Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Cave of the Dreaming God

I am drawn, again and again, to a mythic version of how physical events are generated in a subtler reality that we could call the Dreamtime, or the matrix, or nonlocal mind. The account comes from Plutarch, the ancient Greek historian, biographer, philosopher, priest of Apollo and initiate of the Mysteries. He was a principal source for Shakespeare's plays and for many generations he was the main source of accessible information on the Egyptian religion of Isis and Osiris. He died at Delphi in 120. He continued after his death to inspire later members of his Mystery tradition through trans-temporal encounters; the philosopher Proclus described his conversations with Plutarch across - or rather, outside - the centuries.
     With Plutarch, we are going to take a look at what can be seen, with inner sight, in the face of the Moon. The source is Plutarch's extraordinary essay titled (in the bilingual Loeb edition) De facie quae in orbe lunae apparet, “Concerning the Face which appears in the Orb of the Moon”.
     Plutarch very cutely presents his narrative as a third-hand traveler’s tale, giving the reader the go-ahead to shrug it off as just another tall tale. In fact, beneath the veils, his narrative of a strange sea voyage is probably a very exact relation of what Plutarch himself, and the fellow-members of his Mystery school had learned through their personal travels across the astral sea. The voyage he describes, to the strange island of a sleeping god, is no more an ordinary sea journey than the voyage of Odysseus or those of Bran and other heroes in the Celtic immrama. 
     Plutarch claims that his source is third-hand, a “foreigner” (ksenos) who told a tale to a Carthaginian of a voyage to a western island, five days sail beyond Britain, where the deposed god Kronos lies captive and dreaming in a cave. Kronos sleeps confined in a deep cave of rock that shines like gold. His sleep was cast on him by Zeus, who toppled him from his place as the high god and now keeps him bound. He is fed by birds that fly in over the summit of the rock, dropping ambrosia. His island is suffused with delicious, sleep-inducing fragrance that streams from the rock as from a fountain
    The sleeping god is served by spirits [daimones] who were his comrades when he was king. They derive prophecies from his dreams. “The prophecies that are greatest they come down and report as dreams of Kronos”
    The dreams of Kronos become thoughts in the mind of Zeus. From the mind of Zeus, what was conceived in the dreams of the sleeping god becomes events in the worlds of gods and humans. Those intrigued by what quantum physics suggests about the nature of reality - for example, that the act of observation plucks an event into manifestation from a soup of possibilities - may here find a mythic model for understanding. The ancient philosopher, weaving myth, has given us a vivid account of a matrix, a formative reality which inspires thoughts that eventually generate physical events.
   Plutarch's supposed source, the “foreigner” traveled across a “congealed sea”.at the time when the star of Kronos (the Night Watchman) entered the sign of the Bull.
    Quite as interesting as the account of the dreaming god is the stranger's statement that “among the visible gods we should especially honor the Moon." The Moon is "sovereign over life and death" and borders on the realms of Hades.He proceeds to give an account of the transits of the soul, in the precinct of Luna.

Photo of Ryugu Sea Cave by Batholith via Wikipedia Commons.

No comments: