A Divine Sigh

spiritBlessed be the eternal breath that set Time in motion.

Our understanding of Time and Eternity should not be taken lightly or for granted. Our understanding of these two things are essential to understanding the realities of Life.

Time does not exist without movement; without change. Without movement/change of some type, it would be impossible to measure Time because it simply would not exist. In comparison, eternal things are unchanging, and therefore, last forever. The eternal contrasts the temporal.

There are things in the human world that seem eternal because they last for a very long time. However, pyramids crumble, continents shift and stars eventually burn out. It has been said that the only constant in our world is Change. This is supported by scientific evidence.

Ironically, people consistently demonstrate resistance to Change. This may be linked to an instinct for survival and a corresponding fear of Death. Much industry is engaged in fighting physical deterioration, both cosmetic and medical. Desires for everlasting peace and prosperity are proclaimed as these conditions also affect their longevity.

Periods of stability, peace and prosperity tend to reveal an incongruity in human nature, though. People are also easily susceptible to boredom. This usually leads to actions intended to make things interesting, but often disrupt the conditions originally deemed desirable; stability, peace and prosperity.

The contradictions of human behavior are easily understood by examining the human spirit. Much spiritual lore attributes the creation of our world, universe or multiverse to divine and eternal beings. As a product of divine creation, humankind usually have characteristics of their Creator(s). The Children of Abraham believe that people were created in the divine image. Consider the relationship between divine eternity and temporal reality.

The human spirit dreams of a realm that is eternal and unchanging because it is perfect, holy and sacred. Paradise, Heaven, Elysium, et al are spiritual concepts of perfection that are desirable because of the trials and tribulations of temporal existence. In turn, the trials and tribulations of temporal life prevent people from recognizing the boredom they would experience in places of such perfection. Few truly understand why the first man and woman were ejected from the garden of paradise in Judeo-Christian lore.

Few truly understand the human likeness of their divine images. They fail to recognize that creativity is a common solution to human boredom, or that the boredom of divine perfection could be an obvious cause for divine creation. The Children of Abraham portray creation beginning with the spoken word, but it seems more likely that it began with a divine sigh.

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20 thoughts on “A Divine Sigh

  1. Well said. Divine boredom less likely to be seen when one is stressed by change. I still find it funny peculiar that we tend to define that which changes as less than, and that which we imagine as permanent as divine or holy. A beautiful sunset or opening flower is divine to me. It seems we want to hold still the flutter of the flames of life itself which would, of course kill it.

  2. I found myself saying (to myself) that I was getting too old for [some repetitive drama]. After repeating this over a relatively short period of time about similarly repetitive scenarios, I started questioning my attitude. What was I getting too old for? Life? Have I gotten too old to live? I wondered if I wanted to smother the flames, myself. Then Sunday night the opening line came to me, which opened the door for this post. Clearly, you understand.

  3. I can’t pull up the exact sources from my brain right now (Egyptian sounds right?), but I know there are creation myths in which the creator deity made everything, or at least got the process started, out of loneliness. And what is loneliness if not being bored with having no companionship?

    The past few years have, I think, been a long lesson to me in the difference between “I’m too old for this” and “I’m old enough to know better than this.” πŸ™‚

    I can’t think of too many mythologies in which human beings enter paradise unchanged. It seems to me one of those changes would have to be joining in the divine sense of time and the eternal, or paradise would indeed be agonizingly boring. Valhalla sounds horrifyingly repetitive to me, but that world, while far longer-lasting than ours, isn’t eternal. Ragnarok may well be moving the deities as well as the honored dead to a new stage of being, What an honor, then, to go there with them.

  4. I agree that loneliness is a form of boredom, and that some kind of transformation is necessary to enter perfection. Perhaps that transformation is what the Buddha called “enlightenment.” Norse lore always struck me as unique (among the lore that I am familiar with) because of Ragnarok. More than one level of “enlightenment” never occurred to me until your comment. Thank you.

  5. As I’ve been thinking about it lately, the rather odd gathering of help I’ve had along the way has helped that idea take hold: Archangels, Kuan Yin, and Maman Brigitte — all divine beings but not god/desses, all with missions to help us get in touch with the divine both within and beyond ourselves. I think Maman coming back to me, now and in this place, might represent another step for me; she is both goddess and not when you consider her various forms.

    It also opens the door to the possibility that I may have one more leap to make at Brighde’s side…and that the possibility of a last relocation exists because of who she is. I’m hoping not; I can see a future here for me in more than one way. But that’s surrender, I guess. I am willing to fight for this place, but if I know going is the right thing to do, in the end I will. But if I’m not convinced, I’m gonna start headbutting things in proper Aries style.

  6. I have been struggling with change lately, too. My struggle has been in discerning signs. I do not see myself having the strength of Salmon to swim against the current, and many things seem excruciatingly difficult in recent times. However, things look difficult wherever I look, so I am not sure moving at this time would make much difference.

    The opening line of this post seemed to suddenly just drop into my thoughts while I drove to work last Sunday night. I seemed to get brain-freeze when I tried to examine this phrase, but I was able to easily remain in the present moment at the time. Rumination, reflection and analysis seemed impossible until I tried writing. Then each endeavor at writing took a different path.

    I am not quite sure what to make of “the eternal breath that set Time in motion” except that it seems like the Tao, Awen, Ki, et al. The movement/change strikes me more as a perpetually unfolding moment, rather than common conceptions of linear time. I am inclined to remain still and let things unfold around me for awhile to see what develops, at least for the time being.

  7. It’s funny you mention the salmon; he’s been much on my mind lately. There are two parts to his story, almost one for each side of the Atlantic.

    We’d be most familiar with the leaping salmon fighting to reach home, swimming against the current (except they actually use the counter-current below the surface to aid them, so they only swim against the obvious current). Here, the salmon also returns home to spawn, but it isn’t so arduous a journey. There aren’t any grizzly bears to contend with, either. So here, the story is more often about the salmon who stays put: The oldest and wisest creature in the world, who lives in the natural well or sacred pool, eats the hazelnuts that fall in the water from the nine trees of wisdom, and waits for others to quest seeking him. That isn’t entirely idyllic, though; while in some stories the questers are seeking him to ask him something, in others, they’re seeking him to eat him. Those who eat him gain wisdom; those who question him are guided on their way to seeking eternal youthfulness of spirit (and we’ve come back around to transformation and enlightenment again…).

    I know it’s transformation I’m after; I’ve been for a while now. And it looks like if I want that, I have to go on seeking the salmon. I have to question him, not eat him; I know that for what seems like the most silly, non-symbolic, prosaic reason of all: I don’t like salmon. Eating him is not for me.

    What all this means for me in material terms doesn’t make me happy. In short, I have to make the choice again: The life I’m meant to lead, or the place I want to lead it in. (In long, I’ll be putting up a post in a few minutes.)

    What struck me about the eternal breath is something that as a poet, I’ve thought about often: In many creation myths, the creator doesn’t make the universe with his/her/its hands; it’s very often done by speaking — with breath.

  8. Thank you for clearing that up about Salmon. I never understood the correspondence of Salmon and wisdom, but I do now. As for breath… I too have long been fascinated by the power of words.

  9. It seems to me as I go on having this on my mind that Salmon is calling on you to discover which aspect of him you’re needing to connect with…and what you’re going to do with him when you find him. As you consider breath in all its forms and meanings, you hear from a being who breathes water. Timing, no?

  10. What I have gotten is, “Blessed are the soothing waters of the womb of abundant Life.” Today, immersion in those waters seemed… pertinent.

  11. There many fascinating connections appearing here. The link you provide concerns lore that I have a particular affinity or fondness for and will have to take the time to explore without haste. (Fortunately, I have this weekend off.) I must also confess that this conversation seems to be pulling what seemed like disconnected pieces together into something meaningful.

  12. The tales of the Mabinogion are incredibly shamanic, though they’re not directly expressed that way. 2/3 of them are clearly about shamanic journeying, and all of them are rich with layers of meaning that even later “churching up” doesn’t hide.

    I’m glad I can help in whatever way; it does feel better, given that I don’t seem to be able to help myself much these days.

  13. I am glad to hear that the shamanic aspect is not simply a figment of my imagination. I have become particularly entangled with the lore concerning Arianrhod in Math ap Mathonwy. I do not have the same perception others seem to have about this story. However, many seem to view it through lenses colored by modern concepts or their personal feelings or agendas. On the other hand, I may very well be doing the same thing.

    You are helping me see that there is a connection between things that seemed to have vague (if any) connection. It is good to know that I am not off my rocker. I suspect the same holds true for you, but I am not as much help because I lack training and/or experience.

  14. If there’s one thing all this work has convinced me of, it’s that everything’s connected. ALL of it. It isn’t always obvious, but it’s in there someplace.

    Example: I’ve always thought Arianrhod’s treatment Lleu is the ancient version of “A Boy Named Sue.” πŸ™‚ (Hey…”A Boy Named Lleu”!)

  15. While ”A Boy Named Lleu” is cute, it also seems a fair [modern] representation of the story, as far as I see it. πŸ˜‰

  16. Parent not allowed/able to help child to adulthood finds a way through naming. Works for me. πŸ™‚

  17. You know, come to think of it, the giving of arms is there too, in the fight the father and son have. This could have been the weirdest graduate thesis in history. πŸ™‚

  18. The intricacies of the lore concerning Arianrhod is quite fascinating. I will share my perceptions of it in another post to continue this discusssion. The thread here is getting pretty narrow (so I also changed the format.)

  19. I’ve always thought that motivations like ‘angry’ and ‘shamed’ might have been ascribed to her by Christian writers who thought she should feel that way for giving birth out of wedlock. She looked at her fatherless son (Though I always found “She stepped over a man’s rod and gave birth” to be…interesting.) and determined to do her best by him. The relationship of a child to his or her maternal uncle was enormously important to the ancient Celts, especially during the matrilineal period of their history; you couldn’t be 100% sure that the man said to be your father was truly related to you, but the man born from the same mother as your own mother, yes. So Arianrhod got her brother’s help to see Lleu was given (by winning them) the things and the trials he needed to be considered an adult, a thing she wouldn’t have been able to do on her own. And then when they got to the third thing, she was left out of the resolution of it, and it went badly wrong (or Lleu took his proper place as the eternal seasonal king, depending on how you look at it….). So there you have my full 2 cents on it, and now I’m going back to looking at photos of hills. πŸ™‚

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