Monday, September 17, 2012

INNOVATIVE ONLINE BOOK TOURS: Weekly Guest Post #2/Giveaway: Andrew Cort, author of The Door Is Open

Welcome to the second
weekly guest post
at A Night's Dream of Books, 
on the tour for The Door Is Open,
sponsored by
Innovative Online Book Tours!!

Dr. Andrew Cort

Andrew Cort
Paperback, 186 pages
May 19, 2012
Genre: Religion, Mythology, Spirituality

This is the second of several weekly guest posts by Dr. Cort, who is an authority on religion and spirituality, as well as mythology, politics, history, science, education, and healing.  He has written several books on these topics.  His most recent one, The Door Is Open, deals with the fascinating topic of the steps to spiritual awakening, as presented in world scriptures and mythologies.  Please join me in welcoming Dr. Cort to A NIGHT'S DREAM OF BOOKS!

I hope you will find Dr. Cort's second post to be as fascinating as I did!

Since bread and wine are traditionally bound together as symbols of life-giving nourishment from the gods, it is not surprising that in ancient Greece Demeter, the goddess of the grain, was often worshipped together with Bacchus, the god of wine. Bacchus was the child of Zeus and a human mother. He is best known to us as the personification of wine and ecstasy. The worship of Bacchus was characterized by wild dancing, music, and madcap abandon.

Like other gods of vegetation Bacchus was believed to have died a violent death, but to have been
brought back to life again. Zeus’ wife, the goddess Hera, hated this child born of a human mother and plotted his destruction. Knowing how she felt, Zeus entrusted young Bacchus to the care of guards that he thought he could trust. Hera, however, bribed the guards, and by amusing the boy with a mirror – which he stared into, becoming fascinated with his image – she lured him underground into a trap. The Titans, whom Zeus had imprisoned in the earth, were now co-conspirators with Hera, and they ambushed the boy, tore him to pieces, boiled his flesh, and ate it. But Athena, the goddess of Wisdom, who had shared in Hera’s treachery, now repented and saved the boy’s Heart. She brought it to Zeus, and confessed the whole sordid story. Enraged, Zeus blasted the Titans with a mighty thunderbolt, reducing them to ashes. He was then able to nurture the heart of Bacchus, and from the heart the boy was reborn.

Out of the ashes of the Titans, Zeus had Prometheus craft the Human Race. A composite creature, our lower nature is made of the remains of the Titans themselves (stardust), who had become wicked and
distorted because of their long and bitter involvement in the depths of the material world to which Zeus had banished them. Our higher nature, however, comes from the burned remains of the god Bacchus, pieces of whom the Titans had devoured. It is for this reason that the Mysteries taught that suicide is a horrific crime, since every human being contains a portion of the god, and thus our body is his property and his temple and must always be treated reverentially.

Bacchus, a combination of Heaven (his father Zeus) and Earth (his human mother), was thus "of both worlds” – and he is thus a symbol of the Soul, which is also "of both worlds" (and so is Wine, which
can produce either lunacy or ecstasy). Bacchus became spellbound by his image in the mirror, hypnotized by the illusory reflection of reality, and thus he was ensnared by the Titans who cut him up into fragments and scattered the pieces amongst themselves (which means, symbolically, that they scattered them everywhere).

In just this way the human soul is mesmerized and ensnared by the fascinating world of matter, and is fragmented and devoured by life, toward which it disperses its scattered attention (hence the need to practice meditation and learn to focus our attention). But all is not lost! When Zeus saw that the Titans, in a degraded caricature of their original generative purpose, were now scattering pieces of the divine idea throughout the lower world, he immediately destroyed them so that the divine idea would not be completely lost. From the ashes (dust) he created human beings, whose purpose is to preserve and nurture the Soul, their little piece of Bacchus, and eventually release it from the lower world of Matter back into the Heavens.

Author Bio

Andrew Cort is an expert on the inner message of Spiritual Awakening that is always ready to be found in the wonderful stories of the Bible and Greek Mythology. To receive several FREE GIFTS from Dr. Cort (a copy of Chapter One, ‘Making the Decision’, from his new book, THE DOOR IS OPEN; a copy of his article on RECONCILING SCIENCE AND RELIGION; and a complete version of the Bible’s erotic masterpiece, SONG OF SONGS , adapted as a Poetic Dialogue to be read out loud by lovers; as well as a subscription to his SPIRITUAL GROWTH NEWSLETTER) click here . You can also learn more on his blog, Spirituality and Religion.


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  1. Hello Maria and Dr Cort - This is fascinating commentary. It is very interesting how so many philosophies tend to champion the soul and the immaterial over the physical world. I never thought of Bacchus in this regard but I do now see the connection!

    I am actually reading DH Lawrence's "Women in Love" at the moment. There are several passages that allude to Bacchus that also connect with the idea of reinvigorating the human spirit.

  2. Hi, there, Brian!

    Oh, yes, this is indeed fascinating!! There's a lot of symbolism in the myth of Bacchus, and I really like the way Dr. Cort brings it out. The fact that this god's parents were a combination of heaven and earth is very intriguing, for instance. Every human being is composed of the elements represented by earth and sky -- the body, and the soul.

    How ineresting that Bacchus is mentioned in "Women In Love"! That's a bit of serendipity, for sure! Although I haven't read this novel, I would imagine that Lawrence refers to Bacchus in the sense of unbridled passion exclusively. I shall have to actually read the novel, though, in order to confirm my suspicions.

    Thanks for the very insightful comment!! : )

  3. Hey Maria - The passage that I am thinking of in "Women in Love" involves an unbridled passion and connection with nature.

    "Women in Love" is a sequel to the "The Rainbow". I definitely recommend reading "The Rainbow" first.

  4. Hi, again, Brian!

    I'm not surprised about Lawrence's use of he Bacchus myth. He seemed to be entirely too preoccupied with sensual pleasures (not that there's anything wrong with sensuality, but it should be within proper bounds; Lawrence was clearly immoral).

    Well, if I ever do decide to read this novel, I'll be sure to read "The Rainbow" first.

    Thanks for the great comment!! : )

  5. Hi Brian,

    I think I read 'Women in Love' a long time ago (I know I read 'Sons and Lovers', but we're going back 40 years and I really don't remember a thing about either of them except that the tone was quite somber and he was in a coal-mining environment). I'm wondering , now, what you mean - or what you thing Lawrence means - by "unbridled passion". Are you (or he) talking about uncontrolled egoistic sex or a passionate love of life with no holds barred? or something else?


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