Sunday, December 26, 2004

Light, the metaphysical and the physical...

Some thoughts about light, it is a universal prejudice that it is Good. It is one of those ancient intuitions or mental structures that makes up a pattern of symbols. It defines the world for what it is. Those who have eyes, let them see. Let them see what? Light.

So a few words about how ancients and others looked at light and saw the light. Even among those who are always perceiving, never conceiving and always deceiving there is a pattern of admissions to self evident truths. For one always needs some light, even to deceive.

First, it is important to keep in mind and to file away in the brain that philosophic naturalism is a failure. Therefore, one cannot keep it in the back of the mind to act as a solvent, even just a little, as to ancient texts written by minds.

It is perfectly safe to attribute [mental structures] to 'natural selection', so long as we realize that there is no substance to this assertion, that it amounts to nothing more than a belief that there is some naturalistic explanation for these phenomena. . . . In the case of such systems as language and wings it is not easy even to imagine a course of selection that might have given rise to them.
--Noam Chomsky, notable Leftist

That is to say that even if the ancients lacked modern knowledge their brains were not more primitive, less sentient. It is more likely that their mental patterns were the same as those of the modern mind. In certain ways there is nothing new under the sun, the light. Yet there is something new under the Son, the Light.

A summary of the symbolism of light:
The cultural stream which flows through recorded history from the basins of the Nile and the Euphrates....carries the mythology without any major deviation. In 'the oldest thoughts of men that have anywhere come down to us in written form' Breasted called the Memphite Drama of ca. 3500 B.C., it was said that everything comes from the brilliant sun god. Queen Nitocris of 3066 B.C. was described as “the noblest and most beautiful woman of her time, fair in colour, the first favored blonde on record. Before 2500 B.C., King Pepi after death found the gods standing with white sandals on their feet. Already white was the color of holiness, and shining beings were worshipped by these dark-skinned, dark-haired people.

In Sekhet-Hetep, the Elysian Fields of Osiris, the blessed dead were clad in white robes, while Seker, a melancholy death god, ruled over a kingdom plunged into hopeless darkness. Generally speaking, the literature of ancient Egypt contrasted two sets of ideas. On one hand there was the creative sun, light, beauty, gold; the gods, white garments, happiness, perfume, nectar and ambrosia; and right, good, and truth. On the other was darkness, clouds, filth, evil, wrong, falsehood, noxious odors, and reptiles. This polarity was theologized in their version of the Hamlet story, the battle between Horus and Set.

In Assyria, whose inhabitants regularly spoke of themselves as “the black-headed people,” men powdered their hair with gold dust. Among the Assyrians, Babylonians, Sumerians, and Akkadians were found again the polarities: fire, light, gold, sun, shining, bright, heaven, god, high; healing, light giving, beneficent, and later, white; versus darkness, dreariness, pestilence, hell, and later, black.

(The Mythology of Dark and Fair: Psychiatric Use of Folklore
By Eric Berne
The Journal of American Folklore,
Vol. 72, No. 283. (Jan. - Mar., 1959), pp. 1-13)

"Already white was the color of holiness, and shining beings were worshipped...."

That is typical. Jesus also referred to the people of the light, "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light." A Parable of Jesus

But apparently angels can be good or evil, so apparently light isn't always associated with being good or good beings.

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