In Egyptian mythology, Anubis, the guardian of souls and lord of the underworld, appears with a human body topped with a jackal’s head. The jackal, in physical reality, is an earthbound wild dog who, like a vulture in the sky, feeds off the flesh of the dead. This is the likely root of Anubis’ symbolic and solemn association with death.
The jackal, in the tripartite human being dimensions of mind, body and spirit, is the physical body, the mortal component of this human trinity. The physical body is also the subconscious dimension of the human being. The subconscious houses the raw materials of all that we are, as well as all that we have ever been.
When the superconscious dimension of our Spirit decides to incarnate in human form for a particular mission of self-actualization in time and space, it must forget its immortal existence to accomplish its goal. If we were to be born with a distinct knowledge of our soulful existence beyond death, it would trump the experience of mortality, which is crucial to creating the necessary growth environment, or experimental/experiential conditions that our Spirit requires to advance its mission.
The jackal, as accomplice to Spirit’s intent, is the guardian of Spirit knowledge housed in the shadowland of the subconscious and stored in the human body. The paradox of this contract is that the jackal becomes Spirit’s greatest opponent in life. While Spirit seeks the spiritualization of our sojourn as material, mortal beings, jackal seeks to consume all of our spiritual stirrings that threaten to bring into the light of consciousness the truth of our hidden potential and immortality. The psychological tool to keep things hidden is suppression.
The jackal accomplishes its mission through preoccupying us with concerns of physical survival. We become obsessed with our income and resources to assure food and shelter. Our preoccupation with creature comforts renders us inert, as we sink into the malaise of semi-conscious existence. Ultimately, these obsessions evoke anxiety and fear and breed selfishness.
The world is currently caught in such a survivalist drama, as fears of scarcity fuel war and hate of neighbor. These fixations lack the deeper spiritual knowing of interconnected life beyond mortal existence. The challenge for the world now is to ascend to this spiritualized position of love and care for all of life. This is indeed the Great Spirit’s intent for the entire human race in its current incarnation: to ascend to love amidst threat to mortality. But how to accomplish this?
The shamans of ancient Mexico reminded themselves each day that they were “a being who is going to die” to counter the jackal’s distracting efforts to mire their Spirits in materialism. With death as one’s adviser, one is mindfully present, with Spirit, to the opportunity for fulfillment in each mortal moment.
Between the superconscious domain of Spirit and the subconscious domain of the jackal—the body—is the mind. The mind is actually another orphaned dimension of Spirit, known as the ego. Like the body, the mind is a victim of brainwashing, that is, amnesia of its true origin: Spirit.
However, despite its ignorance, ego stumbled upon the tree of knowledge and free will. On the downside of this discovery is ego frequently colluding with the jackal, advancing its power aims and survivalist agendas. On the upside, ego has the potential to calm the jackal, whereby opening the channel to Spirit’s guidance and resource in its Earthly mission.
When ego chooses to meditate, it calms the body with positive suggestions, which in turn provide reassurance. This is where ego learns voluntary control over the jackal’s autonomic nervous system. When the jackal gets anxious, the ego can lead it to the calmness of its safe place. Once the jackal feels safe, and sees that its true physical needs are being met, it allows its hidden treasures to come into the light of consciousness.
This allows ego to recapitulate the repressed traumas of this life, or the issues of past lives, previously hidden and stored in the dark storage of the physical body. This allows access to one’s true karma, one’s mission in this life, allowing it to be revealed and fulfilled. Ultimately, this spiritualization process allows for the full merger of mind, body, and Spirit in love, the collective Spirit intent for the lifetime we are all in.
Interestingly, it is Anubis who presents the human heart to Ra at the time of human passing, as the actions of one’s just-lived life are weighed and future karma assigned.
We begin our journey of spiritual return through befriending the jackal, who in turn opens the door to the gems of our true heritage, presenting materials for advancement. And, ultimately, as our worthy opponent through life, the jackal returns us, upon passing, to our full-fledged Spirit in infinity.
Loving the jackal,