Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Hero with 1000 faces in 100 quotes Pt. 1

In 2009 I read Howard Campbells "The Hero with 1000 faces". I started taking notes listing what appeared to me to be distinct themes and strangely when I closed the book I counted exactly 100 notes. These are not to be considered literal quotes. Whenever I found fit I removed some bits and combined others. They all seemed to me to express the core thoughts in this seminal book. You can read a pretty good synthesis of the book here.
Today I consider some of these notes quite hard to grok, while many others appear to launch ephemeral yet serendipous epiphanies. I consider this book as one of my top ten favourites.
The sidenotes are completely personal eruptions of the moment.

1. Of all animals we remain the longest at the mother's breast. Human beings are born too soon, unfinished, unready and need the mother as a defense.
2. A great number of initiation rituals correspond to those that appear in dreams during psychoanalysis.
3. All rites of passage are intended to touch not only the candidate but also every member of his circle.
4. The prime function of the mythology rite is to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward in counteraction to those other constant fantasies that tend to tie it back. Decline of this aid might be a cause of the present neuroticism which binds us to infancy.
5. "There seems to be the initiatory images are so necessary in the passage to adulthood that they're supplied internally through dreams if not externally through myth and rite" (Sigmund Freud).
6. Jung emphasized the crises of the second half, where death and not life is the challenge, from the tomb of the womb to the womb of the tomb.
7. Arnold J. Toynbee indicates in his "A study of history" (Oxford University Press, 1934), a study of the laws that govern rise and decline of civilizations that a schism in the body social cannot be resolved by a return (archaîsm) nor a projection (futurism). Only birth of something new can conquer decline. To nullify the unremitting recurrences of death, palingenesia (continuous recurrence of birth) is necessary.
[1] The Western Christian world shall end crucified as a meta-christ on the cross of its own fabrication. Islam shall procure the nails. To be reborn can only happen when transformation has been accepted; the growth of extreme right seems to bar the way towards resurrection. Those clench at antique value which only subdue in their minds. The bits of the Western civlisation who refuse to transform are bound to be rejected by the transforming body. Once I heard a Dutch historian on the radio who had been working on a hunch according to which, Mohammed was a catholic monk and the Coran his commentary on the bible. If this outlandish theory proved to be true, Christianity has planted the seeds for its own transformation, as Israel did with Christ and the Essenes
[2] Bobby Campbell, fellow Maybe Logic Academician, immortalized the Toynbee tiles. Indeed it seems Arnold J. Toynbee was the one referred to here!

8. All the life potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization are in the enfantile unconscious which we enter when we sleep. If only a portion of the lost potentiality could be dredged up into the light of day we should tower in stature.
(I think this expresses the core of surrealism)
9. A hero should retreat from everyday world and break through to the direct experiance and assimilation, the Hindu and Buddhist Viveka (discrimination) or Jung's world of archetypes.
10. Jung borrowed the term 'Archetype' from various sources, amongst them the Corpus Hermeticum.
[3] Sidenote: here I googled 'Logoi Spermatikoi' which appeared in Campbells text. It's the concept of 'seed of truth', started by the Stoics. Plotinus and Augustine (before becoming a church-father) were its most famous proponents.
"The logoi spermatikoi (or seedlike reasons) are the expressions of the divine logos that govern the development of specific individuals and events."
"This concept was (also) used to explain events that the most intelligent and well-informed human beings find unpredictable."
"What this use of the 'seedlike reasons' tells us is that at least some of the ancient Stoics recognized that there were events that, so far as our senses can inform us, are accidental or random or empirically unpredictable, events that on the face of it challenge their commitment to determinism."
To me this seems to parallel the 'pataphysical concept of Clinamen (from which sprouted the name of this blog) advocated first by Lucretius and at the core of Epicurus' doctrine. The sand in the cobwheel bringing forth great consequences, the sound of one butterfly wing clapping at the antipodes producing a tsunami right where you are sitting now.

11. Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream. In dream the forms are quirked by th epeculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problems and solutions shown are valid for all mankind.
12. Daedalus represents the artist-scientist; he is the hero of the way of thought. His line of thread was gathered from the fields of the human imagination. [4]
13. Where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a God; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence, where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
14. Tragic katharsis (the purgation of the emotions of the spectator of tragedy) corresponds to an earlier katharsis (purification of the community from the old contagion of sin and death) which was the function of the mystery play of the dismembered bull-god Dionysos. [5]
15. In the mystery play the mùind is united not with the body that is shown to die but with the principle of continuous life that for a time inhabited it. The shift of emphasis tot the universal life that celebrates its victory in the very kiss of our annihilation.
[4] I'd connect Daedalus to a card in my Neurotarot, namely the Architect, expression of psychical intelligence and the card just before the opening of the mythical circuit.
[5] Reminds me of one of my oldest post in November 2005 here about the concept of sin - "Mother Hedonism and father Sin", a little text I'm still quite proud of. Later on I wrote a text based on Joseph Campbell's ideas (in the Power of Myth audiotapes) on the Bardo as well - "Joseph Campbell and three temptations".

16. Tragedy is the shattering of the forms and of our attachment to the forms; comedy, the inexhaustible joy of life invincible. In the ancient world these were regarded as of a higher rank or of a deeper truth than tragedy. Happy ending is to be read not as a contradiction but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man. The two are the downgoing (Kathodos) and upcoming (Anodos) which together constitute the revelation necessary to be purged of the contagion of sin (disobedience to the divine will) and death (identification with the mortal coil). "All things are changing, nothing dies" - Ovid, Metamorphoses
17. After the deed of the mythological hero is accomplished, something of the light that blazes invisible within the abysses breaks forth. The dreadful mutilations are seen as shadows only of an immanent eternity.
18. The formula represented in the rites of passage (separation - initiation - return) might be named the 'nuclear unit of the monomyth'. [6]
19. Enlightenment cannot be communicated, but only the way to enlightenment. The Buddha was thus persuaded to proclaim the path.
20. This doctrine of the uncommunicability of the truth which is beyond names and forms is basis to the great Oriental, as well as Platonic, traditions.
[6] The expression 'monomyth' comes from Finnegans Wake.

21. The hero is symbolical of that divine creative and redemptive image within us all, only waiting to be known and rendered into life. The two - the hero and his ultimate god, the seeker and the found - are understod as the outside and inside of a single, self-mirrorred mystery, which is identical with the mystery of the manifest world. The great deed of the hero is to come to the knowledge of this unity in multiplicity and then to make it known.
22. The traditional importance of the mathematical problem of the quadrature of the cicrcle contains the secret of the transformation of heavenly into earthly forms.
23. Virtue is but the pedagogical prelude to the culminating insight which goes beyond all pairs of opposites. Mythology does not hold as its greatest hero the merely virtuous.
24. A blunder reveals an unsuspected world. The individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood but blunders are not merest chance. They are ripples on the surface of life, produced by unsuspected springs. They are the result of suppressed desires and conflicts.
25. The dull case of the call unanswered… The subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. "Dread the passage of Jesus, for he does not return".
26. King Minos retained the divine bull. When the sacrifice would have signified submission to Poseidon, he preferred what he conceived to be his economic advantage. If one is oneself one's god, the power that would destroy one's egocentric system becomes a monster.
27. Sometimes the predicament following a refusal of the call proves to be the occasion of a providential revelation. Willed introversion, in fact, is one of the classic implements of creative genius and can be employed as a deliberate device. It drives the psychic energies into the depth and activates the lost continent of the unconscious infantile and archetypal images. The result of course may be a disintegration of consciousness more or less complete but if the personality is able to absorb and integrate the new forces there will be experienced an almost super-human source of self-consciousness. [7]
[7] I thought immediately of the effects of chapel perilous, which you (can) leave stronger than you were when entering. Reading 'Neuropolitique' by Dr. Timothy Leary right now I'm realizing a visit to the chapel deals with the re-imprinting of one of more circuits; here as well it is described how sensorial isolation by willed introversion brings the subject back to a pre-infantile state starting from which circuit one can be reprogrammed. The experiences of Dr. John Lily in a salt tank showed that after a first period of fear and relaxation, after a few hours one experiences hallucinations. The question whether the hallucinations are born from the Freudian unconscious or from the Jungian super-mind or from a higher presence or from the planet Zlorg seem totally irrelevant to me. What's important here is the reprogramming induced by a wanted situation. In willed introversion one chooses to visit chapel perilous and accepts the outcome.

28. It cannot be described as an answer to any specific call: rather it's a deliberate, terrific refusal to repond to anything but the deepest, richest answer to the as yet unknown demand of some waiting void within. A rejection of the offered terms of life, as a result of which some power of transformation carries the problem to a plane of new magnitudes.
29. Not unfrequently the dangerous aspect of the 'mercurial' figure is stressed; for he is the lurer of the innocent soul into realms of trial. Protective and dangerous, mothering and fathering, this supernatural principle of guardianship and direction unites in itself all the ambiguities of the unconscious. [8]
30. The Arcadian god Pan is the best known classical example of this dangerous presence dwelling just beyond the protected zone of the village boundary. The wisdom of Omphalos, the world navel, was his to to bestow, for the crossing of the threshold is the first step into the sacred zone of the universal source. In Alexandrian times, Pan was identified with the ithyphallic Egyptian divinity Min who was, amongst other things, the guardian of desert roads. [9]
[8] I'm not sure 'mercurial' is the word I wrote down… this phrase seems a bit bizarre to me - I'd rather expect such a description from a Saturnian figure. I'll have to look it up in a digital version if I find one.
[9] Omphalos! A very 'pataphysical feature. From Ubu's gidouille to the question whether Adam had a navel (this gave theologians centuries of debate) to the Indian lingam to the concept of an Axis Mundi. Links to the world serpent, from Ourobouros to the mercurial (this time right) staff. And then I think of Jeremy Narby's Cosmic Serpent (another of my top ten favourites), which links back to Timothy Leary's ideas on life as DNA producing DNA.

31. "The wall of paradise" which conceals God from human sight is described by Nicholas de Cusa as constituted of "the coincidence of opposites". The pairs of opposites are the clashing rocks that crush the traveler but between which the heroes always pass.
The entrance of temples is flanked by colossal gargoyles. They illustrate the fact that the devotee at the moment of entrance undergoes a metamorphosis. The secular character remains without; once inside he may have said to have died to time and returned to the world womb. the passage into a temple and the hero dive through the jaws of the wale are identical adventures.
32. Human Groups are actuated by their group ideals, and these are always based on the infantile situation. The medicine men are simply making both visible and public the systems of the symbolic fantasy which are present in the psyche of every adult member of their society. They are the leaders in this infantile game and the lightning conductors of common anxiety. [10]
33. If anyone undertakes the perilous journey by descending into the crooked lanes of his own spiritual labyrinth, he soon finds himself in a landscape of symbolical figures. This is the second stage of the way, purificatio, the process of dissolving, transcending, transmuting the infantile images of our personal past. [11]
[10] Obviously this hints at first circuit imprinting. There's an excellent description in Tim Leary's Neuropolitique. Basically, to brainwash somebody it's very simple, bring them back into an infantile situation. When the sheltered environment breaks up, warmth, food, securetitty (duh), and danger cannot be avoided, the first object that seems to bring back the shelter becomes the object of first circuit imprinting. Hence the Stockholm syndrome, like in Patty Hearst's case who modelled herself according to her abductors.
Medicine men usually try to keep the group mind together and try to reassure the same grooves of the collective imprinting by performing the same rituals over and over.
[11] I once chose in my Neurotarot to evoke the perception, the input, into the mythical gear (7th circuit), an image of a 'mandalabyrinth', and for the digestion hereof, the picture of the alchemical egg surrounded by two serpents. Funny how these phrases here seem to resonate with them. In alchemy there are different types of purificatio, you can o it either by water (solutio) or by fire (calcinatio).

"Calcinatio or calcination process, according to Jung, is metaphorical process of refiner's fire taking soul to purest, prima materia state"
"Alchemical change by water or solutio is metaphor for softening of masculine ego in the waters of feminine aspect of personality."

34. The psychological dangers through which earlier generations were guided by the symbols and spiritual exercizes of their mythological and religious inheritance, we today must face alone. This is our problem as modern, enlightened individuals for whom all gods and devils have been rationalized out of existence. [12]
[12] Here I noted I had to look up how Lancelot rescued Guenevere from the castle of king Death. And especially the so-called 'sword bridge'. A book is mentioned in HW1000F, "The king and the corpse" by Heinrich Zimmer, Bollingen, NY 1948. In Lancelot's story by Chrétien de Troyes,
"The bridge across the cold stream consisted of a polished, gleaming sword; but the sword was stout and stiff, and was as long as two lances. At each end there was a tree-trunk in which the sword was firmly fixed. No one need fear to fall because of its breaking or bending, for its excellence was such that it could support a great weight. But the two knights who were with the third were much discouraged; for they surmised that two lions or two leopards would be found tied to a great rock at the other end of the bridge. "
"Meanwhile he prepares, as best he may, to cross the stream, and he does a very marvellous thing in removing the armour from his feet and hands. He will be in a sorry state when he reaches the other side. He is going to support himself with his bare hands and feet upon the sword, which was sharper than a scythe, for he had not kept on his feet either sole or upper or hose. But he felt no fear of wounds upon his hands or feet; he preferred to maim himself rather than to fall from the bridge and be plunged in the water from which he could never escape. In accordance with this determination, he passes over with great pain and agony, being wounded in the hands, knees, and feet. But even this suffering is sweet to him: for Love, who conducts and leads him on, assuages and relieves the pain. "
At the other end of the bridge Lancelot is finally reunited with Guenevere.
Which reminds me - Chrétien de Troyes was working in the marketing department of the count of Flanders in the 12th century. He was ordered to find a way to get more pelgrims (read: more spenders) to Bruges. So he came up with a story according to which Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus' uncle, went back to the restaurant where his nephew had supper the previous day with his posse, took the cup from which he drank and ran to Mount Calvary where his tortured nephew was suffocating from the cross torture. For some bizarre reason he held the cup under Jesus' dying body and took samples of his blood. He put some of the blood in a crystal vial which was discovered by Fulco of Antioch centuries later; this vial was given to count Baldwin of Flanders who took it back to Bruges for all to admire. Chrétien did not finish his story, but it did work quite well and religious tourism flourished. Later on Chrétien named the cup 'Sang Réal'. Which was entirely misunderstood later on.

35. "Heaven has become for us the cosmic space of the physicists, and the divine empyrean a fair memory of things that once were. But 'the heart glows' and a secret unrest gnaws at the roots of our being" Carl Gustav Jung [13]
36. The hero, whether God or Goddess, man or woman, the figure in a myth or the dreamer of a dream, discovers and assimilates his opposite either by swallowing or by being swallowed. Then he finds that he and his opposite are not of differing species, but one flesh.
"equals of opposites, evolved by a onesame power of nature or of
spirit, iste, as the sole condition and means of its himundher
manifestation and polarised for reunion by the symphysis of
their antipathies. "
Finnegans Wake p.92
37. The ultimate adventure, when all the barriers and ogres have been overcome, is commonly represented as a mystical marriage of the triumphant hero-soul with the queen goddess of the world. This is the crisis at the nadir. The lady of the house of sleep is a familiar figure in fairy tales and myth. She is the paragon of all paragons of beauty. She is mother, sister, mistress, bride. She is the soul's assurance that, at the conclusion of its exile in a world of organized inadequacies, the bliss that was once known will be known again.
[13] I'll always prefer Hildegard von Bingen's visionary inductions, David Eugene Edward's religious trance appearances or Emile Cioran's utterly atheist mysticism to any offspring of rationality.

38. The mythological figure of the universal mother imputes to the cosmos the feminine attributes of the first nourishing and protecting presence. There exists a close and obvious correspondance between the attitude of the young child towards its mother and that of the adult towards the surrounding material world. Materia - that which belongs to the mother.[14]
"There exists a very general association on the one hand between the notion of mind, spirit or soul and the idea of the father or masculinity, and on the other hand between the notion of the body or of matter and the idea of the mother or the feminine principle." - J.C. Flügel [15]
She is also the death of everything that dies. She is the womb and the tomb. [16] The devotee is expected to contemplate the two with equal equanimity. Through this exercize his mind is opened to the inscrutable presence which exists not only as 'good' and 'bad' with respect to his childlike human convenience, but as the law and image of the nature of being.
[14] Clearly C1 stuff. Als Leary describes in Neuropolitique, the very first imprint is the first appearance of duality: attraction to nourishment and shelter or repellence to danger. A game that started from the beginning of life.
[15] A very kaballistic take on the evolution of consciousness downwards the sephirotic tree. Adam Betzalmenu (the heavenly Adam) could not descent into paradise on his own. All animals and plants were created (Gen. 2, 19-20) and named - in other words, all fields of experience were made ready to be learned (mental experiences, the birds; emotional experiences, the fishes; and sensitive experiences, the animals that crawl on the surface of the earth), yet Adam still could not enter the lower half of paradise which according to the sefirotic division was a gateway to the earth. In Gen. 2, 21, God put Adam into a deep sleep and took away a rib. Sleep stands for a lowering of consciousness; a rib is a barrier, here the barrier is removed. It's of tremendous importance for kabbalists to realize that nowhere in the bible it is mentioned that Adam ever woke up. As it is of tremendous importance to Joyceans to realize that nowhere in Finnegans Wake it is mentioned that Earwicker ever wakes up. As such, the entire bible starting from Gen. 2, 21 on could be considered the book of Adams attempts to wake. The bible tells the story of the soul, not of the body - the jewish, christian and moslim religions are mainly based on a misunderstanding.
Gen. 2, 23 (the first phrase of the sleeping Adam): "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
The Woman extending Adam's consciousness is to be considered that part of the soul which is able to bond to the body. The ancient kabbalists gave that part a female archetype, similar to a mother is giving birth to the body of a child. The female part is supposed to enter the material world and to learn the lessons while the male part is asleep. Here the female part is the active part of consciousness dealing with earthly concerns, the male part is the passive part with its attention in Tif'ereth of Paradise, hence in Malkuth of Heaven. When the contact between the lower and higher part gets broken, duality is created and the soul falls into the cesspool of matter (= is expelled from paradise) into the illusory cycle of life, death and rebirth. A cycle represented by the feminine Mater Fortuna. Only then in the creation (which actually is an act of separation) a real difference and separation is made between females and males. Only then the name of 'Eve' is mentioned as a physical woman.
The awakening of the sleeping consciousness is supposed to happen only if it follows the path back towards its origin in Bat Kol.
[16] I haven't read Robert Graves' "White Goddess" yet but I heard it's very valuable.

39. The temple image displayed the divinity in her two aspects simultaneously, the terrible and the benign. She was the harmonization of all the pairs of opposites. Only geniuses capable of the highest realization can support the full revelation of this Goddess. Fully to behold her would be a terrible accident for any person not spiritually prepared [17]. As the hero progresses through the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes a series of transformations.
40. The mystical marriage with the queen Goddess of the world represents the hero's total mastery of life. The testings of the hero, preliminary to his ultimate experience and deed were symblical of those crises of realization by means of which his consciousness came to be amplified and made capable the full possession of his inevitable bride. With that he knows: he and the father are one.
41. Every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid, in the end, to a restriction of consciousness. Wars and temper tantrums are the makeshifts of ignorance, regrets are illuminations come too late. [18]
[17] Might there be some connection here with the story of Ulysses and the Gorgone? The sight of Medusa was too terrible to contemplate, so Ulysses used a mirror. Maybe another illusion to see past the illusions of duality?
[18] One of my favourite quotes here. Might have been written by Bob Wilson.

42. The whole sense of the ubiquitous myth of the hero's passage is that it shall serve as a general pattern for men and women, wherever they may stand along the scale. Therefore it is formulated in the broadest terms. The individual has only to discover his own position with reference to this general human formula, and let it then assist him past his restricting walls. Who and where are his ogres? Those are the reflections of the unsolved enigmas of his own humanity. What are his ideals? Those are the symptoms of his grasp of life.[19]
[19] I wonder if a study has been made of the predominance of mirrors in some tales. I already mentioned Ulysses' use of a mirror, but doesn't every hero at some point have to pass through a mirror palace? Remember Luke Skywalker entering the cavern on Dathomir fighting and killing Darth Vader, who finally showed himself as his reflection. Or Nobody fighting the goons in Morricone's western. Maybe a hero first has to kill off hirs reflections, annihiliate hirs illusions? Maybe it is neccessary first to realize and accept one's true essence? Or maybe this is an allegory for the hologramatic nature of herohood, as described here by Campbell: everyone should be able to bound to one part of the fractal formula.

43. When it suddenly dawns on us, that everything we think or do is necessarily tainted with the odor of our flesh, then, not uncommonly, there is experienced a moment of revulsion.
44. Atonement (at - one - ment) consists in no more than the abandonment of that self-generated double monster - the dragon thought to be God (superego) and the dragon thought to be sin (repressed id). [20] This requires an abandonment of the attachment to ego itself. It is in this ordeal that the hero may derive hope and assurance from the helpful female figure by whose magic he is protected from the father's ego-shattering initiation. Only to find in the end that the father and mother reflect each other and are in essence the same.
[20] My first post on my blog concerned the relationship between sin and karma, which I copied from something I wrote during the Tale of theTribe course with Bob Wilson.
"I prefer the viewpoint of my kabbalah teacher. Sin, guilt, reward, punishment… all partake of the wheel of Karma, the rapid wheel of slow evolution. All have their usefulness, in that they can help learn the lessons necessary to evolve. A kabbalist's basic purpose further up on the Jacob's consciousness ladder should make it possible to escape that wheel, preferably while alive: the "realization" that karma ultimately does not exist at all, at all."
and my second post was called 'mother hedonism and father sin' mentioned earlier. In here I put forth my impression that the western concept of guilt was born out of the clash of two cities - the dry, suffering Jewish patriarchy from the desert, exported to the the rich matriarchy of Europe, whose mighty breasts erupt with milk and honey. The bio-survival circuit meeting up with the socio-sexual one. "Hedonism provided by the biosphere (nature) added to the concept of sin from the new culture gave birth to guilt. "

45. The father is the initiating priest through whom the young being passes on into the larger world. And just as formerly, the mother represented the 'good' and 'evil', so now does he, but with this complication that there is a new element of rivalry in the picture.
46. The traditional idea of initiation combines an introduction of the candidate into prerogatives of his vocation with a radical readjustment of his emotional relationship to the parental images. The mystagogue is to entrust the symbols of office only to a son who has been effectually purged of all unconscious motives of self-aggrandizement or resentment. The invested one is the twice born: he has become himself the father.
47. One of the most powerful and beloved of the Bodhisattvas ("Whe whose being is enlightment") of the Mahayana Buddhism of Tibet, China and Japan is the Lotus Bearer, Avalokiteshvara ("The world looking down in pity"). This godlike being is a pattern of the divine state to which the human hero attains who has gone beyond the last terrors of ignorance. When the envelopment of consciousness has been annihilated, then he becomes free of all fear, beyond the reach of change. The world is filled and illuminated by, but does not hold, the Bodhisattava. Rather, it is he who holds the world, the Lotus [21]
[21] Recalls to me the way the kaballah I was thaught shows every consecutive world as a continuation of the previous, in some way with the sefiroth overlapping, but also in some way as completely included in the lowest sefiroth, Malkuth, of the previous one. When talking of the worlds in terms of Adams it shows the total emanated world as a set of Matrushkas, with Adam Kadmon standing for Atzilut (the divine plane of emanation) including Adam Betzalmenu who stands for Beriah (the spirit plane of creation) including Adam Adamah who stands for Yetzirah (the soul plane of formation) including Adam who stands for Assiyah (the material plane of action). The Buddhist nor the Hinduist tradition doesn't seem to stop this fractalized extravaganza at count 4.

48. The pauze at the threshold of Nirvana represents a realization that the distinction between eternity and time is only apparent. Made, perchance, by the rational mind, but dissolved in the perfect knowledge of the mind that has transcended the pairs of opposites. What is understood is that time and eternity are two aspects of the same experience-whole: the jewel of eternity is in the lotus of birth and death - Om mani padme hum.
49. Male-female gods are not uncommon in the world of myth. They conduct the mind beyond objective experience into a symbolic realm where duality is left behind. Yang, the light, active, masculine principle and Yin, the dark, passive and feminine in their interaction underlie and constitute the whole world of forms (the "ten thousand things"). They proceed from and together manifest Tao, the source and law of being, the absolute manifest.
50. Medieval caballah and gnosticism represent the word made flesh as androgynous. the removal of the feminine into another form symbolizes the beginning of the fall from perfection into duality; and it was naturally followed by the discovery of the duality of good and evil [22]
[22] In kaballah we consider four trees symbolizing the four realms, each bearing the fruit that makes up the origin of the next one. The trees are drawn upside dawn, so the tree of life at the very top bears life, itself the origin of the tree of knowledge which gives the fruit of knowledge, itself the seed for the tree of knowledge of good and evil, with its fruit the knowledge of good and evil or the realization - 'making real' - of duality. And from there grows the tree of materiality where you dwell right where you are sitting now. In Christian Genesis only two trees are mentioned.


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