Thursday, January 18, 2018

Plutarch in the Light of the Moon

For Plutarch (c 50-120 AD), the realm of the Moon assumes huge importance as the residence or way station for some (though by no means all) spirits of the departed, and the base for a variety of daimons (many of them formerly humans) who take a close interest in Earth affairs.
Plutarch knew what he was talking about. He was not only a marvelous historian and philosopher, but a Mystery initiate, who spent his last thirty years as a priest at Delphi, communing with the gods and traveling between the worlds. He traveled in Egypt and wrote a treatise on Isis and Osiris that has a continuing influence on our understanding of ancient Egyptian religion.
He knew the importance of dreams. He wrote in his essay "Amatorius" that “Since [the soul’s] arrival in the world, it is by means of dreams that it joyfully greets and gazes upon that which is most beautiful and most divine.”
In hies essay "On the Divine Vengeance" Plutarch describes a journey to a locale in the sphere of Luna where three daimons sitting together in the shape of a triangle are mixing dreams in a cosmic krater (or mixing-bowl). Different streams flow into it, one “whiter than sea foam” another “the violet of the rainbow”. The lighter and whiter the dream that is mixed up, the more true it will be. “This is the source from which dreams derive.”
The source of this account is an ancient NDE. A dissolute man of Soli who is told by an oracle that he will do much better when he dies. Soon after he falls from a height and is believed to be dead until he revives at his burial place three days later
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Plutarch explains how after death spirits that are able to rise beyond the lower astral plane may enjoy a pleasurable afterlife in the realm of the Moon. They may live on there for a great length of Earth time, or graduate to existence on a higher plane, leaving their astral bodies behind. Or they may become Moon-based daimons, closely engaged with human affairs, playing far-from-infallible guides to people in the physical world.
In a most remarkable tract titled" Concerning the Face that Appears in the Orb of the Moon" Plutarch gives a comprehensive account of the role of the Moon in relation to the soul history of humans. The Moon is here described as the portal through which spirits travel on their way to birth on Earth, and to which they ascend, if they pass certain tests, after physical death. Some of these spirits of the departed may be promoted to the status of daimons, with permission to interact with the living.
"Not forever do the spirits tarry upon the moon; they descend to take charge of oracles; they attend and participate in the highest of mystic rituals; they act as warders against misdeeds and chastisers of them, and they flash forth as saviors manifest in war and on the sea." [1]
These spirits of the Moon, far from omniscient or infallible, are on probation.If they act unfairly, giving in to wrath or envy, they are cast out and again confined in human bodies on earth.
Plutarch shakes up our mythic geography when he tells us that Earth is the realm of Demeter, the Moon of Persephone, and everything between Earth and Moon is the realm of Hades. Entry by the departed into the realm of Luna requires the ability to travel beyond the temptations, fears and distractions of the lower astral (Hades) and go through a clean-up, effected by “scrubbers” (maybe resembling scarab beetles).
In summary, this ancient shaman-philosopher confirms that It is in the realm of Luna that spirits take on and take off the astral body before birth and after death. And that the Moon, as an astral realm, is the base for a large population of daimons (many formerly human) who have a close engagement with human affairs.
[1] Plutarch, De facie quae in orbe lunae apparet [“Concerning the Face which appears in the Orb of the Moon”] in Moralia XII trans Harold Cherniss and William Helmbold
Image: Detail of the Moon from Donato Creti, "Astronomical Observations" (1711) in the Vatican Museum

1 comment:

SarahMay99 said...

The information in this post gives more pieces to a puzzle that I have been working on in my mind ever since having a dream in late January 2018 in which one of my dream characters mentioned the name Johannes Kepler. I knew that I had heard this name before in life but I couldn't remember who he was at all, so much that I thought maybe I had the name wrong. Google let me know that I indeed had the name right and I was surprised by synchronicity from what I learned about him. I discovered that he wrote the novel "Somnium" which was a synchronicity because I had heard this Latin word just days before while listening to an interview with the female race car driver Danica Patrick on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Danica shared in this interview that she bought a vineyard and now makes a wine she named "Somnium" which means "dream" in Latin. When I heard her say the word "Somnium" it felt like I was hearing it for the first time though I may have heard it before. The word really struck me since I have recently returned to reading more of Robert's books and taking a closer look at my dreams. Also, Latin seems very mystical in my eyes. At this time I was also feeling the magic and mystery of the soon to be seen rare event that was the Super Blue Blood Moon of 2018. Unfortunately, I did not get to have a good look at it from where I live in South Dakota though I still felt its power. After learning that Johannes Kepler wrote the novel "Somnium" I felt there was more to discover about what he really knew and was trying to convey in this story. Kepler seems to have been mystical as Plutarch was and apparently, his mom was considered a witch. From what I read via Google, "Somnium" truly is a story based on a dream in which knowledge about the moon is given by a daimon and it also presents a detailed description of how Earth might look from the Moon. This is so fascinating. I also read on Wikipedia that this novel has been seen as the first work of science fiction by some, like Carl Sagan. I have a feeling that you, Robert, are already aware of this novel. I searched your blog to see if you happened to write about it but have only found a post about Wolfgang Pauli with Johannes Kepler mentioned in it. Of course, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it someday if you write about it.