The Symbolism of The Sword in the Stone
The "Sword In The Stone" is a symbol that represents a test of virtue...
It also explains the purpose of life of Earth.
The Arthurian Legend
A nice short version of the Legend of King Arthur is given here.
Merlin the Magician came to London’s market square. He stood in the middle of the square. He held both his arms high. And pointed his wand to the stars.
The next morning at dawn, people started to arrive at the market. There in front of them was a block of white marble stood in the middle of the town square. Resting on the block was a giant stone the size of a very large rock. At the very top of the stone there was a golden sword handle and a few inches of the blade, shining in the sun. Yet – the rest of the blade was buried deep into the stone. These words could be seen on the top of the blade:
“Whoever pulls out this sword from this stone is the true king of England!”
To cut a long story short, Merlin sets a magical test to find the true King of England: To pull a golden sword from a large rock. Everyone tries and fails, except for Arthur, who has already demonstrated his selflessness and heroic-spirit in various ways in the story, and so he becomes the King of England.
Interestingly, there's a sword-in-stone in Italy, but the legend is different. (The sword of St. Galgano Guidotti). It's not really relevant here, because our interest is in the symbolism...
A Very British Tale
The Legend of Arthur is an important part of the British mythology / history, but it contains as it's central focus a depiction of the Dao, Yin & Yang as stone and sword. This is, IMO, a Pagan symbol of the Dao and is largely equivalent to the eastern yin-yang symbol we're all familiar with.
I think this is more evidence that the Dao was part of European thought, probably for most of it's history, and has only recently been lost. (Consider: gendered nouns in European languages. How else can one explain that?)
Western people have been so successfully brainwashed by academia & the media, they hear "Yin and Yang", associate it with "Eastern Mysticism", Lefties, and smelly-hippies, and immediately close their minds to it. Admittedly it's an eastern phraseology, but we don't have any suitable words in English. (Old-English did have gendered nouns, and perhaps did have words for the Dao.)
You don't have to believe in the Dao, it's not religion it's science, it can be known with certainty.
The Stone represents Matter (Mater / Mother) / Yin - The Passive Principle.
The Sword represents Spirit (Will / Logic) / Yang - The Active Principle.
It's clear to see how the Stone represents Matter. It's 3D, solid, inert, heavy, matter.
The Sword represents Mind, because as discussed in the page on Logos, Logic separates parts from each other, like a sword separates parts of a body. The sword of Logic allows us to divide good from evil, true from false, and it allows us to Know things.
The Sword is also the Cross, the crossroads, the symbol of choice and free-will. To grasp the handle is to exercise your choice, to choose to attempt to remove the sword... How many people, seeing others fail, didn't even try?
The Sword IN The Stone represents Spirit Trapped In Matter. It is the human condition, and indeed it's the condition of all life. All life is spirit bound up in a matter body. (Although, the Universal Plan predicts there are seven levels to reality, and they all have different forms of matter.)
We are spirit trapped in matter. We're bound here by our emotional attachments to matter, and by our sense of self-preservation, which is the survival mind, the "reptilian brain" (brainstem and the cerebellum). People have forgotten that they're spirits, and think they're bodies.
This is the essential deception, and purpose, of the Goddess, to entwine spirits in a fine and intricate web of sensations, needs, pleasure & pain, hopes and fears, so they think they actually are matter. It has to be a convincing illusion, else it wouldn't work.
Our bodies are carefully constructed containers, designed to immerse the spirit so completely in the matrix (Mother) we forget who we are. And that, most elegantly & efficiently, is also the test we have to pass to leave this place, to wake up to the illusion, see through the deception of materiality, and remember we are spirits.
The Commoner & The King
The Sword In The Stone is the normal person, the "muggle" or "commoner", the person who only thinks or cares about material things. It's the person with the Yin-mind of the child: Irresponsible, immature, ignorant, selfish, etc. The literal-minded, ideologically driven folk. These are the ordinary everyday people who (according to the Dao) are immature spirits, and don't have the self-awareness, or self-control to be a King.
The King, however, is able to withdraw the sword from the stone. He's able to separate his spirit from matter, and rise above it... This is the act which makes him a King, it's becoming conscious, waking up, or being "reborn in the spirit".
It's the realisation of one's true nature, as a spirit who cannot die, and so has nothing to fear. It's the realisation of the goodness of God, and mankind's true destiny to transcend their animal nature and become immortal.
It's the same as mankind being "given dominion, to tame and subdue nature" in the Bible, because that also refers to the nature inside us - our immature animal-survival-mind.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The King has the self-awareness, and self-control of the spiritually-realised man. He is able to rise above the Earth principles of hunger, emotion, and fear, to follow his true will. Instead of being led by the lowest Element: Earth, he is now led by the highest: Fire.
This is the man who has overcome all his emotional attachments to beliefs and ideologies. His vision is not clouded by the delusions of matter. He sees things as they truly are, and is liberated to choose that which is right for all.
The only true sacrifice is self-sacrifice. The lower-self of ego is given up to God for destruction, by the act of will. You have to want to be free of your ego.
This is what the Christ-sacrifice symbolises. It's the Hero-Archetype of self-sacrifice for a greater good. It's also the path to liberation: The way the truth and the light.
It's also Odin plucking out his left-eye, so he is no longer distracted by the cares of matter, and has single focus on liberation from the wheel of incarnation and slavery.
That's the real meaning of the one-eye symbolism - it means to be focused on a single thing. That's all.
Virtue Alone Ennobles
A true king must be selfless. His duty is to his people, not himself, and it's the King's own virtue that makes him the King. Not some arbitrary chance of birth.
Anyone can be the King. If they have the virtue.
But the story is an allegory, it doesn't mean that the King - the Realised Man - must rule over other people, it means they are the ruler of themselves. The King is in-charge of his own mind and body. He rules his mind and body, they don't rule him.
No longer is the King a puppet to beliefs and egotistical emotions, he elevates himself to the Yang-mind of Reason and Altruism.
St George & The Dragon
St. George, the patron saint of England, is famous for slaying a dragon. This is slightly different symbolism for the same hero-archetype. He slays the dragon of wild-nature that was terrorising him, his reptilian-brain / ego-self, and becomes free of the predation of ideologies.
These used to be the symbols of Britain, but people forgot what they meant. Britain used to be the place where people slew their lower-selves, and became enlightened and free to leave the wheel of slavery. This is the "Great Work" of Alchemy, to turn Matter into Spirit, Yin into Yang, 'Lead' into 'Gold'.
This is the true "western spirit", and nothing less will save the Europeans. We have to return to the old ways of humility to the Creator, to worship Truth and Reason as God, and take responsibility for the mess we have allowed our society to become.
The west's problems are our own fault. Blaming agents of the Goddess for playing their legitimate role as adversary & tester, is merely the bleating of sheep, & will solve no problems.
If you leave your front door open, and go on holiday for a month, is it the burglar's fault when you come back to an empty house?
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