A Tale of Halloween Allegory
Malchor and Suzette huddled together in the corner of the small cave. As far as they knew, they were the only humans still alive. They huddled in fear more than for warmth. They were out of food and weapons. They had no more places to hide. The coming day would probably be their last.
Two years ago, they had been living a normal human existence. Malchor had been a teacher at a community college. Suzette was a social worker for the county. They didn’t know each other yet. Nor did they know the big changes that in store for them and everyone else. They went about their jobs and social lives with barely a concern. Or at least no significant concerns. They may have worried about their health care or a refrigerator that was sure to die soon, but little more than that. Malchor was putting money aside for his retirement. Suzette was thinking about doing the same. Both, by coincidence, were considering taking a Caribbean Cruise in a year or two. Then everything changes.
The zombies came first. No one knows what was causing it, but some people started to become flesh-eating zombies. Human flesh, specifically. Whether they were really the walking dead, or just seemed dead because their minds were shot is unknown. No one had the time, or for that matter, the inclination, to study them. The living were too busy fleeing from them or trying to kill them. But it seemed like each time someone successful destroyed a zombie, three more were born to take its place. It wasn’t long before the entire human race was operating in survival mode. So much for that Caribbean Cruise.
The zombies might have been defeated eventually if they were the only problem, but there was soon another. A few weeks after some people started turning into zombies, dragons started arriving. While few had witnessed one arrive and lived through it, the few who had shared an amazing tale that few could believe. They spoke of a bulge forming in the ground, getting bigger and bigger, until it burst open like a new volcano. But instead of lava, a dragon crawled out of the hole. These dragons were not the gargantuan beasts often seen in movies, but they were bad enough. They were about the size of a large horse with leathery wings and horns on their heads. If that was not enough to convince anyone that they were demonic in nature, they blew flames at everything moving they encountered. Humans, animals, even machines were burned up by them. And those who ran from the dragons were being caught and killed by the zombies.
Malchor had been chased out of his home four months ago by the zombies. They not only killed everyone they caught, they followed a scorched-earth practice by burning everything when they finished. He came across Suzette two weeks later hiding in an alley. She had been fleeing from a dragon. They had been together ever since.
For over a month, they had managed to stay hidden in a small shed on a rural farm going out only to get food and water. But a dragon set that on fire four days ago, and they had been hiding in the cave since then. They knew it was just a matter of time, but neither would give in and just run out to their death as they had seen many others do in recent days. But they had no place left to go and they were out of food and water.
The opening of the cave faced east, and Malchor could see the sky getting lighter. Soon the sun would be up on what was likely to be their last day alive. He said a silent prayer and watched.
The sun begin to rise above the horizon revealing a landscape of burned ruins with roving bands of zombies. Soon the Dragons would be out as well. But then something unexpected happened. As Malchor watched the rising sun, it began changing. It started spinning and changing shape. It grew brighter and warmer, though in a pleasant way. He told Suzette to look, and she soon saw it as well. Something flowed into them from the sun as it grew brighter and appeared to change shapes. Their courage returned. They no longer felt tired. They began to understand that they had within them the power to defeat the creatures of darkness. Instead of the smell of burning flesh and the sound of dragons, they smelled exotic flowers and heard bluebirds singing. Other songbirds joined in. They stood, and continued to watch the sunrise. They filled with brilliant light, and a sword of white fire and light appeared in each of their hands. The went out to face the horrors.
Each zombie they touched with one of the swords just disappeared in a puff of smoke. After a while, it seemed to spread on its own like a contagious disease. One after another, all the zombies began to pop and disappear in smoke. A dragon attacked, but was similarly destroyed by the power of the light. Then a second and a third. Then like the zombies, all the dragons began to fall over dead and burst into flame. It was over. They didn’t know it, but the date was October 31st. Happy Halloween
Dragons and Zombies
It can be fun to fantasize about things like zombies and dragons, werewolves and vampires. A lot of it is being done these days and those tales rarely have any meaning. They are just for fun, just to scare us. But that hasn’t always been the case.
The ancients who originated many such legends were more interested in sharing truth than in telling fantasies. But sometimes it is dangerous to tell the truth. Sometimes, the danger is that people will not believe it and ignore it. A truth ignores becomes a truth lost. The other major reason is that authorities are known to punish those who speak too much truth. These authorities may be church leaders of government. That really doesn’t matter.
Whether it was for fear of being prosecuted, or simply to protect the truth from those who would misuse it or deny it, the ancient wise men often hid their meaning by using allegory. People would remember these allegorical tales and pass them on generation after generation. The wise ones knew that one day we would start waking up and see the hidden truths within those apparent legends, myths, and fairy tales. Dragons and zombies may never have existed in a literal, physical sense. But as allegories, they and many similar creatures are real.
While it may vary depending on the part of the world, dragons are generally bad guys. Even in some Oriental countries where they are considered good luck, they actually symbolize good luck only in a materialistic sense. So dragons symbolize materialism, greed. That is why many dragon tales have them guarding a huge treasure that they have no real use for, but will kill anyone who tries to take it from them. They can be found controlling many huge corporations today. Or they may be the very wealthy who have inherited the wealth and live off the money others produced, along with interest and additional investments. They are never satisfied with what they have and always want more. Then when they get it, they are afraid of losing it, so do everything possible to protect it. So they may not be physically real, but they are very real in allegory.
Much like dragons, zombies in many ancient tales are allegorical. They may or may not be evil. Zombies kill people and especially seem to be fond of eating brains. At least, that is true in most zombie tales. This makes them an allegory for those who destroy people in various ways.
People who sell products that kill others, such as cigarettes, drugs, and guns, are represented in allegory by zombies. They consume others for their own benefit. Zombies are usually depicted as not fully aware mentally. These people are often not fully aware of the damage they do to others or themselves. Zombies make a perfect symbol for them.
People who try to hide the truth and prevent us from gaining wisdom and knowledge are represented in allegory by the zombies eating brains. On another level of allegory, the zombies gain only false and worthless knowledge by eating brains because spiritual truth—the only real truth—is never found in the physical.
In my Halloween fairy tale above, I have the characters achieve a sudden and unexpected spiritual awakening. It rarely, if ever, happens like that. It usually takes years of spiritual practice.
When they awakened, they experienced such things as pleasant scents, sights, and sounds. This is often reported by those engaging in spiritual techniques, especially spiritual sun-gazing. A bluebird is a standard symbol for happiness. It is also a symbol of spiritual awakening. Blue is a spiritual color.
After awakening, our heroes find themselves with swords of fire and light with which they defeat the evil dragons and zombies. These swords are allegory also. They represent the spiritual light that awakens our spirits and souls. Spiritual beings defeat evil with knowledge and love, not violence.
Halloween itself is an allegory, although it has lost much of its original meaning. It originated as All Hallows Eve. It was the day when spirits and could roam the earth freely. This allegory reminds us that spirits and souls are real and they survive physical death. And the idea that there is a special day when they are allowed to roam the earth tells us that spirits and souls do not roam the earth regularly. So using allegory, we are being told that ghosts and souls are not the same thing. Happy Halloween!
“Now if thou hast had an envious [spiteful] dogged mind, and hast grudged everything to others, as a dog does with a bone which himself cannot eat, then there appears such a doggish mind, and according to that source is the worm of the Soul figured ,and such a will it keeps in the Eternity, in the first principle. …
“For the door of the deep to the Light of God appears to thee no more; for thou art a perfect creature of the first principle. And now though thou dost elevate thyself, and would break open the door of the deep, yet that cannot be done. … Thou fliest out aloft over the Kingdom of God, and cannot enter in; and the higher thou fliest, the deeper thou art in the Abyss, and thou seest not God yet, who is so near to thee.
“Therefore, it can only be done here in this life (while the Soul sticks in the Will of the Mind) so that thou breakest open the gate of the deep, and press in to God through a New Birth.” ~Jacob Boehme
A Dog-Like Mind
What people thought of when you mentioned dogs several hundred years ago is quite different than today. So when Boehme talks about someone having a mind like a dog, he doesn’t mean loving, devoted, and well-behaved. He means one who is full of greed, jealousy, and self-importance. In short, a materialist. Perhaps even a narcissist, although I think that word is being overly used these days. So a dog-like mind is not a good thing. At least not according to the way they thought of dogs back then.
Fate of the Materialist
So what Boehme is trying to get across in the first part of the quote is that the materialist has little, if any, change of achieving significant spiritual growth. Because he put so much thought and effort into collecting material goods and wealth beyond what he actually needs, he has trained his mind to follow that path. That he could suddenly stumble upon a path of spiritual enlightenment is highly unlikely. It happens in rare cases, but relying upon it is not a good idea. It’s like relying upon winning the lottery when you retire so you have money to live on. The dog-like mind is stuck in the dark forest of matter and cannot see the spiritual Light.
Door to Deep Light
I think the choice of words Boehme used here is unfortunate. It will likely be interpreted by most spiritual students today as supporting the idea that all truth is found within and the outside world should be completely ignored. But we know that Boehme’s own awakening was triggered from something outside. Specifically, He was awakened when the sun reflecting off a shiny metal bowl he was holding struck him in the eye. Yes, he had been studying religion and spirituality for some time and we can assume he was on the verge of awakening before that happened. Nonetheless, it was an external event that triggered his awakening. It was also not a coincidence that his awakening closely resembles that of St. Francis who awakened while watching a sunrise from his sickbed.
While there is certainly good reason to turn within and explore our inner self, it is the external spiritual sun that most often triggers a true spiritual awakening. And by a spiritual awakening, I don’t mean simply realizing that materialist is a failed system and there is more to reality than matter. That is just the first tiny step towards an actual awakening. A real spiritual awakening happens when the dormant spirit and soul are awakened. That takes more than just positive thought and desire. It also takes a lot of energy. The best source of that spiritual energy is the spiritual sun. That is the door to Deep Light. So forget your dog-like mind, even the spiritual version of it, and explore sun gazing and other techniques beyond simple meditation.
You could interpret what Boehme is saying here as meaning that we have to overcome the ego to develop our spiritual self. While that is true, we don’t need to destroy the ego. It is a useful tool, especially in the world of matter. But we do need to keep it under control and a reasonable size.
Specifically, what Boehme is talking about here are those who elevate themselves by declaring that they are awakened and enlightened with no justification for doing so except an inflated ego. He says that when such people fly up to Heaven and God, allegorically speaking, they will find themselves unable to enter. God is not fooled by dog-like minds and their pretend enlightenment.
So if you seriously do want to enter heaven and become one with God and the All again, you need to really awaken. And, as Boehme says, you can’t wait until your physical body is dead to do that. It will be too late. You need to awaken and develop your spirit and soul while you still live in a physical body.
“Each of us is an intellectual cosmos, linked to the world by what is lowest in us, but, by what is the highest, to the Divine Intellect: by all that is Intellective we are permanently in that higher realm, but at the fringe of the intellectual we are fettered to the lower; it is as if we gave forth from it some emanation towards that lower, or, rather some act, which leaves our diviner part not in itself diminished.” ~Plotinus
Higher and Lower
Plotinus always uses “Intellect” when “Consciousness” would be a better choice to describe what he is talking about. Within us there is a very basic level of consciousness, a level that is shared with higher animals and deals mostly with the world of matter. It is the level that is likely to be competitive, greedy, self-centered, and egotistic. It is the level that is likely to result in irrational obsessions. It is on this lowest level of consciousness that terrorists and other violent people dwell.
This past weekend, we in the United States saw a horrific example of this lowest level of consciousness at work in Orlando where fifty people were killed—many of them only in their twenties—and fifty-three other were wounded. These people were doing nothing illegal, nothing violent. They were enjoying an evening of dancing and socializing at a popular club and a crazy person, stuck at the lowest level of consciousness, destroyed it with violence. Continue reading “Higher Consciousness is the Answer to Violence”