Why is the moon a stone but also a goddess?

Luminous stone also luminous; The moon is many things. Aldous Huxley takes us to a meditation in a moonlight.


And lo! from opening clouds, I saw emerge
The loveliest moon, that ever silver'd o'er
A shell for Neptune's goblet: she did soar
So passionately bright, my dazzled soul
Commingling with her argent spheres did roll
-John Keats.

Aldous Huxley has a wonderful text called "Moon Meditation" in which he declares detestable exclusionary philosophies that claim that things are something, just something and not something else. "Not only, but also, " says Huxley. Instead, he praises the possible multiplicity of being, the oscillation of otherness, the mysticism of the paradox.

Huxley explains this with the example of the moon, a delicious emblem to show us how things are not fixed but are dynamic and reflect our projections - the moonlight is sunlight, but it is also another light, one less light bright but richer in that it does not reveal everything, it leaves more possibilities open. Huxley says, Socrates was accused of saying that the moon was a stone; before this accusation Socrates responded that the moon was a divinity as well, as was widely believed at the time. DH Lawrence later tried, with the arrival of materialism, to explain that the moon was more than a stone, but fell into an inaccuracy when talking about elements that are not part of the moon, with a certain alchemical fantasy: "It is a balloon of a dynamic substance, such as radium or phosphorus, coagulated on a vivid pole of energy. " Huxley writes:

But to say, with Socrates, that the moon is made of divine substance, is strictly accurate. Because there is nothing that prevents the moon from being a stone and a divinity. Evidence of its stone quality, unlike its radio quality [the element], can be found in an encyclopedia of children. It has a clear conviction. No less convincing is the evidence of the moon's divinity. It can be drawn from our own experiences, from the texts of poets, and, in fragments, even in the textbooks of physiology and medicine.

Huxley clearly refers to a qualitative, poetic, mythical, non-quantifiable divinity. The moon is a divinity because it produces divine experiences: beauty, the aphrodisia of light, flights of imagination, poetic encounters, lunatic abductions ... Octavio Paz, suggests that always in love and a third party, fantasy, the moon, the creative night power:

Last night
In your bed
We were three:
You me the moon

The moon is a divinity also because the human being creates gods with language: by adorning and metaphorizing and exalting with the word reality is conferred and the moon, then, is experienced as a divinity: his divine face becomes a mirror of synchrony in the one that we see our divinity (or our divine desire). Nomen est numen.

But what is the "divinity"? How should we define a "god"? Expressed in psychological terms (which are primary - there is no way to precede them), a god is something that gives us a particular sensation, which Professor Otto calls "numinosa" (from Latin numen, a supernatural being). Numinous sensations are the original "divine", from which the theorizing mind extracts the individual gods from the pantheons, the various attributes of the One. Once formulated, a theology evokes in turn numinous sensations. Thus, the terrors of man facing the enigmatic dangers of the universe lead him to postulate the existence of angry gods; and then, thinking of angry gods makes them feel terror, even when the universe was not giving it, at that time, cause for alarm.

The luminous moon, presence of beauty and mystery, nocturnal seduction and internal current, becomes luminous. Either to explain the unknown, but also to connect with the enigma, to access the seduction of the sacred, mania and anger (ancient cosmic rhythm in the womb). Huxley begins his essay with a glimpse of this pristine attraction of the celestial bodies that illuminate: "Outside my window the night struggles to wake up; in the moonlight, the blinded garden dreams so vividly with its lost colors that black roses they are almost crimson. " It doesn't take much more to evoke the divinity, a backwater, the softness of the light and the things that are disrupted before its radiant face. The stone in the sky not only shines, it makes us talk about its brightness, singing and throwing prayers, dancing in a trance - water engine - alters our consciousness in its relation to our language, our narrative, the way in which our existence is Modify by telling what it is to live under the moon: light becomes emotion and word.

The moon is a stone; but it is a highly luminous stone. Or, to be precise, it is a stone of which and by which men and women have numinous sensations. Thus, there is a soft moonlight that can give us the peace that brings understanding [shanti]. There is a moonlight that inspires a kind of wonder. There is a cold and austere moonlight that tells the soul about its loneliness and its desperate isolation, its insignificance and its impulse. There is a loving moon prompting us to love — to love sometimes not only an individual, but also the entire universe. And the moon shines equally in the body, through the windows of the eyes, within the mind. It affects the soul directly; but it can also affect it in a dark and circulatory way: through the blood.

Half of the human race lives in manifest obedience to the lunar rhythm; and there is evidence indicating that physiological and therefore spiritual life [Huxley eliminates dualism here], not only of women, but also of men, fluctuates mysteriously according to changes in the moon. There are joys without reason, inexplicable miseries, laughter and remorse without cause. Its sudden and fantastic alterations constitute the ordinary climate of our minds. These moods, of which the most seriously numinous can be hypostasied as gods, the lightest, if you like, as fairies and goblins, are the children of blood and moods. But blood and moods obey, among several masters, the changing moon. Touching the soul directly through the eyes and, indirectly, along the dark channels of blood, the moon is a double divinity. Even dogs and wolves, judging by their nocturnal howls, seem to feel in a primitive and opaque way a kind of luminous emotion around the moon. Artemis, the goddess of saving things, is identified with Selene.

The moon is outside but also inside our body, it constitutes "a mental climate". A pill that we take before falling into the world, which blooms in like a lotus in a lake.

"For the ancient Greeks, even before there were singular gods, with a name and a story, there was the divine as an event. A Greek expression says: 'the divine is', the divine indeterminate. This fact exists in the experience of all It is not something that belongs only to a particular moment in history. It belongs to the fabric of our life. The real difference is to recognize it or not, "writes Roberto Calasso. This experience of the divine that is generally produced through possession: the archetypal, instinctive and intuitive perception, which has important "lunar" aspects, and which has been exiled from our sensory pantheon, by making anathema of possession, by protect ourselves from the numinous winds and take care of mania and chaos. "The gods have become diseases, " said Jung. The gods that before were the great emotions, values ​​and feelings (love: Eros; beauty: Aphrodite; justice: Athena; artistic inspiration: the muses; panic: Pan). The gods that are the celestial and the infernal, the most sublime and ridiculous of our conscience and our instinct: the cusp of the mind and the bottom of the bowels. Thoughts as stars and desires as underground rivers. The hypnotic glow of the moon crosses us and flows through our body its magnetic numen. A stone in heaven, a magnet of divinity.

Author's Twitter: @alepholo