Look Homeward, Gaia
Scientific Evidence for Sophianic Myth
Last October in my interview for the forthcoming DVD Planetary Tantra, Jay Weidner asked me if the Shakti Cluster was a physical event, if it had some physical aspect or correlation in the natural world. I said that it is turbulent rift in the atmosphere of the earth. Shortly after this exchange, a friend alerted me to an article that describes this very phenomenon.
Score one for the Maine terton. The veracity of the Shakti Cluster is now supported by a "scientific parallel." For what that's worth. But wait a minute. You may wonder:
We think of an archetype as something in the human imagination, a construct of the psyche, and merely that. No matter how powerful the archetype may be, it is always regarded as the product of our own faculties. With a religious archetype, we assume that its imagery and content are the outgrowth of centuries of cultural and historical experience that happen to constellate in a certain way at a certain moment. For instance, the messiah complex constellated in the Middle East around 120 BCE, and provided the catalyst for the rise of Christianity. Such an event is purely psychological in origin, a massive eruption in the collective unconscious—but is it just that?
I will not propose right now that we regard the Shakti Cluster as something happening in nature, totally independent of human imagination. I will propose, more precisely, that we regard it as a phenomenon of terrestrial physics as much as an imaginative event.
This may sound like a wild proposal, but the fact is, it has many precedents. All through history, religious archetypes have been closely associated with terrestrial and atmospheric events. Take the apparitions of the Virgin of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzogovenia. Thousands of people experienced the religious archetype of the Heavenly Virgin or Divine Sky Mother in extraordinary displays of light and color in the atmosphere—so-called Marian visions, including the Virgin of Guadalupe, the apparition of Lourdes, and others. The archetype of the Virgin Sky Mother is widely associated with celestial phenomena attested by many witnesses.
Crop circles may be considered as telluric events associated with the archetype of Gaia as Earth Mother. (I capitalize the archetypes, following the convention of C. G. Jung who initially called them "primordial images.") This phenomenon presents a vivid demonstration of the correlation of psyche and cosmos, archetype and nature. In Secrets of the Fields, Freddy Silva traces the sequence of events in which crop circles became interactive with those who were investigating them. The Mandelbrot Set, a primary fractal configuration, appeared exactly one year to the day after one member of the investigative team remarked, "These patterns are getting complex, I wonder when we are going to have fractals." Silva's account of crop circle investigation over two decades shows increasing interactivity to the degree that it becomes impossible to separate the imaginative aspect of the archetype from its physical manifestation.
In the early 1980s when I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I got the idea for a course on "atmospheric alchemy." By which I meant the interactivity of psyche and cosmos that can be experienced first hand in atmospheric phenomena. This concept came out of many years of research in classical western alchemy. Since I did not have access to the Greek and Latin materials, I used the works of C. G. Jung. In Alchemical Studies, Psychology and Alchemy, and Mysterium Coniunctionis, I found images and themes of immense complexity and depth. Meditating on this material over many years, and applying these meditations to my shamanic investigations of nature, I eventually realized a set of correlations between psychic-emotional processes and phenomena in the atmosphere.
My understanding at that time was that the genuine alchemists of the Western tradition were the forerunners of ecology in the sense that they participated imaginatively in the processes of nature, especially atmospheric phenomena such as photosynthesis. Their guiding rule for the workings of the imagination was tam ethice quam physice, "moral as much as physical." Ethos in Greek means something felt to be moral, regulated by subjective awareness. This has nothing to do with morality dictated by laws and rules, especially rules said to originate from an off-planet father god. Ethology is the study of the moral behavior of animals. In the syllabus for "The Course," I wrote:
The true habitat of the psyche is nature. This is what I learned from Western alchemy and endeavored to communicate in The Course. Doing so, I converted two dozen key themes of alchemy into psychological language. I illustrated The Course with 200 images from alchemical notebooks and manuscripts. I proposed in this forty-week regimen a retraining of the senses to experience space and time in a new way, a totally imaginative and sensous way. I stressed that there is no such thing as "inner space," some non-physical zone where thoughts and psychic images arise. Archetypes that arise in human imagination do not float in a void of inner space, dissociated from solid matter and sensory impressions: they fluctuate in the medial space where mind and nature converge. Alchemists called this intermediate space the Ambient, a name taken from the Greek astronomer Ptolemy who got it from the Mysteries.
I called this conversion of alchemy psychoecology. The term came to mind in the early 1980s, about a decade before ecopsychology came into definition through the writings of Theodore Roszak (The Voice of the Earth, 1992).
In Passport to Magonia, Jacques Vallee reviewed the record of UFO sightings in ancient times, going back to around 1500 BCE. He noted a wave of UFO sightings at the time of the rise of Christianity. Simultaneous with the emergence of the religious archetype of the Messiah came a surge of anomalous atmospheric phenomena. In fact, the conversion of Constantine (the emperor who made Christianity the state religion) was said to have occured when he saw "a sign on the skies," the letters IHS inscribed on a flying shield. Vallee, John Keel, and other researchers have interpreted his event as a classic UFO sighting. It's likely that the story of Constantine's conversion to Christianity was fabricated. His historian Eusebius as much as admitted this was the case. Nevertheless, the fabrication that made Constantine the imperial enforcer of the emergent Messiah archetype was grafted on a wave of UFO sightings, attested by countless witnesses and dozens of ancient writers. In other words, the religious archetype reflected itself in corresponding phenomena in the atmosphere.
In a famous monograph, C. G. Jung attributed UFO to "the archetype of wholeness." In other words, this archetype as it emerges in the psyche generates a corresponding event in the external world. As humans individually and collectively verge on the realization of wholeness, also called the archetype of the Self, they will experience this anomalous phenomenon, the luminous UFO disc, an image of purity, divinity, and wholeness. Such was Jung's view. It does not of course account for a great deal of what happens in the ET/UFO phenomenon. As a blanket concept, it is rather bald and unsatisfactory. But it makes one point vividly clear: the archetype in the psyche and its correlate in the external world of nature are inseparable.
Thus, I am not claiming anything special for the Shakti Cluster by the assertion that it is both an eruption of religious imagination and an objective event in the atmosphere. This is actually the norm for archetypal constellations. The Shakti Cluster, the integral node of the dawning constellation of "planetary shift," is inseparable from atmospheric and telluric phenomena. I am not proposing merely that a correlation exists here, I am indicating how it operates. And I suggest that this correlation, diligently and soberly pursued, will reveal a wealth of new scientific knowledge about the atmosphere and the electromagnetic field of the planet. The gradual emergence of this knowledge is inherent to the time-release properties of serial terma of Gaia Awakening, with its duration of 208 years from October 2008. The religious archetype of Gaia Awakening has enormous and far-reaching scientific ramifications. It contains the germ of a new science, planetary biophysics.
The outstanding forerunner of this new science was Wilhelm Reich. His discovery of orgone, the cosmic life force, anticipates the dynamics of Shakti Cluster. In Ether, God and Devil/Cosmic Superimposition, Reich set out a basic discipline that parallels my proposals in The Course, for which I drew heavily on Reich and Goethe. Reich wrote:
I have it on Dakini instruction that you cannot go wrong with the Shakti Cluster. It is a system that cannot be abused. I would say from my own practice that this is really so, given you observe the guidelines framed by Reich: stay in your senses and organ sensations to discover how they mirror biophysical events in the atmosphere—how psyche and nature cogenerate, to coin a term. The sublime instrument of cogeneration is the Vajra Jewel of the five Diamond-Sky Dakinis with VV center. Study these Dakinis with their correlations to the senses, and their instruction will spontaneously formulate itself in your mind, "the naturally arising dakini wisdom," as the Nyingma sages call it. For the study of cogeneration Ether, God and Devil/Cosmic Superimposition makes the ideal companion text. It would be the single most relevant book to read to approach the dynamics of the Shakti Cluster. "Sensation is the greatest mystery of natural science" (p 96).
At the end of his life Reich became increasingly involved with the sky and all kinds of atmospheric phenomenon. He investigated the archetype of Cosmic Life in nature, especially in cloud formation (one of the unsolved aspects of Gaian theory, by the way). He communicated with Einstein, who was reading Ether, God and Devil/Cosmic Superimposition when he died in April, 1955. Reich's last book, suppressed at the time and thereafter circulated only in xerox copies, was a rough summation of his research on UFOs. While Jung saw the UFO as an archetype of wholeness manifesting in space and time, Reich saw it as an expression of our species' psychosomatic relation to Cosmic Life, our reaction, either sane or insane, salubrious or toxic, to the environing womb of the biosphere and its extension into the cosmos at large. Obviously, this view is both more consistent with my proposals about the Shakti Cluster, and more applicable to direct experimentation with it.
Shamanism worldwide presents ample evidence that what is psychic can also be physical. In the typical ayahuasca session, the shaman sees 3-D holographic images of imagination, "true hallucinations". (Natural-born mystic William Blake argued that imagination is not a false construction of images but another faculty of seeing, "second sight," as true and objective as the normal faculty.) Wizard of the Upper Amazon by F. Bruce Lamb recounts the experiences of Manuel Cordova-Rios, a young boy abducted by the Huni Kui, a tribe living in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon. Due to their remoteness and isolation, the Huni Kui at the dawn of the 20th Century preserved their indigenous ways with exceptional rigor. They were noted for having communal visions under the influence of psychoactive plants, including ayahuasca. In one initiation ceremony, Cordova-Rios participated in a group vision of the archetypes of many animals, beginning with snakes, then birds:
Note that Cordova-Rios is not alone, hallucinating these images all by himself in the "inner space" of his own mind. His eyes are wide open. The group gathered for this ritual trance all see the same images at the same time. The trance-inducing psychoactive plant is a teacher who holds their minds in this integrated vision, as the skilled teacher in a classroom gets all the students to focus on a single theme or topic.
The participants observe the archetypes of snake and bird species, but not as abstract concepts. The archetype of the hawk appears as a hawk
with any distinction between psyche and nature obliterated. The effect of these trance sessions is concrete, practical and educational. Participants receive visionary training that remains with them for the next hunting expedition.
Observing the snake vision, Cordova-Rios noted: "With the chant of the boa, a giant constrictor appeared slowly gliding through the forest. Blue lights intensified an intricate design of scroll configurations that seemed to float along the boa's spine." Other reports of serpentine visions in trance-states describe perception at the level of molecular structure, with the DNA double helix clearly seen (Jeremy Narby, The Cosmic Serpent). Bluish light signals high saturation of orgone, according to Reich. Gazed at with soft, steady concentration, the "scroll configurations" on the serpentine forms turn into molecular patterns, graphically displayed chemical formulas. Reading these formulas, shamans learn the chemistry of plants. They may also learn through direct oral instruction from the hallucinated serpents. Mayan friezes depict the "vision scroll," a long waving banner proceeding from the mouth of a serpent who instructs a shaman in trance. Communication with the Shakti Cluster is largely oral, clairaudient, as I have already explained.
Among the Huni Kui, the group in communal trance uses chants to engage and entrain the visions that arise. They are interactive with the visionary archetypes through sound. I expect that something like this will develop with the Shakti Cluster, although there is not at present a particular chant or sound-formula for such engagement—except for the 16-syllable Sodashi mantra, and that is merely a provisional measure, a holding device. Interactivity with the Shakti Cluster will involve psychoacoustics to a degree that far exceeds our current know-how in that science. In India, the oldest schools of Shaktism are connected with the experience of the cosmic sound-current, shabda. Interactivity with the Shakti Cluster will reintroduce this experience to our species in a way not previously known.
As a final example of psyche-nature cogeneration attested in shamanism, consider the visions of Long Chen Pa, especially the pentad of five Herukas. First-hand reports on his elaborate sessions of trance channelling describe Dakinis in the skies seen simultaneously by the participants in these Tantric rites. These visions might be compared to the widely reported Marian apparitions, sightings of the Holy Mother of God in the sky. So, are the Dakinis in the sky just another way of seeing the Divine Sky Mother archetype? Certainly not, for Dakinis are not maternal, they do not have offspring, either divine or human. They do not birth messiahs or divine scapegoats.
Archetypically speaking, the Messiah complex is equivalent to a toxic spill in the religious imagination of our species. It is a product of human narcissism blown up to monstrous proportions and let loose on the world, truly a religious Frankenstein. ("Religion protects man as long as its ultimate foundations are not revealed. To drive the monster from its lair is to risk loosing it on humanity." Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred) The original form of the Divine Sky Mother was none other than Sophia in her superterrestrial aspect as a cosmic entity, an Aeon of the Pleroma, the galactic core. Her "son" was the human species, the Anthropos, not a unique supernatural savior. This archetype became totally corrupted with the rise of Christianity, and the true identity of Sophia was suppressed. With the Shaki Cluster, Sophia returns to the forefront of human imagination. She can now be invoked as VV, the self-realized identity in her lucid dream.
Recently, it appears that we have yet another piece of "scientific evidence" to support Planetary Tantra, additional to the discovery of the turbulent rift. The other evidence comes from astronomy. As reported in Nature, Astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope have observed a distinct double helix shaped nebula near the center of our galaxy. The discovery astonished researchers:
Exactly what creates the torsional wave is unknown. Whatever the dynamics involved here, astronomers are observing with their best physical instruments an objective event in cosmic space, at the galactic center. What does this have to do with anything as subjective as a religious archetype? Recall that in the Gnostic myth of the Fallen Goddess, the Aeon Sophia pairs with another Aeon to generate the genetic matrix of the Anthropos, the human species. (Described in Episode 6 of the Gaia Mythos: "The Sacred Boundary Dance") Then Sophia and her consort, supported by the entire company of Aeons in the Pleroma (galactic core), project this genetic template into the galactic limbs where it nests in the Orion Nebula, suspended like dew in a spider's web between a tight configuration of young stars called the Trapezium.
In short, Gnostic myth describes the generation of a double helix in the galactic core, from which all strains of the human species are propagated in worlds that arise in the galactic limbs. A far-fetched scenario, the mere product of mythic imagination? The product of mythic imagination, certainly, but also a corresponding event in the cosmos. This terton would like to know why astronomers are actually seeing a massive double helix at the galactic core! Do you think that what happens in the human psyche must be confined to the psyche, to subjective fantasy? Some of what the psyche produces is mere fantasy, but not all of what it produces. The trick is, how to tell the difference!
The solar system is about 25,000 light-years from the galactic center which lies in the direction of the constellation of the Archer. As I have often noted, the tip of the Archer's arrow indicates precisely the line of sight toward the galactic center. The advanced technology that allows astronomers to probe into that remote region is very recent, but guess what they see when they finally get a close look: exactly what the sacred narrative of the Mysteries describes. Since the human species is in one respect an organ of perception for the earth, might we consider that Gaia herself is looking back to her origins, recalling the first chapter of her story, the generation of the Anthropos? The Divine Sky Mother, now embodied in a lonely planet, awakens to the unfolding plot of her own story.
As Gaia looks homeward, the moment arrives for planetary shift, Planetary Tantra.
jll: 18 May 2009 Andalucia
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.