Is Your Inner Life as Important to you as your Outer Life?

We have been looking at fairy tales and the way they show us hidden aspects of our human lives.

Although there are still many stories to look at, this month I’d like to introduce you to one from Ancient Greece.

Image by Margit Wallner – Pixabay

In Ancient Greece, stories were written to explain the difference between divinity and ordinary mortals. Around 700 BC, the poet Hesiod offered the first written version of Greek Mythology.

In the beginning, seven gods (the external world) and seven goddesses (the internal world) lived on Mount Olympus (the conscious mind). Down below was the human world (the unconscious mind).

Zeus was the king of the gods but he decided that he wanted the Masculine to be more important than the Feminine.

He achieved this by throwing Hestia – his sister and the most important of the goddesses – off Mount Olympus and down to the less important and unconscious human world. Moreover, he told her that the only way she could continue to be worshipped was if she no longer went out into the external world but stayed by the hearth where she would only cook and look after children.

Photo by Alex Iby – Unsplash

Now a gap had appeared up on Mount Olympus which needed to be filled so Zeus put Dionysus – god of Wine and Chaos – in Hestia’s place.

So now there were eight gods and only six goddesses – patriarchy.

What has been the result?

In 2020 we find our external world in chaos. Addiction, hedonism, pleasure-seeking and chaos reign when there is no internal world to heal it. Dionysus is in Hestia’s place.

However, the chaos that we are experiencing this year suggests that Dionysus is already in the process of being thrown back down to Earth, thereby leaving a gap again on Mount Olympus.

Does this mean that there is at last room for Hestia to return to Mount Olympus and restore equality?

Image by Couleur – Pixabay

Yes, but it means that we will have to acknowledge our internal world (Hestia) as being of equal importance with the external world (Zeus).

And facing ourselves is never easy.

But it seems that we are just going to have to because Covid-19 is forcing us to do just that.

The looming environmental catastrophe is bringing our over-external way of life to its knees and if we continue to distract ourselves away from the necessary internal work, we will have a disaster on our hands.

So how do we bring our internal, sacred world (Hestia) back up into our conscious minds (Mount Olympus)?

Well, it’s time to face all those demons inside – the wounds we have carried for too long; the humiliations and the resentments. But if we can find the courage to do that (Zeus), then we will find wonderful qualities inside us such as love, compassion and forgiveness (Hestia).

But there’s still a fundamental problem here.

Traditionally we have seen Mount Olympus/God/the Sky/the Universe as being higher than the Earth. We’ve also seen the conscious mind as being more important than the unconscious mind, even though the latter forms 95% of our minds.

So, rather than bringing Hestia back up to something ‘superior’, would we be better to re-evaluate and bring Mount Olympus and the Earth/human world onto a level playing field?

To balance ourselves, do we in fact need to balance our divinity with our humanity?

Do we need to see the Earth as being as important as the Sky?

Do we need to recognise that our internal lives are as necessary to us as our external lives?

Image by Richard Gatley – Unsplash

Perhaps this is one of the benefits of Covid and the lockdown. It has forced many of us to stay at home rather than go out to work. Many of us have developed a richer relationship with ourselves as we have been forced to withdraw form others and socially distance.

In the end, it’s all about balancing the Divine Masculine – Zeus – and the Divine Feminine – Hestia – so that, as they were originally meant to do, they can stand side by side and help each other.

And perhaps then we will at last manifest a balanced internal and external world and finally understand how to save ourselves…

Image by Roman Kraft – Unsplash