Archetypes of Angels: Beings of light, Photons and the fallen ones
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For a long time I have been waiting for an intelligent explanation for Angels. I am not satisfied with the androgynous winged beings that look like high fashion models on New Age divination card decks. I want something of essence. In recent years, I have been more and more open to alternative spiritual traditions and become deeply fascinated by them, especially Gnosticism and Tantra. Gnostics believe that there are higher beings among us.
And in fact these being often ruled over our world. Such higher entities could be both good and bad and were involved not only in our lives but with the destiny of the planet as well. For the Gnostics it was essential to follow and listen to the beings of light rather than to the beings of darkness – as this would determine the destiny of our world.
I have also had two of my own encounters with higher beings (as far as I remember, as we too easily dismiss everything that does not fit our daily materialistic paradigm). If you don’t mind, I would like to share these two brief encounters with you and then proceed to the scientific and theological explanations of Angels.
My first encounter happened a very long time ago, when I was perhaps about 19. I was sitting in my room in Lublin, Poland and was going through an intense experience of fear when I felt and saw a presence which communicated with me telepathically, without words. The presence was pure white light, of no particular shape, or rather, vaguely egg-shaped, but with fringes of light coming out of its sides. It looked like a portal of some kind. The presence calmly said there was nothing to be afraid of. This communication carried a very peaceful energy with it, and I began to come out of my intense fear and felt profound peace.
The second encounter was completely different. It happened over 20 years later. I was going through some rough times, after finishing my PhD, was unemployed, and I had just returned from Jerusalem. My intention was to write a book (which later became The Jerusalem Diary) but I was procrastinating, enveloping myself in my perceived misery and hard times. I was lying in bed one night when from behind me I saw two figures of light. This time they were light yellow and actually looked like elongated beings with abstract features. They were tall and stretched out. This time the communication was through pictures and symbols, and from the symbols they were giving me, I got the message that they wanted me to write the book right then.
These kinds of experiences are not easily shared, as they are not ‘normal’ but they often stick with people in a very profound way, even if we often choose not to share them. In my case I chose to share them many, many years later, but only after I found some ‘explanations’ that made sense to me and gave me some clarity in an excellent, if extremely difficult to read, book The Physics of Angels by Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake. The book is written in the form of a dialogue between a top theologian and a top physicist, although the form of dialogue is partially a problem with the book, which is otherwise very interesting and filled with great wisdom. It marries spiritual and scientific perspectives in regard to the phenomenon of Angels.
Interestingly, they often come with the words, ‘Don’t be afraid,’ which was also my first experience. Sheldrake the physicist says that the new quantum physics has opened a door to a new cosmology which can have a place for Angels as it becomes more and more apparent that our Universe is not material at all but rather consists of waves of creative Energy expressed as light.
Moreover, we must admit that we know very little of the Universe, as it has been discovered that 96% of all matter and energy is the ‘dark matter … utterly unknown to us’. We can’t even believe anymore that there are set laws of the Universe as Newton thought, since the laws of the Universe seem to evolve too. We live in an evolving Universe which consists mostly of an Energy completely unknown to us.
Even better, this Energy seems to be intelligent and present in everything, even things once considered lacking in consciousness, such as planets, stars, animals, trees and rocks (which will delight the Shamans out there). This Energy sounds very much as the Goddess Shakti or the Divine Feminine principle that the Tantrics speak of.
In a sense, this is wonderful, as it rehabilitates the old medieval concept that the planets have souls and in terms of physics their own personalities and vibrations or vibrational signatures (which I am sure, gratifies astrologers out there).
Fox the theologian, on the other hand, brings examples of the mystical visions of Angels by Hildegard of Bingen a 12th century abbess from the Rhine valley who astounded her century with her wisdom, insights – and yes – her visions. There were a few examples of embodied Divine Feminine in institutionalised religions and she was one of the greatest.
Hildegard learned from her visions that the entire Universe was a ‘cosmic song’ filled with the divine vibrations of Angels. They are the intermediary between our Source, the Universe and our physical lives. They want us to join in the universal connectivity and enable us to be the divine citizens of the Divine. They come to wake us up to this possibility-connected to both below and above with love.
In the medieval science of the Angels, there are nine levels of Angels; Hildegard talks about nine choruses of Angels, with Seraphim on top and the Archangels as the second last category, just before the Angels themselves. There are some interesting footnotes here, such as that Angels do not have wings (duh!). The wings only symbolise the ability to be in many places at the same time.
Sheldrake makes an interesting comparison between Angels and photons. Photons, like Angels, are non-localised and are instead ‘localised through their action’; that is, they are where they need to be at any time. They are also nonmaterial, as they have no mass and they move at the speed of light like Angels which are described as being ‘faster than thought’. So, in a sense, photons are the Angels of quantum physics.
What about ‘fallen Angels’?
Fallen Angels, in traditional medieval theology, are angles who have rebelled and followed the Lucifer (who was God’s most beloved Angel). There are two ways of looking at them. Some praise them for rebelling against a despotic Demiurge. But that holds only if Demiurge is seen as the Source.
The Gnostics argue that he is not. He is only pretending to be the Creator and feeds on fear and the worship of frightened humans, whom he terrorises. In fact, in many Gnostic writings Demiurge’s mother often comes out to discipline him and say, ‘Don’t lie!! (e.g. Stop pretending that you are what you are not). In fact, he hardly behaves as an All-Intelligent Source to Whom the Whole Cosmos sings a song so I tend to agree with the Gnostics with this one.
But if we assume that the All -Intelligent Source-Energy (as separate from Demiurge) created The Fallen One which, subsequently, decided to separate himself from the beautiful song of the Universe, then we end up where we are now in the modern world: disconnected, depressed and utterly focused on material things which, regardless of how much we accumulate can’t bring us back what we have lost – a sense of connection with the Source.
I am not talking here about some submission to one community or another, and I do love individualism (the Gnostics were individualists). I am concerned with a true connection to the ground of our being, the knowledge that we are more than the media and institutionalised religions tell us we are. I wish us to feel the splendour of our true being.
We could use some help 🙂
As always I would love to hear from you through your comments
Sending Love, Joanna
Dr Joanna Kujawa