Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Hero with 1000 faces in 100 quotes Pt. 2

(first read Part 1)

51. As the original intruder into the paradise where the infant dwells with its mother, the father is the archetypal enemy; hence, throughout life all enemies are symbolical. Hence, too, the irresistible compulsion to make war. the old men of the immediate community protect themselves from their growing sons by the psychological magick of their totemic rituals through which they first reveal themselves as the ogre father, and next as the nurturing mother. [23]
52. Totemic, tribal missionary cults initiate but only partially: they do not annihilate the ego but enlarge it. Through them, instead of clearing his own heart, the zealot tries to clear the world. [24]
53. "God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. One may eat a cake either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way." Ramakrishna
54. In terms of Holy War the proper field of battle is not geographical but psychological.
55. The voidness ('ŝunyatā') of all things refers, on the one hand, to the illusory nature of the phenomenal world, and on the other to the impropriety of attributing such qualities as we may know from our experience of the phenomenal world to the imperishable. [25]
56. Peace is at the heart of all because Avalokiteshvara, the mighty Bodhisattva, includes, regards and dwells within every sentient being. The Sanscrite Avalokita means "looking down" or "seen" and Ishvara means "Lord", hence the dual meaning "The Lord looking down in pity" and "The Lord seen within". We are all reflections of the image of the Bodhisattva.
[23] This evocates the triumvirate of victim, culprit and saviour, the three roles most people deal with and one of which they choose to embody through life.
[24] Spiritual growth stems from repulsion-attraction towards the father figure, the hero becoming his father. All dogmatic religions take their origin in the fear of the fathers, hence the projected concepts of guilt, sin and its result: holy war against other paternal figures. Hence America fighting the faceless prophets of the desert, and Islam fighting uncle Sam.
[25] Where conscious 'Pataphysics "symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments", unconscious pataphysics attributes the qualities we experience to that which cannot be experienced. It's a matter of choice.

57. Here is the meaning of the bisexual god. We are taken from the protective mother of our body, chewed into fragments and assimilated into the great father-serpent, the world-annihilating ogre. But then, the father itself appears as a womb, and miraculously reborn, we become more than we were, where images of 'good' and 'evil' have been surpassed. We no longer desire and fear. Here the two apparently opposite mythological traditions are joined, for in the first, the initiate learns that male and female are two haves of a split pea and in the second, the father is found to be antecedent to the division.
58. According to the modern Freudian school, life wish (the Buddist Kama, desire) and the death wish (the Buddist Mara, hostility) are the two drives that move the individual. The delusions from which desires and hostilities arise are psychological analysis (Viveka) and illumination (Vidyā).
59. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. And the same applies to perception, name, conception and knowledge. Having surpassed the delusions of his formerly self-assertive ego, he knows the same reposes without and within. What he beholds without is the visual aspect of emptiness on which his own experiences of ego, form, perception, speech, conceptions and knowledge ride. The Bodhisattva doesn't abandon life. He is filled with compassion for the self-terrorized beings who live in fright of their own nightmare. He returns to them and this is his great 'compassionate art' for by it the truth is revealed: in the understanding of one in whom the threefold fire of desire, hostility and delusion has died, this world IS Nirvana.
60. The third wonder of the Bodhisattva myth is that the first wonder (namely, the bisexual form) is symbolical for the second (the identity of eternity and time). The world of time is the great mother womb. We are conceived in the mother and dwell, removed from the father, but when we pass the womb of time at the moment of our death (our birth to eternity) we are delivered into the father's hands. The wise realise, even within the womb, that they have come from and are returning to the father, while the very wise know that mother and father are in substance one.
61. The female form (Tibetan: YUM) is to be regarded as time and the male form (YAB) as eternity. The initiate, through meditation is lead to the recollection of this form of forms (YAB-YUM) within himself. On the other hand, the male figure may be regarded as symbolizing the initiating principle, or the method, in which case the female denotes the goal to which initiation leads, and this goal is Nirvana (eternity). And do is it that male and female have to be envisioned alternatively as time and eternity. The dual form is only the effect of illusion, however this illusion is not different from enlightment. [26]
62. It is possible to observe, in the earliest phases of the development of the infant, symptoms of a dawning 'mythology'. As spontaneous defenses against the body-destruction fantasies that assail the child when deprived of the mother breast. Anxieties for the integrity of his body, fantasies of restitution, a silent need for protection from within and without starts to shape the psyche, and shall remain as determinating factors in the later life activities and beliefs of the adult.
[26] This seems similar to the kaballistic concept where male and female principle alternate in the spiritual evolution, from the lower female (the physical body in Assiyah) to the lower male (the lower psychical body in Assiyah) towards the higher female (the higher psyche in Beriah) and the higher male (the so-called Adam Adamah in Beriah). Higher avatars abandon the male/female dichotomy.

63. The infantile fantasies which we al cherish in the unconscious play continually into myth. This is helpful, for the mind feels at home with these images, and seems to be remembering something already known. But the circumstance is obstructive too, for the feelings come to rest in the symbols and resist passionately every effort to go beyond. The gulf between the multitudes who fill the world with piety and the truly free break open at the line where the symbols give way and are transcended. The ineffable teaching of the beatitude beyond imagination comes to us clothed, necessarily in figures reminiscent of the imagined beatitudes of infancy; hence, the deceptive childishness of these tales. Hence, too, the inadequacy of any merely psychological reading.
64. The gods as icons are not ends in themselves. Their entertaining myths transcend the mind and spirit, not up to, but past them. All of the visualized deities are but symbols representing the various things that occur on the path. The gods and godesses are to be understood as embodiments and custodians of the elixir of imperishable being, but are not themselves the ultimate. What the hero seeks through his intercourse with them is therefore not finally themselves, but their grace, the power of their sustaining substance.
65. The search for physical immortality proceeds from a misunderstanding of the traditional teachings. On the contrary, the problem is: to enlarge the pupil of the eye inasmuch that the body and its attendant personality no loger obstructs the vieuw.
66. Litterature, myth and cult, philosophy and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, conquering dragon after dragon, the stature of the divinity which he summons to his highest wish increases until it subsumes the cosmos. Finally, the mind breaks the bounding sphere of the cosmos to a realisation transcending all experiences of form, a realisation of the ineluctable void. So itis that when Dante had taken the last step in his spiritual adventure, and came before the ultimate symbolic vision of the trinity in the celestial rose, he still had one more illumination to experience, beyond the forms of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. This is the highest and ultimate crucifixion, not only of the hero, but of his god as well.
67. The magic objects tossed behind by the panic-ridden hero - protective interpretations, principles, symbols, rationalizations - delay and absorb the power of the startled hound of heaven, permitting the adventurer to return to his fold safe, and perhaps with a boon.
68. the hero travels out of the known land into the darkness where he accomplishes his adventures, and his return is described as a coming back out of that yonder zone. Nevertheless, and here is a great key to the understanding of myth and symbol, the two kingdoms are actually one. The realm of the gods is but a forgotten dimension of the world we know. There always remain, however, from the standpoint of normal waking consciousness, a certain baffling inconsistency between the wisdom brought forth from the deep and the prudence usually found to be effective in the light world. How to teach again is the hero's ultimate and most difficult task. How can you represent a three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface? How do you translate into terms of 'no' and 'yes' revelations that shatter into meaninglessness every attempt to define the pairs of opposites?
69. The taste of the fruits of temporal knowledge draws the concentration of the spirit away to the peripheral crisis of the moment.
70. One may invent a false, finally unjustified image of oneself as an aexceptional phenomenon in the world, not guilty as others are, but justified in once's indubitable sinning because one represents the Good. Such self-righteousness leads to a misunderstanding, not only of oneself but also of the nature of both man and the cosmos. The goal of myth is to dispel the need for such ignorance by an effective reconciliation of the individual consciousness with the universal will.
71. Mythological symbols must be followed through all their implications before they divulgue the full system of correspondences through which they represent, by ananlogy, the millenial adventures of the soul. Mythology is psychology misread as biography.
72. There can be little doubt either that myths are of the nature of dreams or that dreams are symptomatic of the dynamics of the psyche. However, dreams are not exactly comparable to dreams, as their patterns are consciously controlled. The metaphors have been developped for centuries and cultural patterns have been shaped to their image. Myths link the unconscious to the fields of practical action, as a neurotic projection.
73. The sensibilities and the categories of human thought so confuse the mind, that it is normally impossible not only to see, but even to conceive beyond the colourful, fluid, infinitely variable and bewildering phenomenal spectacle. The function of ritual and myth is to make possible, and then to facilitate the jump, by analogy.
74. God and the Gods are only convenient means, themselves of the nature of the world of names and forms, though eloquent of, and ultimately conductive to, the ineffable. "Apotheosis" means litterally the divinisation of the hero. In the three monotheistic religions however, the personality of the divinity is taught to be ultimate, which makes it comparatively difficult for the members of these communities to understand how one may go beyond the limitations of their own anthropomorphic divinity.
75. The lapse of superconsciousness into the state of unconsciousness is precisely described in the biblical image of the Fall. The constriction of consciousness, which
inhibits us to see the source of the universal power instead of the phenomenal forms refelected from that power, not only turns superconsciousness into unconsciousness, but also creates the world as we know it. Redemption consists in the return to superconsciousness and hence, the dissolution of the world. This is the great theme and formula of the cosmogonic cycles: manifestation and subsequent return to non-manifest condition.
76. Cosmic symbols are represented in a spirit of thought-bewildering, sublime paradox. The most eloquent symbol of this mystery is that of the crucified god, offering himself to himself. On the one hand this means the transition from the phenomenal hero into superconsciousness. But at the same time, as god has descended voluntarily and assumes the life of man, man releases the god within when dying at the cross, the cross thus symbolizing the coincidence of opposites. The modern student may study these symbols either in terms of a reduction of metaphysics to psychology or vice versa. The traditional way was to meditate on the symbols in both senses.
77. Just as the mental and physical health of the individual depends on an orderly flow of vital forces into the fields of the waking day, in myth the continuity of the cosmic order is assured only by a controlled flow of power from the source. The Gods symbolically represent the laws governing this flow. They appear with the dawn of the world and disappear with the twilight [27].
78. The cosmogonic cycle is usually represented as repeating itself without end. According to the stoic doctrine of the cyclic conflagration, all souls are resolved into the primordial fire. When the universal dissolution is concluded, a new universe starts to form (Cicero's 'Renovatio') and all things repeat themselves.
[27] The Macroposopus stands above the mere Godhead, since man has created God, but God has created the illusion in which man falls. We are the cross-eyed creators of our own kaleidoscope.

79. The Jains consider time as an endless circle, pictured as a wheel divided in 12 ages classified in two sets of six. The first set is called 'the descending series' in which world-saviours are born, each of them expressing the eternal doctrine of the Jains but adapted to the specific time they live in.
80. The philosophical formula illustrated by the cosmogonic cycle is that of the circulation of consciousness through the three planes of being. The first plane is that of the waking experience, cognitive of the hard fact of an outer universe. The second plane is that of dream experience, cognitive of the fluid forms of a private interior world. The thrid plane is that of deep sleep, profound bliss. In the first plane are encountered the instructive experiences of life. These are digested in the second and in the third all is enjoyed and known unconsciously. The cosmogonic cycle is to be understood as the passage from universal consciousness in the deep sleep zone of the unmanifested through the dream zone, to the full day of waking, then back again towards the timeless darkness. As in the actual experience of life, so is it with the grandiose figure of the living cosmos. Hindus represent this mystery in the holy syllable AUM. The sound A represents waking consciousness, U dream consciousness and M deep sleep. The silence surrounding the syllable is the unknown and is called "the Fourth". The syllable itself also stands for the god as a creator - preserver - destroyer, and the silnce is the ineffable, the unmanifested.
In kaballah, the Macroprosopus, the aged of the aged, always represented as a face in profile because the hidden side can never be known, with an unblinking eye, is the uncreated uncreating. The white beard of the Macroprosopus descends over the little face Microprosopus, represented as a full face with a black beard with eyes that blink in the slow rhythm of universal destiny, the opening and closing of the cosmogonic cycle, is the uncreated creating. The small face we call god (aum) and the great one "I am". Or respectively, the presence immanent in the cosmogonic cycles and the unmanifested.
81. Creation myths are pervaded with a sense the doom that is continually recalling all created shapes to the imperishable out of which they first emerged. The basic theme of mythology is the beginning of the end. In this sense mythology is tragic; yet it is untragical when it places our true being not in the shattering forms but in the imperishable.
82. Mythology is defeated when the mind rests solemnly with its favourite images, defending them as if they were the message they try to communicate. These images are to be regarded as no more than shadows from the unfathomable reach beyond.
83. The image of the cosmic egg is known in many mythologies. "That which is, is a shell floating in the infinitude of that which is not" (A.S. Eddington). Furthermore physicists tell us the world destruction will come with the ultimate running down of the cosmos. "entropy always increases" (Eddington).
84. In mythology, whenever the unmoved mover holds the center of attention, there is a miraculous spontaneity about the shaping of the universe: the elements (the portions of the shattered cosmic egg) move into place from their own accord. But when the perspective shifts to focus on living beings, then no longer do the forms of the world seem to move according to the patterns of a living harmony, but they stand recalcitrant, at best inert. Two modes of myth confront us. According to one, the demiurgic forces continue to operate from themselves; according to the other they abandon initiative and even work against further progress in the cosmogonic cycle.
In both the Icelandic Eddas and in the Babylonic tablet of creation, the demiurgic presence of the abyss is seen as evil, dark, even obscene. The Icelandic warriors slay it and attach it to the structure of the world. In the Babylonian version the hero is Marduk and the victim, Tiamat. Marduk is the sun-god, Tiamat is the female personnification of the abyss or chaos, and the mother of all gods.
85. A joker figure, working in continuous opposition to the well-wishing creator often appears in myth and folktale, accounting for the ills and difficulties of existence this siide oof the veil. Devils are always clowns.Though they may triumph in the world of space and time, both they and their workings simply disappear when the perspective shifts to the transcendental. They make shadows be mistaken for substance, they symbolize the inevitable imperfections of the realm of the shadow world, and so long as we remain this side of the veil they have to be dealt with.
86. The world-generating spirit of the father passes into the manifold of earthly experience through a transforming medium: the mother of the world. She is the world-bounding frame: space, time and causality, the shell of the cosmic egg. She is the lure that moved the self-brooding absolute to the act of creation [28]
87. Jesus can be regarded as a man who attained wisdom through austerities and meditation. One could try to imitate the master to break through to the transcendent. On the other hand, others believe that God descended and took upon himself the enactment of the human career. Here the hero is a symbol to be contemplated, a revelation of the omnipotent self which dwells within us all. the lesson is not 'Do thus and be good', but 'Know this and be god'.
[28] Eris can be seen as an avatar of the chaotic mother, throwing the shallow apple - shallow through the vanity of the writing on its peel - in the world and planets came into collision. Should the cosmic egg be broken twice? A first time at the level of the world to realize the illusion (to create the world we live in), a second time at the level of the individual to realize the illusion (to become aware of its vanity).

88. The tyrant is proud, and herein resides his own doom. He's in the clown role, misstaking shadow for substance; it is hisn destiny to be tricked. The hro-deed is a continuous shattering of the cristallizations of the moment; both the great figure and the moment exist only to be broken. the ogre or tyrant is the champion of the prodigious fact, while the hero is the champion of creative life.
89.I am keeping the distinction between the earlier semi-animal titan-hero and the later, fully human type. The deeds of the latter frequently include the slaying of the former, the pythons and minotaurs who were the boon-givers of the past. An outgrown god has to be broken, and the energies released.
90. To a man not led astray from what he sees, but courageously responds to the dynamics of his own nature, to a man who is, as Nietzsche phrases it, "a wheel rolling of itself", to such a man difficulties melt and the unpredictable highway opens as he goes.
91. The supreme hero is not the agent of the cycle who continues into the living moment the impulse that first moved the world, but he who reopens the eye so that the one presence will be seen again. The symbol of the first is the virtuous sword; of the second, the book of the law [29]. The characteristic adventure of the first is the winning of the bride (the manifested), but the adventure of the second is the journey towards the father (the immanent). And this hero, blessed by the father, returns to represent the father among men. He's the perfect microcosmic mirror of the macrocosm.
[29] Michael vs. Metatron? Mechanical perpetuation of the Mobile vs. the Will, the Will under law, the love under Will, following a free choice? The man Henoch - Elias climbed Jacob's ladder and beyond, gazed above kether of kether and came back to help the fullfilment of the plan.

92. Two degrees of initiation are to be distnguished in the House of the Father. From the first, the son returns as an emissary; but from the second, he returns with the knowledge that "I and the Father are One". Heroes of thsi second, highest illumination are the world redeemers, the so-called incarnations. The incarnation, by his presence, refutes the pretensions of the tyrant - ogre. The latter has occluded the grace with the shadow of his limited personality.
93. The work of the hero is to slay the tenacious aspect of the father and release from its ban the vital energies that will feed the universe. In reality, slayer and dragon, sacrificer and victim, are of one mind. Behind the scenes, where polarity is non-existent, the dragon-father remains a pleroma. The hero of yesterday shall become the tyrant of tomorrow unless he crucifies himself today.
94. The Hindus picture a towering firmament of heavens and a many-leveled underworld of hells. The soul gravitates after death to the story appropriate to its relative density, and remains there to digest and assimilate the meaning of its past life. When the lesson has been learned, it returns to the world, to prepare itself for the next degree of experience [30]. Gradually the soul makes its way through all levels of existence untill it breaks past the boundaries of the Cosmic Egg.
95. In his lifetime, the individual is necessary only a fraction of the total image of Man. He's limited both as male or as female, and at any given period of his life he's limited again as child, youth, adult or ancient. Furthermore, in his life-role he's necessarily specialized. Hence the totality or fullness of Man is not to be seen in the separate member but in the body of society as a whole. The individual can only be an organ of the whole. If he presumes to cut himself off, either in thought or in deed, he only breaks the connection with the sources of his existence.
[30] The whole idea of existence as a Donkey Kong experience appeared in my kaballah lessons as well. I suppose my teacher took bits of different cultures, as I don't suppose the judaic kaballah considers the concepts of karma and dharma. I have no idea if he played videogames though.

96. The tribal ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, burial, and so forth, serve to translate the individuals life-crisis and life-deeds into impersonal forms. They disclose him to himself, not as a distinct personality, but as the warrior, the bride, the widow, the priest, the chieftain… And at the same time gives a rehearsal for the rest of the community into the old lessons of the archetypal stages. The society as a whole becomes visible as an imperishable living unit.
97. It has been customary to describe the seasonal festivals of so-called native people as efforts to control nature. This is a gross misrepresentation. The dominant motive in all truly religious cermeonials is that of submission to the inevitability of destiny, and in the seasonal festivals this motive is particularly apparent.
98. The problem of mankind today is opposite to that of men in the comparatively stable period of those great coordinating mythologies which we now call lies. In these times all meaning was to be found in the group, in the great anonymous forms, not in the self-expressing individual; while today, no meaning is to be found in the group but in the individual. The communication lines between the conscious and unconscious in the human psychge have been cut, and we haven been cut in two.
99. Transmutation of the whole social order is necessary so that through every detail and act of secular life the vitalizing image of the universal god-man who is immanent and effective in all of us may somehow be consciously known. The way to become human is to leearn to recognize the lieaments of god in all of the wonderful modulations of the face of man.
100. Today it is not society that is meant to guide and save the creative hero, but the opposite. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal, not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...