Creating the New Earth Together

Archive for the ‘Conscious Evolution’ Category

Getting Back to Eden, part 5: The Process of Transformation 2

 

Is it not written in your law, ‘I have said, “You are gods”?’  —Yeshua 

Paradigm shifts have occurred in our consciousness rather frequently over the course of the last several decades, and innovations have emerged in the ways we do things.  In the way we relate to God, for example, we’ve gone from church affiliation and attendance to spiritual transformation by way of “paths” to enlightenment and Self realization; from being mere humans to angels incarnate in bodies that are temples of a living God; from awareness as humans seeking an experience of God to that of God seeking a fuller experience of our humanity, as expressed in the saying “I am God being Human.”

In the field of healthcare, we’ve gone from the medical model of treating the symptoms of disease to the holistic model of treating the whole person and addressing the cause; from physical medicine to “energy medicine,” embracing esoteric energy healing modalities; from running costly and invasive diagnostic tests to honoring the body’s innate intelligence and wisdom by reading its energy fields and meridian circuits via muscle-testing for first hand information from the body itself about its condition and need for intervention and/or nutritional support; and from reactive passive healthcare to proactive preventive wellness care. We’ve even found a way via bio-energetic inquiry to discern and treat the cause of dis-ease at the emotional and subconscious levels with “Neuro-Linguistic Programing,” an approach too innovative and subtle for the reductionist “fix the problem from outside-in” mindset. Ultimately, we’ve dared to transplant organs from one body to another, even clone living forms via genetic engineering and test-tube creation.

In the tech world we’ve gone from naturally endowed intelligence to artificial intelligence; from building structures with bricks and mortar to constructing matter at the atomic level with nanotechnology; from assembly-line manual labor to robotics; from land lines to cell phones, from writing letters to sending emails, and now texts; and from attending seminars and conferences to teleconferencing in virtual “face time” space. We’ve gone from doing research in a library to “Googling” just about anything we want to know.

In science and physics we’ve seen leaps upward and out into the macrocosm of space and downward into the microcosm of quantum physics. We’ve “progressed” from mechanical and chemical engineering to genetic engineering of plants, foods, and, God help us, our own species.

In a word, we’ve evolved in our consciousness — and in our identity — as well as in our expression and functions, from being “creatures of circumstance” to creators; from being “mere humans” to becoming gods in our own right.

Transformation, the changing of the outer form of things, has been the main event of the last sixty years. And now with this coronavirus pandemic, social distancing has isolated us from one another—coupled by job and economic disruptions, world-wide social transformation is underway. The last 40 years of the 20th Century were particularly marked by transformation, preparing us for radical changes in the new millennium. The most important and pivotal transformation underway is a spiritual one, more like a transmutation of our identity from human to divine.

SIGNIFICANCE AND HISTORY OF THE NUMBER 40  

It seems the number 40 carries the energy of change in numerology.  A Facebook friend posted this recently: “The Latin root of the word ‘quarantine’ is ‘forty.’ The official lock-down started March 23 and will likely end May 1st. That is EXACTLY 40 days.” She cited biblical events, such as the 40 days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to receive the Commandments and the 40 days of his wandering in the wilderness with the children of Israel; and Jesus fasting in the desert for 40 days.  The optimum number of weeks for human gestation is 40, and the rest period for a woman after giving birth is 40 days.  Essentially it is the time needed for preparing a person, or people, to make a fundamental change, to let go of things we no longer need to live fully and move forward into a new beginning in a New Earth. 

TRANSFORMATION

Richard Heinberg sheds light on the process of transformation in MEMORIES AND VISIONS OF PARADISE, characterizing the personal transformation of Jesus and the Buddha as “opening a door between worlds.”

The process of transformation need not be arduous. Indeed, in some respects it is more play than work — though not the competitive, win/lose play of civilized adults, but more the spontaneous, mutually trusting, experimental, and ecstatic play of young children and wild animals. As psychologist O. Fred Donaldson puts it, “Play is nature’s way of triumphing over culture.”  If Paradise is our natural state of being, then the deepest and most compelling force at the core of the collective unconscious is one that is always urging us toward that state of equilibrium. As we deliberately work toward a future characterized by respect and care for Nature and toward the nurturing of love, forgiveness, compassion, and celebration in ourselves and in one another, our conscious efforts resonate with the pattern at the core of our being. Heaven and Nature rush to return to a condition of balance and accord.

It is also true that as we move in the transformational process, we are working against social conditioning that continually tends to divide us both from one another and from the very ground of our own being. Hence, the need for the spiritual quest, which in all its guises is essentially a process of cutting through the crust of ego that prevents us from experiencing and revealing our own innate paradisal character.

This quest is neither new nor unprecedented. It is neither more nor less than the archetypal hero’s journey, identified by Joseph Campbell as being central to every mythic tradition. Every culture remembers exemplary men and women who have accomplished inter­nal transformations, and who have left instructions by which others can do the same. While the details of the instructions may differ, all spiritual exemplars agree on the broad outline of the process. It consists, first, of a withdrawal from the world-as-it-is, and a deliberate act of purification. This is followed by a period of integration within the system of universal spiritual values. The process culminates in a final realization of unity with the ultimate Principle of all that is. While the details of the process are individual, the essential outline of the journey is always the same, as is the goal: Paradise — the realization of oneness with Heaven and Nature.

The heroic quest is fundamentally a symbolic journey, representing the progressive unfoldment of the hero’s transcendent character and destiny. Jesus and the Buddha are figures who accomplished the profound inner transformation by which a door was opened between worlds, and human society was led to a partially or temporarily restored condition. Ultimately, the records of their lives are metaphors for what must occur in the experience of anyone who takes up the quest.

In every hero myth, the first stage in the journey consists simply of hearing and responding to a call. The hero or heroine must realize that the world is in need of healing, and that his or her own actions will make a difference to others. For the Buddha, the call came when he was thirty years of age and first saw sickness, old age, and death. He was so profoundly moved by the suffering he saw that he stole away from his sleeping wife and child to seek the key to liberation from the universal human condition. For Jesus, the first awareness of the call came when he was only twelve years old. He left his parents and spent three days in the temple among the doctors, discussing theology. When his worried parents finally found him, he said simply, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

As we lift our attention above our conditioned wants and fears long enough to become aware of the purposes of a greater Whole, we suddenly see the possibility that our lives could have significance beyond comfort and self-satisfaction. The call may be faintly sensed, or it may blare. In either case, a conscious decision must be made to either listen or shut it out. To ignore the call is to die to the purposes of life. But to listen and to accept the challenge of the quest requires a willingness to leave behind the ruts established for us by heredity and environment, and to explore unfamiliar territory. We cannot enter Paradise without leaving behind our present cultural or psychic envi­ronment.

The second stage of the quest involves coming to terms with a dragon, demon, or enemy. Seeing suffering, we seek its cause, and causes of human suffering are legion. At the beginning of this stage we may see a dragon that is external to ourselves — an immediate source of injustice and cruelty. We may decide that the dragon is embodied in a philosophy we detest, or in a person whose actions seem to cause others pain. Many people become fixed in this phase of the quest and never proceed further. Their lives are spent battling the demons of the world, which, even when apparently slain, seem to grow new heads and return to torment them again.

As long as we continue battling external demons, we are incapable of fully bringing peace to our world. Eventually, if we remain true to the call — if we continue to listen — we will come to understand that the real dragon is within us: all the problems of our world have been produced by tendencies present in ourselves. Until and unless our internal dragons can be dealt with, even the most valorous external battle cannot fully bear fruit. Some of the great heroes in religious literature seem to have realized this from the beginning. Both Jesus and the Buddha, for example, knew from the outset that the victory they sought was a triumph over their own lower natures. Gandhi, on the other hand, began his career with the belief that the dragon consisted entirely of governmentally enforced racism; only gradually did he come to see his own attitudes and behavior as the battleground for the forces of good and evil.

Once the dragon is recognized as being an internal force, a different kind of battle begins. This stage of the process, in which the hero is wrestling with his own inner demons, doesn’t seem especially paradisal. It involves the exposure of one’s weaknesses and the surrender of personal attachments. Paradoxically, it seems, one can only get to Paradise by being willing to go through hell. But this conflict, too, must come to an end. The resolution of the battle with the inner demon is represented in the story of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness. Before Jesus began his public ministry, and after he had fasted in the wilderness for forty days, the Devil appeared to him. The Devil first offered Jesus bread, symbolizing personal fulfillment at the physical level; then he challenged Jesus’ authority; and finally he offered the kingdoms of the world, “if thou will fall down and worship me.” But Jesus, refusing physical desire, the need to prove himself, and personal ambition as motives for his behavior, replied, “Get thee hence, Satan!” For him, the demon was gone.

A similar story of the Buddha says that while he was sitting under the Bodhi tree, immediately before attaining enlightenment, he was tempted by the god-demon Mara. Amid both violence and offers of pleasure and power, he simply sat and remained calm, “like a lion seated in the midst of oxen.” Mara and his armies, frustrated, left in defeat.

The dragon or demon can be fully tamed only through consistent inner work over a period of years. Yet, there is an instantaneous quality to the essential transformation that eventually comes: at any time a sudden change of state may occur and Paradise will be present, if only for a moment. The hero tames the dragon not by fighting it, but by refusing to fight it — by facing it, courageously holding steady, and expressing the character of innocence and love. Suddenly, the hero realizes that Paradise has been there all along, unnoticed.

Even after the hero has momentarily achieved paradisal awareness, he must still learn to sustain and communicate that state. From this point on, he is certain that he has known the true and natural condition of human consciousness — the pearl of great price, for which the wise person will sell everything (Matthew 13:46).

After having developed the ability to consistently maintain paradisal consciousness, the hero returns to the mundane world with a healing balm. Having found Heaven, he must share it — which means sharing himself, his state of being. For the individual, the return is the culmination of the journey, but the quest is not complete until the world has been restored.

Richard is interviewed briefly in Michael Moore’s recently released film PLANET OF THE HUMANS, an hour-and-forty-minute documentary update on the present state of our world and our ill-placed hope in biomass, wind turbans and solar panels — well worth your time watching.

Hello Octogenerians! 

On a more personal note, I will join the elder generation of octogenerians and complete my 80th trip around the sun on May 20, 2020. There’s got to be a few 40’s in those numbers, as I have certainly gone through many changes in those eighty years. I have been greatly blessed by many life-long friends and clients over the years.  I thank you for following my blogs and sharing them with your friends.  Feel free to share your thoughts by email. Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved

Anthony   

tpal70@gmail.com

 

Getting Back to Eden, part 4: The Process of Transformation

“In my father’s house there are many mansions.” — Jesus 

The passage above from the Gospel of John (14:2-4) has been a light of hope to many. The Aramaic text may be more likely what Jesus said speaking the language of the people:

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and bring you to join me, that where I am you shall be also.  And where I am going, you know, and you know the way.” 

The Teacher had a great love for his disciples, whom he called friends, and desired nothing more than that they should come to know what he knew and experience what he was experiencing.  I note that he said where I am” and not where I will be. He was on Earth in clear view of his disciples speaking with them days after his ordeal with death followed by his resurrection from the tomb, obviously in a transformed body—and I don’t think he was messing with their minds, telling them something that was not possible. As we have come to know over the millennia, transformation is possible and doable, here and now, and the “way,” as he had taken great pains to show them and all of mankind, is unconditional love: “I have only one command: that ye love one another as I have loved you.” And he loved those who came to his light just the way they presented themselves.

He had obviously ascended to a higher mansion in his father’s house, and they were yet feeling their way around on the ground floor trying to make sense of all that had just transpired so violently and unexpectedly, along with the changes they were feeling in their energetic fields just being in their Master’s presence those few years before he “ascended into heaven.” There is much teaching in this story.

The Many Mansions

We move from lower to higher levels of Being as we go through transformation, each level having its own energetic frequency—a transformed or stepped-down frequency of the ONE TONE of LOVE at the highest level of oneness with the Divine. There are those “ascended masters” who have reached that level during their incarnation, never to return again to the physical plane. All of us reincarnate until we learn to master each and every level of consciousness and are ready to ascend—and we cannot ascend from one level to the next without letting go of those coarse elements in the fabric of our outer being that are energized and maintained by the frequency of love specific to the level where we find ourselves—elements that cannot exist in a higher plane and frequency.

A friend, former associate, and colleague in the healing field, Dr. Lawrence Bakur, posted this view and perspective of the current human state on Facebook a few days ago.   

“There are many vibratory dimensions to this world, as well as the worlds of spirit, and each dimension is home to a specific level of love that we each individually carry in our souls. Those with a lower frequency of love cannot live in the higher dimensions as it would “fry their circuits” so to speak.

“I have witnessed this on many occasions when those whose soul condition is one of service-to-self rather than service-to-others are in the presence of a higher love; they tend to go a bit crazy, which can manifest in childish rebelliousness or in extreme cases, anger and violence. What is happening is that the fire of love is confronting the emotional damage of their souls and in a sense they are writhing in pain to the extent that they resist. Of course, this Love can also free their souls and lift them up if they so choose.

“This is what I see taking place in the world today. There truly is a spiritual battle happening between the forces of light and the forces of darkness that fear being brought into the light. In fact, they are kicking and screaming, plotting and planning to maintain their power even as they are in the process of being left behind, depending on their choices.

“I’m reminded of the words of Moses to the Israelites who were caught between Pharaoh and the Red Sea: “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Not that we simply sit back and relax. No, there may be many things to be done. But we can rest in the knowing that the victory is at hand. Why? Because Love conquers all and is absolutely unstoppable. In my own awareness of what’s happening on the planet, it’s picking up speed and those that fight it will not succeed. The Red Sea will part once more.”

And the miracle of salvation occurs by being at the right place at the right time when the sea of consciousness parts to reveal the Way across the threshold to a higher ground of being, a new and freeing perspective. In a word, a higher level of consciousness—a “new heaven.”

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow or crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:1-4)

The “holy city” and “new Jerusalem” symbolize the purified and sanctified state of human consciousness, absorbed into and reunited with Divine Consciousness in the final phase of the Restoration, at which point there will be “no more sea” of separate and isolated human consciousness, but only the dry land of a New Earth emerging from the Unified Field of Consciousness awaiting our care and stewardship. 

I love how Lawrence articulates the essences-of-the-Moment in the transformation process of the Body of Man as we enter a particularly intense culminating phase in the cycles of the Restoration of Man to God.

In those five words is defined the underlying meaning and purpose of human life on Earth down through the ages since the Fall of Man from his position in Eden as the “conveyor of spirit to earth” and administrator of creation, as my poet friend Don Hynes wrote in a recent comment on my last post: 

“I would only add that man restored is to God, becoming the conveyor of Spirit to the earth. Stewardship describes behavior but this time of revelation is calling for the return of the real meal deal!  The fall could be described as spiritual man falling into the creation. Divine man was to administer the creation, not be subject to it. Without the return to that position good works in the earth won’t matter, despite the good intentions.  I’m trying to elevate the position of Spiritual man without denigrating earth stewardship or the good works Richard (Heinberg) outlines.”

A Lesson in Mastery

Lawrence’s words bring up a memorable incident from my earlier years of attending professional workshops and seminars. I recall an encounter I had with my spiritual mentor at a time when he was apparently in the process of coming forth, just weeks before he made his transition from this earthly plane. I had just arrived to attend one of his symposiums when I met up with him and extended my hand to greet him.  He had already seen me approaching and, as he always did, was looking through my eyes into my heart, which was full of love for him and eagerness to hear him speak again.  As I approached and entered his immediate atmosphere, I was stopped by what seemed to be an invisible wall.  His dense, refined spiritual substance had completely enveloped his body, forming a protective shield around him.  I think he saw what was happening and lowered his frequency so that he could receive me just as I was.

For me it was a lesson in true mastery: meeting people at the level where the are in their journey, uncon-ditionally and without judgement, and not requiring them to meet me where I am.  It was also an exemplary reminder not to shine my light into the eyes of others but rather to shine it on the path to light the Way of transformation. He was a true master and beloved friend, the kind of teacher that appears when the student is ready. And apparently I was ready for enlightenment.

This has been a fruitful meditation for me, as I trust it has been for you. Until my next post in this series, in which I will share another excerpt from Richard Heinberg’s MEMORIES AND VISIONS OF PARADISE,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony
tpal70@gmail.com

Getting Back to Paradise, part 3: The New Paradisal Culture

Our Home among the stars¹

“Paradise exists in the eternal present as an image expressing our deepest sense of what is right and true about ourselves.” 

According to a recent pulse taken, only about 7% of us want things to go back to “normal.” The thing is, the state of the world was anything but normal before this pandemic.  What we all long for, I believe, consciously or unconsciously, is to return Home, to return to the Garden of Paradise. 

Richard Heinberg envisions our return to the Garden not as going back to Eden as it was in the beginning of Creation, but going forward to a totally New Heaven and a totally New Earth with a totally new culture seeded and born out of a renewed and transformed consciousness.  I think you will enjoy sharing his vision in this excerpt from Chapter 12 of MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE.

THE NEW CULTURE

Christian fundamentalists believe that apocalypse is inevitable. Social activists and utopians, on the other hand, believe that we can avoid Armageddon by making a gradual and peaceful transition away from the attitudes and assumptions of modern industrial civilization and toward a regenerative, peaceful way of life. According to the latter view, apocalypse will come only if we refuse to work, consciously and collectively, toward the constructive reform of our present institutions.

But whether humanity is headed toward peaceful transition or apocalyptic purification, the course of action for those who are committed to a paradisal outcome is the same: to deliberately begin to plant the seeds of a new culture based on universal spiritual values. A peaceful transition may be preferable to humanly engineered cataclysm, but it can only come about as the result of changes in the attitudes and actions of individuals. However, if a period of global purification is somehow inevitable, the mass of humanity will require models of wholeness and stability toward which to orient as upheavals occur, if there is to be anything to build upon after the period of purification is over. 

As Marilyn Ferguson, Willis Harman, and other keen observers of social trends have been telling us for the past decade, the seeds of a new culture are already appearing.  This new culture is not the plan of any specific human organization or agency, but rather is arising spontaneously in a thousand unpredictable ways through the efforts of people who in most instances have no idea of the intercon­nectedness — much less of the mythic or archetypal implications — of their actions.

One such seed is represented in widespread and increasing interest in ecology and environmentalism. While many people’s concern for environmental issues may be motivated simply by self-interest — the desire to escape disaster — the contemplation of the interrelatedness of Nature’s systems seems inevitably to trigger radically new views of our proper relationship with the rest of the biosphere.

As we become aware of the implications of the basic principles of ecology, inherited attitudes of exploitation tend to give way to attitudes of cooperation and stewardship. Ultimately, people who embrace environmentalism seem to be drawn back to the ancient view that the Earth is not here merely to satisfy human needs and desires; rather, that we human beings are here to nourish and steward the Earth.

Another portent of the kind of creative change that might lead to the emergence of a new paradisal culture is a burgeoning interest in native religions and comparative mythology. The word religion itself comes from the Latin religare, meaning “to bind back.” Religion has always been humanity’s way of seeking to recover something that has been lost. It is the expression of a universal yearning for a state of innocence and completeness — a state projected into the past, the future, or another dimension of existence, but nonetheless always felt to be real and innate, though somehow removed from our ordinary experience.

The object of religion is always the recovery of the divine presence and the return of the miraculous world of Paradise. The new spiritual revival of the past two decades seems to be directed toward the very essence of the religious experience. While drawing upon existing Native American, mystical Christian, Sufi, and Buddhist traditions (among others), its ultimate goal is a resurgence of the spirit from which all systems of revelation derive their meaning.

The kinds of fundamental changes in values and attitudes that we are considering tend to occur first in the details of people’s lives, and are only later reflected in public policy. In their most intimate relationships, for example, many people are discovering what it is to move from a dominant/submissive mode based on need and fear toward one of partnership based on a shared sense of higher purpose.

In their worldly vocations, people are finding that old values and motives centered on economic necessity and the competitive drive are stressful and unfulfilling.As the innate desire to uplift, bless, and nourish gains prominence, many people are changing careers, often trading a larger salary for a more satisfying means of contributing to the lives of others.

For some, this change of values is subtle; for others, the paradisal quest becomes an all-embracing passion. As noted in an earlier chap­ter, thousands of utopian communities have been founded during the last twenty years, particularly in North America. Many of these com­munities are virtual green-houses for the germination of the seeds of the new culture, fostering pioneering lifestyles based on ecological awareness, new patterns of relationships, and new ways of revealing and acknowledging the sacred. Such communities provide a means of exploring change through the total commitment of the time and resources of the people involved. 

Ultimately, however, any individual action or social movement that furthers the values of oneness, peace, and respect for natural processes represents a seed of the new culture.  As yet, we probably cannot know in any detail what the new culture will look like when and if the transition has been made. Certainly, it will not be an exact reproduction of the original earthly Paradise.

Regardless of whether our sojourn into egocentric conscious­ness was necessary to our evolution or merely a tragic error, we have learned a powerful lesson from the experience. We may return to innocence, but it will not be the same innocence we would have known had the Fall never occurred.

Neither can we accurately predict the nature of the new culture merely by extrapolating present trends: the developments we have just considered may be leading in the direction of a renewed paradisal state, but they are as yet mere seeds. By any standard, the magnitude of the transformation required in order for humanity as a whole to return to an integrated, regenerative mode of being is immense. We have barely begun the process.

Realizing Paradise

Paradoxically, while the transition to the new culture is a project of vast proportions, it is likely to be accomplished only through changes in the attitudes and values of individual men and women — changes that may be virtually invisible to society as a whole. How, then, can you and I actually go about making these changes in our outlooks and behavior so as to realize Paradise in our own lives here and now, and thereby contribute to the creation of the new culture? 

Civilization is built of compromises and trade-offs. Daily, we com­promise integrity, intimacy, empathy, and honesty for a thousand seemingly worthwhile reasons, and we feel supported in doing so by the example and encouragement of others.

We have made our lives complex and abstract. We seem to live to serve our laborsaving de­vices. Many of us are willing to trade a large proportion of our waking hours to work at what may be intrinsically meaningless jobs in return for economic power. At some point we must ask whether all these trade-offs are really justifiable.

Returning to Paradise requires that we examine our lives honestly, and, when we find ourselves acting in ways that contradict our deepest values, that we change direction — not going backward toward some mythic past, but moving inward toward our highest vision of love and truth.

We must be willing to withdraw from participation in the mechanisms of the human world as it is as we learn to simplify, sanctify, and celebrate every aspect of life.

We see this happening the world over today.  People simplifying their lifestyles, meditating and setting up altars in their homes to sanctify their consciousness, celebrating life in all its wonders.  In the midst of all this pandemic turmoil, angels are coming forth through human hearts and shining the Light of Love in the world darkened by fear and uncertainty, and threatened by environmental and economic collapse.  The old is passing away as the new is being born.  

As I sat out with my wife in our paradisal back yard this evening, I felt a powerful wave of profound peace move through my body and across the entire globe.  I feel it even now as I write. Something of cosmic proportion is happening in our solar Entity, in the Earth and in the body of Humanity.  It’s a good time to be alive and awake on the planet.  Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

¹While this image is dramatic, the moon is actually more than 1/4 the size of Earth.

World View in the 21st Century

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  

 

 

Planetary Archetypes . . . . . . . . . . Man in a Cosmic Context

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

 

 

 

 

 

Archetypes, Gods and Planets and The Evolution of Consciousness

“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

Astrology, Free Will and Determinism

“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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