Om Swami in his book, The Ancient Science of Mantras: The Wisdom of the Sages,  mentions that Ramesh doesn’t believe that the writings are the ‘fictions of men of old’ rather they are describing a more primal history. I don’t either, which inspired me to share the following which I hope you find helpful and applies to idols as well – Windows to Eternity: the power of the icon showing God does take form.

In the Divine Guidance, I covered a sweeping description of ‘my journey’.  On that journey I wanted to discover the truth for myself, absolutely fed up with a worldly interpretation of scripture, I went to learn Hebrew at the local synagogue, taught myself Greek.   I already had a Dip HE in Psychological and Social Studies, which covered philosophy and the History of Ideas, a Dip Hypnotherapy, so I went to do a BA (Hons) Divinity, which is validated by the Pontifical University of Maynooth.  I did not take second hand what anyone was saying, I did my own research, and went to the sources themselves, what is left of them, but I felt also an invisible guidance. 

So, I share some findings from my research in 2006 which show that God does take form.

Note:  The use of the word ‘gay’ is used in the old source I am quoting, hence the reason for leaving it, and meant something totally different than today’s use of it.

                               Windows to Eternity

It struck me how universal religious ‘Icons’ are when one realizes that they are showing ultimate reality, the true primordial untainted nature of man.  If you took away the outline of the Mother of Christ, then you are left with the primordial luminosity. The image of the Virgin Mother on such a background shows the personification of wisdom through the human Mother of Jesus which is shown in two ways, her giving birth to the eternal word the logos, which if we study in-depth, also means the wisdom of God, which was the Incarnation of Jesus showing wisdom personified upon earth, but also, she herself with her whole ascent of mind, body and soul to God, from Luke 1:38 carried out the will of God.

The Old Testament states that no one wanted to know wisdom; ‘she’ could find no home.  It is like the Jewish parable of the Gay Clothes found in the Jewish Folklore book, called Truth in Gay Clothes. No one wanted to entertain the true naked primordial nature.  For it to be recognized it had to be dressed up in gay clothes.

The Preacher of Dubno, Jacob Krantz, was once asked why the parable has such persuasive power over people.  The Preacher replied that he would explain with a parable.[1]  The parable explained that when truth was in all of its nakedness no one would recognise it, they only wanted to follow it when it was dressed up in gay clothes and a bit artificial.  However, because people are unable to penetrate the clothes, they become caught up in the outer appearance and do not recognise the inner, battling against one another as to who has the best clothes.

God has always dressed it up in the form of his sons/daughters whom he sends to earth and God dressed it up in his son Jesus Christ just so that it could be recognised, so that mankind had a bridge between them and God, a way leading them to God the Father.  God’s love and compassion were shown in the form of his son.  The Eastern people recognised their masters as having been clothed in the same way, out of compassion to lead mankind to his true home and true city.

Jesus of course was always going on about ‘this city’ and the ‘way to this city’.

The Kath Upanishad where death is speaking to Nachiketas, states that there is a path of wisdom and a path of ignorance.  These two are wide apart from one another and lead to different ends.  Those that follow the path of ignorance think themselves wise and learned going aimlessly around and are like the blind leading the blind, and that which is found beyond this life does not shine for those deluded by wealth or are careless. [2]

These same two ways can be found in the writings of Hesiod’s Works and Days (II.286-292), when he is speaking to Perses.  That the road to shoal can be found easily and shoal is very near to us, but between us and the goodness of the gods, there is a long steep path that can only be reached with great effort.  This long steep path seems rough to commence, but when a man has climbed to the top then she is within easy reach.

If we now compare this with the saying in the Gospel of Matthew about Jesus saying to enter the narrow gate which only few are able to find, because the way that leads to destruction is a wide path which the majority take.

We can see the similarity of the above three quotes, that in fact the Gospel is alluding to a much older quote which is not an original saying of Jesus, but one evidently that the followers of Jesus accepted.

We can see that Hesiod talks about Ens the only child of the night who produced children, toil, neglect, famine, pain, battles, conflicts, bloodshed, slaughter, quarrels, lies, pretences, disputes, lawlessness, oath and delusions (ate…) sleep, dreams, blame, misery, fate, retribution, deceit, old age, strife.

Later it would seem that St. Peter of Damaskos, Vol: III Philokalia, lists these as passions that are produced from the wrong vine, in a comprehensive list and he does the same for the virtues which he says are produced from the True Vine.

However, one could argue that Hesiod is talking about the influences of planetary forces upon us which influence us, which seems to have been assimilated into the Christian message but without the essence of the teaching behind the causes of the wrong vine. The play of negative and positive forces, that all true teachers have told their pupils not to stray to the left or the right but stay between.

However, in the list of negative and positive qualities from the list by St. Peter of Damaskos, they are intertwined with references as to Jesus as the only way, as I have come to learn that many writings have been added to, to ‘Christianize them’.  It is enough to show the similarity at this point.

One could say that what lies ‘beyond’ the apparent image of the Virgin does not shine out for the ignorant, yet to a Master from the East looking at the Icon of the Virgin Hodegentina of Smolensk he would also see the colour Lapis Lazuli on the left arm as speaking to him of the blue luminosity of Heaven, and the red as things pertaining to the Earth.  In Sri Vidya (ultimate reality), the blue and red would be represented by Shakti and Shiva, the union of heaven and earth and Gold, Divinity, the uncreated light.  So straight away regardless of the image on the Icon, they would see the background of colours as representing the celestial mansion of God.

This reminds one of what is written in the Apocalypse of John in Rev. 21 on the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is personified by the Jews as a ‘she’.  Verse 22, no temple could be seen in the city, which was not lit by the physical sun or moon, but instead was self-luminous from the radiant glory of God of which the Lamb was a reflective light likened to a torch:  Just as Jesus is said to be saying in the gospel of John that his disciples were content to bask in the ‘light’ from John for a while.  Jesus according to the writer of the gospel of Matthew is asking us to be lamps lit up on a hill so that one can lead others to this ‘city of self-radiating, self-illuminating light’.

The ancient Jewish festival was lit inside by torchbearers on the Great Day of Feast of Tabernacles so that the whole Temple was illuminated by light.  Paul is stating that our body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, and if we become unified to the Father as Jesus was, and prays in the Gospel of John, that they may be one as he is one with the Father, then their body which is a Temple will also become full of the radiant light of the glory of God, and they too will also become ‘wisdom’ personified upon earth showing the way to this radiant, luminous city.

Paul is asking for his followers to imitate him as he imitated Christ.  This is what any true follower of Christ is doing; imitating Christ and eventually they will become Christ like showing the way of Christ.

This also is like any true spiritual master, showing the radiant glory of God, they are showing the way of their teacher before them.

It is interesting that the book of Genesis begins creation with the eternal light.  The Hebrew gives a clearer understanding of this which interprets ‘let he the spirit be light’.  Hebrew uses masculine and feminine.  The light is masculine.  This masculine is also pertaining to heaven, where the earth is portrayed as a ‘she’, which makes it clearer when God states he separated between the light and the darkness, between the spirit and the earth, between the masculine and the feminine.  The light he calls day, and the darkness he called night.

So, the Earth is feminine, darkness, empty, formless, and evening.

The Spirit is light, goodness, day and morning.  Jesus is referred to as the bright and morning day star.

This light, where we have, day and night, light and darkness is before day four, when the sun and moon were created to separate between the day and night, for signs and seasons, days and years.

The book of Revelations 22:5, ends with this same light of the spirit. The eternal light which shines without the sun and moon. The book of Job states that the heavens are luminous.

The Icon is presenting eternally valid Holy Truths.  

Part two to follow

Footnotes

[1]AUSUBEL, NATHAN, A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, New York, Crown Publishers Inc., 1989, Parable of Gay Clothes.
[2] RINPOCHE, SOGYAL, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, London, Rider Books, 1992, Chapter Nine, The Spiritual Path. 

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