torches of Ceres

“Pluto, the lord of the underworld, represents the body intelligence of man; and the rape of Persephone is symbolic of the divine nature assaulted and defiles by the animal soul and dragged downward into the somber darkness of Hades, which is here uses as a synonym for the material, or objective, sphere of consciousness. …

“The Greater Mysteries (into which he candidate was admitted only after he had successfully passed through the ordeal of the Lesser, and not always then) was sacred to Ceres, the mother of Persephone, and represent her as wandering through the world in quest of her abducted daughter. Ceres carries two torches, intuition and reason, to aid in the search for her lost child (the soul).” ~Manly P. Hall

Rape of Persephone

Hall Says that Pluto (or Hades) represents the intellect of man. Some people will feel insulted by that statement. Nevertheless, it is true. It is not that the intellect of man is evil, but it is limited. While it is superior o the brain-minds of lesser animal, it is still animal and material in nature. The human brain-mind, or intellect, can understand the physical realm very well. It cannot, however, understand anything spiritual. It may think it can, but it always tries to reduce the spiritual to something similar to the material. It can accept the existence of angels, for example, but sees them as humans with bird wings on their backs, which is far from what they truly are.

I think it may be an exaggeration to say that the rape of Persephone represents “the divine nature assaulted and defiles by the animal soul and dragged downward into the somber darkness of Hades”. I think it would be better to say that it represents how man’s lower nature, his animal self, blocks and suppresses the spirit and soul. By doing so, it keeps us looked in the realm of matter, which is just one step above Hades, but it isn’t Hades. It also keeps us moving toward Hades (Hell), instead of turning in the other direction for salvation.

Hades and Materialism

Hades does represent a world of total matter and complete materialism. However, don’t believe that we are there already. We are in the third dimension here there is still spirit and still the ability to turn around and redeem ourselves. Once we fall into Hades, however, no such opportunities exist. Hell is pure matter, no spirit.

Ceres’ Torches

Hall tells us that Ceres carried two torches as she searched for Persephone. The torches represent reason and intuition. So to progress on the path of enlightenment and find the lost soul, one needs both reason and intuition. This is an important point to make.

Many spiritual students think that reason is completely worthless and should be ignored in favor of intuition. Others think that spiritual development is an intellectual thing, a thing of reason. Both are wrong. Reason needs to be used together with intuition in order to negotiate the material world, yet head toward the spiritual. And intuition must come from the spirit and soul. It is not a function of the reasoning brain-mind.

In our modern world, complete withdrawal from materialism is nearly impossible. The only way to do it is to become a monk or nun in a monastery. Even they may not be able to withdraw completely. So we have to continue to function in the physical world while awakening and developing our spiritual side. You don’t forget how to walk just because you’ve learned how to drive a car. Neither do you quit driving just because walking is good exercise. There are times to walk and times to drive. So don’t try to put out either of your torches. Like Ceres, use both to guide you to truth.


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