exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
the Mandated Solitude and Introspection
We cannot evade our true selves, our sacred destiny,
a heritage of having been "made in the image," the
purpose for which we were created; we cannot avoid,
but only delay, a requirement to vivify one's spirit,
to grow in consciousness, to enter self-realization,
to unfold the soul, to evolve as a person, to learn to
love ourselves – but, most of all, the great imperative,
in this world and the next, to become fully human.
Editor's Note: This article is part of a series; see the 8 link-icons below - each is best reviewed within a wide corpus of knowledge. My research, for 50 years, attempts to get at what's real and true. Concerning priority of the topics, there's a song-lyric, "love changes everything" - so it is with the scientific evidence of the afterlife; its reality changes everything.
time out! - sentenced to detention, a mandated season to recall who we are and what's really important
Every day was as the one just spent. Every day he would sit on the shore of the island Ogygia, thinking of his wife Penelope, wishing to return home. Every day he mourned and wept for his lost love.
But Calypso had taken Odysseus prisoner and refused to grant him leave.
Finally, Zeus intervened and sent word to Calypso with orders to release her captive.
do you even remember who you are anymore
In her excellent lectures on the famous Greek myth, the Odyssey, Professor Elizabeth Vandiver comments that life’s sorrows had taken a heavy toll on the noted warrior of the Iliad. But, as his heart was so burdened with daily weeping for Penelope, says Vandiver, Odysseus had now virtually lost himself.
He’d always been a can-do person: resourceful, bold, aspiring, independent, enterprising – Odysseus was the clever one who came up with the winning “Trojan horse” strategy, finally putting an end to the ten-year siege of the famous walled city. But that was many years ago for the one-time near-invincible Greek warrior. These days, each morning, Odysseus had trouble finding reason to stay alive one more day without the girl he loved. When you weep every day, part of you erodes away, you're not the same; when he lost her, he then lost himself. Penelope had accomplished what the entire army of Troy could not -- you got to me, you got to my soul, you brought me to my knees...
never thought I'd say please, girl... you got to me... you got to my soul
You Got to Me
Mama she always told me it would happen, but she never said that it would happen like this, Papa said "some little girl'll catch you nappin', some little girl will get to you with her kiss", you got to me, you brought me to my knees, never thought I'd say please, girl, you got to me, you got to my soul, you got to me, you got control, you got to me, you got to me - you got to be mine... used to slip through every girl's hands like water, there never was one who could ever tie me down, straight ahead and steady as Gibraltar, 'til you brought me tumblin' to the ground, you got to me, you brought me to my knees, never thought I'd say please, girl, you got me, you got to my soul, you got to me, you got control, you got to me, you got to me - you got to be mine…
Editor’s note: The mythic Odysseus serves us in another capacity. He is not a man named “John,” far from his “Mary,” and now, beyond judging eyes, feeling at liberty to be untrue to her. In fact, much to the chagrin of the femme fatale Calypso, not even a goddess could substantially tempt him into bed. Truth be told, with eyes open to what’s important in life, and who, despite being forced to cohabit with a goddess, Odysseus is not overly tempted. He just wants to weep now; most truly, Penelope got to his soul. Odysseus becomes a metaphor of Jesus’ discourse, the man who will wait for his authentic beloved though her coming be delayed a thousand summers”; as Odysseus learned, it's "what we stay alive for." See discussion of Jesus' teaching here, essay one and essay two.
Odysseus could hardly recall earlier days of self-assurance, competence, and elan. We're reminded of Paul's charge against the inauthentically-living Adrienne: "Do you even remember who you are anymore?"
However, the fact is, he needed to lose himself - his "false self."
three Greek words
Though it’s difficult to see it at the time, from a cosmic perspective, being stranded on a deserted island, alone and bereft, might have been the best medicine for Odysseus, bitter as it was.
What was he, and the rest of the Greek hero-troops, doing in Troy, anyway? Paris and Helen set the world on fire toward some form of retribution, but was it right that thousands of Greek soldiers – fathers, brothers, husbands – should upend their lives, and that of their families, for a decade and more, just to settle a score over an affair and an abduction? Odysseus was part of this national neurosis.
The Iliad, it could be argued, is built around three Greek words which speak to this egoic insanity: (1) kleos, glory or fame, that is, one’s legacy and hope for immortality; (2) time, respect, honor, literally, “what people say about you”; and (3) menis, wrath, fury, rage.
When people invest themselves in, identify with, link their sense of self-worth to, what others think about them, they’re headed for a lot of unhappiness. Because when they don’t get the fame and the praise, the gold stars and the pats on the back, or when there’s no satisfaction in these, then the sense of futility sets in - the menis, the rage, the anger, is ignited toward those who, as the ego sees it, failed to “make me feel good about myself.”
there's a time-out, an island of Ogygia, waiting for all of us
Ogygia's zip code is used by many. Lots of us live there. Sort of a revolving door. Funny thing, when your number comes up to spend some time there, to those around you, maybe even in the same house, you might seem fairly put-together. But you'll perceive the difference, you'll know very clearly that something's up in your life.
The Iliad and Odyssey have survived for thousands of years, are foundational writings of Western Civilization, because they speak to a universal problem of what it means to be human.
And I will tell you this: This world, and the next, is constructed, such that, one is not allowed to get very far down the road of activity and endeavor before some form of “detention,” a time-out to make us stop and consider, comes into play. For Odysseus, it was seven years. That might be a good average; what I mean is, think about your life, and notice how it divides itself into phases or compartments of five years, ten years, or a bit more – let’s call it “seven years” (which number, in ancient literature signified a “perfection” or “fullness”).
Every “seven years” we seem to be thrust into a new “classroom” of life. What we thought, for sure, would work out as something good, now, in hindsight, was a mistake or a detour or worse. That opportunity we were so convinced would “make me happy” hardly lasted a fortnight. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. We enter periods in our lives when some things seem to be working fairly well, but then – often, without warning – our fortunes turn, or our eyes open to what should be, and now we’re cast upon the shores of a forbidding Ogygia. During this “wilderness” period, nothing can be made to go right. It’s just one bad thing after another, we can’t get from here to there, no matter how hard we try. And now we're on the beach every morning with Odysseus, oppressed by visions of what you were meant to have.
who we truly love, and what is most important to us
These personal episodes of custom-crafted Ogygia do not necessarily send us across the country to a new geographical location – although this is very possible, and does happen – but, what we can count on is that, in some form or fashion, we will find ourselves isolated, cut off, far removed from what is dear to us. The details will be different for each individual, and, even as you read these words, you are already bringing to mind how this worked out in your own particular situation.
These are our times of “detention,” when full-bodied participation in life, in love, in work, in whatever is meaningful to us, will be denied. Calypso stands at the door, barring our way. She purrs to offer a tempting bribe to choose another way - which will sound quite reasonable as there is, in fact, no raft of escape from the island, and so who could blame you, you know. However, in the midst of tantalyzing contrary allurement, for the sighted, all we'll be able to do – allowed to do -- is to think about our lives: who we truly love, and what is most important to us. It's an invitation to "life review" before the popularly-imagined appointed time. "Why wait, buddy?" say the Spirit Guides, "do it every day of your life."
During these times of enforced “warming the bench of life,” we always have at least one good choice. We have power to determine our attitude toward, and to find meaning in, suffering: we can surrender to the lessons God would have us learn, or we can lash out in bitter menis. We can make little speeches about how unfair life is, blame others, engage in self-pity, and tell our “victim story.” But, if we engage in such theatrics, we shall not be surprised to discover, upon crossing over to the next world, a new and more substantial “dark detention” waiting for us.
We're not allowed to cut class, and those who try this will find their liberties temporarily suspended. Those in "upper management" of the Universe have no sense of humor and little forbearance about us destroying ourselves. As Adrian Smith said, we're not allowed to delegate away or abrogate the "Absolute Sovereignty of the Individual" principle - this means "sane individual" as our scope of authority over our own lives does not extend to self-perdition.
Calypso isn't so crazy about the idea, but we'll yet grow to see the wisdom in the "tough love."
READ MORE on the adventures of Odysseus and Penelope
escaping old ideas is the hardest part of learning something new
The greatest impediment, it seems to me, in presenting and discussing an emotive topic such as "Hell" becomes that of shedding entrenched, preconceived ideas - the "cultural baggage" - the stories we were told by grandma, local clergyman, and second-grade teacher.
The very word "Hell," juicing the fear of death, immediately sends us on a skewed course; the blood pressure starts to rise, and a faint nausea sets in. We want to change the subject.
Everyone - without knowledge - is afraid of this word, a bravado of denials, notwithstanding. "Hell," so laden with many centuries of fear-based misunderstanding, must be forthrightly addressed, clearly defined and labeled, in light of "the scientific evidence for the afterlife."
The subject of "Hell" is best studied as part of a holistic view of life's meaning. As such, I've made it an integral unit of "the seven" articles, vital information for you to negotiate this world and the next.
As you will discover, as I will help you to see, there is no everlasting hell-fire; no eternal punishment of any kind; no condemning angry God. The universe doesn't work that way.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Last Judgment Portal (c.1230): The Damned
Editor's note: Consider this chain-gang of "The Damned," a sad procession led by furry-suited demons. What a tawdry display of manipulation of the fear of death! For many centuries, Despotic Ecclesia has sought to control the rabble with horrific tales of woe, of the sort etched-in-stone here.
The Mandated Solitude and Introspection
Let's start this investigation by getting rid of the word "Hell"; at least, neutering and declawing it.
Bereft of ideas to inspire and uplift, when there is no cogent reasoning, no thoughtful discussion based on the merits, Big Religion has always opted for tactics of threat and intimidation.
The popular concept of an "eternal Hell-fire" is a fairy-tale, a total fabrication, a propaganda tool.
The reality is utterly different. The universe is not about punishment but education. Allow me to make clear the final word on this entire discussion: There is nothing to be afraid of regarding crossing over into the next world.
Old Man River
I'm tired'a livin', but I'm scared'a dyin'...
That said, while there is no "village of the damned" over there, for those who need it, for those who have "cut class and haven't turned in their homework," there does exist a temporary place of detention allowing wayward persons to consider and to find themselves.
For better or worse, no one forces anyone to do anything over there. The STNG "Prime Directive" remains inviolate, and freedom to choose becomes sacred dictum.
But do not worry about this. If a detour into a dark place happens to you or me, it's no big deal; we can leave the same day and move to a better world - the very same day. I will discuss this at length.
Instead of "Hell," let's call these temporary cells of detention, The Mandated Solitude and Introspection.
Professor Charles Xavier, X-Men (2000): "Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn't mean they're lost forever."
bite-sized packets of information
Providing a certain sequence of thought, the following sub-article writings, it is suggested, are best reviewed in the order presented.
please click on each link-icon
The reason behind the reason for what most people believe.
Why only the virtuous find the truth.
Father Reginald Foster, a 40-year Vatican scholar in Latin literature, calls the doctrine of hell “stupid,” a Middle-Ages fairy tale.
The Fire That Consumes: a scholarly analysis of every occurrence of words relating to hell and judgment in both the Old and New Testaments - conclusion: there is no credible evidence of an eternally-burning hellfire or unending punishment to be found in the Bible.
Judging the veracity of information
Why there's darkness in the Dark Realms
Truly, I say to you, by no means will you get out of prison till you have paid the last penny.
Sometimes "detention" will take the form of a strategically-designed "classroom," to teach one lesson to one specific student.
The Earthbound: Caught between the Dark Realms and Summerland
The Moral Specific-Gravity: How One's Place in the Afterlife is Determined
The Crystalline-Entity Principle: Summerland cannot be Invaded, there are no Raiding-Gangs from Hell
The Fate of hard-core Criminals, the Most Evil
When hard-core Criminals, the Most Evil, repent and begin to change, will they be "second-class" citizens in Summerland for their time in darkest detention?
Are we allowed to reincarnate to escape detention?
Why did Jesus visit the spirits in prison? (I Peter 3:19)
Rescue-effort in the Dark Realms: the most difficult service-project. Only well-advanced Spirit Guides are allowed to work at this.
"The first shall be last, the last shall be first" - the teaching of Jesus comes alive in this report from the next world.
How can a blind man learn to see? If the true self is like the sun covered by thick clouds, how can the light of consciousness manifest? How can those in detention ever come to sacred awareness?
Alfred, a British soldier killed in WWI, experiences a different kind of "special classroom."
Is Revelation's "lake of fire" a reference to eternal hell-fire?
Spirit-Guide Margaret explains the number one reason why people spend time in dark detention
Franchezzo, A Wanderer in Spirit Lands: a manipulative Italian adonis sexually defrauds hundreds of women, then gets caught, falls in love with his Twin Soul, but dies soon thereafter, ends up in "the rat cellar," and desperately strives to work his way out in order to be with her - his "transforming fire."
Do suicides go to a dark place to be punished?
A sexual predator in dark detention is confronted by his once-victim: when all of our secrets are found out.
Some NDE reports speak of hellfire: we will go to where we believe we deserve to go!
Does Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man speak of an ever-burning Hell?
Fearing fear itself: cultivating a calm frame of mind is the best thing we can do to have a wonderful transition to the next world.
Here's what you should immediately do if you cross over and find yourself in a dark world.
We cannot die; we cannot escape; we cannot evade, but must face, ourselves: the mandated solitude and introspection.
Update, March 29, 2018: Pope declares "there is no hell" and the Vatican deep-state scrambles to implement damage-control.
Editor's last word:
from the Gospel of Thomas:
[Thomas said] "These sayings that you utter are laughable and ridiculous to the world, for they are misunderstood. How can we go forth and preach them, since the world does not respect us?"
[Jesus said] "I tell you the truth: whoever listens to what you have to say and turns away, or sneers, or smirks at these things, will be held in a cramped dark place... They will be imprisoned there..."
paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep...
For What It's Worth
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step outta line, they'll come and take you away...