On: The Sun and The Cross

And at the 9th hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Mark 15:34

Christ on the Cross parallels another father of European civilisation, another who overcame death, Socrates.  It is said that at his execution that he wilfully attended, Socrates drank his poisonous hemlock whilst lecturing the onlookers about the immortality of the soul.

If Socrates is the philosophical father of the Son of the Father, let us begin at both of their deaths.  Should Socrates be correct, and the soul be eternal, then it should follow that a spiritual state should exist before and after life and death in the bodily sense.  This state before the incarnation of man into a body meta-historically we would know as the state of Eden.

It follows that after Eden came the Fall, that man should symbolically take a bite of the apple and gain knowledge.  Thus began history.

Eden, being free from end (death) and strife (suffering), is a state of immaterial paradise – to gain knowledge outside of this is to come to know death and suffering.  Therefore, having bitten the apple, Adam and Eve are cast down from Eden to Earth, fated to both die and suffer – this is why there is something rather than nothing.

Having assumed material bodies, Adam and Eve, and their children, are now separated from God (The Father in Heaven).  The Greeks knew of God in Heaven, that pure spiritual transcendence outside of our ability to connect or comprehend fully.  Although we may draw numerous comparisons, they represented this through Apollo. He is the Sun as pure energy, God as pure Being.

However, they also knew other gods, higher beings that acted as individual divine reflections of God.  A part that reflects to a wider, higher whole.

It is here I would refer to the opening of the Book of Revelations, where the apostle John states:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

Cryptic, yes.  However, this notion reflects a very important relationship with the Divine that surpasses transcendence. In Greek philosophy there is an important concept known as the Logos – that is, the Divine Logic, the First Intellect, and harmony in the Cosmos.

When translating the New Testament, the Latin Church chose to translate Logos as ‘Word[1] – that is, the order in the universe is a reflection of the transcendent God.  In the same way that what a person says is a reflection of them it is also them. He is the Sun as a cycle.

The Omnipotence paradox asks us: What does a Being without limitation lack? The answer is limitation. Therefore, as we enter material existence, so does God – the Word of God – who is the Primordial Creator and Creation.  He is in history before us, and will be after us.

The Word is Christ.  All material happenings are inferior representations of eternal, spiritual truths.  Christ entering the world as Man is a reflection of Him as the Word. The Titan Helios was represented as the Sun as a cycle; he was older than the gods, but Apollo was, is, eternal. These truths are not limited by particular tradition, they are the truths of Tradition.

This divine and wholly beautiful universe, from the highest vault of Heaven to the lowest limit of the Earth, is held together by the continuous providence of the god, has existence from eternity ungenerated, is imperishable for all time to come, and is guarded by nothing else than the Fifth Substance [the aether] whose culmination is the beams of the Sun; and in the second and higher degree, so to speak, by the intelligible world; but in a still loftier sense it is guarded by the King of the whole universe, who is the centre of all things that exist.

Emperor Julian, Hymn to King Helios

Helios is referred to as the ‘beams of the Sun‘, as opposed to the Sun as itself; Helios illuminates the ‘intelligible world‘; Helios is proclaimed King of the whole universe. It is not difficult to see the parallel with Christ the Word of God; Christ the Divine Intellect; Christ the King.

This brings us back to Christ on the Cross.  Following his death sentence, He is crucified – the cross being an ancient solar symbol sometimes represented further as a wheel.

The Sun as a cycle, being a representation of God manifest in the cosmos, is presented as a vertical line representing the Divine (reaching ‘upward’ to Heaven), the infinite, and unchanging, meeting a horizontal cross representing matter, the finite, and the changing universe that is encapsulated by a circle – the unifying whole.  Hermes Trismegistus stated that man is superior to the gods as he knows both matter and the spiritual realm.  It is here we find Christ.

On the Cross he cries to the Father (who art in Heaven, not Earth), ‘why hast thou forsaken me?’  God, to know limitation, must bear suffering and death to receive eternal life, a cyclical symbol expressed in the aforementioned image of the solar cross.  Having stepped out of paradise with Man, God is now both imminent (inside of time and space) and transcendent.  Man can now commune with God in life on Earth through spiritual practice.

The Death on the Cross is symbolic of man having fallen from Heaven to Earth, and through the divine logic of the universe he may act in a way that he may once again attain Eden.

[1]In principo erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.