The Banquet of Souls
Rick Emmerson, Contributing Writer
Now is a time for reckoning. There is no place left to hide. Stand and be recognized. We are not earthworms, born to burrow in the soil and be walked upon. We are spirit and we will rise. It is written in our souls like it is written in nature. A butterfly leaving the cocoon is a picture of our spirit leaving the mineral content of our being upon death into a more rarified strata. A butterfly is a flower liberated from the constraints of the earth. We were not meant to be enslaved. Our natural condition is continual elevation. This is why we are drawn to great works of art. They remind us of who we really are and where we are from. They remind us of the greatness that lies dormant, buried within, waiting for the right conditions beneath the visible surface to ascend in complete defiance of gravity and presumption and explode into the glorious perfection of blossom, fruit and seed only to die and return to the soil which in itself is a picture of the returning spirit to its origins in preparation of a new life.
This life comes with a price. As night follows day there is the inevitable confrontation with evil whose purpose is to define the light and the good. This we will do if we see things as they truly are, devoid of illusion. We must employ spiritual faculties to perceive the appropriate spiritual realities and beings that inform our existence and our time. We are in great peril and most are in deep slumber as the peril increases by the second. The reality of our inevitable confrontation with evil will not change. What must change is us. There is a way and a means to attain this end. It is all within the realm of possibility. The only place where we can truly experience freedom is in our thinking and this is where the real battle is being waged. All of the observational powers that we possess must be directed to the very process of our own thought.
The enemies are cunning, elusive and relentless. We are surrounded by hallucination, chimera and the swelling wreckage from the battle that has raged eternal in the human soul but we have been endowed with the freedom to choose. How you respond to any given situation is your choice. This is where freedom is won and lost, in your own mind. It will not be given to you. It will not be prescribed to you by way of pill or drink. It will not be legislated or arrive in the mail. Like Gil Scott-Heron said, “The revolution will not be televised.”
The burden of life is the dogged pursuit of inner transformation. To hone your will, harness your mind and purify your feelings to the level of divine love is the most revolutionary activity you can engage in. To understand the world and your place in it requires that you understand yourself and continually maintain a clinical awareness of what you are thinking, feeling and willing. This is an expression of the Holy Trinity as microcosm gloriously manifest in every single person that inhabits the planet. We will make our choices as individuals but no one is free until everyone is free.
The story of the Banquet of Souls hosted by the great king and queen comes to mind. Every subject of the kingdom was invited to the royal hall to partake in the feast. The preparations were spectacular. After grace the meal was served, but there was one curious thing. The utensils were exceptionally long. This posed a problem for the subjects as they fumbled about in futility trying to feed themselves with the long forks. The king and queen looked on in loving amusement. Finally a bell sounded. There was silence and the king spoke, “My dear people, your appetites have clouded your reason. The only way you will ever enjoy this meal is if you feed each other.”
He proceeded to commandeer a succulent nugget of seasoned parsnip onto his long fork and gently placed it into the waiting mouth of his beloved queen who smiled gratefully. Thinking only of feeding themselves and satisfying their own appetites the bewildered subjects had overlooked this simple and elegant resolution to their dilemma. We are the subjects and the king and queen are the expression of a wise and benevolent divinity and the seasoned nugget is love.
We are individuals nestled in the universe within our own peculiar solar system. One of many. As far as I can tell the considerable wisdom of the human experience requires two inseparable constituents for a healthy social order, love and freedom. It is imperative that we find an arrangement that honors and cultivates these two essential human experiences. Evil now prevails in the sense that we are being more and more separated from the lifeblood of love and freedom. Very few people are truly free and our love has been grotesquely misplaced for what the Hindus call “maya”, the veil of illusion. Many of us love what is not there. We love the mirage, the semblance of what is real.
The Holy Trinity is written into our very being in an unmistakable way and this must be understood before we can arrange the necessary social order to foster love and freedom for everyone regardless of country, gender or ethnic persuasion. There are three distinct systems in our physical nature. The metabolic, limb system is responsible for the digestion of food and bodily movement through use of the limbs. Its soul equivalent is the will nature and it is centered in the solar plexus. The nerve and sense system handles perception and thought through the network of brain, nerves and sense faculties. This is centered in the head area. The mediating rhythmic system of breathing and circulation distributes blood and oxygen and is directly tied to our life of feeling and centered in the heart.
We have three systems of three, body, soul and spirit. In the body we have the metabolic, limb system, the nerve, sense system and the breathing, circulatory system. In the soul we have thinking, feeling and willing. In the highest expression of our being, the spirit, we have the faculties of imagination, intuition and inspiration. When the Holy Trinity is revealed in the social order we have three distinct realms that should never overlap to maintain health just like our physical organism. The will, metabolic, limb system is the equivalent of the economic realm where we should not compete with each other but feed each other in the spirit of brotherhood, where human labor is not exploited by corporate fascism but rendered as a sacred gift. The thinking, nerve and sense system is the realm of science, art, education and spiritual activity, free from economic constraints. This is where competition prevails. The feeling, rhythmic system is equal to the realm of legal rights where justice is circulated equally throughout the social body like blood and oxygen. It is written in our souls like a divine mandate and the distance from this ideal exposes our overall inadequacy and how far we have to go. The pathology is highly advanced.
Rudolf Steiner was the most prolific and overlooked genius of the 20th century. A true pioneer of the human spirit, he was endowed with an amazing natural clairvoyance which he reconciled with the scientific method. He avowed that we are all spiritual by nature, have been here before and have collaborated with the heavenly hierarchies in the creation of our own unique karma which we must face. There is a battle unfolding for primacy in our souls and we must partake.
One of Steiner’s masterpieces was a collaborative sculpture with Edith Maryon in laminated hickory that stands 24 feet high called “The Representative of Humanity”. This remarkable piece embodies the essence of Steiner’s work. Many people know the story of the archangel Lucifer’s fall from grace to become a tempter. Lucifer is depicted in Steiner’s sculpture hovering above Christ who holds him in check with his raised and outstretched left hand. With his right hand outstretched below him Christ holds in check another tempter, a withered, sclerotic Mephistophelian entity whom Steiner called Ahriman, the ancient Persian evil deity, the father of lies, the same being known as Satan, separate and distinct from Lucifer, each possessing their own particular corrupting influences. Steiner alleged in the early 20th century that in the not too distant future Ahriman/Satan will incarnate in the West and humanity must face this ultimate evil in order to summon ultimate good. This cannot be avoided and the materialistic, technological, military police state, sex crazed culture that prevails is the perfect toxic Monsanto mutant soil mix for this cosmic usurper to take root and blossom in a most diabolic way.
About the Author
Rick Emmerson is an anthroposophist, musician, writer and carpenter as well as the magnanimous ruler of the band, Chairman Wao. In addition to maintaing his sanity in this agonizing world by writing music, he recently appeared in the documentary Searching for Sugarman about his friend, Sixto Rodriguez.
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