THE CONTINENTS AND "THE CREATION OF MAN"
by E. Alan Meece
from Horoscope for the New Millennium (copyright 1997 by E. Alan Meece and Llewellyn Publications)
The destiny of Humanity is written in the stars. But what about the Earth, whose shape at first sight seems so haphazard? With the important events happening upon it, shouldn't they be reflected in the current shape of the continents?
It is now known, thanks to verification of Wegener's theories, that the continents "drift," or gradually move their positions, and that this is the cause of earthquakes, volcanoes and other disasters. In recent geologic times the American continents broke away from Eurasia and Africa, whereas once all three were joined in one huge super-continent. Couldn't this symbolize the subsequent emergence of human beings and their break (and consequent alienation) from nature and God?
Now take hold of a good, illustrated book on art history and turn to "The Creation of Man" by Michaelangelo. This great work was executed during the Renaissance, soon after America was discovered; a time when Humanists celebrated the powers of "the individual." I believe that Michaelangelo, among the most inspired artists of all time, actually recorded the destiny of "man" in his great masterpiece, even as he illustrated the Biblical story of creation. Perhaps his work was divinely directed; certainly it was the fruit of his own godlike powers. Little did he know that an important chapter in "the creation of man" was happening at the very time he worked. Or maybe he did know!
Observe the painting; then observe a world map. Isn't there a resemblance? Does not America, erect from North to South, look vaguely like a human being? Is not the shape of Eurasia similar to God's in the painting? Thus Central America is Adam's waist, South America his legs, and North America his chest and head. Of course the waist is awfully thin, but who more than Americans are concerned about their waistline? And at the top-left of this virginal, innocent, newly-created continent, is Alaska. It resembles a man's hand, although it has three fingers instead of four; the thumb is the Aleutian Peninsula. It is reaching out to receive the "spark of electricity" from the hand of God that will endow the first man (Adam) with God's light and life. As you can see, it is now Russia touching the United States, the two greatest nations of the world. You can see the outstretched finger of God through which the spark will pass, separated from Alaska only by the Bering Straights. Russia, once the seat of the socialist, collective revolution, and the United States, home of the capitalist, democratic revolution, meet at their extremes; although their capitols are actually closer to each other from the opposite direction.
Now observe the shape of Europe, the birthplace of these revolutions and of Western philosophy, science and "rational, enlightened thought" generally. Does it not also resemble a brain? And indeed there is another person in Michaelangelo's painting; this is Eve, soon to be created from Adam's rib. Just as Eve caused the "fall" by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, so it has been Western and European thought and science which has now endangered the continued survival of Humanity on this planet because of the technology it has created. Eve looks suggestively toward Adam in Michaelangelo's painting. Already, says Kenneth Clark, one feels she is a "source of mischief." That's a good characterization of Europe too, I think!
Africa, on the other hand, resembles the shape of a heart instead of a brain. The birthplace of Humanity, it is home to the black race, noted for their "soul" and closeness to nature; in contrast to the white race of Europe, noted for their "reason" and alienation from nature. In the painting we see Africa as the largest infant, who sits beneath Eve and symbolizes today's "developing" peoples. Europe represents Humanity's intellectual and inventive powers, and Africa our emotional and physical energies. Asia represents our vast intuitive resources; the divine within us.
The ongoing "creation of man" came to a milestone in the French Revolution. Lightning (Uranus) struck, followed by thunder (Neptune and Pluto). All European peoples demanded freedom from their ancient tyrannies, but those in Western Europe got it faster; causing a split with the East (the "Iron Curtain") whose effects linger today. This political and industrial "progress" in The West resulted in insanity-- literally the loss of its head-- in the French Revolutionary period. You could also say that in the 19th Century Europe fell sick. And where did this "sickness" begin? In the neck; soon after the Revolution in which people lost their heads; severed from their body by the guillotine. As Europe dominated the world it began to break down itself, according to the old law that if you gain the world you lose your soul. And lose touch it did; in the neck-- The Balkans and The Middle East.
Look at the Balkan Peninsula. Does it not look like a neck that is severed from Asia Minor? And the Aegean Islands; they are the drops of blood! It was Greece, after all, where it all began; the turn away from God and instinct to reason and democracy. There it was where the whole began to be lost among the parts. Greece was also the scene of the War of Independence from Turkey in 1821, which led directly to many more Balkan and Middle East Crises over the last 170 years. It also sent the Turkish Ottoman Empire on the road to dismemberment and collapse. For this reason, it was thereafter known as "the Sick Man of Europe." Interestingly, both the neck and Turkey are traditionally ruled by the sign Taurus.
Western Civilization, as we said, was always a westward movement. The Balkan peoples, such as the Slavs, were "backward" in the 19th Century. The western part of Europe had gone too far forward without keeping in touch with the rest of "the body," which wasn't yet ready for democracy and "progress." The growing break between the "head" in Western Europe and "the body" in the Middle East was also a break between conscious and subconscious, which caused the schizophrenia and hysteria diagnosed by the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud by the century's end.
Each European nation's place in Eve's "head" represents its function in European culture. Looking closely we see that Spain is the chin, audacious and culinary France of course is the mouth, and Brittany is the nose. Musical Austria is the ear, artistic Holland the eyes, inventive England the forebrain and thoughtful Germany the central cortex itself. Operatic Italy could be the voice box. The Urals could be seen as the border (or crease) of God's cloak as it shelters and protects the unborn Eve emerging from beneath Him.
Humanity broke from God and came to America. The chains of ancient institutions were too tight in the motherland. Then we declared "independence." But notice; God is touching Man from the opposite direction in the map from that seen in the painting; from The East. This also means we could be seeing the back of Michaelangelo's painting as we look up toward the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, as if God had engraved it from above. However you look at it, it's clear that America must reverse its direction, twisting and turning toward the East to receive the charge of life from God. And this also means turning inward, and toward the Earth as well.
What is the charge? It is the interaction between East and West now happening in the "Third Revolution." Since the 1960s we have seen Detente and the end of the Cold War. America, the individual freed from God, is turning in the opposite direction to find union with Russia, or the divine collective.
Dane Rudhyar compared Europe and Asia to a small orange growing on the skin of a larger one, rather than to Eve and God in Michaelangelo's painting. He noticed that in many ways Europe is a miniature version of Asia. The three peninsulas of Spain, Italy and Greece, for instance, are similar to Arabia, India and Indochina; and they have similar historical and cultural functions. Greece and Indochina are home to great artists, Italy and India are the seat of great religions, and Spain and Arabia host peoples of missionary zeal. Above India we see the Himalayas as a nearly-flat crescent pointing upward, allowing the energies of the divine to be received; while above Italy we see the Alps as a sharp crescent pointed downward, cutting off the spiritual from the human. Interestingly, the same two shapes are seen in the eyebrows of Asian and Caucasian peoples respectively. Persia corresponds to France, China and Mongolia to Germany, and seafaring Japan (from reverse positions) to England. Throughout history warriors have come down from the North and become civilized in the South.
This parallel can be extended to America. Florida and the Southeast is another version of Greece and the Balkans, close to creative centers on the Gulf Coast like New Orleans. Baja California is another version of Spain, with wine-growing California itself comparable to France and Palestine ("the Holy Lands"). Mexico is not a peninsula like Italy; but is joined to all of South America. Like Italy and India, however, it is the seat of influential religions and great empires and civilizations. Northern America, by contrast, is a land of warriors like Germany and Mongolia and was conquered by materialistic and greedy industrialists from Europe. As civilization further develops in North America it may shift southward. Indeed the population of the U.S. has been moving south in recent decades. The Americas have a chain of mountains running north to south, instead of the crescent shape in Europe and Asia; this symbolizes Adam's backbone. It represents America's desire to become independent and whole.
As America finds reunion with God, its peoples must also get together. Blacks came to America too, but as slaves from Africa who had to fight for their rights. Many live in the Southeast portion of the U.S.-- equivalent to the Balkans (also a scene of ethnic conflict) and to Indochina. Since the Third Revolution began in the 1960s, the U.S. has had to confront its problems with both Blacks and Vietnamese. And the Balkans themselves are now also a source of trouble for America (in Bosnia, for example). And if the United States of America is to truly be the "new Rome" and fulfill its destiny of "equal justice for all," it must also integrate itself with the Latin peoples south of the border.
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