The celtic cross, the coggalbeg hoard and the crucifix
It is suitable time to examine closely some objects that surround us against the backdrop of Easter celebrations. We are familiar with the Celtic cross; a unique work of art formed by the Celts and which today adorns gravestones, jewellery, ornaments and other objects. We are also familiar with the crucifix. Upon the crucifix, Jesus Christ was crucified over 2000 years ago in Golgotha. In this season, we mark that event. The Coggalbeg hoard, according to the National Museum of Ireland where they are currently displayed are made up of three objects: a pair of gold discs and a gold lunula; a crescent shaped collar dating to the period 2300 – 1800 BC, the Early Bronze Age.
They were found by one Hubert Lannon in the townland of Coggalbeg near Strokestown in County Roscommon in 1945. The ornament on the discs is said to be different from that observed on the lunula. The technique is also quite different. The ornament on the discs is pressed from the back of the discs so that the pattern is raised on the front of the discs. The pattern is a cross surrounded by circles. From pictures of the discs, it is clearly observed that the crosses are of equal arms – that is; the vertical and the horizontal are of equal length.
The Coggalbeg Hoard therefore clearly predates the time of Jesus Christ to the period 2300 to 1800 BC. The Celtic cross also predates the time of Jesus Christ. The shape of the cross with equal arms has been used since prehistoric times in almost all cultures with diverse meanings such as health, fertility, life, immortality, spirit and matter. The shape of the cross-etched on caves has been discovered in Europe dating back to the Stone Age and right through the Celtic and Germanic civilisations. Ancient alters bearing the forms of the equal arm cross have been found in England, Egypt, Mexico, Peru, and India.
The ancient Greeks regarded the figure of the equal arm cross which they called the Logos of God (the source and fundamental order of the cosmos). The symbol of the equal arm cross was used by Christians about the 2nd and 4th century AD. The Christian Roman Emperor Constantine in AD 272 – 337 used the symbol of the equal arm cross when he set out at the head of the soldiers of Gaul in his famous march against Rome. The symbol of the equal arm cross is to this day used in vestments, chalices, and various adornments by Christians. It is a fact of history that the equal arm cross was venerated by all civilised cultures long before the advent of Christianity. As recognised by the Greeks, this Cross represents the Logos or the Word or the Truth.
The vertical arm of the crucifix is longer in length than the horizontal arm of it. The crucifix had been in use as a form of capital punishment prior to the time of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Indeed, we are told that two thieves were crucified with Jesus Christ in Golgotha. To the discerning eye, it is clear that the original Celtic cross is a cross of equal vertical and horizontal arms; that the extension of the lower end of the vertical arm is a subsequent alteration probably in an attempt to unite the Celtic cross with the crucifix.
When Jesus Christ said in Mark 8:34 and in Luke 9:20-23 that he who must come after him must take up his cross and follow him, this meant that the human being who desires redemption according to the teachings of Jesus Christ must live according to the Word and the Truth which He brought to mankind. To bring this Word and Truth was the only purpose of His coming from His Father; not to come and die on the crucifix!
Man must learn this Truth, which is contained in the true Word of Jesus Christ, and which surrounds him; he must then live accordingly and adapt himself to the Laws of Creation, which flow from this Truth. References in the Gospels to the suffering awaiting Jesus Christ and his crucifixion has led many to regard the cross as representing self-sacrifice, endurance and suffering. Driven by this belief, some will scourge and mortify themselves this Easter season. This cannot be right considered against one of the Natural Laws of Creation; the Law of Retribution or the Law of Sowing and Reaping, so clearly stated by Jesus Christ thus; ‘whatever a man’s sows, that also shall he reap’. Self-abuse of the body; one of the gifts of the Almighty Creator to the human spirit is a sin! And the words of Jesus Christ; ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do!’ bares open the illogic of any suggestion of this gospel of necessary suffering on the cross. Jesus Christ the Love of God cannot desire man to suffer when he has not first sown seeds in Creation that returns suffering as harvest. Ultimately, the Will of God desires only to lead to joy.
The continuing use of the crucifix in Christianity obscured the meaning of the equal arm cross. Now however in the book, In The Light of Truth: The Grail Message, by Abd-Ru-Shin, these and other Truths are once more revealed. The equal arm cross is the sign of Divine Truth! Not merely the sign, but the living form for it. Gifted persons could see this sign radiating out of Jesus Christ when He dwelt on earth as a Bearer of Truth. After His death, the shroud of Turin bears this cross visibly to any discerning eye. The independently radiating cross (without the ring) depicts the original form of the Truth. The cross of equal arms in a ring represents the Truth in Creation (the ring or circle around it signifying Creation). And since man can ascend only through the Truth, and in no other way, the human spirit finds true redemption only in the recognition or knowledge of Divine Truth! Again, since redemption lies only in the Truth, it follows that the Cross, that is, the Truth, is the redeeming Cross, or the Cross of Redemption!
Where is the place of religion in the above and in all else? Abd-ru-shin, the author of the Grail Message writes; “In the way in which the teachings were once given … … lies a clear, uniform course of spiritual guidance from the Light for mankind on earth. If in the course of thousands of years men had not always acted as they still do today, if they had not time and again distorted everything that was intended to help them, in order to adapt it to their human way of thinking and their earthly desires, there would now be only one uniform teaching here on earth, issuing from the Will of God. There would not be so many kinds of denominations.
“All the teachings that have come to earth in the past would, united, form a single flight of steps to the pedestal on which the Truth is to stand, as it has so often been proclaimed to mankind in various promises. “For all the teachings were at one time willed by God, precisely adapted to the individual peoples and countries, and formed in complete accord with their actual spiritual maturity and receptivity”.
Mamedu wrote from Chidum Ozohili Close
Life Camp Abuja.