This is the last gasp of 2014. As much as I’d like to enumerate the list of scientific and social accomplishments, I feel that we humans have a lot of unfinished business. Much of the left-over, collective agenda is due to our failure to act upon or even listen to our inner voices. I realize that I’m “preaching to the choir” in this forum, but my inner conscience still wants the podium on the last day of the year, anyway.
All of the mentions, in the news, about ISIS and their inhumane activities made me remember that there has long been another Isis with roots in the Middle East. The other Isis hails from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. Isis is the Goddess of the grains. Isis minds the gate to mystery and imagination. Isis occupies the mental territory between darkness and light.
The God(s) of old have evolved throughout history to the form(s) our culture knows today. When the ancient Greeks adopted the concept of Isis, she became Persephone. In the guise of a Greek goddess, Persephone ate a pomegranate seed in the underworld, forcing her to return to that realm each year.
Hence, the ideal of duty became sacred to the Goddess. In today’s guise, Isis lives on in our subconscious and manifests in our highest values. Isis represents the meeting of esoteric and exoteric teachings. That is the blending of wisdom and practical action.
The ancient aspects of Isis should ideally be present in all of our worldly leaders. The knowledge that humankind has accumulated through the fertility of our minds can be met by a higher wisdom and purpose to put it to best use.
Unfortunately, industrial and post-industrial civilization has banished Isis/Persephone to the underworld.
It is time for the ancient ideals to resurface in our modern world. I do not advocate a retrograde movement backwards to bronze age religiosity at all, because that is our world’s present state. I’m more in favor of adapting what wisdom we have accumulated from past traditions into useful tools that will enable all of humankind to work and live together in harmony.
Figuratively thinking, we all can harbor Isis in our minds. Isis is wisdom and knowledge; she is serenity and understanding. Isis guards our unconscious and holds the keys to open the door of awareness. The aspects of our personal Isis enable us to join our practical knowledge with the wisdom of an enlightened, compassionate attitude. Isis is the inner voice our civilization has ignored and neglected during the past several centuries.
It is quite apparent that today’s world and our lives are seriously out of balance. We have failed to wisely apply our logic and intellect to solve humanity’s age-old problems. Instead we use technology to serve power and greed. In turn, our hard-won knowledge is rationed out in biased forms to suit the purposes of fear and oppression. As a whole, we have not allowed our amazing knowledge to assist us to become a more humane, compassionate civilization. Instead, we have entertained and distracted ourselves to the brink of destruction. We have a plentiful array of tools, but they are neglected, and worse, misused.
There is no need to regress to the so-called Golden Ages of ancient Greece or Egypt. The people of those years suffered from the same shortsightedness and lack of compassion as we do, and worse.
I don’t think we need to resort to fuzzy-headed fantasies about an ideal ancient world. If we could travel back in a time machine, most of us would be utterly horrified at what passed as civilized behavior. It was the inhumanity of those times that seeded the dreams of people who could see beyond their base desires.
Isis, as a part of us all, represents the secret about how to gain inner illumination. We know, in our hearts, that all of us have much to gain when we let go of the desire to control others. We know that we will certainly need each other to survive and to thrive in the uncertain and mysterious future.
There are human invented forces that serve hatred and greed. There are universal, natural forces that can tear apart our physical world. We often represent the harmful, destructive forces in the disguise of the underworld. It’s easy to see how we humans are easy prey to prejudice, feelings of superiority, hunger for more and more money and stuff, and the urge to squash others who are not like us. We have purposely engaged our political, religious, and educational institutions towards the endeavors to acquire superiority and to destroy others.
On the other hand, most of us are endowed with an active conscience that knows and understands that we are capable of performing heroic deeds. Many of us already know that the wonders of today’s technologies and knowledge can and must be harnessed to bring about deeper understanding of the world around us. Our amazing breadth of knowledge can be enabled to bring about the peaceful, compassionate civilization of our dreams.
Even though 2015 will probably be another year of greed, hatred, and willful destruction, the drive, represented by Isis, will be in the hearts of those of us who can transcend negativity. There is a strong, undying part of humanity that understands that wisdom and compassion are the keys to opening the gates that keep us trapped in the underworld.
We can remember the example of Isis and her new-found duty to couple knowledge and wisdom that can create and enable us to enter a world that is hospitable to all of us. We can finally use myth to our advantage rather than to our disadvantage.
It is precisely because the old year dies tonight and the new year begins tomorrow, that Isis is an apt metaphor at this time in our civilization and within our personal lives.