Monday, July 9, 2007

Divine Connection continued...

The conclusion that man does not have an immortal soul may not seem as obvious to you as it does to me. In a way, the Gods become aware of us as objects of curiosity worthy of guiding not because they took some special interest in our evolution from the beginning, but because we sought them out after experiencing them. Man is the product of evolution, not divine design, and as a result, we partake of the mortal nature of our four dimensional space-time. Or, more precisely, the mortal and transitory nature of matter.

But, before you jump to the conclusion that this makes us unimportant or that it isolates me as a human being in a lonely way, the opposite is actually true. It gives me a sense of power beyond what the implications and limitations of mortality may dictate. Man pulls himself up from the mud of evolution and transcends the animal nature to contemplate bigger things. In a way, we move ourselves closer to the divine by reaching out to it. We don't become divine, but we aspire to it which none the less gives us a sense of divinity that we lay claim to because of our connection to the divine.

Hestia, the lady of the hearth, is not only a connecting force but also a moving force in the mental evolution of man kind. How? I once wrote a piece in which Hestia is characterized as the Goddess that gives man fire. In myth this is actually said to be the Titan Prometheus, who is then punished by Zeus, but in my view this Promethean myth is one of the Great Deity we call Hestia, but which is essentially "The Great Fire God." This distinction is essentially irrelevant, since I worship in the Hellenic context, and that context lays the gift of fire into the hands of a Titan, and that actually makes sense.

Hestia, a name which means hearth, as a figure of veneration, is a very ancient Goddess. Evidence in Mycenaean and Minoan archaeology shows that the hearth cult goes back into most ancient antiquity, and to our species, this makes sense, and mythologically, it goes back into the Titanic age using a Titanic tool, the raging fire, which is then tamed for our use. Hence, the titanic and destructive fire becomes the amiable and humble hearth, and that deity becomes the Hearth Goddess, Hestia.

If Hestia is that fire deity, and she is, then her tending of the fire is linked to her tending of the home, and here we go into the symbolic concept of the human body being the home for the fire that is life, and more importantly, sentience and sapience.

Man's use of fire, which equates to man's reaching out to that deity, is a very important movement toward intelligence and the evolution of civilization. Thus, the human spirit, that part of us that strives for greater things, is sparked here at the beginning when man goes from being just another animal, perhaps a little more wily than most, to a possessor of fire, both physical and spiritual.

OK, so this is, essentially where Hestia has taken me so far. And now, as I continue to explore her, I must move toward what it means for me, today, to live and breathe and experience the Gods, especially this Goddess.

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