"Ars longa, vita brevis"
Netzach Gallery presents . . .
MYTHOPOESIS (Part 2)
Eastern enlightenment comes in many varieties of spiritual experience and
practice from Tantra to Tibetan Buddhism. They express the pursuit
of the One, or the One through the Many forms of existence, which are actually
only differentt forms of sacred Emptiness. Tantra presents the ultimate
Nondual reality as the sexual embrace of God and Goddess, of Shiva and
Shakti, of Emptiness and Form. Neither Ascent nor Descent is final,
ultimate, or priveledged. Like yin and yang, they generate and depend
on each other, and find their own true being by dying into the other, only
to awaken together, conjoined in bliss, as the entire Cosmos. We
find that eternity is wildly in love with the production of time, the non-dual
Heart radiating as all creation, and blessing all creation, and singing
this embrace through eternity. When we experience this in our own
awareness, this union is the Nondual vision. God and the Goddess,
Emptiness and Form, Wisdom and Compassion, Eros and Agape, Ascent and descent
-- perfectly and blissfully united.
The God of the Ascenders is otherworldly, usually monastic, ascetic, seeking
to flee the Many and find the One. It is purely transcendental, and
pessimistic about finding happiness in this world, shunning time in favor
of eternity. The other approach finds practitioners of Descending
finding the divine embrace through the Many. It is in love with the
visible, sensible God, and sometimes Goddess. It is a God of pure
embodiment, of pure immanence, fascinated with diversity, and found its
glory in the celebration of this diversity. Great variety is the
goal of this God. It celebrated the sense, and the body, and sexuality,
and earth. It is creation-centered spirituality where All is divine.
Emptiness and form are not-two. Emptiness is the immanent ground
of all Form.
Direct mystical intuition is not mediated by any forms of objective nature
or subjective mind. In the ultimate emptiness of the abyss, there
is no differentiation, but only Supreme Identity. The entire world
of Form ceases to arise. However, the pure Emptiness of the Witness
(or Seer) turns out to be one with every Form that is witnessed (immanence),
and that is one of the basic meanings of nonduality. Ultimately,
there is no seer and no seen; in this illusory gap between the subject
and object, it is said, lies the entire misery of humankind.
Tantra is perhaps the oldest form of Eastern alchemy. According to
tantric philosophy the whole universe is built up of and pervaded by two
basic forces which are in intiate and intricate union. These forces,
named Shiva and Shakti, are personified as male and female deities.
Of this divine pair, Shiva is the subordinate one, for it is the Female
Principle that ultimately underlies all manifestation. There is a
Tantric saying, "Shiva without Shakti is a corpse."
The main subjects of tantrism include the creation of the world and its
final dissolution; the various gods and goddesses and their worship; mental
and spiritual discipline; and the rites by which magical powers can be
acquired to enable one to control oneself, others, and the forces of Nature.
The ritualism parallels that of western occult practices--candles, incantations,
etc. and especially sexual mysticism with breath training and postures
to rouse the sleeping serpent, the Kundalini. This alchemy takes
place within the body itself, turning gross substance into the divine quintessence,
as the serpent fire rises through the body centers or chakras through the
subtle spinal channel. Upward ascent creates a sympathetic resonance
between the chakras, igniting each until it reaches the Crown.
Salvation through sex would be an understatement of the aim of tantrism.
The terrifying aspects of Shiva and Shakti are the subject of tantric meditation
in graveyards during rites of contact with corpses. This is in stark
counterpart to even, equanimious enjoyment of the sex act. Other
rites include a ceremonial meal of wine, flesh, fish, and bread followed
by intercourse. Wine symboizes the draught of immortality; flesh,
the bodily functions which must be controlled; fish, water and the techniques
of sexual occultism; bread is the earth and natural environment which must
be controlled. Sexual union symbolizes the ether, quintessence of
the elements. Sacred sex reveals eternal truth and transcendence,
Being, the Way to redemption--union of the personal self with the transpersonal
Self. The Diamond Body is the crystallization of the archetype of
the universal Self as a permanent part of the individual psyche.
THE JEWEL IS IN THE LOTUS
Richest in symbolism of all of the flowers of the
east is the Lotus, which figured in both the Egyptian and far Asian rites.
In Egypt, it was the symbol of fertility and resurrection, signifying creation
and the female principle of life. Horus, in his apect of god of silence,
sits on the flower, Buddha-like, with his finger on his lips. The
Indian lotus is also a holy plant. The cosmic flower is sacred to
the sun, symbolic of regenerative powers.
In Hindu mythology, the lotus represents the female
life principle, and is the symbol of the yoni or femal generative organs.
Lakshmi, consort of Vishnu, emerged our of a lotus which sprang from his
forehead. In their creation myth, the spirit of thee Supreme Being
was personified by a golden lotus on a great sea. From Vishnu, the
"lotus-navelled" issued a lotus on which Brahma sat. The lotus expanded
into the universe. Buddha was associated with this flower at birth
and it is his symbol.
Chinese Buddhists believe in a heaven where a sacred
lake of lotuses the souls of the dead await admittance to paradise in lotus
buds. Each soul rests in its bud until the time appointed for itss
opening; the plant flourishes or wilts in accordance with the piety of
the individual soul during its earthly existence. A pure soul is
released immediately into the divine presence. In China, the lotus
is the emblem of purity, since it is not of the earth but rises spotless
and immaculate from the waters.
Tibetan Buddhism uses the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum,
the Jewel is in the Lotus ...the Jewel is in the Lotus ...the Jewel is
in the Lotus. This crystallized Self, the jewel is the "inorganic"
form of the Lotus, and its realization in permanence during life and persisting
into the bardo states of death. The 1000 petaled lotus is the Crown
Buddhism denies that there is a personal world-creator, yet it affirms
our capacity to meet and become superhuman saints, saviors endowed with
vast wisdom and compassion. It denies that there is an immortal soul,
but affirms that there is personal continuity from life through many rebirths
until liberation is attained. All Buddhists agree the supreme goal
is Enlightenment, liberation, or Nirvana. It implies the cessation
of the cycle of rebirth and transmigration--liberation from the Wheel of
Buddha says, "all is sorrow and suffering," and meditation on its
root is the path to liberation. It kills lust and inspires compassion.
The ending of suffering is Nirvana. The 'three trainings' include
morality, concentration, and wisdom. Contemplation includes meditations
on the body, the feelings, mental states, and doctrines. You imagine
the successive states of decomposition of the body after death, pleausre,
pain, and neutral feelings of body and mind, concentration or distraction.
What hindrances are present blocking enlightenment? Vigor, rapture,
tranquility. Contemplate the Four Holy Truths until enlightenment
Concentration is characterized by single-mindedness. Rapture gives
way to serenity and clear awareness. Beyond pleasure and pain is
pure awareness. Psychic powers are among the fruits of meditation,
though their indiscriminate use is condemned. Magic powers include
flying, walking on water, shapeshifting, projection, clairaudience, mind-reading,
memory of former lives, clairvoyance, and extinction of outflows.
Doing one's right duty, livlihood and worship are merit-earning activities.
Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are the three Jewels or Treasures. We
take refuge in the community of holy practitioners. You become a
Buddhist by saying, "I go to the Buddha-refuge." The non-returner
gets rid of all his fetters and is reborn in a high heaven where he reaches
Nirvana. Nirvana is annihilation of eternal existence.
MEDITATION OF THE JADE WARRIOR
When the Life Elixer pearl is finished, the holy embryo can be formed;
then work must be directed to the warming and nourishing of the spiritual
embryo. When the energy body of the child is fully formed, the work
must be so directed that the embryo is born and returns to emptiness.
That is the method of ending the work.
This embryo is not corporeally visible, but is the breath energy of the
ego. When spirit and breath-energy as firmly united and thoughts
quiet and immobile, this is described as the embryo. As in the case
of all projection, there is a kernal of truth: sexual and religious drives
are metaphorically related. Both seek union and wholeness, both are
associated with ecstasy and release of tension, and the union of ego with
something greater than itself.
Sexual gratification may lessen the drive for psychic or spiritual wholeness,
as creativity can find lesser outlets--hence the emphasis on celebacy in
many religious practices. If Jung is right, the evolution of the
lapis into the spiritual embryo is what is missing in Western alchemy,
but this is hinted at in the images of the foetus spagiricus, the
macrocosmi, and the filius philosophorum. Eastern alchemy
and meditation make this a distinct goal and realization. They are
actual experiences that take place during meditation.
Seperation of the soul and body occurs when we withdraw psychic energy
from physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts, with a resulting death-like
condition. There is difficulty in maintaining concentration.
One must practice regularly to focus and maintain attention at the proper
level. The meditation complex is actually the fire of one's emotional
being where raw psychic energy is transformed or sublimated, revealing
the circular mandala-like quality of the Self composed of positive and
negative forces. Objective light is a metaphor of conscious illumination
and emotional equilibrium. For the practicing meditator, the Self
as the caelum--or the appearance of a transparent shining sky--is
a phenomenon that appears after a certain amount of psychic energy has
been cleansed and consciousness held empty.
THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
Secret of the Golden Flower
Western alchemical goals and procedures were paralled in Eastern Alchemy
with concern for the elixer of immortality and the extraction of spirit
from matter and its liberation through meditation. Chinese alchemy
is a mixture of alchemy, kindalini and tantric yoga. Its secret was
the great creation of agolden fetus which represented the seed of enlightenment.
The Chinese view is that every individual possesses a central core that
is an aspect of the universal Tao. In the Tao, the principles of
opposites, yin and yang, are united. Spirit and soul together make
up the personality and view for supremacy. The goal of Chinese alchemy
is to free the spirit from its entanglements with instinctive drives and
emotions by providing a place in the human body where the primal spirit
may crystallize and gestate. The beginning of creativity is called
prenatal, (undivided yin-yang).
Personal spirit is joined with transpersonal spirit and soul then reunited.
The product of this union is called The Golden Flower or the Elixer of
Life, literally Golden Ball or Golden Pill, which ensures the survival
of the individual after the death of the body. "Circulation of
the Light" refers to repetitive cyclical mixing of spirit (psychic)
and soul (physical) energies, of the positive and negative principles,
to create the "yellow bud" or "mysterious pearl."
Through a coniunctio, inner copulation of positive and negative "crystallization"
occurs as the appearance of inner light, white like moonlight. In
the next step, the resulting light is reddish yellow. The union of
the two lights produces the immortal seed. Golden light within the
white light between the eyebrows means primal spirit is forming the immortal
foetus and the Elixer of Immortality. The primal spirit emerges from
the foetus and leaps into the "great emptiness" through the gate
at the top of the head, forming an indestructibe Diamond Body.
OTHER REALITIES OF LIVING & DYING
The Tibetans use the word bardo to mean a transition or gap between
one situation or set of experiences and another. It denotes being
"thrown" or "suspended in between", i.e. a transition state. It is
the transition state between death and rebirth, but also indicates a way
of dying daily while living through meditation. There are four classical
bardo states: the "natural bardo" of this life, the "painful" bardo
of dying, the "luminous bardo of enlightenment," and the "karmic" bardo
Upon first entering the bardo state, we may not realize we are dead, and
the mental body is still attached to the physical body and its habitual
tendencies. The experiences of the past life are reviewed, and frightening
sensations assail the taveler between lives and worlds. The winds
of karma sweep us relentlessly on until the helpless, fearful consciousness
is pulled down into a womb for rebirth. The whole landscape and environment
is molded by our past and future karma, since all reality is simply formed
of mind-stuff anyway. Tibetans say the span of time in the bardo
of becoming last from one week to forty-nine days. We wait in the
bardo until we make a karmic connection with our future parents, and that
karma sweeps us into embodiment.
Different signs appear, such as flashing lights and colors, visions, and
alignments of the gaze. These are to be guarded against for they
lead to undesirable rebirths. Certain realms create instinctive,
intense desires and longings. This is the time for prayer and intense
concentration for rebirth in the buddha realms, or for aspiration to be
reborn into a human family where you can meet the spiritual path and continue
Pray even when you enter the womb, and visualize yourself as an enlightened
beeing, so your sacred environment becomes "a palace of the gods."
The mind's urge to solidify culminates in rebirth, and this manifestation
takes place through the bardos and in the return of consciousness to regular
life after meditation sessions. When you can go through the dissolution
and the dawn of the Grand Luminosity and remain there, rebirth ceases.
The real secret of this sacred text is that it teaches us that this is
not only the process of dying and death.
It is unfolding now, at this moment, and every moment, within our mind,
in our thoughts, emotions, and at every single level of consciousness we
experience, even during our dreams. The bardo teachings show us how
to step outside of the uncontrolled cycle of death and rebirth which comes
from ignorance and attachment. We can learn to recognize and maintain
a stable awareness of the nature of mind. What happens in our mind
now in life is exactly what will occur in the bardo states at death, since
life and death form a whole, unbroken flowing movement.
THE KNOT WITHOUT BEGINNING OR END
The Hindu myths of the Tripartate god Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, the dancing
Shiva stands as a symbol of the Universe as Embryo. His dance is
the Universe; he is universal Creator and Destroyer. The Knot Without
Beginning or End is the symbol of the doctrine of reincarnation.
In Shiva's hair is a skull and a new moon, death and rebirth at the same
moment, the moment of becoming. In one hand he has a little drum
whose beat signfies time, the tick of time which shuts out the knowledge
of eternity. We are enclosed in time. But in Shiva's opposite
hand there is a flame which burns away the veil of time opens our minds
Shiva can be the terrifying aspects of the nature of being, but he is also
the archetypal yogi, canceling the illusion of life and time. As
such he is also the creator of life, its generator, as well as illuminator.
He is also the divine physician, whose hand is "soothing, healing, and
cool." He embodies the dichotomy of unbridled erratic force and an
almost material gentleness. As Lord of the Dance, he either dances
in the sheer joy of overwhelming powers of destruction. He is the
reconciliation of all opposites, eternal rest and ceaseless activity.
His flaming wheel is the wheel of rebirth.
Rebirth, seen from a gene's-eye view, shows us that these "selfish" genes
ensure their own survival by enabling their hosts to live long enough to
reproduce. Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life.
For Shiva, it has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of
DNA, which with its four genetic substances may pervade the universe for
all we know, according to the panspermia theory.
Thus nature is fairly indifferent to the survival of any given individual
or species, for in this vision all beings are created equally as "survival
machines, with various adaptations designed to constantly evolve to changing
conditions. We are engineered by natural selection to propagate DNA.
It is a "utility function," which means "that which is maximized."
More than one utility function can be imagined for human beings, but this
one is obvious and inescapable. Life has no higher purpose than to
perpetuate the survival of DNA, the knot without beginning and without
BIOFIELDS AND TULPAS
By proper coherent tuning through time synchronization,
an object from a maverick world of fantastic possibilities can be orthorotated
into our own frame and objectified. This is what Tibetan monks call
a tulpa, an objective materialization of a thought-form. The tulpa
will hardly ever be closed entirely in phase, however, and so it will almost
always be unstable. UFOs, angels, imps, and demons go away.
But the materialization of one of these can be entirely objective and perfectly
objective traces can be left, such as photographs, broken limbs, scorched
asphalt, indentations, and depressions in grassy fields. Any thought
object can be so orthorotated and objectified. Beings, religious
figures, angels, fairies, imps, UFOs, and monsters can all appear.
At death, the now disembodied mind finds itself in its own deep, unconscius
world constructs (bardos). Reincarnation is simply the resonant coupling
which automatically establishes itself in the flux. The disembodied,
confused mind will simply be coupled again to a new physical body pattern.
The cycle of rebirth can be broken completely simply by dying with a totally
detached mental framework. The cessation of all tuning attatchments
results in structureless, hence all-structured being, part of universal
Godness. Absence from any and every single place exclusively leaves
presence at all places, each nonexclusively.
Consciousness--the thread of the relation between consecutive changes in
thee two respective frames--and time are identical. Time is a duration
of consciousness. Thus time and the mind (and universal mind) are
identical. Hidden variable theory (chaos) is also a mechanism which
can directly amplify the virtual mental state into the observable state.
It is the fundamental mechanism that causes kindling and orthorotation.
It can be used to materialize tulpas and other parapsychological phenomena.
Most of what we term physical reality is prescribed by the collective human
consciusness. And if the collective human consciousness is changed
in its conception of reality, then four billion stages start kindling with
the hyperchannel effect, and immediatelya the new conception is physical
All tulpoidal manifestations are kindled through this mechanism--multilevel
unconscious tuning caused by unresolved conflicts in the deep unconscious.
By time coherence in the virtual state, a virtual entity can be amplified
into the observable state, according to physicist Thomas Beardon.
EARTH MOTHER/SKY FATHER
Myths of the Great Goddess teach compassion for all living beings.
The real sanctity of the earth itself is because it is the body of the
Goddess. The world of the goddess was a world of fertile river valleys,
and then there came invasions by warring nomads who brought a domineering
sky-father god who usurped her preeminence. Great agricultural civilizations
were wiped out by cattle herders, whose storm god travelled with them.
Warrior gods, and thunderbolt hurlers, like Zeus and Yahweh have their
In Babylon, each of the cities had its own protective god or goddess, which
annihilated the god or goddess who was there before. Before the Babylonian
god Marduk was the All-Mother Goddess. So the Semitic story begins
with a great council of the male gods up in the sky, each god is a star,
and they have heard that the Grandma is coming, old Tiamat, the Abyss,
the inexhaustible Source. She arrives in the form of a great fish
or dragon -- and only the god of the great city can vanquish her.
So when Tiamat opens her mouth, the young god Marduk of Babylon sens winds
into her throat and belly that blow her to pieces, and he them dismembers
her and fashions the earth and heavens out of the parts of her body.
This motif of dismembering a primordial being and turning its body into
the universe appears in many mythologis in many forms. The mother
goddess in old mother-goddess mythologies was herself already the universe,
so the great creative deep or Marduk was a supererogatory act. There
was no need for him to cut her up and make the universe out of her, because
she was already the universe. But the male-oriented myth takes over,
and becomes -- apparently -- the creator. And the interest turns
frrom the Goddess to her son--in Babylon the divine male governs.
These cultures were ruthless to their neighbors. Love and compassion
were reserved for the in-group. When the Hebrews came in they really
wiped out the Goddess. Exclusion of the goddess is not found in most
Indo-European mythologies, where the sky god generally marries the goddess.
First, there is the early stage of the goddess, then the reverse, when
the male takes over her role, and finally the two are in harmonious interaction.
Astronomy and asstrology have their roots in the ancient traditions of
Sumerian cosmology. Sumeria is also the source of the beginnings
of recorded human history. These ancient skywatchers are still influencing
our mythic and literal notions of history, the cosmos and the intimate
relationship between time and space.
Psycedelic eschatologist Terrence McKenna suggests a more modern perspective:
I've taken [Whitehead's] notion of concresence and attempted to consttruct
a terminal cosmology that literally stands on its head the scientific explanation
of the origin of the universe. I don't believe the universe is the
push outward into substntial existence by primal explosion. I believe
the universe is being pulled and shaped into an ever more complexified
and concrescent entity that is in fact a transcendental attractor ocated
in the future. It's transcendental in the sense of residing in a
higher dimension than ordinary space, and in the feeling/tone sense in
which we ordinarily use the term "transcendental."
According to McKenna, there is a shockwave which precedes eschatology.
"This is the appearance of history on the surface of nature, a churning
anticipation of the emergence of the concrescence, or the transcendental
object at the end of time."
"The Greek word eschators refers to the last things, the final things.
The Eschaton is a neutral way of naming what some call the Buddha Matraiya,
some people call it the UFO intervention at the end of history, and some
call it the second coming." He sees the whole history of life
as known to us as some kind of strategy for the conquest of dimensionality.
In his Eschatonic transitions, the deployed world of three-dimensional
space shrinks to the point where all points are cotangent. We literally
enter hyperspace, and it's no longer metaphorical hyperspace. In
his vision, the transition from one dimension of existence to another is
the continuation of a universal program of self-extension and transcendence
that cannot only be traced back to earliest human history, but to the most
primitive kind of protoplasm.
If we extend our search for a universal crisis beyond the earth, we may
be suprised to find paradoxical, yet plausible, answers. All points
of both systems, physical and hyperdimensional becoming cotangent instantaneously
means the physical universe disappears in a single moment--no history!
Only light remains. All the resonances of all past times are squeezed
down, boundaries dissolve, and contradictions disappear.
According to McKenna, to think of history as a trendless fluctuations as
is taught in academia is an existential absurdity, since it would be the
only such trendless fluctuation. Complex dynamics has shown us that
processes are not trendless but maximize some set of known or unknown parameters.
The Sumerians initiated a cultural revolution which gave the world the
dawn of recorded history through writing, ccities and a body of religious
practices and concepts. They developed both a complex pantheon of
deities and a complex system of demonology and magic. Not only religion,
myth, and magic were codified, but libraries were established. This
ancient religion provided an attitude to life which gave it cohesion, meaning,
and pattern. Man was linked to heaven by the Annunaki, "those who
came down from above," and their appointed earthly counterparts, God-Kings.
Evidence suggests southernmost Mesopotamia was occupied by 5000 BC.
By 3500 BC this region was settled by the Umerians, an ethnic group of
unknown origin, who initiated a cultural revolution, and the beginning
of recorded history. The epic of Gilgamesh recounts the prehistorical
Creation Myth, as well as the prototype of later accounts of the Great
Flood. Tiamat, the cosmic ocean, was the primordial dragon of chaos,
the original primeval being from whom all the gods originated.
Themes, still reflecting modern concerns, included the creation and organization
of the physical universe, the creation of the gods and their functions,
the creation of man, the origin and prehistory of the exissting order,
the origin of disease and healing, and stories of the Flood and the underworld.
Their theology reflects the fact that the gods created mankind primarily
to serve the gods. The Sumerians were the first to sspeak of abstract
concepts embodied in symbols, regarded as physical entities. Thus,
they seem to have institutionalized personificationas, perhaps, an outgrowth
of primal animism. Other philsophical developments included kingship,
priestly offices, sexual relations and prostitution, musical instruments,
truth and falsehood, various crafts, peace and victory. They give
us the first accounts of the visit of the Goddess to the Underworld (Inanna's
descent). In the first recorded story ever, she encounters the judges
of the underworld, dies and is restored to life like the resurrecting grain
of this agricultural culture.
WHAT EZEKIEL KNEW
According to Rupert Sheldrake (The Evolutionary Mind, 1998): "Before
the seventeenth century, when perople used the word heaven, they were referring
both to the sky and to the abode of God, the angels, and the blessed.
Since the seventeenth century the sky has been secularized and the heavens
are now considered simply the domain of astronomy. Heaven...is considered
some kind of psychological or spiritual state that has othing to do with
the actual sky. Heaven isn't located out there, it's located in our
persons some way, or else in some spiritual realm utterly disconnected
from the sky."
Even though we may say "Our Father who art in heaven," we brush
aside the suggestion that this is literally true, but for our forefather
the sky was not irrelevant nor was the abode of God a subjective realm.
They saw the two as related--the traditional sense and the actual sky.
Our modern notion of the cosmos as a developing organism may help us recover
a sense of life of the heavens, with presumed intelligence, yet it is hard
to overcome our scientific notion of mere unconscious matter in motion.
The heaven of the inner world of mystical states remains somehow divorced
from an embodied universe. We can consider the notion that heavenly
states might be located at places other than inside our cerebral cortex
or inside our bodies.
Even astrology has become divorced from the actual sky while considering
the cosmos as meaningfully related to what happens on earth. Most
astrologers don't know the most fundamental aspects of astronomy.
Ancient traditions believed the entire cosmos was animate. God resides
beyond the sky but also in the sky. Giordano Bruno was burned in
1600 for insisting that the universe; the Church objected that this left
no space for God, and that threatened the entire system.
Modern people assume heaven doesn't mean the actual sky, but is a metaphor,
a state of being, or a state of mind. We can entertain the notion
that if God is omnipresent, then this implies also a presence throughout
the heavens, and since the heavens are vvastly greater than the earth--about
99.99 recurring percent of the divine presence must be in the sky.
The same can be said for the ancient celestial Goddesses, such as the Egyptian
Nut, or Nuit--the womb of heavens who gives birth to the sun, moon and
the stars. She is the cause of Space, the night skies, the womb from
which all things come forth from No-thing. This is also the image
of Astarte, and Mother Mary, the Queen of Heaven. The celestial hierarchies
of angels can be revisioned as superclusters of galaxies, solar systems,
and planets, which were traditionally believed to be the abodes of supraintelligent
beings. Gnostic experiences of direct contact with extraterrestrial
intelligence, however, doesn't require physical matter, energy or morphic
fields. What is important is the dialogue.
EZEKIEL'S POSTMODERN VISION
In this version of close encounters with the ancient world, enigmatic faces
stare with bitumin-accented eyes. They look like aliens from some
otherworld, and in a way, they are, for they have come to us from across
The figures, each about 3 1/2 feet tall, are from a cache discovered in
1985 after a bulldozer cutting a road in Jordan exposed an ancient archaeological
site. Broken into thousands of fragments, the figures were far too
delicate to be execavated on the site, and so the entire block of earth
in which they were entombed was dug up and shipped to the Smithsonian.
Painstakingly reassembled, they are on display at the Arthur M. Sackler
Of the artists who made them, we know they lived by farming, hunting and
gathering. They employed stone age tools and were technically adept.
And the figures themselves? Perhaps they represented the ancestors
or heroes or gods or goddesses from some spirit world. We only know
that after 9,000 years, their haunting faces, like archetypal figures from
our collective past, have the power to speak to us still.
There are ancient Hebrew texts (Hekhaloth, Merkabah, Book of Enoch, etc.)
which describe Qabalistic mysticism of the Riders in the Chariot.
They describe journeys to heavenly palaces and the visions experienced
there. They describe Seven Heavens with seven minor heavens within
Part of the Merkabah vision is the use of certain symbols to enter various
spiritual or psychological levels, much like the Egyptian and Tibetan Book
of the Dead. They describe how to put any visionary experience to
the test. Apart from the experience of Enoch, the next most important
experience allotted to Merkabah is the Vision of Ezekiel.
A more modern viewpoint would term this an exploration of Inner Space.
The Qabalist uses special meditational techniques to go through a series
of projection working where his visionary expressions accord with his teachings.
These archetypes vary from school to school, but are consistent with archetypal
similarities. Merkabah relates to both ascent and descent which means
rising and climbing down the Tree of Life.
UFO are an endlessly fascinating speculation. Their popularity is
second only to sex on the Internet. Sex, death, religions, and now
UFOs? Arguments about the debate over God's existence evoke a sense
of wonder and mystery. They cannot be accounted for except on the
theistic hypothesis. The order and regularity of the world, as well
as human moral awareness, point to God as a possible explanation.
But the arguments--all of them--only point, they do not coerce.
The theistic arguments are nonetheless significant. The ontological
argument, in particular, is useful because it clarifies some of the logical
implications of the concept of God. This is especially important
in view of the suggestions of modern researchers, such Erich Von Daniken
and Zecharia Sitchin, who allege that earth visited by a race of nonterrestrial
supermen who were viewed by ancient humans as gods.
Though evidence to support this view is open to disput, it is possible
the earth has been visited in the sense that such a claim is not logically
contradictory. It is possible that ancient people would attribute
divinity to beings who exhibited extraordinary power.
But our ontological argument shows that there can be no confusing the concept
of God with the idea of spacemen from another planet. God is not
the greatest being eve encountered by humans; God is not even the greatest
being of which human thinking has formed the idea. God is a being
than which nothing greater can be conceived, eternal and necessary, omnipotent
and unlimited in knowledge. This is a vastly different concept than
that of superhuman beings armed with advanced technology visiting the earth
But would any arguments we could investigate convince a skeptic that God
or UFOs exist? Probably not. If someone could construct an
absolutely undeniable proff that Gods exists, it would be a blow to the
deepest mystery of faith. Faith is only possible where there
is room for doubt, leaving open the possibility of faith. This brings
up another area of philsophical investigation--the relationship between
faith and reason, belief and falsification, self-deception, subjectivity
and will in belief.
ABDUCTEES DREAM OF MUTANT HYBRIDIZATION
24 x 36, 1994
Trapped in the cocoon-like sarcophagus, terror grips our group of abductees
whose very souls they feear are being sucked from them. Alien sex,
DNA experiments, etc. sounds like an episode from the X-Files--or every
other report by abductees themselves.
In my book LOST IN TRANSLATION (see UFO Phenomenon, in my Collected
Works), I explore many of the psychological mechanisms of the alleged
abductee experience. It treats the UFO phenomenon as an informational
virus. It is a report on the nature of consciousness, perception,
the malleability of memory, dreams, neuroscience, and the ET phenomenon.
Despite the true essence of any alleged alien manifestation, this notion
functions as an informational virus which is a psychosocial reality.
Permeating the living reality of our culture are certain contagious notions
which have the ability to influence the way we think about the nature of
ourselves and Reality. Jung described the concept of psychic contagion
by certain archetypal forces inherent in the human psyche, which manifest
in our spiritual lives and belief systems. He spoke of both consciou
and unconscious contamination.
Notions like this range from simple superstitions to scientific concepts,
to urban myths. Notions sweep through our culture and insinuate themselves
within its fabric, as fads, whether they are "real" or not. Ana analysis
of these notions is useful in distinguishing a common human phenomenon
from any potential "alien influence" which may be exerted on us from an
"Alien invasion" is a powerful root metaphor for penetration by forces
we perceive as originating outside of ourselves. A contagious notion
like this can contaminate our conscious and subconscious life, much like
a computer virus moves through an operating system creating wormholes in
the informational net, destroying the old order and leaving fragmentation
and disintegration in its wake. Like some weird parody of "The Alien"
this notion eats at us from the inside out. The Trickster Archetype,
and its personal component the Shadow are at the root of this Mystery.
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?
We have yet to answer Asimov's primal question. But here sexy robots,
tumbling androids, and wetware make up the incubatory fantasies of a mankind
fascinated with the prospect of artificial intelligence. Perhaps
someday we can ask the question, "Does she do the Vulcan mind-meld on the
Who are we to know what these silicon-based entities might at some time
imagine in their own half-baked brain matter? This is just another
stop in our intergalactic journey to the fringes of human consciousness,
where we project our own hopes and dreams for the not-so-certain future.
Perhaps they will become our bodies, perhaps their bodies will be partially
human, perhaps those prospects will be hideous to them. Imagine being
invaded by a wet-ware creature and made a symbiotic servant. But
"live" and evolve they will, in their own sense of Time, and by their own
evolutionary mandates. Shall we start the dating service?
"If you're not recycling, you're throwing it
Shamans, or primal medicine men, perform many services for the community.
They talk to spirits, influence the course of worldly events, divine the
identity of criminals, foretell the future, call up the dead, etc.
This is done through a variety of techniques involving fasting, drumming,
singing, storeytelling, self-flagellation, special breathing, and psychotropic
drugs used to explore the spirit world or metaphysical realms.
Shamans are born, not made; they have a particular psychology. From
birth, they usually display odd behavior, show very strange, often incurable
diseases and act somewhat insane. He (or she) often becomes a scapegoat,
an outcast or is looked upon as an outsider.
From this a myth develops around this wounded person called "the myth of
the wounded healer." This wounded healer script serarates the shaman
from other metaphysical paths. From very early childhood the shaman
is concerned with the idea of being wounded, and thus carries this script
into adulthood where he acts to heal himself, then others around him.
The shaman is often self-healed; he or she "discovers" eclectic methods
which work to alter his psychology and body - which he then uses on others.
Usually the shaman combines this eclectic mix of methods with tradition
passed from shaman to shaman. In this sense, while all the shamans
in a tribe may make a "dream bundle," the content of each bundle may or
may not vary from shaman to shaman.
After many generations of this sort of activity, complicated systems of
metaphysics develop. They are usually not written down, and if passed
on to others, they are given orally and in secret. The shamanic
myth of the sounded healer usually confers the personal power of charismatic
The shamanic path is also associated with a metaphysical paradigm or style
of perception called animism, which holds that all physical objects are
alive and conscious. And certain objects within the nvironment have
special significance or connection to the shaman himself.
Shamanism concerns itself with survival pure and simple. The shaman
helps primal man to understand--and control--his environment: the weather,
animals of prey, other hostile tribes, or sickness and death. From
his own suffering andd redemption, the shaman wields intense charisma and
acts as a mediator between the world of the spirit and the mundane.
Today, shamanism helps us reduce the gap between ourselves and our environment,
reintroducing us to Mother Earth, and rebuilding our fundamental relationship
with our planet.
THE UNBROKEN LINK
As Mircea Eliade pointed our in Shamanism, the archetypal pattern of shamanic
initiation invarialy combines descent into the underworld with ascent into
the heavens. And the accomplishment of this dual feat both in rituals
and in the dreams is the necessary precondition of shamanism: "He
who has undergone them has transcended the secular condition of humanity";
that is, he has become holy, sacred, numinous through his encounter amanic
initiation invariably combines descent to the underworld with ascent into
the heavens. And the accomplishment of this dual feat both in rituals
and in the dreams is the necessary precondition of shamanism: "with
the healer archetype in him or herself and the subsequent ability to constellate
it for others.
The charismatic power of the shaman depends not only on his ability to
fall into a trance but on his ability to do it at will - i.e. he is not
the victim of the trance but its master. He controls it. He
has the art of lucid trancing, perfecting the skill of voluntary entry
into the liminal state.
He imparts to all those who encounter him "that sense of an immortal
inhabitant within the individual which is announced in every mystical tradition...which
[itself] neither dies nor is born, but simply passes back and forth, as
it were through a veil, appearing in bodies and departing." (Campbell,
This phenomenon was well understood by the Vedantic tradition, which is
the psychology of the perennial philosophy: it defined three states of
consciousnes - waking, sleeping, and dreaming - and a fourth state which
transcends and incorporates them all. Could it be that the shaman
is the virtuoso of the fourth state?
The survival of cultures, as well as genes, dictates that each generation
must integrate old wisdom with new knowledge. This was the function
of myths, ritual, initiation rites, and religion, as it still is the function
of dreams. Myth provides a people with its unifying metaphor, its
narrative sense of ownig a place in the story of creation. Too readily
we overlook the simple truth that we are here as temporary guests of our
Mother Nature and father Spirit. Mythic consciousness is informed
with the intuitive wisdom of the dreaming mind, the visionary self, as
well as the factual knowledge of rational awareness.
Richard Dawkins has proposed the concept of the "meme" as a unit of culture,
spread by imitation, the cultural analogue of genes. It is a metaphor
for the ideas, myths, customs, works of art and science that are passed
along in human cultures as unitary and competing entities, a cognitive
virus. Selfish memes, like selfish genes, are interested in their
own perpetuation and may guide natural selections for bigger brains, language,
religion, sexual selection, altruism, urbanization, etc. Memetic
evolution, retransmitting and self-propogating ideas, is only made possible
by the human ability to imitate.
THE FRUITFUL DARKNESS
IN THE DREAMTIME
YOU ARE HERE: THE EGO HAS LANDED
Under Synergetic Construction
File created 1/7/2000
Last Updated 1/31/2000