That the condition described in the ancient texts and myths as death actually refers to the soul’s condition when plunged into the realm of matter during this incarnate life — a point missed by almost all modern scholars and researchers of ancient myth, who have perhaps been misled by nearly two centuries of literalistic interpretation of ancient wisdom: literalistic interpretation which has missed the metaphor entirely
We have the whole idea most tersely expressed in the Gorgias of Plato:
“But indeed, as you say also, life is a grievous thing. For I should not wonder if Euripides spoke the truth when he says: ‘Who knows whether to live is not to die, and to die is not to live?’ And we perhaps are in reality dead. For I have heard from one of the wise that we are now dead; and that the body is our sepulcher, but that the part of the soul in which the desires are contained is of such a nature that it can be persuaded and hurled upward and downwards.”
[. . .]
The great Plotinus (Enneads I, lviii) gives us a clear presentment of the Greek conception:
“When the soul had descended into generation (from this first divine condition) she partakes of evil and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity, to be entirely merged in it . . . and death to her is, while baptized or immersed in the present body, to descend into matter and be wholly subjected to it . . . This is what is meant by the falling asleep in Hades, of those who have come there.” (Lost Light, 160 – 161).
Through these incredible symbolic allegories, the ancient myths given to humanity (at some point in extreme antiquity, predating the earliest texts of Egypt and Mesopotamia) endeavor to convey to our understanding the nature of our sojourn here in this incarnate life — and to assure us that the soul does not die: its “periodic release from the body no more breaking the sequence of lives than does our nightly sleep break the continuity of the experience of the days,” as the soul “steppeth onward through eternity.
The Lost Light An Interpretation Of Ancient Scriptures
Useful Resources – http://www.adishakti.org/_/great_cover_up_of_reincarnation.htm
A Short History of Reincarnation Teachings: http://www.ccel.us/reincarnation.chap3.html
Heaven is not reached at a single bound;
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round by round – Gradatim By Josiah Gilbert Holland
For a myth, in Greek muthos [mythos], means oral tradition, passed from mouth to mouth [sic] from one generation to the other; and even in the modern etymology the term stands for a fabulous statement conveying important truth – H. P. Blavatsky
Star Myth Index:
Consideration; Excerpt –
During the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere, the Galactic Center is almost overhead, and the bright band of light sweeps across prominently from the northeastern horizon (NE) to the southwestern horizon (SW). The Galactic Center is located at the center of a dense bulge of stars (the central bulge), and its exact position lies in the direction of the Sagittarius constellation. It is here that the Quiche Mayans believe, is present, a “sky cleft” or a “hole in the sky”, from where a dark road leads to the underworld
This sky cleft was the center of the Mayan cosmos, located at the intersection of four cosmic roads. According to Roberta and Peter Markmann, “it is through this hole that the gods descend to earth and the dead to the subterranean regions; it is through the same hole that the soul of the shaman in ecstasy can fly up or down in the course of his celestial or infernal journeys.” The entrance to the underworld was also depicted in certain Classic Period Maya art as the “mouth of a water monster”; while in certain Late Postclassic Central Mexican art, the entrance is represented as a cave. Both deities and human ancestors are born out of this cave, and after death they enter into this cave and descend to the underworld.
The sky-cleft was therefore, a portal of communication with the mystical world of the spirits, through which it was possible for both deities as well as the souls of the dead to journey to the underworld. And as per the Quiche Maya, this sky-cleft was present near the Galactic Center, in the direction of the Sagittarius constellation. Is it a mere coincidence that astronomers have recently discovered that a supermassive black hole is present at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, in exactly the same region where the Mayans believe is present a hole in the sky that leads to the underworld?