Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Arunachala the Greatest Monolith

Going through the archives of my Blog, Arunachala Grace, I came upon a posting made at the time of the death of Arthur C. Clarke, the eminent futurist, scientist and writer. There are a number of fascinating posts on all my Blogs: Arunachala Grace, Arunachala Birds, Arunachala Land and Arunachala Satsang which a thorough search through the archive and search function will reveal. 

Generally I avoid making personal comments on my Blogs and Website Arunachala Samudra, because the sites are intended to be about Arunachala, not about me, however in this particular posting it was impossible for me not to get personal. I started reading the stories and books of Arthur C. Clarke and other Science Fiction writers at a very young age, and look back to that time as the beginning of my interest in self exploration. 

Little did I know all those years ago that the fascination with the monolith in the remarkable '2001: A Space Odyssey’ film would resurface as an absorption with Arunachala, the greatest monolith of all. 

I reproduce the entirety of the posting as it originally appeared on my Blog Arunachala Grace in 2008. 

Dedicated to Arthur C. Clarke  

On March 19, 2008 at the age of 90 years at his home in Sri Lanka, the great Science Fiction writer, Sir Arthur C Clarke died. As a young child I read many of his books and short stories and he (and other Science Fiction writers) powerfully influenced my spiritual impetus. In this respect the transformational movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, a 1968 science fiction film written by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke and dealing with human evolution has been hugely influential to many in a very similar way. 

The reason why ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, is a particularly fascinating subject in relation to Arunachala, is because of the use of a ‘monolith’ as the transformative tool throughout the movie. 

The word Monolith comes from the Greek; "Mon" means 'one' and "lith" means 'stone'. It can be a large block of stone or something such as a column or monument or something suggestive of a large block of stone, as in immovability, massiveness, or uniformity. Monolith can also be a geological feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock, or a single piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument. 

In the movie 2001, the stone is black, and in alchemy all things that exist come from the black stone, or the 'prima materia'. The black stone is the stone of transformation and the stone of projection. The Philosopher's Stone. This is the object that can change or transmute mankind, according to alchemical lore. It is rare and, when it makes an appearance, it transforms the seeker. 

Primates first experience of the monolith

The movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, has as its theme, man’s evolution, from ape through earthman to astral being. It starts in prehistoric times where mankind's ancestors are struck by inspiration after a silent black monolith appears in their midst. When the primitive ape-like species is presented with the monolith their curiosity and courage overcomes their fear; and when the innate characteristics of the ape interfaces with the monolithic slab, the species take a dramatic step in their advancement. 

 ***The sun and the crescent moon aligned with each other is a symbol of Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian religion which predates Buddhism and Christianity and is based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra). This particular alignment symbolises the eternal struggle between light and darkness.*** 

Monolith on Earth

The evolutionary theme of ‘A Space Odyssey’, from ape through Earthman to astral being, continues millions of years later, when a similar-looking monolith dug up on the moon in 2001, starts to blast a strong radio signal to Jupiter. The culmination of the evolutionary theme occurs when the lone surviving astronaut of a space mission seeking the source of the radio signal has a rendezvous with another monolith and a hallucinogenic journey to the infinite beyond. 

With his rasping, dying breath, the Earthman reaches out to the monolith, at last, with deep understanding and wisdom. The body -- container of man's spirit for millions of years, is cast aside forever. And the next evolutionary leap occurs -- the Starchild is born. 

Starchild and Earth

'The cyclical evolution from ape to man to spaceman to angel-starchild-superman is complete. Evolution has also been outwardly directed toward another level of existence - from isolated cave dwellings to the entire Earth to the Moon to the Solar System to the Universe. Humankind's unfathomed potential for the future is hopeful and optimistic. What is the next stage in man's cosmic evolution beyond this powerful, immense, immortal, space-journeying creature? "Then he (i.e. the Starchild) waited, marshalling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something"' 

[2001 - The Novel] 

Mirror-acle of Arunachala

Throughout the world there are representations of monoliths many of which have spiritual and transformative powers. The opinion of many is that Arunachala is the definitive, transformative monolith, but there are also other special, sacred monolithic places. For instance Uluru (previously called Ayers Rock) in Australia is a sandstone monolith; 1,143 feet high and 6 miles in circumference. 

Aerial view of Uluru

Uluru, sacred mountain in Australia

[Invocation of a Chief Uluru Aboriginal Elder] 

"This is the working of the ceremony to save the green ants, the aboriginal people and the dreamtime that holds the world together. The white people are too young to know this and too old to understand. Yet, you must listen to these words now and hear with your hearts, the singing of the mountain. The mountain sings. It sings like it has never sung is singing now for you...for us...for every living creature on this beautiful Earth. The mountain sings its first and last song. The music comes from far, far away yet it is inside you...inside the mountain...inside the trees...inside the rising sun...inside the stars...inside the little pebbles in the river... inside the kangaroo...inside the green ants...inside your mother...inside your father...the song is singing by itself inside every living thing. Now, the mountain sings to keep the world alive. When you hear the song inside your hearts, sing back to the mountain. Sing back to the mountain...sing back to the mountain..." 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Meenakshi this is just wonderful.