Creating the New Earth Together

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth.”

Grace Van Duzen portrays Man as being first spirit, later to be clothed with form. Spiritual Man clothed with an earthen body—God incarnate on earth—to continue God’s work of creation as a steward of the creative process and keeper of the Garden. That’s the biblical story of Man’s origins.

Grace tells her “Story of Man” in THE BOOK OF GRACE from a cosmic view

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth. . . .  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” 

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. . . .

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

At the conclusion of each creative Day, God saw that “it was good.” After the creation of Man the comment was that He saw every thing that he had made, and. . . it was very good.

On the Sixth Day, then, we have Man (and Woman), a perfect creation. In the sixth cycle divine Being was clothed in earth substance, in position to let God perform His cosmic creative acts on this planet through His earthly image and likeness—the means whereby the invisible things of heaven could be brought forth on Earth.

Dominion over every living thing is the result of obedience to the command to multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it, which indicates a state where perfect control is operative in the act of multiplying, which involves sexual activity at all vibratory levels. 

The opposite has occurred, with overpopulation the primary cause of hellish distortions rampant in every corner of this planet which was created to be a paradise. The results of aberrant function in the most vital area of man’s creative activity, the limiting of that act of creation to the physical level, are taking their toll in increasingly massive numbers.

According to this command, dominion over all creatures and kingdoms of the earth is entirely dependent upon control in this central function of life. Multiplication is an essential aspect of all creation, the “seed within itself,” and without the control that causes the design in the heaven to take material form, the result is self-destruction, tragically obvious in man’s present function on this planet.

The fact that Man, male and female, was created with the faculties to extend the control and guidance of a wise and loving God to all the kingdoms of the earth causes one to look at the situation in today’s world, of misery and violence. Something went wrong! Man is afraid, not only of many creatures of the earth but of his own shadow; there is not much dominion in evi­dence. The drastic change in the being designed to control the earth and its creatures inevitably included that over which he was to have dominion. Animals took on the nature of their “fallen” god. It can also be seen how quickly a “creature” will return to the state of “grace” when in the presence of a human being expressing the Spirit of God.

The Being that incarnates into this planet at the present time assumes a much denser sub­stance than that in which man was first created. A finely tuned body, clothed with the highest vibrational substance natural to this part of the cosmos, would be equipped to travel vibra­tionally wherever the Spirit directed. Could this be the origin, deeply buried in the subcon­scious mind of man, of the concept of angels, radiantly robed in white, with wings that enable them to fly? It is an image that has persisted throughout the ages, and I was awed when I became aware, some years ago, that someone had perceived, in the aura of another’s body, the outline of a shape that resembled wings, extending from the area of the shoulder blades. I am not suggesting that the physical form of man’s imaginary wings would be the vehicle for his transportation, but the essence of the design is present, regardless of all that has been done, and cannot be dissolved by fallen human beings. It is still present.

CREATION IN MYTHS

Richard Heinberg tells the creation story as memorialized in myths.  Myths paint a much more colorful and imaginative picture. According to myths about “The First Time,” man’s abode was the heavens, the sky, in which we moved about like birds in the air—spiritual beings made by God—before diving into the water-covered planet Earth. That’s one scenario of Man’s origins. There’s a second scenario that has man emerging from Mother Earth—physical man formed by “the makers.” Heinberg cites both in Memories and Visions of Paradise:

The Earth Diver

Earth Diver myths tell the creation story from the perspective of a representative from the upper world who dives into the primordial chaos to bring forth the first seed of order. The Earth Diver myth tells of how a divine being (usually an animal) descends into the water to bring up bits of mud, which grow to form the whole Earth or even the entire Universe. Earth Diver myths are common among the northern North American tribes, whose cosmologies feature an original upper world inhabited by the immortal Elders and an unformed chaos of water below.

The symbolism in Earth Diver myths is often whimsical: the Diver is often pictured as a muskrat, a duck, or a turtle. Yet the underlying meaning of the myths is nonetheless profound. Water is the unformed reality out of which matter appears, and the descent into the abyss is analogous to baptism, in that it is at once a cleansing and a creative act. “In the beginning there was nothing but water,” says a Huron myth.

Similarly, the Hindu Vishnu Purana tells of an original chaos of waters:

He, the Lord, concluding that within the waters lay the earth, and being desirous to raise it up …. He, the supporter of spiritual and material being, plunged into the ocean.

The Emergence

The Emergence myth centers around the symbolism of Mother Earth, from which human beings emerge through various stages or levels of underworld. Emergence myths are found among the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Pawnee Native Americans, and certain groups in the South Pacific islands. In the Emergence myth the Earth is the fertile source of being, containing within herself the essences and potencies of all life. The lower world is described not as a hell, but as a previous mode of existence, a womblike paradise. Neither is the underworld considered to be a literal subterranean cavern, but rather a place “where at death we will all return,” another plane of existence “under”—that is, underlying-the perceptible physical world. Sun or Corn is often the agent of transformation and quickening, leading the First People up into the light. “Before the World was we were all within the Earth,” begins a Pawnee myth; “Mother corn caused movement. She gave life.”!’

In part, the Emergence myth is a metaphor for the journey from a spiritual plane of existence into manifestation in the material world. But the myth also epitomizes the role of the feminine in Creation: it is a symbol and a memory of the primordial Mother, the Earth herself, as she originally was—fresh, new, fertile, the source of all form, the receptacle of all seeds, the nurturer of all life. The tale is told from the perspective of the Creation, emerging from the womb of Earth Mother. . . .

Among nearly all of the variants on the creation-from-clay story, the breath of life is a common feature. For example, according to a Hawaiian myth, Kane and Ku breathed into the nostrils and Lono into the mouth of a clay image, which thereupon became a living being. In an Australian Creation story, Bunjil, the All-Father of the southeast­ern tribes, is said to have made two clay images, male and female, which he shaped onto pieces of bark. He looked at them, was pleased, and danced around them for joy. Finally he lay down on them and blew into their mouths, noses, and navels, after which they stirred and arose. Likewise, the natives of the Kei islands of Indonesia say that their ancestors were fashioned out of clay by the Creator, Dooadlera, who breathed life into the earthen figures. . . .

In many languages, the words for “spirit” and “breath” are identi­cal. Creation-from-clay myths imply that the breath within us—the essence of our being, our life—is a divine gift, a spark of deity. “I am Osiris,” declares the God of ancient Egypt. “I enter in and reappear through you, I decay in you, I grow in you.” The fundamental message of the Hindu Upanishads, similarly, is that Atman (the individual’s innermost Self) is identical with Brahman (the ultimate Cause of All-That-Is). Tat tvam asi—“That thou art”—perhaps the most famous phrase in Sanskrit, is a proclamation of this underlying oneness of God and man, a oneness that ultimately extends to all creation:  

You are everything … O self of all beings!

From the Creator (Brahma) to the blade of grass all is your body, visible and invisible, divided by space and time. . . .

O Transcendent Self! We bow to you as the Cause of causes, the principal shape beyond compare, beyond Nature (pradhana) and Intellect ….

We bow to you, the birthless, the indestructible, You are the ever-present within all things, as the intrinsic principle of all.

We bow to you, resplendent Indweller (Vasudeva)!
the seed of all that is! 

While the story of the animation of clay by an all-powerful Crea­tor describes the union of spirit and matter from creation’s standpoint (matter receiving the breath of spirit), the story of the descent of spirit beings to Earth, sometimes described as their taking on coats of flesh, describes the same process from the heavenly view of the Creator. According to the Molama clan of the Zulu, their remotest ancestors were a man and woman who came down from the sky and alighted on a certain hill. A similar idea is met with among the Wakuluwe, who live between lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika; they say that the first human couple came down from Heaven and produced their offspring from parts of their bodies.

Heinberg waxes eloquent in this summation:

In the beginning there is One—a preexisting Intelligence, alone and limitless. The One, in which the polarities of existence are united in perfect harmony, exerts a conscious act of will and becomes Two—masculine and feminine, active and receptive, Heaven and Earth. The Two work as equal partners in initiating the cyclic cosmic pulsations from which all life emanates.

The reciprocal—one could say sexual—interplay of the Two gen­erates a multiplicity of divine beings, whose further activity, based in the same creative principles, results in the appearance of a manifest Universe of infinite scope and detail. The divine beings plunge into the watery abyss of chaos and return with the first seeds of physical form. Attaching themselves to these nuclei of substance, they continue to gather material about themselves and gradually emerge from the inner, invisible realms of eternity into the visible, tangible world of space and time.

Through this grand process, the One Intelligence differentiates itself into a myriad of self-conscious beings incarnate in material form. And thus there is generated a Universe of limitless diversity, of which each minute part is grounded in a single ultimate Reality.

As I bring these things forward, a question in the back of my mind asks “Why is this brought to me now at a time when the entire world is in the throes of a pandemic of historic proportion?” Actually, I started this series before the Coronavirus made its public appearance.  Perhaps its value lies in remembering that we are immortal beings incarnate in mortal flesh bodies. That design hasn’t changed. God incarnates yet on Earth through Man. The question might be “When are we going to return to our divine commission as keepers of the Garden of Paradise?” 

I will continue with this series in my next post. Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com 

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he placed the man whom he had formed.” (Genesis 2:8)

Most of us today are awake sufficiently and quite able to bear the “many things” the Master Jesus had to share with his disciples but could not due to their limitations of consciousness.  After all, we’ve experienced more than two-thousand years of awakening in consciousness and spiritual maturity since then. What I’m about to share, then, concerning Man’s origins should not disturb anyone, and may even free some from limiting beliefs. Just for one, that it was Eve, tempted by the “serpent,” who then tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden to disobey God’s command that they not partake of “the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” thereby initiating the “Fall” that resulted in the loss of Paradise for them and their progeny.

Contrary to this belief, it was Adam, Divine Man, created in the image and likeness of God, a son of God, enamored by the beauty of the forms they had co-created with God, who acted contrary to the Law governing Creation by reversing his polarity with the Creator and polarizing his outer mind in Eve and in Creation itself, and then proceeding to judge the forms, no doubt with Eve’s full participation, as the forms were evolving toward becoming good and complete.  (I take writer’s license here in spelling the word “evil” as “evol,” as it is a habit we humans seem to have inherited of judging and interfering with the Creative Process, thereby creating something evil.)  And their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked, which apparently they didn’t think was a good thing, seeing as how they covered their nakedness with leaves. I’ll pick up on this later on.  First I would like to give thought to the two different versions of the creation of Man as recorded in the first and second chapters of Genesis. 

In chapter one, on the sixth day of Creation, God created Man.

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth. . . .  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” 

Now, a “day” of Creation was a lot longer than an Earth day of 24 hours. Some 25,872 years longer, as author and biblical historian Grace Van Duzen explains in her epic work and legacy, THE BOOK OF GRACE — A Cosmic View of the Bible:

Cycles of time have been recognized, such as an “age,” consisting of 2,156 years; a “solar age” of 25,872 years; and a “universal age” of 310,464 years. The solar age is made up of 12 ages, and the universal age of 12 solar ages. It is the solar age that is referred to in the Book of Genesis as a “day,” with the seven days of Creation totaling 181,104 years. 

The word us in this passage indicates that God, the Creator, was not a single entity but more like a conclave of Creator Beings. Grace offers a more precise explanation:

The word us in this text, “Let us make man in our image,” is derived from the word Elohim, plural of the ancient word for God, El—a designated number of God Beings under the focus of One, El.  A term used later, and consistently, in the Bible story, will be LORD of Lords, referring to this same Being. Elohim was a group, or body of divine Beings who created a body of human beings, for the purpose of indwelling in physical form to continue God’s work on this planet, His image and likeness. Other derivations of the word El have come through varying religions, as for example, Allah, designating the supreme God or ultimate point of focus for the universe.  

In chapter two of Genesis, we find this version of the same creation of Man, male and female: 

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested. . . . 

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in  the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. . . .

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2: 1-7)

A question one might rightly ask, then, is “Why was there a need for a ‘man’ to till the ground if the Garden of Eden yielded up food for foraging literally upon demand?” What’s going on here?

We find a fascinating answer to this question in Grace Van Duzen’s book, and further historical details in Richard Heinberg’s.  So, between these two authors, I think we will come away with a deeper and more vital understanding of our origins in Genesis, and what caused the “Fall” and the expulsion of our first parents from the Garden of Eden. This will take several posts, so stay with me.

The Garden of Eating

So many legends and myths tell of a time when Man lived in a Garden of Eden before agricultural practices of tilling the ground to plant seeds for food became vogue.  Food was plentiful in the Garden.  And yet, reading the second version of the creation of Man from the second chapter of the Book of Genesis, supposedly written by Moses, one is left asking, “Why was a ‘man’ needed to till the ground?”   

Here are a few excerpts from Heinberg. (I will share excerpts from Grace’s book in the next post):

Somewhere down in the underworld we were created by the Great Spirit, the Creator. We were created first one, then two, then three. We were created equal, in oneness living in a spiritual way, where life is everlasting. We were happy and at peace with our fellow men.  All things were plentiful, provided by our Mother Earth upon which we were placed. We did not need to plant or work to get food. Illness and troubles were unknown.  (Hopi Elder Dam Katchongva)

Under the subheading The Golden Race there is this: 

The third-century B.C. Neoplatonist Porphyry said that the Greek philosopher Dicaearchus, of the late fourth century B.C., spoke of

men of the earliest age, who were akin to the gods and were by nature the best men and lived the best life, so that they are regarded as a golden race in comparison with the men of the present time … of these primeval men he says that they took the life of no animal. … Dicaearchus tells us of what sort the life of that Age of Cronus was: if it is to be taken as having really existed and not as an idle tale, when the too mythical parts of the story are eliminated it may by the use of reason be reduced to a natural sense. For all things then presumably grew spontaneously, since the men of that time themselves produced nothing, having invented neither agriculture nor any other art. It was for this reason that they lived a life of leisure, without care or toil, and also—if the doctrine of the most eminent medical men is to be accepted-without disease …. And there were no wars or feuds between them; for there existed among them no objects of competition of such value as to give anyone a motive to seek to obtain them by those means. Thus it was that their whole life was one of leisure, of freedom from care about the satisfaction of their needs, of health and peace and friendship. Consequently this manner of life of theirs naturally came to be longed for by men of later times who, because of the greatness of their desires, had become subject to many evils …. All this, says Dicaearchus, is not asserted merely by us, but by those who have thoroughly investigated the history of early times.

The classical Roman authors Ovid, Cratinus, Pausanias, Tibullus, Virgil, and Seneca expanded freely on Hesiod’s story of the original golden race, always emphasizing those qualities that characterize the benefits of the simple, primitive life—freedom, self-sufficiency, and lack of dependence on technology and complex social organization. Ovid’s Metamorphoses was for centuries standard fare in all Euro­pean schools, and his description of the Golden Age in Book I became the definitive form of the myth for the Middle Ages and the Renais­sance: 

The first age was golden. In it faith and righteousness were cherished by men of their own free will without judges or laws. Penalties and fears there were none, nor were threatening words inscribed on unchanging bronze; nor did the suppliant crowd fear the words of its judge, but they were safe without protectors. Not yet did the pine cut from its mountain tops descend into the flowing waters to visit foreign lands, nor did deep trenches gird the town, nor were there straight trumpets, nor horns of twisted brass, nor helmets, nor swords. Without the use of soldiers the peoples in safety enjoyed their sweet repose. Earth herself, unbur­dened and untouched by the hoe and unwounded by the plough­share, gave all things freely …. Spring was eternal … untilled the earth bore its fruits and the unploughed field grew hoary with heavy ears of wheat.

Elsewhere, Ovid speaks of the peaceful amity of Nature herself, before the degeneration of humankind. “That ancient age,” he writes, to which we have given the name of Golden, was blessed with the fruit of trees and the herbs which the soil brings forth, and it did not pollute its mouth with gore. Then the birds in safety winged their way through the air and the hare fearlessly wan­dered through the fields, nor was the fish caught through its witlessness. There were no snares, and none feared treachery, but all was full of peace.

Under the subheading Paradise of the East there is this Indian legend in the Vaya Purana:

In the Krita age human beings appropriated food which was produced from the essence of the earth …. They were character­ized neither by righteousness nor unrighteousness; they were marked by no distinctions. They were produced each with authority over himself. They suffered no impediments, no susceptibilities to the pairs of opposites (like pleasure and pain, cold and heat), and no fatigue. They frequented the mountains and seas, and did not dwell in houses. They never sorrowed, were full of the quality of goodness, and supremely happy; they moved about at will and lived in continual delight …. Produced from the essence of the earth, the things which those people desired sprang up from the earth everywhere and always, when thought of. That perfection of theirs both produced strength and beauty and annihilated disease. With bodies which needed no decora­tion, they enjoyed perpetual youth …. Then truth, content­ment, patience, satisfaction, happiness and self-command prevailed …. There existed among them no such things as gain or loss, friendship or enmity, liking or dislike.”

In China, we again find the Paradise myth flavored somewhat according to local cultural sensibilities, but nevertheless characterizing humankind’s earliest condition as one of ease, plenty, and free­dom. Taoist philosophy, profoundly and often sardonically primitivist, has permeated Chinese thought for at least the last two and a half millennia. According to the earliest Taoist sages, Lao Tzu and Chuang
Tzu, it is Nature herself who is wise, and the intelligent man knows better than to impose on her creative rhythms. “Profound intelli­gence,” according to Lao Tzu, “is that penetrating and pervading power to restore all things to their original harmony.” (Emphasis mine)

I will take up from this last paragraph in my next post—and share some of  Grace Van Duzen’s perspectives from THE BOOK OF GRACE. Until then, 

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com 

Paradise Remembered

“Myth is the history of the soul”  

William Erwin Thompson penned those words. The Paradise myth, along with all the legends and stories about the “First People” handed down through the ages, are vivid and haunting reminders of our origins.  Who among us does not have a deep desire to live in Paradise—or for Paradise to be restored here on Earth?  It’s the unconscious impetus in our quest for the American Dream: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  It’s what we seek and hope to find in most of our endeavors to make a comfortable and happy life for ourselves and for our families—and why we go to the wilderness and camp out in the forests and national parks.  We want to be in Paradise, if only for a few days and nights filling our eyes and hearts with “Kodak moments,” camping out under the stars, and sitting by a stream of cool, clear water drinking in the golden silence and peaceful beauty of the Natural World. 

Ken Burns has performed an outstanding service bringing the pristine peace and beauty of the natural world to the television for all to enjoy with his documentaries on the National Parks and Monuments airing on PBS again this weekend. Thanks primarily to John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, thousands of square miles of undeveloped lands and mountain ranges have been preserved and set aside for us and our progeny to visit and be nourished by and reminded of the Paradise our planet Earth still is—inspired even to do our parts in keeping it that way.

VISIONS and MEMORIES of PARADISE

I’ve been reading my friend Richard Heinberg’s MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE for the second or third time since it came into my hands many years ago, and my longing for Paradise has been quickened once again, this time with even deeper yearning.  Reading some of the stories about a once Golden Age when we were more angelic than human, and we spoke with the animals who “spoke” with us, I can almost taste the clean, fresh air and feel the pristine, magical Eden atmosphere. Here are a few memories from Richard’s book of what our ancestors, the “First People,” were like in the mythical Garden of Paradise:

The myths and traditions of the ancients do not portray Eden as the sort of technological Paradise that our present civilization tends to project into the future. If the Golden Age really existed, it must instead have been, as the Chinese describe it, an Age of Perfect Virtue—an age in which

they were upright and correct, without knowing that to be so was righteousness; they loved one another, without knowing that to do so was benevolence; they were honest and leal-hearted with­out knowing that it was loyalty; they fulfilled their engagements, without knowing that to do so was good faith; in their simple movements they employed the services of one another, without thinking that they were conferring or receiving any gift. There­fore their actions left no trace, and there was no record of their affairs.” *

They were kind and affectionate:

“The ability of human beings and animals to understand one another resulted in a condition, according to fifth-century B.C. philosopher Empedocles, ‘All were gentle and obedient to men, both animals and birds, and they glowed with kindly affection towards one another.'” *

They were radiant and could fly:

“According to virtually all accounts, human beings in the paradisal age were possessed of qualities and abilities that can only be called miraculous.

“They were wise, all-knowing, and able to communicate easily not only with one another but with other living things; moreover, they could fly through the air, and they shone with visible light.” *

They were wise and godlike in appearance:

“In contrast to the contemporary view of early humans as dull and brutish, the myths speak of them as sages. In Jewish folklore, Adam is described as being so wise and so beautiful to behold that the creatures of the Earth mistook him for the Creator and, together with the angels of Heaven, bowed down and chanted, ‘Holy, holy, holy.’ It is also said that God revealed the whole of the future to Adam, as well as the geography of the entire Earth. In these respects, Adam resembled Adapa, the Babylonian First Man, who ‘was equipped with vast intelligence …. His plane of wisdom was the plane of heaven’” The ancient Mayans similarly described the four First People as wise and all-knowing. According to the Popul Vuh, the Mayan book of lore and customs, the people of the first age were so perceptive that when ‘they lifted up their eyes … their gaze embraced all; they knew all things; nothing in heaven or earth was concealed from them.’ These created ones rendered thanks, saying,“‘Truly, thou gavest us every motion and accomplishment! We have received existence, we have received a mouth, a face; we speak, we understand, we think, we walk; we perceive and we know equally well what is far and what is near; we see all things, great and small, in heaven and upon the earth. Thanks be to you who created us, 0 Maker, 0 Former!'”*

AN AGE OF INNOCENCE 

The Golden Age was an age of innocence; its inhabitants simple and childlike—much like the late and memorialized Mr. Rogers as portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” With Richard’s permission, I will share a few excerpts from his thoroughly researched and captivating book, with little if any commentary from me.  I invite you to just read the stories and let the magic they still hold enchant your heart as you ponder them deeply in your imagination.  They may even trigger up memories of Paradise from out of the collective unconscious, as they did for me, and quicken in you an inspiration to live as though in Paradise.  Perhaps the adage “To become, act as if” may apply in our shared work of creating a heavenly home for our Creator here on Earth. Legends tell of a time when the Creator lived with his Creation and walked with Man in the Garden of Eden.  Listen to these stories.

ONCE UPON A TIME all human beings lived in friendship and peace, not only among themselves but with all other living things as well. The people of that original Age of Innocence were wise, shining beings who could fly through the air at will, and who were in continual communion with cosmic forces and intelligences. But a tragic disruption brought the First Age to an end, and humanity found itself estranged from both Heaven and Nature. Ever since then we have lived in a fragmented way, never really understanding ourselves or our place in the Universe. But occasionally we look back, with longing and regret, and dream of a return to the Paradise we once knew. . . .

The tribes of central and southern Africa preserved myths of an original time when the celestial God and human beings were friends, before the separation of Heaven and Earth. It was an age that was typified in the saying of the Ngombe tribe of Zaire: “In the beginning there were no men on earth. The people lived in the sky with Akongo and they were happy.” Ethnologist Paul Schebesta recorded the following tradition from the Bambuti Pygmies of central Africa:

After God had created the world and men, he dwelt among them. He called them his children. They gave him the name of father. … He showed himself a good father to men for he so placed them in this world that they could live without much effort and were above all free from care and fear. Neither ele­ments nor animals were inimical to man and foodstuffs grew ready to his hand. In short, the world was a paradise as long as God dwelt among men. He was not visible to them but he was in their midst and spoke to them.”

Summarizing African myths about the First Age, folklorist Herman Baumann wrote:

In the view of the natives, everything that happened in the primal age was different from today: people lived forever and never died; they understood the language of animals and lived at peace with them; they knew no labor and had food in plenitude, the effortless gathering of which guaranteed them a life without care; there was no sexuality and no reproduction—in brief, they knew nothing of all those fundamental factors and attitudes which move people today’

It was only when the people set themselves against the other creatures that God was driven away and the original harmony of Nature was destroyed.

And that will be the consideration of my next post in this series. Until then,

Be love. Be loved

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

Credits: 

* Richard Heinberg, MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE — Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age. 

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio Than are dreamt of in our philosophy. —Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Anima Mundi

Lest we allow our world view be shaped by scientists’ shallow materialistic view of a disenchanted universe, let us remember that the Earth is a living, breathing entity with a soul.  It is the human species that has become disenchanted with its home among the stars by maintaining a materialistic view of the Earth, along with the entire Universe, a view that has turned living, soulful matter into potential resource to be harvested and ripped from the bowels of Earth—with eyes now on her sister planets—and used to build, power and feed a civilization that has overrun its boundaries in an exponential explosion of population, with its towering skyscrapers, sprawling subdivisions, and commercial and industrial complexes.

The good Earth is burdened with concrete plastered all over her fertile, breathing soil, and with structures fabricated of iron and steel erected to refine oil and minerals drilled and dug up from her bowels to pave the way for commercial traffic and to fuel the engines of “progress,” a progress designed to enrich the few on the backs of the many.  It hurts my heart to watch the cold, rigid iron and concrete paraphernalia of the oil industry intrude upon the wet and tender marshlands here in the South. Not a very pretty sight.

But “It’s what it is,” to borrow a coded line from The Irishman used to order a “hit”on some expendable gangster. We have reason to suspect our species may be expendable, seeing as how we are so susceptible to plagues such as the current outbreak of the coronavirus. Richard Tarnas paints a rather bleak and ominous picture of the modern world view in COSMOS AND PSYCHE:

The disenchanted cosmos impoverishes the collective psyche in the most global way, vitiating its spiritual and moral imagination—“vitiate” not only in the sense of diminish and impair but also in the sense of deform and debase.  In such a context, everything can be appropriated. Nothing is immune. Majestic vistas of nature, great works of art, revered music, eloquent language, the beauty of the human body, distant lands and cultures, extraordinary moments of history, the arousal of deep human emotion; all become advertising tools to manipulate consumer response. For quite literally, in a disenchanted cosmos nothing is sacred. The soul of the world has been extinguished: Ancient trees and forests can then be seen as nothing but potential lumber; mountains nothing but mineral deposits; seashores and deserts are oil reserves; lakes and rivers, engineering tools. Animals are perceived as harvestable commodities, indigenous tribes as obstructing relics of an outmoded past, children’s minds as marketing targets. At the all important cosmological level the spiritual dimension of the empirical universe has been entirely negated, and with it any publicly affirmable encompassing ground for moral wisdom and restraint. The short term and the bottom line rule all. Whether in politics, business, or the media, the lowest common denominator of the culture increasingly governs discourse and prescribes the values of the whole. Myopically obsessed with narrow goals and narrow identities, the powerful blind themselves to the larger suffering and crisis of the global community.

In a world where the subject is experienced as living in—and above and against—a world of objects, other peoples and cultures are more readily perceived as simply other objects, inferior in value to oneself, to ignore or exploit for one’s own purposes, as are other forms of life, biosystems, the planetary whole. Moreover, the underlying anxiety and disorientation that pervade modern societies in the face of a meaningless cosmos create both the collective psychic numbness and a desperate spiritual hunger, leading to an addictive, insatiable craving for ever more material goods to fill the inner emptiness and producing a manic techno-consumerism that cannibalizes the planet. Highly practical consequences ensue from the disenchanted modern world view. . . .

Defined in the end by its disenchanted context the human self too is inevitably disenchanted. Ultimately it becomes, like everything else, a mere object of material forces and efficient causes: a sociobiological pawn, a selfish gene, a meme machine, a biotechnoligical artifact, an unwitting tool of its own tools. For the cosmology of a civilization both reflects and influences all human activity, motivation, and self-understanding that take place within its parameters. It is the container for everything else.”

The point Tarnas makes throughout his book is that we create our cosmology in our psyche and project that image out into the cosmos. We see the cosmos and our world not as they are but as we are. 

Now is the time to remember our immortal Identity in Spirit and let go of our mortal identity in form; identity in transcendent Reality beyond and encompassing our humanity. The Spirit of God is moving upon the face of the sea of our collective consciousness commanding: “Let there be Light.”  We are the Light-bearers for our world.  It is the Spirit of God that inspires and enchants the cosmos.  The presence of God, however, is not enough to lift the human psyche out of its fear, hatred and despair.  Spirit needs to be expressed to be known. To have love in one’s heart is not sufficient. Love must be expressed, in words, with feeling and with action.

Cosmological Context for the 21st Century

Changing gears now, let’s have a look at what we may expect from the planetary configurations this century according to Richard Tarnas’ research. 

For my readers who are not familiar with astrological terms for planetary alignments, here is a crash course. Planets in conjunction are lined up on the same side of the earth; in opposition on opposite sides; square alignments are at 90°; sextile at 60°; and trine at 120°.

Tarnas writes: (Emphasis mine)

We have discussed the various upcoming dynamic or hard-aspect alignments of the outer-planet cycles. There still remain the trines and sextiles of these cycles. Of these, by far the most significant is the century-long Neptune-Pluto sextile, which began in the mid-twentieth century and will continue until near the middle of the twenty-first. This long sextile takes place once each five-hundred-year Neptune-Pluto cycle, beginning about a half-century after the conjunction. Its unusual duration results from Pluto’s eccentric 248-year orbit, which twice each Neptune-Pluto cycle brings it close to and, briefly, even inside Neptune’s orbit—the first time as a sextile, the second as a trine. Historically, such sustained sextile or trine alignments of Neptune and Pluto have coincided with long epochs in which a certain profound evolution of consciousness appears to be propelled and sustained in a gradual, harmoniously unfolding manner, moving beneath and through the fluctuations and crises that might occur at a more immediate empirical level. The grand trine of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in the 1760’s and 1770’s cited in the previous chapter, which coincided with the peak of the Enlightenment, the birth of Romanticism, and the beginning of the American Revolution, occurred as part of the most recent much longer Neptune-Pluto trine of the eighteenth century. These century-long epochs generally seem to impel the collective experience of a more confluent relationship between nature and spirit, between evolutionary and instinctual forces (Pluto) and the spiritual resources and idealistic aspirations of the pervading cultural vision (Neptune). The archetypal dynamics involved characteristically provide, at an almost subterranean level in the collective psyche, a sustained stabilizing impulse.

This particular category of alignment has special significance: first, because it involves Neptune and Pluto, the two outermost planets; and second, because it lasts longer than any other planetary alignment. The current sextile is also historically noteworthy because of its role in the larger cyclical movements of all three outermost planets, since it coincided with the first Uranus-Pluto and Uranus-Neptune conjunctions to occur after the Neptune-Pluto conjunction of the 1880-1905 period. From a long-term historical perspective, therefore, we are living today at the moment when all three of these cycles, the largest planetary cycles known to us, have just completed their conjunctions in succession, marking the full initiation of the corresponding archetypal dynamics for the next several centuries.

If we consider, then, the unfolding cycles of the three outermost planets, taking into account the current alignment between Neptune and Pluto, the number of years since the most recent Neptune-Pluto conjunction a century ago, and the completion of the subsequent Uranus-Pluto and Uranus-Neptune conjunctions of the 1960’s and 1990’s, respectively, our present moment in history is most comparable, astronomically, to the period exactly five hundred years ago with which we began the book: the era that brought forth the birth of the modern self during the decades surrounding the year 1500. This too was an epoch of extraordinary turbulence and uncertainty, and also of great cultural creativity and dynamism. It was the moment of the High Renaissance of Leonardo and Michelangelo, Erasmus and Thomas More, in the immediate aftermath of PicodelIa Mirandola’s new vision of human possibility in the Oratia and Ficino’s Platonic Academy in Florence-a period shaped by the rapid spread of a powerful new medium of universal communication, the printed book; the first expeditions to a vast new world that, at enormous human and ecological cost, led to the opening of the global community to itself; and the immense spiritual and cosmological transformations, still unfolding, represented by Luther’s start of the Reformation and Copernicus’s conceiving of the heliocentric hypothesis.

Our postmodern age of ceaseless flux and irresolvable complexity, for all its metaphysical disorientation, and despite the collective entrancement produced by the mass media and corporate marketing, has nevertheless brought forth new conditions and possibilities that could prove invaluable for our future. As a result of the many extraordinary changes—cultural, psychological, spiritual—that have unfolded in the past half-century, the collective psyche has undergone a pervasive and in certain respects deeply benign transformation that cannot easily be measured and yet, for all its subtlety, is no less pregnant with historical significance. The rapid dissemination during this era of a fundamental new openness to the perspectives and realities of different cultures, eras, religions, races, classes, genders, sexual orientations, age groups, even different species and forms of life has been an essential characteristic of our time. It is perhaps not too much to say that, in this first decade of the new millennium, humanity has entered into a condition that is in some sense more globally united and interconnected, more sensitized to the experiences and suffering of others, in certain respects more spiritually awakened, more conscious of alternative future possibilities and ideals, more capable of collective healing and compassion, and, aided by technological advances in communications media, more able to think, feel, and respond together in a spiritually evolved manner to the world’s swiftly changing realities than has ever before been possible.

 All of this is, of course, occurring below the radar of the mass media. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s line from Hamlet: There are more things in heaven and earth than are reported by the media.  There is a saying about the content guidelines for media coverage: “If it bleeds it leads. If it tells it sells.”

Attunement with the material world has kept human beings earthbound in a “dust-to-dust” mindset.  We are called to a Light-to-Light level of consciousness and to a greater awareness of being more than “only human.”

Consumed by Fire 

There is a groundswell of spiritual awakening that’s been growing since the 1960’s.  Many who have sufficient resonant substance are being drawn by Love to find attunement with the Tone sounding in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy where the design for a New Earth is established in a New Heaven.  With the current cosmic configuration of stars and planets in our solar system and galaxy, we have the support of the entire Universe to move to a higher dimension and to transform our world by the fire of love into a Paradise—the topic of my next blog series.  Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com  

 

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about….  Rumi

Thank you, Rumi, for your rumination. The world is indeed too full to talk about, so I will simply write about it.  In this series, I’ve been considering the history of archetypes and its parallel evolution with that of human consciousness. The source of my research is Richard Tarnas’ epic book COSMOS AND PSYCHE, which I am finding incredibly fascinating and enlightening a read and study.  

In the previous post I shared Tarnas’ research into the history and evolution of the concept of archetypes and how human consciousness has evolved with it, as though the archetypes and human psyche are intimately blended and impacted by one another. (It may well be that the human psyche itself is the originator of the concept of archetypes.)  In this post, I will share the planetary aspects of the author’s perspective gained in his exhaustive and detailed research.

Listen to the Message of the Planets Aligned

It is not by happenstance that this material has come into my hands just prior to the time of the current planetary alignment, which will end on February 20th, two days before this post will be published. My consciousness is attuned to the energetic messages being transmitted to Earth at this pivotal and chaotic time when the most powerful person in man’s world is about to be chosen by the citizens of the United States of America—who are divided amongst themselves with fear and hatred governing hearts and minds. There is an encoded message for us in the music streaming from these aligned spheres, and one message I am hearing is

“Nothing is wrong. Everything matters. Let not your hearts be troubled. Let love fill them and radiate without concern for results.” 

As I write, I am aware that some of my readers may not have space in their minds and hearts to think and care much about these cosmic events. There is so much to keep up and deal with in our lives these days. And with one’s “nose up against the grindstone,” so-to-speak, one is understandably oblivious to the larger drama of life taking place in the cosmic context.  I say this not in judgment or criticism but with compassion for the busy human state. For reasons that are emerging even as I write, these larger events taking place in our cosmic habitat have projected themselves into my consciousness for consideration at this time.  So I will indulge them and give them due consideration—and I do welcome and appreciate comments and feedback from my readership, which fluctuates up and down with the subject matter.  Currently it’s up, so I’ll keep moving with this consideration—the next one already presenting itself in the back of my mind and having something to do with myths and memories of Paradise.  Hmm, sounds inviting.

Asking your forbearance, I burden you once again with an excerpt from COSMOS AND PSYCHE for your consideration and, hopefully, your edification and intellectual pleasure.  My mind loves to be engaged by truth—not that what follows is true at all levels, as there is always a higher truth.  This author writes from a higher level of consciousness than simply scientific and mental. It’s his spiritual perspectives, which he shares amidst all the astronomical and astrological data, that draws me to his writings—and to sharing them here. (Emphasis mine) 

PLANETARY ARCHETYPES

The astrological thesis as developed within the Platonic-Jungian lineage holds that these complex, multidimensional archetypes governing the forms of human experience are intelligibly connected with the planets and their movements in the heavens. This association is observable in a constant coincidence between specific planetary alignments and specific archetypally patterned phenomena in human affairs. . . . It does not appear to be accurate to say that astrologers have in essence arbitrarily used the mythological stories of the ancients about the gods Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, Mercury, and the rest to project symbolic meaning onto the planets, which are in actuality merely neutral material bodies without intrinsic significance [I cannot agree with Tarnas here, as all material forms, especially the planets, have spiritual, or vibrational, significance.] Rather, a considerable body of evidence suggests that the movements of the planets named Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, and Mercury tend to coincide with patterns of human experience that closely resemble the character of those planets’ mythical counterparts. That is, the astrologer’s insight, perhaps intuitive and divinatory in its ancient origins, appears to be fundamentally an empirical one. This empiricism is given context and meaning by a mythic, archetypal perspective, a perspective that the planetary correlations seem to support and illustrate with remarkable consistency. The nature of these correlations presents to the astrological researcher what appears to be an orchestrated synthesis combining the precision of mathematical astronomy with the psychological complexity of the archetypal imagination, a synthesis whose sources seemingly exist a priori within the fabric of the universe.

Here is where the distinction between the ancient philosophical (Platonic) and the modern psychological (earlier Jungian) conceptions of archetypes becomes especially relevant.  Whereas the original Jungian archetypes were primarily considered to be the basic formal principles of the human psyche, the original Platonic archetypes were regarded as the essential principles of reality itself, rooted in the very nature of the cosmos.  What separated these two views was the long development of Western thought that gradually differentiated a meaning-giving human subject from a neutral objective world, thereby locating the source of any universal principles of meaning exclusively within the human psyche. Integrating these two views (much as Jung began to do in his final years under the influence of synchronicities), contemporary astrology suggests that archetypes possess a reality that is both objective and subjective, one that informs both outer cosmos and inner human psyche, “as above, so below.” 

In effect, planetary archetypes are considered to be both “Jungian” (psychological) and “Platonic” (metaphysical) in nature: universal essences or forms at once intrinsic to and independent of the human mind, that not only endure as timeless universals but are also co-creatively enacted and recursively affected through human participation. And they are regarded as functioning in something like a Pythagorean-Platonic cosmic setting, i.e., in a cosmos pervasively integrated through the workings of a universal intelligence and creative principle. What distinguishes the contemporary astrological view is the additional factor of human co-creative participation in the concrete expressions of this creative principle, with the human being recognized as itself a potentially autonomous embodiment of the cosmos and its creative power and intelligence. 

In Jungian terms, the astrological evidence suggests that the collective unconscious is ultimately embedded in the macrocosm itself, with the planetary motions a synchronistic reflection of the unfolding archetypal dynamics of human experience. In Platonic terms, astrology affirms the existence of an anima mundi informing the cosmos, a world soul in which the human psyche participates as a microcosm of the whole. Finally, the Platonic, Jungian, and astrological understandings of archetypes are all complexly linked, both historically and conceptually, to the archetypal structures, narratives, and figures of ancient myth. Thus [Joseph] Campbell’s famous dictum: 

It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. 

. . . .  For conceptual clarity, then, when we consider the meaning and character of each planetary archetype in the following chapters, it will be useful to understand these principles in three different senses: in the Homeric sense as a primordial deity and mythic figure; in the Platonic sense as a cosmic and metaphysical principle; and in the Jungian sense as a psychological principle (with its Kantian and Freudian background)—-with all of these associated with a specific planet.

For example, the archetype of Venus can be approached on the Homeric level as the Greek mythic figure of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, the Mesopotamian Ishtar, the Roman Venus. On the Platonic level Venus can be understood in terms of the metaphysical principle of Eros and the Beautiful. And on the Jungian level Venus can be viewed as the psychological tendency to perceive, desire, create, or in some other way experience beauty and love, to attract and be attracted, to seek harmony and aesthetic or sensuous pleasure, to engage in artistic activity and in romantic and social relations. These different levels or senses are distinguished here only to suggest the inherent complexity of arche­types, which must be formulated not as literal concretely definable entities but rather as dynamic potentialities and essences of meaning that cannot be localized or restricted to a specific dimension.

Finally, alongside this essential multidimensionality of archetypes is their equally essential multivalence. The Saturn archetype can express itself as judgment but also as old age, as tradition but also as oppression, as time but also as mortality, as depression but also as discipline, as gravity in the sense of heaviness and weight but also as gravity in the sense of seriousness and dignity. Thus Jung:

The ground principles, the archai, of the unconscious are indescribable because of their wealth of reference, although in themselves recognizable. The discriminating intellect naturally keeps on trying to establish their singleness of meaning and thus misses the essential point; for what we can above all establish as the one thing consistent with their nature is their manifold meaning, their almost limitless wealth of reference, which makes any unilateral formulation impossible.

This discussion is directly relevant to the outcome of our earlier consideration of free will and determinism in astrology. If I may summarize that thesis in a single statement: It seems to be specifically the multivalent potentiality that is intrinsic to the planetary archetypes—their dynamic indeterminacy—that opens up ontological space for the human being’s full co-creative participation in the unfolding of individual life, history, and the cosmic process. It is just this combi­nation of archetypal multivalence and an autonomous participatory self that engenders the possibility of a genuinely open universe. The resulting cosmological metastructure is still Pythagorean-Platonic in essential ways, but the relationship of the human self and the cosmic principles has undergone a metamorphosis that fully reflects and integrates the enormous modern and postmodern developments.

Our philosophical understanding of archetypes, our scientific understanding of the cosmos, and our psychological understanding of the self have all undergone a profound evolution in the course of history, and they have done so in complexly interconnected ways at each stage in this development. Our experience of all these has evolved, century by century, and thus our theories have as well.

Theories abound in the mind-made world, but they only tend to confuse rather than clarify understanding. The questions I ask are: “Who is it that is trying to understand? And what self?”  It seems that the self who is looking IS the self who are trying to “psychologically” understand.  However, as we know, a state cannot observe itself.  I am reminded of words attributed to Saint Francis:  “What you are looking for is who is looking.”

There is one final excerpt I wish to share from Richard Tarnas’ book in which he speaks to where we are now in the 21st century relative to a century-long planetary configuration.  I think you will enjoy his take on the archetypal profile presently at play in the human psyche shaping human behavior and global events.

In the next series I will do my best to offer clarification and enlightenment from a higher perspective. Until then, I greet you in Rumi’s field “beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing.” 

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

“The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof: the world and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” (Psalm 24)

The Heart Nebula

Our conscious presence in a cosmic context has been more vividly and visually brought to our awareness, as well as recalled to remembrance, by pictures of the vast cosmos made with the Hubble Telescope and shared with the world by our tenaciously adventurous astronomers who keep peering deeper and deeper into the “dark space” around us. 

What they have brought to us is virtually overwhelming, certainly unfathomable. The greater wonder of it all, however, is our ability to take it all into our consciousness through our very tiny eyes and our very tiny brains. This speaks to the largeness of our Being and our shared Consciousness. We are truly Gods in the midst of Creation enjoying what We have co-created with the Great Spirit Creator, the Lord God and heavenly King, whose Earth it is, “and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein.” 

ARCHETYPES, GODS AND PLANETS

With that inspirational preface, I will continue from where I left off in my previous post with a consideration of the nature of archetypes and their planetary associations as explored by cultural historian and philosopher Richard Tarnas in his epic work COSMOS AND PSYCHE.

[A graduate of Harvard University and Saybrook Institute, Tarnas is also author of The Passion Of The Western Mind, currently holding professorship of philosophy and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.]

As we were considering, archetypes in Greek mythology were gods and goddesses who were enshrined by heavenly bodies, such as planets and constellations. As the Greek mind evolved out of “myth to reason,” archetypes lost their divinity with Plato’s philosophical mentality: (Emphasis mine)

Plato gave to the archetypal perspective its clas­sic metaphysical formulation. In the Platonic view, archetypes–the Ideas or Forms–are absolute essences that transcend the empirical world yet give the world its form and meaning. They are timeless universals that serve as the fundamental reality informing every concrete particular. Something is beautiful pre­cisely to the extent that the archetype of Beauty is present in it. Or, described from a different viewpoint, something is beautiful precisely to the extent that it participates in the archetype of Beauty. For Plato, direct knowledge of these Forms or Ideas is regarded as the spiritual goal of the philosopher and the intel­lectual passion of the scientist.

In turn, Plato’s student and successor Aristotle brought to the concept of universal forms a more empiricist approach, one supported by a rationalism whose spirit of logical analysis was secular rather than spiritual and epiphanic. In the Aristotelian perspective, the forms lost their numinosity but gained a new recog­nition of their dynamic and teleological character as concretely embodied in the empirical world and processes of life. For Aristotle, the universal forms primarily exist in things, not above or beyond them. Moreover, they not only give form and essential qualities to concrete particulars but also dynamically transmute them from within, from potentiality to actuality and maturity, as the acorn gradually metamorphoses into the oak tree, the embryo into the mature organism, a young girl into a woman. The organism is drawn forward by the form to a realization of its inherent potential, just as a work of art is actualized by the artist guided by the form in the artist’s mind. Matter is an intrinsic susceptibility to form, an un­qualified openness to being configured and dynamically realized through form….

The Aristotelian form thus serves both as an indwelling impulse that orders and moves development and as the intelligible structure of a thing, its inner nature, that which makes it what it is, its essence. For Aristotle as for Plato, form is the principle by which something can be known, its essence recognized, its universal character distinguished within its particular embodiment.

The idea of archetypal or universal forms then underwent a number of important developments in the later classical, medieval and Renaissance periods.” It became the focus of one of the central and most sustained debates of Scholastic philosophy, “the problem of universals,” a controversy that both reflected and mediated the evolution of Western thought as the focus of intelligible reality gradually shifted from the transcendent to the immanent, from the universal to the particular, and ultimately from the divinely given archetypal Form (eidos) to the humanly constructed general name (nomina) after a final efflorescence in the philosophy and art of the High Renaissance. The concept of archetypes gradually retreated and then virtually disappeared with the modern rise of nominalist philosophy and empiricist science. The archetypal perspective remained vital principally in the arts, in classical and mythological studies, and in Romanticism, as a kind of archaic afterglow. Confined to the subjective realm of interior meaning by the dominant Enlightenment world view, it continued in this form latent in the modern sensibility. The radiant ascent and dominance of modern reason coincided precisely with the eclipse of the archetypal vision.

The concept of archetypes evolved further over the decades, which Tarnas details further. I will conclude with his summary of its evolutionary journey: 

It was not until the turn of the twentieth century that the concept of archetypes, foreshadowed by Nietzsche’s vision of the Dionysian and Apollonian principles shaping human culture, underwent an unexpected renascence. The immediate matrix of its rebirth was the empirical discoveries of depth psychology, first with Freud’s formulations of the Oedipus complex, Eros and Thanatos, ego, id, and superego (a “powerful mythology,” as Wittgenstein called psychoanalysis), then in an expanded, fully articulated form with the work of Jung and archetypal psychology. Jung, as we have seen, drawing on Kant’s critical epistemology and Freud’s instinct theory yet going beyond both, described archetypes as autonomous primordial forms in the psyche that structure and impel all human experience and behavior. In his last formulations influenced by his research on synchronicities, Jung came to regard archetypes as expressions not only of a collective unconscious shared by all human beings but also of a larger matrix of being and meaning that informs and encompasses both the physical world and the human psyche….

Finally, further developments of the archetypal perspective emerged in the postmodern period, not only in post-Jungian psychology but in other fields such as anthropology; mythology, religious studies, philosophy of science, linguistic analysis, phenomenology, process philosophy, and feminist scholarship. Advances in understanding the role of paradigms, symbols, and metaphors in shaping human experience and cognition brought new dimensions to the archetypal understanding. In the crucible of postmodern thought, the concept of archetypes was elaborated and critiqued, refined through the deconstruction of rigidly essentialist “false universals” and cultural stereotypes, and enriched through an increased awareness of archetypes’ fluid, evolving, multivalent, and participatory nature. Reflecting many of the above influences, James Hillman sums up the archetypal perspective in depth psychology:

Let us then imagine archetypes as the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, the roots of the soul governing the perspectives we have of ourselves and the world. They are the axiomatic, self-evident images to which psychic life and our theories about it ever return …. There are many other metaphors for describing them: immaterial potentials of structure, like invisible crystals in solution or forms in plants that suddenly show forth under certain conditions; patterns of instinctual behavior like those in animals that direct actions along unswerving paths; the genres and topoi in literature; the recurring typicalities in history; the basic syndromes in psychiatry; the paradigmatic thought models in science; the worldwide figures, rituals, and relationships in anthropology.

But one thing is absolutely essential to the notion of archetypes: their emotional possessive effect, their bedazzlement of consciousness so that it becomes blind to its own stance. By setting up a universe which tends to hold everything we do, see, and say in the sway of its cosmos, an archetype is best comparable with a God. And Gods, religions sometimes say, are less accessible to the senses and to the intellect than they are to the imaginative vision and emotion of the soul. They are cosmic perspectives in which the soul participates. They are the lords of its realms of being, the patterns for its mimesis. The soul cannot be, except in one of their patterns. All psychic reality is governed by one or another archetypal fantasy, given sanction by a God. I cannot but be in them. 

There is no place without Gods and no activity that does not enact them. Every fantasy, every experience has its archetypal reason. There is nothing that does not belong to one God or another.

Archetypes thus can be understood and described in many ways, and much of the history of Western thought has evolved and revolved around this very issue. For our present purposes, we can define an archetype as a universal prin­ciple or force that affects–impels, structures, permeates–the human psyche and the world of human experience on many levels. One can think of them in mythic terms as gods and goddesses (or what Blake called “the Immortals”), in Platonic terms as transcendent first principles and numinous Ideas, or in Aris­totelian terms as immanent universals and dynamic indwelling forms. One can approach them in a Kantian mode as a priori categories of perception and cogni­tion, in Schopenhauerian terms as the universal essences of life embodied in great works of art, or in the Nietzschean manner as primordial principles sym­bolizing basic cultural tendencies and modes of being. In the twentieth-century context, one can conceive of them in Husserlian terms as essential structures of human experience, in Wittgensteinian terms as linguistic family resemblances linking disparate but overlapping particulars, in Whiteheadian terms as eternal objects and pure potentialities whose ingression informs the unfolding process of reality, or in Kuhnian terms as underlying paradigmatic structures that shape scientific understanding and research. Finally, with depth psychology, one can approach them in the Freudian mode as primordial instincts impelling and structuring biological and psychological processes, or in the Jungian manner as fundamental formal principles of the human psyche, universal expressions of a collective unconscious and, ultimately, of the unus mundus.

The Evolution of Human Consciousness

I bring this consideration of archetypes and the evolution of their meaning to the human experience of life on planet Earth forward for the overview it provides of the evolution of human consciousness and how we human beings viewed the larger cosmic context in which we live and have our being. For one thing, how we have desperately sought out God and our origins in the external world, hoping to find both “lo here or lo there.”  

Finally, after all these decades, our consciousness has evolved sufficiently to bring to our awareness the awakening realization that the “image and likeness of God” is within us and is who and what we are.  The Archetype of all archetypes is the Light from which all things are made. I love this passage from The Gospel of Thomas:

Jesus said: “The images are revealed to people. The light within them is hidden in the image of the Father’s light. He will be revealed. His image is hidden in the light. . . .  You are pleased when you see your own likeness. When you see your images that came into being before you did, immortal, invisible images, how much can you bear?” 

The Archetype of Man is God, is Spirit, and is hidden in the Light of Love. Our Sun is the origin of the light that encompasses Earth and all the planets. In that light is the essence, the Truth, that makes all things created what they are, what their purpose is in the larger Design, and how they function as integral and essential parts in the One Whole.  As the current planetary alignment draws to a close in six day on February 20th, let us let Love be the Archetypal Spirit that moves us forward as we co-create the New Earth.  

I will conclude this series with my next post. Until then,

Be Love. Be loved.

Happy Valentine’s Day !

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.”

I rarely ever read my horoscope in the daily newspaper. Born on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini, I’m usually undecided about which sign is more influential in my life. Most likely Gemini, as I tend to avoid making decisions and simply do what’s obviously needed in the moment.

In considering the astrological influences of zodiac signs and planetary alignments in our lives, the question naturally comes up as to how much control we have individually and collectively over our lives and the unfolding of global events. A friend recently responded to my previous post addressing this very question.  

When I consult someone regarding their astro-chart (which I do occasionally) I always preface what I say with advice that there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ astrological influence, although, through personal interpretation/judgement, such opinions are often made. I say things like, “You are the master of your own ship”. The focus on mastery/maturity allows for proper conscious behavior as these cosmic influences ebb and flow around our little ‘ship’ of being. Cymatics is an interesting subject in this respect which confirms that there are larger patterns within which we live and have our being. We don’t control the larger pattern of life, our sun/solar system/universe…we can only align with this reality, or continue to try resisting it, to our eventual demise! One wants to ‘go with the flow’ here…or expect a capsized/cataclysmic experience. — Donald White

Don echoes the words of the poem Invictus: 

“It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” 

Richard Tarnas bumps up against the issue of free will and determinism in his research into the history of planetary alignments and their impact on the human psyche, which he published in 2007 in his epic book COSMOS AND PSYCHE, Intimations of a New World View. I think he addresses the issue quite thoroughly: (Emphasis mine) 

Free Will and Determinism

Because the question of free will and determinism has long been the most exis­tentially and spiritually critical issue in all discussions of astrology, I will offer a few preliminary remarks here.

There is no question that a substantial part of the Western astrological tradi­tion supported a relatively deterministic interpretation of cosmic influence (a tendency even more marked in Indian astrology). For numerous schools and theo­rists of ancient and medieval astrology, the horoscope revealed a person’s destined fate, and the celestial powers governed human lives with a more or less rigid sovereignty. The widespread reemergence of Western astrology in the course of the twentieth century, however, arising in a new context and at a different stage in the West’s cultural and psychological evolution, brought with it a deeply trans­formed vision of both the human self and the nature of astrological prediction. The most characteristic attitude among contemporary astrologers holds astro­logical knowledge to be ultimately emancipatory rather than constricting, bring­ing a potential increase of personal freedom and fulfillment through an enlarged understanding of the self and its cosmic context.

In this view, knowing the basic archetypal dynamics and patterns of meaning in one’s birth chart allows one to bring greater awareness to the task of fulfilling one’s authentic nature and intrinsic potential, as in Jung’s concept of individua­tion. The more accurately one understands the archetypal forces that inform and affect one’s life, the more flexibly and intelligently responsive one can be in deal­ing with them. To the extent that one is unconscious of these potent and some­times highly problematic forces, one is more or less a pawn of the archetypes, acting according to unconscious motivations with little possibility of being a co­creative participant in the unfolding and refining of those potentials. Archetypal awareness brings greater self-awareness and thus greater personal autonomy. Again, this is the basic rationale for depth psychology, from Freud and Jung on­ward: to release oneself from the bondage of blind action and unconsciously mo­tivated experience, to recognize and explore the deeper forces in the human psyche and thereby modulate and transform them. On the individual level, as­trology is valued for its capacity to articulate which archetypes are especially im­portant for each person, how they interact with each other, and when they are most likely to be activated in the course of each life.

But in addition to the psychological evolution of the modern self with its in­creased sense of dynamic autonomy and self-reflective interiority, perhaps the most significant factor in the emerging emancipatory understanding of astrology is a deepening grasp of the nature of the archetypal principles themselves, the subject to which we now turn.

So, let’s have a brief look into the nature of archetypal principles—and the first thing to do is define what archetypes are. For that, we have Richard Tarnas to fill us in on the history of archetypes, at one point considered by the Greeks to be gods who populated an enchanted Universe. In other words immortals embodied by material forms, such as planets and constellations. In the more contemporary mind, the archetype is the prototype that informs things and events, the immanent “form” that makes things what they are and shapes their behavior.  Tarnas explains the concept within its historical context giving us a view into the evolution of the word “God.” (Emphasis mine)

Archetypal Principles

The concept of planetary archetypes, in many respects the pivotal concept of the emerging astrological paradigm, is complex and must be approached from several directions. Before describing the nature of the association between planets and archetypes, however, we must first address the general concept of archetypes and the remarkable evolution of the archetypal perspective in the history of Western thought.

The earliest form of the archetypal perspective, and in certain respects its deepest ground, is the primordial experience of the great gods and goddesses of the ancient mythic imagination. In this once universal mode of consciousness, memorably embodied at the dawn of Western culture in the Homeric epics and later in classical Greek drama, reality is understood to be pervaded and struc­tured by powerful numinous forces and presences that are rendered to the hu­man imagination as the divinized figures and narratives of ancient myth, often closely associated with the celestial bodies.

Yet our modern word god, or deity or divinity, does not accurately convey the lived meaning of these primordial powers for the archaic sensibility, a meaning that was sustained and developed in the Platonic understanding of the divine. This point was clearly articulated by W. K. C. Guthrie, drawing on a valuable distinction originally made by the German scholar Wilamowitz-Moellendorff.

Theos, the Greek word which we have in mind when we speak of Plato’s god, has primarily a predicative force. That is to say, the Greeks did not, as Christians or Jews do, first assert the existence of God and then pro­ceed to enumerate his attributes, saying “God is good,” “God is love”and so forth. Rather they were so impressed or awed by the things in life or nature remarkable either for joy or fear that they said “this is a god” or “that is a god.” The Christian says “God is love,” the Greek “Love is theos,” or “a god.” As another writer [G. M. A. Grube] has explained it:

“By saying that love, or victory, is god, or, to be more accurate, a god, was meant first and foremost that it is more than human, not subject to death, everlasting …. Any power, any force we see at work in the world, which is not born with us and will continue after we are gone could thus be called a god, and most of them were.”

In this state of mind, and with this sensitiveness to the superhuman character of many things which happen to us, and which give us, it may be, sudden stabs of joy or pain which we do not understand, a Greek poet could write lines like: “Recognition between friends is theos,” It is a state of mind which obviously has no small bearing on the much­ discussed question of monotheism or polytheism in Plato, if indeed it does not rob the question of meaning altogether.

In one perspective, “monotheism” and “polytheism” can be understood as one and the same reality. “Out of one many,” as we are reminded of this oneness on our currency by the words “E Pluribus Unum.” The Master Jesus stated this truth in his final words to his disciples before his departure: “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Today we call these “mansions” levels of Consciousness.  Consciousness is, in reality, all there is. One Consciousness with many levels, or differentiations. Out of the One God spring many “gods,” or points of Light, focal points that differentiate the One Light of Love, of Truth and of Life.  And so, we have one Sun in our solar system that focuses the Light of the Galactic Center, which focuses the Light of the One Consciousness for creation in this corner of the Universe.  Is this differentiation perhaps the foundation upon which the concept of archetypes is based? 

This, in my view, is all indicative of the process underway of remembering the “Truth” that makes us free of our current limitations in consciousness and awareness.  We are remembering that we ourselves are focal points of the One Light of Love, of Truth and of Life. We are awakening to the larger cosmic context of our journey through time and space as angels, if you will, or gods, in our Father’s House of many mansions.

I will continue with this discussion in my next post. Until then, 

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

 

 

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