Monday, January 03, 2005

The Return of the King

Many comparative mythologists have seen parallels between the Christ story and a host of ancient regional motifs.

In particular, the theme of the crucifixion and the resurrection strongly resembles the death and resurrection of Dumuzi (Tammuz). Even the cross is referred to as a tree, a reference that points towards Dumuzi's identity as the personification and lord of the tree of life.

I mentioned earlier my views that the upper and lower case letter "T" symbol, i.e., the cross, represents the tree of life and, at the same time, the home domain of the bird clan.

Church painting of Christ with bamboo scepter, Oaxaca, Mexico

In the painting above, the vegetative crown, loincloth, cape and bamboo scepter might, with some alterations, fit the garb of a Nusantao prince of Eden!

Christ is the son of a carpenter and befriends fisher folk. He fits the Fisher King archtype. The pastoral environment of the Old Testament gives way to one in the New Testament where we constantly encounter water, boats, nets, fish, etc.

Dumuzi, whose names indicate a close association with the waters of the Abzu, also is considered a shepherd. The Fisher King, the Shepherd King and the Sea King all share a link with nature. They are not divorced from the wild as in the more conventional royal court. Their native environment is linked with the town or even the village rather than the city.

In Sumerian literature, the bringing down of kingship from Heaven is described in terms of Inanna planting the cosmic tree upon a mountain. The cross on Mt. Zion would represent the same thing. The emblem of the bird clan would appear again later in the form of the Dove, the spirit that guides the church, i.e., the kingdom.

In Revelation, Christ or one of his angels returns on a white horse from the east just like Kalki of Hindu belief and the Tibetan savior-king Rigden Drakpo. The concept of the returning savior is an important one.

We see it in many cultures -- Lumauig among the Igorots, Lono among the Kanaka Maoli, Quetzalcoatl among the Toltecs.

The return of the savior is part of the cycle. His antithesis must also return. In the same way, the morning stars return to their stations at the end of the year.

Paul Kekai Manansala