Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Erymanthian Boar - Of Tutelary Spirits

In Ficino's Theologia Platonica de immortalitate animae, I believe he defends the idea of Tutelary Spirits. Saint Paul, of course, speaks of them in Galatians : spirits who were given to the Jews to place them under law for the purpose of education, collectively and morally. In this adventure, Herakles is forced to rely upon Pholus for sustenance and cheer, as he has difficulty locating the boar, despite the racket. The wine he drinks here involves him in an attack by centaurs, which he repels (with the arrows dipped in Hydra's blood). He wounds Chiron, who was once his tutor, a relatively peaceful centaur tutored by Artemis, whose pain from the arrow is so bad that Herakles will later arrange to trade Chiron's life for Prometheus' torture. Only after this adventure and encounter with the rowdy centaurs is Herakles able to locate the rampaging boar and capture him. Zeus gets another addition to his menagerie, and Herakles' torturer hides in a jar.

Spiritual forces exist, both good and bad, which hinder our progress. Demons give idle and distractive thoughts the backing of their deception and power, and we join these to our kindled passions. Our guardian angels are tasked with many things, including (according to Jesus), making life not worth living or even having been created if someone makes us stumble. They all behold the face of the Father directly, and are associated with the soul. It might be useful to recall, from time to time, that specific times and places and people have energies which help or hinder us, and that we ourselves are open to other influences than obviously physical ones. Test the spirits. Discern the times. Watch and pray.

No comments:

Post a Comment