Monday, February 1, 2010
Archetypal Process II: The Sun – CREDO XCVIII
As the Sun shines upon my heart, so may my heart shine upon others! – The Upanishads
One Sunday in 1945 I was sitting on the fire escape outside of my flat in Greenwich Village, and I had an epiphany. The Sun shines and it didn’t have to! What started existence in the first place??? What makes a YES! necessary before a “no!” can come to deny it. There has to be something to deny … This may sound crazy but it took my breath away. This then was the essence of that mystery word FIAT! This was also before I studied Astrology and eventually began to understand it as a symbolic language of archetypal processes.
With that in mind, stop and think about the Sun in the Solar System. 1) It is the only star; 2) it actively gives out light, heat, and life; 3) the circumambulating planets are receptive and reflect that one light in different ways; 4) its astrological glyph is a circle with a dot in the middle; this glyph you find is also used for gold, which never tarnishes (aha!); 5) it is associated with the greatest value; 6) in the body, it rules the heart and when the heart stops, we leave that body for a return to a greater life; 7) it rules the spine and the right eye in men, the left in women; 8) in mathematics it rules One which is in every number and 12 as in the Zodiac, the Constellations, the Tribes of Israel, the disciples of Christ. (For many more, see my The Web in the Sea); 9) in geometry, it rules the point and the circle; the sphere and the dodecahedron. It is hidden in every atom as energy!
1) In alchemy it is the goal of transformation of lead (Saturn) to gold but non aurae vulgaris, not “ordinary” gold. Think Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice! 2) In the Rosarium at the end is the picture of the Sun looking to the right as if acknowledging a greater invisible Source. 3) In Jungian psychology, it represents the goal of individuation which I, personally, see as the “Divine Guest” that lights every wick of the individual Self. The flames of that “fire” are all the same flame! 4) In myths and fairy tales it rules kings, royalty, solar heroes (think Joseph Campbell) avatars, Leo as lion king, fathers, emperors, figures of power and authority, chiefs, and, collectively, monarchies and governments, CEOs. A common mythical theme is the country ruled by an usurping King (ego) and the country is in bad shape!
Given the fact that if the Sun were to go out, it would take only 8 minutes for us to find out(!), it is not unreasonable for people to have been Sun worshippers for it is a visible testimony to the source of our being. The Roman Sol Invictus is an example.
Nowhere is the current split between science and religion more evident than in the scientific, astronomical attitude towards this heavenly center! By science’s self-limiting definition, it cannot allow itself to speak of the word Love! And yet on another level that is the mystical truth our Sun gives proof of.
God is making love in your heartbeat twenty-four hours a day! as Dadaji pointed out. For anyone questioning the existence of God, keep in mind that the best we can do is what Jung spoke of as the imago Dei or our personal image, which varies according to our current experience. For me, as I expressed in my very first CREDO, the only way I can approach the matter is I feel it as a “vast certainty.” “The Tao that can be defined is not the Tao.”
That there are many different kinds of Love is obvious: Eros – physical; philia – brotherly; agape – transpersonal.
The Hindus take it for granted that there are different ways we approach the matter of relating to God: 1) as father to son; 2) son to father; 3) friend to friend; 4) mother to child; 5) Beloved to Beloved!
All the archetypal processes have negative aspects in common: weakness, excess, or Shadow. In the case of the sun in its symbolic role in human nature (notice lower case!) in the chart or psychological expression, weakness denotes an obscuring of the light, as in a dirty glass lantern; the result is cowardice, Mr. Milquetoast, lack of self-confidence. Excess on the other hand, results in a bombastic nature, a Know-it-all, a show-off or a tyrant. Hidden in all three is hubris, pride, the conviction that “I am the doer.” The Shadow is pride; Satan is a fallen Angel.
I have written the true story of the thirteen-year-old boy who, influenced by his religious studies at school, came home determined to be a saint. He gave up his bed, slept on a mat, became a vegetarian, got a summer job requiring long bike rides in the heat. He was obedient to his father, helpful to his mother, and patient with his pesky sisters. About a week later, his mother got up in the night to go to the bathroom, passed his door, and heard sobbing. She knocked, entered, and found him pounding the floor and crying, “It’s not FAIR! It’s not FAIR!” He explained further, “I’ve tried to be good and now I’ve fallen into the greatest sin of all! I think I’m better than other people!!!” The mother tried to comfort him, but when she returned to bed she was puzzled as to how to help him. She prayed for an answer, and, in a way, her reading Jung might have helped.
The next morning, she had to change the empty paper towel rack. As she took out the cardboard tube, the light shone through it. She had the answer! She stuffed one end with a tissue and told her son to look through it. “Duh!” said the boy. Then she whipped out the tissue and told him to look again, “Duh!” Then she explained, “The light comes through the tube not out of it!” I may have told how this helped me myself when dealing with applause, at lectures – you just send it back up the tube to your inner Sun, the Divine Guest.
I may have told this story before, but it later entailed a synchronicity. A group of friends that have met monthly at our home for over twenty years for discussions wanted to give me a birthday surprise. Each came with a written tribute and began reading them, After about four, I grinned and told them the story above. As I was telling it, my daughter Beth walked in with an empty paper-towel tube and threw it on the burning fire!!! She is unable to attend because she has to go early to her job, so her appearance alone was a surprise. Believe me, I now keep such a tube in my study as a teaching prop to this day!
So as each of us has an individual centerpoint or wick of Self, the flame of the inner Sun is the Divine Guest who is waiting to be recognized consciously as bringing Love as well as Life to your heart!
Posted by IonaDove