Sunday, March 1, 2009


-We willing go to our death (sleep) every night.  When we are resurrected (wake up) we have new life.

Notice upon what The Hanged Man hangs.  It is the Tree of Life, and his sacrifice has brought forth green shoots.  He hangs from his right (conscious) side, and willingly accepts his fate.  He is going through the cross, which is the symbol for our material world.

I think a portion of my journey lately has been to unpack the symbols in the garden.  This has been a constant theme for me: Paradise Lost/Paradise Regained.  I think I'm breaking the code, but these image statements are not literal enough for most Americans to be happy with my findings.

Let's talk about Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain.  I think this film helped me to solidify some of the things that I've been thinking about now for a while.

-first, how about a caveat?  I say much here with a level of authority that implies that I know what I'm talking about.  The underworld is dark.  I'm trying to understand, and I'm speaking my mind.  However, I could be wrong and will likely disagree with much of what I say in three months time.  I seek truth, but believe very little.  This is my practice now, but I'm willing to abandon it when it ceases to work.  Our images need to stay transparent to the transcendent or else we will be trapped in the images. (Can you tell I've been listening to Joseph Campbell?  I have a bunch of his radio appearances from the 80's on CD.  Please give him credit as well as Banzhaf for this symbolic interpretation.)

So the important statement to keep in mind about creation has to do with the nature of creation, namely that, "This Place Is Death."  Life is death.  Life feeds upon life.  Life requires death.  Creation demands a sacrifice.  Jesus is a symbol of that sacrifice.  There are others.   This is the mystery.  We are the monsters that we fear.

Naturally, we are removed in this modern age from the sacrifice.  We don't have to do our own killing.  We are removed.  In ages past, the meal prayer thanked the key animal for their sacrifice.  One didn't thank God for the meal.  One thanked the animal for its death, and the tribe built their religion around this sacrifice.  They worshiped the animal as god because he sustained them (and because they understood that the divinity wasn't out there, but infused in all creation.)

We are mindless killers now.  Eating without respect.  Again, how we eat is the most important decision we make, and it should be made mindfully.  This is the sacrifice.  This is the mystery. Killing our God so that we may live.

So, Aronofsky's The Fountain.  It is The Tree of Life that is sustaining the astronaut.  The tree of life is compared to both her (Eve) and him (Adam) in the film.  There is a progression from wholeness to separation to wholeness that our cycles celebrate.

Hmmm.  The death of the Rachel Weisz character and the Death of the tree are the same story. Jackman is hanging onto something that he needs to let go of.  From death comes life.  That was her acceptance, that everything must die, must go through the cross, a symbol for the world.  To live is to die.

Let's unpack that a little bit.  Campbell states of the cross that it is a threshold. We can see this as its use as a verb implies:  a crossing, to cross over.  It is situated between eternity and time. It represents that passage of eternity into time and, of time into eternity.  The divine transcendent has come into the world of substance and time , into being and thus has accepted those limitations.  On the other side of life, the individual yields his individual self to the transpersonal divine through his death.  Our world (material/time) is represented by the cross, and the transcendent divine, the One, the OM is crucified by coming into the world and splitting in two, a deviation from whole.  The individual goes through the cross of the world, and eventually yields his individual life of time and substance to the transcendent.

"In symbolism, the circle always represents the undivided whole, what is original, or expressed in graphic terms, paradise.  But the cross or the square corresponds to--just as the associated number four--the earthly hemisphere, the world of time and space (Tarot and the Journey of the Hero, 61)."  Thus, the cross is between wholeness and separation.  It is between separation and unity.  Paradise + Paradise Lost + Paradise Regained.  --Or let's express the formula as such: OM(nothing) + Thing

The + is the between.   It lies between the transcendent and materiality.  (But didn't Jesus and others achieve both states at once?  Divinity in materiality.  Wholeness in individuation. Heaven on earth? Yes, but before we are resurrected, we need to be crucified first.  We have to yield!)

-Which brings us back the film, The Fountain.  Time.  This is the theme.  My interest is the symbols.  What is the tree?  The first father stuff says that "he"(Jackman) is the tree.  The "rings" on Hugh Jackman count the ages that he has lived on his quest, to conquer death. 

How does he conquer death?  And the answer?  To save the world, he must die!  "Finish it!" she says.  But he is unwilling to let go.  He is caught between The Hanged Man and Death.  He is on the cross, but he will not let go.  He wants to live forever, but in order to do that, he must die first.  He will not yield, there is not acceptance, only fear.
The Hanged Man also corresponds to a piece of fruit on a tree that has become ripe and now must let itself fall in order to produce new life and new fruit.  It experiences this act of letting itself fall as death.  If it refuses to let go, it remains hanging on the tree and will gradually rot there without having produced new life (Tarot and the Journey of the Hero, 126).
But death is not the end.  There is much more journey left.  (Am I talking literal death or metaphorical ego death?  Does it have to be a physical death?  Things are loose and shifting. Our ego must die, but our substance also must die too.)

The conquistador seeks the fountain of youth for his queen.  This is the story that the Rachel Weisz character writes about her situation, about her marriage.  The characters do correspond to the archetypes too though.  The feminine has to do with nature, with the round, with cycles, and allowing things to happen.  The masculine is civilization.  He wants to control things, to make things square.

She allows death to happen.  He wants to control it, to cure it!  So his quest is for the tree of life, not knowing that this is already where he is.  He wants to be with his wife so he is alone working to save her instead of with her now.  He is in a confrontation with time, not understanding that the fountain of youth is located in the now, in the is, in the eternal moment. His quest leads him to eden, to paradise, to the flaming sword protecting the tree of life.

Where is paradise?  New York?  The Kingdom of God is within you!  Central Park is an external symbol for your heart which we elaborated as the entire earth.  This is paradise.

This is also your mother.  Psychologically, we all (of us guys) marry our mothers, yes?  So what do the symbols of the garden mean?  Interesting the symbol for earth is a cross, eh? What sustains us?  Or better, who sustains us?

EVE (the mother)

Now the image of Lillith makes more sense.  She is the tree of life.  Paradise.  Wholeness. Mother.  Earth.  The sustainer of life.  Life literally issues from her.  Odin hangs upon this tree. Jesus is crucified on this cross.

So, what is the snake then?  What is the apple?  And are these static symbols?  Maybe, but I will show some variations of symbolic meaning hopefully bringing revelation to you and to me.
Prior to this, I want to bring the Tarot back in once more to elaborate something that I've just come to understand that underscores the tree of life and the cross upon which Jesus hangs.

As you well know, I've been reading a book that elucidates the hero's journey through the major arcana of the Tarot.  As noted in my post the wheel, the hero's journey is a cycle best illustrated by the sun, thus the journey traces a circle of both light and darkness creating parings of stages on the journey above and below.  These pairings of stages represent opposite ends of the same pole thus communicating a relationship above and below.  I described some of these relationships and linked them with their corresponding planets last time.

The parings?:  Magician/Wheel; High Priestess/Strength; The Empress/Hanged Man; Emperor/Death; Hierophant/Temperance; Lovers/Devil; Chariot/Tower; Justice/Star; Hermit/Moon.

 We see the Hanged Man and the Mother together.  She is nature, and nature requires sacrifice for sustaining life.  This  then is the meaning of The Emperor and Death pairing, forming a relationship together.  The Emperor's reign is limited.  Finite.  His end, and change revitalizes the world energies and stirs the stagnation.  She, the mother, nourishes him, but she requires his death for the payment of this nourishment.  So . . .
Tree Of Life



Adam + Eve

Paradise Regained

Tree of Life
The Fountain


Jaspal said...

I have been thinking lately as to why we call the morning the "mourning", what are we mourning when we wake up? You seem to have answered that question! It is also funny that you associate the hanged man/4 with Earth, I had left this comment on someone else’s blog:

"I've been trying to put together my own number list since having a weird experience where I was woken up by thunder at 6 on the dot, when discussing Zeus the night before. So I started to think about the planets and numbers, starting with 6 as Zeus and then looking at the others.

1 Sun - The source, the light, the oneness
2 Mercury - The serpent, bringer of knowledge
3 Venus - Associated with Lucifer, the 3 can be seen as a Trident WE3 spinner etc
4 Earth - The hanged man, where we are now, experiencing time and contemplation. Like Odin, we sit waiting for the end of the Universe.
5 Mars - 5 is life, Aries, David Icke has a theory that the Aryans came from Mars, was there life on Mars?
6 Jupiter - As discussed, fire, fury, rage, thunder, father Zeus laying down the law
7 Saturn - The sickle of death, that which defeats time
8 Uranus - Infinity, the beginning, he who was castrated by Saturn/Cronus using the sickle."

From one we came and to infinity we return!

I see so many films in the eyes of Joseph Campbell now, from the Matrix (the purpose of life is to end) to the Wizard of OZ. The phrase 'it is the journey that is important' has never been so apt.

I saw Shawshank Redemption again yesterday and I saw why this film is seen as the best film ever made (by IMDB). This is life, going into the prison is taking birth (you are given a number and a ID by the corporation, social security number, birth certificate number etc), and then the process of purification begins.

It is your journey through OZ, the strawman teaches intelligence, the tin man teaches you compassion and the lion teaches you courage, at the end you will get Wizdom (kingdom of the Wizard).

There is no heaven without hell, because the idea of heaven can only exist by that which you will not experience. A person born with a silver spoon will not know suffering, like the Buddha who was shelded from seeing illness, old age and death.

That is why we experience time, our soul is being cleaned, like a droplet of water starting off at the top of the mountain and being purified along its journey (why does Andy Dufresne crawl through a pile of shit and come out clean, in the Pacific that has 'no memory'?).

Just to leave you with a final thought that someone left me with. There is still some external power that puts us into a material body at a certain time and place, what is that power and what is its purpose?

Eunus Noe said...


I'm thankful you are here. Your comments are always so insightful and inspiring. After I complete a post I think that I'm done for a bit, and then you show me something that I hadn't seen and I'm off to the races again.

So your number line blew my mind. I can't believe I didn't think about it that way either. I think I would alter it though just a tad. So, I've talked about Adam & Eve alot. Lots of Eden, garden, but also Kundalini and rising serpent stuff too. One of the things that I was going to do was climb the ladder on the blog one chakra at a time, detailing each lotus to understand it better. Most recently I laid out the planets to understand their archetypal nature. Now here is the curve ball you threw at me:


I have to fudge though.

1. mercury -serpent (at bowel) holding facts of life
2. venus/devil (at genitals) erotic
3. mars (at gut) will to power-aggression
4. earth (at heart) Anahata
5. Jupiter
6. Saturn (third eye)
7. Uranus (thousand petal lotus)

It is odd to associate mars w/ 3 because 3 is tied up in the spirit in my mind.

I guess I will have to start looking into the meanings of the chakras again.

I almost got to this place w/ my "Eden" post last October (I even put the serpent on the cross and quoted John 3:14, funny that I didn't put a picture of a serpent on a cross this time after the one of R. Weisz naked w/ serpent,) but what I'm saying now is that I guess I needed you to show me the connection.

Thanks so much.
Where is your blog? I'd love to read it. If you don't have one, I think you should.


Chris said...

I like the view you take of the cross being an intersection. In this way you have also illuminated the 'plus' sign as resonating nicely.


wv: aries

Eunus Noe said...

Thanks for stopping by Chris!

samorette said...

Dear Psychiatrist sir, I propose TO BE IS TO UNDERSTAND THE MOMENTUM OF OUR OWN LIFE AND MAINTAIN IT. And this requires a little bit nihilism too, and a more of self esteem. so that an overconfident grandeur doesn't surface, so it remains a gentle life.