Cheating the Ferryman: A New Paradigm of Existence?
By ANTHONY PEAKE
What happens when we die? This is the ultimate question and one that we still have no real answer. From the first few moments that man became a self-aware being he has pondered upon this mystery.
Every culture has attempted an explanation, and it is reasonable to conclude that all religions exist to give an account of what happens at that moment and, more importantly, where does the person go after their body dies.
One of the most enduring myths is that of the Ancient Greeks. They believed that the recently dead would find themselves at the banks of a vast river, the River Styx. Out of the mists would appear Charon, the Ferryman. It was his job to ferry the soul, termed a “Shade,” across to the other side…. To the Land of the Dead.
But he did not do this for free. He needed a payment. The relatives of the recently dead person made sure the Shade could pay the ferryman. This payment was usually a small coin called an obolus. Depending upon the tradition, either this would be placed under the tongue of the corpse or two oboli would be placed over each eye.
This well known myth still resonates over three thousand years later. “To Pay The Ferryman” can still be heard today. However, there is a lesser known myth that suggests a deeper truth: The myth of the River Lethe.
The Greeks believed that before getting to the banks of the Styx the Shade would encounter a much smaller tributary of the great river. This could be crossed with ease by wading from bank to bank. This small river was called the Lethe, and its waters contained a profoundly important quality.
If the Shade or newly deceased soul drank of this water all their memories would evaporate. They would forget who they are and the events of their life. Their memories would become like those of a new born baby. Of course by doing so the Shade also forgot all of the lessons learned during that life.
But before doing this the Shade had the option of drinking from a small pool next to the Lethe. This was the Spring of Mnemosyne. By drinking here the Shade’s past-life memories became sharp and distinct. Each action and its subsequent effects became crystal clear. Life’s lessons became precise and understood.
If the Shade drank of the Spring of Mnemosyne they were allowed to pay the ferryman, board the boat, and sail across the Styx to the Elysian Fields.
But if a drop of the waters of the Lethe was drunk by the Shade, then they were sent back to be reborn again with no memories of their previous life. Now this was not a form of reincarnation as it is understood by most people. It was a re-birth process in which the same life was lived again. The Shade found itself back in its mother’s womb waiting to start all over again.
This concept is called “The Eternal Recurrence” and has been a long held alternative belief to that of the linear life found in most religions, even those who have reincarnation as their central belief.
However, those who have long held this belief never shared it with the masses. Such a belief has always been found in the secret – esoteric – groups within most of the major religions. This is the great secret carried through the ages by the groups loosely termed as “Gnostics.”
The Gnostic tradition can be found behind the great mystery traditions of the Middle East and Europe. From the Manicheans of Persia to the Cathari of Southern France, and from the Cabbalists of Southern Spanish Judaism to the Sufi’s of Arabia, this hidden knowledge is the real Holy Grail in whose defence the Knights Templar and the Albigenesians died in their thousands to protect.
In my books I present evidence for this belief system, that at the moment of death we are catapulted back to our moment of birth. The theory is supported by a good deal of evidence from modern science, particularly quantum physics, neurology, psychiatry and consciousness studies.
I call this theory “Cheating the Ferryman” because I suggest many of us never make it across the River Styx. We never step into Charon’s boat and we never pay him his obolus. We cheat the ferryman out of his fare and return to live our lives again.
On what evidence do I base such a totally weird idea?
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