“Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all the deathless ones who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros, fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them.” (Hesiod. Theogony, trans H.G. Evelyn-White, verse 116)
Chaos is the first element to appear in Hesiod’s version of the tale. Usually this word is used in the sense of a void assimilated into the general disorder of Genesis, a world “empty and vague”. But in this case there is no connotation of disorder or confusion: if there is a sense of emptiness, it is that of a void potentially containing everything.
The character structuring this word, “Khi”(Χ), expresses the concept of the point in which is contained everything, the One concentrated into Himself, the Absolute, the Tao, the Void, etc., which is far beyond our present capacity of comprehension.
According to Hesiod however, human consciousness is capable of reaching this point only in temporary flashes when it is elevated to the highest planes of the mind, for he tells us that Zeus can bring to it his lightning.
This absolute found outside the realm of time, space and even manifestation is the kingdom of the infinite and the eternal. Therefore the concepts of dawning or manifestation are used only in a symbolic sense here. There is no need for inception, and the four primary divine entities coexist eternally.
Then, with the presence of Gaia, Chaos becomes the Consciousness- Force and Gaia (or Ge) becomes its movement of externalisation which will later on become the principle of Existence and Becoming and in the denser planes the personification of Earth and Matter.
The characters which form the word Gaia (Γ+Ι) express a consciousness which leaps from the highest level. This is only a representational distinction, for at this stage we cannot truly differentiate into levels. As a foundation of Existence, Gaia is at the origin of the principles of manifestation which in turn will direct creation.
Simultaneous with the emergence of Gaia appears the mist-enveloped Tartarus, the principle of non-existence (Non-Being) and non-consciousness which seems akin to Sri Aurobindo’s concept of Nescience. In direct opposition to Gaia, this is what permits the Absolute to “forget itself”, to carry out the supreme divine sacrifice. But at this stage nothing is yet compartmentalised as all is One. We can read this in the character structure of the name “Tartarus” assembled in the classical form x+Ρx, here Τ+ΡΤ+Ρ “Consciousness + reversal (negation) of consciousness + according to the divine plan.” It is a region which Hesiod describes as being “as distant from the earth as the earth is distant from the sky, for it would take nine days and nine nights for the bronze anvil descending from the sky to reach the earth on the tenth night, and it would take it as long to descend from the Earth to Tartarus.” (Theogony 744) ”
The duration of the fall of the anvil reveals the necessity for a manifestation to have a full period of gestation.
Tartarus can be understood as a passive resistance, a power which opposes itself permanently to the pressure of the Absolute and to its incoercible attraction to Existence in Becoming.
According to Hesiod, this union with Gaia will engender Typhon, a symbol of ignorance which manifests itself in the densest planes by “filling with smoke, blinding and generating the first mental storms”.
In the Homeric hymn to Apollo it is Hera who created Typhon to avenge herself on the birth of Athena whom Zeus brought to life alone: the power of limitation (Hera) was thus utilizing ignorance (Typhon) to thwart the force of evolutionary expansion (Zeus) which had generated the impulse for inner growth (Athena).
When Zeus vanquished Typhon and human consciousness progressed beyond the animal stage, ignorance remained active through the intermediary of the children of Typhon, the great monsters Cerberus, “the guardian of Death”, the Lernaean Hydra, “Desire”, the Chimera, “Illusion” and the dog Orthros, “Untruth”.
Finally appeared Eros, Joy or Divine Delight (Ananda in the Indian tradition), the third term of the indivisible trinity and the expression of the relationship between the Consciousness-Force and its power of execution.
He governs intelligence and the right desire in the depths of the hearts of men and gods alike: as a supreme expression of Love simultaneously transcending and acting from within he supports and leads intelligence and the Wisdom-Will of the soul or the psychic being rather than that of the ego. In Questions and Answers of 9-01-1957, the Mother makes the following statement: “All those who have had the inner experience have had this experience, that the moment one re-establishes the union with the divine source, all suffering disappears. But there has been a very persistent movement, about which I spoke to you last week, which put at the source of creation not this essential divine Delight but desire. This delight of creation, self-manifestation, self-expression – there is an entire line of seekers and sages who have considered it not as a delight but as a desire; the whole line of Buddhism is of this kind. And instead of seeing the solution in a Oneness which restores to us the essential Delight of the manifestation and the becoming, they consider that the goal and also the way are a total rejection of all desire to be and a return to annihilation.”
The name Eros is built around the syllable Rho which, let us remember, symbolises the true or just movement according to the Absolute’s plan. In Mother’s Agenda, (Volume 6, p.57), The Mother explains that “perfection is to have a movement of transformation or unfolding identical to the divine Movement, the essential Movement. Whereas all that belongs to the unconscious or tamasic creation tries to keep its existence unchanged, instead of lasting by constant transformation.” Delight or Ananda is thus the result of a tuning of the movement of transformation to the divine movement or divine Game.
So is described in poetic form the trilogy of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, the highest manifestation of the Supreme Reality accessible to human consciousness. By placing within a single generation the Absolute (Chaos), and then Being and Non-Being (Gaia and Tartarus) Hesiod directly avoids many philosophical disputes on the subject.
THE CHILDREN OF CHAOS
Following this first account, Hesiod expands on his description of the line of descent of the children of Chaos or “principles of manifestation”, or more precisely on the force of their emergence outside creation and space-time, for nothing can be set in motion while the principles of manifestation are not established. The narration of Genesis takes up this same structure in the Elohist and Yahwist creation myths, which seem to succeed one another anachronistically. The explanation for this could be found in a discussion of the structure of the planes of consciousness in the first section of Genesis, and in the second section, the description of human evolution at the point in which it enters into the phases of alternation in the mind. It seems that in Hesiod’s work, the descent of Chaos reveals metaphysical concepts rather than actual experiences. That is why Homer, who always remained in a very concrete realm and did not show much interest for metaphysical ideas, placed the couple Oceanus and Tethys – which include for the currents of energy-consciousness – as the foundation of universe.
The first two entities to be brought forward are Erebus, “darkness”, and Nyx, “night”, the latter expressing the supreme sacrifice of the Divine in Becoming, His descent into the darkness of the progressive densification.
Erebus (Ρ+Β) signifies “a condensation/densification (Β) developing in accordance with the right Divine movement (Ρ) “, and night (Nyx Ν+Ξ) expressed by “the identity between what is above and what is below (Ξ), the same movement in the realm of Becoming (Ν) “. We come across these two formulations again in the opening lines of the Emerald Tablet, a key text in the Hermetic and alchemical traditions:
“That which is below is like that which is above
and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracles of one only thing”
(Let us note that Darkness is the active aspect of the movement, while Night is the receptive one).
From their union two principles emerge: Aether (Ether), “the pure clarity of consciousness, the superior region of air”, and its opposite Erebus,” darkness”, and its counterpart in the realm of Becoming, Hemera, “the day” and its opposite, Night.
Between Aether and Hemera there is the same relationship of condensation and densification as there is between Erebus and Night. Aether (ΙΘ+Ρ) is an indication of the manner in which the movement of manifestation is carried out, an impulse of consciousness from within (ΙΘ), the place of its involution. (Note that it is usual to make a distinction between “manifestation” and “creation”. It is not the One but rather the first forces to emerge or be manifested which generate the forces of creation.) Hemera, “the day” (Μ+Ρ) translates into a condensation or densification of Aether, an active and perfect receptivity which develops according to the true movement. This state must progressively generate an awakened consciousness, “day”, as opposed to the inconscient, “night”.
It is from the night of manifestation (Nyx) and not from Divine darkness (Erebus) that emerged the terrifying monsters. What in the highest planes appears as a condensation, and becomes in the Realm of Becoming the night of the inconscient, also generates a powerful aspiration of matter for Spirit and of Spirit for Matter.
At the beginning of manifestation, “Night” personifies a total absence of consciousness, a forgetting of the origin. The children of Night are expressions of forces which work from “behind the veil” without our knowledge and whose motives are hidden to us. Although apparently opposed to the divine order, they are integrally part of its play.
The children of Night
Hesiod seems to have divided these into four groups.
The first one includes states in which we have little or no consciousness, or which have a meaning that is hidden to us: destiny (Moros), black death (Ker), death (Thanatos), sleep (Hypnos) and dreams (Oneiros).
In the name Moros, meaning “the lot assigned by destiny”, we find the same character structure as in the name Hemera. It is still the idea of a progression of consciousness through a mysterious destiny which we have no choice but to submit to.
Ker (Κ+Ρ),” death as the ultimate destiny”, designates the end of the experience chosen by the soul in a given body, while Thanatos, “personified death”, is more representative of the physical death which leads to another state of being. The first is a passive feminine process while the second is an active masculine one.
Hypnos, or “sleep”, is closely related to Thanatos, for he also personifies a process of integration as suggested by the character structure of the name. Hesiod affirms that “The glowing Sun never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven ” (Hesiod. Theogony, trans. Evelyn-White, verse 758): we are thus dealing with the deep subconscious and inconscient states which have never been illuminated by the light of the supramental.
In the Iliad (Iliad XIV, 230), Hera, in exchange for casting the spell of sleep over Zeus, promised Hypnos a bride who he had long desired: the youngest of the Graces, Pasithea (total vision, awakening). Thus if the seeker accepts to enter into “the right movement originating from the Absolute” (Hera) and works to bring complete peace to the active element of his mental consciousness with the aim of achieving mental silence, he can truly become an “awakened one”. Zeus, “the highest mental consciousness in evolution, the supraconscient”, can in fact never be “asleep” or “inconscient” but rather “asleep with open eyes” and in complete vigilance, as is illustrated in the myth of Endymion. He can only submit his activity to the right movement.
Dreams, or Oneiros, describes experiences at the limits of waking consciousness which must be deciphered to serve evolution. According to Homer they emerge every night from the darkness of their home situated on the occidental borders of Oceanos, in Erebus within the realm of corporeal memory. In the Iliad at the beginning of the second verse, we see an example of a false dream solicited by Zeus, and we must conclude that at least two types of dreams exist, relating either to truth or to falsity. A perfected sense of discernment must therefore preside over the interpretation of dreams.
The second group seems to define very archaic movements within consciousness which give the signal that certain movements are not in accordance with Truth.
Momos, “he who censors”, is the inner law-giver, not one who punishes but the one who warns. He intervenes by giving Zeus the suggestion of instigating a great conflict, the Trojan War, instead of a large scale destruction of the human race by water or fire. Momos causes “the sound or sense of grating or creaking” to signal his presence to the consciousness of the seeker.
Oizys is the personification of suffering. Whatever Momos signals to the consciousness as a mistaken movement is sanctioned by Oizys if the movement is not redressed. This necessarily implies a disappearance of all suffering when the totality of the being will be in agreement with the just Divine movement down to the cellular level.
The third group is tied with the knowledge of personal Destiny:
the evening nymphs, the Hesperides, are often associated with the great snake of evolution, and guard the miraculous apple tree which bears the fruits of Knowledge. According to most sources, the garden of the Hesperides is located in the Caucasus, “at the extremities of the world beyond Oceanus”, that is to say at the roots of the currents of energy-consciousness, at the limits of the occident and at the origins of human evolution. It is by returning with his consciousness to this origin that man can find again the Knowledge which comes from Unity. This Knowledge cannot only be obtained by the ascension of the planes of consciousness in the mental field, but also requires a bringing to light and a transformation of the lower planes perturbed and deformed by the evolutionary process.
The symbol of the serpent often associated with them, generally known as Ladon (Λ+Δ, liberation and union) implies that to acquire this knowledge that recalls the first mentalisation of life one must undergo incarnation and the process of liberation leading to Union. In fact he is the son of Phorcys and Ceto, symbols of the planes of the vital evolution of humanity which will be studied further with the children of Pontos.
When the initiated of ancient times identify the Hesperides as the daughters of Zeus, the acquisition of the apples of Knowledge is placed at the highest level of mental consciousness, at the plane of the overmind. When they are identified as daughters of Atlas on the other hand, they represent the separation of Spirit and Matter with the emergence of the mental plane and the path of their reunion simultaneously.
The Keres (Κ+Ρ, “right openings of consciousness”), are the feminine divinities associated with death, but they seem to bring a certain flexibility in the submission to the task or destiny chosen by the soul, which they then carry out without hesitation once the choice has been made. Thus Achilles can choose between two Keres: either a long and ordinary life or a brief but glorious one.
Finally the Moerae (The Parcae or the Fates in the Roman context), whose name is composed of the same character structure as Moros but with the I of consciousness inserted, are the personifications of the modalities of the “destiny” of the soul, or of each of the experiences tied to the evolution of consciousness.
Lachesis, “Destiny”, the task that the soul has chosen to accomplish in a particular lifetime.
Clotho, “she who threads the weave of life”, who works for the inner growth of freedom and the accomplishment of the task.
Atropus, “the inflexible”, in the sense of what cannot be turned away: one cannot escape from one’s task, for life brings one back to it ceaselessly. (We have already encountered them in the version in which they are the daughters of Zeus).
The gods themselves are not able to contradict the decisions of the Moerae as they belong to a plane superior to their own: we will see them intervene to stop the gods from helping a hero on the field of battle when his hour has come. The time required for the carrying out of this “destiny” and of each experience which composes it is therefore decreed in some mysterious plane which can only be accessed by great initiated individuals.
However the Moerae are usually perceived by man as weighty and inflexible constraints, up till the moment in which he can gather into a coherent whole the different threads of his life and perceive their hidden meaning.
In the last group we find:
Nemesis, “the gift of what is due” or “just retribution” – this can be associated with the concept of “Karma” – and later on “the indignation caused by injustice”, which is to say the human perception of justice.
In Hesiod’s recounting she is associated with the goddess Aidos, “the awareness of unity”, and they both leave the world of humans at the advent of the iron race, signifying by this that man loses his connection with the Source as well as the awareness of the causes of his present existence.
In a relatively ancient tradition, Nemesis was the mother of Helen. In an attempt to escape Zeus’ courtship she turned herself into a goose. To pursue her, Zeus took the form of a swan. Thus, to attain the highest truth or freedom (Helen) the notion of human justice must be fecundated by the highest points of intelligence, the plane of the overmind, which is to say by the understanding of divine justice.
Apatis, “trickery”, induced by the illusion of appearances.
Philoteta, “vital love”, the first form of which is the act of devouring. Often associated with ruse and trickery.
Geras, “old age”, understood as “crystallisation, becoming fixed”, a tendency thus acting on all ages of life without pause.
Eris, “discord”. According to the character structure, “the right unfolding of the consciousness of the Absolute in its distancing movement” which we refer to in this work as “the force of separation”. She is the origin of numerous children who describe the human consequences of this separation: Algos (suffering), Lethe (forgetting of the origin), Ate (error, illusion of separation), Pseudos (untruth), and Usmine (confused struggle or combats), etc.
Eris brought about a quarrel between the three goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, quarrel which was at the origin of the Trojan War.
Ate, the goddess of illusion “who walks upon the heads of mortals”, is above all that of the blinding of the spirit due to an insufficient closeness to what is real. According to Homer, she is the eldest daughter of Zeus: when the mental plane appears its first manifestations are full of illusions. Ate was even able to make Zeus to lose his way on the day that Heracles was born so that the uncle of the latter would inherit the kingdom of Mycenae.
THE CHILDREN OF GAIA
After this brief description of the principles of manifestation we can return to Gaia, the energy of execution of the Consciousness-Force, who by splitting herself ” bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods ” (Theogony verse 116). In this second phase, consciousness-force and its energy of execution manifest themselves “outside of time” as the Spirit /Matter pair in which Spirit (Ouranos) completely “envelops” or “impregnates” Matter (Gaia). Ourea, “the high mounts”, brought to life by Gaia directly following the birth of Ouranos, symbolise the attraction of Matter for Spirit and of the realisation of union within spirit, and are consequently the home of the forces which act for this union (mounts Olympus, Ida, etc).
(But the union within the body will be realised in the kingdom of Hades and so this god does not belong among the twelve divinities of Olympus.)
For creation to be animated an additional component is needed, Life: this is why during this time of origin Gaia also gave birth to “the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontus” (Theogony verse 116). Since this Life holds the totality of Life, one and indivisible, it cannot engender itself or be fragmented. This is why Hesiod describes it as a “fruitless deep”. This does not in any way stop him from having five children with his mother Gaia: they are the Pontides, the five stages of vital growth.
All these first born in creation were generated by Gaia alone, “without sweet union of love “(Theogony verse 116), which is to say prior even to the appearance of the idea of separation which will be at the origin of desire as an attempt to fulfill the consequent estrangement.
In a secondary stage Gaia bore two groups of children from Ouranos, this time with desire, for she conceived them as “she lay with Heaven ” (Theogony verse 134). These children were the twelve Titans, then the Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed Giants.
Titan means “one who tends towards”, an expression which describes a force or tendency which organises the relations between Matter and Spirit at the root of evolution from life’s first manifestations onwards.
These forces are not directly accessible to the present human consciousness, for they have been relegated to Tartarus by the gods. The experience can only be had at the highest level of mental consciousness. The Mother affirms that men would be terrified if they became conscious of the forces at work in creation.
The Titans are forces of creation at the origin of almost all the genealogical lineages that we will study in the following chapter dedicated to the fundamental structure of mythology.
The Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed, who are all giants, represent the aspects of Omniscience (Complete Vision) and Omnipotence and Omnipresence of the Absolute in this first step of the densification of creation.
The Cyclopes are characterised by a single eye in the center of their forehead (κυκλοσ+ οψ ) and symbolise “the vision of (circular) Totality ” also known as “Omniscience”. They are called Brontes (thunder), Steropes (lightning) and Arges (shining with whiteness) and evoke the all-mightiness, instantaneousness and perfection of vision.
It is they who will give Zeus his thunder and lightning: he who becomes a “seer” acquires at the same time the ability to act as strikingly as lightning.
Although they represent the same forces at different degrees, these three Cyclopes who will be relegated to the Tartarus by Zeus must not be confused with those who will appear in the adventures of the great heroes, particularly the Cyclops Polyphemus who is a son of Poseidon and is blinded by Ulysses.
In fact there exist multiple levels of vision, both conscious and subconscious, from the primitive stages of life onward.
Instinctual forms of perception, including all spontaneous animal understanding, belong to the first level of subconscient “vision” for example.
The Hecatonchires or “Hundred-Handed giants” possess a head for each pair of arms and are symbols of a power which acts with precision, skill and efficiency on each point and in all circumstances, simultaneously and on all planes. This power is also known as “Omnipresence” and “Omnipotence”. On the lower mental planes it demands discernment and an ability to establish the correct relationships among all things.
Their names are Cottus, “an action of consciousness from its highest level”, Briareus, “the force acting in creation”, and Gyges, “the very powerful”.
According to Homer, (Iliad I, 404) the giant Briareus, “force”, is named by the gods “a powerful and just movement turned towards incarnation” as understood by the character structure of his name, and named by men Egeon, “the force of aspiration of faith”. These two names portray two differing perceptions of the same force, that of the highest plane of the mind, the plane of gods which perceives Force as an expression of the Absolute “weighing” on humanity with infinite precautions, and that of the ordinary plane of the mind (the plane of men), which understands Force as “faith”, a complete trust in Truth.
Cottus and Gyges dwell “in the very depths of Oceanos» and are forces at the very source of all the currents of energy-consciousness. Several writers attribute to them the responsibility for hurricanes and cataclysms, symbols of the manifestations of an absolute, terrifying and indomitable power.
More benevolent, Briareus was chosen as a son in law by Poseidon who gave him in marriage his daughter Cymopoleia, “she who moves like a wave”: Briareus is sometimes identified as a son of Pontos and Gaia and so this power of incarnation is translated by an undulating or vibratory movement beginning at the origins of life.
These giants must be distinguished from “they who could only be vanquished by an alliance of the gods with a mortal “: that will be a well-known combat, the Gigantomachy, led by Heracles well after the end of his Labours. These last giants represent archaic movements with which advanced seekers are faced as they progress on their paths. Hesiod describes them as being born from drops of blood falling from the severed genitals of Ouranos as they touched upon the Earth. This most probably refers to movements at the cellular level such as trepidation, excitement, repetition, inertia, etc.
But Ouranos was opposed to these Forces (Titans, Cyclopes and Hundred-Handed Giants) being brought to light and kept them deep within the Earth. “But vast Earth groaned within (…) and she made to appear the indomitable grey (inflexible) and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her dear sons” (Theogony verse 147). She sought the assistance of one of her children, but all were fearful of their father. It was only Cronos, the youngest, who was willing to help her. And when Ouranos lay by Gaia’s side in “bringing on night and longing for love”, Cronos severed his father’s genitals and flung them afar.
This passage describes the transition from manifestation to creation. The forces represented by the Titans remain inactive as long as there is not a reversal of the dominance between the Consciousness-Force (Ouranos) and its Energy of execution (Gaia). Life has not yet begun its process of development. For this reversal to occur there must appear a principle of limitation symbolised by the sickle, which sets limits to Spirit’s free play in its infinite power of manifestation (the castration of Ouranos).
The sickle represents simultaneously, by its curved shape, limitation and the divine game at the origin of all things, and its reversal of direction gives the image of a distancing from and then a return towards the source, suggesting a progression. All movements of matter, of life and the mind will respond to this “inflexible” game of the Absolute: a distancing which allows Freedom and the return in Joy towards the origin, the very movement of Eros.
The expression used by Hesiod, the “indomitable grey “, refers not only to the hardness of mind necessary for the creation of the sickle, but also as a reference to the Tree of Life it most importantly describes the appearance of a first “veil” between the divine world and the world of creation, an infrangible opacity for human consciousness (see the diagram of the Tree of Sephiroth which includes the “veil of abysses”). This veil is created by the play of the absolute, for the plan of which she thought was cunning and evil. It is a barrier for human consciousness, light but at the same time impossible to cross. The notion of cunning or trickery appears with the serpent of Genesis as well: evolution and the process of Becoming imply a play of supreme consciousness which man feels to bears the brunt for.
In addition, the “longing for love” indicates that a first level of “separation” or “becoming objective” has surreptitiously inserted itself between the earth and the sky, between Spirit and Matter.
If Ouranos “hides them all away in a secret place of Earth so soon as each was born”, it is because in the primordial couple he incarnates Consciousness-Force and therefore the principle of concentration. For the Energy of execution to be able to enter into action, limits must be imposed on Spirit’s power of creation. The castration of Ouranos is an image of this (his genitals are severed).
From this point onward the forces presiding over creation – the Titans and the primordial Forces- are liberated and the principles which organise the relationship between Spirit and Matter became active, allowing for the development of life and its cycles.
Aeschylus states that the mother of the Titans is Chton (Χθων). According to this account, these forces would not have originated from an encounter between Spirit and Matter, but rather from Matter alone within which they would have developed (Pr 202 Eum 6).
When Cronus severed the genital organs of his father, drops of blood fell unto Gaia. In the course of time, Gaia gave birth to the Erinyes (Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera), to the great giants and the Melenian nymphs of the ash trees.
The fluids which flowed from Ouranos’ wound are particles of the “essence” of the power of Spirit, the aspect of it which brings life and creation. When they fell upon the Earth and fecundated it they generated the primordial elements of the alliance of Spirit and Matter which the seeker will discover as he descends towards the roots of life.
These forces surged forth to stimulate or counterbalance the process of creation emerging from the limitation of Spirit, and appeared progressively as evolution advanced:
they bring man back to the right evolutionary path when he strays from it (the Erinyes)
they support the emergence of life (the Giants)
they incite growth, being especially active during the beginnings of evolution (the Melian nymphs of the ash trees).
The Erinyes are spirits of vengeance who intervene to punish grave offenses, mainly perjuries and crimes carried out within families. They act at times directly and at other times through the intermediary of mortals.
The Erinyes are always concerned with the violations of the essential evolutionary movement in each individual.
Perjuries having to do with those who do not follow in their lifetime the path that their souls wanted.
Crimes within the family, especially those of parents or children, break the connection between the seeker and his divine origin (crimes against parents are the most frequent cause of their intervention) or interrupt what seeks to be developed (the children).
The actions of these divinities are completely incomprehensible to man, for he is most often not fully conscious of his errors, and in fact the Erinyes walk forward in the darkness. In addition, they have no pity: these are inflexible movements.
Even the psychic being can allow the seeker to take an erroneous direction if it considers it useful for the totality of the path: Orestes and Alcmaeon, incarnating two quite advanced tasks of the quest, were punished by the Erinyes for the murder of their mothers, Clytemnestra and Eriphyle, although Apollo had consented to this act.
They are depicted holding torches and surrounded by snakes, symbols of light within darkness and of evolution. Their name, built around the characters Ρ et Ν, express “the action of higher law on evolution carried out according to nature”. Their numbers and their names have are not mentioned in primitive legends. They were given their names (Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera) during the Roman period and their meanings remain unclear.
In rare and particular cases they also act to force evolution forward. For instance, they had taken away the power of speech of Achilles’ horse Xanthos who had prophesied in favor of his master. They thus blocked the capacity of understanding the expression of Achilles’ vital or power. On the mental plane this experience would correspond to a privation of the faculties of intuition, inspiration or revelation.
Evoked higher up, the great giants are immense, trepidating and disordered forces which accompany the first manifestations of life emerging from matter: Enceladus (trepidation), Porphyrion (the disordered boiling of energy), Ephialtes (primitive anguish), etc. They disappear when it becomes essential that they do so for the transformation of corporeal consciousness to occur. The Gigantomachy will be the last battles of Heracles long after the Trojan War, when the seeker has found his place in the plane of the gods (the overmind),for they can only be vanquished by an alliance between gods and men.
Lastly, the nymphs of the Ash trees are a representation of the primordial attraction of life for Spirit. During the Golden Age, at the time of Cronos and before Zeus avenged himself on Prometheus, men were still in the phase of vital development and would acquire “the fire of the heavens ” from the tops of the Ash trees: the connection with the world of Spirit, the Absolute, was carried out through the highest level of the vital (states of trance, sacred dances, etc.). These trees were therefore consecrated to Poseidon, the god who rules over the subconscient and the force which watches over the evolution of the vital.
Then Cronos flung the genitals of his father Ouranos into the sea. Around them there formed a foam from which emerged the goddess Aphrodite. Cronos then dethroned his father and, having married his sister Rhea, ruled over the universe alongside the Titans. The Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed Giants remained within the depths of the Earth until they were later on temporarily liberated by Zeus who asked for their assistance in the struggle against the Titans.
As we have seen in a previous chapter discussing the gods, this version by Hesiod places Love at the origin of life in its first contact with the power of generation of Spirit, while the version by Homer in which Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, herself daughter of the Titan Oceanos, describes Love as an evolutionary process towards union. In fact Hesiod gave her several names: “Gods and men call this rich-crowned goddess Aphrodite because she was foam-born, Cytherea because she reached Cythera, Cyprogenes because she was born in billowy Cyprus and Philommedes because she sprang from a viril member” (Theogony verse 176). These different names most probably indicate different stages in the evolution of love in man.
Following this came the long pre-Olympian period, the Age of Gold for men and the infancy of humankind. During this phase of growth of the vital, mental consciousness was in a state of gestation, unable to impose its law. But the vital knew that things would not always remain this way. Cronos, warned by an oracle that one of his children would dethrone him, would swallow them one after the other as soon as they were born.
Man then lived in a perception of eternity which we sometimes experience in our childhoods. At this time, before the moderation of the mind imposed itself, instincts, impulses and emotions dominated. The world of the Titans, archetypal forces of creation, is therefore also the realm in which are expressed the powerful energies of life which lie dormant in our depths. During sleep (for Zeus relegated them to the depths of Tartarus) they can still emerge in mental man, sometimes under the form of violent instincts of destruction. Plutarch noted that the ancients named “Titans” those aspects of us which are irrational, violent and demonic (De esu carnium, I, 7).
Before discussing the transition towards the reflective mind in man we must examine the different stages of the growth of life from the time of its emergence from matter. These stages are represented by the children of Pontos.