Island of Jewels-The Garden of Eden and the Connection between Judeo Christian, Islam and Hindu Religions
Lynn Marie Katerina: It is exciting to look at this image knowing that that’s me. Could you please explain the symbolism in this iconographic piece of artwork that you made?
Joxua: Sure. I first came across this image when I was reading a book on symbolism and mythology in Indian art by Heinrich Zimmer and edited by Joseph Campbell posthumously seeing as how Zimmer never published his work in his lifetime.
This piece basically symbolizes the human mind, conscious, subconscious, unconscious and the human psyche; Id, ego and superego. Shiva’s consort is perched on top of his prone body which is in Shivasana, the corpse pose which is lying on top of a dead body, which is also Shiva.
This is a metaphor for the alchemical marriage; the Judeo-Christian concept of the Garden of Eden came from this original metaphor. Shakti’s skirt conceals the connection between the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine. The secret fact is that they are conjoined mid-coitus just as Samantabhadra, the highest form of Buddha is engaged in sex as he represents creative intelligence. In order to create you need masculine intelligence and feminine intelligence without balance of yin and yang there is no creation.
Shakti represents the conscious mind, Shiva, the subconscious mind projected on the sub strand of Shiva’s corpse, the unconscious mind. Transversely, Shiva’s corpse represents super ego or the absence of the presence of self, the Buddhist concept of no-self, or selflessness or non-ego. Shiva represents ego or the enlightened sense of self, the philosopher king who must be latent in the world of action as he is too wise and too understanding he is barred from acting on the world. Must submit to the children so that they can learn from their own mistakes and taught by their own actions. Shakti represents the id, the unenlightened sense of self that becomes aware of itself by playing in the universe as leela, acting on the universe and then observing the karma created.
Nishkala Shiva is the name of Shiva’s corpse. It represents the moon when it is empty after it wanes and before it has begun to wax. It is given a value of zero. It represents the empty space of the universe, the canvas on which we paint ourselves, and the playground in which we grow up. It is the diamond light, the nothingness out of which everythingness was created by separating emptiness into light and matter. Light which is matter moving quickly and matter which is light moving slowly creates a spectrum in which we could express ourselves and move closer to the light or the darkness to yangness or yin-ness, consciousness or unconsciousness.
Sakala Shiva is given the value of sixteen, which represents the number of days the moon needs to wax and become full; perfectly reflecting the light of the sun. He represents a person that has learned everything they can from the realm of human life; a fully accomplished homo sapiens, a wizard king, Zorba the Buddha, to borrow a phrase from Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh.
Lynn Marie Katerina: Wow that is really fascinating. I am not sure I really understand the connection between Shaivism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam though. Could you help me connect them a little better?
Joxua: Sure, it’s just that the three major religions all have the Garden of Eden in their mythology and that alchemical marriage icon comes from the Island of Jewels metaphor. So it deals with proper relationship which is what religion tries to be. Shiva and Shakti, Jehovah and Schechinah, Jove and Juno, the prime mover unmoved and the agency through which he works his will in the universe through the Holy Spirit. It is through this meditation that we seek to unveil the proper relationship, equality under reason that shows us how we are connected to each other and the universe. What is the proper relationship between the waves and the sea and even the vast expanse of outer space?
The Garden of Eden is the island of jewels which is the alchemical marriage, which is the highest form of Buddha, Samatrabadra. We haven’t mastered the third eye chakra or reached the 6th heaven until both of the people in the relationship understand the uncorrupted form of perfect relationship and only two perfect God-like people could master or contemplate this relationship. Imagine if you will, a king and queen who have been married for ten thousand years, they conceive each other as one-self. They cannot and will not leave this old familiar relationship because nobody could replace their mate. Nobody could understand them as well or bring as much into the relationship without the relationship both of their lives are diminished but at the same time they each have their own consorts and concubines, their interests and hobbies and their pet projects, both of them want the other to be free and happy and nothing can come between them. The happiness of the other is my happiness and vice versa. Both parties are freed and supported by the relationship, not punished and hindered. It is an enriched relationship, the opposite of what people conceive of relationship today. It is only through this relationship that one can re-enter the Garden of Eden. You can’t enter alone. You have to make like a baby and head in, go in, gnosis, genesis, genius, Janus, jinani, gyne, yoni. Genesis means to go in, exodus means to be expelled. It was the failure to stay in relationship that caused the fall from grace and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Also of interest, the first thing you do when going into the world is inhale and the last thing you do upon dying is exhale. It is a form of the in-breaths and out-breaths of Brahma. The first two books of the Judeo-Christian scriptures also, God breathed into Adam the breath of life. God inspired Adam so we are in God. In theos, enthusiasm, enthusiastic, and God is in us. Inspire, spirit, and prana.
Lynn Marie Katerina: This is excellent and marvelous rundown and interpretation of the history of mankind and the origins of the original sin. Joxua says it’s like putting humpty dumpty back together again. The failure in relationship has caused the expulsion in the Garden of Eden. Mistakes in the past need to be corrected and we all must consider and learn from history and say to ourselves…where did we go wrong and what can we do to do better; Self introspection and contemplation is needed as opposed to unconsciousness and running on auto pilot. Joxua speaks about “Epanasundesi “or staying in relationship and that’s an interesting topic. The past was failure and we must take care to not repeat the mistakes of the past; we must do better this time. It’s about getting it right this time around. Thank you Joxua, this contains a lot of wonderful information.
Original art of Joxua Mourningstar.