So, I was watching The Abyss recently, the character "Jammer" goes into "a coma" after seeing an underwater alien and hitting his air tank messing up the oxygen and nitrogen mixture. When he wakes up later (by now I forgot he was even in the movie!) he says that he thought he was dead when he "saw that angel." Virgil descends into what is described as a "bottomless pit," an extremely deep area in the ocean, and is taken by other underwater aliens to their movable city where a watery veil passes over him, leaving him in an open-air room he can breathe in. Virgil also thought he was dead (his liquid-oxygen mixture was almost empty), but after a brief "life-review" of his last messages of love to his wife, the aliens bring him and the rest of the crew back to the surface (and may even make the storm on the surface dissipate). At the end, Virgil walks out of a cave like opening and sees his wife again. While watching, I realized that this was not the first "ship" which had a comatose passenger that I had seen in a movie.
In the movie Event Horizon, the character Justin/"Baby Bear" also goes into a coma or similar state after being pulled into the black hole which had opened a portal to hell. The ship, the Event Horizon, had utilized an experimental engine which created and contained black holes to bend space-time and jump the ship great distances. (Fourth dimensional tears in space-time was part of a recent post.)
The ship had jumped with it's original crew into hell, and reappeared 7 years later in orbit around the planet Neptune. The Roman god Neptune was god of the seas and carried a trident which resembles the "Devil's pitchfork," which is also the symbol for the planet. The god is associated with the "line crossing" initiation aboard ships which pass over the equator. Justin entered the black hole to hell but was pulled back out. Because of what he had experienced, Justin attempts suicide by blowing himself out of the airlock. He partially succeeds, but is saved by Captain Miller who is played by Laurence Fishborne, who also plays the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar II hovercraft in The Matrix trilogy.
Speaking of The Matrix, in Matrix Revolutions the character Bane-Smith ("Bane" after "Smith" uploaded his consciousness into Bane) goes into a coma, or similar state, sometime after setting off his ship's EMP bomb and sabotaging their mission. No explanation is given, so I guess he was injured during the resulting chaos. Actually, Bane-Smith is already in a coma at the start of the movie, the events mentioned having already have happened at the end of Matrix Reloaded. Also at the end of Reloaded, Neo stops Sentinal robots with his mind-bullets (well, his innate connection to the Machines due to his artificial consciousness created as part of the Matrix Program) and falls into a coma shortly after. At the beginning of Revolutions, Neo is shown lying head-to-head, or mirror image, compared to Bane-Smith; this reminds me of the Shroud of Turin (Jesus' burial shroud in the tomb), where when unrolled completely, reveals a similar image of Jesus' front and back. Neo is described as being in a coma-like state, though his brainwaves suggest that he is jacked-in to the Matrix. Neo is actually in an in-between world, between the Matrix and Real World, a subway program run by "The Train Man." The artificial subway station is named Mobil Ave, which I've mentioned before is an anagram of "Limbo." Limbo (from Limbus, edge), refers to the "edge of hell," not quite hell, where unbaptized babies and other people who died with original sin go.
At the same time that Neo is on "the edge of hell," Trinity, Morpheus and Seraph are on their way to see the Merovingian to bargain for the release of Neo (the "Train Man" works for the Merovingian). Trinity, the love interest of Neo, has already been at the resurrection of Neo in part 1 of the trilogy where Agent Smith shoots and kills Neo and a kiss from Trinity resurrects him. Having a female character named Trinity hints at the female aspect of the Christian trinity, the Dove or Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost/Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is the Archangel Gabriel in Islam whose presence is indicated by the character Seraph, short for the Seraphim, the highest choir of angels. Morpheus, the captain of the ship Neo is on, and the name of a god of dreams (The word coma comes from the Greek word "koma" meaning "deep sleep."), hints at the psychological nature of the situation. These symbolic three make their way to Club Hell where the Merovingian is hanging out. They enter through a underground parking garage, then an elevator whose only button is the red Help button with the "p" scratched off, and into the coat check room where they dispatch various bad guys in typical slow motion Matrix action. The Merovingian's programs/bad dudes are programs which have been removed from the matrix program but chose to stay in exile instead of being deleted. Some of them are vampires, and others can walk on walls or do strange stuff - symbolic of demons I believe. The Merovingian, or Merv, is found drinking a martini with green olives. According to IMDB.com, there is a continuity error when Merv eats both of his olives, but a third one miraculously appears back on his toothpick. The toothpick resonates Thoth, as this psychopomp has been connected to teeth in the past by other bloggers. The olives also appear from time to time in Jake's work, and probably among other blogs. The martini glass is hourglass or even worm-hole shaped, resonating the blackhole and stargates. The green olives Merv is eating have red pits, with toothpick through them, may indicate a "Bull's eye" symbol like Saggitarius shooting his arrow into the opposite sign of Taurus and the bull's red eye/red star. These constellations mark the galactic center and anti-center, respectively.
The olives and olive trees are symbolic in Homeric and especially Christian imagery (which may be why it's used in The Matrix). During his Odyssey, Ulysses almost drowns and washes ashore and finally finds rest under an olive tree. Also, there's a olive tree in Ithica where Ulysses ends his journey. The dove Noah sends out comes back with an olive branch. Jesus does some preaching on the Mount of Olives, and is below the mount in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion. Gethsemane means "oil press," and is also where the Virgin Mary is buried according to the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name of "oil press" probably refers to the production of olive oil which was quite the luxury back in the day.
The olive tree shows up in psychological horror movie Sublime in the backyard of a man who winds up in a permanent vegetative state, which is a type of coma. George Grieves celebrates his 40th birthday and prepares for his colonoscopy the following day (the 23rd of the month). The night of his birthday he waters his dying olive tree and then goes in the house where he and his friends pose for a Last Supper style picture, George taking the place of Jesus, of course. A nurse, Zoe, befriends him in the hospital and she and he have sex at one point where she mounts him facing away, revealing a olive tree tattoo on her back (seen on above poster). The tree has bare branches and Zoe explains that it is the Tree of Life waiting for spring.
The crucifixion is observed around Easter time which is the first full moon on or after the spring/vernal equinox. Spring is symbolic of the suns return (resurrection) to the northern hemisphere when the days become longer than the nights. The date changes every year, but traditionally the 22nd of March is the vernal equinox, George's birthday is also on the 22nd. For his birthday, George's wife gives him a new olive tree from the Garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives which is a disease resistant variety ("immortal," or at least a better version of his tree).
The whole movie flips back and forth between George's experience in the hospital, which is a "dream" he's having while in his coma, and flashbacks of the day of his birthday. He is on "the edge" between life and death, and must learn at the end to let go and fall. The movie opens with George dreaming of falling and waking just before he hits the ground. His wife reminds him of the Old Wive's Tale that if you hit the ground in a dream - you die in real life. Reminds me of The Matrix when Neo fails to make the leap of faith in the matrix simulation, he hits the street and actually bleeds in real life. Just before the end of the movie, George is tortured by a male nurse who represents fear and who speaks to George before he starts to cut him up: "Ready for a little lesson? To be set free?" "A dose of reality." "Now you're gonna face your fear and you wont be afraid no more. I'm gonna set you free." The hospital which George is stuck in is named Mount Abaddon. Abaddon (also, Apollyon, Appolyon and Appolion) is the Hebrew name of the demon identified as the angel of the bottomless pit, or the abyss (I hope you didn't forget the first movie I mentioned already!); in Revelation 9:11, Abaddon ties up the Devil for a millennium. After his torture, the male nurse calls George heroic, and tells him that now he can do anything. George's last act is to throw himself from his 7th floor window (room 721, 7(7+7+7)) and hits the ground. Back in reality, George's monitors flatline and he closes his eyes, confirming the statement at the beginning of the film that if you hit bottom in a dream, you die in real life.
I started talking about movies where people were comatose on a ship of some sort, which I felt added another level to the symbolism, but there are many more movies featuring temporary coma-like or unconscious states, such as Kill Bill, Face Off, and The Bourne Identity where Jason Bourne is unconscious on a fishing boat after being shot and presumed dead. There's even at least one movie titled Coma.
While thinking about comatose people on ships I remembered the story of Jonah and the Whale. Actually I had not read the story, all I knew was that Jonah somehow ended up in the belly of a whale. God commanded Jonah to warn the city Ninevah that they were to be destroyed by God, but instead of doing his mission Jonah skipped town on a boat. The boat became caught up in a storm which would not dissipate until Jonah got off. As soon as Jonah is thrown off the ship he was swallowed by a whale. The words which have been translated as "whale" simply mean "a great aquatic animal." He spends 3 days and nights in the belly of the whale until he is regurgitated on the shore back at home. So, Jonah eventually did his duity and told the citizens of Ninevah that they would be destroyed in 40 days, and the citizens spent that time praying and repenting. At the end of the allotted time, God changed his mind and let them live (Yeah, I know, it's strange that Old-Testament-God doesn't commit genocide!). And thus, Jonah actually converted, "saved," an entire city at once.
Jonah on left, Jason in upper right,
and 2 pics of Dagon/Oannes
Wikipedia notes a connection to another sea adventure by another hero with a "J" name, that of Jason and the Argonauts: "The story of the hero Jason in Greek mythology shares several similarities with the story of Jonah which have been noted by Joseph Campbell and more recent authors such as Gildas Hamel. Drawing on the Book of Jonah and Greco-Roman sources — including Greek vases and the accounts of Apollonius of Rhodes, Valerius Flaccus and Orphic Argonautica — Hamel identifies a number of shared motifs, including the names of the heroes, the presence of a dove, the idea of "fleeing" like the wind and causing a storm, the attitude of the sailors, the presence of a sea-monster or dragon threatening the hero or swallowing him [...]. The Greek rendering of the name Jonah was Jonas, which differs from Jason only in the order of sounds —both os are omegas." The letter omega is symbolic of death and an ending, "I AM the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end."
Another "J" named person who symbolically goes through the same thing is Joseph of Arimathea who incurs the envy of his brothers after his father Jacob gives him the coat of many colors. When Joseph was 17, his brothers plotted to kill him, except the oldest brother Reuben who secretly plans to save Joseph. The plot is to toss Joseph into a pit (symbolic Abaddon) and claim that an "evil beast devoured him" (symbolic sea-beast). Joseph is instead sold to passers-by for 20 pieces of silver. The brother's dipped his coat into goats blood and told their father that Joseph had been torn apart by wild beasts.
I thought the above picture of a beached Basking Shark at Hells Mouth Beach resonated with Jonah's whale. Looking for pictures of Jonah on the Whale, I realized what a resonance the whale mouth had with the Hellmouth, or gateway/portal to hell. (Scroll up, and check out those three small pictures for Event Horizon, doesn't the door to the blackhole machine look like a Hellmouth?) The Hellmouth is what Buffy guards in Sunnydale California in the Buffy television series. The name Sunnydale could conceivably mean Sunnyvale as in a "sunny valley," as the word "-dale" refers to a valley. And if this is the case, then Sunny-vale might really be Sunny-veil. But I digress...
take note of the dove above the tower
And perhaps the best known "J" named person who undergoes a similar symbolic death and resurrection is Jesus. Also sold out for silver (30 pieces, with inflation), he was arrested by the "Temple Guards" (Knights Templar?) in the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He was crucified, died, and was buried. His body was turned over to previously mentioned Joseph of Arimathea, who put it in his own rock hewn tomb.
Jesus "descended into hell," according to the Catholic prayer known as the Apostles' Creed. On the third day, like Jonah, he rose from the cave/tomb/hell/pit of abaddon/abyss/whale-belly. What did Jesus do for those three days? Well he was saving souls in Hell, of course. Like the trinity of characters including Trinity in The Matrix who battled the Merovingians demons and "beat" the Merovingian/Devil in club Hell while Neo was in Mobil/Limbo, Jesus spread the word of God to those who came before him who awaited the Redeemer. "Christ went down into the depths of death so that 'the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.' Jesus, 'the Author of life', by dying destroyed 'him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.' Henceforth the risen Christ holds 'the keys of Death and Hades', so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.'" (- Vatican website) Upon his resurrection, and after 40 days of hanging out with his friends, Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12). When he returns, it will be at the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:11 and Zechariah 14:4).
what hope do we have if even jesus goes to hell when he dies?
When Jesus is on the cross, one of the last things he says is "I thirst" (John 19:28). According to popular translation, a spear with a sponge attached was dipped in vinegar and lifted to Jesus' lips. In The Jesus Conspiracy, authors Holger Kersten and Elmar Gruber note that an error of translation was made when the word hyssos, "short spear," was taken for hyssopos, "hyssop." The hyssop plant is mentioned several times in the Old Testament as it was used to spread the lambs blood around the door frame for passover, as well as other sacrificial or purification ceremonies. The hyssop mentioned at the crucifixion may have been another plant species, different from the hyssop of today, or may have just been a stick or branch of whatever plant was nearby. It is theorized by William Henry in Blue Apples that the hyssop used was of a narcotic variety and put Jesus into a catatonic state. Other theories also have postulated that Jesus only looked dead when he was removed from the cross, being in a unconscious state, he was revived later and lived a long happy life with Mary Magdalane, etc.
Strangely enough, there is a true to life version of Jonah and the Whale:
Real Life Jonah: In February, 1891, the ship Star of the East was off the Falkland Islands when the crew spotted an 80' sperm whale. Two rowboats filled with crewmen were launched to capture the monster. Closing in, one harpooner let go his weapon and shafted the whale, which lashed out, almost overturning the boats. Returning to the ship with their dead whale, the crewmen realized one sailor, James Bartley, was missing. It was decided he had been tossed overboard in the fight and had drowned.The heat and sucking out of moisture that this man suffered reminds me of Jesus being thirsty, and may indicate the stage of Purification in alchemy, sometimes symbolized by a furnace or sweat bath drawing the soul and spirit out of a body like steam. The three images from Rosarium Philosophorum represent: Extraction of the soul, or impregnation: "Here, king and queen lie dead / The soul departs in great haste. Here, the four elements separate / And from the body the soul departs apace.", Washing or Purification: "Here, the dew falls from the sky / And washes the black body in the grave.", and Jubiliation of the soul, or Birth, or Sublimation: "Here, he soul floats down / And refreshes the purified corpse."
Six hours later the crewmen began removing the blubber from the dead beast. By midnight the task was still unfinished, and the sailors went to bed. In the morning, they resumed their job. Then the unexpected happened. According to M. de Parville, editor of the Journal des Debats, writing in Paris in 1914, "Suddenly the sailors were startled by something in the stomach which gave spasmodic signs of life. Inside was found the missing sailor, James Bartley, doubled up and unconscious. He was placed on deck and treated to a bath of sea-water which soon revived him, but his mind was not clear and he was placed in the captain's quarters." Recovering, Bartley recalled being hit by the whale's tail and that he had been "encompassed by great darkness, and he felt he was slipping along a smooth passage that seemed to move and carry him forward. His hands came in contact with a yielding, slimy substance, which seemed to shrink from his touch. He could easily breathe, but the heat was terrible. It seemed to open the pores of his skin and draw out his vitality. The next he remembered he was in the captain's cabin."
Except for the fact that his face, neck, hands had been bleached white, Bartley--like Jonah--survived the belly of the monster.
"But the philosophers have described this 'spirit' and this 'soul' as 'steam' (...), and as there is moisture and dryness in man, our work is nothing but steam and water." (Turba philosophorum, Berlin, 1931)I just had a funny memory while typing the above quote, it is of an old episode of the Batman television series (with Adam West). The Joker (or Penguin, maybe) made a gun which zapped all the liquid out of a persons body and left a pile of dust in place of what had once been a person.
The last thing Jesus said was, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" (Luke 23:46). Jonah/Ionas means "Dove," and the dove represents the Holy Spirit in the Christian Trinity. The Spirit/Dove entered Jesus at his baptism and at the crucifixion descended into the underworld for 3 days and returned (re-entered Jesus' body) at the resurrection. Jonah (Dove/Holy Spirit) left the world for 3 days (as a coward running from God's will), but after his time in the whale (cave/tomb/pit/grave) he returns as the great prophet and converts an entire city. In my alchemy book, the definition of dove is: "a symbol of renewed spirit or infusion of energy from Above. Chemically, it signifies the change from the Black Phase to the White Phase." (White, like the poor man trapped in the whale who came out with bleached skin?!)
The seventh operation of Alchemy, Coagulation, is seen the in purple area of the Azoth picture. From Sorcerer's Stone, by Dennis William Hauck:
The final, seventh circle shows an androgynous youth emerging from an open grave, with the Latin word Lapidem, meaning "the Stone," on the outer ring next to it. This is the operation of coagulation, in which the fermented child of the conjunction is fused with the sublimated spiritual presence released during distillation. The resurrection of the soul is accomplished by bringing together only the purest essences of one's body and soul into the light of meditation. In other words, coagulation incarnates and releases the purified soul that the Emerald Tablet described as the "Glory of the Whole Universe." At this stage, the alchemists are working with the "new" or resurrected Salt.(Body)
For more wisdom from the depths, check out the now discontinued blog, From the Belly of the Whale.
UPDATE: Also check out these posts which synch with this one: RED ROWEN DUN DA VALE by Aferrismoon, and Sea Serpents by Quinta Essentia. Also, A Burning Ring of Fire IV by Celtic Rebel synched a bit (see my comments there for more).
For anyone following my ramblings on the New Age religion and the Pope, it might interest you to know that in the St. Malachy prophecy which numbered #111 popes and gave each a nickname: the name of #111, the current and last pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), is: "The Glory of the Olive." From crystalinks.com: "The Order of St. Benedict has said this Pope will come from their order. It is interesting that Jesus gave his apocalyptic prophecy about the end of time from the Mount of Olives. This Pope will reign during the beginning of the tribulation Jesus spoke of. Saint Benedict himself prophesied that before the end of the world his Order, known also as the Olivetans, will triumphantly lead the Catholic Church in its fight against evil."
The song which plays during the credits of Matrix Revolutions quotes passages from the Upanishads:
"Lead us from darkness to the light,
Lead us from knowledge of the unreal to the real,
Lead us from fear of death to knowledge of our immortality.
Peace, peace, peace."
This series continues with Bee Seeing You Through the Veil.