Quando in un bosco ne percepisci la bellezza e diventi tutt'uno con il bosco, allora, intuitivamente, sei in armonia e in pace con le Dee e con gli Dei. Essi sono parte della nostra vera natura, la nostra Natura Profonda, e quando siamo separati dalla nostra vera natura, viviamo nella paura. Percepire questa normalità vuol dire dare un senso reale al vivere che è insito in tutte le cose.

Intraprendere la Via Romana al Divino significa iniziare un percorso di risveglio: praticando l'attenzione e la consapevolezza continua ci incamminiamo lungo una strada sapendo che ciò che conta è il cammino per sè più che la destinazione.

When you, entering a forest, perceive the beauty of the forest and you feel to be in a complete harmony with it, then, intuitively, you are in peace with the Deities. They are an essential part of our real nature, our Deep Nature, and when we are separated by our real nature we live in the fear. Perceiving such normality means giving a real sense to our lives.

Undertaking the Roman Via to the Deities implies a path to awakening: with the practice of continuing consciousness and awareness we undertake our walking knowing that taking the path is more important than the destination itself

mercoledì 2 novembre 2016

A strange encounter

A few weeks ago I decided to go to Florence and, of course, I took the opportunity to visit the Uffizi Gallery.

Needless to say, this gallery presents a huge amount of masterpieces and works of art from all periods. Obviously it caught my attention the collection of ancient statues present in the main corridors. For a Cultor, as I am, I was interested to watch and admire these sculptures both as works of art and as material representations of an idea of "Divine" which my own spirituality totally refers to.. A statue of Jupiter or Venus of Greek or Roman times are for me, not just a work of art, but a spiritual heritage: they are "my Gods" and "my Goddesses"!

While wandering in the gallery, I saw therefore so many statues of Gods and Goddesses. But a statue in particular caught my attention.

It is, quite clearly, a statue of Minerva. My photos are not very good, but I hope they can provide an idea.

Personally I have never seen a statue of Minerva like this. Her eyes and face turned upward, a face expression and a pose of the body that express, in my view, mainly "fatigue", "tiredness" even "dissatisfaction" and "impatience". The tunic is raised much more than usual: not only one can see the feet (in the classic "divination" pose), but also the ankles and legs.

I have no elements to compare this statue to other statues of Minerva and I do not know how to interpret her, how to "read" ... What is her message?

6 commenti:

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...

I agree that this is a haunting image. I love a mystery so I have done some research (you may already know the following - if so, I apologise) and from what I can figure out this is a 1st century CE copy of an original sculpted by the Hellenic Timotheos in the 4th century BCE, and called Rospigliosi Athena. Apparently it is one of the best preserved copies of this style of the Goddess; even so it was recently restored by the “Friends of the Uffizi Gallery”. She is referred to as a “sidereal deity”, which I think means that she is looking up to the stars. It is said the original was made for the city of Megara and represents “Athena Aithia”, said to be a marine deity. Perhaps the exposed ankles are intended to show her dressed like a male? Although it is clearly Minerva/Athena this statue seems deliberately androgynous?

Carmelo Cannarella ha detto...

First of all thank ypu for your extremely precious comment.

I know the characteristics and features of this "Rospigliosi Athena. The problem, this is why I have written this post, is that when you are physically in front of a statue like this, you are taken in a strage feeling of perplexity. Of course these are my thoughts as Cultor and probably many "experts" of antique arts surely disagree.

It is difficult for me to express these impressions here in words: but this feeling of dis-comfort deriving from a sort of discouraged rebuke towards the human condition (a more and more limited rationality and wisdom, no use of knowledge, the prevailing of ignorance and the profane perpective in all aspects of life, etc.) still remains in my soul.

Minerva as sacralization of "Mind" and "rational thought" seems to be tired of us... It seems to be a sort of "message in the bottle" over the sea of Time about the destiny of the mankind.

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...

Do you think that it is the increasing pervasiveness of Atheism (which denies the existence of the divine, mocks all human attempts to reach out beyond the profane and is hyper-obsessed with accepting as valid only that which can be proven in a material sense) and Atheistic modes of thought (which are so widespread that they are often adopted by people unconsciously) that erodes the human condition? I find myself both drawn to and repelled by Atheism … Atheism is a friend in that it encourages freedom of religion (which is good for polytheists) but a foe in that it denigrates all religion and humiliates the pious. I know two die-hard Atheists and they will quite literally laugh and chuckle if people around them express any kind of interest in the spiritual world (a belief in ghosts, or something similar, for example). They are so smug and self-assured of their beliefs, while otherwise being quite nice people, that their egos are puffed up to the point of stupidity – for they have lost a genuinely enquiring mind and replaced it with a skeptical one. I’m sure it is possible for Atheists to experience a kind of spirituality (a sense of awe for example) but I suspect it would be difficult. If a person embraces the profane as being all there is they leave themselves few opportunities to go beyond.

I think perhaps it is significant that in this image Minerva (apparently) looks up to the stars. Is this a call to reconnect with the night sky and thus the natural world (the real / bigger world) generally? Living in a densely populated area, as I do, the night sky is utterly polluted by light, so I see very few stars when I look up; because of this I barely even notice the rhythms of the universe above and all around me. I can also ignore just about every other aspect of nature by using some modern convenience (air conditioning for example). The contemporary urban person easily loses connection with the rhythms of the natural world and thus minimises the opportunities to experience being part of … the ineffable. Though I think it is still possible – that is why we worship Gods isn’t it? To try to cross through the gate of Janus and connect with something greater?

Apparently there will be a super moon this month, on 14 November, so this may be an opportunity (for me at least) to connect to something greater than my little corner of the world …

Carmelo Cannarella ha detto...

One can quietly live without Gods/Goddesses. This is the condition today considered as "normal" by common people and science. Gods and Goddesses are not admitted in modern life because not measurable and verifiable. But this is their main feature: if measurable or verifiable they were not as such.

But Gods and Goddesse (the Divine) are however strictly connetced to everything "appears". The Divine is within the appearance (manifestation) being in the sametime the key to approach what "doesn't appear" (non-manifestation). The Divine (in traditional term) doesn't require a faith because Gods and Goddesses are an "evidence", an experience: they are a way to perceive the condition to be "alive" (not in a profane sense). A Cultor or a Cultrix do not "believe" but rather "acknowledge", "recognize", "perceive", "experience".

"Numen Inest": here and now there's a numen who doesn't require names but rather generates names. The difference between a cultor/cultrix and a common (often monotheistic) person lies in the capability to acknowledge-recognize the presence of a numen instead of just passing by.

Powers and energies to which our ancestors gave the name of Gods and Goddesses are still alive even if they have lose (for many people) their sacred names. They are still in action but hidden. Nonetheless, the monotheistic, profane and scientific contemporary world is not only indifferent but also, and above all, still fiercely hostile to Gods/Goddesses. These men and women are aware about the difficulty they have in everyday life in denying their antique and original spiritual "home". This explains their frequent violent hostility. A cultor/cultrix is thus forced to live in a sort of underground world. If you belong to a religious denomination you are (more or less) well accepted: this is not the case if you are a "pagan"... You are not included in any religious body: you are a foreign not tolerated because you are referring to values not accepted by the "religious community" of common people.
But Gods and Goddesses always return back to us. And they return back to us when you are Felix (happy?). It is not easy to be happy in in unhappy age, but we can try...

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...

I totally agree with you – you have expressed the matter well. I agree with you about the pagan stigma as well – it is definitely like living in an underground world. Something that gives me hope is that it seems to be ok to praise Indian and Japanese spirituality (in so called Western societies), even while both traditions are blatantly polytheistic. This is perhaps like the opening of a door. At some point more and more people will perhaps acknowledge the absurdity of accepting Hinduism, Shintoism and theistic Buddhism as legitimate religions while paradoxically rejecting European polytheism. The double standard will surely break at some point …

Carmelo Cannarella ha detto...

We are living in very strange times.
The problem is that the majority of people consider the traditional western spirituality (in every expression including therefore the Traditional Roman Spirituality) as something definitively dead. Something pertaining only history, antropology, art, architecture and son... It is not seen as a metaphisical, spiritual, knowledge body.

This spirituality not only is a still living entity but probably it should be considered as an opportunity to escape the spiritual, ethical and cultural (with the realated political, social and inter-religious implications) "cult-de-sac" monotheism has created during the centuries. Perhaps rediscovering polytheism will be one of the few possibility to avoid a global catastrophe.