The “monstrous, irrational, and unnatural” motifs in folklore and myth are derived from the reservoirs of dream and vision. On the dream level such images represent the total state of the individual dreaming psyche. But clarified of personal distortions and profounded by poets, prophets, and visionaries, they become symbolic of the spiritual norm for Man the Microcosm. They are thus phrases from an image-language, expressive of a metaphysical, psychological, and sociological truth.
This week (February 15), Buddhists and Jains worldwide remember and celebrate Gautama Siddhārtha, the Buddha, and his attainment of nirvāṇa upon physical death, c. 400 BCEhttps://flic.kr/p/71TTtc
The Death of the Buddha, Mahāparinirvāṇa Temple, Kushinagar, India; photo by Wonderland (Used through a Creative Commons license)The annual occasion marks a day for peaceful recognition of transience, acceptance, and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away. Many followers visit temple, partake in meditations, and ruminate on passages from the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, or ‘Nirvana Sutra,’ which gives an account of Buddha’s last days.
Namo Buddhaya! ("Homage to the Buddha!")
This week we recognize the mythic pairing of Mardi Gras (or "Fat Tuesday") and Ash Wednesday celebrated worldwide.
New Orleans Mardi Gras 1907. Illustration showing King's float for Momus parade.On the isle of Galveston, Texas, for instance, a tradition began in 1867 following the Civil War that the Knights of Momus (K.O.M.) were to battle with the Knights of Myth in a parade extravaganza. Though it waned during the devastating years of World War II, the festival was revived in 1985 with the return of the Knights of Momus, now a staple society, or Krewe, to this day. Momus, curiously, was the name of the Greek god of Blame and Criticism. The God has become something of a Mardi Gras favorite. Momus reminds us that no being, not even a god, not even Zeus is beyond reproach. Sometimes it takes the Fool to turnover the city over, expose its underbelly and invite the shadow out to play. Feast, revel and be merry. For when the sun rises next-day, a solemn Spirit welcomes Lenten Sacrifice.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! ("Let the good times roll!")
On the simplest level, then, the Goddess is the Earth. On the next, archaic level, She is the surrounding sky. On the philosophic level, She is Maya, the forms of sensibility, the limitations of the senses that enclose us so that all of our thinking takes place within her bounds—She is IT. The Goddess is the ultimate boundary of consciousness in the world of time and space.