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Enshrined in the Mandelbrot Set, embedded in a field of branching fractals, Garab Dorje oversees the Gaia Mythos. Visualized in this way, the mythical Guru calls to mind the Aeon Sophia who found Herself embedded, like a butterfly in amber, in the dense atomic fields of the cosmos outside the Pleroma. The emanation of Sophia into the human heart is called in Buddhism the Prajnaparamita.

Introduction to the Commentaries

In Dzogchen, Garab Dorje is the first human teacher of the quintessential view of intrinsic self-originating Awareness (Rigpa in Tibetan, comparable to Pronoia in Gnosticism). In the imaginal reworking of the Fallen Goddess scenario into the Gaia Mythos, Garab Dorje could be considered as an overseeing presence, a sublime guardian of the mythopoetic process. The project mascot, if you will.

Dozgchen teaches that all subjective states of mind, and all material phenomena alike, arise from the self-originating Awareness. In a parallel manner, Gnostics taught how the Pronoia of the Originator expands into the world-generating activity of the Aeons, including the Aeon Sophia, who becomes the Earth Goddess. The Prajna Paramita Hrdaya of Buddhism, "the supreme insight-generating wisdom of the heart," is identical to the Sophia principle, the insemination of Gnosis in humanity. To evolve our precious wisdom endowment, it helps to see how it is reflected in our experience of the natural world.

The ultimate framework of nature is the universe at large, consisting of billions of galaxies. Both Gnosis and Buddhism teach us to be mindful that when we picture events on the cosmic scale, we are looking into our own minds. The correlation between mind and cosmos is more intimate and deeply involving in Gnosis than in Buddhism, however, because Gnostics used their visionary powers to trace the world-generating miracle down into the realm of nature, into the very physics of the biosphere. Thus they were able to discern the conditions that pertain specifically to our world-system. Guided by the cosmic insight of Gnostic seers, we can co-evolve with Gaia and the myriad species.

The Commentaries for Part One of the Gaia Mythos recount the drama of the Fallen Goddess with frequent allusions to astrophysics and the structure of our galaxy as it is known today. The notes provided here are not essential to getting the story, for the story stands by itself. But they may be helpful in our efforts to comprehend how the Dreaming of the Goddess Sophia produced and sustains our world.

As children of Gaia we still have a lot to learn about "the Hostess with the Mostess." But learning is not merely a process of accumulating facts, amassing content, and storing mental material. More essentially, learning involves attuning heart and mind to whatever is truly worth knowing. All that we love to know individually weaves together into a vast tissue of wisdom, the narrative of our species. It is fascinating to see where individual predelictions for learning converge, and where they diverge... The process of learning does not impede or cancel the mindfulness by which we rest in the emptiness of knowing. It as if the deepest learning really involves just watching how we learn and unlearn.

As Garab Dorje watches, seated in the Mandelbrot Set in a sea of exquisite fractal flame.

In Gnosis as in Dozgchen, we innately discover what we seek to know through an outer quest for knowledge. The teachings of Gnosis can provide the "disinhibiting instructions," (as Philip K. Dick called them) by which we access the core teaching that lives in each of us, heart-bound and mind-perfect. Learning is a process, like breathing, sleeping, eating or playing. But the process remains superficial unless we are deeply affected by what we learn, and can learn. In A Mantis Carol, a rendition of the creation myth of the San Bushman of the Kalahari, Laurens van der Post wrote:

    We all know more than we allow ourselves to know because of a certain cowardice in face of the inexpressible, and fear of accepting its effect on us as guide to the nature of its reality.
How wonderful to realize we can be guided into Gaia's experience by accepting the way She affects us! The most direct way to be affected by the cosmos is to practice presence, mindful of the unity of emptiness and compassion. Tibetan Buddhism presents lucid teachings on this practice. Gnosticism presents a parallel teaching on the intrinsic self-originating Awareness. Here the main practice is to attain the melt-point of pure beholding by surrender to the supernatural aspect of nature, Beauty. This is done in the presence of the natural world, simply beholding the miracle of the planet we inhabit, but it can also be done through an imaginal process as we learn to see Gaia's world on Her own terms. The notes on the Gaia Mythos are intended to foster and guide our imaginal life.

Sophia's experience is described in story form in the Mythos, and the purpose of the story is to generate empathy for the Goddess, as stories do. The Commentaries explain the background of the Mythos and clarify certain terms, but also, beyond that, they elucidate the secret dimensions of Her story.

If you are the dreamer, I am what you dream.
But when you want to wake, I am your wish,
and I grow strong with all magnificence
and turn myself into a star's vast silence
above the strange and distant city, Time.

Rainer Maria Rilke, "I Am, Oh Anxious One"
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

jll: Andalucia, October 2004

(Return to the Story)

Extrapolating the Gaia Mythos

A true myth lives and grows like an organism. As the story of the Goddess Sophia unfolds, the themes informing it extrapolate in various directions. To explore these themes, the Commentaries interweave with other materials in the site. Special attention is given to the dynamics of Gaia's Dreaming and the perplexing issue of deviation due to our cosmic cousins, the Archons.
Links in this cartouche lead directly to these complementary materials.

Coco de Mer, Part One, explains how our world came about through an anomaly in the cosmic order and indicates our role in Gaia's threefold Dreaming of the biosphere, distinct from the rest of the planetary system.

Coco de Mer, Part Two, parallel to the Commentaries on Episodes 9 through 11, highlights the importance of our Erotic connection to Gaia.

Alien Dreaming presents an in-depth look at the origin and nature of the Archons, closely following Gnostic materials.

How We Are Deviated (in development) explains in detail Gnostic teachings on the motives and methods of the Archons.

The Alien Hypothesis (forthcoming) will summarize seven current theories on ET/UFO phenomenon and introduce an eighth, based on the Gnostic view of the Archons.

learning to evolve

The Commentaries

Prelude: Hidden Gods

dark sea of awareness A term borrowed from Carlos Castaneda, indicating the mysterious presence of awareness in the universe at large. See The Active Side of Infinity, p. 189.

Generators My translation of the Greek Aeon (pronounced A-ON), god, emanation, time-cycle, generative power. Sophia is an Aeon, one of the gods in a congregation called the Pleroma (see below).

After much reflection, I am convinced that Generator is the modern, theologically neutral term best suited to convey the meaning of Aeon as Gnostics understood it. Generators are the primal gods of Asian emanation theory. They are immortal powers, yet not always active. In latent periods they withdraw and become as if non-existent. They resemble the numinous deific emanations of Buddhism (Dharmakaya entities, etc), but possess world-shaping powers not recognized in Buddhist metaphysics. The Buddhist who is asked, If some kind of gods do not create the worlds, what does? would reply, Karma creates the worlds. Of course, it would have to be quite a sophisticated Buddhist giving this response. (See John Myrdhin Reynolds, Self-Liberation Through Seeing in Naked Awareness, Appendix I.)

Aeon also means time cycle, for it is understood that Generators each have an allotted time-span in which to manifest. They emanate the myriad worlds on a time-release principle. The term Eon (pronounced E-ON) refers to a period of Aeonic emanation. Below I suggest that Sophias life-cycle may be calculated in Geons, long epochs of earth-time. The Gaia Mythos comprises 1000 Geons. (Pronounced Jee-ON.)

Originator Like Hindu metaphysics, Gnostic emanation cosmology is both monotheistic and polytheistic. The single and supreme deity is called the ProPater, Fore-Father, in Gnostic codices. The Originator is comparable to the Dreaming God, Vishnu, whose all-pervading gaze and consummate love are present behind all masks, all characters in the Dreamtime, including gods and goddesses by the busload. Pagan religion was innately tolerant because it preserved a universal recognition of the multiplicity of gods manifesting from a single source, and never imposed the supremacy of any one god.

Strictly speaking, the Abrahamic religions are not monotheistic that is, insisting that only one God exists but henotheistic. Old Testament Henotheism is the belief in the supremacy of one god above others. The enactment of this belief necessitates intolerance. Hence Deuteronomy 12: 2-3:

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree; And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their idols with fire; and ye shall hew down the carved images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.


The Mosaic command, Thou shalt hold no other gods before me, implies that there are other gods, competing deities who who must be suppressed. The monotheistic god can be defined as the one that demands supremacy over other gods and, finally, total exclusivity. The devotees of Pagan religious cults were free to worship polymorphous forms of the same deities, all subsumed in the same divine presence which they held to be grounded in nature, though not limited exclusively to the terrestrial realm, because nature also includes the outer cosmos beyond the boundaries of Earth.

Without the monistically based, polymorphous view of divine beings, it is impossible to develop any kind of coherent creation mythos. Hence the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are lacking in cosmology.

deity, divinity Regarding capitalization, my preference is to avoid it as much as possible throughout the Mythos. Capitalization tends to reinforce the assumption of substance, an issue addressed elsewhere in these Commentaries. Hence, I will leave the two words, deity and divinity, in lower case. Generator and Originator are special terms that set up the metaphysical perspective and as such ought to be highlighted. They refer to ultimate principles rather than theological entities. Goddess, in reference to Sophia and otherwise, will be capitalized to balance out the long-standing convention of capitalizing the male variant, God.

a Goddess who fell from heaven Normally, Aeons emanate the conditions that produce worlds but they do not physically, dynamically engage in the worlds so produced. Due to a cosmic anomaly, the Aeon Sophia impetuously surpasses cosmic boundaries and falls to earth. More precisely, this Aeon becomes the indwelling divinity of the Earth. No other Aeon in the company of cosmic gods is comparably involved in our sensorial world. Earthside mythologies tell no other story of such involvement, although other cases are possible, given the infinity of worlds.

The exceptional situation of Sophia was of supreme interest to Gnostics. The fall of the Goddess was in fact the central motif in their complex and far-reaching cosmology. This event had some most particular consequences. A line in the Gospel of Philip alludes to them in this way, The world-system we inhabit came about due to an anomaly. (Nag Hammadi Codex, abbreviated NHC, II, 3.75.) But the line is usually translated, The world came about through a mistake. This translation slurs the allusion to the violation of cosmic order perpetrated by Sophia, and leaves one thinking that Gnostics must have rejected this world, the planet earth, as an inferior and flawed object. On the contrary, they revered the Earth as a dwelling of Wisdom, the Goddess Sophia. Worship of the Magna Mater (Great Mother) was the central and uniting theme of the Pagan Mysteries in which Gnostics served as teachers and guides.

Gnostic recognition of Sophias indwelling of the Earth was also reflected in the mystical tradition of Jewish wisdom literature, such as the hauntingly beautiful Odes of Solomon. To promote Judeo-Christian doctrines, the Sophianic elements of wisdom literature were veiled and suppressed, if not totally eradicated. For an account of theological editing, see Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, and Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess, especially Chapter 12, The Hidden Goddess in the Old Testament.

Although Gnostic materials contain the most dramatic account of a Goddess who fell from heaven and became transformed into the Earth, this story is not limited to Gnostic-Pagan sources. It also occurs in indigenous traditions. One example, among a dozen or so that might be cited, comes from the Thompson Indians of the Pacific Northwest:

At first Kujum-Chantu, the earth, was like a human being, a woman with a head, and arms and legs, and an enormous belly. The original humans lived on the surface of her belly [The legend recounts how the Old One] transformed the sky woman into the present earth. Her hair became the trees and grass; her flesh, the clay; her bones, the rocks; and her blood, the springs of water. (Charles H. Long, Alpha: The Myths of Creation, p. 36-7.)

In this account the "Old One" would be equivalent to the Gnotic Originator. As the story unfolds we will see how Gnostics described a similar metamorphosis of Sophia into Gaia, the Earth Goddess.

Episode 1: A Figure Like a Smoke-Ring

(Return to story)

white darkness Filmmaker and artist Maya Deren was one of the few white people ever allowed to learn possession in the Voodoo cults of Haiti. Her riveting description of Voodoo trance-dance is a unique account of first-hand experience of ecstatic ego-transcendence. (Maya Deren, The Voodoo Gods, Saint Albans, 1975, cited in Holger Kalweit, Shamans, Healers, and Medicine Men, p. 69ff.)

Deren uses the term white darkness to describe the entrancing force that comes over her, rising from the earth directly into her body, its whiteness a glory, and its darkness, terror. This extraordinary effect depends on self-surrender and a degree of depersonalization, although an observing part of the ego is still present. Kalweit comments: White is sublimity, darkness is terror. They are unified at the climax of the trance. In this emptiness there is oblivion; here the body moves in the most sublime fashion. (p. 72)

Likewise, in the zone of the Generators there is an emptiness filled with powers that move in the most sublime fashion, entranced gods, divine dancing. The term white darkness is paradoxical, but paradox is often required to point to non-ordinary reality.



A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way, published by 1927, was the work of E. E. Barnard [1857 - 1923], a founding father of modern astronomy. This collection of immaculate black-and-white photos "laid the foundation for understanding the true nature of dark nebulae." (Michael E. Bakich, "Barnard's Milky Way," in Astronomy, August 2004.) Barnard's photo of the North American Nebula, taken on September 4, 1905, illustrates what astronomers call "dark nebulosity" and what I am here calling "white darkness," after Maya Deren. Is the phenomenon seen here the result of white light splattered on a black background, or blackness emerging from a white background? At first it seems we are looking at white powder splatted on black velvet, but the more one looks, the more difficult it is to determine what actually is the background.

hollowed-out form that turns into all forms Technically, a torus, a donut shape. One attribute of the torus is that the inner face that defines the hole of the donut is uniform with its outer face, the outer edge of the donut. These two boundaries comprise one surface, in the same way that the two sides of paper in a Moebius strip are continuous. The torus is the paramount model of emanation, the form from which all other forms can be derived by topological conversion. The adjective is toroid.

Lila, divine play The Sanskrit root, li- means spread, flow. Lila itself means play, enchantment, charm. (It is perhaps noteworthy that charm is an attribute of elementary particles in modern physics. No such particles are named in the Gaia Mythos, of course.) In Hinduism divine play is considered to be the main activity of the gods. The idea that human beings fulfil their potential most completely in play has been developed by Joseph Chilton Pearce, among others. Schiller wrote: We are only wholly human when we play. And he might have added, closest to being divine.

The concept of play is central to Asian metaphysics. Alan Watts neatly sums up the mystico-ludic view:

    The game of lila of the Self is, rhythmically and regularly, to forget itself in the creative illusion (maya) that it is all these separate beings, things and events which we call the cosmos, in such a way that in and as each thing it seems to be that one only. When the game has run its course, the Self awakens to its original identity. (Beyond Theology, 179-8)

This is a tight paraphrase of Vedantic philosophy, with a typical emphasis on the transcendent Self, but in Tantric teachings the game is viewed rather differently. The assertion of playfulness is common to both views, however. We cannot realize what the cosmos really is if we take it too seriously. In fact, the word delusion comes from Latin de-, away, from, and ludere, to play. This derivation suggests that if you cant play with an idea or belief or experience, it may be delusional. Whatever leads us away from playfulness is a delusion.

the absolute, all-sustaining Love of the Originator The saying God is love is not unique to Christianity. If this equation is correct, and the command to love God is followed keeping it in mind, then we would be called to love love. Or love what love does.

Some Gnostic texts assert the all-sustaining love of the Propater, the Forefather or primal parent, but Europan cosmologies in general tend to use Eros and its cognates to describe the supreme ground state of cosmic emanation. Eros is not love, however. It is a binding power that allows different things, entities and processes, to pass through each other and still remain identifiable as they are. It is the magic glue of metamorphic flux, the cohesive power in the melting of all things into other things. Pagan religion emphasized that Eros, not love, pervades the cosmos. In Orphic myth, for instance, the sensory world is produced from the Cosmic Egg by the power of the first principle, Eros Protogonos. The consistent translation of the Greek word eros for love (in the Platonic dialogues, for instance) has been gravely misleading.

The manner in which the love of superhuman creative gods could operate in human reality is, of course, part of the ongoing and, to some extent, unfathomable mystery of human reality. Faith makes claims about how God loves us, and those who seize ardently on such claims claim to have special experiences that confirm their truth, but practical mysticism freely explores the interactive territory where gods and humans affect each other.

The all-sustaining love of the Originator is a matter of belief to some people, and a subject for experimentation to others.

spiral variations The primordial vortex form, the torus, contorts into the mass-scale forms now known to exist in billions of variations throughout the universe if the graphic evidence presented by the Hubble Space Telescope is to be believed. Working in the 1930s at Mount Wilson in California, Edwin Hubble was the first modern astronomer to realize that the solar system is situated in an island galaxy floating in cosmic space with countless other galaxies. Hubble proposed a system for classification of galaxies including such variants as perfect spirals, barred spirals, ellipticals and irregulars.

Spiral galaxy M74 is a four-armed lenticular spiral, similar to the Milky Way Galaxy, the home galaxy we inhabit.

coal-black plasma Currently known as dark matter, and believed to comprise as much as 95 percent of the mass in the universe. Hence, hidden mass, possessed of extremely occult properties. Originally proposed as an hypothesis to explain certain anomalies in cosmic calculations, the idea of dark mass introduced more anomalies. Astrophysicists continually exchange papers in arcane debates about whether or not dark matter exists, if it has the properties attributed to it, if it exudes from black holes or gets sucked into them, and so forth.

Normally, dark matter is not described as a plasma state. That is my twist. I would prefer to use "colloidal state" or just "colloid," but these are awkward terms. I believe that dark mass is a colloidal solution, but the words colloid and colloidal are rather unpoetic. .

In the Egyptian Mysteries black mass was known as Osirian Light. The Hermetic treatise Kore Kosmou, Virgin of the World, says that the grade of Kamephis was represented in the mystery-cult [of Osiris] by the arch-hierophant who presided at the degree called the Dark Mystery or Black Rite, in which black light was encountered. (G. R. S. Mead, Thrice Greatest Hermes, Vol. III,p. 93) Experience in altered states reveals three primary types of light: atmospheric, organic and super-organic. Organic light is creamy white, like a visible solution of opal or alabaster. It permeates all types of mass and animates organic matter. Black Osirian Light is super-organic. It does not produce organic states but generates the conditions for the projection and withdrawal of such states. Initiates who could encounter and sustain awareness of all three kinds of light were called trismegistos, thrice-great. Hence the title Thrice-Greatest Hermes.

In Mesoamerican shamanic rites black mass was represented by the obsidian smoking mirror of the sorcerer, Tezcalipoca, Humming bird on the left, so called because when perception of black light arises, a thunderous hum is heard on the left side of the head.

Atum World, the Galaxy Here I borrow lightly from Egyptian mythology. Atum is a name derived from a root meaning both not to be and to be complete. This deity is said to have existed inside the cosmic abyss, Nun, and to have given form to a manifest world. Later identified with the sun, Atum properly belongs to the galactic dimension. The Atum world is the four-armed spiral galaxy in which the sun is located.

Astronomers capitalize Galaxy in reference to our home galaxy: that is, the galaxy in which the sun and planets are located. This is also called the Milky Way Galaxy. What we see in the luminous, fine-grained band of light called the Milky Way is, however, only about 3 percent of the entire Galaxy. We merely see a small cross-section of one of the galactic limbs, viewed from within where the sun is embedded. The word galaxy comes from the Greek galactos, milk. Beyond the Milky Way are billions of other galaxies. Their totality is called the Universe, or, if you prefer, Multiverse.

Amun Another Egyptian borrowing. If the manifest form of the four-armed Galaxy we inhabit may be equated with Atum, the core may be equated with Amun, the Hidden One. This is an Egyptian sky deity of ancient provenance. At Thebes (Luxor) in Upper Egypt, Amun was associated with Mut, the vulture goddess, and Hathor, the Egyptian Eve. Both of these Goddesses may be regarded as close cognates of the Gnostic Sophia.

I suspect that the name Amon was used by Egyptian astronomers in reference to the core of the Galaxy, as distinguished from its spiral arms. Although the core is an enormous oval of radiant plasma, the raw matter of stars, it does not flood the galactic limbs with inconceivable brightness. Modern astronomers explain that huge fields of cosmic dust veil the radiance of the galactic core from our view. Gnostics would say that the Hidden One veils itself so that it does not overwhelm the worlds it emanates. Self-veiling of the primordial deity or principle is a concept central to Tantric cosmology, a branch of Asian metaphysics that exhibits many parallels with Gnostic teachings.

mothering cohesion In What is Life?, Lynn Margulis repeatedly answers the question stated in the books title. Since no single answer is sufficient, and any one taken alone can be misleading, she offers a rephrased answer at the end of each chapter. Concluding Chapter 4 she writes: Life is the representation, the presencing of past chemistries, a past environment of the early Earth that, because of life, remains on the modern Earth. It is the watery, membrane-bound encapsulation of space-time. (P. 86, italics added.)

Margulis pioneering work in cytoplasmic genetics established that both nuclear and non-nuclear forms of life are only possible due to a mysterious encapsulating action, the mothering cohesion of the cosmos. In the microcosmos as in the macrocosmos, life depends on an enclosing membrane. In some manner, the initial plasma states of the universe are alive, just as living protoplasm is, but for life to sustain itself it must be self-bounding. Life depends on limits, but porous limits. Boundaries have to be pervious for symbiosis to occur (in other words, for Erotic bonding, as suggested above: the absolute, all-sustaining love of the Originator.) The laws articulated by Margulis for the microcosmic realms apply also at the galactic level. (See ahead, Episode 6: The Sacred Boundary Dance.)

The visualization of a galaxy as a medusa jellyfish can be helpful in comprehending the watery, membrane-bound encapsulation of space-time.

In nebulae, molecular clouds The microcosmos is populated with millions of distinct life-forms, but relatively few forms persist in the universe at large. Viewed on the grand scale, the principle objects of astrophysical scrutiny are just nine: individual and double stars, novae and supernovae (exploding stars), globular clusters of stars, open clusters, nebulae of the diffuse and planetary types, and, encompassing all these forms, galaxies in the variations classified by Edwin Hubble. Stars, often grouped in nurseries of open clusters, are thought to be born in nebulae, massive gas clouds that hang like spectral blotches in the galactic limbs. Globular clusters tend to occur in haloes off the plane of the limbs. Between the galaxies are vast empty spaces where invisible dust fields are thought to float.

The most prominent nebula seen from earth lies in the constellation of Orion, the Hunter. It appears as a blotch of orchid and flushed pink color below and to the left of the three unmistakable stars that define the belt of Orion. Just visible to the naked eye, it can more easily be observed with a set of high-powered binoculars. Astronomers now know that the Orion Nebula, M42, is part of a much bigger cloud of gas, called a giant molecular cloud, which covers almost all of the constellation of Orion on the night sky. Such giant molecular clouds are held together by gravity and can be regarded as single entities, the most massive single entities in our Galaxy, with a mass up to ten million times the mass of the Sun and a diameter of between 47 and 77 parsecs (150 and 250 light years). (John Gribbin, Space, Our Final Frontier, p. 41)



A close-up of the molecular cloud in Orion (from Gribbin, p. 31) shows the characteristic smoky pink flush with obscure figures of light looming above it. Astronomers do not regard such a cloud as harboring organic compounds, so the notion of the Anthropos, the template for the human species, floating out there like a dewy membrane is preposterous and unacceptable — for the moment. Rather, modern scientists believe that nebulae are loaded with inorganic elements that provide the basis, the infrastructure, for organic matter. The mystery of how organic life can arise from inorganic bases is just that — a mystery. Technically, this is called abiogenesis, "the development of living organisms from non-living matter, as in the supposed origin of life on Earth." (Oxford Dictionary of Earth Sciences) Scientists today are unable either to validate abogenesis or to argue it down.

Some experts take a different view of how organic life developed, however. Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe regard prestellar molecular clouds, such as those of the Orion Nebula, as the most natural cosmic cradles and believe that processes occurring in such clouds lead to the commencement of dispersal of biological activity in the Galaxy. (Lyall Watson, Lifetide, p. 36.) The key word in this sentence is commencement. While most astronomers believe that biological processes arise on planets circulating around stars born in nebulae like M42, after the planets are provided with precise conditions that favor life, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe maintain that biological life commences in the molecular clouds. The forms it assumes are minute spores, units of nucleic acid called propagules, that contain sections of the genetic code. Lynn Margulis has also suggested that molecular life in the form of propagules may exist at large in the cosmos.


Since life appears on planets circling suns that originate in nebulae, nebulae may be considered as the vaporous wombs of organic life in its primordial rudiments. In the Gaia Mythos the Orion Nebula is the niche of a template of nucleic acid of special interest to the Aeon Sophia. In fact, Her fascination with this template is what leads to Her fabled plunge from the realm of the celestial gods. (See ahead: Episode 8.)

Around one star nested in the third arm of the Galaxy According to state-of-the-art mapping techniques developed since the 1970s, our solar system and its attendant planets is located in the third arm counting outwards from the core of the Galaxy. These arms or limbs are named after constellations visible from the limited sphere of observation on earth: the Centaurus arm, closest to the galactic core, then the Archer arm, then the Orion arm, and at the outermost limits of the Galaxy, the Perseus arm. The name Orion thus applies in two ways. It refers to the third arm of the home Galaxy, and to the most prominent star pattern in that arm (seen from our limited viewpoint), the constellation of Orion, the Hunter.

The unusual fate of the Aeon Sophia is intimately connected with the cosmic terrain of the third arm of the Galaxy, and especially with the Great Nebula in Orion, as already noted.

Her reckless attraction In Gnostic texts the Greek word enthymesis refers to the reckless passion of the Aeon Sophia. In pre-classical Greek religion, thymos was both the chest cavity and a force that occupies it, a mix of tender empathy and wanton passion. Desire is the usual translation of enthymesis.

The Aeon Sophia is a turbulent current, one could say, with a particular way of dancing, a wild and rapturous style. Such rapturous force belongs to all the gods, of course, but with Sophia it tends to run out of control and exceed cosmic limits. Her enthymesis is a passion to engage in the unknown, without the restraint, the respect for boundaries, typical of other deities. For this tendency Sophia was called Prunikos, impetuous, outrageous. Polemics of the Church fathers directed against Gnostics accusations of perversity because they so highly revered a perverted deity. To Irenaeus Sophia was an orgiastic deity subject to prurient excitation. (Against Heresies, I, 17). Unfortunately, most of the accounts of Sophia's fall from the Pleroma come from the polemics directed against Gnostics. This crucial episode of the Sophia Mythos is largely preserved in adversarial reports. Nevertheless, with sufficient care the main lines of the original scenario can be reconstructed.

In Gnostic teachings, considered by early Christians as nothing more than a pretext for scandalous Pagan orgies, Sophia Prunikos is the whorish divinity who consorts wantonly with lesser forces, elemental powers lurking in fields of dark matter. In her fallen state, the Goddess becomes a sluice for vast churnings of elementary matter. The Gnostic designation Prunikos arose from human empathy for the chutzpah of a superhuman entity and contained no hint of moral condemnation. It was a term of reverence, a poetic expression inspired by direct mystical experience of the wild, wanton energies of Sophia.


Episode 2: Where Aeons Dream

(story)

Aeons These are the primal gods of Gnostic cosmology. They may be called Generators, as already noted. Why then call them Aeons if Aeon translates so well as Generator? First, because the term Aeon has a ritual and reverential value. We address Gaia in her preterrestrial life as the Aeon Sophia. Second, because Aeons are best conceived as emanating gods who depend on pre-set conditions for emanation, conditions produced by the Generators. Hence Aeons are Generators involved in a phase reduction, a stepping-down process.

I feel compelled to establish at the outset of the Mythos that I am not setting up the Aeons in Eurocentric categories of substance, typical of the Platonic tradition. I am not even calling the Aeons archetypes, the term introduced by C. G. Jung that points toward the way out of Platonic dualism but does not take us out. The Aeon is a process, not a substance, a patterned event, not a fixed identity. The Aeon is not a Platonic Eidos, the perfect substance-model transcendentally remote from its inferior shadow-projection in the sensorial world. There is a dualism in Gnostic cosmology, but not of the ideal-real category we inherit from Greek rationalism. Rather, it is Asian-style participatory dualism of one thing revealed to itself through another, one event transpiring through another. It is the duality of dynamic rapport, Eros in action. The Gnostic Aeons usually act in pairs, Erotically bonded.

Although they are not substantial entities Aeons can be characterized as having recognizable marks of identity, even of personality. This is consistent with indigenous views on the mysterious powers in the world, mana, wakonda, orenda, etc. Among the Blackfeet tribes of Montana, for instance,

The Sun is recognized to be both an other-than-human person and the ultimate animating life principle: this ontological position is one of becoming rather than stasis, and therefore is significant for environmental ethics. Moreover, it is not the Sun as a static being in the world (as the Western tradition views it) to which the Blackfeet pray, but to a being who is in the world as a person, who is both present and in process (Dolores LaChapelle, Sacred Land, Sacred Sex, Rapture of the Deep, citing Jay Vest, p. 124)



In short, personal and human-like traits such as I attribute to Sophia and other Aeons, can be so attributed because these traits, although they appear in human experience, are not limited to it, and not unique to humanity. The pathetic fallacy is the attribution of human pathos to nature, but the assumption that humans and nature share common types of feeling does not fall under this appellation. That nature can feel as we do is an animistic premise, unabashedly demonstrated in the Mythos.

 



Galactic Core: "Reefs of Aeonic Dreaming"

To say that Sophia suffers grief and remorse is not an anthropomorphic projection of human feeling upon an imagined divine entity. It is merely a way of indicating that all we can feel as beings limited by the human condition is not limited to our experience but belongs to the larger frame of the cosmos considered as a living, sentient, conscious organism. To say that gravity feels the thrill of the plunge is, in some minds, to attribute to a blind law of nature emotions that only occur in sentient creatures such as us. This objection will certainly be raised. But I submit that we do not know what gravity feels, and to deny that it does feel something merely blocks the investigation. Where there is force, there is feeling. Where there is relationship, pattern, there is awareness, one thing or action revealing itself through another. These are the laws of organic pathos, contrasted to the blind laws of unfeeling nature.

Everyone is free to choose the laws by which they live.

My choice of language in describing the Aeon Sophia is as careful I can make it, but even so it calls for qualification. When I write, By a rare exception, there, on Earth, deity is wonderfully revealed. On Earth nature is the revelation of a supernatural presence. (Prelude), I do not wish to instate Sophia as a divine substance outside nature that somehow divinizes the dead matter of the planet. Nature is a divine presence in itself, and operating through nature is an intelligence peculiar to a cosmic power, a super-terrestrial activity that normally remains bounded in another dimension. This is the unique teaching of Gnostic metaphysics concerning the anomaly of Sophias indwelling of the Earth.

So, the natural world does not require an indwelling divinity to be sacred, full of mysterious, animating powers. The indwelling of Sophia as Gaia is a special relationship between sentient life on earth and cosmic forces rooted in the center of the galaxy. Sophia is a name for the wisdom that animates the planet, yes, but She does so in a supplemental way, pervading the vast range of animations that belong properly within the boundaries of the biosphere. In effect, Sophia animates what is already and is all ways living. She super-animates the Earth. Pervasion is the word I propose for the action of one process in and through another in this manner.

named for the intensities they process and bestow In Sacred Land, Sacred Sex, Rapture of the Deep, Dolores LaChapelle argues that the abiding flaw of the Western intellectual tradition lies in its insistence on formulating reality in terms of substance rather than process. Citing Joseph Needham on the contrast between the Oriental view of ultimate reality as relationship and the Western view of ultimate reality as substance, she argues that Platonism elevated the thinking subject to a discarnate mental manipulator that works on the substances of the world, rather than relates to the process that sustains the world. (p. 24-6) This tendency comes to its apex in capitalistic greed for acquisition and substance addictions.

Aeons are not divine substances but processes that exhibit distinctive marks -- one might even say, signatures. Like the Tao, Aeons are great currents that surge through the Dreamtime. They are intensities, rather than entities. In the process-based view of Asian metaphysics and the mystic sciences, everything that exists consists of intermodulating intensities. When the Chinese speak of the relationship of heaven and earth creating the world, they use the word Tien, which is not the heaven we know, but the mysterious government of the blue sky at noon. It is a world of pure intensity. (Robert Payne, Forever China cited in LaChapelle, ibid., p. 220) Blue sky and orange sun form a relationship. The universe is a revelation of intensities, not a juxtaposition of substances.

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke was deeply sensitive to intensities. In the Duino Elegies he invoke the presence of the "angels," sublime allies who store intensities for us, as bees store honey. To Rilke what we feel is not felt by us alone, but belongs to the living continuum of the entire cosmos. In his itroduction to The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Robert Haas writes: "Human feeling is not so problematical here. It does not just evaporate; it flows through things and constitutes them... Feeling, after all, belongs to the angels. They are the masters of intensity." (p. xii) Haas says that the Duino Elegies are "an argument against our lived, ordinary lives." (p. xiv) The problem in living is not what we feel or don't feel, but how deeply we feel anything at all. Like the Duino Elegies, the Gaia Mythos is an invitation to feel deeply into ourselves to the point where we are no longer just ourselves. Abandon is essential to Gaian empathy.

The same emphasis on intensities occurs in late Castaneda. For instance, the intensities specific to a spiritual warrior are sobriety, fluidity, abandon, prowess, strength and elegance. These intensities are also shared by animals, by inorganic beings, and by the powers operating in the cosmos at large.

Pleroma Greek for plenitude, fullness. This is the company of gods in which Sophia appears. In astronomical terms, it is the ensemble of divine powers operating within the core of our Galaxy, or generically considered, of any galaxy.

A panoramic edge-on view of our galaxy clearly reveals the central bulge and the spiral arms or limbs. According to a recent mapping, the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), there are more than 500 million stars in this regular lenticular spiral. The slight asymmetry, showing more extension on the right, is thought to indicate the presence of a bar pointing toward the solar system.The two blotches ( lower right) are irregular companion galaxies, the Greater and Lesser Magellanic Clouds, named after the navigator, Magellan. They are only visible only from the southern hemisphere. Needless to say, it is impossible to photograph or electronically scan the galaxy from outside. The above image is a simulation. (Photo from "Redesigning the Milky Way," in Sky & Telescope, September 2004.)

The extent across the limbs is estimated to be 110,000 light years (LY), and the central bulge, or galactic core, is about 15,000 LY in diameter. Our solar system is located on the right about three-fifths of the way from the central bulge. The extension of the arms is more then seven times the thickness of the bulge. Relatively speaking, the limbs are nearly wafer-thin. As the immense armature rotates (clockwise, viewed from above), the composite stars of the limbs stream away like drops of water spun from a rotating sprinkler head. Our sun, one of those drops, is mysteriously propelled from its supposed point of origin in the Orion Nebula, so that it moves by "proper motion" through the limb it occupies. Rather like a salmon, it appears to be swimming upstream toward the galactic core. Not all stars exhibit this particular type of proper motion.

In the Gaia Mythos, I equate the Pleroma of Gnostic cosmology with the central bulge of our galaxy. Astronomers now propose that a massive black hole occupies the bulge, but I suggest another hypothesis: the core consists of high-porosity, mass-free star-light, like a compact globe of shaving foam. Within this globe of organic white light is a hub of super-organic black light or "Osirian Ore." At the unmoving point of the hub of black light is the Originator. Because the core consists of stellar material in a mass-free state, it keeps the entire starry carousel afloat. In my mythopoetic conversion of modern cosmology, the limbs of the galaxy are composed of heavy dark matter, chaotic elementary fields, the dema, perforated with blazing suns. The immense carousel of the spinning arms rotates on the mass-free hub. Thus, there is no hypothetical black hole at the center. I would object on poetic grounds, and more, to equating the Originator with a black hole!


A drumbeat The shamans drum is a ritual device used in trance, dance and mystic transport. In addition to its functional value, the drum represents a unique factor in shamanic experience: clairaudient reception to the signals pouring from the center of the Galaxy. Practice in mystic sciences such as yoga affirms this supernatural effect. A drum sound, called Nada, proceeds from the matrix of galactic space. Hence Shiva is depicted beating a drum as he dances. The cosmic drumbeat is audible to the entire body rather than to the sense of hearing as an isolated faculty.

Stalks of opal lumination As far as I know, the notion of rays emanating laterally from the galactic center and sweeping the spiral arms first came into public discourse in 1987 during discussions of the Harmonic Convergence. Jose Arguelles, a central figure of the debate at that time, proposed that a ray periodically emerges from the galactic center, or sweeps the entire Galaxy, periodically touching Earth, I cant recall exactly. He claimed that the population of the Mayan world in the 9th century disappeared en masse upon being absorbed by such a ray. This seems to be a fantasy peculiar to Arguelles. If there is textual or artifactual evidence for this notion in Mesoamerican culture, or any other culture, I have never seen it.

Oddly enough, a similar concept emerged in 2003 from legitimate scientific circles. A new mapping of the region of the galactic limbs within 1,000 light-years of Earth places the solar system in a large hole that pierces the plane of the galaxy. French astronomers working with scientists at the University of California at Berkeley, have determined that there is a system of interlocking, gaseous cavities in our galaxy, although the origin of the cavities is anybodys guess. They seem to have been bored out by the passage of some colossal entity or raging current. Perhaps due to a supernova generating intense stellar winds, some experts speculate.

The existence of thread-like tunnels in the interstellar medium is so far a great mystery, but it fits remarkably well with the Gnostic myth of Sophias Fall.

Quotes from article in Science a GoGo

Current mapping techniques for galactic structure have not changed the picture much in twenty years, as far as our local region is concerned. In 1984 I sketched the region of the local limbs for classes I was giving at the time. Although recent modelling suggests a fifth arm in what what assumed to be a uniform four-armed structure ("Redesigning the Milky Way," Sky & Telescope, September 2004), the general picture remains largely unchanged.

 

 

My sketch shows the sun with its fleet of planets situated in the third of four arms or limbs that encircle the galactic core. Because it was intended for use in naked-eye skywatching, I proposed a "sphere of observability" with a modulus of 4300 light-years. All the stars that we see with the naked eye, and all the constellations formed of those stars, lie within this sphere, which comprises an area of about 3 percent of the entire galaxy!

The four Arms pictured (left to right) are: the Centaur Arm, tightly wrapped around the galactic core, the Archer or Sagittarius Arm, the Orion Arm, and the Perseus Arm. These Arms cannot be seen, so they are named by what can be seen. That is, they are named by the constellations we look through when we look in the directions of these Arms. The component stars of those constellations are not out there in the Arms, but in the sphere of observability.

From within the Orion Arm, we see almost no stars in the other arms. One notable exception is the Trifid Nebula, located on the edge of the Archer Arm, right next to us in the direction of the galactic center. The Milky Way is the concentrated bands of stars we see by observing the thin edge of the Orion Limb from within it. Above and beyond the dense stellar population in the limb are extra-limbic regions where stars are widely dispersed, yet still associated with our galaxy's organic structure. The Big Dipper, for instance, lies high above the plane defined by the dense stellar populations in the Orion Limb.

I estimate that the most distant star visible to the naked eye of the average person is chi Orionis at a distance of 4300 light-years. (This distance gives the modulus for the sphere of observability.) When we view the constellation of Orion, we are looking down the galactic limb we occupy, in the direction where it disperses. In effect, we are looking into the past, "downstream" in spacetime. When we observe Deneb in the constellation of the Swan, we are looking "upstream" in spacetime, toward the future. This is the direction in which the sun itself is moving within the galactic limb, propelled by its autonomous force (this is called the "proper motion" of the sun).

Many orientations to cosmic structure are indicated by the constellations: for example, the flight of the Swan leading the sun "upstream" in the galactic arm, ahead in spacetime. The recent discovery of the mysterious tunnels extending laterally from the galactic core into the limbs presents the opportunity for extended orientation, but this requires an act of imagination, for these tunnels cannot be seen.

Overview of the galaxy, looking down, allows us to visualize how a current erupting from the galactic core (dark gold) could extend into the limbs. The full extension of the Orion Limb from the center to its dispersing end is shown in light blue. This limb is located about three-fifths from the central bulge. The diameter across the limbs is estimated to be 110,000 light years. (I apologize for the quality of this image, lifted from dusty old files. I will try to come up with a better resolution to replace it.)

In astronomical terms, Sophia's Plunge from the core can be visualized as a power-surge causing the core material to shoot across the rotating limbs. The torrent of mass-free energy leaves a tunnel behind as evidence of its passage. The tongue of the Sophianic power-surge extends to a specific location in the third limb, the molecular cloud of the Orion Nebula. Astronomers assume that our sun was born in this cloud and ejected from there to commence its voyage upstream in the galactic limb.


Aeons do not depart the central mass Gnostic cosmology contains many lacunae and variants, but it is consistent on some points. One of these is the necessity of the Aeons to guard their boundaries and not pass beyond the membrane that defines the outer wall of the galactic center (the "central bulge," as astrophysicists call it, pictured above as a dark gold oval). This boundary is variously named in the codices: stauros, horos, menix, hymen.

The method of Aeonic creation is remote projection, emanation through cosmic boundaries without crossing those boundaries. Aeons are said to emanate Ennoia, cosmic intent while remaining grounded in Bythos, the infinite deep of the cosmic vortex. The reason for their self-willed limitation is not to impose their superior forces upon the worlds generated by those forces. If they did not guard their boundaries, the entire cosmic process would be self-defeating. Physical nature would disintegrate in a positive feedback reaction, like a bridge shaken apart by torrential winds. The need for restraint is not difficult to understand, for nature on Earth provides many examples. Rays from the sun can heat a pond of water, but were the sun too close it would evaporate the pond. Indeed, the sun if it surpasses its boundaries, could evaporate the oceans of the planet in a matter of seconds. Boundaries are essential to symbiosis, so that one life form does not crowd out another. Autopoesis is nothing but a fancy term for spontaneous boundary-formation.

In human terms, Aeonic restraint might be compared to loving someone without consuming or crushing them.

Aeons usually remain selflessly detached from the worlds they emanate, but there can be exceptions, for they are under no compulsion to do so. Cosmic intent, the Ennoia of the Aeons, apparently carries an innate sense of boundaries, so that limits are maintained all through the microcosmos and the macrocosmos, but there is no absolute law that prevents overstepping of boundaries. The Aeons are free to plunge into what they are generating. Which is exactly what the Aeon Sophia did.



Episode 3: Mating Gods

they lithely turn into gendered gods It may be argued that God, Divinity, Spirit (or whatever word one chooses to designate ultimate reality), is beyond sexual gender, but it can as well be argued that the divine element permeates sexuality and so cannot be entirely excluded from gender categories. If the Divine sexualizes itself, it is not inappropriate to describe it in terms of gender. This is the perennial viewpoint of Asian visionary wisdom such as Dzogchen, Tantra and Shaivism.

In Lao Tzu the Tao is sexualized into the male part, yang, and the female part, yin. As noted above, Tao as pure process is identical to Aeon as a dynamic-relational nexus, rather than a substantial entity as understood in Western metaphysics after Plato. I highlight this point, even at the risk of becoming tedious, to keep the Mythos clear of the Greek-language trap described by Dolores LaChapelle.

female and Male Elohim, Devs and Zuras The sexuality of the Gods was basic to the Pagan religious spectrum. I characterize the sexes of the Aeons by the two ways in which currents of force can be visualized: male, Zura, power encored on its source, female, Dev, coreless expulsion of power. These polarities are centering and decentering aspects of a single turbulent activity. The play of the Aeons is pure chaos, complexity as now understood in the new science that goes by that name.

Both singular and plural terms for Gods are used in the Old Testament. Elohim is plural. Much has been made of this point in turf wars over who knows best what the Bible says.

I borrow the language for the Mythos from Hindu and Persian mythology where Devas and Azuras are divinities at the highest level of cosmic activity. The word Deva comes from the root div, “to shine, radiate,” related to the I-E root, –dyaus and Latin deus. Divinity is that which radiates by a power innate to itself, free and autonomous, not derived from elsewhere. Deity is the self-sufficient source of radiant power.

The origin of Azura (also spelled Asura) is unknown but seems to connote sexualized divinity of a male type. The Vayu Purana says, “Asuras were first produced as sons from the loins of Prajapati.” (John Dowson, Hindu Mythology and Religion, p. 27) Prajapati is a Sanskrit name for Divinity manifested in biological reproduction through meiosis, the fusion of the genetic material of two different cells into a third, unique unit. This form of reproduction is widely apparent in nature, but it is less widespread than mitosis, cell division producing two new nuclei with the same composition as the original cell nucleus. Mitosis, or asexual reproduction, is the norm for the microbial and bacterial forms that comprise the greater part of life on earth. Humans reproduce by meiosis, amobae reproduce by mitosis.

In a twist that has occasioned much perplexity among mythologists, Azuras are considered in Hindu myth to work against Devas, the good gods, but in the Persian parallel myth, Devas are evil and Azuras are good. I suggest that the ambivalence here may indicate the way that biological reproduction by meiosis, while serving to manifest Divinity, can also work against our recognition of how it does so. It may also indicate how the two forms of reproduction, meiosis and mitosis, can work against each other.

The issue of meiosis versus mitosis runs deep into the species’ destiny and provides a major plot-factor in the Gaia Mythos, especially in Part Three, The Gender Rift.

Her consort is Theletos, the Intended Gnostics material vary on the question of how the Aeons of the Pleroma are paired. There seems to be quite a lot of -partner switching in effect among the Gods. This certainly indicates how Gnostics saw in the Pleroma a reflection of their initiatic cells where sexual swapping was common. Sophia is most commonly paired with Christos or with Thelete, but Christos figures much more strongly in cosmological scenarios. Nothing is known of the Aeon Thelete but the name. This is the case with dozens of Aeons.

"Consort" in Greek is paredros, used in the sense of a permanent couple. Mary Madgalene is described as the companion, koinonos, of Jesus, in the Gospel of Philip and elsewhere, but her title in the Mysteries would have been paredros.

Episode 4: The Singularity Defined

singularity This is the most mysterious theoretical entity in modern science. The standard definition is less than satisfactory: "a point of infinite density and zero volume." According to current astrophysical theory,

    the way the Universe is expanding today proves that it started out from a singularity - or at least from a point so small and dense that the general theory of relativity breaks down, a point even smaller than a proton or a neutron. By the time it was as big as Lemaitre's Primal Atom, the Universe was already expanding rapidly as space stretched, and the simplest description of the Universe we see around us is that it is the inside of a rapidly expanding black hole."
    (John Gribbin, Space: Our Final Frontier, p. 87-8)

Gribbin refers to Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaitre, an ordained priest of the Catholic Church and the father of Big Bang theory. (Watch out for what comes out of Belgium, folks!) In the 1930s, Lemaitre picked up on the discovery of Edwin Hubble that our galaxy floats in a huge vast black sea populated with other galaxies, or "island universes." From this observation, astronomers rapidly deduced that the Universe (when capitalized, Universe indicates the totality of the island galaxies, not merely the galaxy we inhabit) was expanding in all directions at once. Lemaitre assumed that if this were so, the Universe "must have been in a superdense state long ago, with everything ... packed together in a single lump of stuff with the same density as the nucleus of an atom (or a neutron star)." (Ibid., p. 88) When this superdense mass exploded, the galaxies were produced, and they still continue to drift apart due to the residual effects of the initial explosion, the Big Bang. Lemaitre called the original core of the explosion the "Cosmic Egg."

Gribbin notes that "Lemaitre didn't try to explain where the Cosmic Egg had come from." If it was just there, then the Big Bang theory fails to really explain the origin of the Universe. If it was there as a result of a previous Universe that had expanded to the maximum and then collapsed upon itself, then Big Bang theory falls into the more inclusive model of the cylic emanation, the cosmological model of Asian metaphysics. Emanation theory assumes no absolute beginning or end for the Universe. This is also the assumption of the cosmology inherent to the Gaia Mythos.

If there is no beginning or end to the cosmos, there is no need to explain a beginning and end. What calls for explaining is how novelty arises in a continually self-recycling cosmos. To my mind, this is one of the Top Five Big Issues of astrophysics. In the Mythos I use the term singularity for the arising of novelty, the introduction of a new story line or new plot element in an old story line. Thus I adopt the term for my purposes, exploiting its narrative possibilities, but in doing so I am not obliged to accept any standard theoretical notions about singularity. The problem with Lemaitre's theory is that it relies on the conception of superdense matter and totally ignores the possibility of mass-free matter.

I believe that the matter at the galactic core is mass-free, and thus able to float the heavy apparatus of the rotating limbs. The dynamic signature of mass-free matter is porosity. Due to incomplete knowledge of colloidal states, modern science is unable to approach a working concept of porosity. In the Gaia Mythos (Episode 6) the image of coral is used to convey the dynamics of high porosity.

So far inside their embrace Because the gods live through whatever they project, yet without overwhelming it by too strong an intrusion of their powers, they are inside us and we are in their embrace, simultaneously.

The late Romantic poet Rilke was intensly sensitive to the mystery of living-through. He experienced the world as a place of " infinite mutability, interchangeability, and openness," and this perception was closely reflected in his poetic diction. "Most of Rilke's linguistic innovations... have to do with this fluidity and interpenetration. A typical instance is his use of the word ausgefuhlt... 'felt through,' by analogy with 'worked through' or 'thought through.' This 'feeling through' the most diverse material was Rilke's special strength as a poet, his weakness and inadequacy as a man." (Michael Hamburger, An Unofficial Rilke, p. 17)

Call me to the one among your moments
that stands before you ineluctably,
intimate as a dog's imploring glance
but, again, forever, turned away

when you think you are holding it at last.
What seems so far from you is most your own.

Sonnets to Orpheus, II, 23
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

As a man and a poet, Rilke was painfully aware that what is closest to us is most likely to elude our grasp. That which is so far inside our embrace, seems strangely distant. When we love deeply, no matter what we love, if the feeling is true and not delusional, the effect of our loving passes right through us and pervades the world, then comes back to us from the world as if by a distant transmission, or a soft glanincg blow of chance....

The Mythos suggests that the dynamics of love may be the same for the Gods and human beings. For them as for us, love when it's real will never lend itself to states of identity or possession.

The impulse of no single god, no one Aeon alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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