This is a very ancient image of an angel… not the oldest I’ve come across, but pretty old. It’s a carved relief from the palace of an Assyrian King, Sargon. Assyria is now Iraq. The reliefs were probably carved around 700 BCE, so nearly three thousand years ago, then discovered by Victorian archeologists, who collected many of the carvings for museums in Britain, New York and Paris.
Some scholars describe this character as a ‘genie’, a benevolent spirit. The Assyrians would not have used a Greek word – angelos is Greek for messenger.
So what is this angel doing, and why might he be of interest to us? Check out this version of angels in action.
They are in a garden, tending a sacred plant – a ‘tree of life’.The angels on the far left and the far right are carrying what looks like a handbag – or a bucket. What does this contain? Maybe lustral water that has captured the rays of the sun. Maybe pollen – perhaps they are pollinating the plant. Most interestingly, they are using a pine cone as a sprinkler.
If this is a sacred process, in a garden devoted to spiritual activities, we may be looking at a plant that is cultivated for its psychedelic properties. Plants have been used for millennia to encourage non-ordinary states of conciousness. These states can be achieved without the use of plant medicines, or other drugs. They occur naturally in near-death experiences (NDE’s), in out-of-the-body experiences (OBE’s), during intense sexual ecstasy, during rhythmic trance dancing or whirling, and in focussed meditation combined with hyper-ventilation. When a human being’s awareness extends beyond the limitations of everyday consciousness, there can be sensations of release and expansion, often accompanied by a feeling that the boundaries of the physical skull have been breached. The experience is often described as going upwards, beyond and above the body, as though a gate had been opened – a gate that had previously been closed firmly.
In between the two hemispheres of the physical brain – the left associated with analytic thinking and language, the right associated with imaginative creativity and inutition – we find a tiny gland. The French philosopher Rene Descartes, (1596-1650), identified the pineal gland as the ‘seat of the soul’, the physiological interface between spirit and matter. As you can imagine, this concept has been ridiculed by later philosophers and scientists alike – most of these guys don’t believe in a ‘soul’ anyway! This gland is called ‘pineal’ after the pine cone, which is resembles. Rick Strassman has researched the pineal gland and believes it is responsible for the release of DMT – which he calls the spirit molecule (other scientists do not agree, by the way). DMT is a natural substance in the human system, but a strong dose will provoke very intense spiritual experiences. (See DMT: The Spirit Molecule on You tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtT6Xkk-kzk Well worth watching.)
Perhaps the three thousand year old angelic keepers were ritually celebrating the opportunities presented by the King’s magic plant. Perhaps they had some knowledge about the pineal gland and consciousness that we have lost. See how the Tree of Life is topped by the sun disk with wings? This is the God of Light – and this ‘god’ is the pure light that resides within each of us. When we release ourselves from our everyday self during meditation, our soul takes flight. We meet our ‘god of light’ and bathe in glory.
Regular meditation is the safe, steady route towards opening the inner gates that inhibit us from experiencing the glory of creation.