Author Topic: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb  (Read 232 times)

Olive

The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« on: July 24, 2018, 03:19:19 pm »
Hello all, this is just a bit of speculative reverie I hope you'll join me in. It revolves around three of the most potent animal symbols in Hebrew theology: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb. First I will assign some values to each, and then we shall see what arises from their relations. After that, I'll open the floor for you guys to give this same exercise a go on your own terms.

Here is what I see in them, in simple terms.

The Lion is primarily mighty. He represents power and strength. He sleeps where he chooses, and he eats what he chooses. No other beast can challenge him. He is king of the wild.

The Serpent is primarily wise. He represents reason, knowledge, and the sagacity of understanding.

The Lamb is primarily innocent. Due to the nature of it's heart, it is harmless to all. Even if you hurt it, it will still present itself to you with the same vulnerability. It is pure and untainted.


Let us imagine an equilateral triangle with each of these occupying a vertex. At each corner, there is a paragon that stands for the perfected principle of each of these symbols. And in the middle of each connecting line, there is a circle that represents the paragon of someone who partakes in both of the principles he is connected to.

Between the last two is the Gnostic. He strives to be as wise as the serpent, and yet as innocent as the lamb. He wishes harm on no one, and yet, he doesn't ignore evil either. He does not turn his face away from carnage and devastation. He watches with unflinching eye, and learns from it as well as or better than the predator does. He is experienced, and has the means to preserve himself in a cruel world without stepping on the heads of others so to speak. We can see this in theory with gnostic Christians, Buddhists, White witches, the romanticized depiction of the Cathars, and certain Yogis and alchemists.

Between the first two is the Satanist (just to use a name, not speaking for anyone else). He strives to be as wise as the serpent, and as strong as the lion. He lives by a sort of Nietzschean Master Morality, and seeks to satisfy his Will to power. The value of something is related to its usefulness to him in fulfilling his purposes, whatever shape they may take. He seeks knowledge and understanding, but then applies the insight gained from that to better realize his personal will. Certain groups of satanists, black magicians, illuminists, and secret societies tend to assume this role.

And making use of those on either side, is the Righteous Warrior or King. As innocent as the Lamb, and yet as mighty as the Lion. It is harder to put a generic name on this one, because it is the rarest combination. In this world, a man who has both purity and power will lose one or the other in time. Either for his own renunciation, his giving in to temptation, or having his power taken by someone smarter or more cruel than he. The resurrected Christ at judgement is referred to often as "the lion and the lamb," because of his nature of being All-mighty and All-good. (Although one could also argue he would be all-wise in a gnostic interpretation.) For more grounded examples, I would point to someone like Layman Pang - who is remembered as living a practical life in society despite being fully awakened and selfless. Or otherwise in a zen-like warrior, who enters into battle without thought of victory or defeat. Like a samurai, or like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita


Challenge: Add a new animal, or use another set of symbolic animals, and see how the relationships change, and what new characters arise in their concordance.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 03:50:23 pm by Olive »
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Liu

Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 05:12:46 pm »
Some nice food for thought.
I'd like to mention that also the deities that Satanists etc. tend to worship are often snake-like, sometimes lion-like but pretty much never lamb-like (well, rams sometimes, and goats of course, but those both have different connotations).
Ahriman even is depicted as a mix of human, lion and serpent.

Challenge: Add a new animal, or use another set of symbolic animals, and see how the relationships change, and what new characters arise in their concordance.
Lol, not exactly animals, but just started playing Pokemon Go yesterday and now while reading your text I clicked on an arena and had to choose between the 3 teams of intuition, wisdom and audacity*, each represented by one of the 'legendary birds'. So I immediately tried to connect them to the 3 concepts and they fit kinda, but with some slightly different focus each (e.g. intuition would rather be one's inner voice than any pacifism-based notion of morality). The choice between them was harder than between the three animals, and with a different order of preference.

*well, in English they are named instinct, mystic and valor, but I only read that later.

Olive

Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2018, 07:09:57 pm »
That's an interesting note about Ahriman for sure. Although on the flipside, whether or not his counterpart Ahura-Mazda can be considered a gnostic figure is debatable, depending on interpretations. It seems he was at one point he was considered the uncreated father of wisdom and the holy spirit, which is pretty much in line with what gnostic texts speak of. But in other contexts he is seen as a god of Order and Justice, which begins to resemble the creator god that gnostics oppose. More contemporary anti-cosmic views tend to value Chaos over order. Perhaps a more appropriate figure would be Zurvan from the extinct sect of Zoroastrianism. An androgynous goddess that exists before and outside of duality.

I think there is more to the Lamb than just pacifism, unless we also contend that there is a sort of emotional and spiritual pacifism that goes along with it as well. I think purity goes beyond just ethical understanding and can also refer to a pure mind, untouched and untempted by archonic forces. But that is stretching the metaphor a bit.  :mrgreen: I find that there is a certain power in innocence that is in one sense nothing, and in another it is another totally disarming and overpowering. I think this is related to the value traditionally placed on sacrificial targets. It seems it has always been thought that sacrifices involving virgins or children were of the highest value, and provided the highest energy exchange or effectiveness. 


Certainly, it's a little harder to draw as much from those three - though that is some interesting synchronicity. I guess it's difficult to imagine paragons of those virtues, because each one is inherent in a mind, and therefore it's difficult to choose or not choose them. (With the exception of audacity/valor I suppose.) My guess we is that we need symbols that are related to action rather than nature, or otherwise ones that are a bit more concretely defined. For instance, I'm having trouble fully separating Wisdom and Intuition - although 'Mystic' and 'Instinct' are more coherent as independent categories.

Thanks for stopping by and playing along!  ;)
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Xepera maSet

  • O.S. Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1661
  • Total likes: 1819
  • Eternally Grateful to Our Forum Members; HAIL YOU!
    • View Profile
    • My Book on Setianism
Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2018, 07:59:56 pm »
I really like this, will ponder it

"The Dragon became as a many-headed Serpent,
It's fiery tongues bearing forth speech
Into all the kingoms of the Earth."


My book, "Behold: the Prince of Darkness!": https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1726037460/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_1726037460

pi_rameses

Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2018, 09:11:11 pm »
From the dome here. Might give further thoughts and impressions.

As is, was thinking along the lines:

Lion | Order

Serpent | Chaos

Lamb | Neutral


But how would this look with a wolf in place of a lion? Admittedly, I don't like it nearly as much as lion. This is coming from a Leo.
Master Willem was right. Evolution without courage will be the ruin of our race.
-Lawrence

Olive

Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2018, 10:22:58 pm »
That's an interesting perspective, and I see where you are coming from. The lion is king, the top of the food chain, and therefore in a way instill order. The serpent can be seen as a low and cursed animal (cursed to eat dust all of his days, even) that still rises up and eats things much larger than it. Which is chaos in a sort of Game of Thrones esque "Chaos is a ladder" sort of way. And the lamb doesn't assert his will either way, so he will die by the Order of the Lion, or the Chaos of the Snake. It doesn't matter - either way he is still victimized.

I'm not sure that the wolf changes this dichotomy enormously, other than adding more social implications (Or potentially a lone-wolf angle). But in this context I also prefer the Lion, although the wolf is often invoked for similar purposes in scripture.

I'm a Leo too! Congrats, it's the second day of our season.
    Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
     Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth, -
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Liu

Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 09:04:43 pm »
Further things that came to mind:
A common iconography in Christianity is a lion and a serpent or dragon fighting each other. That stands for some of its most dualistic aspects. On the LHP we instead balance and combine these two.

And even the goat could be seen as a combination of a sheep/lamb and elements that stop it from being defenseless and innocent, therefore a combination of opposites itself.
Those two animals are so similar that in Chinese they use the same word for the two - they have no word meaning goat or sheep but only one meaning caprine (if they want to stress that they refer to goats they call them mountain caprines). Shows how culture specific these things are.

Liu

Re: The Lion, The Serpent, and The Lamb
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 05:08:06 pm »
Oh, and one more thing about serpents and lions: The Hebrew letter Teth seems to be associated with the zodiac sign of Leo and its name means snake.

(just taking my information from Duquette's Chicken Kabbalah, so I have no idea whether that correspondence is the usual one nor whether the translation is correct)