Saturday, December 30, 2006

Odes of Solomon - 3

Ode 3

1. ... I am putting on the love of the Lord.
2. And His members are with Him, and I am dependent on them; and He loves me.
3. For I should not have known how to love the Lord, if He had not continuously loved me.
4. Who is able to distinguish love, except him who is loved?
5. I love the Beloved and I myself love Him, and where His rest is, there also am
6. And I shall be no stranger, because there is no jealousy with the Lord Most High and Merciful.
7. I have been united to Him, because the lover has found the Beloved, because I love Him that is the Son, I shall become a son.
8. Indeed he who is joined to Him who is immortal, truly shall be immortal.
9. And he who delights in the Life will become living.
10. This is the Spirit of the Lord, which is not false, which teaches the sons of men
to know His ways.
11. Be wise and understanding and awakened.

"Putting on the love of the Lord" generates the imagery of clothing to me. Indeed, I feel "love" is a little play on "glove" (the glove of the Hand of God), and to put on this garment of love, we must shed the garments of hate and similiar emotions.

"His members" could refer to the Angels. If we think of the "glove" analogy, it could refer to his fingers (the Hand of God). Since we know that the Lord is on our head like a Crown, yet not a normal Crown, but a part of ourselves also, we are dependant on Him, for that Love which nourishes and blossoms within is. This love is a mutual act, a symbiosis, the yin and yang of Man and God.

The "Beloved" usually refers to Christ (though can also refer to Sophia, to God, and even John the Beloved). His "rest" could refer to death, to the afterlife, etc., and where he lies, we lie also.

The term "stranger" is used in some Gnostic scripture ("Allogenes") to refer to a Gnostic, one who is a "foreigner" to this world and the people enslaved here to the rule of the Demiurge. However, this Ode shows that we are not estranged from the "True" God like we are to the Demiurge, for God is not a "jealous god"; jealousy is one of the intrinsic characteristics of the Demiurge.

The symbiosis becomes clear - the Lover and the Beloved, both essential aspects, Two as One, united and whole. Love of Christ allows Christhood, and grants that immortality of spirit that we have forgotten.

"Living" is usually used to refer to that which is spiritually risen. "The Living Jesus" would refer to him after the Ressurection, for example. To rejoice in the Life is to awaken from the sleep and death of the physical, to become Awake and Living.

The "Spirit of the Lord" teaches us to "know His way" (attain Gnosis), for he is not "false" - i.e. not the Demiurge. "Son of Man" is a title which was used in reference to Christ. "Sons of Men" refers to us all, Sons as He was Son (that includes females, of course), Christed as he was Christ.

"Be wise and understanding and awakened" Wisdom (Chokmah) and Understanding (Binah), with that which Awakens us (Gnosis), which is Knowledge (Da'ath), those three powers below Kether (the Crown) that is the Lord described in the last Ode.

Odes of Solomon - 1

Ode 1

1. The Lord is on my head like a crown, and I shall never be without Him.
2. Plaited for me is the crown of truth, and it caused Your branches to blossom in me.
3. For it is not like a parched crown that blossoms not;
4. For You live upon my head, and have blossomed upon me.
5. Your fruits are full and complete; they are full of Your salvation....

There are some obvious parallels and correlations I can draw here with the Tree of Life. The Crown as Kether, "other", yet part of the self, where lies the Lord as seen in profile (Kether being the "anchor" of the Lord, or the Malkuth of Him).

The blossoming of the branches can allude to the outpouring of light to form the other Sephiroth in the ToL, each a branch blossoming out. They blossom in us because the ToL is in us, and we are in it ("As Above, So Below", etc.). This is a simultaneous truth.

"It is not like a parched crown" can suggest that it is not a normal kind of crown, not just a piece of gold to serve as a jewel. It is a living thing, a seed that blossoms forth.

The "fruits" could refer to the Sephiroth, each of which is "full and complete" in and of itself, and all of them offer the truth of Kether (and beyond it) through its particular guise, all offering the salvation of Gnosis, this spiritual knowledge that we can find in each Sephiroth, each Navitoth, and all the "nooks and crannies" that make up the spiritual map of evolution.

This is just the Qabalistic "analysis", of course. I encourage others to share their thoughts and musings.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Shadow Of Santa

Half of my photography project this year required me to deal with "a sense of place", either literal or metaphorical. I shot three rolls of film for this and decided on these two photos in unison, with the title of them being a poem written especially for the project:

Click the image for a larger version:

P.S. Pardons for my absence - very busy. Will update soon.