Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Return of the Vegetable King

When I was twenty-five I went to Oregon to visit my dad for about
Traditional depiction of the "Vegetable King"
a week. Oregon is a long way from where I live, so when I arrived I was very tired and I went into the spare bedroom to take a nap. There's something about naps that brings on some particularly potent dreams, in my opinion. I think that you're not able to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep like you otherwise would if you were sleeping at night, so some interesting phenomena can occur.

I dreamt that I was wandering through a destroyed city, looking for food and maybe for a place to stay. I kicked over some piles of rubble looking for something that might sustain me. Finding nothing I finally gave up and sat in the driver's seat in the shell of a burned up car. I blinked and suddenly someone was sitting next to me in the passenger seat. It was a man who looked like all of his skin had been peeled off and there was nothing left of him but flesh and bones. He was like a walking, talking illustration in an anatomy textbook. I was frightened at first, but something about the man made me think that he was really what I was looking for. There was something important about him.

“The Vegetable King will return,” he said.

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“I will show you,” he said. He reached across the console and touched my face. Immediately I was given a vision of untold abundance that would be experienced by everyone on earth. It came in flashes of pictures of bright, nourishing food surrounded by ruddy, healthy looking people. Overseeing it all was the spirit of an unseen man shining in the distance near the horizon who called himself the Vegetable King. Everyone praised him and their gardens grew beautiful fruits and vegetables without their labor and their tables were also laden with meats of all kinds (I was a committed vegan when I had this dream, which is interesting).

The experience of the Vegetable King vision was like nothing I had ever experienced. It was as if a huge experience had been uploaded instantaneously into my consciousness and I understood everything that it was trying to tell me instantly. I have only had one other dream like this in my life, but we don't have the space here to get into that. I awoke the moment the skinless man took his hand away from my face, and the dream with its vision of the Vegetable King was over.

I have had a few such dreams in my life that seem to be something beyond the nonsensical operation of my mind as I sleep. This dream seemed to be an indication of a deeper truth that I already knew, but had to rediscover through experience. It's like a ritual that my subconscious had prepared for me that would provide me with the gnosis, or knowledge gained from direct experience, that would allow me to peak into the infinite and understand the mind of the creator just a bit better. I know that sounds grandiose and unbelievable, but this particular dream has become more significant to me the older I get. At the time, I puzzled over it briefly, but quickly forgot about it and continued with my Oregon vacation.

Now, six years later, I've encountered this dream and its possible meanings again by reading David Mathisen's fantastic book, The Undying Stars. Essentially, this book explores the very strong possibility that biblical stories, as well as other mythologies, are really allegories for celestial events involving the stars and planets.

For example, the book begins with the Old Testament story of Samson that can be found in the book of Judges. Samson went to visit a beautiful Philistine maiden and on the way encountered a lion which he slew with his bare hands. After visiting the maiden, Samson returned the way that he had come and discovered that the lion's mouth was full of bees and the wound that Samson had made in his side was oozing with honey. Mathisen thinks that this is in fact the journey taken by the constellations Orion, Leo, and Virgo in the night sky. In the course of the evening, in the night sky, the constellations travel from east to west, so that it appears that the constellation Orion (Samson) pursues the constellation Virgo (the Philistine maiden) with Leo (the lion) somewhere in between them. At certain times of year, the constellation Leo can be seen near a cloudy nebula of stars that was sometimes described by the ancients as a swarm of bees.

This is just one of many examples cited in The Undying Stars as stories that likely have their origins in the movement of the heavenly bodies and stars. Mathisen's thesis is that we do the stories of the Bible and other religions a great disservice when we interpret them literally. The original Christians did not intend for these stories to be any more literal than the stories of Hercules or Odysseus (which also seem to hold some interesting astrological allegories). These stories were meant to instruct the initiate in the mysteries of the universe, but not through hermeneutics or literal instruction. They were meant to communicate gnosis to their interpreters through the experience of allegory and storytelling.

Alvin Boyd Kuhn
Mathisen cites heavily from the sermons of a nineteenth century preacher named Robert Taylor who was among the first thinkers to relate Christianity to astrotheological paganism. He also cites from twentieth century philosopher Alvin Boyd Kuhn. Kuhn maintained that the stories in the Bible had a chiefly astrotheological origin and, most importantly, that the Christ myth is simply another manifestation of a myth that has occurred time and again in different cultures in varying forms, and is often interpreted through the movements of the stars and the planets. The myth that is the bulwark of every religion is the idea of the incarnation, meaning that there is a spiritual realm that is unseen by the earthly inhabitant, but the spirit matter is made flesh on earth without preserving any memory of life in the spiritual plane. However the Creator has endowed the natural world with hidden messages, or allegories, that represent the cycle of life that transits from flesh into spirit and returns it to flesh once again. The night sky contains constellations and stars that travel through the course of the evening. Some of them rise and set, while some remain in the sky the whole night through (these are the undying stars referred to in the book's title.) But eventually all stars are blotted out by the return of the sun (or son) in the morning.

This research has lent additional meaning to the dream I had of the bombed out world, the skinless man, and his vision of the eventual return of the Vegetable King. The only hell is the one we have made on earth because of mankind's tyranny to man, and the tyrants of this world will perhaps one day make life literally unlivable for his fellow man by producing some kind of nuclear holocaust like what I experienced at the beginning of the dream. The world of the flesh is also one of limitation. An individual consciousness is trapped in a single point in space/time and he must eat, sleep, labor, etc. without any prior knowledge of universal truths. He must struggle in darkness to discover light and meaning. So even in the absence of tyranny, which has been pretty rare in human history, man's existence is defined by struggle.

The skinless man seems to me to be someone who is not quite flesh and not quite spirit; someone with one foot in the grave as it were, who has still retained some memory of the spirit world from whence he came and he came to me to reveal some of the truth. This is similar in many ways to the journey that Odysseus takes to the underworld where he meets the shades of his mother, his friend Agamemnon, and Tiresias, and they tell him how to proceed on his journey.

My later investigations into the secret extra-governmental plan to create a planetary, totalitarian government also seem connected to this dream. I now suspect that I was somehow led to a better understanding of the New World Order and how it operates from having this particular dream. I need to understand that tyranny has an evil will to dominate the world of the flesh in order for me to fully appreciate and understand the world of the spirit, which is defined by freedom, knowledge, and illumination.

It's almost as if my incarnation as the person that I am here on earth is a kind of test to see if I am ready to receive the wisdom of the spirit world. The spirit world (heaven) has no meaning if it cannot be compared to the world of flesh and matter (hell), so I must understand true evil if I am to understand true goodness; understand darkness and death if I am to understand life and light. The dream of the Vegetable King was for me the message of his ultimate forgiveness and how he too was made incarnate just as I was, and he wants me to understand that the flesh is temporal and the spirit will return for a time before becoming flesh once again.

I highly recommend David Mathisen's book The Undying Stars. I feel that I was unconsciously led to this book to illuminate something in me that I already knew. I also can't recommend Alvin Boyd Kuhn's books highly enough, particualrly The Lost Light which investigates the Bible and astrotheology. In addition to being an astute researcher he has a stirring and lyrical writing style that makes him a joy to read. I'll link to some reading below to get you thinking more about myth, mythology, and what the Creator wants us to take away from the material world before we return to Him. See you next time. 

The Undying Stars by David Mathisen

The Lost Light by Alvin Boyd Kuhn 

The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer 

"Green Man" at Wikipedia 

The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels trans. by Marvin Meyer 

Hamlet's Mill by George de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen 

"The Devil's Pulpit" the sermons of Rev. Robert Taylor