For my fervor, He transformed me; for my service to Him, He deserted me; for my companionship with Him, He made me a pariah; for my attentiveness towards Him, He cut me off. I used to mingle with the faithful ones, but He isolated me. And now I devote my time to Him and I heal my state with Him. For I used to serve Him for my own prosperity, but prosperity has clearly fallen away. And if I have fallen from the eye of His favor, I have dropped into the eye of His essence. [—] O Moses, I know no other than Him, no one at all. I remember no other than Hium, ever, even if He should torment me with eternal fire! [—] He forsook my record book, but He did not forsake my name; He abandoned my worth, but He did not abandon my memory. His grace is always upon me, and His charity directed towards me, even if He is angry at me…”
— ‘Izz Ad-Din Abd as-Salam Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ghanim al-Maqdisi, cit. Satan’s Tragedy, p. 103-104
In their assimilation into Sufi lore of the cosmic confronation between Iblis and Adam, the mystics focus on one particular facet of the mythic event, Iblis’ cry: ”Ana khayrun minhu!” (”I am better than he!”). This sentence, especially the first word ”I” (ana), is the classic Sufi symbol for pride in its most extreme form. The sin of pride, as exemplified in the mythic history of Iblis, is, for the Sufis, a stance totally contrary to that of the followers of the mystic Path. Whereas mysticism culminates in the intoxication of union with God, arrogant pride leads to the intoxication of the intellect, with its resultant drunken assertions of independent self-existance and self-worth. The source of this craving for blind self-assertion is the Iblis-nafs [ego]: ”The name of your enemy Iblis begins with an alif,” explains An-Niffari, ”and the name of your enemy the nafs begins with a nun.” Alif and nun together form the letter of the word ana, ”I”.
For most Sufis, the proclamation of ”I” is a satanic impulse, derived from and modeled after Iblis’ own assertion. Only God has the right to say ”I”, for He is the only truly self-subsistent being. Consequently the saints must be on their guard, watching one another, lest any of their number should succumb to this temptation during false ecstacy. ”For anyone who says ‘I’,” al-Kharraz teaches, ”is veiled from gnosis, and anyone who says to his Lord, ‘You,’ in a spirit of needful dependence, his heart will be opened to gnosis.”
The ”I” of Iblis becomes a hanging tree from which he is suspended for eternity, and those who imitate his words become the fruit of that same tree.
— Peter J Awn, Satan’s Tragedy & Redepmtion : Iblis in Sufi Psychology, s. 92-93
The secret truth that haunts Iblis’ mind.”
When Moses met Iblis that same day
He asked for his advice and heard him say:
”Remember this, repeat it constantly,
Don’t speak of ‘me’, or you will be like me.”
If life still holds you by a single hair,
The end of all your toil will be despair,
No matter how you prosper, there will rise
Before your face a hundred smirking ”I”s.
And so the angels passed by [Adam]. When they looked upon him they were terrified. Of all of them Iblis was the most frightened. Iblis kept walking around him and striking him. The body made sounds like a clay pot. And Iblis said: ”You were created for some reason or other.” He struck him with his hand. He seemed hollow! Iblis entered him through the mouth and exited by his rear. He said to his comrades, the angels who were with him, ”This is a hollow creature. It is neither strong nor firmly connected.” Then Iblis said to them, ”Did you notice that He gave preference to this over you? So what are you going to do about it?” They answered, ”We will obey our Lord.” Iblis said to himself, ”By God, truly if He has given preference to this thing over me, I surely will defy Him. And if I am set above him, then I will destroy him.”
— Ath-Tha’labi, cit. Satan’s Tragedy, s. 34
Kan varmt rekommendera Freddy Silvas dokumentär Stairways to Heaven – The Practical Magic of Sacred Space. Det är nog den bästa dokumentären om crop circles, andlig geometri och -arkitektur (hednisk, egyptisk, gotisk) och angränsande ämnen som jag sett på länge.
A Pre-Historic Nuclear War? Reflections on Worlds Before Our Own
Traveler IQ Challenge
10 ugly fishes
Ancient trees found using 200 year old maps
Japan’s Top Government Spokesman: UFOs ‘Definitely’ Exist (lite fundersam över ”foxnews”, dock.)
What Your Brain Looks Like on Faith
The History of our reptilian masters – Zeitgeist deleted scene
George Bush Sr. with reptilian eyes : )
Mystery Space Machines Above (dethär kan jag inte bedöma)
Blood Types & Peoples (vad innebär sånthär?)
nån som hakar på?
..and i iz leik..
har kommit på ett sätt att kunna svälja hur mycket doom somhelst, utan baksmälla! : ) ha!
samtidigt som man läser om undergång lyssnar man på… BOSSA! och SAMBA! : D
lallallalala.. bem bom, mi amore! lalla-la–la-lalla-llal.. k-tjing! : )
och smuttar doom-shiskey, natürlich .. : )