We are all familiar with the cute image of Cupid as a chubby little child with angelic wings. Cupid is also armed with a bow and arrow. If you are lucky enough to be shot through the heart with one of Cupid’s arrows you will fall in love.
Why does it take a weapon to make us feel love? Doesn’t this aggressive act send a wrong message? Couldn’t Cupid accomplish the same goal with a hug and a kiss?
You may be wondering why I am spending any time at all, contemplating on such a silly creature born out of the human imagination from more primitive times. Cupid is certainly imaginative but not silly. In fact, a lot of mental sophistication and “higher level” thinking went into developing this winged promoter of love. Cupid actually was created to communicate a rarefied and higher meaning to the human psyche and raise its cognitive functioning above that of collecting mere terrestrial data.
Cupid is a symbolic creature that represents the ontological reality of a higher order of existence. The unique imagery displayed in the Cupid figure was the creation of an ancient people with special spiritual wisdom. To be struck in the heart by Cupid’s arrow did more than lead to worldly romance. It represented a transformation of the heart from natural to spiritual love.
Thanks to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg’s doctrine of correspondences and spiritual imagery, we can begin to interpret Cupid from a higher point of view. Correspondences are based on the premise that worldly objects and qualities can represent (correspond to) psycho-spiritual realities.
For instance, Cupid is presented to us as a young child or infant. Spiritually interpreted, Cupid represents innocence. Furthermore, Cupid’s wings signify angelic or heavenly innocence. It is from this innocence that angelic arrows are aimed at our heart.
What is the essence of heavenly weaponry? Like earthly arrows that pierce through human skin, Cupid’s arrows are spiritual ideas and arguments sharpened to make a fine point capable of piercing through to the very heart of a person. Cupid’s arrows are the power of spiritual truth to convince and persuade.
These special spiritual arrows don’t kill us in the physical sense but cause our old selves to die away so that we can be reborn.
Now I find myself skimming through a book about prehistoric humans. I stop at a page depicting cave art of hunters throwing spears at game. Gee, how embarrassing it would be to our current worldviews if even these ancient peoples had such a sophisticated system of symbolic knowledge—whereby game animals represented the worldly or lower natural qualities of human life that were about to receive spiritual instruction?
And what if all those battles depicted within the pages of the Bible contained similar meanings and interpretations? Just saying.