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Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra

Magandang araw! Good day!

Bulol literally means mute. The bulol that I will share to you isn’t the typical disabled person we know. Rather, this mythical bulol is the Watcher of the Dead of the Igorots or Cordillera mountains peoples. I’d advance right here that the Bulol mythos has deep mystical significance, which I will share to you today.

If you happen to tour the Cordillera Mountains, an entire region up North Luzon (Philippines), you will encounter the sturdy Igorot peoples. They are among our indigenous peoples, and they share common cultural traits that merit them as a generic group.

Like most of our indigenous peoples, the Igorots are so rich in myths and legends. They surely have contributed immeasurably to the country’s vast storehouse of symbolic constructs (myths, legends, folk lores) that are heritage yet of the Lemuro-Atlantean ancestry of the Igorots (all Malay tribes for that matter were of Lemuro-Atlantean roots).

A male Being, the Bulol is believed to be the Watcher of the Dead. As soon as a person dies, his/her soul (a) arrives on a river where s/he is consequently met by Bulol riding on a banca (canoe), (b) after which Bulol will ferry his/her soul over across the river (c) where s/he alights and then transfers to a chariot in waiting which (d) will fly him/her finally to the Almighty Creator.

As a trained observer (analyst, hermeneute, semioticist), I can see couples of symbols and structures revealed in the narrative. Let me begin with Bulol. I can very easily see that Bulol is among the guardians or Watchers of the Astral Plane. Indeed such a Being exists, who, to repeat, is guardian of a certain sphere of life, the astral plane, particularly the mid-subplane of the astral plane.

River is a means to convey the element of Water or astral element. A soul being ferried across the river means the soul has to move over to the astral plane and its diverse subplanes, from the lowest to the highest (5th Density is another term for higher astral).

The Watcher of the astral plane doesn’t communicate to souls of dead folks, which is captured by the mute state of Bulol. If he does, the Watcher does this through thought communication.

The banca (canoe) signifies the vehicle used by the Watcher to ferry the dead’s soul (within the astral body) to the next level of ascent. There is no fixed vehicular form, it could vary depending on the cultural wordview of the person who just died (e.g. huge fish for those living in coastal areas, banca for inland cultures…).

At the end of the ferrying journey, across the river, one has to alight. This signifies that the astral plane has an end, no matter how seemingly serene and heavenly the plane may be. And that end is the 7th subplane of the astral plane.

The next step after that journey is the ascent of the mental-to-causal planes. The mental plane is characterized by the Air element, which was captured in the Bulol mythos in terms of the chariot flying on air. At the beginning of that journey, the person’s own Angelic guide who is personal guardian, will meet and accompany the soul to the next level.

Angel guides are precisely positioned in the mental plane equivalent for their cosmic species. They can of course make use of equivalent vehicles to fetch and ascend the person, such as that one signified by the chariot.

The end of that journey is the causal plane, sometimes called the ‘higher mental’ plane. Being the seat of the intuitive faculties, the higher mental plane is the beginning of formlessness or ‘pure energy’. Arupa, as it is termed in Sanskrit. Fire element is the natural facet of the 4th or higher mental plane.

The Bulol narrative stops there. The chariot accordingly flies up the sky (soul moves across the mental plane), and that’s the end. No more related principles were revealed to the folks other than the entry to the higher mental plane (signified by the highest heights of the sky).

What the Bulol tells us is that the ancient father-race of the Igorots devised a way to conceal higher principles in so clever a manner. They found the folk lore way as the means to achieve that. If one were to examine every facet of Igorot life, nay of Philippine cultural life, one would find similar instances of symbolic constructs concealing very recondite truths.

As to why the principles of reality planes and elements have to be concealed in folk ways, suffice me to say that the world of antiquity was rapidly ending as the last glacial period was also coming to an end. With the prophesied inundations of old lands by melted polar caps, ways have to be devised to conserve universal principles for the survivors of the floods to tag along with.

The last glacial period saw the demise of Lemuro-Atlantean (e.g. Maharlokan) civilizations. Among those that survived and thrived were the Malays, and among them were the future Igorots of the Cordilleras. And, along with them, the Igorots conserved a vast storehouse of ancient knowledge waiting for mystical scientists to decode and share to the world.

[Phiippines, 13 May 2010]