|Meeting with the Goddess
||[Apr. 30th, 2006|06:21 am]
Mythical Realms: Folklore & Mythological Arts
Funny, synchronicities strikes again. I had promised to post this up here, and when I do, someone had posted about Tara. This posting is about a part of the Hero's Journey, "The Meeting With the Goddess", of which Isis, Tara, et. al. takes various forms as the World Mother. |
... She was Cosmic Power, the totality of the universe, the harmonization of all the pars of opposites, combining wonderfully the terror of absolute destruction with an impesonal yet motherly reassurance. As change, the river of time, the fluidity of life, the dodess at once creates, preserves, and destroys. Her name is Kali, the Black One; her title: The Ferry across the Ocean of Existence.
One quiet afternoon Ramakrishna beheld a beautiful woman ascend from the Ganges and approach the grove in which he was meditating. He perceived that she was about to give birth to a child. In a moment, the babe was born, and she gently nursed it. Presently, however, she assumed a horrible aspect, took the infant in her now ugly jaws and crushed it, chewed it. Swallowing it, she returned again to the Ganges, where she disappeared.
Only geniuses capable of the highest realization can support the full revelation of the sublimity of this goddess. For lesser men she reduces her effulgence and permits herself to appear in forms concordant with their undeveloped powers. Fully to behold her would be a terrible acident for any person not spiritually prepared: as witness the unlucky case of the lusty young buck Actaeon. No saint was he, but a sportsman unprepared for the revelation of the form that must be beheld without the normal human (i.e., infantile) over- and undertones of desire, surprise, and fear.
Woman, in the picture language of mythology, represents the totality of what can be known. The hero is the one who comes to know. As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transfigurations: she can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more than he is yet capable of comprehending. She lures, she guides, she bids him burst his fetters. And if he can match her import, the two, the knower and the known, will be released from every limitation. Woman is the guide to the sublime acme of sensuous adventure. By deficiet eyes she is reduced to inferior states; by the evil eye of ignorance she is spellbound to banality and ugliness. But she is redeemed by the eyes of understanding. The hero who can take her as she is, without undue commotion but with the kindness and assurance she requires is potentially the king, the incarnate god, of her created world.
-- Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces