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Thirdpal writes When the other hermits were assembled and wept his death, and would have done his service, suddenly Saint Anthony revived and made his servant to bear him into the pit again where the devils had so evil beaten him, and began to summon the devils again, which had beaten him, to battles. ([])
a link to an engraving showing St. Anthony tormented by demons. []

I refer to tripping on psychedelics as "practice dying", especially on LSD. I always went through a death experience. Similar to the normal patterns of REM sleep, in my experience I could be totally lucid and engaged with friends, then I would slip off into an out of body experience or slipped into a memory/whatever. Then I would come back down, be lucid and participate with acquaintances, they off again, over and over. This would happen at least a half dozen times during one trip. I could relive 6 to 8 former lifetimes (from birth to death) in the matter of an 8 hour period. At least they seemed like former lives. This was especially true in my early days as a psychonaut. Later, the ability to have out of body experiences became more prevalent - literally travelling to distant worlds. My dreaming was on fire in the 70's as well (as stated earlier, that is when I experienced tripping a great deal). This all depends on set and setting, of course. These kinds of experiences mostly occurred when being quiet, listening to music inside somewhere in a controlled environment.
But, at least in the initial death experience on any given night, I would first experience something very much like what is depicted in the St. Anthony print (scroll down one page when you click on url to see engraving). It was always a little scary and you just had to learn to let it go, show no fear, and it/they passed.

When the psychic Edgar Cayce was asked what the trance experience was like, he also spoke of "rising" above the earth, initially encountering massively deformed human type demons on the astral plane. They want to hold onto you, seemingly to feed off of your energy, especially fear. So, the presentation that St. Anthony asked to be placed back into the "pit" at death... well that sounds like he equated it with the initial phase of the death experience as well."

Hello again Thirdpal,
You’ve had more experience with LSD than me. I took it just once in the late '60s. Anyway, I’m glad I did because at least I have some notion of what you and other people describe - although I don’t recollect an episode of fear.

I understood St. Anthony’s experience as a trance brought about solely by solitude and fasting. He would have been sitting or lying in the darkness of his small cave. No doubt this was not an isolated case and that many hermits had practised the technique for millennia before him. It fits completely with GIG-NUS, the Sumerian symbol for gnosis, which has the meanings darkness and trouble – and NUS, the egg, the rebirth, the knowledge of death that comes from that experience – the elimination of fear. NUS is the source of ancient Greek nous, mind and understanding. []

Edgar Cayce didn’t take drugs before his trances as far as I know. No doubt it has always been known that there are more ways than one to provoke that state. I’m sure you’re right that the demon element of St. Anthony’s story and his return to the pit is a manner of describing the near-death experience however he arrived at it.

The section of THE STORY OF SUKURRU where I found the Solstice Riddle is – on the surface - a very noisy shamanic ritual. In that context, I translated TAR-A as ‘tar water’ which, according to Pliny in ‘Natural History’:

preserves the bodies of the dead uncorrupted for ages, but exercises a noxious effect on the bodies of the living – singular that there should be such a diversity in its properties, taking away life from animated beings and importing a sort of life as it were to the dead.

Possibly a humorous reference to the hero being dead or half dead at that point, but also the underlying tale of the death and rebirth of the sun. Tar is of unknown etymology of course and used in several ways in this all-important section of the text.

But why the pig? The old paintings and wood carvings make it look far too sweet to be a demon in that story. With its collar and bell, clearly a companion of the hermit. Another intriguing mystery to mull over… why the pig, why the pig?


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Subject Views Written By Posted
THE QUEEN OF SHEBA 1838 MDaines 21-Feb-20 14:08
THE NAME OF THE LORD 376 MDaines 23-Feb-20 08:46
Re: THE NAME OF THE LORD 381 Thunderbird 23-Feb-20 15:25
Enough! 370 MDaines 23-Feb-20 16:06
Re: Apology ** 361 Thunderbird 23-Feb-20 16:39
Please stop. 399 MDaines 23-Feb-20 16:54
THE BIRTH 376 MDaines 26-Feb-20 12:20
SAINT ANTHONY’S PIG 367 MDaines 27-Feb-20 10:37
Re: SAINT ANTHONY’S PIG 345 thirdpal 28-Feb-20 17:25
Re: SAINT ANTHONY’S PIG 364 MDaines 29-Feb-20 07:32
Re: SAINT ANTHONY’S PIG 342 thirdpal 02-Mar-20 17:17
Re: SAINT ANTHONY’S PIG 382 seasmith 03-Mar-20 01:03
Re: THE QUEEN OF SHEBA 497 magisterchessmutt 01-Apr-20 01:59

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