dragon, st. George

Dragon Slayers and Holy Men

“I will declare the manly deeds of Indra, the first that he achieved, the Thunder-wielder. He slew the dragon, then disclosed the waters, and cleft the channels of the mountain torrents. He slew the dragon lying on the mountain: his heavenly bolt of thunder Tvastar fashioned. … Maghavan grasped the thunder for his weapons, and smote to death the firstborn of the dragons. When, Indra, thou hadst slain the dragon’s firstborn, and overcome the charms of the enchanters, then giving life to Sun and Dawn and heaven, thou foundest not one foe to stand against thee.” ~The Rig Veda, Hymn XXXII

The Dragon Slayers

The slaying of Dragons by holy men is a common myth in religious and spiritual writings. The illustration used with this post is of a Christian variation: St. George slaying a dragon. I think the tale of St. Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland is probably a variation on this as well. Tales of the Eqyptian sun god Ra and the Greek sun god Apollo include tales of them slaying dragons. Norse legends also include tales of dragon slayers, who are usually gods, holy men, or great heroes.

The Dragon

These stories seem like foolish fairy tales to those who don’t understand allegory, myth, and metaphor. They say there was never such a thing as a dragon, but they are wrong. Dragons were—and are—very real, but they are not physical animals. The dragon is symbolic, and the fact that it is gods and holy men who often kill them or chase them away should tell you something about their nature. They are symbols of devils, or fallen angels, or their direct offspring. I liked this version I found in the Rig Veda, one of the oldest, because it contains additional symbology and allegory that tells a wonderful tale.

The Symbols

In addition to the dragon itself, we see the symbol of thunder. It is clear, however, that what is really meant in lightning, since there are no bolts of thunder. So if we thing of the attributes of lightning, we get some idea of what it means here. A lightning bolt is a thing or great power, great energy, and very bright light. The dragon is killed on a mountain. A mountain is often a symbol of power, especially higher powers.

Not only is the dragon killed, but so is its firstborn. The firstborn of Lucifer is Satan. But Lucifer and Satan were not truly slain, so what is really meant is that they were overcome, defeated.

Then we get the final sentence with the most important symbols of all. Here, we are told that once the dragon is killed (overcome), we can experience the living light of the sun and the Dawn from Heaven.

Now lets put it all together.

The Tale Retold

So what this is all saying is that the holy men, or sometimes gods, gain their status by overcoming the dark demons that plague them (dragons). As always, darkness is overcome with the Light (lightning), but not just any light. The light of a campfire or candle just won’t do. Even the light of physical sun is no match for the Powers of Darkness, and in fact supports and sustains them. It is the power and Light of the Spiritual Sun that the holy person takes in to chase away the darkness and the demons that dwell there. When Jesus defeated Satan in a debate of logic, that too was a form of defeating the dragon, or specifically, defeating the firstborn of the dragon. And the promise of all these tales is that when we take in the spiritual Light of the spiritual sun in sufficient number, and turn away from the darkness of materialism, we will bring about the New Age of Enlightenment, the New Golden Age, where we will live in peace and harmony, no dragons allowed.

DragonsNo

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Demon or Angel

Demons, Devils, and Angels

“For you must know, that as soon as the divine Light went out in the Devils, they lost their beauteous form and image, and became like serpents, dragons, worms, and evil beasts; as may be seen by Adam’s Serpent; and thus it is also with the damned souls. … Behold, O Child of Man! All the Angels were created in the first principle, and by an outflowing of Spirit were formed, and made a body in a true angelic and spiritual manner,… and their food is the divine Power, … the Will of the Holy Trinity in the Deity;” ~Jacob Boehme

I wonder if this is where Cassandra Clare got the idea for the forms of demons in the Shadowhunter books? In any case, I was surprised to read this and I’m not sure if Boehme intended to say that demons literally look like serpents or dragons, or if he was speaking symbolically. In any case, lets look at this description of angels and demons and how they relate to common myths and legends.

Devils And Demons
Demon

Demons as Beasts

Boehme says that when the Light of God, the Divine Spiritual light, leaves the fallen angels, they lose their beautiful forms and become like ugly beasts: worms, snakes, demons, and so on. It makes perfect sense that they would lose their beauty, especially the ethereal beauty of spiritual beings that is something beyond simple physical beauty, but do they really look like beasts? I suspect that they might look like such to an advanced spiritual student, but not to the average person. The evidence seems to indicate that demons and devils can appear very pleasant and attractive when it suits them to do so. By doing this, they have tricked people into believing they were angels, Beings of Lights, or even God Himself. We all need to develop our spiritual faculties so that we are not so easily fooled. Continue reading “Demons, Devils, and Angels”

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Materialistic dropsy, Troubled Soul

Swim the River, or Drown in Materialism

Swimming the River of Life

“Men who are forced by need or circumstances to swim across a great river emerge safely if they are sober and watchful; and even if there are violent currents and they are briefly submerges, they save themselves by grasping the vegetation that grows on the bans. But if they happen to be drunk, then however well trained they may be as swimmers they are overcome by the wine; the current sucks them under and they lose their life. In the same way the soul, finding herself dragged down by the currents of worldly distractions, needs to regain sobriety, awakening from sinful materiality. … If drunken with ignorance, indifferent to her true self, not understanding what she is, she lets herself be dragged down by sensual pleasures, she perishes and loses her salvation.” ~The Philokalia

This is a great analogy I had not thought of before. If you had three people trying to swim across a wide river; one who had much training and experience is swimming, one who had moderate experience, and one who couldn’t swim at all, the one likely to make it across is the one who is the strong swimmer. But if the strong swimmer is drunk, he many actually drown before the moderate swimmer who may actually make it across. Obviously, the person who can’t swim is almost certain to drown. Now lets look at this three and the spiritual personalities they represent.

The man who cannot swim at all represents those who have never awakened the soul and have no spiritual training at all. The atheist is certainly in this group, as are many agnostics. Also in this group, however, are those who think they are saved merely because they attend services at some church on occasion. Those who think they are saved merely by declaring that they believe in Jesus are also in this group. You don’t lose weight by reading a diet book and you don’t get big muscles by joining a fitness center or gym. You have to actually follow the diet and use the facilities at the gym to get results. When this person is challenged by demons or devils, he will be easily tricked, easily drowned. When she is surrounded by the strong currents of materialism, she will almost certainly be swept away.

The man who has learned to swim, but is not yet an expert swimmer, is like the spiritual student who has learned some, has possibly awakened his soul, but still has much to learn. Nonetheless, this person has a good chance of being able to swim across the river and not drown or be carried off by the currents , meaning he wont get trapped by materialism or be easily caught by the tricks of Satan and his minions. If thrown into a river that is too wide, he may drown, but he may also survive. And he may be thrown a lifesaver in the form of aid from those at a higher level of spiritual development.

The man who is the good swimmer is the one who has fully awakened his soul and studies his spiritual lessons. He doesn’t just simply declare himself spiritual, but works hard at it. He is the one best equipped to swim safely across the river of materialism, lies, and demonic “currents”. But even these people can occasionally fall and be like the drunk in the quote. Drunkenness in this case meaning he has fallen for a trick of a demon or devil: he has been made to doubt the truth, or has been made to believe lies. While he is drunk, he would probably drown if thrown in the river, and that is exactly what the demons want. This is why the spiritual student, even the more advanced ones, must always be on the guard for such attacks of “drunkenness” and make an effort to sober us as quickly as possible.

The quote indicate that the soul itself can be harmed, and eventually killed, by falling in the river of materialism. This is not exactly true, though it may be easy for the beginner to see it that way. The soul cannot die, never, ever, no way! But from your point of view, it can become dead to you. When you do something totally evil such as murder your soul may leave your body and return to spiritual realms without you. It is not yours anymore and might as well be dead from your point of view. Also, if you die while trapped in materialism, and you have never awakened your soul while you had the chance, you will not be given a chance to do so after your body is dead. Again the soul will separate from your dead body and go to heaven without you.

So learn to swim (awaken the soul), practice your swimming regularly (spiritual growth techniques), and avoid getting drunk (caught up in material pursuits). Such is the path of the truly spiritual person.

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Away, Hideous One!

“Away from my eyes, O Hideous One. Slink back into the dark shadows about the black sunless abode, where dwell the self-distorted souls of the Fearsomely Formed Ones. Back to your murky haven of compatibility. Away, out of sight, for your repulsiveness brings back into my heart the thoughts of evils and temptations I have encountered and overcome, … Away, back to your own kind. … Back to the place with which you have pitiful affinity, back to your own dark, compatible companions.
“The Guardians of the Hidden Gates repel you lest you befoul the pathways of the Glorious Ones, who once struggled to find beauty and cleanliness. The light of this place is ever spreading, and soon a Glorious One may walk where you now slink in the gloom. … O Fallen One, who once walked Earth so proudly in self-esteem, selfishness and arrogance, go back; … O Wriggler in the Slime, back from the purifying flame, what can it avail you now? … O Squirming One, turned back are you. …” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SCL 7:14)

devil1JOr, As Jesus put it more simply, “Get thee behind me, Satan”. The speaker, whoever he is in this chapter of the Kolbrin Bible, is clearly talking to a devil or demon, a fallen one. His opinion of such creatures is not kind, to say the least. Hideous, dark, slimy, squirming and other similar epithets are used to describe this being. The speaker is clearly no friend of the dark dudes and wants him to leave ASAP.

Why he wants so much for this dark being to leave him alone is found in the statement, “your repulsiveness brings back into my heart the thoughts of evils and temptation I have encountered and overcome.” So he is concerned that this demon will use his tricks to get him to give in to temptations and do evil deeds, so he wants him to leave. Of course, it is easier to avoid temptation if you can send the tempter away, but they probably won’t listen when you tell them to leave, so you really need to develop the strength to just say “No”. Continue reading “Away, Hideous One!”

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