Sunday, 27 September 2015

Amaterasu

"In the ancient faith of her people, Amaterasu was the Sun Goddess, from whom flowed the light that gives life."
-Poul Anderson, The Fleet Of Stars (New York, 1998), p. 1.

This opening sentence of Poul Anderson's fourth Harvest of Stars novel connects with my recent religious philosophical reflections.

The Sun gives light and life. Because of the Sun, there are living beings and the light by which they can see. Thus, the One (all that is) knows itself by the light of the Sun. I think that "One Sun Now" would be a meaningful mantra although zazen is awareness without mantras. The One cannot be prayed to - unless we want to talk to ourselves. We are each our own local representative of the One, although we are still learning how to fulfill this role. Much of the time, our biological inheritance and social conditioning make us think that we are separate selves with the sole goals of survival and pleasure or make us identify with a single aspect of the One as against others.

Although it makes no sense to address the One, hypothetical beings, lower than the One but higher than us, can be invoked. My morning prayer, so to say, is:

"We meditate on the lovely light of the god Savitri; may it stimulate our thoughts." (See here.)

Solar deities are important personifications of the source of light and life and the solar disc can symbolize the One. Higher beings might be our future selves or descendants. Anson Guthrie refers to "...the gods..." (p. 5) because, in the Harvest of Stars future history, downloaded human personalities now direct the terraforming of entire planets.

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