Beyond the Soul’s Meridian August 25, 2018
These are the words expressed by the existential writer Franz Kafka regarding the legend of Prometheus. (1)
“There are four legends concerning Prometheus:
According to the first he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.
According to the second Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.
According to the third his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.
According to the fourth everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew
weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.
There remains the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tries to explain the inexplicable. As it comes out of the substratum of truth it has in turn to end in the inexplicable.”
Kafka’s story conveys to us the ancient Greek myth of the fall of mankind, when human beings were introduced to the destructive tools of the gods. Although the titan Prometheus is called out and punished for betraying the Pantheon’s most closely guarded secrets to men, we must come to realize that if we are to understand the full meaning of the story it is not Prometheus that is being punished but man himself. The secrets of the gods are not solely their destructive tools but the mental capacity to conceive them in the first place. The capability for destructive thought along with illness and a drastically shortened life cycle emerges with the birth of human Ego. What life that exists solely within the parameters of Ego becomes severely constrained and regulated.
These days, I like to think of myself as a person attempting to live outside of these putative restrictions and I have gone to great lengths as to not label myself below the parameters of I AM. Yet, the constructs of our lower density life (which we all voluntarily agreed to live within) are not always conducive to this endeavor. The origins of my current earthly life are steeped within rational and skeptical tendencies. If I could have labeled myself as anything, it would have been an existentialist who came before the alchemical process which (hopefully) has dissolved and transmuted this identity.
It is said that within the process of ascension, the last stage of spiritual awakening is a healthy form of existentialism. This becomes the point where we have exhausted all externalized theories and potentials within our search for the truth. Eventual this search will lead us to a crossroad where we must abandon conventional teaching and protocols because we now realize that the answers that we are searching for do not exist within them. This is the moment when we begin to follow our own path, which we believe our will is forging, but in reality our heart is determining. This becomes the point when we start becoming truly independent by developing a disdain for well worn doctrines that obfuscate and distort the truth.
In a healthy form of existentialism, we willfully live within truth as our soul determines it regardless of reward or consequence because it is the only thing in life that feels comfortable. This truth in which we are living within is shackled so-to-speak because we have not yet had proof through a direct experience that would demonstrate that the world in which we find ourselves living within is in any degree fair or just. The true existentialist takes it upon them self to not only point out these injustices, but to willfully live in contradistinction to them.
Franz Kafka was one of those evolved existential souls who were instrumental in transforming human consciousness into a greater state of awareness. This progression into a greater state of knowing has no limits except for the distortion of time; meaning there is the perception within our awakened state as to the accumulation of knowledge which is of a linear sequence that never seems to end. In an ascended state of awareness beyond linear time (such as a significant dream, meditation, near-death experience, astonishment, or love) we have stepped out of egocentric thinking and can experience wisdom in a much more holistic and comprehensive fashion so that what was not apparent within the egocentric world now becomes exposed. This experience would be like transitioning from a two dimensional to three dimensional observation. What was once flat, rigid and lifeless becomes populated with an additional dimension full of vibrancy and life.
Kafka could not see that additional dimension because if he had he would have expressed it. In a sense his Ego could not see it, yet his heart (or subconscious mind bound not by linear time) knew that greater truths existed beyond his rational sense. One has the impression that he was beating against these boundaries with a sledge hammer attempting to escape from this confinement with seemingly no avail. Yet he inspired those who came after him to carry on the task and eventually breach through the ramparts of our lower existence into a greater plane of comprehension.
Furthermore, in the dense construct that we must live within, consciousness is directly related to cosmic forces which are dynamic and cyclical in nature. Kafka appeared to be sensing this phenomenon and illustrates this process succinctly within this noted work.
From Kafka’s logical perspective, our sacred mythological teachings have now exhausted all meaning. Indeed, his essay suggests that at one time the mystery of the legend was known but has been lost through the process of time. This time based process is directly related to Ego development. The name Prometheus means “forethought” which is the essential nature of human Ego. From our conventional science, this can be viewed as the emergence of our dominant forebrain function of consciousness, as this is the center of our brain’s capacity to theorize, rationalize, and extrapolate. It is also the seat of isolation, individualization, and separation. It is from this egotistical perspective where we can perceive the distortion of time in a retrograde and forward fashion. From a psychological perspective, Ego is the focal point where fear resides. Kafka’s work on Prometheus very accurately describes the emergence and development of egocentric thinking bound within a finite process that is now coming to an end.
Furthermore, it is not just the emergence and development of Ego as a construct of consciousness which is ending, but indeed our entire being is now in the course of transforming itself beyond the impact of what egocentric existence has upon our physical life and overall state of health.
So how does an eagle, rock, liver, a vast expansion of time, the emergence of forgetfulness and apathy have to do with our existential predicament, Ego development and health? The answer lies beyond the veil of forgetfulness that Kafka so accurately illustrates at the conclusion of his analysis.
To begin with, we have all been programmed to disregard the (feminine) wisdom (defined as intuitive comprehension based upon spiritual or direct experience) that we once knew in favor of the emerging knowledge that our rapidly expanding (and overtly masculine) science has gifted us. Within this process we hold our ancestors in low regard simply because they could not manipulate technology that the “gods” have now committed into our own hands. Yes, through inspiration, imagination and even reverse engineering, these advanced technologies that appear to be driving us forward are derived from the secrets of those same gods that we still covet. In doing so we lost our capacities for truly knowing the mysteries of the spirit, even though the legends of acquiring this type of knowledge warned us of the consequences.
The essence of those consequences constitutes death and a culture of conflict and isolation. In the biblical mythology of Adam and Eve, we see that their fall constitutes the emergence of Ego, along with the expulsion from the kingdom, separation from the spiritual realm, illness, and severely contracted life cycles. What is written in Genesis appears to be an abbreviated version of the consequences of the emergence of our individuated Ego, with Lucifer playing the role of the tempter serpent.
From a Gnostic perspective, the Secret Book of John casts a more detailed version of the transformation of our egocentric conscious. (2) Initially, Adam receives the Spirit of Life and becomes more enlightened than the usurping creator gods intended him to be. This is not unlike the Prometheus legend. This Spirit of Life is also known as the Insight of Pure Enlightened Forethought. This power is equated to the Logos which is also associated with Adam who is considered the prototypical human and Christ archetype. Adam remains whole at this time, meaning that he is unified in a state of androgyny. This can only happen outside of the boundaries of time. He is then imprisoned within the four elements (earth, water, fire, and wind) of the physical world which he is told is paradise and he is allowed to eat from their Tree of Life (also known as the Tree of Their Life) which was planted in the middle of this false paradise:
“The archons took Adam and put Adam in paradise. They said, “Eat” meaning, do so in a leisurely manner. But in fact their pleasure is bitter and their beauty is perverse. Their pleasure is a trap, their trees are a sacrilege, their fruit is deadly poison, and their promise is death.”
This correlates to the rock that Prometheus is chained to, which represents our dense earthly physical life ruled by archons that create, sustain, and destroy all things within the parameters of time. How we survived this fate is through a process similar to dissociation. In Kafka’s Prometheus he (we) became lost within the dense construct of the rock (material world) in order to survive the onslaught. We were also overcome by the veil of forgetfulness which in the Gnostic scriptures state:
“Thus the first ruler [Yaldabaoth] said through the prophet, “I shall make their minds sluggish, that they may neither understand nor discern.” (2)
It is essential to recognize that the Gnostic archons are the gods which constitute the Pantheon of Greek mythology and rule the parameters of our physical earthly life. It is later within the archon’s false paradise where Adam is cleaved. This constitutes a further limitation of awareness as consciousness is fractured into separated feminine Insight (intuitive wisdom) and masculine Forethought (egotistical reason). Over time humanity became more like the masculine archons that had the power of forethought (Prometheus, Ego) but lacked the feminine capacity of insight. What we now covet from them is not worth having because we are forced to live within a world that is a reflection of their own limited consciousness designed to perpetuate hierarchy, limitation, and conflict.
Christ in the form of the original Adam or AnthropoSophia is the holistic manifestation of man. By restoring the divine feminine back into our consciousness, not only is meaning restored to the myth, but we transform the world and are redeemed from Prometheus’ fate.
The fate of Prometheus is the fate of all earth bound human beings which in essence is the toll that unrestrained egotistical thinking has upon our human body. Within an esoteric perspective, the Ego represents not only forces of structure, limitation, and form, but also destruction and death. Through the vision of Ezekiel, spiritual legends, and the teaching of alchemy, the eagle is symbolic of our egocentric energy which manifests through the neurosensory system. In Greek mythology this energy is represented as Zeus’ eagle. Over-stimulation of the neurosensory system through egotistical endeavors literally tears the physical body apart. This is the essence of a catabolic process that is occurring within us every day while the egocentric neurosensory system is engaged in our awaken state within the dense physical construct of earthly life. Therefore, if the body is driven too harshly we will damage it, and through this injury, illness will manifest. Truly, the essence of health and well being is to understand this basic principle.
At night, like the eagle attacking Prometheus, the ego forces withdraw throughout our sleep state, allowing the body to rebuild itself. This is an anabolic process which occurs mainly at night during periods of rest, but may also be occurring within endeavors of mindfulness when the Ego has reached a still point. The focal point of our anabolic system of regeneration is known as the Etheric or Vital body which is centered within the liver-metabolic-lymphatic system. Hence, the reason why the eagle attacks the liver every day while withdrawing at night is to allow the liver to regenerate itself. This is not just the fate of Prometheus but every human being living within lower density egocentric life. Certainly, we can do things to help enhance our Etheric system, but it is a lost cause against an over-stimulated Ego trapped within a construct that solely perpetuates and enhances this egocentric energy.
Although in Kafka’s version, all meaning is lost to time and everything wearily heals, the fate of Prometheus is still an ongoing process. It is apparent that apathy and nihilism will continue to enslave and destroy us. Anarchy is not the answer. To break free from this cycle we must invoke a greater sense of understanding and spiritual insight as forethought must again be balanced with insight. We can accomplish this when we invoke healing principles that are spiritual and timeless in nature. Again, as stated so many times throughout Beyond the Soul’s Meridian, Ego must willfully subject itself to a greater authority which is no less than our higher spiritual self. This is the sophic principle that is lacking within the archons’ consciousness. This can only happen when forethought and insight are again unified. This is the sacred marriage or Hieros Gamos, when soul and spirit are again unified and time holds no sway over our life.
Within Greek mythology, Prometheus is in fact redeemed from his fate through the sacrifice made by the beloved Centaur Chiron. In many ways Chiron served the same purpose as Prometheus but taught the immortal heroes balance and temperance through the art of healing, astrology, prophecy, music, and spiritual wisdom. Indeed, it was Chiron who prepared Hercules to overcome the twelve labors or heroic acts which are not only challenges but specific teachings of the twelve signs of the zodiac that we must acquire upon the hero’s path to spiritual enlightenment.
Although beloved by all, Chiron was accidentally injured by one of Hercules’ poison arrows. Fatally wounded, he voluntarily took the place of the long suffering Prometheus who was freed from his bondage. Unexpectedly, Zeus was overwhelmed by Chiron’s actions, and released Chiron from his suffering and existential fate placing him within the constellation of Centaurus to inspire those of us who are also struggling to be released from the same fate as Prometheus.
Chiron is known as the wounded healer and truly invokes the Christós-Sophia spirit that is needed for all of us to redeem our Ego enslaved within the elements of time and to spiritually evolve. How interesting is it that the celestial body that we now call Chiron exists between Saturn, which is the ruler of egotistical constructs of form, shape, limitation, and time; and Uranus which is associated with the egoistical forces of revolutionary change, technology, and rapid expansive of thought. In many ways Uranus is directly related to the energies of Prometheus and it is Chiron which will rectify and heal these overtly egotistical energies.
Within the mysteries of the Qabalah, Uranus is equated with the sphere of Chokmah which is the first masculine principle of the Tree of Life. In Qabalistic terms Chokmah is equated to spiritual wisdom. The planet Saturn is equated to the sphere of Binah which represents the first feminine principle which is more of a receptive function of understanding. Above and between these two energies exists the sphere of Kether, which in Qabalistic terms is androgynous and the focal point of all consciousness. These three energies make up what is known as the supernal triangle. Returning to a state of balance between these polarities is where full comprehension and healing takes place.
What is important to note is that there is a transformation now upon us that will redeem us from the fate of Prometheus if we care to ascend beyond the misery that it entails. In the end it can be truthfully said that within the dense construct that we have willfully placed ourselves within, there are no mistakes but simply choices. We can choose to live within these well known enslaving parameters by coveting the limited technology of the archons in an apathetic and nihilistic state oblivious to our spiritual origins in a world best suited for narcissists. In this world the wheel of karma continues to spin until a critical mass of pain and suffering has accrued to the point where many are beginning to wake up and literally step out of this paradigm of isolation, competition, perpetual conflict, and illness that an imbalanced egotistical life promotes.
Those souls who have had their fill of egotistical distortions and illusionary values will reap the benefit of a more productive, joyful, fulfilling, and healthier existence when a holistic spiritual perception is again developed and restored.
Within the construct of our dense egocentric life gifted to us by Prometheus, free will rules and choice is always ours to make.
(1) Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories, Edited by Nahum N. Glatzer, Schocken Books, New York 1971, p. 432
(2) The Secret Book of John, Imprisonment of Humanity (20,28-22,28)