Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We Cannot Survive Without Each Other~

"Oh Morning Star, Make a path for me!"  This is the desperate plea from an Egyptian who died centuries ago.  His name, his existence, and everyone he knew have been utterly forgotten.  And yet his question remains.  Is there a path through night and death? A guiding star, that leads to Redemption and Morning?

Anthropologist Joseph Campbell identified this problem in
The Heroes Journey, and argued that all cultures unanimously share this fundamental concern. 

Quick Recap: 
#1 The Hero or Prince is born in the Royal court, 
#2 Sent on a impossible journey to obtain a treasure, 
#3 Given gifts to help him achieve the impossible,
#4 Go, Fight, Win! 
#5 He returns triumphant to Heaven/Home/Olympus/Afterlife, and is given a crown and/or immortal life.

Every culture reiterates this human experience, in their paradigm story or myth: St. George and the Dragon, Isis and Osiris, Hercules and the Hydra, Adam and Eve.  (Oh, Wait, someone has been tampering with our story.* At least we still have Star Wars.) The Mormon Temple also reiterates this pattern.

Hugh Nibley  brings an interesting perspective to the "impossible task"

 of the journey.  According to Nibley's research of the hypocephalus, in Egyptian belief 
 the magical gift that helps the hero accomplish the impossible task is defined by opposition in all things....

For the Egyptians ultimate power came through gender interaction. A concept quietly forgotten as the innocuous Hebrew word "helpmeet."

That was way oversimplified, but take a look.  

 Woman brings man to life in the mortal sphere, (through birth) but then she dies, so she is stuck there.  Man brings woman to life in the immortal sphere (through resurrection.)  Neither of them can get through the whole journey without their gender opposite. The works of our fathers, and brother, sisters and wives are the bridge that take us from one world to the next,  from life to death and to life again.

In between those two opposite ends of mortality, there are a thousand ways our separate genders serve and redeem each other. Fixing flat tires and cooking dinner, and forgiving so often you think you are going to kill someone. That service that is so mundane, the give and take of relationships, creates a centrifugal force, if you will, that keeps "the stars aligned," so that we can literally bridge the gateways between the spheres of eternity--. from premortal to mortal to eternal. And we cannot do it without sympathy for our opposite.

All of us are walking in the dark of the Hero’s Journey. We cannot feel the strength of family members who have moved on into the next sphere without us. Our own forgetfulness, impatience, cruelty, lack of forgiveness darken the stars. Thank heavens our loved ones slow down and wait for us when we get lost. Hopefully we wait for them and for others in return. But our loved ones, and the love we bear each other, are our own best hope. Our relationships and the covenants that solemnize them are the Morning Star that guides us through the night.

Thanks to Kent  Pimentel who inspired this post by asking about my painting,  “Oh, Morning Star, Make a Path for Me!” 

This piece and other meditations on relationships are showing through December
 at the Carriage House Gallery in Provo.


Anonymous said...

Do you sell prints of this painting?

Mary said...

I'm working on creating a limited edition print right now, hopefully in time for christmas. The colors are a little bit disapointing to me right now. So it is a bit slow. But if you leave some contact info I can send you more information.

Mary said...