By: Ranilo Abando (Manila, October 15, 2020) ***
Folks, today I will discuss a lighter topic but nevertheless has a deep meaning that is vital in truly understanding our fundamental nature as human beings.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Almost everybody has seen the movie about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but what many do not realize is that the story has deep roots that may go back thousands of years ago. The German Brothers Grimm published the story in their collection of fairy tales in 1812 from sources which I surmise are from very old oral traditions of the German countryside, passed on from generation to generation. Similar variations of the folklore story were recorded in France and Greece from old sources. The fairy tale story of Sleeping Beauty appears to be very similar to the story of Snow White and it also has its roots in Europe.
The basic plot of the story begins when a queen becomes envious of the beauty of her stepdaughter Snow White, who grew into a beautiful woman and whose skin is very white. The stepmother ordered a huntsman to bring Snow White to the forest to be killed. However, after bringing her to the forest, the huntsman had a moment of compassion and he let Snow White flee into the dark forest. In the forest, Snow White found refuge in the cottage of a group of seven dwarfs who took care of her. Through her magic mirror, the queen found out later that Snow White is still alive. So she disguised herself as an old woman and brought a poisoned apple in order to kill Snow White herself. She found her in the forest cottage and tempted her to eat the poisoned apple which she did and fell into a coma. The seven dwarfs who saw her later did not know what to do and just put her in a glass coffin. After some time passed, a prince came by, saw the immobile Snow White, and fell in love with her beauty instantly. The prince kisses Snow White, who was then revived. Afterwards, the prince marries Snow White and… they lived happily ever after.
The Parable of Two Birds in a Tree
In the ancient book Rig Veda 1.164.20 (Samhita) it is written:
Two birds associated together, and mutual friends, take refuge in the same tree; one of them eats the sweet fig; the other abstaining from food, merely looks on.
Below, Amal Kiran’s poem “Two Birds”, a more detailed interpretation of the above Vedic-Upanishadic parable, is an even enlightening disclosure:
A small bird crimson-hued
Among great realms of green
Fed on their multitudinous fruit —
But in his dark eye flamed more keen
A hunger as from joy to joy
He moved the poignance of his beak,
And ever in his heart he wailed,
“Where hangs the marvelous fruit I seek?”
Then suddenly above his head
A searching gaze of grief he turned:
Lo, there upon topmost bough
A pride of golden plumage burned!
Lost in a dream no hunger broke,
This calm bird — aureoled, immense —
Sat motionless: all fruit he found
Within his own magnificence.
The watchful ravenor below
Felt his time-tortured passion cease,
And flying upward knew himself
One with that bird of golden peace.
My interpretations of the metaphorical writings above are the following:
I have mentioned before in a previous post that the metaphorical tree depicted in ancient literature often represents the human mind column. Corollary to that, the fruits of the tree represent the rewards of the various virtual realities that are built by the mind column. In this physical reality, those rewards are the pleasures associated with getting food, mate, herd rank, and comforts of life. In modern human societies, those rewards now include acquisition of political power, financial prowess, powerful connections, attractive sexual partner/s, and successful pursuit of an ideology — often a misguided one.
The problem with these rewards is that they are transitory and usually result in imbalances with unsavory consequences down the road. Pursuing them is futile in terms of finding deep long-lasting happiness here and beyond and it even poses the danger of you getting caught in multiple cycles of existence just so you would learn how to attain a better perspective about what are the truly rewarding things to pursue. So, metaphorically, these fruits are poisonous – just like Snow White’s apple. The wicked stepmother represents our present physical reality which is not our true home. This physical reality tempts us with ephemeral pleasures with hidden strings tied to what we call in contracts as “penalty provisions”. Pain and suffering are the consequences if you sign without reading and understanding the “contract”.
The beautiful Snow White represents our human seat of consciousness. The poisonous “fruit” causes this seat of consciousness to become metaphorically “comatose” or to get stuck in a situation wherein it receives mostly darkness in terms of information quality flow.
The seven dwarfs are the various human mental faculties that help us navigate this treacherous physical reality, one of them being the “thinker” aspect of the mind. The number seven simply implies “complete”.
The savior prince represents our own higher self that is residing above our own mind column. Its place of residence, just like that of the eagle on top of world tree Yggdrasil, is where we truly belong. Someday each of us will join it there and “live happily ever after”.
In the parable of the two birds in a tree above, the bird that eats the “fruits of the tree” is our human seat of consciousness. The tree is the “tree of life”, the mind column — the lower portion of which gives us this physical reality that tempts us with transitory pleasures. The other bird, which merely watches and does not partake of the fruits of the tree, is our own higher self residing on top of the mind column. It takes no pleasure in obtaining any of the illusory rewards that this virtual physical world has to offer – because it is self-satisfied in a vantage point beyond the illusions built by our mind column.
Please share to others this message of hope and ultimate deliverance. Thank you.
(Thanks to pixabay.com for all the photos above)