The Hidden Meaning of Noah and the Ark; Pt. 3

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What are the Biblical writers trying to tell us about our inner worlds through the storied roles of Ham, Shem and Japeth? According to Preston Harold…

Ham appears to represent a preconscious ego-sense which is one of both helplessness and cunning, subject to all other psychic factors. Having looked upon the naked parent, it is subject to the Oedipus curse – the curse so involved with the physical intermingling of person and parent, of impotence despite man’s might and cunning.

Japeth appears to represent a subconscious ego-sense which is enlarged as its store of data grows through experience and learning – it becomes “a mighty one in the earth…the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…” and man’s subconscious is indeed a babble of selves within him, subject to an enlarging and mighty conscience.

Shem, the blessed, appears to represent the superconscious ego-sense as it is described in this study: a natural grasp of truth, a natural responsiveness to right that needs not to be belabored by conscience or memory.

The Lord God who shuts in the ark and sets the rainbow is seen to be a visitation in man’s consciousness – this, the Authority-Ego, his sense of certainty in being, dwells in the “tents” of Shem. The word, “tents,” indicates that consciousness is always on the move.

One might also be reminded here of the prologue to the Gospel of John, in which the Logos, the Word, is said to have pitched his “tent” among us, referring to the Incarnation. And as much as we receive Him, this visitation of our Lord God, our Authority-Ego, our inner Christ, to us He gives power to become “Children of God.”

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So what about Noah himself? What does Harold have to say about him? Here he conveys while wrapping up the roles of Ham, Shem and Japeth nicely…

Noah appears to be representative of man’s sense of having been – he represents memory residue, which resides in infant consciousness long enough to ratify or to activate God-consciousness in man and then to create a schism between itself and the preconscious level before it subsides into the unconscious. Noah’s demise coincides with infant amnesia, and his cursing of Ham indicates that every person suffers a trauma in infancy as a result of his partial glimpsing of his naked past. But the legend tells man that he cannot know himself through the exposure of his unconscious memory although it is parent of his present consciousness, for this memory spends itself in the constructive work of fetal development and birth. Thus, prior life or generation is a closed episode: the head of its household sinks into the unknown realm – a part of man’s consciousness may have glimpsed it in infancy, but a part refrained from viewing the naked body of the past and this part will always cover it quickly, hiding it from curiosity’s eyes. Thus, the Noah legend reveals the inner drama.

Amen, brothers and sisters! Although Harold’s approach isn’t the only way to understand the Biblical text, it is certainly the deepest and most relevant to understanding ourselves as part of the legend. The challenge for us is to interpret the other Biblical stories in this same manner. Preston Harold will continue to help us do so. Until next time, peace…

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Animal Instinct Transformed

If animals are seen as rational (in a Darwinian sense) in contrast to man’s irrationality, it is because they have adapted perfectly to their surroundings, therefore aiding in their survival.  But in ancient Egypt, animals were seen as rational because their forms were perfect representations of their cosmic functions.  An animal’s joy was made complete in fulfilling its instinct; a cow chewing its cud, a cat toying with it’s prey, a horse galloping freely across the plain. 

In her few but penetrating works, the French Egyptologist Isha Schwaller de Lubicz has noted the role animals represented in Pharaonic theology as Neters.  Pharaonic theology was Imageconcerned with man becoming a “king,” one who assumes complete control over his lower nature.  The animals represented specific functions and instincts incarnate within mankind.  In her “Journey Into the Light” she states:

The forces of instinct are the expression of essential functions (cosmic functions).  Incarnated in animals they are neither good nor bad, but inherent to their nature.  Within each species they operate accordingly.  Only man has the power – and therefore the responsibility – to control the extent to which he comes under their influence.

In her novel, “Her-Bak,” Schwaller de Lubicz explains how the process of transformation of animal instincts within the human being takes place:

The animal in which (it’s) characteristics are incarnate to such perfection is therefore more than an image: it is the living symbol of the Neter (function)…. As for the cult of veneration which we pay the sacred animals, it is rendered to them as to earthly expressions of a cosmic functional property…. (An aspect of animal worship) serves to educate man toward becoming conscious of the universal functions incarnated through each of those “species…”

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I am reminded here of why it was given to Adam to name the animals.  This was a process of personal inventory of the functions he observed within himself.  He was able to “name” the animals because they represented instincts that dwelt within his very nature.  Schwaller de Lubicz continues…

You will still have to acquire knowledge of the structure of the human being before you can really interpret the… object of the animal cults; for this object is the development in man of the ideas, and later the consciousness of natural functions, so as to teach him the path of their total Consciousness, of which he will finally have to become aware within himself.

The more a man is still an animal, the more useful it is to him to relate himself to the ‘functional type’ corresponding to his own nature.  As his superior Consciousness progresses, it makes him more and more independent of the inferior states and their influences, and finally he will have to acquire complete domination over them.  The human elite (those who would endure suffering in the pursuit of wisdom) discerns this progress in the transformation of animal cults, when man seeks to replace them by human images until he at last arrives at the idea of the Spirit without images or formulas.

There was one who spoke openly about worshiping without images or formulas:

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” –John 4:24

Until next time, peace…