Sunday, April 6, 2014

Don't Look Back

This story begins in Biblical Genesis after two angels arrived in Sodom. You know, Sodom and Gomorrah were two ancient cities, were filled with all types of wickedness. Angels were invited to spend the night at Lot's home, and as dawn was breaking, they urged him to get his family and flee, so as to avoid being caught in the impending disaster for the iniquity of the city. Lot delayed, so the angels took hold of his hand, his wife's hand and his daughters and brought them out of the city. The prevention was: "Flee for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, lest you be swept away." But traveling behind her husband, Lot's wife looked back, and turned into a pillar of salt. Such often happens in mythology and many fairy tales as the punishment for disobedience. For example, in the case of Orpheus.
Orpheus gets so close to win, but then at the last minute, it is his own fear and doubt, that caused him to make the fatal error. When Orpheus looked back to see if Eurydice was following him, he lost her forever. It is also the same order they are both given, which is not to look back. But why they has turned back? One cannot ignore the powerful symbolism behind this idea of "looking back"and just what it means.
Certainly, it is a symbol of the attractions of the past. Sometimes our emotional nature cannot resist indulging in nostalgia regarding the past, even though that past was negative. We are often adhered not only to good and happy but also to misfortunes of our life. Someone has broken our heart, and has hurt us,  we can spend all our life to searching for someone to blame.  It is familiar to all. For Lot's wife, that attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. And her looking back spoke an inclination to go back  to the world.  
 Hamo Thornycroft "Lot's Wife"
I can treat this history only from my subjective point of view. Understanding these cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, as a lowest states of  consciousness, I should move only forward or upwards. Otherwise I get to a trap of doubt, uncertainty, and possibilities to fall downwards again.  It's a nature of mind - to cling for known and to be afraid of the unknown. And the Lot's wife is our body, adhered to physical world. When the mind follows a body, it cannot return completely nor journey with the spirit, and freezes as pillar of salt.
It is possible to understand this history much simply but not less truly. In short, our doubt - whether one is doing right or wrong - is the enemy of faith. While faith leads to the destination, doubt pulls back. There are going to be times in our lives when we have to let go and move on no matter how deeply committed we have been to our way of life, to our job, to our own home, to all that we considered so important. It's time to turn our head from the past. If we have begun our travel, we cannot return. It is not our will. Therefore, when He tells us to not look back, we must trust. There really is no other way.

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