Monday, November 1, 2010


Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra

“Birds of the same feather flock together,” so says an idiom in metaphysics. Tons of discourses were already produced from out of this ‘birds discourse’, with sociologists and anthropologists leading the fray, concerning the ‘law of attraction’.

Many more discourses were generated from out of the ‘bird’ archetype in fact. Depending on the context, the meaning of each narrative would vary.

To add to the discourse, let me share some notes about the mythical bird called phoenix. In my country, among our southern ethnicities, a parallel mythical bird is the ‘sarimanok’. ‘Manok’ means chicken, while ‘sarimanok’ is something not like chicken but mythical and more potent than chicken or any bird for that matter.

Inner wisdom is telling me that the difference between the phoenix and sarimanok is quite hairline: the phoenix pertains to the category of the individual, while sarimanok pertains to the collective category. Other than that, they more or less reverb with the same resonance.

The resonant message from out of both mythical archetypes is that of being reborn. The Law of Reincarnation & Karma is indicated right away by any narrative that explicitly predicates on rebirth which is what both archetypes refer to.

The phoenix is referent for individual rebirth across time. Be born, then grow to mature age, and then at old age you die. But after some time, depending on the balance of your incurred karmas, you will be programmed to be re-embodied.

The sarimanok operates more on the collective level though. A ‘spirit of the race’, marking the collective mind, would equivalently be born, grow old, and then die. At some future time, it will be reborn again, as it finds manifestations in new forms, in a new people. Let’s look at a parallelism below.

In German lore, it is an old zeitgeist that will be deceased soon and then be reborn at a later time in another context. In our Malayan experience, it is our kamalayan (awareness) that is born, grows old, and dies, and then later gets to be reborn at another time and context.

Both individual and collective levels of awareness streams are equally important, as any Aspirant would realize. At the individual level, we work out each of our own liberation agenda, undoing our negative karmas accumulated through time, so that at some future time we won’t need to be reborn again.

At the collective level, we gradually work out, as a people, to purge negativities from out of our collective unconscious. This is a far more difficult task than we can imagine, for the task involves everyone else in an ethnicity, race, or nation. In the Philippines, spiritually sensitive people here are aware that our ancient kamalayan is back today, and it is challenging us to reform and evolve.

The beauty of it all is that, across the world’s cultures, we have the archetype of the Messiah. This loving wonder-figure is the one who serves as exemplar to help us rise above our limitations and predicaments, transcendence thus leading to our individual and collective liberation or kalayaan (freedom).

Even the phoenix had to be re-invented a bit to include the Messiah in its ambit of meanings. It had also meant, according to some mystical circles, as the Resurrection. Akin to Yeshua ben Joseph, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

Any figure who dies and is reborn is death-less. The Messiah, a ‘son of God’ (Ascended Being, Christed Being), has shown the way to deathlessness. If we follow the Messiah’s ways, we will also be deathless someday and will no longer need to be reborn.

So if we join the three (3) archetypes, we have the triad of the phoenix, sarimanok, and Messiah. From phoenix and sarimanok (indicating duality) to Messiah (indicating Oneness), from sensate-material to transcendental, from worldly to saintly living, these we can cull from the sublime triad.

Let me conclude at that point. So mote it be.

[Philippines, 24 May 2010]


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