|Aeneas and the Sibyl, by John Martin|
When the daimon calls, one must answer. I get these incredible urges to read, write, soak up every bit of wisdom and knowledge from those who have followed their daimons before me. I regret the times I have not been pulled in this direction. There are several selves within, however, which compel all of us. I have written of this before. My primary ones are the philosopher self and a computer technologist self. There is also a musical self there, as well. The philosopher archetype is the most potent and compelling of the three, as this blog is testimony to. The technology self has provided me with a career, although I have felt for years that I missed my calling. The folly of youth and life’s circumstances have confined me and my ideas to this medium, not that it is unworthy, only that I long for time to write books, travel, and glean more than I currently am from the world. The philosopher daimon has an insatiable appetite!
Of course, we all possess many selves. Some are just more dominant than others. While I am in one of these modes, I am totally consumed with the subject matter at hand. The god of philosophy usually flourishes in mid-winter. Being shut in so much because of the cold weather puts me into a more contemplative state and my mind is flooded with ideas to write about.
This is nothing new. The Greeks wrote about this experience over two thousand years ago. The daimones are beings who make up our souls. They are intermediate entities that bridge the gap between physical and spiritual. They are angels who deliver messages to humans from The All. A character in Plato’s Symposium, Diotima, puts it this way:
All that is daemonic lies between the mortal and the immortal. Its functions are to interpret to men communications from the gods—commandments and favours from the gods in return for men’s attentions—and to convey prayers and offerings from men to the gods. Being thus between men and gods the daemon fills up the gap and so acts as a link joining up the whole. Through it as intermediary pass all forms of divination and sorcery. God does not mix with man; the daemonic is the agency through which intercourse and converse take place between men and gods, whether in waking visions or in dreams (quoted in Dodds, Pagan and Christian In An Age Of Anxiety, pages 86-7).
One thing that interests me is that the World Soul, the macrocosm to our microcosm, is also, by course, subject to the influences of the daimones. What is this like? Is this why the world suffers times of great suffering or great blessing? Europe saw a Dark Age, but also witnessed a great Renaissance. The daimones can bring both good and evil. Can we influence these for good instead of evil? Is this why we pray?
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