Abraxas

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If you had to list your five, daily “must do” actions or activities in your life, what would they be?

My own list would probably include (in no particular order):

–Eating right (healthfully and low-cal)

–Exercising

–Sleeping sufficiently

–Meditating

–Writing

If any one of these actions or activities is missing, I find myself starting to feel grumpy and off balance. It’s as if a watch dog has started growling at me, or else I’ve developed a limp. The only way to get the dog off my back, or to start walking straight again, is to determine which of my five “must do’s” is missing and then re-inject it back into my life.

My college friend Tim first told me about all this in 1985, describing the phenomenon as ”Abraxas”. This morning, I looked up “Abraxas” online, expecting to see some mention of watch dogs and limps–and what I discovered was far more mysterious and complex. According to Webster’s Dictionary, Abraxas is described as follows:

“A*brax”as, n. [A name adopted by the Egyptian Gnostic Basilides, containing the Greek letters , [beta], [rho], [alpha], [xi], [alpha], [sigma], which, as numerals, amounted to 365. It was used to signify the supreme deity as ruler of the 365 heavens of his system.] A mystical word used as a charm and engraved on gems among the ancients; also, a gem stone thus engraved.

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.”

–Hmm, although interesting, no real answer there.

Thankfully, the German novelist, Hermann Hesse, mentions the god Abraxas in his novel, Demian, as follows:

“The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas…it appears that Abraxas has much deeper significance. We may conceive of the name as that of the godhead whose symbolic task is the uniting of godly and devilish elements.”

It’s hard to know what to make of all this mystical stuff; where is Dan Browns “Da Vinci Code” Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, when you need him?!!

As far as I can parse it, Abraxas represents unity and totality — Abraxas brings together that which has been broken (both the good and the bad). In order to reach Abraxas (wholeness), you need to first make a break with the world of habits that have been holding you back and then fly towards your ideal behaviors.

In my own case, if I want more unity, clearly I need to stop sitting on the couch, eating poorly, and staying up too late!

Go ahead, now – make that list of your 5 must-do actions/activities. Put it up on your refrigerator and ask yourself: What is currently missing in my life? What’s keeping me away from Abraxas? What’s gotten me so grumpy recently? What’s making me limp? And then do something about it. :)

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