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.

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.

(cont'd)
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