Scavengers and Doves: Not Evil or Good

“Being scavengers, the vulture, the buzzard, and the condor signified that form of divine power which by disposing of refuse and other matter dangerous to the life and health of humanity cleanses and purifies the lower spheres. These birds were therefore adopted as symbols of the disintegrative processes which accomplish good while apparently destroying, and by some religions have been mistakenly regarded as evil. Birds such as the parrot and raven were accorded veneration because, being able to mimic the human voice, they were looked upon as links between the human and the animal kingdoms.

“The dove, accepted by Christianity as the emblem of the Holy Ghost, is an extremely ancient and highly revered pagan yonic emblem. In many of the ancient mysteries it represented the third person of the Creative Triad, or the fabricator of the world. … It is sacred to Astarte, Cybele, Isis, Venus, Juno, Mylitta, and Aphrodite. On account of its gentleness and devotion to its young, the dove was looked upon as the embodiment of the maternal instinct. The dove is also a symbol of wisdom, for it represents the power and order by which the lower world is maintained. …

“In Masonry the dove is the symbol of purity and innocence. … Although Mohammed drove the doves from the temple at Mecca, occasionally he is depicted with a dove sitting upon his shoulder as the symbol of divine inspiration.” ~Manly P. Hall

Scavenger Birds

Scavengers are not evil. They are cleaners. It is sensible to think of flesh-eating bacteria as evil, for they eat healthy tissue. But you would not consider something that destroyed only cancer cells evil. For the san reason, scavengers, particularly scavenger birds, should not be considered evil. This is not to say that being a scavenger is a lot like being an angel. Scavengers serve a purpose, but that doesn’t make them holy. They are, in my opinion, neither evil nor good, but neutral.

Mr. Hall praises them as purifiers of the lower spheres, but I think that is an exaggeration of their capabilities. Getting rid of dead and decaying animals is cleansing of a sort, but I would not go so far as to call it purification. The only real purification of matter and the world of matter happens when it is transformed back into spirit. Nothing else is purification. Continue reading “Scavengers and Doves: Not Evil or Good”

be good

Be Good for Your Sake and the World’s

“Whatever any man either does or says, thou must be good; not for any man’s sake, but for your own nature’s sake; as if either gold, or the emerald, or purple, should ever be saying to themselves. Whatsoever any man either does or says, I must still be an emerald, and I must keep my color.

“This may even be my comfort and security: my understanding that rules over all, will not of itself bring trouble and vexation upon itself. Thus I say; it will not put itself in any fear, it will not lead itself into any concupiscence. If it be in the power of any other to compel it to fear, or to grieve, it is free for him to use his power. But sure of itself through some false opinion or supposition incline itself to any such disposition; there is no fear. For as for the body, why should I make the grief of my body, to be the grief of my mind? If that itself can either fear or complain, let it. But as for the soul, which indeed can only be truly sensible of either fear or grief, to which only it belongs according to its different imaginations and opinions, to admit of either of them, or of their contraries; thou may look to that thyself, that it suffer nothing.” ~Marcus Aurelius

You Must Be Good

It seems quite strange for a Roman Emperor to be advising people to be good, but Marcus Aurelius was not a violent and sexually-perverted kind of emperor they make movies about. He doesn’t get any movies because he is considered boring. He was spiritual, not materialistic.

Because he was spiritual, he knew that it was important for each of us to be good, not so much for the sake of others, but for ourselves! Even if we are not certain what truly is good or bad, when we do what we believe is good, we feel better within ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we treat others good also. And when we feel good about ourselves, and we treat others well, we are far more likely to get along with each other and help each other then we would if we are always looking for ways to con others or reasons to dislike them or feel superior to them. So to be good benefits ourselves most of all, but it also benefits the entire world. And the greater the number of us who try their best to be good as much as possible, the more the world benefits. Continue reading “Be Good for Your Sake and the World’s”

works of sinners

Works of Sinners and Works of God

“Marvel not at the works of sinners; but trust in the Lord, and abide in thy labor: for it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord on the sudden to make a poor man rich. The blessing of the Lord is in the reward of the godly, and suddenly he maketh his blessing flourish. Say not, What profit is there of my service? and what good things shall I have hereafter? Again, say not, I have enough, and possess many things, and what evil shall I have hereafter? In the day of prosperity there is a forgetfulness of affliction: and in the day of affliction there is no more remembrance of prosperity. For it is an easy thing unto the Lord in the day of death to reward a man according to his ways. The affliction of an hour maketh a man forget pleasure: and in his end his deeds shall be discovered. Judge none blessed before his death: for a man shall be known in his children. Bring not every man into thine house: for the deceitful man hath many trains. Like as a partridge taken and kept in a cage, so is the heart of the proud; and like as a spy, watcheth he for thy fall: For he lieth in wait, and turneth good into evil, and in things worthy praise will lay blame upon thee. Of a spark of fire a heap of coals is kindled: and a sinful for he worketh wickedness; lest he bring upon thee a perpetual blot. Receive a stranger into thine house, and he will disturb thee, and turn thee out of thine own.” ~Ecclesiasticus

Works of Sinners

What Ecclesiasticus means by “the works of sinners” is those things made by or deeds done by man, which are not done in accordance with the Law of God. Such creations may seem like wonderful things to materialistic people, but they are not. When are done without taking God’s Law into account, they may harm the environment, waste natural resources, give off harmful radiation, or otherwise cause damage to the world.

Obviously, things like murder, rape, and theft are the works of sinners, but Ecclesiasticus is talking about the less obvious ones. The buildings we build, the statues and monuments, the labor-saving devices that make us fat and lazy.

So he advises us to trust in the Lord, meaning let God guide us in all our endeavors and we will then not be doing the works of sinners. Continue reading “Works of Sinners and Works of God”

good beauty

Good Beauty is Spiritual Beauty

“The perception of Beauty and the awe and the stirring of passion towards it are for those already in some degree knowing and awakened: but the Good, as possessed long since setting up a natural tendency, is inherently present to even those asleep and brings them no wonder when some day they see it, since it is no occasional reminiscence but is always with them though in their drowse they are not aware of it: the love of Beauty on the contrary sets up pain when it appears, for those that have seen it must pursue. This love of Beauty then is later than the love of Good and comes with a more sophisticated understanding; hence we know that beauty is a secondary: the more primal aperition, not patent to sense, our movement towards our good, gives witness that the Good is earlier, the prior.

“All that have possessed themselves of the Good feel it sufficient: they have attained the end: but Beauty not all have known and thaose that have judge it to exist for itself and not for them, as in the charm of this world the beauty belongs only to its possessor.

“The source of this error is that while both the Good and the Beautiful participate in the common source, the One precedes both.” ~Plotinus

Good Beauty

When it comes to physical beauty, what is considered beautiful changes. We find over the last century or two that what most considered a beautiful woman has gone from abundant curves to rail-thin and back again. And what women consider an attractive man changes also. Even at the same time, we find different ideas of beauty in different countries and social structures. The pampered male model of New York City would not be considered a thing of beauty among primitive people or country folk who would find his spoiled dandy look and pasty pale skin sickly.

But Plotinus is complicating the concept of beauty even more by adding in that to a good person beauty is different than it is for others. He goes so far as to indicate that only the good can even have a concept of beauty. That, I think, is nonsense. Everyone can have a concept of beauty, but it differs depending on whether or not they are what Plotinus calls good.

Beauty of the Good

What Plotinus is saying, I believe, is that the good see beauty in a way that differs from how others see it. That is not at all surprising. But he goes a little beyond that and says that the good beauty is the only true beauty. While he has a point, I’m not sure we can say that it is entirely true. But to understand it better, let’s look at the beauty of people who are not “good”, which really means those who are not spiritually awakened.

Ordinary Beauty

One way of looking at what is beautiful among a particular group is to look at their art. When we look at the art of today, even if we ignore abstract art and art that is intentionally ugly to make a point, we see art that often ignores such things as divine proportion and divine harmony. It is like the hard-rock of painting or sculpture. Many find it beautiful, but not because they feel peace and harmony when they look at it, but because it grapes them with discord and uniqueness. Many think that the more unique the art is, the more beautiful it is. But art can be unique without violating the rules of divine proportion and harmony.

Good Beauty is Spiritual Beauty

It is fairly clear that those people who Plotinus calls Good are those who are spiritually awakened to some degree. They are people who put spiritual values above materialistic ones. So such people will see art different than most. They will notice divine proportion and harmony and value it. They will notice are that invokes positive thoughts and images like peace, love, and joy. They will generally not care for art that depicts the horrors of material life such as war, murder, and disease. They know that despite what the artist may think he is doing, such art will normalize the horrible making it more acceptable. The spiritual person wants to stop the horrors. They see good beauty in art that depicts the best of nature. They see good beauty in people who give off an aura of goodness and sacredness. Good beauty is something they value. Art that exists simply to make money is of no value to them at all.

So Plotinus says we must be good before we can know good beauty. While there is some truth to that, there is another way to look at it. We can train ourselves to love the art that is truly beautiful, that is spiritually beautiful. We can promote good beauty and surround ourselves with it. That can aid us in our spiritual growth so we can become good spiritual people. Then we become part of the Good Beauty in the world.